ennui is for suckers (t3dy) wrote,
ennui is for suckers
t3dy

January Pico tweets and conversations/replies/responses


Some assume Pico was trying to be provocative, I don't think he expected to be accused of heresy but least of all angel magic or bad theurgy

Whether or not Pico's original approaches to Neoplatonism, Dionysius, Plotinus, Thomism work, they're based on serious engagement.

Raymond Waddington's article on "Sun as Center" looks at structure of Heptaplus, which Pico organized by theme, but magically?

Copenhaver has suggested that Pico structures 900 Theses like Talisman, but other modes of signification, subtler magics are possible.

As in Pseudo-Dionysius, who structured his texts to follow celestial hierarchy procession as contemplative model, Pico's texts strux.matter.

In Commento Pico plays Renaissance game of exploring Christian mysteries using Greek mythological symbols -God/Uranus AngelMind/Saturn-Venus

Pico looks at his [serious] man/angel comparison problem from other direction when he considers why angels represented by men in Heptaplus.

Jill Kraye, in Dougherty p.35 Pico draws on the resources of Humanism to extol scholastic philosophy+theology"... "what schol. had to offer"

For Pico it is this angelic mediation that forms an important part of the story of harmonizing Plato with Aristotelian criticism vs. Forms.

Pico discusses Angelic mind as one simple being receiving and translating the forms into the level of being appropriate to human knowlegde.

Pico finds it more practical to talk angelology, levels of being, Angelic Mind in simple Plotinian terms rather than complex Proclan/Pd-ian.

Pico takes a "more philosophical" approach not to criticize or modify philosophical angelology of Dionysius/but to translate into Plat.terms

For our purposes, since we have undertaken to say what we think is the common ground between Plato+Aristotle, we shall ignore first opinion

But Pico is not like Eriugena or Eckhart in following Dionysius/Proclus all the way to "I am God" but follows Aquinas constraint "image of."

Pico seems to be going back past Aquinas into the murky depths of Augustinian+Dionysian theologies--more negative, more numerological/poetic

Interpretation of Pico's De Ente has not emphasized the "Aristotelian" interpretation of Dionysius by Thomas Aquinas. He follows but rePlat?

Thomas Aquinas was well aware that Proclus, Dionysius, and Book of Causes author were dealing w/ different approach to similar phil. themes.

a great Platonist once told me that he was amazed by a passage in which Plotinus says that God understands nothing and knows nothing. -Pico

Crofton Black argues in his conclusion that Pico's theory of scriptural interpretation in Heptaplus is anagogic in sense of Pseudo-Dionysius


Even if Pico follows Iamblichus on theurgy, since for Iamblichus main idea is mystical union, not conjuring spirits,P's theurgy is mysticism

The philosophical contribution to Renaissance angelology represented by the Proclan conclusions alone is impressive. Huge digesting project!

In his Proclan conclusions (100 of 900) Pico lays bare the metaphysics of the celestial hierarchy which can be found in Neoplatonism/amazing

Pico quietly brings a huge amount of Proclan angelology into the 900 Theses that doesn't cause much of a fuss. Important b/c showed PD~=NP

Pico seems to be more public about his admiration of Plotinus, but uses sparingly, finding more angel metaphysics in Proclus+Syrianus,Iambl.

Pico does not exhibit "theurgic skepticism" of Reuchlin+Agrippa, celebrates doesn't deconstruct philosophy

Iamblichus was wary of philosophy in De Mysteriis since it can't wield theurgic knowledge, Pico loves it b/c prepares for holy theology

Iamblichus wrote his defense of theurgy scoffing at Porphyry to think he could get there by mere contemplation. Pico celebrates mere contem.

When Pico exhorts reader to "become angelic" in celebration of philosophy, he means it, but angelizing is contemplation, not theurgy.

If we consider Dionysius' careful efforts to constrain theurgy, show how hierarchy not broken, not magic, works for Pico becoming angelic...

In his 900 Theses Pico has not laid out an "angelic regimen," Copenhaver may be exaggerating to say he does in Oration/it's rhetorical flair

Rather than look for a mystical angelology in 900 Theses we should look for what Pico is suggesting, what study resources he is highlighting

Can we reconcile Pico's angelology of Commento and Heptaplus with that of De Ente? Do we need to? Pico would consider his own work debatable

Pico is admitting that Commento is a philosophical speculation exercise, departing from the mode of Dionysius which will be his tool in Ente

Pico says that the Plotinian style approach to Angelic Mind he's favoring in Commento is "more philosophical" + closer to Plato/Aristotle...


stick to the most beautiful lines, not the nuts and bolts of egghead mysticism
De Ente + Disputations only one quote each on angels would be minimalist, plenty more to say on T's PD worth mentioning briefly, A/C Being.
Heptaplus I could discuss but better overlook many uses of PD, show T reading, focus on AngelicMind+Angel as Number, how "example"perf.works

