Empedocles – The Magician

Philosophy was born in discussions about what the essence of all things could be. First philosophers were also poets, so they wrote their work in verses.

The essence of all things were seen usually in water, fire, or air. Thales of Miletus (second half of the 7th century), known as the “father of philosophy” and because Plato called him the first true philosopher, considered water to be the essence or soul of all things.

Anaximander of Miletus (born 610 BC), wrote numerous works, of which almost nothing remains except four fragments, from which his opinion is preserved that the life principle is not water, but an indefinite substance which he called “apeiron”, from when it all starts and where it all ends.

The third great philosopher from Miletus was Anaximenes, and according to him, air was proclaimed the basic element from which all others originated.

Pythagoras (c. 570-497), like his predecessors, the philosophers of Miletus, set out in search of the basic element, finding it, not in water, earth, fire or air, but in numbers.

Heraclitus (born around 540 BC), remembered as a dark and pessimistic philosopher, exalted Fire as a basic element and as a symbol of all transformations.

And now back to the hero of this topic.

Empedocles – (born 492 BC) had the honor of being the first to introduce the hitherto mythological word “ether” into the terminology of philosophers.

The great Greek philosopher and magician Empedocles Empedocles was one of the most famous, but also the most disobedient students of the Pythagorean school. Unable to cope with the strict rules imposed by Pythagoras’ successors, he was demoted to the group of acousticians, that is, to the group of those who could only listen and not talk or ask questions.

Of all the disciplines of the Pythagorean school, Empedocles was most interested in magic, metempsychosis and theurgy, but when he noticed that his teachers were reluctant to reveal these secrets, he decided to abandon them and seek answers in the eastern schools of Egypt and Chaldea, where magicians taught him skills of hypnosis, telekinesis and mind reading. Empedocles finally became a magician himself, and such that people considered him a kind of demigod.

Empedocles, like other Pythagoreans, hated beans, did not eat meat and believed in reincarnation, saying that he had lived as a boy, girl, bush, bird and fish. He thought that killing and eating an animal was the same as killing and eating a man, so he begged his compatriots to stop.

He said that there are demons who, due to crimes from the past and by the decision of the gods, have been given long lives, and they have to wander for 30,000 years, being born in every form of mortal. Empedocles included himself in that group, believing that he was rejected by Love because he gave confidence to Discord.

Empedocles is also considered one of the most gifted poets-philosophers, and a total of 400 of his verses have been preserved, and some of them mention the ether:

“The ether sank into the Earth with its deep roots …

And if faith lacks the core, and you still doubt it

how it arose from the compression of the elements

Earth and Water, Ether and Sun.

And so many forms and nuances of mortal things

everything was framed and woven by Aphrodite’s power …

From them (Ether and Rain), our blood and all forms of flesh came into being … ”

In the end, Empedocles, according to legend, raised a woman from the dead, so he realized that he had experienced the maximum of his spiritual development on Earth and that he had no choice but to disappear like a god, and threw himself into the crater of Mount Etna.

Можда је уметничко дело

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