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From a lecture delivered at the Town-Hall Metaphysical Library, San Francisco, May, 1950, Manly Hall discusses the origins of astrology among the people of Chaldea and Babylon, as referenced by the findings of Sir A.E. Wallis Budge. Just as we have gradually come to revitalize our knowledge of the solar system, and just as today we are inclined to fall into an analogical system of comparing things, so antiquity perfected its religions and philosophies by reference to the great sidereal science of universal dynamics, with which many nations of the ancient world were already well acquainted. Their findings survive today as an astronomical or astrological factor in theology, and it is utterly useless to say that we have outgrown it, or discarded it. The most orthodox of our religious believers throughout Christendom and throughout most other religions that are surviving to this day, include, without realizing it, a great deal of Sabaeanism and star lore in the legends, rituals, sacraments, vestments and symbolism of their faiths.
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Manly P. Hall (1901-1990) was a seeker and lover of wisdom (the very definition of a philosopher) he had the courage and raw energy to look for wisdom in places most men had long since forgotten or never knew existed. As the Philosophical Research Society's founder and first president, he began his career in an era when most Americans did not look toward other cultures and traditions without looking down. And yet, Manly P. Hall spoke and wrote extensively on the wisdom found in all ancient traditions, and the deep cross-cultural threads and many interconnected roots of modern religious expression. While neither guru nor saint (he made no claim of perfection, far from it), his work is exceedingly rare in its grand scope, detail and synthesis. He embraced the wisdom of every tradition and, with a fluid command of the obscure and complex contents of these traditions, worked to express their unifying truths. In his long career, spanning more than seventy years of dynamic public activity, Mr. Hall delivered over 8000 lectures in the United States and abroad, authored over 200 books, essays, and magazine articles, and left the world one of the finest libraries in the field, as well as a University that continues in his spirit of universal learning. The Philosophical Research Society is a non-profit organization founded in 1934 by Manly P. Hall for the purpose of providing thoughtful persons rare access to the depth and breadth of the world's wisdom literature. PRS is entirely free from doctrinal, political, or ecclesiastical affiliation and provides an environment sheltered from any interest intending to coerce or convert. The institution's goal is to enable the individual to develop a mature philosophy of life, dedicated to understanding and appreciating one's own unique possibilities in the unfolding universal pattern. The works published by PRS, most of which are written by Manly P. Hall himself, probe the life mysteries and spiritual issues with which every inquisitive individual is concerned. Whether interested in creating a personal library of philosophical insights, or just beginning the search for enlightenment, one will find the works featured here valuable steps through the 'gates of wisdom' to the greater world around.
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