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Stripping during the Descent (1)

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03 Religious festivals, cults, rituals and practices

12 Assyrian Identity

04 Religious and philosophical literature and poetry

03 Religious festivals, cults, rituals and practices

02 Religious and ideological symbols and iconographic motifs

03 Religious festivals, cults, rituals and practices

3rd century CE
5th century CE
Roman Empire
Christian-Greek philosophers and scholars
Helleno-Roman philosophers and scholars

Corpus Hermeticum 1.26:
(After the dissolution of the body and after passing through the seven spheres) a man is then stripped naked of what the spheres had effected on him (in the descent of the soul) and enters the eighth nature, possessing his own power, and there he hymns the Father with the other beings.

Porphyry, De Abstinentia 1.31.3:
We have to strip off our many garments, both this visible one made of flesh, and the inner ones we have put on, which resemble ‘those of skin’. Let us ascend to the stadium naked and without a garment to contest the soul’s Olympic Games.

Proclus, Elements of Theology 209:
The vehicle of every particular soul descends by the addition of vestures (chitones) increasingly material and recovery of its proper form, after the analogy of the soul which makes use of it: for the soul descends by the acquisition of irrational principles of life; and ascends by putting off all those faculties tending to temporal process with which it was invested in its descent, and becoming clean and bare of all such faculties as serve the uses of the process.

Sources (list of abbreviations) (source links will open in a new browser window)
Corpus Hermeticum 1.26
Porphyry, De Abstinentia 1.31.3
Proclus, Elements of Theology 209


Brock 1992, XI 33-34Brock, Sebastian. Studies in Syriac Christianity, History, Literature and Theology. London: Variorum Reprints 1992.
Culianu 1983, 12Culianu, Ioan Petru. Psychanodia I. A Survey of the Evidence Concerning the Ascension of the Soul and its Relevance. EPRO 99. Leiden: E. J. Brill 1983.

Amar Annus

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