Cosimo de Medici
Early Greek Cosmic Philosophers & the Hermetic Renaissance -notably by Cosimo Medici and Giordano Bruno Return to HOME PAGE
Ancient philosophers like Empedocles, Heraclitus, Democrates, and Pythagoras are taught in our modern schools as if they were primitive thinkers who stood at the doorway of developing philosophy. In reality these classical thinkers were discussing the remnants and fragments of cosmological science which had ruled the world for countless ages -but had sank into disuse and degeneration.
Empedocles' concept of Love and Hatred correctly defines the primal dichotomy and physics of the universe.
Pythagoras steadfastly upheld the monad and the cosmic theory of number and geometry.
Heraclitus says that everything is about 'change'. Why does he say that? What is so important about change?
Much of our information comes fromDiogenes Laertius, Lives of the Eminent Philosophers. Trans., R.D. Hicks. Harvard University Press. Cambridge, Massachusetts. 1925
Thales (b. 640 BC) the astronomer was a Phoenician descendent of Cadmus, and flourished around 585 BC and settled in Miletus. He was a noted astronomer who predicated the eclipse of 585 BC and wrote two works On the Solstice and On the Equinox. Thales declared the immortality of the soul and that the size of the Sun was a 720th part of its course in the heavens; with the Moon the same fraction of the lunar circle. As a keen student of astrology Thales rented all the oil mills in a year that he predicted would produce a bumper harvest. He paid the rates for a normal year’s bounty and made a fortune on the excess of the abundant crop. He went to all this bother to prove to an associate how easy it was to become rich [and how difficult it is to become wise]. Thales declared that water was the primary substance of the universe.
Thales traveled to Egypt and spent time with the priests and astronomers there. He measured the height of the pyramid by the shadow it cast at the time when his own shadow was equal to his own height. There was a dispute when some persons purchased a catch of fish which contained an ancient tripod caught up from the bottom of the sea –who should get the tripod? The matter was sent to the oracle at Delphi and the answer was, “Whosoever is most wise.” The people of Miletus therefore gave it to Thales who refused it; and the tripod (or a bowl, or goblet) went the rounds of all the sages who sent it back to him. A joke is told on Thales who is said to have fallen into a ditch while enthralled in observing the stars.
Sayings of Thales include: God is the most ancient for he is uncreated. The most beautiful is the universe, for it is God’s workmanship [God is the artisan & craftsman]. The greatest is space for it holds all things. The swiftest is mind, for it speeds everywhere. The strongest, necessity, for it masters all. The wisest, time, for it brings everything to light. He coined the proverb, “Know thyself.”
What is difficult? –to know oneself. What is easy? –to give advice. What is most pleasant? –success. What is divine? –that which has no beginning, nor end. Thales exhorted people to remember friends; and to study to be beautiful in character.
Anaximander (611-546 BC) was a pupil of Thales. He held that the universe was unlimited and unchangeable, though its parts undergo change. He was the first Greek to construct a gnomon to mark the solstices and the equinoxes, set up a sundial and construct clocks to tell time, draw maps of the land and sea, and to construct a globe. His pupil was Anaximenes (flor. 546 BC) whose pupil was, in turn, Anaxagoras (see below).
Pythagoras (582-500 BC) was from the island of Samos and possibly of the ancient Tyrrhenian stock [navigators from the Atlantic in Etruscan Italy]. He had three silver flagons made and took them as presents to each of the priests of Egypt. He even learnt the Egyptian language, and was permitted to enter the Egyptian sanctuaries, and was told the secret lore concerning the gods. Pythagoras visited Crete and also journeyed among the Chaldeans and Magi. Pythagoras laid down a constitution for the Greeks in Italy in Croton. he was asked who he was, and replied, "a philosopher." He compared life to the Great Games where some come to compete for the prize, others to sell their wares, but the best went to watch as spectators. Pythagoras concerned himself with the arithmetic aspects of geometry; and also discovered the musical intervals on the monochord. He is said to have introduced weights and measures to Greece; and to have declared that the Morning star and the Evening Star are one.
declared that the principle of all things is the Monad, or Unit; arising from this Monad is the undefined Dyad, or two, serves as the substratum for the Monad, which is cause. All numbers spring from the Monad and the undefined Dyad; and from numbers spring points, then lines, then plane figures, solid figures, then sensible bodies, and the elements: fire, water, earth, and air. The seasons follow the elements: spring is moist, summer is hot, autumn is dry, and winter is cold. The cosmos is full of duality and antipodes: up and down, light and darkness, hot and cold, dry and moist. The soul is divided into passion, reason, and intelligence. All things are constructed according to the laws of harmony. He was the first among the Greeks to call the heaven, the universe, and the Earth spherical.
