How Much Piety Do We Need?

statue of Religion in Boston Common

Over on the Patheos Buddhist Channel, Dosho Port examines the question “what is the minimum amount of asceticism required?”  In typical Zen fashion, he gives an answer that is thought-provoking but indefinite. Asceticism, “a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from various worldly pleasures,” is rarely associated with Paganism.  Even those of us who aren’t Wiccans like to quote the Charge of the Goddess, which says “sing, feast, dance, make music and love, all in My Presence, … [Read more...]

Iamblichus on Prayer

de mysteriis

I recently finished reading De Mysteriis, written by the Greek Iamblichus somewhere between 280 and 305 CE and translated by Emma Clarke, John Dillon and Jackson Hershbell in 2003. According to the translators: Iamblichus was essentially interested in re-awakening and preserving man’s contact with the ancestral gods, and in arguing that theurgy (or “god-work”) rather than theology (or “god-talk”) was the only way of achieving this. Iamblichus’ ideas about the gods are very … [Read more...]