The task of ancient philosophers was to contemplate the cosmic order and its beauty, to live in harmony with it, and to transcend the limitations imposed by sense experience and discursive reasoning. Both Plato and Aristotle traced the origin of philosophy (philosophia, “the love of wisdom”) to wonder.
It was through philosophy, understood as a kind of ascetic exercise or training, that the cultivation of the natural, ethical, civic, purificatory, theoretic, paradigmatic, and hieratic virtues were to be practiced. And, it was through this noetic vision (study of the mind and intellect) that the ancient philosophers tried to awaken the divine light within, and to touch the divine Intellect in the cosmos.
By “philosophizing” ancient philosophers meant both noetic activity and spiritual practice; and, this was attributed not only to various Hellenic philosophers who belonged to different haireseis (Greek term meaning schools or theoretically founded ways of life), but also to the Egyptian priests, Chaldeans, and Indian Gymnosophists.
Algis Uždavinys was a prolific Lithuanian philosopher and scholar. His work pioneered the hermeneutical comparative study of Egyptian and Greek religions, especially their esoteric relations to Semitic religions, and in particular the inner aspect of Islam (Sufism). His books have been published in Lithuanian, Russian, English and French.
Uždavinys died in his sleep of an apparent heart attack on July 25, 2010 in his native village of Kabeliai, Lithuania.
Books written By Algis Uzdavinys include:
- Ascent to Heaven in Islamic and Jewish Mysticism
- Orpheus and the Roots of Platonism
- Philosophy and Theurgy in Late Antiquity
- Philosophy as a Rite of Rebirth: From Ancient Egypt to Neoplatonism
- The Golden Chain: An Anthology of Platonic and Pythagorean Philosophy
- The Heart of Plotinus: The Essential Enneads