The phrase Ipse dixit, "the Master said" was applied to Pythagoras. A women asked him after how many days is a woman purified after intercourse, and he answered, "With her own husband at once, with another man never."
Pythagoras was a student of Pherecydes (flor. 540 BC) from the school of Thales, the astronomer. Pherecydes was also an astronomer whose sun-dial is preserved in the island of Syros.
Anaxagoras (500-428 BC) was a native of Clazomenae who introduced the idea that the universe was Mind (Nous), the principle of all things; and which sets them in order. He also discussed molecules and atoms preparing the way for Aristotle and Democrates. He wrote, “All things were together; then came Mind and set them in order.” After this statement he was nicknamed “Mind”. His relatives chided him for neglecting his great wealth –and he gave them all a great share saying, “Here you look after it, if it bothers you so much.” Another asked him, “Do you not have any concern for your native land?” Anaxagoras pointed up to the sky and replied, “I am greatly concerned with my fatherland.” He was asked if the hills at Lampsacus would ever become sea, and answered, “Yes, it only needs time.” Being asked to what end he had been born, he replied, “To study the Sun, Moon, and the heavens.”He called the Sun a fiery mass, and that the Moon reflected the light of the Sun.
Anaxagoras’ fragments include, “For in everything there is a portion of everything...Nous is infinite...the individual mind stems from the cosmic mind.”
This is the foundation of cosmic laws, such as -love thy Neighbor as Thyself. Hunbatz Men reports that the Maya say, “You are me and I am you.”
How do Minds communicate? They communicate by thoughts expressed in words, or logos. St. John begins his gospel, “In the beginning was the Word (Logos), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The prophet Isaiah 55:8-11 says, “My ways are not your ways, and my thoughts are not your thoughts, for as high as the Heavens are above the Earth; so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts higher than your thoughts...for as the rain cometh down...and returns not thither, but waters the earth...So shall my word...go forth out of my mouth; it shall not return to me...but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it...For you shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”
Karl Taube tells us in Aztec and Maya Myths that “Creation is the result of complementary opposition and conflict. Much like the dialogue between two individuals, the interaction and exchange between opposites constitute a creative act. Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca create heaven and earth in a creative duality of opposite forces. The earth and mountains rose from the primordial waters by the very speech and arguments of the gods.
Anaxagoras was the first to bring Ionian (Asia Minor, Gulf of Izmir) philosophy to Athens. Each year Apollo flew south to the city of Clazomenai for the winter on a chariot drawn by swans. Near this city is Liman Tepe -archaic burial sites, and 6th century olive presses. The city was the first to ask its farmers to lend it oil at interest to buy much needed wheat for its citizens.
Empedocles (484-424 BC) was a native of Agrigentum in Sicily, and a pupil of Pythagoras. He also was victorious in the Olympics in horse-racing. Empedocles was offered the kingship but refused because he preferred democracy and the frugal life. His doctrines were that there are four elements : fire, water, earth, and air which are united by love and separated by strife. Change never ceases, and the cycling elements go on till eternity. Yet, at one time all things were united in One through Love. At another time all things are dispersed through strife.
Heraclitus (535-475 BC) was from the city of Ephesus in Turkey . He says, "Much learning does not teach understanding" and "There is more need to extinguish insolence than an outbreak of fire." His first of three books was on the Universe. According to some he made his book more obscure in order that none but adepts should approach it.
He criticizes his predecessors and contemporaries for their failure to see the unity in experience. He claims to announce an everlasting Word (Logos = word, reason, logic) according to which all things are one. Opposites are necessary for life, but they are unified in a system of balanced exchanges. The world itself consists of a law-like interchange of elements, symbolized by fire [fire is the epitome of the cycle of metamorphosis: water, fire, drought, and cold -over and over again]. Thus the world is not to be identified with any particular substance, but rather with an ongoing process governed by a law of change. The underlying law of nature also manifests itself as a moral law for human beings. Heraclitus is the first Western philosopher to go beyond physical theory in search of metaphysical foundations and moral applications (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: iep.utm.edu 9/30/10).
