Veil of Isis, III.4-III.5



"Nature Loveth to Hide"


7 (III.4)

The Genius of Paganism


pp. 68-9 simulations self-assumed by daimones

p. 68

"Porphyry ... linked the mysterious character of religious ceremonies to the disssimulation proper to demons. Nature hides because the ...

p. 69

demonic souls that constitute it need corporeality and must therefore be known in a mythical way. The demons themselves love to hide and the symbolism of religious ceremonies corresponds to this characteristic of demons :

[quoted :] The demons that preside over Nature

reveal their gifts to us, waking or sleeping, by means of certain ... apparitions,

{The daimon of Sokrates (Attic adjective \so-\ contraction for \so[w]o-\ [Skt \dhivan\ 'clever' ("clever man" being the Australian designation for 'aboriginal sorcerer')] 'safe, extant, intact' + \krate-\ 'hold, grasp') vouchsafing to him a gift of safety in choice of paths, employed the auditory mode for apparition.}

by giving obscure oracles, signifying one thing by means of another,

{Not all personal praeternatural spirit-guides provide only such "obscure" forms of advice : the personal daimon of, e.g., Sokrates habitually provided to him very direct, clearly compraehensible instructions.}

causing that which has no form to appear, thanks to similitudes endowed with forms {but known to be fundamentally formless by being so when best perceived in trances} ... ."

{This would indicate that these daimones are the denizens of the uppermost (known as \a-rupa\ 'formless') series of Heavens in Bauddha cosmology.}


p. 70 Themistios

"the Platonic philosopher and pagan Themistius ... in a speech ... at Constantinople on January 1, 364, on the occasion of the consulate of an emperor, Jovian, who was a Christian ... to make a plea for religious tolerance ... praises ... respecting ... a single goal ..., but the paths for reaching it are different. Did not Homer say, [p. 335, n. 7.8 : Iliad 2.400] "Each one sacrificed to a different god"?"

{As the 1st actually-Christian imperator -- his praedecessor, Constantinus, could not have been a Christian, for, his well-known emblem the labarum is an antient pagan symbol long-since employed (as state-emblem) by the H.ittites (some two millennia earlier) -- Julianus favored theologies different by far from that advocated by his successor Jovianus, the earliest fabricator of an imperially-promoted Christian orthodoxy.}

p. 71 Summakhos

"in 384, in the Latin West, ... the pagan Symmachos protested against the emperor's decision to have

[p. 336, n. 7.11 : "Prudentius, Psychomachia : Contra Symmachum, trans. Lavarenne ... (Paris, 1963), p. 110 (Relatio Symmachi, @10)."]

the Altar of Victory

{Goddess Nike, intended to glorify the true religion of Aineas's son Askanias (namesake of lake Askanios in Bithunia, on the shore of which lake is situated the great pagan centre Nikaia, where afterwards the paganism-plagiarizing Christian imperatores held their oikoumenical Councils of the Kuriakos Katholikos.}

removed from the hall of the Roman Senate : "We contemplate the ... stars, the Heavens ... the path of wisdom ...? One cannot reach such a great mystery by a single path."

This admirable text ... should be inscribed in letters of gold on ... temples ... ."

{This inscribing could occurr after such a revolution as shall supplant Christianity with arrant Paganism.}

pp. 71-2 the telestic and the mysterial, according to imperator Julianus

p. 71

"in 362, the emperor Julian had also cited ... : "For Nature loves to hide, and does not tolerate that the secret of the essence of the gods should be flung in naked terms

into impure ears."

{into the hearing by impious persons who are inclined to blaspheme.}

[p. 336, n. 7.13 : "Julian, Against Heracleios, 11, 217b-d ["in English, The Works of the Emperor Julian, trans. W. C. Wright, vol. 2 (... Cambridge, Mass., 1913) ..."]."] ... The end of the phrase {clause, not "phrase" (beginning "and does not")} ... cited ...

p. 72

means that the gods must be spoken of in a mysterious, enigmatic, and symbolic way, so that that what the gods really are, their essence,

may not be expressed "in naked terms.""

{ought not to be expressed in terms insufficiently laudatory or defectively grandiloquent -- lest the honor and the greatness of the mighty deities be inadequately glorified, to their own sensitive dismay}

pp. 72-3 Neo-platonic telestics (litterally, 'perfectionism')

p. 72

"the word "telestics" has an imprecise meaning {or rather, more than a single meaning}, since in his discourse On King Helios, Julian uses this word with regard to ... the sun's place in the cosmos, a theory he attributes to the Chaldaean Oracles, ... adding, "Those who affirm these theories say that they have received them from gods or demons," ... by divine revelation.

