Re: Real History
- You're welcome! I read Occult History many years ago, before the web, and lots of those kinds of references rather passed me by (my unacademic Northern comprehensive school made me drop history at 14). I find doing this kind of research on Steiner inspired topics helpful; it grounds and deepens and conforms the subject, which is the kind of thing Staudi could have been doing, if he was a real historian (rather than a polemicist). In my experience, Steiner's works are full of these kinds of illuminating topics, and researching them is both fun and what he wanted people to do.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "elfuncle" <elfuncle@...> wrote:
> Excellent post, Ted. Thank you!
> --- In email@example.com, "ted.wrinch"
> <ted.wrinch@> wrote:
> > Tarjei has mentioned that Steiner has written on the famous
> Alexandrian mathematician, neo-Platonic philosopher, and pagan martyr
> Hypatia. Steiner describes her life most beautifully in Occult History
> (the kind of history Staudi denies exists and if it does would rather
> not know about):
> > "Investigation of the Akasha Chronicle reveals that the individuality
> of that pupil of the Orphic Mysteries was reincarnated in the 4th
> century A.D. We find this individuality amid the activity and life of
> those gathered together in Alexandria, the Orphic secrets now
> transformed into personal experiences of the loftiest kind. It is very
> remarkable how all the Orphic secrets were transformed into personal
> experiences in this new incarnation. At the end of the 4th century,
> A.D., we find this individuality reborn as the daughter of a great
> mathematician, Theon. We see how there flashes up in her soul all that
> could be experienced of the Orphic Mysteries through vision of the great
> mathematical, light-woven texture of the universe. All this was now
> personal talent, personal genius. These faculties had now to be of so
> personal a character that it was necessary even for this individuality
> to have a mathematician as father in order that something might be
> received from heredity.
> > ...
> > The deepest hatred was directed by the dignitaries of Christianity in
> Alexandria against the individuality of the reborn Orphic pupil. The
> fact that she was branded as a black magician will not therefore
> surprise us. But that was enough to incite the whole mob of hirelings
> against the noble, unique figure of the reborn pupil of the Orphic
> Mysteries. She was still young, but in spite of her youth, in spite of
> the fact that she was obliged to undergo much that in those days, too,
> imposed great hardships an a woman during a long period of study, she
> found her way upwards to the light that outshone all the wisdom, all the
> knowledge existing in those days. And it was wonderful how in the
> lecture halls of Hypatia for such was the name of this
> reincarnated Orphic pupil the purest, most luminous wisdom in
> Alexandria was presented to the enraptured listeners. She drew to her
> feet not only the Pagans, bat also Christians of deep and penetrating
> insight, such as Synesius. She was an influence of outstanding
> significance, and the revival of the old Pagan wisdom of Orpheus
> transformed into personality could be experienced in Alexandria in the
> figure of Hypatia."
> > As we know, later her clothes were ripped from her body and then she
> was torn to pieces by an incensed mob, acting under the influence of the
> 'hirelings' of the 'dignitaries of Christianity in Alexandria', the
> bishops Theophilus and Cyril. This is contested, of course, since it's
> such a stain on the reputation of early Chrsitianity and we can see the
> tensions reflected in the Wiki article on Hypatia, which lays out two
> opposing accounts side by side, one from the Christian perspective, an
> unsuccessful whitewash that says she "beguiled many people through
> Satanic wiles", and one from the pagan.
> > Steiner says this death was fore-ordained: as the greatest
> representative of pagan wisdom in the world at that time her death
> symbolised and marked the end its influence. Steiner calls this period
> of decline of the knowledge of pagan wisdom through the C4 AD a second
> Golgotha (Building Stones , around lecture 8). It was the time when
> emperor Julian, 'the apostate', attempted to unsuccessfully revive
> Hellenism and the old gods throughout the ambit of the empire; but he
> was killed, probably by a Christian assassin. During this period, with
> support from the emperors, who post-Constantine were Christians, the the
> old pagan temples and shrines were systematically destroyed. The most
> well known and visible symbol of this process was the destruction of the
> Alexandrian temple to Serapis, the Serapeum, which was torn down by a
> mob of variously Roman soldiers or Christians. The temple was one of the
> greatest in the world and housed an offshoot of the library of
> Alexandia, holding many hundreds of thousands of priceless scrolls of
> pagan wisdom, which was also destroyed. On the temple Ammianus
> Marcellinus said:
> > "The Serapeum, splendid to a point that words would only diminish its
> beauty, has such spacious rooms flanked by columns, filled with such
> life-like statues and a multitude of other works of such art, that
> nothing, except the Capitolium, which attests to Rome's venerable
> eternity, can be considered as ambitious in the whole world."