When we read the aphorisms of Heraclitus as an individual in the history and development of philosophy -we understand Heraclitus as an interesting primitive philosopher. But if we read Heraclitus in a cosmological and astronomical context -he becomes one of the great thinkers of all time. Modern physicists already credit Heraclitus as the Father of the Law of the Conservation of Energy.
Context is important. Einstein once comically remarked that God made time so that everything would not happen at once. But in an astronomical context, Time is really sequential change, caused by the rotations and revolutions of the astronomical cycles.
Heraclitus said that the only thing that doesn't change is 'change'. He is noted for his remark that 'you cannot step into the same river twice', because the river has changed, and you have changed.
Below are fragments preserving some other sayings of Heraclitus (from Brainyquote.com 9/24/10):
A man's character is his fate.
A man's character is his guardian divinity.
Big results require big ambitions.
Bigotry is the sacred disease.
Change alone is unchanging.
Character is destiny.
Couples are wholes and not wholes, what agrees disagrees, the concordant is discordant.
From all things one and from one all things.
Deliberate violence is more to be quenched than a fire.
Even sleepers are workers and collaborators in what goes on in the Universe.
Eyes and ears are poor witnesses to people if they have uncultured souls.
God is day and night, winter and summer, war and peace, surfeit and hunger.
Good character is not formed in a week or a month. It is created little by little, day by day. Protracted and patient effort is needed to develop good character.
Hide our ignorance as we will, an evening of wine soon reveals it.
I am what libraries and librarians have made me, with little assistance from a professor of Greek and poets.
If you do not the expect the unexpected you will not find it, for it is not to be reached by search or trail.
It is hard to contend against one's heart's desire; for whatever it wishes to have it buys at the cost of soul.
Justice will overtake fabricators of lies and false witnesses.
Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play.
Men who wish to know about the world must learn about it in its particular details.
Much learning does not teach understanding.
Nature is wont to hide herself.
No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.
No one that encounters prosperity does not also encounter danger.
Nothing endures but change.
Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony.
Our envy always lasts longer than the happiness of those we envy.
The best people renounce all for one goal, the eternal fame of mortals; but most people stuff themselves like cattle.
The chain of wedlock is so heavy that it takes two to carry it - and sometimes three.
The eyes are more exact witnesses than the ears.
The sun is new each day.
The way up and the way down are one and the same.
There is nothing permanent except change.
To do the same thing over and over again is not only boredom: it is to be controlled by -rather than to control what you do.
To God everything is beautiful, good, and just; humans, however, think some things are unjust and others just.
William Harris of Middlebury College has written a fine compilation of the fragments of Heraclitus including his own commentary (community.middlebury.edu./~harris). Harris credits Heraclitus with influence on modern religion, the nature of the universe, the concept of the continuum, the theory of flux, cosmic balance in the struggle of the four elements, and the unity of opposites. He presents other fragments not covered above:
The best observation is worthless without the right mental grasp.
Regarding the Continuum Harris reports these sayings:
You cannot step twice into the same river...for other waters go ever flowing on...and souls take their spirit from the waters [this is obviously a cosmological statement regarding the cosmic ocean of the universe and the cosmic river of the Milky Way].
Concerning cosmic physics, the Laws of Thermodynamics, and constant energy transfer, Heraclitus has these things to say:
Cool things become warm, the warm grows cool, the moist dries, the parched becomes moist...they go forward and back again.
When earth has melted into sea, the resultant amount is the same as there had been before sea became earth.
This universe, which is the same for all, has not been made by god or man, but it has always been, is, and will be an ever-living fire; kindling itself by regular measures and going out by regular measures [Heraclitus is from Ephesus which is in the realm of the ancient fire-worshipers of Iran. The respiration of the cosmos, expanding and contracting comes from Vedic cosmology which was also born in these regions].
