Fama Fraternitatis - 1614

Wiewohl wir nun wohl wissen, daß es umb ein ziemliches noch nicht an dem, da wieder unserm Verlangen oder auch anderer Hoffnung mit allgemeiner Reformation divini et humani, solle genug geschehen, ist es doch nicht unbillich, daß, ehe die Sonne auffgehet, sie zuvor ein HELL oder dunkel liecht in den Himmel bringt und unter dessen etliche wenige, die sich werden angeben, zusammen tretten, unsere Fraternitet mit der Zahl und Ansehen des gewünschten und von Fr.R.C. fürgeschriebenen Philosophischen Canons, einen glücklichen Anfang machen oder ja in unserer Schätz (die uns nimmermehr aufgehen können) mit uns in Demut und Liebe genießen die Mühsamkeit dieser Welt überzuckern und in den Wunderwerken Gottes nicht also blind umbgehen.

Vi vet dock att det enligt vår åstundan och andras förväntningar efter någon tid kommer en allmän reformation av både gudomliga och mänskliga ting. Ty innan solen går upp, upplyses himlen av
MORGONRODNADENS ljus. I väntan på denna reformation församlas några få som med sitt antal skall utöka vårt brödraskap, höja dess anseende och stärka dess förhoppningar och ge de av Fr.R.C. föreskrivna Filosofiska Canons en lycklig begynnelse. I all ödmjukhet och kärlek skall dessa nytillkomna tillsammans med oss dela våra skatter, som aldrig skall förgås, och så lindra denna världens möda och inte längre vandra ovetande om kunskapen om Guds underbara verk.

Howbeit we know after a time there will now be a general reformation, both of divine and humane things, according to our desire, and the expectation of others: for it is fitting, that before the rising of the Sun, there should appear and break forth AURORA, or some clearness, or divine light in the sky; and so in the mean time some few, which shall give their names, may joyn together, thereby to increase the number and respect of our Fraternity, and make a happy and wished for beginning of our Philosophical Canons, prescribed to us by our brother R.C. and be partakers with us of our treasures (which never can fail or be wasted) in all humility, and love to be eased of this worlds labor, and not walk so blindly in the knowledge of the wonderful works of God.


Det brittiska ordenssällskapet Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn och den tyska Frimurarlogen L'Aurore Naissante, vilket grundades i London 1888 respektive Frankfurt-am-Main 1807, delade på samma hebreiska namn Chevrah Zerach Bequr Aur, förevisat i gyllene gult vid bloggens huvud, vilket ordagrannt kan översättas till “Stigande Gryningsljusets Sällskap”. Denna tyska Rosenkorsiska Frimurarloge i Frankfurt, vilket måste anses vara det ursprungliga modertemplet till GOLDEN DAWN, kallade sig på tyska även Loge sur Aufgehenden Morgenröthe, vilket kan översättas till “Gryende Morgonrodnadens Loge”. Detta skiljer sig åt från den engelska seden att översätta orden Bequr Aur till “Golden Dawn” eller “Gyllene Gryningen”. Med anledning av Rosenkorstraditionens tyska ursprung är en mer korrekt översättning av Bequr Aur, genom franskans L'Aurore Naissante och tyskans Aufgehenden Morgenröthe, inget annat än GRYENDE MORGONRODNADEN. Denna hänvisning till ett stigande gryningsljus, morgonrodnad eller aurora är en klar hänvisning till den allmäna reformationen omnämnt i det ovan citerade stycket från Fama Fraternitatis. Denna blogg har dock valt att behålla den försvenskade anglo-saxiska termen GYLLENE GRYNINGEN för att denna, invand som den är, lättare associeras med den Rosenkorsiska tradition som här ämnas att framställas.

Licht, Leben, Liebe

fredag 18 maj 2012

Was the Christian or Hermetic Qabalah a tool to convert Jews to the Christian faith?

In studying the history of the Christian Qabalah, or Hermetic Qabalah as it is also known to us, I have often seen the argument that Christians mainly took upon them to study the Jewish Qabalah because they saw many parrallells with Christian doctrine and thus devised a plan to convert Jews to Christianity. In this respect even Giovanni Pico della Mirandola and the Platonic Academy of Florens has been accused of taking part of this Christian scheme of conversions of Jews, lately by the Trinitarian Christian and Golden Dawn student Mr. Wildoak. He repeated that old “truth” regarding Pico, who he refers to as “Mirandola”, to underline his thesis that we cannot look upon the ancient mysteries without resorting to our Christian goggles:
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 personally cannot accept that the reason why Pico della Mirandola embraced the Qabalah was to convert and prozelyze jews. I just don’t buy it. Where is the evidence to substantiate such a claim? In absence of this evidence I will instead present facts that rather speaks against such a prejudicial position.

