Eliphas Levi

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Eliphas Lévi

Eliphas Lévi (February 8, 1810May 31, 1875), born Alphonse Louis Constant, was a French occult author and magician. "Eliphas Lévi," the name under which he published his books, was his attempt to translate or transliterate his given names "Alphonse Louis" into Hebrew.

Sourced[edit]

The Great Secret: or Occultism Unveiled[edit]

(Originally written in 1868. Published in French in 1898. Published in English in 1975.)

ISBN 0-87728-938-7

  • Happy in the time of Jesus were those who wept! Happy, now, are those who can laugh, because laughter is the attribute of man, as the great prophet of the Renaissance, Rabelais, said. Laughter is forbearance; laughter is philosophy. The heavens clear when they laugh, and the great secret of divine omnipotence resides in an eternal smile!
    • Book Two: The Royal Mystery or the Art of Subduing the Powers, Chapter V: The Outer Darkness


  • We want to be clearly understood on this point. We are not trying to say that signs and rites are a big piece of humbug. They would be such if people did not need them; but we have to recognize that everyone has not the same degree of intelligence. Children have always had fairy stories told to them, and these stories will continue to be told as long as there are nurses and mothers. Children have faith and this is what saves them. Imagine a child of seven saying: 'I do not want to accept anything I cannot understand.' What could one teach such a monster? Accept what your teachers tell you to begin with, my fine fellow, then study it and, if you are not an idiot, you will understand it by-and-by.
    • Book Two: The Royal Mystery or the Art of Subduing the Powers, Chapter XI: The Arcana of Solomon's Ring


  • Progress is a possibility for the animal: it can be broken in, tamed and trained; but it is not a possibility for the fool, because the fool thinks he has nothing to learn. It is his place to dictate to others and put them right, and so it is impossible to reason with him. He will laugh you to scorn in saying that what he does not understand is not a meaningful proposition. 'Why don't I understand it, then?', he asks you, with marvellous impudence. To tell him it is because he is a fool would only be taken as an insult, so there is nothing you can say in reply. Everybody else sees it quite clearly, but he will never realize it.

    Here then, at the outset, is a potent secret which is inaccessible to the majority of people; a secret which they will never guess and which it would be useless to tell them: the secret of their own stupidity.
    • Book Two: The Royal Mystery or the Art of Subduing the Powers, Chapter XII: The Terrible Secret


  • 'Father, forgive them,' said Jesus, 'for they know not what they do' -- People of good sense whoever you may be, I will add, do not listen to them, for they know not what they say.
    • Book Two: The Royal Mystery or the Art of Subduing the Powers, Chapter XII: The Terrible Secret

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