Veil of Isis

Tabula Contentorum






ix to xiv


Prologue at Ephesos

1 to 3


Veil of Death

7 to 14


Veil of Nature



"Nature Loveth to Hide"



Unveiling of Nature's Secret



Promethean Attitude



Orphic Attitude



Veil of Isis



From the Secret of Nature to the Mystery of Existence


textual references

J.-P. Dumont (ed.) : Les pre'socratiques. Paris, 1988.

Charles H. Kahn : The Art and Thought of Heraclitus. Cambridge, 1979.

B. Inwood : The Poem of Empedocles. Toronto, 1992.

R. D. Hicks (transl) : Diogenes Lae:rtius. 2 voll. Cambridge (MA), 1925.




ix to xiv

p. x -- allegorical engraving (by Swedish sculptor Thorvaldsen) as frontpiece to :- Ideen zu einer Geographie der Planzen ('Essay on the Geography of Plants'), by Alexander von Humboldt, published in Tu:bingen in 1807

"nude personage, holding a lyre in his left and unveiling with his right hand the stature of a strange goddess ..., with her hands and fingers spread wide apart, whose chest bears three rows of breasts, and the lower part of whose body is enclosed in a tight sheath, adorned with the figures of various animals". "Why is Goethe's book The Metamorphosis of Plants placed at her feet?"

p. xi -- a fusion of the figure of Artemis of Ephesos with that of Isis

antient inscription reported by Ploutarkhos : No mortal hath raised my veil!

p. xi -- a metaphor

"esotericism : not only does Nature refuse to be unveiled, but he who ... has penetrated her secrets refuses to communicate them."

pp. xi-xii a bibliography

p. xi

William Eamon : Science and the Secrets of Nature : Books of Secrets in Medieval and Early Modern Culture.

Carlo Ginzburg : "High and Low : the Theme of Forbidden Knowledge in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries".

p. xii

Carolyn Merchant : The Death of Nature : Women, Ecology, and the Scientific Revolution.

Evelyn Fox Keller : "Secrets of God, Nature, and Life".

p. xii -- a comment on a text

"Bertrand de Saint-Sernin cites a text by Pascal ... : "The secrets of Nature are hidden; although she always acts, we do not always discover her effects." He comment on this ext as follows : "This passage brings to the fore the religious origin of positivism in the theory of Knowledge. Indeed, the allusion to the hidden secrets of knowledge recalls the Book of Job, where God parades the wonders of creation before Job, without revealing the modes of their fashioning." ...

Nevetheless, the expression "hidden secrets of nature" comes ... from ... Greco-Roman philosophy, in which formulas {formulae} such as arcana naturae, secreta naturae, or aporrheta tes phuseos are frequently used."

pp. xii-xiii how certain metaphors disclose spiritual attitudes

p. xii

"Hans Blumenberg ... showed in a striking way in his book ...

p. xiii

how the history of certain metaphors, many of which cannot be adequately translated into propositions ... -- for instance, the nakedness of truth, nature as writing and as a book, or the world as a clock -- enable us to glimpse the evolution of spiritual attitudes and visions of the world through the ages. These traditional metaphors are linked intimately with what are called commonplaces in rhetoric. These are formulas, images, and metaphors adopted by philosophers and writers like prefabricated models, which ... nevertheless have an influence on their thought. They hold sway for centuries over successive generations like a program to be realized ... or an attitude to be assumed, even if ... the meaning given to these sentences ... and metaphors can be profoundlymodified. These ideas ... and symbols can inspire works of art, poems, philosophical discourse, even the practice of life itself."



Prologue at Ephesos

1 to 3

p. 1 -- a speciously ainigmatic aphorism by Hera-kleitos, deposited at Ephesos

"tradition reports [p. 321, n. 0B.1 : Diogenes Laertios 9:6; transl Hicks, vol. 2, p. 413] that Heraclitus ... deposited the book ... in which he had summarized all his knowledge, in the temple of the celebrated Artemis of Ephesus. This book contained an enigmatic saying ... -- "phusis kruptesthai philei," [pp. 321-2, n. 0B.2 : Dumont's fragment 123; Kahn's fragment 10] ... traditionally... translated ... "Nature loves to hide," ... the beginning of reflection on the mystery of reality ... .

