Page 1

“Excuse Me, Mr. Crowley”

Contents 1




Wikipedia:WikiProject Occult



Welcome to WikiProject Occult! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Table of Contents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Article Alerts & Cleanup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Scope & Goals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Articles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Recognized content . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Featured articles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Good articles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Formerly recognized content . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Former featured articles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Former good articles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team selections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



2.8 3

Aleister Crowley



Early life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Youth: 1875–94 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Cambridge University: 1895–98 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



The Golden Dawn: 1898–99 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Mexico, India, Paris, and marriage: 1900–03 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Developing Thelema . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Egypt and The Book of the Law: 1904 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Kangchenjunga and China: 1905–06 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



The A∴A∴ and the Holy Books of Thelema: 1907–09 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Algeria and the Rites of Eleusis: 1909–11 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Ordo Templi Orientis and the Paris Working: 1912–14 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



United States: 1914–19 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Abbey of Thelema: 1920–23 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Later life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Tunisia, Paris, and London: 1923–29 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Berlin and London: 1930–38 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .







Second World War and death: 1939–47 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Beliefs and thought . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Personal life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Views on race and gender . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Legacy and influence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Footnotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


3.9 4

Magick (Thelema)



Definitions and general purpose of Magick . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Paranormal effects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Techniques of Magick . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Banishing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Purification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Consecration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Invocation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Evocation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Astral travel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Eucharist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Yoga . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Divination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


4.3.10 Other magical practices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Components of ritual magic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Magical weapons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Magical formulae . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Vibration of god-names . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .







Background . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Etymology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Origins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Structure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .





Further reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .






History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Western traditions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



20th-century and 21st-century disputes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Prosody . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Rhyme, alliteration, assonance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Form in poetry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Diction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Forms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Sonnet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Shi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Villanelle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Tanka . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Haiku . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Ode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Ghazal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Genres . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Narrative poetry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Epic poetry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Dramatic poetry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Satirical poetry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Light poetry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Lyric poetry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Elegy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Verse fable . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Prose poetry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


6.4.10 Speculative poetry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Further reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .








Anthologies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Black magic



History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Satanism and devil-worship . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Voodoo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Black magic and religion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Practices and rituals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .





In popular culture and ďŹ ction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .





Ceremonial magic 8.1

Renaissance magic



59 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Francis Barrett . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Eliphas Levi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Aleister Crowley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Magical tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Grimoires . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Enochian magic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Organizations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .




. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Magic (paranormal)



Common features of magical practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Rituals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Magical symbols . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Magical language . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Magicians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Witchcraft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Theories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Anthropological and psychological origins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Theories on the relationship of magic, science, art, and religion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Ancient Egypt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Mesopotamia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Classical antiquity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Middle Ages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Renaissance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Baroque . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Romanticism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Modernity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


In cultural contexts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Animism and folk religion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Magic in Hinduism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .








Western magic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Magical traditions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


10 Thelema


10.1 Historical precedents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


10.1.1 François Rabelais . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


10.1.2 Francis Dashwood and the Hellfire Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


10.2 Aleister Crowley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


10.2.1 The Book of the Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


10.2.2 True Will . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


10.2.3 Cosmology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


10.2.4 Magick and ritual . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


10.2.5 Ethics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


10.3 Contemporary Thelema . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


10.3.1 Diversity of Thelemic thought . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


10.3.2 Thelemic holidays . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


10.3.3 Contemporary Thelemic literature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


10.3.4 Thelemic organizations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


10.3.5 Thelema and the British justice system . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


10.4 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


10.5 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


10.6 Sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


10.7 Further reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


10.8 External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


11 Western esotericism


11.1 Etymology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


11.2 Conceptual development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


11.3 Definition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


11.3.1 Esotericism as a universal, secret, inner tradition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


11.3.2 Esotericism as an enchanted world view . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


11.3.3 Esotericism as claims to higher knowledge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


11.3.4 Esotericism as “rejected knowledge” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


11.4 History

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11.4.1 Late Antiquity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


11.4.2 Middle Ages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


11.4.3 Renaissance and Early Modern period . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


11.4.4 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



CONTENTS 11.4.5 Later 20th century . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100 11.5 Popular culture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100 11.6 Academic study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100 11.6.1 Emic and etic divisions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102 11.7 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102 11.7.1 Footnotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102 11.7.2 Sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 11.7.3 Further academic reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105 11.8 Further reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106 11.9 External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106

12 Occult


12.1 Occultism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107 12.2 Science and the occult . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108 12.2.1 Occult qualities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108 12.3 Religion and the occult . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108 12.3.1 Christian views . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108 12.4 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108 12.5 Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108 12.6 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109 12.7 Further reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109 12.8 External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109 13 Alchemy


13.1 Name . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111 13.2 History

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112

13.2.1 Hellenistic Egypt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112 13.2.2 India

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113

13.2.3 Muslim world . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114 13.2.4 East Asia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115 13.2.5 Medieval Europe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115 13.2.6 Renaissance and early modern Europe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117 13.2.7 Late modern period

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118

13.2.8 Women in alchemy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119 13.2.9 Modern historical research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119 13.3 Core concepts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120 13.3.1 Hermetism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120 13.3.2 Magnum opus 13.4 Modern alchemy

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121

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13.4.1 Traditional medicine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121 13.4.2 Psychology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121 13.4.3 Literature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121



13.5 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122 13.6 Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122 13.7 References

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13.7.1 Citations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122 13.7.2 Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125 13.8 External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125 14 Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn


14.1 History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127 14.1.1 Cipher Manuscripts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127 14.1.2 Founding of first temple . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128 14.1.3 Secret Chiefs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128 14.1.4 Golden Age . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128 14.1.5 Revolt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129 14.1.6 Reconstruction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129 14.2 Structure and grades . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130 14.3 The Golden Dawn book . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130 14.4 Known or alleged members . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130 14.5 Contemporary Golden Dawn orders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131 14.6 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132 14.7 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132 14.8 Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133 14.9 External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133 15 Hermeticism


15.1 Etymology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134 15.2 History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134 15.2.1 Late Antiquity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135 15.2.2 Renaissance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135 15.2.3 Modern era . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135 15.3 Philosophy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136 15.3.1 Prisca theologia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136 15.3.2 “As above, so below.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136 15.3.3 The three parts of the wisdom of the whole universe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136 15.3.4 Posthumous lives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137 15.3.5 Good and evil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137 15.3.6 Cosmogony . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137 15.4 As a religion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138 15.4.1 Religious and philosophical texts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138 15.5 Societies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139 15.5.1 Rosicrucianism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139 15.5.2 Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139


CONTENTS 15.5.3 Esoteric Christianity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139 15.5.4 Mystical Neopaganism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139 15.6 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139 15.7 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139 15.8 Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141 15.9 External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141

16 Theurgy 16.1 DeďŹ nitions

143 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143

16.2 Neoplatonism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143 16.3 Emperor Julian . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144 16.4 Esoteric Christian theurgy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144 16.5 Jewish theurgy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144 16.6 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144 16.7 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145 16.8 External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145 17 Philosophy


17.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146 17.1.1 Culture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146 17.1.2 Knowledge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147 17.1.3 Philosophical progress . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147 17.2 Categories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147 17.2.1 Metaphysics

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17.2.2 Epistemology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148 17.2.3 Value theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148 17.2.4 Logic, science and mathematics 17.2.5 History of philosophy

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17.2.6 Philosophical schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150 17.3 History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150 17.4 Ancient . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150 17.5 Medieval

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151

17.6 Modern . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153 17.7 Contemporary approaches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155 17.8 Analytic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155 17.9 Continental . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156 17.9.1 German idealism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157 17.9.2 Phenomenology

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157

17.9.3 Existentialism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158 17.10Pragmatism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159 17.11Other approaches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159 17.11.1 Thomism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159



17.11.2 Applied philosophy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160 17.11.3 Marxism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160 17.12Society

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17.13Professional philosophy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161 17.14Non-professional philosophy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161 17.15Role of women . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 162 17.16Popular culture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 162 17.17See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 163 17.18References

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17.19Sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167 17.20Further reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167 17.21General introductions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167 17.22Topical introductions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168 17.22.1 Eastern . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168 17.22.2 African . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168 17.22.3 Islamic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168 17.23Historical introductions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168 17.23.1 Ancient . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168 17.23.2 Medieval . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168 17.23.3 Modern . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168 17.23.4 Contemporary 17.24Reference works

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17.25External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170 18 Science 18.1 History

171 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 171

18.1.1 Antiquity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172 18.1.2 Medieval science . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 173 18.1.3 Renaissance, and early modern science . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 173 18.1.4 Age of Enlightenment 18.1.5 19th century

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18.1.6 20th century and beyond . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 176 18.1.7 The scientific method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 176 18.1.8 Mathematics and formal sciences

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 178

18.2 Scientific community . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 178 18.2.1 Branches and fields . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 178 18.2.2 Institutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 178 18.2.3 Literature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179 18.3 Science and society . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179 18.3.1 Women in science 18.3.2 Science policy

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 180

18.3.3 Media perspectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 180


CONTENTS 18.3.4 Political usage

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181

18.3.5 Science and the public . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181 18.4 Philosophy of science . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181 18.4.1 Certainty and science . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182 18.4.2 Fringe science, pseudoscience and junk science . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 183 18.5 ScientiďŹ c practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 183 18.5.1 Basic and applied research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 184 18.5.2 Research in practice

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 184

18.5.3 Practical impacts of scientiďŹ c research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 184 18.6 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 184 18.7 Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 184 18.8 References

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 187

18.9 Sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189 18.10Further reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 190 18.11External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 191 18.11.1 Publications 18.11.2 Resources

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19 Neoplatonism


19.1 Origins of the term Neoplatonism 19.2 Origins

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192

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19.3 Teachings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 193 19.3.1 The One

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19.3.2 Demiurge or Nous . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 193 19.3.3 The world-soul . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 193 19.3.4 The phenomenal world . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 194 19.3.5 Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 194 19.3.6 Celestial hierarchy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 194 19.3.7 Salvation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 194 19.3.8 Logos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195 19.4 Philosophers

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19.4.1 Ammonius Saccas

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19.4.2 Plotinus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195 19.4.3 Porphyry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195 19.4.4 Iamblichus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 196 19.4.5 Hypatia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 196 19.4.6 Proclus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 196 19.4.7 Emperor Julian . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 196 19.4.8 Simplicius

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19.4.9 Michael Psellos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 196 19.4.10 Gemistus Pletho

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19.5 Early Christian and Medieval Neoplatonism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 197



19.5.1 Philosophy and theology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 197 19.6 Islamic Neoplatonism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 197 19.7 Renaissance Neoplatonism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 198 19.8 Cambridge Platonists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 199 19.9 Modern Neoplatonism

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 199

19.10See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 199 19.11References

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 199

19.12Sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 201 19.13Further reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 201 19.14External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 201 20 Gnosticism


20.1 Nature and structure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 202 20.1.1 Main features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 202 20.1.2 Dualism and monism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203 20.1.3 Moral and ritual practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 204 20.1.4 Social context . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 205 20.2 Origins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 205 20.2.1 Buddhism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 205 20.2.2 Neoplatonism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 206 20.2.3 Christianity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 207 20.2.4 Judaism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 208 20.3 History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 208 20.3.1 Sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 208 20.3.2 Development of the Syrian-Egyptian school . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 208 20.3.3 Development of the Persian school . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 209 20.4 Major movements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 209 20.4.1 Persian . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 209 20.4.2 Syrian-Egyptian . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 210 20.4.3 Gnostic-influenced people and groups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 211 20.5 Origin of the term . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 212 20.6 Studies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 212 20.6.1 19th century to 1930s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 213 20.6.2 After the discovery of the Nag Hammadi library, 1945 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 213 20.6.3 “Gnosis”as a potentially flawed category . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 213 20.7 Modern times . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 213 20.8 Terms and concepts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 214 20.9 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 217 20.10Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 218 20.11References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 224 20.11.1 Books . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 224 20.12External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 225



21 Mysticism


21.1 Etymology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 226 21.2 DeďŹ nitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227 21.2.1 Mystical experience and union with the Divine or Absolute . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227 21.2.2 Religious ecstasies and interpretative context . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 228 21.2.3 Intuitive insight and enlightenment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 228 21.2.4 Spiritual life and re-formation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 228 21.3 History of the term . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 228 21.3.1 Early Christianity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 228 21.3.2 Medieval meaning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229 21.3.3 Early modern meaning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229 21.3.4 Contemporary meaning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229 21.4 Scholarly approaches of mystical experience . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 230 21.4.1 Mystical experiences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 230 21.4.2 Perennialism versus constructionism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 230 21.4.3 Contextualism and attribution theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 230 21.4.4 Neurological research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 231 21.4.5 Mysticism and morality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 231 21.5 Forms of mysticism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 231 21.5.1 Shamanism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 231 21.5.2 Western mysticism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 232 21.5.3 Jewish mysticism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 233 21.5.4 Islamic mysticism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 233 21.5.5 Indian religions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 234 21.5.6 Buddhism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 235 21.5.7 Taoism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 235 21.5.8 The Secularization of Mysticism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 236 21.6 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 236 21.7 Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 236 21.8 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 237 21.9 Sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 239 21.9.1 Published sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 239 21.9.2 Web-sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 242 21.10Further reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 243 21.11External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 243 22 Kabbalah


22.1 Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 244 22.1.1 Jewish and non-Jewish Kabbalah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 245 22.2 History of Jewish mysticism

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 246

22.2.1 Origins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 246 22.2.2 Talmudic era . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 246



22.2.3 Pre-Kabbalistic schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 247 22.2.4 Medieval emergence of the Kabbalah

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22.2.5 Early modern era: Lurianic Kabbalah

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22.3 Concepts

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 252

22.3.1 Concealed and revealed God . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 252 22.3.2 Sephirot and the Divine Feminine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 253 22.3.3 Descending spiritual Worlds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 254 22.3.4 Origin of evil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 254 22.3.5 Role of Man

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 255

22.3.6 Levels of the soul . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 255 22.3.7 Reincarnation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 256 22.3.8 Tzimtzum, Shevirah and Tikkun . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 256 22.3.9 Linguistic mysticism of Hebrew . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 257 22.4 Primary texts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 257 22.5 Scholarship . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 258 22.5.1 Claims for authority 22.6 Criticism

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 258

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 258

22.6.1 Dualistic cosmology

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22.6.2 Distinction between Jews and non-Jews

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 259

22.6.3 Medieval views . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 260 22.6.4 Orthodox Judaism

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 261

22.6.5 Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist Judaism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 262 22.7 Contemporary study

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 262

22.7.1 Universalist Jewish organisations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 263 22.7.2 Neo-Hasidic

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 263

22.7.3 Hasidic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 264 22.7.4 Rav Kook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 264 22.8 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 264 22.9 Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 264 22.10References

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 267

22.11External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 268 23 Freemasonry


23.1 Masonic Lodge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 269 23.1.1 Joining a Lodge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 270 23.2 Organisation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 271 23.2.1 Grand Lodges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 271 23.2.2 Recognition, amity and regularity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 271 23.3 Other degrees, orders and bodies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 272 23.4 Ritual and symbolism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 272 23.5 History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 273 23.5.1 Origins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 273


CONTENTS 23.5.2 North America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 274 23.5.3 Emergence of Continental Freemasonry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 274 23.5.4 Freemasonry and women . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 275 23.6 Anti-Masonry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 276 23.6.1 Religious opposition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 276 23.6.2 Political opposition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 277 23.7 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 279 23.8 Footnotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 279 23.9 External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 282 23.10Text and image sources, contributors, and licenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 284 23.10.1 Text . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 284 23.10.2 Images . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 302 23.10.3 Content license . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 312

Chapter 1

Portal:Astrology Art | Culture | Geography | History | Mathematics | People | Philosophy | Science | Society | Technology


Chapter 2

Wikipedia:WikiProject Occult 2.4 Scope & Goals


This project is a combined effort of interested Wikipedia editors to categorize, expand, and create articles relating to the occult. Please join our discussions on the project talk. WikiProject Occult covers topics, such as:

2.1 Welcome to WikiProject Occult!

Welcome to WikiProject Occult. This is a project to Magic (Magick) Various supernatural and mystical practices, such as folk magic or the form of cereimprove articles related to the Occult. This page and its monial magic popularized by Aleister Crowley; insubpages contain our suggestions and guidelines. If you cluded are forms of practice known as black and would like to help, please be bold and join in. white magic, brujeria, stregeria, hoodoo, and sorFor more information on WikiProjects, please cery. see Wikipedia:WikiProject and Wikipedia: WikiProject/Best practices. We now have a Portal Secret organizations Societies, groups, and organizaat Portal:Occult. tions that conceal their activities from outsiders. edit

Secret fraternal orders Those groups and organizations called “secret societies”and esoteric orders. Mystery religions Societies, groups, and organizations with a belief system based around a mystery.

2.2 Table of Contents edit

Occultic rituals and theurgy Rituals and rites which are a part of a ceremony, often composed of long, elaborate, and "hidden" set of actions.

2.3 Article Alerts & Cleanup

Occult terminology Terms describing practices encountered in esoteric prctices, including (but not limited to) supplication or prayers, conjurations, spells, incantations, and cantrips.

Recent Changes to Occult Articles Categories for discussion

Occultic knowledge Arcane knowledge, which includes knowledge that is esoteric or obscure or has deliber• 05 Sep 2016 – Category:Magical terms (talk · ately been veiled from common discussion. edit ·hist) was CfDed by CreativeName1 (t ·c); see Occult authors Writers whose works deal directly discussion rather than sociologically with occult topics, who Good article nominees present instructive or theoretical knowledge that has been“hidden”, or who take as their theme a spiritual • 16 Aug 2016 – Dion Fortune (talk ·edit ·hist) was or magical reality that extends beyond pure reason GA nominated by Midnightblueowl (t ·c); start and the physical sciences. discussion Occult books and pamphlets Books describing magiedit cal beliefs and practices, such as Grimoires, instructions in spell-craft, and Thelemite texts. 2

2.8. WIKIPEDIA:VERSION 1.0 EDITORIAL TEAM SELECTIONS Symbolism Representative symbols that carry interpreted meanings in addition to or apart from their use as literal representations of concepts; such symbols may be figurative or they may consist of symbolic meanings applied to common natural objcts, colors, scents, and numbers. These articles should all be included in the Category: Occult, or one of its subcategories. edit

2.5 Articles 2.6 Recognized content 2.6.1

Featured articles

Featured article candidates • Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn • Aleister Crowley • Ordo Templi Orientis


Good articles

• Thelema Good article candidates

2.7 Formerly recognized content 2.7.1

Former featured articles


Former good articles


Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team selections

These articles have been included in one or more release versions of Wikipedia. • Astrology


Chapter 3

Aleister Crowley Aleister Crowley (/ˈkroʊli/; born Edward Alexander Crowley; 12 October 1875 – 1 December 1947) was an English occultist, ceremonial magician, poet, painter, novelist, and mountaineer. He founded the religion of Thelema, identifying himself as the prophet entrusted with guiding humanity into the Æon of Horus in the early 20th century. A prolific writer, he published widely over the course of his life.

in the United States, where he took up painting and campaigned for the German war effort against Britain, later revealing that he had infiltrated the pro-German movement to assist the British intelligence services. In 1920 he established the Abbey of Thelema, a religious commune in Cefalù, Sicily where he lived with various followers. His libertine lifestyle led to denunciations in the British press, and the Italian government evicted him in 1923. He Born to a wealthy Plymouth Brethren family in Royal divided the following two decades between France, GerLeamington Spa, Warwickshire, Crowley rejected this many, and England, and continued to promote Thelema fundamentalist Christian faith to pursue an interest in until his death. Western esotericism. He was educated at the University Crowley gained widespread notoriety during his lifetime, of Cambridge, where he focused his attentions on moun- being a recreational drug experimenter, bisexual and an taineering and poetry, resulting in several publications. individualist social critic. He was denounced in the popSome biographers allege that here he was recruited into a ular press as “the wickedest man in the world”and a British intelligence agency, further suggesting that he re- Satanist. Crowley has remained a highly influential figmained a spy throughout his life. In 1898 he joined the ure over Western esotericism and the counter-culture, and esoteric Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, where he continues to be considered a prophet in Thelema. In was trained in ceremonial magic by Samuel Liddell Mac- 2002, a BBC poll ranked him as the seventy-third greatest Gregor Mathers and Allan Bennett. Moving to Boleskine Briton of all time. House by Loch Ness in Scotland, he went mountaineering in Mexico with Oscar Eckenstein, before studying Hindu and Buddhist practices in India. He married Rose Edith 3.1 Early life Kelly and in 1904 they honeymooned in Cairo, Egypt, where Crowley claimed to have been contacted by a supernatural entity named Aiwass, who provided him with 3.1.1 Youth: 1875–94 The Book of the Law, a sacred text that served as the basis for Thelema. Announcing the start of the Æon of Horus, Crowley was born as Edward Alexander Crowley at The Book declared that its followers should adhere to the 30 Clarendon Square in Royal Leamington Spa, War* code of“Do what thou wilt”and seek to align themselves wickshire, on 12 October 1875. [2] His father, Edward Crowley (1834–87), was trained as an engineer, but his with their Will through the practice of magick. share in a lucrative family brewing business, Crowley's After an unsuccessful attempt to climb Kanchenjunga Alton Ales, had allowed him to retire before his son and a visit to India and China, Crowley returned to was born.* [3] His mother, Emily Bertha Bishop (1848– Britain, where he attracted attention as a prolific author 1917), came from a Devonshire-Somerset family and had of poetry, novels, and occult literature. In 1907, he a strained relationship with her son; she described him as and George Cecil Jones co-founded a Thelemite order, “the Beast”, a name that he revelled in.* [4] The couple the A∴A∴, through which they propagated the religion. had been married at London's Kensington Registry Office After spending time in Algeria, in 1912 he was initiin November 1874,* [5] and were evangelical Christians. ated into another esoteric order, the German-based Ordo Crowley's father had been born a Quaker, but had conTempli Orientis (O.T.O.), rising to become the leader verted to the Exclusive Brethren, a faction of a Christian of its British branch, which he reformulated in accorfundamentalist group known as the Plymouth Brethren, dance with his Thelemite beliefs. Through the O.T.O., with Emily joining him upon marriage. Crowley's father Thelemite groups were established in Britain, Australia, was particularly devout, spending his time as a travelling and North America. Crowley spent the First World War preacher for the sect and reading a chapter from the Bible 4

3.1. EARLY LIFE to his wife and son after breakfast every day.* [6] Following the death of their baby daughter in 1880, in 1881 the Crowleys moved to Redhill, Surrey.* [7] At the age of 8, Crowley was sent to H.T. Habershon's evangelical Christian boarding school in Hastings, and then to Ebor preparatory school in Cambridge, run by the Reverend Henry d'Arcy Champney, whom Crowley considered a sadist.* [8] In March 1887, when Crowley was 11, his father died of tongue cancer. Crowley described this as a turning point in his life,* [9] and he always maintained an admiration of his father, describing him as “his hero and his friend”.* [10] Inheriting a third of his father's wealth, he began misbehaving at school and was harshly punished by Champney; Crowley's family removed him from the school when he developed albuminuria.* [11] He then attended Malvern College and Tonbridge School, both of which he despised and left after a few terms.* [12] He became increasingly sceptical regarding Christianity, pointing out inconsistencies in the Bible to his religious teachers,* [13] and went against the Christian morality of his upbringing by smoking, masturbating, and having sex with prostitutes from whom he contracted gonorrhea.* [14] Sent to live with a Brethren tutor in Eastbourne, he undertook chemistry courses at Eastbourne College. Crowley developed interests in chess, poetry, and mountain climbing, and in 1894 climbed Beachy Head before visiting the Alps and joining the Scottish Mountaineering Club. The following year he returned to the Bernese Alps, climbing the Eiger, Trift, Jungfrau, Mönch, and Wetterhorn.* [15]


Cambridge University: 1895–98

Having adopted the name of Aleister over Edward, in October 1895 Crowley began a three-year course at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was entered for the Moral Science Tripos studying philosophy. With approval from his personal tutor, he changed to English literature, which was not then part of the curriculum offered.* [16] Crowley spent much of his time at university engaged in his pastimes, becoming president of the chess club and practising the game for two hours a day; he briefly considered a professional career as a chess player.* [17] Crowley also embraced his love of literature and poetry, particularly the works of Richard Francis Burton and Percy Bysshe Shelley.* [18] Many of his own poems appeared in student publications such as The Granta, Cambridge Magazine, and Cantab.* [19] He continued his mountaineering, going on holiday to the Alps to climb every year from 1894 to 1898, often with his friend Oscar Eckenstein, and in 1897 he made the first ascent of the Mönch without a guide. These feats led to his recognition in the Alpine mountaineering community.* [20]

5 me. Edward did not seem to suit me and the diminutives Ted or Ned were even less appropriate. Alexander was too long and Sandy suggested tow hair and freckles. I had read in some book or other that the most favourable name for becoming famous was one consisting of a dactyl followed by a spondee, as at the end of a hexameter: like Jeremy Taylor. Aleister Crowley fulfilled these conditions and Aleister is the Gaelic form of Alexander. To adopt it would satisfy my romantic ideals. Aleister Crowley, on his name change.* [21] Crowley had his first significant mystical experience while on holiday in Stockholm in December 1896.* [22] Several biographers, including Lawrence Sutin, Richard Kaczynski, and Tobias Churton, believed that this was the result of Crowley's first same-sex sexual experience, which enabled him to recognise his bisexuality.* [23] At Cambridge, Crowley maintained a vigorous sex life, largely with female prostitutes, from one of whom he caught syphilis, but eventually he took part in same-sex activities, despite their illegality.* [24] In October 1897, Crowley met Herbert Charles Pollitt, president of the Cambridge University Footlights Dramatic Club, and the two entered into a relationship. They broke apart because Pollitt did not share Crowley's increasing interest in Western esotericism, a breakup that Crowley would regret for many years.* [25] In 1897, Crowley travelled to St Petersburg in Russia, later claiming that he was trying to learn Russian as he was considering a future diplomatic career there.* [26] Biographers Richard Spence and Tobias Churton suggested that Crowley had done so as an intelligence agent under the employ of the British secret service, speculating that he had been enlisted while at Cambridge.* [27] In October 1897, a brief illness triggered considerations of mortality and “the futility of all human endeavour”, and Crowley abandoned all thoughts of a diplomatic career in favour of pursuing an interest in the occult.* [28] In March 1898, he obtained A.E. Waite's The Book of Black Magic and of Pacts (1898), and then Karl von Eckartshausen's The Cloud Upon the Sanctuary (1896), furthering his occult interests.* [29] In 1898 Crowley privately published 100 copies of his poem Aceldama: A Place to Bury Strangers In, but it was not a particular success.* [30] That same year he published a string of other poems, including White Stains, a Decadent collection of erotic poetry that was printed abroad lest its publication be prohibited by the British authorities.* [31] In July 1898, he left Cambridge, not having taken any degree at all despite a “first class” showing in his 1897 exams and consistent“second class honours”results before that.* [32]

3.1.3 The Golden Dawn: 1898–99

For many years I had loathed being called Alick, partly because of the unpleasant sound and sight of the word, In August 1898, Crowley was in Zermatt, Switzerland, partly because it was the name by which my mother called where he met the chemist Julian L. Baker, and the two


CHAPTER 3. ALEISTER CROWLEY continued writing poetry, publishing Jezebel and Other Tragic Poems, Tales of Archais, Songs of the Spirit, Appeal to the American Republic, and Jephthah in 1898–99; most gained mixed reviews from literary critics, although Jephthah was considered a particular critical success.* [40]

Crowley in Golden Dawn garb

began discussing their common interest in alchemy.* [33] Back in London, Baker introduced Crowley to George Cecil Jones, Baker's brother in-law, and a fellow member of the occult society known as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, which had been founded in 1888.* [34] Crowley was initiated into the Outer Order of the Golden Dawn on 18 November 1898 by the group's leader, Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers. The ceremony took place in the Golden Dawn's Isis-Urania Temple held at London's Mark Masons Hall, where Crowley took the magical motto and name “Frater Perdurabo” , which he interpreted as “I shall endure to the end” .* [35] Biographers Richard Spence and Tobias Churton have suggested that Crowley joined the Order under the command of the British secret services to monitor the activities of Mathers, who was known to be a Carlist.* [36] Crowley moved into his own luxury flat at 67–69 Chancery Lane and soon invited a senior Golden Dawn member, Allan Bennett, to live with him as his personal magical tutor. Bennett taught Crowley more about ceremonial magic and the ritual use of drugs, and together they performed the rituals of the Goetia,* [37] until Bennett left for South Asia to study Buddhism.* [38] In November 1899, Crowley purchased Boleskine House in Foyers on the shore of Loch Ness in Scotland. He developed a love of Scottish culture, describing himself as the “Laird of Boleskine”, and took to wearing traditional highland dress, even during visits to London.* [39] He

Crowley soon progressed through the lower grades of the Golden Dawn, and was ready to enter the group's inner Second Order.* [41] He was unpopular in the group; his bisexuality and libertine lifestyle had gained him a bad reputation, and he had developed feuds with some of the members, including W.B. Yeats.* [42] When the Golden Dawn's London lodge refused to initiate Crowley into the Second Order, he visited Mathers in Paris, who personally admitted him into the Adeptus Minor Grade.* [43] A schism had developed between Mathers and the London members of the Golden Dawn, who were unhappy with his autocratic rule.* [44] Acting under Mathers' orders, Crowley – with the help of his mistress and fellow initiate Elaine Simpson – attempted to seize the Vault of the Adepts, a temple space at 36 Blythe Road in West Kensington, from the London lodge members. When the case was taken to court, the judge ruled in favour of the London lodge, as they had paid for the space's rent, leaving both Crowley and Mathers isolated from the group.* [45] Spence suggested that the entire scenario was part of an intelligence operation to undermine Mathers' authority.* [46]

3.1.4 Mexico, India, Paris, and marriage: 1900–03 In 1900, Crowley travelled to Mexico via the United States, settling in Mexico City and taking a local woman as his mistress. Developing a love of the country, he continued experimenting with ceremonial magic, working with John Dee's Enochian invocations. He later claimed to have been initiated into Freemasonry while there, and he wrote a play based on Richard Wagner's Tannhäuser as well as a series of poems, published as Oracles (1905). Eckenstein joined him later that year, and together they climbed several mountains, including Iztaccihuatl, Popocatepetl, and Colima, the latter of which they had to abandon owing to a volcanic eruption.* [47] Spence has suggested that the purpose of the trip might have been to explore Mexican oil prospects for British intelligence.* [48] Leaving Mexico, Crowley headed to San Francisco before sailing for Hawaii aboard the Nippon Maru. On the ship he had a brief affair with a married woman named Mary Alice Rogers; saying he had fallen in love with her, he wrote a series of poems about the romance, published as Alice: An Adultery (1903).* [49] Briefly stopping in Japan and Hong Kong, Crowley reached Ceylon, where he met with Allan Bennett, who was there studying Shaivism. The pair spent some time in Kandy before Bennett decided to become a Buddhist


7 as well as authoring the religious satire Why Jesus Wept (1904).* [55]

3.2 Developing Thelema 3.2.1 Egypt and The Book of the Law: 1904

Crowley during the K2 Expedition

Had! The manifestation of Nuit. The unveiling of the company of heaven. Every man and woman is a star. Every number is infinite; there is no difference. Help me, o warrior lord of Thebes, in my unveiling before the Children of men! The opening lines of The Book of the Law.

monk in the Theravada tradition, travelling to Burma to do so.* [50] Crowley decided to tour India, devoting himself to the Hindu practice of raja yoga, from which he claimed to have achieved the spiritual state of dhyana. He spent much of this time studying at the Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madura. At this time he also composed and also wrote poetry which was published as The Sword of Song (1904). He contracted malaria, and had to recuperate from the disease in Calcutta and Rangoon.* [51] In 1902, he was joined in India by Eckenstein and several other mountaineers: Guy Knowles, H. Pfannl, V. Wesseley, and Jules Jacot-Guillarmod. Together the Eckenstein-Crowley expedition attempted K2, which had never been climbed. On the journey, Crowley was afflicted with influenza, malaria, and snow blindness, and other expedition members were also struck with illness. They reached an altitude of 20,000 feet (6,100 m) before turning back.* [52] Having arrived in Paris in November 1902 he socialised with friend and future brother-in-law, the painter Gerald Kelly, and through him became a fixture of the Parisian arts scene. Whilst there, Crowley authored a series of poems on the work of an acquaintance, the sculptor Auguste Rodin. These poems were later published as Rodin in Rime (1907).* [53] One of those frequenting this milieu was W. Somerset Maugham, who after briefly meeting Crowley later used him as a model for the character of Oliver Haddo in his novel The Magician (1908).* [54] Returning to Boleskine in April 1903, in August Crowley wed Gerald's sister Rose Edith Kelly in a “marriage of convenience”to prevent her entering an arranged marriage; the marriage appalled the Kelly family and damaged his friendship with Gerald. Heading on a honeymoon to Paris, Cairo, and then Ceylon, Crowley fell in love with Rose and worked to prove his affections. While on his honeymoon, he wrote her a series of love poems, published as Rosa Mundi and other Love Songs (1906),

In February 1904, Crowley and Rose arrived in Cairo. Claiming to be a prince and princess, they rented an apartment in which Crowley set up a temple room and began invoking ancient Egyptian deities, while studying Islamic mysticism and Arabic.* [56] According to Crowley's later account, Rose regularly became delirious and informed him “they are waiting for you”. On 18 March, she explained that “they”were the god Horus, and on 20 March proclaimed that “the Equinox of the Gods has come”. She led him to a nearby museum, where she showed him a seventh-century BCE mortuary stele known as the Stele of Ankh-ef-en-Khonsu; Crowley thought it important that the exhibit's number was 666, the number of the beast in Christian belief, and in later years termed the artefact the“Stele of Revealing.”* [57] According to Crowley's later statements, on 8 April he heard a disembodied voice that claimed to be that of Aiwass, the messenger of Horus, or Hoor-Paar-Kraat. Crowley said that he wrote down everything the voice told him over the course of the next three days, and titled it Liber L vel Legis or The Book of the Law.* [58] The book proclaimed that humanity was entering a new Aeon, and that Crowley would serve as its prophet. It stated that a supreme moral law was to be introduced in this Aeon, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law,”and that people should learn to live in tune with their Will. This book, and the philosophy that it espoused, became the cornerstone of Crowley's religion, Thelema.* [59] Crowley said that at the time he had been unsure what to do with The Book of the Law. Often resenting it, he said that he ignored the instructions which the text commanded him to perform, which included taking the Stele of Revealing from the museum, fortifying his own island, and translating the book into all the world's languages. According to his account, he instead sent typescripts of the work to several occultists he knew, putting the manuscript away and ignoring it.* [60]




Kangchenjunga and China: 1905–06 China was orchestrated as part of a British intelligence

Returning to Boleskine, Crowley came to believe that Mathers had begun using magic against him, and the relationship between the two broke down.* [61] On 28 July 1905, Rose gave birth to Crowley's first child, a daughter named Lilith, with Crowley authoring the pornographic Snowdrops From a Curate's Garden to entertain his recuperating wife.* [62] He also founded a publishing company through which to publish his poetry, naming it the Society for the Propagation of Religious Truth in parody of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. Among its first publications were Crowley's Collected Works, edited by Ivor Back.* [63] His poetry often received strong reviews (either positive or negative), but never sold well. In an attempt to gain more publicity, he issued a reward of £100 for the best essay on his work. The winner of this was J. F. C. Fuller, a British Army officer and military historian, whose essay, The Star in the West (1907), heralded Crowley's poetry as some of the greatest ever written.* [64]

scheme to monitor the region's opium trade.* [68] Crowley smoked opium throughout the journey, which took the family from Tengyueh through to Yungchang, Tali, Yunnanfu, and then Hanoi. On the way he spent much time on spiritual and magical work, reciting the “Bornless Ritual”, an invocation to his Holy Guardian Angel, on a daily basis.* [69] While Rose and Lilith returned to Europe, Crowley headed to Shanghai to meet old friend Elaine Simpson, who was fascinated by The Book of the Law; together they performed rituals in an attempt to contact Aiwass. Crowley then sailed to Japan and Canada, before continuing to New York City, where he unsuccessfully solicited support for a second expedition up Kangchenjunga.* [70] Upon arrival in Britain, Crowley learned that his daughter Lilith had died of typhoid in Rangoon, something he later blamed on Rose's increasing alcoholism. Under emotional distress, his health began to suffer, and he underwent a series of surgical operations.* [71] He began shortlived romances with actress Vera “Lola”Neville (née Snepp)* [72] and author Ada Leverson,* [73] while Rose gave birth to Crowley's second daughter, Lola Zaza, in February 1907.* [74]

3.2.3 The A∴A∴ and the Holy Books of Thelema: 1907–09

Kangchenjunga, as seen from Darjeeling

Crowley decided to climb Kangchenjunga in the Himalayas of Nepal, widely recognised as the world's most treacherous mountain. Assembling a team consisting of Jacot-Guillarmod, Charles Adolphe Reymond, Alexis Pache, and Alcesti C. Rigo de Righi, the expedition was marred by much argument between Crowley and the others, who thought that he was reckless. They eventually mutinied against Crowley's control, with the other climbers heading back down the mountain as nightfall approached despite Crowley's warnings that it was too dangerous. Subsequently, Pache and several porters were killed in an accident, something for which Crowley was widely blamed by the mountaineering community.* [65] Spending time in Moharbhanj, where he took part in big game hunting and wrote the homoerotic work The Scented Garden, Crowley met up with Rose and Lilith in Calcutta before being forced to leave India after shooting dead a native man who tried to mug him.* [66] Briefly visiting Bennett in Burma, Crowley and his family decided to tour Southern China, hiring porters and a nanny for the purpose.* [67] Spence has suggested that this trip to

With his old mentor George Cecil Jones, Crowley continued performing the Abramelin rituals at the Ashdown Park Hotel in Coulsdon, Surrey. Crowley claimed that in doing so he attained samadhi, or union with Godhead, thereby marking a turning point in his life.* [75] Making heavy use of hashish during these rituals, he wrote an essay on “The Psychology of Hashish”(1909) in which he championed the drug as an aid to mysticism.* [76] He also claimed to have been contacted once again by Aiwass in late October and November 1907, adding that Aiwass dictated two further texts to him,“Liber VII”and “Liber Cordis Cincti Serpente”, both of which were later classified in the corpus of Holy Books of Thelema.* [77] Crowley wrote down more Thelemic Holy Books during the last two months of the year, including“Liber LXVI” , “Liber Arcanorum”, “Liber Porta Lucis, Sub Figura X”,“Liber Tau”,“Liber Trigrammaton”and“Liber DCCCXIII vel Ararita”, which he again claimed to have received from a preternatural source.* [78] Crowley stated that in June 1909, when the manuscript of The Book of the Law was rediscovered at Boleskine, he developed the opinion that Thelema represented objective truth.* [79] Crowley's inheritance was running out.* [80] Trying to earn money, he was hired by George Montagu Bennett, the Earl of Tankerville, to help protect him from witchcraft; recognising Bennett's paranoia as being based in his cocaine addiction, Crowley took him on holiday to France and Morocco to recuperate.* [81] In 1907, he also

3.2. DEVELOPING THELEMA began taking in paying students, whom he instructed in occult and magical practice.* [82] Victor Neuburg, whom Crowley met in February 1907, became his sexual partner and closest disciple; in 1908 the pair toured northern Spain before heading to Tangier, Morocco.* [83] The following year Neuburg stayed at Boleskine, where he and Crowley engaged in sadomasochism.* [84] Crowley continued to write prolifically, producing such works of poetry as Ambergris, Clouds Without Water, and Konx Om Pax,* [85] as well as his first attempt at an autobiography, The World's Tragedy.* [86] Recognising the popularity of short horror stories, Crowley wrote his own, some of which were published,* [87] and he also published several articles in Vanity Fair, a magazine edited by his friend Frank Harris.* [88] He also wrote Liber 777, a book of magical and Qabalistic correspondences that borrowed from Mathers and Bennett.* [89] Into my loneliness comes -The sound of a flute in dim groves that haunt the uttermost hills. Even from the brave river they reach to the edge of the wilderness. And I behold Pan. The opening lines of Liber VII (1907), the first of the Holy Books of Thelema to be revealed to Crowley after The Book of the Law.* [90]

9 Quran on a daily basis. During the trip he invoked the thirty aethyrs of Enochian magic, with Neuburg recording the results, later published in The Equinox as The Vision and the Voice. Following a mountaintop sex magic ritual, Crowley also performed an invocation to the demon Choronzon involving blood sacrifice, considering the results to be a watershed in his magical career.* [95] Returning to London in January 1910, Crowley found that Mathers was suing him for publishing Golden Dawn secrets in The Equinox; the court found in favour of Crowley. The case was widely reported in the press, with Crowley gaining wider fame.* [96] Crowley enjoyed this, and played up to the sensationalist stereotype of being a Satanist and advocate of human sacrifice, despite being neither.* [97] The publicity attracted new members to the A∴A∴, among them Frank Bennett, James Bayley, Herbert Close, and James Windram.* [98] The Australian violinist Leila Waddell soon became Crowley's lover.* [99] Deciding to expand his teachings to a wider audience, Crowley developed the Rites of Artemis, a public performance of magic and symbolism featuring A∴A∴ members personifying various deities. It was first performed at the A∴A∴ headquarters, with attendees given a fruit punch containing peyote to enhance their experience. Various members of the press attended, and reported largely positively on it. In October and November 1910, Crowley decided to stage something similar, the Rites of Eleusis, at Caxton Hall, Westminster; this time press reviews were mixed.* [100] Crowley came under particular criticism from West de Wend Fenton, editor of The Looking Glass newspaper, who called him “one of the most blasphemous and cold-blooded villains of modern times”.* [101] Fenton's articles suggested that Crowley and Jones were involved in homosexual activity; Crowley did not mind, but Jones unsuccessfully sued for libel.* [102] Fuller broke off his friendship and involvement with Crowley over the scandal,* [103] and Crowley and Neuburg returned to Algeria for further magical workings.* [104]

In November 1907, Crowley and Jones decided to found an occult order to act as a successor to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, being aided in doing so by Fuller. The result was the A∴A∴. The group's headquarters and temple were situated at 124 Victoria Street in central London, and their rites borrowed much from those of the Golden Dawn, but with an added Thelemic basis.* [91] Its earliest members included solicitor Richard Noel Warren, artist Austin Osman Spare, Horace Sheridan-Bickers, author George Raffalovich, Francis Henry Everard Joseph Feilding, engineer Herbert Edward Inman, Kenneth Ward, and Charles Stansfeld Jones.* [92] In March 1909, Crowley began production of a biannual periodical titled The Equinox. He billed this periodical, which was to become the “Official Organ” The Equinox continued publishing, and various books of of the A∴A∴, as “The Review of Scientific Illuminism” literature and poetry were also published under its imprint, like Crowley's Ambergris, The Winged Beetle, and .* [93] The Scented Garden, as well as Neuburg's The Triumph Crowley had become increasingly frustrated with Rose's of Pan and Ethel Archer's The Whirlpool.* [105] In 1911, alcoholism, and in November 1909 he divorced her on the Crowley and Waddell holidayed in Montigny-sur-Loing, grounds of his own adultery. Lola was entrusted to Rose's where he wrote prolifically, producing poems, short stocare; the couple remained friends and Rose continued to ries, plays, and 19 works on magic and mysticism, inlive at Boleskine. Her alcoholism worsened, and as a re- cluding the two final Holy Books of Thelema.* [106] sult she was institutionalised in September 1911.* [94] In Paris, he met Mary Desti, who became his next “Scarlet Woman”, with the two undertaking magical workings in St. Moritz; Crowley believed that one 3.2.4 Algeria and the Rites of Eleusis: of the Secret Chiefs, Ab-ul-Diz, was speaking through 1909–11 her.* [107] Based on Desti's statements when in trance, Crowley wrote the two-volume Book 4 (1912–13) and at In November 1909, Crowley and Neuburg travelled to Al- the time developed the spelling“magick”in reference to geria, touring the desert from El Arba to Aumale, Bou the paranormal phenomenon as a means of distinguishing Saâda, and then Dā'leh Addin, with Crowley reciting the



it from the stage magic of illusionists.* [108]


where Crowley had a sadomasochistic relationship with the Hungarian Anny Ringler.* [112] In Moscow, Crowley continued to write plays and poetry, including "Hymn to Ordo Templi Orientis and the Paris Pan", and the Gnostic Mass, a Thelemic ritual that became a key part of O.T.O. liturgy.* [113] Churton sugWorking: 1912–14 gested that Crowley had travelled to Moscow on the orders of British intelligence to spy on revolutionary elements in the city.* [114] In January 1914 Crowley and Neuburg settled in to an apartment in Paris, where the former was involved in the controversy surrounding Jacob Epstein's new monument to Oscar Wilde.* [115] Together Crowley and Neuburg performed the six-week “Paris Working”, a period of intense ritual involving strong drug use in which they invoked the gods Mercury and Jupiter. As part of the ritual, the couple performed acts of sex magic together, at times being joined by journalist Walter Duranty. Inspired by the results of the Working, Crowley authored Liber Agapé, a treatise on sex magic.* [116] Following the Paris Working, Neuburg began to distance himself from Crowley, resulting in an argument in which Crowley cursed him.* [117]

3.2.6 United States: 1914–19

Crowley in ceremonial garb, 1912

In early 1912, Crowley published The Book of Lies, a work of mysticism that biographer Lawrence Sutin described as “his greatest success in merging his talents as poet, scholar, and magus”.* [109] The German occultist Theodor Reuss later accused him of publishing some of the secrets of his own occult order, the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.), within The Book. Crowley convinced Reuss that the similarities were coincidental, and the two became friends. Reuss appointed Crowley as head of the O.T.O's British branch, the Mysteria Mystica Maxima (MMM), and at a ceremony in Berlin Crowley adopted the magical name of Baphomet and was proclaimed“X° Supreme Rex and Sovereign Grand Master General of Ireland, Iona, and all the Britons”.* [110] With Reuss' permission, Crowley set about advertising the MMM and re-writing many O.T.O. rituals, which were then based largely on Freemasonry; his incorporation of Thelemite elements proved controversial in the group. Fascinated by the O.T.O's emphasis on sex magic, Crowley devised a magical working based on anal sex and incorporated it into the syllabus for those O.T.O. members who had been initiated into the eleventh degree. * [111] In March 1913 Crowley acted as producer for The Ragged Ragtime Girls, a group of female violinists led by Waddell, as they performed at London's Old Tivoli theatre. They subsequently performed in Moscow for six weeks,

By 1914 Crowley was living a hand-to-mouth existence, relying largely on donations from A∴A∴ members and dues payments made to O.T.O.* [118] In May he transferred ownership of Boleskine House to the MMM for financial reasons,* [119] and in July he went mountaineering in the Swiss Alps. During this time the First World War broke out.* [120] After recuperating from a bout of phlebitis, Crowley set sail for the United States aboard the RMS Lusitania in October 1914.* [121] Arriving in New York City, he moved into a hotel and began earning money writing for the American edition of Vanity Fair and undertaking freelance work for the famed astrologer Evangeline Adams.* [122] In the city, he continued experimenting with sex magic, through the use of masturbation, female prostitutes, and male clients of a Turkish bathhouse; all of these encounters were documented in his diaries.* [123] Professing to be of Irish ancestry and a supporter of Irish independence from Great Britain, Crowley began to espouse support for Germany in their war against Britain. He became involved in New York's pro-German movement, and in January 1915 German spy George Sylvester Viereck employed him as a writer for his propagandist paper, The Fatherland, which was dedicated to keeping the US neutral in the conflict.* [125] In later years, detractors denounced Crowley as a traitor to Britain for this action.* [126] In reality, Crowley was a double agent, working for the British intelligence services to infiltrate and undermine Germany's operation in New York. Many of his articles in The Fatherland were hyperbolic, for instance comparing Kaiser Wilhelm II to Jesus Christ; in July 1915 he orchestrated a publicity stunt – reported on by The New York Times – in which he declared indepen-


11 and a work of literary criticism, The Gospel According to Bernard Shaw.* [131] In December he moved to New Orleans, his favourite US city, before spending February 1917 with evangelical Christian relatives in Titusville, Florida.* [132] Returning to New York, he moved in with artist and A∴A∴ member Leon Engers Kennedy, in May learning of his mother's death.* [133] After the collapse of The Fatherland, Crowley continued his association with Viereck, who appointed him contributing editor of arts journal The International. Crowley used it to promote Thelema, but it soon ceased publication.* [134] He then moved to the studio apartment of Roddie Minor, who became his partner and Scarlet Woman. Through their rituals, Crowley believed that they were contacted by a preternatural entity named Alamantrah. The relationship soon ended.* [135]

In 1918, Crowley went on a magical retreat in the wilderness of Esopus Island on the Hudson River. Here, he began a translation of the Tao Te Ching, painted Thelemic slogans on the riverside cliffs, and – he later claimed – experienced past life memories of being Ge Xuan, Pope Alexander VI, Alessandro Cagliostro, and Eliphas Levi.* [136] Back in New York, he moved to Greenwich Village, where he took Leah Hirsig as his lover and next Scarlet Woman.* [137] He took up painting as a hobby, exhibiting his work at the Greenwich Village LibMay Morn, one of Crowley's paintings from his time in the US eral Club and attracting the attention of the New York He explained it thus:“The painting represents the dawning of the Evening World.* [138] With the financial assistance of day following a witches' celebration as described in Faust. The sympathetic Freemasons, Crowley revived The Equinox witch is hanged, as she deserves, and the satyr looks out from with the first issue of volume III, known as “The Blue * behind a tree.” [124] Equinox”.* [139] He spent mid-1919 on a climbing holiday in Montauk before returning to London in Decem* dence for Ireland in front of the Statue of Liberty; the real ber. [140] intention was to make the German lobby appear ridiculous in the eyes of the American public.* [127] It has been argued that he encouraged the German Navy to destroy 3.2.7 Abbey of Thelema: 1920–23 the Lusitania, informing them that it would ensure the US stayed out of the war, while in reality hoping that it would Now destitute and back in London, Crowley came unbring the US into the war on Britain's side.* [128] der attack from the tabloid John Bull, which labelled him Crowley entered into a relationship with Jeanne Robert traitorous“scum”for his work with the German war efwork urged Foster, with whom he toured the West Coast. In fort; several friends aware of his intelligence * him to sue, but he decided not to. [141] When he was Vancouver, headquarters of the North American O.T.O., suffering from asthma, a doctor prescribed him heroin, he met with Charles Stansfeld Jones and Wilfred Talbot * Smith to discuss the propagation of Thelema on the con- to which he soon became addicted. [142] In January tinent. In Detroit he experimented with anhalonium at 1920, he moved to Paris, renting a house in Fontainebleau Parke-Davis, then visited Seattle, San Francisco, Santa with Leah Hirsig; they were soon joined in a ménage Cruz, Los Angeles, San Diego, Tijuana, and the Grand à trois by Ninette Shumway, and also *by Leah's newCanyon, before returning to New York.* [129] There born daughter Anne “Poupée”Leah. [143] Crowley he befriended Ananda Coomaraswamy and his wife Al- had ideas of forming a community of Thelemites, which ice Richardson; Crowley and Richardson performed sex he called the Abbey of Thelema after the Abbaye de magic in April 1916, following which she became preg- Thélème in François Rabelais' satire Gargantua and Pannant and then miscarried.* [130] Later that year he took tagruel. After consulting the I Ching, he chose Cefalù (on a “magical retirement”to a cabin by Lake Pasquaney Sicily, Italy) as a location, and after arriving there, bethe old Villa Santa Barbara as his Abbey on owned by Evangeline Adams. There, he made heavy gan renting * [144] 2 April. use of drugs and undertook a ritual after which he proclaimed himself“Master Therion”. He also wrote several Moving to the commune with Hirsig, Shumway, and their short stories based on J.G. Frazer's The Golden Bough children Hansi, Howard, and Poupée, Crowley described


The dilapidated Abbey of Thelema in 2004

the scenario as “perfectly happy ... my idea of heaven.” * [145] They wore robes, and performed rituals to the sun god Ra at set times during the day, also occasionally performing the Gnostic Mass; the rest of the day they were left to follow their own interests.* [146] Undertaking widespread correspondences, Crowley continued to paint, wrote a commentary on The Book of the Law, and revised the third part of Book 4.* [147] He offered a libertine education for the children, allowing them to play all day and witness acts of sex magic.* [148] He occasionally travelled to Palermo to visit rent boys and buy supplies, including drugs; his heroin addiction came to dominate his life, and cocaine began to erode his nasal cavity.* [149] There was no cleaning rota, and wild dogs and cats wandered throughout the building, which soon became unsanitary.* [150] Poupée died in October 1920, and Ninette gave birth to a daughter, Astarte Lulu Panthea, soon afterwards.* [151]

CHAPTER 3. ALEISTER CROWLEY required to cut themselves with razors every time they used the pronoun“I”. Loveday drank from a local polluted stream, soon developing a liver infection resulting in his death in February 1923. Returning to London, May told her story to the press.* [157] John Bull proclaimed Crowley“the wickedest man in the world”and“a man we'd like to hang”, and although Crowley deemed many of their accusations against him to be slanderous, he was unable to afford the legal fees to sue them. As a result, John Bull continued its attack, with its stories being repeated in newspapers throughout Europe and in North America.* [158] The Fascist government of Benito Mussolini learned of Crowley's activities and in April 1923 he was given a deportation notice forcing him to leave Italy; without him, the Abbey closed.* [159]

3.3 Later life 3.3.1 Tunisia, Paris, and London: 1923– 29 Crowley and Hirsig went to Tunis, where, dogged by continuing poor health, he unsuccessfully tried again to give up heroin,* [160] and began writing what he termed his "autohagiography", The Confessions of Aleister Crowley.* [161] They were joined in Tunis by the Thelemite Norman Mudd, who became Crowley's public relations consultant.* [162] Employing a local boy, Mohammad ben Brahim, as his servant, Crowley went with him on a retreat to Nefta, where they performed sex magic together.* [163] In January 1924, Crowley travelled to Nice, France, where he met with Frank Harris, underwent a series of nasal operations,* [164] and visited the Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man, and had a positive opinion of its founder, George Gurdjieff.* [165] Destitute, he took on a wealthy student, Alexander Zu Zolar,* [166] before taking on another American follower, Dorothy Olsen. Crowley took Olsen back to Tunisia for a magical retreat in Nefta, where he also wrote To Man (1924), a declaration of his own status as a prophet entrusted with bringing Thelema to humanity.* [167] After spending the winter in Paris, in early 1925 Crowley and Olsen returned to Tunis, where he wrote The Heart of the Master (1938) as an account of a vision he experienced in a trance.* [168] In March Olsen became pregnant, and Hirsig was called to take care of her; she miscarried, following which Crowley took Olsen back to France. Hirsig later distanced herself from Crowley, who then denounced her.* [169]

New followers continued to arrive at the Abbey to be taught by Crowley. Among them was film star Jane Wolfe, who arrived in July 1920, where she was initiated into the A∴A∴ and became Crowley's secretary.* [152] Another was Cecil Frederick Russell, who often argued with Crowley, disliking the same-sex sexual magic that he was required to perform, and left after a year.* [153] More conducive was the Australian Thelemite Frank Bennett, who also spent several months at the Abbey.* [154] In February 1922, Crowley returned to Paris for a retreat in an unsuccessful attempt to kick his heroin addiction.* [155] He then went to London in search of money, where he published articles in The English Review criticising the Dangerous Drugs Act 1920 and wrote a novel, Diary of a Drug Fiend, completed in July. On publication, it received mixed reviews; he was lambasted by the Sunday Express, which called for its burning and used its According to Crowley, Reuss had named him head of influence to prevent further reprints.* [156] the O.T.O. upon his death, but this was challenged by a Subsequently, a young Thelemite named Raoul Loveday leader of the German O.T.O., Heinrich Tränker. Tränker moved to the Abbey with his wife Betty May; while Love- called the Hohenleuben Conference in Thuringia, Gerday was devoted to Crowley, May detested him and life many, which Crowley attended. There, prominent memat the commune. She later said that Loveday was made bers like Karl Germer and Martha Küntzel championed to drink the blood of a sacrificed cat, and that they were Crowley's leadership, but other key figures like Albin

3.3. LATER LIFE Grau, Oskar Hopfer, and Henri Birven backed Tränker by opposing it, resulting in a split in the O.T.O.* [170] Moving to Paris, where he broke with Olsen in 1926, Crowley went through a large number of lovers over the following years, with whom he experimented in sex magic.* [171] Throughout, he was dogged by poor health, largely caused by his heroin and cocaine addictions.* [172] In 1928, Crowley was introduced to young Englishman Israel Regardie, who embraced Thelema and became Crowley's secretary for the next three years.* [173] That year, Crowley also met Gerald Yorke, who began organising Crowley's finances but never became a Thelemite.* [174] He also befriended Thomas Driberg; Driberg did not accept Thelema either.* [175] It was here that Crowley also published one of his most significant works, Magick in Theory and Practice, which received little attention at the time.* [176] In December 1929 Crowley met the Nicaraguan Maria Teresa Sanchez.* [177] Crowley was deported from France by the authorities, who disliked his reputation and feared that he was a German agent.* [178] So that she could join him in Britain, Crowley married Sanchez in August 1929.* [179] Now based in London, Mandrake Press agreed to publish his autobiography in a limited edition six-volume set, also publishing his novel Moonchild and book of short stories The Stratagem. Mandrake went into liquidation in November 1930, before the entirety of Crowley's Confessions could be published.* [180] Mandrake's owner P.R. Stephenson meanwhile wrote The Legend of Aleister Crowley, an analysis of the media coverage surrounding him.* [181]


Berlin and London: 1930–38

In April 1930, Crowley moved to Berlin, where he took Hanni Jaegar as his magical partner; the relationship was troubled.* [182] In September he went to Lisbon in Portugal to meet the poet Fernando Pessoa. There, he decided to fake his own death, doing so with Pessoa's help at the Boca do Inferno rock formation.* [183] He then returned to Berlin, where he reappeared three weeks later at the opening of his art exhibition at the Gallery NeumannNierendorf. Crowley's paintings fitted with the fashion for German Expressionism; few of them sold, but the press reports were largely favourable.* [184] In August 1931, he took Bertha Busch as his new lover; they had a violent relationship, and often physically assaulted one another.* [185] He continued to have affairs with both men and women while in the city,* [186] and met with famous people like Aldous Huxley and Alfred Adler.* [187] After befriending him, in January 1932 he took the communist Gerald Hamilton as a lodger, through whom he was introduced to many figures within the Berlin far left; it is possible that he was operating as a spy for British intelligence at this time, monitoring the communist movement.* [188]

13 tion of the law in one capacity or another. I thought that I knew of every conceivable form of wickedness. I thought that everything which was vicious and bad had been produced at one time or another before me. I have learnt in this case that we can always learn something more if we live long enough. I have never heard such dreadful, horrible, blasphemous and abominable stuff as that which has been produced by the man (Crowley) who describes himself to you as the greatest living poet. Justice Swift, in Crowley's libel case.* [189]* [190] Crowley left Busch and returned to London,* [191] where he took Pearl Brooksmith as his new Scarlet Woman.* [192] Undergoing further nasal surgery, it was here in 1932 that he was invited to be guest of honour at Foyles' Literary Luncheon, also being invited by Harry Price to speak at the National Laboratory of Psychical Research.* [193] In need of money, he launched a series of court cases against people whom he believed had libelled him, some of which proved successful. He gained much publicity for his lawsuit against Constable and Co for publishing Nina Hamnett's Laughing Torso (1932) – a book he thought libelled him – but lost the case.* [194] The court case added to Crowley's financial problems, and in February 1935 he was declared bankrupt. During the hearing, it was revealed that Crowley had been spending three times his income for several years.* [195] Crowley developed a platonic friendship with Deidre Patricia O'Doherty; she offered to bear his child, who was born in May 1937. Named Randall Gair, Crowley nicknamed him Aleister Atatürk.* [196] Crowley continued to socialise with friends, holding curry parties in which he cooked particularly spicy food for them.* [197] In 1936, he published his first book in six years, The Equinox of the Gods, which contained a facsimile of The Book of the Law and was considered to be volume III, number 3, of The Equinox periodical. The work sold well, resulting in a second print run.* [198] In 1937 he gave a series of public lectures on yoga in Soho.* [199] Crowley was now living largely off contributions supplied by the O.T.O.'s Agape Lodge in California, led by rocket scientist John Whiteside“Jack”Parsons.* [200] Crowley was intrigued by the rise of Nazism in Germany, and influenced by his friend Martha Küntzel believed that Adolf Hitler might convert to Thelema; when the Nazis abolished the German O.T.O. and imprisoned Germer, who fled to the US, Crowley then lambasted Hitler as a black magician.* [201]

3.3.3 Second World War and death: 1939– 47

When the Second World War broke out, Crowley wrote to the Naval Intelligence Division offering his services, but they declined. He associated with a variety of figures in Britain's intelligence community at the time, inI have been over forty years engaged in the administra- cluding Dennis Wheatley, Roald Dahl, Ian Fleming, and


Crowley specified that Grady McMurtry succeed his chosen successor as Head of O.T.O., Karl Germer.

CHAPTER 3. ALEISTER CROWLEY troduced to John Symonds, whom he appointed to be his literary executor; Symonds thought little of Crowley, later publishing negative biographies of him.* [216] Corresponding with the illusionist Arnold Crowther, it was through him that Crowley was introduced to Gerald Gardner, the future founder of Gardnerian Wicca. They became friends, with Crowley authorising Gardner to revive Britain's ailing O.T.O.* [217] Another visitor was Eliza Marian Butler, who interviewed Crowley for her book The Myth of the Magus.* [218] Other friends and family also spent time with him, among them Doherty and Crowley's son Aleister Atatürk.* [219] On 1 December 1947, Crowley died at Netherwood of chronic bronchitis aggravated by pleurisy and myocardial degeneration, aged 72.* [220] His funeral was held at a Brighton crematorium on 5 December; about a dozen people attended, and Louis Wilkinson read excerpts from the Gnostic Mass, The Book of the Law, and“Hymn to Pan”. The funeral generated press controversy, and was labelled a Black Mass by the tabloids. Crowley's ashes were sent to Germer in the US, who buried them in his garden in Hampton, New Jersey.* [221]

3.4 Beliefs and thought

Maxwell Knight,* [202] and claimed to have been behind the "V for Victory" sign first used by the BBC; this has never been proven.* [203] In 1940, his asthma worsened, and with his German-produced medication unavailable, he returned to using heroin, once again becoming addicted.* [204] As the Blitz hit London, Crowley relocated to Torquay, where he was briefly hospitalised with asthma, and entertained himself with visits to the local chess club.* [205] Tiring of Torquay, he returned to London, where he was visited by American Thelemite Grady McMurtry, to whom Crowley awarded the title of “Hymenaeus Alpha”.* [206] He stipulated that though Germer would be his immediate successor, McMurty should succeed Germer as head of the O.T.O. after the latter's death.* [207] With O.T.O. initiate Lady Frieda Harris, Crowley developed plans to produce a tarot card set, designed by him and painted by Harris. Accompanying this was a book, published in a limited edition as The Book of Thoth by Chiswick Press in 1944.* [208] To aid the war effort, he wrote a proclamation on the rights of humanity, Liber Oz, and a poem for the liberation of France, Le Gauloise.* [209] Crowley's final publication during his lifetime was a book of poetry, Olla: An Anthology of Sixty Aleister Crowley's rendition of the Unicursal Hexagram, the symYears of Song.* [210] Another of his projects, Aleister Ex- bol of Thelema plains Everything, was posthumously published as Magick Main article: Thelema Without Tears.* [211] In April 1944 Crowley briefly moved to Aston Clinton in Buckinghamshire,* [212] where he was visited by the poet Nancy Cunard,* [213] before relocating to Hastings in Sussex, where he took up residence at the Netherwood boarding house.* [214] He took a young man named Kenneth Grant as his secretary, paying him in magical teaching rather than wages.* [215] He was also in-

In his autobiography, Crowley claimed that his purpose in life had been to “bring oriental wisdom to Europe and to restore paganism in a purer form”, although what he meant by "paganism" was unclear.* [222] Crowley's thought was not always cohesive, and was influenced by a variety of sources, ranging from eastern re-

3.5. PERSONAL LIFE ligious movements and practices like Hindu yoga and Buddhism, scientific naturalism, and various currents within Western esotericism, among them ceremonial magic, alchemy, astrology, Rosicrucianism, Kabbalah, and the Tarot.* [223] Philosopher John Moore opined that Crowley's thought was rooted in Romanticism and the Decadent movement,* [224] an assessment shared by historian Alex Owen, who noted that Crowley adhered to the “modus operandi”of the decadent movement throughout his life.* [225] Crowley's belief system, Thelema, has been described as a religion by scholars Gareth Medway and Wouter Hanegraaff,* [226] as a“magico-religious doctrine”by fellow scholar Gordan Djurdjevic,* [227] and as an “esoteric, Pagan, new religious movement”by the scholar Ethan Doyle White.* [228] Crowley believed that the twentieth century marked humanity's entry to the Aeon of Horus, a new era in which humans would take increasing control of their destiny. He believed that this Aeon follows on from the Aeon of Osiris, in which paternalistic religions like Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism dominated the world, and that this in turn had followed the Aeon of Isis, which had been maternalistic and dominated by goddess worship.* [229] Thelema revolves around the idea that human beings each have their own True Will that they should discover and pursue, and that this exists in harmony with the Cosmic Will that pervades the universe.* [230] The moral code of “Do What Thou Wilt”is believed by Thelemites to be the faith's ethical law, although academic Marco Pasi noted that this was not anarchistic or libertarian in structure, as Crowley saw individuals as part of a wider societal organism.* [231] “To [Crowley] the greatest aim of the magician was to merge with a higher power connected to the wellsprings of the universe, but he did not trouble himself too much to define that power consistently; sometimes it was God, sometimes the One, sometimes a goddess, and sometimes one's own Holy Guardian Angel or higher self. In the last analysis he was content for the nature of divinity to remain a mystery. As a result he wrote at times like an atheist, at times like a monotheist, and at others like a polytheist.” The historian Ronald Hutton * [232] Crowley believed in the objective existence of magic, which he chose to spell “Magick”, an older archaic spelling of the word.* [233] He provided various different definitions of this term over his career.* [234] In his book Magick in Theory and Practice, Crowley defined Magick as “the Science and Art of causing change to occur in conformity with Will”.* [235] He also told his disciple Karl Germer that“Magick is getting into communication with individuals who exist on a higher plane than ours. Mysticism is the raising of oneself to their level.”* [236] Crowley saw Magick as a third way between religion and science, giving The Equinox the subtitle of“The Method of Science; the Aim of Religion”.* [237]

15 Crowley's theological beliefs were not clear. The historian Ronald Hutton noted that some of Crowley's writings could be used to argue that he was an atheist,* [234] while some support the idea that he was a polytheist,* [232] and others would bolster the idea that he was a mystical monotheist.* [238] On the basis of the teachings in The Book of the Law, Crowley described a pantheon of three deities taken from the ancient Egyptian pantheon: Nuit, Hadit, and Ra-Hoor-Khuit.* [222] In 1928, he made the claim that all “true”deities were “derived”from this trinity.* [222] Sexuality played an important role in Crowley's ideas about magick and his practice of it.* [239] Both during his life and after it, Crowley has been widely described as a Satanist, usually by detractors. Crowley stated he did not consider himself a Satanist, nor did he worship Satan, as he did not accept the Christian world view in which Satan was believed to exist.* [240] He nevertheless utilised Satanic imagery, for instance by describing himself as “the Beast 666”and referring to the Whore of Babylon in his work, while in later life he sent "Antichristmas cards" to his friends.* [241] He stated that he hated Christianity“as Socialists hate soap”,* [238] an animosity likely stemming from his experiences among the Plymouth Brethren.* [241] He was also accused of advocating human sacrifice, largely because of a passage in Book 4 in which he stated that “A male child of perfect innocence and high intelligence is the most satisfactory victim”and added that he had sacrificed about 150 every year. This was a tongue-in-cheek reference to ejaculation, something not realised by his critics, thus reflecting their own “ignorance and prejudice”toward Crowley.* [242]

3.5 Personal life Crowley considered himself to be one of the outstanding figures of his time.* [243] The historian Ronald Hutton stated that in Crowley's youth, he was “a self-indulgent and flamboyant young man”who “set about a deliberate flouting and provocation of social and religious norms”, while being shielded from an “outraged public opinion”by his inherited wealth.* [243] Hutton also described Crowley as having both an “unappeasable desire”to take control of any organisation that he belonged to, and “a tendency to quarrel savagely”with those who challenged him.* [243] Crowley biographer Martin Booth asserted that Crowley was “self-confident, brash, eccentric, egotistic, highly intelligent, arrogant, witty, wealthy, and, when it suited him, cruel”.* [244] Similarly, Richard Spence noted that Crowley was “capable of immense physical and emotional cruelty”.* [245] Biographer Lawrence Sutin noted that Crowley exhibited “courage, skill, dauntless energy, and remarkable focus of will”while at the same time showing a “blind arrogance, petty fits of bile, [and] contempt for the abilities



of his fellow men”.* [246] The Thelemite Lon Milo Du- torian family who embodied many of the worst John Bull Quette noted that Crowley“was by no means perfect”and racial and social prejudices of his upper-class contempo“often alienated those who loved him dearest.”* [247] raries”,* [265] noting that he “embodied the contradicCrowley enjoyed being outrageous and flouting conven- tion that writhed within many Western intellectuals of the tional morality,* [248] with John Symonds noting that he time: deeply held racist viewpoints courtesy of their culcoupled with a fascination with people of colour” “was in revolt against the moral and religious values of ture, * . [266] Crowley insulted his close Jewish friend Victor * his time”. [249] Crowley's political thought was subNeuburg using anti-Semitic slurs, and he had mixed opinjected to an in-depth study by academic Marco Pasi, who ions about Jews as a group. Although he praised their noted that for Crowley, socio-political concerns were subordinate to metaphysical and spiritual ones.* [223] Pasi “sublime”poetry and stated that they exhibited “imagination, romance, loyalty, probity and humanity”, he argued that it was difficult to classify Crowley as being also thought that centuries of persecution had led some either on the political left or right, but he was perhaps Jews to exhibit“avarice, servility, falseness, cunning and best categorised as a“conservative revolutionary”despite * not being affiliated with the German-based conservative the rest”. [267] He was also known to praise various revolutionary movement.* [250] Pasi noted that Crowley ethnic and cultural groups, for instance he thought that exhibited a “spiritual superiority” sympathised with extreme ideologies like Nazism and the Chinese people * to the English, [268] and praised Muslims for exhibitMarxism-Leninism, in that they wished to violently overing “manliness, straightforwardness, subtlety, and selfturn society, and hoped that both Nazi Germany and the * respect”. [269] * Soviet Union might adopt Thelema. [251] Crowley described democracy as an “imbecile and nauseating cult of weakness”,* [252] and commented that The Book of the Law proclaimed that “there is the master and there is the slave; the noble and the serf; the 'lone wolf' and the herd”.* [231] In this attitude he was influenced by the work of Friedrich Nietzsche and by Social Darwinism.* [253] Crowley also saw himself as an aristocrat, describing himself as Laird Boleskine; he had contempt for most of the British aristocracy,* [254] and once described his ideology as “aristocratic communism”.* [255]

Crowley also exhibited a “general misogyny”that Booth believed arose from his bad relationship with his mother.* [270] Sutin noted that Crowley “largely accepted the notion, implicitly embodied in Victorian sexology, of women as secondary social beings in terms of intellect and sensibility”.* [271] Crowley described women as “moral inferiors”who had to be treated with “firmness, kindness and justice”.* [272]

Crowley was bisexual, and exhibited a sexual preference for women,* [256] with his same-sex relationships being fewer and clustered in the early part of his life.* [234] In particular he had an attraction toward “exotic women” ,* [257] and claimed to have fallen in love on multiple occasions; Kaczynski stated that“when he loved, he did so with his whole being, but the passion was typically shortlived”.* [258] Even in later life, Crowley was able to attract young bohemian women to be his lovers, largely due to his charisma.* [259] During same-sex anal intercourse, he usually played the passive role,* [260] which Booth believed“appealed to his masochistic side”.* [261] Crowley argued that gay and bisexual people should not suppress their sexual orientation,* [234] commenting that a person “must not be ashamed or afraid of being homosexual if he happens to be so at heart; he must not attempt to violate his own true nature because of public opinion, or medieval morality, or religious prejudice which would wish he were otherwise.”* [262] On other issues he adopted a more conservative attitude; he opposed abortion on moral grounds, believing that no woman following her True Will would ever desire one.* [263]

3.6 Legacy and influence "[H]e is today looked upon as a source of inspiration by many people in search of spiritual enlightenment and/ or instructions in magical practice. Thus, while during his life his books hardly sold and his disciples were never very numerous, nowadays all his important works are constantly in print, and the people defining themselves as “thelemites”(that is, followers of Crowley's new religion) number several thousands all over the world. Furthermore, Crowley's influence over magically oriented new religious movements has in some cases been very deep and pervasive. It would be difficult to understand, for instance, some aspects of Anglo-Saxon neo-paganism and contemporary satanism without a solid knowledge of Crowley's doctrines and ideas. In other fields, such as poetry, alpinism and painting, he may have been a minor figure, but it is only fair to admit that, in the limited context of occultism, he has played and still plays a major role.” Marco Pasi, 2003.* [273]

Crowley has remained an influential figure, both amongst occultists and in popular culture, particularly that of Britain, but also of other parts of the world. In 2002, Biographer Lawrence Sutin stated that“blatant bigotry is a BBC poll placed Crowley seventy-third in a list of the a persistent minor element in Crowley's writings”.* [264] 100 Greatest Britons.* [274] Richard Cavendish has writSutin thought Crowley“a spoiled scion of a wealthy Vic- ten of him that “In native talent, penetrating intelli-


Views on race and gender

3.7. BIBLIOGRAPHY gence and determination, Aleister Crowley was the bestequipped magician to emerge since the seventeenth century.”* [275] The scholar of esotericism Wouter Hanegraaff asserted that Crowley was an extreme representation of“the dark side of the occult”,* [276] adding that he was“the most notorious occultist magician of the twentieth century”.* [277] The philosopher John Moore opined that Crowley stood out as a“Modern Master”when compared with other prominent occult figures like George Gurdjieff, P.D. Ouspensky, Rudolf Steiner, or Helena Blavatsky,* [278] also describing him as a “living embodiment”of Oswald Spengler's "Faustian Man".* [279] Biographer Tobias Churton considered Crowley “a pioneer of consciousness research”.* [280] Hutton noted that Crowley had“an important place in the history of modern Western responses to Oriental spiritual traditions”,* [281] while Sutin thought that he had made“distinctly original contributions”to the study of yoga in the West.* [282]

17 band's film The Song Remains the Same was filmed in the grounds. He sold it in 1992.* [292] David Bowie made reference to Crowley in the lyrics of his song "Quicksand" (1971),* [283] while Ozzy Osbourne and his lyricist Bob Daisley wrote a song titled "Mr Crowley" (1980).* [293] Crowley began to receive scholarly attention from academics in the late 1990s.* [281]

3.7 Bibliography Main article: List of works by Aleister Crowley

3.8 References

Thelema continued to develop and spread following 3.8.1 Footnotes Crowley's death. In 1969, the O.T.O. was reactivated in California under the leadership of Grady Louis [1] “Louise Muhler”. SFGate. San Francisco Chronicle. McMurtry;* [283] in 1985 its right to the title was Retrieved 9 December 2014. unsuccessfully challenged in court by a rival group, the Society Ordo Templi Orientis, led by Brazilian [2] Booth 2000, pp. 4–5; Sutin 2000, p. 15; Kaczynski 2010, p. 14. Thelemite Marcelo Ramos Motta.* [283] Another American Thelemite was the filmmaker Kenneth Anger, who [3] Booth 2000, pp. 2–3; Sutin 2000, pp. 31–23; Kaczynski had been influenced by Crowley's writings from a young 2010, pp. 4–8; Churton 2011, pp. 14–15. age.* [284]* [285] In the United Kingdom, Kenneth Grant propagated a tradition known as Typhonian Thelema [4] Booth 2000, p. 3; Sutin 2000, pp. 18–21; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 13–16; Churton 2011, pp. 17–21. through his organisation, the Typhonian O.T.O., later re* named the Typhonian Order. [286] Also in Britain, an [5] Booth 2000, p. 3; Kaczynski 2010, p. 13–14; Churton occultist known as Amado Crowley claimed to be Crow2011, p. 17. ley's son; this has been refuted by academic investigation. Amado argued that Thelema was a false religion [6] Booth 2000, pp. 3–4, 6, 9–10; Sutin 2000, pp. 17–23; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 11–12, 16. created by Crowley to hide his true esoteric teachings, * which Amado claimed to be propagating. [287] [7] Booth 2000, pp. 6–7; Kaczynski 2010, p. 16; Churton 2011, p. 24. Several Western esoteric traditions other than Thelema were also influenced by Crowley. Gerald Gardner, [8] Booth 2000, pp. 12–14; Sutin 2000, p. 25–29; Kaczynski founder of Gardnerian Wicca, made use of much of 2010, pp. 17–18; Churton 2011, p. 24. Crowley's published material when composing the Gardnerian ritual liturgy,* [288] and the Australian witch [9] Booth 2000, p. 15; Sutin 2000, pp. 24–25; Kaczynski 2010, p. 19; Churton 2011, pp. 24–25. Rosaleen Norton was also heavily influenced by Crowley's ideas.* [289] More widely, Crowley became“a dominant [10] Booth 2000, p. 10; Sutin 2000, p. 21. figure”in the modern Pagan community.* [232] L. Ron Hubbard, the American founder of Scientology, was in- [11] Sutin 2000, pp. 27–30; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 19, 21–22. volved in Thelema in the early 1940s (with Jack Parsons), and it has been argued that Crowley's ideas influenced [12] Booth 2000, pp. 32–39; Sutin 2000, pp. 32–33; Kaczynski 2010, p. 27; Churton 2011, pp. 26–27. some of Hubbard's work.* [290] Two prominent figures in religious Satanism, Anton LaVey and Michael Aquino, [13] Booth 2000, pp. 15–16; Sutin 2000, pp. 25–26; were also influenced by Crowley's work.* [291] Kaczynski 2010, p. 23. Crowley also had a wider influence in British popular cul- [14] Booth 2000, pp. 26–27; Sutin 2000, p. 33; Kaczynski ture. He was included as one of the figures on the cover 2010, pp. 24,27; Churton 2011, p. 26. art of The Beatles' album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967),* [283] and his motto of “Do What Thou [15] Booth 2000, pp. 39–43; Sutin 2000, pp. 30–32, 34; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 27–30; Churton 2011, pp. 26–27. Wilt”was inscribed on the vinyl of Led Zeppelin's album * Led Zeppelin III (1970). [283] Led Zeppelin co-founder [16] Booth 2000, p. 49; Sutin 2000, pp. 34–35; Kaczynski Jimmy Page bought Boleskine in 1971, and part of the 2010, p. 32; Churton 2011, pp. 27–28.


[17] Booth 2000, pp. 51–52; Sutin 2000, pp. Kaczynski 2010, p. 23.



[41] Booth 2000, pp. 115–116; Sutin 2000, p. Kaczynski 2010, p. 64.


[42] Symonds 1997, p. 37; Booth 2000, pp. 115–116; Sutin 2000, pp. 67–69; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 64–67.

[18] Kaczynski 2010, p. 35. [19] Booth 2000, pp. 50–51; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 33–35. [20] Symonds 1997, p. 13; Booth 2000, pp. 53–56; Sutin 2000, pp. 50–52; Kaczynski 2010, p. 35, 42–45, 50–51; Churton 2011, p. 35. [21] Crowley 1989, p. 139. [22] Symonds 1997, p. 14; Booth 2000, pp. 56–57; Kaczynski 2010, p. 36; Churton 2011, p. 29. [23] Sutin 2000, p. 38; Kaczynski 2010, p. 36; Churton 2011, p. 29. [24] Booth 2000, pp. 59–62; Sutin 2000, p. 43; Churton 2011, pp. 27–28. [25] Booth 2000, pp. 64–65; Sutin 2000, pp. 41–47; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 37–40, 45; Churton 2011, pp. 33– 24. [26] Spence 2008, pp. 19–20; Sutin 2000, p. 37; Kaczynski 2010, p. 35; Churton 2011, pp. 30–31. [27] Spence 2008, pp. 19–20; Churton 2011, pp. 30–31.

[43] Booth 2000, p. 116; Sutin 2000, pp. 73–75; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 70–73; Churton 2011, pp. 53–54. [44] Booth 2000, p. 118; Sutin 2000, pp. 73–75; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 74–75; Churton 2011, p. 57. [45] Booth 2000, pp. 118–123; Sutin 2000, pp. 76–79; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 75–80; Churton 2011, pp. 58–60. [46] Spence 2008, p. 27. [47] Booth 2000, pp. 127–137; Sutin 2000, pp. 80–86; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 83–90; Churton 2011, pp. 64–70. [48] Spence 2008, p. 32. [49] Booth 2000, pp. 137–139; Sutin 2000, pp. 86–90; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 90–93; Churton 2011, pp. 71–75. [50] Booth 2000, pp. 139–144; Sutin 2000, pp. 90–95; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 93–96; Churton 2011, pp. 76–78. [51] Booth 2000, pp. 144–147; Sutin 2000, pp. 94–98; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 96–98; Churton 2011, pp. 78–83.


[52] Booth 2000, pp. 148–156; Sutin 2000, pp. 98–104; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 98–108; Churton 2011, p. 83.

[29] Booth 2000, pp. 58–59; Sutin 2000, p. 41; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 40–42.

[53] Booth 2000, pp. 159–163; Sutin 2000, pp. 104–108; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 109–115; Churton 2011, pp. 84– 86.

[30] Symonds 1997, pp. 14–15; Booth 2000, pp. 72–73; Sutin 2000, pp. 44–45; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 46–47.

[54] Booth 2000, pp. 164–167; Sutin 2000, pp. 105–107; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 112–113; Churton 2011, p. 85.

[31] Symonds 1997, p. 15; Booth 2000, pp. 74–75; Sutin 2000, pp. 44–45; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 48–50.

[55] Booth 2000, pp. 171–177; Sutin 2000, pp. 110–116; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 119–124; Churton 2011, pp. 89– 90.

[28] Booth 2000, pp. 57–58; Sutin 2000, pp. Kaczynski 2010, p. 36.

[32] Booth 2000, pp. 78–79; Sutin 2000, pp. 35–36.

[56] Booth 2000, pp. 181–182; Sutin 2000, pp. 118–120; Kaczynski 2010, p. 124; Churton 2011, p. 94.

[33] Booth 2000, pp. 81–82; Sutin 2000, pp. Kaczynski 2010, pp. 52–53.


[34] Booth 2000, pp. 82–85; Sutin 2000, pp. Kaczynski 2010, pp. 54–55.


[57] Booth 2000, pp. 182–183; Sutin 2000, pp. 120–122; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 124–126; Churton 2011, pp. 96– 98.

[35] Booth 2000, pp. 85, 93–94; Sutin 2000, pp. 54–55; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 60–61; Churton 2011, p. 35.

[58] Booth 2000, pp. 184–188; Sutin 2000, pp. 122–125; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 127–129.

[36] Spence 2008, pp. 22–28; Churton 2011, pp. 38–46.

[59] Booth 2000, pp. 184–188; Sutin 2000, pp. 125–133.

[37] Booth 2000, pp. 98–103; Sutin 2000, pp. 64–66; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 54–55, 62–64, 67–68; Churton 2011, p. 49. [38] Booth 2000, pp. 103–105; Sutin 2000, pp. 70–71; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 70–71; Churton 2011, p. 55. [39] Symonds 1997, p. 29; Booth 2000, pp. 107–111; Sutin 2000, pp. 72–73; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 68–69; Churton 2011, p. 52. [40] Booth 2000, p. 114–115; Sutin 2000, pp. Kaczynski 2010, pp. 61, 66, 70.


[60] Booth 2000, p. 188; Sutin 2000, p. 139; Kaczynski 2010, p. 129. [61] Booth 2000, pp. 189, 194–195; Sutin 2000, pp. 140–141; Kaczynski 2010, p. 130; Churton 2011, p. 108. [62] Booth 2000, pp. 195–196; Sutin 2000, p. 142; Kaczynski 2010, p. 132; Churton 2011, p. 108. [63] Booth 2000, p. 190; Sutin 2000, p. 142; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 131–133. [64] Booth 2000, pp. 241–242; Sutin 2000, pp. 177–179; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 136–137, 139, 168–169.


[65] Booth 2000, pp. 201–215; Sutin 2000, pp. 149–158; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 138–149; Churton 2011, pp. 111– 112. [66] Booth 2000, pp. 217–219; Sutin 2000, pp. 158–162; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 151–152.


[89] Booth 2000, pp. 247–248; Sutin 2000, p. 175; Kaczynski 2010, p. 183; Churton 2011, p. 128. [90] Crowley 1983. p. 32. [91] Booth 2000, pp. 263–264; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 172– 173; Churton 2011, p. 146.

[67] Booth 2000, p. 221; Sutin 2000, pp. 162–163; Churton 2011, p. 114.

[92] Sutin 2000, p. 207; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 185–189.

[68] Spence 2008, pp. 33–35; Churton 2011, p. 115.

[93] Booth 2000, pp. 265–267; Sutin 2000, pp. 192–193; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 183–184; Churton 2011, p. 144.

[69] Booth 2000, pp. 221–232; Sutin 2000, pp. 164–169; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 153–154; Churton 2011, pp. 115– 118.

[94] Booth 2000, pp. 270–272; Sutin 2000, pp. 198–199; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 182–183, 194; Churton 2011, p. 148.

[70] Booth 2000, pp. 232–235; Sutin 2000, pp. 169–171; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 155–156; Churton 2011, pp. 118– 121.

[95] Booth 2000, pp. 274–282; Sutin 2000, pp. 199–204; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 193–203; Churton 2011, pp. 149– 152.

[71] Booth 2000, pp. 235–236, 239; Sutin 2000, pp. 171–172; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 159–160; Churton 2011, p. 121.

[96] Booth 2000, pp. 282–283; Sutin 2000, pp. 205–206; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 205–208; Churton 2011, p. 160.

[72] Kaczynski 2010 p 160

[97] Booth 2000, pp. 283–284.

[73] Booth 2000, p. 246; Sutin 2000, p. 179; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 159–160, 173–174.

[98] Kaczynski 2010, pp. 210–211.

[74] Booth 2000, pp. 236–237; Sutin 2000, pp. 172–173; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 159–160; Churton 2011, p. 125.

[99] Booth 2000, p. 285; Sutin 2000, pp. 206–207; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 211–213; Churton 2011, p. 160.

[100] Booth 2000, pp. 286–289; Sutin 2000, pp. 209–212; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 217–228; Churton 2011, pp. 161– [75] Booth 2000, pp. 239–240; Sutin 2000, pp. 173–174; 162. Kaczynski 2010, pp. 157–160. [76] Booth 2000, pp. 240–241; Sutin 2000, pp. 173, 175–176; [101] Booth 2000, p. 289; Sutin 2000, p. 212; Kaczynski 2010, p. 225; Churton 2011, p. 163. Kaczynski 2010, p. 179; Churton 2011, p. 128. [77] Booth 2000, pp. 251–252; Sutin 2000, p. 181; Kaczynski [102] Booth 2000, pp. 291–292; Sutin 2000, pp. 213–215; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 229–234; Churton 2011, p. 164. 2010, p. 172. [78] Kaczynski 2010, pp. 173–175.

[103] Booth 2000, pp. 293–294; Sutin 2000, p. 215; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 234; Churton 2011, p. 164.

[79] Sutin 2000, pp. 195–196; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 189–190; [104] Booth 2000, pp. 289–290; Sutin 2000, pp. 213–214; Churton 2011, pp. 147–148. Kaczynski 2010, pp. 229–230; Churton 2011, pp. 163– 164. [80] Booth 2000, p. 243. [81] Booth 2000, pp. 249–251; Sutin 2000, p. 180; Churton [105] Sutin 2000, pp. 207–208; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 213–215; Churton 2011, pp. 158. 2011, pp. 129–136. [82] Booth 2000, p. 252. [83] Booth 2000, pp. 255–262; Sutin 2000, pp. 184–187; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 179–180; Churton 2011, pp. 129– 130, 142–143. [84] Booth 2000, pp. 267–268; Sutin 2000, pp. 196–198; Churton 2011, pp. 146–147.

[106] Booth 2000, p. 297; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 235–237. [107] Booth 2000, pp. 297–301; Sutin 2000, pp. 217–222; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 239–248; Churton 2011, pp. 165– 166. [108] Booth 2000, p. 301; Sutin 2000, pp. 222–224; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 247–250; Churton 2011, p. 166.

[109] Booth 2000, p. 302; Sutin 2000, pp. 224–225; Kaczynski [85] Booth 2000, pp. 244–245; Sutin 2000, pp. 179, 181; 2010, p. 251. Kaczynski 2010, pp. 176, 191–192; Churton 2011, p. [110] Booth 2000, pp. 302–305; Sutin 2000, pp. 225–226; 131. Kaczynski 2010, pp. 251–255. [86] Booth 2000, pp. 246–247; Sutin 2000, pp. 182–183; [111] Booth 2000, p. 306; Sutin 2000, p. 228; Kaczynski 2010, Churton 2011, p. 141. p. 256. [87] Booth 2000, pp. 254–255; Churton 2011, p. 172. [112] Booth 2000, pp. 308–309; Sutin 2000, pp. 232–234; [88] Kaczynski 2010, p. 178. Kaczynski 2010, pp. 261–265.



[113] Booth 2000, pp. 309–310; Sutin 2000, pp. 234–235; [138] Booth 2000, pp. 344–345; Sutin 2000, pp. 274–276; Kaczynski 2010, p. 264. Kaczynski 2010, pp. 340–341. [114] Churton 2011, pp. 178–182.

[139] Booth 2000, p. 351; Sutin 2000, p. 273; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 342–344.

[115] Booth 2000, p. 307; Sutin 2000, p. 218; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 266–267. [140] Booth 2000, pp. 351–352; Sutin 2000, p. 277; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 347. [116] Booth 2000, pp. 313–316; Sutin 2000, pp. 235–240; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 269–274. [141] Booth 2000, pp. 355–356; Sutin 2000, p. 278; Kaczynski 2010, p. 356; Churton 2011, p. 246. [117] Booth 2000, pp. 317–319; Sutin 2000, pp. 240–241; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 275–276. [142] Booth 2000, p. 357; Sutin 2000, p. 277; Kaczynski 2010, p. 355. [118] Booth 2000, p. 321. [143] Booth 2000, pp. 356–360; Sutin 2000, pp. 278–279; [119] Booth 2000, pp. 321–322; Sutin 2000, p. 240; Kaczynski Kaczynski 2010, pp. 356–358; Churton 2011, p. 246. 2010, p. 277; Churton 2011, p. 186. [144] Booth 2000, pp. 360–363; Sutin 2000, pp. 279–280; [120] Booth 2000, p. 322; Kaczynski 2010, p. 277. Kaczynski 2010, pp. 358–359; Churton 2011, pp. 246– 248. [121] Booth 2000, p. 323; Sutin 2000, p. 241; Kaczynski 2010, p. 278; Churton 2011, pp. 187–189. [145] Booth 2000, p. 365. [122] Booth 2000, pp. 323–234; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 281– [146] Booth 2000, p. 368; Sutin 2000, p. 286; Kaczynski 2010, 282, 294. p. 361. [123] Booth 2000, p. 325; Sutin 2000, pp. 243–244. [124] Kaczynski 2010, p. 341.

[147] Booth 2000, pp. 365–366; Sutin 2000, pp. 280–281; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 365, 372.

[125] Booth 2000, pp. 326–330; Sutin 2000, pp. 245–247; [148] Booth 2000, p. 367; Kaczynski 2010, p. 359. Kaczynski 2010, pp. 283–284. [149] Booth 2000, pp. 366, 369–370; Sutin 2000, pp. 281– 282; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 361–362; Churton 2011, pp. [126] Sutin 2000, p. 247; Churton 2011, p. 186. 251–252. [127] Sutin 2000, pp. 247–248; Spence 2008, pp. 67–76; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 284–287, 292–292; Churton 2011, [150] Booth 2000, p. 368; Sutin 2000, pp. 286–287. pp. 190–193. [151] Booth 2000, pp. 372–373; Sutin 2000, p. 285; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 365–366; Churton 2011, p. 252. [128] Spence 2008, pp. 82–89; Churton 2011, pp. 195–197. [129] Booth 2000, pp. 330–333; Sutin 2000, pp. 251–255; [152] Booth 2000, pp. 371–372; Sutin 2000, pp. 286–287; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 362–365, 371–372. Kaczynski 2010, pp. 288–291, 295–297; Churton 2011, pp. 198–203. [153] Booth 2000, pp. 373–374; Sutin 2000, pp. 287–288; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 366–368. [130] Booth 2000, p. 333; Sutin 2000, pp. 255–257; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 298–301. [131] Booth 2000, pp. 333–335; Sutin 2000, pp. 257–261; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 304–209.

[154] Booth 2000, pp. 376–378; Sutin 2000, pp. 293–294; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 373–376; Churton 2011, pp. 255– 256.

[132] Booth 2000, pp. 336–338; Sutin 2000, pp. 261–262; [155] Booth 2000, p. 379; Sutin 2000, pp. 290–291; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 377–378; Churton 2011, pp. 258–259. Kaczynski 2010, pp. 309–313. [133] Booth 2000, p. 338; Sutin 2000, p. 263; Kaczynski 2010, [156] Booth 2000, pp. 380–385; Sutin 2000, pp. 298–301; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 379–380, 384–387; Churton 2011, pp. 313–316. p. 259. [134] Booth 2000, pp. 339–340; Sutin 2000, pp. 264–266; [157] Booth 2000, pp. 385–394; Sutin 2000, pp. 301–306; Kaczynski 2010, p. 320. Kaczynski 2010, pp. 381–384, 397–392; Churton 2011, pp. 259–261. [135] Booth 2000, pp. 342–344; Sutin 2000, pp. 264–267; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 320–330. [158] Booth 2000, pp. 394–395; Sutin 2000, pp. 307–308; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 392–394; Churton 2011, pp. 261– [136] Booth 2000, pp. 344–345; Sutin 2000, pp. 267–272; 262. Kaczynski 2010, pp. 330–331. [137] Booth 2000, pp. 346–350; Sutin 2000, pp. 274–276; [159] Booth 2000, pp. 395–396; Sutin 2000, p. 308; Kaczynski Kaczynski 2010, pp. 338–343. 2010, pp. 396–397; Churton 2011, pp. 263–264.



[160] Booth 2000, pp. 399–401; Sutin 2000, p. 310; Kaczynski [182] Booth 2000, p. 439; Sutin 2000, pp. 351–354; Kaczynski 2010, p. 397; Churton 2011, p. 270. 2010, p. 448; Churton 2011, pp. 333, 335. [161] Booth 2000, p. 403; Sutin 2000, pp. 310–311; Kaczynski [183] Booth 2000, p. 440; Sutin 2000, pp. 354–355; Kaczynski 2010, p. 398. 2010, pp. 449–452; Churton 2011, pp. 336–337; Pasi 2014, pp. 95–116. [162] Booth 2000, pp. 403–406; Sutin 2000, pp. 313–316; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 399–403; Churton 2011, pp. 270– [184] Booth 2000, pp. 441–442; Sutin 2000, pp. 360–361; 273. Kaczynski 2010, pp. 455–457; Churton 2011, pp. 337, 346–349. [163] Booth 2000, pp. 405–406; Sutin 2000, pp. 315–316; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 403–405; Churton 2011, pp. 273– [185] Booth 2000, p. 445; Sutin 2000, p. 360; Kaczynski 2010, 274. p. 450; Churton 2011, p. 345. [164] Booth 2000, pp. 407–409; Sutin 2000, pp. 316–318; [186] Kaczynski 2010, p. 405; Churton 2011, p. 274. [187] [165] Sutin 2000, p. 317; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 406–407; Churton 2011, pp. 281–282. [188] [166] Booth 2000, pp. 410–412; Sutin 2000, p. 319; Churton 2011, p. 287.

Sutin 2000, pp. 355–357. Sutin 2000, pp. 355; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 448–449; Churton 2011, pp. 335–336, 338–339. Booth 2000, pp. 445–446; Sutin 2000, p. 361; Kaczynski 2010, p. 457; Churton 2011, p. 349; Pasi 2014, pp. 83– 88.

[167] Booth 2000, pp. 412–417; Sutin 2000, pp. 319–320; [189] The United Press (13 April 1934). “Confessed Genius Kaczynski 2010, pp. 413–415; Churton 2011, pp. 287– Loses Weird Suit”. The Pittsburgh Press. Retrieved 18 288. March 2013. [168] Booth 2000, p. 418; Sutin 2000, pp. 323; Kaczynski [190] Sutin 2000, p. 372. 2010, p. 417; Churton 2011, p. 323. [191] Booth 2000, p. 446; Churton 2011, pp. 355–356. [169] Booth 2000, pp. 419–420; Sutin 2000, p. 322; Kaczynski [192] Booth 2000, p. 453; Sutin 2000, pp. 366–367; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 417–418; Churton 2011, p. 289. 2010, pp. 470–471; Churton 2011, pp. 360–361. [170] Booth 2000, pp. 423–424; Sutin 2000, pp. 324–328; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 418–419; Churton 2011, pp. 291– [193] Sutin 2000, pp. 363–364; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 463–465; Churton 2011, p. 357. 292, 332. [171] Booth 2000, pp. 425–326; Sutin 2000, pp. 332–334; [194] Booth 2000, pp. 447–453; Sutin 2000, pp. 367–373; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 466, 468, 472–481; Churton 2011, Kaczynski 2010, pp. 426–427, 430–433. pp. 358–359, 361–362. [172] Booth 2000, pp. 429–430. [195] Booth 2000, pp. 454–456; Sutin 2000, p. 374; Kaczynski [173] Booth 2000, p. 426; Sutin 2000, pp. 336–337; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 483–484; Churton 2011, p. 363. 2010, pp. 432–433; Churton 2011, p. 309. [196] Booth 2000, pp. 458–460; Sutin 2000, pp. 373–374; [174] Booth 2000, pp. 427–428; Sutin 2000, pp. 335–335; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 481, 489, 496; Churton 2011, pp. Kaczynski 2010, pp. 427–429; Churton 2011, p. 299. 362, 370. [175] Booth 2000, pp. 428–429; Sutin 2000, pp. 331–332; [197] Booth 2000, pp. 461; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 489–490. Kaczynski 2010, p. 423; Churton 2011, pp. 296–298; [198] Booth 2000, p. 467; Sutin 2000, pp. 380–381; Kaczynski Pasi 2014, pp. 72–76. 2010, pp. 490–491, 493, 497–499. [176] Booth 2000, p. 431; Sutin 2000, p. 339; Kaczynski 2010, [199] Booth 2000, p. 467; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 495–496; pp. 428–429, 426; Churton 2011, pp. 308–309. Churton 2011, p. 369. [177] Booth 2000, pp. 430–431; Sutin 2000, pp. 340–341; [200] Booth 2000, p. 466; Sutin 2000, p. 375. Kaczynski 2010, pp. 433–434; Churton 2011, p. 310. [178] Booth 2000, pp. 432–433; Sutin 2000, p. 341; Kaczynski [201] Booth 2000, pp. 468–469; Sutin 2000, pp. 375–380; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 384–385; Churton 2011, pp. 365– 2010, p. 438; Churton 2011, pp. 306, 312–314. 366. [179] Booth 2000, pp. 434–435; Sutin 2000, pp. 342, 345; [202] Booth 2000, pp. 471–472; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 506– Kaczynski 2010, p. 440; Churton 2011, p. 318. 507; Churton 2011, pp. 376–378. [180] Booth 2000, pp. 436–437; Sutin 2000, p. 344; Kaczynski [203] Kaczynski 2010, p. 511–512; Churton 2011, pp. 380– 2010, pp. 440–443; Churton 2011, p. 317. 383, 392–396. [181] Booth 2000, pp. 438–439; Sutin 2000, p. 345; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 442, 447; Churton 2011, p. 321. [204] Booth 2000, p. 476; Kaczynski 2010, p. 508.