More on Empedocles and Love & Strife: (This information taken from Wikipedia 10/11/11) Empedocles (ca. 490–430 BC) was a Greek pre-Socratic philosopher and a citizen of Argentum, a Greek city in Sicily. Empedocles' philosophy is best known for being the originator of the cosmogenic theory of the four Classical elements [moist-hot-dry-cold]. He also proposed powers called Love and Strife which would act as forces to bring about the mixture and separation of the elements. These physical speculations were part of a history of the universe which also dealt with the origin and development of life. Influenced by the Pythagoreans, he supported the doctrine of reincarnation. Empedocles is generally considered the last Greek philosopher to record his ideas in verse.
His father Meto seems to have been instrumental in overthrowing the tyrant of Agrigentum, presumably Thrasydaeus in 470 BC. Empedocles continued the democratic tradition of his house by helping to overthrow the succeeding oligarchic government. He is said to have been magnanimous in his support of the poor; severe in persecuting the overbearing conduct of the aristocrats; and he even declined the sovereignty of the city when it was offered to him.
His brilliant oratory, his penetrating knowledge of nature, and the reputation of his marvelous powers, including the curing of diseases, and averting epidemics, produced many myths and stories surrounding his name. He was said to have been a magician and controller of storms, and he himself, in his famous poem Purifications seems to have promised miraculous powers, including the destruction of evil, the curing of old age, and the controlling of wind and rain [like Druids].
Souls who committed a crime were punished by being forced to become mortal beings, reincarnated from body to body. Humans, animals, and even plants have spirit. Moral conduct allows us to become like gods again.
Empedocles also describes theories on causation, perception, and thought, as well as explanations of terrestrial phenomena and biological processes.
Empedocles did not belong to any one definite school and is regarded an eclectic in his thinking. He combined much that had been suggested by Parmenides, Pythagoras and the Ionian schools. He was both a firm believer in Orphic mysteries, as well as a scientific thinker and a precursor of physical science. Aristotle mentions Empedocles among the Ionic philosophers, and he places him in very close relation to the atomist philosophers and to Anaxagoras.
Empedocles, like the Ionian philosophers and the atomists, tried to find the basis of all change. They did not, like Heraclitus, consider coming into existence and motion as the existence of things, and rest and tranquility as the non-existence. This is because they had derived from the Eleatics the conviction that an existence could not pass into non-existence, and vice versa. In order to allow change to occur in the world, against the views of the Eleatics, they viewed changes as the result of mixture and separation of unalterable substances. Thus Empedocles said that a coming into existence from a non-existence, as well as a complete death and annihilation, are impossible; what we call coming into existence and death is only mixture and separation of what was mixed.
It was Empedocles who established four ultimate elements which make all the structures in the world - fire, air, water, earth. Empedocles called these four elements "roots", which, in typical fashion, he also identified with the mythical names of Zeus, Hera, Nestis, and Aidoneus. Empedocles never used the term "element" (Greek: στοιχε?ον) (stoicheion), which seems to have been first used by Plato. According to the different proportions in which these four indestructible and unchangeable elements are combined with each other the difference of the structure is produced. It is in the aggregation and segregation of elements thus arising, that Empedocles, like the atomists, found the real process which corresponds to what is popularly termed growth, increase or decrease. Nothing new comes or can come into being; the only change that can occur is a change in the juxtaposition of element with element. This theory of the four elements became the standard dogma for the next two thousand years [The ancient dichotomy of light and darkness divided itself into four cosmic elements moist-hot-dry-cold which create and sustain the cosmos].
The four elements are simple, eternal, and unalterable, and as change is the consequence of their mixture and separation, it was also necessary to suppose the existence of moving powers - to bring about mixture and separation. The four elements are eternally brought into union, and eternally parted from each other, by two divine powers, Love and Strife. Love (Greek: φιλos) explains the attraction of different forms of matter, and Strife (Greek: νεiκος) accounts for their separation. If the elements are the content of the universe, then Love and Strife explain their variation and harmony. Love and Strife are attractive and repulsive forces which the ordinary eye can see working amongst people, but which really pervade the universe [these are also seen in the positive and negative magnetism in the globe and the universe].
