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Book Of The Laws

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  • hodossphaenodon
    PLETHON Interesting author, a Greek pagan and polytheist who helped along with the Italian Humanists to start to break the shackles of medieval Christian
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 1 9:59 AM
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      PLETHON

      Interesting author, a Greek 'pagan' and polytheist who helped along with the
      Italian Humanists to start to break the shackles of medieval Christian thought,
      but hard to come by in English translation. I wonder if Crowley knew about this
      text when he named his "Book of the Law" 1904?

      After his death, Plethon's Nomon singrafi or Nomoi (Nomoi "Book of Laws") was discovered.

      He had been compiling it throughout most of his adult life, and
      it became famous as the most heretical of his works, detailing his esoteric beliefs.

      It came into the possession of Princess Theodora, wife of Demetrios, despot of
      Morea. Theodora sent the manuscript to Scholarius, now Gennadius II, Patriarch
      of Constantinople, asking for his advice on what to do with it; he returned it,
      advising her to destroy it. Morea was under invasion from Sultan Mehmet II, and
      Theodora escaped with Demetrios to Constantinople where she gave the manuscript
      back to Gennadius, reluctant to destroy the only copy of such a distinguished
      scholar's work herself. Gennadius burnt it in 1460, however in a letter to the
      Exarch Joseph (which still survives) he details the book, providing chapter
      headings and brief summaries of the contents.

      It seemed to represent a merging of Stoic philosophy and Zoroastrian mysticism,
      and discussed astrology, daemons and the migration of the soul. He recommended
      religious rites and hymns to petition the classical gods, such as Zeus, whom he
      saw as universal principles and planetary powers. Man, as relative of the gods,
      should strive towards good. Plethon believed the universe has no beginning or
      end in time, and being created perfect, nothing may be added to it. He rejected
      the concept of a brief reign of evil followed by perpetual happiness, and held
      that the human soul is reincarnated, directed by the gods into successive bodies
      to fulfill divine order. This same divine order, he believed, governed the
      organisation of bees, the foresight of ants and the dexterity of spiders, as
      well as the growth of plants, magnetic attraction, and the amalgamation of
      mercury and gold.

      Plethon drew up plans in his Nomoi to radically change the structure and
      philosophy of the Byzantine Empire in line with his interpretation of Platonism.
      The new state religion was to be founded on a hierarchical pantheon of Pagan
      Gods, based largely upon the ideas of Humanism prevalent at the time,
      incorporating themes such as rationalism and logic. As an ad-hoc measure he also
      supported the reconciliation of the two churches in order to secure Western
      Europe support against the Ottomans.[8] He also proposed more practical,
      immediate measures, such as rebuilding the Hexamilion, the ancient defensive
      wall across the Isthmus of Corinth, which had been breached by the Ottomans in
      1423.

      The political and social elements of his theories covered the creation of
      communities, government (he promoted benevolent monarchy as the most stable
      form), land ownership (land should be shared, rather than individually owned),
      social organisation, families, and divisions of sex and class. He believed that
      labourers should keep a third of their produce, and that soldiers should be
      professional. He held that love should be private not because it is shameful,
      but because it is sacred.

      Plethon's own summary of the Nomoi also survived, amongst manuscripts held by
      his former student Bessarion. This summary, titled Summary of the Doctrines of
      Zoroaster and Plato, affirms the existence of a pantheon of gods, with Zeus as
      supreme sovereign, containing within himself all being in an undivided state;
      his eldest child, motherless, is Poseidon, who created the heavens and rules all
      below, ordaining order in the universe. Zeus' other children include an array of
      "supercelestial" gods, the Olympians and Tartareans, all motherless. Of these
      Hera is third in command after Poseidon, creatress and ruler of indestructible
      matter, and the mother by Zeus of the heavenly gods, demi-gods and spirits. The
      Olympians rule immortal life in the heavens, the Tartareans mortal life below,
      their leader Kronos ruling over mortality altogether. The eldest of the heavenly
      gods is Helios, master of the heavens here and source of all mortal life on
      earth. The gods are responsible for much good and no evil, and guide all life
      towards divine order. Plethon describes the creation of the universe as being
      perfect and outside of time, so that the universe remains eternal, without
      beginning or end. The soul of man, like the gods is immortal and essentially
      good, and is reincarnated in successive mortal bodies for eternity at the
      direction of the Gods.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gemistus_Pletho

      Steve
      http://tsakli.org
      The Taro that Liberate on Seeing
    • rosiolady@aol.com
      Thanks, I enjoyed this post! Rosalie [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 2 10:22 AM
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        Thanks, I enjoyed this post!

        Rosalie

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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