This is a humbling experience
This is in reference to this old post. This pertains to the idea I was just talking about of making wisdom into a religion. The pessimistic, in my mind realistic, way of looking at it is that we’re in phase 2 and our conception of phase 5 is mythical.
I’m surprised the Muslims didn’t kill Alfarabi for his explicit claim that religion is subsequent to philosophy. What’s humbling for people like me is that the same logic can be applied to our reception of philosophy itself. It is subsequent to phase 5. So, I’m just trying to check the arrogance of this idea of a “wisdom religion”. It will be similar to what we usually think of as religion.
This very idea of cycles for instance is only a sublimated form of how the Greeks shook their fists up at the gods and their tricks. “Why do you do that?! Why do you make us descend to the nadir of the democratic phase of the cycle?” In other words, thinking in terms of cyclical history is akin to not believing in a loving God. It’s only when you zoom out and see how you or others will eventually ascend in the cycle that “God” seems less evil. During the downward phase it can be difficult to believe in a loving God.
One of Machiavelli’s breaks with the ancients was about how he thought humans should try to control the cycles. Remember how Hermes and Dionysus were “new gods”? Machiavelli himself is like that, in inaugurating modernity.
And this is what I mean when I say that we live in phase 2 and only have a phase 2 conception of phase 5- no one today is “Machiavelli”, no one today is inaugurating a new “modernity”. The highest wisdom is not possessed by anyone. We live in the quasi-philosophical mythologies of actual philosophers that we are subsequent to.
Iamblichus does not suffice in himself. There have been developments in philosophy since the time of Plato and Aristotle
And Machiavelli isn’t even discussed anymore in the continental tradition because he’s already so well-integrated. He created a new normal. There have been further sharpenings of this “science” since him, others have inaugurated new modernities since him. It’s all of that that should be made into a “wisdom religion”, not only Plato and Aristotle. This is how to apply Iamblichus to the present day in the strictest way possible. I can go even further if you’re feeling megalomaniacal? How to reconcile Anglo, French, and German philosophy? Leaving even one of those out seems like it would be an injustice, and yet we’re only human. I’d be quite content creating a wisdom religion out of the Germans. Just to begin with at least. And others can reform it after that. The point is that we need to go back to Egypt where proto-philosophy began and reinstitute the ritual element in order to make truths more concrete. How can philosophy live with itself knowing that religion has something that it can’t do? That’s why I say we should synthesize them somehow, and Iamblichus seems to be our guy for that.
This is enigmatic- you get that with this Farabian Mahdi
This is in line with Machiavelli’s general ethos of reacting against the idealism of the ancients, their “over-contemplativeness” you could call it. Get the political order right and don’t overthink things once you do because the skepticism will eventually eat away at it, causing us to return to phase 1 again.