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The Paradoxes of the Highest Science
With footnotes by a Master of the Wisdom
Eliphas Levi, Introduction by R. A. Gilbert
ISBN: 9780892540853
Book (Paperback)
Ibis Press
5 1/2 x 7 1/2
208 pages
January 15, 2003


By the time of his death in 1875, Eliphas Lvi was recognized in both Europe and America as the greatest occultist of the 19th century. In life, his work was the inspiration for Albert Pike's Morals and Dogma, the most influential American Masonic book of its day, and in death, it proved to be a seminal influence on figures as diverse as Madame Blavatsky, A.E. Waite, and Aleister Crowley--but during his lifetime none of his writings appeared in English.

The Paradoxes of the Highest Science first appeared in 1883 in Calcutta as a pamphlet in the Theosophical Miscellanies series. In it, Lévi makes an appeal for a balance between science and religion by addressing seven paradoxical statements including "Religion is magic sanctioned by authority," "liberty is obedience to the Law," and "reason is God." Included in this edition are the extensive and illuminating footnotes that were added to Lvi's text.

Some of these are by the anonymous translator, and some by the "Eminent Occultist" who seems to have been Madame Blavatsky herself. Lvi could have asked for no better commentator upon his work.

Alphonse Louis Constant, better know by his pen name Eliphas Levi, was a master of the traditional Rosicrucian interpretation of the Kabbalah. He was born in France in 1810, and through the offices of the parish priest, was educated for the church at Saint-Sulpice. He was later expelled from seminary for teaching doctrines contrary to those of the Roman Catholic Church. In 1824 Levi began studying the occult sciences, and wrote about magic and the Kabbalah for the next three decades. His other books include Transcendental Magic, Mysteries of the Qabalah , and The Book of Splendours.
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