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Monday, September 16, 2013

Dr Tarrec Remembers Iamblichus

I am remembering it now, the funeral pomp and black bunting of Julian’s funeral.  I remember the haunting melody played on the organ – the sober hymns with unrhymed lyrics sung by the congregation, how the gathered faithful wept and sighed through the service, and left as soon as the priest intoned the final ‘amen.’

The graveyard sod had only just been replaced when his successor, Jovian, died as well.  Those were dark days for us enrolled in the Brotherhood of Games, dark days for us all.

There is a blank spot in my recollections at this point. 

But where the fuzziness of my memory fades and the remembrance returns, it is upon that point when Iamblichus was proposing a triad of ‘psychic gods’ – incommunicable and surpramundane.  He spoke at length to anyone who would listen of gods and demiurges, angels, demons, and mythic heroes born out of time.   And their numbers were always increasing. 

When first he told me of them, there were twelve – and he compelled me to memorize their names and habitations (but I have long since forgotten them again, another blank spot in my memories.) Later I attended a lecture that he was giving at the University of Prague where he spoke of the seventy-two archons of heaven.  And still later he wrote of them in a book, an exposition of the mysteries of the universe, wherein he wrote interminably of the three hundred and sixty spirits.

I asked him once if his rapidly multiplying divinities wouldn’t soon crowd out us mere mortals from the face of the earth.  He did not appreciate my levity.  And he turned upon me, scowling, and swore to ruin me. 

Perhaps he did, at that.  I cannot recall what happened to him after that. I read, in an obscure book of history, that Iamblichus poisoned himself to avoid an ignominious death at the hands of the Emperor’s secret police.  Crazy as he was, this is a loss to us all.  The Brotherhood of Games will not have another so talented a brother in a long, long time.

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