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Paschal Beverly Randolph: A Nineteenth-Century Black American Spiritualist, Rosicrucian, and Sex Magician (Anglais) Broché – 14 novembre 1996

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This first scholarly work on Randolph includes the full text of his two most important manuscripts on sexual magic.

This is a superb piece of work. It is the only book that I know of about Randolph, who is generally considered a notable curiosity of nineteenth-century esotericism, but whom the author establishes as an absolutely central and pivotal historical character. This historiography is masterful--meticulously detailed and coherently presented. This is an important book, filling a gap that wasn't previously known to have been so substantial. It's well written, a tour de force at amassing the data. It is a must read." -- Dan Merkur, author of Gnosis: An Esoteric Tradition of Mystical Visions and Unions

This is the fascinating story of Paschal Beverly Randolph, an African American who carved his own eccentric path in the mid-nineteenth century from the slums of New York's Five Points to the courts of Europe, where he performed as a spiritualist trance medium. Although self-educated, he became one of the first Black American novelists and took a leading part in raising Black soldiers for the Union army and in educating Freedmen in Louisiana during the Civil War. His enduring claim to fame, however, is the crucial role he played in the transformation of spiritualism, a medium's passive reception of messages from the spirits of the dead, into occultism, the active search for personal spiritual realization and inner vision.

From his experiences in his solitary travels in England, France, Egypt and the Turkish Empire in the 1850s and 1860s, he brought back to America a system of occult beliefs and practices (the magic mirror, hashish use and sexual magic) that worked a revolution. The systems of magic he taught left their traces on many subsequent occultists, including Madame Blavatsky and her Theosophical Society, and are still practiced today by several occult organizations in Europe and American that carry on his work. This is the fist scholarly work on Randolph and includes the full text of his two most important manuscript works on sexual magic.

"It is fascinating, because the subject's life was filled with dramatic adventure and hardship, and touched upon so many issues of the day. Deveney's work is important in itself as a ground-breaking study of an intriguing character. I can think of no figure in nineteenth-century Western esotericism who has been more unjustly ignored than Randolph. Deveney rescues him from obscurity in this biography, which will be regarded as authoritative for many years to come." -- K. Paul Johnson, author of Initiates of Theosophical Masters and The Masters Revealed: Madame Blavatsky and the Myth of the Great White Lodge.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 5.0 étoiles sur 5 6 commentaires
46 internautes sur 47 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Ansairetic Mystery, or a New Revelation Concerning SEX! 5 octobre 2001
Par Anita Fix - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Paschal Beverly Randolph (1825-1875)was one of the first well-known Afro-American Novelists (if not THE FIRST), of whom Frederick Douglas was an admirer, and one of the most famous as well as sincere mediums of the Spiritualist movement, famous for his speeches of whom President Johnson was a fan, and a KEY figure in bridging the gap between that nec-romantic movement flowering dangerously into the European/American Occult Revival of the mid-late 19th century. He grew up an orphan in a murderous section of NYC; had almost no schooling, (yet became a recognized genius by sheer will/determination and self-discipline) who lived in the "(spiritually) Burnt-out" district of upstate NY where he added the abbr. "DR." to his title and sold his Glyphae Battah (Magic Mirrors)and Hashish, love & healing philtres:'snake-oil' basically, and married a part Native-American Indian Woman and tried to raise a family in dire poverty. And this is just the beginning to his life! He was very influential in getting Black soldiers into the US military in the last years of the Civil War(& getting them paid like any good-willing American!)...also, Blavatsky gleaned much from him, I think her writings concerning Randolph evidences, if only his living example of an highly artistic and Original one-man Occult campaign via Randolph's numerous Rosicrucian brotherhoods which The Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor would later appropriate nearly ALL of Randolphs ideas to immense practical benefit (see Godwins and Deveneys co-efforts in releasing many key documents in relation to this group), while the Theosophists waged war against that very practicality deeming it black magic basically...later the Surrealists' devoured Randolph's magical works which were circulated widely through the Russian-born Parisian Surrealist Maria de Naglowska efforts...How does a man like this, who entertained at the court of Napoleon and who counted President Lincoln as an acquaintance as well as knew most every influential Occultist/Abolitionist/reformer/Free Love Politician / Spiritualist of his day (Bulwer-Lytton, Hargrave Jennings, Laurence Oliphaunt, Andrew Jackson Davis,et al. ad infinitum)how does such a figure disappear from history? as if suspiciously erased? The question is as tragic as Randolph's life, for it is a pained life full of much suffering, bore throughout with nobility if despairingness at his predicament. He is a beautiful writer--one must allow him that at least---whose sexual magic works serve as a poignant appendix to Deveney's excellent and thorough 600-plus page biography of a life that serves as an intimate magnifying-glass to probe into the goings-ons of an era filled to overflowing with myriad colorful characters and the energy and excitement of endless rounds of ingenious scientific discoveries and religious aspirations/explorations which as the Poet Osip Mandelstam said "if ever there was a golden age surely it was the 19th century!" Wherever you may be John Patrick Deveney, I thank you a thousand times over while reading this and thank you still for giving us this touching biography which served as a means to truly know what it must have been like to have lived in Randolph's day, during an age of 'Romanticism' and later,'Symbolism' in Art, while an Occult revival raged, made up of a noble search for self-knowledge and universal Uptopianist solutions to universal ills, and art finally becoming a RELIGION itself!...Western Esoteric studies should take as an example Deveney's biographical tome, and know the history of the world is in the lives of men and women more than anyplace else, as Jules Michelet pointed out a hundred years ago...I would suggest to anyone interested in gaining a first hand insight into an era & a subject finally lent proper credence to be studied seriously as it should be respected even if despised by "religious realists" read this book full of a life lived with such style & grace. Randolph's motto was: "T-R-Y !"...which is what I would say to others here interested in reading a rare work of an even rarer life that hopefully will become part of the American Artistic and Cultural iconography and more widely known literary canon because of Deveney's immense efforts and achievements herein! Bravo Deveney!
---readers should known or probably infer from the esteemed SUNY press W.E.T. series that Deveney cites ALL sources, resultant of some 150 pages of extensive notes which are a worthy and entertaining/informative read in themselves! Also, P.B.R.'s Occult philosophy and practical systems;/methodologies are explored in a highly scholarly yet equally accessible manner; though a scholarly work, as well as an historical one, it is throughout focused on an 19th century Exemplary Mage's Life and Work!
25 internautes sur 26 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Paschal, A Man of Mystery 31 janvier 2005
Par Dr. Carl Edwin Lindgren - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Paschal Beverly Randolph: A Nineteenth-Century Black American Spiritualist, Rosicrucian, and Sex Magician (Suny Series in Western Esoteric Traditions)