Pico's work on Proclan mp/ontology that supports PD'ian angelology complicates purely "Plotinian" approach he outlines in Commento+Heptaplus
Pico seems to be following Aquinas who said "Dionysius everwhere follows Aristotle" when he uses PD to back up his Arist.argument in De Ente
Pico makes an Aristotelian argument vs. Iamblichus in De Ente. Sees Dionysius as a better Aristotelian, corrects the Platonism to a degree?
Gonna be cycling thru various stress reduction rituals+exercises tonight. Anyone got a favorite tip for 30 second break+recharge practices?
Commento Bit: Show how Pico sets up problem, quote tasty bits, refer to Michael Allen's masterful study "Bday of Venus," Angel Comp, AngMind
elsewhere D uses same manner of speaking Plotinus uses-God's not intell. or intelligent creature, but is ineffably exalted above all int+cog

Pico is not bold to disagree with Dionysius. He apologizes for taking this "more philosophical" view, but feels it is not contrary to faith.
-second opinion is more philosophical; closer to views of Aristotle+Plato,+is followed by all of the better Aristotelians+better Platonists.
The first opinion's closer to that of Dionysius the Areopagite+Christian theologians who believe in a more or less infinite number of angels
Pico della Mirandola, Commento: "About the second hypostasis, that is, the angelic or intellectual, there is disagreement among Platonists."

During the problem statement I will cite a few secondary sources but I don't want to get too bogged down in the argument, just list FY+EM ex
rather than get bogged down citing too many secondary sources when describing the angel I will cite Pico's texts almost predominantly
In Commento and Heptaplus Pico recalls Oration angel comparison saying _______ In Heptaplus Imitatio Christi ______ In De Ente imitate God _
In Commento Pico explains difficulty interpreting Philosophical Angelology, saying ______ this shows his angel project is part of concordia.
from this moment I'm avoiding old notes until it's time to just plug blanks into templates. need to start writing with blanks... ___________
Whatever we think of his KBL+NP theses,there's no obvious magical implication to be found in his scholastic angel theses.Shows phil.interest

Having done a survey of Pico's wntings on angels, I have discovered much difficult philosophy that needs work, very few magical implications
When I emphasize the philosophical reasons motivating Pico in his writings on Angels, I don't mean to downplay his angelic spirituality any

The term Theurgy helps us understand Pico in positive + negative ways. Shows legit religion he sees in anc.phil. also limits of Pico's magic
Pico's model of "becoming angelic," "rivalling the angels," + going beyond angelic level of being to unify w/divine, needs no "Magus."
Pico doesn't delve into the theurgic liturgical theory of Dionysius' EH. But he does delve into philosophical angelology tied up w/ theurgy.

Pico cites a debt to the Mystical Theology, Divine Names, Celestial Hierarchy of Dionysius but doesn't use[Theurgic]Ecclesiastical Hierarchy
Does Dionysian "becoming theurgic" help explain "becoming angelic" in Pico? Pico cites everything else in Dionysius-heavy on MT+DN,CH not EH

reruns
Pico's most original treatment of angels can be seen in Commento, where he does Plotinian Intelligible World as single, simple Angelic Mind.
Pico sees Proclan/PD angels as existing in a henadic manifold, but within Divine Mind--more "Aristotelian" via Aquinas as well as Plotinus

It is not clear if Pico himself even thought he knew what a licit magical operation would be like. Did he have a mystical"operative spirit"?

Pico's magical semiotics is an interesting subject but unfortunately he didn't write much explaining what he was doing with it.
Scholars have mistakenly assumed that "dignity" of Man in Oration makes him a Magus, but really Pico is doing standard T/Aug "divine image"

Pico knows from Christian revelation that it is possible for man to "become angelic" or become one with God. This is what he celebrates in O


Pico certainly doesn't rule out Dionysian theurgy, and since he approves of Iamblichean piety+metaphysics he's not anti-Iamblichean mystics.

Should we discern a progression here? In Oration Pico exhorts to emulating angels, Heptaplus to imitatio Christi, De Ente to imitate God...

Imitation of the divine is a consistent theme for Pico which he develops using Christian notions of emulating Angels (O), Jesus (H), God (B)
stick to the most beautiful lines, not the nuts and bolts of egghead mysticism
De Ente + Disputations only one quote each on angels would be minimalist, plenty more to say on T's PD worth mentioning briefly, A/C Being.
Heptaplus I could discuss but better overlook many uses of PD, show T reading, focus on AngelicMind+Angel as Number, how "example"perf.works

"all is in all" "god is not intellect" "participation" "angel as number" "stripping away perfections" all are prioritized over magic+Kabbala

...Interpretation, discovering information about the multiple worlds by discovering how they've been encoded into multiple layers of Genesis

In Heptaplus Pico applies the theoretical framework of different levels of being (a synthesis of Aquinas+Dionysius w/conf. from Kabbalah) to

Pico follows Dionysius who follows Proclus on "all is in all" -- for this to work need hierarchy of levels for each level to be expressed at

Pico in a Proclan conclusion emphasizes that though "all is in all each according to its own mode" hierarchy nevertheless preserved.