The sphere of Empedocles: As the best and original state, there was a time when the pure elements and the two powers co-existed in a condition of rest and inertness in the form of a sphere. The elements existed together in their purity, without mixture and separation, and the uniting power of Love predominated in the sphere: the separating power of Strife guarded the extreme edges of the sphere. Since that time, strife gained more sway and the bond which kept the pure elementary substances together in the sphere was dissolved. The elements became the world of phenomena we see today, full of contrasts and oppositions, operated on by both Love and Strife. The sphere being the embodiment of pure existence is the embodiment or representative of god. Empedocles assumed a cyclical universe whereby the elements return and prepare the formation of the sphere for the next period of the universe.
Cosmogony: Since the time of the sphere, Strife has gained more sway; and the actual world is full of contrasts and oppositions, due to the combined action of both principles. Empedocles attempted to explain the separation of elements, the formation of earth and sea, of Sun and Moon, of atmosphere. He also dealt with the first origin of plants and animals, and with the physiology of humans. As the elements entered into combinations, there appeared strange results - heads without necks, arms without shoulders. Then as these fragmentary structures met, there were seen horned heads on human bodies, bodies of oxen with human heads, and figures of double sex. But most of these products of natural forces disappeared as suddenly as they arose; only in those rare cases where the parts were found to be adapted to each other, did the complex structures last. Thus the organic universe sprang from spontaneous aggregations, which suited each other as if this had been intended. Soon various influences reduced the creatures of double sex to a male and a female, and the world was replenished with organic life. It is possible to see this theory as an anticipation of Darwin's theory of natural selection, although Empedocles was not trying to explain evolution.
Perception and knowledge: Empedocles is credited with the first comprehensive theory of light and vision. He put forward the idea that we see objects because light streams out of our eyes and touches them. While flawed in hindsight, this became the fundamental basis on which later Greek philosophers and mathematicians, such as Euclid, would construct some of the most important theories on light, vision and optics.
Knowledge is explained by the principle that the elements in the things outside us are perceived by the corresponding elements in ourselves. Like is known by like. The whole body is full of pores, (and hence respiration takes place over the whole frame). In the organs of sense these pores are specially adapted to receive the effluences which are continually rising from bodies around us; and in this way perception is explained. Thus in vision, certain particles go forth from the eye to meet similar particles given forth from the object, and the resultant contact constitutes vision. Perception is not merely a passive reflection of external objects.
Empedocles noted the limitation and narrowness of human perceptions. We see only a part, but fancy that we have grasped the whole. But the senses cannot lead to truth; thought and reflection must look at the thing on every side. It is the business of a philosopher, while laying bare the fundamental difference of elements, to display the identity that exists between what seem unconnected parts of the universe.
Reincarnation: Like Pythagoras, Empedocles believed in the transmigration of the soul, that souls can be reincarnated between humans, animals and even plants. For Empedocles, all living things were on the same spiritual plane; plants and animals are links in a chain where humans are a link too. Empedocles urged a vegetarian lifestyle, since the bodies of animals are the dwelling places of punished souls. Wise people, who have learned the secret of life, are next to the divine, and their souls, free from the cycle of reincarnations, are able to rest in happiness for eternity.
Diogenes Laërtius records the legend that he died by throwing himself into an active volcano (Mount Etna in Sicily), so that people would believe his body had vanished and he had turned into an immortal god.
Cosmic Thoughts in the Middle Ages -Giordano Bruno (taken from Wikipedia 4/1/12)
Bruno believed (and praised Copernicus for establishing a scientific explanation for the fact) that the Earth revolves around the sun, and that the apparent diurnal rotation of the heavens is an illusion caused by the rotation of the Earth around its axis. Bruno also held (following Nicholas of Cusa) that because God is infinite the universe would reflect this fact in boundless immensity.
The universe is then one, infinite, immobile.... It is not capable of comprehension and therefore is endless and limitless, and to that extent infinite and indeterminable, and consequently immobile.
Bruno also asserted that the stars in the sky were really other suns like our own, around which orbited other planets. He indicated that support for such beliefs in no way contradicted scripture or true religion.
Giordano further believed in a plurality of worlds; and in metempsychosis -the transmigration of the human soul into brutes and animals. He believed in an infinite universe, endless, indeterminate, and full of stars. He may even have believed that spirit and matter were co-equal, and that the prime elementary properties were earth, air, fire, and water. Also, he may have said that the same physical laws operate everywhere; space and time are infinite; there is no creation -nor Last Judgment. He was born in 1548 and burned at the stake in 1600 AD.