The word can also designate rites or ceremonies ... -- this appears clearly in Hierocles of Alexandria, who ... considers that telestics includes the totality of rites related to local divinities ... . But ... the continuation of Julian's

p. 73

text ... is speaking of ... magical signs and symbols, which, because of the affinity they have with the gods, "care for souls and bodies and cause the gods to come" ... . This means that telestics, as Pierre Boyance' has shown [1955], is closely connected with the utilization of ... drawings, letters, and formulas, which were placed outside or inside statues of the gods and

which ensured the presence of the gods in these statutes.

{In order to secure the sought-for effect (namely, divine approbation of rites involving such consecrated statues, the actual deities involved need not be very litterally "in" the statues, but merely observing (from a reasonably close distance) the rites performed in conjunction with the statues.}

That is why, in Proclus, telestics are closely connected with the art of animating statues."

{The statues themselves need not become litterally "animate", but rather merely observed animatedly by then-and-there invisible deities.}

Boyance' 1955 = Pierre Boyance' : "The'urgie et te'lestique neoplatoniciennes". Revue de l'histoire des religions, 147:189-209.

p. 73 Varro & Plotinos on the signification and purpose of the statues of deities

"Varro ... affirms that the ancient sages chose the form of the statues of the gods and their attributes so that, when they are contemplated with the eyes of the body, we can the the World Soul and its parts, which are the genuine gods.

Then, at a later stage, for instance in Plotinus, we find ... that the sages of yesteryear, wishing to enjoy the presence of the gods, saw, when they contemplated the nature of the All, that the Soul could be present everywhere, and that it was easy for all things to receive it, so long as they fashioned some object which, by means of sympathy,was capable of receiving a part thereof ... insofar as something in these statues is in sympathy with

the Soul of the All."

{This so-called "Soul of the All" is actually simply the telepathic thought-transference communication-network extending universally among all deities, all divinities, and all praeternaturals (including the spirit-guides of mortals).}

{It was only because of the tyrannical/imperial/despotic nature of antient governments, with concurrent slavery, that the antient philosophers dared not mention any aequally shared (among all deities, all divinities, and all praeternaturals) governing system : to describe such a mutually-shared universal government would have sounded utterly subversive, to any antient government of a tyrannical/imperial/despotic nature. Indeed, it would, and doth, likewise sound subversive to the utmost, to the sensibilities any modern government (with concurrent wage-slavery) overwhelmingly domineered by a very tiny clique of trillionaire families (international-banking-linked military-weapons manufacters etc.).}

p. 74 Julianus on purification, and on ascent, of the soul

"Julian ... of this "telestic and mystical theology," ... understands ... a procedure that pertains both

to the soul and

to the body :

the former would consist of an edifying exegesis of myths and

the latter in the practice of traditional as well as theurgic rites.

Thus, on the one hand, the purification of the soul's astral body and,

on the other, the soul's ascent toward the supreme principle would be assured.

... Julian aludes to this last point when he writes that ... "... under the guidance of the gods, light appears to initiate, or rather to perfect, our intellect and also that within us which in superior to the intellect : that little share of the One-Good which possesses the all


{the which is to say, COMMUNISTICALLY (with NO divisive private ownership of the means-of-production)}

that pleroma of the soul

{Are there arkhones (whether or not identical with the Valentinian ones) constituting this pleroma-of-psukhe?}

which, thanks to the presence of the One-Good -- superior, separate from all matter and transcendent -- is gathered together ... ."" [p. 337, n. 7.25 : "Julian, Against Heracleios, 12, 217d, p. 61."]

pp. 74-5 contrast, of the mere abstract philosophy of Porphurios, with the improvement via suraddition (unto the Neo-platonic philosophy) of myth and of rite by Iamblikhos, Julianus, and Proklos

p. 74

"Porphyry, on his part, thought that only philosophy, that is,

spiritual effort,

{The term in lisan <arabiy for 'effort' is \jihad\.}

allows us to attain union with the transcendent divine, without or rituals.

Julian, following Iamblichus, whose doctrine he explicitly accepts, considers that the human soul is sunk too deeply into matter to be able to achieve this supreme goal by its own strength. It needs divine assistance, that is, the revelation of

p. 75

myths, together with the rites ... prescribed by the gods."

p. 75 need for doctrinal defense of divinely-revealed philosophy against the irresponsible vagaries of unrestrainedly rampant Christianity

"The Neoplatonists wanted to protect traditional religion against the invasion {onslaught} of {by} the Christian religion, for they sincerely believed that the cult of the gods was linked to the action of

the World Soul, which preserved the universe. ...

