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Month: April 2012

The Eight Theses of Giordano Bruno: Point 5, Earth in Motion

The Eight Theses of Giordano Bruno: Point 5, Earth in Motion

The fifth point, out of eight, brought against Giordano Bruno concerns the movement of the earth: 5) The idea of terrestrial movement, which according to Bruno, did not oppose the Holy Scriptures, which were popularized for the faithful and did not apply to scientists.   Basically, the Church refused to accept the assertion that the earth was in motion. The Ptolemaic model said the earth was motionless and that all the other spheres moved around it. They reasoned that, since…

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The Eight Theses of Giordano Bruno: Point 4, Eternal Substances

The Eight Theses of Giordano Bruno: Point 4, Eternal Substances

The fourth point formulated against Giordano Bruno reads thusly:  4) The argument according to which “there is no transformation in the substance,” since the substance is eternal and generates nothing, but transforms. For these eight points we are discussing, Bruno’s executioners drove a nail through his tongue (a common practice for heretics being put to death), and fed Bruno  to a roaring conflagration. Giordano Bruno denied the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation, the belief that, during the Eucharist, the substance of…

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The Eight Theses of Giordano Bruno: Point 3, One Soul

The Eight Theses of Giordano Bruno: Point 3, One Soul

Photo by jerry sharp At this point in our project, we have learned that Bruno has no notion of wanting to please the cardinals of the Church. During his trial, which lasted more than eight years, he refused time and time again to recant. He was subjected to daily torture on the rack and other instruments of pain by the so-called Holy Inquisition. Through all of this, he would not betray his ideas. The third point reads thusly: 3) The…

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The Eight Theses of Giordano Bruno: Point 2

The Eight Theses of Giordano Bruno: Point 2

Our discussion continues with the second assertion of Bruno, which he refused to recant: 2) The doctrine of the infinite universe and infinite worlds in conflict with the idea of Creation: “He who denies the infinite in effect denies the infinite power. Giordano Bruno was truly a man out of time. He was born in an age when the Church was becoming very restrictive in its views of so-called heretical teachings. If he had lived in Ficino’s day, he probably would not…

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The Eight Theses of Giordano Bruno: Point 1

The Eight Theses of Giordano Bruno: Point 1

There were eight philosophical propositions of Giordano Bruno, collected by his tormentor, Cardinal Bellarmine, that Bruno would not recant. In this article, I will discuss the first, and then follow with the remainder in a series of articles. Hopefully, we will be able to understand the value of these teachings, and why Bruno went to a fiery death to defend them. 1) The statement of “two real and eternal principles of existence: the soul of the world and the original…

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The Soul of the World

The Soul of the World

What is the Anima Mundi, the Soul of the World? The idea harkens back to the days of the ancient Greek philosophers, possibly even further. We know that Plato wrote of it in his day:   Therefore, we may consequently state that: this world is indeed a living being endowed with a soul and intelligence … a single visible living entity containing all other living entities, which by their nature are all related (Plato, Timaeus, 29/30; 4th century BCE). The…

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The Tragedy of Giordano Bruno

The Tragedy of Giordano Bruno

Giordano Bruno was one of the most important philosophers of the Renaissance period. Born in the small Italian town of Nola in 1548, he entered the Dominican monastery of Saint Domenico at the age of seventeen. In 1572, he finished his novitiate and became an ordained priest. Giordano was an advocate for free thinking, having a penchant for topics that were quite controversial in the eyes of the church. Bruno’s taste for free thinking and forbidden books soon caused him…

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The Death and Resurrection of Our Myth

The Death and Resurrection of Our Myth

The breakdown of a central myth is like the shattering of a vessel containing a precious essence; the fluid is spilled and drains away, soaked up by the surrounding undifferentiated matter. Meaning is lost. In its place, primitive and atavistic contents are reactivated. Differentiated values disappear and are replaced by the elemental motivations of power and pleasure, or else the individual is exposed to emptiness and despair. With the loss of awareness of a transpersonal reality (God), the inner and…

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The Mandorla: The Eye of Soul

The Mandorla: The Eye of Soul

    When I wrote the original Eyes of the Soul article, I missed a very important idea behind the mandorla symbol. Again, a mandorla is the intersection of two overlapping circles:                             The word, mandorla, means “almond” in Italian for obvious reasons. Recently, I’ve been writing much about the idea that all entities that are part of this material world have a counterpart on a higher, more subtle layer of reality. Humans, as well, have a Fravashi or…

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Not Conscious

Not Conscious

We treat the term, the unconscious, as a place or thing when, in reality, sometimes we’re just not conscious. During that time, we’re unconscious. Not very hard to understand, but lots of people who are interested in the human mind, and especially Jungian and post-Jungian psychology, make this mistake. In fact, some seem to speak of the unconscious as a divine entity, even capitalizing the word and attributing all sorts of powers to it. Unconsciousness is simply a lack of…

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The Fravashi

The Fravashi

In Zoroastrian tradition, life is a temporary state in which a mortal is expected to actively participate in the continuing battle between truth and falsehood. Prior to being born, the soul (urvan) of an individual is still united with its fravashi, of which there are very many, and which have existed since Mazda created the universe. During life, the fravashi acts as a guardian and protector. On the fourth day after death, the soul is reunited with its fravashi, in…

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Henry Corbin On The Shadow

Henry Corbin On The Shadow

As you know, I’ve been discussing the idea of the Celestial Twin, the perfected and thoroughly individuated celestial personage of each and every human being on Earth. This is a very old idea, possibly having its origins in ancient Egypt with the Ba and Ka souls (The Egyptians believed the soul has five parts). The Celestial Twin, as I understand it, is an angelic entity who is a paredros for all humans. The term paredros literally means “one who sits…

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Bringing Forth the Light in Matter

Bringing Forth the Light in Matter

We have learned there exists in Nature, in all material things, a divine spark, the Lumen Naturae, the Light of Nature. Our world is not a plethora of dead, lifeless objects, waiting to be dissected by the  disciples of scientism. On the contrary! The Earth is filled with scintillating, soulful beings, full of vibrance and vitality. Western society once thought that material objects were without energy until the discoveries of quantum physics. Now, we know, through the work of dedicated…

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The Hidden Light In Matter

The Hidden Light In Matter

There is a spark of divinity in all material phenomena. Alchemists know that the inner transformative process, which Jung called individuation, reveals the hidden light within matter. It is the inner work that reveals matter’s divine light. Jung, and many others, refer to this as lumen naturae, the Light of Nature. Jung claims it is this Light that illuminates consciousness (C. G. Jung, On the nature of the psyche, Collected Works vol. 8 (Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1967), p….

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Archetypal Brain: Epilogue

Archetypal Brain: Epilogue

The brain is a computing machine connected with a spirit. Consciousness is connected with one unity. A machine is composed of parts. The active intellect works on the passive intellect which somehow shadows what the former is doing and helps us as a medium. I don’t think the brain came in the Darwinian manner. In fact, it is disprovable. Simple mechanism can’t yield the brain. I think the basic elements of the universe are simple. Life force is a primitive…

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