Thursday, November 17, 2011
going back to a hermetic, Gnostic neoplatonism
So I haven't been disappointed, there are a number of places in the Exegesis where Phil discusses being convinced that he has a "hermetic" view. Here we see that he understands "hermetic" in the context of gnosticism and neoplatonism, elements of his "radical critique" of mechanistic philosophy. I still haven't found much about the source of his understanding of "Hermetic" but I'm gaining confidence that it was the Yates view, directly or indirectly, that influenced his notion of Hermeticism having so much to do with a magical mirror of the cosmos in memory.
[3:28] The Soviets have guessed that Ubik contains a correct cosmology radically different from all accepted ones ... Richard was on the right track with Empedocles. That's the what; next they wanted to know how—how come. I proved to be an idiot savant, much to their disgust. Boy, what I could tell them now! [...] Maybe those 4 Marxists were right about Ubik being subversive to capitalist society.80 [...] I am tearing down time, space, causality, world—this would be subversive to capitalism, to the bourgeois mind which is intimately connected with 18th century Anglo-Saxon rationalism (Newton, Locke, Bentham, etc.). I am systematically undermining the philosophers and philosophy on which capitalism is based, and going back to a hermetic, Gnostic neoplatonism. And a vitalism replacing mechanism—I deal a lethal blow to anglo-saxon thought, to its vaunted pragmatism.