Faint gibbering heard from somewhere near the restricted stacks
Tag Archives: Porphyry
Porphyry ridicules the idea that gods, being wiser, more powerful, and superior to man, could be coaxed, persuaded or forced to do the will of man or conform to his desires. He repudiates the theory that clairvoyance, prophecy, etc., were the results of the inspiration by external gods, but says that they are a function of the Divine Spirit within man; and that the exercise of this function becomes possible when the soul is put into that condition which is necessary to exercise it. “The consciousness of man may be centred within or beyond his physical form; and according to conditions a man may be, so to say, out of himself or within himself, or ‘in a state in which he is neither wholly without nor within, but enjoys both states at once.” He also states that there are many invisible beings, which may take all possible forms and appear as gods, as men, or as demons, that they are fond of lying and masquerading, and of pretending to be the souls of departed men.
Madsen writes a looping dream in which famous psychoanalysts, confessional perverts, ubiquitous anxieties, persistent hungers, and erotic longings weave together convincingly for the reader and the nameless narrator.
Choice quote: “Inside the packed cathedral all was sweet odors, cool shadows, the glint and glimmer of gold, the shy presence of the numinous amid the interplay of darkness and light; polychrome saints looked down from their lofty niches: St Parthexus with his gilded phallus, St Romo and the blind lion, St Averina carrying her lacerated breasts on a silver platter; votive candles winked before gaudy shrines; above the High Altar was suspended a huge icon of the Keys-in-Triplicate, wreathed in the smoke of ambergris, rosemary, cedarwood and myrtle. Great shafts of air bisected the tenebrous interior, their passage and dispersal echoing the whispered supplications of a thousand worshippers. Ranks of gorgeously-robed acolytes were already assembled on the marble sanctuary, which was inlaid with lozenges of onyx and porphyry.” [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]