Pico never says that man jumps the hierarchy in order to infuse himself with the power of angelic being to work magic. He preserves it.

Aquinas in ST makes clear that talk of men being "lifted up into angel orders" (saints) doesn't mean state change, not becoming angel being.

Pico gives Enoch>Metatron as general ex. of human becoming angel. But he follows Aquinas who polices PD dangers/shows man doesn't BECOME ang

Like Dionysian theurgy for Pico magic+Kabbalah are metaphors that illuminate divine power+activity, angelic functionalities of contemplation

Can we learn something about Pico's handling of magic+KBL by looking at Dionysius' handling of Neoplatonic theurgy? Thomas' Dionysius mod?

Pico's Angelology remains unfinished but will be "Completed" only by his Christian Cabalists followers who read him as disobiently as he KBL

Pico's philosophical angelology did not lead him to magic, but it did become part of an angel magic in his Christian Cabalist followers.

Pico's Commento and Heptaplus make important philosophical contributions that must be understood as background to later CBL/Magical Theology

But while Copenhaver the UCLA Philosophy prof. may find Divinization boring+unattractive, Neoplatonists are still trying to understand Pico.
Pico's idea of freedom was the ability to choose what Copenhaver describes as the most unromantic life imaginable: boring old divinization.
It's a hilarious irony that Pico, author of "Rules for Spiritual Battle," gets confused with modern antinomian versions of anything goes fdm

interpretations that led to the negative impression of Pico have been debunked, but his angelology still not being studied, the view assumed
Pico uses Plotinus to reread PD+Late NP? Vice Versa? Plotinus post-Aquinas/Albert? Post-Averroes? In an case he's typical NP user+creative.
Pico uses Plotinus on magic and considers him among "better platonists." But Proclus+Syrianus is where we find angel encounter. A problem?

Michael Allen on Pico's Platonic Exegesis deals with his Angelology http://bit.ly/fG9DKF "to proceed Orphically" in P+F

Pico's work on Proclan mp/ontology that supports PD'ian angelology complicates purely "Plotinian" approach he outlines in Commento+Heptaplus
Pico seems to be following Aquinas who said "Dionysius everwhere follows Aristotle" when he uses PD to back up his Arist.argument in De Ente
Pico makes an Aristotelian argument vs. Iamblichus in De Ente. Sees Dionysius as a better Aristotelian, corrects the Platonism to a degree?
Commento Bit: Show how Pico sets up problem, quote tasty bits, refer to Michael Allen's masterful study "Bday of Venus," Angel Comp, AngMind
elsewhere D uses same manner of speaking Plotinus uses-God's not intell. or intelligent creature, but is ineffably exalted above all int+cog

Pico is not bold to disagree with Dionysius. He apologizes for taking this "more philosophical" view, but feels it is not contrary to faith.
-second opinion is more philosophical; closer to views of Aristotle+Plato,+is followed by all of the better Aristotelians+better Platonists.
The first opinion's closer to that of Dionysius the Areopagite+Christian theologians who believe in a more or less infinite number of angels
Pico della Mirandola, Commento: "About the second hypostasis, that is, the angelic or intellectual, there is disagreement among Platonists."

During the problem statement I will cite a few secondary sources but I don't want to get too bogged down in the argument, just list FY+EM ex
rather than get bogged down citing too many secondary sources when describing the angel I will cite Pico's texts almost predominantly
In Commento and Heptaplus Pico recalls Oration angel comparison saying _______ In Heptaplus Imitatio Christi ______ In De Ente imitate God _
In Commento Pico explains difficulty interpreting Philosophical Angelology, saying ______ this shows his angel project is part of concordia.
from this moment I'm avoiding old notes until it's time to just plug blanks into templates. need to start writing with blanks... ___________
Whatever we think of his KBL+NP theses,there's no obvious magical implication to be found in his scholastic angel theses.Shows phil.interest

Having done a survey of Pico's wntings on angels, I have discovered much difficult philosophy that needs work, very few magical implications
When I emphasize the philosophical reasons motivating Pico in his writings on Angels, I don't mean to downplay his angelic spirituality any

The term Theurgy helps us understand Pico in positive + negative ways. Shows legit religion he sees in anc.phil. also limits of Pico's magic
Pico's model of "becoming angelic," "rivalling the angels," + going beyond angelic level of being to unify w/divine, needs no "Magus."
Pico doesn't delve into the theurgic liturgical theory of Dionysius' EH. But he does delve into philosophical angelology tied up w/ theurgy.

Pico cites a debt to the Mystical Theology, Divine Names, Celestial Hierarchy of Dionysius but doesn't use[Theurgic]Ecclesiastical Hierarchy
Does Dionysian "becoming theurgic" help explain "becoming angelic" in Pico? Pico cites everything else in Dionysius-heavy on MT+DN,CH not EH

Pico's most original treatment of angels can be seen in Commento, where he does Plotinian Intelligible World as single, simple Angelic Mind.
Pico sees Proclan/PD angels as existing in a henadic manifold, but within Divine Mind--more "Aristotelian" via Aquinas as well as Plotinus

It is not clear if Pico himself even thought he knew what a licit magical operation would be like. Did he have a mystical"operative spirit"?

