Wednesday, October 29, 2014
A Boat Retold screens in Stornoway on 30 October at 1930 as part of Faclan, the Hebridean Book Festival. The film opens an evening with Ian Stephen, whose first novel, A Book of Death and Fish, has just been published. He will be in conversation with one of the film's other stars, the writer Robert Macfarlane. For more details, and to book a ticket, go here:
Thursday, October 23, 2014
A quick reminder to say we're still looking for backers to help us complete Charlie Chaplin Lived Here, a short film about Chaplin's London, shot in 1966 by Bill Douglas.
Friday, October 10, 2014
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Today is one of my favourite alchemical anniversaries. John Frederick Helvetius takes up the story. The action takes place in The Hague, in late 1666:
"A little after this, he also asked me, whether I had not another Room, the Windows of which were not to the Street-side; I presently brought this Phaenix, or Bird most rare to be seen in this Land, into my best furnished Chamber; yet he, at his Entrance (as in the manner of Hollanders is, in their Countryes) did not shake off his Shoes, which were dropping wet with Snow. I indeed, at that very time, thus thought: perhaps he will provide, or hath in readiness some Treasure for me; but he dashed my hope all to pieces. For he immediately asked of me a piece of the best Gold-mony; and in the mean while layed off his Cloak, and Country Coat; also he opened his Bosom, and under his Shirt he wore in green Silk, five great Golden Pendants, round, filling up the magnitude of the Interior Space or an Orb of Tin. Where, in comparing these, in respect of Colour and Flexibility, the difference between his Gold, and mine, was exceedingly great. On these Pendants he had inscribed with an Iron Instrument, the following Words, which, at my request, he gave leave that I should coppy out.
The form of the Pendants, and words engraven thereon, are as follows.
I. Amen. Holy , Holy, Holy, is the Lord our God, for all things are full of his Power. Leo: Libra.
II. The wonderfull wonder-working wisdom of Jehovah in the Catholick Book of Nature. Made the 26 day Aug. 1666.
III. [Sun. Mercury. Moon] The wonderfull God, Nature, and the Spagyrick Art, make nothing in vain.
IV. Sacred, Holy, Spirit, Hallelujha, Hallelujha. Away Devil, Speak not of God without Light, Amen.
V. The Eternal, Invisible, only wise, Best of all, and omnipotent God of Gods; Holy, Holy, Holy, Governour and Conserver deservedly ought to be praysed.
Moreover, when I, affected with admiration, said to him; My Master, I pray tell me, where had you this greatest Science of the whole World?"
Sunday, June 08, 2014
Sunday, April 20, 2014
The Gnostic view of the resurrection, as we might expect, differs markedly from the orthodox position. The Nicene Creed states that Jesus ‘suffered and was buried, and the third day he rose again’. This resurrection is bodily, which will one day be experienced by all, as the Creed states ‘we look for the resurrection of the dead’. The Gnostic text known as the Treatise on the Resurrection, however, regards the Resurrection as something that is not physical at all, something ‘which is better than the flesh’. As with Paul’s interpretation of the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15, which was written to offer the only true understanding of it, so the Nag Hammadi Treatise was likewise written to a Gnostic who did not know what to believe. The anonymous author tells his recipient, a man named Rheginos, that the resurrection is a necessary experience for the Gnostic believer to undergo, but it is a raising from the death of ordinary consciousness to the life of gnosis:
"What, then, is the resurrection?... It is the truth which stands firm. It is the revelation of what is, and the transformation of things, and a transition into newness."
The Gospel of Philip is quite explicit about what the resurrection actually is:
"Those who say that the Lord died first and then rose up are in error, for he rose up first and then died. If one does not first attain the resurrection he will not die."
The idea is reiterated later in the gospel, making it clear that the resurrection happens before death, not after it:
"Those who say they will die first and then rise are in error. If they do not first receive the resurrection while they live, when they die they will receive nothing."
from The Gnostics: The First Christian Heretics