1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

Order a good book in a different manner! March 29, 2009

A friend of mine has written a book and now introduces it in an unconventional manner: print-on-demand!

The book “The Wisdom Tradition” by John Noyce is an insight into philosophical and religious thought of the West from a bit different perspective –descriptions of Divine (or Eternal) Feminine that have been found in a wide range of written accounts including materials not traditionally regarded as ‘religious’, such as philosophy, literature, and those areas of study – alchemy, astrology, theosophy, and various magical traditions – known as Western Esotericism.

Here is the preview by the author:

Chapter 1: Sophia and feminine Wisdom
The first chapter presents an overview of feminine Wisdom from Proverbs in the eighth-century BCE through to Suso and his contemporaries in the 14/15th centuries CE, with particular emphasis on the divine manifestations as received in visions and dreams, and recorded in a variety of written forms. Throughout this period of time much of the surviving literature presents Divinity in masculine terms as an omnipotent God, able to assert His authority over nature. In the Wisdom tradition however, Wisdom is presented in feminine terms, working with nature. It can be argued therefore that the descriptions of feminine Wisdom encountered in this time period, and particularly in the medieval period, can be seen as providing alternative forms for the (safe) expression of the matriarchal view of the Divine inside the increasingly rigid and authoritarian patriarchy of the Christian Church.

 (painting the Mother of the World by Nicolai Rerich 1874-1947)

Chapter 2: From Boehme to Goethe: visions of Sophia in early modern Europe
This chapter is a survey of Sophianic theosophism from its beginnings in the writings of Jakob Boehme in the early seventeenth century. Included here are the English mystics, John Pordage and Jane Lead, the German theosophists, Johann Georg Gichtel and Gottfried Arnold, and their influence on the German Romantic writers, Novalis, Holderlin and Goethe at the turn of the nineteenth century.

Chapter 3: Sophia and the Russian mystical tradition
Awareness of Wisdom (Sophia) is not unique to the Western tradition. Relatively little attention has been given to the origins of the Russian understanding of Sophia. In this chapter I propose that there were in fact two sources: namely the understanding of Sophia as divine Wisdom in Byzantium, and the later introduction to Russia of the Boehmian theosophical understanding of Sophia. (more…)

 

What do you know about Goethe’s Theory of Colours? March 12, 2009

We all know Johann Wolfgang von Goethe  (1749-1832) as the greatest of Germany’s poets (comparable to Shakespeare and Dante). But he was not only that! Goethe was also an avid amateur scientist and displayed through his careful observations and his keen, what might now be called phenomenological, mind an ability to discern the depth of the phenomenon in question. As we all learned Newton’s theory of colour formation. at school, it was very interesting for me  to discover that there was a contradiction to it, a contradiction made by a poet!

Goethe, being fascinated by the colours generated from the prism conducted his own investigations and found to his great surprise that Newton’s colour theory was, if not incorrect, but rather mechanical in nature and based on an “interpretation” of the phenomenon rather than the truth as it stands.

 Goethe’s Colour Wheel

 His 1,400-page treatise on color  Theory of Colours ( Zur Farbenlehre) was published in 1810. The work comprises three sections: i) a didactic section in which Goethe presents his own observations, ii) a polemic section in which he makes his case against Newton, and iii) a historical section. It contains some of the earliest and most accurate descriptions of phenomena such as coloured shadows, refraction, and chromatic aberration.

Goethe reformulates the topic of color in an entirely new way. Newton had viewed color as a physical problem, involving light striking objects and entering our eyes. Goethe realizes that the sensations of color reaching our brain are also shaped by our perception — by the mechanics of human vision and by the way our brains process information. Therefore, according to Goethe, what we see of an object depends upon the object, the lighting and our perception.

 In fact, Goethe’s theory is being widely used today but only few of us are aware of his discovery (reminds me of a story with Nicola Tesla).

What I personally liked about this theory is the Goethes’s explanation of the pastel colours: (more…)

 

 
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