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ReConstructing Hermeticism?


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#21 Poimandres

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 07:00 AM

Caliban said:

I am totally open to the authors of the Hermetic Texts having been in possession of ideas arising in much older periods of history (or pre-history). At the time they were written, I believe that heiroglyphs could still be read - Under the Ptolmeys (who were in fact Greeks, descended from a close colleague of Alexander the Great), there was an effort on behalf of the foreign rulers to respect the ancient culture. Hence the Rosetta Stone, where the same message is inscribed in three different modes of writing.

To a certain extent (that is, without going so far as to say it specifically prefigured Christianity) I do believe in a "perennial philosophy". Occultism is in large part a perpetuation of this other way of knowing, of thinking about the world, which has never really gone extinct because it fulfills a human need. And its roots are as old as language, as old a culture - both things far older than writing. Manly P. Hall is either speaking metaphorically, or drawing illustrative examples, but the information he presents cannot be regarded as solid fact. It is traditional, and he is in good faith passing on information that was told as if it were true. But as the old song tells us, "it ain't necessarily so".

The legends, or mythic history, do have value in perpetuating ideas, engaging the imagination, striking a resonance deep in the psyche, and I don't feel they need to be swept away, but we need to be able to be of two minds simultaneously - thinking critically about all such claims on the one hand and simply drinking in the timeless wonder (which is in its own way quite real) on the other.

I couldn't agree with this more. However, it is a tough line to draw, isn't it?

I too believe in the "perennial philosophy" as you put it , or the "primordial tradition" as referenced by Guenon and Evola; but I also strongly believe that we must be careful with the terminology we choose to describe it and how we chose to group traditions under it. I also believe that this is a living tradition and not a static revelation that occurred in our long forgotten pre-deluge past.

Hermeticism is no-doubt (speaking subjectively, of course) a continuation of this primordial tradition, but it is very much a reflection of it seen through the eyes of Greaco-Egyptian culture. Likewise, Kabbalah is this same tradition seen through an Abrahamic lens, and we can draw similar conclusions from pretty much any esoteric philosophy that values personal experience with the divine principle. While yes, these all draw upon the same universal principle, they are also each different because of the very cultures and time period in which they were revealed. To simply write them all off as some elusive pre-deluge tradition somehow misses the point, and dismisses the unique perspectives and philosophy of a people that they capture along the way.

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#22 ChaosTech

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 07:36 AM

One interesting note. Nowhere until modern times do any mythologies or cosmologies from any culture in the world mention dinosaurs or dinosaur bones. Equally humanity is nowhere mentioned to have once been apes who transformed into humans. All cultures say humanity was created by some divine or spiritual creation.

Infact the notion that lifeforms were created by a complex mix of chemicals in a primordial planet, has only been knowlege in human history for a very short time. As a magician I know both philosophically and by experience that there is other realities than planet earth floating in space, and know for sure that lifeforms continue on in an etheric body, denser or lighter, after death of the physical body.

So how does the isolate manifestation of lifeforms in a materialistic universe, contrast with a metaphysical reality of many worlds, strange and made of light or darkness, or ordinary and created out of a complex mix? It doesn't very well. Lifeforms first came from "above," in the roof or source of the cosmos, from the unlimited into creation. Lifeforms great and small, complex and simple.

It's far more probable from my experience of how reality works, from telekinesis to sigils to bring me money, and a sound philosophy which has been remotely viewed (a form of astral projection, imo, not just clairvoyance), showing the unlimited nonduality to the varying levels of duality to the very void of nothing, and so everything between absolute positivity to absolute negativity, that the history books I read in the modern world which say humanity came from a process of evolution with the other animals and plants, seems absurd. It's far more likely that humanity and even some of the animals, emerged from the inner higher worlds of possibility into the world of limitation and matter known as the physical universe, including the consensually held, by peering into the night sky and visiting the moon and other planets with machines, round planet earth in which humanity is a slave to till we design interplanetary and then interstellar travel.

So don't give up on those theories about knowlege or traditions being around sense before the paradigm of modern archaeology says they can be, when most of us who are in our teens, twenties, or thirties right now are old men and women, it will probably be an entirely different set of scientific facts anyway.
[i]There are no gods but God, we know him through his order, his mind, the the miracle Jesus Christ. Give up most magic, give up enlightenment and or transcendence. No one can behold God, infinite is beyond, submit and know it creates and sustains creation forever. No true limit, no true death, no true nothingness. E=MC2, and gain and sustainability are greater than loss. The universe infinitely is expanding, growing becoming better and more immortal as are we. Resist evil, for it is an excess, ultimately a lie of true death. There is hell, as the Bible says, but there is choice! Choose wisely. Human origins, cosmic life, magical creatures, heaven, hell, earth and purgatory, many religions. Fascinating indeed, but in this world, no man was like Jesus Christ, and has the worlds largest faith.[\i]

