Now, in atternpting to estimate the value of this gigantic claim, and of Eliphas Lévi's contributions to the elucidations of occult science, we are brought face to face with the fact, that after posing as an initiate in possession of the Great Arcanum, he has done his best to stultify himself by attempting to pose also as a faithful and humble child of the Catholic Church, and this without abandoning his previous position. Such a course has naturally led him into flagrant contradictions, which cannot but scandalise his students in proportion to their personal earnestness, and is calculated to make many reject his claims to secret knowledge as utterly unfounded. A. E. Waite explores the life and work of Éliphas Lévi Zahed (1810 - 1875), a French occult author and ceremonial magician. Arthur Edward Waite (1857 - 1942), more commonly referred to as A. E. Waite, was an American-born British mystic and poet. He wrote profusely on the subject of the occult and esoteric matters, and is famous for being the co-creator of the Rider-Waite Tarot deck. His work arguably constitutes the first attempt to systematically studying the history of western occultism, which he viewed more of a spiritual tradition than proto-science or pseudo-religion, as was the more common conception.
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