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2061Re: Iamblichus 'eye of wisdom' alleged reference

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  • vaeringjar
    May 9, 2008
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      >
      > In any case, this this article describes some interesting views on
      the pineal gland in
      > antiquity and late antiquity:
      >
      > Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
      > "Descartes and the Pineal Gland"
      > http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pineal-gland/
      >
      > Hope this helps.
      >
      > John Uebersax
      > Brussels
      > http://satyagraha.wordpress.com
      >
      >
      >
      >

      Somehow I made it this far in life without ever having the slightest
      notion of even where the pineal gland is, and now thanks to your
      pointing out this fascinating article at the Stanford site I see how
      important it once was considered. Thanks. I really liked this bit in
      particular:

      "In a treatise called On the difference between spirit and soul,
      Qusta ibn Luqa (864-923) combined Nemesius' ventricular localization
      doctrine with Galen's account of a worm-like part of the brain that
      controls the flow of animal spirit between the middle and posterior
      ventricles. He wrote that people who want to remember look upwards
      because this raises the worm-like particle, opens the passage, and
      enables the retrieval of memories from the posterior ventricle.
      People who want to think, on the other hand, look down because this
      lowers the particle, closes the passage, and protects the spirit in
      the middle ventricle from being disturbed by memories stored in the
      posterior ventricle (Constantinus Africanus 1536, p. 310) (Figure 2,
      Figure 3). Qusta's treatise was very influential in thirteenth-
      century scholastic Europe (Wilcox 1985)."

      Especially curious is the looking up and looking down!

      There is also an interesting little code about Madame Blavatsky and
      the pineal gland as a vestigial Third Eye, the sad denouement of the
      pinealis philosophica, I suppose. Now of course it would be a great
      irony if in the future some evolutionary scientist turned up evidence
      that the pineal was actually somehow crucial in the development of
      consciousness or some such.

      The comments there about Descartes being a Platonist rather eluded
      me. I didn't get a chance to follow up on those in detail, but how
      was Descartes a Platonist, I wonder? I should know already, but I
      haven't read anything about him in over 20 years.

      Dennis Clark
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