#23 Jeremiah Fuglseth

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 08:20 AM

Poimandres:

First , it was the Greeks who Decided to call Thoth Hermes. Second, your so called Hellenization of Khmun by the Greeks coincided with the Greeks fleeing the Romans; who were coincidentally enough putting an end to the Hellenistic period, which began with Alexander the great. Third, Hermes/Thoth IS NOT THE SAME ENTITY as Hermes Trismegestus. Example: Definition of the word Hermetic? Completely sealed. As in a Hermetically sealed Glass Vial. A method the Egyptian Alchemists INVENTED. But the Greeks were better at writing with scribbles instead of pictures, and making use of tech to kill. So their history lives on in the forefront. I HAVE read the basic texts.

Edited by Jeremiah Fuglseth, 01 April 2011 - 09:08 AM.

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#24 Jeremiah Fuglseth

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 08:40 AM

Jeremiah Fuglseth said:

Poimandres:

First , it was the Greeks who Decided to call Thoth Hermes. Second, your so called Hellenization of Khmun by the Greeks coincided with the Greeks fleeing the Romans; who were coincidentally enough putting an end to the Hellenistic period, which began with Alexander the great. Third, Hermes/Thoth IS NOT THE SAME ENTITY as Hermes Trismegestus. Example: Definition of the word Hermetic? Completely sealed. As in a Hermetically sealed Glass Vial. A method the Egyptian Alchemists INVENTED. But the Greeks were better at writing with scribbles instead of pictures, and making use of tech to kill. So their history lives on in the forefront. I HAVE read the basic texts.

In summation; the Ancient Greeks went to the Egyptians for their Philosophy.
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#25 Jeremiah Fuglseth

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 09:07 AM

Caliban said:

I am totally open to the authors of the Hermetic Texts having been in possession of ideas arising in much older periods of history (or pre-history). At the time they were written, I believe that heiroglyphs could still be read - Under the Ptolmeys (who were in fact Greeks, descended from a close colleague of Alexander the Great), there was an effort on behalf of the foreign rulers to respect the ancient culture. Hence the Rosetta Stone, where the same message is inscribed in three different modes of writing.

To a certain extent (that is, without going so far as to say it specifically prefigured Christianity) I do believe in a "perennial philosophy". Occultism is in large part a perpetuation of this other way of knowing, of thinking about the world, which has never really gone extinct because it fulfills a human need. And its roots are as old as language, as old a culture - both things far older than writing. Manly P. Hall is either speaking metaphorically, or drawing illustrative examples, but the information he presents cannot be regarded as solid fact. It is traditional, and he is in good faith passing on information that was told as if it were true. But as the old song tells us, "it ain't necessarily so".

The legends, or mythic history, do have value in perpetuating ideas, engaging the imagination, striking a resonance deep in the psyche, and I don't feel they need to be swept away, but we need to be able to be of two minds simultaneously - thinking critically about all such claims on the one hand and simply drinking in the timeless wonder (which is in its own way quite real) on the other.

Look. Of course I could always argue that what is true to me is not what is true to you. But that is not really what I started this thread for. I started it to get PAST that. It is the knowledge that Occurred Simultaneous to the Word that I am in Search of. As per your first paragraph. Thank you for that. That is where I am going here.
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#26 Jeremiah Fuglseth

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 09:11 AM

And an interesting side note...as far as anyone knows, the Phoenicians invented Glass Blowing :) I love Glass Blowing...
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#27 Poimandres

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 11:03 AM

Jeremiah Fuglseth said:

First , it was the Greeks who Decided to call Thoth Hermes.

Agreed, and it was the Greeks who renamed Khmun to Hermopolis reflecting the original cult focus of the city("City of Hermes").

Quote

Second, your so called Hellenization of the Khmun by the Greeks coincided with the Greeks fleeing the Romans; who were coincidentally enough putting an end to the Hellenistic period, which began with Alexander the great.

The Hellenization of Egypt occurs with the Ptolomaic period (325 BC ~ 30 BC) which begins as you correctly state with Alexander the Great. I never stated it occurs later.

Rather my point is that during the Ptolomaic period Greek & Egyptian philosophies meet to produce the body of texts known as "Hermetic". This philosophy has some ancient Egyptian elements and some Neo-Platonic/Pythagorean elements, but as a complete body of knowledge is something entirely new and unseen before in the ancient world. (See Scott's prologue in his edition of the Corpus Hermetica and references therein, this is also mentioned in Betz introduction to the PGM, and even in Lisiewski's book Ceremonial Magic along with further references).

