Reading circle (Antoine Faivre:Western Esotericism - A Concise History)

Discussion on literature other than by the Star of Azazel.
Wyrmfang
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Re: Reading circle (Antoine Faivre:Western Esotericism - A Concise History)

Postby Wyrmfang » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:08 pm

Kenazis wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:59 am
From time to time this effect of Lutheranism unveils itself to me. While it was very good to “clean the Christianity from “non-Christian” magical thinking, it often seems that the baby was tossed out with the bathwater. And I think here in Finland (being “Lutheran country”) we see both the good and bad effects of this Martin Luther’s mission.
Now that I think, all the essential fideistic thinkers I know are Lutheran. The spirit of keeping both reason and faith "clean", that is, separate, seems to be ingrained in Lutheranism. As you said, it has both good and bad sides. For me personally, it is a very unnatural way of thinking, but I know people also close to SoA who have got a lot for example from Wittgenstein. Perhaps it is the case that a very analytical mind, which still has a taste for spirituality, has to keep the "imperialistic" character of reason at bay by defining strict limits for it.
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Re: Reading circle (Antoine Faivre:Western Esotericism - A Concise History)

Postby Kavi » Fri Apr 26, 2019 12:29 am

Kenazis wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:59 am
Wyrmfang wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:14 am
Lutheranism usually diminished the influence of Neoplatonism, Hermetism and the Kabbalah in the Germanic countries.
From time to time this effect of Lutheranism unveils itself to me. While it was very good to “clean the Christianity from “non-Christian” magical thinking, it often seems that the baby was tossed out with the bathwater. And I think here in Finland (being “Lutheran country”) we see both the good and bad effects of this Martin Luther’s mission.
It is always interesting to go abroad and see how much there is magical thinking in the world.
Although some of it seems to be only superstition: protection against evil eye, icons in cars for protection etc.
I still have huge respect for attitude of people who in hopeless state pray for change in their life.

I will post my summary of III part tomorrow.
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Re: Reading circle (Antoine Faivre:Western Esotericism - A Concise History)

Postby Kenazis » Thu May 16, 2019 11:11 am

Is this til going on?
"In darkness let me dwell, The ground shall sorrow be..."
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Re: Reading circle (Antoine Faivre:Western Esotericism - A Concise History)

Postby Wyrmfang » Fri May 17, 2019 10:15 am

Yes, definitely! Fra Kavi has had some delays, but he should continue very soon, and then let´s move on normally.
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Re: Reading circle (Antoine Faivre:Western Esotericism - A Concise History)

Postby Wyrmfang » Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:46 pm

Kavi, what is your situation, are you able to continue this reading circle?
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Re: Reading circle (Antoine Faivre:Western Esotericism - A Concise History)

Postby Kavi » Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:18 pm

III. Readings of the world and of myths (pp.46-52)

1. Philosophia Occulta

At the end of 15th century to 17th occultist currents were named as philosophia occulta.
In this paradigm everything was seen to act or reflect in analogy --> as above so below maxim (?)
Goetia, witchcraft, invocation of demons and angels etc. depicts dark side of these currents according to Faivre
To me it seems that this "dark side" is also the well known.

Faivre then goes to explain Magia naturalis - premodern form of natural science: magic powers in nature were seen to be as natural.
Citing Faivre's words from p.46:
It is hardly distinguishable from an experimental science still in its infancy and it often appears as a form of naturalism tainted with atheism.
Then Faivre goes about to explain
Magia: attempt to unify nature and religion.
White magic: or Theurgy, incantations connection with creatures or powers not associated with physical beings

These two sides of magia naturalis (naturalistic and white magic) is combined in magic considering, for instance, stars.
In this form of celestial magic stars are seen both having physical features but also possessing "will".

Notable figures Faivre mentions include:
Occult philosophia Paraclesus
John Dee
Francis Bacon
Robert Fludd
Nostradamus


2. Alchemy: Science of Humanity, Nature and Myths
In the beginning of 16th century alchemy was conveyed in form of manuscripts.

Faivre sees alchemic tradition having proto-theosophic ideas
later he explains characterization of 17th century alchemy:
1. mythologies, allegories that bear the secrets of Great Work
2. A taste for fine illustrations
3. Edition of encyclopedia, anthologies, compilations

Alchemy became patronized by few european rulers, because of promise for wealth. (i.e Transmutation into gold)
(Like in any movie which has elixir of life, philosophy stone and etc.)
Many scientists were researching on alchemy in serious manner. Isaac Newton for instance.
Faivre emphasizes that this was indeed serious science back then. And we shouldn't impose our idea of modern science as a statement to paint researchers and scientists as pseudo-scientific people.

3. Hermetico-emblematic art
In this part Faivre states hermetistic arts in Europe. Notably in Renaissance Italy.
Different characters, Hermes Trismegistus, zodiacal signs, symbols, mythical figures exist in areas, Vatican, painting Primavera,
Shortly put, Faivre sees that during sixteenth century for thirty years, art was given an equal or even bigger status than for writings and text.
Despite the fact even in literature had fruitful relationship with esotericism.
7&8

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