An encyclopedia of occultism Free PDF book by Lewis Spence (1920)

Download An encyclopedia of occultism Free PDF book by Lewis Spence (1920)

Download An encyclopedia of occultism

: a compendium of information on the occult sciences, occult personalities, psychic science, magic, demonology, spiritism, and mysticism

Excerpt from the book's preface:

In attempting to compile a volume which might serve as a handbook or work of reference to the several occult sciences, I have not lost sight of the extensive character of the subject, which, now that I have completed my task, is more than ever painfully perceptible. Excursions into the literature of the occult, of a somewhat extensive kind, led me to the belief that popular misconceptions concerning its several branches were many and varied. Regard- ing definitions there did not appear to be any substantial agreement, and application to encyclopedias and ordinary works of reference generally resulted in disappointment.
That a department of human thought so pregnant with interest and so abounding in vitality should not hitherto have been reduced to presentation in reference form struck me as singular; and I resolved to do what I could to supply what seemed to be a very real literary and scientific necessity. That I have been entirely successful is too much to hope.

 But I have made a beginning, and this volume may inspire a more worthy hand to the compilation of a more perfect handbook of the subject. The science of Anthropology has of late years done much to elucidate questions relating to the origins of magic, and in writing this volume I have freely applied its principles. I have not, however, permitted scientific considerations to blind me to the marvelous and romantic character of the material in which I have labored. Indeed, I am convinced that had I in any way attempted to subvert this innate quality of the occult to purely scientific considerations — however worthy of statement — the romance inherent in it would, by reason of its very native force have defeated such an intention, and, even if arrayed in the poorest of verbiage, would still retain its marvelous powers of attraction, no estimate of which can be too high.

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Author: Lewis Spence
 Publication Date: 1920

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