Anyway, the earliest surviving Hermetic text dates to around the 1st or 2nd Century C.E.. This as you point out is during the Roman empire; still, most scholars believe the Corpus Hermetica to have been compiled around this time. Incidentally, the Corpus Hermetica is "completed" - for lack of a better word- with the Latin text Asclepius. While it is safe to say that the teachings of the Corpus Hermetica are older (dating to the Ptolomaic period), this is nonetheless, the earliest historical evidence of the text. (Again see Scott's prologue, also you should also take a look at Garth Fowden's The Egyptian Hermes - both books are full of info and contain numerous references beyond what I care to cite here)

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Third, Hermes/Thoth IS NOT THE SAME ENTITY as Hermes Trismegestus.

Says who? "Great, great, great" and also "three times great" (i.e. Trismegestus) both appear as epithets of Thoth used by the Egyptians.

Perhaps you are not aware of how highly Thoth was valued by certain cults of the Egyptians, but for the Memphite and Hermopolitan theologies he was the agent of creation through which either Ra or Ptah created all things. All his other roles of psychopomp, god of Magic, Art, Music, Knowledge, Writing, Alchemy, Science, etc. ,etc. were secondary to his role as "Lord of Ma’at (Order)", "Lord of Divine Words", and "Tongue of Re", associating him with the ordering process of creation. Like many other cultures, the Egyptians believed the universe was fashioned by the divine words of the creator God. As such, Thoth was the literal embodiment of logos just like the "Chreistos" of the later Western Mystery Schools and was the ideal deity to represent/reveal the mysteries of Hermetic philosophy!

(see Routledge Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, also Copenhaver's edition of Hermetica, and Religion in Ancient Egypt ed. by Byron Shafer)

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Example: Definition of the word Hermetic? Completely sealed. As in a Hermetically sealed Glass Vial. A method the Egyptian Alchemists INVENTED.

What does this have to do with our discussion? Look up the etymology of the words "Hermetic" and "Hermetically sealed". The use of these words as you describe occur in the 16th Century! And furthermore, they derive from the Greek word Hermes to describe the Egyptian god Thoth as the god of Alchemy.

http://www.etymonlin...p?term=hermetic

Quote

But the Greeks were better at writing with scribbles instead of pictures, and making use of tech to kill. So their history lives on in the forefront.

Again, what is your point? The Egyptians had a mighty empire as well. By Thutmose III's reign they had conquered the majority of the known world through their military prowess.

What don't you get about the fact that Hermetic philosophy pertains to a junction of Greek and Egyptian cultures? This is a fact accepted by nearly all scholars on the matter. The only Hermetic texts are written in Greek with the exception of some later ones written in Latin.

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I HAVE read the basic texts.

I'm sure you have read many text with Hermetic in the title. Unfortunately, the Corpus Hermetica is the Basic Text, there are no substitutes, period. It is like trying to argue Judeo-Christian theology without having read the Bible! Until you read and fully understand the cosmology proposed by the Hermetic philosophers in the Corpus Hermetica you are simply resurrecting the romanticized beliefs of 18th and 19th Century mystics.

Re-read my response to your post and Caliban's post earlier. I am not shooting down your ideas of a primordial tradition, but merely am defining Hermeticism as what it is - a unique Graeco-Egyptian tincture of that tradition.

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#28 Aunt Clair

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 03:01 PM

ChaosTech said:

The Greeks really thought Egypt was the land of magic, and so the Egyptian god of magic, Thoth, was matched with the Greek god of magic Hermes.

Although, Godhead was adopted and renamed from one culture to another, there is much more to it than that. Mystic revelations depict Christ as the reincarnation of Krishna,Thoth,Horus,Samael,Michael,Raphael, Gabriel, Auriel, Isaac of Luria et al. Just as Mary is the reincarnation of Isis et al.

In mystic projection to the realms the magician is taught by these avatars et al about the conjoined paths of Initiation, Kundalini, Kaballah, Hermeticism, and Ascension Alchemy.

The path was revealed in visions to rishis in India who composed the Vedantic Texts and to Muslim and Jewish Kaballahists who composed the Zohar and to Gnostics. The Minoan Bee Goddess ,the Eleusian and the Sabazius Mystic Rites are examples of initiatic schools which perpetuated these wisdoms, too.

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Hermes Trismegistus was a legend born later of an old sage who visited and enlightened egypt in the ways of magic, along with other cosmic knowledge/pursuits.

Tri is three Megistus means great and Hermes Trimegistus imho was not assumed to be a real philosopher but another part of the cryptic riddle of the Emerald Tablet indicating that there are 3 stones the Lunar, the Solar, and the Philosopher . So the magician who is the Hermes must pass this way thrice and the magician then calls themselves Hermes Trismegistus. This teaches the magician that the opus minus attunes the Lunar Stone and the Magnum Opus attunes the Solar Stone and these are prerequisites to complete the Emerald Tablet which attunes the Philosopher Stone all of which must be cured before the Greater Soul begins to manifest in the immortal light body.