[205] Kaczynski 2010, pp. 509–510; Churton 2011, p. 380. [206] Kaczynski 2010, p. 527; Churton 2011, p. 403.


[235] Hutton 1999, p. 174; DuQuette 2003, p. 11; Doyle White 2016, p. 4.

[236] Churton 2011, p. 417. [207] Booth 2000, pp. 478–479; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 512, [237] Bogdan & Starr 2012, p. 4. 531–532, 547; Churton 2011, pp. 408–409. [208] Booth 2000, pp. 473–474; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 501, [238] 503–504, 510, 522, 530–521; Churton 2011, pp. 370, [239] 406. [240] [209] Kaczynski 2010, pp. 517–518, 522; Churton 2011, p. 397. [241]

Hutton 1999, p. 176. Hutton 1999, p. 173. Hutton 1999, p. 175; Dyrendal 2012, pp. 369–370. Hutton 1999, p. 175.

[210] Booth 2000, pp. 474–475; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 519– [242] Medway 2001, pp. 120–121. 520, 542; Churton 2011, p. 410. [243] Hutton 1999, p. 172. [211] Booth 2000, p. 474; Kaczynski 2010, p. 528; Churton [244] Booth 2000, p. 125. 2011, p. 404. [245] Spence 2008, p. 10. [212] Booth 2000, p. 475; Kaczynski 2010, p. 530; Churton 2011, pp. 403–404. [246] Sutin 2000, p. 148. [213] Churton 2011, pp. 407–408.

[247] DuQuette 2003, p. 9.

[214] Booth 2000, p. 475; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 532–533.

[248] Moore 2009, p. 33.

[215] Kaczynski 2010, p. 533–535; Churton 2011, pp. 409, [249] Symonds 1997, p. vii. 411. [250] Pasi 2014, pp. 49–50. [216] Booth 2000, p. 481; Kaczynski 2010, p. 540–541; [251] Pasi 2014, pp. 52–53. Churton 2011, pp. 413–414. [217] Kaczynski 2010, p. 542–544.

[252] Morgan 2011, p. 166.

[218] Kaczynski 2010, p. 536–537; Churton 2011, p. 412.

[253] Sutin 2000, p. 129; Churton 2011, p. 401; Pasi 2014, p. 48.

[219] Kaczynski 2010, p. 544–555; Churton 2011, p. 416.

[254] Booth 2000, p. 109.

[220] Booth 2000, p. 483; Sutin 2000, pp. 417–419; Kaczynski [255] 2010, p. 548; Churton 2011, pp. 417–418. [256] [221] Booth 2000, pp. 484–485; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 549– 551; Churton 2011, p. 418. [257] [222] Hutton 1999, p. 178. [258] [223] Pasi 2014, p. 23. [259] [224] Moore 2009, pp. 19–40. [260] [225] Owen 2012, p. 37. [261] [226] Medway 2001, p. 44; Hanegraaff 2013, p. 42. [262] [227] Djurdjevic 2014, p. 91. [263] [228] Doyle White 2016, p. 1.

Pasi 2014, p. 50. Hutton 1999, p. 174; Booth 2000, p. 67; Spence 2008, p. 19. Booth 2000, p. 130. Kaczynski 2010, p. 91. Booth 2000, p. 350. Booth 2000, p. 63; Sutin 2000, p. 159. Booth 2000, p. 63. Sutin 2000, p. 128. Hutton 1999, p. 176; Sutin 2000, p. 145.

[264] Sutin 2000, pp. 223–224.

[229] DuQuette 2003, pp. 14–21; Doyle White 2016, p. 3.

[265] Sutin 2000, p. 2.

[230] Hutton 1999, p. 174; DuQuette 2003, p. 12.

[266] Sutin 2000, p. 336.

[231] Pasi 2014, p. 49.

[267] Booth 2000, pp. 268–269.

[232] Hutton 1999, p. 180.

[268] Booth 2000, p. 137.

[233] Hutton 1999, p. 174; Doyle White 2016, p. 4.

[269] Sutin 2000, p. 180.

[234] Hutton 1999, p. 174.

[270] Booth 2000, p. 61.


[271] Sutin 2000, p. 28. [272] Sutin 2000, p. 114. [273] Pasi 2003, p. 225. [274] Pasi 2003, p. 225; Churton 2011, p. 3. [275] Cavendish 1978, pp. 167. [276] Hanegraaff 2012, p. ix. [277] Hanegraaff 2013, p. 41. [278] Moore 2009, p. 5. [279] Moore 2009, p. 40. [280] Churton 2011, p. 88. [281] Hutton 1999, p. 171. [282] Sutin 2000, p. 93. [283] Bogdan & Starr 2012, p. 7. [284] Landis 1995, pp. 26–34. [285] Pilkington, Mark (15 May 2007). “Kenneth Anger: celluloid sorcery and psychedelic Satanism”. Bizarre Magazine. Archived from the original on 5 December 2010. Retrieved 15 November 2010. [286] Evans 2007, pp. 284–350. [287] Evans 2007, pp. 229–283. [288] Hutton 2012, pp. 285–306. [289] Richmond 2012, pp. 307–334. [290] Urban 2012, pp. 335–368. [291] Dyrendal 2012, pp. 369–394. [292] “House of the unholy”. The Scotsman. 23 November 2007. Retrieved 21 July 2015. [293] Moreman 2003; Granholm 2013, p. 13.


Sources Bogdan, Henrik; Starr, Martin P. (2012). “Introduction”. In Bogdan, Henrik; Starr, Martin P. Aleister Crowley and Western Esotericism. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 3–14. ISBN 978-0-19-986309-9. Booth, Martin (2000). A Magick Life: The Biography of Aleister Crowley. London: Coronet Books. ISBN 978-0-340-71806-3. Cavendish, Richard (1978). “Crowley and After”. A History of Magic. London: Sphere Books. pp. 167–79.

23 Churton, Tobias (2011). Aleister Crowley: The Biography. London: Watkins Books. ISBN 978-178028-012-7. Crowley, Aleister (1989). The Confessions of Aleister Crowley: An Autohagiography. London: Arkana. ISBN 978-0-14-019189-9. Djurdjevic, Gordan (2014). India and the Occult: The Influence of South Asian Spirituality on Modern Western Occultism. New York City: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-1137-40498-5. Doyle White, Ethan (2016). “Lucifer Over Luxor: Archaeology, Egyptology, and Occultism in Kenneth Anger's Magick Lantern Cycle”. Present Pasts. 7 (1). pp. 1– 10. doi:10.5334/pp.73. DuQuette, Lon Milo (2003). The Magick of Aleister Crowley: A Handbook of Rituals of Thelema. San Francisco: Weiser. ISBN 9781-57863-299-2. Dyrendal, Asbjørn (2012). “Satan and the Beast: The Influence of Aleister Crowley on Modern Satanism”. In Bogdan, Henrik; Starr, Martin P. Aleister Crowley and Western Esotericism. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 369–394. ISBN 978-019-986309-9. Evans, Dave (2007). The History of British Magick After Crowley. n.p.: Hidden Publishing. ISBN 978-09555237-0-0. Granholm, Kennet (2013). “Ritual Black Metal: Popular Music as Occult Mediation and Practice” (PDF). Correspondences: An Online Journal for the Academic Study of Western Esotericism. 1 (1): 5– 33. Hanegraaff, Wouter J. (2012). “Foreword”. In Bogdan, Henrik; Starr, Martin P. Aleister Crowley and Western Esotericism. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. pp. vii–x. ISBN 978-0-19-986309-9.


CHAPTER 3. ALEISTER CROWLEY ———(2013). Western Esotericism: A Guide for the Perplexed. London: Bloomsbury Press. ISBN 978-1441136466. Hutton, Ronald (1999). The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-1928-5449-0. ———(2012). “Crowley and Wicca”. In Bogdan, Henrik; Starr, Martin P. Aleister Crowley and Western Esotericism. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 285–306. ISBN 978-019-986309-9. Kaczynski, Richard (2010). Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley (2nd ed.). Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books. ISBN 9780-312-25243-4. Landis, Bill (1995). Anger: The Unauthorised Biography of Kenneth Anger. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-016700-4. Medway, Gareth J. (2001). Lure of the Sinister: The Unnatural History of Satanism. New York and London: New York University Press. ISBN 9780814756454. Moreman, Christopher M. (2003). “Devil Music and the Great Beast: Ozzy Osbourne, Aleister Crowley, and the Christian Right”. The Journal of Religion and Popular Culture. 3 (1). Morgan, Mogg (2011).“The Heart of Thelema: Morality, Amorality, and Immorality in Aleister Crowley's Thelemic Cult”. The Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies. 13 (2). London: Equinox. pp. 163–183.

. In Bogdan, Henrik; Starr, Martin P. Aleister Crowley and Western Esotericism. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 15– 52. ISBN 978-0-19-986309-9. Pasi, Marco (2003). “The Neverendingly Told Story: Recent Biographies of Aleister Crowley”. Aries: Journal for the Study of Western Esotericism. 3 (2). Leiden: Brill. pp. 224–245. ———(2014) [1999]. Aleister Crowley and the Temptation of Politics. Ariel Godwin (translator). Durham: Acumen. ISBN 978-184465-696-7. Richmond, Keith (2012). “Through the Witch's Looking Glass: The Magick of Aleister Crowley and the Witchcraft of Rosaleen Norton”. In Bogdan, Henrik; Starr, Martin P. Aleister Crowley and Western Esotericism. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 307–334. ISBN 978-0-19-986309-9. Spence, Richard B. (2008). Secret Agent 666: Aleister Crowley, British Intelligence and the Occult. Port Townsend, WA: Feral House. ISBN 978-1-932595-33-8. Sutin, Lawrence (2000). Do What Thou Wilt: A Life of Aleister Crowley. New York: St Martin's Press. ISBN 978-0-312-25243-4. Symonds, John (1997). The Beast 666: The Life of Aleister Crowley. London: Pindar Press. ISBN 9781-899828-21-0.

Moore, John (2009). Aleister Crowley: A Modern Master. Oxford: Mandrake. ISBN 978-1906958-02-2.

Tully, Caroline (2010). “Walk Like an Egyptian: Egypt as Authority in Aleister Crowley's Reception of The Book of the Law". The Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies. 12 (1). London: Equinox. pp. 20–47.

Owen, Alex (2012). “The Sorcerer and His Apprentice: Aleister Crowley and the Magical Exploration of Edwardian Subjectivity”

Urban, Hugh B. (2012). “The Occult Roots of Scientology? L. Ron Hubbard, Aleister Crowley, and the Origins of a Controversial

3.9. EXTERNAL LINKS New Religion”. In Bogdan, Henrik; Starr, Martin P. Aleister Crowley and Western Esotericism. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 335–368. ISBN 978-0-19-986309-9.

3.9 External links • Works by Aleister Crowley at Project Gutenberg • Works by or about Aleister Crowley at Internet Archive • Works by Aleister Crowley at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks) • Aleister Crowley Collection at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin • The Libri of Aleister Crowley Many of the writings of Crowley have been published for free online. • Aleister Crowley Foundation Dedicated to perpetuating the teachings of Aleister Crowley and Thelema. • Photos of the Abbey of Thelema in Cefalù Aleister Crowley and the Abbey of Thelema in Cefalù. • Perdurabo (Where is Aleister Crowley?) A film on the Abbey of Thelema by Carlos Atanes.


Chapter 4

Magick (Thelema) For other uses, see Magic (disambiguation).

eight theorems. His first clarification on the matter is that of a postulate, in which he states“ANY required change may be effected by the application of the proper kind and Magick, in the context of Aleister Crowley's Thelema, through the proper is a term used to show and differentiate the occult from degree of Force in the proper manner, medium to the proper object.”* [6]* [7] He goes on furperformance magic and is defined as “the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will", ther to state: including both “mundane”acts of will as well as ritual Magick is the Science of understanding magic. Crowley wrote that“it is theoretically possible to oneself and one's conditions. It is the Art of cause in any object any change of which that object is ca* applying that understanding in action.* [8] pable by nature”. [1] John Symonds and Kenneth Grant attach a deeper occult significance to this preference.* [2] Crowley saw Magick as the essential method for a person 4.2 Paranormal effects to reach true understanding of the self and to act according to one's true will, which he saw as the reconciliation “between freewill and destiny.”* [3] Crowley describes Crowley made many theories for the paranormal effects of Magick; however, as magicians and mystics had done this process in his Magick, Book 4: before him and continue to do after him, Crowley dismissed such effects as useless: One must find out for oneself, and make sure beyond doubt, who one is, what one is, why one is ...Being thus conscious of the proper So we find that from November, 1901, he course to pursue, the next thing is to underdid no practices of any kind until the Spring stand the conditions necessary to following it Equinox of 1904, with the exception of a out. After that, one must eliminate from onecasual week in the summer of 1903, and self every element alien or hostile to success, an exhibition game of magick in the King's and develop those parts of oneself which are Chamber of the Great Pyramid in November, specially needed to control the aforesaid con1903, when by his invocations he filled that ditions. (Crowley, Magick, Book 4 p.134) chamber with a brightness as of full moonlight. (This was no subjective illusion. The light was sufficient for him to read the ritual by.) Only to conclude, “There, you see it? What's the 4.1 Definitions and general purgood of it?" pose of Magick —Crowley, The Equinox of the Gods The term itself is an Early Modern English spelling for magic, used in works such as the 1651 translation of Even so, Crowley recognized that paranormal effects and Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa's De Occulta Philosophia, magical powers have some level of value for the individThree Books of Occult Philosophy, or Of Magick. Aleister ual: Crowley chose the spelling to differentiate his practices and rituals from stage magic and the term has since been My own experience was very convincing re-popularised by those who have adopted elements of his on this point; for one power after another teachings. came popping up when it was least wanted, and I saw at once that they represented so Crowley defined Magick as“the science and art of causmany leaks in my boat. They argued iming change to occur in conformity with will.”* [4]* [5] He goes on to elaborate on this, in one postulate, and twenty perfect insulation. And really they are quite 26

4.3. TECHNIQUES OF MAGICK a bit of a nuisance. Their possession is so flattering, and their seduction so subtle. One understands at once why all the first-class Teachers insist so sternly that the Siddhi (or Iddhi) must be rejected firmly by the Aspirant, if he is not to be sidetracked and ultimately lost. Nevertheless, “even the evil germs of Matter may alike become useful and good” as Zoroaster reminds us. For one thing, their possession is indubitably a sheet-anchor, at the mercy of the hurricane of Doubt—doubt as to whether the whole business is not Tommy-rot! Such moments are frequent, even when one has advanced to a stage when Doubt would seem impossible; until you get there, you can have no idea how bad it is! Then, again, when these powers have sprung naturally and spontaneously from the exercise of one's proper faculties in the Great Work, they ought to be a little more than leaks. You ought to be able to organize and control them in such wise that they are of actual assistance to you in taking the Next Step. After all, what moral or magical difference is there between the power of digesting one's food, and that of transforming oneself into a hawk? —Crowley, Magick Without Tears

4.3 Techniques of Magick There are several ways to view what Magick is. Again, at its most broad, it can be defined as any willed action leading to intended change. It can also be seen as the general set of methods used to accomplish the Great Work of mystical attainment. At the practical level, Magick most often takes several practices and forms of ritual, including banishing, invocation and evocation, eucharistic ritual, consecration and purification, astral travel, yoga, sex magic, and divination.

27 ick also proposes that various spirits and non-corporeal intelligences can be present.* [10] Banishings are performed in order to “clean out”these forces and presences.* [10] It is not uncommon to believe that banishings are more psychological than anything else, used to calm and balance the mind, but that the effect is ultimately the same—a sense of cleanliness within the self and the environment. There are many banishing rituals, but most are some variation on two of the most common—"The Star Ruby”and the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. Crowley describes banishing in his Magick, Book 4 (ch.13): [...] in the banishing ritual of the pentagram we not only command the demons to depart, but invoke the Archangels and their hosts to act as guardians of the Circle during our pre-occupation with the ceremony proper. In more elaborate ceremonies it is usual to banish everything by name. Each element, each planet, and each sign, perhaps even the Sephiroth themselves; all are removed, including the very one which we wished to invoke, for that forces as existing in Nature is always impure. But this process, being long and wearisome, is not altogether advisable in actual working. It is usually sufficient to perform a general banishing, and to rely upon the aid of the guardians invoked. [...] “The Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram”is the best to use. However, he further asserts: Those who regard this ritual as a mere devise to invoke or banish spirits, are unworthy to possess it. Properly understood, it is the Medicine of Metals and the Stone of the Wise.* [11]

4.3.2 Purification 4.3.1


Main article: Banishing The professed purpose of banishing rituals is to eliminate forces that might interfere with a magical operation, and they are often performed at the beginning of an important event or ceremony (although they can be performed for their own sake as well). The area of effect can be a magick circle, a room, or the magician himself. The general theory of Magick proposes that there are various forces which are represented by the classical elements (air, earth, fire, and water), the planets, the signs of the Zodiac, and adjacent spaces in the astral world.* [9] Mag-

Main article: Ritual purification Purification is similar in theme to banishing, but is a more rigorous process of preparing the self and her temple for serious spiritual work. Crowley mentions that ancient magicians would purify themselves through arduous programs, such as through special diets, fasting, sexual abstinence, keeping the body meticulously tidy, and undergoing a complicated series of prayers.* [12] He goes on to say that purification no longer requires such activity, since the magician can purify the self via willed intention. Specifically, the magician labors to purify the mind and body of all influences which may interfere with the Great Work:


CHAPTER 4. MAGICK (THELEMA) The point is to seize every occasion of bringing every available force to bear upon the objective of the assault. It does not matter what the force is (by any standard of judgment) so long as it plays its proper part in securing the success of the general purpose [...] We must constantly examine ourselves, and assure ourselves that every action is really subservient to the One Purpose.* [12]

Crowley recommended symbolically ritual practices, such as bathing and robing before a main ceremony:“The bath signifies the removal of all things extraneous or antagonistic to the one thought. The putting on of the robe is the positive side of the same operation. It is the assumption of the frame of mind suitable to that one thought.” * [12]



Main article: Consecration Consecration is an equally important magical operation. It is essentially the dedication, usually of a ritual instrument or space, to a specific purpose. In Magick, Book 4 An example of the magic circle and triangle of art of King Solomon (ch.13), Crowley writes: The ritual here in question should summarize the situation, and devote the particular arrangement to its purpose by invoking the appropriate forces. Let it be well remembered that each object is bound by the Oaths of its original consecration as such. Thus, if a pantacle has been made sacred to Venus, it cannot be used in an operation of Mars.


Crowley (Magick, Book 4) discusses three main categories of invocation, although “in the great essentials these three methods are one. In each case the magician identifies himself with the Deity invoked.”* [14] • Devotion—where“identity with the God is attained by love and by surrender, by giving up or suppressing all irrelevant (and illusionary) parts of yourself.”


Main article: Invocation Invocation is the bringing in or identifying with a particular deity or spirit. Crowley wrote of two keys to success in this arena: to“inflame thyself in praying”* [13] and to “invoke often”. For Crowley, the single most important invocation, or any act of Magick for that matter, was the invocation of one's Holy Guardian Angel, or“secret self” , which allows the adept to know his or her True Will. Crowley describes the experience of invocation: The mind must be exalted until it loses consciousness of self. The Magician must be carried forward blindly by a force which, though in him and of him, is by no means that which he in his normal state of consciousness calls I. Just as the poet, the lover, the artist, is carried out of himself in a creative frenzy, so must it be for the Magician.* [13]

• Calling forth—where“identity is attained by paying special attention to the desired part of yourself.” • Drama—where “identity is attained by sympathy. It is very difficult for the ordinary man to lose himself completely in the subject of a play or of a novel; but for those who can do so, this method is unquestionably the best.”

Another invocatory technique that the magician can employ is called the assumption of godforms—where with “concentrated imagination of oneself in the symbolic shape of any God, one should be able to identify oneself with the idea which [the god] represents.”* [15] A general method involves positioning the body in a position that is typical for a given god, imagining that the image of the god is coinciding with or enveloping the body, accompanied by the practice of “vibration”of the appropriate god-name(s).




Main article: Evocation There is a distinct difference between invocation and evocation, as Crowley explains: To “invoke”is to “call in”, just as to “evoke”is to “call forth”. This is the essential difference between the two branches of Magick. In invocation, the macrocosm floods the consciousness. In evocation, the magician, having become the macrocosm, creates a microcosm. You invoke a God into the Circle. You evoke a Spirit into the Triangle.* [14] Generally, evocation is used for two main purposes: to gather information and to obtain the services or obedience of a spirit or demon. Crowley believed that the most effective form of evocation was found in the grimoire on Goetia (see below), which instructs the magician in how to safely summon forth and command 72 infernal spirits. However, it is equally possible to evoke angelic beings, gods, and other intelligences related to planets, elements, and the Zodiac. Unlike with invocation, which involves a calling in, evocation involves a calling forth, most commonly into what is called the “triangle of art.”


Astral travel

Main article: Astral projection • Astral body • Body of light • Rising on the planes • Trances and visions



The word eucharist originally comes from the Greek word for thanksgiving. However, within Magick, it takes on a special meaning —the transmutation of ordinary things (usually food and drink) into divine sacraments, which are then consumed. The object is to infuse the food and drink with certain properties, usually embodied by various deities, so that the adept takes in those properties upon consumption. Crowley describes the process of the regular practice of eucharistic ritual: The magician becomes filled with God, fed upon God, intoxicated with God. Little by little his body will become purified by the internal

29 lustration of God; day by day his mortal frame, shedding its earthly elements, will become in very truth the Temple of the Holy Ghost. Day by day matter is replaced by Spirit, the human by the divine; ultimately the change will be complete; God manifest in flesh will be his name.* [16] There are several eucharistic rituals within the magical canon. Two of the most well known are The Mass of the Phoenix and The Gnostic Mass. The first is a ritual designed for the individual, which involves sacrificing a "Cake of Light" (a type of bread that serves as the host) to Ra (i.e. the Sun) and infusing a second Cake with the adept's own blood (either real or symbolic, in a gesture reflecting the myth of the Pelican cutting its own breast to feed its young) and then consuming it with the words, “There is no grace: there is no guilt: This is the Law: Do what thou wilt!" The other ritual, The Gnostic Mass, is a very popular public ritual (although it can be practiced privately) that involves a team of participants, including a Priest and Priestess. This ritual is an enactment of the mystical journey that culminates with the Mystic Marriage and the consumption of a Cake of Light and a goblet of wine (a process termed “communication”). Afterwards, each Communicant declares, “There is no part of me that is not of the gods!"

4.3.8 Yoga Main article: Yoga Generally speaking, Yoga is not considered to be Magick per se., by those who are really familiar with it. But in verity, it is the necessary training of the body and the mind to allow for certain types of illumination of the soul and the person himself to take place. Simply put, the goal is the control of the mind—to increase concentration and to be able to enter different states of consciousness. When developing his basic yogic program, Crowley borrowed heavily from many other yogis, such as Patanjali and Yajnavalkya. Yoga, as Crowley interprets it, involves several key components. The first is Asana, which is the assumption (after eventual success) of any easy, steady and comfortable posture so as to maintain a good physique which complements the high level of enlightenment that meditation is accompanied with. Next is Pranayama, which is the control of breath. Yogis believe that the number of breaths a human takes are counted before one is even born and thus, by controlling the intake one may also be able to control the life. Mantram, the use of mantras enables the subject to use the knowledge of the Vedas “Atharva Veda” in this context adequately. Yama and Niyama are the adopted moral or behavioral codes (of the adept's choosing) that will be least likely to excite the mind. Pratyahara is the stilling of the thoughts so that the mind becomes



quiet. Dharana is the beginning of concentration, usually on a single shape, like a triangle, which eventually leads to Dhyana, the loss of distinction between object and subject, which can be described as the annihilation of the ego (or sense of a separate self). The final stage is Samādhi—Union with the All; it is considered to be the utmost level of awareness that one could possibly achieve. According to Hindu mythology, one of their main three deities, Shiva, had mastered this and thus was bestowed upon with stupendous power and control.


(sing. “sephira”) which are connected by twenty two paths. The sephiroth are represented by the planets and the paths by the characters of the Hebrew alphabet, which are subdivided by the four classical elements, the seven classical planets, and the twelve signs of the Zodiac. Within the western magical tradition, the Tree is used as a kind of conceptual filing cabinet. Each sephira and path is assigned various ideas, such as gods, cards of the Tarot, astrological planets and signs, elements, etc. Crowley considered a deep understanding of the Tree of Life to be essential to the magician:


Main article: Divination The art of divination is generally employed for the purpose of obtaining information that can guide the adept in his Great Work. The underlying theory states that there exists intelligences (either outside of or inside the mind of the diviner) that can offer accurate information within certain limits using a language of symbols. Normally, divination within Magick is not the same as fortune telling, which is more interested in predicting future events. Rather, divination tends to be more about discovering information about the nature and condition of things that can help the magician gain insight and to make better decisions. There are literally hundreds of different divinatory techniques in the world. However, Western occult practice mostly includes the use of astrology (calculating the influence of heavenly bodies), bibliomancy (reading random passages from a book, such as Liber Legis or the I Ching), tarot (a deck of 78 cards, each with symbolic meaning, usually laid out in a meaningful pattern), and geomancy (a method of making random marks on paper or in earth that results in a combination of sixteen patterns).

The Tree of Life has got to be learnt by heart; you must know it backwards, forwards, sideways, and upside down; it must become the automatic background of all your thinking. You must keep on hanging everything that comes your way upon its proper bough.* [18] Similar to yoga, learning the Tree of Life is not so much Magick as it is a way to map out one's spiritual universe. As such, the adept may use the Tree to determine a destination for astral travel, to choose which gods to invoke for what purposes, et cetera. It also plays an important role in modeling the spiritual journey, where the adept begins in Malkuth, which is the every-day material world of phenomena, with the ultimate goal being at Kether, the sphere of Unity with the All. Magical record A magical record is a journal or other source of documentation containing magical events, experiences, ideas, and any other information that the magician may see fit to add. There can be many purposes for such a record, such as recording evidence to verify the effectiveness of specific procedures (per the scientific method that Aleister Crowley claimed should be applied to the practice of Magick) or to ensure that data may propagate beyond the lifetime of the magician. Benefits of this process vary, but usually include future analysis and further education by the individual and/or associates with whom the magician feels comfortable in revealing such intrinsically private information.

It is an accepted truism within Magick that divination is imperfect. As Crowley writes, “In estimating the ultimate value of a divinatory judgment, one must allow for more than the numerous sources of error inherent in the process itself. The judgment can do no more than the facts presented to it warrant. It is naturally impossible in most cases to make sure that some important factor has not been omitted [...] One must not assume that the oracle is omniscient.”* [17] Crowley was highly insistent upon the importance of this practice. As he writes in Liber E, “It is absolutely necessary that all experiments should be recorded in detail 4.3.10 Other magical practices during, or immediately after, their performance ... The more scientific the record is, the better. Yet the emoQabalah and the Tree of Life tions should be noted, as being some of the conditions. Let then the record be written with sincerity and care; Main articles: Qabalah and Tree of life (Kabbalah) thus with practice it will be found more and more to approximate to the ideal.”* [19] Other items he suggests The Tree of Life is a tool used to categorize and organize for inclusion include the physical and mental condition of various mystical concepts. At its most simple level, it is the experimenter, the time and place, and environmental composed of ten spheres, or emanations, called sephiroth conditions, including the weather.


4.4 Components of ritual magic 4.4.1

Magical weapons

Main article: Magical weapon As with Magick itself, a magical weapon is any instrument used to bring about intentional change. As Crowley writes, “Illustration: It is my Will to inform the World of certain facts within my knowledge. I therefore take “magical weapons”, pen, ink, and paper ... The composition and distribution of this book is thus an act of Magick by which I cause Changes to take place in conformity with my Will.”* [20] With that said, in practice, magical weapons are usually specific, consecrated items used within ceremonial magic. There is no hard and fast rule for what is or isn't a magical weapon—if a magician considers it such a weapon, then it is. However, there does exist a set of magical weapons that have particular uses and symbolic meanings. Common weapons include the dagger (or athame in neopagan parlance), sword, wand, holy oil, cup (or graal), disk (or pentacle), oil lamp, bell, and thurible (or censer).

31 ping forward with the left foot while throwing the body forward with arms outstretched, visualizing the name rushing out when spoken, ending in an upright stance, with the right forefinger placed upon the lips. According to Crowley in “Liber O”, success in this technique is signaled by physical exhaustion and “though only by the student himself is it perceived, when he hears the name of the God vehemently roared forth, as if by the concourse of ten thousand thunders; and it should appear to him as if that Great Voice proceeded from the Universe, and not from himself.” In general ritual practice, vibration can also refer to a technique of saying a god-name or a magical formula in a long, drawn-out fashion (i.e. with a full, deep breath) that employs the nasal passages, such that the sound feels and sounds “vibrated'. This is known as Galdering.

4.5 See also General • Folk magic


Magical formulae

Main article: Magical formula

• Magic and religion • List of occult terms

A magical formula is generally a name, word, or series of letters whose meaning illustrates principles and de- Other types of magic grees of understanding that are often difficult to relay using other forms of speech or writing. It is a concise • Chaos magic means to communicate very abstract information through the medium of a word or phrase, usually regarding a pro• Enochian magic cess of spiritual or mystical change. Common formulae include INRI, IAO, ShT, AUMGN, NOX, and LVX. • Greater and lesser magic These words often have no intrinsic meaning in and of themselves. However, when deconstructed, each individ• Natural magic ual letter may refer to some universal concept found in the system that the formula appears. Additionally, in group• Theurgy ing certain letters together one is able to display meaningful sequences that are considered to be of value to the • Witchcraft spiritual system that utilizes them (e.g. spiritual hierarchies, historiographic data, psychological stages, etc.) Other magical practices


Vibration of god-names

In magical rituals involving the invocation of deities, a vocal technique called vibration is commonly used. This was a basic aspect of magical training for Crowley, who described it in“Liber O.”* [21] According to that text, vibration involves a physical set of steps, starting in a standing position, breathing in through the nose while imagining the name of the god entering with the breath, imagining that breath travelling through the entire body, step-

• Amulet • Curse • Initiation • Oath • Sigil


4.6 Notes [1] Crowley, Aleister. Magick, Book 4. p. 127. What is a Magical Operation? It may be defined as any event in nature which is brought to pass by Will. We must not exclude potato-growing or banking from our definition. Let us take a very simple example of a Magical Act: that of a man blowing his nose. [2] John Symonds; Kenneth Grant (1973). “Introduction”. In Crowley, Aleister. Magick. Samuel Weiser. ISBN 9780-7100-7423-2. The Anglo-Saxon k in Magick, like most of Crowley's conceits, is a means of indicating the kind of magic which he performed. K is the eleventh letter of several alphabets, and eleven is the principal number of magick, because it is the number attributed to the Qliphoth the underworld of demonic and chaotic forces that have to be conquered before magick can be performed. K has other magical implications: it corresponds to the power or shakti aspect of creative energy, for k is the ancient Egyptian khu, the magical power. Specifically, it stands for kteis (vagina), the complement to the wand (or phallus) which is used by the Magician in certain aspects of the Great Work. [3] Crowley, Aleister.“A Lecture on the Philosophy of Magick”. The Revival of Magick. p. 207. [4] Magick in Theory and Practice, Book 3 of 4 by Aleister Crowley [5] Crowley (1973), ch 1. [6] Magick in Theory and Practice [7] Crowley (1973). [8] Crowley, Aleister (1990). Magick in Theory and Practice (Photo-offset edition. ed.). Magickal Childe Publishing. ISBN 1555217664. [9] Joseph Max. "Ritual". Boudicca's Bard. Retrieved 200606-09. External link in |publisher= (help) [10] Link text, While an extreme case scenario, the term Exorcism encapsulates the concept of Banishing. [11] Magick (Book 4), p. 690 [12] (Magick, Book 4, ch.13) [13] (Magick, Book 4, ch.15) [14] (Magick, Book 4, p.147) [15] Crowley (1979), ch. 26. [16] (Magick, Book 4, ch.20) [17] Magick, Book 4, ch.18 [18] Crowley (1973), ch. IV. [19] Crowley, Magick, Book 4, “Liber E” [20] Crowley, A. Magick, Book 4. p.126. [21] Crowley, A. Magick, Book 4. “Liber O”


4.7 References • Bacon, Roger (1659, London). His Discovery of the Miracles of Art, Nature, and Magic. Faithfully translated out of Dr Dees own Copy, by T. M. and never before in English. • Crowley, Aleister (1979), The Confessions of Aleister Crowley, Routledge & Kegan Paul • Crowley, Aleister (1985), Eight Lectures on Yoga, Falcon Press • Crowley, Aleister (1974), The Equinox of the Gods, Gordon Press • Crowley, Aleister (1997), Magick (Book 4), Weiser • Crowley, Aleister (1973), Magick Without Tears, Falcon Press

4.8 External links • Hermetic.com: The Libri of Aleister Crowley • Journal of Thelemic Studies – the first non-partisan, academic journal investigating the occult tradition of Thelema

Chapter 5

Prose This article is about the language form. For legal term “Of course Newton did not discover any law of linguistic uses, see Pro se. For the American author, see Francine nature mandating that no matter how freeform, spontaProse. neous, or unstructured a literary statement may be, it will always contain poetic elements, just as non-ionized eleProse is a form of language that exhibits a grammatical ments will always contain electrons; the best prose conpoetic charge outputted by the smallest structure and a natural flow of speech, rather than a tains the greatest * poetic effort.” [5] rhythmic structure as in traditional poetry. Where the common unit of verse is based on meter or rhyme, the common unit of prose is purely grammatical, such as a sentence or paragraph.* [1]

5.1 Background There are critical debates on the construction of prose: "... the distinction between verse and prose is clear, the distinction between poetry and prose is obscure”.* [2] Prose in its simplicity and loosely defined structure is broadly adaptable to spoken dialogue, factual discourse, and to topical and fictional writing. It is systematically produced and published within literature, journalism (including newspapers, magazines, and broadcasting), encyclopedias, film, history, philosophy, law, and in almost all forms and processes requiring human communications.

5.4 Structure Prose lacks the more formal metrical structure of verse that can be found in traditional poetry. Prose comprises full grammatical sentences, which then constitute paragraphs while overlooking aesthetic appeal, whereas poetry typically involves a metrical and/or rhyming scheme. Some works of prose contain traces of metrical structure or versification and a conscious blend of the two literature formats known as prose poetry. Verse is considered to be more systematic or formulaic, whereas prose is the most reflective of ordinary (often conversational) speech. On this point, Samuel Taylor Coleridge jokingly requested that novice poets should know the “definitions of prose and poetry; that is, prose—words in their best order; poetry—the best words in their best order.”* [6]

5.2 Etymology The word “prose”first appears in English in the 14th century. It is derived from the Old French prose, which in turn originates in the Latin expression prosa oratio (literally, straightforward or direct speech).* [3]

5.3 Origins Isaac Newton in The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms wrote “The Greek Antiquities are full of Poetical Fictions, because the Greeks wrote nothing in Prose, before the Conquest of Asia by Cyrus the Persian. Then Pherecydes Scyrius and Cadmus Milesius introduced the writing in Prose.”* [4] Prose., the website, later wrote 33

Monsieur Jourdain asked for something to be written in neither verse nor prose. A philosophy master replied there is no other way to express oneself than with prose or verse, for the simple reason being that everything that is not prose is verse, and everything that is not verse is prose. Molière, Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme* [7] “So, concerning the mentioned definition, we can say that “thinking is translating 'prosaic-ideas' without accessories”since ideas (in brain) do not follow any metrical composition.”* [8] ... I believe a story can be wrecked by a faulty rhythm in a sentence—especially if it occurs toward the end —or a mistake in paragraphing, even punctuation. Henry James is the


CHAPTER 5. PROSE maestro of the semicolon. Hemingway is a firstrate paragrapher. From the point of view of ear, Virginia Woolf never wrote a bad sentence. I don't mean to imply that I successfully practice what I preach. I try, that's all.* [9]

5.5 Types See also: Prose types Many types of prose exist, including nonfictional prose, heroic prose,* [10] prose poem,* [11] polyphonic prose, alliterative prose, prose fiction, and village prose in Russian literature.* [12] A prose poem is a composition in prose that has some of the qualities of a poem.* [13]

[6] “Webster's Unabridged Dictionary (1913)". University of Chicago reconstruction. Retrieved 2010-01-31. [7] “Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme”. English translation accessible via Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 2010-01-31. [8] Ziaul Haque, Md.“Translating Literary Prose: Problems and Solutions”, International Journal of English Linguistics, vol. 2, no. 6; 2012, p. 98. Retrieved on April 02, 2015. [9] Hill, Pati.“Truman Capote, The Art of Fiction No. 17”. The Paris Review. Spring-Summer 1957 (16). Retrieved 18 February 2015. [10] Merriam-Webster (1995). Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature. Merriam-Webster, Inc. p. 542. ISBN 0877790426. [11] Lehman, David (2008). Great American Prose Poems. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 1439105111.

Many forms of creative or literary writing use prose, including novels and short stories. Writer Truman Capote [12] “Prose”. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2012-05thought that the short story was “the most difficult and 27. disciplining form of prose writing extant”.* [9] [13] “Prose poem”. Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 2012-0527.

5.6 See also • Prose (network) • English literature • Haikai prose • Postmodern literature • Prose rhythm • Prosimetrum

5.8 Further reading • 'Rhythm of Prose', William Morrison Patterson, Columbia University Press 1917 • Kuiper, Kathleen (2011). Prose: Literary Terms and Concepts. The Rosen Publishing Group. ISBN 1615304940. 244 pages. • Shklovsky, Viktor (1991). Theory of Prose. Dalkey Archive Press. ISBN 0916583643. 216 pages.

• Purple prose • Rhymed prose • Short prose • Haiku

5.7 References [1] “Verse”, “Types-Of-Poetry”, Screen 1 [2] Eliot T S 'Poetry & Prose: The Chapbook' Poetry Bookshop London 1921 [3] “prose (n.)". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 19 January 2015. [4] Newton, Isaac. The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended. Gutenberg. Retrieved 19 January 2015. [5] “The Etymology of Prose”. Prose. Retrieved 2016-0224.

5.9 External links • Prose examples in Literature

Chapter 6

Poetry This article is about the art form. For other uses, see meter; there are, however, traditions, such as Biblical poPoetry (disambiguation). etry, that use other means to create rhythm and euphony. Much modern poetry reflects a critique of poetic tradition,* [5] playing with and testing, among other things, “Poem”, “Poems”, and “Poetic”redirect here. sometimes altogether forFor other uses, see Poem (disambiguation), Poems the principle of euphony itself, going rhyme or set rhythm.* [6]* [7] In today's increas(disambiguation), and Poetic (disambiguation). ingly globalized world, poets often adapt forms, styles and techniques from diverse cultures and languages. Poetry is a form of literature that uses aesthetic and rhythmic* [1]* [2]* [3] qualities of language —such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, and metre—to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the prosaic osten- 6.1 History sible meaning. Poetry has a long history, dating back to the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh. Early poems evolved from folk songs such as the Chinese Shijing, or from a need to retell oral epics, as with the Sanskrit Vedas, Zoroastrian Gathas, and the Homeric epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey. Ancient attempts to define poetry, such as Aristotle's Poetics, focused on the uses of speech in rhetoric, drama, song and comedy. Later attempts concentrated on features such as repetition, verse form and rhyme, and emphasized the aesthetics which distinguish poetry from more objectively informative, prosaic forms of writing. From the mid-20th century, poetry has sometimes been more generally regarded as a fundamental creative act employing language. Poetry uses forms and conventions to suggest differential interpretation to words, or to evoke emotive responses. Devices such as assonance, alliteration, onomatopoeia and rhythm are sometimes used to achieve musical or incantatory effects. The use of ambiguity, symbolism, irony and other stylistic elements of poetic diction often leaves a poem open to multiple interpretations. Similarly figures of speech such as metaphor, simile and metonymy* [4] create a resonance between otherwise disparate images—a layering of meanings, forming connections previously not perceived. Kindred forms of resonance may exist, between individual verses, in their pat- Aristotle terns of rhyme or rhythm. Some poetry types are specific to particular cultures and Main articles: History of poetry and Literary theory genres and respond to characteristics of the language in which the poet writes. Readers accustomed to identifying Poetry as an art form may predate literacy.* [8] The poetry with Dante, Goethe, Mickiewicz and Rumi may oldest surviving epic poem is the Epic of Gilgamesh, think of it as written in lines based on rhyme and regular from the 3rd millennium BC in Sumer (in Mesopotamia, 35



now Iraq), which was written in cuneiform script on clay tablets and, later, papyrus.* [9] A tablet dating to c. 2000 BC describes an annual rite in which the king symbolically married and mated with the goddess Inanna to ensure fertility and prosperity, and is considered the world's oldest love poem.* [10]* [11] Examples of Egyptian epic poetry include The Story of Sinuhe (c. 1800 BC). Other ancient epic poetry includes the Greek epics Iliad and Odyssey, the Avestan books the Gathic Avesta and Yasna, the Roman national epic, Virgil's Aeneid, and the Indian epics Ramayana and Mahabharata.

res of poetry —the epic, the comic, and the tragic — and develop rules to distinguish the highest-quality poetry in each genre, based on the underlying purposes of the genre.* [17] Later aestheticians identified three major genres: epic poetry, lyric poetry, and dramatic poetry, treating comedy and tragedy as subgenres of dramatic poetry.* [18]

The efforts of ancient thinkers to determine what makes poetry distinctive as a form, and what distinguishes good poetry from bad, resulted in "poetics"—the study of the aesthetics of poetry.* [14] Some ancient poetic traditions; such as, contextually, Classical Chinese poetry in the case of the Shijing (Classic of Poetry), which records the development of poetic canons with ritual and aesthetic importance.* [15] More recently, thinkers have struggled to find a definition that could encompass formal differences as great as those between Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and Matsuo Bashō's Oku no Hosomichi, as well as differences in context spanning Tanakh religious poetry, love poetry, and rap.* [16]

poet John Keats termed this escape from logic "Negative Capability".* [22] This“romantic”approach views form as a key element of successful poetry because form is abstract and distinct from the underlying notional logic. This approach remained influential into the 20th century.* [23]

Aristotle's work was influential throughout the Middle East during the Islamic Golden Age,* [19] as well as in Europe during the Renaissance.* [20] Later poets and aestheticians often distinguished poetry from, and defined it Epic poetry, including the Indian Vedas, the Gathas, and in opposition to prose, which was generally understood as the Odyssey, appears to have been composed in poetic writing with a proclivity to logical explication and a linear form to aid memorization and oral transmission, in pre- narrative structure.* [21] historic and ancient societies.* [12] Other forms of poetry This does not imply that poetry is illogical or lacks nardeveloped directly from folk songs. The earliest entries in ration, but rather that poetry is an attempt to render the the ancient compilation Shijing, were initially lyrics, pre- beautiful or sublime without the burden of engaging the ceding later entries intended to be read.* [13] logical or narrative thought process. English Romantic


Western traditions

During this period, there was also substantially more interaction among the various poetic traditions, in part due to the spread of European colonialism and the attendant rise in global trade.* [24] In addition to a boom in translation, during the Romantic period numerous ancient works were rediscovered.* [25]

6.1.2 20th-century and 21st-century disputes

John Keats

Classical thinkers employed classification as a way to define and assess the quality of poetry. Notably, the existing fragments of Aristotle's Poetics describe three gen- Archibald MacLeish

6.2. ELEMENTS Some 20th-century literary theorists, relying less on the opposition of prose and poetry, focused on the poet as simply one who creates using language, and poetry as what the poet creates.* [26] The underlying concept of the poet as creator is not uncommon, and some modernist poets essentially do not distinguish between the creation of a poem with words, and creative acts in other media. Yet other modernists challenge the very attempt to define poetry as misguided.* [27]


6.2 Elements 6.2.1 Prosody Main article: Meter (poetry) Prosody is the study of the meter, rhythm, and intonation of a poem. Rhythm and meter are different, although closely related.* [32] Meter is the definitive pattern established for a verse (such as iambic pentameter), while rhythm is the actual sound that results from a line of poetry. Prosody also may be used more specifically to refer to the scanning of poetic lines to show meter.* [33]

The rejection of traditional forms and structures for poetry that began in the first half of the 20th century coincided with a questioning of the purpose and meaning of traditional definitions of poetry and of distinctions between poetry and prose, particularly given examples of poetic prose and prosaic poetry. Numerous modernist poets have written in non-traditional forms or in what Rhythm traditionally would have been considered prose, although their writing was generally infused with poetic diction and Main articles: Timing (linguistics), tone (linguistics), and often with rhythm and tone established by non-metrical Pitch accent means. While there was a substantial formalist reaction The methods for creating poetic rhythm vary across within the modernist schools to the breakdown of structure, this reaction focused as much on the development of new formal structures and syntheses as on the revival of older forms and structures.* [28] Recently, postmodernism has come to convey more completely prose and poetry as distinct entities, and also among genres of poetry, as having meaning only as cultural artifacts. Postmodernism goes beyond modernism's emphasis on the creative role of the poet, to emphasize the role of the reader of a text (Hermeneutics), and to highlight the complex cultural web within which a poem is read.* [29] Today, throughout the world, poetry often incorporates poetic form and diction from other cultures and from the past, further confounding attempts at definition and classification that were once sensible within a tradition such as the Western canon.* [30] The early 21st century poetic tradition appears to continue to strongly orient itself to earlier precursor poetic traditions such as those initiated by Whitman, Emerson, and Wordsworth. The literary critic Geoffrey Hartman has used the phrase“the anxiety of demand”to describe contemporary response to older poetic traditions as“being fearful that the fact no longer has a form”, building on a trope introduced by Emerson. Emerson had maintained that in the debate concerning poetic structure where either“form”or“fact”could predominate, that one need simply “Ask the fact for the form.”This has been challenged at various levels by other literary scholars such as Bloom who has stated in summary form concerning the early 21st century that: “The generation of poets who stand together now, mature and ready to write the major American verse of the twenty-first century, may yet be seen as what Stevens called 'a great shadow's last embellishment,' the shadow being Emerson's.”* [31]

Robinson Jeffers

languages and between poetic traditions. Languages are often described as having timing set primarily by accents, syllables, or moras, depending on how rhythm is established, though a language can be influenced by multiple approaches. Japanese is a mora-timed language. Syllable-timed languages include Latin, Catalan, French, Leonese, Galician and Spanish. English, Russian and, generally, German are stress-timed languages.* [34] Varying intonation also affects how rhythm is perceived. Languages can rely on either pitch, such as in Vedic Sanskrit or Ancient Greek, or tone. Tonal languages include Chinese, Vietnamese and most Subsaharan lan-

38 guages.* [35] Metrical rhythm generally involves precise arrangements of stresses or syllables into repeated patterns called feet within a line. In Modern English verse the pattern of stresses primarily differentiate feet, so rhythm based on meter in Modern English is most often founded on the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables (alone or elided).* [36] In the classical languages, on the other hand, while the metrical units are similar, vowel length rather than stresses define the meter.* [37] Old English poetry used a metrical pattern involving varied numbers of syllables but a fixed number of strong stresses in each line.* [38]

CHAPTER 6. POETRY the earliest extant examples of which are the works of Homer and Hesiod.* [46] Iambic pentameter and dactylic hexameter were later used by a number of poets, including William Shakespeare and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, respectively.* [47] The most common metrical feet in English are:* [48]

The chief device of ancient Hebrew Biblical poetry, including many of the psalms, was parallelism, a rhetorical structure in which successive lines reflected each other in grammatical structure, sound structure, notional content, or all three. Parallelism lent itself to antiphonal or call-and-response performance, which could also be reinforced by intonation. Thus, Biblical poetry relies much less on metrical feet to create rhythm, but instead creates rhythm based on much larger sound units of lines, phrases and sentences.* [39] Some classical poetry forms, such as Venpa of the Tamil language, had rigid grammars (to the point that they could be expressed as a context-free grammar) which ensured a rhythm.* [40] In Chinese poetry, tones as well as stresses create rhythm. Classical Chinese poetics identifies four tones: the level tone, rising tone, departing tone, and entering tone.* [41] The formal patterns of meter used in Modern English Homer verse to create rhythm no longer dominate contemporary English poetry. In the case of free verse, rhythm is often • iamb – one unstressed syllable followed by a stressed organized based on looser units of cadence rather than a syllable (e.g. describe, Include, retract) regular meter. Robinson Jeffers, Marianne Moore, and • trochee – one stressed syllable followed by an unWilliam Carlos Williams are three notable poets who restressed syllable (e.g. picture, flower) ject the idea that regular accentual meter is critical to English poetry.* [42] Jeffers experimented with sprung • dactyl – one stressed syllable followed by two unrhythm as an alternative to accentual rhythm.* [43] stressed syllables (e.g.annotate an-no-tate) Meter

• anapest – two unstressed syllables followed by one stressed syllable (e.g. comprehend com-pre-hend)

Main article: Systems of scansion

• spondee – two stressed syllables together (e.g. enough)

In the Western poetic tradition, meters are customarily grouped according to a characteristic metrical foot and the number of feet per line.* [44] The number of metrical feet in a line are described using Greek terminology: tetrameter for four feet and hexameter for six feet, for example.* [45] Thus, "iambic pentameter" is a meter comprising five feet per line, in which the predominant kind of foot is the "iamb". This metric system originated in ancient Greek poetry, and was used by poets such as Pindar and Sappho, and by the great tragedians of Athens. Similarly, "dactylic hexameter", comprises six feet per line, of which the dominant kind of foot is the "dactyl". Dactylic hexameter was the traditional meter of Greek epic poetry,

• pyrrhic – two unstressed syllables together (rare, usually used to end dactylic hexameter) There are a wide range of names for other types of feet, right up to a choriamb, a four syllable metric foot with a stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables and closing with a stressed syllable. The choriamb is derived from some ancient Greek and Latin poetry.* [46] Languages which utilize vowel length or intonation rather than or in addition to syllabic accents in determining meter, such as Ottoman Turkish or Vedic, often have concepts similar to the iamb and dactyl to describe common combinations of long and short sounds.* [49]

6.2. ELEMENTS Each of these types of feet has a certain“feel,”whether alone or in combination with other feet. The iamb, for example, is the most natural form of rhythm in the English language, and generally produces a subtle but stable verse.* [50] Scanning meter can often show the basic or fundamental pattern underlying a verse, but does not show the varying degrees of stress, as well as the differing pitches and lengths of syllables.* [51]

39 Metrical patterns Main article: Meter (poetry) Different traditions and genres of poetry tend to use different meters, ranging from the Shakespearean iambic pentameter and the Homeric dactylic hexameter to the anapestic tetrameter used in many nursery rhymes. However, a number of variations to the established meter are common, both to provide emphasis or attention to a given foot or line and to avoid boring repetition. For example, the stress in a foot may be inverted, a caesura (or pause) may be added (sometimes in place of a foot or stress), or the final foot in a line may be given a feminine ending to soften it or be replaced by a spondee to emphasize it and create a hard stop. Some patterns (such as iambic pentameter) tend to be fairly regular, while other patterns, such as dactylic hexameter, tend to be highly irregular.* [54] Regularity can vary between language. In addition, different patterns often develop distinctively in different languages, so that, for example, iambic tetrameter in Russian will generally reflect a regularity in the use of accents to reinforce the meter, which does not occur, or occurs to a much lesser extent, in English.* [55]

Illustration by Henry Holiday to Lewis Carroll's "The Hunting of the Snark", which is written mainly in anapestic tetrameter.

There is debate over how useful a multiplicity of different “feet”is in describing meter. For example, Robert Pinsky has argued that while dactyls are important in classical verse, English dactylic verse uses dactyls very irregularly Alexander Pushkin and can be better described based on patterns of iambs and anapests, feet which he considers natural to the lan- Some common metrical patterns, with notable examples guage.* [52] Actual rhythm is significantly more complex of poets and poems who use them, include: than the basic scanned meter described above, and many • Iambic pentameter (John Milton in Paradise Lost, scholars have sought to develop systems that would scan William Shakespeare in his Sonnets)* [56] such complexity. Vladimir Nabokov noted that overlaid on top of the regular pattern of stressed and unstressed • Dactylic hexameter (Homer, Iliad; Virgil, syllables in a line of verse was a separate pattern of acAeneid)* [57] cents resulting from the natural pitch of the spoken words, • Iambic tetrameter (Andrew Marvell, "To His Coy and suggested that the term“scud”be used to distinguish Mistress"; Aleksandr Pushkin, Eugene Onegin, an unaccented stress from an accented stress.* [53]



Robert Frost, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy a lengthy poem. The richness results from word endEvening)* [58] ings that follow regular forms. English, with its irregular word endings adopted from other languages, is less rich • Trochaic octameter (Edgar Allan Poe, "The in rhyme.* [63] The degree of richness of a language's Raven")* [59] rhyming structures plays a substantial role in determining what poetic forms are commonly used in that lan• Alexandrine (Jean Racine, Phèdre)* [60] guage.* [64] Alliteration is the repetition of letters or letter-sounds at the beginning of two or more words immediately suc6.2.2 Rhyme, alliteration, assonance ceeding each other, or at short intervals; or the recurrence of the same letter in accented parts of words. Alliteration Main articles: Rhyme, Alliterative verse, and Assonance and assonance played a key role in structuring early GerRhyme, alliteration, assonance and consonance are ways manic, Norse and Old English forms of poetry. The alliterative patterns of early Germanic poetry interweave meter and alliteration as a key part of their structure, so that the metrical pattern determines when the listener expects instances of alliteration to occur. This can be compared to an ornamental use of alliteration in most Modern European poetry, where alliterative patterns are not formal or carried through full stanzas. Alliteration is particularly useful in languages with less rich rhyming structures. Assonance, where the use of similar vowel sounds within a word rather than similar sounds at the beginning or end of a word, was widely used in skaldic poetry, but goes back to the Homeric epic.* [65] Because verbs carry much of the pitch in the English language, assonance can loosely evoke the tonal elements of Chinese poetry and so is useful in translating Chinese poetry.* [66] Consonance occurs where a consonant sound is repeated throughout a sentence without putting the sound only at the front of a word. Consonance provokes a more subtle effect than alliteration and so is less useful as a structural element.* [64]

Rhyming schemes

The Old English epic poem Beowulf is written in alliterative verse.

of creating repetitive patterns of sound. They may be used as an independent structural element in a poem, to reinforce rhythmic patterns, or as an ornamental element.* [61] They can also carry a meaning separate from the repetitive sound patterns created. For example, Chaucer used heavy alliteration to mock Old English verse and to paint a character as archaic.* [62] Rhyme consists of identical (“hard-rhyme”) or similar ( “soft-rhyme”) sounds placed at the ends of lines or at predictable locations within lines ("internal rhyme"). Languages vary in the richness of their rhyming structures; Italian, for example, has a rich rhyming structure permitting maintenance of a limited set of rhymes throughout

Main article: Rhyme scheme In many languages, including modern European languages and Arabic, poets use rhyme in set patterns as a structural element for specific poetic forms, such as ballads, sonnets and rhyming couplets. However, the use of structural rhyme is not universal even within the European tradition. Much modern poetry avoids traditional rhyme schemes. Classical Greek and Latin poetry did not use rhyme.* [67] Rhyme entered European poetry in the High Middle Ages, in part under the influence of the Arabic language in Al Andalus (modern Spain).* [68] Arabic language poets used rhyme extensively from the first development of literary Arabic in the sixth century, as in their long, rhyming qasidas.* [69] Some rhyming schemes have become associated with a specific language, culture or period, while other rhyming schemes have achieved use across languages, cultures or time periods. Some forms of poetry carry a consistent and well-defined rhyming scheme, such as the chant royal or the rubaiyat, while other poetic forms have variable rhyme schemes.* [70]


41 combined into larger structures, called poetic forms or poetic modes (see following section), as in the sonnet or haiku. Lines and stanzas Poetry is often separated into lines on a page. These lines may be based on the number of metrical feet, or may emphasize a rhyming pattern at the ends of lines. Lines may serve other functions, particularly where the poem is not written in a formal metrical pattern. Lines can separate, compare or contrast thoughts expressed in different units, or can highlight a change in tone.* [76] See the article on line breaks for information about the division between lines.

Lines of poems are often organized into stanzas, which are denominated by the number of lines included. Thus a collection of two lines is a couplet (or distich), three lines a triplet (or tercet), four lines a quatrain, and so on. These lines may or may not relate to each other by rhyme Dante and Beatrice see God as a point of light surrounded by anor rhythm. For example, a couplet may be two lines with gels. A Doré illustration to the Divine Comedy, Paradiso, Canto identical meters which rhyme or two lines held together 28. by a common meter alone.* [77] Most rhyme schemes are described using letters that correspond to sets of rhymes, so if the first, second and fourth lines of a quatrain rhyme with each other and the third line does not rhyme, the quatrain is said to have an“a-ab-a”rhyme scheme. This rhyme scheme is the one used, for example, in the rubaiyat form.* [71] Similarly, an“ab-b-a”quatrain (what is known as "enclosed rhyme") is used in such forms as the Petrarchan sonnet.* [72] Some types of more complicated rhyming schemes have developed names of their own, separate from the“a-b-c”convention, such as the ottava rima and terza rima.* [73] The types and use of differing rhyming schemes is discussed further in the main article.


Form in poetry

Poetic form is more flexible in modernist and postmodernist poetry, and continues to be less structured than in previous literary eras. Many modern poets eschew recognisable structures or forms, and write in free verse. But poetry remains distinguished from prose by its form; some regard for basic formal structures of poetry will be found in even the best free verse, however much such structures may appear to have been ignored.* [74] Similarly, in the best poetry written in classic styles there will be departures from strict form for emphasis or effect.* [75] Among major structural elements used in poetry are the line, the stanza or verse paragraph, and larger combinations of stanzas or lines such as cantos. Also sometimes used are broader visual presentations of words and calligraphy. These basic units of poetic form are often

Alexander Blok's poem, "Noch, ulitsa, fonar, apteka" (“Night, street, lamp, drugstore”), on a wall in Leiden

Other poems may be organized into verse paragraphs, in which regular rhymes with established rhythms are not used, but the poetic tone is instead established by a collection of rhythms, alliterations, and rhymes established in paragraph form.* [78] Many medieval poems were written in verse paragraphs, even where regular rhymes and rhythms were used.* [79] In many forms of poetry, stanzas are interlocking, so that the rhyming scheme or other structural elements of one stanza determine those of succeeding stanzas. Examples of such interlocking stanzas include, for example, the ghazal and the villanelle, where a refrain (or, in the case of the villanelle, refrains) is established in the first stanza which then repeats in subsequent stanzas. Related to the use of interlocking stanzas is their use to separate thematic parts of a poem. For example, the strophe,



antistrophe and epode of the ode form are often separated trol over the mass-produced visual presentations of their into one or more stanzas.* [80] work. Visual elements have become an important part In some cases, particularly lengthier formal poetry such of the poet's toolbox, and many poets have sought to use as some forms of epic poetry, stanzas themselves are con- visual presentation for a wide range of purposes. Some structed according to strict rules and then combined. In Modernist poets have made the placement of individual skaldic poetry, the dróttkvætt stanza had eight lines, each lines or groups of lines on the page an integral part of having three “lifts”produced with alliteration or asso- the poem's composition. At times, this complements the nance. In addition to two or three alliterations, the odd poem's rhythm through visual caesuras of various lengths, or creates juxtapositions so as to accentuate meaning, numbered lines had partial rhyme of consonants with dissimilar vowels, not necessarily at the beginning of the ambiguity or irony, or simply to create an aesthetically pleasing form. In its most extreme form, this can lead to word; the even lines contained internal rhyme in set syl* * lables (not necessarily at the end of the word). Each half- concrete poetry or asemic writing. [84] [85] line had exactly six syllables, and each line ended in a trochee. The arrangement of dróttkvætts followed far less 6.2.4 Diction rigid rules than the construction of the individual dróttkvætts.* [81] Main article: Poetic diction Visual presentation

Poetic diction treats the manner in which language is used, and refers not only to the sound but also to the underlying meaning and its interaction with sound and form.* [86] Many languages and poetic forms have very specific poetic dictions, to the point where distinct grammars and dialects are used specifically for poetry.* [87]* [88] Registers in poetry can range from strict employment of ordinary speech patterns, as favoured in much late-20th-century prosody,* [89] through to highly ornate uses of language, as in medieval and Renaissance poetry.* [90] Poetic diction can include rhetorical devices such as simile and metaphor, as well as tones of voice, such as irony. Aristotle wrote in the Poetics that “the greatest thing by far is to be a master of metaphor.”* [91] Since the rise of Modernism, some poets have opted for a poetic diction that de-emphasizes rhetorical devices, attempting instead the direct presentation of things and experiences and the exploration of tone.* [92] On the other hand, Surrealists have pushed rhetorical devices to their limits, making frequent use of catachresis.* [93]

Visual poetry

Main article: Visual poetry

Allegorical stories are central to the poetic diction of many cultures, and were prominent in the West during classical times, the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Aesop's Fables, repeatedly rendered in both verse and prose since first being recorded about 500 B.C., are perhaps the richest single source of allegorical poetry through the ages.* [94] Other notables examples include the Roman de la Rose, a 13th-century French poem, William Langland's Piers Ploughman in the 14th century, and Jean de la Fontaine's Fables (influenced by Aesop's) in the 17th century. Rather than being fully allegorical, however, a poem may contain symbols or allusions that deepen the meaning or effect of its words without constructing a full allegory.* [95]

Even before the advent of printing, the visual appearance of poetry often added meaning or depth. Acrostic poems conveyed meanings in the initial letters of lines or in letters at other specific places in a poem.* [82] In Arabic, Hebrew and Chinese poetry, the visual presentation of Another element of poetic diction can be the use of vivid finely calligraphed poems has played an important part in imagery for effect. The juxtaposition of unexpected or the overall effect of many poems.* [83] impossible images is, for example, a particularly strong With the advent of printing, poets gained greater con- element in surrealist poetry and haiku.* [96] Vivid images

6.3. FORMS are often endowed with symbolism or metaphor. Many poetic dictions use repetitive phrases for effect, either a short phrase (such as Homer's “rosy-fingered dawn”or “the wine-dark sea”) or a longer refrain. Such repetition can add a sombre tone to a poem, or can be laced with irony as the context of the words changes.* [97]

6.3 Forms See also: Category:Poetic form Specific poetic forms have been developed by many cultures. In more developed, closed or “received”poetic forms, the rhyming scheme, meter and other elements of a poem are based on sets of rules, ranging from the relatively loose rules that govern the construction of an elegy to the highly formalized structure of the ghazal or villanelle.* [98] Described below are some common forms of poetry widely used across a number of languages. Additional forms of poetry may be found in the discussions of poetry of particular cultures or periods and in the glossary.



43 teen lines following a set rhyme scheme and logical structure. By the 14th century and the Italian Renaissance, the form had further crystallized under the pen of Petrarch, whose sonnets were translated in the 16th century by Sir Thomas Wyatt, who is credited with introducing the sonnet form into English literature.* [99] A traditional Italian or Petrarchan sonnet follows the rhyme scheme abba, abba, cdecde, though some variation, especially within the final six lines (or sestet), is common.* [100] The English (or Shakespearean) sonnet follows the rhyme scheme abab, cdcd, efef, gg, introducing a third quatrain (grouping of four lines), a final couplet, and a greater amount of variety with regard to rhyme than is usually found in its Italian predecessors. By convention, sonnets in English typically use iambic pentameter, while in the Romance languages, the hendecasyllable and Alexandrine are the most widely used meters. Sonnets of all types often make use of a volta, or“turn,”a point in the poem at which an idea is turned on its head, a question is answered (or introduced), or the subject matter is further complicated. This volta can often take the form of a“but”statement contradicting or complicating the content of the earlier lines. In the Petrarchan sonnet, the turn tends to fall around the division between the first two quatrains and the sestet, while English sonnets usually place it at or near the beginning of the closing couplet.

Sonnets are particularly associated with high poetic diction, vivid imagery, and romantic love, largely due to the Main article: Sonnet Among the most common forms of poetry, popular influence of Petrarch as well as of early English practitioners such as Edmund Spenser (who gave his name to the Spenserian sonnet), Michael Drayton, and Shakespeare, whose sonnets are among the most famous in English poetry, with twenty being included in the Oxford Book of English Verse.* [101] However, the twists and turns associated with the volta allow for a logical flexibility applicable to many subjects.* [102] Poets from the earliest centuries of the sonnet to the present have utilized the form to address topics related to politics (John Milton, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Claude McKay), theology (John Donne, Gerard Manley Hopkins), war (Wilfred Owen, e. e. cummings), and gender and sexuality (Carol Ann Duffy). Further, postmodern authors such as Ted Berrigan and John Berryman have challenged the traditional definitions of the sonnet form, rendering entire sequences of “sonnets”that often lack rhyme, a clear logical progression, or even a consistent count of fourteen lines.

6.3.2 Shi Main article: Shi (poetry) Shi (simplified Chinese: 诗; traditional Chinese: 詩; pinyin: shī ; Wade–Giles: shih) Is the main type of Classical Chinese poetry.* [103] Within this form of pofrom the Late Middle Ages on, is the sonnet, which etry the most important variations are“folk song”styled by the 13th century had become standardized as four- verse (yuefu),“old style”verse (gushi),“modern style” Shakespeare

44 verse (jintishi). In all cases, rhyming is obligatory. The Yuefu is a folk ballad or a poem written in the folk ballad style, and the number of lines and the length of the lines could be irregular. For the other variations of shi poetry, generally either a four line (quatrain, or jueju) or else an eight line poem is normal; either way with the even numbered lines rhyming. The line length is scanned by according number of characters (according to the convention that one character equals one syllable), and are predominantly either five or seven characters long, with a caesura before the final three syllables. The lines are generally end-stopped, considered as a series of couplets, and exhibit verbal parallelism as a key poetic device.* [104] The “old style”verse (gushi) is less formally strict than the jintishi, or regulated verse, which, despite the name “new style”verse actually had its theoretical basis laid as far back to Shen Yue, in the 5th or 6th century, although not considered to have reached its full development until the time of Chen Zi'ang (661–702)* [105] A good example of a poet known for his gushi poems is Li Bai. Among its other rules, the jintishi rules regulate the tonal variations within a poem, including the use of set patterns of the four tones of Middle Chinese The basic form of jintishi (lushi) has eight lines in four couplets, with parallelism between the lines in the second and third couplets. The couplets with parallel lines contain contrasting content but an identical grammatical relationship between words. Jintishi often have a rich poetic diction, full of allusion, and can have a wide range of subject, including history and politics.* [106]* [107] One of the masters of the form was Du Fu, who wrote during the Tang Dynasty (8th century).* [108]


W. H. Auden

the upper 5-7-5 phrase and the lower 7-7 phrase. Tanka were written as early as the Asuka period by such poets as Kakinomoto no Hitomaro, at a time when Japan was emerging from a period where much of its poetry followed Chinese form.* [114] Tanka was originally the shorter form of Japanese formal poetry (which was generally referred to as "waka"), and was used more heavily to explore personal rather than public themes. By the tenth century, tanka had become the dominant form of 6.3.3 Villanelle Japanese poetry, to the point where the originally general term waka (“Japanese poetry”) came to be used Main article: Villanelle exclusively for tanka. Tanka are still widely written toThe villanelle is a nineteen-line poem made up of five day.* [115] triplets with a closing quatrain; the poem is characterized by having two refrains, initially used in the first and third lines of the first stanza, and then alternately used at the 6.3.5 Haiku close of each subsequent stanza until the final quatrain, which is concluded by the two refrains. The remaining Main article: Haiku lines of the poem have an a-b alternating rhyme.* [109] The villanelle has been used regularly in the English language since the late 19th century by such poets as Haiku is a popular form of unrhymed Japanese poetry, Dylan Thomas,* [110] W. H. Auden,* [111] and Elizabeth which evolved in the 17th century from the hokku, or opening verse of a renku.* [116] Generally written in a Bishop.* [112] single vertical line, the haiku contains three sections totalling 17 onji, structured in a 5-7-5 pattern. Traditionally, haiku contain a kireji, or cutting word, usually placed 6.3.4 Tanka at the end of one of the poem's three sections, and a kigo, or season-word.* [117] The most famous exponent of the Main article: Tanka haiku was Matsuo Bashō (1644–1694). An example of his writing:* [118] Tanka is a form of unrhymed Japanese poetry, with five sections totalling 31 onji (phonological units identical to 富⼠の⾵や扇にのせて江⼾⼟産 morae), structured in a 5-7-5-7-7 pattern.* [113] There is generally a shift in tone and subject matter between fuji no kaze ya oogi ni nosete Edo miyage

6.3. FORMS


the wind of Mt. Fuji

often conflicting, perspectives, with the epode moving to a higher level to either view or resolve the underlying isI've brought on my fan! sues. Odes are often intended to be recited or sung by a gift from Edo two choruses (or individuals), with the first reciting the strophe, the second the antistrophe, and both together the epode.* [120] Over time, differing forms for odes have 6.3.6 Ode developed with considerable variations in form and structure, but generally showing the original influence of the Main article: Ode Pindaric or Horatian ode. One non-Western form which Odes were first developed by poets writing in ancient resembles the ode is the qasida in Persian poetry.* [121]

6.3.7 Ghazal


Main article: Ghazal The ghazal (also ghazel, gazel, gazal, or gozol) is a form of poetry common in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Azerbaijani, Urdu and Bengali poetry. In classic form, the ghazal has from five to fifteen rhyming couplets that share a refrain at the end of the second line. This refrain may be of one or several syllables, and is preceded by a rhyme. Each line has an identical meter. The ghazal often reflects on a theme of unattainable love or divinity.* [122] Horace

Greek, such as Pindar, and Latin, such as Horace. Forms of odes appear in many of the cultures that were influenced by the Greeks and Latins.* [119] The ode generally has three parts: a strophe, an antistrophe, and an epode. The antistrophes of the ode possess similar metrical structures and, depending on the tradition, similar rhyme structures. In contrast, the epode is written with a different scheme and structure. Odes have a formal poetic diction, and generally deal with a serious subject. The strophe and antistrophe look at the subject from different,

As with other forms with a long history in many languages, many variations have been developed, including forms with a quasi-musical poetic diction in Urdu.* [123] Ghazals have a classical affinity with Sufism, and a number of major Sufi religious works are written in ghazal form. The relatively steady meter and the use of the refrain produce an incantatory effect, which complements Sufi mystical themes well.* [124] Among the masters of the form is Rumi, a 13th-century Persian poet.* [125] One of the most famous poet in this type of poetry is Hafez. Themes of his Ghazal is exposing hypocrisy. His life and poems have been the subject of much analysis, commentary and interpretation,



influencing post-fourteenth century Persian writing more 6.4.2 Epic poetry than any other author.* [126]* [127] West-östlicher Diwan of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe that is a collection Main article: Epic poetry of lyrical poems, has been inspired by the Persian poet Hafez.* [128]* [129]* [130] Epic poetry is a genre of poetry, and a major form of narrative literature. This genre is often defined as lengthy poems concerning events of a heroic or important nature 6.4 Genres to the culture of the time. It recounts, in a continuous narrative, the life and works of a heroic or mythological * In addition to specific forms of poems, poetry is often person or group of persons. [134] Examples of epic pothought of in terms of different genres and subgenres. A ems are Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Virgil's Aeneid, the poetic genre is generally a tradition or classification of po- Nibelungenlied, Luís de Camões' Os Lusíadas, the Cantar etry based on the subject matter, style, or other broader de Mio Cid, the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Mahabharata, literary characteristics.* [131] Some commentators view Valmiki's Ramayana, Ferdowsi's Shahnama, Nizami (or genres as natural forms of literature. Others view the Nezami)'s Khamse (Five Books), and the Epic of King study of genres as the study of how different works re- Gesar. While the composition of epic poetry, and of long poems generally, became less common in the west after late and refer to other works.* [132] the early 20th century, some notable epics have continued to be written. Derek Walcott won a Nobel prize to a great extent on the basis of his epic, Omeros.* [135] 6.4.1 Narrative poetry Main article: Narrative poetry Narrative poetry is a genre of poetry that tells a story. 6.4.3

Dramatic poetry

Geoffrey Chaucer

Broadly it subsumes epic poetry, but the term“narrative poetry”is often reserved for smaller works, generally with more appeal to human interest. Narrative poetry may be the oldest type of poetry. Many scholars of Homer have concluded that his Iliad and Odyssey were composed from compilations of shorter narrative poems that related individual episodes. Much narrative poetry—such as Scottish and English ballads, and Baltic and Slavic heroic poems —is performance poetry with roots in a preliterate oral tradition. It has been speculated that some features that distinguish poetry from prose, such as meter, alliteration and kennings, once served as memory aids for bards who recited traditional tales.* [133] Goethe Notable narrative poets have included Ovid, Dante, Juan Ruiz, Chaucer, William Langland, Luís de Camões, Main articles: Verse drama and dramatic verse, Theatre Shakespeare, Alexander Pope, Robert Burns, Fernando of ancient Greece, Sanskrit drama, Chinese Opera, and de Rojas, Adam Mickiewicz, Alexander Pushkin, Edgar Noh Allan Poe and Alfred Tennyson.



Dramatic poetry is drama written in verse to be spo- 6.4.5 Light poetry ken or sung, and appears in varying, sometimes related forms in many cultures. Greek tragedy in verse dates Main article: Light poetry to the 6th century B.C., and may have been an influence Light poetry, or light verse, is poetry that attempts to be on the development of Sanskrit drama,* [136] just as Indian drama in turn appears to have influenced the development of the bianwen verse dramas in China, forerunners of Chinese Opera.* [137] East Asian verse dramas also include Japanese Noh. Examples of dramatic poetry in Persian literature include Nizami's two famous dramatic works, Layla and Majnun and Khosrow and Shirin, Ferdowsi's tragedies such as Rostam and Sohrab, Rumi's Masnavi, Gorgani's tragedy of Vis and Ramin, and Vahshi's tragedy of Farhad.


Satirical poetry

Lewis Carroll

humorous. Poems considered “light”are usually brief, and can be on a frivolous or serious subject, and often feature word play, including puns, adventurous rhyme and heavy alliteration. Although a few free verse poets have excelled at light verse outside the formal verse tradition, light verse in English is usually formal. Common forms include the limerick, the clerihew, and the double dactyl. While light poetry is sometimes condemned as doggerel, or thought of as poetry composed casually, humor ofJohn Wilmot ten makes a serious point in a subtle or subversive way. Many of the most renowned “serious”poets have also Poetry can be a powerful vehicle for satire. The Romans excelled at light verse. Notable writers of light poetry inhad a strong tradition of satirical poetry, often written for clude Lewis Carroll, Ogden Nash, X. J. Kennedy, Willard political purposes. A notable example is the Roman poet R. Espy, and Wendy Cope. Juvenal's satires.* [138] The same is true of the English satirical tradition. John Dryden (a Tory), the first Poet Laureate, produced in 1682 Mac Flecknoe, subtitled “A Satire on the True Blue Protestant Poet, T.S.”(a reference to Thomas Shadwell).* [139] Another master of 17th-century English satirical poetry was John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester.* [140] Satirical poets outside England include Poland's Ignacy Krasicki, Azerbaijan's Sabir and Portugal's Manuel Maria Barbosa du Bocage.

6.4.6 Lyric poetry Main article: Lyric poetry Lyric poetry is a genre that, unlike epic and dramatic poetry, does not attempt to tell a story but instead is of a more personal nature. Poems in this genre tend to be shorter, melodic, and contemplative. Rather than depicting characters and actions, it portrays the poet's own



6.4.8 Verse fable

Christine de Pizan

Ignacy Krasicki

Main article: Fable feelings, states of mind, and perceptions.* [141] Notable poets in this genre include John Donne, Gerard Manley The fable is an ancient literary genre, often (though not Hopkins, and Antonio Machado. invariably) set in verse. It is a succinct story that features anthropomorphized animals, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature that illustrate a moral lesson (a "moral"). Verse fables have used a variety of meter and 6.4.7 Elegy rhyme patterns.* [144] Notable verse fabulists have included Aesop, Vishnu Sarma, Phaedrus, Marie de France, Robert Henryson, Biernat of Lublin, Jean de La Fontaine, Ignacy Krasicki, An elegy is a mournful, melancholy or plaintive poem, Félix María de Samaniego, Tomás de Iriarte, Ivan Krylov especially a lament for the dead or a funeral song. The and Ambrose Bierce. term “elegy,”which originally denoted a type of poetic meter (elegiac meter), commonly describes a poem of mourning. An elegy may also reflect something that 6.4.9 Prose poetry seems to the author to be strange or mysterious. The elegy, as a reflection on a death, on a sorrow more generally, Main article: Prose poetry or on something mysterious, may be classified as a form Prose poetry is a hybrid genre that shows attributes of of lyric poetry.* [142]* [143] both prose and poetry. It may be indistinguishable from Main article: Elegy

Notable practitioners of elegiac poetry have included Propertius, Jorge Manrique, Jan Kochanowski, Chidiock Tichborne, Edmund Spenser, Ben Jonson, John Milton, Thomas Gray, Charlotte Turner Smith, William Cullen Bryant, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Evgeny Baratynsky, Alfred Tennyson, Walt Whitman, Louis Gallet, Antonio Machado, Juan Ramón Jiménez, Giannina Braschi, William Butler Yeats, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Virginia Woolf.

the micro-story (a.k.a. the "short short story", "flash fiction"). While some examples of earlier prose strike modern readers as poetic, prose poetry is commonly regarded as having originated in 19th-century France, where its practitioners included Aloysius Bertrand, Charles Baudelaire, Arthur Rimbaud and Stéphane Mallarmé.* [145] Since the late 1980s especially, prose poetry has gained increasing popularity, with entire journals, such as The Prose Poem: An International Journal,* [146] Contempo-



[2] “Poetry”. Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, Inc. 2013. [3] “Poetry”. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com, LLC. 2013 —Based on the Random House Dictionary [4] Strachan, John R; Terry, Richard, G (2000). Poetry: an introduction. Edinburgh University Press. p. 119. ISBN 978-0-8147-9797-6. [5] Eliot, TS (1999). “The Function of Criticism”. Selected Essays. Faber & Faber. pp. 13–34. ISBN 978-0-15180387-3. [6] Longenbach, James (1997). Modern Poetry After Modernism. Oxford University Press. pp. 9, 103. ISBN 0-19510178-2. Charles Baudelaire, by Gustave Courbet

rary Haibun Online,* [147] and Haibun Today* [148] devoted to that genre and its hybrids. Latin American poets of the 20th century who wrote prose poems include Octavio Paz and Giannina Braschi* [149]* [150]


Speculative poetry

Main article: Speculative poetry

[7] Schmidt, Michael, ed. (1999). The Harvill Book of Twentieth-Century Poetry in English. Harvill Press. pp. xxvii–xxxiii. ISBN 1-86046-735-0. [8] Hoivik, S; Luger, K (3 June 2009). “Folk Media for Biodiversity Conservation: A Pilot Project from the Himalaya-Hindu Kush”. International Communication Gazette. 71 (4): 321–346. doi:10.1177/1748048509102184. [9] Sanders, NK (trans.) (1972). The Epic of Gilgamesh (Revised ed.). Penguin Books. pp. 7–8. [10] Mark, Joshua J. (13 August 2014). “The World's Oldest Love Poem”.

Speculative poetry, also known as fantastic poetry, (of which weird or macabre poetry is a major subclassifica- [11] ARSU, SEBNEM. “Oldest Line In The World”. New York Times. New York Times. Retrieved 1 May 2015. tion), is a poetic genre which deals thematically with subjects which are 'beyond reality', whether via extrapolation [12] Ahl, Frederick; Roisman, Hannah M (1996). The Odyssey as in science fiction or via weird and horrific themes as in Re-Formed. Cornell University Press. pp. 1–26. ISBN 0horror fiction. Such poetry appears regularly in modern 8014-8335-2.. Others suggest that poetry did not necesscience fiction and horror fiction magazines. Edgar Alsarily predate writing. Goody, Jack (1987). The Interface lan Poe is sometimes seen as the “father of speculative Between the Written and the Oral. Cambridge University poetry”.* [151] Press. p. 98. ISBN 0-521-33794-1.

6.5 See also • Glossary of poetry terms • List of poetry groups and movements • Outline of poetry • Poetry reading • Spoken word • Rhapsode

6.6 References [1] “Poetry”. Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. 2013.

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[138] Dominik, William J; Wehrle, T (1999). Roman verse satire: Lucilius to Juvenal. Bolchazy-Carducci. pp. 1–3. ISBN 978-0-86516-442-0. [139] Black, Joseph, ed. (2011). Broadview Anthology of British Literature. 1. Broadview Press. p. 1056. ISBN 978-1-55481-048-2. [140] Treglown, Jeremy (1973). “Satirical Inversion of Some English Sources in Rochester's Poetry”. Review of English Studies. 24 (93): 42–48. doi:10.1093/res/xxiv.93.42. [141] Blasing, Mutlu Konuk (2006). Lyric poetry : the pain and the pleasure of words. Princeton University Press. pp. 1– 22. ISBN 978-0-691-12682-1. [142] Pigman, GW (1985). Grief and English Renaissance elegy. Cambridge University Press. pp. 40–47. ISBN 9780-521-26871-4.

53 • Fussell, Paul (1965). Poetic Meter and Poetic Form. Random House. • Hollander, John (1981). Rhyme's Reason. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-02740-0. • Pinsky, Robert (1998). The Sounds of Poetry. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 0-374-26695-6.

6.7 Further reading • Brooks, Cleanth (1947). The Well Wrought Urn: Studies in the Structure of Poetry. Harcourt Brace & Company.

[143] Kennedy, David (2007). Elegy. Routledge. pp. 10–34. ISBN 978-1-134-20906-4.

• Finch, Annie (2011). A Poet's Ear: A Handbook of Meter and Form. University of Michigan Press. ISBN 978-0-472-05066-6.

[144] Harpham, Geoffrey Galt; Abrams, MH. A glossary of literary terms (10th ed.). Wadsworth Cengage Learning. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-495-89802-3.

• Fry, Stephen (2007). The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within. Arrow Books. ISBN 9780-09-950934-9.

[145] Monte, Steven (2000). Invisible fences: prose poetry as a genre in French and American literature. University of Nebraska Press. pp. 4–9. ISBN 978-0-8032-3211-2. [146] "The Prose Poem: An International Journal". Providence College. Retrieved 10 December 2011. [147] "Contemporary Haibun Online". Retrieved 10 December 2011. [148] {cite web|url=http://haibuntoday.com/pages/about.html| title=Haibun Today}] [149] cite web|url=http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/ octavio-paz|title= Poetry Foundation: Octavio Paz|quote= Aguila o sol? (prose poems), Tezontle (Mexico City, Mexico), 1951, 2nd edition, 1973, translation by Eliot Weinberger published as Aguila o sol?/Eagle or Sun?(bilingual edition), [150]“Modern Language Association Presents Giannina Braschi”. Circumference Magazine: Poetry in Translation, Academy of American Poets. January 1, 2013. Considered one of the most revolutionary Latin American poets writing today, Giannina Braschi, author of the epic prose poem 'Empire of Dreams'. [151] Allen, Mike (2005). Dutcher, Roger, ed. The alchemy of stars. Science Fiction Poetry Association. pp. 11–17. ISBN 978-0-8095-1162-4.

Bibliography • Adams, Stephen J (1997). Poetic designs: an introduction to meters, verse forms and figures of speech. Broadview. ISBN 978-1-55111-129-2. • Corn, Alfred (1997). The Poem's Heartbeat: A Manual of Prosody. Storyline Press. ISBN 1885266-40-5.

• Pound, Ezra (1951). ABC of Reading. Faber. • Preminger, Alex; Brogan, Terry VF; Warnke, Frank J (eds.). The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (3rd ed.). Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-02123-6.

6.7.1 Anthologies Main article: List of poetry anthologies

• Ferguson, Margaret; Salter, Mary Jo; Stallworthy, Jon, eds. (1996). The Norton Anthology of Poetry (4th ed.). W. W. Norton & Co. ISBN 0-393-968200. • Gardner, Helen, ed. (1972). New Oxford Book of English Verse 1250–1950. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-812136-9. • Larkin, Philip, ed. (1973). The Oxford Book of Twentieth Century English Verse. Oxford University Press. • Yeats, WB, ed. (1936). Oxford Book of Modern Verse 1892–1935. Oxford University Press.

Chapter 7

Black magic For other uses, see Black magic (disambiguation). 7.1 History “Dark magic”redirects here. For other uses, see Dark magic (disambiguation). Like its counterpart white magic, the origins of black Black magic or dark magic has traditionally referred magic can be traced to the primitive, ritualistic worship of spirits as outlined in Robert M. Place's 2009 book, Magic and Alchemy.* [3] Unlike white magic, in which Place sees parallels with primitive shamanistic efforts to achieve closeness with spiritual beings, the rituals that developed into modern “black magic”were designed to invoke those same spirits to produce beneficial outcomes for the practitioner. Place also provides a broad modern definition of both black and white magic, preferring instead to refer to them as“high magic”(white) and“low magic”(black) based primarily on intentions of the practitioner employing them. He acknowledges, though, that this broader definition (of “high”and “low”) suffers from prejudices as good-intentioned folk magic may be considered “low”while ceremonial magic involving expensive or exclusive components may be considered by some as “high magic”, regardless of intent.* [3]* [4] See also: Renaissance magic During the Renaissance, many magical practices and rituals were considered evil or irreligious and by extension, “black magic”in the broad sense. Witchcraft and nonmainstream esoteric study were prohibited and targeted by the Inquisition.* [5] As a result, natural magic developed as a way for thinkers and intellectuals, like Marsilio Ficino, abbot Johannes Trithemius and Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, to advance esoteric and ritualistic study (though still often in secret) without significant persecution.* [5] John Dee and Edward Kelley using a magic circle ritual to invoke a spirit in a church graveyard. While “natural magic”became popular among the educated and upper classes of the 16th and 17th century, ritualistic magic and folk magic remained subject to persecution. 20th century author Montague Summers gento the use of supernatural powers or magic for evil and erally rejects the definitions of “white”and “black” selfish purposes.* [1] With respect to the left-hand path magic as “contradictory”, though he highlights the exand right-hand path dichotomy, black magic is the mali- tent to which magic in general, regardless of intent, was cious, left-hand counterpart of benevolent white magic. considered“dark”or“black”and cites William Perkins In modern times, some find that the definition of “black posthumous 1608 instructions in that regard:* [6] magic”has been convoluted by people who define magic or ritualistic practices that they disapprove of as “black All witches“convicted by the Magistrate” magic”.* [2] 54



should be executed. He allows no exception and under this condemnation fall“all Diviners, Charmers, Jugglers, all Wizards, commonly called wise men or wise women”. All those purported “good Witches which do not hurt but good, which do not spoil and destroy, but save and deliver”should come under the extreme sentence. In particular, though, the term was most commonly reserved for those accused of invoking demons and other evil spirits, those hexing or cursing their neighbours, those using magic to destroy crops and those capable of leaving their earthly bodies and travelling great distances in spirit (to which the Malleus Maleficarum“devotes one long and important chapter”). Summers also highlights the etymological development of the term nigromancer, in common use from 1200 to approximately 1500, (Latin: Niger, black; Greek: Manteia, divination), broadly“one skilled in the black arts”.* [6] In a modern context, the line between “white magic” and “black magic”is somewhat clearer and most modern definitions focus on intent rather than practice.* [3] There is also an extent to which many modern Wicca and witchcraft practitioners have sought to distance themselves from those intent on practising black magic. Those who seek to do harm or evil are less likely to be accepted into mainstream Wiccan circles or covens in an era where Illustration by Martin van Maële, of a Witches' Sabbath, in the benevolent magic is increasingly associated with new-age 1911 edition of La Sorciere, by Jules Michelet. gnosticism and self-help spiritualism.* [7]

7.2 Satanism and devil-worship Main article: Satanism The influence of popular culture has allowed other practices to be drawn in under the broad banner of “black magic”including the concept of Satanism. While the invocation of demons or spirits is an accepted part of black magic, this practice is distinct from the worship or deification of such spiritual beings.* [7]

the efficacy of occult ritual”but “affirms the subjective, psychological value of ritual practice”, drawing a clear distinction between.* [8] LaVey himself was more specific:

White magic is supposedly utilized only for good or unselfish purposes, and black magic, we are told, is used only for selfish or “evil” reasons. Satanism draws no such dividing line. Magic is magic, be it used to help or hinder. The Satanist, being the magician, should have the ability to decide what is just, and then apply the powers of magic to attain his goals.

Those lines, though, continue to be blurred by the inclusion of spirit rituals from otherwise “white magicians” in compilations of work related to Satanism. John Dee's 16th century rituals, for example, were included in Anton LaVey's The Satanic Bible (1969) and so some of his pracSatanism is not a white light religion; it is tises, otherwise considered white magic, have since been a religion of the flesh, the mundane, the carnal associated with black magic. Dee's rituals themselves - all of which are ruled by Satan, the personifiwere designed to contact spirits in general and angels in cation of the Left Hand Path. particular, which he claimed to have been able to do with the assistance of colleague Edward Kelley. LaVey's Bible, however, is a “complete contradiction”of Dee's intentions but offers the same rituals as a means of contact The latter quote, though, seems to have been directed towith evil spirits and demons.* [8] LaVey's Church of Sa- ward the growing trends of Wiccanism and neo-paganism tan (with LaVey's Bible at its centre), “officially denies at the time.* [8]



7.5 Practices and rituals The lowest depths of black mysticism are well-nigh as difficult to plumb as it is arduous to scale the heights of sanctity. The Grand Masters of the witch covens are men of genius - a foul genius, crooked, distorted, disturbed, and diseased. Montague Summers Witchcraft and Black Magic

A Voodoo doll.

7.3 Voodoo Main article: Louisiana Voodoo Voodoo, too, has been associated with modern “black magic"; drawn together in popular culture and fiction. However, while hexing or cursing may be accepted black magic practices, Voodoo has its own distinct history and traditions that have little to do with the traditions of modern witchcraft that developed with European practitioners like Gerald Gardner and Aleister Crowley.* [7]* [9]* [10] In fact, Voodoo tradition makes its own distinction between black and white magic, with sorcerers like the Bokor known for using magic and rituals of both. But their penchant for magic associated with curses, poisons and zombies means they, and Voodoo in general, are regularly associated with black magic in particular.* [11]

7.4 Black magic and religion

During his period of scholarship, A. E. Waite provided a comprehensive account of black magic practices, rituals and traditions in The Book of Black Magic and Ceremonial Magic.* [15] Other practitioners have expanded on these ideas and offered their own comprehensive lists of rituals and concepts. Black magic practices and rituals include: • True name spells - the theory that knowing a person's true name allows control over that person, making this wrong for the same reason. This can also be used as a connection to the other person, or to free them from another's compulsion, so it is in the grey area. • Immortality rituals - from a Taoist perspective, life is finite, and wishing to live beyond one's natural span is not with the flow of nature. Beyond this, there is a major issue with immortality. Because of the need to test the results, the subjects must be killed. Even a spell to extend life may not be entirely good, especially if it draws life energy from another to sustain the spell.* [16] • Necromancy - for purposes of usage, this is defined not as general black magic, but as any magic having to do with death itself, either through divination of entrails, or the act of raising the dead body, as opposed to resurrection or CPR.* [17]

The links and interaction between black magic and reli• Curses and hexes - a curse can be as simple as wishgion are many and varied. Beyond black magic's links ing something bad would happen to another, through to organised Satanism or its historical persecution by a complex ritual.* [18] Christianity and its inquisitions, there are links between religious and black magic rituals. The Black Mass, for example, is a sacrilegious parody of the Catholic Mass. 7.6 In popular culture and fiction Likewise, a saining, though primarily a practice of white magic, is a Wiccan ritual analogous to a christening or Concepts related to black magic or described, even inacbaptism for an infant.* [12]* [13] curately, as“black magic”are a regular feature of books, 17th century priest, Étienne Guibourg, is said to have per- films and other popular culture. Examples include: formed a series of Black Mass rituals with alleged witch Catherine Monvoisin for Madame de Montespan.* [14] • Black Magic (Little Mix song) - Lead single by British In Islam, al-Fatiha al-Falaq, al-Nas and other Surahs are girl-group Little Mix released in May 2015, for their recited to protect against sorcery. They may be recited third studio album “Get Weird”. and blown on Olive Oil or water. In addition, using a • The Devil Rides Out - a 1934 novel by Dennis WheatTaweez (talisman) containing some of the 99 Names of Allah, Quranic verses and/or names of Saints have been ley - made into a famous film by Hammer Studios in used for centuries and have origins in the Hadith. 1968

7.7. SEE ALSO • Rosemary's Baby - a 1968 horror novel in which black magic is a central theme. • The Craft - a 1996 film featuring four friends who become involved in white witchcraft but turn to black magic rituals for personal gain. • The Harry Potter series - black magic, including various spells and curses, is referred to as "the dark arts" against which students are taught to defend themselves. • Final Fantasy - a video game in which white and black magic are simply used to distinguish between healing/defensive spells (such as a“cure”) and offensive/elemental spells (such as“fire”) and do not carry an inherent good or evil connotation. • Charmed - a television series in which black magic is also known as “the black arts”, “dark arts”, “dark magic”or even “evil magic”, and is used by demons and other evil beings. • The Secret Circle - A short-lived television series featuring witches, in which there are two kinds of magic. While traditional magic helps you to connect to the energy around you, more lethal and dangerous dark magic is rooted in the anger, fear and negativity inside you. Only a few born with it can access dark magic and some are inherently stronger than others. • The Power of Five is an entire series by Anthony Horowitz about black magic and evil sorcerers. The antagonists are all black sorcerers and are all practitioners of black magic, black magic is a means of summoning the Old Ones from their prison, Hell. Black magic often takes the form of mass murder and animation of inanimate objects. • Night Watch - In the Night Watch book (and movie) series the magicians are grouped into two sides “Light Others”and“Dark Others”. The dark magicians are more motivated by selfish desires. • Supernatural (U.S. TV series) - The television series Supernatural features many events and characters that feature and participate in black magic. • The Hobbit (film series) - The films based on J. R. R. Tolkien's book The Hobbit feature elements of black magic centered on a character known as“the Necromancer”, however this is very seldom mentioned in the book. It later is discovered that the Necromancer is Sauron who is the principle dark character of the whole Lord of the Rings series. • The Lord of the Rings - The Lord of the Rings' essential antagonist is Sauron. Sauron and his followers use black magic on many events such as the creation of many of his followers and the forging of the One Ring.

57 • Sherlock Holmes (2009 film) - The first of the two Sherlock Holmes films directed by Guy Ritchie includes elements of black magic although they are later discovered to be false. • Versailles (band) released a short film in 2009 which depicted zombies that were resurrected by Jasmine You through black magic. • Pizza II: Villa - An Indian Tamil suspense supernatural thriller film, written and directed by debutant Deepan Chakravarthy. • The Necromancers: The Best of Black Magic And Witchcraft - A collection of folklores and stories about black magic edited by Peter Haining.

7.7 See also • Demonology • Gray magic • Left-hand path and right-hand path • Magical texts • Maleficium (sorcery) • Necromancy • Seiðr • Ya sang

7.8 References [1] J. Gordon Melton, ed. (2001).“Black Magic”. Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology. Vol 1: A–L (Fifth ed.). Gale Research Inc. ISBN 0-8103-9488-X. [2] Jesper Aagaard Petersen (2009). Contemporary religious Satanism: A Critical Anthology. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 220. ISBN 0-7546-5286-6. [3] Magic and Alchemy by Robert M. Place (Infobase Publishing, 2009) [4] Evans-Pritchard.“Sorcery and Native Opinion”. Africa: Journal of the International African Institute Vol. 4, No. 1 (Jan., 1931) , pp. 22-55. [5] White Magic, Black Magic in the European Renaissance by Paola Zambelli (BRILL, 2007) [6] Witchcraft and Black Magic by Montague Summers (1946; reprint Courier Dover Publications, 2000) [7] Magical Religion and Modern Witchcraft by James R. Lewis (SUNY Press, 1996) [8] Modern Satanism: Anatomy of a Radical Subculture by Chris Mathews (Greenwood Publishing Group, 2009)


[9]“Voodoo 2.0.”Newsweek Global 163.9 (2014): 92-98. Academic Search Complete. Web. 19 Feb. 2015. [10] Long, Carolyn Morrow. “Perceptions of New Orleans Voodoo: Sin, Fraud, Entertainment, and Religion”. Nova Religion: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions, Vol. 6, No. 1 (October 2002), pp. 86-101 [11] Voodoo Rituals: A User's Guide by Heike Owusu (Sterling Publishing Company, 2002) [12]“Black Mass.”Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia (2014): 1p. 1. Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia. Web. 11 Feb. 2015. [13] Macmullen, Ramsay, and Eugene Lane. “From Black Magic To Mystical Awe.”Christian History 17.1 (1998): 37. History Reference Center. Web. 19 Feb. 2016. [14] Geography of Witchcraft by Montague Summers (1927; reprint Kessinger Publishing, 2003) [15] The Book of Black Magic and Ceremonial Magic by Arthur Edward Waite (1911; reprint 2006) [16]“Immortality.”Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia (2014): 1p. 1. Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia. Web. 11 Feb. 2015. [17]“necromancy”. Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (11th ed.). Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster. April 2008. [18]“Hex.”Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6Th Edition (2013): 1. Literary Reference Center. Web. 11 Feb. 2015.


Chapter 8

Ceremonial magic Ceremonial magic or ritual magic, also referred to as high magic and as learned magic in some cases,* [1] is a broad term used in the context of Hermeticism or Western esotericism to encompass a wide variety of long, elaborate, and complex rituals of magic. It is named as such because the works included are characterized by ceremony and a myriad of necessary accessories to aid the practitioner. It can be seen as an extension of ritual magic, and in most cases synonymous with it. Popularized by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, it draws on such schools of philosophical and occult thought as Hermetic Qabalah, Enochian magic, Thelema, and the magic of various grimoires.

vival of ceremonial magic.

8.1 Renaissance magic

8.2.2 Eliphas Levi

8.2.1 Francis Barrett Among the various sources for ceremonial magic, Francis Barrett's The Magus embodies deep knowledge of alchemy, astrology, and the Kabbalah, and has been cited by the Golden Dawn, and is seen by some as a primary source. But according to Aleister Crowley, perhaps the most influential ceremonial magician of the Modern era, much of it was cribbed from Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy.