Pico's magical semiotics is an interesting subject but unfortunately he didn't write much explaining what he was doing with it.
Scholars have mistakenly assumed that "dignity" of Man in Oration makes him a Magus, but really Pico is doing standard T/Aug "divine image"

Pico knows from Christian revelation that it is possible for man to "become angelic" or become one with God. This is what he celebrates in O


From some accoutns it would seem Pico's angelology is heavily magical, but less than 1% of his writing on angels explicitly connex w/ magic.

Speculation about the theurgic potentials of Kabbalistic lore Pico converted into apologetic tools is interesting but sheds no light on Pico

I think an occultist interpretation of Pico would better serve its agenda by looking at what Pico said primarily, since it inspired so much. about

Craven shows that historians have demonstrated a remarkable tendency to twist Pico to their own ends. I don't mean to accuse of this, but...

Although I am not pursuing the notion very far, I have not exhausted topic, look forward to a Pico theurgic reading informed by recent schol

I think the quest for Pico's theurgy is a fool's errand. Better to just abandon historicity and do like Pico's Christian Cabalist followers!

Pico shouldn't be considered a theorist of theurgy because he never directly discusses it/But some brilliant discovery coded in implication?

It's ironic that Pico was accused of magic/heresy based on his commitments to Pseudo-Dionysius, since PD was anti-magical contact w/angels.

Pico like Dionysius doesn't understand gnosis or salvation as something that the philosopher magically takes into his own hands,but receives

Pico has interesting things to say on "operator" w/in limits of Dionysian (Christian) Mystical Theology, but passively "raised" by MT/angels

Pico doesn't bring in Pseudo-Dionysius' or Proclus+Iamblichus theurgy talk. But he does mystic ascent+poetic theology in unfamiliar style...

Pico never uses the term theurgy. If we are to use theurgy to describe Pico we need a good reason to distrust Pico's own terminology?

Pico wrote 3 small books after Oration+900 that are masterpieces of ontological theology and Dionysian angelology: Heptaplus, Commento, Ente

Pico's artistry is in the condensing and summarizing/synthesizing (though not really syncretizing) work he's doing in Conclusions+treatises.

I don't think Pico's reading of Plotinus should be considered less interesting than Ficino because we don't have enough text. Mystery's nice

Unlike Ficino Pico did not live long enough to fully articulate his reading of Plotinus. Michael Allen has argued he's unfair to Ficino but-

Pico's reading of Plotinus is unfortunately only available in small # of Conclusions, brief magic theory in Oration,Commento,Hep+BU shorts.

When Pico makes a "Plotinian" model of Angelic Mind in Commento he's not only articulating an original approach to angelology: Plotinus read

Pico is interested in the differences between Neoplatonists on matters philosophical, but doesn't seem interested in comparing theurgies.

Now that theurgy in Dionysius is so much better understood, perhaps we can understand presence of Dionysius angels in Pico's mystic ascent.

Application of the term theurgy to Pico has been confused a long time but only recently has the use of the term by Dionysius been understood

Pico consistently speaks of man as a passive recipient of angelic+divine illumination, even in Oratio his supposedly radically active model.

Pico's participation talk inclines me to think he follows Dionysius on theurgy: (if he's doing theurgy) man participates in what angels *do*

Pico picks up on usefulness of Aquinas' concept of participation, which he finds to solve the metaphysical problem disharmonizing Plato+Ar.

Aquinas' concept of participation is explained in his Boethius comm. as "taking part" it's a way of dealing with created space in hierarchy.

Pico sees the names of angels not as practical buttons to ritually push and summon angels, but as theoretical example of divine language/pow

Although his Kabbalah is still somewhat "Wild West" territory, my understanding is that Pico really did find a way to do angel w/o conjure.

I don't know if Pico sees Jewish Kabbalists as angel magicians in the suspect category, but I do believe what he says when he rules out bad.

Pico is interested in whatever magic demonstrates which he sees a possible regimen for study at a certain stage of philosophical preparation

Rather than seeing Pico's interest in mysticism of language as problematic b/c venturing into magical territory, I see Pico mining theology.

Wirszubski warned that mysticisms of prayer+language tend to shade/blur into magic. I'm not confident in critique of so-called magical ideas

Pico's Commento, Heptaplus, + De Ente develop difficult angel+theological metaphysics but don't expand on the obscure semiotic 900 insights.

Stuckrad's book on Knowledge in the Renaissance emphasizes that Pico was doing interesting things with Language. But he abandons this later.

Stuckrad "Pico participated in the ontologization of language in his reception and interpretation of kabbalah" Wirzubski myst.of lang./magic

von Stuckrad: kabbalah provides a means to link rational demonstration with a perfect knowledge of the divine.

Ein-Sof as God's transcendent nature enables Pico to study the revelatory form of the divine without intermingling with the divinity itself.

