“Da Vinci Code” author Dan Brown—who has made no secret of his fascination with ancient mystical texts—has donated money to Amsterdam’s Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica to help digitize 3,500 pre-1900 occult documents and books for the public.
These texts include the Corpus Hermeticum (1472), the first printed version of the tree of life, and some works by Jakob Böhme and Giordano Bruno. Brown’s contribution will help the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica—also known as the Ritman Library—open their “Hermetically Open” digital archive to the public in the coming months.
In the meantime, there’s quite a lot to read on the Ritman Library site regarding Hermeticism, Gnosticism, Alchemy, and Mysticism in general. There is also a free 44-page guide to the collection that you can download.
It’s very fascinating to me that we are at a time in human history where all these ancient and obscure texts can be made so widely available to the public—after many of them have been hidden or kept only for the initiated for so long. It almost feels as if there is this “need” in the world for this to happen, to expand the consciousness of the planet.