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

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  • Sebastian Moro
    Many thanks, Prof. Dillon, for the information on D. O Meara s paper. Regards ... From: John Dilon Subject: Re: [neoplatonism] Re:
    Message 1 of 22 , May 17, 2008
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      Many thanks, Prof. Dillon, for the information on D. O'Meara's paper.
      Regards


      --- On Sat, 5/17/08, John Dilon <jmdillon@...> wrote:

      From: John Dilon <jmdillon@...>
      Subject: Re: [neoplatonism] Re: Iamblichus 'eye of wisdom' alleged reference
      To: neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Saturday, May 17, 2008, 10:05 AM






      Dominic O¹Mears has a good paper on ŒHearing the Music of the Spheres¹ in A
      Platonic Pythagoras, edd. M. Bonazzi et al., Brepols 2007. JMD
    • neoplatonist2000
      ... ancient ... one would ... Dear Leonard Re your earlier reference to numbers. This is what Plotinus has to say on the subject of mathematics. The
      Message 2 of 22 , May 19, 2008
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        --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, John Dilon <jmdillon@...> wrote:
        >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Hi ~
        > >
        > > I've run across the following statement on a website concerning
        ancient
        > > medical knowledge:
        > >
        > > 'Iamblichus repeats the statement of Plato that the study of the
        > > science of Numbers tends to awaken that organ in the brain which the
        > > ancients described as the "eye of wisdom", the organ now known to
        > > physiology as the pineal gland.'
        > >
        > > I imagine the Plato reference is to Republic VII. Could anyone point
        > > me toward the specific passage in Iamblichus to which this might be
        > > referring?
        > >
        > > Thanks very much,
        > >
        > > Leonard George
        > >
        > >
        > >
        >
        > I imagine in the introduction to his commentary on Nicomachus, but
        one would
        > need to check. JMD
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

        Dear Leonard

        Re your earlier reference to numbers. This is what Plotinus has to
        say on the subject of mathematics.

        "The metaphysician, equipped by that very character, winged already
        and not like those others, in need of disengagement, stirring of
        himself towards the supernal but doubting of the way, needs only a
        guide. He must be shown, then, and instructed, a willing wayfarer by
        his very temperament, all but self-directed.

        Mathematics, which as a student by nature he will take very easily,
        will be prescribed to train him to abstract thought and to faith in
        the unembodied; a moral being by native disposition, he must be led to
        make his virtue perfect; after the Mathematics he must be put through
        a course in Dialectic and made an adept in the science." (The Six
        Enneads - first Ennead.)

        Les Greenhill
      • Sebastian Moro
        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
        Message 3 of 22 , May 26, 2008
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          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,
          Sebastian 


          --- 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.

          Cheers,

          Leonard
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