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'Creation' in the Hermetica (CH 1.4): derived from a volcanic description?

Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 7:27 am
by billd89
The Corpus Hermeticum is obviously a collection of different works, compiled, redacted etc. For example, CH 4 'The Krater' appears to be composed of at least three other (older) works; the ending is meteorological. But I would like to draw attention to one section of the 'creation myth' of Poimandres which may conflate volcanic and meteorological descriptions.

CH 1.4: ὁρῶ θέαν ἀόριστον, φῶς δὲ πάντα γεγενημένα, εὔδιόν τε καὶ ἱλαρόν, καὶ ἠράσθην ἰδών. καὶ μετ' ὀλίγον σκότος κατωφερὲς ἦν, ἐν μέρει γεγενημένον, φοβερόν τε καὶ στυγνόν, σκολιῶς ἐσπειραμένον, ὡς εἰκάσαι με· εἶτα μεταβαλλόμενον τὸ σκότος εἰς ὑγρᾶν τινα φύσιν, ἀφάτως τεταραγμένην καὶ καπνὸν ἀποδιδοῦσαν, ὡς ἀπὸ πυρός, καί τινα ἦχον ἀποτελοῦσαν ἀνεκλάλητον γοώδη· εἶτα βοὴ ἐξ αὐτῆς ἀσυνάρθρως ἐξεπέμπετο, ὡς εἰκάσαι φωνῆι πυρός,

CH 1.4: “I perceived a limitless vista, everything became Light – clear and bright {or: serene and joyful} – and I beloved to behold this. And then in turn, Darkness – dreadful and abhorrent, serpentine {or: coiling sinuously} – settled down (I inferred). Next, the Darkness was transformed into something of a moist nature {i.e. raw matter}, indescribably tumultuous {=seething, turbid} and boiling forth {i.e. as molten lava}; and something voiced like an inarticulate cry, an inexpressible wailing.”

Note: In 197 BCE, a volcanic occurrence created an island once called ‘Hiera’ (now submerged: the pyroclastic sea mount, ‘Banco’) at Santorini in the Aegean. This meteorological event would have been noticed in the sky from a very great distance. The forming darkness with plumes of ash, together with lightning, and molten lava coming to the surface of a boiling, screaming sea, would all comprise a most fantastical display of Nature to be witnessed by passing sailors and later recorded in Alexandria, Egypt. (Hiera was ~5-days' sailing from Alexandria.) Such miraculously-appearing islands are also quickly colonized by plants and animals, within a few years: allegory for Creation itself?

Sounds that Volcanoes Make: "As magma ascends, moving toward the surface, gases build pressure within the magma, forcing cracks and dikes to open and expand through the overlying rocks. The high pressures associated with the gas-rich magma within these cracks, pipes and conduits can cause the volume to resonate similar to a pipe organ. [...] The roar created by an erupting volcano is the result of turbulence and friction created by hot gases accelerating upward through conduits and finally escaping through the volcanic vent at the surface. These hot gases contain magma fragments, ash and other particles that travel violently through the inner walls of the vent conduits. Scientists have measured the low frequency (<20Hz) infrasonic signals created by these gas jets and when sped up to the range of human hearing, these signals sound remarkably like the frequency distribution of sound coming from a Boeing 747 jumbo jet. "


Gratuitous Volcano vid:

Re: 'Creation' in the Hermetica (CH 1.4): derived from a volcanic description?

Posted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 8:23 pm
by Secret Alias

Re: 'Creation' in the Hermetica (CH 1.4): derived from a volcanic description?

Posted: Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:52 am
by Joseph D. L.
Pillars of smoke and fire.