"Randolph, Paschal Beverly (8 Oct. 1825 - 29 July 1875), physician, philosopher, and author, was born in New York City , the son of William Beverly Randolph, a plantation owner, and Flora Beverly, a barmaid. At the age of five or seven Randolph lost his mother to smallpox, and with her the only love he had known. Randolph later stated, 'I was born in love, of a loving mother, and what she felt, that I lived.' His father's devotion is questionable. In 1873 Randolph hinted at his own illegitimacy, stating that his parents 'did not stop to pay fees to the justice or to the priest.'"

"Randolph 's mother possessed a strong temperament, unusual physical beauty, and intense passions, characteristics that Randolph inherited. Later many, especially his enemies, perceived Randolph as being of 'Negro descent,' which he denied. Sent to live with his half-sister, Randolph was ignored, unloved, and abused and eventually turned to begging on the streets". Such began the life of Paschal Beverly Randolph.

Although I never had the pleasure of meeting John Patrick Deveney, I did correspond with him in great length while he was writing the aforementioned work. It was about the same time that I was cataloging and indexing the works of Randolph.

I found the book to be an exceptional piece of historical research and an in-depth analysis of a brilliant, self-educated and tortured individual. Although historical in nature, the work by Deveney also presents a psychological and sociological view of a very complicated and controversial African-American.

I, like John, had the extreme pleasure of reading most of Randolph's original works (most in universities and private esoteric collections). It was through these writings that Randolph was able to present the various aspects of his occult, sex magic, free love, abolitionary, civil rights and Rosicrucian beliefs.

Regarding citations and research notation, I would compare the author's feat to that of Montague Summer and Arthur Edward Waite. This is a must for any historian of free love, occult or African-American studies.

Dr. Carl Edwin Lindgren

Professor of Military History
15 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Ansairetic Mystery, or a New Revelation Concerning SEX! 9 octobre 2001
Par Anita Fix - Publié sur
Format: Broché
[....]readers should known or probably infer from the esteemed SUNY press W.E.T. series that Deveney cites ALL sources, resultant of some 150 pages of extensive notes which are a worthy and entertaining/informative read in themselves! Also, P.B.R.'s Occult philosophy and practical systems/methodologies are explored in a highly scholarly yet equally accessible manner, and as an appendix are given in their entirety two of PBR's most essential Sexual Magic works, for which I have appropriated the title of this review. Though a scholarly work, as well as an historical one, it is throughout biographically focused on an 19th century Exemplary Mage's Life and Work!
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Fantastically Written Bio of a Fascinating Man 8 octobre 2014
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
If only all biographies were so painstakingly researched and lovingly written. Thank you John Patrick Deveney for bringing this amazing man's life into public view. PB Randolph was a brilliant and fascinating man. His importance in the Occult World (especially of the 19th Century) can't be overstated. Nonetheless, Randolph rarely gets credited, and continuously has his ideas appropriated by other writers and occultists. It's about time. This is the definitive book on the man, the myth, the legend. For those unfamiliar with Randolph's own writings - maybe this will spur you on to read some. He was a brilliant author with loads of style (check out 'Eulis').
Read this book!
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Correcting the historical record. 22 février 2015
Par Charles S. Giles - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
For those interested in the history of Spiritualism, this is a valuable work. Randolph is a much neglected historical figure and this book is a corrective. Using excellent scholarship the author traces Randolph's contributions to the spiritual discourse of his time.
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