Hermetic philosophy in European culture

Discusses the problems of hermeticism. Study of the European philosophical tradition which is closely connected with mysticism, which is interpreted as cognitive activity, aimed at establishing an essential connection with the spiritual levels of being.

Рубрика Философия
Вид статья
Язык английский
Дата добавления 15.12.2021
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Donbass State Pedagogical University

Hermetic philosophy in European culture

Yuliia Butko Phd in Philosophy, senior lecturer of the Department of Philosophy Socio-Political and Legal Sciences

Slavyansk, Ukraine

The article discusses the problems of hermeticism. The European philosophical tradition, like the eastern one, is closely connected with mysticism, which is interpreted as cognitive activity, aimed at establishing an essential connection with the higher spiritual levels of being. The quantity and quality of the accumulated material testifies to the widespread, deep penetration and importance of the role of mystical phenomena in culture, religion, philosophy and everyday life of people.

Keywords: hermeticism; European philosophy; gnosis; hermetic philosophy

ЮЛІЯ БУТКО

кандидат філософських наук, старший викладач кафедри філософії,

соціально-політичних і правових наук Донбаський державний педагогічний університет, (Слов'янськ, Україна)

ФІЛОСОФІЯ ГЕРМЕТИЗМУ У ЄВРОПЕЙСЬКІЙ КУЛЬТУРІ

Європейська філософська традиція, так само як і східна, тісно пов'язана з містикою, яку інтерпретують як пізнавальну активность, яка спрямована на встановлення сутнісного зв'язку з вищими духовними рівнями буття. З огляду на широкий спектр світоглядних форм західної культурної парадигми, генетичні корені до глибоких витоків містицизму, виникає проблема адекватного синтезу історичного і логічного підходів в дослідженні контуру еволюції антропомістіческіх ідей. Рішення зазначеної проблеми можна досягти, якщо провести принципову відмінність між видами об'єктів дослідження: містичними доктринами і рефлексивними філософськими та науковими теоріями про містицизм. Така логічна відмінність корелює з поворотом в історії європейського світогляду - народженням науки. У такій перспективі нам відкриваються два історично-філософських конгломерата: «Античність-Середньовіччя-Відродження-Бароко» та «Модерн-Постмодерн». Дослідження першого конгломерату передбачає виявлення загального змісту еволюції антропомістіческіх ідей і акцентований аналіз окремих форм містичного світогляду, ще недостатньо вивчений на предмет «антропомістики» - філософія герметізма, ісихазм.

Ключові слова: герметизм, європейська філософія, гнозис, герметична філософія.

ЮЛИЯ БУТКО

кандидат философских наук, старший преподаватель кафедры философии, социально-политических и правовых наук Донбасский государственный педагогический университет, (Славянск, Украина).

ФИЛОСОФИЯ ГЕРМЕТИЗМА В ЕВРОПЕЙСКОЙ КУЛЬТУРЕ

Статья посвящена проблеме герметизма. Европейская философская традиция, так же как и восточная, тесно связана с мистикой, которую интерпретируют в качестве познавательной активности, направлена на установление сущностной связи с высшими духовными уровнями бытия. Количество и качество накопленного материала свидетельствует о широкой распространенности, глубине проникновения и важности роли мистических явлений в культуре, религии, философии и повседневной жизни людей.

Ключевые слова: герметизм, европейская философия, гнозис, герметичная философия.

Introduction

The purpose of the article. Identify anthropomistic ideas in the European philosophical tradition. Research methodology. The author applied comparative- historical, complex-typological and historical-philosophical research methods.

The main material

Hermetic philosophy is built as a philosophy of knowledge - gnosis. This is its fundamental difference from any other religious system based on faith, that is, on certain special psycho-emotional states of a person. The emphasis on knowledge as a means of obtaining salvation and the requirements for possession of this knowledge in a clearly formulated doctrine is a common feature of the hermetically Gnostic doctrine.

Describing the philosophy of Hermeticism, M. Eliade notes that it attracted him much more than traditional Greek or Christian philosophy and theology, because it contains a search for the most ancient universal revelation and spirituality, which not only contain, but also precede Judaism, Christianity and Greek philosophy, being the source of the mystical and magical revelations of the East, Egypt and Persia. She considers humanism and bold syncretism.

The concept of "Hermeticism" was proposed by the ancient Greeks: the historian Herodotus; (5th century BC), he spoke about the Egyptian priests who possess secret knowledge and reduce this knowledge to the legendary Hermes Trismegistus, on whose behalf the word was formed. In the same period, the so-called "hermetic sciences" were formed, which studied the phenomena of certain levels of being because of their manifestation on others according to the principle of similarity. Hermeticism was understood as a doctrine recognizing the existence of a hidden, unknowable essence of things, open only to the initiates.