Jeremiah Fuglseth said:

... And Actually,Thoth Is the Equivalent of The Holy Spirit of Ra/Atum . So why would the source of everything be the Son of the Ultimate Being again? [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thoth
There is a precedent of the son of the Creator God being an avatar; Thoth is the son of Ra , just as Christ is the son of Yahweh.

Edited by Aunt Clair, 02 April 2011 - 05:04 AM.


#29 Jeremiah Fuglseth

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 03:54 PM

Poimandres said:

Agreed, and it was the Greeks who renamed Khmun to Hermopolis reflecting the original cult focus of the city("City of Hermes").



The Hellenization of Egypt occurs with the Ptolomaic period (325 BC ~ 30 BC) which begins as you correctly state with Alexander the Great. I never stated it occurs later.

Rather my point is that during the Ptolomaic period Greek & Egyptian philosophies meet to produce the body of texts known as "Hermetic". This philosophy has some ancient Egyptian elements and some Neo-Platonic/Pythagorean elements, but as a complete body of knowledge is something entirely new and unseen before in the ancient world. (See Scott's prologue in his edition of the Corpus Hermetica and references therein, this is also mentioned in Betz introduction to the PGM, and even in Lisiewski's book Ceremonial Magic along with further references).

Anyway, the earliest surviving Hermetic text dates to around the 1st or 2nd Century C.E.. This as you point out is during the Roman empire; still, most scholars believe the Corpus Hermetica to have been compiled around this time. Incidentally, the Corpus Hermetica is "completed" - for lack of a better word- with the Latin text Asclepius. While it is safe to say that the teachings of the Corpus Hermetica are older (dating to the Ptolomaic period), this is nonetheless, the earliest historical evidence of the text. (Again see Scott's prologue, also you should also take a look at Garth Fowden's The Egyptian Hermes - both books are full of info and contain numerous references beyond what I care to cite here)



Says who? "Great, great, great" and also "three times great" (i.e. Trismegestus) both appear as epithets of Thoth used by the Egyptians.

Perhaps you are not aware of how highly Thoth was valued by certain cults of the Egyptians, but for the Memphite and Hermopolitan theologies he was the agent of creation through which either Ra or Ptah created all things. All his other roles of psychopomp, god of Magic, Art, Music, Knowledge, Writing, Alchemy, Science, etc. ,etc. were secondary to his role as "Lord of Ma’at (Order)", "Lord of Divine Words", and "Tongue of Re", associating him with the ordering process of creation. Like many other cultures, the Egyptians believed the universe was fashioned by the divine words of the creator God. As such, Thoth was the literal embodiment of logos just like the "Chreistos" of the later Western Mystery Schools and was the ideal deity to represent/reveal the mysteries of Hermetic philosophy!

(see Routledge Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, also Copenhaver's edition of Hermetica, and Religion in Ancient Egypt ed. by Byron Shafer)



What does this have to do with our discussion? Look up the etymology of the words "Hermetic" and "Hermetically sealed". The use of these words as you describe occur in the 16th Century! And furthermore, they derive from the Greek word Hermes to describe the Egyptian god Thoth as the god of Alchemy.

http://www.etymonlin...p?term=hermetic



Again, what is your point? The Egyptians had a mighty empire as well. By Thutmose III's reign they had conquered the majority of the known world through their military prowess.

What don't you get about the fact that Hermetic philosophy pertains to a junction of Greek and Egyptian cultures? This is a fact accepted by nearly all scholars on the matter. The only Hermetic texts are written in Greek with the exception of some later ones written in Latin.



I'm sure you have read many text with Hermetic in the title. Unfortunately, the Corpus Hermetica is the Basic Text, there are no substitutes, period. It is like trying to argue Judeo-Christian theology without having read the Bible! Until you read and fully understand the cosmology proposed by the Hermetic philosophers in the Corpus Hermetica you are simply resurrecting the romanticized beliefs of 18th and 19th Century mystics.

Re-read my response to your post and Caliban's post earlier. I am not shooting down your ideas of a primordial tradition, but merely am defining Hermeticism as what it is - a unique Graeco-Egyptian tincture of that tradition.

Why would The Corpus be THE basic text? And you can stop assuming that I have not read it. I have not read the translation YOU suggested. I am sorry, dude, One book is not the be all and end all of this discussion. You sound like a Christian who says " Only the NRSV is God's holy word..." or what have you. And yeah, dude, that's how I do my research, you found me out. I find a book that has Hermetic in the title, I read the title, and the summary on the back, and then I pretend to read the book. Thats how I learned to pretend to spell. Says Who? A lot of people agree about Hermes and Hermes Trismegestus, including, God forgive me Wiki; and obviously even Aunt Clair. ARCHETYPAL.DUH DUH DUH... And now that I blew a hole in your Hellenism ,you are reduced to accusing me of not knowing the importance of Thoth to the Egyptians. Why don't YOU Re read My post, and you will see that the title of the thread does not say Etymology of Hermeticism. If I defined my spirituality by Archaeological Sciences, then I would be an Archaeologist, and not a Philosopher. You know, Just because i HAVE NOT READ THE SAME EXACT BOOK that is sitting on your shelf, does not mean that my own insides did not lead me to the books in the first place.
If you ever want to read some completely un important made up and not historically valid at all hermetic texts by the box full...Try here.
http://www.alchemywe....com/texts.html
I have read about half of these. Oh, that's right, I haven't read the Scott Translation of the Corpus yet. I guess I shouldn't be allowed to discuss this any more.

