Friday, December 17, 2010

Day 752 (Tidbits)

Ah, now Blake is really delving into some arcane details here. People who have already been looking outside of standard and traditional Christian religions will likely have heard of the topic Blake is talking about in the Day 752 post on THE 800 DAYS blog.

The Topic: The Emerald Tablet

Also known as the philosophy/principled works and beliefs of Hermes Trismegistus (Hermes the Thrice Greatest).

The works and associated teachings of Trismegistus have also been called "Secret of Secrets" and by a number of other titles. It seems this material was considered dangerous (probably still is) at an earlier time in ancient history. The works have been wrongly dated up until quite recently, so a while back many people believed these volumes of text to belong further into the past than they actually were. Most scholars today agree that The Emerald Tablet was mistakenly dated as having been written long, long before Christianity arose in the Western Civilizations and Western regions. Now, most authorities believe that these works are rightly dated as coming into existence just prior to Christianity and as a possible, probably precursor for the principles of the earliest Christianity.

Naturally, there are ongoing debates about the age of these texts that are probably a healthy way to question ANYTHING from our distant past, but generally, there are a LOT of tidbits that scholars from the fields of history, religion, sociology and more actually agree quite soundly on.

  • These texts are at the core of Hermetic Tradition
  • The Emerald Tablets complement or go together with a larger core set of documents called The Corpus Hermeticum (18 tracts or chapters/sections)
  • There are different sorts of denominations/groups with slightly differing viewpoints who followed and still do follow today, the Hermetic Tradition, each having variations of principles. In other words, Hermeticism is not dead... people still live by and practice these religious, ethical, practical and living principles.
  • Followers of Hermeticism study in the fields (whether we think this is outdated or not) of Alchemy, Astrology and Theurgy.
  • Alchemy: study of things related to or powered by the Sun
  • Astrology: study of things related to or powered by the Moon
  • Theurgy: study of things related to or powered by the Stars
  • In some respects and for some purposes, the details of astrology and theurgy are not separate from alchemy and in these situations, the study is simply known as alchemy or alchemical. ie: knowledge of the operation of the moon and stars might be used in certain alchemical routines or practices to gain a particular result or effect. In such cases, we wouldn't say, "that was an alchemy and astrology and theugy reaction," we'd just say "that process was one of alchemy" or something similar.
To me the Emerald Tablet of Trismegistus is pretty much like a condensed short guiding piece to sum up general principles of Hermetic Tradition, the combination of The Corpus Hermeticum and related works.

Go read the Emerald Tablet on Blake's Blog: Day 752 - The Emerald Tablet

If you're interested in learning more about the principles involved in the Hermetic Traditions, you can find The Corpus Hermeticum online:

About The Corpus Hermetica

Now if you get to busy to look at the longer works, don't worry... I'm just POSITIVE that The Corpus Hermeticum, along with The Emerald Tablet are topics and works that are going to show up repeatedly over the remainder of the 800 Days countdown. The Hermetic works really are some of the most interesting (AND USEFUL) collections of esoterica that are available to us. For now, The Emerald Tablet is a nice, concise piece of reading to pick up and apply accordingly.

The Emerald Tablet information post from Day 752 is associated with Monday November 29 2010.

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