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Patriarch of Bub

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Corpus Hermeticum
It is a warm early summer night in a small village near Susa (c_piemonte), the sun has almost set but you can still make out the outlines of the mountains surrounding the valley.
IMG_20190625_220734.jpg
You arrived early for the appointed time, yet you had to wait in pitch darkness for at least an hour before a sharp whisper beckoned you to a side entrance, through a heavy door, the look of it so old, it seems so out of place in the 21st Century.

Once inside the servant speaks up, lifting his candelabra allowing you to see the damp old vault of a staircase, "Good evening esteemed friends your waiting might have been long, but everything is prepared for you upstairs to proceed with the meeting".
Having muttered some form of greetings you follow the quiet fellow with some uneasiness as the stairs aren't as precise as you wished they were. Having reached the living quarters you are pervaded by the scent of a burning fireplace, a dense woody smell from the walls and support and....is that peppermint?
"Please follow me into the study" says the servant gesturing at you to follow.

You enter a dimly lit room but your eyes are already used to the darkness. You see the master and the mistress of the house, sitting at the table, pouring their thoughts on a book they have been reading. As they see you enter they rise to welcome you.

IMG_20190625_220438.jpg

"Good evening fellow seekers of truth and knowledge, I trust that your journey here was a pleasant one and not fraught with too many dangers" spaketh mistress Bae. "Please, take a seat by the fire, drink a cool glass of meade and relax a moment before we begin" . You take the offered seat and the lady hands you small cups of meade, the smell is pleasant and reminds you of flowers on a sunny day.


You take a few small sips before lord Bub enquires "I trust most of you are aware of why we are gathered here tonight. For those of you uninitiated, please allow me to provide you with a brief summary of what we are about to undertake". Bub then proceeds to take out a bundle of parchment containing finely written notes and observations about the task at hand. He organises them and his thoughts momentarily before he begins to speak again: "Tonight, while our minds are still fresh to discuss, we will talk about the first chapter of the Corpus Hermeticum, the talk between Hermes Trimegistus and Poimandres."

"Here I shall read to you my translated summary (Italian to English) of this first chapter". Bub begins to read:

Hermes had a vision where he met Poimandres, the intellect of God, and he was instructed on the essence of beings, creation and how to reach God.

He first received a vision where everything opened and was made of light. After a time a spiralling dark humid nature came along. From the light came the Logos, the son of God, who moved towards the humid nature. Fire came out of the humid nature and started to ascend followed by air, separating from water and earth towards fire.

The light is the intellect of God, and the light Logos who came from the light is the son of God. Through the Logos, God created the Demiurge, god of fire and ether. The demiurge created the seven Planets whose governing is called destiny.

At this point the Logos detached himself from the inferior elements (water, earth...) to join the Demiurge as they were of the same nature, hugging each other in a circle without a determined start or end. From this rotation they created the other creatures lacking of reason, as the inferior elements no longer had the Logos in them.

The Intellect of God generated man, similar to him in his image, and fell in love with his creature, entrusting him with his works. Man having known that the Demiurge ruled fire, wanted to create something himself. Having entered the sphere of the Demiurge, he came to know of his works: the Planets. The Planets fell in love with man and each of them made him to participate in its essence. Having then known their essence and participating in their nature, man wanted to penetrate beyond the spherical surface and know the power of Him who reigns over fire. Man therefore having dominion on mortal beings and irrational animals, showed to the inferior nature the beauty of the image of God. When the inferior nature saw man which had in him the beauty, it fell in love with him, and so did man fall in love with his own reflection in the water and mixed with it. This is why man has two natures. The body subject to the laws of nature, and the soul, his true essence.

The Intellect explains to Hermes that He stays with the good, pure, merciful men, preventing the always assailing urges of the body from taking over. As men with intellect should realise their nature and strive to return to it, to immortality, rather than waste away with bodily and earthly passions. These men reach God by thanking Him, honouring Him, by singing hymns based on the love they feel for Him.

