Eleusinian mysteries and Transfiguration: Thoughts
Sunday, 8 October 2017 at 19:44
Eleusinian mysteries and Transfiguration: Thoughts
Flash of light - epoptika of philosophy, the final and highest revelation
Theevents at the height of the Greater mysteries may have involved a marriage and the birth of the child, as well as a flash of light from the Anaktoron as the hierophant emerged to produce the highest revelations. John Dunn and Eros. It is likewise in the Symposium: a human being guided rightly by Eros (or a daimonios anēr-philosopher such as Socrates) weds himself to the divine Beauty in itself and produces a sacred child, beautiful virtue in the soul; and contact with the Beautiful comes in a sudden flash.
the ultimate beauty does not share our mode of being and that is we attribute existence to it at all, we can do so only analogically. The beauty is beyond being.
Eleusinian mysteries an allegory.
Inparallel to Diotima's experience in the Symposium, here Plato writes that the highest philosophical knowledge cannot simply be transmitted tothe uninitiated. The themes of suddenness and reproduction are also repeated, and, in another passage in the Letter, Plato again emphasizes that the road to becoming a philosopher is difficult and requires effort:
Myth in the service of truth as METAPHOR
UnderstandingPlato's philosophy in this way also makes sense of his use of mythical language. Because the highest experience of philosophy the transcends human language and understanding but still must be accounted for and communicated to others in some way, Plato continues to use myth at the center of his philosophical investigations. These myths are not to be read as dogmatic statements about what Plato believed, nor are they to be read as fictions written to fill in the shortcomings of a primitive mind.
Both the mysteries and philosophy move in the in-between region of the human soul where man feels the desire to seek out the divine--indeed where man feels that he has something of the divine inside himself.
Mark’s Gospel compared to Greek tragedy
Eleusinian mysteries compared to transfiguration
"Thetransfiguration in Mark 9:2-8 has parallels with Greek mythology that also would have likely evoked thoughts of gods walking the earth in human form. [...] A prominent example comes from the Homeric Hymn to Demeter. [...] When she chooses to reveal her true identity, her transformation is described in terms reminiscent of Jesus' transfiguration: "the goddess changed her stature and her form, thrusting old age away from her: beauty spread round about her...and from the divine body of the goddess a light shown afar. Like Demeter, Jesus reveals his divine nature by thrusting away his humble disguise inexchange for resplendent clothing."
...from "Descending Spirit and Descending Gods: A "Greek" Interpretation of the Spirit's "Descent as a Dove" in Mark 1:10" by Edward P. Dixon, in Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. 128, No. 4, 2009
© John Dunn.
A few observations on Dante's De Monarchia and Ezra Pound
Friday, 6 October 2017 at 21:31
Ezra Pound by Henri Gaudier-Brzeska
Pound and Autocracy: From Medieval to Modern
("On Monarchy" or "A Treatise on Government") was published in 1313. In this work, Dante argued that the authority of a secular ruler is not derived from the authority of the church, nor conferred by the Pope, but derives directly from God.
Yet certain medieval tropes have not been analysed in terms of ‘preparing’ Pound for his quasi-religious devotion to Mussolini; and thereby, Italian Fascism.
Above all, two sources stand out: Dante’s De Monarchia,which is effectively dealt with in Dasenbrock’s pivotal article; and Ernst Kantorowicz’s Frederick II, which has received much less attention.
Reed Way Dasenbrok, “Ezra Pound, the Last Ghibelline”, in Imitating the Italians: Wyatt, Spenser, Synge, Pound, Joyce (John Hopkins UP: Boston, 1991)
Ezra Pound - Poet, Volume 2
By A. David Moody
Will, a complex word implying a will to do something or to have something done, is the key word in Jefferson and/or Mussolini, which Pound once said was his De Monarchia, or blueprint for efficient government. ‘Will-power’ adds an emphasis,, meaning a power to effect what is desired; but the will-to-power is excluded from Pound’s lexicon, at least so far as it signifies the desire for power for its own sake. Moreover, before concerning himself with the power to govern, Pound nearly identifies the will to govern with the intelligence to do so, so that the intelligence, knowing the desired end, shall direct the will’s power to that end. Directio voluntatis, he insisted, taking the Latin tag from Dante’s De Monarchia:what matters is that the will-power be rightly directed. At the same time, as he insisted with equal force, intelligence counts for nothing ‘until it comes into action’. What might be a good idea is no good untilthere’s the will to do it.
De Monarchia: EP to Carlo Izzo, 23 Aug. . EP’s Poetry and Prose IX, 97. Dante’s De Monarchia is concerned with the problem of how to achieve a just society on earth, and there are indeed close parallels with Jefferson and/or Mussolini,.Dante states that the well-regulated society will be achieved when love of natural perfection directs the will to act justly (directio volontatis); he declares the opposite of Justice to be Greed; and he maintains that only under a single ruling or guiding power, a king or anemperor, will the earthly paradise be attained.
Posted by John Dunn.