Friday, September 26, 2008

Hermetic Esotericism

Mr Jones and his commenter Fr Maximus have discovered our secrets at last. Re my latest:

"If there ever was sophistry, this is it. . . . A non sequitur, which contradicts his earlier statement that person and essence are not distinct. There is an evil force pushing this system forward into a total denial of the Trinity, and Aquinas can resist it only by abandoning his own logic at the last moment in order to presrve the Trinity in name, if not if fact. The result is total confusion and blatant contradition."
"I’m afraid so, which is why I’m ready to start looking at the very esoteric aspects to the filioque. I believe this dogma was to ensure the survival of Hermeticism and “sacred science” and its methods under the cover of religion."
"It is very telling that Mike Liccione and company have named their new blog “Philosophia Perennis.” Virtually every attempt of man to come to an intellectual understanding with religion has resulted in something close to the same doctrine of God: there is not much difference between Neo-Platonism and Hinduism, and all modern religions of east and west are intellectually offshoots of one or the other. . ."

What is especially impressive is that our friends have penetrated our inner sancta without, so far as I can tell, having actually read with understanding a single work of Latin theology. They must, somehow, have become initiates some other way. Perhaps they took the Hidden Path into our gnosis:

"I would say that the ideal reader . . . would be a Rosicrucian adept, and therefore an expert in magiam, in necromantiam, in astrologiam, in geomantiam, in pyromantiam, in hydormantiam, in chaomantiam, in medicinam adeptam, to quote the book of Azoth, which, as the Raptus philosophorum explains, was given to Staurophorus by a mysterious maiden. But the knowledge of the adept embraces other fields, such as physiognosis, which deals with occult physics, the static, the dynamic, and the kinematic, or astrology and esoteric biology, the study of the spirits of nature, hermetic zoology. I could add cosmognosis, which studies the heavens from the astronomical, cosmological, physiological, and ontological points of view, and anthropognosis, which studies human anatomy, and the sciences of divination, psychurgy, social astrology, hermetic history. Then there is qualitative mathematics, arithmology . . . But the fundamentals are the cosmography of the invisible, magnetism, auras, fluid, psychometry, and clairvoyance, and in general the study of the five hyperphysical senses--not to mention horoscopic astrology (which, of course, becomes a mere mockery of learning when not conductd with the proper precautions), as well as physiognomics, mind reading, and the predictive arts (tarots, dream books), ranging to the highest levels, such as prophecy and ecstasy. Sufficient information would be required on alchemy, spagyrics, telepathy, exorcism, ceremonial and evocatory magic, basic theurgy. As for genuine occultism, I would advise exploration of the fields of the early cabala, Brahmanism, gymnosophy, Memphis hieroglyphics--"
"Templar phenomonology" . . .
"Absolutely . . ."

Cum insanis non est arguendum.


Lee Faber said...

awesome. The second bit is Eco, right. it looks like its still Mr. Jones.

Anonymous said...

"If we oppose him with a parallel speech about the blessing of the just life, and then he replies, and then we do, we'd have to count and measure the good things mentioned on each side, and we'd need a jury to decide the case. But if, on the other hand, we investigate the question, as we've been doing, by seeking agreement with each other, we ourselves can be both jury and advocate at once."
(Rep. 454a)

"...if my questioner was one of those clever and disputatious debaters, I would say to him: 'I have given my answer, if it is wrong, it is your job to refute it.' Then, if they are friends as you and I are, and want to discuss with each other, they must answer in a manner more gentle and more proper to discussion. By this I mean that the answers must not only be true, but in terms admittedly known to the questioner..."
(Meno, 75c-d)

Anonymous said...

"and Aquinas can resist it only by abandoning his own logic at the last moment in order to presrve the Trinity in name"

Wait, you guys are actually Thomists?

I thought you were Scotists?

Michael Sullivan said...

We are not Thomists. Perhaps my collaborator Faber is a true Scotist; I would call myself, perhaps, a Bonaventurian-Scotist, or rather an "independent" with leanings towards the Franciscan tradition.

My point in debating with the E.P.'s was never to assert Thomism, but to defend it against the charge of heresy. I don't think Thomas is the best philosopher there ever was nor the gold standard of Catholic thought, but he is an eminent Doctor of the Church, a truly great theologian, and should not be slandered.

Also, judging by their comments over the course of years, I'm pretty sure that Thomas is the only scholastic these guys have ever read at any significant length. I didn't bring Thomas into this discussion at all, but Mr Jones said that, even if some Catholics thought other and better than Thomas, still a Thomist is a heretic and I'm in communion with heretics. A defense of Thomas on his own terms was called for.

Anonymous said...

Actually Mr. Jones and company think that Scholastics are heretics, virtually by definition.

It's a cliche held by many Orthodox theologians.

The "proof" for many is the dispute Barlaam the Calabrian had with Gregory Palamas. Meyendorf, the first modern theological historian in the "west" to write about the hesychast controversy, held that the dispute was between scolasticism and hesychasm. He was wrong since evidence now shows that Barlaam was anti-scholastic, specifically anti-Thomist, even before the controversy.

Still, it's an argument that's repeated quite often especially by those who've never really read any scholastic philosophy/theology.

Lee Faber said...

As I've started to learn from these debates, saying so makes it so.