In this temple at Ephesus there was a statue of Artemis, an idol made of dark wood adorned with various ... ornaments ..., the lower part of her body encased in a tight sheath."

{The place of such secretive self-hiding by Phusis would be the Maori "Hidden Land of Tane" (sometimes glimpsed miragelike on the horizon). This verb \krupto\ 'I hide', is later (from some Hellenic dialect other than Attic/Ionian) given as \krupho\. As for this word's proto-Indo-Germanic etymon, it is likely to be *\C^RuBH-\ [no actual relation to Septuagint spelling "Cherub"], which is to be found in such a Skt word as \C^aRBHat.a-\ 'shout for joy' [cf. clause-expression "and all the Sons of >lohiym shouted for joy" (>iyob 38:7) -- in the context (38:6) of an architectural laying of a cornerstone, perhaps "the stone which the builders rejected", a very Chinese theme found in the Story of the Stone], and also curiously, the fruit-vegetable "cucumbre, Cucurmis utilissimus" : \C^iRBHaT.a\ and the very similar Latin \cuCuRBiTa\ 'gourd' (and possibly Swedish \sKRaBBer\ 'crab-apple'), though apparently not cognate with Latin \carbon-\ 'charcoal' (which, in allusion to the stench produced in making it, may be instead cognate with \s`ardha\ 'flatulence\, characteristic of the defiant Marut gods); and/or with (though having a different labial consonant-suffix for its stem) Latin \cuCURm\- 'cucumbre' (the English word having suffered transposition of the Latin \-rm-\, apparently as a pun on the verb \enCUMBRe\, \cumbersome\, etc.). But Skt \carman\ 'leather' could instead be more applicable to dried sea-cucumbre. The Hellenic \siku[h]os\ 'cucumbre, Cucurmis sativus', source of Aigialeian city-name \Siku[h]on\ (< *\TIKuSaN\) 'cucumbre-field', may somehow be cognate with Skt \TIKS.Na\ 'sharp' and with Nahuatl \TEKpatl\ 'flint[-knife]' -- it is this which perhaps "creates the illusion of picking cucumbers" (CMM"HW")? <arabiy \fitta>\ 'cucumbre' is evidently the same word as the mythic river-name Strong's 6376 \Piys^own\, a fantastically opulent brook (any glimpse whereof to evoke shouts of joy) -- "bdellium and onyx stone are there" (B-Re>s^iyt 2:12), indicating (according to David Rohl, citing Reginald Walker's article in STILL TROWELLING, 1986) the river Uiz^un in Aderbayz^an (S^amus-i-Tabriz being highly regarded in the Eckankar litterature, not to mention S^iz [used as a code-name in the Book of Ether 14:17-15:31] the hometown of Zarathustra). There is a "pure river of water of life" in Apokalupsis of Ioannes 22:1 : it is located as encircling the exalted realm of (Strong's 2341) H.wiylah (a name plainly cognate with German \Himmel\), (DMWA, p. 307a) verb \H^WL\ 'to grant, to vest, to endow'. \H^IYLah\ (omitting the \w\ in *\H^wiylah\) would be aequivalent to the name of the KHIL-sara (Skt \khila\ 'insolvable problem (in algebra)') oasis in the Thar desert of Raja-putana, somewhat to the east of the now-dry Sarasvati river-bed whose litterate culture ante-dateth Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa.}

CMM"HW" = "History of Witchcraft".



"David Rohl". see also :- Peter Martin : "The Secret Garden". SUNDAY TIMES, 11 Oct 1998. and also :- Gary T. Mayer : "Where Was The Garden Of Eden?". and furthermore :- Matthew Trowell : Who Am I? Select Media, Toronto, 2003. p. 162.