Hermes asks to be able to show other men the correct path to reach God. Some men don't listen, some do, and to these he teaches. Having learned all this, Hermes has found his true happiness.

"I shall get my novice opinions out of the way first so that my beloved Bub can properly discuss the intricacies of the text in way more depth" declared Bae. "This to me reads as a creation story with elements from the pagan philosophies such as Stoicism, Neoplatonism with elements coming really close to a Christian interpretation. The way it talks about man's two natures, how it talks about reaching God through thanking and loving Him, and even how it talks about inferior creatures, lacking of intellect, not having souls strikingly reminds me of Christianity. One thing I will point out is how the part where it talks about man falling in love with his reflection, strongly reminds me of the Greek Myth of Narcissus."


Bub took the word:
"It's easy to see why the writing attributed to Hermes received such praise from a variety of commentators earning praise even amongst Christians. There are some really strong Gnostic elements, yet the Demiurge creators isn't regarded as an evil deity in opposition to God, as neither is the material world, made of the inferior elementals considered evil. Amazingly the true essence of man, the soul, is a direct product of God, and our bodily condition has been dictated by our meddling in the inferior elements, thus without fearing death, by seeing it at our abandonment of our material body to its nature, the worthy should can ascend the heavens and join the other souls praising God, returning to our true nature. Reading this I finally understood the relation that astrology should have on our life, and why it is, with the 7 ministers (planets). It was surprising to hear God described has having both male and female natures rather than lacking them all together. This has been a really interesting and encouraging read. Interesting in seeing a different perception on our essence, and encouraging in revealing the beauty of God."

After the discussion, you were shown to your rooms, which had been carefully prepared for your stay. Thinking about the evening you struggled to sleep at first....but what will follow will be in your hands. "Goodnight" wished you the lord and lady of the house....these words kept ringing in your head...a good night for what?


*hope you enjoyed :)
 
Last edited:

Wade Aznable

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Monferrato here! :D
... which is one of the reasons why I fell in love with this game, when I saw there IS actually the County of Monferrato!
 

Patriarch of Bub

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Monferrato here! :D
... which is one of the reasons why I fell in love with this game, when I saw there IS actually the County of Monferrato!
You can rename your holdings as well, so if you want to have a certain town in game you can. I do it all the time.

What do you think of the "meeting"? ;)
 

Karlington

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Yes, born and raised in the mountains ;D
Monferrato here! :D
... which is one of the reasons why I fell in love with this game, when I saw there IS actually the County of Monferrato!
Whenever I see pictures of your homes I wonder how anyone ever gets anything done except sit down and eat, sip wine, and look at the beautiful landscape. Here in Sweden we're happy to go to work most of the year just to get away from the slush and gloom. :)
 

Wade Aznable

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@Karlington: https://www.paesaggivitivinicoli.it/ this site has a great gallery of Langhe / Monferrato / Roero, recently named UNESCO world heritage sites, and with good reason.

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vineyard_Landscape_of_Piedmont:_Langhe-Roero_and_Monferrato

And this is home! :D https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montferrat

Enjoy!

@Bub: I enjoyed it a lot, wonderfully written, and the pics are great too, did you shoot them yourself?

PS: sorry for the OT, but when it comes down to "home" I get all proud, warm and fuzzy!
 
Last edited:

Patriarch of Bub

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Whenever I see pictures of your homes I wonder how anyone ever gets anything done except sit down and eat, sip wine, and look at the beautiful landscape. Here in Sweden we're happy to go to work most of the year just to get away from the slush and gloom. :)
Ah, if only it was this easy. Italy is certainly beautiful but if you are like me, in deep financial trouble then it becomes really difficult to appreciate said beauty.

The picture you see is the silhouette of the Rocciamelone, the highest mountain in the valley of Susa.

For as much as I'd love to stay here, finding a job, making a living is nigh impossible and will probably have to move.