A reading of Pico's angelology needs to be grounded in the metaphysics of Dionysius+Aquinas which is foundation for Pico's KBL/NP exploring.

But these problems of interpretation need not involve wild speculation about angel magic when there are plenty of things Pico actually said!

Pico's Kabbalah and what he calls Natural Magic does raise useful problems for interpretation of what is original+influential in his writing

Pico's interest in Magic+Kabbalah is not problematic in the sense of infecting his piety or spirituality with unhealthy "magical" elements.

Pico does bring in these Kabbalistic angel danger ideas, but it would be a mistake to think this ruins his whole angelology w/o checking 1st

"Angels in the Early Modern World" author makes mistake of thinking Pico implies angel summoning -- Enoch/Metatron more an ex. of myst.union

aureliomadrid @t3dy ..head spinning from the heptaplus 'in the beginning', circleswithincircles, plato, moses' tabernacle, the perfection of jesus, angels 3 minutes ago via web in reply to t3dy Retweeted by you

@aureliomadrid my head has been spinning for years as I try to boil the angel part down to 80 pages

Divine Attributes of Jesus http://gospelhall.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1743

Outline survey of Angel in Pico's major texts: http://angelologyofmirandoola.blogspot.com/2011/01/survey-of-angels-in-picos-main-texts.html

the life of the angels is not perfect. Unless vivifying ray of divine light constantly warmed it,it would all fall into nothingness -De Ente

Statements such as these can give a modern Platonist a good deal of trouble if he does not understand the principle behind them. -Pico,Comm.

updated tonight with excerpts from Pico's Angelology, Pico on Enoch/Metatron http://angelologyofmirandola.blogspot.com/

Oration of Pico della Mirandola in facing page Latin/English http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Italian_Studies/pico/text/riva/eframe.html

This intricate constellation of possible references...hints at the complexity of Pico’s angelology http://bit.ly/ijH2On

[KBL] at one time transforms holy Enoch into an angel of divinity, whom they call Metatron...
reshapes other human beings into other spirits.

Farmer describes Pico's Enoch/Metatron as "syncretic fusion"

On the subject of identification of Enoch and Metatron, see M. Idel, "Enoch is Metatron."

"Pico interprets this process from a distinctly philosophical point of view" -snippet

"that Enoch was transformed into an angel was brought as an example of the possibility of unio mystica in Pico" -a google books snippet

The role of Cabbala and magic in Pico's thought was deeply problematic. http://bit.ly/h9X0rU Angels in the Early Modern World

Copenhaver on Pico's Metatron http://bit.ly/dT0dmL

Pico's esotericism does not conflict with his Christianity; theurgic interpretations have been mistaken when they seek a problematic magic.

Pico takes bulk of his understanding of angels from Dionysius+Aquinas, sometimes refers to NP+KBL for confirmation but did no bad angelizing

Pico has been criticized as "Angelizing" philosopher/cosmos ironically b/c his deep Dionysian commitments lead him to do this--he's not rad.

Dionysius raided Neoplatonic theurgy terminology in order to advance an angelized Christology...cosmic system of divine work saving mankind.

Pico's main point about magic is that it demonstrates truly miraculous power of Christ: it's theory for theology, not practical application.

Since Pico's magic is better understood as theoretical than practical, he's closer to Dionysius who used theurgy as metaphor for divine work

Many theurgic interpretations of Pico have been advanced that don't work b/c fail to take into account what Pico was doing w/ these threads.

Why is theurgy a problem for understanding Pico's angelology? Term theurgy applies differently to his influences Dionysius,Neoplatonists,KBL

Like Thomas Aquinas, Pico always has the words of Dionysius on his lips. The influence cannot be overstated, but it's been little studied.

Pico seems to have been influenced by Abulafia's version of Maimonides the Kabbalist (see Wirszubski) but his Moses is from Pseudo-Dionysius

When Pico applies esoteric hermeneutics to Genesis he finds angel metaphysics of Dionysius, as told by Aquinas. Encodes this kind of mystery

Pico invented ways of applying KBL techniques to the project of confirming Christian metaphysics/wasn't interested in what KBL means to Jews

Copenhaver has suggested a non-conjuring interpretation of Pico doing angel magic but yet not being guilty of theurgy (in Aug not PD sense)

Since Pico makes a strong statement that he is against conjuring of any kind, speculation on any "angel magic" should look elsewhere than c.

Speculation on Pico's angel magic is based on a small set of obscure texts in which Pico makes no clear statement recommending it. no hint?

Pico is doing the same sort of Christian esotericism as Pseudo-Dionysius. He explains his mysteries using the language of Thomistic ontology

Pico's strong identification w/ Christian orthodoxy makes him a problematic candidate for exemplar of magical/occultist Western Esotericism.

Rather than approach Pico's angelology based on assumptions about a "magical worldview" I want to look at how he deals with angels in texts

Vision of Pico as magus is based on inflated readings of limited selection of his texts/Seen in larger context his angel work much different

Pico doesn't present himself as an expert on magic, and while he hoped his theses would be debated he doesn't encode magical mysteries into.