DMWA = Hans Wehr (ed. by J. Milton Cowan) : A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic. 4th edn. Wiesbaden : Harrassowitz, 1979.

p. 2 -- Aristo-teles on unpunctuated text by Hera-kleitos

"Heraclitus' obscurity has been proverbial since antiquity. Two centuries after him, Aristotle said [p. 322, n. 0B.3 : Rhetoric III:5; 1407b11] that no one knew how to punctuate the Ephesian philosopher's text ... . This obscurity was, moreover, one of the features of ancient wisdom, which loved to express itself in the form of enigmas {ainigmata}."

p. 2 -- Platon on aphorisms by the 7 Sages

"In the Protagoras, Plato's Seven Sages prove their wisdom by the "brief and memorable words" they offer ... to Apollo in the temple of Delphi. Such is the style of ancient philosophy, says Plato [p. 322, n. 0B.4 : Protagoras 342-3] : "Laconic brevity.""



Veil of Death. Hera-kleitos's Aphorism.

7 to 14

p. 7 -- the "animate" (Hellenic \anemos\ 'wind') nature of philia ('love') [indicative of a propensity]

"this kind of sentence containing the word philein {\phile[h]en\ in archaic diction} is often found in Heraclitus himself, but also in the tragedians, or again in Herodotus ..., "The wind 'loves' ... to blow", or in Democritus, "... respect 'loves' to develop ... .""

p. 7 the antique signification of Hellenic \phusis\ (and of its Latin synonym \natura\)

"phusis ... had a wealth of meaning in Heraclitus' time but certainly did not mean

nature as a whole

{viz., all non-human beings (collectively considered), together with all objects (likewise collectively considered) not made by humans}

or as the principle {or principles (collectively considered)} of phenomena."

p. 8 -- an aphorism by Empedo-klees

"There is absolutely no birth ["phusis"] for all mortals things, nor end ...". (p. 322, n. 1.6 : Dumont, p. 376, frag. 8; Inwood, p. 213, frag. 8)

{A more cogent paraphrase could be :- There is no absolute coming-into-existence-out-of-nothingness for anything, nor is there any vanishment-into-nothingness for anything.}

p. 8 -- another aphorism by Hera-kleitos

"The limits of the soul, as you go on your way, you could not find, even if you explored all paths : so deep is the logos ['reasoning']." (p. 322, n. 1.7 : Dumont, p. 156, frag. 45; Kahn, p. 45, frag. 35)

{The signification of this would be :- The limits of human capacity (for inventiveness etc.) cannot be discovered by you who go out of your way to seek such limits, even if ye were to explore all possible lines of investigation; for, so profound is the reasoning power (used for inventiveness etc.) inhaerent in humans.}

pp. 9-10 possible meanings

p. 9

"possible translations of the enigmatic saying ... : ...

p. 10

What causes things to appear tends to make them disappear ... .

Form (or appearance) tends to disappear ... .

The ... two translations are probably closest to what Heraclitus meant, since they have the antithetical character that is typical of his thought. ... For instance ... :

"Immortals, {are effectively} mortals; mortals, {are effectively} immortals; for the ones {viz., immortals} live the death of the latter {viz., mortals}, and the others {viz., mortals} die the life of the former {viz., immortals}."

p. 11 divine dice : veiling and unveiling

"Aion is a child playing dice." (p. 323, n. 1.20 : Dumont, p. 158, frag. 53; Kahn, p. 71, frag. 94)

{These "dice" are the knucklebones which, as toys, were played-with by the boy Zagreus in the Idaian Cave in Krete (GM 30.a) -- which could suggest a Minoan provenience for the philosophy of Hera-kleitos.}

"we cannot know whether Aion, already in Heraclitus' time, had the power of veiling and unveiling attributed to it by Sophocles and Lucian."

GM = Robert Graves : The Greek Myths. 1955.



Veil of Nature


(II.1) 2

From Phusis to Nature


p. 18 molu from Hermes

"Hermes shows Odysseus the aspect (phusin) -- black root and white flower -- of the "herb of life," which the gods ... call molu." (p. 324, n. 2.2 : Odusseia 10.303)

p. 22 the soul : anterior analytics vs. posterior analytics (in Platon : Laws, lib. 10)

"[The prae-Sokratic Ionian philosophers] are utterly wrong, says Plato, ... when ... they ... considered material causes to be the primary causes ... . Instead, Plato continues, what is most ancient and original is the soul ... (892-896), and is therefore prior to all other ...; the material elements are merely posterior."

p. 22 divine art [i.e., artwork performed by praeternatural divinities]

"Plato reproaches {non-theokratically oriented} philosophers who ... distinguish

[1A] natural activity, which {according to those philosophers} takes place without the intervention of thought, from

[2A] artistic and technical ability, which {as is generally admitted} presupposes a progam elaborated by an intelligence.

