Thursday, February 7, 2013
What went wrong? Mistranslations and Charlatanism
'The many books written on the subject in the 19th and 20th centuries by various theosophists and mystics lacked any basic knowledge of the sources and very rarely contributed to the field, while at times they even hindered the development of a historical approach. Similarly, the activities of French and English occultists contributed nothing and only served to create considerable confusion between the teachings of the Kabbalah and their own totally unrelated inventions, such as the alleged kabbalistic origin of the Tarot. To this category of supreme charlatanism belong the many and widely read books of Eliphas Levi, Papus and Aleister Crowley, all of whom had an infinitessimal knowledge of Kabbalah that did not prevent them from drawing freely on their own imaginations instead. The comprehensive works of A.E. Waite, S. Karppe and P. Vuillaud, on the other hand, were essentially rather confused compilations made from second hand sources.'
Wider Influences, Kabbalah, Gershom Scholem - p 203