“The so-called 'Left-Hand Path' - that of Kaulas, Siddhas and Viras - combines the... Tantric worldview with a doctrine of the Übermensch which would put Nietzsche to shame... The Vira - which is to say: the 'heroic' man of Tantrism - seeks to sever all bonds, to overcome all duality between good and evil, honor and shame, virtue and guilt. Tantrism is the supreme path of the absolute absence of law - of shvecchacarī, a word meaning 'he whose law is his own will'." ― Julius Evola, The Path of Cinnabar.

“It is necessary to have “watchers” at hand who will bear witness to the values of Tradition in ever more uncompromising and firm ways, as the anti-traditional forces grow in strength. Even though these values cannot be achieved, it does not mean that they amount to mere “ideas.” These are measures…. Let people of our time talk about these things with condescension as if they were anachronistic and anti-historical; we know that this is an alibi for their defeat. Let us leave modern men to their “truths” and let us only be concerned about one thing: to keep standing amid a world of ruins.” ― Julius Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World: Politics, Religion, and Social Order in the Kali Yuga.

“We are born into this time and must bravely follow the path to the destined end. There is no other way. Our duty is to hold on to the lost position, without hope, without rescue, like that Roman soldier whose bones were found in front of a door in Pompeii, who died at his post during the eruption of Vesuvius because someone forgot to relieve him. That is greatness. That is what it means to be a thoroughbred. The honorable end is the one that can not be taken from a man.” ― Oswald Spengler, Man and Technics: A Contribution to a Philosophy of Life.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Telling of Wonders: Teratology in Western Medicine through 1800

FROM: http://nyam.org/initiatives/im-histe_ter1.shtml

A Telling of Wonders: Teratology in Western Medicine through 1800

This exhibit examines the evolution of teratology (i.e. the study of perceived abnormalities in the natural world, both real and imagined) through the eyes of physicians and philosophers. How have they considered and how have they intertwined different interpretations in their representations and explanations of wonders from Antiquity to the end of the 18th century?

The term “monster”, which is derived from the Latin verb “monstrare” meaning “to show”, was used to describe a visually unusual creature from the 1st century B.C. onward. Greek and Roman authors had already developed scientific, ethnographic, and cosmographic interpretations of “the monstrous”. These classical interpretations were to remain influential until the end of the 17th century.

With the coming of Christianity, authors interpreted such phenomena as having been brought forth by God to communicate divine judgments. By the end of the Middle Ages, unusual natural occurrences were increasingly perceived as “wonders,” or “prodigies”, terms which all focused on their strange and exceptional character. Wonders were seen as signs of God’s anger, or a sign of the power of nature, inspiring fear or admiration depending on the religious and political context.

By the end of the 17th century, “wonders” and “prodigies” were no longer considered useful by those seeking to understand nature, and what had begun to be seen as imaginary creatures were excluded from scientific study. This led, in the early 19th century, to a narrower definition of the “monstrous” and to the founding of a new field of scientific research.

This richly illustrated exhibit includes pamphlets, rare broadsides, and significant books in the history of teratology drawn from the extensive collections of The New York Academy of Medicine Library.

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