Raymond Lull
While there certainly were Christians, like Raymond Lull, who tried to use the Hebrew Qabalah to use it as a vehicle for conversion of Jews, it is an extreme form of generalization to suppose all Christian Qabalists only seeing the Qabalah as a manipulative prozelysing tool. It has been argued that Lull lacked any profound knowledge of the Qabalah and that he even wasn’t a Qabalist, which is to expect from someone being a fundamentalist Trinitarian Christian trying to save the souls of Jews and Muslims using their own doctrines against them. We know that he devised the Ars Magna to convert people from Islam to Christianity. We know however that Pico, on the other hand, was of a entirely different calibre. Contrarly to Lully and his ilk, Pico was a serious student of the Hebrew wisdom and in it saw traces of what we today would define as the Primordial Tradition.

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.

Marsilio Ficino
This means that they were anything but religious fundamentalists trying to transform or reconstruct the ancient traditions. They rather compared these traditions with each other and saw the many similarities or common threds between them. As an example, in the hypostases of the Christian Trinitarian doctrine, which was originated by Valentinus the Gnostic and originally debunked by early Church Fathers for being heretical and pagan, they saw some parallels with the Qabalistic concept of the Partzufim. However, this doesn’t mean that Pico and his friends of the Academy in the Qabalah saw a confirmation of the truth of the Christian Trinitarian doctrine as represented by the Church. I rather hold that they saw a common theme and that this all confirmed each tradition as  authentic and representing a universal doctrine. In this spirit Pico claimed that Christianity was founded largely on Qabalistic doctrines, stating that “no science can better convince us of the divinity of Jesus Christ than magic and the Kabbalah”.

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.

 Addendum (2014-03-13)

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.

14 kommentarer:

S.V. sa...

I think you hit the nail upon the head, GH Fra. SR.

It appears what we have here is a group of exotericists attempting to redefine the Mysteries so as to co-opt them in a new definition of esotericism.

Frankly, it is disturbing, these Egyptian Mystery Deniers.

Suecae Sounds sa...

Regardless of the validity of your organisation's accusation against bodies such as S.R.I.A - I believe that you may do your own community a disservice by not only critizising voices such as Wildoak and Olen, but using extremely strong epiteths such as fundamentalists, trolls and worse.

Just a year ago, I thought the discussions were quite civil, despite differences in outlook. Such as your own contributions towards viewing the GD in the framework of traditionalist notions. My opinion is that the climate of open discussion seems to have degraded considerably, since then.

Critique is vital, but in my very humble opinion, and it is humble because I am merely an outsider, looking in - I suspect that there may not be many good things that can come from the current situation.

Kind regards,

Sincerus Renatus... sa...

@Suecae: You have my sympaties, however if you are so concerned about the current tone why not post the same message at Peregrin Wildoak's bog who refer to people as me as "anti-christian nutters", etc. The dirty loundry list is quite long if you take some time to review the posts from the last year or so.

Why has the tone become more severe you may ask? Why has my tone become more severe? If you care to take a look during the last 1½ years you will find the answer to that.

Nick Farrell's books. You may or may not agree with my opinion about the political agenda behind them, but THAT IS THE REASON why I have lost my patience with these guys.

I have tried for several years to engage in fraternal discussions with them. I have had personal communication with Olen Rush, Nick Farrell and Peregin Wildoak on several occations. I have given my assistance and been a listening ear to them all, and treated them with fraternal respect. Thus it is a LIE that the Alpha et Omega doesn't maintain or has maintained fraternal and friendly communication with those whom I refer to as reconstructionists or post-modernists.

But after the publication of 'Mathers' Last Secret' and 'King over the Water' I have definitely closed my doors to them, probably for good.

The line has been drawn in the sand. I won't let them cross it any further, at least not on my expense and that of my Order's. My own Fratres and Sorores are much more dear to me than them.

That is all I want to say on this matter.


Aletheia LVX sa...

Unfortunately the project of the Dark Hand already took this beyond the level of the nastiest of epithets and character assassinations, hate blogs and pages, and sheer bullying of a most ugly kind. This is a matter of documented record, also in Court Statements.

Of late a mob of braying asses aimed to trample upon our Order, and attacked our Founders at every opportunity, writing polemics dressed up as historically objective books and seeking to establish itself as a New Orthodoxy.

You say you are an outsider looking in and taking a snapshot of this process, and that it gives you this bad impression... well, that is of course unfortunate, but consider this:

We are not the first and we will not by any means be the last Tradition to find itself SAVAGED by regressive forces hidden behind Reconstructionism and/or Revisionism. Nor will we be the last to be forced to make a very public Internet based defence.

