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The Kabbalah Unveiled (Dover Books on the Occult) [Paperback]

S L MacGregor Mathers
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Price: 11.22 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Jan 2006 Dover Books on the Occult
This essential guide to the ancient Jewish doctrine of esoteric knowledge was written by one of modern occultism's most influential figures. Unlike lesser works, it focuses on the actual sacred texts — "The Book of Concealed Mystery," "The Greater Holy Assembly," and "The Lesser Holy Assembly" — to offer an objective, reliable interpretation.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications Inc.; First Edition edition (1 Jan 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486451372
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486451374
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13.7 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,617,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wierd but not so wonderful 9 July 2008
This is a translation of a translation by a somewhat delusional adept. It is highly regarded for its introduction, and I guess most readers do not venture further. The main body of the text is a complete space-out describing the indescribable.
It bares very little resemblance to other translations - which begs many questions as to the translators competence or understanding of his material. Maybe Mathers intentionally conceals and reveals, or speaks directly to your higher genius. Or maybe abstract nonsense loosens the girders of the soul.
But dare I declare, "The King is in the all together" and there's not much really here.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars english translation of several books of the zohar 20 April 2001
By A Customer
a fantastic book whish is made up of an english translation of several books of the zohar. Definately one for the kabbalists, the zohar is made up of many kabbalistic texts unfortunately all of which are in hebrew, and very few have been translated. This is one of the better translations of some of the texts. I strongly recomend this as a seminal text on the kabbala.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best kabbalah books for initiates 7 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is the most complete document on kabbalah I have ever read. It provides unequivocal and authentic teaching especially to initiates.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars handy guide to the material 29 Nov 2000
By Daniel Freeman - Published on Amazon.com
As a student of religon I found this book a useful. The translater keeps personal opinions to a minimum. With all the junk out there, it is nice to find a book that focuses on the actual texts. It contains the first three books of the Zohar but at times makes reference to the texts that aren't in the volume itself. The introduction is informative. Mathers does succeed in presenting the material in a clear and academic way. I recommend this book. All and all, its a handy tool for understanding the Kabbalah and how it can be used.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Early partial translation 28 Aug 2006
By Neal J. Pollock - Published on Amazon.com
A newer release of the 1968 publication (see my more extensive comments under ASIN= 0877281033), it's a translation of 3 Zohar portions, commentary on the Book of Concealed Mystery, & notes on the Greater Holy Assembly & Lesser Holy Assembly. Mathers did Kabbalists a service rendering these into English almost a century ago, but the later Simon & Sperling version (2000 pages long, ASIN= 0900689390) is more complete. Mathers version occasionally reflects his Christian occultism, but mostly provides useful observations & cross-cultural parallels. While his comments are helpful, they only scratch the surface of the deep symbolism. He shows parallels with alchemy & (as Jung approached alchemy), meaning emerges with extensive reading/study. However, Mathers': archaic language, spelling (e.g. words with excess letters), incorrect use of I vs. Y, & retention of Latin passages (based on Knorr von Rosenrath's somewhat suspect, `Kabbala Denudata') make the work less accessible to modern readers. It also contains some errors & omissions (e.g. Gematria 18 = Hebrew "life").

The 3 parts translated here are perhaps the most occult in the Zohar, seemingly a commentary on the Shi'ur Komah literature's symbolically physical description of God. It's an extremely esoteric work. Some of its significant points are:

1) Male & Female are equal in Kabbalah. "Where there is unbalanced force, there is the origin of evil."

2) 4 completes 3 = Carl Jung's Quaternity = Mathers' quaternary--"The trinity is always completed by & finds its realization in the quaternary."

3) "For commencement denotes end, & end denotes commencement; how, then, in the Absolute can there be either? Nevertheless, in the Absolute must we seek for the hypothetical starting-point of life." This is quite similar to Tibetan Buddhist ideas of origination or (more accurately) lack thereof.
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Incomplete, but required 31 Aug 2000
By Joseph J. Thiebes - Published on Amazon.com
This translation is incomplete and contested by modern latin authorities. Their protests, however, are minor compared to the requisite nature of this text. It provides countless perspectives on the nature of the Kabbalah, and presents it in clear (if dry) language.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A voice that gets to me 23 Nov 2012
By M. Eigen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I love this work. It is an 1887 translation from a Latin version presumably of the original idiosyncratic Aramaic. I find Mathers comments intense, balanced and useful. There is no such thing as a definitive edition of the Zohar, published as it was in pamphlets over time, with possibly more than one author (although it seems Moshe de Leon of 13th century Spain is the main one) and various editions. Each translation is a selection, as it were, from moving parts. This translation gets to me somehow. I tend to trust it in spirit. I feel the translator's authenticity as a seeker.

You can and should read other versions for other "feels" and ways of transmitting material and see what works for you. I tend to get something from most of what I read. But this particular effort is dear to me. I rarely fail to be taken somewhere from a reading session, places that open realities.

Michael Eigen
Author, Kabbalah and Psychoanalysis
and The Psychoanalytic Mystic
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 19th century work 31 Mar 2008
By James I. Huston - Published on Amazon.com
During the 19th and early 20th century Kabbalism was seen by many as the only legitimate interpretation of the Old Testament. Kabbalism was thought to be ancient mysticism. Through the works of Gershom Scholem and others, we now know Kabbalism was a product of the rabbinic schools in France and Spain in the 11th and 12th century , written as if it dated to the earliest dates of Judaism. This book is an attempt to show how Kabbalism supports and proves Christianity. He has taken sections of the Zohar and for each section adds his mentary on his opinion of the significance. If you are interested in 19th century thought concerning Kabbalism, it is a good reference. If you are interested in Kabbalah history, theory and practice, I would recommend books by Gershom Scholem.
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