We discuss the unbelievably-baffling evidence concerning the identity of Origen, student of Ammonius, and his relationship with Plotinus. Two Ammoniuses and two Origens? One Ammonius, two Origens? Or one of each, meaning that the famous father of Christian esotericism was in fact the philosophic colleague of the greatest Platonist of antiquity? We try to present the main evidence and let the gentle listener decide (or decide that we can't decide).
Podcast Episodes Themed "Rupert and Steve"
We explore the difficulties inherent in interpreting apophatic language if we take it really seriously. Expect roughly half an hour of complete silence.
We take a deep breath before diving into detailed discussions of early esoteric Christianities to consider a few key terms and their historical development. What was orthodoxy? What was heresy? Who were the heresiologists, and what were they doing?
After the final Pythagorean died, all was quiet. And then, suddenly, people started going around calling themselves Pythagoreans. Growing long beards. Hailing Pythagoras as an ancient magus-sage. Positing a monad as the ultimate source of reality. Welcome to Neopythagoreanism.
Episode 44: Esoteric Hermeneutics in Stoicism
The contribution of Stoicism to the art of esoteric reading, both of texts and of the secret correspondences within the universe, is little studied. This episode sifts the evidence to set the record straight.
Episode 14: Methodologies for the Study of Mysticism
How can we even talk about mysticism, if we define mysticism as a phenomenon involving ineffable experiences? This episode negotiates the mind-bending terrain of the study of mystical texts with the aim of getting our terminology straight.
Episode 5: Methodologies for the Study of Magic
So what is magic, anyway? If you think the way magic works is mysterious and occult, try defining what the word ‘magic’ means! This episode discusses some methodological problems with the term ‘magic’, and what we can (and can't) do about them.