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Probably, the scrutiny of spiritual sources hidden in the very figure of Hermes Trismegistus and all things connected with it in different cultures and various directions of thought, comprehension and revealing things which may be of use to each of us personally and in a wider context in building up the united spiritual European and worlds space (if, of course, we shall be able to build it), is the likely reason why we, in the Library for Foreign Literature, give todays event such importance.

202 Thymen A. Kouwenaar, Counselor for Cultural Affairs, Science and Education the Royal Netherlands Embassy.

WELCOMING ADDRESS I would like to welcome this meeting, this cultural space in the name of the Netherlands Ambassador. We are glad to be able to make this mod est contribution to the history of the world culture from Amsterdam of all places. I am aware that this is not the first event in the Library signify ing cooperation between Holland and Russia, cooperation in this direc tion has gone on for many years. First memorable exhibitions of Hermetic literature was held here immediately after the breakup of the USSR, when the interest in some spiritual aspects of the worlds culture, the aspects suppressed and hidden for a long time, manifested itself. After the fall of Constantinople relations between the worlds of East and West were re alized through Italy and Venice. I have had a pleasure to see those places.

The West was lucky in that this reach ancient heritage, cultivated and pre served in the East, afterwards got to the West via the Byzantine Empire. Then retro-influences set in on Constantinople and, to a less degree, on Russia.

I express the gratitude of Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands and my personal gratitude for the pleasure of seeing todays exhibition and attending to such important symposium.

203 Ester Oostervijk-Ritman, Director and Librarian of Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica, Netherlands.

WAYS OF HERMES WAYS OF RUSSIA In 1991 Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica presented to the Rudomino Li brary approximately 300 modern (i.e. issued after 1800) books on Hermetica, Alchemy and related fields. The books were gratefully received by the Rudomino Library as a basis for Hermetic collections of the Religious literature department (reorganized into Research Center for Religious and migr Literature, All-Rus sia State Library for Foreign Literature). At present this Centre has acquired the status of the only place in the Russian Federation, where all spectrum of Hermetic philosophers is presented;

this Center also has become a place for inter-religious studies.

In April, 2006, both our Libraries signed, at the Department of Education, Cul ture and Science in Hague (the Netherlands), an agreement on cooperation with a purpose to provide a cultural exchange and scholarly contacts in the field of our common cultural history. By making a component of our cultural tradition (de nied until the recent times) that of Christian-Hermetic Gnosis more accessi ble, both our libraries hope to contribute to the strengthening of inter-religious tolerance and individual intellectual freedom, which are also present in the heart of Christian-Hermetic Gnosis.

Additionally, humanitarian disciplines set themselves an important task to make clear the following Four Questions: Who we are? Where have we come from and how have we become what we are? What is our place in this world?

Where do we go? For that reason, in terms of the active role which humanitar ian disciplines can play, each one of us should initiate revolution, the inner rev olution which may change our world and to bring changes in it. This revolution is the one that, according to Hermes, starts with Gnosis, the cognizance of God.

Joost R. Ritman Founder of Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica, the Netherlands.

THE COMPENDIUM OF HERMES TRISME GISTUS: WHO IS GOD, WHAT IS GOD? From the origin of homo sapiens and up to the present the search for God has always been a basic question for human mind. Now such search is even more ac 204 tual than it was 40.000 years ago. Human civilization undergoing its present humanitarian revolution needs a global transformation of human consciousness.

In particular, man must understand why he is called microcosm. Wisdom of Her mes Trismegistus will best help him in this matter because it allows to trace the origins of all world religions in it. In addition to our study of the world of the infinitive small particles, i.e. the world of atoms, neutrons and protons, we must also take a look at the tiny Particle of God, the root of primary matter and primary energy. We must take a look at this mysterious Creator, at the God, Who is every where and of Whom Hermes says God is the endless sphere, the center of which is everywhere but circumference is nowhere.

Roelof van den Broek Emeritus Professor of the Christian History, Member of the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Netherlands.

HERMETISM AND CHRISTIAN THOUGHT: PAST AND PRESENT From the very epoch of Primitive Christianity the Hermetical idea of Di vine Plentitude generating and embracing the Universe and the Human Race has been feeding and supporting Christian thought. In the present situation of crucial ecological as well as socio-cultural problems the importance of in terrelations between Hermetic tradition and Christian theology seems to be especially obvious.

