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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Chaldean Book of Numbers

An obscure work which, according to Helena P. BLAVATSKY, is one of the books of Hermes. Apart from Blavatsky’s own comments, no information seems to be available concerning this book. She states that it is one of the books of Hermes. References to and quotations from it can be found in Arnaldus de Villa Novai’s Rosarius Philosophorum; Franciscus Arnolphinus Lucensis’ Tractat de Lipide; Hermes Trismegistus’ Tractatus de Transmutations MellallorumTabula Smaragdina; and Lilly’s De Angelis Opus Divinum de Quinta Essetia (CWIII:267), and that the Sepher Yetzirah is a portion of the original one incorporated in the Book of Numbers (CW XIV:206 fn). Along with the UpaniSads, the Book of Numbers conceals the “Universal Wisdom Religion” (CW VII:260), and “pertains to, and teaches about the realm of spirit, not that of matter” (CW VII:267).

The book appears to be quite rare, there being only “two or three copies extant” (TG, p. 75). However, Blavatsky is unclear as to their location; in 1889 she states that the books are in the possession of initiated Rabbis (CW II:549); on the other hand she states in an undated but perhaps later essay that they are in the possession of some Persian S¶FŸS (CW XIV:174). Blavatsky also claimed to possess a “few extracts, some dozen pages in all . . .” (CW XIV:191), but it is not clear whether they were derived from an original copy or from a secondary source.

J.H-E.

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