2061Re: Iamblichus 'eye of wisdom' alleged reference
- May 9, 2008
>the pineal gland in
> In any case, this this article describes some interesting views on
> antiquity and late antiquity:Somehow I made it this far in life without ever having the slightest
> Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
> "Descartes and the Pineal Gland"
> Hope this helps.
> John Uebersax
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
"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.
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