Nikolay Shaburov Professor, Centre for Religious studies, Director. Russian State University for Humanities, Moscow.


ABOUT HISTORIOGRAPHY OF HERMETISM This report presents an essay on the scientific understanding of Hermetic phenomenon. The author gives special attention to the Hermetic studies in Rus sia, its place in Russian culture and in Russian historiographic and philosophic tradition.

205 Alexey Moma Translator, Moscow.


Firstly, the author of this article briefly outlines the history of the Euro pean and American researches and translations of the Coptic Gnostic Nag-Ham madi Library, found quite by chance in the Egyptian desert shortly after the end of the World War II. Secondly, the article contains discussion concerning the old and quite serious problems with the Russian translation and future publica tion of complete texts of this Library in Russia in an academic edition or even in a scientific-popular one. All Russian scientists and translators who have worked on the texts and published a number of tractates in Russian since 1979 are also gratefully mentioned.

Eugeny Rashkovsky Professor, Director of Research Centre for Religious and Russian migr Literature, All-Russia State Library for Foreign Literature.



Hermeneutics is Hermes unique daughter responsible for interpretation and understanding of the texts meaningful structures as well as for responses of our dure (the term of Bergson) to these structures. So this kind of hermeneu tical approach is used for interpretation of poetical heritage of the great Russian poet Gavriil Derzhavin, in particular of his ode The God (1784).

The article deals with Derzhavins twofold approach to the idea of Divine Glory characterized by a paradoxically complementary way of combining Biblical mysticism and some advanced ideas of post-Cartesian philosophy and science.

This holographic hermeneutical approach discloses some half-hidden mys tical as well as hermetical overtones in the whole culture of The Age of Il lumination.

206 Igor Evlampiev Professor of Saint-Petersburg State University, Saint-Petersburg.


Development of European philosophy during two thousands years was de termined by the struggle of two traditions: Christian Platonic and Gnostic mys tical. The birth of non-classical philosophy in the middle of the XIXth century was connected namely with predominance of Gnostic mystical tradition. The Gnostic teaching of human being in Russian philosophy was especially brightly presented in the works of Fyodor Dostoevsky, Vladimir Soloviev and Nikolay Berdyaev. The image of Jesus Christ totally reconsidered in the spirit of Gnos ticism is in the centre of Fyodor Dostoevskys world-view (see Legend of the Grand Inquisitor in his novel Brothers Karamazov). Dostoevsky completely denies the idea of sacrifice and redemption of humankinds sins in his under standing of Christ. According to him, Jesus Christ is a man who unveiled his Gods authenticity and eo ipso showed example for all human beings.

Alexander Rychkov Senior Researcher, Centre for Religious and Russian migr Literature, All-Russia State Library for Foreign Literature, Moscow.


This article introduces and substsntiates the term Alexandrian mypholo gem as a conscious adoption by young symbolists of mypho-poetics of Alexan drian Gnosis of the first centuries (including Gnostic Sophiological mypho-po etics) for description of the modern times the base of structural identity of these two periods of crisis in human consciousness. The feeling of the true meeting of these epochs distinguishes Russian cultural Silver Ages Renaissance (the beginning of the twentieth century) from its European predecessors. The arti cle also includes an overview of primary Gnostic sources and an extensive bib liography.


Introduction, commentaries and notes by Alexander Rychkov.

The work undertaken by the author proves that various numerous marks by Alexander Blok in some of his favourite books allows to liken the texts fragments underlined by the poet to copy-books with synopses by other creators of the Sil ver Age, those synopses being now scrupulously studied for understanding the origins of creativeness of the writers. While reading Windelbandt, Blok under lined the most important, in his view, fragments in this book, and his choice of fragments allows us to identify the sphere of the poets Gnostic and Hermetic interests in the beginning of the twentieth century and also to understand the sources of the Silver Ages Alexandrian myphologem, first mentioned in Bloks article Vyacheslav Ivanovs Creativeness (1905).

Bloks marks and notes are made public here for the first time ever;

the au thor also offers his experience of their interpretation. Facsimiles of the marks are also given.

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