Of course we have our own objectives in how we are carrying out this process and so far we are happy that we are meeting those - but there are collateral losses, and you represent one class of those voices.

There is a very easy route established for bringing the tone of these exchanges back to the harmonious murmur that is so much better for business, and there are those for whom this is very much a matter of $$$...

We simply require that the harassment cease. We will have our Order and our Founders accorded the basic Respect that is their due.

We will not stand for meddling in the Hermetic Mysteries from Religious factions who are the heirs of bloody Inquisitions of times past.

Remember the Burning Times!

Fra. M.S.M. sa...

Plain and simple- Christianaity is only derivative manifestation of Ancient Mysteries. We can choose whether to follow exoteric fanatics or esoteric sages, depending on our own personal level of understanding. But if anyone asserts that Christianity is solid basis for magickal development, he is nothing like "Third Order" but only pathetic form of various Christian confessions and sects. This is impossible to reanimate original content, by using only Christian form. This will only lead to various schisms, because Truth will be long forgotten.. AD FONTES!

Anonym sa...

Excellent article S.R. Some other thoughts outside the writers you mention. I wonder also about the
Cytho-Hunnish magical traditions of the Goths. Which is close to your country I think? I am not certain but I think that it is the Islamic (I.e the Moors of Southern Europe) that retained the Scythian Shamanic Traditions which of course includes links to the Pagan Isis Mysteries, the Dionysus mysteries and the Bacchic Green Horned God witchcrafts too. Obviously before the Middle Ages, as most of the Greek and other non-Christian writings are anyway!.. When looking at Europe
we need to consider not just the Roman Catholic Christianised states (that only got half way up England to the River Tyne) but also to the Islamic South and Norse North.. Or would the new clothed SRIA clones, have us believe that Woden is a Christian deity and Islam a Christian religion ;p

Suecae Sounds sa...

I'd like to thank you for your response, S.R - I'd also like to direct this thankfulness to Aletheia LVX.

I'd also in addendum like to explain shortly the reason why I directed these reflections to you and not, say, Farrell.

Partially this is because I think you are one of the most lucid public writers out there in the framework of your tradition. Yours and Wildoak's blog is perhaps the two primary blogs I've read to gain a deeper current understanding of your tradition, except writers in the vain of Regardie et al.

I need to remind myself that this does limit my understanding considerably, because your perspective is in essence from the point of an initiate in the specific tradition you are advocating.

And also, we share nationality, and I've read your blog for the last few years. I can honestly say that I've gained a great deal from reading what you've decided to share publicly.

Aside from reflecting upon the nature of the tone of discussion and whether it is good or bad, I sympathize with the idea that an esoteric understanding of religious tradition makes 'christian only'-thinking obsolete. But at the same time - my current understanding makes me look at each religion's uniqueness, seeing them as not only a vehicle of ancient mysteries - but dual in nature. Even exoteric religious 'cloth' and asserted 'difference' can serve a purpose - if it steers clear of fundamentalism and small mindedness that are well documented in several faith's. But of course, it can not be considered only judeo-christian, it can be found in hindo, Buddhist and also pagan perspectives.

My own thinking has for a long time been syncretic - or perhaps in the traditionalist choice of words, perennial.

I shall continue to reflect on this in silence.

In light

Sincerus Renatus... sa...

@Leonard: Exactly! Good point reagarding the influence of Islam. I'm not a gambling man, but I would bet my right arm that Islam, and Mohammedan scholars, has had a much greater impact on modern Western Magic than has Christianity and Christian scholars. Even the FAMA refers to Father C.R.C. being initiated into Arabian fraternities. How much plainer than this can it get?!


Anonym sa...

@Sincerus Renatus .. grin that is not a bet I would like to take. It is too complex. Islamic scholars have contributed much, as have Christian
scholars - and each has its own Mysteries and influences. I treasure both the Glorius Qu'ran and the Holy Bible. Europe is a BIG continent with lots of different countries and cultures - and with a very long history. The Anglo-Saxon world in Europe is only a part of the whole. Cheers.
contribution is only a part of the whole.

Sincerus Renatus... sa...

@Lenonard: Yes, shure, the Christian reinassance scholars, especially of the Platonic Academy in Florence, made a important contribution.

However, the arabic scholars laid the groundwork, for example in the Moorish Andalusia, and in the other caliphates, saving old Greek texts and translating some for posterity. Without the arabic translation or preservation of the Greek lore Christian scholars wouldn't have had any sources to begin with.