Eliphas Lévi conceived the notion of writing a treatise on magic with his friend Bulwer-Lytton. This appeared in 1855 under the title Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie, The term originates in 16th-century Renaissance magic, and was translated into English by Arthur Edward Waite referring to practices described in various Medieval and as Transcendental Magic, its Doctrine and Ritual. Renaissance grimoires and in collections such as that of Johannes Hartlieb. Georg Pictor uses the term synony- In 1861, he published a sequel, La Clef des Grands Mystères (The Key to the Great Mysteries). Further magical mously with goetia. works by Lévi include Fables et Symboles (Stories and ImJames Sanford in his 1569 translation of Heinrich Cor- ages), 1862, and La Science des Esprits (The Science of nelius Agrippa's 1526 De incertitudine et vanitate scien- Spirits), 1865. In 1868, he wrote Le Grand Arcane, ou tiarum has“The partes of ceremoniall Magicke be Geo- l'Occultisme Dévoilé (The Great Secret, or Occultism Uncie, and Theurgie”. For Agrippa, ceremonial magic was veiled); this, however, was only published posthumously in opposition to natural magic. While he had his mis- in 1898. givings about natural magic, which included astrology, alchemy, and also what we would today consider fields Lévi's version of magic became a great success, especially of natural science, such as botany, he was nevertheless after his death. That Spiritualism was popular on both prepared to accept it as“the highest peak of natural phi- sides of the Atlantic from the 1850s contributed to his losophy”. Ceremonial magic, on the other hand, which success. His magical teachings were free from obvious included all sorts of communication with spirits, includ- fanaticisms, even if they remained rather murky; he had ing necromancy and witchcraft, he denounced in its en- nothing to sell, and did not pretend to be the inititate of some ancient or fictitious secret society. He incorporated tirety as impious disobedience towards God.* [2] the Tarot cards into his magical system, and as a result the Tarot has been an important part of the paraphernalia of Western magicians. He had a deep impact on the 8.2 Revival magic of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and later Aleister Crowley, and it was largely through this imStarting with the Romantic movement, in the 19th cen- pact that Lévi is remembered as one of the key founders tury, a number of people and groups have effected a re- of the twentieth century revival of magic. Main article: Renaissance magic





Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn 8.3.1 Grimoires

A grimoire /ɡrɪmˈwɑːr/ is a textbook of magic. Books of this genre, typically giving instructions for invoking angels or demons, performing divination and gaining The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (or, more com- magical powers, have circulated throughout Europe since monly, the Golden Dawn) was a magical order of the the Middle Ages. late 19th and early 20th centuries, practicing a form of theurgy and spiritual development. It was probably the Magicians were frequently prosecuted by the Christian single greatest influence on twentieth century Western church, so their journals were kept hidden to prevent the occultism. Some aspects of magic and ritual that be- owner from being burned. Such books contain astrologcame core elements of many other traditions, includ- ical correspondences, lists of angels and demons, direcing Wicca,* [3]* [4] Thelema and other forms of magi- tions on casting charms and spells, on mixing medicines, cal spirituality popular today, are partly drawn from the summoning unearthly entities, and making talismans. Magical books in almost any context, especially books of Golden Dawn tradition. magical spells, are also called grimoires. Main article: Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn


Aleister Crowley

Main article: Aleister Crowley

8.3.2 Enochian magic Enochian magic is a system of ceremonial magic based on the evocation and commanding of various spirits. It is based on the 16th-century writings of Dr John Dee and Edward Kelley, who claimed that their information was delivered to them directly by various angels. Dee's journals contained the Enochian script, and the table of correspondences that goes with it. It claims to embrace secrets contained within the apocryphal Book of Enoch.

English author and occultist Aleister Crowley often introduced new terminology for spiritual and magical practices and theory. For example, he termed theurgy “high magick”and thaumaturgy“low magick”. In The Book of the Law and The Vision and the Voice, the Aramaic magical formula Abracadabra was changed to Abrahadabra, which he called the new formula of the Aeon of Horus. He also famously spelled magic in the archaic manner, as 8.3.3 Organizations magick, to differentiate “the true science of the Magi Among the many organizations which practice forms of from all its counterfeits.”* [5] ceremonial magic aside from the Golden Dawn are the A∴A∴, Ordo Templi Orientis, and the Builders of the Adytum.

8.3 Magical tools 8.4 See also The practice of ceremonial magic often requires tools made or consecrated specifically for this use, which are required for a particular ritual or series of rituals. They may be a symbolic representation of psychological elements of the magician or of metaphysical concepts. In Magick (Book 4), Part II (Magick), Aleister Crowley lists the tools required as a circle drawn on the ground and inscribed with the names of god, an altar, a wand, cup, sword, and pentacle, to represent his true will, his understanding, his reason, and the lower parts of his being respectively. On the altar, too, is a phial of oil to represent his aspiration, and for consecrating items to his intent. The magician is surrounded by a scourge, dagger, and chain intended to keep his intent pure. An oil lamp, book of conjurations and bell are required, as is the wearing of a crown, robe, and lamen. The crown affirms his divinity, the robe symbolizes silence, and the lamen declare his work. The book of conjurations is his magical record, his karma. In the East is the magick fire in which all burns up at last.* [6]

• List of magical terms and traditions • Sex magic • Chaos magic • Invocation • Magic circle

8.5 Notes [1] Davies, Owen (2003). Cunning-Folk: Popular Magic in English History. London: Hambledon Continuum. Page ix. [2] Charles G. Nauert, Jr., Magic and Skepticism in Agrippa's Thought, Journal of the History of Ideas (1957), p. 176 [3] Colquhoun, Ithell (1975) The Sword of Wisdom. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.


[4] Phillips, Julia (1991) History of Wicca in England: 1939 - present day. Lecture at the Wiccan Conference in Canberra, 1991. [5] (Crowley, Magick (Book 4), p. 47) [6] Crowley, Aleister. Magick (Book 4).

8.6 References • Barrett, Francis. The Magus • Hall, Manly P. The Secret Teachings of All Ages • Mathers, S.L. MacGregor and Aleister Crowley. The Lesser Key of Solomon • Waite, A. E. The Book of Ceremonial Magic

8.7 External links • Journal of Thelemic Studies - the first non-partisan journal investigating the occult tradition of Thelema, founded by the author and occultist Aleister Crowley • Solomonic Magic by Don Karr


Chapter 9

Magic (paranormal) Magic or sorcery is the use of rituals, symbols, ac- Modern Western magicians generally state magic's pritions, gestures, and language with the aim of exploiting mary purpose to be personal spiritual growth.* [8] supernatural forces.* [1]* [2]* :6–7* [3]* [4]* :24 The belief in and practice of magic has been present since the earliest human cultures and continues to have an important spiritual, religious, and medicinal role in many cultures today.* [5] 9.1 Common features of magical Psychological theories consider magic a personal phepractice nomenon intended to meet individual needs as opposed to a social phenomenon serving a collective purpose. The belief that one can influence supernatural powers, by 9.1.1 Rituals prayer, sacrifice, or invocation dates back to prehistoric religions and it can be found in early records such as the See also: Theurgy Egyptian pyramid texts and the Indian Vedas.* [6] Magic and religion are categories of beliefs and systems of knowledge used within societies. Some forms of shamanic contact with the spirit world seem to be nearly universal in the early development of human communities. They appear in various tribal peoples from Aboriginal Australia and Māori people of New Zealand to the Amazon, African savannah, and pagan Europe.

Magical rituals are the precisely defined actions (including speech) used to work magic. Bronisław Malinowski describes ritual language as possessing a high “coefficient of weirdness”in that the language used in rituals is archaic and out of the ordinary. This he ascribes to the need for to create a mindset that fosters belief in the ritual.* [9] However S. J. Tambiah notes that even if the Magic is sometimes practiced in isolation and secrecy power of the ritual is said to reside in the words, "[they] and often viewed with skepticism and suspicion by the only become effective if uttered in the special context of wider community.* [4]* :24 In non-scientific societies, a other actions.”* [10]* :175–208 perceived magical attack is sometimes employed to exThese other actions typically consist of gestures, possiplain personal or societal misfortune.* [7] bly performed with special objects at a particular place The term "magical thinking" in anthropology, or time. Object, location, and performer may require psychology, and cognitive science refers to causal purification beforehand, a condition that parallels the reasoning often involving associative thinking, such felicity conditions J. L. Austin requires of performative as the perceived ability of the mind to affect the utterances.* [11] (By “performative”Austin means that physical world (see the philosophical problem of men- the ritual act itself achieves the stated goal. For example, tal causation) or correlation mistaken for materialist a wedding ceremony can be understood as a ritual, and causation. only by properly performing the ritual does the marriage The concept of magic, considered distinct from religion, occur.) was first widely recognized in Judaism, which defined Émile Durkheim stresses the importance of rituals as a the practices of pagan worship designed to appease tool to achieve "collective effervescence" which serves to and receive benefits from gods other than Yahweh as support the unification of society. On the other hand, magic.* [2]* :6–7 Wouter Hanegraaff argues that magic is some psychologists compare such rituals to obsessivein fact “a largely polemical concept that has been used compulsive rituals, noting that intentional focus falls on by various religious interest groups either to describe their the lower level of representation of simple gestures.* [12] own religious beliefs and practices or—more frequently which demotes the intended outcome as the emphasis is —to discredit those of others.”* [3] placed more on the ritual process than on the connection between the ritual and the ultimate goal. 62



Magical symbols

63 Principle of contagion Another primary type of magical thinking includes the principle of contagion. This principle suggests that once two objects come into contact with each other, they will continue to affect each other even after the contact between them has been broken. An example given by Tambiah relates to adoption: among some American Indians when a child is adopted, his or her adoptive mother will pull the child through some of her clothes, symbolically representing the birth process and thereby associating the child with herself,* [2]* :59 thereby 'becomes' hers emotionally even though their relationship is not biological. As Claude Lévi-Strauss put it the birth “would consist, therefore, in making explicit a situation originally existing on the emotional level and in rendering acceptable to the mind pains which the body refuses to tolerate...the woman believes in the myth and belongs to a society which believes in it.”* [13]

Helm of Awe (ægishjálmr) - magical symbol worn by Vikings for invincibility. Modern day use by Ásatrú followers for protection.

Anthropologists, such as Sir James Frazer (1854–1938), have characterized the implementation of symbols into two primary categories: the “principle of similarity”, and the“principle of contagion.”He further categorized these principles as falling under "sympathetic magic" and "contagious magic" and asserted that these concepts were “general or generic laws of thought which were misapplied in magic.”* [2]* :52

Symbols, for many cultures that use magic, are seen as a type of technology: native peoples might use symbols and symbolic actions to bring about change and improvements in the same way as those from advanced cultures use advanced irrigation techniques to promote soil fertility and crop growth. Michael Brown discusses the use of nantag stones among the Aguaruna as being similar to this type of “technology":* [14] brought into contact with stem cuttings of plants like manioc before they are planted these powerful tangible symbols of fertility are believed by the Aguruna to transfer some of their fertility to the plants.

Others argue that ritualistic actions are merely therapeutic, Tambiah citing the example of a native hitting the ground with a stick. While some may interpret this acThe principle of similarity, also known as the “asso- tion as symbolic (i.e. the man is trying to make the ground ciation of ideas”, which falls under the category of yield crops through force), others would simply see a man sympathetic magic, is the thought that if a certain result unleashing his frustration at poor crop returns. follows a certain action, then that action must be responUltimately, whether or not an action is symbolic depends sible for the result. Therefore, if one is to perform this acupon the context of the situation as well as the ontology tion again, the same result can again be expected, a clasof the culture. Many symbolic actions are derived from sic example being the rooster that heralds the rising of the mythology and unique associations, whereas other ritualsun: when a rooster crows, it is a response to the sun's risistic actions are just simple expressions of emotion and ing but this interpretation can be inverted if the observer are not intended to enact any type of change. believes in the law of similarity (which would suggest that it is a least possible the sunrise follows - or is caused by - the crowing of the rooster). In other words,* [2]* :45 9.1.3 Magical language Causality is inferred where it might not otherwise have been. See also: Spell (paranormal) and Magic word In the mind of a magical practitioner, it might seem to cause the rooster to crow early, late or not at all will result in an ability to control the timing of the sunrise or stop it The performance of magic almost always involves the altogether. Another example of the principle of similarity use of language. Whether spoken out loud or unspois the construction and manipulation of representations of ken, words are frequently used to access or guide magical some target to be affected (e.g. voodoo dolls), believed power. to bring about a corresponding effect on the target (e.g. In“The Magical Power of Words”(1968) S. J. Tambiah breaking a limb of a doll will bring about an injury in the argues that the connection between language and magic is corresponding limb of someone depicted by the doll). due to a belief in the inherent ability of words to influence Principle of similarity



the universe. Bronisław Malinowski, in Coral Gardens 9.1.4 Magicians and their Magic (1935), suggests that this belief is an extension of man's basic use of language to describe his sur- Main article: Magician (paranormal) roundings, in which “the knowledge of the right words, A magician is any practitioner of magic, even if they are appropriate phrases and the more highly developed forms of speech, gives man a power over and above his own limited field of personal action.”* [9]* :235 Magical speech is, therefore, a ritual act and is of equal or even greater importance to the performance of magic than non-verbal acts* [10]* :175–176 but not all speech is considered magical, only certain words and phrases or words spoken in a specific context are considered to have magical power.* [10]* :176 Magical language, according to C. K. Ogden and I. A. Richards's (1923) categories of speech, is distinct from scientific language because it is emotive and it converts words into symbols for emotions; whereas in scientific language words are tied to specific meanings and refer to an objective external reality.* [15] Magical language is therefore particularly adept at constructing metaphors that establish symbols and link magical rituals to the world.* [10]* :189 Malinowski argues that“the language of magic is sacred, set and used for an entirely different purpose to that of ordinary life”* [9]* :213 the two forms (of language) being differentiated through word choice, grammar, style, or by the use of specific phrases or forms: spells, songs, blessings, or chants. Sacred modes of language often employ archaic words and forms in an attempt to invoke the purity or “truth”of a religious or a cultural “golden age”. The use of Hebrew in Judaism being cited as an example.* [10]* :182 Another potential source of the power of words is their secrecy and exclusivity: much-sacred language is differentiated enough from common language that it is incomprehensible to the majority of the population and it can only be used and interpreted by specialized practitioners (magicians, priests, shamans, even mullahs).* [9]* :228* [10]* :178 The "Magician" card from a 15th-century tarot deck. In this respect, Tambiah argues that magical languages violate the primary function of language: communication.* [10]* :179 Yet adherents of magic are still able to use and to value the magical function of words by believing in the inherent power of the words themselves and in the meaning that they must provide for those who do understand them. This leads Tambiah to conclude that “the remarkable disjunction between sacred and profane language which exists as a general fact is not necessarily linked to the need to embody sacred words in an exclusive language.” * [10]* :182

specialists or common practitioners who do not consider themselves to be magicians.* [16]* :25 The possession of magical knowledge alone may be insufficient to grant magical power; often a person must also possess certain magical objects, traits, or life experiences in order to be a magician. Among the Azande, for example, in order to question an oracle a man must have both the physical oracle (poison, or a washboard, for example) and knowledge of the words and the rites needed to make the object function.* [17] A variety of personal traits may be credited with giving magical power, and frequently they are associated with an unusual birth into the world.* [18]* :87 In the 16th century Friuli, babies born with the caul were believed to be benandanti or“Good Walkers”who would



battle evil witches in night time battles over the bounty of the next year's crops. They did not particularly think of themselves as witches (though the term was later applied to them by the Catholic Church under the influence of the alian Inquisition).* [19]

witches, or the witches may be perceived as supernatural, non-human entities.* [23] In early modern Europe and Britain such accusations led to the executions of tens of thousands of people, who were seen to be in league with Satan. Those accused of being satanic 'witches' were * Post-birth experiences are also be believed to convey often practitioners of (usually benign) folk magic, [24] magical power, and example being the survival of a near- (The English term 'witch' being used, on occasion, as a death illness may be taken as evidence of their power as purely descriptive term without its pejorative sense to describe such practitioners, and includes both male and fea healer: male practitioners.* [25]) In Bali a medium's survival is proof of her association with a patron deity and therefore her ability to communicate with other gods and spirits.* [20]

9.2 Theories

However the most commonly method of identifying, differentiating and establishing magical practitioners from common people is by initiation. By means of rites the 9.2.1 Anthropological and psychological origins magician's relationship to the supernatural and his entry into a closed professional class is established (often through rituals that simulate death and rebirth into a new Definitions of relevant terminology life).* [16]* :41–44 The foremost perspectives on magic in anthropology are Given the exclusivity of the criteria needed to be- functionalist, symbolist, and intellectualist. These three come a magician, much magic is performed by special- perspectives are used to describe how magic works in a ists,* [16]* :26 laypeople being limited to some simple society. The functionalist perspective, usually associated magical rituals that relate to everyday living but in sit- with Bronisław Malinowski, maintains that all aspects of uations of particular importance, especially when health society are meaningful and interrelated.* [26] In the funcor major life events are concerned, a specialist magician tionalist perspective, magic performs a latent function in will often be consulted.* [18] the society. The symbolist perspective researches the The powers of both specialist and common magicians subtle meaning in rituals and myths that define a sociare determined by culturally accepted standards of the ety* [27] and deals with questions of theodicy—"why do sources and the breadth of magic: a magician cannot sim- bad things happen to good people?" Finally the intellecply invent or claim new magic. In practice the magician is tualist perspective, associated with Edward Burnett Tylor only as powerful as his peers believe him to be.* [16]* :33, and Sir James Frazer, regard magic as logical, but based on a flawed understanding of the world. 40 In different cultures, various types of magicians may be classified on their abilities, their sources of power, on Magical thinking moral considerations and hence categorized as sorcerer, wizard, witch, healer et cetera.* [21] Main article: Magical thinking



Main article: Witchcraft Witchcraft means the practice of, and belief in, magical skills and abilities that are able to be exercised individually, by designated social groups, or by persons with the necessary esoteric knowledge. In non-scientific societies, perceived magical attack is an idea sometimes employed to explain personal or societal misfortune.* [7]

The term "magical thinking" in anthropology, psychology, and cognitive science refers to causal reasoning often involving associative thinking, such as the perceived ability of the mind to affect the physical world (see the philosophical problem of mental causation) or correlation mistaken for materialist causation. Perceived causal associations between actions or events may derive from symbolic associations such as metaphor, metonym,“As above, so below”from Hermeticism and apparent synchronicity (coincidental magic).

In anthropological and historical contexts this is often termed witchcraft or sorcery, and the perceived attackers Psychological theories of magic “witches”or “sorcerers”. Their maleficium - a term that applies to any magical act intended to cause harm or Main article: Psychological theories of magic death to people or property - is often seen as a biological trait or an acquired skill.* [22] Psychological theories treat magic as a personal pheKnown members of the community may be accused as nomenon intended to meet individual needs, as opposed



to a social phenomenon serving a collective purpose. The explanatory power of magic should not be underestimated, however. Both in the past and in the modern world magical belief systems can provide explanations for otherwise difficult or impossible to understand phenomena while providing a spiritual and metaphysical grounding for the individual. Furthermore, as both Brian Feltham and Scott E. Hendrix argue, magical beliefs need not represent a form of irrationality, nor should they be viewed as incompatible with modern views of the world.* [28]* [29]

of knowledge used within societies. While generally considered distinct categories in western cultures, the interactions, similarities, and differences have been central to the study of magic for many theorists in sociology and anthropology, including Frazer, Mauss, S. J. Tambiah, Malinowski, Michael Nevin and Isabelle Sarginson. From the intellectualist and functionalist perspectives, magic is often considered most analogous to science and technology.

Intellectualist perspectives

Marcel Mauss

Further information: Myth and ritual and Shamanism

In A General Theory of Magic,* [16] Marcel Mauss classifies magic as a social phenomenon, akin to religion and science, but yet a distinct category. In practice, magic bears a strong resemblance to religion. Both use similar types of rites, materials, social roles and relationships to accomplish aims and engender belief. They both operate on similar principles, in particular those of consecration and sanctity of objects and places, interaction with supernatural powers mediated by an expert, employment of symbolism, sacrifice, purification and representation in rites, and the importance of tradition and continuation of knowledge. Magic and religion also share a collective character and totality of belief. The rules and powers of each are determined by the community's ideals and beliefs and so may slowly evolve. Additionally neither supports partial belief. Belief in one aspect of the phenomena necessitates belief in the whole, and each incorporates structural loopholes to accommodate contradictions.

The belief that one can influence supernatural powers, by prayer, sacrifice, or invocation goes back to prehistoric religion and is present in early records such as the Egyptian pyramid texts and the Indian Vedas.* [6] James George Frazer asserted that magical observations are the result of an internal dysfunction: “Men mistook the order of their ideas for the order of nature, and hence imagined that the control which they have, or seem to have, over their thoughts, permitted them to exercise a corresponding control over things.”* [30]* :83 Others, such as N. W. Thomas* [31] and Sigmund Freud have rejected this explanation. Freud explains that “the associated theory of magic merely explains the paths along which magic proceeds; it does not explain its true essence, namely the misunderstanding which leads it to replace the laws of nature by psychological ones” .* [30]* :83 Freud emphasizes that what led primitive men to come up with magic is the power of wishes: “His wishes are accompanied by a motor impulse, the will, which is later destined to alter the whole face of the earth in order to satisfy his wishes. This motor impulse is at first employed to give a representation of the satisfying situation in such a way that it becomes possible to experience the satisfaction by means of what might be described as motor hallucinations. This kind of representation of a satisfied wish is quite comparable to children's play, which succeeds their earlier purely sensory technique of satisfaction. [...] As time goes on, the psychological accent shifts from the motives for the magical act on to the measures by which it is carried out—that is, on to the act itself. [...] It thus comes to appear as though it is the magical act itself which, owing to its similarity with the desired result, alone determines the occurrence of that result.”* [30]* :84

The distinction Mauss draws between religion and magic is both of sentiment and practice. He portrays magic as an element of pre-modern societies and in many respects an antithesis of religion. Magic is secretive and isolated, and rarely performed publicly in order to protect and to preserve occult knowledge. Religion is predictable and prescribed and is usually performed openly in order to impart knowledge to the community. While these two phenomena do share many ritual forms, Mauss concludes that “a magical rite is any rite that does not play a part in organized cults. It is private, secret, mysterious and approaches the limit of prohibited rite.”* [4]* :24 In practice, magic differs from religion in desired outcome. Religion seeks to satisfy moral and metaphysical ends, while magic is a functional art which often seeks to accomplish tangible results. In this respect magic resembles technology and science. Belief in each is diffuse, universal, and removed from the origin of the practice. 9.2.2 Theories on the relationship of Yet, the similarity between these social phenomena is limited, as science is based in experimentation and develmagic, science, art, and religion opment, whereas magic is an“a priori belief.”* [16]* :92 Mauss concludes that though magical beliefs and rites are Main articles: Magic and religion and Myth and ritual most analogous to religion, magic remains a social phenomenon distinct from religion and science with its own Magic and religion are categories of beliefs and systems characteristic rules, acts and aims.

9.2. THEORIES S. J. Tambiah According to Stanley Tambiah, magic, science, and religion all have their own“quality of rationality”, and have been influenced by politics and ideology.* [2]* :2 Tambiah also believes that the perceptions of these three ideas have evolved over time as a result of Western thought. The lines of demarcation between these ideas depend upon the perspective of a variety of anthropologists, but Tambiah has his own opinions regarding magic, science, and religion.

67 there was no room for magic and its practices. Besides the Reformation, the Renaissance was an influential epoch in the history of thought concerning magic and science. During the Renaissance, magic was less stigmatized even though it was done in secret and therefore considered“the occult”. Renaissance magic was based on cosmology, and its powers were said to be derived from the stars and the alignment of the planets. Newton himself began his work in mathematics because he wanted to see“whether judicial astrology had any claim to validity.”* [2]* :28 The lines of demarcation between science, magic, and religion all have origins dating to times when established thought processes were challenged. The rise of Western thought essentially initiated the differentiation between the three disciplines. Whereas science could be revised and developed through rational thought, magic was seen as less scientific and systematic than science and religion, making it the least respected of the three.

According to Tambiah, religion is based on an organized community, and it is supposed to encompass all aspects of life. In religion, man is obligated to an outside power and he is supposed to feel piety towards that power. Religion is effective and attractive because it is generally exclusive and strongly personal. Also, because religion affects all aspects of life, it is convenient in the sense that morality and notions of acceptable behavior are imposed by God and the supernatural. Science, on the other hand, suggests Bronisław Malinowski a clear divide between nature and the supernatural, making its role far less all-encompassing than that of religion. Main article: Bronisław Malinowski As opposed to religion, Tambiah suggests that mankind has a much more personal control over events. Sci- In his essay“Magic, Science, and Religion”, Bronisław ence, according to Tambiah, is“a system of behavior by Malinowski contends that every person, no matter how which man acquires mastery of the environment.”* [2]* :8 primitive, uses both magic and science. To make this disWhereas in religion nature and the supernatural are con- tinction he breaks up this category into the“sacred”and nected and essentially interchangeable, in science, nature the“profane”* [33]* :17 or“magic/religion”and science. and the supernatural are clearly separate spheres. Also, He theorizes that feelings of reverence and awe rely on science is a developed discipline; a logical argument is observation of nature and a dependence on its regularity. created and can be challenged. The base of scientific This observation and reasoning about nature are a type knowledge can be extended, while religion is more con- of science. Magic and science both have definite aims to crete and absolute. Magic, the less accepted of the three help “human instincts, needs, and pursuits.”* [33]* :86 disciplines in Western society, is an altogether unique Both magic and science develop procedures that must be idea. followed to accomplish specific goals. Magic and science Tambiah states that magic is a strictly ritualistic action that implements forces and objects outside the realm of the gods and the supernatural. These objects and events are said to be intrinsically efficacious so that the supernatural is unnecessary. To some, including the Greeks, magic was considered a“proto-science.”Magic has other historical importance as well.

are both based on knowledge; magic is knowledge of the self and of emotion while science is knowledge of nature.

According to Malinowski, magic and religion are also similar in that they often serve the same function in a society. The difference is that magic is more about the personal power of the individual and religion is about faith in the power of God. Magic is also something that is passed Much of the debate between religion and magic origi- down over generations to a specific group while religion nated during the Protestant Reformation. The Catholic is more broadly available to the community. Church was attacked for its doctrine of transubstanti- To end his essay, Malinowski poses the question, “why ation because it was considered a type of sacramental magic?" He writes, “Magic supplies primitive man with magic. Furthermore, the possibility of anything happen- a number of ready-made rituals, acts, and beliefs, with ing outside of God's purpose was denied. Spells* [32] a definite mental and practical technique which serves to were viewed as ineffective and blasphemous, because re- bridge over the dangerous gaps in every important pursuit ligion required belief in“a conscious agent who could be or critical situation.”* [33]* :90 deflected from this purpose by prayer and supplication.” * [2]* :19 Prayer was the only way to effectively enact positive change. The Protestant Reformation was a signifi- Robin Horton cant moment in the history of magical thought because Protestantism provided the impetus for a systematic un- In “African Traditional Thought and Western Science,” derstanding of the world. In this systematic framework, * [34] Robin Horton compares the magical and religious



thinking of non-modernized cultures with western scientific thought. He argues that both traditional beliefs and western science are applications of “theoretical thinking.”The common form, function, and purpose of these theoretical idioms are therefore structured and explained by eight main characteristics of this type of thought:

and form are due to their states in open and closed cultures.* [34]* :153 He classifies scientifically oriented cultures as“open”because they are aware of other modes of thought while traditional cultures are “closed”because they are unaware of alternatives to the established theories. The varying sources of information in these systems results in differences in form which, Horton asserts, often 1. In all cultures the majority of human experience can blinds observers from seeing the similarities between the be explained by common sense. The purpose then systems as two applications of theoretical thought. of theory is to explain forces that operate behind and within the commonsense world. Theory should imArthur C. Clarke pose order and reason on everyday life by attributing cause to a few select forces.* [34]* :132 British author Arthur C. Clarke formulated three 'laws' 2. Theories also help place events in a causal context the third of which states 'any sufficiently advanced techthat is greater than common sense alone can pro- nology is indistinguishable from magic'. While formuvide, because commonsense causation is inherently lated in the context of fictional 'universes' of science ficlimited by what we see and experience. Theoretical tion this neatly illustrates the dilemma faced by anyone formulations are therefore used as intermediaries to from a scientifically advance culture or otherwise - confronted by what is currently, and in the local and contemlink natural effects to natural causes.* [34]* :135 porary context, inexplicable. 3.“Common sense and theory have complementary roles in everyday life.”* [34]* :140 Common sense is more handy and useful for a wide range of ev- Alan Moore eryday circumstances, but occasionally there are circumstances that can only be explained using a wider Alan Moore says that magic is indistinguishable from art whether it be writing, music, sculpture, or any other form. causal vision, so a jump to theory is made. He supports his proposition by stating that magic is re4.“Levels of theory vary with context.”* [34]* :143 ferred to in early texts simply as “the art”. Also, books There are widely and narrowly encompassing the- of spells were referred to as“grimoires”in the past which ories, and the individual can usually chose which to is another way of saying “grammar”and to cast a spell use in order to understand and explain a situation as means simply to spell. He states that magic is simply the is deemed appropriate. manipulation of symbols, words, or images, to achieve changes in consciousness.* [35]* [36] 5. All theory breaks up aspects of commonsense events, abstracts them and then reintegrates them into the common usage and understand9.3 History ing.* [34]* :144 6. Theory is usually created by analogy between unex- Further information: History of astrology and History of plained and familiar phenomena.* [34]* :146 religions 7. When theory is based on analogy between explained and unexplained observations,“generally only a limited aspect of the familiar phenomena is incorporated into (the) explanatory model”.* [34]* :147 It is this process of abstraction that contributes to the ability of theories to transcend commonsense explanation. For example, gods have the quality of spirituality by omission of many common aspects of human life. 8. Once a theoretical model has been established, it is often modified to explain contradictory data so that it may no longer represent the analogy on which it was based.* [34]* :148

9.3.1 Ancient Egypt Egyptians believed that with Heka, the activation of the Ka, an aspect of the soul of both gods and humans, (and divine personification of magic), they could influence the gods and gain protection, healing, and transformation. Health and wholeness of being were sacred to Heka. There is no word for religion in the ancient Egyptian language as mundane and religious world views were not distinct; thus, Heka was not a secular practice but rather a religious observance. Every aspect of life, every word, plant, animal, and ritual was connected to the power and authority of the gods.* [37]

While both traditional beliefs and western science are based on theoretical thought, Horton argues that the dif- In ancient Egypt, magic consisted of four components; ferences between these knowledge systems in practice the primeval potency that empowered the creator-god was

9.3. HISTORY identified with Heka, who was accompanied by magical rituals known as Seshaw held within sacred texts called Rw. In addition Pekhret, medicinal prescriptions, were given to patients to bring relief. This magic was used in temple rituals as well as informal situations by priests. These rituals, along with medical practices, formed an integrated therapy for both physical and spiritual health. Magic was also used for protection against the angry deities, jealous ghosts, foreign demons and sorcerers who were thought to cause illness, accidents, poverty and infertility.* [38]



See also: Magical texts § Mesopotamian In parts of Mesopotamian religion, magic was believed in and actively practiced. At the city of Uruk, archeologists have excavated houses dating from the 5th and 4th centuries BCE in which cuneiform clay tablets have been unearthed containing magical incantations.* [39]


Classical antiquity

69 Ancient Greek scholarship of the 20th century, almost certainly influenced by Christianising preconceptions of the meanings of magic and religion, and the wish to establish Greek culture as the foundation of Western rationality, developed a theory of ancient Greek magic as primitive and insignificant, and thereby essentially separate from Homeric, communal ("polis") religion. Since the last decade of the century, however, recognising the ubiquity and respectability of acts such as katadesmoi ("binding spells"), described as “magic” by modern and ancient observers alike, scholars have been compelled to abandon this viewpoint.* [41]* :90– 95 The Greek word mageuo (“practise magic”) itself derives from the word Magos, originally simply the Greek name for a Persian tribe known for practising religion.* [42] Non-civic "mystery cults" have been similarly re-evaluated:* [41]* :97–98 the choices which lay outside the range of cults did not just add additional options to the civic menu, but ... sometimes incorporated critiques of the civic cults and Panhellenic myths or were genuine alternatives to them. —Simon Price, Religions of the Ancient Greeks (1999)* [43]

Main article: Magic in the Greco-Roman world In ancient Greece magic was involved in practice of re- Katadesmoi (Latin defixiones), curses inscribed on wax or lead tablets and buried underground, were frequently executed by all strata of Greek society, sometimes to protect the entire polis.* [41]* :95–96 Communal curses carried out in public declined after the Greek classical period, but private curses remained common throughout antiquity.* [44] They were distinguished as magical by their individualistic, instrumental and sinister qualities.* [41]* :96 The former qualities, and more generally, their perceived deviation from inherently mutable cultural constructs of normality, most clearly delineate ancient magic from the religious rituals of which they form a part.* [41]* :102– 103 The Greek mystery religions had strongly magical components. A large number of magical papyri, in Greek, Coptic, and Demotic, have been recovered and translated.* [45] They contain early instances of: • the use of "magic words" said to have the power to command spirits; • the use of wands and other ritual tools; • the use of a magic circle to defend the magician against the spirits that he is invoking or evoking; and • the use of mysterious symbols or sigils which are thought to be useful when invoking or evoking spirits.* [46] Hecate, the ancient Greek goddess of magic.

ligion, medicine, and divination.* [40]

The practice of magic was banned in the late Roman world, and the Codex Theodosianus (438 AD) states:* [47]


CHAPTER 9. MAGIC (PARANORMAL) If any wizard therefore or person imbued with magical contamination who is called by custom of the people a magician...should be apprehended in my retinue, or in that of the Caesar, he shall not escape punishment and torture by the protection of his rank.


Middle Ages

Ars Magica or magic is a major component and supporting contribution to the belief and practice of spiritual, and in many cases, physical healing throughout the Middle Ages. Emanating from many modern interpretations lies a trail of misconceptions about magic, one of the largest revolving around wickedness or the existence of nefarious beings who practice it. These misinterpretations stem from numerous acts or rituals that have been performed throughout antiquity, and due to their exoticism from the commoner's perspective, the rituals invoked uneasiness and an even stronger sense of dismissal.* [48]* [49] One societal force in the Middle Ages more powerful than the singular commoner, the Christian Church, rejected magic as a whole because it was viewed as a means of tampering with the natural world in a supernatural manner associated with the biblical verses of Deuteronomy 18:9-12. Despite the many negative connotations which surround the term magic, there exist many elements that are seen in a divine or holy light.* [50] The various yet sparse healers of the Middle Ages were among the few, if not the only, proponents of a positive impression of magic. One of the most famous healers of this time was Saint Hildegard of Bingen. Her healing abilities were so sought after that many individuals, healthy and ill alike, would travel great distances to be blessed by her.* [51] Modern historians of medicine along with the people of the Middle Ages both possess no straightforward answer as to where her abilities derived from; however, many of these historians argue or speculate that they are related to mental visions of which recorded documents, such as her three volumes of visionary theology, depict. The volumes include: Scivias, (“Know the Ways”), Liber Vitae Meritorum, (“Book of Life's Merits”), and Liber Divinorum Operum (“Book of Divine Works”).* [51] A particular phenomenon deriving from healing magic is known as the "royal touch" or the “King's Touch”. It is believed that various kings and/or queens of the Middle Ages possessed the ability to heal ailing individuals by making physical contact near or directly on the afflicted area of the person. In a similar light, there also exist many folk scattered throughout the western medieval territories who claim to practice and carry this same gift. This has been commonly observed in many religious texts, The Bible being only one of the many pieces of religious literature which contain a plethora of such concepts. Another topic discussed among historians is the various tools or

instruments used among these healers and other individuals who claim to practice the art of healing in a magical sense. Diversified instruments or rituals used in medieval magic include, but are not limited to: various amulets, talismans, potions, as well as specific chants, dances, prayers. Along with these rituals are the adversely imbued notions of demonic participation which influence of them. The idea that magic was devised, taught, and worked by demons would have seemed reasonable to anyone who read the Greek magical papyri or the Sefer-ha-Razim and found that healing magic appeared alongside rituals for killing people, gaining wealth, or personal advantage, and coercing women into sexual submission.* [52] Interpreted by few scholars or historians is the belief that rituals practiced by churchmen of the Middle Ages were believed to hold a psychological efficacy; however, as also believed by the aforementioned historians, is that the said rituals provide essentially and fundamentally similar efficacies. The notions about magic hold a very diverse presence across the medieval land and provide a sense of frequent discussion across, and between, the numerous varying sects of antiquity. Sects who have provided many thoughts and opinions about magic range from a variety of teachings or followings. Notable sects include but are not limited to Christians, Muslims, Theodosians, Pagans, Aristotelians, and Mystics.

9.3.5 Renaissance Further information: Renaissance magic Renaissance humanism saw resurgence in hermeticism and Neo-Platonic varieties of ceremonial magic. The Renaissance, on the other hand, saw the rise of science, in such forms as the dethronement of the Ptolemaic theory of the universe, the distinction of astronomy from astrology, and of chemistry from alchemy.* [53] The seven artes magicae or artes prohibitae or arts prohibited by canon law by Johannes Hartlieb in 1456 were: nigromancy (which included "black magic" and "demonology"), geomancy, hydromancy, aeromancy, pyromancy, chiromancy, and scapulimancy and their sevenfold partition emulated the artes liberales and artes mechanicae. Both bourgeoisie and nobility in the 15th and 16th century showed great fascination with these arts, which exerted an exotic charm by their ascription to Arabic, Jewish, Gypsy, and Egyptian sources, and the popularity of white magic increased. However, there was great uncertainty in distinguishing practices of superstition, occultism, and perfectly sound scholarly knowledge or pious ritual. The intellectual and spiritual tensions erupted in the Early Modern witch craze, further reinforced by the turmoil of the Protestant Reformation, especially in Germany, England, and Scotland.* [53]





every corner of the globe, is also pregnant with similar qualities... Thus we find that one particular bone ... in a hare's foot instantly mitigates the most excruciating tortures of the cramp; yet no other bone nor part of that animal can do the like... From what has been premised, we may readily conclude that there are two distinct species of magic; one whereof, being inherent in the occult properties of nature, is called natural magic; and the other, being obnoxious and contrary to nature, is termed infernal magic, because it is accomplished by infernal agency or compact with the devil...* [54]

Further information: 17th-century philosophy, natural magic, and Isaac Newton's occult studies Study of the occult arts remained intellectually re-


A talisman from the Black Pullet, a late grimoire containing instructions on how a magician might cast rings and craft amulets for various magical applications, culminating in the Hen that Lays Golden Eggs.

spectable well into the 17th century, and only gradually divided into the modern categories of natural science, occultism, and superstition. The 17th century saw the gradual rise of the "age of reason", while belief in witchcraft and sorcery, and consequently the irrational surge of Early Modern witch trials, receded, a process only completed at the end of the Baroque period circa 1730. Christian Thomasius still met opposition as he argued in his 1701 Dissertatio de crimine magiae that it was meaningless to make dealing with the devil a criminal offence, since it was impossible to really commit the crime in the first place. In Britain, the Witchcraft Act of 1735 established that people could not be punished for consorting with spirits, while would-be magicians pretending to be able to invoke spirits could still be fined as con artists. [The] wonderful power of sympathy, which exists throughout the whole system of nature, where everything is excited to beget or love its like, and is drawn after it, as the loadstone draws iron... There is ... such natural accord and discord, that some will prosper more luxuriantly in another's company; while some, again, will droop and die away, being planted near each other. The lily and the rose rejoice by each other's side; whilst ... fruits will neither ripen nor grow in aspects that are inimical to them. In stones likewise, in minerals, ... the same sympathies and antipathies are preserved. Animated nature, in every clime, in


Under the veil of natural magic, it hath pleased the Almighty to conceal many valuable and excellent gifts, which common people either think miraculous, or next to impossible. And yet in truth, natural magic is nothing more than the workmanship of nature, made manifest by art; for, in tillage, as nature produceth corn and herbs, so art, being nature's handmaid, prepareth and helpeth it forward... And, though these things, while they lie hid in nature, do many of them seem impossible and miraculous, yet, when they are known, and the simplicity revealed, our difficulty of apprehension ceases, and the wonder is at an end; for that only is wonderful to the beholder whereof he can conceive no cause nor reason... Many philosophers of the first eminence, as Plato, Pythagoras, Empedocles, Democritus, &c. travelled through every region of the known world for the accomplishment of this kind of knowledge; and, at their return, they publicly preached and taught it. But above all, we learn from sacred and profane history, that Solomon was the greatest proficient in this art of any either before or since his time; as he himself hath declared in Ecclesiastes and the Book of Wisdom, where he saith, “God hath given me the true science of things, so as to know how the world was made, and the power of the elements, the beginning, and the end, and the midst of times, the change of seasons, the courses of the year, and the situation of the stars, the nature of human beings, and the quality of beasts, the power of winds, and the imaginations of the mind; the diversities of plants, the virtues of roots, and all things whatsoever, whether secret or known, manifest or invisible.”* [54]* :1118 And hence, it was that the magi, or followers of natural magic, were accounted wise, and the study honourable; because it consists in nothing more than the most profound and perfect part of natural philosophy, which defines the nature, causes, and effects, of things.* [54]* :1118 How far such inventions as are called charms, amulets, periapts, and the like, have any foundation in natural

72 magic, may be worth our enquiry; because, if cures are to be effected through their medium, and that without any thing derogatory to the attributes of the Deity, or the principles of religion, I see no reason why they should be rejected with that inexorable contempt which levels the works of God with the folly and weakness of men. Not that I would encourage superstition, or become an advocate for a ferrago of absurdities; but, when the simplicity of natural things, and their effects, are rejected merely to encourage professional artifice and emolument, it is prudent for us to distinguish between the extremes of bigoted superstition and total unbelief.* [54]* :1119 It was the opinion of many eminent physicians, of the first ability and learning, that such kind of charms or periapts as consisted of certain odoriferous herbs, balsamic roots, mineral concretions, and metallic substances, might have, and most probably possessed, by means of their strong medicinal properties, the virtue of curing... though without the least surprise or admiration; because the one appears in a great measure to be the consequence of manual operation, which is perceptible and visible to the senses, whilst the other acts by an innate or occult power, which the eye cannot see, nor the mind so readily comprehend; yet, in both cases, perhaps, the effect is produced by a similar cause; and consequently all such remedies... are worthy of our regard, and ought to excite in us not only a veneration for the simple practice of the ancients in their medical experiments, but a due sense of gratitude to the wise Author of our being, who enables us, by such easy means, to remove the infirmities incident to mankind. Many reputable authors ... contend that not only such physical alligations, appensions, periapts, amulets, charms, &c. which, from their materials appear to imbibe and to diffuse the medical properties above described, ought in certain obstinate and equivocal disorders to be applied, but those likewise which from their external form and composition have no such inherent virtues to recommend them; for harm they can do none, and good they might do, either by accident or through the force of imagination. And it is asserted, with very great truth, that through the medium of hope and fear, sufficiently impressed upon the mind or imagination... Of the truth of this we have the strongest and most infallible evidence in the hiccough, which is instantaneously cured by any sudden effect of fear or surprise; ... Seeing, therefore, that such virtues lie hid in the occult properties of nature, united with the sense or imagination of man... without any compact with spirits, or dealings with the devil; we surely ought to receive them into our practice, and to adopt them as often as occasion seriously requires, although professional emolument and pecuniary advantage might in some instances be narrowed by it.* [54]* :1120* [55]


9.3.7 Romanticism From 1776 to 1781 AD, Jacob Philadelphia performed feats of magic, sometimes under the guise of scientific exhibitions, throughout Europe and Russia. Baron Carl Reichenbach's experiments with his Odic force appeared to be an attempt to bridge the gap between magic and science. More recent periods of renewed interest in magic occurred around the end of the 19th century, where Symbolism and other offshoots of Romanticism cultivated a renewed interest in exotic spiritualities. European colonialism put Westerners in contact with India and Egypt and re-introduced exotic beliefs. Hindu and Egyptian mythology frequently feature in 19th-century magical texts. The late 19th century spawned a large number of magical organizations, including the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Theosophical Society, and specifically magical variants on Freemasonry. The Golden Dawn represented perhaps the peak of this wave of magic, attracting cultural celebrities like William Butler Yeats, Algernon Blackwood, and Arthur Machen.* [56]

9.3.8 Modernity Sorcery is a legal concept in Papua New Guinea law, which differentiates between legal good magic, such as healing and fertility, and illegal black magic, held responsible for unexplained deaths.* [57]

9.4 In cultural contexts 9.4.1 Animism and folk religion

An 1873 Victorian illustration of a “Ju-ju house”on the Gold Coast showing fetishized skulls and bones.

Appearing in various tribal peoples from Aboriginal Australia and Māori New Zealand to the Amazon, African



savannah, and pagan Europe, some form of shamanic pear) or shrink men's penises to extort cash for cure, amid contact with the spirit world seems to be nearly univer- a wave of panic.* [60] Arrests were made in an effort to sal in the early development of human communities. avoid bloodshed seen in Ghana a decade ago, when 12 al* Although indigenous magical traditions persist to this leged penis snatchers were beaten to death by mobs. [61] day, very early on some communities transitioned from nomadic to agricultural civilizations, and with this shift, Native American medicine the development of spiritual life mirrored that of civic life. Just as tribal elders were consolidated and trans- Main article: Shamanism § Americas formed into kings and bureaucrats, so too were shamans and adepts changed into priests and a priestly caste. The Shamanism practiced by the indigenous peoples of the Americas was called “medicine”and was practiced by medicine men. In addition to healing, medicine served many other purposes, for example among the Cheyenne, one of Plains Indians that lived in the Great Plains of North America, medicine such as war paint, war shields, war shirts, and war bonnets, such as the famous war bonnet of Roman Nose, served to protect a warrior from wounding during battle.* [62]* [63]

9.4.2 Magic in Hinduism

Juju charm protecting dugout canoe on riverbank, Suriname.1954.


This shift is by no means in nomenclature alone. While the shaman's task was to negotiate between the tribe and the spirit world, on behalf of the tribe, as directed by the collective will of the tribe, the priest's role was to transfer instructions from the deities to the city-state, on behalf of the deities, as directed by the will of those deities. This shift represents the first major usurpation of power by distancing magic from those participating in that magic. It is at this stage of development that highly codified and elaborate rituals, setting the stage for formal religions, began to emerge, such as the funeral rites of the Egyptians and the sacrifice rituals of the Babylonians, Persians, Aztecs, and Mayans.

Traditional welcome performance, Mitral, Kheda district, Gujarat

The Atharva Veda is a veda that deals with mantras that can be used for both good and bad. The word mantrik in India literally means “magician”since the mantrik usually knows mantras, spells, and curses which can be used for or against all forms of magic. Tantra is likewise employed for ritual magic by the tantrik. Many ascetics after long periods of penance and meditation are alleged to attain a state where they may utilize supernatural powers. However, many say that they choose not to use them and instead focus on transcending beyond physical power into In 2003, Sinafasi Makelo, a representative of Mbuti the realm of spirituality. Many siddhars are said to have pygmies, told the UN's Indigenous People's Forum that performed miracles that would ordinarily be impossible during the Congo Civil War, his people were hunted down to perform. and eaten as though they were game animals. Both sides of the war regarded them as “subhuman”and some say their flesh can confer magical powers.* [58]* [59] 9.4.3 Western magic On April, 2008, Kinshasa, the police arrested 14 suspected victims (of penis snatching) and sorcerers accused Further information: Western esotericism of using black magic or witchcraft to steal (make disap-



In general, the 20th century saw a sharp rise in public interest in various forms of magical practice, and the foundation of a number of traditions and organizations, ranging from the distinctly religious to the philosophical.

natural elements, the seasons, and the practitioner's relationship with the Earth, Gaia, or a primary Goddess have derived at least in part from these magical groups, as found in Neopagan religions and various forms of conIn England, a further revival of interest in magic was her- temporary paganism. alded by the repeal of the last Witchcraft Act in 1951. In Allegedly for gematric reasons Aleister Crowley pre1954 Gerald Gardner published a book, Witchcraft To- ferred the spelling magick, defining it as “the science day, in which he claimed to reveal the existence of a and art of causing change to occur in conformity with the witch-cult that dated back to pre-Christian Europe. Al- will.”By this, he included “mundane”acts of change though many of Gardner's claims have since come under as well as ritual magic. In Magick in Theory and Practice, intensive criticism from sources both within and without Chapter XIV, Crowley says: the Neopagan community, his works remain the most important founding stone of Wicca. What is a Magical Operation? It may be defined as any event in nature which is brought to pass Gardner's religion, and many others, took off in the atmoby Will. We must not exclude potato-growing or sphere of the 1960s and 1970s, when the counterculture banking from our definition. Let us take a very of the hippies also spawned another period of renewed simple example of a Magical Act: that of a man interest in magic, divination, and other occult pracblowing his nose. * tices. [64] The various branches of Neopaganism and other Earth religions that have emerged since Gardner's publication tend to follow a pattern in combining the practice of magic and religion, although this combination is not exclusive to them. Following the trend of magic associated with counterculture, some feminists launched an independent revival of goddess worship. This brought them into contact with the Gardnerian tradition of magical religion (or religious magic), and deeply influenced that tradition in return.* [56]

Western magical traditions draw heavily from Hermeticism which influenced the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, as well as Wicca and some other Neopagan religions and contemporary forms of paganism. Wicca is one of the more publicly known traditions within Neopaganism, a magical religion inspired by medieval witchcraft, with influences including the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and Crowley. Ruickbie (2004:193209) shows that Wiccans and witches define magic in many different ways and use it for a number of different purposes. Despite that diversity of opinion, he concludes that the result upon the practitioner is generally perceived as a positive one. Israel Regardie argued that some magical practices rely upon widely accepted psychological principles and are intended to promote internal personal changes within the practitioner themselves.* [65] Visualization techniques, for instance, widely used by magicians, are also used in somewhat different contexts in fields such as clinical psychology and sports training.* [66] Hypotheses of adherents

The pentagram, an ancient geometrical symbol known from many cultures is often associated with magic. In Europe, the Pythagoreans first used the pentagram as a symbol of their movement.

The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Aleister Crowley's Thelema and their subsequent offshoots, influenced by Éliphas Lévi, are most commonly associated with the resurgence of magical tradition in the English-speaking world of the 20th century. Other, similar resurgences took place at roughly the same time, centered in France and Germany. The western traditions acknowledging the

Further information: Occult science and Esoteric cosmology Adherents to magic believe that it works by one or more of the following basic principles: • A mystical force or energy that is natural, but cannot be detected by science at present, and which may not be detectable at all. Common terms referring to such magical energy include mana, numen, chi or kundalini. These are sometimes regarded as fluctuations of an underlying primary substance (akasha, aether) that is present in all things and interconnects



and binds all. Magical energy is thus also present in • The Oneness of All. Based on the fundamental all things, though it can be especially concentrated in concepts of monism and nonduality, this philosophy magical objects. Magical energies are typically seen holds that Magic is little more than the application of one's own inherent unity with the universe. Hingas being especially responsive to the use of symbols, so that a person, event or object can be affected by ing upon the personal realization, or“illumination” manipulating an object that symbolically represents , that the self is limitless, one may live in unison with them or it (as in sigil magic, for instance). This cornature, seeking and preserving balance in all things. responds to James Frazer's theory of sympathetic magic. Many more hypotheses exist. Practitioners will often mix • Intervention of spirits, similar to hypothetical nat- these concepts, and sometimes even invent some themural forces, but with their own consciousness and selves. In the contemporary current of chaos magic in intelligence. Believers in spirits will often describe particular, it is not unusual to believe that any concept of a whole cosmos of beings of many different kinds, magic works. sometimes organized into a hierarchy. • Manipulation of the elements, by using the will of the magician and symbols or objects which are representative of the element(s). Western practitioners typically use the Classical elements of Earth, Air, Water, and Fire.

Key principles of utilizing magic are often said to be concentration and visualization. Many of those who purportedly cast spells attain a mental state called the "trance state”to enable the spell. The trance state is often described as an emptying of the mind, akin to that of meditation.

• Concentration or meditation. A certain amount of focusing or restricting the mind to some imag- In Judaism ined object (or will), according to Aleister Crowley, produces mystical attainment or “an occurrence in Further information: Kabbalah and Hermetic Qabalah In Judaism the Torah prohibits Jews from being the brain characterized essentially by the uniting of subject and object”(Book Four, Part 1: Mysticism). Magic, as defined previously, seeks to aid concentration by constantly recalling the attention to the chosen object (or Will), thereby producing said attainment. For example, if one wishes to concentrate on a god, one might memorize a system of correspondences (perhaps chosen arbitrarily, as this would not affect its usefulness for mystical purposes) and then make every object that one sees “correspond”to said god. Aleister Crowley wrote that “the exaltation of the mind by means of magical practices leads (as one may say, in spite of itself) to the same results as occur in straightforward Yoga.”Crowley's magick thus becomes a form of mental, mystical, or spiritual discipline, designed to train the mind to achieve greater concentration. Crowley also made claims for the paranormal effects of magick, suggesting a connection with the first principle in this list. However, he defined any attempt to use this power for a purpose other than aiding mental or mystical attainment as “black magick”. • The magical power of the subconscious mind. To believers who think that they need to convince their subconscious mind to make the changes that they desire, all spirits and energies are projections and symbols that make sense to the subconscious. Rods turned into serpents. A variant of this belief is that the subconscious is capable of contacting spirits, who in turn can work superstitious or engaging in astrology (Lev. 19, 26); from muttering incantations (Deut. 18, 11); from consulting magic.

76 an ov (mediums), yidoni (seers), or attempting to contact the dead (Deut. 18, 11); from going into a trance to foresee events, and from performing acts of magic (Deut. 18, 10). See 613 Mitzvot. The general theme of these commandments is a prohibition against polytheism since the practice of sorcery connotes the alleged invocation of spirits or other unseen forces that are not God. While pagan magic tries to circumvent the power of godheads through manipulation of the meta-divine, the God in Judaism is all-powerful and transcendent, he cannot be manipulated in the pagan sense by magic. A different type of magic can be achieved using knowledge of the kabbalah. Because the kabbalah provides knowledge of the spiritual and conceptual underpinnings of physical existence, one who possesses kabbalistic knowledge is able to produce physical effects by directly addressing the spiritual basis of the affected physical object. This is called 'practical kabbalah' and is a type of White Magic.

CHAPTER 9. MAGIC (PARANORMAL) sire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone. The section on “practices of magic or sorcery”is less absolute, specifying“attempts to tame occult powers”in order to “have supernatural power over others”. Such are denounced as “gravely contrary to the virtue of religion", notably avoiding a statement on whether such attempts can have any actual effect (that is, attempts to employ occult practices are identified as violating the First Commandment because they in themselves betray a lack of faith, and not because they may or may not result in the desired effect).

The Catechism expresses skepticism towards widespread practices of folk Catholicism without outlawing them exThe practice of practical kabbalah was banned by the plicitly: Vilna Gaon due to the decreasing spiritual sensitivity of later generations. (2117) [...] Wearing charms is also reprehensiIn Christianity Further information: Renaissance magic, Grimoire, Christian views on magic, and Theurgy Magia was viewed with suspicion by Christianity from the time of the Church fathers. However, it was never completely settled whether there may be permissible practices, e.g. involving relics or holy water as opposed to “blasphemous”necromancy (necromantia) involving the invocation of demons (goetia). The distinction became particularly pointed and controversial during the Early Modern witch-hunts, with some authors such as Johannes Hartlieb denouncing all magical practice as blasphemous, while others portrayed natural magic as not sinful.

ble. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another's credulity. Some argue that the recent popularity of the prosperity gospel constitutes a return to magical thinking within Christianity. Note also that Gnostic Christianity has a strong mystical current, but shies away from practical magic and focuses more on theurgy. In Islam

The second chapter of the Qur’an introduces an explaThe position taken by Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, one of nation for the introduction of magic into“Abrahamic rethe foremost Renaissance magicians, is ambiguous. The ligions”in the Jewish era, hinting to the fork in the road, character of Faustus, likely based on a historical 16th- then the consequences that followed: century magician or charlatan, became the prototypical And when they got a messenger that is popular tale of a learned magician who succumbs to a supporting to what they have, some of them pact with the devil. abandoned the book they had as if they The current Catechism of the Catholic Church discusses did not know; And they followed what the divination and magic under the heading of the First Comevilly-devolved/ablazed recite on the status of mandment.* [67] Solomon; but Solomon was granted this status for his worship, not like the evilly-devolved It is careful to allow for the possibility of divinely inspired practices of ungratefulness as they teach peoprophecy, but it rejects “all forms of divination": ple devilry and what was sourced to the two an(2116) All forms of divination are to be regels in the summit of Babel, Harut, and Marut; jected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjurand as they were teaching, they wouldn't exing up the dead or other practices falsely supcept after explaining that they are a tryout, so posed to “unveil”the future. Consulting horodon't be ungrateful; thus, they are taught by scopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation them the process of how to separate the indiof omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyvidual from his associative-half; further, they ance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a decan never hurt anyone with it but according to

9.5. SEE ALSO Allaah's determent; and they learn what hurts but does not benefit them, and they know that anyone who buys this has no remaining potency; and woe! to how they sold themselves; but if they knew. (Meanings see:Q 2:102)

77 “must not apply . . .[his power] except to that purpose [i.e. to achieve goals] which would please God.”* [71]

However, not all Islamic groups accept this explanation of benevolent magic, considering it shamanic. On the other hand, some would go to extent of defining any blessing as “sorcery”, and any abnormal“contagion”as witchcraft. Although it presents a generally forewarning attitude to- Some Salafis view invoking many of these practices as wards magic and its evolution, Muhammad was accused shirk, denying that this is fully worshipping Allah, namely by his detractors of being a magician, because of his ef- by turning to other meta-physical powers with reverence. fect on those who heard him.* [68] The Qur'an distin- Consequently, the Salafis renounce appellations to interguishes between apparent sorcery and devilry. Literally mediaries such as saints, angels, and djinn, and renounce sorcery is the knowledge of angels: it is what is known as magic, fortune-telling, and divination.* [72] This partic'mother nature', and the knowledge sourced to Harut and ular brand of magic has also been condemned as forMarut. The second form, usually known as 'witchcraft', bidden by a fatwa issued by Al-Azhar University.* [73] is the magic that wide spreads amongst devils and devious Further, Egyptian folklorist Hasan El-Shamy, warns that characters. “Al-shayt-taan”, coined, can be explained scholars have often been uncritical in their application of through two explanatory methods; the first exampled by the term sihr to both malevolent and benevolent forms of Satan and how he became “Satan”upon his encounter magic. He argues that in Egypt, sihr only applies to sorwith Adam, and all of those who follow his devolving cery. However, a person who practices benevolent magic path. The second approach, is the literal approach, epis- “is not called saahir or sahhaar (sorcerer, witch), but is temically referring to the two words that make up the ba- normally referred to as shaikh (or shaikha for a female), a sic word “shay-taan”which are: 'shayt' the energy pro- title which is normally used to refer to community notable voking burn, and “taan”which is like the suffix of the or elder, or religious priest, maybe equal to the English word “sul-taan”, implying compelling power. Many of title: 'Reverend'"* [74] It is fair to say that scientifically the practices that have been reported as “shay-taan-nic” observing a person would tell you if he is benevolently , are mere protocols the evilly-devolved enforce amongst blessed or unusually aided/deluded/unhitched with other their circles whilst claiming their Solomon's protocols. forms of magic. Islam in practice seizes to categorize Further, they would do this by removing keywords from except what is apparently observed; maintaining a disposcripture to redefine meanings. sition that religiosity is a matter of heart, as rituals and The Arabic word translated in this passage as “magic” practices are properly observed, civility is upon governis word “sihr”. The meaning of “sihr” suggests that ment. “it is the turning . . . of a thing from its true nature . . . or form . . . to something else which is unreal or a mere appearance "* [69] Etymologically magic or '"sihr"' roots 9.4.4 Magical traditions and connotes anything that is meta-physically supported. Magic, as a common terminology, however, is used to Examples of magical traditions include: describe appeal, and also to describe delusion; one can mean an ethereal form of attraction or beauty, or what is experienced through lies or provoked meta-causalities or 9.5 See also contagions. As Muslim evolved devolving into many different sects, their acknowledgment and definition of magic varied; however I would like to believe that Satanic alliances will never present themselves as interpretations finding a platform in Muslim belief and societies. Some went on to explain that it was like the actor maintaining obedience depending upon the benevolence or malevolence of his practice. Malevolent magicians operated by enslaving the spirits through offerings and deeds displeasing to Allah. Apropos benevolent magicians, in contrast, obeyed and appeased Allah so that Allah exercised His will upon the spirits.* [70] Al-Buni claims the process by which this practice occurs: First: the practitioner must be of utterly clean soul and garb. Second, when the proper angel is contacted, this angel will first get permission from God to go to the aid of the person who summoned him. Third: the practitioner

9.6 References [1] Hutton, Ronald (1991). Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles. pp. 289–291, 335. ISBN 0-631-18946-7. [2] Tambiah, S. J. Magic, Science, Religion, and the Scope of Rationality. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. [3] W.J. Hanegraaff, “Dictionary of Gnosis & Western Esotericism”, p718. [4] Mauss, Marcel (1972) A General Theory of Magic (R. Brain, Trans.). New York: Norton Library. (Original work published 1903). [5] Bengt Ankarloo & Stuart Clark, Witchcraft and Magic in Europe: Biblical and Pagan Societies”, University of Philadelphia Press, 2001, p xiii


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[43] Price 115


[44] Cole 313

[62] Hyde, George E. (1968). Lottinville, Savoie, ed. Life of George Bent: Written From His Letters. University of Oklahoma Press. pp. 207, 213, 214, 221, 239, 240, 303.

[45] Bets, Hans, ed. (1986). The Greek magical papyri in translation, including the Demotic spells. Chicago: University of Chicago. ISBN 0226044440.

[63] Monnett, John H. (1992). The Battle of Beecher Island and the Indian War of 1867–1869. University Press of Colorado. pp. 46–48.

[46] Hutton (2003),

[64] Adler (1987),

[47] Jan Willem Drijvers; Edward David Hunt (1999). The late Roman world and its historian: interpreting Ammianus Marcellinus. Psychology Press. pp. 208–. ISBN 978-0415-20271-8. Retrieved 22 August 2010.

[65] Isreal Regardie, The Middle Pillar

[48] Flint, Valerie I.J. (1990). The rise of magic in early medieval Europe (1st ed.). Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. p. 4,12,406. ISBN 0-691-03165-7. [49] Kieckhefer, Richard (June 1, 1994). “The Specific Rationality of Medieval Magic”. The American Historical Review. 99 (3): 813. doi:10.2307/2167771. [50] Lindberg, David C. (2007). The beginnings of western science : the European scientific tradition in philosophical, religious, and institutional context, prehistory to A.D. 1450 (2nd ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 20. ISBN 0226482057. [51] Sweet, Victoria (1999). “Hildegard of Bingen and the Greening of Medieval Medicine”. Bulletin of the History of Medicine. 73 (3): 381–403. doi:10.1353/bhm.1999.0140. PMID 10500336. [52] Kieckhefer, Richard (June 1, 1994). “The Specific Rationality of Medieval Magic”. The American Historical Review. 99 (3): 813–818. doi:10.2307/2167771. [53] Kiekhefer (1998), [54] Sibly M.D., Ebenezer (1822). A New and Complete Illustration of the Celestial Science of Astrology; or, The Art of Foretelling Future Events and Contingencies. vol. 2 part 4 (12 ed.). [55] Peterson, Joseph H. (April 2001).“A New and Complete Illustration of the Occult Sciences —Book 4”. Esoteric Archives. Retrieved 12 April 2011. [56] Hutton (2001), [57] “Cannibal cult members arrested in PNG”. New Zealand Herald. 2012-07-05. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 201511-28. [58] “Africa | DR Congo pygmies 'exterminated'". BBC News. 2004-07-06. Retrieved 2015-06-16.

[66]“The psychology of chess”. JAMA. 292: 1900. 2004. doi:10.1001/jama.292.15.1900. [67] “Catechism of the Catholic Church - IntraText”. Vatican.va. Retrieved 2015-06-16. [68] “Magic - Oxford Islamic Studies Online”. Oxfordislamicstudies.com. 2008-05-06. Retrieved 2015-06-16. [69] Gibb, p 545. [70] al-Nadim, Muhammad ibn Ishaq. The Fihrist of alNadim. Edited and translated by Bayard Dodge. New York: Columbia, 1970. pp. 725-726. [71] El-Shamy. Folk Beliefs and Practices in Egypt. p. 34. [72] Doumato, Eleanor Abdella. 2000 Getting God's Ear: Women, Islam, and Healing in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf. New York: Columbia. p. 34. [73] El-Shamy. Personal communication [74] edited from El-Shamy. Folk Beliefs and Practices in Egypt. p. 33.

9.7 Bibliography • Eliza Marian Butler Ritual Magic, University Park, The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1949; Reprint 1998 • Adler, Margot (1987). Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today. ISBN 0-14-019536-X • Clifton, Dan Salahuddin (1998). Myth Of The Western Magical Tradition. C&GCHE. ISBN 0-39300143-1. • Frazer, J. G. (1911). The Magic Art (2 vols.) (The Golden Bough, 3rd ed., Part II). London.

[59] http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/ article402970.ece(subscriptionrequired)

• Freud, Sigmund (1950). Totem and Taboo: Some Points of Agreement between the Mental Lives of Savages and Neurotics. trans. Strachey. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0-393-00143-1.

[60] Bavier, Joe (2008-04-23). “Penis theft panic hits city..” . Reuters. Retrieved 2015-06-16.

• de Givry, Grillot (1954). Witchcraft, Magic, and Alchemy, trans. J. Courtney Locke. Frederick Pub.

[61] “CNN - 7 killed in Ghana over 'penis-snatching' episodes - Jan. 18, 1997”. Edition.cnn.com. Retrieved 2015-0616.

• Hutton, Ronald (2001). The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft. Oxford. ISBN 0-19-285449-6.

80 • Hutton, Ronald (2006). Witches, Druids, and King Arthur. Hambledon. ISBN 1-85285-555-X • Kampf, Erich (1894). The Plains of Magic. Konte Publishing. • Kiekhefer, Richard (1998). Forbidden Rites: A Necromancer's Manual of the Fifteenth Century. Pennsylvania State University. ISBN 0-271-017511. • Ruickbie, Leo (2004). Witchcraft Out of the Shadows. Robert Hale. ISBN 0-7090-7567-7. • Stark, Ryan. Rhetoric, Science, and Magic in Seventeenth-Century England. Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 2009. • Thomas, N. W. (1910–11). “Magic”. Encyclopædia Britannica, 11th ed., vol. 26, p. 337. • Thorndike, Lynn (1923–1958). A History of Magic and Experimental Science (8 volumes). New York: Macmillan. ISBN 0-231-08794-2. • Waite, Arthur E. (1913) The Book of Black Magic and of Pacts, London. J.B. Haze • Roth, Remo F.: Return of the World Soul, Wolfgang Pauli, C.G. Jung and the Challenge of Psychophysical Reality [unus mundus]. Pari Publishing, 2011, ISBN 978-88-95604-12-1. • S. R. F. Price (28 June 1999). Religions of the Ancient Greeks. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-38867-2. • Julia Kindt. (2012). Rethinking Greek Religion. [Online]. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Available from: Cambridge Books Online doi:10.1017/CBO9780511978500 [Accessed 19 April 2016]. • Brian P. Copenhaver. (2015). Magic in Western Culture. [Online]. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Available from: Cambridge Books Online doi:10.1017/CBO9781107707450 [Accessed 19 April 2016]. • Susan Guettel Cole. (2007). Greek religion. In: John R. Hinnells (ed.) A Handbook of Ancient Religions. pp. 266–317. [Online]. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Available from: Cambridge Books Online doi:10.1017/CBO9780511488429.007 [Accessed 20 April 2016].

9.8 External links Quotations related to Magic at Wikiquote

CHAPTER 9. MAGIC (PARANORMAL) • Catholic Encyclopedia “Occult Art, Occultism” • Catholic Encyclopedia “Witchcraft”

Chapter 10

Thelema For the EP by Murder City Devils, see Thelema (EP). Nuit, Hadit and Ra-Hoor-Khuit. Crowley described these Thelema (/θəˈliːmə/) is a religion based on a deities as a “literary convenience”.* [5] The religion is founded upon the idea that the 20th century marked the beginning of the Aeon of Horus, in which a new ethical code would be followed; “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law”. This statement indicates that adherents, who are known as Thelemites, should seek out and follow their own true path in life, known as their True Will.* [6] The philosophy also emphasizes the ritual practice of Magick. The word thelema is the English transliteration of the Koine Greek noun θέλημα (pronounced [θélima])“will” , from the verb θέλω“to will, wish, want or purpose.”As Crowley developed the religion, he wrote widely on the topic, as well as producing more 'inspired' writing that he collectively termed The Holy Books of Thelema. He also included ideas from occultism, yoga and both Eastern and Western mysticism, especially the Qabalah.* [7]

10.1 Historical precedents The Unicursal Hexagram, one of the important symbols in Thelema, equivalent of the Egyptian Ankh* [1] or the Rosicrucians' Rosy Cross,* [1] but first derived in 1639 by Blaise Pascal's Hexagrammum Mysticum

philosophical law of the same name, adopted as a central tenet by some religious organizations. The law of Thelema is “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Love is the law, love under will.”The law of Thelema was developed in the early 1900s by Aleister Crowley, an English writer and ceremonial magician.* [2] He believed himself to be the prophet of a new age, the Æon of Horus, based upon a spiritual experience that he and his wife, Rose Edith, had in Egypt in 1904.* [3] By his account, a possibly non-corporeal or“praeterhuman”being that called itself Aiwass contacted him and dictated a text known as The Book of the Law or Liber AL vel Legis, which outlined the principles of Thelema.* [4] An adherent of Thelema is a Thelemite.

The word θέλημα (thelema) is rare in classical Greek, where it “signifies the appetitive will: desire, sometimes even sexual”,* [8] but it is frequent in the Septuagint.* [8] Early Christian writings occasionally use the word to refer to the human will,* [9] and even the will of God's opponent, the Devil,* [10] but it usually refers to the will of God.* [11] One well-known example is in the "Lord's Prayer" (Matthew 6:10), “Thy kingdom come. Thy will (Θελημα) be done, On earth as it is in heaven.”It is used later in the same gospel (26:42), “He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Thy will be done.”In his 5th-century Sermon on 1 John 4:4-12, Augustine of Hippo gave a similar instruction:* [12] “Love, and what thou wilt, do.”(Dilige et quod vis fac).* [13]

In the Renaissance, a character named“Thelemia”represents will or desire in the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili of the Dominican monk Francesco Colonna. The protagonist Poliphilo has two allegorical guides, Logistica The Thelemic pantheon includes a number of deities, (reason) and Thelemia (will or desire). When forced primarily a trio adapted from ancient Egyptian religion, to choose, he chooses fulfillment of his sexual will over who are the three speakers of The Book of the Law: logic.* [14] Colonna's work was a great influence on the 81



Franciscan monk François Rabelais, who in the 16th century, used Thélème, the French form of the word, as the name of a fictional abbey in his novels, Gargantua and Pantagruel.* [15] The only rule of this Abbey was “fay çe que vouldras”(“Fais ce que tu veux”, or,“Do what thou wilt”). In the mid-18th century, Sir Francis Dashwood inscribed the adage on a doorway of his abbey at Medmenham,* [16] where it served as the motto of the Hellfire Club.* [16] Rabelais' Abbey of Thelema has been referred to by later writers Sir Walter Besant and James Rice, in their novel The Monks of Thelema (1878), and C. R. Ashbee in his utopian romance The Building of Thelema (1910).


François Rabelais

Main article: François Rabelais François Rabelais was a Franciscan and later a


[19] within the French Church,* [20] the reference to the Greek word θέλημα“declares that the will of God rules in this abbey”.* [21] Sutin writes that Rabelais was no precursor of Thelema, with his beliefs containing elements of Stoicism and Christian kindness.* [18] In his first book (ch. 52-57), Rabelais writes of this Abbey of Thélème, built by the giant Gargantua. It is a classical utopia presented in order to critique and assess the state of the society of Rabelais' day, as opposed to a modern utopian text that seeks to create the scenario in practice.* [22] It is a utopia where people's desires are more fulfilled.* [23] Satirical, it also epitomises the ideals considered in Rabelais' fiction.* [24] The inhabitants of the abbey were governed only by their own free will and pleasure, the only rule being “Do What Thou Wilt” . Rabelais believed that men who are free, well born and bred have honour, which intrinsically leads to virtuous actions. When constrained, their noble natures turn instead to remove their servitude, because men desire what they are denied.* [15] Some modern Thelemites consider Crowley's work to build upon Rabelais' summary of the instinctively honourable nature of the Thelemite. Rabelais has been variously credited with the creation of the philosophy* [25] of Thelema, as one of the earliest people to refer to it,* [26] or with being “the first Thelemite”.* [27] However, the current National Grand Master General of the U.S. Ordo Templi Orientis Grand Lodge has stated: Saint Rabelais never intended his satirical, fictional device to serve as a practical blueprint for a real human society ... Our Thelema is that of The Book of the Law and the writings of Aleister Crowley* [28]

François Rabelais

Aleister Crowley wrote in The Antecedents of Thelema, (1926), an incomplete work not published in his day, that Rabelais not only set forth the law of Thelema in a way similar to how Crowley understood it, but predicted and described in code Crowley's life and the holy text that he claimed to have received, The Book of the Law. Crowley said the work he had received was deeper, showing in more detail the technique people should practice, and revealing scientific mysteries. He said that Rabelais confines himself to portraying an ideal, rather than addressing questions of political economy and similar subjects, which must be solved in order to realize the Law.* [29]

Benedictine monk of the 16th century. Eventually he left the monastery to study medicine, and moved to the French city of Lyon in 1532. There he wrote Gargantua and Pantagruel, a connected series of books. They tell the story of two giants—a father (Gargantua) and his son (Pantagruel) and their adventures—written in an amus- Rabelais is included among the Saints of Ecclesia Gnosing, extravagant, and satirical vein. tica Catholica.* [30]

Most critics today agree that Rabelais wrote from a Christian humanist perspective.* [17] The Crowley biographer Lawrence Sutin notes this when contrasting 10.1.2 Francis Dashwood and the Hellfire Club the French author's beliefs with the Thelema of Aleister Crowley.* [18] In the previously mentioned story of Thélème, which critics analyze as referring in part to the Sir Francis Dashwood adopted some of the ideas of Rasuffering of loyal Christian reformists or “evangelicals” belais and invoked the same rule in French, when he


83 sion followed its public model precisely.* [36]

10.2 Aleister Crowley Main article: Aleister Crowley Aleister Crowley (1875–1947) was an English occultist and writer. In 1904, Crowley claimed to have received The Book of the Law from an entity named Aiwass, which was to serve as the foundation of the religious and philosophical system he called Thelema.* [4]* [37]

10.2.1 The Book of the Law Main article: The Book of the Law

Portrait of Francis Dashwood, 11th Baron le Despencer, by William Hogarth from the late 1750s

founded a group called the Monks of Medmenham (better known as the Hellfire Club).* [16] An abbey was established at Medmenham, in a property which incorporated the ruins of a Cistercian abbey founded in 1201. The group were known as the Franciscans, not after Saint Francis of Assisi, but after its founder, Francis Dashwood, 11th Baron le Despencer. John Wilkes, George Dodington and other politicians were members.* [16] There is little direct evidence of what Dashwood's Hellfire Club practiced or believed.* [31] The one direct testimonial comes from John Wilkes, a member who never got into the chapter-room of the inner circle.* [31]* [32] He describes the group as hedonists who met to “celebrate woman in wine”, and added ideas from the ancients just to make the experience more decadent.* [33]

Crowley's system of Thelema begins with The Book of the Law, which bears the official name Liber AL vel Legis. It was written in Cairo, Egypt during his honeymoon with his new wife Rose Crowley (née Kelly). This small book contains three chapters, each of which he claimed to have written in exactly one hour, beginning at noon, on April 8, April 9, and April 10, 1904. Crowley claims that he took dictation from an entity named Aiwass, whom he later identified as his own Holy Guardian Angel.* [38] Disciple, author, and onetime Crowley secretary Israel Regardie prefers to attribute this voice to the subconscious, but opinions among Thelemites differ widely. Crowley claimed that“no forger could have prepared so complex a set of numerical and literal puzzles”and that study of the text would dispel all doubts about the method of how the book was obtained.* [39]

Besides the reference to Rabelais, an analysis by Dave Evans shows similarities to The Beloved of Hathor and Shrine of the Golden Hawk,* [40] a play by Florence Farr.* [41] Evans says this may result from the fact that “both Farr and Crowley were thoroughly steeped in Golden Dawn imagery and teachings”,* [42] and that Crowley probably knew the ancient materials that inspired some of Farr's motifs.* [43] Sutin also finds similarities between Thelema and the work of W. B. Yeats, In the opinion of Lt. Col. Towers, the group derived attributing this to “shared insight”and perhaps to the * more from Rabelais than the inscription over the door. older man's knowledge of Crowley. [44] He believes that they used caves as a Dionysian oracular Crowley wrote several commentaries on The Book of the temple, based upon Dashwood’s reading of the relevant Law, the last of which he wrote in 1925. This brief statechapters of Rabelais.* [34] Sir Nathaniel Wraxall in his ment called simply "The Comment" warns against disHistorical Memoires (1815) accused the Monks of per- cussing the book's contents, and states that all“questions forming Satanic rituals, but these claims have been dis- of the Law are to be decided only by appeal to my writmissed as hearsay.* [31] Gerald Gardner and others such ings”and is signed Ankh-af-na-khonsu.* [45] as Mike Howard* [35] say the Monks worshipped “the Goddess”. Daniel Willens argued that the group likely practiced Freemasonry, but also suggests Dashwood may 10.2.2 True Will have held secret Roman Catholic sacraments. He asks if Wilkes would have recognized a genuine Catholic Mass, Main article: True Will even if he saw it himself and even if the underground ver-



According to Crowley, every individual has a True Will, to be distinguished from the ordinary wants and desires of the ego. The True Will is essentially one's“calling”or “purpose”in life. Some later magicians have taken this to include the goal of attaining self-realization by one's own efforts, without the aid of God or other divine authority. This brings them close to the position that Crowley held just prior to 1904.* [46] Others follow later works such as Liber II, saying that one's own will in pure form is nothing other than the divine will.* [47] Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law for Crowley refers not to hedonism, fulfilling everyday desires, but to acting in response to that calling. The Thelemite is a mystic.* [46] According to Lon Milo DuQuette, a Thelemite is anyone who bases their actions on striving to discover and accomplish their true will,* [48] when a person does their True Will, it is like an orbit, their niche in the universal order, and the universe assists them.* [49] In order for the individual to be able to follow their True Will, the everyday self's socially-instilled inhibitions may have to be overcome via deconditioning.* [50]* [51] Crowley believed that in order to discover the True Will, one had to free the desires of the subconscious mind from the control of the conscious mind, especially the restrictions placed on sexual expression, which he associated with the power of divine creation.* [52] He identified the True Will of each individual with the Holy Guardian Angel, a daimon unique to each individual.* [53] The spiritual quest to find what you are meant to do and do it is also known in Thelema as the Great Work.* [54] The Stèle of Revealing, depicting Nuit, Hadit as the winged globe, Ra-Hoor-Khuit seated on his throne, and the creator of the Stèle, the scribe Ankh-af-na-khonsu



Thelema draws its principal gods and goddesses from Ancient Egyptian religion. The highest deity in the cosmology of Thelema is the goddess Nuit. She is the night sky arched over the Earth symbolized in the form of a naked woman. She is conceived as the Great Mother, the ultimate source of all things.* [55] The second principal deity of Thelema is the god Hadit, conceived as the infinitely small point, complement and consort of Nuit. Hadit symbolizes manifestation, motion, and time.* [55] He is also described in Liber AL vel Legis as “the flame that burns in every heart of man, and in the core of every star”.* [56] The third deity in the cosmology of Thelema is Ra-Hoor-Khuit, a manifestation of Horus. He is symbolized as a throned man with the head of a hawk who carries a wand. He is associated with the Sun and the active energies of Thelemic magick.* [55] Other deities within the cosmology of Thelema are Hoor-paarkraat (or Harpocrates), god of silence and inner strength, the brother of Ra-Hoor-Khuit,* [55] Babalon, the goddess of all pleasure, known as the Virgin Whore,* [55] and Therion, the beast that Babalon rides, who represents the wild animal within man, a force of nature.* [55]

10.2.4 Magick and ritual Main articles: Magick (Thelema) and Thelemic mysticism Thelemic magick is a system of physical, mental, and spiritual exercises which practitioners believe are of benefit.* [57] Crowley defined magick as “the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will” ,* [58] and spelled it with a 'k' to distinguish it from stage magic. He recommended magick as a means for discovering the True Will.* [59] Generally, magical practices in Thelema are designed to assist in finding and manifesting the True Will, although some include celebratory aspects as well.* [60] Crowley was a prolific writer, integrating Eastern practices with Western magical practices from the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.* [61] He recommended a number of these practices to his followers, including basic yoga; (asana and pranayama);* [62] rituals of his own devising or based on those of the Golden Dawn, such as the Lesser ritual of the pentagram, for banishing and invocation;* [60] Liber Samekh, a ritual for the invocation of the Holy Guardian Angel;* [60]



eucharistic rituals such as The Gnostic Mass and The Mass of the Phoenix;* [60] and Liber Resh, consisting of four daily adorations to the sun.* [60] Much of his work is readily available in print and online. He also discussed sex magick and sexual gnosis in various forms including masturbatory, heterosexual, and homosexual practices, and these form part of his suggestions for the work of those in the higher degrees of the Ordo Templi Orientis.* [63] Crowley believed that after discovering the True Will, the magician must also remove any elements of himself that stand in the way of its success.* [64]


1 Binah



















as Liber Resh. One goal in the study of Thelema within the magical Order of the A∴A∴ is for the magician to obtain the knowledge and conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel: conscious communication with their own personal daimon, thus gaining knowledge of their True Will.* [65] The chief task for one who has achieved this goes by the name of “crossing the abyss";* [66] completely relinquishing the ego. If the aspirant is unprepared, he will cling to the ego instead, becoming a Black Brother. Rather than becoming one with God, the Black Brother considers his ego to be god.* [67] According to Crowley, the Black Brother slowly disintegrates, while preying on others for his own self-aggrandisement.* [68] Crowley taught skeptical examination of all results obtained through meditation or magick, at least for the student.* [69] He tied this to the necessity of keeping a magical record or diary, that attempts to list all conditions of the event.* [70]* [71] Remarking on the similarity of statements made by spiritually advanced people of their experiences, he said that fifty years from his time they would have a scientific name based on “an understanding of the phenomenon”to replace such terms as “spiritual”or “supernatural”. Crowley stated that his work and that of his followers used“the method of science; the aim of religion”,* [72] and that the genuine powers of the magician could in some way be objectively tested. This idea has been taken on by later practitioners of Thelema, chaos magic and magick in general. They may consider that they are testing hypotheses with each magical experiment. The difficulty lies in the broadness of their definition of success,* [73] in which they may see as evidence of success things which a non-magician would not define as such, leading to confirmation bias. Crowley believed he could demonstrate, by his own example, the effectiveness of magick in producing certain subjective experiences that do not ordinarily result from taking hashish, enjoying oneself in Paris, or walking through the Sahara desert.* [74] It is not strictly necessary to practice ritual techniques to be a Thelemite, as due to the focus of Thelemic magick on the True Will, Crowley stated “every intentional act is a magickal act”.* [75]

The qabalistic tree of life, important in the magical order A∴A∴ as the degrees of advancement in are related to it.

10.2.5 Ethics

The emphasis of Thelemic magick is not directly on material results, and while many Thelemites do practice magick for goals such as wealth or love, it is not required. Those in a Thelemic magical Order, such as the A∴A∴, or Ordo Templi Orientis, work through a series of degrees or grades via a process of initiation. Thelemites who work on their own or in an independent group try to achieve this ascent or the purpose thereof using the Holy Books of Thelema and/or Crowley's more secular works as a guide, along with their own intuition. Thelemites, both independent ones and those affiliated with an order, can practice a form of performative prayer known

Liber AL vel Legis does make clear some standards of individual conduct. The most primary of these is“Do what thou wilt”which is presented as the whole of the law, and also as a right. Some interpreters of Thelema believe that this right includes an obligation to allow others to do their own wills without interference,* [76] but Liber AL makes no clear statement on the matter. Crowley himself wrote that there was no need to detail the ethics of Thelema, for everything springs from“Do what thou Wilt”.* [77] Crowley wrote several additional documents presenting his personal beliefs regarding individual conduct in light of the Law of Thelema, some of which do address the



topic interference with others: Liber OZ, Duty, and Liber II.

10.3 Contemporary Thelema

Liber Oz enumerates some of the rights of the individual implied by the one overarching right,“Do what thou wilt”. For each person, these include the right to: live by one's own law; live in the way that one wills to do; work, play, and rest as one will; die when and how one will; eat and drink what one will; live where one will; move about the earth as one will; think, speak, write, draw, paint, carve, etch, mould, build, and dress as one will; love when, where and with whom one will; and kill those who would thwart these rights.* [78]

10.3.1 Diversity of Thelemic thought

Duty is described as“A note on the chief rules of practical conduct to be observed by those who accept the Law of Thelema.”* [79] It is not a numbered“Liber”as are all the documents which Crowley intended for A∴A∴, but rather listed as a document intended specifically for Ordo Templi Orientis.* [79] There are four sections:* [80] • A. Your Duty to Self: describes the self as the center of the universe, with a call to learn about one's inner nature. Admonishes the reader to develop every faculty in a balanced way, establish one's autonomy, and to devote oneself to the service of one's own True Will. • B. Your Duty to Others: An admonishment to eliminate the illusion of separateness between oneself and all others, to fight when necessary, to avoid interfering with the Wills of others, to enlighten others when needed, and to worship the divine nature of all other beings. • C. Your Duty to Mankind: States that the Law of Thelema should be the sole basis of conduct. That the laws of the land should have the aim of securing the greatest liberty for all individuals. Crime is described as being a violation of one's True Will. • D. Your Duty to All Other Beings and Things: States that the Law of Thelema should be applied to all problems and used to decide every ethical question. It is a violation of the Law of Thelema to use any animal or object for a purpose for which it is unfit, or to ruin things so that they are useless for their purpose. Natural resources can be used by man, but this should not be done wantonly, or the breach of the law will be avenged. In Liber II: The Message of the Master Therion, the Law of Thelema is summarized succinctly as “Do what thou wilt—then do nothing else.”Crowley describes the pursuit of Will as not only with detachment from possible results, but with tireless energy. It is Nirvana but in a dynamic rather than static form. The True Will is described as the individual's orbit, and if they seek to do anything else, they will encounter obstacles, as doing anything other than the will is a hindrance to it.* [81]

The core of Thelemic thought is “Do what thou wilt” . However, beyond this, there exists a very wide range of interpretation of Thelema. Modern Thelema is a syncretic philosophy and religion,* [82] and many Thelemites try to avoid strongly dogmatic or fundamentalist thinking. Crowley himself put strong emphasis on the unique nature of Will inherent in each individual, not following him, saying he did not wish to found a flock of sheep.* [83] Thus, contemporary Thelemites may practice more than one religion, including Wicca, Gnosticism, Satanism, Setianism and Luciferianism.* [82] Many adherents of Thelema, none more so than Crowley, recognize correlations between Thelemic and other systems of spiritual thought; most borrow freely from the methods and practices of other traditions, including alchemy, astrology, qabalah, tantra, tarot divination and yoga.* [82] For example, Nu and Had are thought to correspond with the Tao and Teh of Taoism, Shakti and Shiva of the Hindu Tantras, Shunyata and Bodhicitta of Buddhism, Ain Soph and Kether in the Hermetic Qabalah.* [84]* [85]* [86]* [87] There are some Thelemites who do accept The Book of the Law in some way but not the rest of Crowley's “inspired”writings or teachings. Others take only specific aspects of his overall system, such as his magical techniques, ethics, mysticism, or religious ideas, while ignoring the rest. Other individuals who consider themselves Thelemites regard what is commonly presented as Crowley's system to be only one possible manifestation of Thelema, creating original systems, such as those of Nema and Kenneth Grant. And one category of Thelemites are non-religious, and simply adhere to the philosophical law of Thelema.

10.3.2 Thelemic holidays The Book of the Law gives several holy days to be observed by Thelemites. There are no established or dogmatic ways to celebrate these days, so as a result Thelemites will often take to their own devices or celebrate in groups, especially within Ordo Templi Orientis. These holy days are usually observed on the following dates: • March 20. The Feast of the Supreme Ritual, which celebrates the Invocation of Horus, the ritual performed by Crowley on this date in 1904 that inaugurated the New Aeon. • March 20/March 21. The Equinox of the Gods, which is commonly referred to as the Thelemic New Year (although some celebrate the New Year on April 8). Although the equinox and the Invocation



of Horus often fall on the same day, they are often during his lifetime, some later collected as Freedom is a treated as two different events. This date is the Au- Two-edged Sword. He died in 1952 as a result of an extumnal equinox in the Southern Hemisphere. plosion, and while not a prolific writer himself, has been the subject of two biographies; Sex and Rockets by John April 8 through April 10. The Feast of the Three Carter, and Strange Angel by George Pendle. Days of the Writing of the Book of the Law. These three days are commemorative of the three Since Crowley's death in 1947, there have been other days in the year 1904 during which Aleister Crow- Thelemic writers such as Israel Regardie, who edited ley wrote the Book of the Law. One chapter was many of Crowley's works and also wrote a biography of written each day, the first being written on April 8, him, The Eye in the Triangle, as well as books on Qabalah. the second on April 9, and the third on April 10. Kenneth Grant wrote numerous books on Thelema and Although there is no official way of celebrating any the occult, such as The Typhonian Trilogy. Lon Milo DuThelemic holiday, this particular feast day is usually Quette has written several books which analyze Crowley's celebrated by reading the corresponding chapter on system. each of the three days, usually at noon. Other notable contemporary writers who address Thelema include Allen H. Greenfield, Christopher Hyatt, June 20/June 21. The Summer solstice in the Richard Kaczynski, Marcelo Ramos Motta, Rodney Northern Hemisphere and the Winter solstice in the Orpheus, IAO131, Phyllis Seckler, James Wasserman, Southern Hemisphere. Sam Webster, and Robert Anton Wilson. There are also August 12. The Feast of the Prophet and His journals which print original Thelemic writing. Bride. This holiday commemorates the marriage of Aleister Crowley and his first wife Rose Edith Crowley. Rose was a key figure in the writing of the Book 10.3.4 Thelemic organizations of the Law. Several modern organizations of various sizes claim to September 22/September 23. The Autumnal follow the tenets of Thelema. The two most prominent equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and the Vernal are both organizations that Crowley headed during his Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere. lifetime: the A∴A∴, an Order founded by Crowley, based on the grades of the Golden Dawn system; and Ordo December 21/December 22. The Winter solstice Templi Orientis, an order which initially developed from in the Northern Hemisphere and the Summer Sol- the Rite of Memphis and Mizraim in the early part of stice in the Southern Hemisphere. the 20th century, and which includes Ecclesia Gnostica The Feast for Life, celebrated at the birth of a Catholica as its religious arm. Thelemite and on birthdays.

• The Feast for Fire/The Feast for Water. These feast days are usually taken as being when a child hits puberty and steps unto the path of adulthood. The Feast for Fire is celebrated for a male, and the Feast for Water for a female. • The Feast for Death, celebrated on the death of a Thelemite and on the anniversary of their death.* [88]


Contemporary Thelemic literature

Aleister Crowley was highly prolific and wrote on the subject of Thelema for over 35 years, and many of his books remain in print. During his time, there were several who wrote on the subject, including U.S. O.T.O. Grand Master Charles Stansfeld Jones, whose works on Qabalah are still in print, and Major-General J. F. C. Fuller.

Since Crowley's death in 1947, other organizations have formed to carry on his initial work, for example, the College of Thelema, the Temple of Thelema, the College of Thelema of Northern California, the Holy Order Of RaHoorKhuit, the Temple of the Silver Star, the Typhonian Order of Kenneth Grant, the Order of Thelemic Knights, and The Open Source Order of the Golden Dawn. Other groups of widely varying character exist which have drawn inspiration or methods from Thelema, such as the Illuminates of Thanateros and the Temple of Set. Some groups accept the Law of Thelema, but omit certain aspects of Crowley's system while incorporating the works of other mystics, philosophers, and religious systems. The Fraternitas Saturni (Brotherhood of Saturn), founded in 1928 in Germany, accepts the Law of Thelema, but extends it with the phrase “Mitleidlose Liebe!" (“Compassionless love!"). The Thelema Society, also located in Germany, accepts Liber Legis and much of Crowley's work on magick, while incorporating the ideas of other thinkers, such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Charles Sanders Peirce, Martin Heidegger and Niklas Luhmann. Horus-Maat Lodge combines the ideas of the occultist Nema with those of Crowley.

Jack Parsons was a scientist researching the use of various fuels for rockets at the California Institute of Technology, and one of Crowley's first American students, for a time leading the Agape Lodge of the Ordo Templi Orientis Thelemites can also be found in other organizations. The for Crowley in America. He wrote several short works president of the Church of All Worlds, LaSara FireFox,



identifies as a Thelemite. A significant minority of other CAW members also identify as Thelemites.* [82]

• Categorical imperative -“Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.”


• Libri of Aleister Crowley

Thelema and the British justice system

• Wiccan Rede

• Works of Aleister Crowley In May 2009 Thelema was recognised by Her Majesty's Court Service in the United Kingdom as a religion, as it has both a“Holy Book”(The Book of the Law) and deity (primarily for the purposes of the oath, Nuit) as required 10.5 References in law. John Mitchell of Seaford, East Sussex was on Jury Service at Lewes Crown Court and after providing infor- [1] Lon Milo DuQuette in Understanding Aleister Crowley's mation to Justice Richard Brown, the Senior Recorder Thoth Tarot, Weiser, 2003, ISBN 1578632765, p.43-53 for East Sussex – mainly Liber AL and the article“Your Duty to Mankind,”gained recognition of Thelema as a [2] Moore, John S. Aleister Crowley as Guru in Chaos International, Issue No. 17. valid religion. The article, “Your Duty to Mankind,” states that: [3] Christopher Penczak. Ascension Magick. Llewellyn. p. 41. ISBN 0-7387-1047-4.

Crime being a direct spiritual violation of the Law of Thelema, it should not be tolerated in the community. Those who possess the instinct should be segregated in a settlement to build up a state of their own, so to learn the necessity of themselves imposing and maintaining rules of justice. All artificial crimes should be abolished. When fantastic restrictions disappear, the greater freedom of the individual will itself teach him to avoid acts, which really restrict natural rights. Thus real crime will diminish automatically.

[4] Wilson, Robert Anton. The Illuminati Papers. And/Or Press, 1980. ISBN 1-57951-002-7 [5] Crowley, Aleister (1976). The Book of the Law. Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC. p. Page 7. ISBN 978-0-87728-3348. [6] Orpheus, Rodney. Abrahadabra. Weiser, 2005, ISBN 157863-326-5, p.64 [7] Crowley, Aleister.Aleister Crowley, Liber XIII vel Graduum Montis Abiegni: A Syllabus of the Steps Upon the Path, Hermetic webssite, retrieved July 7, 2006. [8] Gauna, Max. The Rabelaisian Mythologies, pp. 90-91. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1996. ISBN 08386-3631-4

Mitchell demonstrated that Thelema was a religion and created an oath that could be used instead of the affirmation: “I swear upon Nuit and by my own True Will, that [9] I will faithfully try the defendant and give a true verdict [10] according to the evidence.” The swearing of the oath was first used after the sitting Judge, Justice Tain, ruled it was acceptable; after some confusion due to the regular court ushers being on holiday, word had not got to the judge before the case started, causing a delay in proceedings while the legal technicalities were sorted out. The stand-in court officer had a copy of the letter from Justice Brown, saying Mitchell could use the oath and swear on Liber AL. Justice Tain ruled that if this is the case, HMCS should be notified so this sort of thing does not happen again to avoid embarrassment for Thelemites who are called up to jury service. * [89]

e.g. John 1:12-13 e.g. 2 Timothy 2:26

[11] Pocetto, Alexander T. Rabelais, Francis de Sales and the Abbaye de Thélème, retrieved July 20, 2006. [12] Sutin, p. 127. [13] The Works of Saint Augustine: A New Translation for the 21st Century, (Sermons 148-153), 1992, part 3, vol. 5, p. 182. ISBN 1-56548-007-4 [14] Salloway, David. Random Walks, p. 203. McGillQueen's Press, 1997. ISBN 0-7735-1679-4 [15] Rabelais, François. Gargantua and Pantagruel. Everyman's Library. ISBN 978-0-679-43137-4 [16] Encyclopædia Britannica (1911). Buckingham,

10.4 See also • Bacchanalia • Brethren of the Free Spirit

[17] Bowen, Barbara. Enter Rabelais, Laughing, p. 2. Vanderbilt University Press, 1998. ISBN 0-8265-1306-9. [18] Sutin, Lawrence. Do What Thou Wilt: A Life of Aleister Crowley, p. 126. New York, NY: St. Martin's Griffin, 2002. ISBN 978-0-312-28897-6.



[19]“Rabelais, like his protectress Marguerite de Navarre, was an evangelical rather than a Protestant”, definition follows. Catharine Randall, “Reformation,”The Rabelais Encyclopedia, edited by Elizabeth Chesney Zegura. p. 207. Greenwood Press, Westport, CT. 2004. ISBN 0313-31034-3

[36] Willens, Daniel. The Hell-Fire Club: Sex, Politics, and Religion in Eighteenth-Century England in Gnosis, summer 1992. Retrieved July 22, 2006

[20] E. Bruce Hayes, “enigmatic prophecy”entry in The Rabelais Encyclopedia p. 68.

[38] Crowley, Aleister. The Equinox of the Gods. New Falcon Publications, 1991. ISBN 978-1-56184-028-1

[21] Marian Rothstein,“Thélème, ABBEY OF”entry in The Rabelais Encyclopedia p. 243.

[39] Crowley, Aleister. “The Equinox of the Gods - Chapter 7”. The Equinox of the Gods. Hermetic.com. Retrieved 18 November 2012.

[22] Stillman, Peter G.“Utopia and Anti-Utopia in Rousseau's Thought”in Rubin & Stroup (1999), p. 60 [23] Stillman, Peter G.“Utopia and Anti-Utopia in Rousseau's Thought”in Rubin & Stroup (1999), p. 70 [24] Rothstein, Marian. "Androgyne, Agape, and the Abbey of Thélème" (PDF) p. 17, n. 23, in French Forum, V. 26, No. 1. [25] Thelema is seen by some neutral parties as a philosophy, and not a religion. See Crowley, Aleister. Little Essays Toward Truth,p. 61-62 New Falcon Publications; 2 Rev Sub edition (May 1, 1996) ISBN 1-56184-000-9 (“These and similar considerations lead to certain types of philosophical skepticism. Neschamic conceptions are nowise exempt from this criticism, for, even supposing them identical in any number of persons, their expression, being intellectual, will suffer the same stress as normal perceptions. [...] But none of this shakes, or even threatens, the Philosophy of Thelema. On the contrary, it may be called the Rock of its foundation.”); See also Thelemapedia, “Arguments against Thelema being a religion”available at: http://www.thelemapedia.org/index.php/Arguments_ against_Thelema_being_a_religion [26] Edwards, Linda. A Brief Guide to Beliefs: Ideas, Theologies, Mysteries, and Movements, p 478. Westminster John Knox Press, 2001. ISBN 0-664-22259-5. [27] Rabelais: The First Thelemite [28] National Grand Master General Sabazius X°. Address delivered by National Grand Master General Sabazius X° to the Sixth National Conference of the U.S. O.T.O. Grand Lodge, August 10, 2007

[37] Crowley, Aleister.“De Lege Libellum”, in The Equinox III(1) (Detroit: Universal, 1919).

