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2120Re: [neoplatonism] Re: Iamblichus 'eye of wisdom' alleged reference

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  • Sebastian Moro
    May 26 8:17 AM
      Dear Leonard,
      Thank you very much for your message about spiritual hearing, etc. I have Gregory Shaw's book but I haven't read the other references that you mentioned (Sarah Iles Johnston and Peter Kingsley). Thank you also for your quotations of Iamblichus.
      Best Regards,

      --- On Fri, 5/16/08, Leonard George <lgeorge@...> wrote:

      From: Leonard George <lgeorge@...>
      Subject: [neoplatonism] Re: Iamblichus 'eye of wisdom' alleged reference
      To: neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Friday, May 16, 2008, 11:21 PM

      Dear Sebastian ~

      Thanks for your note.

      Regarding spritual hearing and the 'ear of the soul', I don't know of
      an explicit reference to the latter. But (you may already be aware
      of this) there are some interesting passages in De Mysteriis on
      auditory phenomena. DM III.2 discusses various inspired states
      according to the degree of wakefulness, the degree of involvement of
      nous, and sensory modalities. There he refers to hearing voices that
      give guidance during transitions between waking and sleeping (what
      psychologists call hypnagogic / hypnopompic states). Even more
      intriguing is the reference to a pneuma that encircles a
      person 'lying down'; it enters with a rushing / whistling / whooshing
      sound (rhoizos). And in another state of divine illumination, one can
      hear what the gods say. How is one understood to be hearing all
      these things? This 'rhoizos' points to Iamblichus' theurgical
      interests, as it occurs many times in the Chaldean Oracles; Sarah
      Iles Johnston's 'Hekate Soteira' and Greg Shaw's 'Theurgy and the
      Soul' explore this, and there are further references in the notes to
      the chapter 'The Sound of Piping' in Peter Kingsley's 'In the Dark
      Places of Wisdom'.

      Compare DM III.2 with DM III.9, where music is discussed.
      Consecrated sounds can lead to divine possession, but this can't be
      explained in a reductive fashion simply by an interaction between
      body, soul and physical stimulus. Rather, it's good old anamnesis -
      the tones remind the soul of the divine harmony it heard (with what?)
      prior to its incarnation. 'Rhoizos' appears in this passage too,
      referring to the music of the spheres, not to the sounds of
      consecrated tunes that evoke its reminiscence. So perhaps DM refers
      to two kinds of spiritual auditory phenomena - one that involves
      direct perception of some pneumatic stimulus by the soul, and one
      that involves (but is not simply caused by) physical hearing.


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