Pico seems like a syncretist b/c he takes KBL+NP seriously but only does it to confirm metaphysics he feels supports Christian spirituality.

Pico is not a syncretist b/c doesn't want to incorporate anything that doesn't confirm what he already believes. Syncretism is open to Other

Pico didn't see himself as Magus but philosopher w/expertise in newly discovered ancient knowledge. His spirituality is deep philosophizing.

reading some theurgic interpretations one gets impression that only reason Pico delved into high Neoplatonic ontology was excuse for magic!

Pico makes connection between language, creation and magic, theorizes divine sound of magical voice, but doesn't suggest usurping divine pow

Because Ficino wrote finished "Platonic Theology" he receives more attention as a Renaissance interpreter of Proclus, but Pico knew him well

In order to understand Pico's influence on later Christian Cabala, need to grok philosophical angelology as well as the magical implications

@toastbeard Pico's translator fed him spurious "Kabbalistic" number/letter info that Pico used to do gematria and obtain Christian results.
@Bebejax While I'm dropping refs, best article on Pico's Angelology (until my thesis published...) is Michael Allen "The Birth Day of Venus"
@Bebejax In a nutshell Copenhaver showed that Yates exaggerated Pico's reliance on Hermeticism (also debunks post-Kantian reading as modern)
@SVE13 I'm not saying I don't resonate w/gnostic meanings of magic. But I don't think it's correct to apply that to Pico's concept of magic.
@Bebejax I'm especially interested in Copenhaver's use of theurgy positively+negatively to describe Pico's Kabbalah, avoidance of bad magic.
@Bebejax Def. big problem sorting out anachronistic concepts projected on Ren--but Pico uses scholastic distinctions+tries to clearly define
@Bebejax Brian Copenhaver has a few articles on Pico's Hermes, Oration, Conclusions, Magic+Kabbalah http://www.cmrs.ucla.edu/brian/index.htm
@Bebejax I would be interested to hear your opinion on Pico+Hermeticism / Pico as Gnostic debates...I'm with Copenhaver+Craven, respectively
Thanks for RTs, Input +/or Dialectick on my Pico notes! @davidbmetcalfe @aureliomadrid @casuist @sve13 @toastbeard @ChristineMillan @bebejax
@davidbmetcalfe This is a great example of a Hermetic notion Pico would not have missed if he were truly such a deep Hermetist-he just ain't
@davidbmetcalfe Cool. It's a wonder Pico never mentions it, being a theorist of esoteric transmission. He defines Kabbalah as Dionysian eso.
@davidbmetcalfe Copenhaver has written some powerful debunking of the notion of Pico as "Hermetic" but I think Pico knew Iamblichus' Hermes
@SVE13 I'm afraid I'm still lost. My project is not to evaluate Pico's spirituality but to analyze what philosophy is present in his texts.
@davidbmetcalfe My sense of Pico's "Hermeticism" is that he saw Hermes much the way Albertus Magnus did, as philosophical-theological genius
@davidbmetcalfe There's a lot of stuff in the Corpus Hermeticism that might have been resonant w/ Christian Cabala had Pico worked with it.
@davidbmetcalfe This is one of the places where Pico+Hermetism is an interesting question or resonance, but answer's probably disappointing.
@SVE13 Tech. was short for technique. Pico didn't see esoteric obscurity as merely being a means for keeping info hidden.
@SVE13 Pico follows Proclus+Dionysius in conceiving mystery initiation as based on the very structure of being, not a mere exclusivity tech.
@davidbmetcalfe Pico is an esotericist of the highest order but his esotericism is a philosophical spirituality developing Christian mystery
@davidbmetcalfe Setting theurgy question aside I think trend in scholarship to see Pico as radical/subversive is a mistake. He's no Crowley!
@davidbmetcalfe unfortunately we never find out exactly what Pico is doing working in post-Averroistic ways of conceiving Agent Intellect...
@davidbmetcalfe Pico's subject to a huge Islamic/Averroist influence via his teacher Elia del Medigo+also Aquinas' response to Arab theology
# David Metcalfe davidbmetcalfe
@t3dy what kind of Islamic influence is existent in Pico? (if any...)
@SVE13 @t3dy For sure - words can never teach. Only experience teaches. Am not referring to Pico, in all this, actually - more a general remark but
@SVE13 I'm just a humble student of Pico, not claiming authority.Just trying to understand your problem so I can improve my writing+argument
@SVE13 Pico argued-deeper meaning of a philosophy can't be understood in words alone, language must be transcended by a higher consciousness
@SVE13 What do you mean by "it" re: languaged normally? Pico says explicitly he wants his reader to "reach" in sense of discursive exercise.
@SVE13 When I say interpreters x+y have misread Pico, I'm not criticizing esotericism or theurgy, I'm saying they're mistaken to read it in.
@SVE13 I'm not denying that some philosophy is deliberately difficult or esoteric. But Pico's difficulty is meant to be puzzled out!
@SVE13 Which philosophers are you referring to?I like that the neoplatonists are very clear.Pico picks up on this clarity and works with it.
@davidbmetcalfe But this mysterious insight of Pico's should make sense in context of his earnest+consistently philosophical angel project.
@davidbmetcalfe back to Pico, like the alchemists he does have something deep/heady about magic-as nat.phil-that he's trying to communicate.
@davidbmetcalfe What Pico meant--natural philosophy--is kinda boring according to mistaken theurgic approach,but very interesting hist.ideas
@davidbmetcalfe kinda sad thing: Pico turns out not to be of interest from p.o.v. of much contemporary magic b/c he doesn't mean that by it!
@davidbmetcalfe part of the problem: I'm dealing w/debris of spectacularly failed attempts to read Pico between lines that twist his intent.
@davidbmetcalfe Perhaps I'm still missing exactly what you're getting at suggesting a deep read approach to Pico. Surface is rich, neglected
@davidbmetcalfe Pico makes a powerful case that the philosophical opinions he's playing with are fair game, never makes any heretical claim.
@davidbmetcalfe But we also have a good sense of why Pico thought he should not have been censored--why Edelheit says Apology so important
@davidbmetcalfe We have a good idea of why Pico was censured--he was misunderstood, stepped on theological toes, threatened boundaries...
@davidbmetcalfe Readers miss that Pico wasn't shy about his "provocative" opinions, and was appealing over the heads of his accusers.
@davidbmetcalfe Yeah I don't think Strauss is saying all reading between lines reveals theurgy. But I don't think Pico's hiding theurgy.
@davidbmetcalfe What I am saying is that Pico gives "hints" that have been ignored by theurgic interpreters uninterested in angel philosophy
David Metcalfe davidbmetcalfe
@t3dy @casuist if anything Strass' deep reading would reveal why Pico was censured by the Church.
@davidbmetcalfe I'm not saying no esoteric meaning in Pico. obviously his meaning is unclear. But some readers are barking up wrong tree.
@davidbmetcalfe My argument is that before trying to tease out any such subtler implications to Pico's code, we must understand literal text
@davidbmetcalfe I'm not against reading Pico between lines-I just don't think the readings I'm arguing vs. get him right--spirit or literal
@davidbmetcalfe In the case of Pico many readers have sought theurgic/conjuring implications, but none have proved them by close reading.
David Metcalfe davidbmetcalfe
@t3dy @casuist provide a diff. & deeper argument; so w. Pico may be that a similar close reading would reveal diff. aspects of his message
@aureliomadrid Crofton Black's study of Pico's Heptaplus is well worth reading for exhaustive accounting of sources on esoteric hermeneutic.
@aureliomadrid Heptaplus is Pico's most interesting angelology text--ways he discovers angel metaphysics of Aquinas+Dionysius in Genesis/KBL
@aureliomadrid I'm working vs. criticisms that Pico's angelology is a cheap excuse for angelized philosopher+cosmos--I think he's serious!
aurelio madrid @t3dy just downed the orations & now onto pico della mirandola's heptaplus. the impure earthly body/the angelic realm/the celestial heavens.
# aurelio madrid aureliomadrid
@t3dy ... man like an animal from the earth to philosophy & then to a pico brand of syncretic theology (all as one, by the grace of god)? 5:07 AM Jan
@aureliomadrid read Edelheit+Dougherty on Scholastic forms Pico works with. He goes into Platonism+Kabbalah for confirmation of metaphysics.
@aureliomadrid Pico has a fairly conservative view about what areas are fair game for philosophy, which he makes clear in Oration + Apology.
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Pico imitates the life of the angels because it is the ideal contemplative life. Angels are the highest ideal of philosophy, not magical icons