Taking up this distinction [between 1 & 2], Plato opposes his {theokratic} conception of

[1B] nature to that {[1A] most usually accepted by such philosophers, who do not accept that the universe is under control by an organized praeternatural government}. For him, phusis is precisely an art as well, but one that is divine : "I would suppose that the works said to be of nature are the work of a divine art {practiced by praeternatural entities}, and

those [2B] that men compose ... are the work of a human art."" (p. 325, n. 2.13 : Platon : Sophist 265e3)

"Empedocles had already used metaphors of craft with regard to the demiurgic work of Aphrodite".

p. 26 divine control of the natural world, according to Seneca and according to Plinius

"As Seneca said, "What is Nature other than ...

the divine reason that is immanent in the world, as a whole and in all its parts?"

{the rationality of the divine entities (praeternaturals) who are in control of the world, and who are immanent in (praesent within/and or in-the-vicinity-of) whatever [category of] material objects they may control}

At the beginning of his Natural History, Pliny the Elder also ... :

[quoted] The world, or that whole that people have been pleased to call ... "the heavens," whose vault covers ... the entire universe, must be held to be eternal and immense,

a divinity :

{The entire universe is under control by praeternatural entities whose shared immortal nature ["divinity"] is divinely immanent in it.}

it has not come into being, nor will it ever end. {A flat-out repudiation of the Bible and of the Qur>an, but a vindication of the general understanding of shamanic religions (AmerIndian, Australian-aboriginal, indigenous African, etc. etc.), all of which accept that the universe is aeternal.} ...

{It (the universe as a whole) is of the nature of an-arkhe ('no beginning') : this is the anarchist metaphysics which, while in agreement with Jaina and Bauddha metaphysics, is profoundly and utterly opposed to the absurdity promoted by that abomination the TNaK (along with the Christian scriptures, both of which are intent on staking the fraudulent and blasphemous claim that the universe came into being out of nothingness).}

The world is sacred {because under controll by praeternatural entities whose nature is sacred}, eternal, immense,

wholly present within all things ...,

{According to rN~in-ma metaphysics, the entire universe is immanent (i.e., the collective aggregate of principles -- wherethrough divine entities govern the universe -- is effective) in each atom.}

it is both

the work of the nature of things,

{the work of the divine nature collectively inhaerent in the praeternatural entities co-operatively controlling the universe}

and the nature of things itself."

{Along with divine control of the universe, there is a divinely-instituted interface enabling such control (just as there is an aitheric body enabling control of the material body bythe mind).}

pp. 27-8 goddess Natura, according to Claudianus

p. 27

"In the poet Claudian, writing at the end of antiquity, ... Mother Nature

p. 28

(Natura parens) ... laments before Zeus on the misfortunes of mankind. [Claudianus : Rape of Persephone 3:33]

As guardian of the entrance, she is seated in front of the cave of

an old man, Aion;

{Such "old man" may be intended as Persian god of aeternity, Zrvan A-karana ("M&Ai-K").} {In Alexandria, however, Aion is assimilated to Serapis-and-Abrasax (B:ML, p. 13, fn. 52).}

she is extremely old, yet her face is beautiful."

{This goddess may be aequivalent to Kore/Perse-phone, for, "the virgin Kore has given birth to Aion" (according to Epiphanios -- "AZA").}

"M&Ai-K" = Mithra and Aion-Kronos". BULL. OF THE SOC. FOR NEAR EASTERN STUDIES IN JAPAN 7 (1964).

B:ML = Hans Dieter Betz : The "Mithras Liturgy". Mohr-Siebeck, Tu:bingen, 2003.

"AZA" = "Aion - Zurvan Akarana".



