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In the Pronaos of the Temple of Wisdom

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Author Topic: In the Pronaos of the Temple of Wisdom  (Read 1699 times)
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« Reply #30 on: May 11, 2009, 01:25:39 pm »

If you desire to find the Supreme, you must free your thoughts of all impressions coming from the external world, purify your mind of all figures, forms, and shapes.

God is present in all, even in those who do not recognise Him; but men flee from God, they step out of Him, or, to speak more correctly, out of themselves. They cannot grasp Him before whom they are thus fleeing, and, having lost themselves, they hunts after other gods. But if the soul progresses on the road to perfection, begins to realize her own higher state of existence, to know that the fountain of eternal life is within herself, and that she, therefore, has no need to hunt after external things, but can find all that is desirable in the divine element within herself; if she begins to understand that in that God within is her whole life and being, and that she must flee from the realm of illusions to live and exist in Him, then will the time come when she will be able to see Him, and to see herself as an ethereal being, illumined by a super-terrestrial light. She will see herself even as the pure Divine Light itself, as a God, radiant in beauty, but becoming dark again as her light is rendered heavy if it approaches the shadows of the material plane.

Why does not the soul remain in that state of light? Merely because she has not yet freed herself fully from the attractions of matter. If she has become entirely free of these attractions, she will remain in that light, and know that she is one with it. In this state there is no perceiver and no object of perception, there is merely perception, and the soul is that which she perceives. She is, for the time being, identified with the object of her perception, and, therefore, this state is something beyond the intellectual comprehension of man.

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« Reply #31 on: May 11, 2009, 01:25:56 pm »

Having been united and identical with it, the soul carries its image within herself when she returns to herself. She then knows that during the time of her union with the Eternal she was the Eternal itself, and there was no difference between herself and the former. In herself there was no motion, no sensation, no desire after anything else, neither was there thought nor conception. She was exalted and  resting in her own being, she was, so to say, rest itself, in a state surpassing all conceptions of beauty or virtue. A soul entering into this sublime state, in which there is no form and no image, cannot be supposed to enter anything illusive. A soul which sinks into illusions degrades herself, and enters the region of evil and darkness; but the exalted soul enters into herself; she is then neither in a state of being nor of non-being, but in one which is inconceivable and above all being.

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« Reply #32 on: May 11, 2009, 01:26:15 pm »

MALCHUS PORPHYRIUS.
This philosopher was a disciple of Plotinus, and was born in Batanea, in Syria, in the year 233 A.D. He died at Rome in the year 304 A.D. He says that only one single time during his life did he succeed in obtaining his union with God, while his teacher Plotinus, was four times blessed in this manner.

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« Reply #33 on: May 11, 2009, 01:26:28 pm »

Porphyry says, in regard to the Soul:—The embodied soul is like a traveller who has lived a long time among foreign nations, and has, therefore, not only forgotten the costumes of his own country, but also adopted those of the foreigners. When such a traveller returns from his voyage, and desires to be welcomed by his friends and relatives, he attempts to lay off his foreign manners, and to return again to his former way of acting and thinking. Likewise the soul, while banished from her celestial home, and being forced to inhabit a physical form, acquires certain habits from the latter, and if she desires to return to her former state, she must lay aside all she has adopted from her terrestrial form. She must try to put off not merely the gross physical mask in which she is dressed, but also her more interior envelopes, so that she may enter, so to say, in a state of nudity into the realm of bliss.

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« Reply #34 on: May 11, 2009, 01:26:39 pm »

There are two poisonous sources from which man drinks oblivion of his former condition, and which cause him to become forgetful of his future destiny, namely sensual pain and sensual pleasure. By the action of these two, but especially by the action of the latter, desires and passions are created, and these attract the soul to matter and become the cause of her corporification. Thus the soul is, so to say nailed to the body, and the ethereal vehicle of the soul is rendered heavy and dense. We should avoid everything which may excite sensuality, because wherever sensuality is active, reason and pure intelligence cease their activity. We should, therefore, never eat for the mere pleasure of eating, but only eat as much as is necessary to nourish the body. Superfluous, and especially animal food, strengthens the bonds which bind the soul to matter, and withdraw her from the Divinity and from divine things. The wise, being a priest of God, should seek to remain free of all impurities while he is in the temple of Nature, and he should never so far forget his dignity as to approach the Source of all Life while he himself constitutes a grave for the dead bodies of animals. He should select for his nutriment only the pure gifts of his terrestrial mother. If we could avoid all kind of food, we should become still more spiritual.

