Degree XXV — Question Set 2

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Related Essay(s):

Lecture for Degree XXV
Principles and Techniques
Studying Oneself
Knowledge as Recollection
The Mental Universe
The First Dialogue

1. a. Does any suggestion of the ancient idea of the equinoxes as "gates of the Sun" still linger in your own national myths, traditions, language, or folklore?
1. b. How well does the mythical account of the "descent of the soul" given in this lecture agree with the ideas about human psychology put forward in the "Hermetic Philosophy" lectures?
1. c. Does the ancient idea of "knowledge as recollection" have for you more or less explanatory power than current theories of knowledge?
1. d. Have you had any personal experience which makes you feel that the concept of a personal "guardian angel" may be worth serious consideration?

2. ...the attentive observer soon noticed that the smaller lights of Heaven were, apparently, even more regular than the Sun and Moon, and foretold with unerring certainty, by their risings and settings, the periods of recurrence of the different phenomena and seasons on which the physical well-being of all men depended. — Albert Pike.

a. Write an essay on "Cosmic Cycles" and their relevance to human life.
b. Has Western culture gained or lost by its reliance on technology and its conversion of astronomy into a specialist branch of mathematical physics rather than a practical study of common interest?
c. Would it be possible to devise analogies, myths, and parables comparable with those outlined in this lecture to help children become familiar with current quantum-mechanical accounts of the Universe?

3. The Kabbalists united the two opinions. They held that there are four worlds, Azilut, Beriah, Yezirah, and Asiyyah, the worlds respectively of emanation, creation, formation, and action, one above and more perfect than the other in that order, both as regards their own nature and that of the beings who inhabit them. — Albert Pike.

a. Do you agree that all we can know about anything are the ideas we hold about it in our own minds?
b. If so, discuss the merits of the Kabbalists' account of the Universe as a worthy complement and/or alternative to a quantum-mechanical theory.