You know, for the first time in my life, yesterday i saw fireflies. There were so many and were dancing in the pitch darkness of the night. It is beauty like this who keeps up my spirit in harsh times. :)
 

Patriarch of Bub

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@Karlington: https://www.paesaggivitivinicoli.it/ this site has a great gallery of Langhe / Monferrato / Roero, recently named UNESCO world heritage sites, and with good reason.

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vineyard_Landscape_of_Piedmont:_Langhe-Roero_and_Monferrato

And this is home! :D https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montferrat

Enjoy!

@Bub: I enjoyed it a lot, wonderfully written, and the pics are great too, did you shoot them yourself?
Thanks that means a lot, we worked hard (ish) to make this thread. Yes we took the picture ourselves. The first is a shot of late sunset in the valley of Susa, while the second is just to set the mood with some appropriate objects and lighting :)
 

Wade Aznable

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Bub, the pics give the extra mile to an already damn-well-written story, conveying atmosphere and nuances and a feeling of almost being able to "touch", great job, really!
And great to have met a fellow piedmontese in paradox forums!
 

Patriarch of Bub

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Bub, the pics give the extra mile to an already damn-well-written story, conveying atmosphere and nuances and a feeling of almost being able to "touch", great job, really!
And great to have met a fellow piedmontese in paradox forums!
Bae: "We really enjoyed doing this and seeing the positive feedback is encouraging to make #2".

Bub: "thanks you made our day with your comments, glad to have met you too! Feel free to message me anytime if you need to ask anything :)"

I guess we shall start working on a second episode!!
 

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Thread moved to AARLand.
 

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@Karlington: https://www.paesaggivitivinicoli.it/ this site has a great gallery of Langhe / Monferrato / Roero, recently named UNESCO world heritage sites, and with good reason.

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vineyard_Landscape_of_Piedmont:_Langhe-Roero_and_Monferrato

And this is home! :D https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montferrat

Enjoy!

@Bub: I enjoyed it a lot, wonderfully written, and the pics are great too, did you shoot them yourself?

PS: sorry for the OT, but when it comes down to "home" I get all proud, warm and fuzzy!
Ah, if only it was this easy. Italy is certainly beautiful but if you are like me, in deep financial trouble then it becomes really difficult to appreciate said beauty.

The picture you see is the silhouette of the Rocciamelone, the highest mountain in the valley of Susa.

For as much as I'd love to stay here, finding a job, making a living is nigh impossible and will probably have to move.

You know, for the first time in my life, yesterday i saw fireflies. There were so many and were dancing in the pitch darkness of the night. It is beauty like this who keeps up my spirit in harsh times. :)
Very gorgeous, thank you! :)

I can see the financial aspect for sure. The world economy is in a state of flux and a lot of the old jobs are just gone. :( But we all must "ora et labora" until retirement, so what can we do?

I love fireflies. :) I've only seen them a handful of times, though - very rare!
 

Patriarch of Bub

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Very gorgeous, thank you! :)

I can see the financial aspect for sure. The world economy is in a state of flux and a lot of the old jobs are just gone. :( But we all must "ora et labora" until retirement, so what can we do?

I love fireflies. :) I've only seen them a handful of times, though - very rare!
True about a old jobs having disappeared. I might have a chance at apiculture and with a bit of extra income from other sources, we hope of making it.

Ooh, another Italian like me:D Welcome, but with the next chapter I want a big chunk of Val di Susa cheese;)
Grazie very much :D
We actually finished a big toma of the local cheese, but we'll promise to have some good pictures with our next chapter. We'll definitely step the quality up, so it might take a little longer, but you won't be disappointed :)
 

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Corpus Hermeticum #2

You wake from you sleep not due to the sunlight in the room, as heavy wooden shutters keep it out, but from the incessant chirping of the wild birds. The bed in which you slept creak slightly and you raise to sit on the edge of it.
You take a moment to familiarise yourself to the ambient with the little light that manages to filter the shutters. You could some time trying to guess the content of the room, but you decide to get up to open the window. As you open it, the valley opens itself before your. The summer solstice happened about a week ago, and summer is truly in the air, with its unbearable heat. The glaciers have almost all melted, with only the highest ones managing to keep some clutters of white.