[40] Farr, F., & Shakespear, O. The Beloved of Hathor and the Shrine of the Golden Hawk. Croydon. Farncombe & Son. Dating uncertain, approx. 1902 [41] Evans, Dave. Aleister Crowley and the 20th Century Synthesis of Magick, p. 10, pp. 26-30. Hidden Publishing, Second Revised Edition, 2007. ISBN 978-0-9555237-24 [42] Dave Evans, “Strange distant Gods that are not dead today”, p. 5. [43] Evans, Strange Gods p3 [44] Sutin pp 68, 137–138 [45] Crowley, Aleister. Liber AL vel Legis [46] Frater U.D. High Magic: Theory & Practice. Llewellyn Worldwide, 2005. p. 214. ISBN 0-7387-0471-7 [47]“But the Magician knows that the pure Will of every man and every woman is already in perfect harmony with the divine Will; in fact they are one and the same”-DuQuette, Lon Milo. The Magick of Aleister Crowley: A Handbook of the Rituals of Thelema, p. 12. Weiser, 2003. ISBN 1-57863-299-4. [48] DuQuette, Lon Milo, Angels, demons & gods of the new millennium, Weiser, 1997, ISBN 1-57863-010-X, p.3 [49] DuQuette, Lon Milo, The Magick of Aleister Crowley, Weiser, 2003, ISBN 1-57863-299-4, p. 12 [50] Morris, Brian. Religion and anthropology, Cambridge University Press, 2006, ISBN 0-521-85241-2, p. 302

[51] Harvey, Graham. Listening People, Speaking Earth, C. [29] Aleister Crowley, 1926,“The Antecedents of Thelema,” Hurst & Co., 1997, ISBN 1-85065-272-4 p. 98 in The Revival of Magick, edited by Hymenaeus Beta & [52] Sutin, p. 294. R. Kaczynski. [30] Crowley, Aleister. Liber XV, The Gnostic Mass. [31] Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon. The Hellfire Clubs, retrieved July 22, 2006 [32] Philip Coppens (2006). Hell, no damnation. Retrieved July 21, 2006.

[53] Hymenaeus Beta (ed.) in Crowley, Aleister. The Goetia: The Lesser Key of Solomon the King, p. xxi. Red Wheel, 1995. ISBN 0-87728-847-X [54] Kraig, Donald Michael. Falorio, Linda. Nema. Tara. Modern Sex Magick, 1998, Llewellyn, ISBN 1-56718394-8, p. 44

[34] Towers (1987) quoted in Coppens (2006)

[55] Orpheus, Rodney. Abrahadabra: Understanding Aleister Crowley's Thelemic Magick, pp. 33-44. Weiser, 2005. ISBN 1-57863-326-5

[35] Howard, Mike. The Hellfire Club, retrieved July 22, 2006

[56] Crowley, Aleister. Liber AL vel Legis, II,6.

[33] quoted in Sainsbury (2006), p.111


[57] DuQuette, Lon Milo in Orpheus, Rodney. Abrahadabra, p. 1 [58] Crowley, Aleister. Magick, Book 4, Introduction to Part III


[82] Rabinovitch, Shelley; Lewis, James. The Encyclopedia of Modern Witchcraft and Neo-Paganism,, pp. 267–270. Citadel Press, 2004. ISBN 0-8065-2406-5 [83] Crowley, Aleister. The Confessions of Aleister Crowley, ch. 66

[59] Gardner, Gerald Brosseau. The Meaning of Witchcraft, p. 86. Red Wheel, 2004. ISBN 1-57863-309-5

[84] Orpheus, p. 124 (Qabalah) and p. 131 (on Liber 777).

[60] DuQuette, Lon Milo. The Magick of Thelema

[85] Suster, p. 184 for Nuit and Tao, p. 188 for Hadit, Kether and Tao Teh, p. 146 & 150 for link to Tantra.

[61] Pearson, Joanne. A Popular Dictionary of Paganism, p. 44. Routledge, 2002. ISBN 0-7007-1591-6 [62] Orpheus, pp. 9-16, 45-52

[86] Jonathan Bethel & Michael McDaniel, Kundalini Rising A Comparative Thesis on Thelema and Kashm, retrieved March 23, 2009.

[63] Urban, Hugh. Magia Sexualis: Sex, Magic, and Liberation in Modern Western Esotericism. University of California Press, 2006. ISBN 0-520-24776-0

[87] Crowley, Aleister. “777 Revised”in The Qabalah of Aleister Crowley. New York: Samuel Weiser, 1973. ISBN 0-87728-222-6

[64] Crowley, Aleister. Magick, Book 4

[88] Chappel, V.“Thelemic Calendar and Holidays”. Thelema 101. Retrieved 2 May 2011.

[65] Whitcomb, Bill. The Magician's Companion. Llewellyn, 1993, ISBN 0-87542-868-1, p.51

[89] John Mitchell, “Thelema in Court”, Sorath Shemesh Lodge OTO, Hastings, Vol. II No. 2 January 2010.

[66] Whitcomb, Bill. The Magician's Companion. Llewellyn, 1993, ISBN 0-87542-868-1 p.483 [67] Kaczinski, Richard. Wasserman, James. Weiser Concise Guide to Aleister Crowley Weiser, 2009. ISBN 1-57863456-3, p.41 [68] Cavendish, Richard. The Black Arts, Taylor & Francis, 1977, ISBN 0-330-25140-6, p.130 [69] Crowley, Aleister. Liber O, I.2-5 [70] Liber E vel Exercitiorum, section I in its entirety. [71] Wasserman, James. Aleister Crowley and the Practice of the Magical Diary. Weiser, 2006. ISBN 1-57863-372-9 [72] Crowley, Aleister. Liber ABA (Magick (Book 4) Part 1 (written 1912–13) [73] Luhrmann, Tanya. Persuasions of the witch's craft, p. 124. Harvard University Press, 1991. ISBN 0-674-66324-1 [74] Crowley, John St. John, entries for 2.5 and 2.22 on the Eleventh Day. [75] Kraig, Donald Michael. Modern Magick, Llewellyn, 1988, ISBN 0-87542-324-8 p.9 [76] Suster, Gerald. The legacy of the beast W.H. Allen, 1988, ISBN 0-491-03446-6 p.200 [77] Crowley, Aleister. Symonds, John. Grant, Kenneth. The confessions of Aleister Crowley Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979, p.400 [78] Crowley, Aleister. Liber OZ [79] Crowley, Aleister. Magick, Book 4, Appendix I:“Official Instructions of the O.T.O”, p. 484 [80] Crowley, Aleister. Duty. [81] Crowley, Aleister. Liber II: The Message of the Master Therion

10.6 Sources • Free Encyclopedia of Thelema (2005). Thelema. Retrieved March 12, 2005. • Thelemapedia. (2004). Thelema. Retrieved April 15, 2006. • This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "* article name needed". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.

10.7 Further reading • Del Campo, Gerald. Rabelais: The First Thelemite. The Order of Thelemic Knights. • Melton, J. Gordon (1983). “Thelemic Magick in America”. Alternatives to American Mainline Churches, ed. Joseph H. Fichter. Barrytown, NY: Unification Theological Seminary. • Starr, Martin P. (2004) A Hundred Years Hence: Visions of a Thelemic Future (Conference Paper presented at the Thelema Beyond Crowley ) • Starr, Martin P. (2003). The Unknown God: W.T. Smith and the Thelemites. Bolingbrook, IL: Teitan Press. • van Egmond, Daniel (1998). “Western Esoteric Schools in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries”. In: van den Broek, Roelof and Hanegraaff, Wouter J.: Gnosis and Hermeticism From Antiquity To Modern Times. Albany: State University of New York Press.


10.8 External links • Thelema 101 – a complete introduction to the spiritual philosophy of Thelema • Thelema at the Internet Sacred Texts Archive – a collection of texts on the topic of Thelema • Thelema For Beginners – a resource of quotations and links on basic topics related to Thelema • The Law of Thelema – by Alexander Duncan • Thelema at DMOZ • The Journal of Thelemic Studies • The Scarlet Letter


Chapter 11

Western esotericism “Arcane”and “Esoteric”redirect here. For other uses, see Arcane (disambiguation) and Esoteric (disambiguation). Western esotericism, also called esotericism and es-

The tree of life as represented in the Kabbalah, containing the Sephiroth.

definition of Western esotericism has been debated by various academics, with a number of different options proposed. One scholarly model adopts its definition of “esotericism”from certain esotericist schools of thought themselves, treating“esotericism”as a perennialist hidden, inner tradition. A second perspective argues that it is a category that encompasses world views which seek to embrace an 'enchanted' world view in the face of increasing de-enchantment. A third view, propounded by Wouter Hanegraaff, views Western esotericism as a category encompassing all of Western culture's “rejected knowledge”that is accepted by neither the scientific establishment nor orthodox religious authorities. The earliest traditions to later be labelled as forms of Western esotericism emerged in the Eastern Mediterranean during Late Antiquity, where Hermetism, Gnosticism, and Neoplatonism developed as schools of thought distinct from mainstream Christianity. In Renaissance Europe, interest in many of these older ideas increased, with various intellectuals seeking to combine "pagan" philosophies with the Kabbalah and Christian philosophy, resulting in the emergence of esoteric movements like Christian theosophy. The 17th century saw the development of initiatory societies professing esoteric knowledge such as Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry, while the Age of Enlightenment of the 18th century led to the development of new forms of esoteric thought. The 19th century saw the emergence of new trends of esoteric thought that have come to be known as occultism. Prominent groups in this century included the Theosophical Society and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, which influenced the development of Thelema. Modern Paganism also developed within occultism, and includes religious movements such as Wicca. Esoteric ideas permeated the counterculture of the 1960s and later cultural tendencies, from which emerged the New Age movement in the 1970s.

oterism, is a scholarly term for a wide range of loosely related unconventional ideas and movements which have developed within Western society. They are largely distinct from both orthodox Judeo-Christian religion and Enlightenment rationalism. A trans-disciplinary field, esotericism has pervaded various forms of Western philos- Although the idea that these varying movements could be ophy, religion, pseudoscience, art, literature, and music, categorised together under the rubric of “Western esocontinuing to affect intellectual ideas and popular culture. tericism”developed in the late 18th century, these esoteric currents were largely ignored as a subject of acaThe idea that a wide range of Western traditions and demic enquiry. The academic study of Western esophilosophies could be categorised together under the tericism only emerged in the latter 20th century, piorubric that we now term“esotericism”developed in Eu- neered by scholars like Frances Yates and Faivre. There rope during the late seventeenth century. The precise 92

11.2. CONCEPTUAL DEVELOPMENT are now several peer-reviewed journals, university chairs, and academic societies devoted to this field. Esoteric ideas have meanwhile also exerted an influence in popular culture, appearing in art, literature, film, and music.

11.1 Etymology The adjective“esoteric”first appeared in the second century CE as the Ancient Greek term esôterikós, with the earliest known example of the word appearing in a satire authored by Lucian of Samosata.* [1] The noun “esotericism”, in its French form of “l'ésotérisme”, was first used in 1828,* [2] by Jacques Matter in his book, Histoire du gnosticisme.* [3] At this time it was being used in the wake of the Age of Enlightenment and its critique of institutionalised religion, during which alternative religious groups began to disassociate themselves from the dominant Christianity in Western Europe.* [4] During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the term “esotericism”came to commonly be seen as something that was distinct from Christianity, and which had formed a subculture that was at odds with the Christian mainstream from at least the Renaissance.* [4] The term was popularized by the French occultist and ceremonial magician Eliphas Lévi in the 1850s, and introduced into the English language by the Theosophist A. P. Sinnet in 1883.* [3] Lévi also introduced the term l'occultisme, a notion that he developed against the background of contemporary socialist and Catholic discourses.* [5] “Esotericism”and “occultism”were often employed as synonyms until being distinguished by later scholars.* [6]

11.2 Conceptual development 'Western esotericism' is not a natural term but an artificial category, applied retrospectively to a range of currents and ideas that were known by other names at least prior to the end of the eighteenth century. [This] means that, originally, not all those currents and ideas were necessarily seen as belonging together:... it is only as recently as the later seventeenth century that we find the first attempts at presenting them as one single, coherent field or domain, and at explaining what they have in common. In short, 'Western esotericism' is a modern scholarly construct, not an autonomous tradition that already existed out there and merely needed to be discovered by historians. —The scholar of esotericism Wouter Hanegraaff, 2013.* [7] The concept of“Western esotericism”is a modern scholarly construct rather than a pre-existing, self-defined tradition of thought.* [8] In the late seventeenth century, several European Christian thinkers presented the argument

93 that certain traditions of Western philosophy and thought could be categorised together, thus establishing the category that is now called “Western esotericism”.* [9] The first to do so was Ehregott Daniel Colberg, a German Lutheran who wrote Platonisch-Hermetisches Christianity (1690–91). A hostile critic of various currents of Western thought that had emerged since the Renaissance — among them Paracelsianism, Weigelianism, and Christian theosophy —in his book he labelled all of these traditions under the category of “Platonic-Hermetic Christianity”, arguing that they were heretical to what he saw as true Christianity.* [10] Despite his hostile attitude toward these traditions of thought, he was the first to connect these disparate philosophies and study them under one rubric, also recognising that these ideas linked back to earlier philosophies from late antiquity.* [11] In Europe during the eighteenth century, amid the Age of Enlightenment, these esoteric traditions came to be regularly categorised under the labels of "superstition", "magic", and“the occult”, terms which were often used interchangeably.* [12] The modern academy, which was then in the process of developing, consistently rejected and ignored topics coming under “the occult”and thus research into them was largely left to enthusiasts outside of academia.* [13] Indeed, according to the historian of esotericism Wouter J. Hanegraaff, rejection of “occult”topics was seen as a “crucial identity marker”for any intellectuals seeking to affiliate themselves with he academy.* [13] Scholars established this category in the late 18th century after identifying “structural similarities”between “the ideas and world views of a wide variety of thinkers and movements”which prior to this had not been placed in the same analytical grouping.* [7] According to the scholar of esotericism Wouter J. Hanegraaff, the term provided a “useful generic label”for“a large and complicated group of historical phenomena that had long been perceived as sharing an air de famille.* [6] Various academics have emphasised the idea that esotericism is a phenomenon unique to the Western world; as Faivre stated, an“empirical perspective”would hold that “esotericism is a Western notion”.* [14] As scholars such as Faivre and Hanegraaff have pointed out, there is no comparable category of“Eastern”or“Oriental”esotericism.* [15] The emphasis on Western esotericism was nevertheless primarily devised to distinguish the field from a universal esotericism.* [16] Hanegraaff has characterised these as “recognisable world views and approaches to knowledge that have played an important although always controversial role in the history of Western culture.” * [17] Historian of religion Henrik Bogdan asserted that Western esotericism constituted “a third pillar of Western culture”alongside “doctrinal faith and rationality” , being deemed heretical by the former and irrational by the latter.* [18] Scholars nevertheless recognise that various non-Western traditions have exerted “a profound influence”over Western esotericism, citing the promi-



nent example of the Theosophical Society's incorporation of Hindu and Buddhist concepts into its doctrines.* [19] Given these influences and the imprecise nature of the term “Western”, the scholar of esotericism Kennet Granholm has argued that academics should cease referring to "Western esotericism”altogether, instead simply favouring “esotericism”as a descriptor of this phenomenon.* [20] This attitude was endorsed by Egil Asprem.* [21]

11.3 Definition The historian of esotericism Antoine Faivre noted that “never a precise term, [esotericism] has begun to overflow its boundaries on all sides”,* [22] with both Faivre and Karen-Claire Voss stating that Western esotericism consists of“a vast spectrum of authors, trends, works of philosophy, religion, art, literature, and music”.* [23] There is broad agreement among scholars as to which currents of thought can be placed within a category of “esotericism”, ranging from ancient Gnosticism and Hermetism through to Rosicrucianism and the Kabbalah and on to more recent phenomenon such as the New Age movement.* [24] Nevertheless, “esotericism”itself remains a controversial term, with scholars specialising in the subject disagreeing as to how it can best be defined.* [24]

A colored version of the 1888 Flammarion engraving

studies, those who study different religions in search of an inner, universal dimension to them all are termed“religionists”.* [26] Such religionist ideas also exerted an influence on more recent scholars like Nicholas GoodrickClarke and Arthur Versluis.* [26] Versluis for instance defined “Western esotericism”as “inner or hidden spiritual knowledge transmitted through Western European historical currents that in turn feed into North American and other non-European settings”.* [30] He added that these Western esoteric currents all shared a core characteristic, “a claim to gnosis, or direct spiritual insight into cosmology or spiritual insight”,* [30] and accord11.3.1 Esotericism as a universal, secret, ingly he suggested that these currents could be referred inner tradition to as “Western gnostic”just as much as “Western esoteric”.* [31] A definition adopted by some scholars has used “WestThere are various problems with this model for underern esotericism”in reference to“inner traditions”which standing Western esotericism.* [26] The most significant are concerned with a “universal spiritual dimension of is that is rests upon the conviction that there really is a reality, as opposed to the merely external ('exoteric') re- “universal, hidden, esoteric dimension of reality”that obligious institutions and dogmatic systems of established jectively exists.* [26] The existence of this universal inreligions.”* [25] According to this approach, “Western ner tradition has not been discovered through scientific esotericism”is viewed as just one variant of a world- or scholarly enquiry; this had led some to claim that it wide “esotericism”which can be found at the heart of does not exist, although Hanegraaff thought it better to all world religions and cultures, reflecting a hidden eso- adopt a view based in methodological agnosticism by statteric reality.* [26] This usage of the term “esotericism” ing that “we simply do not know - and cannot know” is closest to the original meaning of the word as it was if it exists or not. He noted that, even if such a true used in late antiquity, where it was applied to secret spir- and absolute nature of reality really existed, it would itual teachings which were reserved for a specific elite and only be accessible through 'esoteric' spiritual practices, hidden from the masses.* [27] This definition was popu- and could not be discovered or measured by the 'exolarised in the published work of nineteenth-century eso- teric' tools of scientific and scholarly enquiry.* [32] Hanetericists like A. E. Waite, who sought to combine their graaff also highlighted that an attitude which seeks to unown mystical beliefs with a historical interpretation of cover an inner hidden core of all esoteric currents masks esotericism.* [28] It subsequently became a popular ap- the fact that such groups often contain significant differproach within several esoteric movements, most notably ences from one another, being rooted in their own historMartinism and Traditionalism.* [29] ical and social contexts, and expressing ideas and agenThis definition —originally developed by esotericists themselves —became popular among French academics during the 1980s, exerting a strong influence over the scholars Mircea Eliade, Henry Corbin, and the early work of Faivre.* [29] Within the academic field of religious

das which are mutually exclusive.* [33] A third issue was that many of those currents widely recognised as esoteric never concealed their teachings, and in the twentieth century came to permeate popular culture, thus problematizing the claim that esotericism could be defined by its



hidden and secretive nature.* [34] Moreover, Hanegraaff noted that when scholars adopt this definition, it shows that they subscribe to the religious doctrines which are espoused by the very groups that they are studying.* [6]


An early exponent of this definition was the historian of Renaissance thought Frances Yates in her discussions of a “Hermetic Tradition”, which she saw as an 'enchanted' alternative to established religion and rationalistic science.* [37] However, the primary exponent of this view was Faivre, who published a series of criteria for Esotericism as an enchanted world how to define“Western esotericism”in 1992.* [38] Faivre claimed that esotericism was“identifiable by the presence view of six fundamental characteristics or components”, four of which were“intrinsic”and thus vital to defining something as being esoteric, while the other two were “secondary”and thus not necessarily present in every form of esotericism.* [39] He listed these characteristics as follows: 1.“Correspondences": This is the idea that there are both real and symbolic correspondences existing between all things within the universe.* [40] As examples for this, Faivre pointed to the esoteric concept of the macrocosm and microcosm, often presented as the dictum of“as above, so below”, as well as the astrological idea that the actions of the planets have a direct corresponding influence on the behaviour of human beings.* [41] 2.“Living Nature": Faivre argued that all esotericists envision the natural universe as being imbued with its own life force, and that as such they understand it as being “complex, plural, hierarchical”.* [42] 3.“Imagination and Mediations": Faivre believed that all esotericists place great emphasis on both the human imagination, and mediations –“such as rituals, symbolic images, mandalas, intermediary spirits”– as tools that provide access to worlds and levels of reality existing between the material world and the divine.* [43]

The Magician, a tarot card displaying the Hermetic concept of “as above, so below.”Faivre connected this concept to 'correspondences', his first defining characteristic of esotericism

Another approach to Western esotericism has treated it as a world view that embraces 'enchantment' in contrast to world views influenced by post-Cartesian, postNewtonian, and positivist science which have sought to 'dis-enchant' the world.* [35] Esotericism is therefore understood as comprising those world views which eschew a belief in instrumental causality and instead adopt a belief that all parts of the universe are interrelated without a need for causal chains.* [35] It therefore stands as a radical alternative to the disenchanted world views which have dominated Western culture since the scientific revolution,* [35] and must therefore always be at odds with secular culture.* [36]

4.“Experience of Transmutation": Faivre's fourth intrinsic characteristic of esotericism was the emphasis that esotericists place on fundamentally transforming themselves through their practice, for instance through the spiritual transformation that it alleged to accompany the attainment of gnosis.* [44] 5.“Practice of Concordance": The first of Faivre's secondary characteristics of esotericism was the belief – held by many esotericists, such as those in the Traditionalist School – that there is a fundamental unifying principle or root from which all world religions and spiritual practices emerge. The common esoteric principle is that by attaining this unifying principle, the world's different beliefs can be brought together in unity.* [45] 6.“Transmission": Faivre's second secondary characteristic was the emphasis on the transmission of esoteric teachings and secrets from a master to their discipline, through a process of initiation.* [46]



Faivre's form of categorisation has been endorsed by ement of Western culture”rather than as a selection of scholars like Goodrick-Clarke,* [47] and by 2007 Bog- different schools of thought.* [4] dan could note that Faivre's had become “the standard definition”of Western esotericism in use among scholars.* [48] However, in 2013 the scholar Kennet Granholm 11.3.4 Esotericism as “rejected knowledge” stated only that Faivre's definition had been “the dominating paradigm for a long while”and that it“still exerts An additional definition was proposed by Hanegraaff, influence among scholars outside the study of Western es- and holds that“Western esotericism”is a category repreotericism”.* [49] The advantage of Faivre's system is that senting “the academy's dustbin of rejected knowledge.” * it allows varying esoteric traditions to be compared“with [17] In this respect, it contains all of the theories and * one another in a systematic fashion”. [50] However, crit- world views that have been rejected by the mainstream icisms have also been expressed of Faivre's theory, point- intellectual community because they do not accord with ing out its various weaknesses.* [51] Hanegraaff claimed “normative conceptions of religion, rationality and sci* that Faivre's approach entailed“reasoning by prototype” ence”. [17] His approach is rooted within the field of the history of ideas, and stresses the role of change and in that it relied upon already having a “best example” transformation over time.* [60] of what Western esotericism should look like, against * which other phenomenon then had to be compared. [52] Goodrick-Clarke was critical of this approach, believing The scholar of esotericism Kocku Von Stuckrad noted that it relegated Western esotericism to the position of that Faivre's taxonomy was based on his own areas of “a casualty of positivist and materialist perspectives in specialism – Renaissance Hermeticism, Christian Kab- the nineteenth-century”and thus reinforces the idea that balah, and Protestant Theosophy – and that it was thus Western esoteric traditions were of little historical impornot based on a wider understanding of esotericism as it tance.* [61] Bogdan similarly expressed concern regardhas existed throughout history, from the ancient world to ing Hanegraaff's definition, believing that it made the catthe contemporary period.* [53] Accordingly, Von Stuck- egory of Western esotericism “all inclusive”and thus rad suggested that it was a good typology for understand- analytically useless.* [62] ing “Christian esotericism in the early modern period” but lacked utility beyond that.* [54]

11.4 History 11.3.3

Esotericism as claims to higher 11.4.1 Late Antiquity knowledge

Somewhat crudely, esotericism can be described as a Western form of spirituality that stresses the importance of the individual effort to gain spiritual knowledge, or gnosis, whereby man is confronted with the divine aspect of existence. —Historian of religion Henrik Bogdan, 2007.* [55] As an alternative to Faivre's framework, Von Stuckrad developed his own variant, although argued that this did not represent a “definition”but rather a “a framework of analysis”for scholarly usage.* [56] He stated that“on the most general level of analysis”, esotericism represented“the claim of higher knowledge”, a claim to possessing “wisdom that is superior to other interpretations of cosmos and history”and which serves as a “master key for answering all questions of humankind”.* [57] Accordingly, he believed that esoteric groups placed a great emphasis on secrecy, not because they were inherently rooted in elite groups but because the idea of concealed secrets that can be revealed was central to their discourse.* [58] Examining the means of accessing higher knowledge, he highlighted two themes that he believed could be found within esotericism, that of mediation through contact with non-human entities, and individual experience.* [59] Accordingly, for Von Stuckrad, esotericism could be best understood as “a structural el- A later illustration of Hermes Trismegistus



The origins of Western esotericism are in the Hellenistic Eastern Mediterranean, then part of the Roman Empire, during Late Antiquity, a period encompassing the first centuries of the Common Era.* [63] This was a milieu in which there was a mix of religious and intellectual traditions from Greece, Egypt, the Levant, Babylon, and Persia, and in which globalisation, urbanisation, and multiculturalism were bringing about socio-cultural change.* [64]

The 12th century saw the development of the Kabbalah in south Italy and medieval Spain. The medieval period also saw the publication of grimoires which offered often elaborate formulas for theurgy and thaumaturgy. Many of the grimoires seem to have kabbalistic influence. Figures in alchemy from this period seem to also have authored or used grimoires.

One component of this was Hermetism, an Egyptian Hellenistic school of thought that takes its name from the legendary Egyptian wise man, Hermes Trismegistus.* [65] In the 2nd and 3rd centuries CE, a number of texts appeared which were attributed to Hermes Trismegistus, including the Corpus Hermeticum, Asclepius, and the The Discourse on the Eighth and Ninth.* [66] Although it is still debated as to whether Hermetism was a purely literary phenomenon, or whether there were communities of practitioners who acted on these ideas, it has been established that these texts discuss the true nature of God, emphasising that humans must transcend rational thought and worldly desires in order to find salvation and be reborn into a spiritual body of immaterial light, thereby achieving spiritual unity with divinity.* [66]

11.4.3 Renaissance and Early Modern period

Another tradition of esoteric thought in Late Antiquity was Gnosticism, which had a complex relationship with Christianity. Various Gnostic sects existed, and they broadly believed that the divine light had been imprisoned within the material world by a malevolent entity known as the Demiurge, who was served by demonic helpers, the Archons. It was the Gnostic belief that humans, who were imbued with the divine light, should seek to attain gnosis and thus escape from the world of matter and rejoin the divine source.* [67] A third form of esotericism in Late Antiquity was Neoplatonism, a school of thought influenced by the ideas of the philosopher Plato. Advocated by such figures as Plotinus, Porphyry, Iamblichus, and Proclus, Neoplatonism held that the human soul had fallen from its divine origins into the material world, but that it could progress, through a number of hierarchical spheres of being, to return to its divine origins once more.* [68] The later Neoplatonists performed theurgy, a ritual practice attested in such sources as the Chaldean Oracles. Scholars are still unsure of precisely what theurgy involved, although it is known that it involved a practice designed to make gods appear, who could then raise the theurgist's mind to the reality of the divine.* [69]

During the Renaissance, a number of European thinkers began to synthesize “pagan”philosophies which were then being made available through Arabic translations with Christian thought and the Jewish kabbalah.* [70] The earliest of these individuals was the Byzantine philosopher Plethon (1355/60–1452?), who argued that the Chaldean Oracles represented an example of a superior religion of ancient humanity which had been passed down by the Platonists.* [71] Plethon's ideas interested the ruler of Florence, Cosimo de Medici, who employed Florentine thinker Marsilio Ficino (1433–1499) to translate Plato's works into Latin. Ficino went on to translate and publish the works of various Platonic figures, arguing that their philosophies were compatible with Christianity, and allowing for the emergence of a wider movement in Renaissance Platonism, or Platonic Orientalism.* [72] Ficino also translated part of the Corpus Hermeticum, although the rest would be translated by his contemporary, Lodovico Lazzarelli (1447–1500).* [73] Another core figure in this intellectual milieu was Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463–1494), who achieved notability in 1486 by inviting scholars from across Europe to come and debate the 900 theses that he had written with him. Mirandola argued that all of these philosophies reflected a grand universal wisdom, however Pope Innocent VIII condemned these actions, criticising him for attempting to mix pagan and Jewish ideas with Christianity.* [74]

Pico's increased interest in Jewish kabbalah led to his development of a distinct form of Christian Kabbalah. His work was built on by the German Johannes Reuchlin (1455–1522) who authored a prominent text on the subject, De Arte Cabbalistica.* [75] Christian Kabbalah was expanded in the work of the German Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa (1486–1535/36), who used it as a framework through which to explore the philosophical and scientific traditions of Antiquity in his work De occulta philosophia libri tres.* [76] The work of Agrippa and other esoteric philosophers had been based in a pre-Copernican worldview, but following the arguments of Copernicus, a more 11.4.2 Middle Ages accurate understanding of the cosmos was established. After the fall of Rome, alchemy and philosophy and Copernicus' theories were adopted into esoteric strains other aspects of the tradition were largely preserved in of thought by Giordano Bruno (1548–1600), whose ideas Church, the Arab and Near Eastern world and introduced into would be deemed heresy by the Roman Catholic * [77] eventually resulting in his public execution. Western Europe by Jews and by the cultural contact between Christians and Muslims in Sicily and south Italy. A distinct strain of esoteric thought developed in Ger-


CHAPTER 11. WESTERN ESOTERICISM claiming that they had access to secret esoteric knowledge as a result.* [82] A real iniatory brotherhood was established in late 16th-century Scotland through the transformation of Medieval stonemason guilds to include noncraftsman: Freemasonry. Soon spreading into other parts of Europe, in England it largely rejected its esoteric character and embraced humanism and rationalism, while in France it embraced new esoteric concepts, particularly those from Christian theosophy.* [83]

11.4.4 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries

The Masonic Square and Compasses.

many, where it came to be known as Naturphilosophie; although influenced by traditions from Late Antiquity and Medieval Kabbalah, it only acknowledged two main sources of authority: Biblical scripture and the natural world.* [78] The primary exponent of this approach was Paracelsus (1493/94–1541), who took inspiration from alchemy and folk magic to argue against the mainstream medical establishment, which based its approach on the ideas of Galen. Instead, Paracelsus urged doctors to learn medicine through an observation of the natural world, although in later work he also began to focus on overtly religious questions. His work would gain significant support in both areas over the following centuries.* [79] One of those influenced by Paracelsus was German cobbler Jacob Böhme (1575–1624), who sparked the Christian theosophy movement through his attempts to solve the problem of evil. Böhme argued that God had been created out of an unfathomable mystery, the Ungrud, and that God himself composed of a wrathful core, surrounded by the forces of light and love.* [80] Although condemned by Germany's Lutheran authorities, Böhme's ideas spread and formed the basis for a number of small religious communities, such as Johann Georg Gichtel's Angelic Brethren in Amsterdam, and John Pordage and Jane Leade's Philadelphian Society in England.* [81] From 1614 to 1616, the three Rosicrucian Manifestos were published in Germany; these texts purporting to represent a secret initiatory brotherhood which had been founded centuries before by a German adept named Christian Rosenkreutz. There is no evidence that Rosenkreutz was a genuine historical figure, or that a Rosicrucian Order had ever existed, and instead the manifestos are likely literary creations of Lutheran theologian Johann Valentin Andreae (1586–1654). However, they inspired much public interest, with various individuals coming to describe themselves as“Rosicrucian”and

Hypnotic séance. Painting by Swedish artist Richard Bergh, 1887

The Age of Enlightenment witnessed a process of increasing secularisation of European governments and an embrace of modern science and rationality within intellectual circles. In turn, a “modernist occult”emerged that reflected varied ways in which esoteric thinkers came to terms with these developments.* [84] One of the most prominent esotericists of this period was the Swedish naturalist Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772), who attempted to reconcile science and religion after experiencing a vision of Jesus Christ. His writings focused on his visionary travels to heaven and hell and his communications with angels, claiming that the visible, materialist world parallels an invisible spiritual world, with correspondences between the two that do not reflect causal relations. Following his death, followers would found the Swedenborgian New Church, although his writings would influence a far wider array of esoteric philosophies.* [85] Another major figure within the esoteric movement of this period was the German physician Franz Anton Mesmer (1734–1814), who developed the theory of Animal Magnetism, which later came to be known more commonly as “Mesmerism”. Mesmer claimed that a universal life force permeated everything, including the human body, and that illnesses were caused by a disturbance or block in this force's flow; he developed techniques which he claimed cleansed such blockages and restored the patient to full health.* [86] One of Mesmer's followers, the Marquis de Puységur, discovered that mesmeric



treatment could induce a state of somnumbulic trance in 1916).* [91] Also significant was René Guénon (1886– which they claimed to enter visionary states and commu- 1951), whose concern with tradition led him to develop nicate with spirit beings.* [87] an occult viewpoint termed Traditionalism; it espoused These somnumbulic trance-states would heavily influence the idea of an original, *universal tradition, and thus the esoteric religion of Spiritualism, which emerged from a rejection of modernity. [92] His Traditionalist ideas the United States in the 1840s and spread throughout would have a strong influence on later esotericists like North American and Europe. Spiritualism was based Julius *Evola (1898–1974) and Frithjof Schuon (1907– on the concept that individuals could communicate with 1998). [92] spirits of the deceased during séances.* [88] Although most forms of Spiritualism had little theoretical depth, being largely practical affairs, full theological worldviews based on the movement would be articulated by Andrew Jackson Davis (1826–1910) and Allan Kardec (1804–1869).* [87] Scientific interest in the claims of Spiritualism resulted in the development of the field of psychical research.* [87] Somnambulism also exerted a strong influence on the early disciplines of psychology and psychiatry; esoteric ideas purvey the work of many early figures in this field, most notably Carl Gustav Jung, although with the rise of psychoanalysis and behaviourism in the 20th century, these disciplines distanced themselves from esotericism.* [89] Also influenced by artificial somnambulism was the religion of New Thought, founded by the American Mesmerist Phineas P. Quimby (1802–1866) and which revolved around the concept of "mind over matter", believing that illness and other negative conditions could be cured through the power of belief.* [90]

In the Anglophone world, the burgeoning occult movement owed more to Enlightenment libertines, and thus was more often of an anti-Christian bent that saw wisdom as emanating from the pre-Christian pagan religions of Europe.* [92] Various Spiritualist mediums came to be disillusioned with the esoteric thought available, and sought inspiration in pre-Swedenborgian currents; the most prominent of these were Emma Hardinge Britten (1823–1899) and Helena Blavatsky (1831–1891), the latter of whom called for the revival of the “occult science”of the ancients, which could be found in both the East and West. Authoring the influential Isis Unveiled (1877) and The Secret Doctrine (1888), she cofounded the Theosophical Society in 1875.* [93] Subsequent leaders of the Society, namely Annie Besant (1847–1933) and Charles Webster Leadbeater (1854– 1934) interpreted modern theosophy as a form of ecumenical esoteric Christianity, resulting in their proclamation of Indian Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895–1986) as world messiah.* [94] In rejection of this was the breakaway Anthroposophical Society founded by Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925).* [94] New esoteric understandings of magic also developed in the latter part of the 19th century. One of the pioneers of this was American Paschal Beverly Randolph (1825– 1875), who argued that sexual energy and psychoactive drugs could be used for magical purposes.* [94] In England, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, an initiatory order devoted to magic which based itself on an understanding of kabbalah, was founded in the latter years of the century.* [95] One of the most prominent members of that order was Aleister Crowley (1875–1947), who went on to proclaim the religion of Thelema and become a prominent member of the Ordo Templi Orientis.* [96] Some of their contemporaries developed esoteric schools of thought that did not entail magic, namely the GrecoArmenian teacher George Gurdjieff (1866–1949) and his Russian pupul P. D. Ouspensky (1878–1947).* [97]

Pentagram of Eliphas Levi

In Europe, a movement usually termed "occultism" emerged as various figures attempted to find a “third way”between Christianity and positivist science while building on the ancient, medieval, and Renaissance traditions of esoteric thought.* [90] In France, following the social upheaval of the 1789 Revolution, various figures emerged in this occultist milieu who were heavily influenced by traditional Catholicism, the most notable of whom were Eliphas Lévi (1810–1875) and Papus (1865–

Emergent occult and esoteric systems found increasing popularity in the early 20th century, especially in Western Europe. Occult lodges and secret societies flowered among European intellectuals of this era who had largely abandoned traditional forms of Christianity. The spreading of secret teachings and magic practices found enthusiastic adherents in the chaos of Germany during the interwar years. Notable writers such as Guido von List spread neo-pagan, nationalist ideas, based on Wotanism and the Kabbalah. Many influential and wealthy Germans were drawn to secret societies such as the Thule Society.



Thule Society activist Karl Harrer was one of the founders of the German Workers' Party,* [98] which later became the Nazi Party; some Nazi Party members like Alfred Rosenberg and Rudolf Hess were listed as “guests”of the Thule Society, as was Adolf Hitler's mentor Dietrich Eckart.* [99] After their rise to power, the Nazis persecuted occultists.* [100] While many Nazi Party leaders like Hitler and Joseph Goebbels were hostile to occultism, Heinrich Himmler used Karl Maria Wiligut as a clairvoyant “and was regularly consulting for help in setting up the symbolic and ceremonial aspects of the SS”but not for important political decisions. By 1939, Wiligut was “forcibly retired from the SS”due to being institutionalised for insanity.* [101] On the other hand, the German hermetic magic order Fraternitas Saturni was founded on Easter 1928 and it is one of the oldest continuously running magical groups in Germany.* [102]


Later 20th century

cultural sentiment of the 1960s and 1970s, namely the techno-shamanic movement promoted by figures such as Terence McKenna and Daniel Pinchbeck which built on the work of anthropologist Carlos Castaneda.* [103] This trend was accompanied by the increased growth of modern Paganism, a movement initially dominated by Wicca, the religion propagated by Gerald Gardner.* [104] Wicca was adopted by members of the second-wave feminist movement, most notably Starhawk, and developing into the Goddess movement.* [104] Wicca also greatly influenced the development of Pagan neo-druidry and other forms of Celtic revivalism.* [104] In response to Wicca there has also appeared literature and groups who label themselves followers of Traditional witchcraft in opposition to the growing visibility of Wicca and these claim older roots than the system proposed by Gerald Gardner.* [105] Other trends which emerged in western occultism in the later 20th century were satanism as exposed by groups such as The Church of Satan and Temple of Set,* [106] as well as chaos magick through the Illuminates of Thanateros group.* [107]

11.5 Popular culture In 2013, Asprem and Granholm highlighted that “contemporary esotericism is intimately, and increasingly, connected with popular culture and new media.”* [108] Granholm noted that esoteric ideas and images could be found in many aspects of Western popular media, citing such examples as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Avatar, Hellblazer, and His Dark Materials.* [109] Granholm has argued that there are problems with the field in that it draws a distinction between esotericism and non-esoteric elements of culture which draw upon esotericism; citing the example of extreme metal, he noted that it was incredibly difficult to differentiate between those artists who were“properly occult”and those who simply utilised occult themes and aesthetics in“a superficial way”.* [110] Writers interested in occult themes have adopted three different strategies for dealing with the subject: those who are knowledgeable on the subject including attractive images of the occult and occultists in their work, those who disguise occultism within “a web of intertextualSculpture of the Horned God of Wicca found in the Museum of ity”, and those who oppose it and seek to deconstruct Witchcraft in Boscastle, Cornwall it.* [111] In the 1960s and 1970s, esotericism came to be increasingly associated with the growing counter-culture in the West, whose adherents understood themselves in participating in a spiritual revolution that would mark the Age of Aquarius.* [103] By the 1980s, these currents of millenarian currents had come to be widely known as the New Age movement, and it became increasingly commercialised as business entrepreneurs exploited a growth in the spiritual market.* [103] Conversely, other forms of esoteric thought retained the anti-commercial and counter-

11.6 Academic study Main article: Academic study of Western esotericism The academic study of Western esotericism was pioneered in the early 20th century by historians of the ancient world and the European Renaissance, who came to recognise that – although it had been ignored by previous scholarship – the effect which pre-Christian and non-


101 it “participates in all these fields”it does not squarely fit into any of them.* [120] Elsewhere, he noted that there was “probably no other domain in the humanities that has been so seriously neglected”as Western esotericism.* [121]

London's Warburg Institute was one of the first centres to encourage the academic study of Western esotericism

rational schools of thought had exerted on European society and culture was worthy of academic attention.* [61] One of the key centres for this was the Warburg Institute in London, where scholars like Frances Yates, Edgar Wind, Ernst Cassier, and D. P. Walker began arguing that esoteric thought had had a greater effect on Renaissance culture than had been previously accepted.* [112] The work of Yates in particular, most notably her 1964 book Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition, has been cited as “an important starting-point for modern scholarship on esotericism”, succeeding “at one fell swoop in bringing scholarship onto a new track”by bringing wider awareness of the effect that esoteric ideas had on modern science.* [113] At the instigation of the scholar Henry Corbin, in 1965 the world's first academic post in the study of esotericism was established at the École pratique des hautes études in the Sorbonne, Paris; named the chair in the History of Christian Esotericism, its first holder was François Secret, a specialist in the Christian Kabbalah, although he had little interest in developing the wider study of esotericism as a field of research.* [114] In 1979 Faivre assumed Secret's chair at the Sorbonne, which was renamed the “History of Esoteric and Mystical Currents in Modern and Contemporary Europe”.* [115] Faivre has since been cited as being responsible for developing the study of Western esotericism into a formalised field,* [116] with his 1992 work L'ésotérisme having been cited as marking “the beginning of the study of Western esotericism as an academic field of research”.* [117] He remained in the chair until 2002, when he was succeeded by Jean-Pierre Brach.* [113] Faivre noted that there were two significant obstacles to establishing the field. One was that there was an engrained prejudice towards esotericism within academia, resulting in the widespread perception that the history of esotericism was not worthy of academic research.* [118] The second was that esotericism is a trans-disciplinary field, the study of which did not fit clearly within any particular discipline.* [119] As Hanegraaff noted, Western esotericism had to be studied as a separate field to religion, philosophy, science, and the arts, because while

Prominent scholar of esotericism Wouter Hanegraaff

In 1980, the U.S.-based Hermetic Academy was founded by Robert A. McDermott as an outlet for American scholars interested in Western esotericism.* [122] From 1986 to 1990 members of the Hermetic Academy participated in panels at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion under the rubric of the “Esotericism and Perennialism Group”.* [122] By 1994, Faivre could comment that the academic study of Western esotericism had taken off in France, Italy, England, and the United States, but he lamented the fact that it had not done so in Germany.* [118] In 1999, the University of Amsterdam established a chair in the“History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents”, which was occupied by Hanegraaff,* [123] while in 2005 the University of Exeter created a chair in“Western Esotericism”, which was taken by Goodrick-Clarke, who headed the Exeter Center for the Study of Esotericism.* [124] Thus, by 2008 there were three dedicated university chairs in the subject, with Amsterdam and Exeter also offering master's degree programs in it.* [125] Several conferences on the subject were held at the quintennial meetings of the International Association for the History of Religions,* [126] while a peer-reviewed journal, Aries: Journal for the Study of Western Esotericism began publication in 2001.* [126] 2001 also saw the foundation of the North American Association for the Study of Esotericism (ASE), with the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE) being established shortly after.* [127] Within a few years, Michael Bergunder expressed the view that it had become an established field within religious studies,* [128] with As-



prem and Granholm observing that scholars within other sub-disciplines of religious studies had begun to take an interest in the work of scholars of esotericism.* [129]

[4] Von Stuckrad 2005b, p. 80. [5] Strube 2016a; Strube 2016b.

Asprem and Granholm noted that the study of esoteri- [6] Hanegraaff 1996, p. 385. cism had been dominated by historians and thus lacked [7] Hanegraaff 2013a, p. 3. the perspective of social scientists examining contemporary forms of esotericism, a situation that they were at- [8] Von Stuckrad 2005b, p. 88; Bogdan 2007, p. Hanegraaff 2013a, p. 3. tempting to correct through building links with scholars operating in Pagan studies and the study of new religious [9] Hanegraaff 2012, p. 78. movements.* [130] On the basis of the fact that“English culture and literature have been traditional strongholds of [10] Hanegraaff 2012, p. 107. Western esotericism”, in 2011 Pia Brînzeu and György [11] Hanegraaff 2012, pp. 107–108. Szönyi urged that English studies also have a role in this interdisciplinary field.* [131] [12] Hanegraaff 2012, p. 230.


[13] Hanegraaff 2012, p. 221.


Emic and etic divisions

Hanegraaff follows a distinction between an“emic”and an “etic”approach to religious studies. The emic approach is that of the alchemist or theosopher as an alchemist or theosopher. The etic approach is that of the scholar as an historian, a researcher, with a critical look. An empirical study of esotericism needs “emic material and etic interpretation”: Emic denotes the believer’s point of view. On the part of the researcher, the reconstruction of this emic perspective requires an attitude of empathy which excludes personal biases as far as possible. Scholarly discourse about religion, on the other hand, is not emic but etic. Scholars may introduce their own terminology and make theoretical distinctions which are different from those of the believers themselves.* [132] Arthur Versluis proposes approaching esotericism through a “sympathetic empiricism”:

[14] Faivre 1994, p. 17. [15] Faivre 1994, p. 6; Hanegraaff 2013a, pp. 14–15. [16] Asprem 2014, p. 8. [17] Hanegraaff 2013a, p. 13. [18] Bogdan 2007, p. 7. [19] Bogdan 2013, p. 177. [20] Granholm 2013a, pp. 31–32. [21] Asprem 2014, p. 4. [22] Faivre 1994, p. 3. [23] Faivre & Voss 1995, pp. 48–49. [24] Von Stuckrad 2005b, p. 79. [25] Hanegraaff 2013a, pp. 10–12. [26] Hanegraaff 2013a, p. 11. [27] Hanegraaff 2013a, p. 10. [28] Hanegraaff 2012, p. 251. [29] Hanegraaff 2013b, p. 178.

Esotericism, given all its varied forms and its inherently multidimensional nature, cannot be conveyed without going beyond purely historical information: at minimum, the study of esotericism, and in particular mysticism, requires some degree of imaginative participation in what one is studying.* [133]

[30] Versluis 2007, p. 1. [31] Versluis 2007, p. 2. [32] Hanegraaff 2013a, pp. 11–12. [33] Hanegraaff 2013a, p. 12. [34] Hanegraaff 1996, p. 385; Von Stuckrad 2005b, p. 81.

11.7 References

[35] Hanegraaff 2013a, p. 5. [36] Hanegraaff 2013a, p. 7.



[1] Von Stuckrad 2005b, p. 80; Hanegraaff 2013a, p. 3. [2] Von Stuckrad 2005a, p. 2. [3] Hanegraaff 1996, p. 384.

[37] Hanegraaff 2013a, pp. 6–7. [38] Von Stuckrad 2005a, p. 3; Bogdan 2007, p. Hanegraaff 2013a, pp. 3–4.


[39] Faivre 1994, p. 10; Von Stuckrad 2005a, p. 4; Bergunder 2010, p. 14; Hanegraaff 2013a, p. 3.


[40] Faivre 1994, p. 10; Hanegraaff 1996, p. 398; Von Stuckrad 2005a, p. 4; Versluis 2007, p. 7. [41] Faivre 1994, pp. 10–11. [42] Faivre 1994, p. 11; Hanegraaff 1996, p. 398; Von Stuckrad 2005a, p. 4; Versluis 2007, p. 7. [43] Faivre 1994, p. 12; Hanegraaff 1996, pp. 398–399; Von Stuckrad 2005a, p. 4; Versluis 2007, p. 7. [44] Faivre 1994, p. 13; Hanegraaff 1996, pp. 399–340; Von Stuckrad 2005a, p. 4; Versluis 2007, p. 7. [45] Faivre 1994, p. 14; Hanegraaff 1996, p. 400; Von Stuckrad 2005a, p. 4; Versluis 2007, p. 8. [46] Faivre 1994, pp. 14–15; Hanegraaff 1996, p. 400; Von Stuckrad 2005a, p. 4; Versluis 2007, p. 8. [47] Goodrick-Clarke 2008, pp. 7–10. [48] Bogdan 2007, p. 10. [49] Granholm 2013b, p. 8. [50] Von Stuckrad 2005a, p. 4. [51] Von Stuckrad 2005a, p. 5; Hanegraaff 2013a, p. 3. [52] Hanegraaff 2013a, pp. 4–5. [53] Von Stuckrad 2005a, p. 5. [54] Von Stuckrad 2005b, p. 83. [55] Bogdan 2007, p. 5. [56] Von Stuckrad 2005b, p. 93. [57] Von Stuckrad 2005b, p. 88. [58] Von Stuckrad 2005b, p. 89. [59] Von Stuckrad 2005b, pp. 91–92. [60] Bergunder 2010, p. 18. [61] Goodrick-Clarke 2008, p. 4. [62] Bogdan 2007, p. 15. [63] Goodrick-Clarke 2008, pp. 3, 15; Hanegraaff 2013a, p. 18. [64] Goodrick-Clarke 2008, p. 13; Hanegraaff 2013a, p. 18.


[71] Hanegraaff 2013a, p. 26. [72] Faivre 1994, p. 58; Hanegraaff 2013a, pp. 26–27. [73] Hanegraaff 2013a, p. 27. [74] Hanegraaff 2013a, pp. 27–28. [75] Hanegraaff 2013a, pp. 28–29. [76] Hanegraaff 2013a, p. 29. [77] Hanegraaff 2013a, p. 30. [78] Hanegraaff 2013a, p. 31. [79] Faivre 1994, pp. 61–63; Hanegraaff 2013a, pp. 30–31. [80] Faivre 1994, pp. 63–64; Hanegraaff 2013a, p. 32. [81] Hanegraaff 2013a, pp. 32–33. [82] Faivre 1994, pp. 64–66; Hanegraaff 2013a, pp. 33–34. [83] Hanegraaff 2013a, pp. 35–36. [84] Hanegraaff 2013a, p. 36. [85] Faivre 1994, p. 72; Hanegraaff 2013a, p. 37. [86] Faivre 1994, pp. 76–77; Hanegraaff 2013a, pp. 37–38. [87] Hanegraaff 2013a, p. 38. [88] Faivre 1994, p. 87; Hanegraaff 2013, p. 38. [89] Hanegraaff 2013a, pp. 38–39. [90] Hanegraaff 2013a, p. 39. [91] Strube 2016a; Hanegraaff 2013a. [92] Hanegraaff 2013a, p. 40. [93] Faivre 1994, pp. 93–94; Hanegraaff 2013a, pp. 40–41. [94] Hanegraaff 2013a, p. 41. [95] Faivre 1994, p. 91; Hanegraaff 2013a, p. 41. [96] Hanegraaff 2013a, pp. 41–42. [97] Hanegraaff 2013a, p. 42. [98] Hermann Gilbhard: Thule-Gesellschaft. [99] Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke: The Occult Roots of Nazism. London: Tauris Parke Paperbacks 2005, p. 149.

[65] Versluis 2007, p. 24; Goodrick-Clarke 2008, p. 16–20; Hanegraaff 2013a, p. 19. [100] Corinna Treitel: A Science for the Soul: Occultism and the Genesis of the German Modern. Baltimore: The Johns [66] Goodrick-Clarke 2008, p. 16–20; Hanegraaff 2013a, p. Hopkins University Press 2004, p. 220. 19. [101] Corinna Treitel: A Science for the Soul: Occultism and the [67] Faivre 1994, p. 53; Goodrick-Clarke 2008, pp. 27–29; Genesis of the German Modern. Baltimore: The Johns Hanegraaff 2013a, pp. 19–20. Hopkins University Press 2004, p. 215f. [68] Faivre 1994, p. 52; Goodrick-Clarke 2008, pp. 20–27.

[102] |Wouter Hanegraaff:“The most important magical secret lodge of the 20th century in the German-speaking world.” [69] Goodrick-Clarke 2008, p. 25; Hanegraaff 2013a, pp. 20– “Fraternitas Saturni”at Wouter Hanegraaff (ed). Dictio21. nary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism. Brill. 2006. pg. [70] Hanegraaff 2013a, p. 25. 379


[103] Hanegraaff 2013a, p. 43. [104] Hanegraaff 2013a, p. 44. [105] Robert Cochrane and the Gardnerian Craft: Feuds, Secrets, and Mysteries in Contemporary British Witchcraft Ethan Doyle White. The Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies. 2011. pp. 205–206. [106]“Satanism”at Wouter Hannegraaff (ed). Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism. Brill. 2006. pg. 1035 [107] Nevill Drury. Stealing Fire from Heaven: The Rise of Modern Western Magic.Oxford University Press. 2011. pg. 251 [108] Asprem & Granholm 2013, p. 6. [109] Granholm 2013a, p. 31. [110] Granholm 2013b, pp. 8–9. [111] Brînzeu & Szönyi 2011, p. 185. [112] Goodrick-Clarke 2008, pp. 4–5. [113] Von Stuckrad 2005a, p. 3. [114] Faivre 1994, p. ix; Von Stuckrad 2005a, p. 3; Von Stuckrad 2005b, p. 81; Bergunder 2010, p. 11. [115] Faivre 1994, p. x; Von Stuckrad 2005a, p. 3; Von Stuckrad 2005b, p. 81; Bergunder 2010, p. 12. [116] Versluis 2007, p. 6; Goodrick-Clarke 2008, p. 5. [117] Hanegraaff 2013b, p. 179. [118] Faivre 1994, p. ix. [119] Faivre 1994, p. ix; Versluis 2007, p. 6. [120] Hanegraaff 2013a, pp. 1–2. [121] Hanegraaff 2013b, p. 198. [122] Faivre 1994, p. x; Faivre & Voss 1995, p. 59. [123] Von Stuckrad 2005a, p. 3; Von Stuckrad 2005b, p. 81; Bergunder 2010, p. 12–13. [124] Von Stuckrad 2005a, p. 3; Versluis 2007, p. 7. [125] Goodrick-Clarke 2008, p. 3. [126] Von Stuckrad 2005b, p. 81. [127] Versluis 2007, p. 6. [128] Bergunder 2010, p. 9. [129] Asprem & Granholm 2013, p. 1. [130] Asprem & Granholm 2013, pp. 3–4. [131] Brînzeu & Szönyi 2011, p. 184. [132] Wouter J. Hanegraaff, New Age Religion and Western Culture. Esotericism in the Mirror of Secular Thought, Albany: State University of New York Press, 1998, 6. [133] Arthur Versluis, “Methods in the Study of Esotericism, Part II: Mysticism and the Study of Esotericism”, in Esoterica, Michigan State University, V, 2003, 27-40.


11.7.2 Sources Asprem, Egil (2014).“Beyond the West: Towards a New Comparativism in the Study of Esotericism” (PDF). Correspondences: An Online Journal for the Academic Study of Western Esotericism. 2 (1): 3– 33. Asprem, Egil; Granholm, Kennet (2013). “Introduction”. Contemporary Esotericism. Egil Asprem and Kennet Granholm (editors). Durham: Acumen. pp. 1– 24. ISBN 978-1-317-54357-2. Bergunder, Michael (2010). Kenneth Fleming (translator). “What is Esotericism? Cultural Studies Approaches and the Problems of Definition in Religious Studies”. Method and Theory in the Study of Religion. 22: 9–36. doi:10.1163/094330510X12604383550882. Bogdan, Henrik (2007). Western Esotericism and Rituals of Initiation. New York: SUNY Press. ISBN 978-0791470701. Bogdan, Henrik (2013). “Reception of Occultism in India: The Case of the Holy Order of Krishna” . Occultism in a Global Perspective. Henrik Bogdan and Gordan Djurdjevic (editors). Durham: Acumen. pp. 177–201. ISBN 9781844657162. Brînzeu, Pia; Szönyi, György (2011). “The Esoteric in Postmodernism”. European Journal of English Studies. 15 (3): 183–188. doi:10.1080/13825577.2011.626934. Faivre, Antoine (1994). Access to Western Esotericism. New York: SUNY Press. ISBN 9780791421789. Faivre, Antoine; Voss, KarenClaire (1995). “Western Esotericism and the Science of Religions” . Numen. 42 (1): 48–77. doi:10.1163/1568527952598756. JSTOR 3270279. Goodrick-Clarke, Nicholas (2008). The Western Esoteric Traditions: A

11.7. REFERENCES Historical Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195320992. Granholm, Kennet (2013a). “Locating the West: Problematizing the Western in Western Esotericism and Occultism”. Occultism in a Global Perspective. Henrik Bogdan and Gordan Djurdjevic (editors). Durham: Acumen. pp. 17– 36. ISBN 978-1844657162. Granholm, Kennet (2013b). “Ritual Black Metal: Popular Music as Occult Mediation and Practice” (PDF). Correspondences: An Online Journal for the Academic Study of Western Esotericism. 1 (1): 5– 33. Hanegraaff, Wouter (1996). New Age Religion and Western Culture: Esotericism in the Mirror of Secular Thought. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 9789004106956. Hanegraaff, Wouter (2012). Esotericism and the Academy: Rejected Knowledge in Western Culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521196215. Hanegraaff, Wouter (2013a). Western Esotericism: A Guide for the Perplexed. London: Bloomsbury Press. ISBN 978-1441136466. Hanegraaff, Wouter J. (2013b). “Textbooks and Introductions to Western Esotericism”. Religion. 43 (2): 178–200. doi:10.1080/0048721x.2012.733245. Strube, Julian (2016a). Sozialismus, Katholizismus und Okkultismus im Frankreich des 19. Jahrhunderts: Die Genealogie der Schriften von Eliphas Lévi. Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter. ISBN 978-3-11-047810-5. Strube, Julian (2016b). “Socialist Religion and the Emergence of Occultism: A Genealogical Approach to Socialism and Secularization in 19th-Century France”. Religion. doi:10.1080/0048721X.2016.1146926.

105 Versluis, Arthur (2007). Magic and Mysticism: An Introduction to Western Esotericism. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9780742558366. Von Stuckrad, Kocku (2005a). Western Esotericism: A Brief History of Secret Knowledge. Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke (translator). Durham: Acumen. ISBN 978-1845530334. Von Stuckrad, Kocku (2005b). “Western Esotericism: Towards an Integrative Model of Interpretation”. Religion. 35 (2): 78–97. doi:10.1016/j.religion.2005.07.002.

11.7.3 Further academic reading Faivre, Antoine (2010). Western Esotericism: A Concise History. Christine Rhone (translator). New York: SUNY Press. ISBN 9781438433776. Giegerich, Eric (2001). “Antoine Faivre: Studies in Esotericism”. The San Francisco Jung Institute Library Journal. 20 (2): 7–25. doi:10.1525/jung.1.2001.20.2.7. Granholm, Kennet (2013). “Esoteric Currents as Discursive Complexes”. Religion. 43 (1): 46–69. doi:10.1080/0048721x.2013.742741. Hanegraaff, Wouter J., ed. (2005), Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism I, Leiden / Boston: Brill Hanegraaff, Wouter J. (2015). “The Globalization of Esotericism” (PDF). Correspondences: An Online Journal for the Academic Study of Western Esotericism. 3. pp. 55 —91. Tweed, Thomas A. (2005),“American Occultism and Japanese Buddhism. Albert J. Edmunds, D. T. Suzuki, and Translocative History” (PDF), Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, 32 (2): 249–281 Versluis, Arthur (1993), American Transcendentalism and Asian Religions, Oxford University Press


11.8 Further reading Scholarly

CHAPTER 11. WESTERN ESOTERICISM • Esoterica. A peer-reviewed academic journal devoted to the transdisciplinary study of Western esotericism

• Aries: Journal for the Study of Western Esotericism, Leiden: Brill, since 2001.

• University of Amsterdam Center for Study of Western Esotericism Research & BA/MA programs in Western esotericism.

• Aries Book Series: Texts and Studies in Western Esotericism, Leiden: Brill, since 2006.

• University of Exeter Centre for the Study of Esotericism (EXESESO)

• Esoterica, East Lansing, Michigan State University (MSU). An online resource since 1999. I (1999); VIII (2006); IX (2007)

• ESSWE European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism, with many links to associated organizations, libraries, scholars etc.

• Wouter J. Hanegraaff, “The Study of Western Esotericism: New Approaches to Christian and Secular Culture”, in Peter Antes, Armin W. Geertz and Randi R. Warne, New Approaches to the Study of Religion, vol. I: Regional, Critical, and Historical Approaches, Berlin / New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2004, 497 p.

• Association for the Study of Esotericism

• Wouter J. Hanegraaff (ed.), in collaboration with Antoine Faivre, Roelof van den Broek, Jean-Pierre Brach, Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism, Leiden / Bristol: Brill, 2005, 2 vols., 1228 p. ISBN 90-04-14187-1. • Martin, P. Esoterische Symbolik heute - in Alltag. Sprache und Einweihung. Basel: Edition Oriflamme, 2010, 118 p. illustrated; ISBN 978-39523616-1-0. • Martin, P. Le Symbolisme Esotérique Actual - au Quotidian, dans le Langage et pour l'Auto-initiation. Basel: Edition Oriflamme, 2011, 120 p. illustrated; ISBN 978-39523616-3-4

11.9 External links • An Esoteric Archive • Center for History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands • The Western Esoteric Tradition Research Site • Association for the Study of Esotericism (ASE) • European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE) • Center for History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents, University of Amsterdam • University of Exeter Centre for the Study of Esotericism (EXESESO) • Aries: Journal for the Study of Western Esotericism

• What Is Esotericism?

Chapter 12

Occult For other uses, see Occult (disambiguation). The occult (from the Latin word occultus “clandestine, hidden, secret”) is “knowledge of the hidden”.* [1] In common English usage, occult refers to “knowledge of the paranormal", as opposed to “knowledge of the measurable",* [2] usually referred to as science. The term is sometimes taken to mean knowledge that “is meant only for certain people”or that “must be kept hidden” , but for most practicing occultists it is simply the study of a deeper spiritual reality that extends beyond pure reason and the physical sciences.* [3] The terms esoteric and arcane can also be used to describe the occult,* [4]* [5] in addition to their meanings unrelated to the supernatural.

not limited to) magic, alchemy, extra-sensory perception, astrology, spiritualism, religion, and divination. Interpretation of occultism and its concepts can be found in the belief structures of philosophies and religions such as Chaos magic, Gnosticism, Hermeticism, Theosophy, Wicca, Thelema and modern paganism.* [6] A broad definition is offered by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke:

It also describes a number of magical organizations or orders, the teachings and practices taught by them, and to a large body of current and historical literature and spiritual philosophy related to this subject.

12.1 Occultism

OCCULTISM has its basis in a religious way of thinking, the roots of which stretch back into antiquity and which may be described as the Western esoteric tradition. Its principal ingredients have been identified as Gnosticism, the Hermetic treatises on alchemy and magic, Neo-Platonism, and the Kabbalah, all originating in the eastern Mediterranean area during the first few centuries AD.* [7]

From the 15th to 17th century, these ideas that are alternatively described as Western esotericism, which had a revival from about 1770 onwards, due to a renewed desire for mystery, an interest in the Middle Ages and a romantic “reaction to the rationalist Enlightenment".* [8] Alchemy was common among important seventeenth-century scientists, such as Isaac Newton,* [9] and Gottfried Leibniz.* [10] Newton was even accused of introducing occult agencies into natural science when he postulated gravity as a force capable of acting over vast distances.* [11]“By the eighteenth century these unorthodox religious and philosophical concerns were well-defined as 'occult', inasmuch as they lay on the outermost fringe of accepted forms of knowledge and discourse”.* [8] They were, however, preserved by antiquarians and mystics.

Based on his research into the modern German occult revival (1890–1910), Goodrick-Clarke puts forward a thesis on the driving force behind occultism. Behind its many varied forms apparently lies a uniform function,“a strong desire to reconcile the findings of modern natural science with a religious view that could restore man to a position of centrality and dignity in the universe” Reconstruction of the “Holy Table”as used by John Dee. .* [12] Since that time many authors have emphasized a syncretic approach by drawing parallels between differOccultism is the study of occult practices, including (but ent disciplines.* [13] 107



12.2 Science and the occult To the occultist, occultism is conceived of as the study of the inner nature of things, as opposed to the outer characteristics that are studied by science. The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer designates this“inner nature” with the term Will, and suggests that science and mathematics are unable to penetrate beyond the relationship between one thing and another in order to explain the“inner nature”of the thing itself, independent of any external causal relationships with other“things”.* [14] Schopenhauer also points towards this inherently relativistic nature of mathematics and conventional science in his formulation of the “World as Will”. By defining a thing solely in terms of its external relationships or effects we only find its external or explicit nature. Occultism, on the other hand, is concerned with the nature of the "thing-initself". This is often accomplished through direct perceptual awareness, known as mysticism. From the scientific perspective, occultism is regarded as unscientific as it does not make use of the standard scientific method to obtain facts.

times, in the form of various occult philosophies.* [17] Though there is a Christian occult tradition that goes back at least to Renaissance times, when Marsilio Ficino developed a Christian Hermeticism and Pico della Mirandola developed a Christian form of Kabbalism,* [18] mainstream Christianity has always resisted occult influences, which are:* [19] • Monistic in contrast to Christian dualistic beliefs of a separation between body and spirit; • Gnostic i.e. involving the acquisition of secret knowledge rather than based on scripture and open church tradition • Seen as involving practices such as divination and calling on spirits which are forbidden in the Bible • Not monotheistic, frequently asserting a gradation of human souls between mortals and God; and • Sometimes not even theistic in character.

12.4 See also 12.2.1

Occult qualities

Occult qualities are properties that have no known rational explanation; in the Middle Ages, for example, magnetism was considered an occult quality.* [15] Newton's contemporaries severely criticized his theory that gravity was effected through “action at a distance”, as occult.* [16]

12.3 Religion and the occult Some religions and sects enthusiastically embrace occultism as an integral esoteric aspect of mystical religious experience. This attitude is common within Wicca and many other modern pagan religions. Some other religious denominations disapprove of occultism in most or all forms. They may view the occult as being anything supernatural or paranormal which is not achieved by or through God (as defined by those religious denominations), and is therefore the work of an opposing and malevolent entity. The word has negative connotations for many people, and while certain practices considered by some to be“occult”are also found within mainstream religions, in this context the term“occult”is rarely used and is sometimes substituted with “esoteric”.

• Ariosophy • Esotericism • List of occult terms • List of occultists • Magic (paranormal) • Nazism and occultism • Neotantra • Order of the Occult Hand • Onmyōdō • Renaissance magic • The Morning of the Magicians (book)

12.5 Notes [1] Crabb, G. (1927). English synonyms explained, in alphabetical order, copious illustrations and examples drawn from the best writers. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Co. [2] Underhill, E. (1911). Mysticism, Meridian, New York.


Christian views

Christian authorities have generally regarded occultism as heretical whenever they met this: from early Christian times, in the form of gnosticism, to late Renaissance

[3] Blavatsky, H. P. (1888). The Secret Doctrine. Whitefish, MT: Kessinger Publishing. [4] Houghton Mifflin Company. (2004). The American Heritage College Thesaurus. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Page 530.


[5] Wright, C. F. (1895). An outline of the principles of modern theosophy. Boston: New England Theosophical Corp.


12.7 Further reading

[6] Nevill Drury, The Watkins Dictionary of Magic, ISBN 184293-152-0. p. 03

• Bardon, Franz (1971). Initiation into Hermetics. Wuppertal: Ruggeberg.

[7] Goodrick-Clarke, Nicholas (1985). The Occult Roots of Nazism. p. 17. ISBN 0-85030-402-4.

• Fortune, Dion (2000). The Mystical Qabala. Weiser Books. ISBN 1-57863-150-5

[8] Goodrick-Clarke (1985): 18 [9] Newton's Dark Secrets. [10] Liukkonen, Petri. “Baron Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz”. Books and Writers (kirjasto.sci.fi). Finland: Kuusankoski Public Library. Archived from the original on 10 February 2015. [11] Edelglass et al., Matter and Mind, ISBN 0-940262-45-2. p. 54 [12] Goodrick-Clarke (1985): 29 [13] IAO131. "Thelema & Buddhism" in Journal of Thelemic Studies, Vol. 1, No. 1, Autumn 2007, pp. 18-32 [14] Schopenhauer, Arthur. The World as Will and Representation [15] Religion, Science, and Worldview: Essays in Honor of Richard S. Westfall, Margaret J. Osler, Paul Lawrence Farber, Cambridge University Press, 2002, ISBN 0-52152493-8 [16] Gerd Buchdahl, “History of Science and Criteria of Choice”p. 232. In Historical and Philosophical Perspectives of Science v. 5 (ed. Roger H. Stuewer) [17] Gibbons, B. J. (2001). Spirituality and the occult: from the Renaissance to the twentieth century. London: Routledge. p. 2. [18] Yates, Frances Amelia (1979). The occult philosophy in the Elizabethan age. New York: Routledge and Kegan Paul. pp. 1–5. [19] Surette, Leon (1993). The Birth of Modernism: Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, W. B. Yeats, and the Occult. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press. pp. 12–15.

12.6 References • Walker, Benjamin (1980). Encyclopedia of the Occult, the Esoteric and the Supernatural. New York: Stein & Day. ISBN 0-8128-6051-9. • Harold W. Percival, Joined the Theosophical Society in 1892. After the death of William Quan Judge in 1896, organized the Theosophical Society Independent and then wrote Thinking and Destiny which covers in plan terms the purpose of the universe and occult meanings.

• Gettings, Fred, Vision of the Occult, Century Hutchinson Ltd, 1987. ISBN 0-7126-1438-9 • Kontou, Tatiana – Willburn, Sarah (ed.) (2012). The Ashgate Research Companion to NineteenthCentury Spiritualism and the Occult. Ashgate, Farnham. ISBN 978-0-7546-6912-8 • Martin, W., Rische, J., Rische, K., & VanGordon, K. (2008). The Kingdom of the Occult. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishing. • Molnar, Thomas (1987). The Pagan Temptation. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.; 201 p. N.B.: The scope of this study also embraces the occult. ISBN 0-8028-0262-1 • Regardie, I., Cicero, C., & Cicero, S. T. (2001). The Tree of Life: An Illustrated Study in Magic. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications. • Newton, Isaac, Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St. John. Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St. John by Sir Isaac Newton • Rogers, L. W. (1909). Hints to Young Students of Occultism. Albany, NY: The Theosophical Book Company. • Shepard, Leslie (editor), Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology, Detroit, MI: Gale Research Co., 1978 • Spence, Lewis, Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, 1920. • Davis, R., True to His Ways: Purity & Safety in Christian Spiritual Practice (ACW Press, Ozark, AL, 2006), ISBN 1-932124-61-6. • Partridge, Christopher (ed.), The Occult World, London: Routledge, 2014. ISBN 0415695961 • Forshaw, Peter, 'The Occult Middle Ages', in Christopher Partridge (ed.), The Occult World, London: Routledge, 2014

12.8 External links • Center for History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents, University of Amsterdam

110 • University of Exeter Centre for the Study of Esotericism (EXESESO) • ESSWE European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism, with many links to associated organizations, libraries, scholars etc. • Joseph H. Peterson, Twilit Grotto: Archives of Western Esoterica (Esoteric Archives: Occult Literature) • Occult Science and Philosophy of the Renaissance. Online exhibition from the Louisiana State University Libraries Special Collections. Accessed 201309-15. • Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Occult Art, Occultism". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. • eLibrary of ancient books on occultism, spiritism, spiritualism, séances, development of mediumship in the Western and Oriental Traditions. Many technical advice on ITC and EVP, and practical tips concerning the development of different forms of Mediumship provided by medium Maryse Locke. • the MYSTICA.ORG An on-line encyclopedia of the occult


Chapter 13

Alchemy “Alchemist”redirects here. For other uses, see Alchemist ously connected with all of these projects. (disambiguation) and Alchemy (disambiguation). In English, the term is often limited to descriptions of Alchemy is a philosophical and protoscientific tradition European alchemy, but similar practices existed in the Far East, the Indian subcontinent, and the Muslim world. In Europe, following the 12th-century Renaissance produced by the translation of Arabic works on science and the Recovery of Aristotle, alchemists played a significant role in early modern science* [4] (particularly chemistry and medicine). Islamic and European alchemists developed a structure of basic laboratory techniques, theory, terminology, and experimental method, some of which are still in use today. However, they continued antiquity's belief in four elements and guarded their work in secrecy including cyphers and cryptic symbolism. Their work was guided by Hermetic principles related to magic, mythology, and religion.* [5]

Kimiya-yi sa'ādat (The Alchemy of Happiness) – a text on Islamic philosophy and spiritual alchemy by Al-Ghazālī (1058– 1111).

practiced throughout Europe, Egypt and Asia. It aimed to purify, mature, and perfect certain objects.* [1]* [2]* [n 1] Common aims were chrysopoeia, the transmutation of "base metals" (e.g., lead) into "noble" ones (particularly gold); the creation of an elixir of immortality; the creation of panaceas able to cure any disease; and the development of an alkahest, a universal solvent.* [3] The perfection of the human body and soul was thought to permit or result from the alchemical magnum opus and, in the Hellenistic and western tradition, the achievement of gnosis.* [2] In Europe, the creation of a philosopher's stone was vari-

Modern discussions of alchemy are generally split into an examination of its exoteric practical applications and its esoteric spiritual aspects, despite the arguments of scholars like Homyard* [6] and von Franz* [7] that they should be understood as complementary. The former is pursued by historians of the physical sciences who examine the subject in terms of protochemistry, medicine, and charlatanism. The latter interests historians of esotericism, psychologists, and some philosophers and spiritualists. The subject has also made an ongoing impact on literature and the arts. Despite this split, which von Franz believes has existed since the Western traditions' origin in a mix of Greek philosophy that was mixed with Egyptian and Mesopotamian technology,* [7] numerous sources have stressed an integration of esoteric and exoteric approaches to alchemy as far back as Bolus of Mendes's 3rd-century BC On Physical and Mystical Matters (Greek: Physika kai Mystika).* [8]

13.1 Name See also: Chemistry (etymology) The word alchemy was borrowed from Old French alquemie, alkimie, taken from Medieval Latin alchymia, and which is in turn borrowed from Arabic al-kīmiyā’




(‫‘ )الـكيمياء‬philosopher's stone’. The Arabic word is borrowed from Late Greek chēmeía (χημεία), chēmía (χημία)* [9]‘black magic’with the agglutination of the Arabic definite article al- (‫)الـ‬.* [10] This ancient Greek word was derived from* [11] the early Greek name for Egypt, Chēmia (Χημία), based on the Egyptian name for Egypt, kēme (hieroglyphic khmi, lit. ‘black earth’, as opposed to red desert sand).* [10]

The start of Western alchemy may generally be traced to ancient and Hellenistic Egypt, where the city of Alexandria was a center of alchemical knowledge, and retained its pre-eminence through most of the Greek and Roman periods.* [13] Here, elements of technology, religion, mythology, and Hellenistic philosophy, each with their own much longer histories, combined to form the earliest known records of alchemy in the West. Zosimos of Panopolis wrote the oldest known books on alchemy, The Medieval Latin form was influenced by Greek while Mary the Jewess is credited as being the first nonchymeia (χυμεία) meaning ‘mixture’and referring to fictitious Western alchemist. They wrote in Greek and * pharmaceutical chemistry. [12] lived in Egypt under Roman rule.

13.2 History Alchemy covers several philosophical traditions spanning some four millennia and three continents. These traditions' general penchant for cryptic and symbolic language makes it hard to trace their mutual influences and “genetic”relationships. One can distinguish at least three major strands, which appear to be largely independent, at least in their earlier stages: Chinese alchemy, centered in China and its zone of cultural influence; Indian alchemy, centered on the Indian subcontinent; and Western alchemy, which occurred around the Mediterranean and whose center has shifted over the millennia from Greco-Roman Egypt, to the Islamic world, and finally medieval Europe. Chinese alchemy was closely connected to Taoism and Indian alchemy with the Dharmic faiths, whereas Western alchemy developed its own philosophical system that was largely independent of, but influenced by, various Western religions. It is still an open question whether these three strands share a common origin, or to what extent they influenced each other.


Hellenistic Egypt

Mythology – Zosimos of Panopolis asserted that alchemy dated back to Pharaonic Egypt where it was the domain of the priestly class, though there is little to no evidence for his assertion.* [14] Alchemical writers used Classical figures from Greek, Roman, and Egyptian mythology to illuminate their works and allegorize alchemical transmutation.* [15] These included the pantheon of gods related to the Classical planets, Isis, Osiris, Jason, and many others. The central figure in the mythology of alchemy is Hermes Trismegistus (or Thrice-Great Hermes). His name is derived from the god Thoth and his Greek counterpart Hermes. Hermes and his caduceus or serpent-staff, were among alchemy's principal symbols. According to Clement of Alexandria, he wrote what were called the “forty-two books of Hermes”, covering all fields of knowledge.* [16] The Hermetica of Thrice-Great Hermes is generally understood to form the basis for Western alchemical philosophy and practice, called the hermetic philosophy by its early practitioners. These writings were collected in the first centuries of the common era. Technology – The dawn of Western alchemy is sometimes associated with that of metallurgy, extending back to 3500 BC.* [17] Many writings were lost when the emperor Diocletian ordered the burning of alchemical books* [18] after suppressing a revolt in Alexandria (AD 292). Few original Egyptian documents on alchemy have survived, most notable among them the Stockholm papyrus and the Leyden papyrus X. Dating from AD 300– 500, they contained recipes for dyeing and making artificial gemstones, cleaning and fabricating pearls, and manufacturing of imitation gold and silver.* [19] These writings lack the mystical, philosophical elements of alchemy, but do contain the works of Bolus of Mendes (or Pseudo-Democritus), which aligned these recipes with theoretical knowledge of astrology and the classical elements.* [20] Between the time of Bolus and Zosimos, the change took place that transformed this metallurgy into a Hermetic art.* [21]

Philosophy – Alexandria acted as a melting pot for philosophies of Pythagoreanism, Platonism, Stoicism and Gnosticism which formed the origin of alchemy's charAmbix, cucurbit and retort of Zosimos, from Marcelin Berthelot, acter.* [20] An important example of alchemy's roots in Collection des anciens alchimistes grecs (3 vol., Paris, 1887– Greek philosophy, originated by Empedocles and devel1888).



oped by Aristotle, was that all things in the universe were means the art of obtaining/manipulating Rasa: formed from only four elements: earth, air, water, and nectar, mercury, and juice. This art was refire. According to Aristotle, each element had a sphere stricted to certain operations, metals, drugs, to which it belonged and to which it would return if compounds, and medicines, many of which left undisturbed.* [22] The four elements of the Greek have mercury as their core element. Its prinwere mostly qualitative aspects of matter, not quantitaciples restored the health of those who were ill tive, as our modern elements are; "...True alchemy never beyond hope and gave back youth to fading old regarded earth, air, water, and fire as corporeal or chemage. ical substances in the present-day sense of the word. The four elements are simply the primary, and most general, qualities by means of which the amorphous and purely quantitative substance of all bodies first reveals itself in The goals of alchemy in India included the creation of differentiated form.”* [23] Later alchemists extensively a divine body (Sanskrit divya-deham) and immortality developed the mystical aspects of this concept. while still embodied (Sanskrit jīvan-mukti). Sanskrit alAlchemy coexisted alongside emerging Christianity. chemical texts include much material on the manipulaLactantius believed Hermes Trismegistus had prophesied tion of mercury and sulphur, that are homologized with its birth. St Augustine later affirmed this in the 4th & the semen of the god Śiva and the menstrual blood of the 5th centuries, but also condemned Trismegistus for idol- goddess Devī. atry.* [24] Examples of Pagan, Christian, and Jewish al- Some early alchemical writings seem to have their origins chemists can be found during this period. in the Kaula tantric schools associated to the teachings of Most of the Greco-Roman alchemists preceding Zosi- the personality of Matsyendranath. Other early writings mos are known only by pseudonyms, such as Moses, are found in the Jaina medical treatise Kalyāṇakārakam written in South India in the early 9th cenIsis, Cleopatra, Democritus, and Ostanes. Others au- of Ugrāditya, * tury. [29] thors such as Komarios, and Chymes, we only know through fragments of text. After AD 400, Greek alchemical writers occupied themselves solely in commenting on the works of these predecessors.* [25] By the middle of the 7th century alchemy was almost an entirely mystical discipline.* [26] It was at that time that Khalid Ibn Yazid sparked its migration from Alexandria to the Islamic world, facilitating the translation and preservation of Greek alchemical texts in the 8th and 9th centuries.* [27]



Two famous early Indian alchemical authors were Nāgārjuna Siddha and Nityanātha Siddha. Nāgārjuna Siddha was a Buddhist monk. His book, Rasendramangalam, is an example of Indian alchemy and medicine. Nityanātha Siddha wrote Rasaratnākara, also a highly influential work. In Sanskrit, rasa translates to “mercury” , and Nāgārjuna Siddha was said to have developed a method of converting mercury into gold.* [30] Reliable scholarship on Indian alchemy has been advanced in a major way by the publication of The Alchemical Body by David Gordon White.* [31] Trustworthy scholarship on Indian alchemy must now take the findings of this work into account.

Main article: Rasayana See also: History of metallurgy in the Indian subcontinent An important modern bibliography on Indian alchemical studies has also been provided by David Gordon White at * The Vedas describe a connection between eternal life Oxford Bibliographies Online. [32] and gold.* [28] The use of Mercury for alchemy is first documented in the 3rd– or 4th–century Arthashastra. Buddhist texts from the 2nd to 5th centuries mention the transmutation of base metals to gold. Greek alchemy may have been introduced to Ancient India through the invasions of Alexander the Great in 325 BC, and kingdoms that were culturally influenced by the Greeks like Gandhāra, although hard evidence for this is lacking.* [28]

The contents of 39 Sanskrit alchemical treatises have been analysed in detail in G. Jan Meulenbeld's History of Indian Medical Literature.* [33]* [n 2] The discussion of these works in HIML gives a summary of the contents of each work, their special features, and where possible the evidence concerning their dating. Chapter 13 of HIML, Various works on rasaśāstra and ratnaśāstra (or Various works on alchemy and gems) gives brief details of a further 655 (six hundred and fifty-five) treatises. In some The 11th-century Persian chemist and physician Abū cases Meulenbeld gives notes on the contents and authorRayhān Bīrūnī, who visited Gujarat as part of the court ship of these works; in other cases references are made only to the unpublished manuscripts of these titles. of Mahmud of Ghazni, reported that they have a science similar to alchemy which is quite peculiar to them, which in Sanskrit is called Rasayāna and in Persian Rasavātam. It

A great deal remains to be discovered about Indian alchemical literature. The content of the Sanskrit alchemical corpus has not yet (2014) been adequately integrated into the wider general history of alchemy.




Muslim world

Main article: Alchemy and chemistry in medieval Islam After the fall of the Roman Empire, the focus of alchem-

Jabir ibn Hayyan (Geber), considered the“father of chemistry", introduced a scientific and experimental approach to alchemy.

by Byzantine scientists from the tenth century, the corpus of the Greek alchemists is a cluster of incoherent fragments, going back to all the times since the third century until the end of the Middle Ages. The efforts of Berthelot and Ruelle to put a little order in this mass of literature led only to poor results, and the later researchers, among them in particular Mrs. Hammer-Jensen, Tannery, Lagercrantz, von Lippmann, Reitzenstein, Ruska, Bidez, Festugiere and others, could make clear only few points of detail .... The study of the Greek alchemists is not very encouraging. An even surface examination of the Greek texts shows that a very small part only was organized according to true experiments of laboratory: even the supposedly technical writings, in the state where we find them today, are unintelligible nonsense which refuses any interpretation. It is different with Jabir's alchemy. The relatively clear description of the processes and the alchemical apparati, the methodical classification of the substances, mark an experimental spirit which is extremely far away from the weird and odd esotericism of the Greek texts. The theory on which Jabir supports his operations is one of clearness and of an impressive unity. More than with the other Arab authors, one notes with him a balance between theoretical teaching and practical teaching, between the `ilm and the `amal. In vain one would seek in the Greek texts a work as systematic as that which is presented, for example, in the Book of Seventy.* [35]

ical development moved to the Islamic World. Much more is known about Islamic alchemy because it was better documented: indeed, most of the earlier writings that have come down through the years were preserved as Arabic translations.* [34] The word alchemy itself was derived from the Arabic word al-kīmiyā’ (‫)الكيمياء‬. The early Islamic world was a melting pot for alchemy. Jabir himself clearly recognized and proclaimed the imPlatonic and Aristotelian thought, which had already been portance of experimentation: somewhat appropriated into hermetical science, continued to be assimilated during the late 7th and early 8th The first essential in chemistry is that thou centuries through Syriac translations and scholarship. shouldest perform practical work and conduct In the late 8th century, Jābir ibn Hayyān (Latinized as experiments, “Geber”or “Geberus”) introduced a new approach to for he who performs not practical work nor alchemy, based on scientific methodology and controlled makes experiments will never attain to the least experimentation in the laboratory, in contrast to the andegree of mastery.* [37] cient Greek and Egyptian alchemists whose works were often allegorical and unintelligible, with very little conEarly Islamic chemists such as Jabir Ibn Hayyan, Alcern for laboratory work.* [35] Jabir is thus “considered Kindi (“Alkindus”) and Muhammad ibn Zakarīya Rāzi * by many to be the father of chemistry", [36] albeit others (“Rasis”or “Rhazes”) contributed a number of key reserve that title for Robert Boyle or Antoine Lavoisier. chemical discoveries, such as the muriatic (hydrochloric The science historian, Paul Kraus, wrote: acid), sulfuric and nitric acids, and more. The discovery that aqua regia, a mixture of nitric and hydrochloric To form an idea of the historical place of acids, could dissolve the noblest metal, gold, was to fuel Jabir's alchemy and to tackle the problem of its the imagination of alchemists for the next millennium. sources, it is advisable to compare it with what remains to us of the alchemical literature in the Greek language. One knows in which miserable state this literature reached us. Collected

Islamic philosophers also made great contributions to alchemical hermeticism. The most influential author in this regard was arguably Jabir. Jabir's ultimate goal was



Takwin, the artificial creation of life in the alchemical laboratory, up to, and including, human life. He analyzed each Aristotelian element in terms of four basic qualities of hotness, coldness, dryness, and moistness.* [38] According to Jabir, in each metal two of these qualities were interior and two were exterior. For example, lead was externally cold and dry, while gold was hot and moist. Thus, Jabir theorized, by rearranging the qualities of one metal, a different metal would result.* [38] By this reasoning, the search for the philosopher's stone was introduced to Western alchemy. Jabir developed an elaborate numerology whereby the root letters of a substance's name in Arabic, when treated with various transformations, held correspondences to the element's physical properties. The elemental system used in medieval alchemy also originated with Jabir. His original system consisted of seven elements, which included the five classical elements (aether, air, earth, fire, and water) in addition to two chemical elements representing the metals: sulphur,“the stone which burns”, which characterized the principle of combustibility, and mercury, which contained the idealized principle of metallic properties. Shortly thereafter, this evolved into eight elements, with the Arabic concept of the three metallic principles: sulphur giving flammability or combustion, mercury giving volatility and stability, and salt giving solidity.* [39] The atomic theory of corpuscularianism, where all physical bodies possess an inner and outer layer of minute particles or corpuscles, also has its origins in the work of Jabir.* [40] From the 9th to 14th centuries, alchemical theories faced criticism from a variety of practical Muslim chemists, including Alkindus,* [41] Abū al-Rayhān al-Bīrūnī,* [42] Avicenna* [43] and Ibn Khaldun. In particular, they wrote refutations against the idea of the transmutation of metals.


East Asia

Main article: Chinese alchemy Whereas European alchemy eventually centered on the transmutation of base metals into noble metals, Chinese alchemy had a more obvious connection to medicine. The philosopher's stone of European alchemists can be compared to the Grand Elixir of Immortality sought by Chinese alchemists. However, in the hermetic view, these two goals were not unconnected, and the philosopher's stone was often equated with the universal panacea; therefore, the two traditions may have had more in common than initially appears. Black powder may have been an important invention of Chinese alchemists. As previously stated above, Chinese alchemy was more related to medicine. It is said that the Chinese invented gunpowder while trying to find a potion for eternal life. Described in 9th-century texts and used in fireworks in China by the 10th century, it was used in cannons by 1290. From China, the use of gunpowder

Taoist Alchemists often use this alternate version of the Taijitu.

spread to Japan, the Mongols, the Muslim world, and Europe. Gunpowder was used by the Mongols against the Hungarians in 1241, and in Europe by the 14th century. Chinese alchemy was closely connected to Taoist forms of traditional Chinese medicine, such as Acupuncture and Moxibustion, and to martial arts such as Tai Chi Chuan and Kung Fu (although some Tai Chi schools believe that their art derives from the philosophical or hygienic branches of Taoism, not Alchemical). In fact, in the early Song dynasty, followers of this Taoist idea (chiefly the elite and upper class) would ingest mercuric sulfide, which, though tolerable in low levels, led many to suicide. Thinking that this consequential death would lead to freedom and access to the Taoist heavens, the ensuing deaths encouraged people to eschew this method of alchemy in favor of external sources (the aforementioned Tai Chi Chuan, mastering of the qi, etc.).

13.2.5 Medieval Europe The introduction of alchemy to Latin Europe may be dated to 11 February 1144, with the completion of Robert of Chester's translation of the Arabic Book of the Composition of Alchemy. Although European craftsmen and technicians preexisted, Robert notes in his preface that alchemy was unknown in Latin Europe at the time of his writing. The translation of Arabic texts concerning numerous disciplines including alchemy flourished in 12th-century Toledo, Spain, through contributors like Gerard of Cremona and Adelard of Bath.* [44] Translations of the time included the Turba Philosophorum, and the works of Avicenna and al-Razi. These brought with them many new words to the European vocabulary for which there was no previous Latin equivalent. Alcohol, carboy, elixir, and athanor are examples.* [45]


CHAPTER 13. ALCHEMY after his death through to the 15th century, more than 28 alchemical tracts were misattributed to him, a common practice giving rise to his reputation as an accomplished alchemist.* [48] Likewise, alchemical texts have been attributed to Albert's student Thomas Aquinas.

Roger Bacon, a Franciscan monk who wrote on a wide variety of topics including optics, comparative linguistics, and medicine, composed his Great Work (Latin: Opus Majus) for Pope Clement IV as part of a project towards rebuilding the medieval university curriculum to include the new learning of his time. While alchemy was not more important to him than other sciences and he did not produce allegorical works on the topic, he did consider it and astrology to be important parts of both natural philosophy and theology and his contributions advanced alchemy's connections to soteriology and Christian theology. Bacon's writings integrated morality, salvation, alchemy, and the prolongation of life. His correspondence with Clement highlighted this, noting the importance of alchemy to the papacy.* [49] Like the Greeks before him, Bacon acknowledged the division of alchemy into practical and theoretical spheres. He noted that the theoretical lay outside the scope of Aristotle, the natural philosophers, and all Latin writers of his time. The pracThe Alchemist in Search of the Philosopher's Stone, by Joseph tical, however, confirmed the theoretical thought experiWright, 1771 ment, and Bacon advocated its uses in natural science and medicine.* [50] In later European legend, however, Bacon became an archmage. In particular, along with Albertus Meanwhile, theologian contemporaries of the transla- Magnus, he was credited with the forging of a brazen head tors made strides towards the reconciliation of faith and capable of answering its owner's questions. experimental rationalism, thereby priming Europe for the influx of alchemical thought. The 11th-century St Soon after Bacon, the influential work of Pseudo-Geber Anselm put forth the opinion that faith and rationalism (sometimes identified as Paul of Taranto) appeared. His were compatible and encouraged rationalism in a Chris- Summa Perfectionis remained a staple summary of altian context. In the early 12th century, Peter Abelard chemical practice and theory through the medieval and followed Anselm's work, laying down the foundation for renaissance periods. It was notable for its inclusion of acceptance of Aristotelian thought before the first works practical chemical operations alongside sulphur-mercury the unusual clarity with which they were deof Aristotle had reached the West. In the early 13th theory, and * scribed. [51] By the end of the 13th century, alchemy century, Robert Grosseteste used Abelard's methods of had developed into a fairly structured system of belief. analysis and added the use of observation, experimentaAdepts believed in the macrocosm-microcosm theories tion, and conclusions when conducting scientific invesof Hermes, that is to say, they believed that processes tigations. Grosseteste also did much work to reconcile * that affect minerals and other substances could have an Platonic and Aristotelian thinking. [46] effect on the human body (for example, if one could learn Through much of the 12th and 13th centuries, alchemical the secret of purifying gold, one could use the technique knowledge in Europe remained centered on translations, to purify the human soul). They believed in the four and new Latin contributions were not made. The efforts elements and the four qualities as described above, and of the translators were succeeded by that of the ency- they had a strong tradition of cloaking their written ideas clopaedists. In the 13th century, Albertus Magnus and in a labyrinth of coded jargon set with traps to mislead Roger Bacon were the most notable of these, their work the uninitiated. Finally, the alchemists practiced their summarizing and explaining the newly imported alchem- art: they actively experimented with chemicals and made ical knowledge in Aristotelian terms.* [47] Albertus Mag- observations and theories about how the universe opernus, a Dominican monk, is known to have written works ated. Their entire philosophy revolved around their belief such as the Book of Minerals where he observed and com- that man's soul was divided within himself after the fall mented on the operations and theories of alchemical au- of Adam. By purifying the two parts of man's soul, man thorities like Hermes and Democritus and unnamed al- could be reunited with God.* [52] chemists of his time. Albertus critically compared these to the writings of Aristotle and Avicenna, where they con- In the 14th century, alchemy became more accessible cerned the transmutation of metals. From the time shortly to Europeans outside the confines of Latin speaking



churchmen and scholars. Alchemical discourse shifted from scholarly philosophical debate to an exposed social commentary on the alchemists themselves.* [53] Dante, Piers Plowman, and Chaucer all painted unflattering pictures of alchemists as thieves and liars. Pope John XXII's 1317 edict, Spondent quas non exhibent forbade the false promises of transmutation made by pseudoalchemists.* [54] In 1403, Henry IV of England banned the practice of multiplying metals (although it was possible to buy a licence to attempt to make gold alchemically, and a number were granted by Henry VI and Edward IV* [55]). These critiques and regulations centered more around pseudo-alchemical charlatanism than the actual study of alchemy, which continued with an increasingly Christian tone. The 14th century saw the Christian imagery of death and resurrection employed in the alchemical texts of Petrus Bonus, John of Rupescissa, and in works written in the name of Raymond Lull and Arnold of Villanova.* [56] Nicolas Flamel is a well-known alchemist, but a good example of pseudepigraphy, the practice of giving your works the name of someone else, usually more famous. Though the historical Flamel existed, the writings and legends assigned to him only appeared in 1612.* [57]* [58] Flamel was not a religious scholar as were many of his predecessors, and his entire interest in the subject revolved around the pursuit of the philosopher's stone. His work spends a great deal of time describing the processes and reactions, but never actually gives the formula for carrying out the transmutations. Most of 'his' work was aimed at gathering alchemical knowledge that had existed before him, especially as regarded the philosopher's stone.* [59] Through the 14th and 15th centuries, alchemists were much like Flamel: they concentrated on looking for the philosophers' stone. Bernard Trevisan and George Ripley made similar contributions. Their cryptic allusions and symbolism led to wide variations in interpretation of the art.

Page from alchemic treatise of Ramon Llull, 16th century.

Esoteric systems developed that blended alchemy into a broader occult Hermeticism, fusing it with magic, astrology, and Christian cabala.* [60]* [61] A key figure in this development was German Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa (1486–1535), who received his Hermetic education in Italy in the schools of the humanists. In his De Occulta Philosophia, he attempted to merge Kabbalah, Hermetism, and alchemy. He was instrumental in spreading this new blend of Hermeticism outside the borders of Italy.* [62]* [63]

Philippus Aureolus Paracelsus, (Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, 1493–1541) cast alchemy into a new 13.2.6 Renaissance and early modern Eu- form, rejecting some of Agrippa's occultism and moving rope away from chrysopoeia. Paracelsus pioneered the use of chemicals and minerals in medicine and wrote, “Many Further information: Renaissance magic and natural have said of Alchemy, that it is for the making of gold magic and silver. For me such is not the aim, but to consider During the Renaissance, Hermetic and Platonic foun- only what virtue and power may lie in medicines.”* [64] dations were restored to European alchemy. The dawn His hermetical views were that sickness and health in of medical, pharmaceutical, occult, and entrepreneurial the body relied on the harmony of man the microcosm branches of alchemy followed. and Nature the macrocosm. He took an approach difIn the late 15th century, Marsilo Ficino translated the Corpus Hermeticum and the works of Plato into Latin. These were previously unavailable to Europeans who for the first time had a full picture of the alchemical theory that Bacon had declared absent. Renaissance Humanism and Renaissance Neoplatonism guided alchemists away from physics to refocus on mankind as the alchemical vessel.

ferent from those before him, using this analogy not in the manner of soul-purification but in the manner that humans must have certain balances of minerals in their bodies, and that certain illnesses of the body had chemical remedies that could cure them.* [65] Paracelsian practical alchemy, especially herbal medicine and plant remedies has since been named spagyric (a synonym for alchemy from the Greek words meaning to separate and to join



together, based on the Latin alchemic maxim: solve et co- synonyms in the early modern period, and the differagula).* [66] Iatrochemistry also refers to the pharmaceu- ences between alchemy, chemistry and small-scale astical applications of alchemy championed by Paracelsus. saying and metallurgy were not as neat as in the present John Dee (13 July 1527 – December, 1608) followed day. There were important overlaps between practitionAgrippa's occult tradition. Though better known for an- ers, and trying to classify them into alchemists, chemists gel summoning, divination, and his role as astrologer, and craftsmen is anachronistic. For example, Tycho cryptographer, and consultant to Queen Elizabeth I, Dee's Brahe (1546–1601), an alchemist better known for his alchemical* [67] Monas Hieroglyphica, written in 1564 astronomical and astrological investigations, had a laboratory built at his Uraniborg observatory/research institute. was his most popular and influential work. His writing Michael Sendivogius (Michał Sędziwój, 1566–1636), a portrayed alchemy as a sort of terrestrial astronomy in line Polish alchemist, philosopher, medical doctor and pio* with the Hermetic axiom As above so below. [68] During the 17th century, a short-lived “supernatural”inter- neer of chemistry wrote mystical works but is also credited with distilling oxygen in a lab sometime around 1600. pretation of alchemy became popular, including support by fellows of the Royal Society: Robert Boyle and Elias Sendivogious taught his technique to Cornelius Drebbel who, in 1621, applied this in a submarine. Isaac NewAshmole. Proponents of the supernatural interpretation of alchemy believed that the philosopher's stone might be ton devoted considerably more of his writing to the study of alchemy (see Isaac Newton's occult studies) than he used to summon and communicate with angels.* [69] did to either optics or physics. Other early modern alchemists who were eminent in their other studies include Robert Boyle, and Jan Baptist van Helmont. Their Hermetism complemented rather than precluded their practical achievements in medicine and science.