It should be noted that a sufficiently logical, harmonious structure of hermetic philosophy is based on the postulate of the unity of absolute reality, and finds expression in the words: “He is everything and only he is” (T. Leshkevich 1998, p.50).

As a religious and philosophical doctrine, Hermeticism was closely associated with occult practice, attempts at the practical application of sacred knowledge. In it we see the art of influencing environmental objects in order to obtain certain results, including earthly goods, for example, gold and silver as a result of transmutation of matter. The authorship of the Emerald Table, an excerpt from the alchemical content with a description of the philosopher's stone, is attributed to Hermes Trismegistus. Hermeticism, recognizing the living unity and interconnection of all parts of the universe, could not but serve as an excuse for alchemy, magic and astrology, and with it, justification for the special role of man in the world, which she can assimilate and transform.

Hermeticism is not only a monument of cultural heritage, it is to a certain extent the methodological basis of all subsequent mystical and esoteric philosophy. It reveals the desire to comprehend perfect knowledge through revelation, esotericism, a taste for the mythologization of philosophical abstractions, concern for the salvation of the soul, and the resulting perception of life and the world. At the same time, in its highest manifestation as a religious and philosophical doctrine, Hermeticism contains a detailed cult practice, ritual cleansing and liberation of the soul from corruption, designed to ensure the Epiphany of the deity. The only sacrament recognized by Hermeticism is the sacrament of the Word; the very nature of the presentation of thought in sealed dialogues resembles the magical procedure of evoking hidden meanings, thanks to which a person comprehends himself and God.

Hermeticism is divided into “popular” hermeticism (III century BC - III century AD), represented by treatises on astrology, alchemy, magic and medicine (a set of so- called hermetic sciences, a system of ritual and magic actions with the aim of receiving earthly blessings), and “scientific hermetism”, which is represented by treatises of a religious and philosophical nature that make up the so-called “Sealed enclosure”. In "scientific hermetism" two contradictory tendencies are observed: optimistic-pantheistic and pessimistic-gnostic. The exposition of the doctrine of Hermeticism takes place mainly in the works of the pessimistic-gnostic group (especially in the first treatise of the corps - “Poimander”). As modern scientific criticism of hermetic texts shows, they were writt en in Egyptian Alexandria between the 2nd and the beginning of the 4th century. Hermetic wisdom as a monument of ancient Egyptian culture is considered to be the oldest not only in the works of ancient Greek philosophies, but also in the books of the Old Testament. “Hermetic teaching is primarily verbal, it is transmitted from teacher to student in words, if we take into account the general respect for antiquity for the logo, word, language, meaning, emphasized respect for books, conversations and sermons, then the specificity of hermetism becomes clear - lack of unwritten teachings; it's another matter that the meaning of the written is far from always so obvious as it is obvious to the initiates”.

Hermetic philosophy is expressed by the word. Although the words are not always clear, or rather, not any listener, not any reader is able to understand their simple and understandable meaning. It is especially difficult to understand the meanings when translating hermetic texts into other languages.

According to some scholars, Hermeticism is the primary source from which we Europeans, through the help of Hellenistic thought, acquired our most valuable religious and philosophical ideas. There is an undeniable link between Hermeticism and Gnosticism.

Gnosticism, which arose in the first century of the Christian era, interpreted Christianity in terms of Persian, Egyptian, and Greek metaphysics. Forming itself in the same cultural and historical conditions in which the formation of Christian theology and philosophy of Neoplatonism (the teachings of Plotinus, Porfiry, Yamvlich) and Gnosticism (Jewish gnosis, Christian gnosis) took place, Hermeticism contained a certain similarity with them. Gnosticism preceded Christianity and relied on religious and mythological representations of the ancient East. The mystical orientation of this teaching was borrowed from Hermeticism, which denied the logic of reason and was based on ecstatic unity with God and other supernatural forces and phenomena that could not be rationally explained. “When the Greeks conquered Egypt, Egyptian magic could not remain hidden from them. Alexandrian philosophers dealt mainly with the problems of being, questions about the essence and attitude of the deity to the world, especially to people. Therefore, they also had to deal with the problem of Egyptian theurgy: can a person, using certain means, influence the gods so that they fulfill her specific desires” (Andreotti M. 2008).