In 1584, Bruno published two important philosophical dialogues, in which he argued against the planetary spheres (two years later, Rothmann did the same, as did Tycho Brahe in 1587). Bruno's infinite universe was filled with a substance—a "pure air," aether, or spiritus -- that offered no resistance to the heavenly bodies which, in Bruno's view, rather than being fixed, moved under their own impetus (momentum). Most dramatically, he completely abandoned the idea of a hierarchical universe. The Earth was just one more heavenly body, as was the Sun. God had no particular relation to one part of the infinite universe more than any other. God, according to Bruno, was as present on Earth as in the Heavens, an immanent God, the One subsuming in itself the multiplicity of existence, rather than a remote heavenly deity.
Bruno also affirmed that the universe was homogeneous, made up everywhere of the four elements (water, earth, fire, and air), rather than having the stars be composed of a separate quintessence. Essentially, the same physical laws would operate everywhere, although the use of that term is anachronistic. Space and time were both conceived as infinite. There was no room in his stable and permanent universe for the Christian notions of divine creation and Last Judgment.
Under this model, the Sun was simply one more star, and the stars all suns, each with its own planets. Bruno saw a solar system of a sun/star with planets as the fundamental unit of the universe. According to Bruno, infinite God necessarily created an infinite universe, formed of an infinite number of solar systems, separated by vast regions full of Aether, because empty space could not exist (Bruno did not arrive at the concept of a galaxy). Comets were part of a synodus ex mundis of stars, and not—as other authors maintained at the time—ephemeral creations, divine instruments, or heavenly messengers. Each comet was a world, a permanent celestial body, formed of the four elements. Bruno's cosmology is marked by infinitude, homogeneity, and isotropy, with planetary systems distributed evenly throughout. Matter follows an active animistic principle: it is intelligent and discontinuous in structure, made up of discrete atoms. This animism (and a corresponding disdain for mathematics as a means to understanding) is the most dramatic respect in which Bruno's cosmology differs from a modern scientific understanding of the universe.
Giordano Bruno was not burned at the stake in vain. He pointed out the logical fallacies of several cosmological arguments:
§ The Universe is made up of matter and spirit. The dualism of matter and spirit is the best way of understanding life which seems to be a battle between dualistic principles: night and day, good and evil. Bruno would like to have both principles to be co-equal and equally deserving and good. Energy = Mass x Speed of Light squared hops right out of Bruno’s argument if Energy = Spirit, and Matter x Light squared also becomes Spirit.
§ Many theologians explain that the Universe was the work of a Creator-God who is able to mold everything from outside the Universe. This is the Deus ex machina fallacy. Vedic thought allows the Creator Brahma to be immersed in his creation; and when he gets tired he sleeps, while the cosmos is dissolved and reformed.
§ Bruno dislikes the idea of a Last Judgment –because the Universe is limitless and goes on and on. However, most cultural mythologies grant the idea of Generations of the Gods, and successive zodiac ages which come to an end and are destroyed by natural catastrophes, allowing New Ages to be produced.
Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval (quoting Frances Yates) tell us in The Master Game that the ancient philosophy of Hermeticism came to the Medici Academy in 1460's from collections in Alexandria of the writings of Hermes Trismegistus. Giordano Bruno traveled around Europe from Geneva, Toulouse, London, to Oxford preaching a philosophy of Egypt to displace the harsh Inquisitions and terror of the Roman Church. Bruno was a disciple of the Copernican heliocentric system (which was to revolutionize science and religion) and envisaged that Queen Elizabeth could become the benign, yet strong Solar Ruler of a World Queenship centered in London which was to be modeled on a divine city here on Earth.
On the 17 of February 1600, Bruno was taken to the "Field of Flowers" in Rome and burned at the stake. This act forced the resurgence of secret societies and fraternities which were forced to take their Egyptian Hermetic movement underground, as the Freemasons and Rosicrucian certainly did. One Tommaso Campanella was likewise charmed by Hermeticism actually entered into negotiations with the Ottoman Turkish fleet to aid the revolution in Italy. He too envisaged a natural religion and a republican City of the Sun guided by priest-scientists, one of whom was to be called "the Sun".