13.2.7 Late modern period

“Alchemist Sendivogius" (1566–1636) by Jan Matejko, 1867.

Entrepreneurial opportunities were not uncommon for the alchemists of Renaissance Europe. Alchemists were contracted by the elite for practical purposes related to mining, medical services, and the production of chemicals, medicines, metals, and gemstones.* [70] Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor, in the late 16th century, famously received and sponsored various alchemists at his court in Prague, including Dee and his associate Edward Kelley. King James IV of Scotland,* [71] Julius, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Henry V, Duke of BrunswickLüneburg, Augustus, Elector of Saxony, Julius Echter von Mespelbrunn, and Maurice, Landgrave of HesseKassel all contracted alchemists.* [72] John's son Arthur Dee worked as a court physician to Michael I of Russia and Charles I of England but also compiled the alchemical book Fasciculus Chemicus. Though most of these appointments were legitimate, the trend of pseudo-alchemical fraud continued through the Renaissance. Betrüger would use sleight of hand, or claims of secret knowledge to make money or secure patronage. Legitimate mystical and medical alchemists such as Michael Maier and Heinrich Khunrath wrote about fraudulent transmutations, distinguishing themselves from the con artists.* [73] False alchemists were sometimes prosecuted for fraud. The terms “chemia”and “alchemia”were used as

Robert Boyle

The decline of European alchemy was brought about by the rise of modern science with its emphasis on rigorous quantitative experimentation and its disdain for“ancient wisdom”. Although the seeds of these events were planted as early as the 17th century, alchemy still flourished for some two hundred years, and in fact may have reached its apogee in the 18th century. As late as 1781

13.2. HISTORY James Price claimed to have produced a powder that could transmute mercury into silver or gold. Early modern European alchemy continued to exhibit a diversity of theories, practices, and purposes: “Scholastic and antiAristotelian, Paracelsian and anti-Paracelsian, Hermetic, Neoplatonic, mechanistic, vitalistic, and more—plus virtually every combination and compromise thereof.”* [74] Robert Boyle (1627–1691) pioneered the scientific method in chemical investigations. He assumed nothing in his experiments and compiled every piece of relevant data. Boyle would note the place in which the experiment was carried out, the wind characteristics, the position of the Sun and Moon, and the barometer reading, all just in case they proved to be relevant.* [75] This approach eventually led to the founding of modern chemistry in the 18th and 19th centuries, based on revolutionary discoveries of Lavoisier and John Dalton.

119 a case for his spiritual interpretation with his claim that the alchemists wrote about a spiritual discipline under a materialistic guise in order to avoid accusations of blasphemy from the church and state. In 1845, Baron Carl Reichenbach, published his studies on Odic force, a concept with some similarities to alchemy, but his research did not enter the mainstream of scientific discussion.* [85]

13.2.8 Women in alchemy Several women figure in the earliest history of alchemy. Michael Maier names Mary the Jewess, Cleopatra the Alchemist, Medera, and Taphnutia as the four women who knew how to make the philosopher's stone.* [86] Zosimos' sister Theosebia (later known as Euthica the Arab) and Isis the Prophetess also play a role in the early alchemical texts.

Beginning around 1720, a rigid distinction was drawn between “alchemy”and “chemistry”for the first time.* [76]* [77] By the 1740s, “alchemy”was now restricted to the realm of gold making, leading to the popular belief that alchemists were charlatans, and the tradition itself nothing more than a fraud.* [74]* [77] In order to protect the developing science of modern chemistry from the negative censure of which alchemy was being subjected, academic writers during the scientific Enlightenment attempted, for the sake of survival, to separate and divorce the“new”chemistry from the“old”practices of alchemy. This move was mostly successful, and the consequences of this continued into the 19th and 20th centuries, and even to the present day.* [78]

The first alchemist is recognized as being Mary the Jewess (c. 200 A.D.).* [87] Mary is known for a number of improvements on alchemy equipment and tools as well as novel techniques in chemistry.* [87] Her most well-known advancements are heating and distillation processes. The water-bath, also known as Bain-Marie is said to have been invented by or at least improved by her.* [88] This double-boiler was often used in chemistry for processes that might require gentle heating. The tribikos (a basic still) and the kerotakis (a more intricate distilling apparatus) are two other advancements in the process of distillation that are credited to her.* [89] While these were great achievements, Mary the Jewess' most critical contribution is considered to be the identification of hydrochloric During the occult revival of the early 19th cen- acid, a frequently used chemical today.* [90] Though we tury, alchemy received new attention as an occult sci- have no writing from Maria herself, she is known from the ence.* [79]* [80] The esoteric or occultist school, which fourth century writings of Zosimos of Panopolis.* [91] arose during the 19th century, held (and continues to Due to the proliferation of pseudepigrapha and anonyhold) the view that the substances and operations menmous works, it is difficult to know which of the alchemists tioned in alchemical literature are to be interpreted in a were actually women. After the Greco-Roman period, spiritual sense, and it downplays the role of the alchemy as women's names appear less frequently the alchemical lit* * * a practical tradition or protoscience. [76] [81] [82] This erature. Women vacate the history of alchemy during the interpretation further forwarded the view that alchemy is medieval and renaissance periods, aside from the fictian art primarily concerned with spiritual enlightenment tious account of Perenelle Flamel. Mary Anne Atwood's or illumination, as opposed to the physical manipulation A Suggestive Inquiry into the Hermetic Mystery (1850) of apparatus and chemicals, and claims that the obscure marks their return during the nineteenth century occult language of the alchemical texts were an allegorical guise revival. * for spiritual, moral or mystical processes. [82] In the 19th-century revival of alchemy, the two most seminal figures were Mary Anne Atwood and Ethan Allen Hitchcock, who independently published similar works regarding spiritual alchemy. Both forwarded a completely esoteric view of alchemy, as Atwood claimed: “No modern art or chemistry, notwithstanding all its surreptitious claims, has any thing in common with Alchemy.”* [83]* [84] Atwood's work influenced subsequent authors of the occult revival including Eliphas Levi, Arthur Edward Waite, and Rudolf Steiner. Hitchcock, in his Remarks Upon Alchymists (1855) attempted to make

13.2.9 Modern historical research The history of alchemy has become a significant and recognized subject of academic study.* [92] As the language of the alchemists is analyzed, historians are becoming more aware of the intellectual connections between that discipline and other facets of Western cultural history, such as the evolution of science and philosophy, the sociology and psychology of the intellectual communities, kabbalism, spiritualism, Rosicrucianism, and other mystic movements.* [93] Institutions involved in this re-

120 search include The Chymistry of Isaac Newton project at Indiana University, the University of Exeter Centre for the Study of Esotericism (EXESESO), the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE), and the University of Amsterdam's Sub-department for the History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents. A large collection of books on alchemy is kept in the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica in Amsterdam. A recipe found in a mid 19th century kabbalah based book features step by step instructions on turning copper into gold. The author attributed this recipe to an ancient manuscript he located.* [94]

CHAPTER 13. ALCHEMY prima materia and anima mundi are central to the theory of the philosopher's stone.

13.3.1 Hermetism

In the eyes of a variety of esoteric and Hermetic practitioners, alchemy is fundamentally spiritual. Transmutation of lead into gold is presented as an analogy for personal transmutation, purification, and perfection.* [8] The writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus are a primary source of alchemical theory. He is named “alchemy's founder and chief patron, authority, inspiraJournals which publish regularly on the topic of Alchemy tion and guide”.* [95] include 'Ambix', published by the Society for the History of alchemy and Chemistry, and 'Isis', published by The Early alchemists, such as Zosimos of Panopolis (c. AD 300), highlight the spiritual nature of the alchemical History of Science Society. quest, symbolic of a religious regeneration of the human soul.* [96] This approach continued in the Middle Ages, as metaphysical aspects, substances, physical states, and 13.3 Core concepts material processes were used as metaphors for spiritual entities, spiritual states, and, ultimately, transformation. In this sense, the literal meanings of 'Alchemical Formulas' were a blind, hiding their true spiritual philosophy. Practitioners and patrons such as Melchior Cibinensis and Pope Innocent VIII existed within the ranks of the church, while Martin Luther applauded alchemy for its consistency with Christian teachings.* [97] Both the transmutation of common metals into gold and the universal panacea symbolized evolution from an imperfect, diseased, corruptible, and ephemeral state toward a perfect, healthy, incorruptible, and everlasting state, so the philosopher's stone then represented a mystic key that would make this evolution possible. Applied to the alchemist himself, the twin goal symbolized his evolution from ignorance to enlightenment, and the stone represented a hidden spiritual truth or power that would lead to that goal. In texts that are written according to this view, the cryptic alchemical symbols, diagrams, and textual imagery of late alchemical works typically contain multiple layers of meanings, allegories, and references to other equally cryptic works; and must be laboriously decoded to discover their true meaning. In his 1766 Alchemical Catechism, Théodore Henri de Tschudi denotes that the usage of the metals was a symbol:

Mandala illustrating common alchemical concepts, symbols, and processes. From Spiegel der Kunst und Natur.

Western alchemical theory corresponds to the worldview of late antiquity in which it was born. Concepts were imported from Neoplatonism and earlier Greek cosmology. As such, the Classical elements appear in alchemical writings, as do the seven Classical planets and the corresponding seven metals of antiquity. Similarly, the gods of the Roman pantheon who are associated with these luminaries are discussed in alchemical literature. The concepts of

Q. When the Philosophers speak of gold and silver, from which they extract their matter, are we to suppose that they refer to the vulgar gold and silver? A. By no means; vulgar silver and gold are dead, while those of the Philosophers are full of life.* [1] 1. ^ Théodore Henri de Tschudi. Hermetic Catechism in his L'Etoile Flamboyant ou la Société des Franc-Maçons considerée sous tous les aspects. 1766. (A.E. Waite

13.4. MODERN ALCHEMY translation as found in The Hermetic and Alchemical Writings of Paracelsus.)


Magnum opus

121 combination of pharmacological and spiritual techniques. In Ayurveda, the samskaras are claimed to transform heavy metals and toxic herbs in a way that removes their toxicity. These processes are actively used to the present day.* [104]

Spagyrists of the 20th century, Albert Richard Riedel and Jean Dubuis, merged Paracelsian alchemy with occultism, teaching laboratory pharmaceutical methods. The Great Work of Alchemy is often described as a series The schools they founded, Les Philosophes de la Nature of four stages represented by colors. and The Paracelsus Research Society, popularized modern spagyrics including the manufacture of herbal tinctures and products.* [105] The courses, books, organizations, • nigredo, a blackening or melanosis and conferences generated by their students continue to • albedo, a whitening or leucosis influence popular applications of alchemy as a new age medicinal practice. • citrinitas, a yellowing or xanthosis Main article: Magnum opus (alchemy)

• rubedo, a reddening, purpling, or iosis* [98]

13.4.2 Psychology

13.4 Modern alchemy Due to the complexity and obscurity of alchemical literature, and the 18th-century disappearance of remaining alchemical practitioners into the area of chemistry; the general understanding of alchemy has been strongly influenced by several distinct and radically different interpretations.* [99] Those focusing on the exoteric, such as historians of science Lawrence M. Principe and William R. Newman, have interpreted the 'decknamen' (or code words) of alchemy as physical substances. These scholars have reconstructed physicochemical experiments that they say are described in medieval and early modern texts.* [100] At the opposite end of the spectrum, focusing on the esoteric, scholars, such as George Calian* [101] and Anna Marie Roos,* [102] who question the reading of Principe and Newman, interpret these same decknamen as spiritual, religious, or psychological concepts. Today new interpretations of alchemy are still perpetuated, sometimes merging in concepts from New Age or radical environmentalism movements.* [103] Groups like the rosicrucians and freemasons have a continued interest in alchemy and its symbolism. Since the Victorian revival of alchemy, “occultists reinterpreted alchemy as a spiritual practice, involving the self-transformation of the practitioner and only incidentally or not at all the transformation of laboratory substances.”,* [74] which has contributed to a merger of magic and alchemy in popular thought.


Traditional medicine

Main articles: medicine

Alchemical symbolism has been important in depth and analytical psychology and was revived and popularized from near extinction by the Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung. Initially confounded and at odds with alchemy and its images, after being given a copy of the translation of The Secret of the Golden Flower, a Chinese alchemical text, by his friend Richard Wilhelm, Jung discovered a direct correlation between the symbolic images in the alchemical drawings and the internal or psychic processes of transformation occurring in his patients. He called the creation of the gold or lapis within the process of "individuation.”* [106]* [107] Together with his alchemical mystica soror, Jungian Swiss analyst, Marie-Louise von Franz, Jung began collecting all the old alchemical texts available and pored over them. The volumes of work he wrote brought new light into understanding the art of transubstantiation and renewed alchemy's popularity as a symbolic process of coming into wholeness as a human being where opposites brought into contact and inner and outer, spirit and matter are reunited in the hieros gamos or divine marriage. His writings are influential in psychology and for persons who have an interest in understanding of the importance of dreams, symbols and the unconscious archetypal forces (archetypes)* [107]* [108]* [109] that influence all of life. Both von Franz and Jung have contributed greatly to the subject and work of alchemy and its continued presence in psychology as well as contemporary culture. Jung wrote volumes on alchemy and his magnum opus is Volume 14 of his Collected Works, Mysterium Conuinctionis.

13.4.3 Literature

Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Main article: Alchemy in art and entertainment

Traditional medicine sometimes involves the transmuta- Alchemy has had a long-standing relationship with art, tion of natural substances, using pharmacological or a seen both in alchemical texts and in mainstream enter-

122 tainment. Literary alchemy appears throughout the history of English literature from Shakespeare to J. K. Rowling. Here, characters or plot structure follow an alchemical magnum opus. In the 14th century, Chaucer began a trend of alchemical satire that can still be seen in recent fantasy works like those of Terry Pratchett. Visual artists had a similar relationship with alchemy. While some of them used alchemy as a source of satire, others worked with the alchemists themselves or integrated alchemical thought or symbols in their work. Music was also present in the works of alchemists and continues to influence popular performers. In the last hundred years, alchemists have been portrayed in a magical and spagyric role in fantasy fiction, film, television, novels, comics and video games.

13.5 See also • Alchemy in art and entertainment


13.6 Notes [1] For a detailed look into the problems of defining alchemy, see Linden 1996, pp. 6–36 [2] To wit, the Ānandakanda, Āyurvedaprakāśa, Gorakṣasaṃhitā, Kākacaṇḍeśvarīmatatantra, Kākacaṇḍīśvarakalpatantra, Kūpīpakvarasanirmāṇavijñāna, Pāradasaṃhitā, Rasabhaiṣajyakalpanāvijñāna, Rasādhyāya, Rasahṛdayatantra, Rasajalanidhi, Rasakāmadhenu, Rasakaumudī, Rasamañjarī, Rasamitra, Rasāmṛta, Rasapaddhati, Rasapradīpa, Rasaprakāśasudhākara, Rasarājalakṣmī, Rasaratnadīpikā, Rasaratnākara, Rasaratnasamuccaya, Rasārṇava, Rasārṇavakalpa, Rasasaṃketakalikā, Rasasāra, Rasataraṅgiṇī, Rasāyanasāra, Rasayogasāgara, Rasayogaśataka, Rasendracintāmaṇi, Rasendracūḍāmaṇi, Rasendramaṅgala, Rasendrapurāṇa, Rasendrasambhava, Rasendrasārasaṅgraha, Rasoddhāratantra or Rasasaṃhitā, and Rasopaniṣad.

13.7 References

• Biological transmutation • Chemistry • Chinese alchemy • Cupellation • Hermes Trismegistus • Historicism • History of chemistry • List of alchemists • List of topics characterized as pseudoscience • Magnum opus (alchemy) • Mary the Jewess • Nuclear transmutation • Outline of alchemy • Philosopher's Stone • Physics • Porta Alchemica • Scientific method • Superseded scientific theories • Synthesis of precious metals

13.7.1 Citations [1] Malouin, Paul-Jacques (1751), “Alchimie [Alchemy]", Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire Raisonné des Sciences, des Arts, et des Métiers, Vol. I, Paris: translated by Lauren Yoder in 2003 for Michigan Publishing's The Encyclopedia of Diderot & d'Alembert Collaborative Translation Project. [2] Linden (1996), pp. 7 & 11. [3] “Alchemy”, Dictionary.com. [4] Chemical Knowledge in the Early Modern World, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014. [5] Wouter J. Hanegraaff (Cambridge University Press: 2012), Alchemy between Science and Religion, Esotericism and the Academy: Rejected Knowledge in Western Culture [6] Holmyard 1957, p. 16 [7] von Franz (1997). [8] Antoine Faivre, Wouter J. Hanegraaff. Western esotericism and the science of religion. 1995. p.96 [9] alchemy, Oxford Dictionaries [10] “alchemy”. Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.) Or see Harper, Douglas. “alchemy”. Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved April 7, 2010.. [11] See, for example, the etymology for χημεία in Liddell, Henry George; Robert Scott (1901). A Greek-English Lexicon (Eighth edition, revised throughout ed.). Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-910205-8.


[12] See, for example, both the etymology given in the Oxford English Dictionary and also that for χυμεία in Liddell, Henry George; Robert Scott; Henry Stuart Jones (1940). A Greek-English Lexicon (A new edition, revised and augmented throughout ed.). Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-910205-8. [13] New Scientist, 24–31 December 1987 [14] Garfinkel, Harold (1986). Ethnomethodological Studies of Work. Routledge &Kegan Paul. p. 127. ISBN 0-41511965-0. [15] Yves Bonnefoy. 'Roman and European Mythologies'. University of Chicago Press, 1992. pp. 211–213 [16] Clement, Stromata, vi. 4. [17] Linden 1996, p. 12 [18] Partington, James Riddick (1989). A Short History of Chemistry. New York: Dover Publications. p. 20. ISBN 0-486-65977-1. [19] Linden 2003, p. 46 [20] A History of Chemistry, Bensaude-Vincent, Isabelle Stengers, Harvard University Press, 1996, p13 [21] Linden 1996, p. 14 [22] Lindsay, Jack (1970). The Origins of Alchemy in GraecoRoman Egypt. London: Muller. p. 16. ISBN 0-38901006-5. [23] Burckhardt, Titus (1967). Alchemy: Science of the Cosmos, Science of the Soul. Trans. William Stoddart. Baltimore: Penguin. p. 66. ISBN 0-906540-96-8. [24] Fanning, Philip Ashley. Isaac Newton and the Transmutation of Alchemy: An Alternative View of the Scientific Revolution. 2009. p.6 [25] F. Sherwood Taylor. Alchemists, Founders of Modern Chemistry. p.26. [26] Allen G. Debus. Alchemy and early modern chemistry: papers from Ambix. p. 36 [27] Glen Warren Bowersock, Peter Robert Lamont Brown, Oleg Grabar. Late antiquity: a guide to the postclassical world. p. 284–285 [28] Multhauf, Robert P. & Gilbert, Robert Andrew (2008). Alchemy. Encyclopædia Britannica (2008). [29] Meulenbeld, G. Jan (1999–2002). History of Indian Medical Literature. Groningen: Egbert Forsten. pp. IIA, 151– 155. [30] See Dominik Wujastyk, “An Alchemical Ghost: The Rasaratnākara of Nāgarjuna”in Ambix 31.2 (1984): 70-83. Online at http://univie.academia.edu/ DominikWujastyk/Papers/152766/ [31] See bibliographical details and links at https://openlibrary. org/works/OL3266066W/The_Alchemical_Body [32] DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780195399318-0046


[33] Meulenbeld, G. Jan (1999–2002). History of Indian Medical Literature. Groningen: Egbert Forsten. pp. IIA, 581– 738. [34] Burckhardt, Titus (1967). Alchemy: Science of the Cosmos, Science of the Soul. Trans. William Stoddart. Baltimore: Penguin. p. 46. ISBN 0-906540-96-8. [35] Kraus, Paul, Jâbir ibn Hayyân, Contribution à l'histoire des idées scientifiques dans l'Islam. I. Le corpus des écrits jâbiriens. II. Jâbir et la science grecque,. Cairo (1942– 1943). Repr. By Fuat Sezgin, (Natural Sciences in Islam. 67–68), Frankfurt. 2002: (cf. Ahmad Y Hassan. “A Critical Reassessment of the Geber Problem: Part Three” . Retrieved 16 September 2014.) [36] Derewenda, Zygmunt S. (2007). “On wine, chirality and crystallography”. Acta Crystallographica Section A. 64: 246–258 [247]. Bibcode:2008AcCrA..64..246D. doi:10.1107/S0108767307054293. PMID 18156689. [37] Holmyard 1931, p. 60 [38] Burckhardt, Titus (1967). Alchemy: Science of the Cosmos, Science of the Soul. Trans. William Stoddart. Baltimore: Penguin. p. 29. ISBN 0-906540-96-8. [39] Strathern, Paul. (2000), Mendeleyev's Dream – the Quest for the Elements, New York: Berkley Books [40] Moran, Bruce T. (2005). Distilling knowledge: alchemy, chemistry, and the scientific revolution. Harvard University Press. p. 146. ISBN 0-674-01495-2. a corpuscularian tradition in alchemy stemming from the speculations of the medieval author Geber (Jabir ibn Hayyan) [41] Felix Klein-Frank (2001),“Al-Kindi”, in Oliver Leaman & Hossein Nasr, History of Islamic Philosophy, p. 174. London: Routledge. [42] Marmura ME (1965). "An Introduction to Islamic Cosmological Doctrines: Conceptions of Nature and Methods Used for Its Study by the Ikhwan Al-Safa'an, Al-Biruni, and Ibn Sina by Seyyed Hossein Nasr". Speculum. 40 (4): 744–6. doi:10.2307/2851429. [43] Robert Briffault (1938). The Making of Humanity, p. 196–197. [44] Holmyard 1957, pp. 105–108 [45] Holmyard 1957, p. 110 [46] Hollister, C. Warren (1990). Medieval Europe: A Short History (6th ed.). Blacklick, Ohio: McGraw–Hill College. pp. 294f. ISBN 0-07-557141-2. [47] John Read. From Alchemy to Chemistry. 1995 p.90 [48] James A. Weisheipl. Albertus Magnus and the Sciences: Commemorative Essays. PIMS. 1980. p.187-202 [49] Edmund Brehm. “Roger Bacon's Place in the History of Alchemy.”Ambix. Vol. 23, Part I, March 1976. [50] Holmyard 1957, pp. 120–121 [51] Holmyard 1957, pp. 134–141.



[52] Burckhardt, Titus (1967). Alchemy: Science of the Cosmos, Science of the Soul. Trans. William Stoddart. Baltimore: Penguin. p. 149. ISBN 0-906540-96-8. [53] Tara E. Nummedal. Alchemy and Authority in the Holy Roman Empire. University of Chicago Press, 2007. p. 49 [54] John Hines, II, R. F. Yeager. John Gower, Trilingual Poet: Language, Translation, and Tradition. Boydell & Brewer. 2010. p.170 [55] D. Geoghegan, “A licence of Henry VI to practise Alchemy”Ambix, volume 6, 1957, pages 10-17 [56] Leah DeVun. From Prophecy, Alchemy, and the End of Time: John of Rupescissa in the late Middle Ages. Columbia University Press, 2009. p. 104 [57] Linden 2003, p. 123 [58]“Nicolas Flamel. Des Livres et de l'or”by Nigel Wilkins [59] Burckhardt, Titus (1967). Alchemy: Science of the Cosmos, Science of the Soul. Trans. William Stoddart. Baltimore: Penguin. pp. 170–181. ISBN 0-906540-96-8.

• Principe & Newman 2001, pp. 399 • The Aspiring Adept: Robert Boyle and His Alchemical Quest, by Lawrence M. Principe, 'Princeton University Press', 1998, pp. 188 90 [70] Tara E. Nummedal. Alchemy and authority in the Holy Roman Empire. p.4 [71] Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland, vol. iii, (1901), 99, 202, 206, 209, 330, 340, 341, 353, 355, 365, 379, 382, 389, 409. [72] Tara E. Nummedal. Alchemy and authority in the Holy Roman Empire. p.85-98 [73] Tara E. Nummedal. Alchemy and authority in the Holy Roman Empire. p.171 [74] Principe, Lawrence M. “Alchemy Restored.”Isis 102.2 (2011): 305-12. Web. [75] Pilkington, Roger (1959). Robert Boyle: Father of Chemistry. London: John Murray. p. 11. [76] Newman & Principe 2002, p. 37

[60] Peter J. Forshaw. '"Chemistry, That Starry Science”Early Modern Conjunctions of Astrology and Alchemy' (2013)

[77] Principe & Newman 2001, p. 386

[61] Peter J. Forshaw, 'Cabala Chymica or Chemia Cabalistica – Early Modern Alchemists and Cabala' (2013)

[79] Principe & Newman 2001, p. 387

[62] Glenn Alexander Magee. Hegel and the Hermetic Tradition. Cornell University Press. 2008. p.30

[81] Eliade 1994, p. 49

[63] Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke. The Western Esoteric Traditions: A Historical Introduction. Oxford University Press. 2008 p.60 [64] Edwardes, Michael (1977). The Dark Side of History. New York: Stein and Day. p. 47. ISBN 0-552-114634. [65] Debus, Allen G.; Multhauf, Robert P. (1966). Alchemy and Chemistry in the Seventeenth Century. Los Angeles: William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California. pp. 6–12. [66] Joseph Needham. Science and Civilisation in China: Volume 5, Chemistry and Chemical Technology, Part 5, Spagyrical Discovery and Invention: Physiological Alchemy. Cambridge University Press. P.9 [67]“Monas hieroglyphica is not a traditional alchemical work, but has important theoretical insights about a cosmic vision, in which alchemy played an important part.”Szőnyi, György E. (2015). "'Layers of Meaning in Alchemy in John Dee's Monas hieroglyphica and its Relevance in a Central European Context'" (PDF). Centre for Renaissance Texts, 2015, 118.

[78] Principe & Newman 2001, pp. 386–7

[80] Kripal & Shuck 2005, p. 27

[82] Principe & Newman 2001, p. 388 [83] Principe & Newman 2001, p. 391 [84] Rutkin 2001, p. 143 [85] Daniel Merkur. Gnosis: An Esoteric Tradition of Mystical Visions and Unions. SUNY Press. 1993 p.55 [86] Raphael Patai. The Jewish Alchemists: A History and Source Book. p. 78. [87] Rayner-Canham, M; Rayner-Canham, G (2005). Women in Chemistry: Their Changing Roles from Alchemical Times to the Mid-Twentieth Century. Chemical Heritage Foundation. pp. 2–4. ISBN 9780941901277. [88] Patai, R (1995). The Jewish Alchemists: A History and Source Book. Princeton University Press. pp. 60–80. ISBN 9780691006420. [89] Lindsay, J (1970). The origins of alchemy in GraecoRoman Egypt. New York: Barnes & Noble. pp. 240–250. ISBN 9780389010067. [90] Gaster, Moses (2011).“Alchemy”. Jewish Encyclopedia. Funk & Wagnalls Company. Retrieved April 6, 2016.

[68] William Royall Newman, Anthony Grafton. Secrets of Nature: Astrology and Alchemy in Early Modern Europe. MIT Press, 2001. P.173.

[91] Patai, R. The Jewish Alchemists: A History and Source Book. Princeton University Press. pp. 81–93. ISBN 9780691006420.

• Journal of the History of Ideas, 41, 1980, p. 293318

[92] Antoine Faivre, Wouter J. Hanegraaff. Western esotericism and the science of religion. 1995. p.viii–xvi



[93] See Exeter Centre for the Study of Esotericism website [94] “Old Jewish Book Outlines how to Turn Copper into Gold”. Retrieved 2016-04-21. [95] Linden 2003, pp. 9 [96] Allen G. Debus. Alchemy and early modern chemistry. The Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry. p.34. [97] Raphael Patai. The Jewish Alchemists: A History and Source Book. Princeton University Press. p.4 [98] Joseph Needham. Science & Civilisation in China: Chemistry and chemical technology. Spagyrical discovery and invention: magisteries of gold and immortality. Cambridge. 1974. p.23 [99] Principe & Newman 2001, p. 385 [100] Richard Conniff. “Alchemy May Not Have Been the Pseudoscience We All Thought It Was.”Smithsonian Magazine. February 2014. [101] Calian, George (2010). Alkimia Operativa and Alkimia Speculativa. Some Modern Controversies on the Historiography of Alchemy. Annual of Medieval Studies at CEU. [102] Anna Marie Roos (2013), Review of The Secrets of Alchemy, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 44 [103] Principe & Newman 2001, p. 396 [104] Junius, Manfred M; The Practical Handbook of Plant Alchemy: An Herbalist's Guide to Preparing Medicinal Essences, Tinctures, and Elixirs; Healing Arts Press 1985 [105] Joscelyn Godwin. The Golden Thread: The Ageless Wisdom of the Western Mystery Traditions. Quest Books, 2007. p.120 [106] Jung, C. G. (1944). Psychology and Alchemy (2nd ed. 1968 Collected Works Vol. 12 ISBN 0-691-01831-6). London: Routledge. [107] Polly Young-Eisendrath, Terence Dawson. The Cambridge companion to Jung. Cambridge University Press. 1997. p.33 [108] C.-G. Jung Preface to Richard Wilhelm's translation of the I Ching. [109] C.-G. Jung Preface to the translation of The Secret of The Golden Flower.


125 • Forshaw, Peter J. “Chemistry, That Starry Science – Early Modern Conjunctions of Astrology and Alchemy”. (2013) Sky and Symbol Check |url= value (help). • Forshaw, Peter J.“Cabala Chymica or Chemica Cabalistica – Early Modern Alchemists and Cabala”. (2013) Ambix, Vol. 60:4 Check |url= value (help). • Holmyard, Eric John (1931). Makers of Chemistry. Oxford: Clarendon Press. • Holmyard, Eric John (1957). Alchemy. Courier Dover Publications. • Linden, Stanton J. (1996). Darke Hierogliphicks: Alchemy in English literature from Chaucer to the Restoration. University Press of Kentucky. • Linden, Stanton J. (2003). The Alchemy Reader: from Hermes Trismegistus to Isaac Newton. Cambridge University Press. • Newman, William R.; Principe, Lawrence M. (2002). Alchemy Tried in the Fire. University of Chicago Press. • von Franz, Marie Louise (1997). Alchemical Active Imagination. Boston: Shambhala Publications. ISBN 0-87773-589-1. • Kripal, Jeffrey John; Shuck, Glenn W. (July 2005). On the Edge of the Future. Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-34556-1. Retrieved 17 December 2011. • Principe, Lawrence M. (2013). The secrets of alchemy. Chicago &London: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-68295-2. • Principe, Lawrence M.; Newman, William R. (2001). “Some Problems with the Historiography of Alchemy”. In Newman, William R.; Grafton, Anthony. Secrets of Nature, Astrology and Alchemy in Modern Europe. MIT Press. pp. 385–432. ISBN 978-0-262-14075-1. Retrieved 17 December 2011. • Rutkin, H. Darrel (2001).“Celestial Offerings: Astrological Motifs in the Dedicatory Letters of Kepler's Astronomia Nova and Galileo's Sidereus Nuncius". In Newman, William R.; Grafton, Anthony. Secrets of Nature, Astrology and Alchemy in Modern Europe. MIT Press. pp. 133–172. ISBN 978-0262-14075-1. Retrieved 17 December 2011.


• Calian, George (2010). Alkimia Operativa and Alkimia Speculativa. Some Modern Controversies on the Historiography of Alchemy. Annual of Medieval Studies at CEU. • Eliade, Mircea (1994). The Forge and the Crucible. State University of New York Press.

13.8 External links • SHAC: Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry • ESSWE: European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism

126 • Association for the Study of Esotericism • The Alchemy Website. – Adam McLean's online collections and academic discussion. • Inner Garden Alchemy Research Group: a nonprofit foundation that aims to transmit the alchemical tradition. • • Alchemy on In Our Time at the BBC. ((Peter Forshaw, Lauren Kassell and Stephen Pumfrey) listen now) • Dictionary of the History of Ideas: Alchemy • Book of Secrets: Alchemy and the European Imagination, 1500–2000 – A digital exhibition from the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University


Chapter 14

Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn This article is about the historical organization of the 14.1.1 Cipher Manuscripts late 19th century. For other uses, see Golden Dawn (disambiguation). Main article: Cipher Manuscripts The foundational documents of the original Order of The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (Latin: Ordo Hermeticus Aurorae Aureae; or, more commonly, The Golden Dawn (Aurora Aurea)) was an organization devoted to the study and practice of the occult, metaphysics, and paranormal activities during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Known as a magical order, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was active in Great Britain and focused its practices on theurgy and spiritual development. Many present-day concepts of ritual and magic that are at the centre of contemporary traditions, such as Wicca* [1]* [2] and Thelema, were inspired by the Golden Dawn, which became one of the largest single influences on 20th-century Western occultism.* [3]* [4] The three founders, William Robert Woodman, William Wynn Westcott, and Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers, were Freemasons and members of Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (S.R.I.A.).* [5] Westcott appears to have been the initial driving force behind the establishment of the Golden Dawn. The Golden Dawn system was based on hierarchy and initiation like the Masonic Lodges; however women were admitted on an equal basis with men. The “Golden Dawn”was the first of three Orders, although all three are often collectively referred to as the “Golden Dawn” . The First Order taught esoteric philosophy based on the Hermetic Qabalah and personal development through study and awareness of the four Classical Elements as well as the basics of astrology, tarot divination, and geomancy. The Second or “Inner”Order, the Rosae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis (the Ruby Rose and Cross of Gold), taught magic, including scrying, astral travel, and alchemy. The Third Order was that of the "Secret Chiefs", who were said to be highly skilled; they supposedly directed the activities of the lower two orders by spirit communication with the Chiefs of the Second Order.

14.1 History

Folio 13 of the Cipher Manuscripts

the Golden Dawn, known as the Cipher Manuscripts, are written in English using the Trithemius cipher. The manuscripts give the specific outlines of the Grade Rituals of the Order and prescribe a curriculum of graduated teachings that encompass the Hermetic Qabalah, astrology, occult tarot, geomancy, and alchemy. According to the records of the Order, the manuscripts passed from Kenneth R. H. Mackenzie, a Masonic scholar, to the Rev. A. F. A. Woodford, whom British occult writer Francis King describes as the fourth founder* [6] (although Woodford died shortly after the




Order was founded).* [7] The documents did not excite Woodford, and in February 1886 he passed them on to Freemason William Wynn Westcott, who managed to decode them in 1887.* [6] Westcott, pleased with his discovery, called on fellow Freemason Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers for a second opinion. Westcott asked for Mathers' help to turn the manuscripts into a coherent system for lodge work. Mathers in turn asked fellow Freemason William Robert Woodman to assist the two, and he accepted.* [6] Mathers and Westcott have been credited with developing the ritual outlines in the Cipher Manuscripts into a workable format.* [8] Mathers, however, is generally credited with the design of the curriculum and rituals of the Second Order, which he called the Rosae Rubae et Aureae Crucis (“Ruby Rose and Golden Cross”or the RR et AC).* [9]

the manuscripts.* [10]* [11] In 1888, the Isis-Urania Temple was founded in London.* [10] In contrast to the S.R.I.A. and Masonry,* [11] women were allowed and welcome to participate in the Order in “perfect equality”with men. The Order was more of a philosophical and metaphysical teaching order in its early years. Other than certain rituals and meditations found in the Cipher manuscripts and developed further,* [12] “magical practices”were generally not taught at the first temple. For the first four years, the Golden Dawn was one cohesive group later known as “the Outer Order”or “First Order.”An“Inner Order”was established and became active in 1892. The Inner Order consisted of members known as“adepts,”who had completed the entire course of study for the Outer Order. This group of adepts eventually became known as the Second Order. Eventually, the Osiris temple in Weston-super-Mare, the Horus temple in Bradford (both in 1888), and the AmenRa temple in Edinburgh (1893) were founded. In 1893 Mathers founded the Ahathoor temple in Paris.* [10]

14.1.3 Secret Chiefs Main article: Secret Chiefs

Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers in Egyptian setup performing a ritual in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn


Founding of first temple

In 1891, Westcott's alleged correspondence with Anna Sprengel suddenly ceased. He claimed to have received word from Germany that she was either dead or that her companions did not approve of the founding of the Order and no further contact was to be made. If the founders were to contact the Secret Chiefs, apparently, it had to be done on their own.* [10] In 1892, Mathers professed that a link to the Secret Chiefs had been established. Subsequently, he supplied rituals for the Second Order, calling them the Red Rose and Cross of Gold.* [10] The rituals were based on the tradition of the tomb of Christian Rosenkreuz, and a Vault of Adepts became the controlling force behind the Outer Order.* [13] Later in 1916, Westcott claimed that Mathers also constructed these rituals from materials he received from Frater Lux ex Tenebris, a purported Continental Adept.* [14] Some followers of the Golden Dawn tradition believe that the Secret Chiefs were not human or supernatural beings but, rather, symbolic representations of actual or legendary sources of spiritual esotericism. The term came to stand for a great leader or teacher of a spiritual path or practice that found its way into the teachings of the Order.* [15]

In October 1887, Westcott claimed to have written to a German countess and prominent Rosicrucian named Anna Sprengel, whose address was said to have been found in the decoded Cipher Manuscripts. According to Westcott, Sprengel claimed the ability to contact certain supernatural entities, known as the Secret Chiefs, that were considered the authorities over any magical order or esoteric organization. Westcott purportedly received a reply from Sprengel granting permission to establish a 14.1.4 Golden Age Golden Dawn temple and conferring honorary grades of Adeptus Exemptus on Westcott, Mathers, and Woodman. By the mid-1890s, the Golden Dawn was well established The temple was to consist of the five grades outlined in in Great Britain, with over one hundred members from



every class of Victorian society.* [7] Many celebrities be- Order.* [21] longed to the Golden Dawn, such as the actress Florence Farr, the Irish revolutionary Maud Gonne, the Irish poet William Butler Yeats, the Welsh author Arthur Machen, and the English authors Evelyn Underhill and Aleister Splinters Crowley. In 1896 or 1897, Westcott broke all ties to the Golden In 1901, W. B. Yeats privately published a pamphlet tiof R. R. & A. C. to Remain a MagDawn, leaving Mathers in control. It has been speculated tled Is the Order * [22] After the Isis-Urania temple claimed ical Order? that his departure was due to his having lost a number its independence, there were even more disputes, leadof occult-related papers in a hansom cab. Apparently, * ing to Yeats resigning. [23] A committee of three was when the papers were found, Westcott's connection to to temporarily govern, which included P.W. Bullock, the Golden Dawn was discovered and brought to the atM.W. Blackden and J. W. Brodie-Innes. After a short tention of his employers. He may have been told to eitime, Bullock resigned, and Dr. Robert Felkin took his ther resign from the Order or to give up his occupation * place. [24] * as coroner. [16] After Westcott's departure, Mathers appointed Florence Farr to be Chief Adept in Anglia. Dr. In 1903, A. E. Waite and Blackden joined forces to reHenry B. Pullen Burry succeeded Westcott as Cancellar- tain the name Isis-Urania, while Felkin and other London ius—one of the three Chiefs of the Order. members formed the Stella Matutina. Yeats remained in conMathers was the only active founding member after West- the Stella Matutina until 1921, while Brodie-Innes * tinued his Amen-Ra membership in Edinburgh. [25] cott's departure. Due to personality clashes with other members and frequent absences from the center of Lodge activity in Great Britain, however, challenges to Mathers's authority as leader developed among the members of the 14.1.6 Second Order.* [17]



Toward the end of 1899, the Adepts of the Isis-Urania and Amen-Ra temples had become dissatisfied with Mathers' leadership, as well as his growing friendship with Aleister Crowley. They had also become anxious to make contact with the Secret Chiefs themselves, instead of relying on Mathers as an intermediary.* [18] Within the Isis-Urania temple, disputes were arising between Farr's The Sphere, a secret society within the Isis-Urania, and the rest of the Adepti Minores.* [18] Crowley was refused initiation into the Adeptus Minor grade by the London officials. Mathers overrode their decision and quickly initiated him at the Ahathoor temple in Paris on January 16, 1900.* [19] Upon his return to the London temple, Crowley requested from Miss Cracknell, the acting secretary, the papers acknowledging his grade, to which he was now entitled. To the London Adepts, this was the final straw. Farr, already of the opinion that the London temple should be closed, wrote to Mathers expressing her wish to resign as his representative, although she was willing to carry on until a successor was found.* [19] Mathers believed Westcott was behind this turn of events and replied on February 16. On March 3, a committee of seven Adepts was elected in London, and requested a full investigation of the matter. Mathers sent an immediate reply, declining to provide proof, refusing to acknowledge the London temple, and dismissing Farr as his representative on March 23.* [20] In response, a general meeting was called on March 29 in London to remove Mathers as chief and expel him from the


Once Mathers realised that reconciliation was impossible, he made efforts to reestablish himself in London. The Bradford and Weston-super-Mare temples remained loyal to him, but their numbers were few.* [26] He then appointed Edward Berridge as his representative.* [27] According to Francis King, historical evidence shows that there were “twenty three members of a flourishing Second Order under Berridge-Mathers in 1913.”* [27] J.W. Brodie-Innes continued leading the Amen-Ra temple, deciding that the revolt was unjustified. By 1908, Mathers and Brodie-Innes were in complete accord.* [28] According to sources that differ regarding the actual date, sometime between 1901 and 1913 Mathers renamed the branch of the Golden Dawn remaining loyal to his leadership to Alpha et Omega.* [29]* [30]* [31]* [32] BrodieInnes assumed command of the English and Scottish temples, while Mathers concentrated on building up his Ahathoor temple and extending his American connections.* [30] According to occultist Israel Regardie, the Golden Dawn had spread to the United States of America before 1900 and a Thoth-Hermes temple had been founded in Chicago.* [28]* [30] By the beginning of the First World War in 1914, Mathers had established two to three American temples. Most temples of the Alpha et Omega and Stella Matutina closed or went into abeyance by the end of the 1930s, with the exceptions of two Stella Matutina temples: Hermes Temple in Bristol, which operated sporadically until 1970, and the Smaragdum Thallasses Temple (commonly referred to as Whare Ra) in Havelock North, New Zealand, which operated regularly until its closure in 1978.* [33]* [34]


14.2 Structure and grades

CHAPTER 14. HERMETIC ORDER OF THE GOLDEN DAWN • Magus 9=2 • Ipsissimus 10=1 The paired numbers attached to the Grades relate to positions on the Tree of Life. The Neophyte Grade of“0=0” indicates no position on the Tree. In the other pairs, the first numeral is the number of steps up from the bottom (Malkuth), and the second numeral is the number of steps down from the top (Kether). The First Order Grades were related to the four elements of Earth, Air, Water, and Fire, respectively. The Aspirant to a Grade received instruction on the metaphysical meaning of each of these Elements and had to pass a written examination and demonstrate certain skills to receive admission to that Grade. The Portal Grade was an“Invisible”or in-between grade separating the First Order from the Second Order.* [36] The Circle of existing Adepts from the Second Order had to consent to allow an Aspirant to be initiated as an Adept and join the Second Order. The Second Order was not, properly, part of the“Golden Dawn”, but a separate Order in its own right, known as the R.R. et A.C. The Second Order directed the teachings of the First Order and was the governing force behind the First Order.

Rosy Cross of the Golden Dawn

After passing the Portal, the Aspirant was instructed in the techniques of practical magic. When another exMuch of the hierarchical structure for the Golden dawn amination was passed, and the other Adepts consented, came from the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia, which the Aspirant attained the Grade of Adeptus Minor (5=6). was itself derived from the Order of the Golden and Rosy There were also four sub-Grades of instruction for the * Cross. [35] Adeptus Minor, again relating to the four Outer Order grades. First Order A member of the Second Order had the power and authority to initiate aspirants to the First Order, though usu• Introduction—Neophyte 0=0 ally not without the permission of the Chiefs of his or her Lodge. • Zelator 1=10 • Theoricus 2=9 • Practicus 3=8 • Philosophus 4=7 • Intermediate—Portal Grade Second Order • Adeptus Minor 5=6 • Adeptus Major 6=5

14.3 The Golden Dawn book The Golden Dawn, by Israel Regardie; was published in 1937. The book is divided into several basic sections. First are the knowledge lectures, which describe the basic teaching of the Kabalah, symbolism, meditation, geomancy, etc. This is followed by the rituals of the Outer Order, consisting of five initiation rituals into the degrees of the Golden Dawn. The next section covers the rituals of the Inner Order including two initiation rituals and equinox ceremonies.

• Adeptus Exemptus 7=4 Third Order • Magister Templi 8=3

14.4 Known or alleged members • Sara Allgood (1879–1950), Irish stage actress and later film actress in America

14.5. CONTEMPORARY GOLDEN DAWN ORDERS • Charles Henry Allan Bennett (1872–1923), best known for introducing Buddhism to the West • Arnold Bennett (1867–1931), British novelist* [37] • Edward W. Berridge (ca. 1843–1923), British homeopathic physician* [1]* :148–149 • Algernon Blackwood (1869–1951), English writer and radio broadcaster of supernatural stories* [38] • Anna de Brémont, American-born singer and writer.* [39] • Paul Foster Case was not an original member of the Golden Dawn, but was a member of the successor organization, Alpha et Omega. He was an American occultist and founder of the Builders of the Adytum. • Aleister Crowley (1875–1947), occultist, writer and mountaineer, founder of his own magical society.* [38] • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930), author of Sherlock Holmes, doctor, scientist, and Spiritualist.* [40] • Florence Farr (1860–1917), London stage actress and musician* [38] • Robert Felkin (1853–1925), medical missionary, explorer and anthropologist in Central Africa, author • Dion Fortune was not an original member of the Golden Dawn, rather a member of the offshoot Golden Dawn order the Stella Matutina. Dion Fortune Founded the Society of Inner Light. • Frederick Leigh Gardner (1857–1930), British stock broker and occultist; published three-volume bibliography Catalogue Raisonné of Works on the Occult Sciences (1912)* [41] • Maud Gonne (1866–1953), Irish revolutionary, actress. • Annie Horniman (1860–1937), British repertory theatre producer and pioneer; member of the wealthy Horniman family of tea-traders* [38]

131 • Israel Regardie was not a member of the original Golden Dawn, but rather of the Stella Matutina, which he claimed was as close to the original order as could be found in the early 1930s (when he was initiated). Regardie wrote many respected and acclaimed books about magic and the Golden Dawn Order, including The Golden Dawn, The Tree Of Life, Middle Pillar, and A Garden of Pomegranates. • Dario Carpaneda (1856 - 1916) Italian occultist and esotericism professor at the University of Lausanne. • Sax Rohmer, novelist, creator of the Fu Manchu character • Charles Rosher (1885–1974), British cinematographer • Pamela Colman Smith (1878–1951), BritishAmerican artist and co-creator of the Rider-Waite Tarot deck • William Sharp (1855–1905), poet and author; alias Fiona MacLeod • Bram Stoker* [42]* [43] (1847–1912), Irish writer best-known today for his 1897 horror novel Dracula • John Todhunter (1839–1916), Aktis Heliou Irish poet and playwright who wrote seven volumes of poetry, and several plays • Violet Tweedale (1862–1936), author. • Evelyn Underhill (1875–1941), British Christian mystic, author of Mysticism: A Study in Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness • Charles Williams (1886–1945), British poet, novelist, theologian, and literary critic • A. E. Waite (1857–1942), British-American author, Freemason and co-creator of the Rider-Waite Tarot deck* [38] • W. B. Yeats (1865–1939), Irish poet, dramatist, writer and Freemason.

14.5 Contemporary Golden Dawn

• Arthur Machen (1863–1947), leading London orders writer of the 1890s, author of acclaimed works of imaginative and occult fiction, such as “The Great While no temples in the original chartered lineage of the God Pan”, “The White People”and “The Hill Golden Dawn survived past the 1970s,* [33]* [34] several of Dreams”. Welsh by birth and upbringing. organizations have since revived its teachings and rituals. • Gustav Meyrink (1868–1932), Austrian author, sto- Among these, the following are notable: ryteller, dramatist, translator, banker, and Buddhist • The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Inc. • E. Nesbit (1858–1924), real name Edith Bland; English author and political activist • The Open Source Order of the Golden Dawn



• Sodalitas Rosae+Crucis et Solis Alati

[13] King, 1989, page 44

• Orden Hermética de la Aurora Dorada

[14] King, 1989, page 46

• Ordem Esotérica da Aurora Dourada no Brasil

[15] Penczak, Christopher. Spirit Allies, p. 27. Wheel/Weiser Books. ISBN 1-57863-214-5

14.6 See also


[16] King, 1989, page 48

• A∴A∴

[17] Raine, Kathleen (1976) [1972]. Liam Miller, ed. Yeats, the Tarot and the Golden Dawn. New Yeats Papers. II (second ed.). Dublin: Dolmen Press. p. 6.

• Hermeticism

[18] King, 1989, page 66

• Tattva

[19] King, 1989, page 67

• Tattva vision

[20] King, 1989, page 68-69 [21] King, 1989, page 69

14.7 References [1] Colquhoun, Ithell (1975) The Sword of Wisdom: MacGregor Mathers & the Golden Dawn. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.

[22] Melton, J. Gordon, editor, Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, v. 2 p. 1327, Gale Group, 2001 ISBN 0-8103-9489-8 [23] King, 1989, page 78

[2] Phillips, Julia (1991) History of Wicca in England: 1939 - present day. Lecture at the Wiccan Conference in Canberra, 1991.

[24] King, 1989, page 94

[3] Jenkins, Phillip (2000) Mystics and Messiahs: Cults and New Religions in American History, pg. 74. “Also in the 1880s, the tradition of ritual magic was revived in London by a group of Masonic adepts, who formed the Order of the Golden Dawn, which would prove an incalculable influence on the whole subsequent history of occultism.” USA: Oxford University Press.

[26] King, 1989, page 109

[4] Smoley, Richard (1999) Hidden Wisdom: A Guide to the Western Inner Traditions, ppg 102-103. “Founded in 1888, the Golden Dawn lasted a mere twelve years before it was shattered by personal conflicts. At its height it probably had no more than a hundred members. Yet its influence on magic and esoteric thought in the Englishspeaking world would be hard to overestimate.”USA: Quest Books. [5] Regardie, 1993, page 10 [6] King, 1989, page 42-43 [7] King, 1989, page 47 [8] Golden Dawn researcher R. A. Gilbert has found evidence which suggests that Westcott was instrumental in developing the Order's rituals from the Cipher Manuscripts. See Gilbert's article, From Cipher to Enigma: The Role of William Wynn Westcott in the Creation of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, from Carroll Runyon's book Secrets of the Golden Dawn Cypher Manuscripts. [9] Regardie, 1993, page 92

[25] King, 1989, pages 95-96

[27] King, 1989, page 110 [28] Regardie, 1993, page 33 [29] King, 1971, p. 110-111 [30] King, 1989, page 111 [31]“The Golden Dawn ceased to exist by that name after October, 1901, replaced by Mathers' Alpha et Omega and the London group’s Order of the Morgan Rothe. No longer associated with the SRIA after 1902, Mathers continued to oversee a few temples until his death, when his wife, Moina, assumed supervision.”Samuel Liddel MacGregor Mathers biography, Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon, February 26, 2001 [32] Golden Dawn Time Line, Chic Cicero and Sandra Tabatha Cicero, Llewellyn Encyclopedia [33] Gilbert, R. A. Golden Dawn Companion. Aquarian Press, 1986. ISBN 0-85030-436-9 [34] Llewellyn Encyclopedia: “Golden Dawn Time Line” [35] The masonic career of A.E. Waite by Bro. R. A. Gilbert [36] Golden Dawn Research Center - What is the Golden Dawn? [37] Regardie, 1982, page 16

[10] King, 1989, page 43

[38] Regardie, 1982, foreword - page ix

[11] Regardie, 1993, page 11.

[39] Moyle, Franny (2011). Constance: The Tragic and Scandalous Life of Mrs Oscar Wilde. Hachette UK. p. 118. ISBN 9781848544611.

[12] King, 1997, page 35



[40] http://moreintelligentlife.com/story/ conan-doyle-spiritualism

• King, Francis (1989). Modern Ritual Magic: The Rise of Western Occultism. ISBN 1-85327-032-6

[41] “Frederick Leigh Gardner”, Biographies: Fringe freemasons, Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon (Freemasons) web site. Retrieved November 2008.

• King, Francis, ed. (1997). Ritual Magic of the Golden Dawn: Works by S. L. MacGregor Mathers and Others. Destiny Books. ISBN 0-89281-617-1

[42] Ravenscroft, Trevor (1982). The occult power behind the spear which pierced the side of Christ. Red Wheel. p. 165. ISBN 0-87728-547-0.

• Kuntz, Darcy, ed. (1996). The Complete Golden Dawn Manuscript. Introduction by R.A. Gilbert. Deciphered, Translated and Preface by Darcy Kuntz. (Golden Dawn Studies No 1.) Holmes Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1558183254

[43] Picknett, Lynn (2004). The Templar Revelation: Secret Guardians of the True Identity of Christ. Simon and Schuster. p. 201. ISBN 0-7432-7325-7.

14.8 Bibliography

• Regardie, Israel, et al., eds. (1982). The Golden Dawn. Llewellyn Publications. ISBN 0-87542-6646

• Fra. A.o.C. (2002). A Short Treatise on the History, Culture and Practices of The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Retrieved August 3, 2007.

• Israel Regardie|Regardie, Israel, et al., eds. (1989). The Golden Dawn: A Complete Course in Practical Ceremonial Magic. Llewellyn. ISBN 0-87542-6638

• Armstrong, Allan & R. A. Gilbert, eds. (1997). Golden Dawn: The Proceedings of the Golden Dawn Conference, London - 1997. Hermetic Research Trust.

• Regardie, Israel (1993). What You Should Know About the Golden Dawn (6th ed.). ISBN 1-56184064-5

• Cicero, Chic and Tabatha Cicero (1991). The New Golden Dawn Ritual Tarot. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications. ISBN 0-87542-139-3 • Colquhoun, Ithell (1975). Sword of Wisdom: Macgregor Mathers and the Golden Dawn. Neville Spearman. ISBN 0-85435-092-6. • Greer, Mary K. (1994). Women of the Golden Dawn. Park Street. ISBN 0-89281-516-7. • Greer, Mary K. & Darcy Kuntz (1999) The Chronology of the Golden Dawn. Holmes Publishing Group. ISBN 1-55818-354-X • Gilbert, Robert A. (1983). The Golden Dawn: Twilight of the Magicians. The Aquarian Press. ISBN 0-85030-278-1 • Gilbert, Robert A. (1986). The Golden Dawn Companion. Weiser Books. ISBN 0-85030-436-9 • Gilbert, Robert A. Golden Dawn Scrapbook - The Rise and Fall of a Magical Order. Weiser Books (1998) ISBN 1-57863-037-1 • Howe, Ellic (1978). The Magicians of the Golden Dawn: A Documentary History of a Magical Order 1887-1923. Samuel Weiser. ISBN 0-87728-369-9. • Jenkins, Phillip (2000) Mystics and Messiahs: Cults and New Religions in American History. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-512744-7 • King, Francis (1971). The Rites of Modern Occult Magic. New York: Macmillan Company. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 76-158-933

• Runyon, Carroll (1997). Secrets of the Golden Dawn Cipher Manuscripts. C.H.S. ISBN 0-9654881-2-8 • Smoley, Richard (1999). Hidden Wisdom: A Guide to the Western Inner Traditions. Quest Books. ISBN 978-0-8356-0844-2 • Suster, Gerald (1990). Crowley's Apprentice: The Life and Ideas of Israel Regardie. Weiser Books. ISBN 0-87728-700-7 • Wasserman, James (2005). The Mystery Traditions: Secret Symbols and Sacred Art. Rochester, VT: Destiny Books. ISBN 1-59477-088-3

14.9 External links • The Golden Dawn FAQ (original from 1990s Usenet groups) • The Golden Dawn Library Project • Golden Dawn entries in Llewellyn Encyclopedia • Golden Dawn Tradition, by co-founder Dr. W. Wynn Westcott • Photocopies and the translation of the original Cipher Manuscripts • Lots of GD material on display in Yeats exhibition including Ritual Notebooks. • The Golden Dawn Roll Call • Golden Dawn at DMOZ

Chapter 15

Hermeticism This article is about religious and occult teachings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus. For related terms, see Hermetic (disambiguation). Not to be confused with Hermit. Hermeticism, also called Hermetism,* [1]* [2] is a religious, philosophical, and esoteric tradition based primarily upon writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus (“Thrice Great”).* [3] These writings have greatly influenced the Western esoteric tradition and were considered to be of great importance during both the Renaissance* [4] and the Reformation.* [5] The tradition claims descent from a prisca theologia, a doctrine that affirms the existence of a single, true theology that is present in all religions and that was given by God to man in antiquity.* [6]* [7] Many writers, including Lactantius, Cyprian of Carthage,* [8]Augustine,* [9] Marsilio Ficino, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Giordano Bruno, Campanella, Sir Thomas Browne, and Ralph Waldo Emerson, considered Hermes Trismegistus to be a wise pagan prophet who foresaw the coming of Christianity.* [10]* [11] St. Thomas Aquinas reported that Trismegistus arrived at something akin to the doctrine of the Trinity.* [12]

ture to the test by means of experiments. Consequently, it was the practical aspects of Hermetic writings that attracted the attention of scientists.* [16] Isaac Newton placed great faith in the concept of an unadulterated, pure, ancient doctrine, which he studied vigorously to aid his understanding of the physical world.* [17] Many of Newton's manuscripts —most of which are still unpublished* [17]—detail his thorough study of the Corpus Hermeticum, writings said to have been transmitted from ancient times, in which the secrets and techniques of influencing the stars and the forces of nature were revealed.

15.1 Etymology The term Hermetic is from the medieval Latin hermeticus, which is derived from the name of the Greek god, Hermes. In English, it has been attested since the 17th century, as in “Hermetic writers”(e.g., Robert Fludd). The word Hermetic was used by Dr. Everard in his English translation of The Pimander of Hermes (1650).* [18]

Mary Anne Atwood mentioned the use of the word Her* * An account of how Hermes Trismegistus received the metic by Dufresnoy in 1386. [19] [20] name “Thrice Great”is derived from the The Emerald The synonymous term Hermetical is also attested in the Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus, wherein it is stated that 17th century. Sir Thomas Browne in his Religio Medici of he knew the three parts of the wisdom of the whole uni- 1643 wrote: “Now besides these particular and divided verse.* [13] The three parts of the wisdom are alchemy, Spirits, there may be (for ought I know) a universal and astrology, and theurgy. common Spirit to the whole world. It was the opinion of The Poimandres, from which Marsilio Ficino formed his Plato, and is yet of the Hermeticall Philosophers.”(R. M. opinion, states that “They called him Trismegistus be- Part 1:2) cause he was the greatest philosopher and the greatest Hermes Trimegistus supposedly invented the process of priest and the greatest king.”* [14] The Suda (10th cen- making a glass tube airtight (a process in alchemy) using tury) states that“He was called Trismegistus on account a secret seal. Hence, the term “completely sealed”is of his praise of the trinity, saying there is one divine na- implied in“hermetically sealed”and the term“hermetic” ture in the trinity.”* [15] is also equivalent to “occult”or hidden.* [21] Much of the importance of Hermeticism arises from its connection with the development of science during the time from 1300 to 1600 AD. The prominence that it 15.2 History gave to the idea of influencing or controlling nature led many scientists to look to magic and its allied arts (e.g., Main article: Hermetica alchemy, astrology) which, it was thought, could put Na-



135 After centuries of falling out of favor, Hermeticism was reintroduced to the West when, in 1460, a man named Leonardo de Candia Pistoia* [25] brought the Corpus Hermeticum to Pistoia. He was one of many agents sent out by Pistoia's ruler, Cosimo de' Medici, to scour European monasteries for lost ancient writings.* [26] In 1614, Isaac Casaubon, a Swiss philologist, analyzed the Greek Hermetic texts for linguistic style. He concluded that the writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus were not the work of an ancient Egyptian priest but in fact dated to the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD.* [27]* [28] Even in light of Casaubon's linguistic discovery (and typical of many adherents of Hermetic philosophy in Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries), Thomas Browne in his Religio Medici (1643) confidently stated: “The severe schools shall never laugh me out of the philosophy of Hermes, that this visible world is but a portrait of the invisible.”(R. M. Part 1:12)

In 1678, however, flaws in Casaubon's dating were discerned by Ralph Cudworth, who argued that Casaubon's allegation of forgery could only be applied to three of The caduceus, a symbol of Hermeticism. the seventeen treatises contained within the Corpus Hermeticum. Moreover, Cudworth noted Casaubon's failure to acknowledge the codification of these treatises as a 15.2.1 Late Antiquity late formulation of a pre-existing oral tradition. AccordFurther information: Hellenistic religion and Decline of ing to Cudworth, the texts must be viewed as a terminus ad quem and not a quo. Lost Greek texts, and many Hellenistic polytheism of the surviving vulgate books, contained discussions of alchemy clothed in philosophical metaphor.* [29] In Late Antiquity, Hermetism* [22] emerged in parallel with early Christianity, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism, the In the 19th century, Walter Scott placed the date of the Chaldaean Oracles, and late Orphic and Pythagorean lit- Hermetic texts shortly after 200 AD, but W. Flinders * erature. These doctrines were “characterized by a resis- Petrie placed their origin between 200 and 500 BC. [30] tance to the dominance of either pure rationality or doctrinal faith.”* [23] The books now known as the Corpus Hermeticum were part of a renaissance of syncretistic and intellectualized pagan thought that took place from the 3rd to the 7th century AD. These post-Christian Greek texts dwell upon the oneness and goodness of God, urge purification of the soul, and defend pagan religious practices such as the veneration of images. Their predominant literary form is the dialogue: Hermes Trismegistus instructs a perplexed disciple upon various teachings of the hidden wisdom. Many lost Greek texts and many surviving vulgate books contained discussions of alchemy clothed in philosophical metaphor. One of these, known as The Asclepius (lost in Greek but partially preserved in Latin), contained a bloody prophecy of the end of Roman rule in Egypt and the resurgence of paganism in Egypt.

15.2.3 Modern era

In 1945, Hermetic texts were found near the Egyptian town Nag Hammadi. One of these texts had the form of a conversation between Hermes and Asclepius. A second text (titled On the Ogdoad and Ennead) told of the Hermetic mystery schools. It was written in the Coptic language, the latest and final form in which the Egyptian language was written.* [31] According to Geza Vermes, Hermeticism was a Hellenistic mysticism contemporaneous with the Fourth Gospel, and Hermes Tresmegistos was “the Hellenized reincarnation of the Egyptian deity Thoth, the source of wisdom, who was believed to deify man through knowledge (gnosis).”* [32]

Gilles Quispel says “It is now completely certain that there existed before and after the beginning of the Christian era in Alexandria a secret society, akin to a Ma15.2.2 Renaissance sonic lodge. The members of this group called themPlutarch's mention of Hermes Trismegistus dates back selves 'brethren,' were initiated through a baptism of the to the 1st century AD, and Tertullian, Iamblichus, and Spirit, greeted each other with a sacred kiss, celebrated Porphyry were all familiar with Hermetic writings.* [24] a sacred meal and read the Hermetic writings as edifying



treatises for their spiritual progress.”* [33]

15.3 Philosophy In Hermeticism, the ultimate reality is referred to variously as God, the All, or the One. God in the Hermetica is unitary and transcendent: he is one and exists apart from the material cosmos. Hermetism is therefore profoundly monotheistic although in a deistic and unitarian understanding of the term. “For it is a ridiculous thing to confess the World to be one, one Sun, one Moon, one Divinity, and yet to have, I know not how many gods.” * [34] Its philosophy teaches that there is a transcendent God, or Absolute, in which we and the entire universe participate. It also subscribes to the idea that other beings, such as aeons, angels and elementals, exist within the universe.

15.3.1 Prisca theologia Hermeticists believe in a prisca theologia, the doctrine that a single, true theology exists, that it exists in all religions, and that it was given by God to man in antiquity.* [6]* [7] In order to demonstrate the truth of the prisca theologia doctrine, Christians appropriated the Hermetic teachings for their own purposes. By this ac- The Magician displaying the Hermetic concept of“As above, so count, Hermes Trismegistus was (according to the fa- below.” thers of the Christian church) either a contemporary of Moses* [35] or the third in a line of men named Hermes— Enoch, Noah, and the Egyptian priest-king who is known 15.3.3 The three parts of the wisdom of the to us as Hermes Trismegistus.* [36]* [37]

whole universe

15.3.2 “As above, so below.”

Alchemy (the operation of the Sun): Alchemy is not merely the changing of lead into gold.* [40] It is an investigation into the spiritual constitution, or life, of matter and material existence through an application of the mysteries of birth, death, and resurrection.* [41] The various stages of chemical distillation and fermentation, among other processes, are aspects of these mysteries that, when applied, quicken nature's processes in order to bring a natural body to perfection.* [42] This perfection is the accomplishment of the magnum opus (Latin for “Great Work”).

See also: As above, so below The actual text of that maxim, as translated by Dennis W. Hauck from The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus, is: “That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracle of the One Thing.”* [38] Thus, whatever happens on any level of reality (physical, emotional, or mental) also happens on Astrology (the operation of the stars): Hermes claims every other level. that Zoroaster discovered this part of the wisdom of the This principle, however, is more often used in the sense whole universe, astrology, and taught it to man.* [43] In of the microcosm and the macrocosm. The microcosm is Hermetic thought, it is likely that the movements of the oneself, and the macrocosm is the universe. The macro- planets have meaning beyond the laws of physics and accosm is as the microcosm and vice versa; within each lies tually hold metaphorical value as symbols in the mind of the other, and through understanding one (usually the mi- The All, or God. Astrology has influences upon the Earth, but does not dictate our actions, and wisdom is gained crocosm) a man may understand the other.* [39]



when we know what these influences are and how to deal thing leaves a person“sterile”(i.e., unable to accomplish with them. anything).* [52] Theurgy (the operation of the gods): There are two different types of magic, according to Giovanni Pico della Mirandola's Apology, completely opposite of each other. The first is Goëtia (Greek: γοητεια), black magic reliant upon an alliance with evil spirits (i.e., demons). The second is Theurgy, divine magic reliant upon an alliance with divine spirits (i.e., angels, archangels, gods).* [44]

15.3.6 Cosmogony

Theurgy translates to “The Science or Art of Divine Works”and is the practical aspect of the Hermetic art of alchemy.* [45] Furthermore, alchemy is seen as the“key” to theurgy,* [46] the ultimate goal of which is to become united with higher counterparts, leading to the attainment of Divine Consciousness.* [45]

A creation story is told by God to Hermes in the first book of the Corpus Hermeticum. It begins when God, by an act of will, creates the primary matter that is to constitute the cosmos. From primary matter God separates the four elements (earth, air, fire, and water). Then God orders the elements into the seven heavens (often held to be the spheres of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, the Sun, and the Moon, which travel in circles and govern destiny).

"The Word" then leaps forth from the materializing four elements, which were unintelligent. Nous then makes the seven heavens spin, and from them spring forth creatures 15.3.4 Posthumous lives without speech. Earth is then separated from water, and Reincarnation is mentioned in Hermetic texts. Hermes animals (other than man) are brought forth. Trismegistus asked: The God then created androgynous man, in God's own O son, how many bodies have we to pass through, how many bands of demons, through how many series of repetitions and cycles of the stars, before we hasten to the One alone?* [47]


Good and evil

image, and handed over his creation. Man carefully observed the creation of nous and received from God man's authority over all creation. Man then rose up above the spheres' paths in order to better view creation. He then showed the form of the All to Nature. Nature fell in love with the All, and man, seeing his reflection in water, fell in love with Nature and wished to dwell in it. Immediately, man became one with Nature and became a slave to its limitations, such as gender and sleep. In this way, man became speechless (having lost “the Word”) and he became "double", being mortal in body yet immortal in spirit, and having authority over all creation yet subject to destiny.* [53]

Hermes explains in Book 9 of the Corpus Hermeticum that nous (reason and knowledge) brings forth either good or evil, depending upon whether one receives one's perceptions from God or from demons. God brings forth good, but demons bring forth evil. Among the evils brought forth by demons are:“adultery, murder, violence to one's father, sacrilege, ungodliness, strangling, suicide from a Alternative account cliff and all such other demonic actions.”* [48] This provides evidence that Hermeticism includes a sense of morality. However, the word “good”is used very strictly. It is restricted to references to God.* [49] It is only God (in the sense of the nous, not in the sense of the All) who is completely free of evil. Men are prevented from being good because man, having a body, is consumed by his physical nature, and is ignorant of the Supreme Good.* [50]

An alternative account of the fall of man, preserved in the Discourses of Isis to Horus, is as follows: God, having created the universe, then created the divisions, the worlds, and various gods and goddesses, whom he appointed to certain parts of the universe. He then took a mysterious transparent substance, out of which he created human souls. He appointed the souls to the astral region, which is just above the physical region.

A focus upon the material life is said to be the only thing He then assigned the souls to create life on Earth. He that offends God: handed over some of his creative substance to the souls and commanded them to contribute to his creation. The As processions passing in the road cansouls then used the substance to create the various animals not achieve anything themselves yet still oband forms of physical life. Soon after, however, the souls struct others, so these men merely process began to overstep their boundaries; they succumbed to through the universe, led by the pleasures of * pride and desired to be equal to the highest gods. the body. [51] God was displeased and called upon Hermes to create One must create, one must do something positive in one's physical bodies that would imprison the souls as a punishlife, because God is a generative power. Not creating any- ment for them. Hermes created human bodies on earth,

138 and God then told the souls of their punishment. God decreed that suffering would await them in the physical world, but he promised them that, if their actions on Earth were worthy of their divine origin, their condition would improve and they would eventually return to the heavenly world. If it did not improve, he would condemn them to repeated reincarnation upon Earth.* [54]

15.4 As a religion

CHAPTER 15. HERMETICISM the Great at Hebron, supposedly in the tomb of Hermes.* [57] • The Perfect Sermon (also known as The Asclepius, The Perfect Discourse, or The Perfect Teaching) was written in the 2nd or 3rd century AD and is a Hermetic work similar in content to The Corpus Hermeticum. Other important original Hermetic texts include the Discourses of Isis to Horus,* [58] which consists of a long dialogue between Isis and Horus on the fall of man and other matters; the Definitions of Hermes to Asclepius;* [59] and many fragments, which are chiefly preserved in the anthology of Stobaeus.

Tobias Churton, Professor of Western Esotericism at the University of Exeter, states, “The Hermetic tradition was both moderate and flexible, offering a tolerant philosophical religion, a religion of the (omnipresent) mind, a purified perception of God, the cosmos, and the There are additional works that, while not as historically self, and much positive encouragement for the spiritual significant as the works listed above, have an important seeker, all of which the student could take anywhere.” place in neo-Hermeticism: * [55] Lutheran Bishop James Heiser recently evaluated the writings of Marsilio Ficino and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola as an attempted “Hermetic Reformation” • The Kybalion: Hermetic Philosophy is a book anonymously published in 1912 by three people who .* [56] called themselves the “Three Initiates”. It lacks anything that could be considered Hermetic and is more of an example of the New Thought movement. 15.4.1 Religious and philosophical texts Hermeticists generally attribute 42 books to Hermes Trismegistus, although many more have been attributed to him. Most of them, however, are said to have been lost when the Great Library of Alexandria was destroyed. There are three major texts that contain Hermetic doctrines:

• A Suggestive Inquiry into Hermetic Philosophy and Alchemy was written by Mary Anne Atwood and originally published anonymously in 1850. This book was withdrawn from circulation by Atwood but was later reprinted, after her death, by her longtime friend Isabelle de Steiger. Isabelle de Steiger was a member of the Golden Dawn.

• The Corpus Hermeticum is the most widely known A Suggestive Inquiry was used for the study of HermetiHermetic text. It has 18 chapters, which contain di- cism and resulted in several works being published by alogues between Hermes Trismegistus and a series members of the Golden Dawn:* [60] of other men. The first chapter contains a dialogue between Poimandres (who is identified as God) and • Arthur Edward Waite, a member and later the head Hermes. This is the first time that Hermes is in conof the Golden Dawn, wrote The Hermetic Museum tact with God. Poimandres teaches the secrets of and The Hermetic Museum Restored and Enlarged. the universe to Hermes. In later chapters, Hermes He edited The Hermetic and Alchemical Writings of teaches others, such as his son Tat and Asclepius. Paracelsus, which was published as a two-volume set. He considered himself to be a Hermeticist and • The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus is was instrumental in adding the word“Hermetic”to a short work which contains a phrase that is well the official title of the Golden Dawn.* [61] known in occult circles:“As above, so below.”The actual text of that maxim, as translated by Dennis • William Wynn Westcott, a founding member of the W. Hauck, is: “That which is Below corresponds Golden Dawn, edited a series of books on Herto that which is Above, and that which is Above meticism titled Collectanea Hermetica. The series corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish was published by the Theosophical Publishing Socithe miracle of the One Thing”.* [38] The Emerald ety.* [62] Tablet also refers to the three parts of the wisdom of the whole universe. Hermes states that his knowl• Initiation Into Hermetics is the title of the English edge of these three parts is the reason why he retranslation of the first volume of Franz Bardon's ceived the name Trismegistus (“Thrice Great”or three-volume work dealing with self-realization “Ao-Ao-Ao”[which mean“greatest"]). As the story within the Hermetic tradition. is told, the Emerald Tablet was found by Alexander

15.6. SEE ALSO

15.5 Societies When Hermeticism was no longer endorsed by the Christian church, it was driven underground, and several Hermetic societies were formed. The western esoteric tradition is now steeped in Hermeticism. The work of such writers as Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, who attempted to reconcile Jewish kabbalah and Christian mysticism, brought Hermeticism into a context more easily understood by Europeans during the time of the Renaissance.

139 a body on the material plane.

15.5.2 Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn Main article: Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn

Unlike the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was open to both sexes and A few primarily Hermetic occult orders were founded in treated them as equals. The Order was a specifically Hermetic society that taught alchemy, kabbalah, and the the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance. magic of Hermes, along with the principles of occult sciHermetic magic underwent a 19th-century revival in ence. Western Europe,* [63] where it was practiced by groups such as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Aurum The Golden Dawn maintained the tightest of secrecy, Solis, and Ragon. It was also practiced by individual per- which was enforced by severe penalties for those who sons, such as Eliphas Lévi, William Butler Yeats, Arthur disclosed its secrets. Overall, the general public was left Machen, Frederick Hockley, and Kenneth M. Macken- oblivious of the actions, and even of the existence, of the Order, so few if any secrets were disclosed.* [67] zie.* [64] Many Hermetic, or Hermetically influenced, groups exist Its secrecy was broken first by Aleister Crowley in 1905 today. Most of them are derived from Rosicrucianism, and later by Israel Regardie in 1937. Regardie gave a detailed account of the Order's teachings to the general Freemasonry, or the Golden Dawn. public.* [68]



Main article: Rosicrucianism Rosicrucianism is a movement which incorporates the Hermetic philosophy. It dates back to the 17th century. The sources dating the existence of the Rosicrucians to the 17th century are three German pamphlets: the Fama, the Confessio Fraternitatis, and The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz.* [65] Some scholars believe these to be hoaxes and say that later Rosicrucian organizations are the first actual appearance of a Rosicrucian society.* [66] This argument is hard to sustain given that original copies are in existence, including a Fama Fraternitatis at the University of Illinois and another in the New York Public Library.

Regardie had once claimed that there were many occult orders which had learned whatever they knew of magic from what had been leaked from the Golden Dawn by those whom Regardie deemed “renegade members”. The Stella Matutina was a successor society of the Golden Dawn.

15.5.3 Esoteric Christianity Hermeticism remains influential within esoteric Christianity, especially in Martinism. Influential 20th century and early 21st century writers in the field include Valentin Tomberg and Sergei O. Prokofieff.

15.5.4 Mystical Neopaganism

The Rosicrucian Order consists of a secret inner body and a public outer body that is under the direction of the inner Hermeticism remains influential within Neopaganism, esbody. It has a graded system in which members move up pecially in Hellenism. in rank and gain access to more knowledge. There is no fee for advancement. Once a member has been deemed able to understand the teaching, he moves on to the next 15.6 See also higher grade. The Fama Fraternitatis states that the Brothers of the Fraternity are to profess no other thing than“to cure the sick, and that gratis”.

15.7 References

The Rosicrucian spiritual path incorporates philosophy, kabbalah, and divine magic.

[1] Audi, Robert (1999). The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 378. ISBN 0521637228.

The Order is symbolized by the rose (the soul) and the cross (the body). The unfolding rose represents the human soul acquiring greater consciousness while living in

[2] Reese, William L. (1980). Dictionary of Philosophy and Religion. Sussex: Harvester Press. pp. 108 and 221. ISBN 0855271477.



[3] Churton p. 4 [4]“Hermeticism”The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions

[24] Stephan A. Hoeller, On the Trail of the Winged God— Hermes and Hermeticism Throughout the Age, Gnosis: A Journal of Western Inner Traditions (Vol. 40, Summer 1996).

[5] Heiser, James D., Prisci Theologi and the Hermetic Reformation in the Fifteenth Century, Repristination Press, Texas: 2011. ISBN 978-1-4610-9382-4

[25] This Leonardo di Pistoia was a monk , not to be confused with the artist Leonardo da Pistoia who was not born until c. 1483 CE.

[6] Yates, F., Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition, Routledge, London, 1964, pp 14–18 and pp. 433–434

[26] Salaman, Van Oyen, Wharton and Mahé,The Way of Hermes, p. 9

[7] Hanegraaff, W. J., New Age Religion and Western Culture, SUNY, 1998, p 360.

[27] Tambiah (1990), Magic, Science, Religion, and the Scope of Rationality, pp. 27–28.

[8] Jafar, Imad (2015). “Enoch in the Islamic Tradition”. Sacred Web: A Journal of Tradition and Modernity. 36: 53.

[28] The Way of Hermes, p. 9.

[9] Augustine, City of God, 4.8.23, http://www.ccel.org/ccel/ schaff/npnf102.iv.VIII.23.html [10] Yates, F., Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition, Routledge, London, 1964, pp 9–15 and pp 61–66 and p. 413 [11] Heiser, J.,“Prisci Theologi and the Hermetic Reformation in the Fifteenth Century”, Repristination Press, Texas, 2011 [ISBN 978-1-4610-9382-4] [12] Summa Theologica I q. 32 a. 1 (“Whether the trinity of the divine persons can be known by natural reason?") arg. 1: Trismegistus says: “The monad begot a monad, and reflected upon itself its own heat.”By which words the generation of the Son and procession of the Holy Ghost seem to be indicated. [13] Scully p. 322.

[29] Secretum secretorum – An Overview of Magic in the Greco-Roman World [30] Abel and Hare p. 7. [31] The Way of Hermes, pp. 9–10. [32] Vermes, Geza (2012). Christian Beginnings. Allen Lane the Penguin Press. p. 128. [33] Quispel, Gilles (2004). Preface to The Way of Hermes: New Translations of The Corpus Hermeticum and The Definitions of Hermes Trismegistus to Asclepius. Translated by Salaman, Clement; van Oyen, Dorine; Wharton, William D.; Mahé, Jean-Pierre. Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions. [34] http://www.sacred-texts.com/eso/pym/pym11.htm [35] Yates, F., Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition, Routledge, London, 1964, p 27 and p 293 [36] Yates, F., Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition, Routledge, London, 1964, p52

[14] Copenhaver, Hermetica, p. xlviii

[37] Copenhaver, B.P., “Hermetica”, Cambridge University Press, 1992, p xlviii.

[15] Copenhaver, Hermetica, p. xli

[38] Scully p. 321.

[16] Tambiah (1990), Magic, Science, Religion, and the scope of Rationality, pp. 25–26

[39] Garstin p. 35. [40] Hall The Hermetic Marriage p. 227.

[17] Tambiah (1990), 28

[41] Eliade The Forge and the Crucible p. 149 and p. 155–157

[18] Collectanea Hermetica Edited by W. Wynn. Westcott Volume 2.

[42] Geber Summa Perfectionis [43] Powell pp. 19–20.

[19] See Dufresnoy, Histoire del' Art Hermetique, vol. iii. Cat. Gr. MSS.

[44] Garstin p. v

[20] A Suggestive Inquiry into Hermetic Philosophy and Alchemy by Mary Anne Atwood 1850.

[45] Garstin p. 6

[21] Online Etymology Dictionary

[47] The Way of Hermes p. 33.

[22] van den Broek and Hanegraaff (1997) distinguish Hermetism in late antiquity from Hermeticism in the Renaissance revival.

[48] The Way of Hermes p. 42.

[23] van den Broek and Hanegraaff (1997), p. vii.

[50] The Way of Hermes p. 47.

[46] Garstin p. vi

[49] The Way of Hermes p. 28.


[51] The Way of Hermes pp. 32–3. [52] The Way of Hermes p. 29. [53] The Poimandres [54] Hermetica Volume 1, pg 457 ff [55] Churton p. 5. [56] Heiser, James D., Prisci Theologi and the Hermetic Reformation in the Fifteenth Century, Repristination Press: Texas, 2011. ISBN 978-1-4610-9382-4 [57] Abel & Hare p. 12. [58] Walter Scott, Hermetica Volume 1, pg 457 [59] Salaman, Van Oyen, Wharton and Mahé, The Way of Hermes [60]“A Suggestive Inquiry into Hermetic Philosophy and Alchemy”with an introduction by Isabelle de Steiger [61]“Hermetic Papers of A. E. Waite: the Unknown Writings of a Modern Mystic”Edited by R. A. Gilbert. [62] "'The Pymander of Hermes' Volume 2, Collectanea Hermetica”published by The Theosophical Publishing Society in 1894. [63] Regardie p. 17. [64] Regardie pp. 15–6. [65] Yates, Frances (1972). The Rosicrucian Enlightenment. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. ISBN 0-7100-73801.

141 • Copenhaver, Brian P. (1992). Hermetica: The Greek Corpus Hermeticum and the Latin Asclepius in a new English translation, with notes and introduction (1st ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-42543-3. • Garstin, E.J. Langford (2004). Theurgy or The Hermetic Practice. Berwick: Ibis Press. Published Posthumously • Hanegraaff, Wouter J. Esotericism and the Academy: Rejected Knowledge in Western Culture. Cambridge University Press; Reprint 2014. • Hanegraaff, Wouter J. Western Esotericism: A Guide for the Perplexed. Bloomsbury Academic 2013. • Heiser, James D. (2011). Prisci Theologi and the Hermetic Reformation in the Fifteenth Century. Texas: Repristination Press. ISBN 978-1-46109382-4. • Hoeller, Stephan A. On the Trail of the Winged God: Hermes and Hermeticism Throughout the Ages, Gnosis: A Journal of Western Inner Traditions (Vol. 40, Summer 1996). Also at“Hermes and Hermeticism” . Gnosis.org. Retrieved 2009-11-09. • Powell, Robert A. (1991). Christian Hermetic Astrology: The Star of the Magi and the Life of Christ. Hudson: Anthroposohic Press. • Regardie, Israel (1940). The Golden Dawn. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications.

[68] Regardie p. ix.

• Salaman, Clement and Van Oyen, Dorine and Wharton, William D. and Mahé, Jean-Pierre (2000). The Way of Hermes: New Translations of The Corpus Hermeticum and The Definitions of Hermes Trismegistus to Asclepius. Rochester: Inner Traditions.

15.8 Bibliography

• Scully, Nicki (2003). Alchemical Healing: A Guide to Spiritual, Physical, and Transformational Medicine. Rochester: Bear & Company.

[66] Prof. Carl Edwin Lindgren, “The Rose Cross, A Historical and Philosophical View”—http://users.panola.com/ lindgren/rosecross.html [67] Regardie pp. 15–7.

• Abel, Christopher R.; Hare, William O. (1997). Hermes Trismegistus: An Investigation of the Origin of the Hermetic Writings. Sequim: Holmes Publishing Group. • Anonymous (2002). Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey into Christian Hermeticism. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin. • Budge, E. A. Wallis (1895). The Egyptian Book of the Dead: (The Papyrus of Ani) Egyptian Text Transliteration and Translation. New York: Dover Publications. • Churton, Tobias. The Golden Builders: Alchemists, Rosicrucians, and the First Freemasons. New York: Barnes and Noble, 2002.

• Tambiah, Stanley Jeyaraja (1990). Magic, Science, Religion, and the Scope of Rationality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. • Yates, Frances (1964). Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-95007-7. • Morais, Lui (2013). Alchimia seu Archimagisterium Solis in V libris. Rio de Janeiro: Quártica Premium.

15.9 External links • Online Version of the Corpus Hermeticum, version translated by John Everard in 1650 CE from Latin version

142 • Online Version of The Virgin of the World of Hermes Trismegistus, version translated by Anna Kingsford and Edward Maitland in 1885 A.D. • Online version of The Kybalion (1912) • The Kybalion Resource Page • The Hermetic Library—A collection of texts and sites relating to Hermeticism • Hermetic Library Hermetic Library from Hermetic International


Chapter 16

Theurgy Theurgy (/ˈθiːɜːrdʒi/; from Greek θεουργία, Theourgia) describes the practice of rituals, sometimes seen as magical in nature, performed with the intention of invoking the action or evoking the presence of one or more gods, especially with the goal of uniting with the divine, achieving henosis, and perfecting oneself.

des Places (Paris, 1971): 'For the theourgoí do not fall under the fate-governed herd').* [5] The source of Western theurgy can be found in the philosophy of late Neoplatonists, especially Iamblichus. In late Neoplatonism, the spiritual Universe is regarded as a series of emanations from the One. From the One emanated the Divine Mind (Nous) and in turn from the Divine Mind emanated the World Soul (Psyche). Neoplatonists insisted that the One is absolutely transcendent and in the 16.1 Definitions emanations nothing of the higher was lost or transmitted to the lower, which remained unchanged by the lower em• Proclus (c. 480): theurgy is “a power higher than anations. all human wisdom embracing the blessings of divination, the purifying powers of initiation and in a Although the Neoplatonists are considered polytheists, they embraced a form of monism. word all the operations of divine possession”* [1] • Keith Thomas: “Spiritual magic or theurgy was For Plotinus, and Iamblichus' teachers Anatolius and based on the idea that one could reach God in an as- Porphyry, the emanations are as follows: cent up the scale of creation made possible by a rig• To Hen (τό ἕν), The One: Deity without quality, orous course of prayer, fasting and devotional prepasometimes called The Good. ration.”* [2] • Nous (Νοῦς), Mind: The Universal consciousness, • Anne Sheppard: “Theurgy, the religious magic from which proceeds practised by the later Neoplatonists, has been commonly regarded as the point at which Neoplatonism • Psychē (Ψυχή), Soul: Including both individual and degenerates into magic, superstition and irrationalworld soul, leading finally to ism. A superficial glance at the ancient lives of the Neoplatonists, and in particular at Eunapius' Lives • Physis (Φύσις), Nature. of the Sophists, reveals a group of people interested in animating statues, favoured with visions of gods Plotinus urged contemplations for those who wished to and demons, and skilled in rain-making”* [3] perform theurgy, the goal of which was to reunite with • Pierre A. Riffard: “Theurgy is a type of magic. It The Divine (called henosis). Therefore, his school resemconsists of a set of magical practices performed to bles a school of meditation or contemplation. Iamblichus evoke beneficent spirits in order to see them or know of Calcis (Syria), a student of Porphyry (who was himself them or in order to influence them, for instance by a student of Plotinus) taught a more ritualized method of forcing them to animate a statue, to inhabit a human theurgy that involved invocation and religious, as well as being (such as a medium), or to disclose mysteries.” magical, ritual.* [6] Iamblichus believed theurgy was an * [4] imitation of the gods, and in his major work, On the Egyptian Mysteries, he described theurgic observance as “ritualized cosmogony" that endowed embodied souls with the divine responsibility of creating and preserving the 16.2 Neoplatonism cosmos. Theurgy means “divine-working”. The first recorded Iamblichus' analysis was that the transcendent cannot be use of the term is found in the mid-second-century grasped with mental contemplation because the transcenneo-Platonist work the Chaldean Oracles (Fragment 153 dent is supra-rational. Theurgy is a series of rituals and 143

144 operations aimed at recovering the transcendent essence by retracing the divine 'signatures' through the layers of being.* [7] Education is important for comprehending the scheme of things as presented by Aristotle, Plato and Pythagoras but also by the Chaldaean Oracles.* [8] The theurgist works 'like with like': at the material level, with physical symbols; at the higher level, with mental and purely spiritual practices. Starting with correspondences of the divine in matter, the theurgist eventually reaches the level where the soul's inner divinity unites with The Divine.* [9]

16.3 Emperor Julian The Emperor Julian (332-363), embraced Neoplatonic philosophy and worked to replace Christianity with a version of Neoplatonic paganism. Because of his death and the hold mainstream Christianity had over the empire at the time, this was ultimately unsuccessful, but he did produce several works of philosophy and theology, including a popular hymn to the sun. In his theology, Helios, the sun, was the ideal example of the perfection of the gods and light, a symbol of divine emanation. He also held the mother goddess Cybele in high esteem.

CHAPTER 16. THEURGY ally solitary practitioners and seek the divine light alone through ritual and inner spiritual and psychological equilibration. Theurgy in this hermetic sense stresses the need for the individual to separate and analyze the individual components that constitute everyday consciousness and reunite them in a way that changes one's personal awareness into a state that understands and partakes in spiritual grace.* [13]

16.5 Jewish theurgy Following a pattern very similar to the Neoplatonists, the Medieval Jewish mystical tradition of Kabbalah developed the concept that the Universe is regarded as a series of emanations from the Godhead, namely, the 10 sephirot. It is said that God created the world using the sephirot, pouring Divinity into creation through these “vessels,”which also have personality traits. The highest sephirah, Kether, holds the most divine light and is the least accessible to humanity. The lowest sephirah, Malkuth, is still higher than matter itself, so the parallel with Neoplatonism is not complete, but Malkuth is considered that aspect of God that can be perceived in the material world. It is also known as the Shekhinah.

Julian favored ritual theurgy, with an emphasis on For the Kabbalist, God is a single oneness, not separate sacrifice and prayer. He was heavily influenced by the “gods”. The teaching avoids polytheism by insisting that the sephirot are not to be prayed to, but rather, to be medideas of Iamblichus. itated on and experienced as manifestations of how God acts in the world. They are envisioned as arranged in three columns, in a pattern called the Tree of Life. By medi16.4 Esoteric Christian theurgy tating on the sephirot and praying for their unification, Kabbalists seek the theurgic goal of healing a shattered Esoteric Christianity accepts theurgy as a tradition that world. could greatly benefit a person. The main feat of Esoteric Christianity is to learn the mysteries of God (see Raziel) For Kabbalists, the sephirot are as follows: Kether and to rise to higher consciousness in the understand- (Crown); Chokmah (Wisdom); Binah (Understanding of God's relationship relative to individual conscious- ing); Chesed (Loving kindness); Geburah (Strength); ness. Theurgy, in the esoteric tradition, uses this knowl- Tiphareth (Beauty); Netzach (Endurance); Hod (Glory); edge to heighten one's own spiritual nature.* [10] In Eso- Yesod (Foundation); and Malkuth (Kingdom or teric Christianity, theurgy usually is the practice of trying Sovereignty). to gain the knowledge and conversation of one's Higher Self, or Inner God, to teach one spiritual truths and wisdom from God that one couldn't learn from man (see 16.6 See also Alchemy, Kabbalah, and Theosophy). Some branches of Esoteric Christianity hold that if an Esoteric Chris• Invocation tian, Rosicrucian, or Theosophist practices it, he or she • Chaldean Oracles could potentially rise to the degree of Magus, or Adept after a certain level of spiritual attainment. In a tradi• Esoteric Christianity tional and magical sense, Theurgy is seen as the opposite of Goetia, even though many argue that they overlap • Deity Yoga each other.* [11] Some organizations, such as The Her• Henosis metic Order of the Golden Dawn claim to teach a type of theurgy that would help one ascend spiritually as well • Iamblichus as understand the true nature of the self and its relation to the Divine and the Universe. The Golden Dawn • Julian (emperor) has a somewhat significant historical following and influ• Kabbalah ence;* [12] while it is held that many theurgists are usu-



16.8 External links

• Magician (paranormal)

• Two Orations of the Emperor Julian

• Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite

• Plotinus' Enneads

• Tantra

• Iamblichus' Theurgia or On the Egyptian Mysteries

• Thaumaturgy • Theosophy

16.7 References [1] Proclus, On the theology of Plato, 1.26.63. E. R. Dodds, The Greeks and the Irrational, University of California Press, 1959). [2] Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic (1971), Penguin, 1973, 320-321. [3] Anne Sheppard,“Proclus attitude to theurgy”, Classical Quarterly, 32 (1982), 212-224. Eunopius, The Lives of the sophists (c. 395), chap. III, London: Harvard University Press, 1921). [4] Pierre A. Riffard, Dictionnaire de l'ésotérisme, Paris: Payot, 1983, 340. [5] Cf. “Lewy">Lewy, Hans, Chaldaean Oracles and Theurgy, Cairo 1956, pp. 421–466 (mostly consulted and quoted from the revised edition by Michel Tardieu, Revue des Études Augustiniennes 58 (1978)). [6] http://www.iep.utm.edu/neoplato/ [7] SIORVANES, LUCAS (1998). Iamblichus. In E. Craig (Ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. London: Routledge. Retrieved September 17, 2013, from http:// www.rep.routledge.com/article/A062 [8] http://thedivinescience.org/ origin-and-nature-of-theurgy/ [9] Cf. “Shaw">Shaw, Gregory, Theurgy and the Soul: The Neoplatonism of Iamblichus, Penn State Press, 1971, page 115. [10] Christian Mysticism: An Introduction to Contemporary Theoretical Approaches by Louise Nelstrop, Kevin Magill, Bradley B. Onishi, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2009, pages 109-110. [11] Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires By:Aaron Leitch pgs. 241 - 278 (chapter 8) [12] Self-Initiation into the Golden Dawn tradition: Chic and Tabatha Cicero, Chapter 1 [13] The Tree of Life: an Illustrated Study in Magic By: Israel Regardie, Revised by Chic and Sandra Tabatha Cicero

• A Modern Theurgic School • Ars-Theurgica.org A site devoted to theurgy

Chapter 17

Philosophy For other uses, see Philosophy (disambiguation).

writers. However, many of those who study philosophy in undergraduate or graduate programs contribute in the busiPhilosophy (from Greek φιλοσοφία, philosophia, lit- fields of law, journalism, politics, religion, science, ness and various art and entertainment activities.* [26] * * * * erally “love of wisdom” [1] [2] [3] [4]) is the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language.* [5]* [6] The term was probably coined by 17.1 Introduction Pythagoras (c. 570 – c. 495 BC). Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument 17.1.1 Culture and systematic presentation.* [7]* [8] Classic philosophical questions include: Is it possible to know anything and In one sense, philosophy is synonymous with wisdom or to prove it?* [9]* [10]* [11] What is most real? However, learning. In that sense, all cultures have a philosophical philosophers might also pose more practical and concrete tradition. questions such as: Is there a best way to live? Is it better to be just or unjust (if one can get away with it)?* [12] Do Western philosophy humans have free will?* [13] Historically, “philosophy”encompassed any body of knowledge.* [14] From the time of Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle to the 19th century, "natural philosophy" encompassed astronomy, medicine and physics.* [15] For example, Newton's 1687 Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy later became classified as a book of physics. In the 19th century, the growth of modern research universities led academic philosophy and other disciplines to professionalize and specialize.* [16]* [17] In the modern era, some investigations that were traditionally part of philosophy became separate academic disciplines, including psychology, sociology, linguistics and economics. Other investigations closely related to art, science, politics, or other pursuits remained part of philosophy. For example, is beauty objective or subjective?* [18]* [19] Are there many scientific methods or just one?* [20] Is political utopia a hopeful dream or hopeless fantasy?* [21]* [22]* [23] Major sub-fields of academic philosophy include metaphysics “ ( concerned with the fundamental nature of reality and being”),* [24] epistemology (about the “nature and grounds of knowledge [and]...its limits and validity”* [25]), ethics, aesthetics, political philosophy, logic, philosophy of science and the history of Western philosophy. Since the 20th century professional philosophers contribute to society primarily as professors, researchers and

Main article: Western philosophy Western philosophy dates to the Greek philosophers, who were active in Ancient Greece beginning in the 6th century BC. Pythagoras distinguished himself from other “wise ones”by calling himself a mere lover of wisdom, suggesting that he was not wise.* [27] Socrates used this title and insisted that he possessed no wisdom but was a pursuer of wisdom.* [28] Socrates' student Plato is often credited as the founder of Western philosophy. The philosopher Alfred North Whitehead said of Plato:“The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato. I do not mean the systematic scheme of thought which scholars have doubtfully extracted from his writings. I allude to the wealth of general ideas scattered through them.”* [29] Eastern philosophy Main article: Eastern philosophy Eastern philosophy is a term that encompasses the many philosophical currents originating outside Europe, including China, India, Japan, Persia and other regions. They have their own timelines, regions and philosophers. Major traditions include:


• African philosophy and Ethiopian philosophy


147 2000s as a book of physics; he used the term "natural philosophy" because it used to encompass disciplines that later became associated with sciences such as astronomy, medicine and physics.* [15] Philosophy was traditionally divided into three major branches: • Natural philosophy ("physics”) was the study of the physical world (physis, lit: nature); • Moral philosophy ("ethics”) was the study of goodness, right and wrong, beauty, justice and virtue (ethos, lit: custom); • Metaphysical philosophy (“logos”) was the study of existence, causation, God, logic, forms and other abstract objects ("meta-physika” lit: “what comes after physics”).* [31] This division is not obsolete but has changed. Natural philosophy has split into the various natural sciences, especially astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology and cosmology. Moral philosophy has birthed the social sciences, but still includes value theory (including aesthetics, ethics, political philosophy, etc.). Metaphysical philosophy has birthed formal sciences such as logic, mathematics and philosophy of science, but still includes epistemology, cosmology and others.

The Iranian prophet Zarathustra is credited as the founder of Zoroastrianism.

17.1.3 Philosophical progress

• Ancient Egyptian philosophy and Babylonian litera- Many philosophical debates that began in ancient times are still debated today. Colin McGinn and others claim ture that no philosophical progress has occurred during that • Indian philosophy, Jain philosophy and Hindu phi- interval.* [32] Chalmers and others, by contrast, see losophy progress in philosophy similar to that in science,* [33] while Talbot Brewer argued that“progress”is the wrong • Iranian philosophy standard by which to judge philosophical activity.* [34] • East Asian Neo-Confucianism and Buddhist philosophy#Chinese Buddhism, Japanese philosophy and Korean philosophy 17.2 Categories • Persian Zoroastrianism

Philosopher questions can be grouped into categories. These groupings allow philosophers to focus on a set of similar topics and interact with other thinkers who are in• European Jewish philosophy and Christian philosoterested in the same questions. The groupings also make phy philosophy easier for students to approach. Students can learn the basic principles involved in one aspect of the • Mesoamerican Aztec philosophy field without being overwhelmed with the entire set of philosophical theories. • Middle Eastern Islamic philosophy



Various sources present different categorical schemes. Traditionally, the term “philosophy”referred to any The categories adopted in this article aim for breadth and body of knowledge.* [14]* [30] In this sense, philosophy is simplicity. closely related to religion, mathematics, natural science, These five major branches can be separated into subeducation and politics. Newton's 1687 "Mathematical branches and each sub-branch contains many specific Principles of Natural Philosophy" is classified in the fields of study.* [35]



• Metaphysics and epistemology • Value theory • Science, logic and mathematics • History of Western philosophy* [36] • Philosophical traditions These divisions are neither exhaustive, nor mutually exclusive. (A philosopher might specialize in Kantian epistemology, or Platonic aesthetics, or modern political philosophy.) Furthermore, these philosophical inquiries sometimes overlap with each other and with other inquiries such as science, religion or mathematics.* [37]



Main article: Metaphysics Metaphysics is the study of the most general features of reality, such as existence, time, objects and their properties, wholes and their parts, events, processes and causation and the relationship between mind and body. Metaphysics includes cosmology, the study of the world in its entirety and ontology, the study of being.

