Friday, January 28, 2011

shorts - Pico and Iamblichus - Neoplatonic Angelology

When Pico discusses the importance of biblical/Dionysian angelic assistance(which he finds in Iamblichus)he's not talking about angel magic.

Dulles: In the Heptaplus, for example, Pico writes that an angel cannot be absolute unity, otherwise it would be God.
ibid In the Conclusiones he declares that the subject of theology is that which is "absolutely One."

Pico in Poetry and the fate of the senses - Page 371 Susan A. Stewart

In support of his contention that the Heptaplus is Pico's essay on man, Trinkaus points out that the principal discussion of man occurs ...

Maggi: The angels are luminous beings because they are enlightened by the divinity This intellectual splendor is the angels' actual ...

"White Magic" (Porta_ in The occult sciences in the Renaissance: a study in intellectual patterns By Wayne Shumaker

Farmer: Linguistic reversals like this, as we have seen, were one of Pico's favorite devices

Proclan principles applied to thinking about angels having different perfections at different levels of hierarchy

but can't say angelology depends on Proclus

And albeit that in the excellent company of angels all were not of like perfection, but ordinately divided into ...

Benivieni devotes one stanza (4) to love among the angels. a psalm in praise of creation (perhaps a subtle way of praising Pico's Heptaplus)

Touches of sweet harmony: Pythagorean cosmology and Renaissance ... S. K. Heninger - 1974

Trapp: Pico usually stops at the angelic level, as in the Heptaplus and also in the Commento alia canzone d'amore

Lindsay Jones (enc religion) Pico's apologia for them was not accepted, but Alexander VI subsequently vindicated his orthodoxy.

Samuel Dresden: Allegory: Pico's Heptaplus is in many ways one of the most striking examples of this method.

That is why every angel exults with joy at the repentance of one sinner.

n the hierarchy of being which he describes in the fifth expositio of the Heptaplus, Pico makes man the unifying ...

"Magic and Kabbalah" are not central to Pico's Oration in ways that have been claimed. He does not see man as Magus resorting to angel conj.

If On the Dignity of Man emphasizes man's greatness, Pico's later Heptaplus remarks his insufficiency.

quote below from Neoplatonism article in The Eclectic, 1853

Pico, Admirable Crichton of his time, endeavored to combine scholasticism w/Cabala, to reconcile dialectics of Aristotle+oracles of Chaldaea

Copleston: Pico della Mirandola opposed the magical conception of nature

Pico's Heptaplus, therefore, is an appropriate companion-piece in the large folio published by the LeFevre freres.

even the most audacious self-creator was confined by a tradition that lodged human felicity in the attempt to resemble the angels 1981

Pico's theology... was syncretist, ... His spirituality was renaissance

The cosmographical glass: Renaissance diagrams of the universe S. K. Heninger - 1977

Two Concepts of Allegory: A Study of Shakespeare's The Tempest and the Logic ... By A. D. Nuttall

monadic-triadic cosmos

"Pico's syncretism... is well known" more like widely misunderstood

Trinkaus Pico's Heptaplus, published in 1489, is at once the most finished and the most brilliant of his writings

Pico is not suggesting that man is outside the definite structure and order of creation

Pico's frequent praise of man's angelic powers breaks down in the detailed system of the Heptaplus, an esoteric sevenfold interpretation

Pico's three chief zones of cosmology

Mebane "Cabala as a means of invoking the influence of the angels as a stage in our ascent toward complete knowledge of and unity"

Pico della Mirandola discusses the problem of conversion in angels in the Heptaplus. ... and the assistance of angels to man in this process

"it is said that even the angels themselves take pleasure in their bodies of light" -Lord Byron on Star Trek Voyager

# taramayastales @t3dy If Pico had seen it as Jewish, he likely wouldn't have felt he could use it.

if Pico did look at Iamblichean theurgy, did he see it in the light of Dionysian theurgy/as mystical theology? he's charitable to magic?

Craven+Copenhaver have debunked various ways Pico has been twisted by historians seeking to present him as typical of some Renaissance ideal

Pico describes Kabbalah as a foundation of Christian faith. it's not a supplement, just a way of describing lore already assumed to be there

Pico doesn't see Kabbalah as different from Christianity. It's pre-biblical wisdom given to Moses, not what he purchased in Jewish books.

