Reading Room

Hermetism

Henry Corbin – About Sabian Ritual and Angelology

“The ideal synthesis of Ismaili and Sabian thinking, as delineated by Shahrastani, shows them to be both dominated by the same presupposition: the Deus innominatus—-in Sabian terms the “Lord of Lords”, in Ismaili terms “He who cannot be reached by the boldness of thought”—is of such transcendence that he can neither make himself known nor be known directly. The mediating beings who reveal Him are those essences of pure Light that philosophers call “Intelligences” (‘uqul), and that religious vocabulary designates as “Angels” (mala’ikah). The…

Henry Corbin-The Hermetic Idea of Perfect Nature According to the Harranian Sabeans

Picture: Harran, Turkey“…/…The relationship is in fact so fundamental that it is found again in Manicheism, and is also what, in Sohravardi’s “oriental theosophy,” makes it possible for us to conceive the relationship between the Perfect Nature of the mystic and the archetypal Angel of humanity (identified with the Holy Ghost; the Angel Gabriel of the Qur’anic Revelation, the active Intelligence of the Avicennan philosophers). What this Figure represents in relation to the totality of the souls of light emanated from itself, each Pe…

Hermes Trismegistus’ Prayer

Image: Hermes Trismegistus, floor mosaic in the Cathedral of Siena.‘As they left the sanctuary, they began praying to God and turning to the south (for when someone wants to entreat God at sunset, he should direct his gaze to that quarter, and likewise at sunrise towards the direction they call east), and they were already saying their prayer when in a hushed voice Asclepius asked: ‘Tat, do you think we should suggest that your father tell them to add frankincense and spices as we pray to God?’When Trismegistus heard him, he was dis…
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