Book Review: The Book of Life by Alesha Sivratha

Book Review: The Book of Life by Alesha Sivratha

Alesha Sivartha’s enigmatic 1898 book The Book of Life: The Spiritual and Physical Constitution of Man, combines mysticism, sociology, theosophy, art and culture into a unique philosophy. Other than the obscure and bewildering ideas in this book, the illustrations and diagrams of the human body, mind and spirit are otherworldly and amazing.

Sivartha was a man bursting at the seams with unusual and esoteric ideas. He was obsessed with the idea that the number 12 had special mystical sacredness attached to it. So his intricate diagrams of the brain break down our grey matter into 12 mystical sections.

Chart of Vibrations by Alesha Sivratha
Chart of Vibrations by Alesha Sivratha

He analyses the human body with a surgeon’s precision. He sees all aspects of human life working together in mystical, ever-more complex interconnected systems. The results are these bewitching 19th Century infographics which see humans as machine sand system, much akin to the well-known Fritz Kahn etching Der Menschen Als Industriepalast.

Chart of the hand by Alesha Sivratha
Chart of the hand by Alesha Sivratha
Nervous Structure by Alesha Sivratha
Nervous Structure by Alesha Sivratha

The human race has been marching upward from the first ages of history. Under what law has that mighty procession of the ages taken place? Science and history both answer that man has advanced, step by step, from the ignorant and selfish rule of his lower brain organs uptoward the beneficent dominion of his higher faculties. The laws which have controlled that vast upward movement are still in force. They are fixed in the very constitution of man. And they are of supreme importance at the present time, for they determine what new institutions and what social changes are now required to meet that higher growth of man.

Alesha Sivartha

Historic Growth by Alesha Sivratha
Historic Growth by Alesha Sivratha
Solar Man by Alesha Sivratha
Solar Man by Alesha Sivratha

View more images at  The Public Domain Review

Published by Content Catnip

Content Catnip is a quirky internet wunderkammer written by an Intergalactic Space Māori named Content Catnip. Join me as I meander through the quirky and curious aspects of history, indigenous spirituality, the natural world, animals, art, storytelling, books, philosophy, travel, Māori culture and loads more.

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