Look at the origins of the Hermetic Qabalah, with Mirandola and others wanting to use it to prove the existence of the Trinity and supremacy of Christianity. Naughty boys.
I hold that Pico della Mirandola was a Esoteric Christian. And with Esoteric Christianity I mean a doctrine which has a perennial outlook on the mysteries. A Esoteric Christian is someone who does comparative studies of many different mystery systems and religions to find the one common denominator, the primal or core doctrine which underlays all temporal traditions. The very raison d’être of the Platonic Academy of Florence was to make this kind of comparative studies between Neo-Platonism, Hermeticism and the Qabalah, and to try to integrate it also with the religion of their times, Christianity. In this respect people as Marsilio Ficino and Pico Della Mirandola were true pioneers and Traditionalist heroes. These Italian reinassance philosophers and estoricists referred to a prisca theologia, the ancient theology, which they believed to be the actual source of all religion and philosophy. Today we refer to it as the Primordial Tradition; two different names for the same thing but developed or redefined in their respective cultural contexts as seen by the perennialists.
We also know that both Marsilio Ficino and Pico Della Mirandola was charged of heresy by the Inquisition, despite the latter’s assurance that Neo-Platonism and Hermeticism were fully consistent with Christian doctrine as exemplified in the previous quote. In 1486 Mirandola wrote Conclusiones philosophicae, cabalasticae et theologicae in which he presented 900 theses, representing a blend of Platonism, Neo-Platonism, Aristotelism, Hermeticism and the Qabalah. The Inquisition found 13 of these to be heretical to the Christian Trinitarian faith. Pico wrote an apology entitled Mirandolani, Concordiae comitis which he later was forced to renounce. He soon fled Italy for the fear of his life. Would Pico has been a insidious manipulator, saving souls to the Christian Church, as Mr. Wildoak suggests, he surely wouldn’t have been a victim of the Inquisition. He would have been a part of it.
There is also another perspective to consider here. What if Pico simply tried to make the “jewish” Qabalalah recognized by the Church and thus veiled its old mysteries in a Christian setting, in much the similar way as the Hermetic School veiled its alchemical tradition using Christian symbols and analogies? This is in line with how the Tradition adapts and reforms its message to the current times and the cultural mindset of the people it is supposed to influence. This is often how a Tradition is saved from extinction; this is how it is kept alive and workable through the generations.
All mystery systems, all kind of esotericisms, uses mythology as a frame work. Images and analogies, and metaphors, are used to convey a secret doctrine, using the “language of the birds”. The ancient Hermeticists used Greek and Egyptian pantheons to convey their message. The medieval Qabalists used the myths of the Old Testament in the same manner. Renaissance Neo-Platonists and Hermeticists used the New Testament as well to veil their mysteries. The Sufis of the middle-east use the stories of the Quran in the same manner. This is only natural.
It is not the same as the mysteries are interpreted through the lens of the Christian religion, as Mr. Wildoak asserts. It is the other way around; it is the Primordial Tradition – the Prisca Theologia – that uses the current religious imagery and mythology to expound its mysteries. The most obvious evidence of this is that an Esoteric or Gnostic Christian doesn’t interpret the Bible in the same way as does an Evangelist and Exoteric Christian. I personally feel myself more akin to a Turkish or Egyptian Sufi than I do with a Swedish Evangelist and Trinitarian Christian.
I hold that the “religion” and “faith” of an Esotericist is totally different from someone following an Exoteric Religion, of whatever kind. I am talking about the true “religion” of the Primordial Tradition or Prisca Theologia. I place the words “religion” between citation marks as this is not actually a religion as we normally define that word, i.e. as an institutionalised form of spirituality. It is better to simply speak of a living Tradition with has its true foundation and lineage in the ancient Primordial Tradition, presenting it faithfully enough.
The greatest adversaries of such an Esoteric “faith” lies within the follower’s own religious sphere in which he is working (i.e. the symbol system that he has chosen or been born into). We all know about the Inquisition and what it did not only to actual pagans but also to so-called “heretics” such as Pico della Mirandola. Today we see the same tragedy happening before our own eyes in Saudi-Arabia and the Wahabi fundamentalism against the Sufi. Fundamentalists just cannot stand a syncretic or perennial view on their own religion. Christians abhors theories that prove the pagan origin of both the Jewish and especially Christian doctrines.
I have removed the last paragraph as it represents views and opininons regarding the S.R.I.A. that I no longer endorse, being part of a wrathful paradigm that have no basis in reality. This is part of a general effort to sanitize the Gyllene Gryningen blog from alien and untraditional doctrines. Nowadays, the sentence “For a Free and Independent Golden Dawn” means free from counter-tradition.