Skepticism is the position which doubts claims to knowledge. The regress argument, a fundamental problem in epistemology, occurs when, in order to completely prove any statement, its justification itself needs to be supported by another justification. This chain can go on forever, called infinitism, it can eventually rely on basic beliefs that are left unproven, called foundationalism, or it can go in a circle so that a statement is included in its own chain of justification, called coherentism. Rationalism is the emphasis on reasoning as a source of knowledge. It is associated with a priori knowledge, which is independent of experience, such as math and logical deduction. Empiricism is the emphasis on observational evidence via sensory experience as the source of knowledge. Among the numerous topics within metaphysics and epistemology, broadly construed are: • Philosophy of language explores the nature, the origins and the use of language. • Philosophy of mind explores the nature of the mind and its relationship to the body. It is typified by disputes between dualism and materialism. In recent years this branch has become related to cognitive science.

A major point of debate revolves between realism, which • Philosophy of religion explores questions that arise holds that there are entities that exist independently of in connection with religions, including the soul, the their mental perception and idealism, which holds that afterlife, God, religious experience, analysis of rereality is mentally constructed or otherwise immaterial. ligious vocabulary and texts and the relationship of Metaphysics deals with the topic of identity. Essence is religion and science. the set of attributes that make an object what it funda• Philosophy of human nature analyzes the unique mentally is and without which it loses its identity while characteristics of human beings, such as rationality, accident is a property that the object has, without which politics and culture. the object can still retain its identity. Particulars are objects that are said to exist in space and time, as opposed to • Metaphilosophy explores the aims of philosophy, its abstract objects, such as numbers, and universals, which boundaries and its methods. are properties held by multiple particulars, such as redness or a gender. The type of existence, if any, of universals and abstract objects is an issue of debate. 17.2.3 Value theory



Main article: Epistemology Epistemology is the study of knowledge (Greek episteme).* [38] Epistemologists study the putative sources of knowledge, including intuition, a priori reason, memory, perceptual knowledge, self-knowledge and testimony. They also ask: What is truth? Is knowledge justified true belief? Are any beliefs justified? Putative knowledge includes propositional knowledge (knowledge that something is the case), know-how (knowledge of how to do something) and acquaintance (familiarity with someone or something). Epistemologists examine these and ask whether knowledge is really possible.

Value theory (or axiology) is the major branch of philosophy that addresses topics such as goodness, beauty and justice. Value theory includes ethics, aesthetics, political philosophy, feminist philosophy, philosophy of law and more. Ethics Main article: Ethics Ethics, or “moral philosophy”, studies and considers what is good and bad conduct, right and wrong values, and good and evil. Its primary investigations include how to live a good life and identifying standards of morality. It also includes meta-investigations about whether a best



way to live or related standards exists. The main branches munities including the state. It includes questions about of ethics are normative ethics, meta-ethics and applied justice, law, property and the rights and obligations of the ethics. citizen. Politics and ethics are traditionally linked subA major point of debate revolves around jects, as both discuss the question of what how people consequentialism, where actions are judged by the should live together. potential results of the act, such as to maximize happi- Other branches of value theory: ness, called utilitarianism, and deontology, where actions There are a variety of branches of value theory. are judged by how they adhere to principles, irrespective of negative ends. • Philosophy of law (often called jurisprudence) explores the varying theories explaining the nature and interpretation of laws. Aesthetics Main article: Aesthetics

• Philosophy of education analyzes the definition and content of education, as well as the goals and challenges of educators.

Aesthetics is the “critical reflection on art, culture and • Feminist philosophy explores questions surroundnature.”* [39]* [40] It addresses the nature of art, beauty ing gender, sexuality and the body including the naand taste, enjoyment, emotional values, perception and ture of feminism itself as a social and philosophical * * with the creation and appreciation of beauty. [41] [42] movement. It is more precisely defined as the study of sensory or sensori-emotional values, sometimes called judgments • Philosophy of sport analyzes sports, games and other of sentiment and taste.* [43] It divides into art theory, forms of play as sociological and uniquely human literary theory, film theory and music theory. An example activities. from art theory is to discern the set of principles underlying the work of a particular artist or artistic movement such as the Cubist aesthetic.* [44] The philosophy of film 17.2.4 Logic, science and mathematics analyzes films and filmmakers for their philosophical content and explores film (images, cinema, etc.) as a medium Many academic disciplines generated philosophical infor philosophical reflection and expression. quiry. The relationship between “X”and the “philosophy of X”is debated. Richard Feynman argued that the philosophy of a topic is irrelevant to its primary study, Political philosophy saying that "philosophy of science is as useful to scientists as ornithology is to birds.”Curtis White, by contrast, arMain article: Political philosophy gued that philosophical tools are essential to humanities, Political philosophy is the study of government and the sciences and social sciences.* [45] The topics of philosophy of science are numbers, symbols and the formal methods of reasoning as employed in the social sciences and natural sciences. Logic Main article: Logic Logic is the study of reasoning and argument. An argument is "a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.”The connected series of statements are "premises" and the proposition is the conclusion. For example: 1. All humans are mortal. (premise) 2. Socrates is a human. (premise) 3. Therefore, Socrates is mortal. (conclusion) Thomas Hobbes

Deductive reasoning is when, given certain premises, conrelationship of individuals (or families and clans) to com- clusions are unavoidably implied. Rules of inference are



used to infer conclusions such as, modus ponens, where Philosophy. given “A”and “If A then B”, then “B”must be concluded. Western philosophy has a long history dating back to the Because sound reasoning is an essential element of time of Socrates. It is conventionally divided into three all sciences,* [46] social sciences and humanities disci- large eras: ancient, medieval, and modern. Philosophy in plines, logic became a formal science. Sub-fields include the 20th century to present is considered“Contemporary mathematical logic, philosophical logic, Modal logic, philosophy”. The history of philosophy is a rich field of computational logic and non-classical logics. A major study. This article does not aim for comprehensive detail issue in the philosophy of mathematics revolves around but for a brief introduction to each period, with relevant whether mathematical entities are objective and discov- links to other articles. The three historical periods are ered, called mathematical realism, or invented, called divided roughly as follows: mathematical antirealism. • Ancient (from 585 BC-400 AD) Philosophy of science

• Medieval (400 - 1500)

Main article: Philosophy of science

• Modern (1500 - 1900)

This branch explores the foundations, methods, history, implications and purpose of science. Many of its sub- 17.4 Ancient divisions correspond to a specific branch of science. For example, philosophy of biology deals specifically with Main articles: Hellenistic philosophy and Ancient Greek the metaphysical, epistemological and ethical issues in philosophy the biomedical and life sciences. The philosophy of mathematics studies the philosophical assumptions, foundations and implications of mathematics.


History of philosophy

Some philosophers specialize in one or more historical periods. The history of philosophy (study of a specific period, individual or school) is related to but not the same as the philosophy of history (the theoretical aspect of history, which deals with questions such as the nature of historical evidence and the possibility of objectivity). Hegel's Lectures on the Philosophy of History influenced many philosophers to interpret truth in light of history, a view called historicism.


Philosophical schools

Some philosophers specialize in one or more of the major philosophical schools, such as Continental philosophy, Analytical philosophy, Thomism, Asian philosophy or African philosophy.

17.3 History See also: Western philosophy, Eastern philosophy, and History of ethics Further information: Philosophical progress and List of years in philosophy “History of Western Philosophy”redirects here. For the book by Bertrand Russell, see A History of Western

Plato (left) and Aristotle (right): detail from The School of Athens by Raffaello Sanzio, 1509

Pre-Socratic period Ancient philosophers first articulated questions about the “arche”(the cause or first principle) of the universe. Western Philosophy is generally said to begin in the



Ionia, source of early Greek philosophy, in western Asia Minor

Greek cities of western Asia Minor (Ionia) with Thales of Miletus, who was active around 585 B.C. and was responsible for the opaque dictum, “all is water.”His most noted students were respectively Anaximander (all is apeiron (roughly, the unlimited)) and Anaximenes of Miletus (“all is air”). Pythagoras, from the island of Samos off the coast of Ionia, later lived at Croton in southern Italy (Magna Graecia). Pythagoreans hold that “all is number,”giving formal accounts in contrast to the previous material of the Ionians. They also believe in metempsychosis, the transmigration of souls, or reincarnation. Socrates

Bust of Socrates

of dialogues, which applied the Socratic method of inquiry to examine philosophical problems. Some central ideas of Plato's dialogues are the immortality of the soul, the benefits of being just, that evil is ignorance, and the Theory of Forms. Forms are universal properties constitute true reality and contrast with the changeable material things he called “becoming”. Aristotle

The key figure in Greek philosophy is Socrates. Socrates studied under several Sophists but transformed Greek philosophy into a unified and continuous project that is still pursued today is. It is said that following a visit to the Oracle of Delphi he spent much of his life questioning anyone in Athens who would engage him, in order to disprove the oracular prophecy that there would be no man wiser than Socrates. Socrates used a critical approach called the "elenchus" or Socratic method to examine people's views. He aimed to study human things: the good life, justice, beauty, and virtue. Although Socrates wrote nothing himself, some of his many disciples wrote down his conversations. He was tried for corrupting the youth and impiety by the Greek democracy. He was found guilty and sentenced to death. Although his friends offered to help him escape from prison, he chose to remain in Athens and abide by his principles. His execution consisting in drinking the poison hemlock and he died in 399 B.C. Plato

Plato's most outstanding student was Aristotle. Aristotle was perhaps the first truly systematic philosopher and scientist. He wrote books on physics, biology, zoology, metaphysics, aesthetics, poetry, theater, music, rhetoric, politics and logic. Aristotelian logic was the first type of logic to attempt to categorize every valid syllogism. Aristotle tutored Alexander the Great. Aristotelian philosophy exercised considerable influence on almost all western philosophers, including Greek, Roman, Christian, Jewish, and Islamic thinkers. The Neoplatonic and Christian philosophers of Late Antiquity.

17.5 Medieval Main article: Medieval philosophy

Socrates' most important student was Plato. Plato founded the Academy of Athens and wrote a number Early and late medieval philosophy

152 Medieval philosophy is the philosophy of Western Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages, roughly extending from the Christianization of the Roman Empire until the Renaissance.* [47] Medieval philosophy is defined partly by the rediscovery and further development of classical Greek and Hellenistic philosophy, and partly by the need to address theological problems and to integrate the then widespread sacred doctrines of Abrahamic religion (Islam, Judaism, and Christianity) with secular learning. Early medieval philosophy was influenced by the likes of Stoicism, neo-Platonism, but, above all, the philosophy of Plato himself.

CHAPTER 17. PHILOSOPHY epistemological writing. Philosophers from the Middle Ages include the Christian philosophers Augustine of Hippo, Boethius, Anselm, Gilbert of Poitiers, Peter Abelard, Roger Bacon, Bonaventure, Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus, William of Ockham and Jean Buridan; the Jewish philosophers Maimonides and Gersonides; and the Muslim philosophers Alkindus, Alfarabi, Alhazen, Avicenna, Algazel, Avempace, Abubacer, Ibn Khaldūn, and Averroes. The medieval tradition of Scholasticism continued to flourish as late as the 17th century, in figures such as Francisco Suarez and John of St. Thomas.

Some problems discussed throughout this period are the relation of faith to reason, the existence and unity of God, Late Medieval and Renaissance the object of theology and metaphysics, the problems of knowledge, of universals, and of individuation. The Main article: Renaissance philosophy prominent figure of this period was St. Augustine who The Renaissance (“rebirth”) was a period of transition adopted Plato's thought and Christianized it in the 4th century and whose influence dominated medieval philosophy perhaps up to end of the era but was checked with the arrival of Aristotle's texts. Augustinianism was the preferred starting point for most philosophers (including the great St. Anselm of Canterbury) up until the 13th century.

Giordano Bruno St. Thomas Aquinas

Thomas Aquinas, the father of Thomism, was immensely influential in Catholic Europe; he placed a great emphasis on reason and argumentation, and was one of the first to use the new translation of Aristotle's metaphysical and

between the Middle Ages and modern thought,* [48] in which the recovery of classical texts helped shift philosophical interests away from technical studies in logic, metaphysics, and theology towards eclectic inquiries into morality, philology, and mysticism.* [49]* [50] The study

17.6. MODERN of the classics and the humane arts generally, such as history and literature, enjoyed a scholarly interest hitherto unknown in Christendom, a tendency referred to as humanism.* [51]* [52] Displacing the medieval interest in metaphysics and logic, the humanists followed Petrarch in making man and his virtues the focus of philosophy.* [53]* [54]

153 Some central topics of philosophy in this period include

17.6 Modern Main article: Modern philosophy The term“modern philosophy”has multiple usages. For example, Thomas Hobbes is sometimes considered the first modern philosopher because he applied a systematic method to political philosophy.* [55]* [56] By contrast, René Descartes is often considered the first modern philosopher because he grounded his philosophy in problems of knowledge, rather than problems of metaphysics.* [57]

John Locke

the nature of the mind and its relation to the body, the implications of the new natural sciences for traditional theological topics such as free will and God, and the emergence of a secular basis for moral and political philosophy.* [64] These trends first distinctively coalesce in Francis Bacon's call for a new, empirical program for expanding knowledge, and soon found massively influential form in the mechanical physics and rationalist metaphysics of René Descartes.* [65]

René Descartes

Modern philosophy and especially Enlightenment philosophy* [58] is distinguished by its increasing independence from traditional authorities such as the Church, academia, and Aristotelianism;* [59]* [60] a new focus on the foundations of knowledge and metaphysical system-building;* [61]* [62] and the emergence of modern physics out of natural philosophy.* [63]

Other notable modern philosophers include Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant.* [66]* [67]* [68] Many other contributors were philosophers, scientists, medical doctors, and politicians. A short list includes Galileo Galilei, Pierre Gassendi, Blaise Pascal, Nicolas Malebranche, Isaac Newton, Christian Wolff, Montesquieu, Pierre Bayle, Thomas Reid, Jean d'Alembert, Adam Smith, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The approximate end of the early modern period is most often identified with Immanuel Kant's systematic attempt to limit metaphysics, justify scientific knowledge, and reconcile both of these with morality and freedom.* [69]* [70]* [71] 19th-century

Main article: 19th-century philosophy Later modern philosophy is usually considered to begin Main articles: 17th-century philosophy, 18th-century after the philosophy of Immanuel Kant at the beginning philosophy, and Early modern philosophy of the 19th century.* [72] Early Modern



Friedrich Nietzsche Immanuel Kant

work of Kant by maintaining that the world is constituted by a rational or mind-like process, and as such is entirely knowable.* [74] Arthur Schopenhauer's identification of this world-constituting process as an irrational will to live influenced later 19th- and early 20th-century thinking, such as the work of Friedrich Nietzsche. The 19th century took the radical notions of selforganization and intrinsic order from Goethe and Kantian metaphysics, and proceeded to produce a long elaboration on the tension between systematization and organic development. Foremost was the work of Hegel, whose Logic and Phenomenology of Spirit produced a “dialectical”framework for ordering of knowledge. As with the 18th century, developments in science arose from philosophy and also challenged philosophy: most importantly the work of Charles Darwin, which was based on the idea of organic self-regulation found in philosophers such as Smith, but fundamentally challenged established conceptions.

David Hume

German philosophy exercised broad influence in this century, owing in part to the dominance of the German university system.* [73] German idealists, such as Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, and Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling, transformed the

After Hegel's death in 1831, 19th-century philosophy largely turned against idealism in favor of varieties of philosophical naturalism, such as the positivism of Auguste Comte, the empiricism of John Stuart Mill, and the materialism of Karl Marx. Logic began a period of its most significant advances since the inception of the discipline, as increasing mathematical precision opened entire fields of inference to formalization in the work of George Boole and Gottlob Frege.* [75] Other philosophers who initiated lines of thought that would continue to shape philosophy into the 20th century include:


155 conflict between continental and analytic schools of philosophy remains prominent, despite increasing skepticism regarding the distinction's usefulness.

17.8 Analytic Main article: Analytic philosophy In the English-speaking world, analytic philosophy be-


• Gottlob Frege and Henry Sidgwick, whose work in logic and ethics, respectively, provided the tools for Gottlob Frege early analytic philosophy. • Charles Sanders Peirce and William James, who came the dominant school for much of the 20th century. founded pragmatism. The term analytic philosophy roughly designates a group of philosophical methods that stress detailed argumen• Søren Kierkegaard and Friedrich Nietzsche, who tation, attention to semantics, use of classical logic and laid the groundwork for existentialism and post- non-classical logics and clarity of meaning above all other structuralism. criteria. Though the movement has broadened, it was a cohesive school in the first half of the century. Analytic philosophers were shaped strongly by logical positivism, united by the notion that philosophical problems could 17.7 Contemporary approaches and should be solved by attention to logic and language. Main article: Contemporary philosophy The three major contemporary approaches to academic philosophy are Analytic philosophy, continental philosophy and pragmatism.* [76] They are neither exhaustive nor mutually exclusive. The 20th century deals with the upheavals produced by a series of conflicts within philosophical discourse over the basis of knowledge, with classical certainties overthrown, and new social, economic, scientific and logical problems. 20th century philosophy was set for a series of attempts to reform and preserve, and to alter or abolish, older knowledge systems. Seminal figures include Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Edmund Husserl.

Bertrand Russell and G.E. Moore are also often counted as founders of analytic philosophy, beginning with their rejection of British idealism, their defense of realism and the emphasis they laid on the legitimacy of analysis. Russell's classic works The Principles of Mathematics,* [77] On Denoting and Principia Mathematica with Alfred North Whitehead, aside from greatly promoting the use of mathematical logic in philosophy, set the ground for much of the research program in the early stages of the analytic tradition, emphasizing such problems as: the reference of proper names, whether 'existence' is a property, the nature of propositions, the analysis of definite descriptions, the discussions on the foundations of mathematics; as well as exploring issues of ontological commitment and even metaphysical problems regarding time, the nature of matter, mind, persistence and change, which Russell tackled often with the aid of mathematical logic.

Since the Second World War, contemporary philosophy has been divided mostly into analytic and continental traditions; the former carried in the English speaking world Gottlob Frege's The Foundations of Arithmetic as the and the latter on the continent of Europe. The perceived first analytic work, according to Michael Dummett (Ori-



gins of Analytical Philosophy). Frege took “the linguistic turn,”analyzing philosophical problems through language. Some analytic philosophers held that philosophical problems arise through misuse of language or because of misunderstandings of the logic of human language.

Some influential figures in contemporary analytic philosophy are: Timothy Williamson, David Lewis, John Searle, Thomas Nagel, Hilary Putnam, Michael Dummett, Peter van Inwagen, Saul Kripke and Patricia Churchland.

In 1921, Ludwig Wittgenstein, who studied under Russell at Cambridge, published his Tractatus LogicoPhilosophicus, which gave a rigidly “logical”account of linguistic and philosophical issues. Years later, he reversed a number of the positions he set out in the Tractatus, in for example his second major work, Philosophical Investigations (1953). Investigations was influential in the development of “ordinary language philosophy,”which was promoted by Gilbert Ryle, J.L. Austin, and a few others.

Analytic philosophy has sometimes been accused of not contributing to the political debate or to traditional questions in aesthetics. However, with the appearance of A Theory of Justice by John Rawls and Anarchy, State, and Utopia by Robert Nozick, analytic political philosophy acquired respectability. Analytic philosophers have also shown depth in their investigations of aesthetics, with Roger Scruton, Nelson Goodman, Arthur Danto and others developing the subject to its current shape.

In the United States, meanwhile, the philosophy of Quine was having a major influence, with the paper Two Dog- 17.9 Continental mas of Empiricism. In that paper Quine criticizes the distinction between analytic and synthetic statements, arMain article: Continental philosophy guing that a clear conception of analyticity is unattainable. Continental philosophy is a set of 19th- and 20thcentury philosophical traditions from mainland Europe. 20th-century movements such as German idealism, phenomenology, existentialism, modern hermeneutics, critical theory, structuralism, poststructuralism and others are included within this loose category. While identifying any non-trivial common factor in all these schools of thought is bound to be controversial, Michael E. Rosen has hypothesized a few common Continental themes: that the natural sciences cannot replace the human sciences; that the thinker is affected by the conditions of experience (one's place and time in history); that philosophy is both theoretical and practical; that metaphilosophy or reflection upon the methods and nature of philosophy itself is an important part of philosophy proper.

Patricia Churchland

Notable students of Quine include Donald Davidson and Daniel Dennett. The later work of Russell and the philosophy of Willard Van Orman Quine are influential exemplars of the naturalist approach dominant in the second half of the 20th century. But the diversity of analytic philosophy from the 1970s onward defies easy generalization: the naturalism of Quine and his epigoni was in some precincts superseded by a “new metaphysics” of possible worlds, as in the influential work of David Lewis. Recently, the experimental philosophy movement has sought to reappraise philosophical problems through social science research techniques.

The founder of phenomenology, Edmund Husserl, sought to study consciousness as experienced from a first-person perspective, while Martin Heidegger drew on the ideas of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Husserl to propose an unconventional existential approach to ontology. In the Arabic-speaking world, Arab nationalist philosophy became the dominant school of thought, involving philosophers such as Michel Aflaq, Zaki al-Arsuzi, Salah al-Din al-Bitar of Ba'athism and Sati' al-Husri. Phenomenologically oriented metaphysics undergirded existentialism (Heidegger, Sartre, Maurice MerleauPonty, Albert Camus) and finally poststructuralism (Gilles Deleuze, Jean-François Lyotard, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida). The psychoanalytic work of Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan, Julia Kristeva, and others has also been influential in contemporary continental thought. Conversely, some philosophers have attempted to define and rehabilitate older traditions of philosophy. Most notably, Hans-Georg Gadamer and Alasdair MacIntyre have both, albeit in different ways, revived the tradition of Aristotelianism.




German idealism

supposed contradictions between“being”and“not being”), and also simultaneously to resolve and preserve these contradictions by showing their compatibility at a Main article: German idealism Transcendental idealism, advocated by Immanuel Kant, higher level of examination (“being”and “not being” are resolved with “becoming”). This program of acceptance and reconciliation of contradictions is known as the “Hegelian dialectic". Philosophers influenced by Hegel include Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach, who coined the term projection as pertaining to humans' inability to recognize anything in the external world without projecting qualities of ourselves upon those things; Karl Marx; Friedrich Engels; and the British idealists, notably T. H. Green, J. M. E. McTaggart and F. H. Bradley. Few 20th-century philosophers have embraced idealism. However, quite a few have embraced Hegelian dialectic. Immanuel Kant's“Copernican Turn” also remains an important philosophical concept today.

17.9.2 Phenomenology Main article: Phenomenology (philosophy) Edmund Husserl's phenomenology was an ambitious

Immanuel Kant

is the view that there are limits on what can be understood, since there is much that cannot be brought under the conditions of objective judgment. Kant wrote his Critique of Pure Reason (1781–1787) in an attempt to reconcile the conflicting approaches of rationalism and empiricism, and to establish a new groundwork for studying metaphysics. Although Kant held that objective knowledge of the world required the mind to impose a conceptual or categorical framework on the stream of pure sensory data—a framework including space and time themselves—he maintained that things-in-themselves existed independently of human perceptions and judgments; he was therefore not an idealist in any simple sense. Kant's account of things-in-themselves is both controversial and highly complex. Continuing his work, Johann Gottlieb Fichte and Friedrich Schelling dispensed with belief in the independent existence of the world, and created a thoroughgoing idealist philosophy. The most notable work of this German idealism was G. W. F. Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit, of 1807. Hegel admitted his ideas were not new, but that all the previous philosophies had been incomplete. His goal was to correctly finish their job. Hegel asserts that the twin aims of philosophy are to account for the contradictions apparent in human experience (which arise, for instance, out of the

Edmund Husserl

attempt to lay the foundations for an account of the structure of conscious experience in general.* [78] An important part of Husserl's phenomenological project was to show that all conscious acts are directed at or about objective content, a feature that Husserl called intentionality.* [79] Husserl published only a few works



in his lifetime, which treat phenomenology mainly in abstract methodological terms; but he left an enormous quantity of unpublished concrete analyses. Husserl's work was immediately influential in Germany, with the foundation of phenomenological schools in Munich and Göttingen. Phenomenology later achieved international fame through the work of such philosophers as Martin Heidegger (formerly Husserl's research assistant), Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Jean-Paul Sartre. Through the work of Heidegger and Sartre, Husserl's focus on subjective experience influenced aspects of existentialism.



Main article: Existentialism Existentialism is a term applied to the work of a number of late 19th- and 20th-century philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences,* [80]* [81] shared the belief that philosophical thinking begins with the human subject—not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual.* [82] In existentialism, the individual's starting point is characterized by what has been called“the existential attitude”, or a sense of disorientation and confusion in the face of an apparently meaningless or absurd world.* [83] Many existentialists have also regarded traditional systematic or academic philoso- Søren Kierkegaard phy, in both style and content, as too abstract and remote from concrete human experience.* [84]* [85] Although they did not use the term, the 19th-century philosophers Søren Kierkegaard and Friedrich Nietzsche are widely regarded as the fathers of existentialism. Their influence, however, has extended beyond existentialist thought.* [86]* [87]* [88] Structuralism and post-structuralism Main articles: Structuralism and Post-structuralism Inaugurated by the linguist Ferdinand de Saussure, structuralism sought to clarify systems of signs through analyzing the discourses they both limit and make possible. Saussure conceived of the sign as being delimited by all the other signs in the system, and ideas as being incapable of existence prior to linguistic structure, which articulates thought. This led continental thought away from humanism, and toward what was termed the decentering of man: language is no longer spoken by man to express a true inner self, but language speaks man. Structuralism sought the province of a hard science, but its positivism soon came under fire by poststructuralism, a wide field of thinkers, some of whom were once themselves structuralists, but later came to criticize it. Structuralists believed they could analyze systems from an external, objective standing, for example, but the poststructuralists argued that this is incorrect, that one cannot transcend structures and thus analysis is itself determined by

Ferdinand de Saussure

what it examines, while the distinction between the signifier and signified was treated as crystalline by structuralists, poststructuralists asserted that every attempt to grasp the signified results in more signifiers, so meaning is always in a state of being deferred, making an ultimate in-

17.11. OTHER APPROACHES terpretation impossible.

159 finding, implied by the idea and hope that inquiry is not fruitless. The interpretation of these principles has been subject to discussion ever since. Peirce's maxim of pragmatism is,“Consider what effects, which might conceivably have practical bearings, we conceive the object of our conception to have. Then, our conception of these effects is the whole of our conception of the object.”* [92]

Structuralism came to dominate continental philosophy throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, encompassing thinkers as diverse as Claude Lévi-Strauss, Roland Barthes and Jacques Lacan. Post-structuralism came to predominate from the 1970s onwards, including thinkers such as Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze and even Roland Barthes; it incorporated a critique of Critics accused pragmatism falling victim to a simstructuralism's limitations. ple fallacy: that because something that is true proves useful, that usefulness is an appropriate basis for its truthfulness.* [93] Pragmatist thinkers include Dewey, Santayana, Quine and Lewis. Pragmatism was later 17.10 Pragmatism worked on by Rorty, Lachs, Davidson, Haack and Putnam. Main articles: Pragmatism and Instrumentalism Pragmatism asserts that the truth of beliefs consists

17.11 Other approaches A variety of other academic and non-academic approaches have been explored.

17.11.1 Thomism Main article: Thomism Largely Aristotelian in its approach and content, Thomism is a philosophical tradition that follows the writings of Thomas Aquinas. His work has been read, studied and disputed since the 13th century, especially by Roman Catholics. Aquinas enjoyed a revived interest beginning in the late 19th century, among both atheists (Philippa Foot) and theists (Elizabeth Anscombe).* [94] Thomist philosophers tend to be rationalists in epistemology, as well as metaphysical realists and virtue ethicists. The claim that humans are rational animals whose good can be known by reason that can be achieved by the will. Thomists (e.g., Aristotle) argue that soul or psyche is real and immaterial but inseparable from matter in organisms. Soul is the form of the body. Thomists accept Aristotle's causes as natural, including teleological or final causes. William James In this way, although Aquinas argued that whatever is in in their usefulness and efficacy rather than their cor- the intellect begins in the senses, natural teleology can respondence with reality.* [89] Peirce and James were be discerned with the senses and abstracted from nature its co-founders and it was later modified by Dewey as through induction.* [95] instrumentalism. Since the usefulness of any belief at Contemporary Thomism encompasses multiple variants, any time might be contingent on circumstance, Peirce and from Neo-Scholasticism to Existential Thomism.* [96] James conceptualised final truth as something established The so-called new natural lawyers like Grisez and George only by the future, final settlement of all opinion.* [90] applied Thomistic legal principles to contemporary ethPragmatism attempted to find a scientific concept of truth ical debates, while Freeman proposed that Thomism's that does not depend on personal insight (revelation) or cognition as most compatible with neurodynamics. reference to some metaphysical realm. It interpreted the Analytical Thomism (Haldane) encourages dialogue bemeaning of a statement by the effect its acceptance would tween analytic philosophy and broadly Aristotelian phihave on practice. Inquiry taken far enough is thus the only losophy of mind, psychology and hylomorphic metapath to truth.* [91] physics.* [97] Other contemporary Thomists include For Peirce commitment to inquiry was essential to truth- Stump, MacIntyre and Finnis.



Martin Luther King Jr

Elizabeth Anscombe


Applied philosophy

The ideas conceived by a society have profound repercussions on what actions the society performs. Weaver argued that ideas have consequences. Philosophy yields applications such as those in ethics—applied ethics in particular—and political philosophy. The political and economic philosophies of Confucius, Sun Tzu, Chanakya, Ibn Khaldun, Ibn Rushd, Ibn Taymiyyah, Machiavelli, Leibniz, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, Marx, Tolstoy, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr. have been used to shape and justify governments and their actions. Progressive education as championed by Dewey had a profound impact on 20th century US educational practices. Descendants of this movement include efforts in philosophy for children, which are part of philosophy education. Clausewitz's political philosophy of war has had a profound effect on statecraft, international politics and military strategy in the 20th century, especially around World War II. Logic is important in mathematics, linguistics, psychology, computer science and computer engineering. Other






epistemology, which aid in understanding the requisites for knowledge, sound evidence and justified belief (important in law, economics, decision theory and a number of other disciplines). The philosophy of science discusses the underpinnings of the scientific method and has affected the nature of scientific investigation and argumentation. As such, philosophy has fundamental implications for science as a whole. For example, the strictly empirical approach of B. F. Skinner's behaviorism affected for decades the approach of the American psychological establishment. Deep ecology and animal rights examine the moral situation of humans as occupants of a world that has non-human occupants to consider also. Aesthetics can help to interpret discussions of music, literature, the plastic arts and the whole artistic dimension of life. In general, the various philosophies strive to provide practical activities with a deeper understanding of the theoretical or conceptual underpinnings of their fields.

17.11.3 Marxism Main article: Marxism

Marxism is a method of socioeconomic analysis, originating from Marx and Engels. It analyzes class relations and societal conflict using a materialist interpretation of historical development and a dialectical view of social transformation. Marxist analyses and methodologies influenced political ideologies and social movements. Marxist understandings of history and society were adopted by in academics in archaeology, anthropology, media studies,



political science, theater, history, sociology, art history and theory, cultural studies, education, economics, geography, literary criticism, aesthetics, critical psychology and philosophy.

17.12 Society Some of those who study philosophy become professional philosophers, typically by working as professors who teach, research and write in academic institutions.* [98] However, most students of academic philosophy later contribute to law, journalism, religion, sciences, politics, business, or various arts.* [26]* [99] For example, public figures who have degrees in philosophy include comedians Steve Martin and Ricky Gervais, filmmaker Terrence Malick, Pope John Paul II, Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Bryer and vice presidential candidate Carly Fiorina.* [100]* [101]

17.13 Professional philosophy Germany was the first country to professionalize philosophy. At the end of 1817, Hegel was the first philosopher to be appointed Professor by the State, namely by the Prussian Minister of Education, as an effect of Napoleonic reform in Prussia. In the United States, the professionalisation grew out of reforms to the American higher-education system largely based on the German model.

Bertrand Russell

books, magazines, and television shows meant to popularize science and communicate the technical results of a scientific field to the general populace, works by professional philosophers directed at an audience outside the profession remain rare. Philosopher Michael Sandel's book“Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?" and Harry Frankfurt's “On Bullshit”are examples of works that hold the uncommon distinction of having been written by professional philosophers but directed at and ultimately popular among a broader audience of non-philosophers. Both works became New York Times best sellers.

Within the last century, philosophy has increasingly become a professional discipline practiced within universities, like other academic disciplines. Accordingly, it has become less general and more specialized. In the view of one prominent recent historian:“Philosophy has become a highly organized discipline, done by specialists primarily for other specialists. The number of philosophers has exploded, the volume of publication has swelled, and the subfields of serious philosophical investigation have multiplied. Not only is the broad field of philosophy today far too vast to be embraced by one mind, something similar 17.14 Non-professional philosophy is true even of many highly specialized subfields.”* [102] Some philosophers argue that this professionalization has Many inquiries outside of academia are philosophical in negatively affected the discipline.* [103] the broad sense. Novelists, playwrights, filmmakers, muThe end result of professionalization for philosophy has sicians, as well as scientists, social scientists, and others meant that work being done in the field is now almost engage in recognizably philosophical activity. exclusively done by university professors holding a doctorate in the field publishing in highly technical, peerreviewed journals. While it remains common among the population at large for a person to have a set of religious, political or philosophical views that they consider their “philosophy”, these views are rarely informed or connected to the work being done in professional philosophy today. Furthermore, unlike many of the sciences for which there has come to be a healthy industry of

Ayn Rand is the foremost example of an intellectual working contemporaneously with contemporary philosophy but whose contributions were not made within the professional discipline of“philosophy":“For all her [Ayn Rand's] popularity, however, only a few professional philosophers have taken her work seriously. As a result, most of the serious philosophical work on Rand has appeared in non-academic, non-peer-reviewed journals, or in books, and the bibliography reflects this fact."[15]



Also working from outside the profession were philosophers such as Gerd B. Achenbach (Die reine und die praktische Philosophie. Drei Vorträge zur philosophischen Praxis, 1983) and Michel Weber (see his Épreuve de la philosophie, 2008) who have proposed since the 1980s various forms of philosophical counseling claiming to bring Socratic dialogues back to life in a quasipsychotherapeutic framework. Pierre Hadot is famous for his analysis on the conception of philosophy during Greco-Roman antiquity. Hadot identified and analyzed the “spiritual exercises”used in ancient philosophy (influencing Michel Foucault's interest in such practices in the second and third volumes of his History of Sexuality). By“spiritual exercises”Hadot means“practices ... intended to effect a modification and a transformation in the subjects who practice them.[6] The philosophy teacher's discourse could be presented in such a way that the disciple, as auditor, reader, or interlocutor, could make spiritual progress and transform himself within."[7] Hadot shows that the key to understanding the original philosophical impulse is to be found in Socrates. What characterizes Socratic therapy above all is the importance given to living contact between human beings. Hadot's recurring theme is that philosophy in Antiquity was characterized by a series of spiritual exercises intended to transform the perception, and therefore the being, of those who practice it; that philosophy is best pursued in real conversation and not through written texts and lectures; and that philosophy, as it is taught in American philosopher of mind and philosopher of art Susanne universities today, is for the most part a distortion of its Langer (1895–1985). original, therapeutic impulse. He brings these concerns together in What Is Ancient Philosophy?,[7] which has been critically reviewed.[8] and sexual harassment" of women students and professors.* [107]University of Sheffield philosophy professor Jennifer Saul stated in 2015 that women are "...leaving philosophy after being harassed, assaulted, or retaliated 17.15 Role of women against.”* [108] In the early 1990s, the Canadian Philosophical Association noted a gender imbalance and gender bias in the academic field of philosophy.* [109] In June 2013, a US sociology professor stated that “out of all recent citations in four prestigious philosophy journals, female authors comprise just 3.6 percent of the total.”* [110] Susan Price argues that the philosophical "...canon remains dominated by white males—the discipline that...still hews to the myth that genius is tied to gender.”* [111] According to Saul, "[p]hilosophy, the oldest of the humanities, is also the malest (and the whitest). While other areas of the humanities are at or near gender parity, philosophy is actually more overwhelmingly male than even mathematIn the early 1800s, some colleges and universities in the ics.”* [112] UK and US began admitting women, producing more female academics. Nevertheless, U.S. Department of Education reports from the 1990s indicate that few women ended up in philosophy, and that philosophy is one of the 17.16 Popular culture least gender-proportionate fields in the humanities.* [106] In 2014, Inside Higher Education described the phi- In 2000, the Open Court Publishing Company began publosophy "...discipline's own long history of misogyny lishing a series of books on philosophy and popular culMain article: Women in philosophy Although men have generally dominated philosophical discourse, women have engaged in philosophy throughout history. Women philosophers have contributed since ancient times–notably Hipparchia of Maroneia (active ca. 325 BC) and Arete of Cyrene (active 5th–4th century BC). More were accepted during the ancient, medieval and modern eras, but no women philosophers became part the Western canon until the 20th and 21st century, when some sources indicate that Susanne Langer, Hannah Arendt and Simone de Beauvoir entered the canon.* [104]* [105]

17.18. REFERENCES ture. Each book consists of essays written by philosophers for general readers. The books “explore the meanings, concepts and puzzles within television shows, movies, music and other icons of popular culture”* [113] analyzing topics such as the TV shows Seinfeld and The Simpsons, The Matrix and Star Wars movies and related media and new technological developments such as the iPod and Facebook. Their most recent publication (as of 2016) is titled Louis C.K. and Philosophy; its subject is the comedian Louis C.K.. The Matrix makes numerous references to philosophy including Buddhism, Vedanta, Advaita Hinduism, Christianity, Messianism, Judaism, Gnosticism, existentialism and nihilism. The film's premise resembles Plato's Allegory of the cave, Descartes's evil demon, Kant's reflections on the Phenomenon versus the Ding an sich, Zhuangzi's "Zhuangzi dreamed he was a butterfly", Marxist social theory and the brain in a vat thought experiment. Many references to Baudrillard's Simulacra and Simulation appear in the film, although Baudrillard himself considered this a misrepresentation.* [114]

17.17 See also Main article: Outline of philosophy • List of important publications in philosophy • List of years in philosophy • List of philosophy journals • List of unsolved problems in philosophy • Lists of philosophers • Social theory

17.18 References [1] “Strong's Greek Dictionary 5385”. [2] “Home : Oxford English Dictionary”. oed.com. [3] “Online Etymology Dictionary”. Etymonline.com. Retrieved 22 August 2010. [4] The definition of philosophy is: “1. orig., love of, or the search for, wisdom or knowledge 2. theory or logical analysis of the principles underlying conduct, thought, knowledge, and the nature of the universe”. Webster's New World Dictionary (Second College ed.). [5] Jenny Teichmann and Katherine C. Evans, Philosophy: A Beginner's Guide (Blackwell Publishing, 1999), p. 1: “Philosophy is a study of problems which are ultimate, abstract and very general. These problems are concerned with the nature of existence, knowledge, morality, reason and human purpose.”


[6] A.C. Grayling, Philosophy 1: A Guide through the Subject (Oxford University Press, 1998), p. 1: “The aim of philosophical inquiry is to gain insight into questions about knowledge, truth, reason, reality, meaning, mind, and value.” [7] Adler, Mortimer J. (28 March 2000). How to Think About the Great Ideas: From the Great Books of Western Civilization. Chicago, Ill.: Open Court. ISBN 978-0-8126-94123. [8] Quinton, Anthony, The ethics of philosophical practice, p. 666, Philosophy is rationally critical thinking, of a more or less systematic kind about the general nature of the world (metaphysics or theory of existence), the justification of belief (epistemology or theory of knowledge), and the conduct of life (ethics or theory of value). Each of the three elements in this list has a non-philosophical counterpart, from which it is distinguished by its explicitly rational and critical way of proceeding and by its systematic nature. Everyone has some general conception of the nature of the world in which they live and of their place in it. Metaphysics replaces the unargued assumptions embodied in such a conception with a rational and organized body of beliefs about the world as a whole. Everyone has occasion to doubt and question beliefs, their own or those of others, with more or less success and without any theory of what they are doing. Epistemology seeks by argument to make explicit the rules of correct belief formation. Everyone governs their conduct by directing it to desired or valued ends. Ethics, or moral philosophy, in its most inclusive sense, seeks to articulate, in rationally systematic form, the rules or principles involved. in Honderich 1995. [9] Greco, John, ed. (1 October 2011). The Oxford Handbook of Skepticism (1st ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-983680-2. [10] Glymour, Clark (10 April 2015). “Chapters 1-6”. Thinking Things Through: An Introduction to Philosophical Issues and Achievements (2nd ed.). A Bradford Book. ISBN 978-0-262-52720-0. [11] “Contemporary Skepticism | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy”. www.iep.utm.edu. Retrieved 25 April 2016. [12] “The Internet Classics Archive | The Republic by Plato” . classics.mit.edu. Retrieved 25 April 2016. [13] “Free Will | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy”. www. iep.utm.edu. Retrieved 25 April 2016. [14] “Philosophy”. www.etymonline.com. Online Etymological Dictionary. Retrieved 19 March 2016. The English word “philosophy”is first attested to c. 1300, meaning “knowledge, body of knowledge.” [15] Lindberg 2007, p. 3. [16] Shapin, Steven (1 January 1998). The Scientific Revolution (1st ed.). University Of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-22675021-7. [17] Briggle, Robert Frodeman and Adam.“When Philosophy Lost Its Way”. Opinionator. Retrieved 25 April 2016.


[18] Sartwell, Crispin (1 January 2014). Zalta, Edward N., ed. Beauty (Spring 2014 ed.). [19] “PLATO, Hippias Major | Loeb Classical Library”. Loeb Classical Library. Retrieved 27 April 2016.


[39] Kelly (1998) p. ix [40] Review by Tom Riedel (Regis University) [41] “Merriam-Webster.com”. Retrieved 21 August 2012.

[20] Feyerabend, Paul; Hacking, Ian (11 May 2010). Against Method (4th ed.). Verso. ISBN 978-1-84467-442-8.

[42] Definition 1 of aesthetics from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online.

[21] “Nozick, Robert: Political Philosophy | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy”. www.iep.utm.edu. Retrieved 25 April 2016.

[43] Zangwill, Nick. "Aesthetic Judgment", Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 02-28-2003/10-22-2007. Retrieved 24 July 2008.

[22] “Rawls, John | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy”. www.iep.utm.edu. Retrieved 25 April 2016. [23] More, Thomas (8 May 2015). Utopia. Courier Corporation. ISBN 978-0-486-11070-7. [24] “Merriam-Webster Dictionary”. www.merriam-webster. com. Retrieved 14 May 2016. [25] “Merriam-Webster Dictionary”. www.merriam-webster. com. Retrieved 14 May 2016. [26]“Why Study Philosophy? An Unofficial“Daily Nous”Affiliate”. www.whystudyphilosophy.com. Retrieved 201605-02. [27] Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich; Brown, Robert F. (1 January 2006). Lectures on the History of Philosophy: Greek philosophy. Clarendon Press. p. 33. ISBN 9780-19-927906-7. [28] “Plato's“Symposium"". www.perseus.tufts.edu. p. 201d and following. Retrieved 22 April 2016. [29] Process and Reality p. 39 [30] “Online Etymology Dictionary”. etymonline.com. [31] Kant, Immanuel (2012-05-21). Kant: Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781107401068. Ancient Greek philosophy was divided into three branches of knowledge: natural science, ethics, and logic. [32] McGinn, Colin (8 December 1993). Problems in Philosophy: The Limits of Inquiry (1st ed.). Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-1-55786-475-8. [33] “Video & Audio: Why isn't there more progress in philosophy? - Metadata”. www.sms.cam.ac.uk. Retrieved 25 April 2016. [34] Brewer, Talbot (11 June 2011). The Retrieval of Ethics (1st ed.). Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-969222-4.

[44] “aesthetic – definition of aesthetic in English from the Oxford dictionary”. oxforddictionaries.com. [45] White, Curtis (2014-08-05). The Science Delusion: Asking the Big Questions in a Culture of Easy Answers. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Melville House. ISBN 9781612193908. [46] Carnap, Rudolf (1953). ""Inductive Logic and Science” .". Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 80 (3): 189–97. doi:10.2307/20023651. Retrieved 2016-04-26. [47] Frederick Copleston, A History of Philosophy, Volume II: From Augustine to Scotus (Burns & Oates, 1950), p. 1, dates medieval philosophy proper from the Carolingian Renaissance in the eighth century to the end of the fourteenth century, though he includes Augustine and the Patristic fathers as precursors. Desmond Henry, in Edwards 1967, pp. 252–257 volume 5, , starts with Augustine and ends with Nicholas of Oresme in the late fourteenth century. David Luscombe, Medieval Thought (Oxford University Press, 1997), dates medieval philosophy from the conversion of Constantine in 312 to the Protestant Reformation in the 1520s. Christopher Hughes, in A.C. Grayling (ed.), Philosophy 2: Further through the Subject (Oxford University Press, 1998), covers philosophers from Augustine to Ockham. Gracia 2008, p. 620 identifies medieval philosophy as running from Augustine to John of St. Thomas in the seventeenth century. Kenny 2012, volume II begins with Augustine and ends with the Lateran Council of 1512. [48] Schmitt & Skinner 1988, p. 5 [49] Frederick Copleston, A History of Philosophy, Volume III: From Ockham to Suarez (The Newman Press, 1953) p. 18: “When one looks at Renaissance philosophy …one is faced at first sight with a rather bewildering assortment of philosophies.”

[37] Plantinga, Alvin (2014-01-01). Zalta, Edward N., ed. Religion and Science (Spring 2014 ed.).

[50] Brian Copenhaver and Charles Schmitt, Renaissance Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 1992), p. 4: “one may identify the hallmark of Renaissance philosophy as an accelerated and enlarged interest, stimulated by newly available texts, in primary sources of Greek and Roman thought that were previously unknown or partially known or little read.”

[38] G & C. Merriam Co. (1913). Noah Porter, eds. Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913 ed.). G & C. Merriam Co. p. 501. Retrieved 13 May 2012. E*pis`te*mol"o*gy (?), n. [Gr. knowledge + -logy.] The theory or science of the method or grounds of knowledge.

[51] Gracia, Jorge J.E. Philosophy 2: Further through the Subject. p. 621. the humanists …restored man to the centre of attention and channeled their efforts to the recovery and transmission of classical learning, particularly in the philosophy of Plato. in Bunnin & Tsui-James 2008.

[35] “A Taxonomy of Philosophy” [36] Kenny 2012.


[52] Copleston, ibid.: “The bulk of Renaissance thinkers, scholars and scientists were, of course, Christians …but none the less the classical revival …helped to bring to the fore a conception of autonomous man or an idea of the development of the human personality, which, though generally Christian, was more 'naturalistic' and less ascetic than the mediaeval conception.” [53] Schmitt & Skinner 1988, pp. 61, 63 [54] Cassirer; Kristeller; Randall, eds. (1948). “Introduction”. The Renaissance Philosophy of Man. University of Chicago Press. [55]“Hobbes: Moral and Political Philosophy”. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.“Hobbes is the founding father of modern political philosophy. Directly or indirectly, he has set the terms of debate about the fundamentals of political life right into our own times.” [56]“Contractarianism”. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.: “Contractarianism […] stems from the Hobbesian line of social contract thought” [57] Diane Collinson. Fifty Major Philosophers, A Reference Guide. p. 125. [58] Rutherford 2006, p. xiii Nadler 2008, p. 1. Kenny 2012, p. 107 [59] Steven Nadler, A Companion to Early Modern Philosophy, pp. 1–2: “By the seventeenth century […] it had become more common to find original philosophical minds working outside the strictures of the university—i.e., ecclesiastic—framework. […] by the end of the eighteenth century, [philosophy] was a secular enterprise.” [60] Anthony Kenny, A New History of Western Philosophy, vol. 3 (Oxford University Press, 2006), p. xii:“To someone approaching the early modern period of philosophy from an ancient and medieval background the most striking feature of the age is the absence of Aristotle from the philosophic scene.” [61] Donald Rutherford, The Cambridge Companion to Early Modern Philosophy (Cambridge University Press, 2006), p. 1: “epistemology assumes a new significance in the early modern period as philosophers strive to define the conditions and limits of human knowledge.” [62] Kenny, A New History of Western Philosophy, vol. 3, p. 211: “The period between Descartes and Hegel was the great age of metaphysical system-building.”


with Erasmus and Montaigne? […] Suffice it to say that at the beginning of the seventeenth century, and especially with Bacon and Descartes, certain questions and concerns come to the fore—a variety of issues that motivated the inquiries and debates that would characterize much philosophical thinking for the next two centuries.” [66] Rutherford, The Cambridge Companion to Early Modern Philosophy, p. 1: “Most often this [period] has been associated with the achievements of a handful of great thinkers: the so-called 'rationalists' (Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz) and 'empiricists' (Locke, Berkeley, Hume), whose inquiries culminate in Kant's 'Critical philosophy.' These canonical figures have been celebrated for the depth and rigor of their treatments of perennial philosophical questions...” [67] Nadler, A Companion to Early Modern Philosophy, p. 2: “The study of early modern philosophy demands that we pay attention to a wide variety of questions and an expansive pantheon of thinkers: the traditional canonical figures (Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, and Hume), to be sure, but also a large 'supporting cast'...” [68] Bruce Kuklick, “Seven Thinkers and How They Grew: Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz; Locke, Berkeley, Hume; Kant”in Rorty, Schneewind, and Skinner (eds.), Philosophy in History (Cambridge University Press, 1984), p. 125:“Literary, philosophical, and historical studies often rely on a notion of what is canonical. In American philosophy scholars go from Jonathan Edwards to John Dewey; in American literature from James Fenimore Cooper to F. Scott Fitzgerald; in political theory from Plato to Hobbes and Locke […] The texts or authors who fill in the blanks from A to Z in these, and other intellectual traditions, constitute the canon, and there is an accompanying narrative that links text to text or author to author, a 'history of' American literature, economic thought, and so on. The most conventional of such histories are embodied in university courses and the textbooks that accompany them. This essay examines one such course, the History of Modern Philosophy, and the texts that helped to create it. If a philosopher in the United States were asked why the seven people in my title comprise Modern Philosophy, the initial response would be: they were the best, and there are historical and philosophical connections among them.” [69] Rutherford 2006, p. 1 [70] Kenny, A New History of Western Philosophy, vol. 3, p. xiii.

[63] Kenny, A New History of Western Philosophy, vol. 3, pp. 179–180: “the seventeenth century saw the gradual separation of the old discipline of natural philosophy into the science of physics […] [b]y the nineteenth century physics was a fully mature empirical science, operating independently of philosophy.”

[71] Nadler, A Companion to Early Modern Philosophy, p. 3.

[64] Kenny, A New History of Western Philosophy, vol. 3, pp. 212–331.

[74] Beiser, Frederick C. The Cambridge Companion to Hegel, (Cambridge, 1993).

[65] Nadler, A Companion to Early Modern Philosophy, pp. 2– 3: “Why should the early modern period in philosophy begin with Descartes and Bacon, for example, rather than

[75] Baldwin 2003, p. 119

[72] Shand, John (ed.) Central Works of Philosophy, Vol.3 The Nineteenth Century (McGill-Queens, 2005) [73] Baldwin 2003, p. Philosophy, p. 4, at Google Books

[76] Nicholas Joll, http://www.iep.utm.edu/con-meta/



[77] Russell, Bertrand (22 February 1999). "The Principles of Mathematics (1903)". Fair-use.org. Retrieved 22 August 2010.

[94] Kerr, Fergu (15 April 2008). After Aquinas: Versions of Thomism. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1-4051-37140.

[78] Woodruff Smith, David (2007). Husserl. Routledge.

[95] Aquinas, "De veritate, Q.2, art.3, answer 19”.

[79] Dreyfus, Hubert L.; Wrathall, Mark A. (24 August 2011). A Companion to Phenomenology and Existentialism. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1-4443-5656-4.

[96] Feser, Edward (1 September 2009). Aquinas: A Beginner's Guide. Oneworld Publications. p. 216. ISBN 9781-85168-690-2.

[80] John Macquarrie, Existentialism, New York (1972), pages 18–21.

[97] Paterson, Craig; Pugh, Matthew S. (2006). Analytical Thomism: Traditions in Dialogue. Ashgate. ISBN 9780-7546-3438-6.

[81] Oxford Companion to Philosophy, ed. Ted Honderich, New York (1995), page 259. [82] John Macquarrie, Existentialism, New York (1972), pages 14–15.

[98] “Where Can Philosophy Take Me? | Philosophy”. philosophy.as.uky.edu. Retrieved 2016-05-02. [99] Cropper, Carol Marie (1997-12-26).“Philosophers Find the Degree Pays Off in Life And in Work”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-05-02.

[83] Robert C. Solomon, Existentialism (McGraw-Hill, 1974, pages 1–2) [100] Marketing, Mansfield University Department of. “Famous Philosophy Majors | Mansfield University”. www. [84] Ernst Breisach, Introduction to Modern Existentialism, mansfield.edu. Retrieved 2016-05-02. New York (1962), page 5 [101] W, Justin (2014-12-08). “Famous Philosophy Majors [85] Walter Kaufmann, Existentialism: From Dostoevesky to Poster (updated with new link)". Daily Nous. Retrieved Sartre, New York (1956) page 12 2016-05-02. [86] Matustik, Martin J. (1995). Kierkegaard in [102] Scott Soames, Philosophical Analysis in the Twentieth Post/Modernity. Indiana University Press. ISBN Century, vol. 2, p. 463. 978-0-253-20967-2. [103] “Socrates Tenured - Rowman & Littlefield International” [87] Solomon, Robert (2001). What Nietzsche Really Said. . www.rowmaninternational.com. Retrieved 2016-04-25. Schocken. ISBN 978-0-8052-1094-1. [104] Duran, Jane. Eight women philosophers: theory, politics, [88] Religious thinkers were among those influenced by and feminism. University of Illinois Press, 2005. Kierkegaard. Christian existentialists include Gabriel Marcel, Nicholas Berdyaev, Miguel de Unamuno, and [105]“Why I Left Academia: Philosophy's Homogeneity Needs Rethinking - Hippo Reads”. Karl Jaspers (although he preferred to speak of his“philosophical faith”). The Jewish philosophers Martin Buber [106]“Salary, Promotion, and Tenure Status of Minority and Lev Shestov have also been associated with existenand Women Faculty in U.S. Colleges and Universitialism. ties."National Center for Education Statistics, Statistical [89] Rorty, Richard (1982). The Consequences of Pragmatism. Minnesota: Minnesota University Press. p. xvi. [90] Putnam, Hilary (1995). Pragmatism: An Open Question. Oxford: Blackwell. pp. 8–12.

Analysis Report, March 2000; U.S. Department of Education, Office of Education Research and Improvement, Report # NCES 2000–173;1993 National Study of Postsecondary Faculty (NSOPF:93). See also “Characteristics and Attitudes of Instructional Faculty and Staff in the Humanities.”National Center For Education Statistics, E.D. Tabs, July 1997. U.S. Department of Education, Office of Education Research and Improvement, Report # NCES 97-973;1993 National Study of Postsecondary Faculty (NSOPF-93).

[91] Peirce, C. S. (1878), "How to Make Our Ideas Clear", Popular Science Monthly, v. 12, 286–302. Reprinted often, including Collected Papers v. 5, paragraphs 388–410 and Essential Peirce v. 1, 124–41. See end of §II for the pragmatic maxim. See third and fourth paragraphs in §IV for the discoverability of truth and the real by suf- [107] “Unofficial Internet campaign outs professor for alleged sexual harassment, attempted assault”. ficient investigation. Also see quotes from Peirce from across the years in the entries for“Truth”and“Pragma- [108] Ratcliffe, Rebecca; Shaw, Claire (5 January 2015).“Phitism, Maxim of...”in the Commens Dictionary of Peirce's losophy is for posh, white boys with trust funds' – why are Terms, Mats Bergman and Sami Paavola, editors, Univerthere so few women?". sity of Helsinki. [109] “Women in Philosophy: Problems with the Discrimina[92] Peirce on p. 293 of “How to Make Our Ideas Clear”, tion Hypothesis - National Association of Scholars”. Popular Science Monthly, v. 12, pp. 286–302. Reprinted widely, including Collected Papers of Charles Sanders [110] Sesardic, Neven; De Clercq, Rafael (2014). “Women in Philosophy: Problems with the Discrimination HyPeirce (CP) v. 5, paragraphs 388–410. pothesis” (PDF). Academic Questions. New York: [93] Pratt, J. B. (1909). What is Pragmatism?. New York: Springer Science+Business Media. doi:10.1007/s12129Macmillan. p. 89. 014-9464-x.



[111] Price, Susan. “Reviving the Female Canon”. [112] http://www.salon.com/2013/08/15/philosophy_has_a_ sexual_harassment_problem/ [113] “Popular Culture and Philosophy”. opencourtbooks.com. Retrieved 2016-05-02.


[114] “IJBS”. Web.archive.org. 2010-10-21. Archived from the original on October 21, 2010. Retrieved 2012-07-11.

17.19 Sources • Edwards, Paul, ed. (1967). The Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Macmillan & Free Press.

• Leaman, Oliver; Morewedge, Parviz (2000). “Islamic philosophy modern”. In Craig, Edward. Concise Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Psychology Press. ISBN 0-415-22364-4. • Buccellati, Giorgio (1981-01-01). “Wisdom and Not: The Case of Mesopotamia”. Journal of the American Oriental Society. 101 (1): 35–47. doi:10.2307/602163.

17.20 Further reading 17.21 General introductions

• Kant, Immanuel (1881). Critique of Pure Reason. Macmillan.

• Blumenau, Ralph. Philosophy and Living. ISBN 978-0-907845-33-1

• Bowker, John (1999). The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. Oxford University Press, Incorporated. ISBN 978-0-19-866242-6.

• Craig, Edward. Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction. ISBN 978-0-19-285421-6

• Baldwin, Thomas, ed. (27 November 2003). The Cambridge History of Philosophy 1870-1945. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-59104-1. • Copenhaver, Brian P.; Schmitt, Charles B. (24 September 1992). Renaissance philosophy. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-219203-5. • Nadler, Steven (15 April 2008). A Companion to Early Modern Philosophy. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-99883-0. • Rutherford, Donald (12 October 2006). The Cambridge Companion to Early Modern Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-52182242-8. • Schmitt, C. B.; Skinner, Quentin, eds. (1988). The Cambridge History of Renaissance Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-52139748-3. • Kenny, Anthony (16 August 2012). A New History of Western Philosophy. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-958988-3. • Honderich, T., ed. (1995). The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780-19-866132-0.

• Harrison-Barbet, Anthony, Mastering Philosophy. ISBN 978-0-333-69343-8 • Russell, Bertrand. The Problems of Philosophy. ISBN 978-0-19-511552-9 • Sinclair, Alistair J. What is Philosophy? An Introduction, 2008, ISBN 978-1-903765-94-4 • Sober, Elliott. (2001). Core Questions in Philosophy: A Text with Readings. Upper Saddle River, Prentice Hall. ISBN 978-0-13-189869-1 • Solomon, Robert C. Big Questions: A Short Introduction to Philosophy. ISBN 978-0-534-16708-0 • Warburton, Nigel. Philosophy: The Basics. ISBN 978-0-415-14694-4 • Nagel, Thomas. What Does It All Mean? A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy. ISBN 978-0-19505292-3 • Classics of Philosophy (Vols. 1, 2, & 3) by Louis P. Pojman • The English Philosophers from Bacon to Mill by Edwin Arthur • European Philosophers from Descartes to Nietzsche by Monroe Beardsley

• Bunnin, Nicholas; Tsui-James, Eric, eds. (15 April 2008). The Blackwell Companion to Philosophy. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-99787-1.

• Cottingham, John. Western Philosophy: An Anthology. 2nd ed. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub., 2008. Print. Blackwell Philosophy Anthologies.

• Copleston, Frederick Charles (1953). A history of philosophy: volume III: Ockham to Suárez. Paulist Press. ISBN 978-0-8091-0067-5.

• Tarnas, Richard. The Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas That Have Shaped Our World View. ISBN 978-0-345-36809-6



17.22 Topical introductions 17.22.1


• A Source Book in Indian Philosophy by Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Charles A. Moore • Hamilton, Sue. Indian Philosophy: a Very Short Introduction. ISBN 978-0-19-285374-5 • Kupperman, Joel J. Classic Asian Philosophy: A Guide to the Essential Texts. ISBN 978-0-19513335-6 • Lee, Joe and Powell, Jim. Eastern Philosophy For Beginners. ISBN 978-0-86316-282-4 • Smart, Ninian. World Philosophies. ISBN 978-0415-22852-7 • Copleston, Frederick. Philosophy in Russia: From Herzen to Lenin and Berdyaev. ISBN 978-0-26801569-5

• Higgins, Kathleen M. and Solomon, Robert C. A Short History of Philosophy. ISBN 978-0-19510196-6 • Durant, Will, Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World's Greatest Philosophers, Pocket, 1991, ISBN 978-0-671-73916-4 • Oizerman, Teodor (1973). Problems of the History of Philosophy. translated from Russian by Robert Daglish (1st ed.). Moscow: Progress Publishers. Retrieved 20 January 2011 First published in Russian as «Проблемы историко-философской науки»

17.23.1 Ancient • Knight, Kelvin. Aristotelian Philosophy: Ethics and Politics from Aristotle to MacIntyre. ISBN 978-07456-1977-4

17.23.2 Medieval 17.22.2


• Imbo, Samuel Oluoch. '3'An Introduction to African Philosophy. ISBN 978-0-8476-8841-8



• Medieval Islamic Philosophical Writings edited by Muhammad Ali Khalidi • Leaman, Oliver. A Brief Introduction to Islamic Philosophy. ISBN 978-0-7456-1960-6. • Corbin, Henry (23 June 2014) [1993]. History Of Islamic Philosophy. Translated by Sherrard,, Liadain; Sherrard, Philip. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-1-135-19888-6. • Aminrazavi, Mehdi Amin Razavi; Nasr, Seyyed Hossein; Nasr, PH.D., Seyyed Hossein (16 December 2013). The Islamic Intellectual Tradition in Persia. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-136-78105-6.

17.23 Historical introductions

• The Phenomenology Reader by Dermot Moran, Timothy Mooney • Kim, J. and Ernest Sosa, Ed. (1999). Metaphysics: An Anthology. Blackwell Philosophy Anthologies. Oxford, Blackwell Publishers Ltd. • Husserl, Edmund; Welton, Donn (1999). The Essential Husserl: Basic Writings in Transcendental Phenomenology. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0253-21273-1.

17.23.3 Modern • Existentialism: Basic Writings (Second Edition) by Charles Guignon, Derk Pereboom • Curley, Edwin, A Spinoza Reader, Princeton, 1994, ISBN 978-0-691-00067-1 • Bullock, Alan, R. B. Woodings, and John Cumming, eds. The Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thinkers, in series, Fontana Original[s]. Hammersmith, Eng.: Fontana Press, 1992, cop. 1983. xxv, 867 p. ISBN 978-0-00-636965-3

• Scruton, Roger. A Short History of Modern Philos• Oizerman, Teodor (1988). The Main Trends in Phiophy. ISBN 978-0-415-26763-2 losophy. A Theoretical Analysis of the History of Philosophy (DjVu, etc.). translated by H. Campbell Creighton, M.A., Oxon (2nd ed.). Moscow: 17.23.4 Contemporary Progress Publishers. ISBN 5-01-000506-9. Re• Contemporary Analytic Philosophy: Core Readings trieved 20 January 2011 First published in Russian by James Baillie as «Главные философские направления»

17.24. REFERENCE WORKS • Appiah, Kwame Anthony. Thinking it Through – An Introduction to Contemporary Philosophy, 2003, ISBN 978-0-19-513458-2 • Critchley, Simon. Continental Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction. ISBN 978-0-19-285359-2

17.24 Reference works • Chan, Wing-tsit (1963). A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0691-01964-9. • Huang, Siu-chi (1999). Essentials of NeoConfucianism: Eight Major Philosophers of the Song and Ming Periods. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-313-26449-X. • Honderich, T., ed. (1995). The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780-19-866132-0. • The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy by Robert Audi • The Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy (10 vols.) edited by Edward Craig, Luciano Floridi (available online by subscription); or • The Concise Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy edited by Edward Craig (an abridgement) • Edwards, Paul, ed. (1967). The Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Macmillan & Free Press.; in 1996, a ninth supplemental volume appeared that updated the classic 1967 encyclopedia.

169 • A History of Indian Philosophy (5 vols.) by Surendranath Dasgupta • History of Chinese Philosophy (2 vols.) by Fung Yulan, Derk Bodde • Instructions for Practical Living and Other NeoConfucian Writings by Wang Yang-ming by Chan, Wing-tsit • Encyclopedia of Chinese Philosophy edited by Antonio S. Cua • Encyclopedia of Eastern Philosophy and Religion by Ingrid Fischer-Schreiber, Franz-Karl Ehrhard, Kurt Friedrichs • Companion Encyclopedia of Asian Philosophy by Brian Carr, Indira Mahalingam • A Concise Dictionary of Indian Philosophy: Sanskrit Terms Defined in English by John A. Grimes • History of Islamic Philosophy edited by Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Oliver Leaman • History of Jewish Philosophy edited by Daniel H. Frank, Oliver Leaman • A History of Russian Philosophy: From the Tenth to the Twentieth Centuries by Valerii Aleksandrovich Kuvakin • Ayer, A.J. et al., Ed. (1994) A Dictionary of Philosophical Quotations. Blackwell Reference Oxford. Oxford, Basil Blackwell Ltd.

• International Directory of Philosophy and Philosophers. Charlottesville, Philosophy Documentation Center.

• Blackburn, S., Ed. (1996)The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy. Oxford, Oxford University Press.

• Directory of American Philosophers. Charlottesville, Philosophy Documentation Center.

• Mauter, T., Ed. The Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy. London, Penguin Books.

• Routledge History of Philosophy (10 vols.) edited by John Marenbon

• Runes, D., Ed. (1942). The Dictionary of Philosophy. New York, The Philosophical Library, Inc.

• History of Philosophy (9 vols.) by Frederick Copleston • A History of Western Philosophy (5 vols.) by W. T. Jones • History of Italian Philosophy (2 vols.) by Eugenio Garin. Translated from Italian and Edited by Giorgio Pinton. Introduction by Leon Pompa. • Encyclopaedia of Indian Philosophies (8 vols.), edited by Karl H. Potter et al. (first 6 volumes out of print) • Indian Philosophy (2 vols.) by Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

• Angeles, P.A., Ed. (1992). The Harper Collins Dictionary of Philosophy. New York, Harper Perennial. • Bunnin, Nicholas; Tsui-James, Eric, eds. (15 April 2008). The Blackwell Companion to Philosophy. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-99787-1. • Hoffman, Eric, Ed. (1997) Guidebook for Publishing Philosophy. Charlottesville, Philosophy Documentation Center. • Popkin, R.H. (1999). The Columbia History of Western Philosophy. New York, Columbia University Press.

170 • Bullock, Alan, and Oliver Stallybrass, jt. eds. The Harper Dictionary of Modern Thought. New York: Harper & Row, 1977. xix, 684 p. N.B.: “First published in England under the title, The Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought.”ISBN 978-0-06010578-5 • Reese, W. L. Dictionary of Philosophy and Religion: Eastern and Western Thought. Atlantic Highlands, N.J.: Humanities Press, 1980. iv, 644 p. ISBN 9780-391-00688-1

17.25 External links • Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy • The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy • Indiana Philosophy Ontology Project • PhilPapers – a comprehensive directory of online philosophical articles and books by academic philosophers • Philosophy Timeline • Map of Western Philosophers • Philosophy Magazines and Journals • Philosophy at DMOZ • Philosophy (review) • Philosophy Documentation Center • Popular Philosophy


Chapter 18

Science This article is about the general term. For other uses, see In the 17th and 18th centuries, scientists increasingly Science (disambiguation). sought to formulate knowledge in terms of laws of nature. Over the course of the 19th century, the word“science” became increasingly associated with the scientific method itself, as a disciplined way to study the natural world. It was in the 19th century that scientific disciplines such as biology, chemistry, and physics reached their modern shapes. The same time period also included the origin of the terms "scientist" and "scientific community,”the founding of scientific institutions, and increasing significance of the interactions with society and other aspects of culture.* [13]* [14]

18.1 History The scale of the universe mapped to the branches of science and the hierarchy of science.* [1]

Main article: History of science Science in a broad sense existed before the modern

Science* [nb 1]* [2]* :58* [3] is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.* [nb 2] Contemporary science is typically subdivided into the natural sciences, which study the material universe; the social sciences, which study people and societies; and the formal sciences, such as mathematics. The formal sciences are often excluded as they do not depend on empirical observations.* [4] Disciplines which use science like engineering and medicine may also be considered to be applied sciences.* [5] During the Middle Ages in the Middle East, foundations for the scientific method were laid by Alhazen in his Book of Optics.* [6]* [7]* [8]* [9]* [10] From classical antiquity through the 19th century, science as a type of knowledge was more closely linked to philosophy than it is now and, in fact, in the Western world, the term "natural philosophy" encompassed fields of study that are today associated with science, such as astronomy, medicine, and physics.* [11]* [nb 3] While the classification of the material world by the ancient Indians and Greeks into air, earth, fire and water was more philosophical, medieval Middle Eastern scientists used practical, experimental observation to classify materials.* [12]

An animation showing the movement of the continents from the separation of Pangaea until the present day

era, and in many historical civilizations.* [nb 4] Modern science is distinct in its approach and successful in its results: 'modern science' now defines what science is in the strictest sense of the term.* [15] Science in its original sense is a word for a type of knowledge, rather than a specialized word for the pursuit of such knowledge. In particular it is one of the types of knowledge which people can communicate to each other




and share. For example, knowledge about the working of natural things was gathered long before recorded history and led to the development of complex abstract thinking. This is shown by the construction of complex calendars, techniques for making poisonous plants edible, and buildings such as the pyramids. However no consistent conscientious distinction was made between knowledge of such things which are true in every community and other types of communal knowledge, such as mythologies and legal systems.



See also: Nature (philosophy) Before the invention or discovery of the concept of

Aristotle, 384 BC – 322 BC - one of the early figures in the development of the scientific method* [20]

Maize, known in some English-speaking countries as corn, is a large grain plant domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times

A major turning point in the history of early philosophical science was the controversial but successful attempt by Socrates to apply philosophy to the study of human things, including human nature, the nature of political communities, and human knowledge itself. He criticized the older type of study of physics as too purely speculative, and lacking in self-criticism. He was particularly concerned that some of the early physicists treated nature as if it could be assumed that it had no intelligent order, explaining things merely in terms of motion and matter. The study of human things had been the realm of mythology and tradition, and Socrates was executed.* [21] Aristotle later created a less controversial systematic programme of Socratic philosophy, which was teleological, and human-centred. He rejected many of the conclusions of earlier scientists. For example, in his physics the sun goes around the earth, and many things have it as part of their nature that they are for humans. Each thing has a formal cause and final cause and a role in the rational cosmic order. Motion and change is described as the actualization of potentials already in things, according to what types of things they are. While the Socratics insisted that philosophy should be used to consider the practical question of the best way to live for a human being (a study Aristotle divided into ethics and political philosophy), they did not argue for any other types of applied science.

"nature" (Ancient Greek phusis), by the Pre-Socratic philosophers, the same words tend to be used to describe the natural “way”in which a plant grows,* [16] and the “way”in which, for example, one tribe worships a particular god. For this reason it is claimed these men were the first philosophers in the strict sense, and also the first people to clearly distinguish“nature”and“convention” .* [17] Science was therefore distinguished as the knowledge of nature, and the things which are true for every community, and the name of the specialized pursuit of such knowledge was philosophy —the realm of the first philosopher-physicists. They were mainly speculators or theorists, particularly interested in astronomy. In contrast, trying to use knowledge of nature to imitate nature (artifice or technology, Greek technē) was seen by classical scientists as a more appropriate interest for lower class artisans.* [18] A clear-cut distinction between formal (eon) and empirical science (doxa) was made by preSocratic philosopher Parmenides (fl. late sixth or early fifth century BCE). Although his work peri physeos is a poem, it may be viewed as an epistemological essay, an essay on method in natural science. Parmenides' ἐὸν may refer to a formal system, a calculus which can describe na- Aristotle maintained the sharp distinction between sciture more precisely than natural languages. 'Physis' may ence and the practical knowledge of artisans, treating theoretical speculation as the highest type of human activbe identical to ἐὸν.* [19]



ity, practical thinking about good living as something less lofty, and the knowledge of artisans as something only suitable for the lower classes. In contrast to modern science, Aristotle's influential emphasis was upon the“theoretical”steps of deducing universal rules from raw data, and did not treat the gathering of experience and raw data as part of science itself.* [nb 5]


Medieval science

Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen), 965–1039 Iraq. The Muslim scholar who is considered by some to be the father of modern scientific methodology due to his emphasis on experimental data and reproducibility of its results.* [23]* [nb 6]

De potentiis anime sensitive, Gregor Reisch (1504) Margarita philosophica. Medieval science mooted a ventricle of the brain as the location for our common sense,* [22] where the forms from our sensory systems commingled.

During late antiquity and the early Middle Ages, the Aristotelian approach to inquiries on natural phenomena was used. Some ancient knowledge was lost, or in some cases kept in obscurity, during the fall of the Roman Empire and periodic political struggles. However, the general fields of science, or "natural philosophy" as it was called, and much of the general knowledge from the ancient world remained preserved though the works of the early Latin encyclopedists like Isidore of Seville. Also, in the Byzantine empire, many Greek science texts were preserved in Syriac translations done by groups such as Nestorians and Monophysites.* [24] Many of these were translated later on into Arabic under the Caliphate, during which many types of classical learning were preserved and in some cases improved upon.* [24]* [nb 7] The House of Wisdom was established in Abbasid-era Baghdad, Iraq.* [25] It is considered to have been a major intellectual center, during the Islamic Golden Age, where

Muslim scholars such as al-Kindi and Ibn Sahl in Baghdad, and Ibn al-Haytham in Cairo, flourished from the ninth to the thirteenth centuries, until the Mongol sack of Baghdad. Ibn al-Haytham, known later to the West as Alhazen, furthered the Aristotelian viewpoint,* [26] by emphasizing experimental data.* [nb 8]* [27] In the later medieval period, as demand for translations grew, for example from the Toledo School of Translators, Western Europeans began collecting texts written not only in Latin, but also Latin translations from Greek, Arabic, and Hebrew. The texts of Aristotle, Ptolemy,* [nb 9] and Euclid, preserved in the Houses of Wisdom, were sought amongst Catholic scholars. In Europe, Alhazen's De Aspectibus directly influenced Roger Bacon (13th century) in England, who argued for more experimental science, as demonstrated by Alhazen. By the late Middle Ages, a synthesis of Catholicism and Aristotelianism known as Scholasticism was flourishing in Western Europe, which had become a new geographic center of science, but all aspects of scholasticism were criticized in the 15th and 16th centuries.

18.1.3 Renaissance, and early modern science Main article: Scientific revolution Medieval science carried on the views of the Hellenist civilization of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, as shown by Alhazen's lost work A Book in which I have Summarized the Science of Optics from the Two Books of


CHAPTER 18. SCIENCE became known as Perspectivism, which was exploited and studied by the artists of the Renaissance.

Galen (129—c. 216) noted the optic chiasm is X-shaped. (Engraving from Vesalius, 1543)

Galileo Galilei, father of modern science.* [29]

A. Mark Smith points out the perspectivist theory of vision “is remarkably economical, reasonable, and coherent”, which pivots on three of Aristotle's four causes, formal, material, and final.* [30] Although Alhacen knew that a scene imaged through an aperture is inverted, he argued that vision is about perception. This was overturned by Kepler,* [31]* :p.102 who modelled the eye with a water-filled glass sphere, with an aperture in front of it to model the entrance pupil. He found that all the light from a single point of the scene was imaged at a single point at the back of the glass sphere. The optical chain ends on the retina at the back of the eye and the image is inverted.* [nb 10] Front page of the 1572 Latin Opticae Thesaurus (optics treasury), which included Alhazen's Book of Optics, showing propagation of light, rainbows, parabolic mirrors, distorted images caused by refraction in water, and perspective.

Euclid and Ptolemy, to which I have added the Notions of the First Discourse which is Missing from Ptolemy's Book from Ibn Abi Usaibia's catalog, as cited in (Smith 2001).* :91(vol.1),p.xv Alhazen conclusively disproved Ptolemy's theory of vision. But Alhacen retained Aristotle's ontology; Roger Bacon, Witelo, and John Peckham each built-up a scholastic ontology upon Alhazen's Book of Optics, a causal chain beginning with sensation, perception, and finally apperception of the individual and universal forms of Aristotle.* [28] This model of vision

Copernicus formulated a heliocentric model of the solar system unlike the geocentric model of Ptolemy's Almagest. Galileo made innovative use of experiment and mathematics. However his persecution began after Pope Urban VIII blessed Galileo to write about the Copernican system. Galileo had used arguments from the Pope and put them in the voice of the simpleton in the work“Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems”which caused great offense to him.* [32] In Northern Europe, the new technology of the printing press was widely used to publish many arguments including some that disagreed with church dogma. René Descartes and Francis Bacon published philosophical arguments in favor of a new type of non-Aristotelian science. Descartes argued that mathematics could be used



in order to study nature, as Galileo had done, and Bacon emphasized the importance of experiment over contemplation. Bacon questioned the Aristotelian concepts of formal cause and final cause, and promoted the idea that science should study the laws of “simple”natures, such as heat, rather than assuming that there is any specific nature, or "formal cause", of each complex type of thing. This new modern science began to see itself as describing "laws of nature". This updated approach to studies in nature was seen as mechanistic. Bacon also argued that science should aim for the first time at practical inventions for the improvement of all human life.


Age of Enlightenment

In the 17th and 18th centuries, the project of modernity, as had been promoted by Bacon and Descartes, led to rapid scientific advance and the successful development of a new type of natural science, mathematical, methodically experimental, and deliberately innovative. Newton and Leibniz succeeded in developing a new physics, now referred to as Newtonian physics, which could be confirmed by experiment and explained using mathemat- Charles Darwin in 1854, by then working towards publication of ics. Leibniz also incorporated terms from Aristotelian On the Origin of Species physics, but now being used in a new non-teleological way, for example "energy" and "potential" (modern versions of Aristotelian "energeia and potentia"). In the style of Bacon, he assumed that different types of things all work according to the same general laws of nature, with no special formal or final causes for each type of thing. It is during this period that the word “science”gradually became more commonly used to refer to a type of pursuit of a type of knowledge, especially knowledge of nature —coming close in meaning to the old term "natural philosophy".


19th century

Both John Herschel and William Whewell systematized methodology: the latter coined the term scientist. When Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species he established descent with modification as the prevailing evolutionary explanation of biological complexity. His theory of natural selection provided a natural explanation of how species originated, but this only gained wide acceptance a century later. John Dalton developed the idea of atoms. The laws of thermodynamics and the electromagnetic theory were also established in the 19th century, which raised new questions which could not easily be answered using Newton's framework. The phe- Combustion and chemical reactions were studied by Michael nomena that would allow the deconstruction of the atom Faraday and reported in his lectures before the Royal Institution: were discovered in the last decade of the 19th cen- The Chemical History of a Candle, 1861 tury: the discovery of X-rays inspired the discovery of radioactivity. In the next year came the discovery of the first subatomic particle, the electron.



– −11 — – −10 — – −9 — – −8 — – −7 — – −6 — – −5 — – −4 — – A simulated event in the CMS detector of the Large Hadron Col- −3 — lider, featuring a possible appearance of the Higgs boson – −2 — – 18.1.6 20th century and beyond −1 — – Einstein's Theory of Relativity and the development of 0 — quantum mechanics led to the replacement of Newtonian cosmic expansion physics with a new physics which contains two parts, that Earliest light describe different types of events in nature. cosmic speed-up In the first half of the century the development of artificial fertilizer made possible global human population growth. At the same time, the structure of the atom and its nucleus was elucidated, leading to the release of "atomic energy" (nuclear power). In addition, the extensive use of scientific innovation, stimulated by the wars of this century, led to antibiotics and increased life expectancy, revolutions in transportation (automobiles and aircraft), and the development of ICBMs, a space race, and a nuclear arms race—all giving a widespread public appreciation of the importance of modern science. Widespread use of integrated circuits in the last quarter of the 20th century, combined with communications satellites, led to a revolution in information technology, and the rise of the global internet and mobile computing, including smartphones. More recently, it has been argued that the ultimate purpose of science is to make sense of human beings and our nature – for example in his book Consilience, EO Wilson said“The human condition is the most important frontier of the natural sciences.”* [2]* :334

Solar System water

Single-celled life photosynthesis

Multicellular life Land life Earliest gravity Dark energy Dark matter

← Earliest universe (−13.8) ← Earliest galaxy ← Earliest quasar ← Omega Centauri forms

← Andromeda Galaxy forms

← Milky Way Galaxy spiral arms form


The scientific method

Nature timeline view • discuss •

−13 — – −12 —

NGC 188 star cluster forms

← Alpha Centauri forms

← Earliest Earth (−4.54) ←



Earliest life ← Earliest oxygen ← Atmospheric oxygen

← Earliest sexual reproduction ← Cambrian explosion

← Earliest humans

L i f e P r i m o r d i a l

Isaac Newton, shown here in a 1689 portrait, made seminal contributions to classical mechanics, gravity, and optics. Newton shares credit with Gottfried Leibniz for the development of calculus.

Axis scale: billions of years. also see {{Human timeline}} and {{Life timeline}}

Main article: Scientific method The scientific method seeks to explain the events of nature in a reproducible way.* [nb 11] An explanatory thought experiment or hypothesis is put forward, as explanation, using principles such as parsimony (also known as "Occam's Razor") and are generally expected to seek consilience—fitting well with other accepted facts related to the phenomena.* [2] This new explanation is used to make falsifiable predictions that are testable by experiment or observation. The predictions are to be posted before a confirming experiment or observation is sought, as proof that no tampering has occurred. Disproof of a prediction is evidence of progress.* [nb 12]* [nb 13] This is done partly through observation of natural phenomena, but also through experimentation, that tries to simulate natural events under controlled conditions, as appropriate to the discipline (in the observational sciences, such as astronomy or geology, a predicted observation might take the place of a controlled experiment). Experimentation is especially important in science to help establish causal relationships (to avoid the correlation fallacy). When a hypothesis proves unsatisfactory, it is either modified or discarded.* [33] If the hypothesis survived testing, it may become adopted into the framework of a scientific theory. This is a logically reasoned, self-consistent model

or framework for describing the behavior of certain natural phenomena. A theory typically describes the behavior of much broader sets of phenomena than a hypothesis; commonly, a large number of hypotheses can be logically bound together by a single theory. Thus a theory is a hypothesis explaining various other hypotheses. In that vein, theories are formulated according to most of the same scientific principles as hypotheses. In addition to testing hypotheses, scientists may also generate a model based on observed phenomena. This is an attempt to describe or depict the phenomenon in terms of a logical, physical or mathematical representation and to generate new hypotheses that can be tested.* [34] While performing experiments to test hypotheses, scientists may have a preference for one outcome over another, and so it is important to ensure that science as a whole can eliminate this bias.* [35]* [36] This can be achieved by careful experimental design, transparency, and a thorough peer review process of the experimental results as well as any conclusions.* [37]* [38] After the results of an experiment are announced or published, it is normal practice for independent researchers to double-check how the research was performed, and to follow up by performing similar experiments to determine how dependable the results might be.* [39] Taken in its entirety, the scientific method allows for highly creative problem solving while minimizing any effects of subjective bias on the part of



its users (namely the confirmation bias).* [40]


Mathematics and formal sciences

Main article: Mathematics

18.2.1 Branches and fields Main article: Branches of science Scientific fields are commonly divided into two major

frontal lobe

somatomotor cortex somatosensory cortex parietal lobe occipital lobe

Mathematics is essential to the sciences. One important function of mathematics in science is the role it plays in the expression of scientific models. Observing and collecting measurements, as well as hypothesizing and predicting, often require extensive use of mathecerebellum temporal lobe matics. Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, trigonometry and medulla oblongata calculus, for example, are all essential to physics. Virtuspinal cord ally every branch of mathematics has applications in science, including“pure”areas such as number theory and The somatosensory system is located throughout our bodies but topology. Statistical methods, which are mathematical techniques for summarizing and analyzing data, allow scientists to assess the level of reliability and the range of variation in experimental results. Statistical analysis plays a fundamental role in many areas of both the natural sciences and social sciences. Computational science applies computing power to simulate real-world situations, enabling a better understanding of scientific problems than formal mathematics alone can achieve. According to the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, computation is now as important as theory and experiment in advancing scientific knowledge.* [41] Whether mathematics itself is properly classified as science has been a matter of some debate. Some thinkers see mathematicians as scientists, regarding physical experiments as inessential or mathematical proofs as equivalent to experiments. Others do not see mathematics as a science, since it does not require an experimental test of its theories and hypotheses. Mathematical theorems and formulas are obtained by logical derivations which presume axiomatic systems, rather than the combination of empirical observation and logical reasoning that has come to be known as the scientific method. In general, mathematics is classified as formal science, while natural and social sciences are classified as empirical sciences.* [42]

18.2 Scientific community Main article: Scientific community

is integrated in the brain.

groups: natural sciences, which study natural phenomena (including biological life), and social sciences, which study human behavior and societies. These groupings are empirical sciences, which means the knowledge must be based on observable phenomena and capable of being tested for its validity by other researchers working under the same conditions.* [43] There are also related disciplines that are grouped into interdisciplinary applied sciences, such as engineering and medicine. Within these categories are specialized scientific fields that can include parts of other scientific disciplines but often possess their own nomenclature and expertise.* [44] Mathematics, which is classified as a formal science,* [45]* [46] has both similarities and differences with the empirical sciences (the natural and social sciences). It is similar to empirical sciences in that it involves an objective, careful and systematic study of an area of knowledge; it is different because of its method of verifying its knowledge, using a priori rather than empirical methods.* [47] The formal sciences, which also include statistics and logic, are vital to the empirical sciences. Major advances in formal science have often led to major advances in the empirical sciences. The formal sciences are essential in the formation of hypotheses, theories, and laws,* [48] both in discovering and describing how things work (natural sciences) and how people think and act (social sciences). Apart from its broad meaning, the word “Science” sometimes may specifically refer to fundamental sciences (maths and natural sciences) alone. Science schools or faculties within many institutions are separate from those for medicine or engineering, which is an applied science.

The scientific community is the group of all interacting scientists. It includes many sub-communities working 18.2.2 Institutions on particular scientific fields, and within particular institutions; interdisciplinary and cross-institutional activities Learned societies for the communication and promotion of scientific thought and experimentation have existed are also significant.

18.3. SCIENCE AND SOCIETY since the Renaissance period.* [49] The oldest surviving institution is the Italian Accademia dei Lincei which was established in 1603.* [50] The respective National Academies of Science are distinguished institutions that exist in a number of countries, beginning with the British Royal Society in 1660* [51] and the French Académie des Sciences in 1666.* [52]

179 Recent efforts to intensify or develop links between science and non-scientific disciplines such as Literature or, more specifically, Poetry, include the Creative Writing Science resource developed through the Royal Literary Fund.* [56]

International scientific organizations, such as the 18.3 Science and society International Council for Science, have since been formed to promote cooperation between the scientific 18.3.1 Women in science communities of different nations. Many governments have dedicated agencies to support scientific research. Main article: Women in science Prominent scientific organizations include, the National Science has traditionally been a male-dominated field, Science Foundation in the U.S., the National Scientific and Technical Research Council in Argentina, the academies of science of many nations, CSIRO in Australia, Centre national de la recherche scientifique in France, Max Planck Society and Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft in Germany, and in Spain, CSIC.



Main article: Scientific literature An enormous range of scientific literature is published.* [53] Scientific journals communicate and document the results of research carried out in universities and various other research institutions, serving as an archival record of science. The first scientific journals, Journal des Sçavans followed by the Philosophical Transactions, began publication in 1665. Since that time the total number of active periodicals has steadily increased. In 1981, one estimate for the number of scientific and technical journals in publication was 11,500.* [54] The United States National Library of Medicine currently indexes 5,516 journals that contain articles on topics related to the life sciences. Although the journals are in 39 lanMarie Curie was the first person to be awarded two Nobel Prizes, guages, 91 percent of the indexed articles are published Physics in 1903 and Chemistry in 1911* [57] in English.* [55] Most scientific journals cover a single scientific field and publish the research within that field; the research is normally expressed in the form of a scientific paper. Science has become so pervasive in modern societies that it is generally considered necessary to communicate the achievements, news, and ambitions of scientists to a wider populace.

with some notable exceptions.* [nb 14] Women historically faced considerable discrimination in science, much as they did in other areas of male-dominated societies, such as frequently being passed over for job opportunities and denied credit for their work.* [nb 15] For example, Christine Ladd (1847–1930) was able to enter a Ph.D. program as 'C. Ladd'; Christine“Kitty”Ladd completed the requirements in 1882, but was awarded her degree only in 1926, after a career which spanned the algebra of logic (see truth table), color vision, and psychology. Her work preceded notable researchers like Ludwig Wittgenstein and Charles Sanders Peirce. The achievements of women in science have been attributed to their defiance of their traditional role as laborers within the domestic sphere.* [58]

Science magazines such as New Scientist, Science & Vie, and Scientific American cater to the needs of a much wider readership and provide a non-technical summary of popular areas of research, including notable discoveries and advances in certain fields of research. Science books engage the interest of many more people. Tangentially, the science fiction genre, primarily fantastic in nature, engages the public imagination and transmits the ideas, if In the late 20th century, active recruitment of women and not the methods, of science.

180 elimination of institutional discrimination on the basis of sex greatly increased the number of women scientists, but large gender disparities remain in some fields; over half of new biologists are female, while 80% of PhDs in physics are given to men. Feminists claim this is the result of culture rather than an innate difference between the sexes, and some experiments have shown that parents challenge and explain more to boys than girls, asking them to reflect more deeply and logically.* [59] In the early part of the 21st century, in America, women earned 50.3% bachelor's degrees, 45.6% master's degrees, and 40.7% of PhDs in science and engineering fields with women earning more than half of the degrees in three fields: Psychology (about 70%), Social Sciences (about 50%), and Biology (about 50-60%). However, when it comes to the Physical Sciences, Geosciences, Math, Engineering, and Computer Science; women earned less than half the degrees.* [60] However, lifestyle choice also plays a major role in female engagement in science; women with young children are 28% less likely to take tenure-track positions due to work-life balance issues,* [61] and female graduate students' interest in careers in research declines dramatically over the course of graduate school, whereas that of their male colleagues remains unchanged.* [62]

CHAPTER 18. SCIENCE is to consider how science and technology can best serve the public. State policy has influenced the funding of public works and science for thousands of years, dating at least from the time of the Mohists, who inspired the study of logic during the period of the Hundred Schools of Thought, and the study of defensive fortifications during the Warring States period in China. In Great Britain, governmental approval of the Royal Society in the 17th century recognized a scientific community which exists to this day. The professionalization of science, begun in the 19th century, was partly enabled by the creation of scientific organizations such as the National Academy of Sciences, the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute, and State funding of universities of their respective nations. Public policy can directly affect the funding of capital equipment, intellectual infrastructure for industrial research, by providing tax incentives to those organizations that fund research. Vannevar Bush, director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development for the United States government, the forerunner of the National Science Foundation, wrote in July 1945 that “Science is a proper concern of government”.* [63]

Science and technology research is often funded through a competitive process, in which potential research projects are evaluated and only the most promising re18.3.2 Science policy ceive funding. Such processes, which are run by governMain articles: Science policy, History of science policy, ment, corporations or foundations, allocate scarce funds. Total research funding in most developed countries is beFunding of science, and Economics of science * Science policy is an area of public policy concerned tween 1.5% and 3% of GDP. [64] In the OECD, around two-thirds of research and development in scientific and technical fields is carried out by industry, and 20% and 10% respectively by universities and government. The government funding proportion in certain industries is higher, and it dominates research in social science and humanities. Similarly, with some exceptions (e.g. biotechnology) government provides the bulk of the funds for basic scientific research. In commercial research and development, all but the most research-oriented corporations focus more heavily on near-term commercialisation possibilities rather than "blue-sky" ideas or technologies (such as nuclear fusion).

President Clinton meets the 1998 U.S. Nobel Prize winners in the White House

with the policies that affect the conduct of the scientific enterprise, including research funding, often in pursuance of other national policy goals such as technological innovation to promote commercial product development, weapons development, health care and environmental monitoring. Science policy also refers to the act of applying scientific knowledge and consensus to the development of public policies. Science policy thus deals with the entire domain of issues that involve the natural sciences. In accordance with public policy being concerned about the well-being of its citizens, science policy's goal

18.3.3 Media perspectives The mass media face a number of pressures that can prevent them from accurately depicting competing scientific claims in terms of their credibility within the scientific community as a whole. Determining how much weight to give different sides in a scientific debate may require considerable expertise regarding the matter.* [65] Few journalists have real scientific knowledge, and even beat reporters who know a great deal about certain scientific issues may be ignorant about other scientific issues that they are suddenly asked to cover.* [66]* [67]




Political usage

be contrasted with anti-realism, the view that the success of science does not depend on it being accurate about unobservable entities such as electrons. One form See also: Politicization of science of anti-realism is idealism, the belief that the mind or consciousness is the most basic essence, and that each Many issues damage the relationship of science to the mind generates its own reality.* [nb 16] In an idealistic media and the use of science and scientific arguments world view, what is true for one mind need not be true by politicians. As a very broad generalisation, many for other minds. politicians seek certainties and facts whilst scientists typically offer probabilities and caveats. However, politicians' ability to be heard in the mass media frequently distorts the scientific understanding by the public. Examples in the United Kingdom include the controversy over the MMR inoculation, and the 1988 forced resignation of a Government Minister, Edwina Currie for revealing the high probability that battery farmed eggs were contaminated with Salmonella.* [68] John Horgan, Chris Mooney, and researchers from the US and Canada have described Scientific Certainty Argumentation Methods (SCAMs), where an organization or think tank makes it their only goal to cast doubt on supported science because it conflicts with political agendas.* [69]* [70]* [71]* [72] Hank Campbell and microbiologist Alex Berezow have described“feel-good fallacies” used in politics, where politicians frame their positions in a way that makes people feel good about supporting certain policies even when scientific evidence shows there is no need to worry or there is no need for dramatic change on current programs.* [73]


Science and the public

Various activities are developed to approximate the general public and science/scientists, such as in science outreach, public awareness of science, science communication, science festivals, citizen science, science journalism, public science, popular science, etc.; see Science and the public for related concepts. Science is represented by the 'S' in STEM fields.

18.4 Philosophy of science Main article: Philosophy of science Working scientists usually take for granted a set of basic assumptions that are needed to justify the scientific method: (1) that there is an objective reality shared by all rational observers; (2) that this objective reality is governed by natural laws; (3) that these laws can be discovered by means of systematic observation and experimentation.* [15] Philosophy of science seeks a deep understanding of what these underlying assumptions mean and whether they are valid. The belief that scientific theories should and do represent metaphysical reality is known as realism. It can

The Sand Reckoner is a work by Archimedes in which he sets out to determine an upper bound for the number of grains of sand that fit into the universe. In order to do this, he had to estimate the size of the universe according to the contemporary model, and invent a way to analyze extremely large numbers.

There are different schools of thought in philosophy of science. The most popular position is empiricism,* [nb 17] which holds that knowledge is created by a process involving observation and that scientific theories are the result of generalizations from such observations.* [74] Empiricism generally encompasses inductivism, a position that tries to explain the way general theories can be justified by the finite number of observations humans can make and hence the finite amount of empirical evidence available to confirm scientific theories. This is necessary because the number of predictions those theories make is infinite, which means that they cannot be known from the finite amount of evidence using deductive logic only. Many versions of empiricism exist, with the predominant ones being bayesianism* [75] and the hypotheticodeductive method.* [76]* :p236 Empiricism has stood in contrast to rationalism, the position originally associated with Descartes, which holds that knowledge is created by the human intellect, not by observation.* [76]* :p20 Critical rationalism is a contrasting 20th-century approach to science, first defined by Austrian-British philosopher Karl Popper. Popper rejected the way that empiricism describes the connection between theory and observation. He claimed that theories are not generated by observation, but that observation is made in the light of theories and that the only way a theory can be affected by observation is when it comes in conflict with it.* [76]* :pp63–7 Popper proposed replacing verifiability with falsifiability as the landmark of scientific theories, and replacing induction with falsification as the empirical method.* [76]* :p68 Popper further claimed that



there is actually only one universal method, not specific 18.4.1 to science: the negative method of criticism, trial and error.* [77] It covers all products of the human mind, including science, mathematics, philosophy, and art.* [78]

Certainty and science

Another approach, instrumentalism, colloquially termed “shut up and calculate”, emphasizes the utility of theories as instruments for explaining and predicting phenomena.* [79] It views scientific theories as black boxes with only their input (initial conditions) and output (predictions) being relevant. Consequences, theoretical entities and logical structure are claimed to be something that should simply be ignored and that scientists shouldn't make a fuss about (see interpretations of quantum mechanics). Close to instrumentalism is constructive empiricism, according to which the main criterion for the success of a scientific theory is whether what it says about observable entities is true. Paul K Feyerabend advanced the idea of epistemological anarchism, which holds that there are no useful and exception-free methodological rules governing the progress of science or the growth of knowledge, and that the idea that science can or should operate according to universal and fixed rules is unrealistic, pernicious and detrimental to science itself.* [80] Feyerabend advocates treating science as an ideology alongside others such as religion, magic and mythology, and considers the dominance of science in society authoritarian and unjustified. He also contended (along with Imre Lakatos) that the demarcation problem of distinguishing science from pseudoscience on objective grounds is not possible and thus fatal to the notion of science running according to fixed, universal rules.* [80] Feyerabend also stated that science does not have evidence for its philosophical precepts, particularly the notion of Uniformity of Law and The DNA double helix is a molecule that encodes the genetic inthe Uniformity of Process across time and space.* [81] structions used in the development and functioning of all known Finally, another approach often cited in debates of scientific skepticism against controversial movements like "scientific creationism", is methodological naturalism. Its main point is that a difference between natural and supernatural explanations should be made, and that science should be restricted methodologically to natural explanations.* [nb 18] That the restriction is merely methodological (rather than ontological) means that science should not consider supernatural explanations itself, but should not claim them to be wrong either. Instead, supernatural explanations should be left a matter of personal belief outside the scope of science. Methodological naturalism maintains that proper science requires strict adherence to empirical study and independent verification as a process for properly developing and evaluating explanations for observable phenomena.* [82] The absence of these standards, arguments from authority, biased observational studies and other common fallacies are frequently cited by supporters of methodological naturalism as characteristic of the non-science they criticize.

living organisms and many viruses.