> > The destruction of this knowledge caused loss of the knowledge of
> esoteric Christianity, that had been part of the Christian understanding
> of the first church fathers and the gnostics. Only the exoteric
> interpretations, increasingly codified in the form of the dogmas of the
> Councils, were left to be passed on into the future.
> > Steiner mentioned the figure of Synesius in that passage, who I hadn't
> heard of. A quick search reveals that he was indeed a Christian of 'deep
> and penetrating insight' who had a very interesting life. A few excerpts
> from this excellent webpage give an idea of this:
> > "Synesius was a member of a well-known and rich family of Cyrene,
> which claimed descent from the half-legendary founders of the city,
> members of the Spartan royal house. His family's wealth enabled him and
> his brother Euoptius to travel to Greece (before 392) and study in
> Alexandria (after 393), where Hypatia introduced them to Neo-Platonism.
> This philosophy taught that there was one, supreme God, that everything
> in the universe was in harmony (or "sympathy", as it was called), and
> that God cared for Creation (providence).
> > Synesius would never cease to believe this, and always remained
> friends with the wise woman, with whom he continued to exchange letters
> (e.g., Letter 15) when he retired to his estate Anchimachus, "studying
> philosophy, mathematics, astronomy, everything; farming, hunting, having
> many a brush with hordes of pilfering Libyans; and every now and then
> upholding the cause of someone who had undeservedly fallen into
> difficulties" - in short, the life of a Greek or Roman gentleman.
> > In these years, he composed several texts, which show that he was a
> talented writer. His Greek is usually an excellent Attic, but his hymns
> -lighthearted and majestic at the same time- are composed in good
> Dorian. In these hymns, he praises the beauty of the universe. Unlike
> many of his contemporaries, he does not treat the subject in a pedantic
> way. One of his works is On dreams, which are, in his view, divine
> revelations that a good philosopher can understand; they are a way to
> "become linked with the spheres, that is to say, be carried up as if to
> its own natural state of being", and reach the origin of our existence
> without having to perform rituals or visit the temples (which had been
> closed in 392)
> > ...
> > He visited Alexandria again, where he married a Christian wife, whose
> name is not revealed in his letters, but for whom he wrote Hymn 8, which
> contains many Christian motifs. The ceremony was presided over by bishop
> Theophilus, patriarch of Alexandria. Clearly, Synesius was not greatly
> perturbed by the religious differences. This attitude is illustrated in
> his Letter 154, to Hypatia, in which he mocks Christian philosophers and
> empty, pagan sophistry, and states that he wants to adhere to the real
> truth that reveals itself in several ways. The couple had several
> children, who were born in Alexandria.
> > n 409, he was invited to become bishop of Ptolemais, a port west of
> Cyrene and the main center of Christianity in the region. Being a
> philosopher and a pagan, he was heavily in doubt, but it was an age of
> war and bishops could do many things for their people. He wrote Letter
> 105to his brother, but in fact to the community of Ptolemais (it was
> some sort of "open letter"), saying that as a philosopher, he could not
> adhere to certain Christian beliefs, although he was willing to teach
> them to the illiterate. If his future flock could understand that this
> was his attitude, and would accept a married bishop who would under no
> condition dismiss his wife, he was willing to accept the invitation.
> > He took his religious duties very seriously. His homilies contain no
> doctrinal errors or unorthodox statements. Instead he offers advice:
> after Lent, he warns his audience against passing from fasting to food
> and drunkenness (Homily 1). His arguments are interesting, because he
> first mentions a philosophical argument ("it would be against reason"),
> whereas scriptural evidence is quoted almost as an afterthought - and
> actually not quite convincingly.
> > In Letter 147, he admits that he does not appreciate the ascesis of
> monastic life, but also states that he envies the monks' advance on the
> road to God. We read about his pastoral sorrows, understand how he deals
> with an Arian sect, learn how he sought advice from other people, founds
> a monastery in an abandoned pagan shrine. When he quotes the Bible, he
> renders the Septuagint very accurately, which proves that he checked the
> text every time; this is unlike his loose quotations from the Dialogues
> by Plato, which betray that he thought he knew the texts by heart.
> > Worse was to come: his three sons died, and contact with his
> philosophical friend Hypatia of Alexandria was lost (Letter 10 and the
> desperate Letter 16). He must have felt that he was doing the things to
> which his sense of duty, his philosophy, and the one God had called him,
> but happy he was not...."
> > http://www.livius.org/su-sz/synesius/synesius_cyrene.html
> > T.
> > Ted Wrinch