Sincerus Renatus... sa...

Olen Rush today refuted my position that Pico didn't study the Qabalah out of a primary motive to convert Jews. He hold that:

"Mirandola most assuredly defended the practices of Magic and Kabbalah in an attempt to confirm the Divinity of Yeshu ben Miriam (see Mirandola's "Kabbalistic Theses")."

Well I already address this in my original article and I did also present an alternative view of this. Sure, Pico was a Christian but not a exoteric dogmatic one as Mr. Rush seems to suggest, but a Esoteric Christian who uses the image of Christ to convey a spiritual truth, in the same manner as Qabalists refer to Microprosopus or the "Lesser Countenance" as a spiritual truth. A Christian Qabalist naturally identifies Microprosopus, the "Son", as Jesus Christ. It just different designations for the same Truth.

The question is, did he do this to convert Jews, or did he do it as a part of a greater perennial vision and effort to unite all religions into the 'prisca theologia'?

Olen also cites Pico's Apologia where he says that "the Jews are practically compelled to assent with the Christians."

But we have to look at his words in the proper context. He wrote that apology as a defence to save his life in the hands of the Christian Inquisition. He surely knew what they were capable to, looking in retrospect and the tragedy of Giordano Bruno. He soon had to flee Italy because his apology did no good to him.

Then Mr. Rush brings in the case of one of Pico's translators, the convert Flavius Mithridates, who allegedly "was not beyond purposeful forgery to produce materials specifically to convert Jews to Christianity."

So now we are using the "guilty by association" formula? I guess that hebraists didn't grow on threes in Pico's times, so he had to use whatever was at hand. Is this proof in itself that Pico used these translations to convert Jews? No, he used them for his own study, which Mr. Rush also confirms.

Lastly Mr. Rush mentions one Dominican Raymundus Martini and his 13th Century work 'Pugio fidei' ("The Dagger of faith") which was used as a manual for missionaries in the Holy Land. He holds it against Pico that he was inspired by Martini's works on the Talmud, onvoking the authority of Gershom Scholem.

Although it does seem to be pure conjecture; What if he was drawing some inspiration from "The Dagger"? Is that still a proof that Pico himelf used his Qabalistic studies to proselize Jews?

It is natural to seek for inspiration in previous scholarly works as a spring board for one's own contributions.

I don't deny that much of the early Christian Qabalah was used by the students to use as a conversion tool, but I object against the idea that Pico and the Platonic Academy of Florens was used as a Catholic proganda tool. Ther is simply no proof of this, only conjecture. They rather tried to adapt the Hebrew Qabalah to suit their Esoteric Christian world view and their own spiritual pursuits.

They also did that to make the Qabalah more accessible for Christians. So we can look at it from the other perspective as well, that Pico tried to persuade Christians to search for the esoteric truths behind their own religion using the Qabalah as a frame work, knowing that all religions shared a common truth or core - the Prisca Theologia.

Regarding Scholem, I have a high regards of his scholarism. However, we also know that Jews in general have a quite negative attitude towards Christian manipulations of their own mystical system, in a similar way as they deny Christian interpretation of the Old Testament. It is only natural, and I don't blame them for that. But it also creates a bias. And scientists are also human and are part of the current paradigms in which they are living.


Argent sa...

Just a side note if I may?

Need it be mentioned that Christianity and Judaism are horribly close to eachother with the greatest Exoteric difference being that Christians believe in an automatic salvation and a Universal Christ that has done the job, whereas Judaism looks more for a personal Messiah. (the trinity stuff and Madonna worship is a late invention)

Cohen, Abraham (1995) [1949] (paperback). Everyman's Talmud: The Major Teachings of the Rabbinic Sages. Neusner, Jacob (paperback
ed.). New York: Schocken Books

Orthodox Judaism claims these 13 beliefs today for instance

The existence of God
God's unity
God's spirituality and incorporeality
God's eternity
God alone should be the object of worship
Revelation through God's prophets
The preeminence of Moses among the prophets
God's law given on Mount Sinai
The immutability of the Torah as God's Law
God's foreknowledge of human actions
Reward of good and retribution of evil
------The coming of the Jewish Messiah------
The resurrection of the dead

So, right Christianity as a weird jewish sect? Check.

Some people even claim that there was not much difference between Judaism as we know it and this proto Christianity, they were simply different sects in that era

For reference see
"Dying for God: Martyrdom and the Making of Christianity and Judaism" by Daniel Boyarin in The Jewish Quarterly Review, New Series, Vol. 92, No. 3/4 (Jan. - Apr., 2002), pp. 586-588

It seems that even dusty academics are able to see parallels. If they are able too then we could -infer- that people like Giordano Bruno and Pica DL Mirandola were not blind to this either.