In Oration Pico uses notions of imitating, rivaling+surpassing angels not to infuse philosopher w/angelic being, but to celebrate philosophy

In one of his Proclus conclusions Pico mentions "all is in all" as a qualifier on the notion of the hierarchy holding.He doesn't jump levels

In Being and Unity Pico refers to angels again to contrast perfection of God, in explaining negative theology method of "stripping away"

In Heptaplus Pico goes into detail on angel metaphysics to make clear comparison between angels+God is to disadvantage of angelic perfection

In Commento Pico turns to what he sees as Plotinian mode for explaining Angelic Mind seen as single creature: first perfect+simple creation.

Angel plays an important role in Pico's Commento. Pico makes the Angelic a distinct level of Being, rather than calling it "intelligible" B.

For Pico Kabbalah is "metaphysics of angels" not angel magic. He rules out conjuring, but finds a high place for Kabbalah as PDian theology.

Pico's account of the functions of the angels is taken from Dionysius, his metaphysics from Thomas,but he is original in emphasis on imitate

Pseudo-Dionysius opened the door for Pico's "angelization" of the philosopher by discussing how Hierarch "becomes theurgic" and like angel.

Pico's Oration invents a new metaphor for the old Dionysian mystical model. Breaking through scholasticism he suggests spiritual angelology.