{The usual counterpart the feminine Psukhe Kosmoio would be, in Bharata, the female Laks.mi praeserving the universe.}

For the Neoplatonists, pagan myths and rituals were ... for the people, ... a hidden physics."



"Nature Loveth to Hide"


8 (III.5)

Pagan Myths in a Christian World


p. 77 Platonism in 12th-century northern (langue-d'oui) France {co-aeval with the Cathar religious movement in southern (langue-d'oc) France}

"in what has been called the twelfth-century Renaissance, ...

{described in : "GER12C"; H:R12C; B:12CR}

the Platonists of the school of Chartres ...

{The cathedral of Chartres is famed for its tiled-floor depiction of a labyrinth ("for use in the Easter maze-dance" : GM 88.8) : this is intended to replicate that at Knossos, so as to restore the Knossos-based Minoan religion, wherein king Minos is judge for souls of the dead, and "continues to exercise rule among the dead" (Odusseia 11.568 -- OCD, s.v. "Minos"), "dispensing justice as he did on earth" (AeJU, p. 33).}

returned to the scholastic explanation of ancient authors : they interpreted Plato's Timaeus, Macrobius' commentary on Scipio's dream, and again Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy. Following Macrobius, they accepted that in order to speak of nature, we must use ... the traditional myths of paganism.

They often designate these myths by the term integumenta (clothing) or involucra (envelopes or veils)." [p. 337, n. 8.3 : "P. Dronke, Fabula : Explorations into the Uses of Myth in Medieval Platonism (Leiden and Cologne, 1974), p. 56, n. 2."]

"GER12C" = Ch. H. Haskins : The Greek Element in the Renaissance of the Twelfth Century". AMER HISTORICAL REV 25 (1920).4:606 sq.

H:R12C = Charles Homer Haskins : The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century. 1927.

B:12CR = Christopher Brooke : The Twelfth Century Renaissance. Thames & Hudson, 1969.

AeJU = W. M. L. Hutchinson : Aeacus : a Judge of the Underworld. Macmillan & Bowes, 1901.

{"A dance with complicated figures performed at Delos and at Knossus ... is said to have been ... of the labyrinth (Plu. Thes. 21 [OCD, s.v. "Labyrinth"])." Because the word \labyrinth\ "is connected with [labrus], a double axe, the well-known Cretan religious symbol" (OCD, s.v. "Minos"); therefore adoption by imperator Constantinus of (ZSAR, vol. 2, pt. 1, p. 607) "The Sacred Monogram known as Labarum ... adapted from the primitive cult of the Labrys, or Double Axe," is sure to be proof that the religion being promoted by this imperator (who adored the labrys by implanting it under the porphyry pillar upholding his own statue : ZSAR, vol. 2, pt. 1, p. 609) was definitely Minoan (and certainly not Christian!) : so that the school of Chartres, in covertly upholding the Minoan religion, was simply returning to the worship advocated by Constantinus (while effectively, though secretly, repudiating that advocated by Jovianus). Based on the H^attic term \Labarnas\ 'king', the cult of the labrys survived at (OGHR, p. 77) Labranda in Karia, to be acepted by imperator Constantinus so as to serve as a model for the cult being promoted by him.} {The terms \LABru-\, \LABurintho-\ seem to be compound of two antient words : Skt \LAB\ 'to suspend' (because each labrus is racked in the assembly-hall by being placed suspended from a vertical ring -- a rack consisting of a series of such mutually parallel rings thus making for an ordeal of attempting to shoot an arrow through the series, in, e.g., both the challenge for the suitors for Penelope (in the Odusseia), and in, likewise, the challenge for the suitors at the svayamvara for Drau-padi (in the Maha-bharata). This labarum consisted of (Lactantius, Chapter XLIV) "the letter X {straight blunt sides of the double-axe}, with a perpendicular line {handle of double-axe} drawn through it and turned round thus at the top {hook for hooking into rack's ring}" : this hook is referred to as if hooked into fish's mouth (= ring of weapons-rack), whence the \-URI-\ in \labURInthos\; for, 'fish' is URI3 in Sumerian.}

ZSAR2.1 = Arthur Bernard Cook : Zeus : A Study In Ancient Religion. Vol. 2, Pt. 1. Cambridge Univ Pr, 1925.

OGHR= Salomon Reinach (transl. from the French by Florence Simmonds) : Orpheus : A General History of Religions. London : William Heinemann; NY : G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1909.

Lactantius, Chapter XLIV.