A scientific theory is empirical,* [nb 17]* [83] and is always open to falsification if new evidence is presented. That is, no theory is ever considered strictly certain as science accepts the concept of fallibilism.* [nb 19] The philosopher of science Karl Popper sharply distinguishes truth from certainty. He writes that scientific knowledge “consists in the search for truth”, but it “is not the search for certainty ... All human knowledge is fallible and therefore uncertain.”* [84]* :p4 New scientific knowledge rarely results in vast changes in our understanding. According to psychologist Keith Stanovich, it may be the media's overuse of words like “breakthrough”that leads the public to imagine that science is constantly proving everything it thought was true to be false.* [85]* :119–138 While there are such famous cases as the theory of relativity that required a complete reconceptualization, these are extreme exceptions. Knowledge in science is gained by a gradual synthesis of information from different experiments, by various researchers, across different branches of science; it is



more like a climb than a leap.* [85]* :123 Theories vary uations such as where researchers have intentionally misin the extent to which they have been tested and veri- represented their published data or have purposely given fied, as well as their acceptance in the scientific commu- credit for a discovery to the wrong person.* [92] nity.* [nb 20] For example, heliocentric theory, the theory of evolution, relativity theory, and germ theory still bear the name “theory”even though, in practice, they are 18.5 Scientific practice considered factual.* [86] Philosopher Barry Stroud adds that, although the best definition for "knowledge" is contested, being skeptical and entertaining the possibility that one is incorrect is compatible with being correct. Ironically then, the scientist adhering to proper scientific approaches will doubt themselves even once they possess the truth.* [87] The fallibilist C. S. Peirce argued that inquiry is the struggle to resolve actual doubt and that merely quarrelsome, verbal, or hyperbolic doubt is fruitless* [88]—but also that the inquirer should try to attain genuine doubt rather than resting uncritically on common sense.* [89] He held that the successful sciences trust, not to any single chain of inference (no stronger than its weakest link), but to the cable of multiple and various arguments intimately connected.* [90] Stanovich also asserts that science avoids searching for a “magic bullet"; it avoids the single-cause fallacy. This means a scientist would not ask merely “What is the cause of ...”, but rather “What are the most significant causes of ...”. This is especially the case in the more macroscopic fields of science (e.g. psychology, cosmology).* [85]* :141–147 Of course, research often analyzes few factors at once, but these are always added to the long list of factors that are most important to consider.* [85]* :141–147 For example: knowing the details of only a person's genetics, or their history and upbringing, or the current situation may not explain a behavior, but a deep understanding of all these variables combined can be very predictive.


Fringe science, pseudoscience and junk science

An area of study or speculation that masquerades as science in an attempt to claim a legitimacy that it would not otherwise be able to achieve is sometimes referred to as pseudoscience, fringe science, or junk science.* [nb 21] Physicist Richard Feynman coined the term "cargo cult science" for cases in which researchers believe they are doing science because their activities have the outward appearance of science but actually lack the “kind of utter honesty”that allows their results to be rigorously evaluated.* [91] Various types of commercial advertising, ranging from hype to fraud, may fall into these categories.

Astronomy became much more accurate after Tycho Brahe devised his scientific instruments for measuring angles between two celestial bodies, before the invention of the telescope. Brahe's observations were the basis for Kepler's laws.

Although encyclopedias such as Pliny (fl. 77 AD) Natural History offered purported fact, they proved unreliable. A skeptical point of view, demanding a method of proof, was the practical position taken to deal with unreliable knowledge. As early as 1000 years ago, scholars such as Alhazen (Doubts Concerning Ptolemy), Roger Bacon, Witelo, John Pecham, Francis Bacon (1605), and C. S. Peirce (1839–1914) provided the community to address these points of uncertainty. In particular, fallacious reasoning can be exposed, such as 'affirming the consequent'. “If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.” —Francis Bacon (1605) The Advancement of Learning, Book 1, v, 8

There also can be an element of political or ideological bias on all sides of scientific debates. Sometimes, research may be characterized as“bad science”, research that may be well-intended but is actually incorrect, obsolete, incomplete, or over-simplified expositions of scien- The methods of inquiry into a problem have been known tific ideas. The term "scientific misconduct" refers to sit- for thousands of years,* [93] and extend beyond theory



to practice. The use of measurements, for example, is a practical approach to settle disputes in the community. John Ziman points out that intersubjective pattern recognition is fundamental to the creation of all scientific knowledge.* [94]* :p44 Ziman shows how scientists can identify patterns to each other across centuries: Ziman refers to this ability as 'perceptual consensibility'.* [95]* :p46 Ziman then makes consensibility, leading to consensus, the touchstone of reliable knowledge.* [95]* :p104


the breadth of very precise and far reaching tools already used by researchers today and the amount of research generated so far, creation of new disciplines or revolutions within a discipline may no longer be possible as it is unlikely that some phenomenon that merits its own discipline has been overlooked. Hybridizing of disciplines and finessing knowledge is, in his view, the future of science.* [97]

18.5.3 Practical impacts of scientific research

Basic and applied research Discoveries in fundamental science can be worldchanging. For example:

18.6 See also • Antiquarian science books • Criticism of science • Human timeline • Index of branches of science Anthropogenic pollution has an effect on the Earth's environment and climate

Although some scientific research is applied research into specific problems, a great deal of our understanding comes from the curiosity-driven undertaking of basic research. This leads to options for technological advance that were not planned or sometimes even imaginable. This point was made by Michael Faraday when, allegedly in response to the question “what is the use of basic research?" he responded“Sir, what is the use of a new-born child?".* [96] For example, research into the effects of red light on the human eye's rod cells did not seem to have any practical purpose; eventually, the discovery that our night vision is not troubled by red light would lead search and rescue teams (among others) to adopt red light in the cockpits of jets and helicopters.* [85]* :106–110 In a nutshell: Basic research is the search for knowledge. Applied research is the search for solutions to practical problems using this knowledge. Finally, even basic research can take unexpected turns, and there is some sense in which the scientific method is built to harness luck.


Research in practice

Due to the increasing complexity of information and specialization of scientists, most of the cutting-edge research today is done by well funded groups of scientists, rather than individuals.* [97] D.K. Simonton notes that due to

• Life timeline • Normative science • Outline of science • Pathological science • Protoscience • Science wars • Scientific dissent • Sociology of scientific knowledge

18.7 Notes [1] From Latin scientia, meaning “knowledge”. “science” . Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved September 20, 2014. • “science”. Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Merriam-Webster, Inc. Retrieved October 16, 2011. 3 a: knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method b: such knowledge or such a system of knowledge concerned with the physical world and its phenomena.

18.7. NOTES

[2] "... modern science is a discovery as well as an invention. It was a discovery that nature generally acts regularly enough to be described by laws and even by mathematics; and required invention to devise the techniques, abstractions, apparatus, and organization for exhibiting the regularities and securing their law-like descriptions.” —Heilbron 2003, p. vii [3] Isaac Newton's Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (1687), for example, is translated “Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy”, and reflects the then-current use of the words "natural philosophy", akin to “systematic study of nature” [4]“The historian ... requires a very broad definition of“science”—one that ... will help us to understand the modern scientific enterprise. We need to be broad and inclusive, rather than narrow and exclusive ... and we should expect that the farther back we go [in time] the broader we will need to be.”—David Pingree (1992),“Hellenophilia versus the History of Science”Isis 83 554–63, as cited in (Lindberg 2007, p. 3), The beginnings of Western science: the European Scientific tradition in philosophical, religious, and institutional context, Second ed. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press ISBN 978-0-226-48205-7 • See Edward Grant (1997) “When did modern science begin?" The American Scholar pp.105-113 in JSTOR: • History of science#Early cultures • History of science#Ancient Near East, Mesopotamia • History of science#Ancient Near East, Egypt • History of Science in China • History of science#India [5] "... [A] man knows a thing scientifically when he possesses a conviction arrived at in a certain way, and when the first principles on which that conviction rests are known to him with certainty—for unless he is more certain of his first principles than of the conclusion drawn from them he will only possess the knowledge in question accidentally.”—Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics 6 (H. Rackham, ed.) Aristot. Nic. Eth. 1139b [6] Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa (2010). Mind, Brain, and Education Science: A Comprehensive Guide to the New Brain-Based Teaching. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 39. ISBN 978-0-393-70607-9. Alhazen (or Al-Haytham; 965–1039 C.E.) was perhaps one of the greatest physicists of all times and a product of the Islamic Golden Age or Islamic Renaissance (7th–13th centuries). He made significant contributions to anatomy, astronomy, engineering, mathematics, medicine, ophthalmology, philosophy, physics, psychology, and visual perception and is primarily attributed as the inventor of the scientific method, for which author Bradley Steffens (2006) describes him as the “first scientist”. [7] Alhacen had access to the optics books of Euclid and Ptolemy, as is shown by the title of his lost work A Book in which I have Summarized the Science of Optics from the Two Books of Euclid and Ptolemy, to which I have added the Notions of the First Discourse which is Missing from


Ptolemy's Book From Ibn Abi Usaibia's catalog, as cited in (Smith 2001)* :91(vol.1),p.xv [8] "[Ibn al-Haytham] followed Ptolemy's bridge building ... into a grand synthesis of light and vision. Part of his effort consisted in devising ranges of experiments, of a kind probed before but now undertaken on larger scale.”— Cohen 2010, p. 59 [9] The translator, Gerard of Cremona (c. 1114–87), inspired by his love of the Almagest, came to Toledo, where he knew he could find the Almagest in Arabic. There he found Arabic books of every description, and learned Arabic in order to translate these books into Latin, being aware of 'the poverty of the Latins'. —As cited by Charles Burnett (2001) “The Coherence of the ArabicLatin Translation Program in Toledo in the Twelfth Century”, pp. 250, 255, & 257, Science in Context 14(1/2), 249–288 (2001). DOI: 10.1017/0269889701000096 [10] Kepler, Johannes (1604) Ad Vitellionem paralipomena, quibus astronomiae pars opticae traditur (Supplements to Witelo, in which the optical part of astronomy is treated) as cited in Smith, A. Mark (2004)“What is the history of Medieval Optics Really About?" Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 148(2 —Jun. 2004), pp. 180194 p.192 via JSTOR • The full title translation is from p.60 of James R. Voelkel (2001) Johannes Kepler and the New Astronomy Oxford University Press. Kepler was driven to this experiment after observing the partial solar eclipse at Graz, July 10, 1600. He used Tycho Brahe's method of observation, which was to project the image of the sun on a piece of paper through a pinhole aperture, instead of looking directly at the sun. He disagreed with Brahe's conclusion that total eclipses of the sun were impossible, because there were historical accounts of total eclipses. Instead he deduced that the size of the aperture controls the sharpness of the projected image (the larger the aperture, the more accurate the image —this fact is now fundamental for optical system design). Voelkel, p.61, notes that Kepler's experiments produced the first correct account of vision and the eye, because he realized he could not accurately write about astronomical observation by ignoring the eye. [11] di Francia 1976, p. 13:“The amazing point is that for the first time since the discovery of mathematics, a method has been introduced, the results of which have an intersubjective value!" (Author's punctuation) [12] di Francia 1976, pp. 4–5:“One learns in a laboratory; one learns how to make experiments only by experimenting, and one learns how to work with his hands only by using them. The first and fundamental form of experimentation in physics is to teach young people to work with their hands. Then they should be taken into a laboratory and taught to work with measuring instruments —each student carrying out real experiments in physics. This form of teaching is indispensable and cannot be read in a book.”



[13] Fara 2009, p. 204: “Whatever their discipline, scientists claimed to share a common scientific method that ... distinguished them from non-scientists.” [14] Women in science have included: • Hypatia (c. Alexandria.

350–415 CE), of the Library of

• Trotula of Salerno, a physician c. 1060 CE. • Caroline Herschel one of the first professional astronomers of the 18th and 19th centuries. • Christine Ladd-Franklin, a doctoral student of C. S. Peirce, who published Wittgenstein's proposition 5.101 in her dissertation, 40 years before Wittgenstein's publication of Tractatus LogicoPhilosophicus. • Henrietta Leavitt, a professional human computer and astronomer, who first published the significant relationship between the luminosity of Cepheid variable stars and their distance from Earth. This allowed Hubble to make the discovery of the expanding universe, which led to the Big Bang theory. • Emmy Noether, who proved the conservation of energy and other constants of motion in 1915. • Marie Curie, who made discoveries relating to radioactivity along with her husband, and for whom Curium is named. • Rosalind Franklin, who worked with x-ray diffraction. [15] Nina Byers,Contributions of 20th Century Women to Physics which provides details on 83 female physicists of the 20th century. By 1976, more women were physicists, and the 83 who were detailed were joined by other women in noticeably larger numbers. [16] This realization is the topic of intersubjective verifiability, as recounted, for example, by Max Born (1949, 1965) Natural Philosophy of Cause and Chance, who points out that all knowledge, including natural or social science, is also subjective. p. 162: “Thus it dawned upon me that fundamentally everything is subjective, everything without exception. That was a shock.” [17] In his investigation of the law of falling bodies, Galileo (1638) serves as example for scientific investigation: Two New Sciences“A piece of wooden moulding or scantling, about 12 cubits long, half a cubit wide, and three fingerbreadths thick, was taken; on its edge was cut a channel a little more than one finger in breadth; having made this groove very straight, smooth, and polished, and having lined it with parchment, also as smooth and polished as possible, we rolled along it a hard, smooth, and very round bronze ball. Having placed this board in a sloping position, by lifting one end some one or two cubits above the other, we rolled the ball, as I was just saying, along the channel, noting, in a manner presently to be described, the time required to make the descent. We . . . now rolled the ball only one-quarter the length of the channel; and having measured the time of its descent, we found it precisely one-half of the former. Next we tried other distances, comparing the time for the whole length with that for the half, or with that for two-thirds, or three-fourths,

or indeed for any fraction; in such experiments, repeated many, many, times.”Galileo solved the problem of time measurement by weighing a jet of water collected during the descent of the bronze ball, as stated in his Two New Sciences. [18] Godfrey-Smith 2003, p. 151 credits Willard Van Orman Quine (1969) “Epistemology Naturalized”Ontological Relativity and Other Essays New York: Columbia University Press, as well as John Dewey, with the basic ideas of naturalism —Naturalized Epistemology, but Godfrey-Smith diverges from Quine's position: according to Godfrey-Smith,“A naturalist can think that science can contribute to answers to philosophical questions, without thinking that philosophical questions can be replaced by science questions.”. [19]“No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.”—Albert Einstein, noted by Alice Calaprice (ed. 2005) The New Quotable Einstein Princeton University Press and Hebrew University of Jerusalem, ISBN 0-691-12074-9 p. 291. Calaprice denotes this not as an exact quotation, but as a paraphrase of a translation of A. Einstein's “Induction and Deduction”. Collected Papers of Albert Einstein 7 Document 28. Volume 7 is The Berlin Years: Writings, 1918–1921. A. Einstein; M. Janssen, R. Schulmann, et al., eds. [20] Fleck, Ludwik (1979). Trenn, Thaddeus J.; Merton, Robert K, eds. Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-22625325-2. Claims that before a specific fact “existed”, it had to be created as part of a social agreement within a community. Steven Shapin (1980) “A view of scientific thought”Science ccvii (Mar 7, 1980) 1065–66 states "[To Fleck,] facts are invented, not discovered. Moreover, the appearance of scientific facts as discovered things is itself a social construction: a made thing. " [21] "Pseudoscientific – pretending to be scientific, falsely represented as being scientific", from the Oxford American Dictionary, published by the Oxford English Dictionary; Hansson, Sven Ove (1996)."Defining Pseudoscience”, Philosophia Naturalis, 33: 169–176, as cited in “Science and Pseudo-science” (2008) in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. The Stanford article states: “Many writers on pseudoscience have emphasized that pseudoscience is non-science posing as science. The foremost modern classic on the subject (Gardner 1957) bears the title Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science. According to Brian Baigrie (1988, 438), "[w]hat is objectionable about these beliefs is that they masquerade as genuinely scientific ones.”These and many other authors assume that to be pseudoscientific, an activity or a teaching has to satisfy the following two criteria (Hansson 1996): (1) it is not scientific, and (2) its major proponents try to create the impression that it is scientific”. • For example, Hewitt et al. Conceptual Physical Science Addison Wesley; 3 edition (July 18, 2003) ISBN 0-321-05173-4, Bennett et al. The Cosmic Perspective 3e Addison Wesley; 3 edition (July 25, 2003) ISBN 0-8053-8738-2; See also, e.g., Gauch HG Jr. Scientific Method in Practice (2003).

18.8. REFERENCES • A 2006 National Science Foundation report on Science and engineering indicators quoted Michael Shermer's (1997) definition of pseudoscience: '"claims presented so that they appear [to be] scientific even though they lack supporting evidence and plausibility"(p. 33). In contrast, science is “a set of methods designed to describe and interpret observed and inferred phenomena, past or present, and aimed at building a testable body of knowledge open to rejection or confirmation"(p. 17)'.Shermer M. (1997). Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time. New York: W. H. Freeman and Company. ISBN 0-7167-3090-1. as cited by National Science Board. National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Statistics (2006). “Science and Technology: Public Attitudes and Understanding”. Science and engineering indicators 2006. •“A pretended or spurious science; a collection of related beliefs about the world mistakenly regarded as being based on scientific method or as having the status that scientific truths now have,”from the Oxford English Dictionary, second edition 1989. [22] Evicting Einstein, March 26, 2004, NASA.“Both [relativity and quantum mechanics] are extremely successful. The Global Positioning System (GPS), for instance, wouldn't be possible without the theory of relativity. Computers, telecommunications, and the Internet, meanwhile, are spinoffs of quantum mechanics.”

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[44] See: Editorial Staff (March 7, 2008).“Scientific Method: Relationships among Scientific Paradigms”. Seed magazine. Retrieved September 12, 2007. [45] Tomalin, Marcus (2006). Linguistics and the Formal Sciences. Cambridge.org. doi:10.2277/0521854814. Retrieved February 5, 2012. [46] Benedikt Löwe (2002) “The Formal Sciences: Their Scope, Their Foundations, and Their Unity” [47] Popper 2002, pp. 10–11. [48] Popper 2002, pp. 79–82.

[62] Royal Society of Chemistry. 2009. Change of Heart;

[65] Dickson, David (October 11, 2004).“Science journalism must keep a critical edge”. Science and Development Network. Archived from the original on June 21, 2010. [66] Mooney, Chris (Nov–Dec 2004). “Blinded By Science, How 'Balanced' Coverage Lets the Scientific Fringe Hijack Reality”. 43 (4). Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved February 20, 2008. [67] McIlwaine, S.; Nguyen, D. A. (2005). “Are Journalism Students Equipped to Write About Science?". Australian Studies in Journalism. 14: 41–60. Retrieved February 20, 2008.


[68] “1988: Egg industry fury over salmonella claim”, “On This Day,”BBC News, December 3, 1988. [69] “Original“Doubt is our product ...”memo”. University of California, San Francisco. August 21, 1969. Retrieved October 3, 2012. The memo reads“Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the 'body of fact' that exists in the mind of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy.” [70] “Political Science”. The New York Times. December 18, 2005. [71] Mooney, Chris (2005). The Republican War on Science. Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-04676-2.


[89] Peirce (1905), “Issues of Pragmaticism”, The Monist, v. XV, n. 4, pp. 481–99, see “Character V”on p. 491. Reprinted in Collected Papers v. 5, paragraphs 438–63 (see 451), Essential Peirce v. 2, pp. 346–59 (see 353), and elsewhere. [90] Peirce (1868), “Some Consequences of Four Incapacities”, Journal of Speculative Philosophy v. 2, n. 3, pp. 140–57, see p. 141. Reprinted in Collected Papers, v. 5, paragraphs 264–317, Writings v. 2, pp. 211–42, Essential Peirce v. 1, pp. 28–55, and elsewhere. [91] Cargo Cult Science by Feynman, Richard. Retrieved July 21, 2011.

[72] William R. Freudenburg, Robert Gramling, Debra J. Davidson (2008) “Scientific Certainty Argumentation Methods (SCAMs): Science and the politics of doubt”. Sociological Inquiry. Vol. 78, No. 1. 2–38

[92] “Coping with fraud” (PDF). The COPE Report 1999: 11–18. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 28, 2007. Retrieved July 21, 2011. It is 10 years, to the month, since Stephen Lock ... Reproduced with kind permission of the Editor, The Lancet.

[73] Hank Campbell, Alex Berezow,. Science Left Behind : Feel-good Fallacies and the Rise of the Anti-Scientific Left (1st ed.). New York: PublicAffairs. ISBN 978-1-61039164-1.

[93] In mathematics, Plato's Meno demonstrates that it is possible to know logical propositions, such as the Pythagorean theorem, and even to prove them, as cited by Crease 2009, pp. 35–41

[74] "... [T]he logical empiricists thought that the great aim of science was to discover and establish generalizations.”— Godfrey-Smith 2003, p. 41

[94] Ziman cites Polanyi 1958 chapter 12, as referenced in Ziman 1978

[75]“Bayesianism tries to understand evidence using probability theory.”—Godfrey-Smith 2003, p. 203 [76] Godfrey-Smith 2003 [77] Popper called this Conjecture and Refutation GodfreySmith 2003, pp. 117–8 [78] Karl Popper: Objective Knowledge (1972)

[95] Ziman 1978 [96] “To Live at All Is Miracle Enough —Richard Dawkins” . RichardDawkins.net. May 10, 2006. Archived from the original on January 19, 2012. Retrieved February 5, 2012. [97] Simonton, Dean Keith (2013). “After Einstein: Scientific genius is extinct”. Nature. 493 (7434): 602–602. doi:10.1038/493602a.

[79] Newton-Smith, W. H. (1994). The Rationality of Science. London: Routledge. p. 30. ISBN 0-7100-0913-5. [80] Feyerabend 1993. [81] Feyerabend, Paul (1987). Farewell To Reason. Verso. p. 100. ISBN 0-86091-184-5. [82] Brugger, E. Christian (2004). “Casebeer, William D. Natural Ethical Facts: Evolution, Connectionism, and Moral Cognition”. The Review of Metaphysics. 58 (2). [83] The Structure of Scientific Theories in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy [84] Popper 1996. [85] Stanovich 2007 [86] Dawkins, Richard; Coyne, Jerry (September 2, 2005). “One side can be wrong”. The Guardian. London. [87] “Barry Stroud on Scepticism”. philosophy bites. December 16, 2007. Retrieved February 5, 2012. [88] Peirce (1877),“The Fixation of Belief”, Popular Science Monthly, v. 12, pp. 1–15, see §IV on p. 6–7. Reprinted Collected Papers v. 5, paragraphs 358–87 (see 374–6), Writings v. 3, pp. 242–57 (see 247–8), Essential Peirce v. 1, pp. 109–23 (see 114–15), and elsewhere.

18.9 Sources • Crease, Robert P. (2009). The Great Equations. New York: W.W. Norton. ISBN 978-0-393-062045. • di Francia, Giuliano Toraldo (1976). The Investigation of the Physical World. Originally published in Italian as L'Indagine del Mondo Fisico by Giulio Einaudi editore 1976; first published in English by Cambridge University Press 1981. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-29925X. • Fara, Patricia (2009). Science : a four thousand year history. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 408. ISBN 978-0-19-922689-4. • Feyerabend, Paul (1993). Against Method (3rd ed.). London: Verso. ISBN 0-86091-646-4. • Godfrey-Smith, Peter (2003). Theory and Reality. Chicago 60637: University of Chicago. p. 272. ISBN 0-226-30062-5.



• Heilbron, J. L. (editor-in-chief) (2003). The Oxford Companion to the History of Modern Science. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19511229-6.

• Feynman, Richard P. (1999). Robbins, Jeffrey, ed. The pleasure of finding things out the best short works of Richard P. Feynman. Cambridge, Mass.: Perseus Books. ISBN 0465013120.

• Lindberg, David C. (2007). The beginnings of Western science: the European Scientific tradition in philosophical, religious, and institutional context (Second ed.). Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780-226-48205-7.

• Feynman, R.P. (1999). The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman. Perseus Books Group. ISBN 0-46502395-9. OCLC 181597764.

• Nola, Robert; Irzik, Gürol (2005). Philosophy, science, education and culture. Science & technology education library. 28. Springer. ISBN 1-40203769-4. • Polanyi, Michael (1958). Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-67288-3

• Feynman, Richard “Cargo Cult Science” • Gaukroger, Stephen (2006). The Emergence of a Scientific Culture: Science and the Shaping of Modernity 1210–1685. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-929644-8. • Gopnik, Alison, “Finding Our Inner Scientist”, Daedalus, Winter 2004.

• Popper, Karl Raimund (1996) [1984]. In search of a better world: lectures and essays from thirty years. New York, NY: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-13548-6.

• Krige, John, and Dominique Pestre, eds., Science in the Twentieth Century, Routledge 2003, ISBN 0415-28606-9

• Popper, Karl R. (2002) [1959]. The Logic of Scientific Discovery. New York, NY: Routledge Classics. ISBN 0-415-27844-9. OCLC 59377149.

• Levin, Yuval (2008). Imagining the Future: Science and American Democracy. New York, Encounter Books. ISBN 1-59403-209-2

• Stanovich, Keith E. (2007). How to Think Straight About Psychology. Boston: Pearson Education. ISBN 978-0-205-68590-5.

• Lindberg, D. C. (1976). Theories of Vision from alKindi to Kepler. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Pr.

• Ziman, John (1978). Reliable knowledge: An exploration of the grounds for belief in science. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 197. ISBN 0-521-22087-4

18.10 Further reading • Augros, Robert M., Stanciu, George N., The New Story of Science: mind and the universe, Lake Bluff, Ill.: Regnery Gateway, c1984. ISBN 0-89526-8337 • Becker, Ernest (1968). The structure of evil; an essay on the unification of the science of man. New York: G. Braziller. • Cole, K. C., Things your teacher never told you about science: Nine shocking revelations Newsday, Long Island, New York, March 23, 1986, pg 21+ • Crease, Robert P. (2011). World in the Balance: the historic quest for an absolute system of measurement. New York: W.W. Norton. p. 317. ISBN 978-0393-07298-3. • Feyerabend, Paul (2005). Science, history of the philosophy, as cited in Honderich, Ted (2005). The Oxford companion to philosophy. Oxford Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-926479-1. OCLC 173262485.

• Kuhn, Thomas, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 1962. • William F., McComas (1998). “The principal elements of the nature of science: Dispelling the myths”. In McComas, William F. The nature of science in science education: rationales and strategies (PDF). Springer. ISBN 978-0-7923-6168-8. • Needham, Joseph (1954). "Science and Civilisation in China: Introductory Orientations”. 1. Cambridge University Press. • Obler, Paul C.; Estrin, Herman A. (1962). The New Scientist: Essays on the Methods and Values of Modern Science. Anchor Books, Doubleday. • Papineau, David. (2005). Science, problems of the philosophy of., as cited in Honderich, Ted (2005). The Oxford companion to philosophy. Oxford Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-926479-1. OCLC 173262485. • Parkin, D. (1991). “Simultaneity and Sequencing in the Oracular Speech of Kenyan Diviners”. In Philip M. Peek. African Divination Systems: Ways of Knowing. Indianapolis, IN: Indiana University Press. • Russell, Bertrand (1985) [1952]. The Impact of Science on Society. London: Unwin. ISBN 0-04300090-8.

18.11. EXTERNAL LINKS • Rutherford, F. James; Ahlgren, Andrew (1990). Science for all Americans. New York, NY: American Association for the Advancement of Science, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-5067711. • Smith, A. Mark (2001). Written at Philadelphia. Alhacen's Theory of Visual Perception: A Critical Edition, with English Translation and Commentary, of the First Three Books of Alhacen's De Aspectibus, the Medieval Latin Version of Ibn al-Haytham's Kitāb al-Manāẓir, 2 vols. Transactions of the American Philosophical Society. 91. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society. ISBN 0-87169914-1. OCLC 47168716. Books I-III (2001 — 91(4)) Vol 1 Commentary and Latin text via JSTOR; —91(5) Vol 2 English translation, Book I:TOCpp.339-341, Book II:TOCpp.415-6, Book III:TOCpp.559-560, Notes 681ff, Bibl. via JSTOR • Thurs, Daniel Patrick (2007). Science Talk: Changing Notions of Science in American Popular Culture. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. pp. 22–52. ISBN 978-0-8135-4073-3.

18.11 External links 18.11.1


• "GCSE Science textbook". Wikibooks.org



• Euroscience: •“ESOF: Euroscience Open Forum”. Archived from the original on June 10, 2010. • Science Development in the Latin American docta • Classification of the Sciences in Dictionary of the History of Ideas. (Dictionary's new electronic format is badly botched, entries after “Design”are inaccessible. Internet Archive old version). • “Nature of Science” University of California Museum of Paleontology • United States Science Initiative Selected science information provided by US Government agencies, including research & development results • How science works University of California Museum of Paleontology


Chapter 19

Neoplatonism Not to be confused with Modern Platonism. Neoplatonism is a modern term* [1] used to designate a tradition of philosophy that arose in the 3rd century AD and persisted until shortly after the closing of the Platonic Academy in Athens in AD 529 by Justinian I. Neoplatonists were heavily influenced by Plato, but also by the Platonic tradition that thrived during the six centuries which separated the first of the Neoplatonists from Plato. In defining the term “Neoplatonism”, it is difficult to reduce the school of thought to a concise set of ideas that all Neoplatonic philosophers shared in common. The work of Neoplatonic philosophy involved describing the derivation of the whole of reality from a single principle, “the One”. While the Neoplatonists generally shared some basic assumptions about the nature of reality, there were also considerable differences in their views and approaches, and so it can be difficult to summarize the philosophical content of Neoplatonism briefly. Instead, the most concise definition of Neoplatonism casts it as an historical term.* [2] It refers to the dynamic philosophical tradition that Neoplatonism was over the course of its history: to the work of Plotinus, who is traditionally identified as the founder of Neoplatonism,* [3] and to the many thinkers after him, who developed, responded to and criticized his ideas.* [4] There are multiple ways to categorize the differences between the Neoplatonists according to their differing views, but one way* [5] counts three distinct phases in Neoplatonism after Plotinus: the work of his student Porphyry, that of Iamblichus and his school in Calchis, and the period in the fifth and sixth centuries, when the Academies in Alexandria and Athens flourished. Thinkers of this final period include Syrianus, Olympiodorus the Younger, Proclus and Damascius. An important feature that distinguishes Neoplatonism after Porphyry from earlier periods is that later Neoplatonists embraced a certain kind of spiritual exercise, called theurgy, as a means of developing the soul through a process called henosis.

Ammonius Saccas, the teacher of Plotinus.* [7]* [8] Neoplatonism has been very influential throughout history. In the Middle Ages, Neoplatonic ideas were integrated into the philosophical and theological works of many of the most important medieval Islamic, Christian, and Jewish thinkers. In Muslim lands, Neoplatonic texts were available in Arabic translations, and notable thinkers such as al-Farabi, Avicenna and Moses Maimonides* [9] incorporated Neoplatonic elements into their own thinking. Although the revitalisation of Neoplatonism amongst Italian Renaissance thinkers such as Marsilio Ficino and Pico della Mirandola is perhaps more famous, Latin translations of Late Ancient Neoplatonic texts were first available in the Christian West much earlier, in the Middle Ages. Thomas Aquinas, for instance, had direct access to works by Proclus, Simplicius and Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, and he knew about other Neoplatonists, such as Plotinus and Porphyry, through secondhand sources.* [10] The influence of Neoplatonism also extends into forms of culture beyond philosophy, and well into the modern era, for instance, in Renaissance Aesthetics, and in the work of modernist poets such as W. B. Yeats* [11] and T.S. Eliot, among many more.

19.1 Origins of the term Neoplatonism

The term “Neoplatonism”has a double function as a historical category. On the one hand, it differentiates the philosophical doctrines of Plotinus and his successors from those of the historical Plato. On the other, the term makes an assumption about the novelty of Plotinus' interpretation of Plato. In the nearly six centuries from Plato's time to Plotinus', there had been an uninterrupted tradition of interpreting Plato which had begun with Aristotle and with the immediate successors of Plato's academy and continued on through a period of Platonism which is now referred to as Middle Platonism. The term“Neoplatonism”implies that Plotinus' interpretation of Plato was so distinct from those of his predecessors that it should The similarities between Neoplatonism and the Vedanta be thought to introduce a new period in the history of * philosophies of Hinduism [6] have led several authors to Platonism. Some contemporary scholars, however, have suggest an Indian influence in its founding, particularly on taken issue with this assumption and have doubted that 192



Neoplatonism constitutes a useful label. They claim that its first estate, and the second showing the way by which merely marginal differences separate Plotinus' teachings the soul may again return to the Eternal and Supreme. from those of his immediate predecessors. The system can be divided between the invisible world Whether Neoplatonism is a meaningful or useful histor- and the phenomenal world, the former containing the ical category is itself a central question concerning the transcendent One from which emanates an eternal, perhistory of the interpretation of Plato. For much of the fect, essence (nous), which, in turn, produces the worldhistory of Platonism, it was commonly accepted that the soul. doctrines of the Neoplatonists were essentially the same as those of Plato. The Renaissance Platonist Marsilio Ficino, for instance, thought that the Neoplatonic interpretation of Plato was an authentic and accurate representation of Plato's philosophy.* [12] Although it is unclear precisely when scholars began to disassociate the philosophy of the historical Plato from the philosophy of his Neoplatonic interpreters, they had clearly begun to do so at least as early as the first decade of the nineteenth century. Contemporary scholars often identify the German theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher as an early thinker who took Plato's philosophy to be separate from that of his Neoplatonic interpreters. However, others have argued that the differentiation of Plato from Neoplatonism was the result of a protracted historical development that preceded Schleiermacher's scholarly work on Plato.* [13]

19.3.1 The One

One of the characteristic features of Plotinus' system, which was also taken up by subsequent Neoplatonists, is the doctrine of “the One”beyond being. For Plotinus, the first principle of reality is an utterly simple, ineffable, unknowable subsistence which is both the creative source and the teleological end of all existing things. Although, properly speaking, there is no name appropriate for the first principle, the most adequate names are “the One” or “the Good”. The One is so simple that it cannot even be said to exist or to be a being. Rather, the creative principle of all things is beyond being, a notion which is derived from book VI of the Republic,* [14] when, in the course of his famous analogy of the Sun, Plato says that the Good is beyond being (ἐπέκεινα τῆς οὐσίας) in power and dignity.* [15] In Plotinus' model of reality, the 19.2 Origins One is the cause of the rest of reality, which takes the form of two subsequent “hypostases”, Nous and Soul. Although Neoplatonists after Plotinus adhered to his cos• See Also Plato's unwritten doctrines mological scheme in its most general outline, later developments in the tradition also departed substantively from The most important forerunners of Neoplatonism are Plotinus' teachings in regards to significant philosophical the Middle Platonists, such as Plutarch, and the issues, such as the nature of evil. Neopythagoreans, especially Numenius of Apamea. Philo, a forerunner of Neoplatonism, translated Judaism into terms of Stoic, Platonic and Neopythagorean ele- 19.3.2 Demiurge or Nous ments, and held that God is “supra rational”and can be reached only through “ecstasy”, and Philo held that The original Being initially emanates, or throws out, the oracles of God supply the material of moral and re- the nous, which is a perfect image of the One and the ligious knowledge. The earliest Christian philosophers, archetype of all existing things. It is simultaneously both such as Justin and Athenagoras, who attempted to connect being and thought, idea and ideal world. As image, the Christianity with Platonism, and the Christian Gnostics nous corresponds perfectly to the One, but as derivative, of Alexandria, especially Valentinus and the followers of it is entirely different. What Plotinus understands by the Basilides, also mirrored elements of Neoplatonism, albeit nous is the highest sphere accessible to the human mind, without its rigorous self-consistency. while also being pure intellect itself. Nous is the most crit-

19.3 Teachings

ical component of idealism, Neoplatonism being a pure form of idealism.* [16]* [17] The demiurge (the nous) is the energy, or ergon (does the work), which manifests or organises the material world into perceivability.

Neoplatonism is generally a metaphysical and epistemological philosophy. Neoplatonism is a form of idealistic 19.3.3 monism combined with elements of polytheism. Although the founder of Neoplatonism is supposed to have been Ammonius Saccas, the Enneads of his pupil Plotinus are the primary and classical document of Neoplatonism. As a form of mysticism, it contains theoretical and practical parts, the first dealing with the high origin of the human soul and showing how it has departed from

The world-soul

The image and product of the motionless nous is the world-soul, which, according to Plotinus, is immaterial like the nous. Its relation to the nous is the same as that of the nous to the One. It stands between the nous and the phenomenal world, and it is permeated and illuminated by the former, but it is also in contact with the latter. The



nous/spirit is indivisible; the world-soul may preserve its unity and remain in the nous, but, at the same time, it has the power of uniting with the corporeal world and thus being disintegrated. It therefore occupies an intermediate position. As a single world-soul, it belongs in essence and destination to the intelligible world; but it also embraces innumerable individual souls; and these can either allow themselves to be informed by the nous, or turn aside from the nous and choose the phenomenal world and lose themselves in the realm of the senses and the finite.


The phenomenal world

The soul, as a moving essence, generates the corporeal or phenomenal world. This world ought to be so pervaded by the soul that its various parts should remain in perfect harmony. Plotinus is no dualist in the same sense as sects like the Gnostics; in contrast, he admires the beauty and splendour of the world. So long as idea governs matter, or the soul governs the body, the world is fair and good. It is an image - though a shadowy image - of the upper world, and the degrees of better and worse in it are essential to the harmony of the whole. But, in the actual phenomenal world, unity and harmony are replaced by strife or discord; the result is a conflict, a becoming and vanishing, an illusive existence. And the reason for this state of things is that bodies rest on a substratum of matter. Matter is the indeterminate: that with no qualities. If destitute of form and idea, it is evil; as capable of form, it is neutral. Evil here is understood as a parasite, having no-existence of its own (parahypostasis), an unavoidable outcome of the Universe, having an “other”necessity, as a harmonizing factor.* [18]



Here, then, we enter upon the practical philosophy. Along the same road by which it descended, the soul must retrace its steps back to the supreme Good. It must, first of all, return to itself. This is accomplished by the practice of virtue, which aims at likeness to God, and leads up to God. In the ethics of Plotinus, all the older schemes of virtue are taken over and arranged in a graduated series. The lowest stage is that of the civil virtues, then follow the purifying, and last of all the divine virtues. The civil virtues merely adorn the life, without elevating the soul. That is the office of the purifying virtues, by which the soul is freed from sensuality and led back to itself, and thence to the nous. By means of ascetic observances, the human becomes once more a spiritual and enduring being, free from all sin. But there is still a higher attainment; it is not enough to be sinless, one must become “God” (henosis). This is reached through contemplation of the primeval Being, the One —in other words, through an ecstatic approach to it. Thought cannot attain to this, for thought reaches only to the nous, and it itself is a kind of motion. It is only in a state of perfect passivity and repose

that the soul can recognise and touch the primaeval Being. Hence, the soul must first pass through a spiritual curriculum. Beginning with the contemplation of corporeal things in their multiplicity and harmony, it then retires upon itself and withdraws into the depths of its own being, rising thence to the nous, the world of ideas. But, even there, it does not find the Highest, the One; it still hears a voice saying, “not we have made ourselves” . The last stage is reached when, in the highest tension and concentration, beholding in silence and utter forgetfulness of all things, it is able, as it were, to lose itself. Then it sees God, the foundation of life, the source of being, the origin of all good, the root of the soul. In that moment, it enjoys the highest indescribable bliss; it is, as it were, swallowed up by divinity, bathed in the light of eternity. Porphyry says that on four occasions during the six years of their acquaintance, Plotinus attained to this ecstatic union with God.

19.3.6 Celestial hierarchy The religious philosophy of Plotinus for himself personally sufficed, without the aid of the popular religion or worship. Nevertheless, he sought for points of support in these. God is certainly in the truest sense nothing but the primaeval Being who is revealed in a variety of emanations and manifestations. Plotinus taught the existence of an ineffable and transcendent One, the All, from which emanated the rest of the universe as a sequence of lesser beings. Later Neoplatonic philosophers, especially Iamblichus, added hundreds of intermediate beings such as gods, angels, demons, and other beings as mediators between the One and humanity. The Neoplatonist gods are omni-perfect beings and do not display the usual amoral behaviour associated with their representations in the myths. The One God, The Good. Transcendent and ineffable. The Hypercosmic Gods Those that make Essence, Life, and Soul The Demiurge The Creator The Cosmic Gods Those who make Being, Nature, and Matter—including the gods known to us from classical religion.

19.3.7 Salvation Neoplatonists believed human perfection and happiness were attainable in this world, without awaiting an afterlife. Perfection and happiness —seen as synonymous —could be achieved through philosophical contemplation. They did not believe in an independent existence of evil. They compared it to darkness, which does not exist in itself but only as the absence of light. So, too, evil is simply

19.4. PHILOSOPHERS the absence of good. Things are good insofar as they exist; they are evil only insofar as they are imperfect, lacking some good which they should have. It is also a cornerstone of Neoplatonism to teach that all people return to the Source. The Source, Absolute, or One is what all things spring from and, as a superconsciousness (nous), is where all things return. It can be said that all consciousness is wiped clean and is returned to a blank slate when returning to the Source. All things have force or potential (dynamis) as their essence. This dynamis begets energy (energeia).* [19]* [20]* [21] The Neoplatonists believed in the pre-existence, and immortality of the soul.* [22]* [23] The human soul consists of a lower irrational soul and a higher rational soul (mind), both of which can be regarded as different powers of the one soul. It was widely held that the soul possesses a“vehicle”,* [24] accounting for the human soul's immortality and allowing for its return to the One after death.* [25] After bodily death, the soul takes up a level in the afterlife corresponding with the level at which it lived during its earthly life.* [26]* [27] The Neoplatonists believed in the principle of reincarnation. Although the most pure and holy souls would dwell in the highest regions, the impure soul would undergo a purification,* [23] before descending again,* [28] to be reincarnated into a new body, perhaps into animal form.* [29] Plotinus believed that a soul may be reincarnated into another human or even a different sort of animal. However, Porphyry maintained, instead, that human souls were only reincarnated into other humans.* [30] A soul which has returned to the One achieves union with the cosmic universal soul* [31] and does not descend again, at least, not in this world period.* [28]



The term "Logos" was interpreted variously in neoplatonism. Plotinus refers to Thales* [32] in interpreting Logos as the principle of meditation, the interrelationship between the Hypostases* [33] (Soul, Spirit (nous) and the 'One'). St. John introduces a relation between 'Logos' and the Son, Christ,* [34] whereas, St. Paul calls it 'Son', 'Image', and 'Form'.* [34]* [35]* [36]Victorinus subsequently differentiated the Logos interior to God from the Logos related to the world by creation and salvation.* [34] Augustine re-interpreted Aristotle and Plato in the light of early Christian thought.* [37] In his Confessions, he describes the Logos as the divine eternal Word.* [38] Following St. John, Augustine's Logos “took on flesh”in Christ, in whom the logos was present as in no other man.* [39]* [40] He strongly influenced Early Medieval Christian Philosophy.* [41] Perhaps the key subject in this was Logos.

195 thought. Porphyry's introduction (Isagoge) to Aristotle's Categoria was important as an introduction to logic, and the study of Aristotle became an introduction to the study of Plato in the late Platonism of Athens and Alexandria. The commentaries of this group seek to harmonise Plato, Aristotle, and, often, the Stoa.* [42] Some works of Neoplatonism were attributed to Plato or Aristotle. De Mundo, for instance, is thought not to be the work of a 'pseudo-Aristotle' though this remains debatable.* [43]

19.4 Philosophers 19.4.1 Ammonius Saccas Ammonius Saccas (birth unknown, death ca. AD 265, Greek: Ἀμμώνιος Σακκᾶς) is a founder of Neoplatonism and the teacher of Plotinus. Little is known of Ammonius Saccas other than that both Christians (see Eusebius, Jerome, and Origen) and pagans (see Porphyry and Plotinus) claimed him a teacher and founder of the Neoplatonic system. Porphyry stated in On the One School of Plato and Aristotle, that Ammonius' view was that the philosophies of Plato and Aristotle were in harmony. Eusebius and Jerome claimed him as a Christian until his death, whereas Porphyry claimed he had renounced Christianity and embraced pagan philosophy.

19.4.2 Plotinus Plotinus (Greek: Πλωτῖνος) (c. 205 – c. 270) was a major Greco-Egyptian* [44] philosopher of the ancient world who is widely considered the father of Neoplatonism. Much of our biographical information about him comes from Porphyry's preface to his edition of Plotinus' Enneads. While he was himself influenced by the teachings of classical Greek, Persian and Indian philosophy and Egyptian theology,* [45] his metaphysical writings later inspired numerous Christian, Jewish, Islamic and Gnostic metaphysicians and mystics over the centuries. Plotinus taught that there is a supreme, totally transcendent“One”, containing no division, multiplicity, nor distinction; likewise, it is beyond all categories of being and non-being. The concept of“being”is derived by us from the objects of human experience and is an attribute of such objects, but the infinite, transcendent One is beyond all such objects and, therefore, is beyond the concepts which we can derive from them. The One“cannot be any existing thing”and cannot be merely the sum of all such things (compare the Stoic doctrine of disbelief in non-material existence) but “is prior to all existents”.

After Plotinus' (around AD 205–270) and his stu- 19.4.3 Porphyry dent Porphyry (around AD 232–309) Aristotle's (nonbiological) works entered the curriculum of Platonic Porphyry (Greek: Πορφύριος, c. A.D. 233– c. 309)



was a Syrian* [44] Neoplatonist philosopher. He wrote widely on astrology, religion, philosophy, and musical theory. He produced a biography of his teacher, Plotinus. He is important in the history of mathematics because of his Life of Pythagoras and his commentary on Euclid's Elements, which Pappus used when he wrote his own commentary. Porphyry is also known as an opponent of Christianity and as a defender of Paganism; of his Adversus Christianos (Against the Christians) in 15 books, only fragments remain. He famously said, “The gods have proclaimed Christ to have been most pious, but the Christians are a confused and vicious sect.”



Iamblichus, also known as Iamblichus Chalcidensis, (c. 245 – c. 325, Greek: Ἰάμβλιχος) was a Syrian* [44] Neoplatonist philosopher who determined the direction taken by later Neoplatonic philosophy and, perhaps, by western philosophical religions themselves. He is perhaps best known for his compendium on Pythagorean philosophy. In Iamblichus' system, the realm of divinities stretched from the original One down to material nature itself, where soul, in fact, descended into matter and became “embodied”as human beings. The world is thus peopled by a crowd of superhuman beings influencing natural events and possessing and communicating knowledge of the future, and who are all accessible to prayers and offerings. Iamblichus had salvation as his final goal (see henosis). The embodied soul was to return to divinity by performing certain rites, or theurgy, literally, 'divineworking'.



chains their particular character. They are also identified with the traditional Greek gods, so one henad might be Apollo and be the cause of all things apollonian, while another might be Helios and be the cause of all sunny things. The henads serve both to protect the One itself from any hint of multiplicity and to draw up the rest of the universe towards the One, by being a connecting, intermediate stage between absolute unity and determinate multiplicity.

19.4.7 Emperor Julian Julian (born c. 331 – died June 26, 363), was a Roman Emperor (361–363) of the Constantinian dynasty. He was the last pagan Roman Emperor. The legalization of Christianity by the Emperor Constantine had led to its widespread success within the Eastern Roman Empire and, to a lesser extent, the Western Roman Empire. Julian attempted to counteract Christianity by restoring and reforming pagan worship, using the Neoplatonism developed by Iamblichus to unify Hellenic worship in the empire.

19.4.8 Simplicius Simplicius of Cilicia (c. AD 530), a pupil of Damascius, is not known as an original thinker, but his remarks are thoughtful and intelligent, and his learning is prodigious. To the student of Greek philosophy, his commentaries are invaluable, as they contain many fragments of the older philosophers as well as of his immediate predecessors.

19.4.9 Michael Psellos

Hypatia (c. AD 360 – 415) was a Greek woman who served as head of the Platonist school in Alexandria, Egypt, where she taught philosophy, mathematics and astronomy prior to her murder by a mob of anti-pagan Christians because she was defending the Christian ruler of Alexandria Orestes (prefect).

Michael Psellos (1018–1078) a Byzantine monk, writer, philosopher, politician, and historian. He wrote many philosophical treatises such as De omnifaria doctrina. He wrote most of his philosophy during his time as a court politician at Constantinople in the 1030s and 1040s.


19.4.10 Gemistus Pletho


Proclus Lycaeus (February 8, 412 – April 17, 485), surnamed“The Successor”or“diadochos”(Greek Πρόκλος ὁ Διάδοχος Próklos ho Diádokhos), was a Greek Neoplatonist philosopher, one of the last major Greek philosophers (see Damascius). He set forth one of the most elaborate, complex, and fully developed Neoplatonic systems. The particular characteristic of Proclus' system is his insertion of a level of individual ones, called henads between the One itself and the divine Intellect, which is the second principle. The henads are beyond being, like the One itself, but they stand at the head of chains of causation (seirai or taxeis) and in some manner give to these

Gemistus Pletho (c. 1355 – 1452, Greek: Πλήθων Γεμιστός) remained the preeminent scholar of Neoplatonic philosophy in the late Byzantine Empire. He introduced his understanding and insight into the works of Neoplatonism during the failed attempt to reconcile the East–West Schism at the council of Florence. At Florence, Pletho met Cosimo de' Medici and influenced the latter's decision to found a new Platonic Academy there. Cosimo subsequently appointed as head Marsilio Ficino, who proceeded to translate all Plato's works, the Enneads of Plotinus, and various other Neoplatonist works into Latin.


19.5 Early Christian and Medieval Neoplatonism Main articles: Neoplatonism and Christianity and Neoplatonism and Gnosticism Certain central tenets of Neoplatonism served as a philosophical interim for the Christian theologian Augustine of Hippo on his journey from dualistic Manichaeism to Christianity. As a Manichee, Augustine had held that evil has substantial being and that God is made of matter; when he became a Neoplatonist, he changed his views on these things. As a Neoplatonist, and later a Christian, Augustine believed that evil is a privation of good and that God is not material. When writing his treatise 'On True Religion' several years after his 387 baptism, Augustine's Christianity was still tempered by Neoplatonism.

197 tion to Constantinople, where it would remain influential, albeit as a form of secular education.* [48] The university maintained an active philosophical tradition of Platonism and Aristotelianism, with the former being the longest unbroken Platonic school, running for close to two millennia until the 15th century* [48] In the Middle Ages, Neoplatonist ideas influenced Jewish thinkers, such as the Kabbalist Isaac the Blind, and the Jewish Neoplatonic philosopher Solomon ibn Gabirol, who modified it in the light of their own monotheism. Neoplatonist ideas also influenced Islamic and Sufi thinkers such as al Farabi and Avicenna. Neoplatonism ostensibly survived in the Eastern Christian Church as an independent tradition and was reintroduced to the West by Plethon, an avowed pagan and opponent of the Byzantine Church, inasmuch as the latter, under Western scholastic influence, relied heavily upon Aristotelian methodology. Plethon's Platonic revival, following the Council of Florence (1438–1439), largely accounts for the renewed interest in Platonic philosophy which accompanied the Renaissance.

Many other Christians were influenced by Neoplatonism, especially in their identifying the Neoplatonic One, or God, with Yahweh. The most influential of these would be Origen, the pupil of Ammonius Saccas and 19.5.1 Philosophy and theology the fifth-century author known as Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, (whose works were translated by John ScoJohn Burnet (1892) noted* [49] tus in the 9th century for the West) and proved significant for both the Eastern Orthodox and Western The Neoplatonists were quite justified in rebranches of Christianity. Neoplatonism also had links garding themselves as the spiritual heirs of with Gnosticism, which Plotinus rebuked in his ninth Pythagoras; and, in their hands, philosophy tractate of the second Enneads:“Against Those That Afceased to exist as such, and became theology. firm The Creator of The Cosmos and The Cosmos Itself And this tendency was at work all along; hardly to Be Evil”(generally known as“Against The Gnostics” a single Greek philosopher was wholly uninflu). enced by it. Perhaps Aristotle might seem to be Due to their belief being grounded in Platonic thought, an exception; but it is probable that, if we still the Neoplatonists rejected Gnosticism's vilification of possessed a few such “exoteric”works as the Plato's demiurge, the creator of the material world or cosProtreptikos in their entirety, we should find mos discussed in the Timaeus. Neoplatonism has been that the enthusiastic words in which he speaks referred to as orthodox Platonic philosophy by scholars of the "blessed life" in the Metaphysics and in like Professor John D. Turner; this reference may be due, the Ethics (Nicomachean Ethics) were less isoin part, to Plotinus' attempt to refute certain interpretalated outbursts of feeling than they appear now. tions of Platonic philosophy, through his Enneads. PlotIn later days, Apollonios of Tyana showed in inus believed the followers of Gnosticism had corrupted practice what this sort of thing must ultimately the original teachings of Plato and often argued against lead to. The theurgy and thaumaturgy of the likes of Valentinus who, according to Plotinus, had given late Greek schools were only the fruit of the seed rise to doctrines of dogmatic theology with ideas such as sown by the generation which immediately prethat the Spirit of Christ was brought forth by a conscious ceded the Persian War. god after the fall from Pleroma. According to Plotinus, The One is not a conscious god with intent nor a godhead nor a conditioned existing entity of any kind, rather a requisite principle of totality which is also the source of ul- 19.6 Islamic Neoplatonism timate wisdom.* [46] Despite the influence this pagan philosophy had on Christianity, Justinian I would hurt later Neoplatonism by ordering the closure of the refounded School of Athens.* [47] After the closure, Neoplatonic and or secular philosophical studies continued in publicly funded schools in Alexandria. In the early seventh century, the Neoplatonist Stephanus brought this Alexandrian tradi-

Various Arabic scholars and philosophers utilised the works of Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, and other Neoplatonist philosophers to evaluate, assess, and eventually adapt Neoplatonism to conform to the monotheistic constraints of Islam.* [50] Arabic scholars, like earlier Neoplatonic thinkers, read and philosophised the works of Plato and developed similar questions and conclusions.



The translation and interpretation of Islamic Neoplaton- writings and concepts. Parviz Morewedge gives four supists had lasting effects on Western philosophers, affecting positions about the nature of Islamic Mysticism: Descartes' view on the conception of being. Important figures that translated and shaped Islamic Neoplatonism The Unity of Being“An inherent potential unity among were Avicenna (Ibn Sina), Ibn Arabi, al-Kindi, al-Farabi, all dimensions of world-experience.” and al-Himsi. The Mediator Figure“The mediation between finite There were three major reasons for the prominence of man and the ultimate being.” Neoplatonic influences in the Islamic world: The Way of Salvation“Knowledge is embedded in the path of self-realization.”Passing trials advances one 1. Availability of Neoplatonic texts: Arabic translathrough stages until transcendence. tions and paraphrases of Neoplatonic works were readily available to Moslem scholars greatly due to The Language of Symbolic Allegory“Mystical texts the availability of the Greek copies, in part, because are often written in the allegorical language of the Muslims came to rule over some of the more tales.”* [55] important centres of Greek civilisation (Egypt and Syria). 2. Spatial and temporal proximity:“Plotinus and other 19.7 Renaissance Neoplatonism Neoplatonists lived only a few centuries before the rise of Islam, and many of them were Egyptian Main article: Platonism in the Renaissance Greeks.” 3. Neoplatonism's mystical perspectives: Plotinus' system has similar content to Islamic mysticism, like Islamic Sufism. This eased the acceptance of Neoplatonic doctrines by Islamic philosophers.* [51] Islamic Neoplatonism differs from traditional Neoplatonism because of its incorporation of Islamic theology, most commonly through the change in definitions of the One and the First Principle. “What changes Neoplatonism is the transcendence of the First Principle.* [52]" Moslem philosophers changed the Neoplatonic characteristics of the One into those attributable to God as present in Islamic scripture, notably transferring the First Principle to God. By assigning the First Principle to God, they are altering the definition to fit the definition of God determined by scripture. Philosophers described God as free from Platonic forms and having divine omniscience and providence. The notion of the divine Intellect is altered under Islamic Neoplatonism and is once again attributed to God. Plotinus doesn't believe in the idea of intelligent design of the universe by an omnipotent being. Islamic philosophers adapted divine Intellect to reinforce scripture, in that God is a transcendent being, omnipresent and inalterable to the effects of creation. The translations of the works which extrapolate the tenets of God in Neoplatonism present no major modification from their original Greek sources, showing the doctrinal shift towards monotheism.* [53] “The greatest cluster of Neoplatonic themes is found in religious mystical writings, which in fact transform purely orthodox doctrines such as creation into doctrines such as emanationism, which allow for a better framework for the expression of Neoplatonic themes and the emergence of the mystical themes of the ascent and mystical union.* [54]" Islamic philosophers used the framework of Islamic mysticism in their interpretation of Neoplatonic

“Of all the students of Greek in Renaissance Italy, the best-known are the Neoplatonists who studied in and around Florence”(Hole). Neoplatonism was not just a revival of Plato's ideas, it is all based on Plotinus' created synthesis, which incorporated the works and teachings of Plato, Aristotle, Pythagoras, and other Greek philosophers. The Renaissance in Italy was the revival of classic antiquity, and this started at the fall of the Byzantine empire, who were considered the“librarians of the world”, because of their great collection of classical manuscripts and the number of humanist scholars that resided in Constantinople (Hole). Neoplatonism in the Renaissance combined the ideas of Christianity and a new awareness of the writings of Plato. Marsilio Ficino (1433–99) was “chiefly responsible for packaging and presenting Plato to the Renaissance” (Hole). In 1462, Cosimo I de' Medici, patron of arts, who had an interest in humanism and Platonism, provided Ficino with all 36 of Plato's dialogues in Greek for him to translate. Between 1462 and 1469, Ficino translated these works into Latin, making them widely accessible, as only a minority of people could read Greek. And, between 1484 and 1492, he translated the works of Plotinus, making them available for the first time to the West. Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463–94) was another excelling Neoplatonist during the Italian Renaissance. He could not only speak and write in Latin and Greek, but he also had immense knowledge on the Hebrew and Arabic languages. The pope banned his works because they were viewed as heretical - unlike Ficino, who managed to stay on the right side of the church. The efforts of Ficino and Pico to introduce Neoplatonic and Hermetic doctrines into the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church has recently been evaluated in terms of an attempted “Hermetic Reformation”.* [56]



19.8 Cambridge Platonists

• Asclepigenia

Main article: Cambridge Platonists

• Atticus (philosopher) • Brethren of Purity

In the seventeenth century in England, Neoplatonism was fundamental to the school of the Cambridge Platonists, whose luminaries included Henry More, Ralph Cudworth, Benjamin Whichcote and John Smith, all graduates of Cambridge University. Coleridge claimed that they were not really Platonists, but “more truly Plotinists": “divine Plotinus”, as More called him. Later, Thomas Taylor (not a Cambridge Platonist) was the first to translate Plotinus' works into English.* [57]* [58]

• Cambridge Platonists • Dehellenization • Henology • International Society for Neoplatonic Studies • List of ancient Greek philosophers • Neoplatonism and Gnosticism • Pantheism and panentheism

19.9 Modern Neoplatonism

• Peripatetic school

In the essay “Inner and Outer Realities: Jean Gebser in a Cultural/Historical Perspective”, Integral philosopher Allan Combs claims that ten modern thinkers can be called Neo-Platonists: Goethe, Schiller, Schelling, Hegel, Coleridge, Emerson, Rudolf Steiner, Carl Jung, Jean Gebser and the modern theorist Brian Goodwin. He sees these thinkers as participating in a tradition which can be distinguished from the empiricist and materialist Western philosophical traditions.* [59]

• Plato's unwritten doctrines

In the philosophy of mathematics, in the early 20th century, the German philosopher, Gottlob Frege, renewed the interest in Plato's theory of mathematical objects (and other abstract objects, in general). Since then, a number of philosophers, such as Crispin Wright and Bob Hale have defended and developed this Neo-platonist account of mathematics. Some cite American poet Ezra Pound as a Neo-platonist, albeit from a rather Confucian perspective due to his great admiration for Plotinus and his writings on philosophy and religion. Religiously, he described himself in public as a Hellenistic Pagan. Other notable modern Neoplatonists include Thomas Taylor, “the English Platonist”, who wrote extensively on Platonism and translated almost the entire Platonic and Plotinian corpora into English, and the Belgian writer Suzanne Lilar. Science fiction writer Philip K. Dick identified as a Neoplatonist and explores related mystical experiences and religious concepts in his theoretical work, compiled in The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick.

19.10 See also • Allegorical interpretations of Plato • Antiochus of Ascalon

• Pseudo-Aristotle • Plutarch • Syrianus • Theosophy

19.11 References [1] The term first appeared in 1827 [2] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy – entry for Plotinus: “The term ‘Neoplatonism’is an invention of early 19th century European scholarship and indicates the penchant of historians for dividing‘periods’in history. In this case, the term was intended to indicate that Plotinus initiated a new phase in the development of the Platonic tradition.” [3] IEP [4] See also Remes, Paulina, 2008, “Neoplatonism”. Acumen publishing, page 1.“What is Neoplatonism?‘Neoplatonism’refers to a school of thought that began in approximately 245 CE, when a man called Plotinus moved… [to] the capital of the Roman Empire…[and] began teaching his interpretation of Plato’s philosophy. Out of the association of people in Rome…emerged a school of philosophy that displays enough originality to be considered a new phase of Platonism”. [5] oxfordbibliographies.com [6] J. Bussanich. The roots of Platonism and Vedanta. International Journal of Hindu Studies. January 2005, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 1-2 [7] Harris, R. Baine (ed.), Neoplatonism and Indian Thought, Norfolk Va., 1982: The International Society for Neoplatonic Studies


[8] J.F. Staal, Advaita and Neoplatonism. A Critical Study in Comparative Philosophy. University of Madras, Madras 1961 [9] Kreisel, Howard (1997). “Moses Maimonides”. In Daniel H. Frank and Oliver Leaman (edd.). History of Jewish Philosophy. Routledge history of world philosophies. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 245–280. ISBN 978-0-415-08064-4. [10] Wayne Hankey, “Aquinas, Plato, and Neo-Platonism” [11] Peter J. Hansen, Yeats, Neoplatonism and the Aesthetic of Exile, Arizona State University, 1994 [12] Allen, Michael J.B. (Summer 1977). “Ficino's Lecture on the Good?". Renaissance Quarterly. 30 (2): 162. doi:10.2307/2860654. [13] Tigerstedt, E.N. The Decline and Fall of the Neoplatonic Interpretation of Plato. 1974 [14] Dodds, E.R.“The Parmenides of Plato and the Origin of the Neoplatonic 'One'". The Classical Quarterly, Jul–Oct 1928, vol. 22, p. 136 [15] Plato, Republic 509b [16] Schopenhauer wrote of this Neoplatonist philosopher: “With Plotinus there even appears, probably for the first time in Western philosophy, idealism that had long been current in the East even at that time, for it taught (Enneads, iii, lib. vii, c.10) that the soul has made the world by stepping from eternity into time, with the explanation: 'For there is for this universe no other place than the soul or mind' (neque est alter hujus universi locus quam anima), indeed the ideality of time is expressed in the words: 'We should not accept time outside the soul or mind' (oportet autem nequaquam extra animam tempus accipere).”(Parerga and Paralipomena, Volume I,“Fragments for the History of Philosophy,”§ 7) [17] Similarly, professor Ludwig Noiré wrote: “For the first time in Western philosophy we find idealism proper in Plotinus (Enneads, iii, 7, 10), where he says, “The only space or place of the world is the soul,”and“Time must not be assumed to exist outside the soul.”Ludwig Noiré, Historical Introduction to Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. It is worth noting, however, that, like Plato, but unlike Schopenhauer and other modern philosophers, Plotinus does not worry about whether or how we can get beyond our ideas in order to know external objects. [18] Richard T. Wallis and Jay Bregman (1992), Neoplatonism and Gnosticism, SUNY Press, pp. 42–45 [19] D. G. Leahy, Faith and Philosophy: The Historical Impact, pages 5–6. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. [20] Enneads VI 9.6 [21] Richard T. Wallis and Jay Bregman (1992), SUNY Press, page 173]. [22] Plotinus, iv. 7, "On the immortality of the Soul."


[23] Glen Warren Bowersock, Peter Brown, Peter Robert Lamont Brown, Oleg Grabar, 1999, Late Antiquity: A Guide to the Postclassical World, page 40. Harvard University Press. [24] See Plato's Timaeus, 41d, 44e, 69c, for the origin of this idea. [25] Paul S. MacDonald, 2003, History of the Concept of Mind: Speculations About Soul, Mind and Spirit from Homer to Hume, page 122. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. [26] Plotinus, iii.4.2 [27] Andrew Smith, 1974, Porphyry's Place in the Neoplatonic Tradition: A Study in Post-Plotinian Neoplatonism, page 43. Springer. [28] Andrew Smith, 1974, Porphyry's Place in the Neoplatonic Tradition: A Study in Post-Plotinian Neoplatonism, page 58. Springer. [29]“Whether human souls could be reborn into animals seems to have become quite a problematical topic to the later neoplatonists.”- Andrew Smith, (1987), Porphyrian Studies since 1913, ANRW II 36, 2. [30] Remes, Pauliina, Neoplatonism (University of California Press, 2008), p. 119. [31] James A. Arieti, Philosophy in the Ancient World: An Introduction, page 336. Rowman & Littlefield [32] Handboek Geschiedenis van de Wijsbegeerte I, Article by Carlos Steel [33] The journal of neoplatonic studies, Volumes 7–8, Institute of Global Cultural Studies, Binghamton University, 1999, P 16 [34] Theological treatises on the Trinity, By Marius Victorinus, Mary T. Clark, P25 [35] Col. 1:15 [36] Phil. 2:5-7 [37] Neoplatonism and Christian thought (Volume 2), By Dominic J. O'Meara, page 39 [38] Confessiones, Augustine, P 130 [39] De immortalitate animae of Augustine: text, translation and commentary, By Saint Augustine (Bishop of Hippo.), C. W. Wolfskeel, introduction [40] 1 John 1:14 [41] Handboek Geschiedenis van de Wijsbegeerte I, Article by Douwe Runia [42] Handboek Geschiedenis van de Wijsbegeerte I, Article by Frans de Haas [43] De Mundo, Loeb Classical Library, Introductory Note, D.J. Furley [44] George Sarton (1936). “The Unity and Diversity of the Mediterranean World”, Osiris 2, pp. 406–463 [429–430].


[45] Porphyry, On the Life of Plotinus and the Order of His Books, Ch. 3 (Armstrong's Loeb translation). “he became eager to make acquaintance with the Persian philosophical discipline and that prevailing among the Indians” [46] http://www.loebclassics.com/view/LCL440/1969/pb_ LCL440.xvii.xml [47] See E. Watts, City and School in Late Antique Athens and Alexandria; Rainer Thiel, Simplikios und das Ende der neuplatonischen Schule in Athen, and a review by Gerald Bechtle, University of Berne, Switzerland, in the Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2000.04.19. Online version retrieved June 15, 2007. [48] Encyclopædia Britannica, Higher Education in the Byzantine Empire, 2008, O.Ed. [49] John Burnet (1892). Early Greek Philosophy. p. 88. [50] Cleary, edited by John J. (1997). The perennial tradition of Neoplatonism. Leuven: Univ. Press. p. 443. ISBN 90-6186-847-5. [51] Morewedge, edited by Parviz (1992). Neoplatonism and Islamic thought. Albany: State University of New York Press. ISBN 0-7914-1335-7. [52] Cleary, edited by John J. (1997). The perennial tradition of Neoplatonism. Leuven: Univ. Press. p. 431. ISBN 90-6186-847-5. [53] Cleary, edited by John J. (1997). The perennial tradition of Neoplatonism. Leuven: Univ. Press. pp. 420–437. ISBN 90-6186-847-5. [54] Morewedge, edited by Parviz (1992). Neoplatonism and Islamic thought. Albany: State University of New York Press. p. 9. ISBN 0-7914-1335-7. [55] Morewedge, edited by Parviz (1992). Neoplatonism and Islamic thought. Albany: State University of New York Press. pp. 51–51. ISBN 0-7914-1335-7. [56] Heiser, James D., Prisci Theologi and the Hermetic Reformation in the Fifteenth Century, Repristination Press: Texas, 2011. ISBN 978-1-4610-9382-4 [57] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy – entry for Plotinus [58] Notopoulos, J.A.“Shelley and Thomas Taylor”Proceedings of the Modern Language Association of America, Vol. 51, No. 2 (Jun., 1936), pp. 502–517 [59] Inner and Outer Realities: Jean Gebser in a Cultural/Historical Perspective by Allan Combs

19.12 Sources • This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Adolf Harnack; John Malcolm Mitchell (1911). "Neoplatonism". In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.


19.13 Further reading • The London Philosophy Study Guide offers many suggestions on what to read, depending on the student's familiarity with the subject: Post-Aristotelian philosophy • Charles Emile Ruelle, An edition of Damascius On First Principles, (Paris, 1889) • Whittaker, Thomas, The Neo-Platonists: A Study in the History of Hellenism, (Cambridge, 1901) • Gerson, Lloyd P. (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Plotinus. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996) • Dillon, John M. and Gerson, Lloyd P. (eds.), Neoplatonic Philosophy. Introductory Readings. (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Co., 2004). • Chiaradonna, Riccardo and Franco Trabattoni (eds.), Physics and Philosophy of Nature in Greek Neoplatonism: Proceedings of the European Science Foundation Exploratory Workshop (il Ciocco,Castelvecchio Pascoli, June 22–24, 2006) (Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2009) (Philosophia antiqua, 115). • Doull, James (1999).“Neoplatonism and the Origin of the Cartesian Subject”(PDF). Animus. 4. ISSN 1209-0689. Retrieved August 9, 2011. • Gertz, Sebastian R. P., Death and Immortality in Late Neoplatonism: Studies on the Ancient Commentaries on Plato's Phaedo, Brill: Leiden, 2011. • Remes, Pauliina and Slaveva-Griffin, Svetla (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Neoplatonism, New York: Routledge, 2014.

19.14 External links • Wildberg, Christian. “Neoplatonism”. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. • “Neoplatonism”. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. • International Society for Neoplatonic Studies • Christian Platonists and Neoplatonists: Historical and Modern • Islamic Platonists and Neoplatonists • Aristotle's Categories at Gutenberg • Confessiones (Book I-XIII) - Augustine at Gutenberg • De immortalitate animae of Augustine (Google Books)

Chapter 20

Gnosticism 20.1.1 Main features

Not to be confused with Agnosticism. Gnosticism (from Ancient Greek: γνωστικός gnostikos, “having knowledge”, from γνῶσις gnōsis, knowledge) is a modern term categorizing a collection of ancient religions whose adherents shunned the material world – which they viewed as created by the demiurge – and embraced the spiritual world.* [1] Gnostic ideas influenced many ancient religions* [2] that teach that gnosis (variously interpreted as knowledge, enlightenment, salvation, emancipation or 'oneness with God') may be reached by practicing philanthropy to the point of personal poverty, sexual abstinence (as far as possible for hearers, entirely for initiates) and diligently searching for wisdom by helping others.* [3] However, practices varied among those who were Gnostic.

A common characteristic of some of these groups was the instruction that the realisation of Gnosis (esoteric or intuitive knowledge) is the way to salvation of the soul from the material world. Gnostic systems, particularly the Syrian-Egyptian schools, are typically marked by: • The notion of a remote, supreme monadic divinity • The introduction by emanation of further divine beings known as Aeons. • The introduction of a distinct creator god or demiurge, which is an illusion and a later emanation from the single monad or source. • The estimation of the world, owing to the above, as an “error”or flawed simulacrum of a higher-level reality, but possibly as good as its constituent material might allow.* [8]

In Gnosticism, the world of the demiurge is represented by the underworld, which is associated with flesh, time, and more particularly, the imperfect ephemeral world. The world of God is represented by the upper world and is associated with the soul and perfection. The world of God is eternal and not part of the physical. It is impalpable and timeless. Gnosticism is primarily defined in a Christian context.* [4]* [5] In the past, some scholars thought that gnosticism predated Christianity and included preChristian religious beliefs and spiritual practices argued to be common to early Christianity, Neoplatonism, Hellenistic Judaism, Greco-Roman mystery religions, and Zoroastrianism (especially Zurvanism). The discussion of gnosticism changed radically with the discovery of the Nag Hammadi library and led to a revision of older assumptions. To date, no pre-Christian gnostic texts have been found,* [6] and gnosticism as a unique and recognizable belief system is considered to be a second century (or later) development.* [7]

• A complex mythological-cosmological drama in which a divine element “falls”into the material realm and lodges itself within certain human beings • A doctrine of salvation in which the divine element may be returned to the divine realm through a process of awakening. The supreme divine source is known under a variety of names, including "Pleroma" (fullness, totality) and "Bythos" (depth, profundity). Aeons are nevertheless identifiable as aspects of the God from which they proceeded; the progressive emanations are often conceived metaphorically as a gradual and progressive distancing from the ultimate source, which brings about an instability in the fabric of the divine nature. The salvation of the individual thus mirrors a concurrent restoration of the divine nature; a central Gnostic innovation was to elevate individual redemption to the level of a cosmically significant event.

20.1 Nature and structure

The model limits itself to describing characteristics of the Syrian-Egyptian school of Gnosticism. This is because the greatest expressions of the Persian gnostic school – 202

20.1. NATURE AND STRUCTURE Manicheanism and Mandaeanism – are typically conceived of as religious traditions in their own right; indeed, the typical usage of“Gnosticism”is to refer to the SyrianEgyptian schools alone, while“Manichean”describes the movements of the Persian school. This conception of Gnosticism has in recent times come to be challenged (see below). Nonetheless, the understanding presented above remains the most common and is useful in aiding meaningful discussion of the phenomena that compose Gnosticism. Above all, the central idea of gnōsis, a knowledge superior to and independent of faith made it attractive to many. The Valentinians, for example, considered pistis (Greek: “faith”) as consisting of accepting a body of teaching as true, being principally intellectual or emotional in character.* [9]

The demiurge The demiurge or creator god is a lesser and inferior or false god. In most of the systems, this demiurge was seen as imperfect, in others even as evil. This creator god is commonly referred to as the demiourgós used in the Platonist tradition.* [10] Different gnostic schools sometimes identified the demiurge as Ahriman, El, Saklas, Samael, Satan, Yaldabaoth, or Yahweh. The gnostic demiurge bears resemblance to figures in Plato's Timaeus and Republic. In the former, the demiourgós is a central figure, a benevolent creator of the universe who works to make the universe as benevolent as the limitations of matter will allow; in the latter, the description of the leontomorphic “desire”in Socrates' model of the psyche bears a resemblance to descriptions of the demiurge as being in the shape of the lion; the relevant passage of The Republic was found within a major gnostic library discovered at Nag Hammadi,* [11] wherein a text existed describing the demiurge as a“lion-faced serpent”.* [12] Elsewhere, this figure is called “Ialdabaoth”,* [12] “Samael”(Aramaic: sæmʻa-ʼel,“blind god”) or“Saklas”(Syriac: sækla,“the foolish one”), who is sometimes ignorant of the superior god, and sometimes opposed to it; thus in the latter case he is correspondingly malevolent. The demiurge typically creates a group of co-actors named archons who preside over the material realm and, in some cases, present obstacles to the soul seeking ascent from it.* [12] The inferiority of the demiurge's creation may be compared to the technical inferiority of a work of art, painting, sculpture, etc.—to the thing the art represents. In other cases it takes on a more ascetic tendency to view material existence negatively, which then becomes more extreme when materiality, and the human body, is perceived as evil and constrictive, a deliberate prison for its inhabitants.

203 Savior figures Jesus is identified by some Gnostics as an embodiment of the supreme being who became incarnate to bring gnōsis to the earth,* [13] while others adamantly denied that the supreme being came in the flesh, claiming Jesus to be merely a human who attained divinity through gnosis and taught his disciples to do the same. Among the Mandaeans, Jesus was considered a mšiha kdaba or "false messiah" who perverted the teachings entrusted to him by John the Baptist.* [14] Still other traditions identify Mani and Seth, third son of Adam and Eve, as salvific figures.* [15]

20.1.2 Dualism and monism Typically, Gnostic systems are loosely described as being “dualistic”in nature, meaning that they have the view that the world consists of or is explicable as two fundamental entities. Hans Jonas writes: “The cardinal feature of gnostic thought is the radical dualism that governs the relation of God and world, and correspondingly that of man and world.”* [16] Within this definition, they run the gamut from the “radical dualist”systems of Manicheanism to the “mitigated dualism”of classic gnostic movements; Valentinian developments arguably approach a form of monism, expressed in terms previously used in a dualistic manner. • Radical dualism or absolute dualism, posits two co-equal divine forces. Manichaeism conceives of two previously coexistent realms of light and darkness that become embroiled in conflict, owing to the chaotic actions of the latter. Subsequently, certain elements of the light became entrapped within darkness; the purpose of material creation is to enact the slow process of extraction of these individual elements, at the end of which the kingdom of light will prevail over darkness. Manicheanism inherits* [17]* [18] this dualistic mythology from Zurvanist Zoroastrianism,* [19] in which the eternal spirit Ahura Mazda is opposed by his antithesis, Angra Mainyu; the two are engaged in a cosmic struggle, the conclusion of which will likewise see Ahura Mazda triumphant. The Mandaean creation myth witnesses progressive emanations of the Supreme Being of Light, with each emanation bringing about a progressive corruption resulting in the eventual emergence of Ptahil, a demiurge who had a hand in creating and henceforward rules the material realm. Additionally, general Gnostic thought (specifically found in Iranian groups; for instance, see "The Hymn of the Pearl") commonly included the belief that the material world corresponds to some sort of malevolent intoxication brought about by the powers of darkness to keep elements of the light trapped in-



side it, or literally to keep them “in the dark”, or resorting to slanderous (and, in some cases, exaggerated) ignorant; in a state of drunken distraction. allegations of libertinism, or to explain Gnostic asceticism as being either based on incorrect interpretations of • Mitigated dualism —where one of the two princi- scripture or simply duplicitous in nature. Irenaeus deples is in some way inferior to the other. Such clas- clares in his treatise“Against Heresies”* [23] that Gnossical Gnostic movements as the Sethians conceived tic movements subjected all morality to the caprice of of the material world as being created by a lesser the individual and made any fixed rule of faith imposdivinity than the true God that was the object of sible. According to Irenaeus, a certain sect known as the their devotion. The spiritual world is conceived of "Cainites" professed to impart a knowledge“greater and as being radically different from the material world, more sublime”than the ordinary doctrine of Christians, co-extensive with the true God, and the true home and believed that Cain derived his power from the suof certain enlightened members of humanity; thus, perior Godhead.* [24] Epiphanius provides an example these systems were expressive of a feeling of acute when he writes of the "Archontics": “Some of them alienation within the world, and their resultant aim ruin their bodies by dissipation, but others feign ostenwas to allow the soul to escape the constraints pre- sible fasts and deceive simple people while they pride sented by the physical realm. themselves with a sort of abstinence, under the disguise of monks”(Panarion, 40.1.4). • Qualified monism —where it is arguable whether or not the second entity is divine or semi-divine. El- In other areas of morality, Gnostics were less rigorously ements of Valentinian versions of Gnostic myth sug- ascetic, and took a more moderate approach to correct gest to some that its understanding of the universe behaviour. Ptolemy's Epistle to Flora lays out a project may have been monistic rather than a dualistic one. of general asceticism in which the basis of action is the Elaine Pagels states that “Valentinian gnosticism moral inclination of the individual: [...] differs essentially from dualism";* [20] while, “External physical fasting is observed even according to Schoedel “a standard element in the among our followers, for it can be of some interpretation of Valentinianism and similar forms benefit to the soul if it is engaged on with of Gnosticism is the recognition that they are fundareason (logos), whenever it is done neither by mentally monistic”.* [21] In these myths, the malevway of limiting others, nor out of habit, nor olence of the demiurge is mitigated; his creation of because of the day, as if it had been specially a flawed materiality is not due to any moral failing appointed for that purpose.” on his part, but due to his imperfection by contrast —Ptolemy, Letter to Flora to the superior entities of which he is unaware.* [8] As such, Valentinians already have less cause to treat physical reality with contempt than might a Sethian Gnostic. This extract marks a definite shift away from the orthoThe Valentinian tradition conceives of materiality, dox position that the correct behaviour for Christians is rather than as being a separate substance from the di- best administered and prescribed by the central authorvine, as attributable to an error of perception, which ity of the Church, as transmitted through the Apostles becomes symbolized mythopoetically as the act of to the Church's bishops. Instead, the internalised inclimaterial creation.* [8] nation of the individual assumes paramount importance; there is the recognition that ritualistic behaviour, though well-intentioned, possesses no significance or effective20.1.3 Moral and ritual practice ness unless its external prescription is matched by a personal, internal motivation. Numerous early Christian Fathers accused some Gnostic teachers of claiming to eschew the physical realm, Charges of Gnostic libertinism find their source in the while simultaneously freely indulging their physical ap- works of Irenaeus. According to this writer, Simon Mapetites; however, there is reason to question the accuracy gus (whom he has identified as the prototypical source of of these claims. Evidence in the source texts indicates Gnosticism, and who had previously tried to buy sacraGnostic moral behaviour as being generally ascetic in ba- mental authority of ordination from St. Peter the Apostle) sis, expressed most fluently in their sexual and dietary founded the school of moral freedom ('amoralism'). Irepractice.* [22] Many monks would deprive themselves of naeus reports that Simon's argument was that those who food, water, or necessary needs for living. This presented put their trust in him and his consort Helen need trouble a problem for the heresiologists writing on gnostic move- themselves no further with the biblical prophets or their ments: this mode of behaviour was one they themselves moral exhortations and are free “to do what they wish” and not by their favoured and supported, so the Church Fathers would be , as men are saved by his (Simon's) grace * Haereses [25]). “righteous works”(Adversus required perforce to offer support to the practices of their theological opponents. To avoid this, a common heresi- Simon is not known for any libertinistic practice, save ological approach was to avoid the issue completely by for his curious attachment to Helen, typically reputed to



be a prostitute. There is, however, clear evidence in the 20.1.4 Social context Testimony of Truth that followers of Simon did, in fact, get married and beget children, so a general tendency to The age of the Gnostics was highly diverse; they seem to asceticism can likewise be ruled out. have originated in Alexandria and coexisted with the early Irenaeus reports of the Valentinians, whom he character- Christians until the 4th century AD, and because there izes as eventual inheritors of Simon, that they eat food was as yet no fixed church authority, syncretism with pre“offered to idols”(idol-worship), are sexually promis- existing belief systems as well as new religions were often cuous (“immoderately given over to the desires of the embraced. According to Clement of Alexandria, "... In flesh”) and are guilty of taking wives under the pre- the times of the Emperor Hadrian appeared those who they continued until the age of the tence of living with them as adopted “sisters”. In devised heresies, and * elder Antoninus.” [27] the latter case, Michael Allen Williams has argued plausibly that Irenaeus was here broadly correct in the behaviour described, but not in his apprehension of its causes. Williams argues that members of a cult might live together as“brother”and“sister": intimate, yet not sexually active. Over time, however, the self-denial required of such an endeavour becomes harder and harder to maintain, leading to the state of affairs Irenaeus criticizes. Irenaeus also makes reference to the Valentinian practise of the Bridal Chamber, a ritualistic sacrament in which sexual union is seen as analogous to the activities of the paired syzygies that constitute the Valentinian Pleroma. Though it is known that Valentinus had a more relaxed approach to sexuality than much of the Catholic Church (he allowed women to hold positions of ordination in his community), it is not known whether the Bridal Chamber was a ritual involving actual intercourse, or whether human sexuality is here simply being used in a metaphorical sense.

The Christian groups first called Gnostics a branch of Christianity, but according to the modern scholars the theology's origin is not so clear.* [28]* [29] For example, Joseph Jacobs and Ludwig Blau note that much of the terminology employed is Jewish and note that this “proves at least that the principal elements of gnosticism were derived from Jewish speculation, while it does not preclude the possibility of new wine having been poured into old bottles”.* [28] The movement spread in areas controlled by the Roman Empire and Arian Goths,* [30] and the Persian Empire; it continued to develop in the Mediterranean and Middle East before and during the 2nd and 3rd centuries. Conversion to Islam and the Albigensian Crusade (1209–1229) greatly reduced the remaining number of Gnostics throughout the Middle Ages, though a few Mandaean communities still exist. Gnostic and pseudognostic ideas became influential in some of the philosophies of various esoteric mystical movements of the 19th and 20th centuries in Europe and North America, including some that explicitly identify themselves as revivals or even continuations of earlier gnostic groups.

Of the Carpocratians Irenaeus makes much the same report: they “are so abandoned in their recklessness that they claim to have in their power and be able to practise anything whatsoever that is ungodly (irreligious) and impious ... they say that conduct is only good or evil in the 20.2 Origins eyes of man”.* [26] Once again a differentiation might be detected between a man's actions and the grace he 20.2.1 Buddhism has received through his adherence to a system of gnosis; whether this is due to a common sharing of such an Main article: Buddhism and Gnosticism attitude amongst Gnostic circles, or whether this is simply a blanket-charge used by Irenaeus is open to conjecture. The idea that Gnosticism was derived from Buddhism On the whole, it would seem that Gnostic behaviour was first proposed by the Victorian gem collector tended towards the ascetic. This said, the heresiologiand numismatist Charles William King (1864).* [31] cal accusation of duplicity in such practises should not Mansel (1875)* [32] considered the principal sources of be taken at face value; nor should similar accusations Gnosticism to be Platonism, Zoroastrianism, and Budof amoral libertinism. The Nag Hammadi library itself dhism.* [33] However, the influence of Buddhism in any is full of passages that appear to encourage abstinence sense on either the gnostikos Valentinus (c. 170) or the over indulgence. Fundamentally, however, gnostic moveNag Hammadi texts (3rd century) is not supported by ments appear to take the “ancient schema of the two modern scholarship, but in the latter case is considered ways, which leaves the decision to do what is right to quite possible by Elaine Pagels (1979),* [34] who called human endeavour and promises a reward for those who for Buddhist scholars to try to find parallels.* [35] make the effort, and punishment for those who are negligent”(Kurt Rudolph, Gnosis:The Nature and History of Early 3rd and 4th-century Christian writers such as Hippolytus and Epiphanius write about a Scythianus who Gnosticism, 262). visited India around 50 AD and brought back “the doctrine of the Two Principles”. Karl Ritter (1838)* [36] suggested that when Cyril of Jerusalem remarks that one



of Scythianus' pupils Terebinthus had changed his name to Buddas to escape detection while passing through Judea, and then died in Judea from a fall from a rooftop, that this is connected with the Buddha.* [37] “But Terebinthus, his disciple in this wicked error, inherited his money and books and heresy, and came to Palestine, and becoming known and condemned in Judæa he resolved to pass into Persia: but lest he should be recognised there also by his name he changed it and called himself Buddas. However, he found adversaries there also in the priests of Mithras: and being confuted in the discussion of many arguments and controversies, and at last hard pressed, he took refuge with a certain widow. Then having gone up on the housetop, and summoned the dæmons of the air, whom the Manichees to this day invoke over their abominable ceremony of the fig, he was smitten of God, and cast down from the housetop, and expired: and so the second beast was cut off.” —Cyril of Jerusalem,“Catechetical lecture 6”

Also in the 3rd century the Syrian writer and Christian Gnostic theologian Bar Daisan (154–222) described his exchanges with the religious missions of holy men from India passing through Syria on their way to Elagabalus or another Severan dynasty Roman Emperor. His accounts were quoted by Porphyry (On Abstinence 4:17) and Stobaeus (Eccles., iii, 56, 141). Clement of Alexandria in his Stromateis distinguishes Sramanas (Greek: Σαρμαναίοι) and Brahmans, without making any gnostic connection.* [38] From the 3rd century to the 12th century, some Gnostic religions such as Manichaeism, which combined Christian, Hebrew and Buddhist influences (Mani, the founder of the religion, resided for some time in Kushan lands),* [39] spread throughout the Old World, to Gaul and Great Britain in the West, and to China in the East. Augustine of Hippo, like some other leading Christian theologians, was Manichaean before converting to orthodox Christianity.* [40]* [41]



See also: Neoplatonism and Neoplatonism and Christianity


The earliest origins of Gnosticism are obscure and still disputed. For this reason, some scholars prefer to speak of “gnosis”when referring to 1st-century ideas that later developed into gnosticism and to reserve the term “gnosticism”for the synthesis of these ideas into a coherent movement in the 2nd century.* [42] Probable influences include Plato, Middle Platonism and NeoPythagoreanism academies or schools of thought, and this seems to be true both of the more Sethian Gnostics, and of the Valentinian Gnostics.* [43] Further, if we compare different Sethian texts to each other in an attempted chronology of the development of Sethianism during the first few centuries, it seems that later texts are continuing to interact with Platonism. Earlier texts such as Apocalypse of Adam show signs of being preChristian and focus on the Seth, third son of Adam and Eve. These early Sethians may be identical to or related to the Nazarenes (sect), Ophites or to the sectarian group called heretics by Philo.* [44] Later Sethian texts such as Zostrianos and Allogenes draw on the imagery of older Sethian texts, but utilize“a large fund of philosophical conceptuality derived from contemporary Platonism, (that is late middle Platonism) with no traces of Christian content.”* [45] Indeed, the doctrine of the“triple-powered one”found in the text Allogenes, as discovered in the Nag Hammadi Library, is“the same doctrine as found in the anonymous Parmenides commentary (Fragment XIV) ascribed by Hadot to Porphyry [...] and is also found in Plotinus' Ennead 6.7, 17, 13– 26.”* [43] However, by the 3rd century Neoplatonists such as Plotinus, Porphyry and Amelius are all attacking the Sethians. It looks as if Sethianism began as a pre-Christian tradition, possibly a syncretic* [46] that incorporated elements of Christianity and Platonism as it grew, only to have both Christianity and Platonism reject and turn against it. Professor John D Turner believes that this double attack led to Sethianism fragmentation into numerous smaller groups (Audians, Borborites, Archontics and perhaps Phibionites, Stratiotici, and Secundians).* [45]

Scholarship on Gnosticism has been greatly advanced by the discovery and translation of the Nag Hammadi texts, which shed light on some of the more puzzling comments by Plotinus and Porphyry regarding the Gnostics. More importantly, the texts help to distinguish different kinds of early Gnostics. It now seems clear that“Sethian”and “Valentinian”* [47] gnostics attempted“an effort towards conciliation, even affiliation”with late antique philosophy,* [48] and were rebuffed by some Neoplatonists, inand cluding Plotinus.

Philosophical relations with Neoplatonism Ancient Greek philosophy See also: Platonic Academy

Gnostics borrow a great deal of ideas and terms from Platonism. They exhibit a keen understanding of Greek philosophical terms and the Greek Koine language in gen-

20.2. ORIGINS eral, and use Greek philosophical concepts throughout their text, including such concepts as hypostasis (reality, existence), ousia (essence, substance, being), and demiurge (creator God). Good examples include texts such as the Hypostasis of the Archons (Reality of the Rulers) or Trimorphic Protennoia (The first thought in three forms).

Criticism by antique Greek philosophy Being a pagan mystic, Plotinus considered his opponents heretics* [49] and elitist blasphemers,* [50] arriving at misotheism as the solution to the problem of evil, being not traditional or genuine Hellenism (in philosophy or mysticism), but rather one invented taking all their truths over from Plato,* [51] coupled with the idea expressed by Plotinus that the approach to the infinite force, which is the One or Monad cannot be through knowing or not knowing (i.e., dualist, which is of the dyad or demiurge).* [52]* [53] Although there has been dispute as to which gnostics Plotinus referred to, it appears they were indeed Sethian.* [54] Plotinus' main objection to the gnostics he was familiar with, however, was their rejection of the goodness of the demiurge and the material world. He attacks the gnostics as vilifying Plato's ontology of the universe as contained in the Timaeus. He accused Gnosticism of vilifying the Demiurge, or craftsman that crafted the material world, and even of thinking that the material world is evil, or a prison. As Plotinus explains, the demiurge is the nous (as the first emanation of the One), the ordering principle or mind, and also reason. Plotinus was also critical of the gnostic origin of the demiurge as the offspring of wisdom, represented as a deity called Sophia. She was anthropomorphically expressed as a feminine spirit deity not unlike the goddess Athena or the Christian Holy Spirit. Plotinus even went so far as to state at one point that if the gnostics did believe this world was a prison then they could at any moment free themselves by committing suicide. To some degree the texts discovered in Nag Hammadi support his allegations, but others such as the Valentinians and the Tripartite Tractate insist on the goodness of the world and the Demiurge.

207 of Gnosticism upon Christianity is speculative. The necessity of immediate revelation through divine knowledge in order to attain transcendence in a Supreme Deity is important to understand in the identification of what evidence there is pertaining to Gnosticism* [57] in the New Testament (NT), which would influence orthodox teaching.* [58] Central Gnostic beliefs that differ from orthodox Christian teachings include: the creator as a lower being [‘Demiurge’] and not a Supreme Deity; the belief that all matter is evil and the body is a prison to escape from (versus the Nicene Creed teaching that there will be a physical resurrection of all people); scripture having a deep, hidden meaning whose true message could only be understood through “secret wisdom";* [59] and Jesus as a spirit that“seemed”* [60] to be human, leading to a rejection of the incarnation (Docetism).* [61] The traditional “formula which enshrines the Incarnation...is that in some sense God, without ceasing to be God, was made man...which is a prima facie [‘at first sight’] contradiction in theological terms...the NT nowhere reflects on the virgin birth of Jesus as witnessing to the conjunction of deity and manhood in His person...the deity of Jesus was not...clearly stated in words and [the book of] Acts gives no hint that it was”.* [62] This philosophy* [63] was known by the Church Fathers such as Origen, Irenaeus, and Tertullian.* [64] At its core, Gnosticism formed a speculative interest in the relationship of the oneness of God to the ‘triplicity’ of his manifestations. It seems to have taken Neoplatonic metaphysics of substance and hypostases ["being"]* [65] as a departure point for interpreting the relationship of the “Father”to the “Son”* [66] in its attempt to define a new theology.* [67] This would point to the infamous theological controversies by Arius* [68] against followers of the Greek Alexandrian school,* [69] headed by Athanasius.* [70]

The ancient Nag Hammadi Library, discovered in Egypt in the 1940s, revealed how varied this movement was. The writers of these manuscripts considered themselves ‘Christians’, but owing to their syncretistic beliefs, borrowed heavily from the Greek philosopher Plato. The find included the hotly debated Gospel of Thomas, which parallels some of Jesus’sayings in the Synoptic Gospels. This may point to the existence of a postulated lost tex20.2.3 Christianity tual source for the Gospels of Luke and Matthew, known as the Q document.* [71] Thus, modern debate is split beSee also: Christian Gnosticism and Gnosticism and the tween those who see Gnosticism as a pre-Christian form New Testament of ‘theosophy’* [72] and those who see it as a postChristian counter-movement. Although some scholars hypothesize that gnosticism developed before or contemporaneous with Christianity, no gnostic texts have been discovered that pre-date Christianity.* [55] James M. Robinson, a noted proponent of pre-Christian Gnosticism, has admitted “pre-Christian Gnosticism as such is hardly attested in a way to settle the debate once and for all.”* [56] Since pre-Christian Gnosticism, as such, is strictly hypothetical, any influence

It is hard to sift through what actual evidence there is regarding Gnosticism in the New Testament due to their historical synchronicity. The Hammadi library find contains Pagan, Jewish, Greek and early Gnostic influences.* [73] The antiquity of the find is of utmost importance since it shows primary evidence of texts that may also have influenced the process of New Testament can-



onization.* [74]* [75]

20.3.1 Sources Main articles: Church Fathers and Nag Hammadi Library



Many heads of gnostic schools were identified as Jewish Christians by Church Fathers and Hebrew words and names of God were applied in some gnostic systems.* [76] The cosmogonic speculations among Christian Gnostics had partial origins in Ma`aseh Bereshit and Ma`aseh Merkabah.* [77]

Gnostic rejection of Judaism Modern research (Cohen 1988) identifies Judaism, rather than Persia, as a major origin of Gnosticism. Many of the Nag Hammadi texts make reference to Judaism, in some cases with a violent rejection of the Jewish God.* [78] Gershom Scholem once described Gnosticism as “the Greatest case of metaphysical anti-Semitism”.* [79] Professor Steven Bayme said gnosticism would be better characterized as anti-Judaism.* [80] Recent research into the origins of Gnosticism shows a strong Jewish influence, particularly from Hekhalot literature.* [81]

Kabbalah Gnostic ideas found a Jewish variation in the mystical study of Kabbalah. Many core Gnostic ideas reappear in Kabbalah, where they are used for dramatically reinterpreting earlier Jewish sources according to this new system.* [82] The Kabbalists originated in 13th-century Provence,* [83] which was at that time also the center of the Gnostic Cathars. While some scholars in the middle of the 20th century tried to assume an influence between the Cathar “gnostics”and the origins of the Kabbalah, this assumption has proved to be an incorrect generalization not substantiated by any original texts.* [84] On the other hand, other scholars, such as Scholem, have postulated that there was originally a Jewish gnosticism, which influenced the early origins of gnosticism.* [85] Kabbalah does not employ the terminology or labels of non-Jewish Gnosticism, but grounds the same or similar concepts in the language of the Torah (the first five books of the Hebrew Bible).* [86] The 13th-century Zohar ( “Splendor”), a foundational text in Kabbalah, is written in the style of a Jewish Aramaic Midrash, clarifying the five books of the Torah with a new Kabbalistic system that uses completely Jewish terms.* [87]

20.3 History Main article: History of Gnosticism

Prior to the discovery of the Nag Hammadi Library, much of what we know today about gnosticism was preserved only in the summaries and assessments of early church fathers. The Nag Hammadi library * [88] is a collection of Gnostic texts discovered in 1945 near Nag Hammadi, Upper Egypt. Twelve leather-bound papyrus codices buried in a sealed jar were found by a local farmer named Muhammed al-Samman.* [89] The writings in these codices comprised fifty-two mostly Gnostic treatises, but they also include three works belonging to the Corpus Hermeticum and a partial translation/alteration of Plato's Republic. In his introduction to The Nag Hammadi Library in English, James Robinson suggests that these codices may have belonged to a nearby Pachomian monastery, and were buried after Bishop Athanasius condemned the use of non-canonical books in his Festal Letter of 367 AD.

20.3.2 Development of Egyptian school



Bentley Layton has sketched out a relationship between the various gnostic movements in his introduction to The Gnostic Scriptures (SCM Press, London, 1987). In this model, “Classical Gnosticism”and “The School of Thomas”antedated and influenced the development of Valentinus, who was to found his own school of Gnosticism in both Alexandria and Rome, whom Layton called “the great [Gnostic] reformer”and“the focal point”of Gnostic development. While in Alexandria, where he was born, Valentinus probably would have had contact with the Gnostic teacher Basilides, and may have been influenced by him. Valentinianism flourished after the middle of the 2nd century AD. This movement was named after its founder Valentinus (c. 100 – 180 AD). The school is also known to have been extremely popular: several varieties of their central myth are known, and we know of “reports from outsiders from which the intellectual liveliness of the group is evident.”* [90] It is known that Valentinus' students elaborated on his teachings and materials (though the exact extent of their changes remains unknown), for example, in the version of the Valentinian myth brought to us through Ptolemy. Valentinianism might be described as the most elaborate and philosophically“dense”form of the Syrian-Egyptian schools of Gnosticism, though it should be acknowledged that this in no way debarred other schools from attracting followers. Basilides' own school was popular also, and survived in Egypt until the 4th century.

