Download John Dee's Occultism: Magical Exaltation Through Powerful by Gyorgy E. Szonyi PDF

By Gyorgy E. Szonyi

A entire examine the existence and paintings of 1 of the towering figures of Renaissance mysticism.

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Extra resources for John Dee's Occultism: Magical Exaltation Through Powerful Signs

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To describe this ambition I use the concept of exaltatio, as I shall explain it in the following introductory chapters. Parallel to my view, Deborah Harkness used another, similar metaphor, found also in the Bible: she compared Dee’s natural philosophical orientation to building Jacob’s ladder. This mytho-icon supported the ideology that communication between heaven and earth was possible, and as Harkness notes, “Dee, along with many of his contemporaries, searched a variety of authoritative treatises for information on how to ascend ‘Jacob’s ladder’ to learn the secrets of the cosmos, and then descend to share that information with the waiting world” (1999, 60).

I shall concentrate on those elements that from the classical and Judeo-Christian sources became absorbed in European high culture, although—as we shall see—from time to time I will have to touch upon aspects of popular cultural programs as well as black magic and witchcraft. Since the forthcoming investigations will try to analyze the occult philosophy and its manifestations in various symbolic systems—religion, magic, and art—it seems natural and necessary to start with some explanations of how I understand the key terms: mysticism, occultism, and magic.

Occult knowledge is thus a synthetic amalgam of traditionally transmitted lore and its philosophically organized explanation. And, as we can safely claim that only a smaller circle of the recipients of mystical experiences became conscious of occult wisdom, an even smaller circle among those would attempt to express active, magical will. Depending on the magical program and the evoked agents of the magus, one can thus distinguish between white and black magic. THE ORGANIC WORLD MODEL After the preliminary definitions we need to identify the intellectual framework that provides the theoretical basis for a magically oriented natural philosophy.

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