Divine wisdom to inspire individuals and society – book presentation

Hans Siepel’s new book Revelation
Divine wisdom to inspire individuals and society

Hans Siepel (1958) studied political science and held several communication positions in the course of his career, including the Netherlands Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, which gave him the excellent opportunity to study the socio-political fabric of Dutch society. Besides working in the field of communication, he developed a strong interest in the perennial wisdom traditions. He took a Masters degree in Spirituality in 2005, publishing in 2007 his book Stemmen van de Ziel (‘Voices of the Soul’) on “the forgotten truth about dementia”. This month, Siepel’s new book called Openbaring  (‘Revelation’) will be launched in the Ritman Library, a volume of essays and articles written over the past 10 years in which he unfolds his views on the current state of politics in the Netherlands and pleads for a different approach to be taken by politicians. There is much more than just our rational thinking, he says. It is time we also turned to our inner world and inner Self.


At a time when for Siepel old certainties were crumbling, he discovered the age-old wisdom of Hermes Trismegistus. Intrigued, he embarked on a profound journey of absorbing that wisdom. While overcoming the obstacles he encountered within himself, he found new certainties. Beacons of wisdom, of Light, to guide him in life. The essays and articles in Openbaring focus on current issues and problems from the angle of the Universal Wisdom that Siepel has encountered and internalized. In the preface he writes:

The most intriguing discovery I made in the house of universal wisdom, is the existence of prophetic writings. One genre intrigued me in particular. They are known as the apocalyptic prophecies. They are central to the first essay of this book, Revelation. I came to the startling conclusion that the apocalyptic discourses are not only true, but also that we are living in the time of the fulfillment of apocalyptic prophecies.

Siepel has clear views on our modern times. In one of his own visions Siepel came to regard love as a creative force that is essential to safeguard the future and overcome this dark world of ours in which ‘we walk around in circles and the blind guide the blind’. We hunger for love to free us from the imprisonment of materialism. ‘Divine wisdom’ and love are the keys to open the door of this prison in which we find ourselves. He ends his reflection with words from 1 Corinthians 13, 4-13. “Love is patient and love is kind (…) And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love”.

The essays and articles in Openbaring are grouped around four themes. The first part, entitled Crisis Communication, includes essays and articles on the subject of communication, both official and unofficial. The second part, Decline of Old Institutional Powers, contains two essays illustrating this decline. The third part, Universal Wisdom: Life Questions and Current Issues, contains five essays and articles. The fourth and last part, Stories That Tell Themselves, offers short articles highlighting the stories that tell themselves from a magical perspective. Siepel has an ingenious way of fusing a range of subjects and thoughts into a structured and philosophical whole. Not only in terms of life as we all lead it, but also with respect to topical issues. His first chapter opens with a quote attributed to Albert Einstein: “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift”. Throughout his book, Siepel maintains a discerning grasp on his subject while always referring back to the Universal Wisdom he discovered as a precious treasure. In his afterword he states that man is not the architect of his own thoughts; they are guided instead by the divine thought, which is the word of God. Embracing the existence of the Divine, he envisages the government establishing a state committee to study this universal wisdom and make it more accessible to all. This committee would then also offer recommendations for society and political life. A state committee like this needn’t have to look far to discover the original sources of this universal wisdom, as they are already to be found in the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica. Siepel says it is a repository of the divine word, a rich source of universal wisdom transcending the Bible, the Qur’an, and all other holy scriptures.

Oswald Crollius, 'Basilica chymica', Lyon 1624

Oswald Crollius, ‘Basilica chymica’, Lyon 1624

Finally, Siepel refers to the current exhibition in the BPH: ‘Hermes Trismegistus, Master of Change’. He imagines the legendary figure of Hermes Trismegistus, messenger of universal wisdom from a distant past, calling on modern man to take on the great project of change based on this universal wisdom. At this point Siepel returns to the title of his book, drawn from Revelations, where John the evangelist speaks of the creation of a ‘new heaven and a new earth’. As an expert on politics and society, Siepel calls upon us all to act as a bridge between ourselves and universal wisdom. “Every human being is more than a material ego-consciousness, as the universal wisdom teaches us”, he writes. He continues by saying we are more than the product of a materialistic evolution. We are bearers of the highest consciousness, the divine consciousness. We are his image. We are part of a bigger whole, and our identity is not wrapped up in our ‘I’, but in our relationship with the other and with the bigger whole. Our deepest identity lies in our soul, not in our brain. This soul-consciousness transcends the laws of matter. It is bigger than our brain and it does not stop with physical death. As Siepel argues, our soul-consciousness is eternal. While witnessing and reminding us of the treasure which lies in the universal wisdom, Siepel has created a new landmark himself that shines as a Light to help guide others.

Hans Siepel hans siepel

The contents of this blog expresses the author’s own ideas and opinions. If you would also like to post a blog with content relevant to the BPH please contact us at bph@ritmanlibrary.nl. The Ritman Library reserves the right not to post blogs that have no bearing on any of the library’s collecting areas.

Leave a comment