The modern gnoseological situation reanimates the classical orientation by analyzing a holistic cognitive attitude at a new level. However, integrity arises in this case as an internally differentiated diversity of knowledge. The gnoseological interest extends to both scientific and unscientific methods of cognitive exploration of the world, and each type of knowledge exhibits its specific features, fields of application, degree of validity, and acceptance criteria. There is a substantial expansion of the subject field of epistemological research. For a considerable time it was believed that science as the most historically progressive form of knowledge “removes” all other forms and types of knowledge, inherits them, so to speak, “rational grains”, rejecting their inherent error. But now, the opinion that “scientific knowledge is not only not universal, on the contrary, it represents, using a mathematical expression, a limiting, particular case, is increasingly being expressed. That is why science produces effective results that can be used in practice. But the closer science in its fundamental branches approaches philosophical and worldview problems, the more universal scientific thinking becomes, the lower the direct effectiveness of its cognitive achievements (Kasavin I.T., 1999, p. 177-178). In these conditions, calls are made for the irrationalization of the cognitive process, "on the scientific nature of mysticism" and "mysticism of science." According to the American post-positivist, the author of the idea of "epistemological anarchism" P. Feyerabend, the diversity, incompatibility and alternative theories allows science to avoid dogmatism, contributes to a variety of interpretations of the same facts, arises a methodological necessity for modern science and philosophy, so modern epistemology should move away from clear requirements of classical rationalism. According to another American scholar Manley P. Hall, “traditionalism is the curse of modern philosophy, its European schools” (Holl Menli P. 2007, p. 11). In this intellectual context, interest in knowledge of occult, mystical and esoteric knowledge, which is beyond the boundaries of science and does not obey a clear organization, is justified, but at the same time remains a special type of cognitive, moreover, the spiritual attitude of man to the world. An illustration of the above thesis can serve as a special attention to the hermetic tradition.

Anthropomistic ideas of hermetic philosophy received a new sound in the culture of the Renaissance and intellectual and spiritual life of Germany. The assimilation of the Hermetic Corps, which became widespread after being translated into Latin in 1471, provided Western European opinion with depth and inspiration, linking not only the Renaissance, but also intellectual and spiritual processes into one semantic continuum. In post-Renaissance Germany, where the situation was most favorable for such a revival, hermetic philosophy, which was transformed by the theosophical principles of J. Boehme, lasted until the 19th century. Since the days of Master Eckhartt, Germany has played a leading role in the European anthropomistic tradition, where Eckhart himself and his students G. Suzo and I. Tauler include Hegel's words about “pious, inspired men,” who after Eriugen “continued philosophizing in the spirit of neo-Platonic philosophy, which also called mysticism” (Shabanova Y, 2015, p. 152).

The further development of the fundamentally anthropomistic philosophy of the Hermetic-Neoplatonic trend was closely connected with the mystical tradition of "common philosophy" (Calvin) in the sense of the unity of the world as the universal life of the spirit, which permeates and has manifestation in all objects. According to Paracelsus, the world is understood as a single organism: a macrocosm, the nature of which is contained in eternal unity, and a microcosm (person) are one. Intelligent searches are aimed at an effective search for the finding of this life in oneself and surrounding things. In this context, any activity is now understood as a way of understanding the one. Having embodied “absolute knowledge” in himself, an adherent can influence nature in accordance with the supreme Law - for this it is necessary to “read through” the world, understood as a text consisting of moving “hieroglyphs”, “sign”, “figures” that do not exist by themselves, but some kind of "definite". Alchemy, astrology, medicine, numerology, Kabbalah - these are different, but closely related methods of reading a single “meaning”, its comprehension (Gajdenko P., p. 155). The study of nature is closely connected with mystical contemplation; empiricism becomes an accumulation of spiritual experience by “transmutation of the inner man” into the hidden essence of the world. Cognitive-theoretical activity is contained in the construction of “emblems”, “figures”, “symbols”, which, as symbolic allegories, model the various sympathies of “substance” and “essence”. It is with these symbolic meanings that everything that happens in the world now, happened in the past, and will happen in the future. (Gajdenko P., 2012, p. 156).

P. Gaydenko shows, partly through Bruno, and partly due to the influence of German mysticism, on which Kuzanets himself relied, the doctrine of the coincidence of opposites becomes a methodological principle in Shelins and Hegel. hermeticism philosophical mysticism

Hermeticism articulates a middle ground between pantheism and the Judeo- Christian concept of God. According to Judeo-Christian doctrines, God is transcendental with respect to the world he created. He is absolutely self-sufficient, he did not create the world with some necessity and would not lose anything if this world had not been created. Thus, the very act of creation is essentially unmotivated, a peculiar form of gift. God does not create out of necessity, but out of perfection. For many, this understanding of the nature of God was unsatisfactory, because the creation here seems conditional and even somewhat absurd. Pantheism, in turn, gets rid of the distinction between God and the world so that everything becomes God, thus eliminating the elevated mode of divine being.

