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Re: AW: [neoplatonism] Platonists and psychedelics/entheogens?

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  • John Uebersax
    Bradley Skeen wrote:   ...   Thank you for clarifying this.  The translation I first consulted (GRS Mead) didn t include the bracketing references to
    Message 1 of 10 , Sep 28, 2008
      Bradley Skeen wrote:
      > herb called kentritis ... PGM IV:
      Thank you for clarifying this.  The translation I first consulted (GRS Mead) didn't include the bracketing references to kentritis. 
      While on the subject, let's not forget Olympius (Vita Plotini, 10), whom Porphyry tells us tried to used sorcery and "star-spells" (astrobolesai) against Plotinus.  Olympius is described as an Alexandrian and a student of Ammonius.  Would he have known the PGM spells, including the ascent spell in PGM 4.475 ff.?  So, who knows, maybe some of Plotinus' classmates were experimenting with visionary drugs.
      Reading the PGM ascent liturgy, which I hadn't previously seen, naturally made me wonder about its connection with Merkaba.  Following up on that that led to a chance reference to Dio Chrysostorum's Oration 36.
      There Dio Chrysostom presents an interesting (though not related to the topic of entheogens) discourse on chariot-related myths of the Magi (sections 31-58, with 54-58 being especially interesting).  This can be found online here:

      Also, Iamblichus in De Mysteriis 3.14 mentions potions for divination:
      'Concerning another kind of divination you say the following:  "others who retain consciousness in other respects, are inspired according to their imagination, some taking darkness as an accessory, others the ingestion of certain potions, others incantations and formulae of communications.  Some have visions by means of water, others on a wall or in the open air, others in the sun or some other celestial body."

      Source: Iamblichus on The Mysteries: De Mysteriis. Emma C. Clarke, John M. Dillon, Jackson P. Hershbell (trs. & eds.). Society of Biblical Literature, 2003.

      where, I guess, he is quoting Porphry's Letter to Anebo.

      John Uebersax
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