Scaffolding Platonic Theurgic Practice: A Primer

When embarking on an undertaking of getting to know Platonism and its commentary tradition, and especially when one is determined to deeply engage in it as one’s primary spiritual path, it can seem like a lot. “Writing is a sea / its reeds are a shore,” as Thoth says in the Conversations in the House of Life scribal initiation text. It takes courage, conviction, and good sense to penetrate into those waters and learn how to swim in them.

Platonizing Alan Watts’ “Spectrum of Love”: A Listen-Through

Spotify introduced me to Hælos' Full Circle last year — first, via a song called "Alone," and then a transitional piece called "Intro/Spectrum." Perhaps I had heard the piece before and had just skipped it. I know that it started appearing on playlists in November 2021, when I noticed it for its poignant words — spoken, set to music, from some kind of lecture. This post analyzes that lecture through a mildly Platonizing framework.

Seira, transformative experiences, and spiritual materialism

Several years ago, while reading Platonic works, I found myself wondering how I and another devotee of Apollon could have such divergent perspectives and how, both of us presumably having had some kind of experience at the root of that, such a divergence was possible. Later, and as a related question, I started encountering ambiguities … Continue reading Seira, transformative experiences, and spiritual materialism

Some Quotations from Olympiodorus’ Commentary on Plato’s PHAEDO

In January, I read eight books, among them Olympiodorus' Commentary on Plato's Phaedo. It comes from notes taken during his lectures, so as with any lecture notes, mileage may vary based on the likely-Christian student's (or students') accuracy and attentiveness. Here are a few notes. (As a reminder, I have a commonplace book tag with … Continue reading Some Quotations from Olympiodorus’ Commentary on Plato’s PHAEDO

Some Passages from Damascius’ Commentary on the PHAEDO

I just finished reading Damascius' discussion of the Phaedo, and I have a few quotations that I would like to share with you all. It's sometimes an unwieldy challenge to pull quotations that are striking from a commentary because the passages are very contextual. Here, the discussion of the Phaedo focuses on the various arguments … Continue reading Some Passages from Damascius’ Commentary on the PHAEDO