Sumerian-English dictionary

pp. 78-9 acceptance of classical Hellenic mythology by authors in Europe during the Renaissance : instances of Politianus and Mirandola

p. 78

"Politian ... "praised the transmission of philosophical knowledge in the cryptic form of riddles and enigmas {ainignata} ...

p. 79

so that in this manner the religious mysteries of the Eleusinian goddesses are in no way profaned." [p. 338, n. 8.11 : "E, Wind, Myste`res pai:ens de la Renaissance (Paris, 1992), p. 179, n. 51."]

... in Pico della Mirandola ... there was a hidden concordance between Christian mysteries and pagan mysteries." [p. 338, n. 8.12 : "Ibid., pp. 29-37."]

p. 79 distinction between two contrasting {Stoic vs. Neo-platonic} interpretations of traditional mythology

"In the Middle Ages ..., the gods of mythology were mere ... metaphors corresponding to material realities.

{This is Stoic exegesis of mythology.}

In the Renaissance, by contrast, the gods were instead ... the incorporeal forces animating the universe, and they therefore had a quasi personality. ...

{This is Neo-platonic exegesis of mythology.}

This Renaissance of ... Neoplatonic paganism took shape in the first half of the fifteenth century near Sparta, as Mistra, where Gemisthus Pletho {GGP}, like the emperor Julian, proposed the entire program of Neoplatonic paganism, which took up once again the practices of Neoplatonic theurgy and telestics in particular."

GGP = Jozef Matula & Paul Richard Blum (edd.) : Georgios Gemistos Plethon : the Byzantine and Latin Renaissance. Olomouc (Czechia), 2014.

p. 79 Renaissance-compiled handbooks of Hellenic mythology

"In the sixteenth century ..., we see the appearance of handbooks of mythology that collect ... interpretations of pagans myths and the figures of the gods, for example,

The History of the Gods by Giraldi (1548),

Mythology by Natale Conti (1551), and

Vicenzo Cartari's Images of the Gods (1556)."

p. 80 Hellenic mythology according to Francis Bacon

"Francis Bacon, ... in his work entitled On the Wisdom of the Ancients, made abundant use of Natale Conti's handbook. [p. 338, n. 8.18 : "... see C.-H. Lemmi, The Classical Deities in Bacon : A Study in Mythological Symbolism (Baltimore, 1933)."] In Bacon, ... we find an allegorical exegesis ... :

... sovereignty between Ouranos, Kronos, and Zeus represents the birth of the world; ,

Eros is prime matter,

Pan is nature,

Proserpina the earth's creative energy, and

Proteus matter in the multiplicity of its forms."

pp. 81-5 Schiller's favorable citation of Platon, contrasted with Schiller's criticism of Christianity

p. 81

"in 1788, one year before the French Revolution, one year before the French Revolution, Schiller uttered an admirable lament on the departure of the ancient gods in a poem titled "The Gods of Greece." ...

p. 82

The ... verses (IV-XI) give an idyllic description of ... the life of ancient man, who mlived with the gods. ...

p. 83

As Willy Theiler has shown, in the last lines of stanza XV, Schiller alludes to the myth of Plato's Statesman (272e-274a) : sometimes the world's helmsman ... abandons the rudder, and the gods of the various parts of the world

p. 84

also abandon the regions of the world that had been confided to their care. ...

p. 85

Schiller's poem contains, moreover, quite hostile allusions to Christianity ... .

The first version of the poem, which was even more virulent, caused a veritable scandal."

1st, "uncensored version of Schiller's poem" : "GG--FSch"

"GG--FSch" = "The Gods of Greece - Friedrich Schiller".

p. 85 fascination

"an idealized Greece ... fascinated German authors from Winckelmann to Schiller, Ho:derlin, and Goethe ... ."

[p. 339, n. 8.29 : "E. M. Butler, The Tyranny of Greece over Germany (London 1935)."]

p. 86 Novalis, Rilke, and Ho:derlin on the withdrawal, from this planet, of the deities

"At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Novalis, in his Hymns to the Night, and then

at the beginning of the twentieth century., Rilke, in his Sonnets to Orpheus (I, 24), announced in their turn the departure of the Greek gods.

"They have gone back up to the sky, those gods who made life beautiful," and our world has been plunged into darkness.

{It is the typical belief among Australian aboriginals, that each of their deities withdrew into the sky, becoming stars and constellations therein.}

For Ho:derlin, Christ is ... the last of the gods, he who announces the future return of all the others, and of that "beautiful life" ... which they brought to mankind."

{This return of divine governance to the earth is reminiscent of the regeneration of divine power (according to the Edda) at the conclusion of Ragnaro,k.}

{But (according to Australian aboriginal religion), in the course of their withdrawal into the sky, each of the deities left, in commemoration of themselves, a species of animal of earth. These animal-species are considered to be reminders, to mortals, to remain in awe of the magical power of the deities.}


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.