A note on time

18 07 2020

To say that Vedic time is “cyclical” is simplistic. It’s more an issue of wheels within millions of other wheels. For one thing, it simply isn’t the eternal return. Certain things do happen over and over again, and the yuga cycles do repeat with variations. However, there isn’t just *one universe*: there are literally numberless universes that come out of the body of Mahavishnu. So yes, someone may very well be typing this exact same thing somewhere out there in the material manifestation (probably not this universe), just as Krishna’s rasa-lila pastimes are occurring somewhere (but eternally in Goloka Vrindavan), Caesar may be crossing the Rubicon (not necessarily the same Caesar), and most problematically, Jesus is being crucified elsewhere…

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Pico’s 900 Theses

14 06 2008

Part II- Banging on the Gates of the Apocalypse

Did Pico believe that his Vatican debate would end with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse crashing through the Roman skies, now that mankind- dressed “in garments of gold like a wedding gown, wrapped in a manifold variety of sciences” – was prepared at last for its marriage to Christ?

-Steven A. Farmer, Syncretism in the West: Pico’s 900 Theses (1486)
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Pico’s 900 Theses

1 06 2008

Image credit: “Circles within circles” by Nicolas LeFevre illustrating Pico della Mirandola’s cosmology

Part I: Steven Farmer’s Analysis of the Emergence of Religious Complexity

In the introduction to his book, Syncretism in the West: Pico’s 900 Theses (1486), the scholar Steven Farmer analyses the convergence of various written traditions in order to harmonize their ideas into a cohesive whole within religious thought. For Farmer, the emergence of written religious texts coming out of oral traditions forced practitioners to create syncretic systems that could square away the inconsistencies in religious doctrine that occured over time. The best paradigm to analyze this phenomenon came through the aborted fifteenth century debate proposed by the philosopher Giovanni Pico della Mirandola to synthesize all of the religious traditions known at that time under 900 individual theses. By this, Mirandola hoped to prove that all known faiths had the same basic defining principles, and that all things were in each other according to their appropriate manner.
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