Glancing around the room as you get dressed, there isn't anything too particular to notice, except from a few strange items on the wall. The ceiling is arched and plain, sporting some hooks which in older times they were used as a way to prevent mice from reaching stuff. The walls are covered in planks to even out the irregular shape of the old building and giving it a very warm feeling. The pavement is curious as is made up of tiny squares of tiny finger-like splinters of wood perpendicularly intersecting with one another.

As you departed yourself from the masters of the house last night, Lord Bub and Mistress Bae, it was agreed that you would have had the whole morning to yourself, leaving you free to explore, adapt and relax. Having dressed you come out of your chambers to reach the lavatory to freshen up, you overhear the cook talking about... warming up the salad or something.

Most of the house is off limits simply because they are private quarters, and you'd rather wait to be invited in the study before entering it, so you explore the garden, taking advantage of the morning breeze. The intense colours of these flowers, remind you of someone....

IMG_20190627_183036.jpg

Just as you are minding your own business, Mistress Bae comes in the garden and strikes up conversation:
"I trust that you are feeling welcome here in my home and that you have managed to rest and reflect well on our discussion from the previous evening?" she politely enquired. "This project is something that I'm thoroughly enjoying working on and I hope you all are enjoying your time with us too". She spoke with such hopeful gentleness that you were obliged to smile and nod in agreement with her. Mistress Bae smiled again and she announced that after exploring our surroundings more we will be invited to another discussion tonight, this time focusing on the second chapter of the book. "In the meantime please take a moment to savour the delights of our garden and admiring the beautiful scenery that myself and Lord Bub are lucky enough to witness every day" and with that she strolled away to attend her duties and daughter.


Following your conversation with Mistress Bae, you partake in lunch, and you can retire to your leisure for a few more hours. In passing Lord Bub explains: "Later this afternoon I'd like to come with us on a trip searching for some peculiar herbs and other things that can be foraged from the woods".
In the mid to late afternoon everything is ready for the departure, and you set out headed by Lord Bub, to "Acquire ingredients". "We'll head for the hills" says Bub. "I at least I know how to identify plants" you think to yourself.


As you enter deeper into the woods and start leaving the beaten path you turn around and surprisingly you can still glance at the imposing peaks, you could only see in the shadows of sunset the night before.

IMG_20190627_182727.jpg

As you venture forth you happen on many different species of plants, which we will discuss another time. You are pleasantly surprised in finding some wood strawberries growing in great numbers. "Feel free to pick some up, but remember to leave some behind for the critters" says Bub jovially.

IMG_20190627_181449.jpg


Eventually the much awaited evening comes. Lord Bub says: "This second chapter is placed right after the first one of Poimandres, though we do not have a title for it. It has been later named as the Conversation on the Universe of Hermes and Tat. I will try to summaries and simplify the text, though look out for TEAL coloured lines from textual quotes from the book".
The reading begins, though bear in mind the translation could be a bit confusing:

Everything that is subject to movement, moves through the action of something else. The being that moves the other body has to be stronger than the body which is being moved. What is being moved must have a different nature from what it's moving into.

The universe is a body too, containing all existing bodies.
Is the universe in movement? Of course replies Hermes.

How big and of what nature should be the place where the universe is moving into?


Hermes explains that since the nature of this place has to differ from the nature of the universe, this place has to be incorporeal, which is in direct contrast with the corporeal nature of the universe. But this incorporeal has to be "something divine", or rather, it is God Himself.

