Secret Teachings From The Manly P Hall Research Library
A FIELD TOUR TO THE MANLY P HALL RESEARCH LIBRARY
The room was a disaster.
Pages of old occult books falling apart from their binder; mail-order manuscripts scattered about the floor; a stack of vintage Rosicrucian Digests lay toppled over in-between a small collection of works written by the great mystic, G.I. Gurdjieff, and the grand trophy of them all, a rare university edition of The Secret Teachings of All Ages that was acquired from the book store next to the Manly P Hall Research Library; and I was collapsed on the hard wood floor thumbing through R.A. Scwaller De’Lubicz’s “Sacred Science”.
I’d been reading with a borderline unhealthy obsession all weekend.
My very own alchemical labratory. It wasn’t the library of Alexandria but it was as close as I could get to it in the comfort of my home. Yet it wasn’t enough to feed my curioisity. You would think after reading the eastern teachings from folks like Pramahansa Yogananda and Sri Yukteswar that I would have learned how to be content with what I have, but human nature kicked in and I wanted more.
For as long as I can remember I have had a penchant for exploring the human history story. All throughout my journey as a young entrepreneur I would lean on ancient wisdom teachings to help me succeed in the cold world of business. After long work hours I always made time at night to curl up with a book and expand my consciousness but I wasn’t always this big on reading.
I graduated from high school having never read all the way through a full book and not knowing the sequential order of months in the year. Sadly, I didn’t even know how to tell time on a regular clock until my early twenties. It had to be digital. Some fifty miles south of Boston, in the poverty-struck industrial city of Fall River, Massachusetts is where I grew up. Lacking resources, our educational system wasn’t the best but I’ve always had the intellectual capacity and drive to learn more. It wasn’t until I went through a personal transformation in my early-twenties that I read my first book. The opportunity to go to college wasn’t there for me. Without degrees under my belt it was challenging to acquire a good job so I became a self made entreprenuer, starting up my company out of necessity. It was self help styled esoteric books that quickly became my bedtime companions. They offered much needed insights for the type of mental shift that would be required if I were to be independantly successful.
Through the success of my business I was afforded the opportunity to travel the world over and meet many remarkable men and woman, experienced amazing things, and studied numerous ancient sacred sites. I visited all 50 states and spent much time in esoteric research libraries but the one I wanted to gain access to the most, seemed almost impossible.
A HIDDEN GEM FOR ESOTERIC RESEARCHERS
Manly P Hall believed the accumulated wisdom of mankind is the birthright of every individual, and built the Philosophical Research Society to serve the general public to this end. When I first moved from the east coast to Los Angeles, I couldn’t understand why it was so hard to gain entry to the crown jewel of PRS; a research library of over 50,000 volumes, of metaphysical and spiritual books, with many authored by Hall. I later discovered it was because they were working to digitize all the books in the Manly P Hall research library
In 2000, the current president of PRS, created a subsidiary which is doing business as The University of Philosophical Research and at the time of my move it was only made available to students and approved researchers. I tried time and time again to get access. No dice. I made phone calls, sent emails, purchased books from the nearby PRS bookstore, and I even attended every lecture I could that was open to the public not only learn more, but to build the appropriate relationships so that I could one day position myself on the inside of that research library.
THE LITTLE WORLD OF PRS
Sitting outside the Manly P Hall research library, I became very much acquainted with the Chinese Buddhist stela in the style of the Tang Dynasty that dominates the Patio there. The carving is symbolizing a bodhisattva with attendants, the three figures constituting a Buddhistic trinity. You will find two Buddhas as described in Lotus Sutra. The nimbus is ornamented with flying angels. The lower panel depicts Guatama Buddha preaching mounted, and the reverse is no longer visible. The condition of the unit would suggest that it was carved during the Ching Dynasty, probably late 17th or early 18th century. While this piece is elaborate, it leaves the imagination to wonder what art treasures are hidden beyond the doors, on the inside.
My many failed attempts at trying to get past those doors, to discover the secret teachings found beyond them, left me feeling like this wisdom library was impenetrable. I would stare at those highly symbolic wood-carved panels from the outside longing to cross that threshold until that feeling changed on one Saturday morning.
BEHIND THE DOORS OF THE MANLY P. HALL RESEARCH LIBRARY
I was at the nearby bookstore running my usual routine of checking through all the vintage Rosicrucian Digests, making sure that I owned at least one copy of every issue that they had in stock. I was all caught up and decided to purchase a book on Hawaiian mysticism before going back outside and noticing the doors to the library were now opened. This was my chance!
