Greater Feast of Harry Smith, died November 27, 1991 at New York, United States
Greater Feast of Harry Smith, died November 27, 1991 at New York, United States
Golgonooza: City of Imagination: Last Studies in William Blake by Kathleen Raine, a 1991 paperback from Lindisfarne Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.
“The seven studies that comprise this book are the culmination of more than forty years of research into the meaning of Blake’s symbolic themes by a scholar-poet who is internationally recognised as one of Blake’s most profound interpreters. They are written so as to reach into the very heart of Blake’s symbolic thought and for this reason may be read as an introduction to the whole of his imaginative vision. The author’s extraordinary empathy with the learning of this imaginative knowledge has entailed her taking Blake as her Master, and from her revelation of the implications of his impassioned denunciation of the ‘single vision’ of quantitative, materialist thinking. Blake emerges as England’s great national prophet. Equally impassioned is the author’s demonstration of how Blake must be understood to be a key figure of our age, one in which the outworn materialist dogmas must give way to an age of Imagination—a vision of the sacred nature of reality itself.” — back cover
“There was no simple agreement on the subject of ‘myth’ in classical antiquity, and there remains none today. In Approaches to Greek Myth, Lowell Edmunds brings together practitioners of eight of the most important contemporary approaches to the subject. Whether exploring myth from a historical, comparative, or theoretical perspective, each lucidly describes a particular approach, applies it to one or more myths, and reflects on what the approach yields that other do not.
Contributors are H. S. Versnel, on the intersections of myth and ritual; Carlo Brillante, on the history of Greek myth and history in Greek myth; Robert Mondi, on the Near Eastern contexts , and Joseph Falaky Nagy, on the Indo-European structures in Greek myth; William F. Hansen, on myth and folklore; Claude Calame, on the Greimasian approach; Richard Caldwell, on psychoanalytic interpretations; and Christiane Sourvinou-Inwood, on the iconography of vase painting of Theseus and Medea—and on a methodology for ‘reading’ such visual sources. In his introduction, Edmunds confronts Marcel Detienne’s recent deconstruction of the notion of Greek mythology and reconstructs a meaning for myth among the ancient Greeks.” — back cover
Eleusis: Archetypal Image of Mother and Daughter by Carl Kerényi, translated by Ralph Manheim, part of the Mythos / Bollingen series, a 1991 paperback from Princeton University Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.
“The Sanctuary of Eleusis, near Athens, was the center of a religious cult that endured for nearly two thousand years and whose initiates came from all parts of the civilized world. Looking at the tendency to ‘see visions,’ C. Kerényi examines the Mysteries of Eleusis from the standpoint not only of Greek myth but also of human nature. Kerényi holds that the yearly autumnal ‘mysteries’ were based on the ancient myth of Demeter’s search for her ravished daughter Persephone—a search that equates not only with woman’s quest for completion but also with every person’s pursuit of identity. As he explores what the content of the mysteries may have been for those who experienced them, he draws on the study of archaeology, objects of art, and religious history, and suggests rich parallels from other mysteries.” — back cover
“Anyone can pursue a spiritual path for a weekend, even a year or two. but for a lifetime of enlightened exploration, a strict lifestyle must be developed which sustains effort and minimizes distractions. Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, an illumined master whose yoga order is on Hawaii’s tropical island of Kauai, offers a detailed and authentic way for followers, based on the tantras or traditional methods which Hindus have observed for thousands of years.
If you are ever uncertain about how rigorous to be with yourself, how to approach holy people or relate to members of the opposite sex, what to do about television, alcohol or your career, Living with Sivais for you. Its terse guidelines provide time-tested practices and disciplines for serious seekers.” — back cover
“In Honor Thy Gods Jon Mikalson uses the tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides to explore popular religious beliefs and practices of Athenians in the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. and examines how these playwrights portrayed, manipulated, and otherwise represented popular religion in their plays. He discusses the central role of honor in ancient Athenian piety and shows that the values of popular piety are not only reflected but also reaffirmed in tragedies.
Mikalson begins by examining what tragic characters and choruses have to say about the nature of the gods and their intervention in human affairs. Then, by tracing the fortunes of diverse characters—among them Creon and Antigone, Ajax and Odysseus, Hippolytus, Pentheus, and even Athens and Troy—he shows that in tragedy those who violate or challenge contemporary popular religious beliefs suffer, while those who support these beliefs are rewarded. Mikalson concludes by describing the different relationships of the three tragedians to the religion of their audience, arguing that the tragedies of Euripides most consistently support the values of popular religion.” — back cover
Cosmic Trigger II: Down to Earth by Robert Anton Wilson, cover painting by Aiden Willard Cole, cover design by James Wasserman’s Studio 31, the 1991 first printing from New Falcon Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.
“Since the ultimate map of all maps which includes all the territory of existence does not exist, and we cannot even imagine how to produce it, the best we can say of any reailty-tunnel—sensory or mathematically abstract, philosophical or ‘superstitious,’ created by our tribe or by a different (and therefore ‘inferior’) tribe, ‘scientific’ or ‘political’ or ‘artistic’—can only consist of, ‘This map here seems to work pretty well for my purposes, in most cases, so far.’ (Or, in more academic language, ‘The data does not yet justify revising the theory.’)
Every ‘reality’ remains relative to the instrument used in detecting or measuring it. In most cases, for most humans, in ordinary life, the instrument that determines our ‘realities’—or reality-tunnels, more accurately—remains our nervous system in general and our brain in particular.” (156)
“If I have managed to make Korzybski clear the reader should now understand that the redness of roses belongs to the realm of our sensory experience, while the no-color of atoms belongs [to] the realm of our most abstract brain software. You should also see why social scientists have largely given up the word ‘reality’ entirely and speak of glosses or grids or models or (the term from Tim Leary I find clearest of all) reality-tunnels.
To attribute ‘reality’ to any one level of abstraction, from the most sensory to the most theoretical, implicitly damns other levels to ‘non-reality’ even though they, too, represent normal human experience.” (157)
“One man from CSICOP recently wrote, ‘Wilson describes himself as a ‘guerilla ontologist,’ signifying his intention to attack language and knowledge the way terrorists attack their targets: to JUMP OUT FROM THE SHADOWS for an unprovoked attack, then slink back and hide behind a belly-laugh.’ (Emphasis added, of course.) You can see that this poor man feels under attack and probably looks beneath his bed at night to see if I or some other Witch might be lurking there. He also never had a teacher who told him using the same word three times in a short sentence creates a dull mechanical style suggesting a dull mechanical mind.” (215–216)
The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.