20 October 2022

Hermetic Spirituality and Altered states of Knowledge

In this lecture, Wouter Hanegraaff will talk about his new book Hermetic Spirituality and the Historical Imagination: Altered States of Knowledge in Late Antiquity (Cambridge University Press 2022). Hermetic literature has mostly been interpreted as philosophical treatises about theological topics, but Hanegraaff challenges this dominant narrative. He wants to demonstrate that, in fact, it was concerned with powerful experiential practices intended for healing the soul from mental delusion. The “Way of Hermes” involved radical alterations of consciousness in which practitioners claimed to perceive the true nature of reality behind the hallucinatory veil of appearances. Hanegraaff will explain how they went through a training regime that involved luminous visions, exorcism, spiritual rebirth, cosmic consciousness, and union with the divine beauty of universal goodness and truth. The final goal was to attain salvational knowledge known as gnōsis. WHEN: 20 October, 19.30-21:00h - WHERE: Keizersgracht 123, 015 CJ, Amsterdam Buy your ticket here