“Ancient Cosmology and Early Christian Symbolism” barely suggests the profound topics addressed in this wonderful book. Besides drawing out many of the continuities between the Pythagorean tradition and the Christian mysteries, Fideler’s text demonstrates the span and depth of the idea of harmony as the metaphysical basis for universal brotherhood.
There is a certain palpable sympathy between the doctrines expressed by Fideler and the elegant and powerful work of Buckminster Fuller, which becomes a matter of direct allusion in the final chapter with Fideler’s appeal to “the Philosophy of Whole Systems.”
A great strength of the book is its host of illustrative diagrams, conveying the logos of the author’s thesis in a more varied and powerful manner than text alone could ever accomplish. Jesus Christ: Sun of God is a master’s piece, showing how its author can apply all seven of the arts and sciences to a single, essential topic, and encouraging any fellow craftsman to follow such a course to “the Invocation of Harmony and the Unification of Culture.”
Anyone interested in the real spiritual value of Christianity (or arithmetic!) can enjoy this book, and will be likely to learn much from it. [via]
The two parts of this fun book are each a suite of short stories centered on one of Moore’s characters in a different fictional world: the swords and sorcery of Jirel of Joiry (Black Gods) and the space opera of Northwest Smith (Scarlet Dreams). The entire book is full of evocatively hallucinatory fantasy and outre eroticism.
Jirel of Joiry is interesting as being a scarlet-haired “woman girt with a sword,” formulated independently from Howard’s Red Sonya (let alone the Red Sonja later created by Roy Thomas). It is almost as if the fictioneers of the pulp era were tuning in to some Platonic Idea of the Scarlet Woman. In this connection, see also the April Bell of Williamson’s Darker Than You Think.
The book is an attractive but cheaply-bound trade paperback issued in 2002 by Gollancz under their “Fantasy Masterworks” imprint. The cover shows a detail of the head of Medusa from a painting by Caravaggio, which is in allusion to the seminal Northwest Smith story (and Moore’s first-ever-published—and much re-published—fiction) “Shambleau.” Although “Shambleau” is indeed the story of encountering on Mars the creature which is the basis of the Medusa legend, Moore doesn’t describe her as looking like Caravaggio’s portrait at all. [via]
“Under the name of Hiram, then, and beneath a veil of allegory, we see an allusion to another Master; and it is this Master, this Elder Brother who is alluded to in our lectures, whose ‘character we preserve, whether absent or present’, i.e., whether He is present to our minds or no, and in regard to whom we ‘adopt the excellent principle, silence,’ lest at any time there should be among us trained in some other than the Christian Faith, and to whom on that account the mention of the Christian Master’s name might possibly prove an offence or provoke contention.” [via]
“If you examine it closely you will perceive how obvious the correspondence is between this story and the story of the death of the Christian Master related in the Gospels; and it is needless to say that the Mason who realizes the meaning of the latter will comprehend the former and the veiled allusion that is implied. In the one case the Master is crucified between the two thieves; in the other he is done to death between two villains. In the one case appear the penitent and the impenitent thief; in the other we have the conspirators who make a voluntary confession of their guilt and were pardoned, and the others who were found guilty and put to death; whilst the moral and spiritual lessons deducible from the stories correspond.” [via]
“Again and again one finds some passing allusion to the cave of man’s mind, or to the caves of his youth, or to the cave of mysteries we enter at death, for to Shelley as to Porphyry it is more than an image of life in the world.” [via]