Okay...Intermission. I would like to say at this point that I certainly appreciate all the attention you have given to this thread, Poimandres, While it may not be exactly where I was going, I do like being forced to back my self up :) And you bring a lot of good info to the table here. Clarifying Info...
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#30 O. Delano

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 04:24 PM

Annnnd the trolling comes out. Oy vey...

Sorry Jeremiah, but the Corpus Hermeticum IS the basic text on Hermeticism. It is the foundation book of the Hermetic tradition.

And you're right, you shouldn't be allowed to discuss this anymore, because so far you have not discussed this topic rationally. Your arguments basically boil down to vague and unverifiable claims that are not backed up. Caliban and Poimandres have been good enough to post well-thought responses that include sources, facts, times, clarification of terms...none of which you provide, for the most part. You have this romanticized ideal concerning Hermeticism as though it's this tradition that's as old as humanity (or, I correct myself, 14,000 years old), but you provide absolutely no support for this.

And going back to the original topic, as scattered and diverse as its content tends to be (at least, to me), the Greek Magical Papyri and the Demotic Magical Papyri can be pretty revealing of the Hermetic tradition in practice at the time. And more often than not it's decently simplistic, at least when compared to some traditions of Ceremonial Magic. For a fine example of a modern interpretation, check out Stephen Flowers' book "Hermetic Magic". I'm on my second read-through and will soon be putting some of the spells to use.
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#31 Poimandres

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 05:33 PM

Jeremiah Fuglseth said:

Why would The Corpus be THE basic text? And you can stop assuming that I have not read it. I have not read the translation YOU suggested. I am sorry, dude, One book is not the be all and end all of this discussion. You sound like a Christian who says " Only the NRSV is God's holy word..." or what have you.

Well, quite frankly, it is the core text of the Hermetic tradition. These along with the Greek Magical Papyri (and Demotic texts) are the only existing primary sources from the time period. Everything else identified as "hermetic" appears on the scene more than a millennium later. See O. Delano's post as well. Again, these are not my assertions but those of many scholars who have devoted their lives to studying the body of Hermetic literature.

Quote

And yeah, dude, that's how I do my research, you found me out. I find a book that has Hermetic in the title, I read the title, and the summary on the back, and then I pretend to read the book. Thats how I learned to pretend to spell. Says Who?

You are taking this personally. At no point have I insulted your level of research. My point is to clarify that a lot of what is out there labeled as "Hermetic" in nature is later additions to foundational ideas derived from the Greek and Egyptian philosophers at Hermopolis. The 16th C. + alchemical manuscripts are all concerned with the "Hermetic Art", but they use the term as a catchall to explain a tradition of alchemy that has its roots in Egypt and was introduced to the Western world through the Greeks (i.e. the term Hermetic). Here is another book for you to add to your list, "The Hermetic Tradition" by Julius Evola - a simply phenomenal study of all things related to traditional spiritual alchemy, but even he states that the term "Hermetic" is used as a general labeling to express the Alchemical tradition and does not necessarily pertain to the Hermetic Philosophers proper of Hellenized Egypt.

Quote

A lot of people agree about Hermes and Hermes Trismegestus, including, God forgive me Wiki; and obviously even Aunt Clair. ARCHETYPAL.DUH DUH DUH...

Hermes Trsimegestus can be an archetypal image of the "son"/logos of the godhead just like Thoth was for the ancient Egyptians (see Aunt Clair's post or the books I referenced in my previous post, Silverman's articles on the nature of Egyptian god are top-notch he has a few essays in the Shafer edition I mentioned). You are arguing in circles, first you state that there is no connection between the two and that Hermes Trismegestus is an all together different entity now you state that it refers to an archetypal image. Which is it? The point I have made is that the Greeks identified the deity that the Egyptians knew as Thoth as Hermes (whether archetypal or truly spiritual); hence why the ancient Egyptian cult center of Thoth was renamed Hermopolis by the Greeks (see Herodotus for a 5th C BCE primary source on this!) . Whether Hermes is the same as Hermes Trismegestus, is irrelevant (though evidence suggest via the epithets of Thoth that they can be one in the same). The bottom line is that the body of Hermetic literature attirbuted to Hermes Trismegestus was developed in Egypt by Greek philosophers and Hellenized Egytians at what was the previous cult center of Thoth (Hermopolis). Once again, no conjecture on my part as I am merely stating historical fact.

