As I have stated before, there is significant evidence to suggest that the “high magic” or theurgy practiced by NeoPlatonists and Gnostics hid within Eastern Orthodoxy and was reintroduced to the West during the Council of Florence and the great exodus of Eastern thinkers and texts during the fifteenth and sixteenth century.
I have found further evidence to confirm this theory in the collection of essays bundled together as Neoplatonism and Gnosticism and edited by Richard T. Wallis.
In his essay “Synesius, the Hermetica, and Gnosis,” Jay Bregman discusses the Neoplatonic hermeticist who became a Christian bishop, Synesius of Cyrene. As Bregman notes, Synesius never seemed to convert fully to Christianity and some of his sermons were full of Gnostic and Hermetic teaching.
What is especially interesting is that Bregman suggests that some pagans by the fifth century had “put aside the standards of emperor Julian, at least in part because they thought that the victory of the new religion was already a fait accompli.”
Thus, some pagans stopped actively resisting Christianity and attempted a “syncretism of Hellenism and Christianity.”
It has been suggested that these educated pagans went underground or dissolved into the Eastern (and maybe Western clergy). Clearly some of the Eastern Orthodox prelates were de facto pagans in the Renaissance (as were some Westerners!) and even today the witch like Mariana Abramovic, although allegedly ethnically Jewish, is grand niece of a Serbian Orthodox Patriarch. Did her uncle teach her her magic?
We are thus left with some interesting questions.
- Was there a continuous tradition of closet paganism in the East?
- If so, how organized was it?
- How much of Gnostic and NeoPlatonic thought has affected Eastern Orthodoxy theology?
- What is the relationship of this sect to the West? Was it influential in affecting the ostpolitick and Vatican II?
- What role does this sect have in the new Russia?
- Is Alexandre Dugin a member?