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When Did The Meaning Of Microcosm Become Weird?


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#1 wren

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 04:30 PM

Reading the old sources, aka, Ye Olde Three Books of Occult Philosophy, 'microcosm' clearly indicates the human body and nothing but. Skin, bones, muscles, organs, blood and puss stuff is what it refers to. When did this change to be such a nebulous concept? Why? I don't even get what most people mean when they say 'microcosmic' anymore.

#2 monsnoleedra

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 04:55 PM

Honestly I think it changed when people started pushing the idea of a macro and micro verse. Didn't matter if it was an economic system, open or closed data system, macroscopic / microscopic world, even the idea of a hidden and open knowledge system in general.
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#3 SuccubusSherry

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 04:58 PM

It's probably me who has used the term the most here lately, in its more modern meaning. I've used it to explain how an angel or a god can be in many places at once. How do you think they manage to be in many places at once?
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#4 monsnoleedra

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 05:14 PM

View PostSuccubusSherry, on 17 September 2017 - 04:58 PM, said:

It's probably me who has used the term the most here lately, in its more modern meaning. I've used it to explain how an angel or a god can be in many places at once. How do you think they manage to be in many places at once?

My self I'd think that would be omni-present or omni-dimensional to describe that capability. Figure Uni would be single or one, bi would be two or double yet omni would be in many or multiple at once or the same time. But that is just me.
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#5 violetstar

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 05:29 PM

The whole idea is neo-Platonic.In this context,it can be explained by the relationship between Ars and Natura.

Ars denotes the divine emnation of the primordial chaos while Natura refers to both procreation and of death.These are both facets of the Macrocosm but the Microcosm is represented by the Magus or mans abilty to cause changes and recognise and attempt to comprehend his place in the Macrocosm.These are also the demarcation points that separate the Supernatural and Natural worlds.

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#6 wren

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 06:36 PM

View PostSuccubusSherry, on 17 September 2017 - 04:58 PM, said:

It's probably me who has used the term the most here lately, in its more modern meaning. I've used it to explain how an angel or a god can be in many places at once. How do you think they manage to be in many places at once?

Spirits aren't real, i.e., they aren't concrete. If they aren't imbedded in space-time, reading past and future or taking up multiple positions should be possible. At best, spirits are 4D beings. At worst, everyone can think of a unicorn at once because ideas aren't constrained by time or location but by transmission. Then there's the spectrum of positions inbetween.

#7 SabahSnoblod

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 04:14 AM

View Postwren, on 17 September 2017 - 04:30 PM, said:

Reading the old sources, aka, Ye Olde Three Books of Occult Philosophy, 'microcosm' clearly indicates the human body and nothing but. Skin, bones, muscles, organs, blood and puss stuff is what it refers to. When did this change to be such a nebulous concept? Why? I don't even get what most people mean when they say 'microcosmic' anymore.

In it's modern sense I've seen it used in an "as above, so below" sort of relationship between that which is small and that which is larger. Basically like comparing concepts of quantum physics with concepts of astronomy and such, where the latter is macrocosmic. So perhaps it's use in some Neo-Pagan circles the word is a bit more literal and denotative in the sense of use, where "cosmos" is synonymous with "universe".

I really should read those books especially given I have a bit of an interest in philosophy. I'll need to make room on my bookshelf sometime for that read.
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#8 wren

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 09:24 AM

I hate "As above, so below," as well. It means too many things to too many people to be very useful.

Rhetorical questions: What do you mean by above? What about below? What do you mean by As? What specifically is it about the above is "as" refering to? Is the so an indication of causation or just conformity?

There isn't a single word in the entire phrase that is unambiguous.

#9 Orlando

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 10:52 AM

The phrase "As Above, So Below" is a shortened version of "THAT WHICH IS BELOW CORRESPONDS TO THAT WHICH IS ABOVE, AND THAT WHICH IS ABOVE CORRESPONDS TO THAT WHICH IS BELOW", which comes from the 'EMERALD TABLET', first written about in a ninth century Arabic book. It is considered the first principle of Hermeticism.

Here is what 'Kymia Arts' has to say about it.

Edited by Orlando, 21 September 2017 - 10:55 AM.


#10 violetstar

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 11:07 AM

Several interpretations of the Emerald Tablet.Here is a reliable discussion

http://www.academia....sence_of_Hermes:

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#11 SuccubusSherry

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 11:32 AM

Very interesting video, and that translation of the Emerald Tablet he used is my favourite one. It reminds me of the three worlds in Hinduism: physical, astral or emotional and causal or mental. Once you manage to get your head around one of these divisions it's best to stick to that one ! There would be no basic disagreement with this as both are divisions into three, but of course you could make various arguments about the finer details.
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#12 wren

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 01:19 PM

View PostOrlando, on 21 September 2017 - 10:52 AM, said:

The phrase "As Above, So Below" is a shortened version of "THAT WHICH IS BELOW CORRESPONDS TO THAT WHICH IS ABOVE, AND THAT WHICH IS ABOVE CORRESPONDS TO THAT WHICH IS BELOW", which comes from the 'EMERALD TABLET', first written about in a ninth century Arabic book. It is considered the first principle of Hermeticism.