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And now that I blew a hole in your Hellenism ,you are reduced to accusing me of not knowing the importance of Thoth to the Egyptians.

I'm sorry I fail to see where you blew a hole in my Hellenism. Furthermore, I fail to see what "my Hellenism" even is considering I am stating Historical facts, once again it is not my opinion it is the consensus of devoted scholars of classical and Egyptian history that claim that Hermeticism is the by-product of Hellenized Egypt, period. If you are going to argue against this claim, then show us some proof. I have gone through the effort of listing you numerous books that provide further bibliographic material for you to go on and do the research, you have given us nothing aside from regurgitating the ideal popularized by 18th and 19th Century mystics.

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Why don't YOU Re read My post, and you will see that the title of the thread does not say Etymology of Hermeticism. If I defined my spirituality by Archaeological Sciences, then I would be an Archaeologist, and not a Philosopher.

I have read your posts and from the beginning, your question was aimed at trying to resurrect Hermeticism. I initially pointed out that the "true" form of Hermeticism which if it is what you are aiming at can only be discerned from two groups of papyri. The Greek Magical Papyri (and Demotic Texts) and the Corpus Hermetica. Why? Because they are the only surviving source texts from the time period. I am merely pointing out that Hermeticism is a specific tradition that has very little to do with the 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th Century "catchall" idea of Hermeticism. Yes, we are arguing semantics and etymology of terms (a topic that you yourself introduced into this thread via your dictionary definitions of "hermetic" and "hermetically sealed"). But precision in language is key when delving into the rabbit hole of esoterica!

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You know, Just because i HAVE NOT READ THE SAME EXACT BOOK that is sitting on your shelf, does not mean that my own insides did not lead me to the books in the first place.

I merely gave you Scott's edition as a reference. It is considered the best translation by far and he provides an incredible historical perspective that places the texts in the specific context of their age. Furthermore, the ORIGINAL Greek and Latin text is side by side with theEngliish translation, this makes it invaluable resource for those of us wishing to really delve into Hermeticism.

Quote

If you ever want to read some completely un important made up and not historically valid at all hermetic texts by the box full...Try here.
http://www.alchemywe....com/texts.html

Yes a great site. I have spend years reading those alchemical texts. But here is a simple fact, these are very very late in terms of when they were written. 16th Century! Almost two millennia after the Hermetic tradition begins. Again, the use of Hermetic in alchemical texts as with lodge societies , as Evola and many others point out is merely a symbol of orientation towards the origins of alchemy. Alchemy originates in Egypt and Arabia, this is common knowledge to any student of the material; however, it makes its way into the Western world via the Greek presence in Egypt (hence Hermetic).

Quote

I have read about half of these. Oh, that's right, I haven't read the Scott Translation of the Corpus yet. I guess I shouldn't be allowed to discuss this any more.

No by all means your points of view are as valid as anybody else provided that you can back them up. My point is that you argue against Greek influence in the Hermetic tradition, and yet you state you have read the Corpus Hermetica. The first libellus of the Corpus Hermeticum, titled ‘Poimandres of Hermes Trismegistus’ (:)), recounts the cosmogony of the Heremetic tradition. It is one of the most sophisticated ancient cosmogonies I have ever read and the influence of Greek cosmology is overtly evident in this text. I am not stating that Hermeticism is Greek or Egyptian in nature, rather that it is a tradition founded from the merger of these two cultures - a meshing of great philosophic minds if you will. If you study Egyptian religion and Greek religion prior to the Hermetic "renaissance", you will see two robust bodies of philosophic ideals. However, neither in their own right compares to the complexity and sophistication of the ideas propounded in the Corpus Hermetica. It took the mixing of these two cultures (united under the spiritual guide of Thoth/Hermes) to produce this truly remarkable body of religio-philosophical work that defines the Hermetic tradition.

Sapiens Dominatur Astris

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#32 Jeremiah Fuglseth

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 06:34 PM

O. Delano said:

Annnnd the trolling comes out. Oy vey...

Sorry Jeremiah, but the Corpus Hermeticum IS the basic text on Hermeticism. It is the foundation book of the Hermetic tradition.

And you're right, you shouldn't be allowed to discuss this anymore, because so far you have not discussed this topic rationally. Your arguments basically boil down to vague and unverifiable claims that are not backed up. Caliban and Poimandres have been good enough to post well-thought responses that include sources, facts, times, clarification of terms...none of which you provide, for the most part. You have this romanticized ideal concerning Hermeticism as though it's this tradition that's as old as humanity (or, I correct myself, 14,000 years old), but you provide absolutely no support for this.