I moved past the two small fragments of decorated tile inlaid among the flagstones that one should approach with respect as they are original pieces from the floor of Glastonbury Abbey. Adept Initiates know that it is within the precincts of Glastonbury that the sacred thorn bush still flourishes near to the grave of King Arthur.
There was a small film crew moving equipment inside and I quickly took up conversation with one of them right by the doors. A few short Jedi Mind tricks later I finally found myself on the inside past the doors, but this was no Jabba’s palace. The most interesting thing about the doors to the library are their wood-carved panels. The Oriental panel is reminiscent of Confucius, and its Western complement is suggestive of Plato. A brilliant touch by the Bavarian wood-carver, Stuart Leibchen aka Stuart Holmes.
Finally on the inside, this would be my first of many visits to experience the collection of art treasures and rare books the library maintained. And what a collection it is!
LADY OF THE SERPENT SKIRT
As you enter the research library, one can’t help but notice the large Aztec wood-carving representing Coatlicue, Mother of Gods. I have a strong interest in Mesoamerican culture so this was right up my alley. She is a highly important member of the Aztec pantheon and is known as “Lady of the Serpent Skirt.” The symbols which adorn her figure represent the earth principle in its two aspects – that of the generation of life and that which is the receptacle of the dead. The head of the goddess is composed of two serpents facing each other. Her necklace is made of human hands and hearts with a pendant skull. Her kilt is adorned with rattlesnakes, and her feet are the claws of a mythical monster that dwells in the sea. A great stone image of this deity is in the Museo Nacional de Antropologia (Archaeological Museum of Mexico City). The example featured in the Manly P Hall research library was created by a Mexican folk artist inspired by the stone version.
A slight turn to your left and you are quickly overwhelmed by two stories of metaphysical, spiritual, and esoteric books. To your immediate left is a cabinet that was constructed to protect the library’s original Egyptian papyrus of the Lady Ta-Er-Pet. The top portion of the stand lifts up and contains a rack preserving the other eight sections of the papyrus.
The Manly P Hall research library also hosts an extensive collection of material on Egyptology including the works of E.A. Wallis Budget and a set of articles from the Royal Society of Literature dating back to the early 1800s.
If you look to the south wall of the balcony of the library, you will find in a niche, a fine Japanese wood carving of the metaphysical Buddha, Amida that is approximately 4 ½ feet in height.
If the magnificent works of art are not enough for you, the abundance of available reading will be. It is enough to make one want to live in this little world. It just isn’t possible to consume it all in one lifetime and even if you could would you really want to spend all your days doing that? Consider what my friend and mentor, rogue Egyptologist and symbolist author, John Anthony West once stated,
“A book in and of itself can only lead you to the path.”
AS WITHIN SO WITHOUT
Dedicated to the truth seekers of all time, the key takeaway from the grounds of the society may not be buried inside of the library as I had once suspected but rather buried deep inside ourselves. This may be what is communicated by the piece that we find right where we started – outside.
Certainly the library is a valuable resource to esoteric researches like myself but as we stand on the Northeastern corner of the property, where Los Feliz Boulevard meets Griffith Park Boulevard, we see a stylized granite statue of what appears to be an Egyptian sage or scholar. The tablet against the back of the status bears the following inscription:
“Thou sun, who has covered the truth with thy golden disc, do tho remove the veil so that I may see the truth within thee and know the meaning of the rays of glory, for the truth which is within thee is within me – and I am that”
As we exit the grounds from the Griffith Park Boulevard entrance we see a smaller piece by the same artist, Madame Claire Pierpoint, representing the steward who sat at the front door of the house of an Egyptian nobleman. The inscription on the front of the state reads,
“Blending heart and mind towards the eternal as thy goal, realizing the oneness of thy self with the eternal through unified consciousness – man know thyself”
Could the plinth of ancient books that this figure sits upon represent the principles for which Manly P Hall’s organization stands for?
SECRET TEACHINGS OF THE MANLY P HALL RESEARCH LIBRARY
Perhaps we can spend all the hours of the day in the library and acquire all the knowledge available to us while sitting on top of all the wisdom teachings in the world but the truth we seek is found within ourselves. Is it possible that throughout our entire journey of seeking we are already what we that which we seek?
You do not have to visit the Manly P Hall Research library to discover that hidden truth that you are a living mystery school, but if you would like decode this secret teaching for yourself, you can now do so…
In 2016, The University of Philosophical Research announced that it is re-opening it’s doors to the Manly P Hall Research Library to the general public on Fridays from 10:30 – 3:30pm.
If you would like to access the Adept Initiate’s own Adept Occult Library online click the button below