Hermeticism appears as a synthesis of the doctrine of the transcendence of God and pantheism: there is a metaphysical difference between God and the world, but God needs peace in order to achieve completeness and integrity.

In general, it can be noted that hermetic philosophy turned out to be a worldview constant, which has its own outline of historical evolution from antiquity to modern times. Thus, we can conclude that hermetic and anthropological Gnosticism became the “cementing enzyme” of the previous path of world and God -knowledge, which reinforced the feeling of its divine conditioning and openness to creative cognitive activity, created an intellectual stream of significant systems of subsequent philosophy.

References

1. Andreotti M. Die Struktur der modernen Literatur: neue Wege in der Textanalyse. Bern, Stuttgart, Wien: Verlag Paul Haupt, 2018.

2. Vysokij germetizm / Per. s drevnegrech. i lat. L.YU. Lukomskogo. - SPb.: Azbuka; Peterburgskoe Vostokovedenie, 2011. - 416s.

3. Eco U. Theorien interpretativer Kooperation // Moderne Interpretationstheorien. - Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht GmbH & Co. KG, Gцttingen, 2018. -S. 98-130.

4. Gajdenko P.P. Proryv k transcendentnomu: Novaya ontologiya HKH veka / P.P. Gajdenko. - M.: Respublika.2012. - 495 s.

5. Kasavin I.T. Magiya i tvorchestvo: teoretiko-poznavatel'nyj podhod / I.T. Kasavin // Razum i ekzistenciya: Analiz nauchnyh i vnenauchnyh form myshleniya: [Nauchnyj sbornik] / pod. red. I.T. Kasavina. - M.: RHGI, 1999. - S. 173-186.

6. Leshkevich T.G. Filosofiya. Vvodnyj kurs: [uchebnoe posobie] / T.G. Leshkevich. - [Izd. 2-e, dopolnennoe]. - M.: «Kontur», 1998. - 464s.

7. Holl Menli P. Enciklopedicheskoe izlozhenie masonskoj, germeticheskoj, kabbalicticheskoj i rozenkrejcerovskoj simvolicheskoj filosofii / Menli P. Holl; Per. s angl. - M.: EKSMO; SPb: Midgard, 2007. - 864s.

8. Shabanova YU.A. Filosofs'ka mistika yak mozhlivist' novoi metafiziki / YU.A. SHabanova // Mul'tiversum. Filosofs'kij al'manah. - Vip..45. - K.: Ukrains'kij Centr duhovnoi kul'turi, 2015. - S.115 - 127.

Список використаних джерел

1. Andreotti M. Die Struktur der modernen Literatur: neue Wege in der Textanalyse. Bern, Stuttgart, Wien: Verlag Paul Haupt, 2018.

2. Vysokij germetizm / Per. s drevnegrech. i lat. L.YU. Lukomskogo. - SPb.: Azbuka; Peterburgskoe Vostokovedenie, 2011. - 416s.

3. Eco U. Theorien interpretativer Kooperation // Moderne Interpretationstheorien. - Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht GmbH & Co. KG, Gцttingen, 2018. -S. 98-130.

4. Gajdenko P.P. Proryv k transcendentnomu: Novaya ontologiya HKH veka / P.P. Gajdenko. - M.: Respublika.2012. - 495 s.

5. Kasavin I.T. Magiya i tvorchestvo: teoretiko-poznavatel'nyj podhod / I.T. Kasavin // Razum i ekzistenciya: Analiz nauchnyh i vnenauchnyh form myshleniya: [Nauchnyj sbornik] / pod. red. I.T. Kasavina. - M.: RHGI, 1999. - S. 173-186..

6. Leshkevich T.G. Filosofiya. Vvodnyj kurs: [uchebnoe posobie] / T.G. Leshkevich. - [Izd. 2-e, dopolnennoe]. - M.: «Kontur», 1998. - 464s.

7. Holl Menli P. Enciklopedicheskoe izlozhenie masonskoj, germeticheskoj, kabbalicticheskoj i rozenkrejcerovskoj simvolicheskoj filosofii / Menli P. Holl; Per. s angl. - M.: EKSMO; SPb: Midgard, 2007. - 864s.

8. Shabanova YU.A. FUosofs'ka m^tika yak mozhlmst' novo'i metafiziki / YU.A. SHabanova // Mul'tiversum. Fьosofs'kij al'manah. - Vip..45. - K.: Ukrams'kij Centr duhovno'i kul'turi, 2015. - S.115 - 127.

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