Here is what 'Kymia Arts' has to say about it.

I will look at this video later today, but, I thought I should mention that I know where it comes from, and that the Emerald Tablet is about as transparent as a gold brick. It certainly isn't definitively asserting a fractal ontology before the historical exploration of fractals. Which is what it gets drummed up as... a lot.

#13 Orlando

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 03:41 PM

View Postwren, on 21 September 2017 - 01:19 PM, said:

I will look at this video later today, but, I thought I should mention that I know where it comes from, and that the Emerald Tablet is about as transparent as a gold brick. It certainly isn't definitively asserting a fractal ontology before the historical exploration of fractals. Which is what it gets drummed up as... a lot.

I would love to know, Wren, when and where that particular phrase was first used.
_

Edited by Orlando, 21 September 2017 - 07:53 PM.


#14 SabahSnoblod

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 03:51 PM

View Postwren, on 21 September 2017 - 09:24 AM, said:

I hate "As above, so below," as well. It means too many things to too many people to be very useful.

Rhetorical questions: What do you mean by above? What about below? What do you mean by As? What specifically is it about the above is "as" refering to? Is the so an indication of causation or just conformity?

There isn't a single word in the entire phrase that is unambiguous.

Exactly! And it's already been proven that it's not actually the way the world works. Atoms don't behave in the same way black holes do, no matter how similar the concepts behind their behavior. They're different so they behave differently. The universe might have constants but it doesn't change the fact different states of matter behave differently in different realms (subatomic vs molecular and so on). Gravity does work but it doesn't apply to everything in the same way. At best such comparisons to "above" and "below" are theoretical and unproven. At worse, misinformed.
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#15 The Stalking Hyena

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 06:55 PM

View Postwren, on 17 September 2017 - 04:30 PM, said:

Reading the old sources, aka, Ye Olde Three Books of Occult Philosophy, 'microcosm' clearly indicates the human body and nothing but.

Could you please be more specific regarding your source. Book, chapter, etc?
I am asking as one who has read Agrippa extensively for years and have never once received this impression of "nothing but".
Thank you.

Also, my feeling has always been that "as above, so below" is not meant to be a literal concept, but as a basis for forming analogies, which form the bulk of classical occult and ancient scientific reasoning. The concept is deeply connected to "sympathy" and "antipathy" - but the most useful way to grasp it all is via astrology and the stars' reflections (or imprints) upon the sensible (material) world.
Platonic thought has been mentioned, but I believed the concept of big and little worlds as formative of our existence can probably be found in cave paintings.
Trying to match these ideas up in a literal sense with rationalist materialistic observations (viz., modern science) make things even more complicated. Nebulous indeed!
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#16 wren

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 07:14 PM

View PostOrlando, on 21 September 2017 - 03:41 PM, said:



I would love to know, Wren, when and where that particular phrase was first use.
_

Me too; I just have read the Emerald Tablet. The phrase strikes me as very Kybalion-esque.

#17 wren

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 07:33 PM

View PostThe Stalking Hyena, on 21 September 2017 - 06:55 PM, said:



Could you please be more specific regarding your source. Book, chapter, etc?
I am asking as one who has read Agrippa extensively for years and have never once received this impression of "nothing but".
Thank you.
Book 2, the scales of numbers. Rows showing the expression of number in the lesser(micro) world(cosmos).

Yes, Agrippa includes the intellect and spirit, etc., but I would argue that these are still "objective" anatomical features, not subjective experiences that we see being refered to as being "microcosmic" today.

#18 Orlando

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 08:03 PM

View Postwren, on 21 September 2017 - 07:14 PM, said:

Me too; I just have read the Emerald Tablet. The phrase strikes me as very Kybalion-esque.

I thought that those three initiates who wrote the 'Kybalion' back in the early1900's, had based their work on the 'Emerald Tablet', or other Hermetic philosophies based on principles of the 'Emerald Tablet', but maybe not.

Edited by Orlando, 21 September 2017 - 08:04 PM.


#19 Orlando

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 11:19 PM

I’ve done a very quick google search, and, if I’m not mistaken, the oldest text found so far, of the ‘Emerald Tablet’, dates back to between 650.AD and 833.AD and found in a book called ‘The book of Balinas the Wise on the Causes’.
The line translated from that text reads: “That which is above is from that which is below, and that which is below is from that which is above, working the miracles of one”.

So whatever its original provenance is, it is pretty old indeed.

Here’s a link: http://www.sacred-te...alc/emerald.htm
_

Edited by Orlando, 21 September 2017 - 11:24 PM.


#20 wren

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 04:00 AM

View PostOrlando, on 21 September 2017 - 11:19 PM, said:

I’ve done a very quick google search, and, if I’m not mistaken, the oldest text found so far, of the ‘Emerald Tablet’, dates back to between 650.AD and 833.AD and found in a book called ‘The book of Balinas the Wise on the Causes’.
The line translated from that text reads: “That which is above is from that which is below, and that which is below is from that which is above, working the miracles of one”.

So whatever its original provenance is, it is pretty old indeed.

Here’s a link: http://www.sacred-te...alc/emerald.htm
_
To me, this screams out "The heavens continue into the underworld!" But I am biased.





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