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Hidden Symbolism of Alchemy and the Occult Arts   By: (1882-1922)

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Hidden Symbolism of


(Formerly titled: Problems of Mysticism and Its Symbolism )

by Dr. Herbert Silberer

Translated by Smith Ely Jelliffe, M.D., Ph.D.

Dover Publications, Inc.

New York



Translator's Preface Part I. The Parable. Section I. The Parable. Section II. Dream And Myth Interpretation. Part II. Analytic Part. Section I. Psychoanalytic Interpretation Of The Parable. Section II. Alchemy. Section III. The Hermetic Art. Section IV. Rosicrucianism And Freemasonry. Section V. The Problem Of Multiple Interpretation. Part III. Synthetic Part. Section I. Introversion And Regeneration. A. Introversion And Intro Determination. B. Effects Of Introversion. C. Regeneration. Section II. The Goal Of The Work. Section III. The Royal Art. Notes. Bibliography. Index. Footnotes

This Dover edition, first published in 1971, is an unabridged and unaltered republication of the work originally published by Moffat, Yard and Company, New York, in 1917 under the title Problems of Mysticism and its Symbolism .

International Standard Book Number: 0 486 20972 5 Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 74 176356


Prominent among the stones of a fireplace in my country den, one large rounded giant stands out. It was bourne by the glacial streams from a more northern resting place and is marked by a fossil of a mollusk that inhabited northern seas many million years ago. Yet in spite of the eons of time that have passed it can be compared with specimens of mollusks that live to day. Down through the countless centuries the living stream has carved its structural habitations in much the same form. The science of Paleontology has collected this history and has attempted a reconstruction of life from its beginnings.

The same principle here illustrated is true for the thought life of mankind. The forms in which it has been preserved however are not so evident. The structuralizations are not so definite. If they were, evolution would not have been possible for the living stream of energy which is utilized by mind stuff cannot be confined if it would advance to more complex integrations. Hence the products of mind in evolution are more plastic more subtle and more changing. They are to be found in the myths and the folk lore of ancient peoples, the poetry, dramatic art, and the language of later races. From age to age however the strivings continue the same. The living vessels must continue and the products express the most fundamental strivings, in varying though related forms.

We thus arrive at a science which may be called paleo psychology. Its fossils are the thought forms throughout the ages, and such a science seeks to show fundamental likenesses behind the more superficial dissimilarities.

The present work is a contribution to such a science in that it shows the essential relationships of what is found in the unconscious of present day mankind to many forms of thinking of the middle ages. These same trends are present to day in all of us though hidden behind a different set of structural terms, utilizing different mechanisms for energy expression.

The unceasing complexity of life's accumulations has created a great principle for energy expression it is termed sublimation and in popular parlance represents the spiritual striving of mankind towards the perfecting of a relation with the world of reality the environment which shall mean human happiness in its truest sense. One of the products of this sublimation tendency is called Mysticism. This work would seek to aid us to an understanding of this manifestation of human conduct as expressed in concrete or contemplated action through thought. It does so by the comparative method, and it is for this reason I have been led to present it to an English reading public... Continue reading book >>

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