Pseudo-Dionysius didn't only use ontology of Proclus, but took language of theurgy + prayer from Proclus (and Iamblichus?)

Pico gives a huge amount of information about his angel regimen that has surprisingly not received much study by "angel magic" interpreters.

Copenhaver's essays on Pico correctly emphasize the natural philosophical, "scientific" nature of Pico's magic, but brings in term theurgy.

Pico rules out angel conjuring but it still seems like "angel magic" ideas of some kind may be relevant - power of divine speech/angel names

Seeing magic as natural philosophy or science, Pico resembles Albertus Magnus+Roger Bacon, he's original in how he applies magic to theology

"Western Esotericism" readings of Pico tend to overemphasize theurgic aspects that Pico did not intend to bequeath to later Christian Cabala

Iamblichus thesis 23.4 "two celestial modes... binah" Pico connects Neoplatonic modes and levels of being with Kabbalistic Sefirot? what for

Pico corrects Iamblichus and Proclus in the light of Dionysius, Aquinas, and other metaphysical developments of medieval philosophy

Pico's discussion of Iamblichus on Prime Matter is worth mentioning--demonstrates once again his metaphysical dialogue with Neoplatonism

Proclus thesis 24.21 - sympathy+reciprocal communion of supermundane gods -- likeness. Pico discovers in Neoplatonism what fits his Thomism.

Pico's Proclan Thesis 24.3 Application of Name of God at various levels--this is a metaphysical insight not some magical use of Divine Names

None of Pico's Proclus or Iamblichus material was considered suspect. If there is dangerous magic there, it must be well hidden. I see MP/NP

Pico's Proclus Thesis 24.55 discusses seeking knowledge+uplifting power from the intelligibles+intellectuals. Is this angel magic or prayer?

24.55 Just as a perfect understanding should be sought from intelligibles, so the power that leads upwards should be sought from intellectuals

In 24.55 Pico suggests seeking "the true expression of the divine from the angelic choirs" imitating angels means being expression of divine

When Pico talks divinization, imitating angels, becoming angelic/expression of divine, he doesn't mean in any way ruled out by Christianity.

In Oration Pico might be seen as implying some "angel magic" with notion of cultivating seed of angelic being, but this isn't highest option

3>63 "in the soul there exists in act an intellectual nature, through which it convenes with the angel" but Pico qualifies, emphasizes limit
..."there is nothing intrinsic in it through which it is able, without the appropriate image, to understand something distinct from itself."

aureliomadrid @t3dy ...did pico have a name for his philosophy?

@aureliomadrid read Edelheit+Dougherty on Scholastic forms Pico works with. He goes into Platonism+Kabbalah for confirmation of metaphysics.

@aureliomadrid Pico has a fairly conservative view about what areas are fair game for philosophy, which he makes clear in Oration + Apology.

@aureliomadrid Contrary to the romantic notion of Pico, I don't think Pico saw his own definition of philosophy as being different from norm

@aureliomadrid In the Oration Pico charts what he sees as the limits of philosophy, which prepares soul to be illuminated, cedes to theology

@aureliomadrid He was planning to write a book called "Poetic Theology" harmonizing Aristotle and Plato. Saw himself in that phil. tradition


@shrineshrine I'm working problem between what Pico tried to create, + what he ended up creating/what's attributed to him (Christian Cabala)
Philip Beitchman, Alchemy of the Word: Cabala of the Renaissance http://bit.ly/gnTZRK
Pico really thought that he had discovered a place for magic in theological discourse that was free from dangers of bad conjuring/theurgy.

Later Christian Cabalists seem to push Pico's magic into supernatural, way Yates mistakenly thought Pico did, but for Pico nature is nature.

Reuchlin and Agrippa are Christian Cabalists with more interest in practical use of Kabbalistic names, but they are inspired by Pico's model

Trithemius' "Magical Theology" seems much more a conjuring type, but also relies on advances Pico made establishing Theo-relevance of magic.

I started this project wanting to defend Pico's "magical theology." I still want to rehabilitate his concept of magic but don't see it as MT
aureliomadrid @t3dy ...so pico was not using the kabbalah to look at plato & aristotle, only using it for the mosaic/biblical texts?

@aureliomadrid That's Craven's view. I'm not sure. He's pretty extreme with "no hint of theurgy" "not gnostic but" etc. I want some mystery.

@aureliomadrid I'm looking at one place where Pico puts Kabbalistic Binah with Iamblichus on supercelestial mechanics+also sefirot/henads...

@aureliomadrid I think Craven is correct to point out that Pico doesn't use KBL to philosophize in Heptaplus/after, but he may have thought!

Pico in his gentle, pious naivete must have seen any dangerous kabbalistic angel magic he found as merely Dionysian metaphor/converted it to

Copenhaver: The Hermetica say little about magic, Ficino's topic.

Brian Copenhaver - Hermes Trismegistus, Proclus and the Question of a Philosophy of Magic in the Renaissance http://bit.ly/hcAxKU
# casuist

Proclus Diadochus: On the Sacred Art http://goo.gl/N9ItB