If incorporeal it is something divine, and its nature is the nature of essence.
If it is God, then it even lacks essence. (as God has no essence, since He is the cause of existence of essence). It is furthermore intelligible (able to be understood for us) to us in the following way: for us the first intelligible thing is God, but God isn't as such to Himself. What is intelligible falls under the our senses. God cannot therefore be thought from Himself as He would be no different from the object of the thought, for the fact that He'd think Himself (God cannot be object of knowledge for Himself, because every forms of knowledge implicates the duality of subject-object, while God is one). From our perspective, since God is something else from us, He is intelligible to us. If therefore the place (of the movement of the universe) is intelligible for us, it is not intelligible as God, but as place. And if it results intelligible to us also as God, then we should think of it as an action capable of engulfing everything.

A body cannot move another body, as the movement comes from the incorporeal elements of the body, which without them the body would be inanimate. The incorporeal elements such as the soul, the breath of life, and others.
"is it necessary that the movement of the bodies happens in a void, oh Trimegistus?"
"Careful how you speak, Asclepius! Nothing that exists is void, for the very fact it exists..."
"But don't exist some objects that are void(empty), oh Trimegistus, such as an amphora, a jug or similar?"
"What mistake, oh Asclepius! You consider empty those objects which are amongst the fullest?"
"What do you say, oh Trimegistus?"
"Is air not a body?"
… the conversation precedes, but this extract should be enough.



+ How should we define the place where the universe is moving?

As an incorporeal being which is an intellect, which in his fullness, completely contains itself free from any body, immobile, impassive, intangible and immobile in itself so to contain in itself all the things that exist, keeping them in life and being able to define with his rays the goodness, the true, the first principle of the vital breath and of the soul.

+ But what is God then?

God is that, which is not any of these things, but is the cause of the existence of them, as He is of all things that exist, of each and every one of them. He has not left any space to non-existence, and everything that exists derives from what already exists, and not from that which doesn't exist. In fact, that which doesn't exist doesn't possess the nature of existence, but its nature is such that can never become something and vice versa, that which "is" doesn't have the property to "not be".


+ What do you mean by saying to not be?

God is not the intellect itself, but the cause of the existence of the intellect, He is not the breath of life, but the cause of the existence of the breath of life, He is not light, but the cause of the existence of the light. So from this, we deduce that God should only be worshipped with these two names (Good and Father), which are apt to Him alone and to no other being.
In fact,
no other beings either the ones called gods nor men nor demons, for as big as they might be, can be Good (goodness) except God alone. He is solely that and nothing else. All the other being are incapable to contain the nature of Good, because they are body and soul and do not have the space to contain Goodness.
The Goodness in fact is the thing that least of all could be abstractedly taken away from God, because it's inseparable from Him, it is God Himself.

The other name is that of "Father". Such name comes from the faculty to create everything that exists; in fact the activity to create belongs to the Father, as such in life those who are wise, will consider the function of procreation as most important and holy.


"I shall begin with my simplistic view again in the hopes that Lord Bub will have more in depth input to follow", decreed Mistress Bae. "I found the language in this chapter a little confusing at times, but with careful reading things do start to make a little sense. I will note again that there are striking similarities to Christianity here, but I also feel like it drifts into the territory of general relativity in regards to how it discusses the state of the universe. Honestly the way the text has blended together science and faith is quite beautiful in it's own way."

"We are getting deep into the Maelstrom friends! The observations on movement have been intriguing especially when claiming that while a body can move another body, in reality it is our incorporeal components, such as our soul, intellect and life which allow our physical body to...well move and function.
God. He is the cause of the existence of everything, and what is incorporeal to us is of divine nature. Here the universe is beautifully presented as moved and kept by God who engulf everything. The wise man will consider procreation as most important and holy....already checked ask my wife ;)
"


Mistress Bae looks at Bub with a disapproving stare. Looks like Bub will be lonely and cold in his chambers tonight....

Hope you enjoyed the second part :)
 
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Mr. Capiatlist

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