So Let's just agree with the fact that Pico wasn't a rabid believer in the opiate of the masses. Even if he -were- trying to do something it was in all likelyhood not an intention to convert someone to an outer Roman Catholic shell, it could just as well have been an attempt to inject an idea that exists in exo and esoteric christianity into a jewish framework where the same concept is more difficult to grasp. (as you say yourself)

The issue seems to be a kind of anachronism here. if an author X is unnable to penetrate a deeper mystery and actually believes in the map that they have used to get , say halfway, then they will assume that they are all the way there and that the map=reality. If that is the case for them, then they assume others behave in the same way (hello, projection circus) and we have shoddy writing where it is assumed that Mirandola was a Christian in the "believe in the pope's authority and all who are not christians need conversion of they will rot in hell" variety.

Very doubtful. Johannes Dee was more caught up in THAT death trap ;)

Sincerus Renatus... sa...

@Argent: Thank you again for your valuable scholarly contributions. Yes, I agree that the early or proto forms of Christianity were very similar to many other Jewish messianic sects, such as the Essenes. Perhaps the Christians were a outgrowt of the Essenian sect.

However, in that area there were also a lot of influences coming from Hellenistic Alexandria, which contributed to the Hermetic, Neo-Pytagorean, Neo-Platonic and Gnostic schools of thought, which all shared the same core. Many messianic sects, such as the Essenes, harmonized well with this Hellenistic / Alexandrian current, and were drawn to the essentially "heretic" Enochian corpus which also inspired the Hekhalot literature of the Merkabah riders.

Later the Jewish mystics developed further, being inspired with these Hellenistic schools which developed into the Sepher Yetzirah, and soon the Qabalah developed during the mideval ages in Germany, France and Spain.

When the Christian faith became hellenicised (the New Testament were written in Greek) by S.t Paul and the Christian faith opened to gentiles, it clearly started to drift from its Jewish roots of the Old Testament. Hence the developement of the various Gnostic sects within the Christian congregation.

So I see Christianity as a blend between the Jewish monolatric / monotheistic and the Hellenistic pagan / panteistic traditions. Prior to the Church council of Nicea in 323 AD, the Christian Church must have been a very challenging and creative environment to be in, I can imagine.

This is what makes Christianity so appealing to me personally and this is what it means for me to be a Christian Esoteric, to search back to these roots of the first few Centuries of Christianity for inspiration.

That is why I enjoy calling myself a "Christian Pagan". It summarizes the double nature of core of Christianity.

Thank you for provoking my thoughts brother!


Sincerus Renatus... sa...

As an answer to my rebuttal to Olen Rush here in the comments section, he made a search and found a quote to throw back at me:

"According to the Apology {Opera, 178), the "first and true Cabala" pertained to the true interpretation of the Law that God revealed to Moses on the mountain—providing Christians with a means to "pierce the Jews with their own weapons" [unde Iudaeos suis telis confodiant]. Thus Pico's last thesis, like the last section of his text as a whole, contains suggestions for a final means to convert the Jews, a traditional sign of the beginning of the millennium."

(Syncretism in the West : Pico's 900 Theses (1486) : The Evolution of Traditional Religious and Philosophical Systems : With a Revised Text, English Translation, and Commentary - Stephen Farmer, Giovanni Pico Della Mirandola)

So, what we see here is yet another quote from Pico's Apologia, which - as I have told my readers over and over again - was written by Pico to save his own skin from the persecutions of the Inquisition.

Is it rational to view the 900 theses in light of a text that was written in fear of Pico's own life? No, it is not.

We all know the opinions that the Church held against the Jews at that time. To save his neck Pico felt compelled to throw in a line which was in line with the current ideology and policy of the Church, which had allowed studies of the Qabalah only if it was used as a conversion tool.

We know from history that the Church didn't buy his story and that he had to flee Italy from the cluches of the Inquisition, or else burn at the stake as his predecessor Bruno.

Also, we have to see the life and actions of Pico to be able to judge his true motives. Did he actively proselyze Jews? There is no proof of this (that is probably why the Inquisition didn't swallow his apology). He wrote that line only as a lip service.

Did he study the Qabalah to enhance his spiritual developement? Yes, there is no reason to doubt this. He surely used the Qabalah in a Theurgical context.

Did he use the Qabalah to see the Jewish and Christian doctrine with a perennial outlook. Yes, of course. The primary motive that drowe the Platonic Academy of Florens was the Prisca Theologia, the prototype for the later Perennial School of Traditionalism.