If Pico wasn't interested in the finer points of the philosophical differences between Kabbalah+Christianity, why respect alterity of magic?

Whatever Pico thought about the philosophical-theological value of Kabbalah/it wouldn't be some alien theurgy or magic in itself that he dug

Pico never got the chance to explain how Kabbalah worked in terms of his confirming and commenting projects, but his view was idiosyncratic.

But Pico's hints are nothing more than that. Whatever else he may have understood from his readings+conversations, he failed to write down.

It is true that Pico hints at Kabbalistic practices which are troublingly magical--but religious studies theory doesn't know what to do...

Pico fails to develop implications that seem obvious to later commentators based on anachronistic idea of what Kabbalah meant to Renaissance

Pico didn't think he saw theurgy, practical magic, manipulation of angel names as central to Kabbalah/he saw it as tools of a Dionysian myst

Pico does little more than hint at various Kabbalistic ideas/rather than look at KBL itself as if he "got it" we should look for what he saw

we can't say on the basis of Pico's Conclusions that he has integrated merkabah mysticism into a humanist framework. he mentions w/o knowing

merkabah lore into a humanistic paradigm?

CB elsewhere in the Heptaplus Pico notes that although intelligible forms are accidental to an angel's intellect and not part of its essence

Yates GB p. 121 As Pseudo-Dionysius was immensely important to Ficino for the synthesis of Neooplatonism with Christianity... so, too, he helped Pico to build the bridge between Jewish Cabala and Christianity.

Craven p.30 Kristeller has argued in several of his lectures that the Heptaplus echoes the doctrine of man in the Oratio

When Pico discusses the Proclan principle of higher entities being simpler he puts this notion in the words of Dionysius+Aquinas on angels.

anger of the Gods not an indication of their inordinate passions,but demonstrates our lack of aptitude to participate in their illuminations

Pico does not see Iamblichus as Copenhaver describes--having chosen theurgy over contemplation--but as source of Late NP theology/angelology

Theurgy was not Iamblichus' only contribution to Late Neoplatonic philosophy. pioneered hierarchy, unparticipated, henads, Plato study order

Blavatsky on Iamblichus, theurgy

The Gods,' says Iamblichus, ' did conceive the whole work within themselves before it was brought forth by them.'

Analogy in Iamblichus denotes a certain psychic state, a suitability for receiving gods, while Proclus elaborates this notion to indicate...

how some are fit for participation in a particular Form, so some receive more or less power depending on their status.

Noel Brann: Pico anticipating Trithemius

Conceived by its adherents as having originally been transmitted to human beings through the mediation of angels

Later on in De Mysteriis, Iamblichus returns to the topic of the nothingness of the human soul.

Apollo as "the first angel of Zeus" in Pagan monotheism in late antiquity By Polymnia Athanassiadi, Michael Frede

"nor does anything hold matter back from participating in the superior natures"

Louth Iamblichus has (usually) four ranks of beings mediating between the gods and human souls: archangels, angels, daemons, and heroes

Iamblichus in The tongues of angels: the concept of angelic languages...

Iamblichus is the first pagan to describe the Chaldaean angels in any detail.

In the Chaldaean Oracles, the virtuous soul is said to be rewarded by becoming an angel after death.

For Iamblichus and Proclus, beings higher than human souls also include in themselves some form of space and time

they have angels as the powers that perfect and unfold them into light. ...

Let it be granted, therefore, that a God, a daemon, or an angel, gives completion to more excellent works

"Theurgic Mysticism clutches at the marvellous, and works wonders by the aid of angel, saint, or talisman" (1857)

“The arrival of the archangels is preceded by the appearance of light.”

Pure souls, according to the ancients, ascend "to angels and angelic souls" -Iamblichus' De Anima

America mytho-poesis at it's static filled lo-fi best: Long John Nebel Presents the Flying Saucer Story

Finamore: Iamblichus' mention of angels at De An. I, p. 458, 20, helps to clarify the position of such purified souls

angel in Iamblichus

Pico article in The Classical Tradition By Anthony Grafton, Glenn W. Most, Salvatore Settis

Pico anticipated the modern view of Dionysian mysticism as being clarified by attention to resonance with Proclus, modern view of Plato vsNP

secondary sources set up, Pico knocks down

I want to use many quotations and show how Pico's angelology in his own words contradicts theurgic readings+clues to philosophical motives.

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