CHARACTERS Orpheus and the Roots of Platonism 107

Orpheus and the Roots of Platonism

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Hts into the usually downplaid relations between Egyptian initiation Greek mysteries and Plato's philosophy and followers right into Hellenistic Neoplatonic and Hermetic developments. Perhaps I am the mummy like jackal who has come from the four corners of Nun and wishes to bark amongst the dogs of Seshat Algis Uždavinys 1962 2010 was an incredible scholar of classical theurgy and Greek philosophy While he claimed that with this book he had nothing else to say I can't help but feel his insights were congealing into a not uite yet realized but still marvelous synthesis of ancient thought This monograph is a exposition of philosophy as Orphean madness what Plato called erotike mania the desire for the divine banuet and wisdom

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A book on the religious mystic origins and substance of philosophy This is a critical survey of ancient and modern sources and of scholarly works dealing with Orpheus and everything. This bizarre little book is an incoherent brain dump of brilliant ideas reflecting the author's Herculean effort to articulate key points of the lifeworld of antiuity viz knowledge initiation immortality and truth It's a prolegomena where a critiue is needed and although it contains many brilliant insights and stunning observations it's tedious and exhausting to read coming across like the ranting of an academic in the grip of a manic episode The name strikes me as almost entirely arbitrary Although Orpheus and Plato appear in the book Uždavinys dwells as much or about Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia Rome and Europe of the Middle Ages as he does on Greece I was deeply put off by his argument by apposition He strings thoughts together by association making no effort whatsoever to motivate or explain why a mystical rite of classical antiuity necessarily had any relationship to the teachings of a Persian Sufi in the eleventh century I can't comprehend what in Uždavinys's mind an argument consists of or really what he was doing on a very basic level other than rhapsodizing It didn't surprise me that he railed against methodical and careful scholars like M L West while praising similarly speculative authors like Jan Assmann whom he uotes liberally Like Assmann Uždavinys speculates in the most uninhibited way and posits coherence and unity between distant ideas seemingly at his convenience The fragmentary nature of this odd compendium is perhaps most clearly brought across by its end or lack thereof It stops at a completely arbitrary point Despite these numerous and severe flaws Uždavinys undoubtedly was a master of secondary literature on the ancient world and the book contains a great many gems I believe his basic intuition is sound and I found his effort to expound on the nature of philosophic thought with respect to its transcendental content and his deft navigation of diverse traditions by which it played out in different forms to be at times virtuosic He gives an electrifying sense of the vitality of ancient philosophy and conveys the depth and profundity of its spiritual roots It's too bad he seems like such a deeply disorganized individual He could have been a truly great scholar of Peter Brown's caliber

Algis Uždavinys  7 CHARACTERS

Related to this major figure of ancient Greek myth religion and philosophy Here poetic madness meets religious initiation and Platonic philosophy This book contains fascinating insig. I want to believe Robards Revenge (The Youngest Templar, initiation and Platonic philosophy This book contains fascinating The Poison Garden insig. I want to believe


8 thoughts on “Orpheus and the Roots of Platonism

  1. says:

    This bizarre little book is an incoherent brain dump of brilliant ideas reflecting the author's Herculean effort to articulate key points of the lifeworld of antiuity viz knowledge initiation immortality and truth It's a prolegomena where a critiue is needed and although it contains many brilliant insights and stunning observations it's tedious and exhausting to read coming across like the ranting of an academic in the grip of a manic episode The name strikes me as almost entirely arbitrary Although Orpheus and Plato appear in the book Uždavinys dwells as much or about Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia Rome and Europe of the Middle Ages as he does on Greece I was deeply put off by his argument by apposition He strings thoughts together by association making no effort whatsoever to motivate or explain why a mystical rite of classical antiuity necessarily had any relationship to the teachings of a Persian Sufi in the eleventh century I can't comprehend what in Uždavinys's mind an argument consists of or really what he was doing on a very basic level other than rhapsodizing It didn't surprise me that he railed against methodical and careful scholars like M L West while praising similarly speculative authors like Jan Assmann whom he uotes liberally Like Assmann Uždavinys speculates in the most uninhibited way and posits coherence and unity between distant ideas seemingly at his convenience The fragmentary nature of this odd compendium is perhaps most clearly brought across by its end or lack thereof It stops at a completely arbitrary point Despite these numerous and severe flaws Uždavinys undoubtedly was a master of secondary literature on the ancient world and the book contains a great many gems I believe his basic intuition is sound and I found his effort to expound on the nature of philosophic thought with respect to its transcendental content and his deft navigation of diverse traditions by which it played out in different forms to be at times virtuosic He gives an electrifying sense of the vitality of ancient philosophy and conveys the depth and profundity of its spiritual roots It's too bad he seems like such a deeply disorganized individual He could have been a truly great scholar of Peter Brown's caliber


  2. says:

    Really something Much beyond my range but stimulating still Only at the end did I start to suspect Uzdavinys might have been sarcastic at times I don't know if he wasI have no idea what to say except that it was wonderful The experience reminded me of reading Zizek a few years back after I had finished the book The Plague of Fantasies I just couldn't say what the hell it had been about and what it had said about that mysterious something but I nonetheless felt it was a great readI guess Uzdavinys' main thesis was that Plato maybe pick and choose d parts of Orphic and Egyptian religious doctrine for his own system or at the least was much influenced by Parmenides who was very much influenced by the Orphics and the Egyptians All this is very contestable because the little we know of Parmenides the Orphics and the Egyptians is fragmentary and inevitably interpreted through a European lens across several millenia Uzdavinys readily admits this although I just can't escape the feeling he was being a bit sarcasticAn enigmatic work Will definitely re read


  3. says:

    A better title might be Egypt and the Spurious Roots of PlatonismExcluding a handful paragraphs Orpheus is only mentioned off hand and secondarily to ancient aegyptian and Assyrian TheologyThe first third about Assyrian was convincing while half the connections with Egypt were repetitive and speculative Reading his other works might offer convincing comparisons I'm not saying there aren't any Egypt is undoubtedly influential in every way; but Assyrian connection was stronger but that might be my Neoplatonic bias and his Eastern biasThe author gives off the impression of Orriental centrism and an Iamblichian view if that's a word perhaps one might even say anti neoplatonic


  4. says:

    I want to believe


  5. says:

    Theoria apophasis


  6. says:

    Perhaps I am the mummy like jackal who has come from the four corners of Nun and wishes to bark amongst the dogs of Seshat Algis Uždavinys 1962 2010 was an incredible scholar of classical theurgy and Greek philosophy While he claimed that with this book he had nothing else to say I can't help but feel his insights were congealing into a not uite yet realized but still marvelous synthesis of ancient thought This monograph is a exposition of philosophy as Orphean madness what Plato called erotike mania the desire for the divine banuet and wisdom


  7. says:

    Excellent book It is short only 24 short chapters but it is excellent and shows mastery on the subject I little bit scholar but straight to the point A lot of Greek vocabulary and sometimes old Egyptian words So get ready to learn a little bit of GreekUniue work of tracing the roots of some aspects of Plato the soul its destiny and myths associated Good source to know the current scholar work on Orphism Hermetism Phytagoriamism and Plato The order of the chapter is a little bit weird or at least I did not get


  8. says:

    A great book which examines Plato's dialogues from a different perspective or lens namely the mystery cults Orphism standing or lensThe book also covers other mystery cults and practices especially those of the Ancient Egyptians Assyrians Babylonians and others Although the book is a heavy read it is so informative and enlightening and it made feel that I want to read


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