The episode is now live. A long one (ten questions).
- Shared from Dr. Michael Heiser’s Nakedbiblepodcast | Talmidimblogging - […] Naked Bible Podcast Episode 46: Second Q & A – https://drmsh.com/2015/04/25/naked-bible-podcast-episode-46-second-q-a/ […]
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer all those questions for everyone!
When asking about “the elements” and the “elemental beings,” the “Stoicheia,” this is more what I was angling towards. More towards the NT authors understanding of the cosmos and its processes–both microcosm (man) and macrocosm (the universe). Here’s a few quotes I probably should have included.
The question is basically, how do they see the invisible realm interacting with the physical realm. Do they see the material world as a consequence of invisible spiritual processes?
Is this how the NT authors thought and conceived of the manner and working of creation? Also, in the following, “astral” equates with soul, and “mental” with spirit.
I know the OT does not support a tripartite person, but here we go….
“It certainly appears that way from our modern perspective which is so saturated with the philosophy of the physical sciences, but the ancients held a different understanding and a different philosophy. It’s really incorrect to say that the ancients held an “incomplete” understanding of the universe or to assume that modern Physics holds a “complete” one — each perspective is simply *different*. Each uses a different set of symbols to describe the same essential thing — our universe. What distinguishes the Elemental model however, is that it encompasses more than just the physical aspect of the universe. Therefore, it is *more than* Physics and can’t really be compared directly with Physics. Much of Physics can be explained from a Hermetic perspective, using Hermetic symbols, but very little of Hermetics can (as yet) be explained from a Physics perspective, using the symbols of Physics.
The reason for this is because the Elements are not physically measurable things. Physics deals with the physical materia that naturally *adheres to the Elements*, so in this sense, Physics studies the *results of* the Elements. Hermetics, on the other hand, studies the *action of* the Elements AND the *results of* them. This is why I said that the Hermetic Philosophy is *more than* physics.
They also differ in methodology. Physics uses physical tools to explore the universe, whereas the Hermetic uses their own self — their own physical, astral and mental bodies — as the tools of exploration. This places the exploration into an entirely different context and *in that context*, the symbols of Elements, Fluids, Principles, etc., make perfect sense.”
“the physical body is the *result of* the astra-mental body. In other words, all of the physiological functions are *caused by* the astra-mental body. For example, neurotransmitters, modulators and hormones are caused by emotions and thoughts which occur within the astra-mental body of the individual. Neurotransmitters, etc., are not the causes of emotions — they are the physical *result of* emotions.
Granted, by artificially introducing certain chemicals, one can either induce or suppress certain emotional manifestations, but such actions do not alter the *source* of emotions and once the chemicals have been purged by the body, the same dynamic returns.
The question that the scientific model doesn’t address is “What source of intelligence or consciousness causes the body to create neurotransmitters, modulators and hormones?”
Thanks for everything!
Again, the essential question is:
Do the NT authors see the material world as a consequence of invisible spiritual processes?
I’ve not come across anything that suggests the NT use of stoicheia was “inward” (i.e., used of immaterial humanity).
Really enjoy these Q&A episodes, keep them up!
Thanks for taking the time to answer! Much appreciated! I had never thought of the elements as physical things, but as philosophical or metaphysical principles or qualities, for example:
Fire: Heat and expansion
Water: Coldness and contraction
“Plato…use(d) the term “element (στοιχεῖον, stoicheion)” in reference to air, fire, earth, and water.”
“According to Galen, these elements were used by Hippocrates in…association with the four humours: yellow bile (fire), black bile (earth), blood (air), and phlegm (water).”
I’m thinking of the elements as things that exist primarily in the mental or spiritual world of ideas.
Anyways, enough about that!
Thanks again for everything!