One of the greatest tragedies of the philosophic world was the loss of nearly all of the forty-two books of Hermes mentioned in the foregoing. These books disappeared during the burning of Alexandria, for the Romans–and later the Christians–realized that until these books were eliminated they could never bring the Egyptians into subjection. The volumes which escaped the fire were buried in the desert and their location is now known to only a few initiates of the secret schools. – Manly P. Hall (The Secret Teachings of All Ages)
THE BOOK OF THOTH
While Hermes still walked the earth with men, he entrusted to his chosen successors the sacred Book of Thoth. This work contained the secret processes by which the regeneration of humanity was to be accomplished and also served as the key to his other writings. Nothing definite is known concerning the contents of the Book of Thoth other than that its pages were covered with strange hieroglyphic figures and symbols, which gave to those acquainted with their use unlimited power over the spirits of the air and the subterranean divinities. When certain areas of the brain are stimulated by the secret processes of the Mysteries, the consciousness of man is extended and he is permitted to behold the Immortals and enter into the presence of the superior gods. The Book of Thoth described the method whereby this stimulation was accomplished. In truth, therefore, it was the “Key to Immortality.” According to legend, the Book of Thoth was kept in a golden box in the inner sanctuary of the temple. There was but one key and this was in the possession of the “Master of the Mysteries,” the highest initiate of the Hermetic Arcanum. He alone knew what was written in the secret book.
The Book of Thoth was lost to the ancient world with the decay of the Mysteries, but its faithful initiates carried it sealed in the sacred casket into another land. The book is still in existence and continues to lead the disciples of this age into the presence of the Immortals. No other information can be given to the world concerning it now, but the apostolic succession from the first hierophant initiated by Hermes himself remains unbroken to this day, and those who are peculiarly fitted to serve the Immortals may discover this priceless document if they will search sincerely and tirelessly for it. It has been asserted that the Book of Thoth is, in reality, the mysterious Tarot of the Bohemians–a strange emblematic book of seventy-eight leaves which has been in possession of the gypsies since the time when they were driven from their ancient temple, the Serapeum. (According to the Secret Histories the gypsies were originally Egyptian priests.) There are now in the world several secret schools privileged to initiate candidates into the Mysteries, but in nearly every instance they lighted their altar fires from the flaming torch of Herm. Hermes in his Book of Thoth revealed to all mankind the “One Way,” and for ages the wise of every nation and every faith have reached immortality by the “Way” established by Hermes in the midst of the darkness for the redemption of humankind.
Then was heard the voice of Poimandres, but His form was not revealed: “I Thy God am the Light and the Mind which were before substance was divided from spirit and darkness from Light. And the Word which appeared as a pillar of flame out of the darkness is the Son of God, born of the mystery of the Mind. The name of that Word is Reason. Reason is the offspring of Thought and Reason shall divide the Light from the darkness and establish Truth in the midst of the waters. Understand, O Hermes, and meditate deeply upon the mystery. That which in you sees and hears is not of the earth, but is the Word of God incarnate. So it is said that Divine Light dwells in the midst of mortal darkness, and ignorance cannot divide them. The union of the Word and the Mind produces that mystery which is called Life. As the darkness without you is divided against itself, so the darkness within you is likewise divided. The Light and the fire which rise are the divine man, ascending in the path of the Word, and that which fails to ascend is the mortal man, which may not partake of immortality. Learn deeply of the Mind and its mystery, for therein lies the secret of immortality.” ~ Manly P. Hall
(Not for the ‘profane’) This has been dated to at least 50,000 BC. It is amazing!
The Emerald Tablets Of Thoth: http://www.horuscentre.org/library/Hermetism/The_Emerald_Tablets_Of_Thoth.pdf