20.4. MAJOR MOVEMENTS Simone Petrement, in A Separate God, in arguing for a Christian origin of Gnosticism, places Valentinus after Basilides, but before the Sethians. It is her assertion that Valentinus represented a moderation of the anti-Judaism of the earlier Hellenized teachers; the demiurge, widely regarded as a mythological depiction of the Old Testament God of the Hebrews, is depicted as more ignorant than evil. (See below.)

209 emergence of the Paulicians, Bogomils and Cathari in the Middle Ages, until it was ultimately stamped out by the Catholic Church. In the east, Rudolph relates, Manicheanism was able to bloom, given that the religious monopoly position previously held by Christianity and Zoroastrianism had been broken by nascent Islam. In the early years of the Arab conquest, Manicheanism again found followers in Persia (mostly amongst educated circles), but flourished most in Central Asia, to which it had spread through Iran. Here, in 762, Manicheanism became the state religion of the Uyghur Empire.

20.4 Major movements Schools of Gnosticism can be defined according to one classification system as being a member of two broad categories. These are the “Eastern"/"Persian”school, and a “Syrian-Egyptic”school. The former possesses more demonstrably dualist tendencies, reflecting a strong influence from the beliefs of the Persian Zurvanist Zoroastrians. Among the Syrian-Egyptian schools and the movements they spawned are a typically more Monist view. Notable exceptions include relatively modern movements that seem to include elements of both categories, namely: the Cathars, Bogomils, and Carpocratians, which are included in their own section.

20.4.1 Persian

Manichean priests writing at their desks, with panel inscription in Sogdian. Manuscript from Khocho, Tarim Basin.


Development of the Persian school

An alternate heritage is offered by Kurt Rudolph in his book Gnosis: The Nature & Structure of Gnosticism (Koehler and Amelang, Leipzig, 1977), to explain the lineage of Persian Gnostic schools. The decline of Manicheism that occurred in Persia in the 5th century was too late to prevent the spread of the movement into the east and the west. In the west, the teachings of the school moved into Syria, Northern Arabia, Egypt and North Africa (where Augustine was a member of the school from 373–382); from Syria it progressed still farther, into Palestine, Asia Minor and Armenia. There is evidence for Manicheans in Rome and Dalmatia in the 4th century, and also in Gaul and Spain. The influence of Manicheanism was attacked by imperial elects and polemical writings, but the religion remained prevalent until the 6th century, and still exerted influence in the

The Persian Schools, which appeared in the western Persian province of Babylonia (in particular, within the Sassanid province of Asuristan), and whose writings were originally produced in the Aramaic dialects spoken in Babylonia at the time, are representative of what is believed to be among the oldest of the Gnostic thought forms. These movements are considered by most to be religions in their own right, and are not emanations from Christianity or Judaism. • Mandaeanism is still practiced in small numbers, in parts of southern Iraq and the Iranian province of Khuzestan. The name of the group derives from the term Mandā d-Heyyi, which roughly means“Knowledge of Life.”Although the exact chronological origins of this movement are not known, John the Baptist eventually came to be a key figure in the religion, as an emphasis on baptism is part of their core beliefs. As with Manichaeism, despite certain ties with Christianity,* [91] Mandaeans do not believe in Moses, Jesus, or Mohammed. Their beliefs and practices likewise have little overlap with the religions that manifested from those religious figures and the two should not be confused. Significant amounts of original Mandaean Scripture, written in


CHAPTER 20. GNOSTICISM Mandaean Aramaic, survive in the modern era. The primary source text is known as the Genzā Rabbā and has portions identified by some scholars as being copied as early as the 2nd century AD. There is also the Qolastā, or Canonical Book of Prayer and The Book of John the Baptist (sidra ḏ-iahia).

• The Apocalypse of Adam • The Reality of the Rulers, Also known as The Hypostasis of the Archons • The Thunder, Perfect Mind

• The Three-fold First Thought (Trimorphic Proten• Manichaeism, which represented an entire indenoia) pendent religious heritage, but is now extinct, was founded by the Prophet Mani (216–276 AD). The • The Holy Book of the Great Invisible Spirit (also original writings were written in Syriac Aramaic, known as the Coptic Gospel of the Egyptians)* [94] in a unique Manichaean script. Although most of the literature/scripture of the Manichaeans was • Zostrianos believed lost, the discovery of an original series • Allogenes of documents have helped to shed new light on the subject. Now housed in Cologne Germany, a • The Three Steles of Seth Manichaean religious work written in Greek, the Codex Manichaicus Coloniensis, contains mainly bi• The Gospel of Judas ographical information on the prophet and details • Marsanes on his claims and teachings. Before the discovery of these authentic Manichaean texts, scholars had to • The Coptic Apocalypse of Paul rely on anti-Manichaean polemical works, such as the Christian anti-Manichaean Acta Archelai (also • The Thought of Norea written in Greek), which has Mani saying, for example, “The true God has nothing to do with the • The Second Treatise of the Great Seth material world or cosmos,”and,“It is the Prince of Darkness who spoke with Moses, the Jews and their The texts commonly attributed to the Thomasine school priests. Thus the Christians, the Jews, and the Pa- are: gans are involved in the same error when they worship this God. For he leads them astray in the lusts • The Hymn of the Pearl, or, the Hymn of Jude he taught them.”* [92]* [93] Thomas the Apostle in the Country of Indians



The Syrian-Egyptian school derives much of its outlook from Platonist influences. Typically, it depicts creation in a series of emanations from a primal monadic source, finally resulting in the creation of the material universe. As a result, these schools tend to view evil in terms of matter that is markedly inferior to goodness—evil as lacking spiritual insight and goodness, rather than to emphasize portrayals of evil as an equal force. These schools of gnosticism may be said to use the terms “evil”and “good”as being relative descriptive terms, as they refer to the relative plight of human existence caught between such realities and confused in its orientation, with“evil” indicating the extremes of distance from the principle and source of goodness, without necessarily emphasizing an inherent negativity. As can be seen below, many of these movements included source material related to Christianity, with some identifying themselves as specifically Christian (albeit quite different from the Orthodox or Roman Catholic forms). Most of the literature from this category is known to us through the Library discovered at Nag Hammadi. Sethian works typically include: • The Apocryphon of John

• The Gospel of Thomas • The Infancy Gospel of Thomas • The Acts of Thomas • The Book of Thomas: The Contender Writing to the Perfect • The Psalms of Thomas • The Apocalypse of Thomas Valentinian works are named in reference to the bishop and teacher Valentinius. Circa 153 AD, Valentinius developed a complex cosmology outside the Sethian tradition. At one point he was close to being appointed the Bishop of Rome of what is now the Roman Catholic Church. Works attributed to his school are listed below, and fragmentary pieces directly linked to him are noted with an asterisk: • The Divine Word Present in the Infant (Fragment A) * • On the Three Natures (Fragment B) * • Adam's Faculty of Speech (Fragment C) *



• To Agathopous: Jesus' Digestive System (Fragment 20.4.3 D) * • Annihilation of the Realm of Death (Fragment F) * • On Friends: The Source of Common Wisdom (Fragment G) * • Epistle on Attachments (Fragment H) * • Summer Harvest* • The Gospel of Truth* • Ptolemy's Version of the Gnostic Myth • Prayer of the Apostle Paul • Ptolemy's Epistle to Flora • Treatise on the Resurrection (Epistle to Rheginus) • Gospel of Philip Basilidian works are named for the founder of their school, Basilides (132–? AD). These works are mainly known to us through the criticisms of one of his opponents, Irenaeus in his work Adversus Haereses. The other pieces are known through the work of Clement of Alexandria: • The Octet of Subsistent Entities (Fragment A) • The Uniqueness of the World (Fragment B) • Election Naturally Entails Faith and Virtue (Fragment C) • The State of Virtue (Fragment D) • The Elect Transcend the World (Fragment E) • Reincarnation (Fragment F) • Human Suffering and the Goodness of Providence (Fragment G) • Forgivable Sins (Fragment H) The Gospel of Judas is the most recently discovered Gnostic text. National Geographic has published an English translation of it, bringing it into mainstream awareness. It portrays Judas Iscariot as the “thirteenth spirit (daemon)",* [95] who “exceeded”the evil sacrifices the disciples offered to Saklas by sacrificing the “man who clothed me (Jesus)".* [96] Its reference to Barbelo and inclusion of material similar to the Apocryphon of John and other such texts, connects the text to Barbeloite and/or Sethian Gnosticism.

Gnostic-influenced groups



• Simon Magus, the magician baptised by Philip and rebuked by Peter in Acts 8, became in early Christianity the archetypal false teacher. The ascription by Justin Martyr, Irenaeus and others of a connection between schools in their time and the individual in Acts 8 may be as legendary as the stories attached to him in various apocryphal books. • Justin Martyr identifies Menander of Antioch as Simon Magus' pupil. • Justin identifies Marcion of Sinope as a false teacher. Both developed a sizable following. Marcion is generally labeled a gnostic, however some scholars do not consider him to be a gnostic at all, for example G. R. S. Mead does consider him to be a Gnostic "...it is evident that the Marcionite tradition was of a distinctly Gnostic tendency* [97] but Harnack does not.* [98] Also the Encyclopædia Britannica article on Marcion clearly states: “In Marcion's own view, therefore, the founding of his church—to which he was first driven by opposition—amounts to a reformation of Christendom through a return to the gospel of Christ and to Paul; nothing was to be accepted beyond that. This of itself shows that it is a mistake to reckon Marcion among the Gnostics. A dualist he certainly was, but he was not a Gnostic”. • Cerinthus (c. 100 AD), the founder of a heretical school with gnostic elements. Like a Gnostic, Cerinthus depicted Christ as a heavenly spirit separate from the man Jesus, and he cited the demiurge as creating the material world. Unlike the Gnostics, Cerinthus taught Christians to observe the Jewish law; his demiurge was holy, not lowly; and he taught the Second Coming. His gnosis was a secret teaching attributed to an apostle. Some scholars believe that the First Epistle of John was written as a response to Cerinthus.* [99] • The Ophites, so-named by Hippolytus of Rome because, Hippolytus claims, they worshiped the serpent of Genesis as the bestower of knowledge. • The Cainites are so-named since Hippolytus of Rome claims that they worshiped Cain, as well as Esau, Korah, and the Sodomites. There is little evidence concerning the nature of this group. Hippolytus claims that they believed that indulgence in sin was the key to salvation because since the body is evil, one must defile it through immoral activity (see libertinism). The name Cainite is used as the name of a religious movement, and not in the usual Biblical sense of people descended from Cain. • The Carpocratians, a libertine sect following only the Gospel according to the Hebrews



• The Borborites, a libertine Gnostic sect, said to be descended from the Nicolaitans Later groups accused by their contemporaries of being in line with the “gnostics”of Irenaeus. Various later groups were also associated with earlier heretics by their contemporaries: • The Paulicians, an Adoptionist group of which little is known first-hand, were accused by orthodox medieval sources of being Gnostic and quasi Manichaean Christian. They flourished between 650 and 872 in Armenia and the Eastern Themes of the Byzantine Empire • The Bogomils, the synthesis of Armenian Paulicianism and the Bulgarian Orthodox Church reform movement, which emerged in Bulgaria between 927 and 970 and spread throughout Europe • The Cathars (Cathari, Albigenses or Albigensians) were also accused by their enemies of the traits of Gnosticism; though whether or not the Cathari possessed direct historical influence from ancient Gnosticism is disputed. If their critics are reliable the basic conceptions of Gnostic cosmology are to be found in Cathar beliefs (most distinctly in their notion of a lesser, Satanic, creator god), though they did not apparently place any special relevance upon knowledge (gnosis) as an effective salvific force.

20.5 Origin of the term The term “Gnosticism”does not appear in ancient sources,* [100] and was first coined in the 17th Century by Henry More in a commentary on the seven letters of the Book of Revelation, where More used the term “Gnosticisme”to describe the heresy in Thyatira.* [101] The term derives from the use of the Greek adjective gnostikos (“learned”, “intellectual”, Greek γνωστικός) by St. Irenaeus (c. 185 AD) to describe the school of Valentinus as he legomene gnostike haeresis “the heresy called Learned (gnostic)".* [102] This occurs in the context of Irenaeus' work On the Detection and Overthrow of the So-Called Gnosis, (Greek: elenchos kai anatrope tes pseudonymou gnoseos, ἔλεγχος καὶ ἀνατροπὴ τῆς ψευδωνύμου γνώσεως) where the term “knowledge falsely so-called”(pseudonymos gnosis) covers various groups, not just Valentinus, and is a quotation of the apostle Paul's warning against “knowledge falsely so-called”in 1 Timothy 6:20.* [103] The usual meaning of gnostikos in Classical Greek texts is “learned”or“intellectual”, such as used in the comparison of“practical”(praktikos) and“intellectual”(gnostikos) in Plato's dialogue between Young Socrates and the

Irenaeus, who first used “gnostic”to describe heresies

Foreigner in his The Statesman (258e).* [104] Plato's use of “learned”is fairly typical of Classical texts.* [105] By the Hellenistic period, it began to also be associated with Greco-Roman mysteries, becoming synonymous with the Greek term musterion. The adjective is not used in the New Testament, but Clement of Alexandria in Book 7 of his Stromateis speaks of the “learned” (gnostikos) Christian in complimentary terms.* [106] The use of gnostikos in relation to heresy originates with interpreters of Irenaeus. Some scholars, for example A. Rousseau and L. Doutreleau, translators of the French edition (1974),* [107] consider that Irenaeus sometimes uses gnostikos to simply mean“intellectual”, as in 1.25.6, 1.11.3, 1.11.5, whereas his mention of “the intellectual sect”(Adv. haer. 1.11.1) is a specific designation. Irenaeus' comparative adjective gnostikeron“more learned” , evidently cannot mean“more Gnostic”as a name.* [108] Of those groups that Irenaeus identifies as “intellectual”(gnostikos), only one, the followers of Marcellina use the term gnostikos of themselves.* [109] Later Hippolytus uses“learned”(gnostikos) of Cerinthus and the Ebionites, and Epiphanius applied“learned”(gnostikos) to specific groups.

20.6 Studies



19th century to 1930s

Prior to the discovery of Nag Hammadi, evidence for gnostic movements was of necessity largely seen through the testimony of the early church heresiologists. The “church historical model,”represented by Adolf von Harnack among others, saw gnosticism as an internal development within the church under the influence of Greek philosophy.* [110]

213 mysteries for an élite”." —Markschies, Gnosis: An Introduction, p. 13

In essence, this decided that“Gnosticism”would become a historically specific term, restricted to mean the Gnostic movements prevalent in the 3rd century, while “gnosis” would be a universal term, denoting a system of knowledge retained“for a privileged élite.”However, this effort towards providing clarity in fact created more conceptual confusion, because the historical term“Gnosticism”was 20.6.2 After the discovery of the Nag Ham- an entirely modern construction, while the new universal madi library, 1945 term “gnosis”was a historical term: “something was being called “gnosticism”that the ancient theologians See also: Nag Hammadi library had called 'gnosis' ... [A] concept of gnosis had been created by Messina that was almost unusable in a historical * Study of Gnosticism and of early Alexandrian Christian- sense”. [114] In antiquity, all agreed that knowledge was centrally important to life, but few were agreed as to what ity received a strong impetus from the discovery of the * exactly constituted knowledge; the unitary conception that Coptic Nag Hammadi Library in 1945. [111] the Messina proposal presupposed did not exist.* [114] In 1979, Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University, published a popular* [112]* [113] book, The These flaws have meant that the problems concerning an * Gnostic Gospels, which detailed the suppression of some exact definition of Gnosticism persist. [115] It remains of the writings found at Nag Hammadi by early bishops current convention to use “Gnosticism”in a historical sense, and“gnosis”universally. Leaving aside the issues of the Christian church. with the latter noted above, the usage of “Gnosticism” to designate a category of 3rd-century religions has re20.6.3 “Gnosis”as a potentially flawed cat- cently been questioned as well. Of note is Michael Allen Williams' Rethinking Gnosticism: An Argument for the egory Dismantling of a Dubious Category, in which the author In 1966 in Messina, Italy, a conference was held concern- examines the terms by which Gnosticism as a category ing systems of gnosis. Among its several aims were the is defined, and then closely compares these suppositions need to establish a program to translate the recently ac- with the contents of actual Gnostic texts (the newly required Nag Hammadi library and the need to arrive at an covered Nag Hammadi library was of central importance * agreement concerning an accurate definition of “Gnos- to his argument). [116] ticism”. This was in answer to the tendency, prevalent Williams argues that the conceptual foundations on which since the 18th century, to use the term “gnostic”less as the category of Gnosticism rests are the remains of the its origins implied, but rather as an interpretive category agenda of the heresiologists. Too much emphasis has for contemporary philosophical and religious movements. been laid on perceptions of dualism, body- and matterFor example, in 1835, New Testament scholar Ferdinand hatred, and anticosmism* [117] without these supposiChristian Baur constructed a developmental model of tions being properly tested. In essence, the interpretive Gnosticism that culminated in the religious philosophy of definition of Gnosticism that was created by the antagoHegel; one might compare literary critic Harold Bloom's nistic efforts of the early church heresiologists has been recent attempts to identify Gnostic elements in contem- taken up by modern scholarship and reflected in a categorporary American religion, or Eric Voegelin's analysis ical definition, even though the means now existed to verof totalitarian impulses through the interpretive lens of ify its accuracy. Attempting to do so, Williams contests, Gnosticism. reveals the dubious nature of categorical “Gnosticism” The“cautious proposal”reached by the conference con- , and he concludes that the term needs replacing to more accurately reflect those movements it comprises.* [116] cerning Gnosticism is described by Markschies: Williams' observations have provoked debate; however, to date his suggested replacement term “the Biblical “In the concluding document of Messina demiurgical tradition”has not become widely used. the proposal was “by the simultaneous application of historical and typological methods” to designate “a particular group of systems of 20.7 Modern times the second century after Christ”as gnosticism, and to use gnosis to define a conception of Main article: Gnosticism in modern times knowledge that transcends the times, which was described as “knowledge of divine



A number of 19th-century thinkers such as Arthur Schopenhauer,* [118] Albert Pike and Madame Blavatsky studied Gnostic thought extensively and were influenced by it, and even figures like Herman Melville and W. B. Yeats were more tangentially influenced.* [119] Jules Doinel “re-established”a Gnostic church in France in 1890, which altered its form as it passed through various direct successors (Fabre des Essarts as Tau Synésius and Joanny Bricaud as Tau Jean II most notably), and, though small, is still active today.* [120] Early 20th-century thinkers who heavily studied and were influenced by Gnosticism include Carl Jung (who supported Gnosticism), Eric Voegelin (who opposed it), Jorge Luis Borges (who included it in many of his short stories), and Aleister Crowley, with figures such as Hermann Hesse being more moderatedly influenced. Rene Guenon founded the gnostic review, Le Gnose in 1909 (before moving to a more“Perennialist”position). Gnostic Thelemite organizations, such as Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica and Ordo Templi Orientis, trace themselves to Crowley's thought. The discovery and translation of the Nag Hammadi library after 1945 has had a huge effect on Gnosticism since World War II. Intellectuals who were heavily influenced by Gnosticism in this period include Lawrence Durrell, Hans Jonas, Philip K. Dick and Harold Bloom, with Albert Camus and Allen Ginsberg being more moderately influenced.* [119] A number of ecclesiastical bodies that think of themselves as Gnostic have set up or refounded since World War II as well, including the Society of Novus Spiritus, Ecclesia Gnostica, Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica, the Thomasine Church, the Apostolic Johan- Engraving from an Abraxas stone. nite Church, the Alexandrian Gnostic Church, the North American College of Gnostic Bishops. Celia Green has written on Gnostic Christianity in relation to her own phiThe word Abraxas was engraved on certain antique gemlosophy.* [121] stones, called on that account Abraxas stones, which may Alfred North Whitehead was aware of the existence have been used as amulets or charms by Gnostic groups. of the newly discovered Gnostic scrolls. Accordingly, In popular culture, Abraxas is sometimes considered the Michel Weber has proposed a Gnostic interpretation of name of a god who incorporated both Good and evil * his late metaphysics. [122] (god and demiurge) in one entity, and therefore representing the monotheistic god, singular, but (unlike, for example, the Christian God) not omnibenevolent. Opinions abound on Abraxas, who in recent centuries has been 20.8 Terms and concepts claimed to be both an Egyptian god and a demon, sometimes even being associated with the dual nature of SaSee also: List of gnostic terms tan/Lucifer. Abraxas/Abrasax

The above information relates to interpretations of ancient amulets and to reports of Christian heresy hunters, which are not always clear.

Main article: Abraxas The Egyptian Gnostic Basilideans referred to a figure called Abraxas who was at the head of 365 spiritual beings (Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, I.24); it is unclear what to make of Irenaeus' use of the term archon, which may simply mean “ruler”in this context. The role and function of Abraxas for Basilideans is not clear.

Actual ancient Gnostic texts from the Nag Hammadi Library, such as the Coptic Gospel of the Egyptians, refer to Abraxas as an Aeon dwelling with Sophia and other Aeons of the Spiritual Fullness in the light of the luminary Eleleth. In several texts, the luminary Eleleth is the last of the luminaries (Spiritual Lights) that come forward, and it is the Aeon Sophia, associated with Eleleth, who



encounters darkness and becomes involved in the chain of events that leads to the Demiurge and Archon's rule of this world, and the salvage effort that ensues. As such, the role of Aeons of Eleleth, including Abraxas, Sophia, and others, pertains to this outer border of the Divine Fullness that encounters the ignorance of the world of Lack and interacts to rectify the error of ignorance in the world of materiality.

teach man how to achieve gnosis, by which they may return to the Pleroma.* [13]


Main article: Demiurge The term Demiurge derives from the Latinized form of


In late antiquity some variants of Gnosticism used the term archon to refer to several servants of the demiurge.* [131] In this context they may be seen as having Words like or similar to Abraxas or Abrasax also ap- the roles of the angels and demons of the Old Testament. pear in the Greek Magical Papyri. There are similariAccording to Origen's Contra Celsum, a sect called the ties and differences between such figures in reports about Ophites posited the existence of seven archons, beginning Basiledes' teaching, in the larger magical traditions of the with Iadabaoth or Ialdabaoth, who created the six that folGraeco-Roman world, in the classic ancient Gnostic texts low: Iao, Sabaoth, Adonaios, Elaios, Astaphanos and Hosuch as the Gospel of the Egyptians, and in later magical raios.* [132] Similarly to the Mithraic Kronos and Vedic and esoteric writings. Narasimha, a form of Vishnu, Ialdabaoth had a head of a The Swiss psychologist Carl Jung wrote a short Gnostic lion.* [12]* [133]* [134] treatise in 1916 called Seven Sermons to the Dead, which called Abraxas a God higher than the Christian God and Demiurge Devil, that combines all opposites into one Being.

Main article: Aeon (Gnosticism) In many Gnostic systems, the aeons are the various emanations of the superior God, who is also known by such names as the One, the Monad, Aion teleios (Αἰὼν τέλειος, “The Complete Æon”), Bythos (Greek: Βυθός,“Depth, Profundity”), Proarkhe (Greek: Προαρχή,“Before the Beginning”), he Arkhe (Greek: ἡ ἀρχή, “The Beginning”), Ennoia (Greek: Ἔννοια, “Thought”) of the Light* [123] or Sige (Greek: Σιγή, “Silence”).* [124] From this first being, also an æon, a series of different emanations occur, beginning in certain Gnostic texts with the hermaphroditic Barbelo,* [12]* [125]* [126] from which successive pairs of aeons emanate, often in malefemale pairings called syzygies;* [127] the numbers of these pairings varied from text to text, though some identify their number as being thirty.* [128] The aeons as a totality constitute the pleroma, the “region of light”. The lowest regions of the pleroma are closest to the darkness; that is, the physical world. Two of the most commonly paired æons were Jesus and Sophia (Greek: “Wisdom”); the latter refers to Jesus as her “consort”in A Valentinian Exposition.* [129] Sophia, emanating without her partner, resulting in the production of the Demiurge (Greek: lit.“public builder” ),* [130] who is also referred to as Yaldabaoth and variations thereof in some Gnostic texts.* [12] This creature is concealed outside the Pleroma;* [12] in isolation, and thinking itself alone, it creates materiality and a host of co-actors, referred to as archons. The demiurge is responsible for the creation of mankind; trapping elements of the Pleroma stolen from Sophia inside human bodies.* [12]* [131] In response, the Godhead emanates two savior aeons, Christ and the Holy Spirit; Christ then embodies itself in the form of Jesus, in order to be able to

A lion-faced deity found on a Gnostic gem in Bernard de Montfaucon's L'antiquité expliquée et représentée en figures may be a depiction of the Demiurge; however, cf. Mithraic Zervan Akarana* [135]

the Greek term dēmiourgos, δημιουργός (literally“public or skilled worker”), and refers to an entity responsible for the creation of the physical universe and the physical aspect of humanity. The term dēmiourgos occurs in a number of other religious and philosophical systems, most notably Platonism. Moral judgements of the demiurge vary from group to group within the broad category of Gnosticism —such judgements usually correspond to



each group's judgement of the status of materiality as be- Gnosis ing inherently evil, or else merely flawed and as good as its passive constituent matter allows. In Gnosticism the Main article: Gnosis Demiurge, creator of the material world, was not God but the Archon.* [136] The word“Gnosticism”is a modern construction, though As Plato does, Gnosticism presents a distinction between based on an antiquated linguistic expression: it comes a supranatural, unknowable reality and the sensible mate- from the Greek word meaning “knowledge”, gnosis riality of which the demiurge is creator. However, in con- (γνῶσις). However, gnosis itself refers to a very spetrast to Plato, several systems of Gnostic thought present cialised form of knowledge, deriving both from the exthe Demiurge as antagonistic to the Supreme God: his act meaning of the original Greek term and its usage in act of creation either in unconscious and fundamentally Platonist philosophy. flawed imitation of the divine model, or else formed with Ancient Greek was capable of discerning between several the malevolent intention of entrapping aspects of the didifferent forms of knowing. These different forms may vine in materiality. Thus, in such systems, the Demibe described in English as being propositional knowledge, urge acts as a solution to the problem of evil. In the indicative of knowledge acquired indirectly through the Apocryphon of John (several versions of which are found reports of others or otherwise by inference (such as “I in the Nag Hammadi library), the Demiurge has the name know of George Bush”or“I know Berlin is in Germany” "Yaltabaoth", and proclaims himself as God: ), and empirical knowledge acquired by direct participation or acquaintance (such as“I know George Bush perNow the archon who is weak has three names. sonally”or “I know Berlin, having visited”). The first name is Yaltabaoth, the second is Gnosis (γνῶσις) refers to knowledge of the second kind. Saklas, and the third is Samael. And he is imTherefore, in a religious context, to be“Gnostic”should pious in his arrogance which is in him. For he be understood as being reliant not on knowledge in a gensaid,“I am God and there is no other God beeral sense, but as being specially receptive to mystical or side me,”for he is ignorant of his strength, the esoteric experiences of direct participation with the diplace from which he had come.* [137] vine. Indeed, in most Gnostic systems the sufficient cause ( acquaintance with” “Samael”, in the Judeo-Christian tradition, refers to the of salvation is this“knowledge of”“ ) the divine. This is commonly identified with a process evil angel of death, and corresponds to the Christian deof inward“knowing”or self-exploration, comparable to mon of that name, one second only to Satan. Literally, it that encouraged by Plotinus. This is what helps separate can mean“blind god”or“god of the blind”in Aramaic Gnosticism from proto-orthodox views, where the ortho(Syriac sæmʻa-ʼel); another alternative title is “Saklas”, * dox views are considered to be superficial. [138] The inAramaic for “fool”(Syriac sækla “the foolish one”). adequate take then requires a correct form of interpretaGnostic myth recounts that Sophia (Greek, literally tion. With “gnosis”comes a fuller insight that is conmeaning“wisdom”), the Demiurge's mother and a par- sidered to be more spiritual. Greater recognition of the tial aspect of the divine Pleroma or“Fullness”, desired to deeper spiritual meanings of doctrines, scriptures, and create something apart from the divine totality, and with- rituals are obtained with this insight. However, as may out the receipt of divine assent. In this abortive act of be seen, the term “gnostic”also had precedent usage in separate creation, she gave birth to the monstrous Demi- several ancient philosophical traditions, which must also urge and, being ashamed of her deed, she wrapped him be weighed in considering the very subtle implications of in a cloud and created a throne for him within it. The its appellation to a set of ancient religious groups. Demiurge, isolated, did not behold his mother, nor anyone else, and thus concluded that only he himself existed, Monad being ignorant of the superior levels of reality that were his birthplace. Main article: Monad (Gnosticism) The Gnostic myths describing these events are full of intricate nuances portraying the declination of aspects of the divine into human form; this process occurs through In many Gnostic systems (and heresiologies), God is the agency of the Demiurge who, having stolen a portion known as the Monad, the One, The Absolute, Aion teleos of power from his mother, sets about a work of creation in (The Perfect Æon), Bythos (Depth or Profundity, Βυθος), unconscious imitation of the superior Pleromatic realm. Proarkhe (Before the Beginning, προαρχη), and HE Thus Sophia's power becomes enclosed within the mate- Arkhe (The Beginning, ἡ ἀρχή). God is the high source rial forms of humanity, themselves entrapped within the of the pleroma, the region of light. The various emanamaterial universe: the goal of Gnostic movements was tions of God are called æons. typically the awakening of this spark, which permitted a Within certain variations of Gnosticism, especially those return by the subject to the superior, non-material reali- inspired by Monoimus, the Monad was the highest God which created lesser gods, or elements (similar to æons). ties that were its primal source.

20.9. SEE ALSO According to Hippolytus, this view was inspired by the Pythagoreans, who called the first thing that came into existence the Monad, which begat the dyad, which begat the numbers, which begat the point, begetting lines, etc. This was also clarified in the writings of Plato, Aristotle and Plotinus. This teaching being largely Neopythagorean via Numenius as well.

217 Pleroma is also used in the general Greek language and is used by the Greek Orthodox church in this general form since the word appears under the book of Colossians. Proponents of the view that Paul was actually a gnostic, such as Elaine Pagels of Princeton University, view the reference in Colossians as something that was to be interpreted in the gnostic sense.

This Monad is the spiritual source of everything that emanates the pleroma, and could be contrasted to the dark Sophia Demiurge (Yaldabaoth) that controls matter. The Sethian cosmogony as most famously contained in the Apocryphon (“Secret book”) of John describes an unknown God, very similar to the orthodox apophatic theology, although very different from the orthodox credal teachings that there is one such god who is identified also as creator of heaven and earth. In describing the nature of a creator god associated with Biblical texts, orthodox theologians often attempt to define God through a series of explicit positive statements, themselves universal but in the divine taken to their superlative degrees: he is omniscient, omnipotent and truly benevolent. The Sethian conception of the most hidden transcendent God is, by contrast, defined through negative theology: he is immovable, invisible, intangible, ineffable; commonly, “he”is seen as being hermaphroditic, a potent symbol for being, as it were, “all-containing”. In the Apocryphon of John, this god is good in that it bestows goodness. After the apophatic statements, the process of the Divine in action are used to describe the effect of such a god.

Main article: Sophia (wisdom) In Gnostic tradition, the term Sophia (Σoφíα, Greek for “wisdom”) refers to the final and lowest emanation of God. In most if not all versions of the gnostic myth, Sophia births the demiurge, who in turn brings about the creation of materiality. The positive or negative depiction of materiality thus resides a great deal on mythic depictions of Sophia's actions. She is occasionally referred to by the Hebrew equivalent of Achamoth (this is a feature of Ptolemy's version of the Valentinian gnostic myth). Jewish Gnosticism with a focus on Sophia was active by 90.

Almost all gnostic systems of the Syrian or Egyptian type taught that the universe began with an original, unknowable God, referred to as the Parent or Bythos, as the Monad by Monoimus, or the first Aeon by still other traditions. From this initial unitary beginning, the One spontaneously emanated further Aeons, pairs of progressively “lesser”beings in sequence. The lowest of these pairs An apophatic approach to discussing the Divine is found were Sophia and Christ. The Aeons together made up throughout gnosticism, Vedanta, and Platonic and Aris- the Pleroma, or fullness of divinity and thus should not totelian theology as well. It is also found in some Judaic be seen as identical with God nor as distinct from the disources. vine, but as embodied divine emanations. Pleroma

Main article: Pleroma Pleroma (Greek πληρωμα) generally refers to the totality of God's powers. The term means fullness, and is used in Christian theological contexts: both in Gnosticism generally, and in Colossians 2:9. Gnosticism holds that the world is controlled by evil archons, one of whom is the demiurge, according to some the deity of the Old Testament (YHWH) who holds the human spirit captive. The heavenly pleroma is the center of divine life, a region of light “above”(the term is not to be understood spatially) our world, occupied by spiritual beings such as aeons (eternal beings) and sometimes archons. Jesus is interpreted as an intermediary aeon who was sent from the pleroma, with whose aid humanity can recover the lost knowledge of the divine origins of humanity. The term is thus a central element of Gnostic cosmology.

20.9 See also • Christian anarchism • Christian mysticism • Druze • First Council of Nicaea • Gnosiology • Hermeticism • Jesuism • John D. Turner • Sethian Gnosticism • Theosophy • Western Esotericism


20.10 Notes [1] On the complexity of gnosticism, see Larry W. Hurtado (2005). Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. pp. 519– 561.


[13] “An Introduction to Gnosticism and The Nag Hammadi Library”. The Gnostic Society Library. Retrieved 200912-02. [14] Macuch, Rudolf (1965). Handbook of Classical and Modern Mandaic. Berlin: De Gruyter & Co. pp. 61 fn. 105.

[2] John Hinnel (1997). The Penguin Dictionary of Religion. Penguin Books UK.

[15] “The Gnostic World View: A Brief Introduction”. The Gnosis Archive. Retrieved 2009-02-12.

[3] Tobias Churton (2005). Gnostic Philosophy: From Ancient Persia to Modern Times. Inner Traditions, VA USA. ISBN 978-159477-035-7.

[16] Hans Jonas, The Gnostic Religion, p. 42, Beacon Press, 1963, ISBN 0-8070-5799-1; 1st ed. 1958

[4] Adolf von Harnack (1885) defined it as “the acute Hellenization of Christianity”. Moritz Friedländer (1898) advocated Hellenistic Jewish origins, and Wilhelm Bousset (1907) advocated Persian origins.

[17] Middle Persian Sources: D. N. MacKenzie, Mani’s Šābuhragān, pt. 1 (text and translation), BSOAS 42/3, 1979, pp. 500–34, pt. 2 (glossary and plates), BSOAS 43/2, 1980, pp. 288–310.

[5] Karen L. King, What is Gnosticism? (2005) “Bousset held that Gnosticism was a pre-Christian religion, existing alongside of Christianity. It was an Oriental product, antiJewish and un-Hellenic... "

[18] Bevan, A. A. (1930). Manichaeism. Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, Volume VIII Ed. James Hastings. London

[9] “Faith (pistis) and Knowledge (gnosis)". The Gnostic Society Library. Retrieved 2009-02-12.

[28] J. Jacobs, L. Blau Gnosticism from the Jewish Encyclopedia 1911

[19] Zaehner, Richard Charles (1961). The Dawn and Twilight of Zoroastrianism. New York: Putnam. ISBN 1-84212[6] James M. Robinson, one of the chief scholars on Gnosti165-0. A section of the book is available online. Several cism said at the 1978 International Conference on Gnostiother websites have duplicated this text, but include an cism at Yale “At this stage we have not found any Gnos“Introduction”that is very obviously not by Zaehner. tic texts that clearly antedate the origin of Christianity.” cited in Edwin Yamauchi,“Pre-Christian Gnosticism, the New Testament and Nag Hammadi in recent debate,”in [20] Pagels, Elaine (1978). The Gnostic Gospels. Themelios 10.1 (Sept 1984): 22–27. [21] Schoedel, William (1980). “Gnostic Monism and the Gospel of Truth”in The Rediscovery of Gnosticism, [7] To this end Paul Trebilco cites the following in his article Vol.1: The School of Valentinus, (ed.) Bentley Layton,. “Christian Communities In Western Asia Minor Into The Leiden: E.J.Brill. Early Second Century: Ignatius And Others As Witnesses Against Bauer”in JETS 49.1: E.M. Yamauchi, “Gnosticism and Early Christianity,”in W. E. Helleman, ed. [22] Layton, Bentley (1987). The Gnostic Scriptures. SCM Press —Introduction to“Against Heresies”by St. Irenaeus (1994). Hellenization Revisited: Shaping a Christian Response Within the Greco-Roman World. University Press of America. p. 38. ; Karen L. King (2003). What is [23] Irenaeus.“Against Heresies, II, 27, 1”. Christian Classics Ethereal Library. Retrieved 2009-02-13. Gnosticism?. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. p. 175.; C. Markschies (2003). Gnosis: An Introduction. London: T&T Clark. pp. 67–69.; cf. H. [24] Irenaeus.“Against Heresies, I, 31, 2”. Christian Classics Ethereal Library. Retrieved 2009-02-13. Koester (1982). Introduction to the New Testament, Vol 2: History and Literature of Early Christianity. Walter de Gruyter. p. 286.; For discussions of “Gnosticism”see [25] Irenaeus.“Against Heresies, I, 23, 3”. Christian Classics Ethereal Library. Retrieved 2009-02-13. Yamauchi,“Gnosticism”29–61; M. A. Williams (1996). Rethinking “Gnosticism": An Argument for Dismantling a Dubious Category. Princeton University Press.; Gerd [26] Irenaeus.“Against Heresies, I, 25, 4”. Christian Classics Ethereal Library. Retrieved 2009-02-13. Theissen (1999). A Theory of Primitive Christian Religion. London: SCM Press. pp. 231–39.. [27] Huidekoper, Frederic (1891). Judaism at Rome: BC 76 to [8] “Valentinian Monism”. The Gnostic Society Library. AD 140. D. G. Francis. p. 331. First on our list stand the Retrieved 2009-02-12. Gnostics ...

[10] “Demiurge”. Catholic Encyclopedia. Retrieved 200902-12. [11] “Plato, Republic 588A-589B”. “The Gnostic Society Library. Retrieved 2009-02-12. [12] “The Apocryphon of John”. The Gnostic Society Library. Retrieved 2009-02-12.

[29] Brakke, David (January 1, 2011). The Gnostics (reprint ed.). Harvard University Press. ASIN B004Z14APQ. [30] Barbarian migrations and the Roman West, 376–568 By Guy Halsall pg 293 Publisher: Cambridge University Press (January 28, 2008) ISBN 0-521-43491-2 ISBN 978-0-521-43491-1

20.10. NOTES

[31] Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, Clare Goodrick-Clarke G. R. S. Mead and the Gnostic Quest 2005 p8 “The idea that Gnosticism was derived from Buddhism was first postulated by Charles William King in his classic work, The Gnostics and their Remains (1864). He was one of the earliest and most emphatic scholars to propose the Gnostic debt to Buddhist thought.” [32] H. L. Mansel, Gnostic Heresies of the First and Second Centuries (1875); p.32 [33] International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: E-J p490 ed. Geoffrey W. Bromiley —1982“Mansel ... summed up the principal sources of Gnosticism in these three: Platonism, the Persian religion, and the Buddhism of India.” [34] “The Gnostic Gospels”. [35] The Eastern Buddhist Society (1981) “This paper is an initial attempt to follow up Pagels' call for a comparative study of the Nag Hammadi tractates and Indian sources,6 by considering some of the similarities in theory and practice present in certain Nag Hammadi texts, in certain Buddhist wisdom scriptures, and in the works of two second to third century cE Mahayana Buddhist philosophers, Nagarjuna and Aryadeva.” [36] Ritter Die Stupa's: oder die architectonischen Denkmale 1838 [37] “CHURCH FATHERS: Catechetical Lecture 6 (Cyril of Jerusalem)". [38]“There are two classes of these, called Sarmans and Brahmans. Among the Sarmans, the so-called forest dwellers do not occupy cities or have roofs over their heads.” [39] Willis Barnstone, Marvin Meyer. The Gnostic Bible, p.7, p.569, p.572, Shambhala Publications, 2006. [40] Cross, Frank L.; Livingstone, Elizabeth, eds. (2005). “Platonism”. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19280290-9. [41] TeSelle, Eugene (1970). Augustine the Theologian. London. pp. 347–349. ISBN 0-223-97728-4. March 2002 edition: ISBN 1-57910-918-7. [42] R. McL. Wilson, “Nag Hammadi and the New Testament”, New Testament Studies, vol. 28, (1982), 292. [43] Turner, John (1986). “Sethian Gnosticism: A Literary History”in Nag Hammadi, Gnosticism and Early Christianity. p. 59. [44] Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt (Rise and Decline of the Roman World) Vl 21/1 Volume 2; Volume 21 By Hildegard Temporini, Joseph Vogt, Wolfgang Haase Publisher: Walter de Gruyter (December 31, 1983) Language: German ISBN 3-11-008845-2 ISBN 978-3-11008845-8 [45] Turner, John. “Sethian Gnosticism: A Literary History”in Nag Hammadi, Gnosticism and Early Christianity, 1986 p. 59


[46] “No Longer Jews: The Search for Gnostic Origins: Carl B. Smith: 9781565639447: Amazon.com: Books”. [47] This is what the scholar A. H. Armstrong wrote as a footnote in his translation of Plotinus' Enneads in the tract named against the Gnostics. Footnote from Page 264 1. From this point to the end of ch. 12 Plotinus is attacking a Gnostic myth known to us best at present in the form it took in the system of Valentinus. The Mother, Sophia-Achamoth, produced as a result of the complicated sequence of events after the fall of the higher Sophia, and her offspring the Demiurge, the inferior and ignorant maker of the material universe, are Valentinian figures: cp. Irenaeus adv. Haer 1.4 and 5. Valentinius had been in Rome, and there is nothing improbable in the presence of Valentinians there in the time of Plotinus. But the evidence in the Life ch.16 suggests that the Gnostics in Plotinus's circle belonged rather to the other group called Sethians on Archonties, related to the Ophites or Barbelognostics: they probably called themselves simply “Gnostics.”Gnostic groups borrowed freely from each other, and it is likely that Valentinius took some of his ideas about Sophia from older Gnostic sources, and that his ideas in turn influenced other Gnostics. The probably Sethian Gnostic library discovered at Nag Hammadi included Valentinian treatise: ep. Puech, Le pp. 162–163 and 179–180. [48] Schenke, Hans Martin. “The Phenomenon and Significance of Gnostic Sethianism”in The Rediscovery of Gnosticism. E. J. Brill 1978 [49] Introductory Note This treatise (No.33 in Porphyry's chronological order) is in fact the concluding section of a single long treatise that Porphyry—to carry out the design of grouping his master's works more or less according to subject into six sets of nine treatise—roughly hacked into four parts, which he put into different Enneads, the other three being III. 8 (30) V. 8 (31) and V .5 (32). Porphyry says (Life ch. 16.11) that he gave the treatise the Title “Against the Gnostics”(he is presumably also responsible for the titles of the other sections of the cut-up treatise). There is an alternative title in Life. ch. 24 56–57, which runs“Against those who say that the maker of the universe is evil and the universe is evil. The treatise as it stands in the Enneads is a most powerful protest on behalf of Hellenic philosophy against the un-Hellenic heresy (as it was from the Platonist as well as the orthodox Christian point of view) of Gnosticism. A.H. Armstrong introduction to II 9. Against the Gnostics Pages 220–222 [50] They claimed to be a privileged caste of beings, in whom God alone was interested, and who were saved not by their own efforts but by some dramatic and arbitrary divine proceeding; and this, Plotinus claimed, led to immorality. Worst of all, they despised and hated the material universe and denied its goodness and the goodness of its maker. For a Platonist, this is utter blasphemy —and all the worse because it obviously derives to some extent from the sharply other-worldly side of Plato's own teaching (e.g. in the Phaedo). At this point in his attack Plotinus comes very close in some ways to the orthodox Christian opponents of Gnosticism, who also insist that this world is the work of God in his goodness. But, here as on the question of salvation, the doctrine Plotinus is defending is as



sharply opposed in other ways to orthodox Christianity as to Gnosticism: for he maintains not only the goodness of the material universe but also its eternity and its divinity. A.H. Armstrong introduction to II 9. Against the Gnostics Pages 220–222 [51] The teaching of the Gnostics seems to him untraditional, irrational and immoral. They despise and revile the ancient Platonic teachings and claim to have a new and superior wisdom of their own: but in fact anything that is true in their teaching comes from Plato, and all they have done themselves is to add senseless complications and pervert the true traditional doctrine into a melodramatic, superstitious fantasy designed to feed their own delusions of grandeur. They reject the only true way of salvation through wisdom and virtue, the slow patient study of truth and pursuit of perfection by men who respect the wisdom of the ancients and know their place in the universe. A.H. Armstrong introduction to II 9. Against the Gnostics Pages 220–222 [52] “Faith and Philosophy”. [53] Enneads VI 9.6 [54] This is what the scholar A. H. Armstrong wrote as a footnote in his translation of Plotinus' Enneads in the tract named against the Gnostics. Footnote from Page 264 1. From this point to the end of ch.12 Plotinus is attacking a Gnostic myth known to us best at present in the form it took in the system of Valentinus. The Mother, Sophia-Achamoth, produced as a result of the complicated sequence of events that followed the fall of the higher Sophia, and her offspring the Demiurge, the inferior and ignorant maker of the material universe, are Valentinian figures: cp. Irenaues adv. Haer 1.4 and 5. Valentinius had been in Rome, and there is nothing improbable in the presence of Valentinians there in the time of Plotinus. But the evidence in the Life ch.16 suggests that the Gnostics in Plotinus's circle belonged rather to the other group called Sethians on Archonties, related to the Ophites or Barbelognostics: they probably called themselves simply“Gnostics.”Gnostic groups borrowed freely from each other, and it is likely that Valentinius took some of his ideas about Sophia from older Gnostic sources, and that his ideas in turn influenced other gnostics. The probably Sethian Gnostic library discovered at Nag Hammadi included Valentinian treatise: ep. Puech, Le pp. 162–163 and 179–180.

[58] What is understood as“orthodox”and“Gnostic”teachings in this early period (1st and 2nd centuries) must be redefined due to the complexities now unfolding regarding their historical and doctrinal similarities and dissimilarities (e.g., the gnostic belief that all matter is evil and the body is a prison to escape from, versus the NT insistence on a physical resurrection). [59] The terminology has ties to the passage in Prov 8:23, taking a well known Judaic-concept of ‘personification’ and defining it with Christ as the “wisdom of God”[1 Co 1:24]. This metaphor was common and understood by most church fathers like Athanasius, Basil, Gregory, Epiphanius and Cyril. (Racovian Catechism, pp. 73–75) [60] From the Greek dokein, hence Docetism (Dictionary of the Later NT & its Developments, Intervarsity Press, 1997) [61] Jesus was Sui Generis, the doctrine of the “pre-existent” Christ accepted by some Gnostics and‘orthodox’Christians. Hanson R. P. C (The Search for the Christian Doctrine of God: The Arian Controversy, 318–381 A.D. Edinburgh T. & T. Clark, 1988) [62] New Bible Dictionary, (Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub., Grand Rapids, MI, 1975), pp. 558–560. Furthermore, some New Testament texts indicate that this is not in line with Judaic [or rabbinic] teaching, something Jesus himself adhered to [Luke 2; John 4:24; Phil 3:3–4]. Also see, Nuesner, Jacob, The Modern Study of the Mishna, 1997; & Mishne Torah. [63] In Platonism the soul [psuchē] was self-moving, indivisible; degenerated and eternal, existing before the body which housed it, and longing to be free from its earthly imprisonment, leading to the Docetist-dualist concept of ‘good’& ‘evil’matter. Ed. Note. [64] Their own heresiology would later be attacked as heretical. Holt, Reinhard. The Western Heritage of Faith and Reason (Winston N.Y., 1971), p. 382; Logan, Alastair H. B. Gnostic Truth and Christian Heresy (Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, MA, 1996). [65]“Was the Lord’s prayer addressed only to the hypostasis of the Father as ‘our Father’and the Father of the Son, or to the entire ousia of the Godhead?" Pelikan, Jaroslav. The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine. Vol. 1, the Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (100–600). Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1971.

[55]“At this stage we have not found any Gnostic texts that clearly antedate the origin of Christianity.”J. M. Robinson, “Sethians and Johannine Thought: The Trimorphic Protennoia and the Prologue of the Gospel of John”in The Rediscovery of Gnosticism, vol. 2, Sethian Gnosticism, ed. B. Layton (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1981), 662.

[66] A new theological vocabulary capable of explaining this doctrine was created [e.g. homoousios=same essence]. Adopting an idea of Origen’s that easterners would appreciate in their own Sabellianism. Hanson, Search, pp. 687–688

[56] J. M. Robinson, “Jesus: From Easter to Valentinus (Or to the Apostles' Creed),”Journal of Biblical Literature, 101 (1982), p.5.

[67] The crisis of the later Roman Empire and move towards the east brought a new realism, which may have inclined Christians to accept the new theological doctrine. Ed. note

[57] First coined in Plato’s Politikos [‘Statement’] as gnostikoi [‘those capable of knowing’], and linking it with knowledge [episteme] (Introduction to Politikos. Cooper, John M. & Hutchinson, D. S. [Eds.] (1997)

[68] Arius preached that, “before Christ, God was not yet a Father...there was when he [Jesus] was not.”Since most of his works are lost, the accounts are based on reports of others. Hanson, Search, pp. 5–8.

20.10. NOTES

[69] Alexandria had long been a hotbed of theological innovation and debate where high ranking Christian thinkers used methods from Greek philosophy as well as Jewish and Christian sources for their teachings. [70] Although he took his monotheism seriously, he later taught the only way to save mankind from moral and physical extinction was for God to do the unthinkable, descend into human flesh. Athanasius,“On the Incarnation of the World”, in Phillip Schaff and Henry Wace, eds. Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, 2nd Series, vol. 4, Athanasius: Select Works and Letters (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, 1994) [71] See Goodacre, Mark. The Case against Q: Studies in Marcan Priority and the Synoptic Problem (Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, 2002); Robinson, James, M. The Nag Hammadi Library (HarperOne, 1990). [72] The word became familiar to Greeks in the 3rd century with Ammonius Saccas and the Alexandrian NeoPlatonists [or Theurgists]: it was adopted in 1875 by H. P. Blavatsky and others associated with the Theosophical Society (Blavatsky, H. P. The Secret Doctrine, the synthesis of science, religion, and philosophy, Theosophical Uni. Press, first published 1888) [73] Dictionary of the Later New Testament, p.410. [74] Ferguson, Everett. “Factors leading to the Selection and Closure of the New Testament Canon,”in The Canon Debate, eds. L. M. McDonald & J. A. Sanders (Hendrickson, 2002); Lindberg, Carter. A Brief History of Christianity (Blackwell Publishing, 2006)) [75] Works Cited I. Alastair, H. B. Logan, Gnostic Truth and Christian Heresy (Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, MA, 1996) II. Bewkes, E. G. The Western Heritage of Faith and Reason (Holt, Rinehart, Winston, N.Y., 1960). III. Blavatsky, H. P. The Secret Doctrine, the synthesis of science, religion, and philosophy, Theosophical Uni. Press, first published 1888. IV. Cooper, John M. & Hutchinson, D. S. (Eds.) Introduction to Politikos, 1997. V. Danielou, Jean. The Origin of Latin Christianity (Westminster Press, Philadelphia, PA, 1977). VI. Dictionary of Paul and his Letters, Intervarsity Press, 1993. VII. Dictionary of the Later New Testament & its Developments, Intervarsity Press, 1997. VIII. Hanson, R. P. C. The Search for the Christian Doctrine of God: The Arian Controversy, 318–381 AD. Edinburgh T. & T. Clark, 1988. IX. Holt, Reinhard. The Western Heritage of Faith and Reason, Winston N.Y., 1971. X. Horner, G. W. The Coptic version of the New Testament in the southern dialect, otherwise called Sahidic and Thebaic, 1911. XI. New Bible Dictionary, Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub., Grand Rapids, MI, 1975. XII. Pelikan, Jaroslav. The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine. Vol. 1, the Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (100–600). Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1971. XIII. Phillip, Schaff & Wace, Henry eds., Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, 2nd Series, vol. 4, Athanasius: Select Works and Letters (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, 1994). XIV. Selwyn, E. G. ‘Image, Fact and Faith’, NTS 1 no. 4 (May 1955). XV. Wolfson, H. A. ‘Notes on Patristic Philosophy’, Harvard Theological Review 57, no.


2 (Apr. 1964) & the Philosophy of the Church Fathers (Harvard Uni. Press, Publishing, PA. 1976). [76] Jewish Encyclopedia Gnosticism:“Jewish gnosticism unquestionably antedates Christianity, for Biblical exegesis had already reached an age of five hundred years by the first century C.E. Judaism had been in close contact with Babylonian-Persian ideas for at least that length of time, and for nearly as long a period with Hellenistic ideas. Magic, also, which, as shown further on, was a not unimportant part of the doctrines and manifestations of gnosticism, largely occupied Jewish thinkers. There is, in general, no circle of ideas to which elements of gnosticism have been traced, and with which the Jews were not acquainted. It is a noteworthy fact that heads of gnostic schools and founders of gnostic systems are designated as Jews by the Church Fathers. Some derive all heresies, including those of gnosticism, from Judaism (Hegesippus in Eusebius, “Hist. Eccl.”iv. 22; comp. Harnack, “Dogmengesch.”3d ed. i. 232, note 1). It must furthermore be noted that Hebrew words and names of God provide the skeleton for several gnostic systems. Christians or Jews converted from paganism would have used as the foundation of their systems terms borrowed from the Greek or Syrian translations of the Bible. This fact proves at least that the principal elements of gnosticism were derived from Jewish speculation, while it does not preclude the possibility of new wine having been poured into old bottles.” [77] According to The Jewish Encyclopedia entry Gnosticism, 'Pre-Christian. —Cosmogonic-theological speculations, philosophemes on God and the world, constitute the substance of gnosis. They are based on the first sections of Genesis and Ezekiel, for which there are in Jewish speculation two well-established and therefore old terms: “Ma'aseh Bereshit”and“Ma'aseh Merkabah.”Doubtless Ben Sira was thinking of these speculations when he uttered the warning: “Seek not things that are too hard for thee, and search not out things that are above thy strength. The things that have been commanded thee, think thereupon; for thou hast no need of the things that are secret” (Ecclus. [Sirach] iii. 21–22, R. V.). The terms here emphasized recur in the Talmud in the accounts of gnosis. “There is no doubt that a Jewish gnosticism existed before a Christian or a Judæo-Christian gnosticism. As may be seen even in the apocalypses, since the second century B.C. gnostic thought was bound up with Judaism, which had accepted Babylonian and Syrian doctrines; but the relation of this Jewish gnosticism to Christian gnosticism may, perhaps, no longer be explained "(Harnack,” “Geschichte der Altchristlichen Litteratur,”p. 144). The great age of Jewish gnosticism is further indicated by the authentic statement that Johanan b. Zakkai, who was born probably in the century before the common era, and was, according to Sukkah 28a, versed in that science, refers to an interdiction against “discussing the Creation before two pupils and the throne-chariot before one."' The passage in Sukkah mentioned in the extract says,“They said of R. Johanan b. Zakkai that he did not leave [unstudied] Scripture, Mishnah, Gemara, Halachah, Aggada, details of the Torah, details of the Scribes, inferences a minori ad majus, analogies, calendrical computations, gematrias, the speech of the Minstering Angels, the speech of spir-



its, and the speech of palm-grees, fullers' parables and fox fables, great matters or small matters; 'Great matters' mean the Ma'aseh merkabah, 'small matters' the discussions of Abaye and Raba”(‫אמרו עליו על רבן יוחנן בן‬ ‫זכאי שלא הניח מקרא ומשנה תלמוד הלכות ואגדות דקדוקי‬ ‫תורה ודקדוקי סופרים קלים וחמורים וגזרות שוות תקופות‬ ‫וגימטריאות שיחת מלאכי השרת ושיחת שדים ושיחת דקלים‬ ‫משלות כובסין משלות שועלים דבר גדול ודבר קטן דבר גדול‬ ‫)מעשה מרכבה דבר קטן הויות דאביי ורבא‬. [78] 20th Century Jewish Religious Thought Arthur A. Cohen, Paul Mendes-Flohr, Arthur Allen Cohen 1988 republished 2010 – Page 286 “Recent research, however, has tended to emphasize that Judaism, rather than Persia, was a major origin of Gnosticism. Indeed, it appears increasingly evident that many of the newly published Gnostic texts were written in a context from which Jews were not absent. In some cases, indeed, a violent rejection of the Jewish God, or of Judaism, seems to stand at the basis of these texts. ... facie, various trends in Jewish thought and literature of the Second Commonwealth appear to have been potential factors in Gnostic origins. [79] Gager, John G. (1985-02-14). The origins of antisemitism: attitudes toward Judaism in pagan and Christian antiquity. Oxford University Press. p. 168. ISBN 978-019-503607-7. [80] Understanding Jewish History: Texts and Commentaries by Steven Bayme Publisher: Ktav Publishing House ISBN 0-88125-554-8 ISBN 978-0-88125-554-6 [81] Idel, Moshe. Kabbalah: New Perspectives, Yale University Press, 1990, p. 31. ISBN 978-0-300-04699-1 [82] Scholem, Gershom Origins of the Kabbalah, 1962.

[92] Classical Texts:Acta Archelai Now, he who spoke with Moses, the Jews, and the priests he says is the archont of Darkness, and the Christians, Jews, and pagans (ethnic) are one and the same, as they revere the same god. For in his aspirations he seduces them, as he is not the god of truth. And so therefore all those who put their hope in the god who spoke with Moses and the prophets have (this in store for themselves, namely) to be bound with him, because they did not put their hope in the god of truth. For that one spoke with them (only) according to their own aspirations. Page 76 [93] Likewise, Manichaeism, being another Gnostic sect, preached a similar doctrine of positioning God against matter. This dualistic teaching embodied an elaborate cosmological myth that included the defeat of a primal man by the powers of darkness that devoured and imprisoned the particles of light. The Acta Archelai further has Mani saying,“It is the Prince of Darkness who spoke with Moses, the Jews and their priests. Thus the Christians, the Jews, and the Pagans are involved in the same error when they worship this God. For he leads them astray in the lusts he taught them.” [94] Meyer, Marvin (2007). The Nag Hammadi Scriptures: International Edition. p. 247. [95] Gospel of Judas, pg 44. translated by Kasser, Meyer, Wurst. [96] Gospel of Judas, pg 56. translated by Kasser, Meyer, Wurst. [97] “An Introduction to Marcion by G.R.S. Mead”. [98] “Adolf Von Harnack: Marcion”.

[99] González, Justo L.(1970). A History of Christian Thought, [83] The first kabbalistic text with a known author that reached Vol. I. Abingdon. pp. 132–3 us is a brief treatise, a commentary on the Sefer Yezira written by Rabbi Isaac ben Abraham the Blind, in Provence [100] Ismo Dunderberg Beyond gnosticism: myth, lifestyle, and near the turn of the thirteenth century. Dan, Joseph Kabsociety in the school of Valentinus. Columbia University balah: a Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, Press, 2008. p.16;“The problems with the term“Gnos2006, p 25. ticism”itself are now well known. It does not appear in ancient sources at all, ... " [84] Dan, Joseph Kabbalah: a Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, 2006, p 24. [101] Birger Albert Pearson Gnosticism and Christianity in Roman and Coptic Egypt 2004 p210 “As Bentley Layton [85] Scholem, Gershom. Jewish Gnosticism, Merkabah Mystipoints out, the term Gnosticism was first coined by Henry cism, and the Talmudic Tradition, 1965. More (1614–1687) in an expository work on the seven letters of the Book of Revelation.29 More used the term [86] Lessons from the Kabbalah and Jewish history By Josef Gnosticisme to describe the heresy in Thyatira.” Blaha, Page 183 [87] Jewish mysticism: an introduction By J. H. Laenen, Page [102] Stephen Charles Haar Simon Magus: the first gnostic? p231 130 [88] Sometimes popularly known as the Gnostic Gospels after Elaine Pagels' 1979 book of the same name, but the term has a wider meaning.

[103] Dominic J. Unger, John J. Dillon —1992 St. Irenaeus of Lyons Against the heresies, Vol.1 p3 “the final phrase of the title “knowledge falsely so-called”is found in 1 Timothy 6:20.

[89] Marvin Meyer and James M. Robinson, Nag Hammadi [104] LSJ entry γνωστ-ικός, ή, όν, A. of or for knowing, Scriptures, The: The International Edition. HarperOne, cognitive: ἡ -κή (sc. ἐπιστήμη), theoretical science 2007. pp 2-3. ISBN 0-06-052378-6 (opp. πρακτική), Pl.Plt.258e, etc.; τὸ γ. ib.261b; "ἕξεις γ.”Arist.AP0.100a11 (Comp.); "γ. εἰκόνες" Hierocl.in [90] Markschies, Gnosis: An Introduction, 94. CA25p.475M.: c. gen., able to discern, Ocell. 2.7. Adv. [91] King, Karen L. What Is Gnosticism? , p.91. "-κῶς" Procl.Inst.39, Dam.Pr.79, Phlp.in Ph.241.22.

20.10. NOTES


[105] In Perseus databank 10x Plato, Cratylus, Theaetetus, 'Gnosticism'. Future research will have to show whether Sophist, Statesman 2x Plutarch, Compendium libri de ana new, working ...” imae procreatione + De animae procreatione in Timaeo, [116] Williams, Michael Allen (1999). Rethinking “Gnosti2x Pseudo-Plutarch, De musica cism": An Argument for Dismantling a Dubious Category. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0[106] Morton Smith History of the term gnostikos 1973 691-00542-7. [107] A. Rousseau and L. Doutreleau Saint Irénée de Lyon : [117] Afloroaei, Lucia (2009).“Religious Dualism: Some LogTraité contre les hérésies 1974 ical and Philosophical Difficulties” (PDF). Journal for [108] Williams Rethinking “Gnosticism": an argument for disInterdisciplinary Research on Religion and Science. 4 (Janmantling a dubious category 1999 p36: “But several of uary): 83–111. Retrieved 2009-02-13. Irenaeus's uses of the designation gnostikos are more ambiguous, and it is not so clear whether he is indicating the [118] Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation, Vol. II, Ch. XLVIII specific sect again or using “gnostics”now merely as a shorthand reference for virtually all of the"; p37: “They [119] Smith, Richard.“The Modern Relevance of Gnosticism” argue that Irenaeus uses gnostikos in two senses: (1) with in The Nag Hammadi Library, 1990 ISBN 0-06-066935the term's 'basic and customary meaning' of 'learned' (sa7 vant), and (2) with reference to adherents of the specific sect called 'the gnostic heresy' in Adv. haer. 1.11.1."; [120] Cf. l'Eglise du Plérôme p271: “1.25.6 where they think that gnostikos means 'learned' are in 1.11.3 ('A certain other famous teacher [121] Green, Celia (1981,2006). Advice to Clever Children. Oxford: Oxford Forum. Ch.s XXXV-XXXVII. of theirs, reaching for a doctrine more lofty and learned [gnostikoteron] ...') and 1.11.5 ('... in order that they [122] Michael Weber. Contact Made Vision: The Apocryphal [i.e.,])" Whitehead Pub. in Michel Weber and William Desmond, Jr. (eds.), Handbook of Whiteheadian Process Thought, [109] Williams p42-43 “On the other hand, the one group Frankfurt / Lancaster, Ontos Verlag, Process Thought X1 whom Irenaeus does explicitly mention as users of this & X2, 2008, I, pp. 573-599. self-designation, the followers of the second-century CE teacher Marcellina, are not included in Layton's anthology [123] “The Thought of Norea”. The Gnostic Society Library. at all, on the grounds that their doctrines are not similar Retrieved 2009-02-13. to those of the “classic”gnostics.44 As we have seen, Epiphanius is one of the witnesses for the existence of a [124] “Valentinian Theology”. The Gnostic Society Library. special sect called“the gnostics,”and yet Epiphanius himRetrieved 2009-02-13. self seems to distinguish between these people and “the Sethians”(Pan 40.7.5), whereas Layton treats them as [125] “Allogenes”. The Gnostic Society Library. Retrieved 2009-02-13. both under the “classic gnostic”category.” [110] Trames – 2006 Vol. 10, n° 3 “One of the most difficult [126] “Trimorphic Protennoia”. The Gnostic Society Library. Retrieved September 29, 2013. questions in the history of the study of Gnosticism has been the issue of the origins of gnostic movement, ... The [127] “The Pair (Syzygy) in Valentinian Thought”. Retrieved main representative of that model was Adolf von Harnack 2009-02-13. in the 19th century; however, the model has had [128] Mead, G.R.S. (2005). Fragments of a Faith Forgotten. [111] R. van den Broek Studies in Gnosticism and Alexandrian Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 1-4179-8413-9. Christianity Page vii 1996“The study of Gnosticism and, to a lesser extent, of early Alexandrian Christianity re- [129] “A Valentinian Exposition”. The Gnostic Society Liceived a strong impetus by the discovery of the Coptic brary. Retrieved 2009-02-13. Nag Hammadi Library, in 1945,” [130] “Demiurge”.“Catholic encyclopedia”. Retrieved 2009[112] “National Book Awards – 1980”. National Book Foun02-13. dation. Retrieved March 8, 2012. [131] “The Hypostasis of the Archons”. The Gnostic Society [113] Sheahen, Laura (June 2003). “Matthew, Mark, Luke Library. Retrieved 2009-02-12. and... Thomas?: What would Christianity be like if gnostic texts had made it into the Bible?". Beliefnet. Retrieved [132] Origen. “Cotra Celsum”. The Gnostic Society Library. Retrieved 13 February 2009. June 7, 2009. [114] Markschies, “Christolph”(2003). Gnosis: An Introduc- [133] “Mithraic Art”. Retrieved 2009-12-13. tion. T.& T.Clark Ltd. pp. 14–15. [134] “Narashimba”. Manas: Indian Religions. Retrieved 2009-02-13. [115] The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Studies – Susan Ashbrook Harvey, David G. Hunter – 2008 Page 216 [135] Campbell, Joseph: Occidental Mythology, page 262. Pen“As the first section of this chapter paradoxically demonguin Arkana, 1991. strates, during the last 20 years the definition of 'Gnosticism' has become the most difficult issue in the study of [136] “demiurge”.



[137]“Images of the Feminine in Gnosticism”by Karen L. King, Page 243 [138] Ehrman, Bart D."Lost Christianities”. Oxford University Press, 2003, p.185.

20.11 References 20.11.1


Primary sources • Barnstone, Willis; Meyer, Marvin (2003). The Gnostic Bible. Shambhala Books. p. 880. ISBN 1-57062-242-6.

• Haardt, Robert (1967). Die Gnosis: Wesen und Zeugnisse. Otto-Müller-Verlag, Salzburg. pp. 352 pages., translated as Haardt, Robert (1971). Gnosis: Character and Testimony. Brill, Leiden. • Hoeller, Stephan A. (2002). Gnosticism —New Light on the Ancient Tradition of Inner Knowing. Wheaton: Quest. pp. 257 pages. ISBN 0-83560816-6. • Jonas, Hans (1993). Gnosis und spätantiker Geist vol. 2:1–2, Von der Mythologie zur mystischen Philosophie. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. ISBN 3-525-53841-3. • King, Charles William (1887). The Gnostics and Their Remains.

• Barnstone, Willis; Meyer, Marvin (2010). Essential Gnostic Scriptures. Shambhala Books. p. 271. ISBN 978-1590309254.

• King, Karen L. (2003). What is Gnosticism?. Harvard University Press. pp. 343 pages. ISBN 0-67401071-X.

• Layton, Bentley (1987). The Gnostic Scriptures. SCM Press. pp. 526 pages. ISBN 0-334-02022-0.

• Klimkeit, Hans-Joachim (1993). Gnosis on the Silk Road: Gnostic Texts from Central Asia. Harper, San Francisco. ISBN 0-06-064586-5.

• Barnstone, Willis (1984). The Other Bible: Gnostic Scriptures, Jewish Pseudepigrapha, Christian Apocyrypha, Kabbalah, Dead Sea Scrolls. San Francisco: Harper & Row. p. 771. ISBN 978-0-06-081598-1. • Kosack, Wolfgang: Geschichte der Gnosis in Antike, Urchristentum und Islam. Verlag Christoph Brunner, Basel 2014. ISBN 978-3-906206-06-6 • Robinson, James (1978). The Nag Hammadi Library in English. San Francisco: Harper & Row. pp. 549 pages. ISBN 0-06-066934-9. • Plotinus (1989). The Enneads. 1. translated by A.H. Armstrong. Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-99484-1. Secondary sources • Aland, Barbara (1978). Festschrift für Hans Jonas. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. ISBN 3-525-58111-4.

• Layton, Bentley (1995).“Prolegomena to the study of ancient gnosticism”. In edited by L. Michael White, O. Larry Yarbrough. The Social World of the First Christians: Essays in Honor of Wayne A. Meeks. Fortress Press, Minneapolis. ISBN 0-80062585-4. • Layton, Bentley (ed.) (1981). The Rediscovery of Gnosticism: Sethian Gnosticism. E.J. Brill. • Markschies, Christoph (2000). Gnosis: An Introduction. trans. John Bowden. T & T Clark. pp. 145 pages. ISBN 0-567-08945-2. • Mins, Denis (1994). Irenaeus. Geoffrey Chapman. • Pagels, Elaine (1979). The Gnostic Gospels. New York: Vintage Books. pp. 182 pages. ISBN 0-67972453-2.

• Burstein, Dan (2006). Secrets of Mary Magdalene. CDS Books. ISBN 1-59315-205-1.

• Pagels, Elaine (1989). The Johannine Gospel in Gnostic Exegesis. Atlanta, Ga.: Scholars Press. pp. 128 pages. ISBN 1-55540-334-4.

• Filoramo, Giovanni (1990). A History of Gnosticism. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. ISBN 9780631187073.

• Petrement, Simone (1990), A Separate God: The Origins and Teachings of Gnosticsim, Harper and Row ISBN 0-06-066421-5

• Freke, Timothy; Gandy, Peter (2002). Jesus and the Lost Goddess : The Secret Teachings of the Original Christians. Three Rivers Press. ISBN 0-00-710071X.

• Rudolph, Kurt (1987). Gnosis: The Nature & Structure of Gnosticism. Harper & Row. ISBN 0-06067018-5.

• Green, Henry (1985). Economic and Social Origins of Gnosticism. Scholars P.,U.S. ISBN 0-89130-8431.

• Tuckett, Christopher M. (1986). Nag Hammadi and the Gospel Tradition: Synoptic Tradition in the Nag Hammadi Library. T & T Clark. ISBN 0-56709364-6. (206 pages)

20.12. EXTERNAL LINKS • Walker, Benjamin (1990). Gnosticism: Its History and Influence. Harper Collins. ISBN 1-85274-0574. • Williams, Michael (1996). Rethinking Gnosticism: An Argument for Dismantling a Dubious Category. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-01127-3. • Yamauchi, Edwin M. (1983). Pre-Christian Gnosticism : A Survey of the Proposed Evidences. ISBN 0-8010-9919-6. (278 pages) • Yamauchi, Edwin M., "Pre-Christian Gnosticism in the Nag Hammadi Texts?,”in Church History vol. 48, pp129–141.

20.12 External links • Gnostic texts at sacred-texts.com • Religious Tolerance —A survey of Gnosticism • Early Christian Writings —primary texts • The Gnostic Society Library —primary sources and commentaries. • Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Gnosticism • Jewish Encyclopedia: Gnosticism • Pre-Christian Gnosticism, the New Testament and Nag Hammadi in Recent Debate • Catholic Encyclopedia: Gnosticism • Gnosticism at DMOZ


Chapter 21

Mysticism This article is about mystical traditions. For mystical ex- In modern times, “mysticism”has acquired a limited perience, see mystical experience. definition,* [web 1] with broad applications,* [web 1] as Mysticism is popularly known as becoming one with meaning the aim at the “union with the Absolute, the Infinite, or God”.* [web 1] This limited definition has been applied to a wide range of religious traditions and practices,* [web 1] valuing “mystical experience”as a key element of mysticism. Since the 1960s scholars have debated the merits of perennial and constructionist approaches in the scientific research of“mystical experiences”.* [3]* [4] The perennial position is now“largely dismissed by scholars,”* [5] most scholars using a contextual approach, which takes the cultural and historical context into consideration. Broadly defined, mysticism can be found in all religious traditions, from indigenous religions and folk religions like shamanism, to organised religions like the Abrahamic faiths and Indian religions, and modern spirituality, New Age and New Religious Movements.

21.1 Etymology

Votive plaque depicting elements of the Eleusinian Mysteries, discovered in the sanctuary at Eleusis (mid-4th century BC)

“Mysticism”is derived from the Greek μυω, meaning“I conceal”,* [web 2] and its derivative μυστικός, mystikos, meaning 'an initiate'. The verb μυώ has received a quite different meaning in the Greek language, where it is still in use. The primary meanings it has are “induct”and “initiate”. Secondary meanings include “introduce”, “make someone aware of something”, “train”, “familiarize”,“give first experience of something”.* [web 3]

God or the Absolute, but may refer to any kind of ecstasy or altered state of consciousness which is given a religious or spiritual meaning.* [web 1] It may also refer to the attainment of insight in ultimate or hidden truths, and to The related form of the verb μυέω (mueó or myéō) aphuman transformation supported by various practices and pears in the New Testament. As explained in Strong's experiences.* [web 2] Concordance, it properly means shutting the eyes and The term “mysticism”has Ancient Greek origins with mouth to experience mystery. Its figurative meaning is to various historically determined meanings.* [web 1]* [web be initiated into the “mystery revelation”. The mean2] Derived from the Greek word μυω, meaning“to con- ing derives from the initiatory rites of the pagan mysterceal”,* [web 2] mysticism referred to the biblical liturgi- ies.* [web 4] Also appearing in the New Testament is the cal, spiritual, and contemplative dimensions of early and related noun μυστήριον (mustérion or mystḗrion), the medieval Christianity.* [1] During the early modern pe- root word of the English term “mystery”. The term riod, the definition of mysticism grew to include a broad means“anything hidden”, a mystery or secret, of which range of beliefs and ideologies related to “extraordinary initiation is necessary. In the New Testament it reportexperiences and states of mind”.* [2] edly takes the meaning of the counsels of God, once hid226



den but now revealed in the Gospel or some fact thereof, levels”.* [9] Because of its Christian overtones, and the the Christian revelation generally, and/or particular truths lack of similar terms in other cultures, some scholars reor details of the Christian revelation. * [web 5] gard the term “mysticism”to be inadequate as a useful descriptive term.* [7] Other scholars regard the term to be According to Thayer's Greek Lexicon, the term μυστή* * ριον in classical Greek meant“a hidden thing”,“secret” an inauthentic fabrication, [7] [web*1] the “product of . A particular meaning it took in Classical antiquity was post-Enlightenment universalism.” [7] a religious secret or religious secrets, confided only to the initiated and not to be communicated by them to ordinary mortals. In the Septuagint and the New Testament the meaning it took was that of a hidden purpose or counsel, a secret will. It is sometimes used for the hidden wills of humans, but is more often used for the hidden will of God. Elsewhere in the Bible it takes the meaning of the mystic or hidden sense of things. It is used for the secrets behind sayings, names, or behind images seen in visions and dreams. The Vulgate often translates the Greek term to the Latin sacramentum (sacrament). * [web 5] The related noun μύστης (mustis or mystis, singular) means the initiate, the person initiated to the mysteries. * [web 5] According to Ana Jiménez San Cristobal in her study of Greco-Roman mysteries and Orphism, the singular form μύστης and the plural form μύσται are used in ancient Greek texts to mean the person or persons initiated to religious mysteries. These followers of mystery religions belonged to a select group, where access was only gained through an initiation. She finds that the terms were associated with the term βάκχος (Bacchus), which was used for a special class of initiates of the Orphic mysteries. The terms are first found connected in the writings of Heraclitus. Such initiates are identified in texts with the persons who have been purified and have performed certain rites. A passage of the Cretans by Euripides seems to explain that the μύστης (initiate) who devotes himself to an ascetic life, renounces sexual activities, and avoids contact with the dead becomes known as βάκχος. Such initiates were believers in the god Dionysus Bacchus who took on the name of their god and sought an identification with their deity.* [6]

21.2 Definitions

21.2.1 Mystical experience and union with the Divine or Absolute Main article: Mystical experience See also: Henosis and Transcendentalism Mysticism is popularly known as union with God or the Absolute.* [10]* [11] In the 13th century the term unio mystica came to be used to refer to the “spiritual marriage,”the ecstasy, or rapture, that was experienced when prayer was used“to contemplate both God’s omnipresence in the world and God in his essence.”* [web 1] In the 19th century, uder the influence of Romanticism, this“union”was interpreted as a“religious experience,” which provides certainty about God or a transcendental reality.* [web 1] An influential proponent of this understanding was William James (1842-1910), who stated that“in mystic states we both become one with the Absolute and we become aware of our oneness.”* [12] William James popularized this use of the term “religious experience”* [note 1] in his The Varieties of Religious Experience,* [14]* [15]* [web 2] contributing to the interpretation of mysticism as a distinctive experience, comparable to sensory experiences.* [16]* [web 2] Religious experiences belonged to the“personal religion,”* [17] which he considered to be“more fundamental than either theology or ecclesiasticism”.* [17] He gave a Perennialist interpretation to religious experience, stating that this kind of experience is ultimately uniform in various traditions.* [note 2] McGinn notes that the term unio mystica, although it has Christian origins, is primarily a modern expression.* [18] McGinn argues that “presence”is more accurate than “union”, since not all mystics spoke of union with God, and since many visions and miracles were not necessarily related to union. He also argues that we should speak of “consciousness”of God's presence, rather than of “experience”, since mystical activity is not simply about the sensation of God as an external object, but more broadly about “new ways of knowing and loving based on states of awareness in which God becomes present in our inner acts.”* [19]

According to Peter Moore, the term “mysticism”is “problematic but indispensable.”* [7] It is a generic term which joins together into one concept separate practices and ideas which developed separately,* [7] According to Dupré,“mysticism”has been defined in many ways,* [8] and Merkur notes that the definition, or meaning, of the term “mysticism”has changed through the ages.* [web 1] Moore further notes that the term “mysticism”has However, the idea of “union”does not work in all conbecome a popular label for“anything nebulous, esoteric, texts. For example, in Advaita Vedanta, there is only one occult, or supernatural.”* [7] reality (Brahman) and therefore nothing other reality to Parson warns that “what might at times seem to be a unite with it—Brahman in each person (atman) has alstraightforward phenomenon exhibiting an unambiguous ways in fact been identical to Brahman all along. Dan commonality has become, at least within the academic Merkur also notes that union with God or the Absolute study of religion, opaque and controversial on multiple is a too limited definition, since there are also traditions



which aim not at a sense of unity, but of nothingness, such as Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite and Meister Eckhart.* [web 1] According to Merkur, Kabbala and Buddhism also emphasize nothingness.* [web 1] Blakemore and Jennett note that “definitions of mysticism [...] are often imprecise.”They further note that this kind of interpretation and definition is a recent development which has become the standard definition and understanding.* [web 6]* [note 3]


Asian terms are bodhi, kensho and satori in Buddhism, commonly translated as“enlightenment”, and vipassana, which all point to cognitive processes of intuition and comprehension. According to Wright, the use of the western word enlightenment is based on the supposed resemblance of bodhi with Aufklärung, the independent use of reason to gain insight into the true nature of our world. As a matter of fact there are more resemblances with Romanticism than with the Enlightenment: the emphasis on feeling, on intuitive insight, on a true essence beyond the world of appearances.* [26]

Religious ecstasies and interpretative context

Main articles: Religious ecstasy, Altered state of con- 21.2.4 Spiritual life and re-formation sciousness, Cognitive science of religion, Neurotheology, and Attribution (psychology) Main articles: Spirituality, Spiritual development, Self-realization, and Ego death Mysticism involves an explanatory context, which provides meaning for socalled mystical and visionary experiences, and related experiences like trances. According Other authors point out that mysticism involves more than to Dan Merkur, mysticism may relate to any kind of ec- “mystical experience.”According to Gellmann, the ultinot just stacy or altered state of consciousness, and the ideas and mate goal of mysticism is human transformation, * * experiencing mystical or visionary states. [web 2] [note explanations related to them.* [web 1]* [note 4] Parson * * 9] [note 11]</ref> [note 12] According to McGinn, perstresses the importance of distinguishing between temsonal transformation is the essential criterium to deterporary eperiences and mysticism as a process, which is * * embodied within a“religious matrix”of texts and prac- mine the authenticity of Christian mysticism. [19] [note 13] tices.* [20]* [note 5] Richard Jones does the same.* [21] Peter Moore notes that mystical experience may also happen in a spontaneous and natural way, to people who are not committed to any religious tradition. These experiences are not necessarily interpreted in a religious frame21.3 History of the term work.* [22] Ann Taves asks by which processes experiences are set apart and deemed religious or mystical.* [23]

21.3.1 Early Christianity 21.2.3

Intuitive insight and enlightenment

Main articles: Enlightenment Illuminationism, and Subitism

Main articles: Greco-Roman mysteries, Early Christian(spiritual), ity, and Esoteric Christianity

In the Hellenistic world, 'mystical' referred to “secret” * Some authors emphasize that mystical experience in- religious rituals [web 2] The use of the *word lacked any direct references to the transcendental. [30] A “mysvolves intuitive understanding of the meaning of existence and of hidden truths, and the resolution of life prob- tikos”was an initiate of a mystery religion. lems. According to Larson, “mystical experience is an In early Christianity the term“mystikos”referred to three intuitive understanding and realization of the meaning dimensions, which soon became intertwined, namely the of existence.”* [24]* [note 6] According to McClenon, biblical, the liturgical and the spiritual or contemplamysticism is “the doctrine that special mental states or tive.* [1] The biblical dimension refers to “hidden”or events allow an understanding of ultimate truths.”* [web allegorical interpretations of Scriptures.* [web 2]* [1] The 7]* [note 7] According to James R. Horne, mystical illu- liturgical dimension refers to the liturgical mystery of the mination “a central visionary experience [...] that re- Eucharist, the presence of Christ at the Eucharist.* [web sults in the resolution of a personal or religious prob- 2]* [1] The third dimension is the contemplative or experiential knowledge of God.* [1] lem.* [3]* [note 8] According to Evelyn Underhill, illumination is a generic English term for the phenomenon of mysticism. The term illumination is derived from the Latin illuminatio, applied to Christian prayer in the 15th century.* [25] Comparable

The link between mysticism and the vision of the Divine was introduced by the early Church Fathers, who used the term as an adjective, as in mystical theology and mystical contemplation.* [30]



Medieval meaning

See also: Middle Ages This threefold meaning of “mystical”continued in the Middle Ages.* [1] According to Dan Merkur, the term unio mystica came into use in the 13th century as a synonym for the“spirirtual marriage,”the ecstasy, or rapture, that was experienced when prayer was used“to contemplate both God’s omnipresence in the world and God in his essence.”* [web 1] Under the influence of PseudoDionysius the Areopagite the mystical theology came to denote the investigation of the allegorical truth of the Bible,* [1] and “the spiritual awareness of the ineffable Absolute beyonf the theology of divine names.”* [31] Pseudo-Dionysius' Apophatic theology, or“negative theology”, exerted a great influence on medieval monastic religiosity, although it was mostly a male religiosity, since women were not allowed to study.* [32] It was influenced by Neo-Platonism, and very influential in Eastern Orthodox Christian theology. In western Christianity it was a counter-current to the prevailing Cataphatic theology or “positive theology”. It is best known nowadays in the western world from Meister Eckhart and John of the Cross.


Early modern meaning

See also: Early modern period In the sixteenth and seventeenth century mysticism came

The Appearance of the Holy Spirit before Saint Teresa of Ávila, Peter Paul Rubens

229 ingly applied exclusively to the religious realm, separating religion and“natural philosophy”as two distinct approaches to the discovery of the hidden meaning of the universe.* [36] The traditional hagiographies and writings of the saints became designated as “mystical”, shifting from the virtues and miracles to extraordinary experiences and states of mind, thereby creating a newly coined “mystical tradition”.* [2] A new understanding developed of the Divine as residing within human, an essence beyond the varieties of religious expressions.* [30]

21.3.4 Contemporary meaning See also: Western esotericism, Theosophy, Syncretism, Spirituality, and New Age The 19th century saw a growing emphasis on individual experience, as a defense against the growing rationalism of western society.* [15]* [web 1] The meaning of mysticism was considerably narrowed:* [web 1] The competition between the perspectives of theology and science resulted in a compromise in which most varieties of what had traditionally been called mysticism were dismissed as merely psychological phenomena and only one variety, which aimed at union with the Absolute, the Infinite, or God—and thereby the perception of its essential unity or oneness— was claimed to be genuinely mystical. The historical evidence, however, does not support such a narrow conception of mysticism.* [web 1] Under the influence of Perennialism, which was popularised in both the west and the east by Unitarianism, Transcendentalists and Theosophy, mysticism has been applied to a broad spectrum of religious traditions, in which all sorts of esotericism and religious traditions and practices are joined together.* [37]* [38]* [15] The term mysticism was extended to comparable phenomena in non-Christian religions,* [web 1] where it influenced Hindu and Buddhist responses to colonialism, resulting in Neo-Vedanta and Buddhist modernism.* [38]* [39]

to be used as a substantive.* [30] This shift was linked to a new discourse,* [30] in which science and religion were In the contemporary usage “mysticism”has become an umbrella term for all sorts of non-rational world separated.* [33] views.* [40] William Harmless even states that mystiLuther dismissed the allegorical interpretation of the cism has become “a catch-all for religious weirdness” bible, and condemned Mystical theology, which he saw .* [41] Within the academic study of religion the apparas more Platonic than Christian.* [34] “The mystical”, ent“unambiguous commonality”has become“opaque as the search for the hidden meaning of texts, became sec- and controversial”.* [30] The term“mysticism”is being ularised, and also associated with literature, as opposed used in different ways in different traditions.* [30] Some to science and prose.* [35] call to attention the conflation of mysticism and linked Science was also distinguished from religion. By the terms, such as spirituality and esotericism, and point at middle of the 17th century, “the mystical”is increas- the differences between various traditions.* [42]



21.4 Scholarly approaches of mystical experience 21.4.1

Mystical experiences

Main article: Mystical experience

offer the proof. In this approach, mystical experiences are privatised, separated from the context in which they emerge.* [43] Well-known representatives are William James, R.C. Zaehner, William Stace and Robert Forman.* [44] The perennial position is “largely dismissed by scholars”,* [5] but “has lost none of its popularity.” * [45]

In contrast, for the past decades most scholars have favored a constructionist approach, which states that mystical experiences are fully constructed by the ideas, symbols and practices that mystics are familiar with.* [44] Critics of the term “religious experience”note that the notion of“religious experience”or“mystical experience” as marking insight into religious truth is a modern development,* [46] and contemporary researchers of mysticism note that mystical experiences are shaped by the concepts “which the mystic brings to, and which shape, his experience”.* [47] What is being experienced is beand the conceptual Most mystical traditions warn against an attachment ing determined by the expectations * background of the mystic. [48] to mystical experiences, and offer a “protective and hermeneutic framework”to accommodate these experi- Richard Jones draws a distinction between“anticonstrucences.* [43] These same traditions offer the means to in- tivism”and“perennialism": constructivism can rejected duce mystical experiences,* [43] which may have several with respect to a certain class of mystical experiences origins: without ascribing to a perennialist philosophy on the relation of mystical doctrines.* [49] One can reject construc• Spontaneous; either apparently without any cause, tivism without claiming that mystical experiences reveal a or by persistent existential concerns, or by neuro- cross-cultural “perennial truth”. For example, a Chrisphysiological origins; tian can reject both constructivism and perennialism in arguing that there is a union with God free of cultural • Religious practices, such as contemplation, construction. Constructivism versus anticonstructivism is meditation, and mantra-repetition; a matter of the nature of mystical experiences while perennialism is a matter of mystical traditions and the doctrines • Entheogens (psychedelic drugs) they espouse. • Neurophysiological origins, such as temporal lobe epilepsy. Dan Merkur makes a distinction between trance states and reverie states.* [web 1] According to Merkur, in trance states the normal functions of consciousness are temporarily inhibited, and trance experiences are not filtered by ordinary judgements, and seem to be real and true.* [web 1] In reverie states, numinous experiences are also not inhibited by the normal functions of consciousness, but visions and insights are still perceived as being in need of interpretation, while trance states may lead to a denial of physical reality.* [web 1]

The theoretical study of mystical experience has shifted from an experiential, privatized and perennialist approach to a contextual and empirical approach.* [43] The experientalist approach sees mystical experience as a private expression of perennial truths, separate from its historical and cultural context. The contextual approach, which also includes constructionism and attribution theory, takes into account the historical and cultural context.* [43]* [23]* [web 2] Neurological research takes an empirical approach, relating mystical experiences to neurological processes.


Perennialism versus constructionism

The term “mystical experience”evolved as a distinctive concept since the 19th century, laying sole emphasis on the experiential aspect, be it spontaneous or induced by human behavior. Perennialists regard those various experiences traditions as pointing to one universal transcendental reality, for which those experiences

21.4.3 Contextualism and attribution theory Main articles: Neurotheology




The contextual approach has become the common approach.* [43] Contextualism takes into account the historical and cultural context of mystical experiences.* [43] The attribution approach views“mystical experience”as non-ordinary states of consciousness which are explained in a religious framework.* [23] According to Proudfoot, mystics unconsciously merely attribute a doctrinal content to ordinary experiences. That is, mystics project cognitive content onto otherwise ordinary experiences having a strong emotional impact.* [50]* [23] This approach has been further elaborated by Ann Taves, in her Religious Experience Reconsidered. She incorporates both neurological and cultural approaches in the study of mystical experience.



Neurological research

See also: Neurotheology Neurological research takes an empirical approach, relating mystical experiences to neurological processes.* [51] This leads to a central philosophical issue: does the identification of neural triggers or neural correlates of mystical experiences prove that mystical experiences are no more than brain events or does it merely identify the brain activity occurring during a genuine cognitive event? The most common positions are that neurology reduces mystical experiences or that neurology is neutral to the issue of mystical cognitivity.* [52] Interest in mystical experiences and psychedelic drugs has also recently seen a resurgence.* [53]

231 comes seen as a personal matter of cultivating inner states of tranquility and equanimity, which, rather than seeking to transform the world, serve to accommodate the individual to the status quo through the alleviation of anxiety and stress.* [64]

21.5 Forms of mysticism Based on various definitions of mysticism, namely mysticism as an experience of union or nothingness, mysticism as any kind of an altered state of consciousness which is attributed in a religious way, mysticism as “enlightenment”or insight, and mysticism as a way of transformation, “mysticism”can be found in many cultures and religious traditions, both in folk religion and organized religion. These traditions include practices to induce religious or mystical experiences, but also ethical standards and practices to enhance self-control and integrate the mystical experience into daily life.

The temporal lobe seems to be involved in mystical experiences,* [web 8]* [54] and in the change in personality that may result from such experiences.* [web 8] It generates the feeling of “I,”and gives a feeling of familiarity or strangeness to the perceptions of the senses.* [web 8] There is a long-standing notion that epilepsy and religion Dan Merkur notes, though, that mystical practices are are linked,* [55] and some religious figures may have had often separated from daily religious practices, and restsricted to “religious specialists like monastics, priests, temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE).* [web 8]* [56]* [57]* [55] and other renunciates.* [web 1] The anterior insula may be involved in ineffability, a strong feeling of certainty which cannot be expressed in words, which is a common quality in mystical expe- 21.5.1 Shamanism riences. According to Picard, this feeling of certainty may be caused by a dysfunction of the anterior insula, a part of the brain which is involved in interoception, selfreflection, and in avoiding uncertainty about the internal representations of the world by “anticipation of resolution of uncertainty or risk”.* [58]* [note 14]


Mysticism and morality

A philosophical issue in the study of mysticism is the relation of mysticism to morality. Albert Schweitzer presented the classic account of mysticism and morality being incompatible.* [59] Arthur Danto also argued that morality is at least incompatible with Indian mystical beliefs.* [60] Walter Stace, on the other hand, argued not only are mysticism and morality compatible, but that Shaman mysticism is the source and justification of morality.* [61] Others studying multiple mystical traditions have con- Main article: Shamanism cluded that the relation of mysticism and morality is not as simple as that.* [62]* [63] According to Dan Merkur, shamanism may be regarded Richard King also points to disjunction between “mys- as a form of mysticism, in which the world of spirits is tical experience”and social justice:* [64] accessed through religious ecstasy.* [web 1] According to Mircea Eliade shamanism is a “technique of religious ecstasy.”* [65] The privatisation of mysticism – that is, the increasing tendency to locate the mystical in the psychological realm of personal experiences – serves to exclude it from political issues as social justice. Mysticism thus be-

Shamanism is a practice that involves a practitioner reaching altered states of consciousness in order to perceive and interact with a spirit world and channel these transcendental energies into this world.* [66] A shaman



is a person regarded as having access to, and influence in, Main articles: Christian mysticism, Mystical theology, the world of benevolent and malevolent spirits, who typ- Apophatic theology, and German mysticism ically enters into a trance state during a ritual, and practices divination and healing.* [67] The Apophatic theology, or “negative theology”, of The term “shamanism”was first applied by western an- Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite exerted a great inthropologists to the ancient religion of the Turks and fluence on medieval monastic religiosity.* [32] PseudoMongols, as well as those of the neighboring Tungusic Dionysius basically applied the Neoplatonic thought of and Samoyedic-speaking peoples. The term is also Plotinus to Christian theology. used to describe similar magico-religious practices found The High Middle Ages saw a flourishing of mystical within the ethnic religions of other parts of Asia, practice and theorization corresponding to the flourAfrica, Australasia and the Americas. For instance, ishing of new monastic orders, with such figures as Louisiana Voodoo, Haitian Vodou, West African Vodun, Guigo II, Hildegard of Bingen, Bernard of Clairvaux, the Dominican Vudú and Hoodoo are related folk-religions Victorines, all coming from different orders, as well as with ecstatic elements. the first real flowering of popular piety among the laypeoNeoshamanism refers to “new"' forms of shamanism, or methods of seeking visions or healing, typically practived in Western countries. Neoshamanism comprises an eclectic range of beliefs and practices that involve attempts to attain altered states and communicate with a spirit world, and is associated with New Age practices.* [68]* [69]


Western mysticism

Mystery religions Main article: Greco-Roman mysteries

ple. The Late Middle Ages saw the clash between the Dominican and Franciscan schools of thought, which was also a conflict between two different mystical theologies: on the one hand that of Dominic de Guzmán and on the other that of Francis of Assisi, Anthony of Padua, Bonaventure, and Angela of Foligno. This period also saw such individuals as John of Ruysbroeck, Catherine of Siena and Catherine of Genoa, the Devotio Moderna, and such books as the Theologia Germanica, The Cloud of Unknowing and The Imitation of Christ. Moreover, there was the growth of groups of mystics centered around geographic regions: the Beguines, such as Mechthild of Magdeburg and Hadewijch (among others); the Rhineland mystics Meister Eckhart, Johannes Tauler and Henry Suso; and the English mystics Richard Rolle, Walter Hilton and Julian of Norwich. The Spanish mystics included Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross and Ignatius Loyola.

The Eleusinian Mysteries, (Greek: Ἐλευσίνια Μυστήρια) were annual initiation ceremonies in the cults of the goddesses Demeter and Persephone, held in secret at Eleusis (near Athens) in ancient Greece.* [70] The mysteries began in about 1600 B.C. in the Mycenean period and continued for two thousand years, becoming The later post-reformation period also saw the writings of a major festival during the Hellenic era, and later lay visionaries such as Emanuel Swedenborg and William Blake, and the foundation of mystical movements such spreading to Rome.* [71] as the Quakers. Catholic mysticism continued into the modern period with such figures as Padre Pio and Thomas Christian mysticism Merton. The philokalia, an ancient method of Eastern Orthodox mysticism, was promoted by the twentieth century Traditionalist School. The inspired or "channeled" work A Course in Miracles represents a blending of nondenominational Christian and New Age ideas. Western esotericism and modern spirituality Main articles: Western esotericism, Spirituality, and New Age

Life of Francis of Assisi by José Benlliure y Gil

Many western esoteric traditions and elements of modern spirituality have been regarded as “mysticism,”such as Gnosticism,Transcendentalism, Theosophy, the Fourth Way,* [72] and Neo-Paganism. Modern western spiritually and transpersonal psychology combine western



psycho-therapeutic practices with religious practices like meditation to attain a lasting transformation. Nature mysticism is an intense experience of unifiction with nature or the cosmic totality, which was popular with Romantic writers.* [73]

ṣūfī (‫ِﻲ‬ ُ or, in earlier usage, a dervish. The origin of ّ ‫)ﺻﻮﻓ‬, the word “Sufi”is ambiguous. One understanding is that Sufi means wool-wearer- wool wearers during early Islam were pious ascetics who withdrew from urban life. Another explanation of the word “Sufi”is that it means 'purity'.* [79]


Sufis generally belong to a khalqa, a circle or group, led by a Sheikh or Murshid. Sufi circles usually belong to a Tariqa which is the Sufi order and each has a Silsila, which is the spiritual lineage, which traces its succession back to notable Sufis of the past, and often ultimately to the prophet Muhammed or one of his close associates. The turuq (plural of tariqa) are not enclosed like Christian monastic orders; rather the members retain an outside life. Membership of a Sufi group often passes down family lines. Meetings may or may not be segregated according to the prevailing custom of the wider society. An existing Muslim faith is not always a requirement for entry, particularly in Western countries.

Jewish mysticism

Main articles: Jewish mysticism and Kabbalah In the common era, Judaism has had two main kinds of mysticism: Merkabah mysticism and Kabbalah. The former predated the latter, and was focused on visions, particularly those mentioned in the Book of Ezekiel. It gets its name from the Hebrew word meaning “chariot”, a reference to Ezekiel's vision of a fiery chariot composed of heavenly beings. Kabbalah is a set of esoteric teachings meant to explain the relationship between an unchanging, eternal and mysterious Ein Sof (no end) and the mortal and finite universe (his creation). Inside Judaism, it forms the foundations of mystical religious interpretation. Kabbalah originally developed entirely within the realm of Jewish thought. Kabbalists often use classical Jewish sources to explain and demonstrate its esoteric teachings. These teachings are thus held by followers in Judaism to define the inner meaning of both the Hebrew Bible and traditional Rabbinic literature, their formerly concealed transmitted dimension, as well as to explain the significance of Jewish religious observances.* [74]

Kabbalah emerged, after earlier forms of Jewish mysticism, in 12th to 13th century Southern France and Spain, becoming reinterpreted in the Jewish mystical renais- Mawlānā Rumi's tomb, Konya, Turkey sance of 16th-century Ottoman Palestine. It was popularised in the form of Hasidic Judaism from the 18th Sufi practice includes century forward. 20th-century interest in Kabbalah has inspired cross-denominational Jewish renewal and con• Dhikr, or remembrance (of God), which often takes tributed to wider non-Jewish contemporary spirituality, the form of rhythmic chanting and breathing exeras well as engaging its flourishing emergence and historcises. ical re-emphasis through newly established academic in• Sema, which takes the form of music and dance — vestigation. the whirling dance of the Mevlevi dervishes is a form well known in the West.


Islamic mysticism

Main article: Sufism

• Muraqaba or meditation. • Visiting holy places, particularly the tombs of Sufi saints, in order to remember death and the greatness of those who have passed.

Sufism is said to be Islam's inner and mystical dim