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« Reply #35 on: May 11, 2009, 01:26:47 pm »

In regard to the difference existing between corporeal and incorporeal things, Porphyry says:—"The Incorporeal governs the Corporeal, and is, therefore, present everywhere, although not as space, but in power. The corporeal existence of things cannot hinder the Incorporeal from being present to such things as it desires to enter into relation with. The Soul has therefore the power to extend her activity to any locality she may desire. She is a power which has no limits, and each part of her, being independent of special conditions, can be present everywhere, provided she is pure and unadulterated with matter. Things do not act upon each other merely by the contact of their corporeal forms, but also at a distance, provided they have a soul, because the higher elements of the soul are everywhere, and cannot be enclosed in a body, like an animal in a cage, or a liquid in a bottle. The universal

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« Reply #36 on: May 11, 2009, 01:26:58 pm »

soul, being essentially one and identical with the infinite supreme Spirit, may, by the infinite power of the latter, discover or produce everything, and an individual soul may do the same thing if she is purified and free from the body."

"The realm of the soul, being semi-material, has its inhabitants possessing semi-material (astral) forms. Some of them are good, others evil; some are kindly disposed towards man, others are malicious. Both classes have ethereal but changeable bodies; the good ones are masters of their bodies and desires, the evil ones are governed by the desires of their bodies. They are all powers for good or for evil, divine, animal, or diabolic invisible influences creating, by their interior activity, passions, desires, vices, and virtues in the souls of beings. The more evil they are, the more do their forms approach the corporeal state. They then live on the exhalations of matter; they induce men to murder and to kill animals, they enjoy the vapours arising from the victims, and grow fat by absorbing the ethereal substances of the dying. They are, therefore, always ready to incite men to wars and crimes, and they collect in great crowds in places where men or animals are killed."
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« Reply #37 on: May 11, 2009, 01:27:10 pm »

Porphyry ridicules the idea that gods, being wiser, more powerful, and superior to man, could be coaxed, persuaded or forced to do the will of man or conform to his desires. He repudiates the theory that clairvoyance, prophecy, etc., were the results of the inspiration by external gods, but says that they are a function of the Divine Spirit within man; and that the exercise of this function becomes possible when the soul is put into that condition which is necessary to exercise it. "The consciousness of man may be centred within or beyond his physical form; and according to conditions a man may be, so to say, out of himself or within himself, or in a state in which he is neither wholly without nor within, but enjoys both states at once." He also states that there are many invisible beings, which may take all possible forms and appear as gods, as men, or as demons, that they are fond of lying and masquerading, and of pretending to be the souls of departed men.

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« Reply #38 on: May 11, 2009, 01:27:18 pm »

It is said that Porphyry was several times during his prayers levitated into the air, even to the height of ten yards or more, and that on such occasions his body appeared to be surrounded by a golden light. "The gods are everywhere, and he whose soul is filled with such a divine influence to the exclusion of lower influences is, for the time being, the god which that influence represents, possessing his attributes and ideas. The nature of the union of the soul with God cannot be intellectually conceived or expressed in words; he who accomplishes it is identical with God, he is Divinity itself, and there is no difference between him and the latter. The gods are not called down to us by our prayers; but we rise up to them by our own holy aspirations and efforts; we are connected with them by the all-embracing power of love."

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« Reply #39 on: May 11, 2009, 01:27:34 pm »

JAMBLICHUS.
This philosopher was a disciple of Porphyry, and died about 333 A.D. He says:

"If the soul rises up to the gods, she becomes god-like and able to know the above and the below; she then obtains the power to heal diseases, to make useful inventions, to institute wise laws. Man has no intuitive power of his own; his intuition is the result of the connection existing between his soul and the Divine Spirit; the stronger this union grows, the greater will be his intuition, spiritual knowledge. Not all the perceptions of the soul are of a divine character; there are also many images which are the products of the lower activity of the soul in her mixture with material elements. Divine Nature, being the eternal fountain of Life, produces no deceptive images; but if her activity is perverted, such deceptive images may appear. If the mind of man is illumined by the Divine Light, the ethereal vehicle of his soul becomes filled with light and shining."

