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Below are excerpts from three of the plenary sessions from The 2006 Esoteric Quest.

Jacob Boehme and His Theosophical Vision
Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, D.Phil.

Jacob Boehme (1575–1624), a simple shoemaker of Görlitz, is regarded as the pioneer of theosophy, the wisdom of the divine, in the modern era. One day, when gazing on a dazzling light produced by the sun’s rays breaking on a pewter vessel, Boehme felt himself surrounded with celestial light and filled with ecstatic joy. He walked into the fields with a newly opened vision that penetrated to the inmost essence of all things. His works elaborated a rich tableau of Hermetic cosmology and alchemical ideas. This talk surveys Boehme’s life and esoteric cosmology together with visual images of the “three worlds” and the choices facing all human beings.
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File size: 10 mgs/ Running time: approx. 20 mins


From Star Palace to White Mountain: the English in Bohemia (1570–1620)

Paul Bembridge
Elizabeth’s ambassador to Prague in 1577, Sir Philip Sidney visited a small palace, in the shape of a star, combining elements of astrology, alchemy and the pagan mysteries of classical learning. Here was a symbol of that Bohemia which the Sidney circle hoped might serve as a cultural model for Britain. But some 40 years later, a few hundred yards away, these hopes were dashed at the Battle of White Mountain in 1620, a decisive Habsburg victory. This presentation looks at the lost dreams of travelers from London to Prague during this period.
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File size: 10 mgs/ Running time: approx. 20 mins


The Eternal Feminine: Goethe in Marienbad

Christopher Bamford
In the summer of 1823, when Goethe was seventy-four, he came to Marienbad, overflowing with passion, to propose marriage to Ulrike van Levetzov, who was then nineteen. Rejected, he wrote his last great love poem, “The Trilogy of Passion.” For Goethe, this act of folly and wisdom was the culmination of a lifetime’s devotion to the eternal feminine and life lived as an alchemical adventure. What is the “eternal feminine that draws us on”? What is the role of eros in the realization of the Philosopher’s Stone? Goethe’s life was dedicated to such questions. Thus, he becomes exemplary of a certain aspect of the “Hermetic” life.
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File size: 10 mgs/ Running time: approx. 20 mins

Full lectures may soon be available as a Podcast. If you are interested in hearing more please email: quest@opencenter.org.
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