And going back to the original topic, as scattered and diverse as its content tends to be (at least, to me), the Greek Magical Papyri and the Demotic Magical Papyri can be pretty revealing of the Hermetic tradition in practice at the time. And more often than not it's decently simplistic, at least when compared to some traditions of Ceremonial Magic. For a fine example of a modern interpretation, check out Stephen Flowers' book "Hermetic Magic". I'm on my second read-through and will soon be putting some of the spells to use.

And you, Sir, have done nothing but jump in to the middle of this conversation; while doing so, have done exactly that of which you condemn me. And this Brings to light another important point. If the Corpus is the only text worth referring to, then why do any of us Hermetic Scientists even bother doing any thinking? Why don't we just sit around and refer to the Corpus every time we have a question?We don't do that Because we know that IT DOES go deeper than the Corpus; That there WAS Some Thing Before the Corpus, and there Will Be Some Thing After the corpus. That How We Act is In Truth A part of the Corpus, and Containing the Corpus. But you Missed that part about Archetypal, didn't you? Philosophy Comes Before The Word, friend. P.S. : I think you missed all the people I HAVE referenced in this thread? Did you read it?
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#33 Jeremiah Fuglseth

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 06:53 PM

Poimandres,

I am not arguing against Greek influence in the Hermetic Tradition. My whole point is this...What happened BEFORE the Greeks? What happened BEFORE the Egyptians? As far as I can see, all of your supposedly historical references are not any more verified in Existence than are my own. We have both referenced books. How would Any Body Know who wrote the Corpus, any more than who wrote the Bible? See MY post to Mr. O. Delano. in reference to your Opening statement, and the apparent centrum of our conversation at this point somehow...

Did Any Body Besides Caliban and Aunt Clair even READ my thread starter?!?
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#34 O. Delano

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 06:55 PM

Jeremiah Fuglseth said:

And you, Sir, have done nothing but jump in to the middle of this conversation;while doing so, have done exactly that of which you condemn me.

Jumping into the middle of a conversation? I'm sorry, is this not a forum with hundreds of members? Is this some kind of private conversation?

And no, I'm not doing exactly like you do. At no point did I start resorting to all caps to emphasize my point. I actually provided yet another source text, which you chose to ignore. I didn't make false, unverified claims and take things personally.

Jeremiah Fuglseth said:

And this Brings to light another important point. If the Corpus is the only text worth referring to, then why do any of us Hermetic Scientists even bother doing any thinking? Why don't we just sit around and refer to the Corpus every time we have a question?We don't do that Because we know that IT DOES go deeper than the Corpus; That there WAS Some Thing Before the Corpus, and there Will Be Some Thing After the corpus. That How We Act is In Truth A part of the Corpus, and Containing the Corpus. But you Missed that part about Archetypal, didn't you? Philosophy Comes Before The Word, friend. P.S. : I think you missed all the people I HAVE referenced in this thread? Did you read it?

And here, once again, you're being willfully ignorant and twisting other peoples' words around. No one has said that the Corpus Hermeticum is the one and only valid source text for the Hermetic tradition. It is, however, the foundational source text. As in, it forms the basis of it, a springboard for further study and practice of Hermeticism and other topics in the western magical tradition, including Alchemy.

And for the record, unless they originate the philosophy, people usually learn it from the word. So which comes first is a moot point.
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#35 Jeremiah Fuglseth

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 06:58 PM

O. Delano said:

Jumping into the middle of a conversation? I'm sorry, is this not a forum with hundreds of members? Is this some kind of private conversation?

And no, I'm not doing exactly like you do. At no point did I start resorting to all caps to emphasize my point. I actually provided yet another source text, which you chose to ignore. I didn't make false, unverified claims and take things personally.



And here, once again, you're being willfully ignorant and twisting other peoples' words around. No one has said that the Corpus Hermeticum is the one and only valid source text for the Hermetic tradition. It is, however, the foundational source text. As in, it forms the basis of it, a springboard for further study and practice of Hermeticism and other topics in the western magical tradition, including Alchemy.

And for the record, unless they originate the philosophy, people usually learn it from the word. So which comes first is a moot point.
You can not even have Word if you do not have a Philosopher to Act it.
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#36 O. Delano

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 07:06 PM

Jeremiah Fuglseth said:

You can not even have Word if you do not have a Philosopher to Act it.

As you've asked people so many times, did you even read my post?

As I said, that's a moot point. Yes, the philosophy was there first, but the philosophers who started the Hermetic philosophy are long dead. So we have the philosophy transmitted via the word. The word is a vehicle. Without it we wouldn't have the philosophy. Neither one is more important, and so it's a moot point.

You're just arguing for the sake of argument.
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#37 Jeremiah Fuglseth

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 07:14 PM

Philosophy 101...