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« Reply #40 on: May 11, 2009, 01:27:49 pm »

PROCLUS.
Proclus lived at Byzany, 412-485. He was a hermetic philosopher and mystic, having often prophetical visions and dreams. It is said that he had the spiritual power of producing rain by his "prayer" and of preventing earthquakes. He was very pious and self-denying, and on some occasions his head seemed to be surrounded by a glory of light.

He says that the soul of man consists of many coats; some more dense, and others of a more ethereal character, each one being a fundamental principle, changeable only in regard to its form. "The soul can only return to her divine state after having been purified of her earthly desires. Her reason and free will must take part in the sufferings belonging to the material state, until she attains knowledge and becomes free from desires. For this purpose she clothes herself at certain periods in a physical form (reincarnates as a human being), until she has laid off her desires. The more the soul frees herself from her gross external coats (principles) the higher can she rise."

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« Reply #41 on: May 11, 2009, 01:28:06 pm »

HIEROCLES.
This philosopher says:—"The intelligent soul-substance received from the Demiurgos (Logos) an inseparable immaterial body, and entered thus into being. She is, therefore, neither corporeal nor incorporeal, but comparable to the sun and the stars, which are the product of an immaterial substance. This soul-body, which human beings as well as "spirits" possess, is of a shining nature. The vehicle of the soul is contained within the material body of man; it breathes Life into the lifeless and soulless physical organism, and contains the harmony of the latter. The Life Principle of man is the inner being which produces the activity of Life in the organism. The inner man consists of an intelligent substance and an immaterial (transcendentally material) body. The visible material form is the production and

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« Reply #42 on: May 11, 2009, 01:28:18 pm »

image of the interior man. The external form consists of the animal, unintellectual, gross-material and ethereal bodies, a separation of living substance and dead matter is effected, and thus man may render himself capable of having intercourse with pure spirits.

During the year 529, the imperial bigot Justinian closed the schools of Philosophy at Athens, and their last representatives, Isodorus, Damascius, and Simplicius went to Persia. They expected to find in the East freedom of thought, tolerance, and wisdom. It was said that Chosroes, the King of Persia, was a philosopher, and they hoped to obtain his protection. But they soon found that the philosophy of that King was very superficial, and that he was a cruel, passionate, and ignorant tyrant, varnished over with some superficial learning. Disappointed, they returned to Greece.

This was the experience of the last of the Neoplatonic philosophers, such as were publicly known, and a long obscuration of the sun of wisdom took place, until a ray of light broke again through the clouds during the 15th century.



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« Reply #43 on: May 11, 2009, 01:28:49 pm »

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Chapter Three
MEDIAEVAL PHILOSOPHERS.
Centrum in Trigono Centri
THE external world is an image of the interior world. The astronomy of the visible starry sky is an external reproduction of astrological processes taking place in the invisible heavens, and the revolutions of the planets which are within the reach of observation by our physical senses, are symbols by means of which the action of spiritual powers existing in the universe are represented. As the earth has her seasons of heat and cold, according to her position which she occupies in regard to the sun, and as she approaches the sun at certain times and recedes at others, likewise there are regular periods at which the human mind seems to come nearer to the spiritual sun of divine wisdom, and there are other times when a period of darkness and materialism exists. During the times of perihelion, receptive minds will find it easier to rise up in their thoughts to the fountain of eternal truth; while during the aphelion it requires greater efforts to approach the divine luminary. During the time of the Middle Ages there appears such perihelion to have taken place, and a wave of spirituality was passing over the world, illuminating the minds of those who were receptive for wisdom; while in the minds of the vulgar it merely aroused the emotional element, causing among them an epidemic of superstition, which manifested itself on the external plane as the development of witchcraft and sorcery. There were many hermetic philosophers of great prominence living during those times. Foremost of all must be mentioned Theophrastus Paracelsus, of Hohenheim; Jacob Boehme, Cornelius Agrippa, Basilius Valentinus, Robert Fludd, and many others too numerous to be named. As the lives and the philosophy of the two former ones have already been explicitly dealt with in my other books, I will select from the rest the writings of Cornelius Agrippa as a type of what
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« Reply #44 on: May 11, 2009, 01:29:27 pm »

was taught by those mediæval philosophers.
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