Neoplatonism: Theology for Wanderers in the New Millennium

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Neoplatonism seemed to have been one of Manly P. Hall’s favorite subjects down through the years, he spoke and wrote about it frequently during his long career. In the foreword to his book Lectures on Ancient Philosophy, Mr. Hall declared that Neoplatonism was the basis of his own personal philosophy. After years of study and reflection he had come to believe that the doctrines of Neoplatonism had descended to us in a purer form than nearly any other philosophical system — a system that seemed more suitable to the active, extroverted Western cultural mindset. This book is based upon the five-part lecture series Doctrines of Neoplatonism delivered by Manly Hall in 1983 to students at the Philosophical Research Society. Manly Hall believed Neoplatonism’s simple precepts could enable anyone to live a more philosophic life.

  • Part 1 | Proclus on the Theology of Plato - What is the difference between the teachings of Plato and the New (Neo) Platonists? Neoplatonism is primarily to be defined as a motion of Platonism toward theology. In other words, it is the rise of Platonism as a religion.
  • Part 2 | Iamblicus on the Mysteries - Iamblicus is associated with one degree of the Neoplatonic Ladder of development, the Ladder of the Soul, rising from opinion through all the different degrees of intellect culminating at the upper end in Theurgy.
  • Part 3 | Plotinus on the Beautiful - Neoplatonists considered "Beauty" an alternative to the word "good". Good with a capital 'G' was the equivalent of our word God.
  • Part 4 | Porphyry on the Wanderings of Ulysses - The philosophers of the Platonic and Neoplatonic schools favored the idea that Homer's blindness was symbolic. It indicated not his inability to see on the objective level, but that he had turned his sight inward to the contemplation of things normally invisible.
  • Part 5 | Julian on the Mother of the Gods - The Roman Emperor Julian (philosopher, scholar and mystic), had a great and sublime sense of the dignity of life and was not inclined to accept upon its literal value — he sought a deeper meaning. Thus with the fables of the Great Mother, goddess of the Ephesians, Isis the Mother of the Mysteries, he sought to find this meaning.

ISBN: 0-89314-879-2 |  Paperback. 176pp

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