Architecture of Initiation: Alchemy and the Theater of Memory
March 19th 7:00pm-9:00pm PST
Teacher: Brian Cotnoir
Recorded for absentees: YES
Throughout time, from the caves of Lascaux and Chavet to temples and cathedrals around the world, structures natural and constructed have been the locus of the symbolic embodiment of esoteric practice. Where the orientation, proportion, shape, and ornamentation of these spaces embody, not just an esoteric cosmology or world-view, but specific concrete practices.
Tonight’s illustrated talk will explore the development and links in this architecture of initiation. Starting with the Greek orators’ art of memory and its renaissance development into the memory theater of Giulio Camillo and Giordano Bruno with its more explicit esoteric Hermetic applications, these later works will be considered in light of Buddhist tantric mandalas, themselves 2D architectural representations of temples that physically embody the meditative techniques of a particular practice.
We will end with a brief examination of Notre Dame Cathedral and the 20th century alchemist Fulcanelli’s assertion that the bas-reliefs describe in practical terms the Opus Magnum of the alchemists.
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