Greek "Logos" meaning Word from the Mind of the Cosmos
Mexica-Maya-Andean cosmology recognizes that the word of God, "Logos" is a creative force of itself because the universe is Mind. Isaiah 55:11 says "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
Archaeoastronomy is defined as "the culture of astronomy" which should include all those areas of human activity and other sciences which astronomy has touched and influenced. Naturally these areas include the Earth, Sun, Moon, and stars. But, astronomy as the first science has touched upon everything that we know such as myth, history, astrology, number, mathematics, geometry, surveying, customs, ritual, law, and even religion. Archaeoastronomy is the ultimate philosophy and worldview of cosmic order –namely that everything fits into place like the pieces of a gigantic cosmic puzzle. This field of study includes myth and astrology -subjects which are anathema in the world of modern science because of the social reaction to the nationalistic movements prior to the Second World War which delved into national myths, ancient wisdom and the occult order. Nevertheless, the majority of myths have an astronomical origin. Just take a look at the constellations that adorn our sky -all inspired by myth. Classical astrology holds the rules and formula of ancient cosmology and the underlying physics of the universe as revealed by the concepts of Yin and Yang as well as the rules of Karma. Still, in his 2007 book, Sacred Number (p.45) Richard Heath says that the subject of cosmic order is taboo, “Modern science measures things as found, and not within a created scheme or order, which was the ancient approach.”
In some instances, modern science has become the servant of politicians and corporations which prefer a worldview founded upon continual progress and continual progressive evolution. But this is contrary to natural and cosmic physics which moves in cycles of development and expansion followed by degeneration, destruction, and final decay. This termination in so-called death is again part of the cycle leading toward rebirth into a primitive state once again carried on by the survivors of the disaster. The globe is full of examples of this cyclical worldview. If we look at ancient technology like the Great Pyramid at Giza and the Temples of Malta we find them to be the oldest of human buildings –but at the same time the most sophisticated and technologically advanced of human structures. How can the “oldest” be “the best and most advanced?” This flies into the face of progressive science and human evolution which adheres to the untenable and unnatural theory of straight-line progress and continual human advancement -which is contrary to cosmic physics. Human advancement is always followed by a fall. An inscription in the Theban tomb of the New Empire in Egypt reads:
"I have heard all that happened to my forefathers
Their houses have fallen to ruins. Their market places are no more.
They are like to a thing that has never been."
The ancient cosmic and cyclical worldview is founded upon certain prerequisite propositions:
- Everything in the universe and in nature follows the cycles of birth, maturity, wisdom, degeneration, death, and resurrection into life -over and over again.
- Human progress, civilizations, and empires are continually checked and destroyed by natural and cosmic disasters, wars, diseases, human greed, stupidity, and mismanagement. Intelligent and technologically advanced humans have existed on Earth forever -but have had to submit to the cycle of progress and decay.
- Changes in climate and environment have directed and molded humans to adapt and conform to new conditions repeatedly over time. This accounts for the extraordinary variety of the human form which vastly exceeds all other species in diversity of kind.
The Culture of Astronomy presents a philosophy that developed into a science, a worldview, a moral view of society, laws, and ultimately the foundation of all religions.
The early Greek philosophers were exposed to the astronomy, science, and religion of Egypt and Asia Minor. The first things that foreign priests shared with the Greeks was basic astronomy.
Cosmic order unveils a universe so perfectly conceived that its creator could immerse himself within it. The first scientists came upon a perpetual, truly balanced, and harmonious cosmos where humans, God, nature, and physics were interwoven and intertwined through geometry, proportion, and number. This astronomic worldview and philosophy ruled the ancient world and became the foundation of our concepts of politics, science, and religion. The Culture of Astronomy is an insight to the highest levels of ancient wisdom, and discloses the ideas that have formed the foundation of the modern world.
We are the seed of the universe. Our very make-up and proportions mimic the cosmos. Our logic operates along the lines of cosmic physics and the pathways of the universe. Our respiratory cycle, palpitation of our heart, metabolism, gestation, menstruation -all follow the cosmic beat and the synchronism of its cycles.
Our very ideas about God, the Divine Creator have come from astronomy. The heavens have conditioned the way we think. From the very beginning, astronomy was and is a language and philosophy common to all people and nations.