Veil of Nature


(II.2) 3

Secrets of the Gods and Secrets of Nature


pp. 29-30 deities (Athene, Hermes, Hephaistos) have practical working knowledge of that which is unknown to mortals

p. 29

"Alcmeon {Alkmaion} of Crotona ... :

{discoverer of cerebral innervation :vide OCD, s.v. "Alcmaeon of Croton", p. 38b}

"Both in the field of the invisible and in that of mortal things, the gods have immediate knowledge. But we, by our human condition, are reduced to conjectures." (Dumont, p. 225, frag. 1)

"In Homer, the gods possess sophia, that is, know-how, or skill in the construction of objects ..., whether boats, musical instruments, or techniques of metal-working.

[p. 327, n. 3.2 : "At Iliad, XV, 411, ... a carpenter ... builds while following the advice of Athena. In the Homeric Hymn to Hermes, I, 511, Hermes invents the syrinx; and the blacksmithing talents of Hephaestus are well known."}

Whereas the gods, because of their knowledge, have an easy life, humans have a hard life, since they are ignorant. As Hesiod says ... :

p. 30

[quoted from his Works and Days, ll. 42 sq] The gods have hidden {away from human ken, advanced means of livelihood}; otherwise, {virtually} without effort,

it would would suffice for you to work one day and harvest enough to live on for a year ... ." {Aristo-teles

{In modern-day highly-mechanized horticulture, this can now be actually routinely accomplished, with the work formerly requiring a thousand workers, now being performed by a single worker driving a gasoline-energized tractor.}

OCD = N. G. L. Hammond & H. H. Scullard (ed.) : The Oxford Classical Dictionary. 2nd edn. Oxford, at the Clarendon Pr, 1970.

p. 31 "secrets of nature"

"Cicero, following

The Platonist Antiochus {"founder of the 'fifth Academy' ... abandoned the Scepticism of the Middle and New Academy" (OCD, s.v. "Antiochus of Ascalon")} of Ascalon,

{\Askalon\ is a Hellenistic transliteration for Strong's 831 \>as^qlown\ 'weighing-place'. Perhaps this Philistine city's name is intended to commemorate the Weighing-of-the-Heart of the defunct in the afterlife-netherworld Hall-of-Judgement.}

speaks of [C:NA 1:4:15] "things that have been hidden and enveloped by Nature herself". {enveloped by a veil? -- but concealment by a mask (French \masque\, cf. Spanish \ma`scara\, borrowed from <arabiy \MaSH^\ 'metempsychosis; transformed into an animal' : DMWA, p. 1065b) could well be indicated by TL-MRJ goddess-name \MS-H^n-t\.}

{hymn accompanying the Weighing-of-the-Heart : "The azure goddess Nut doth compass thee on every side" (B:ER, p. 148); but perhaps a more apposite goddess accompanying the Weighing-of-the-Heart would be MS-H^N-t the "personification of Destiny" (B:ER, p. 167); for, one's destiny is usually kept hidden in the thread of the Moirai (or of the Nornir).}

Lucretius affirms [1.321] that "jealous Nature has hidden ... from our view," and elsewhere [3.29-30] that Epicurus "robbed Nature of all the veils that concealed her," or else [1.71] that he "has forced the tightly closed gates of Nature."

Ovid says that Pythagoras has "discovered by the eyes of the heart {a S.uwfiy expression} what Nature refused to human eyes.""

C:NA = Cicero : New Academics.

DMWA = Hans Wehr (ed. by J. Milton Cowan) : A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic. 4th edn. Wiesbaden : Harrassowitz, 1979.

B:ER = Wallis Budge : Egyptian Religion. 1899.

{N.B. In regard to (B:ER, p. 166) "a man-headed rectangular object, resting upon a pylon, which has frequently been supposed to represent the deceased in an embryonic state." To be "in an embryonic state" is the status of a foetus awaiting to be delivered from gestation by birth; therefore the <arabiy signification of 'metempsychosis' might be applicable. But an alternative possibility could be that the decedent's aitheric body (as distinguised from the decedent's astral body, which -- because persons who are projecting out of the material body commonly experience bird-like flying through the air while in the astral body -- the depicted "man-headed hawk" must surely be a post-mortem guise of the astral body) is retained immobilized in such a status post-mortem. [written 21 Apr 2018]}


Pierre Hadot (transl. by Michael Chase) : The Veil of Isis : an Essay on the History of the Idea of Nature. Belknap Pr of Harvard Univ, Cambridge(MA), 2006.