Straw Man:

"I didn't make false, unverified claims" O. Delano...
"And here, once again, you're being willfully ignorant" O. Delano...
"Annnnd the trolling comes out." O. Delano...
"And you're right, you shouldn't be allowed to discuss this anymore, because so far you have not discussed this topic rationally. Your arguments basically boil down to vague and unverifiable claims that are not backed up. Caliban and Poimandres have been good enough to post well-thought responses that include sources, facts, times, clarification of terms...none of which you provide, for the most part. You have this romanticized ideal concerning Hermeticism as though it's this tradition that's as old as humanity (or, I correct myself, 14,000 years old), but you provide absolutely no support for this." O. Delano...(What, does this guy have a time machine or something?)
"You're just arguing for the sake of argument." O. Delano...
"At no point did I start resorting to all caps to emphasize my point." O. Delano...

"I have gone through the effort of listing you numerous books that provide further bibliographic material for you to go on and do the research, you have given us nothing aside from regurgitating the ideal popularized by 18th and 19th Century mystics. " Poimandres... (Gosh Darn it, did that pesky Time Machine Gnome take your Time Machine and go back in time and erase My posted references again? Because I swear I posted a Bunch of References just with that ONE Manley P. Hall Book. I would be lying if I pretended that I had gotten through even those ones. And then there were like those two thousand other references on The Alchemy Website. But i guess it's just my Mystical Babble again:)
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#38 Poimandres

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 07:29 PM

Jeremiah Fuglseth said:

Poimandres,

I am not arguing against Greek influence in the Hermetic Tradition. My whole point is this...What happened BEFORE the Greeks? What happened BEFORE the Egyptians? As far as I can see, all of your supposedly historical references are not any more verified in Existence than are my own. We have both referenced books. How would Any Body Know who wrote the Corpus, any more than who wrote the Bible? See MY post to Mr. O. Delano. in reference to your Opening statement, and the apparent centrum of our conversation at this point somehow...

Did Any Body Besides Caliban and Aunt Clair even READ my thread starter?!?

The fact of the matter is that both this topic and your thread opener is about reconstructing Hermeticism, is it not?

However,what you seem to be digging at is a primordial tradition of personal divine communication and calling it "Hermeticism" (which is the exact same thing that the Golden Dawn and other lodge societies did). Ironically, they too did this without accessing the primary sources of Hermetic philosophy as the PGM were not yet made available to the public and the Corpus Hermetica was in limited circulation with few translations. Today, we have to opportunity to resurrect Hermeticism to its proper form, but this requires re-examing the core texts of the tradition (PGM and Corpus Hermetica) and not our assumptions about its pre-Egyptian pre- Greek "form".

I don't deny that such a primordial tradition exists, merely that Hermeticism like Gnosticism, Sufism, and Kabbalah is one cultural system layered over that tradition. Again, as I stated in the post following Caliban's well thought out response, we must be careful when grouping traditions and erasing the historical and cultural context in which they arose. While traditionally speaking they can all be traced to a mythical primordial source, they are each different in their own right and the differences is what makes them unique and their systems workable. The cultural context gives us as the students something tangible and logical to hold onto as we take the plunge into the all together irrational and illogical"gnostic" experience - it gives us bearings in the sea of esoteric wisdom.

Hermeticism proper is this primordial tradition in the context of Greek and Egyptian thought. 16th C "Hermetic" Alchemy is another system all together. Do they share common ground? Yes of course, but if you are going to redefine and rework Hermeticism you should tackle it from the source - Hellenic Egypt and not your beliefs as to what the source may or may not be.

Quote

"I have gone through the effort of listing you numerous books that provide further bibliographic material for you to go on and do the research, you have given us nothing aside from regurgitating the ideal popularized by 18th and 19th Century mystics. " Poimandres... (Gosh Darn it, did that pesky Time Machine Gnome take your Time Machine and go back in time and erase My posted references again? Because I swear I posted a Bunch of References just with that ONE Manley P. Hall Book. I would be lying if I pretended that I had gotten through even those ones. And then there were like those two thousand other references on The Alchemy Website. But i guess it's just my Mystical Babble again

Yes, you have done a good job setting up links to 16th Century and later alchemical texts. But where is your proof that Hermeticism proper extends beyond the advent of writing? Manly P. Hall? Well refer to my comments about the loose interpretation of "hermeticism" used in lodge systems.

You still have yet to prove to me or anyone else for that matter how you "blew a hole" in the theories regarding Hellenized Egypt to name one amongst many rash claims you have made. I have done my best to provide you with a logical and well-sourced argument with the primary sources and studies on those sources. At this stage you have done nothing more than posit "proof" based on the assertions of late Renaissance period manuscripts and a 20th Century mystic.

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#39 Jeremiah Fuglseth

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 07:33 PM

Once again, i absolutely am not taking this personally. I have no problem backing myself up.Thank you to everyone who has contributed good sources.
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#40 AEternitas

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 07:36 PM

okay, so, what are the pre-greek, pre-egyptian texts that you propose we reconstruct Hermeticism around?
We can't just resurrect it based on some imaginary notions.





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