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

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

Postby Kenazis » Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:20 pm

pages 53-58
ESOTERICISM IN THE SHADOW OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT
1. Sunburst of Theosophy

a. At the dawn of Illuminism

First history ever written of modern esoteric currents was from the pen of Lutheran theologian Daniel Ehregott Colberg. This voluminous work and hostile representation was named Das platonisch-hermetisches [sic] Christenthum (1690-1691). Soon followed a moneumental work Unpartheyische Kirchen- und Ketzerhistori (1699-1700) by theosopher and sophiologist Gottfried Arnold. Then Historia critica philosophiae (vols. II and IV, 1743) by Protestant historian of philosophy Jacob Brucker. An then many more.

Freemasonry as it is usually understood appeared in London 1717. 1730 it introduced into its rituals the myth of the death and resurrection of Hiram. This favoured the appearance of masonic or paramasonic Rites (also sometimes called System,s or Orders) with Higher Grades/Degrees.

b. The Great Theosophers

“The years from 1770 to about 1815 correspond to what it is commonly called the period of Illuminism. Theosophy then shone again in all its brilliance.” First scientist Swede Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) immersed himself in the study of Bible, followed by his dreams that changed his inner life, and wrote Arcana coelestia (1747-1758). Swedenborg presented the idea of correspondences to wider audience through his visionary texts. Even Immanuel Kant wrote a treatise about Swedenborg and his ideas (Träume eines Geistersehers, 1766, translated as Dreams of a Spirit Seer). Swedenborgianism inspired some masonic Rites, but many Theosophers felt suspicious towards his Christology ad cosmology.

The Swabian Friedrich Christoph Oetinger (1702-1782) was a luthrean pastor, Nature philosopher and alchemist. He represented a form of eclectic and erudite esotericism. He saw Magia as highest science that’s purpose was to search for connections between terrestrial and celestial physics.

Michael Hahn (1758-1819) is great theosopher in the lineage of Boehme. Hahn’s writings about Sophia and androgyny are classics of the genre.

Martines de Pasqually (1727-1774) is the founder of the theurgical Order of the Élus-Coëns and writer of the Traité de la Réintégration des êtres.

Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin (1743-1803) who called himself “the Unknown Philosopher” produced masterworks of theosophy (L´Homme de désir, 1790, De l’Esprit des choses,1802, + many more). He was also on of the principal representatives of preromatic literature in France.



c. Faces of Illuminism

Illuminism is a term used to refer the genral orientation of thought from the 1760 to beginning of the 19th century.

Lutheran minister Johann Caspar Lavater (1741-1801) was a practicer of theurgy and animal magnetism. He developed ideas impregnated with a form of naturalistic Christology, and was great modern theoretician of physiognomony.

Protestant minister Jean Frederic Oberlin (1740-1826) studied the communications with the spirit world.

Ivan Vladimirovich Lopukhin (1775-1815) wrote Quelques traits de l’Église intérieure (Some Characteristics of the Interior Church) that is short work with long-standing success. He also translated into his own language the works of Boehme and Swedenborg (+ more).
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Re: Reading circle (Antoine Faivre:Western Esotericism - A Concise History)

Postby Wyrmfang » Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:55 am

pp. 58-63
II - From the Art of Reading to the Art of Subtle Fluids

1. Continuity of the Occult Sciences
During the latter half of the 18th century, the influence of Kabbalah was held up most importantly by Oetinger, but Pythagoreanism and Hermeticism continued a stable success. In less learned circles all kinds of paranormal interests were popular, including vampirism and witchcraft. In France Jean-Baptiste Alliette made famous the claim that the Tarot deck dates back to ancient Egypt and contains perennial mysteries. Music was often interpeted in an esoteric fashion especially in theosophical context.

2. Alchemy, Shadow Side of the Enlightenment and Light of Mythology
At the time the science of chemistry became established, which resulted in the waning of operative alchemy. However, "spiritual" alchemy was often distinguished from operative alchemy and thought as a source of esoteric knowledge, and lay audience was fond of miracles also when it comes to alchemical claims. Several historical treatises on alchemy appeared, ancient Greek and Egyptian doctrines were given an alchemical reading, and classical operational alchemy continued its influence in Romantic "Naturphilosophie".

3. Animal Magnetism
Alchemical teachings had given birth to the idea that there is a universal, invincible, half-material substance, which unfolds in newly studied magnetic and electric phenomena. Often these specualtions had a theological basis, but Anton Mesmer worked on a materialistic basis. He developed a healing therapy with his intrument called baquet, which met lot of both positive and negative interest. Armand Marie de Chastenet de Puységur conceived Mesmer's material settings as non-essential and developed the idea of "magnetic sleep", which an individual can practice on another without any additional instruments. The phenomenon was often associated with the paranormal, and it continued to have a huge influence until Freud's days.
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Re: Reading circle (Antoine Faivre:Western Esotericism - A Concise History)

Postby Wyrmfang » Sun Aug 25, 2019 1:25 pm

Fra Kavi has had problems in keeping the pace, and now he is some time away from the internet, so I´ll take the next part in few days, and could you Kenazis continue from that? After that Kavi, and we don´t actually have much left anymore.
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Re: Reading circle (Antoine Faivre:Western Esotericism - A Concise History)

Postby Kenazis » Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:40 pm

Wyrmfang wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 1:25 pm
Fra Kavi has had problems in keeping the pace, and now he is some time away from the internet, so I´ll take the next part in few days, and could you Kenazis continue from that?
Ok.
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