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Additional info for Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy: Volume XIII: 1995 (Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy)
And when a man leads a Dionysian life (ho de zon Dionusiakos), his troubles are already ended and he is free from his bonds and released from custody, or rather from the confined form of life; such a man is the philosopher in the stage of purification (In Phaed. 1–6). G. Westerink supposes that Damascius, in spite of his attempt at impartiality, evidently prefers the ‘hieratic school’ (hoi hieratikoi)28 and, consequently, ‘the theosophy which comes from the gods’ (ten apo ton theon . . Hist. 46d).
The Iamblichean-Procline metaphysics and theurgy, for example, were transformed into the mystical theology of Dionysius the Areopagite, but the sacramental and theurgic dimension of the Neoplatonism proper16 was utterly demonized and demolished. Since Christianity had annexed the privileged path to immortality, philosophy was able to survive only in the form of auxiliary rational discourse which is separated from any independent soteriological claims and spiritual practices. I. 17 The Islamic civilization has its own Quranic paradigms, spiritual practices and methods to approach God as well.
Wetmore No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without permission For information, address: Angelico Press, Ltd. 4709 Briar Knoll Dr. com Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Uzdavinys, Algis Philosophy and theurgy in late antiquity by Algis Uzdavinys. — 1st ed. p. cm. : alk. paper) 1. Plato. 2. Neoplatonism. 3. Philosophy, Ancient. 4. Theurgy — History I. Title. 4—dc 22 2008022417 Cover image credit: Detail of Libations from Initiation into the Cult of Dionysus, Fresco Cycle at the Villa of Mysteries, Pompeii Cover design: Cristy Deming CONTENTS Foreword Introduction 1: THE ORIGINS AND MEANING OF PHILOSOPHY Eidothea and Proteus: the veiled images of philosophy The distinction between philosophical life and philosophical discourse Standing face to face with immortality Philosophy and the hieratic rites of ascent The task of ‘Egyptian philosophy’: to connect the end to the beginning The Kronian life of spectator: ‘to follow one's heart in the tomb’ Thauma idesthai: ‘a wonder to behold’ The invincible warriors as models of philosophical lifestyle The inward journey to the place of truth To be like Osiris The death which detaches from the inferior Entering the solar barque of Atum-Ra Philosophical initiations in the Netherworld Self-knowledge and return to one's innermost self Recovered unity of Dionysus in ourselves Philosophical mummification inside the cosmic tomb Platonic dialectic: the science of purification and restoration of unity Philosophy as a rite of becoming like God The ancient logos and its sacramental function Riddles of the cosmic Myth Philosophy, magic, and laughter 2: VOICES OF THE FIRE: ANCIENT THEURGY AND ITS TOOLS Definitions of theurgy in antiquity Descending lights and animated cult images Figures, names, and tokens of the divine speech The prophet Bitys and the overwhelming Name of God The descending and ascending paths of Heka The Silence before the gods and its creative magic Hekate’s golden ball as a rotating ‘vocal image’ of the Father The Sounding breaths of the All-Working Fire The Elevating rays of the resounding light The rites of hieratic invocation and ascent The Tantric alchemy and the Osirian mummification Golden seeds of the noetic Fire Theurgic speech of the birds and solar knowledge Tongues of the gods and their songs Back to the life-giving wombs and the ineffable Silence Chanting out the universe by the Name of everything When Orontes flowed into Tiber: the revived tradition 3: SACRED IMAGES & ANIMATED STATUES IN ANTIQUITY Myth and symbol: what makes the impossible happen?