Self and Self-Transformation, 7-10

II. The Self-Possessed






Madness of Heraklees




Healing as Transformation

Shaul Shaked



Downstream into God

David Shulman



Spirit-Possession Catholic

Moshe Sluhovsky




Madness and Suffering in the Myths of Heraklees

Hildegard Cancik-Lindemaier


p. 117, n. 41 Christianity is derived [in part] from the cult for Heraklees

"Friedrich Pfister's thesis (ARW 1937, 59f.) that the author of the "Urevangelium" used a cynic-stoic biography of Heracles as a model or the life of Jesus."


p. 117, n. 43 vanishment of corpse

"Diodorus (4,38,5) explicitly says that Hercules' friends who came to gather the bones, as is required by the funeral rites, did not find them."

{cf. empty tomb of Iesous Khristos, and of many Taoist saints who were "liberated from the corpse".}

p. 112 mythology of Heraklees in the philosophies

"The sophist Prodicos places him at the crossroads, deciding to follow the steep path of virtue;

he also became a model Cynic [p. 117, n. 50 (Kunic) : "Tertullian (Apologeticum 14) mentions a Heracles poem by Diogenes of Sinope."] and

one of the personifications of the Stoics' wise man." [p. 117, n. 50 (Stoic) : "Zeno was said to have surpassed Heracles (Diog. Laert. 7,29); Cleanthes was called the "second Heracles" Diog. Laert. 7,170)."]

p. 112 'divine madness' (theia mania) in the philosophies

"Heraclitus' Sibyl had already spoken "with raving mouth," and so did Virgil's. [p. 118, n. 60 : Herakleitos frgm. 245; Vergilius : Aeneid 6:47-51, 77-80]

Cicero acknowledges divination in ecstasy (furor) as ... in this case the soul is separated from the body ... . [p. 118, n. 61 : "Cicero, De divinatione 1,34; 1,70"]



Healing as an Act of Transformation

Shaul Shaked


p. 122 [Naveh & Shaked 1987, p. 199; cf. SchC MS 1929/1] description of lord Bagdana Aziza, "the great one of the gods ... king, head of the sixty kingdoms" : "That which is alive he eats" {cf. Poluphemos, son of a Kuklops}, "that which is unmixed he drinks" {cf. Poluphemos}.

his __

is __


that of a lion

molar teeth

those of a she-wolf




furnace of fire {forge of the Kuklopes?}


glowing lightnings {Arges, a Kuklops}


sphaires in a cloud


anvil of iron {owned by Kuklopes?}


2 hammers {owned by Kuklopes?}


that of an evil man


lake without canals


of alum


of brass & of iron


those of sparks


that of the evil ones

Naveh & Shaked 1987 = J. Naveh & S. Shaked : Amulets and Magic Bowls. Jerusalem.

SchC = Scho/yen Collection

p. 123 [SchC MS 1927/8:6-7] genealogy, in the female lineage (reckoned backwards), of a goddess who afflicteth women




Agag {/>gag/ is the name of a man!}

Baroq {'Lightning'}



Naqor {nqarah 'fissure, cleft'}

Namon {numah 'drowsiness'?}

"the evil eye"

p. 125 [SchC MS 1927/54:4-6] Lilit is bound and [that bond-knot] is sealed


"You are bound by the name of Asri>el [p. 129, n. 5 : "ASR, "to bind.""] the angel, who binds and does not loosen, who ties a knot that is not untied.


And you are sealed by the rod of fire and by the pebble-spirit of Ganaqat Lilith, and


by the ring of King Soomon son of David, on which are engraved all the demons and devs".

p. 128 [SchC MS 2046:5-6] spirits who afflict women


spirit __


"that officiates in the seven orifices of her head"


"of jugs"

"of *drain-pipes"

"of the cemetery"



Downstream into God

David Shulman


pp. 136-7 mortal's song, transcribed by S`iva into the form of a written book, is transmitted by S`iva to a sacred temple

p. 136

"as he sang, the Dancing God ... wrote it all down, ... the god sat right in front of him writing it all down.

[p. 138 "The elephant-headed god`a breaks off a tusk in order to record the Mahabharata, as Vyasa speaks it".]

No sooner was the process completed than S`iva, his long hair luminous like gold, secreted the book away and, in a flash, disappeared. ... Meanwhile S`iva ... entered the Inner Space and announced to the gods, including Vis.n.u and Brahma ..., the book is a source of freedom. When S`iva had finished inscribing it [with a stylus] on the palm-leaves, he smeared collyrium over the incised letters to make them stand out clearly ... . Then, wanting to reveal to the entire world the inner vision ..., S`iva placed the manuscript of the Tiruvacakam and the rest of the volume ..., rich in truth, on the threshold of the Inner Space, where sages and even gods worship. ...

p. 137

They came to the Golden Hall, where God is present ... . ... S`iva, covered with cobras, showed his truth ... . ... We ..., who wander the world ..., ... our lowly skin, sinews ... -- everything ... that makes up the body -- are S`iva's own self."

p. 141 goddess within the interior of the male {cf. C. G. Jung's female "soul" of each male}

"the beloved is like the Inner Space, the "empty" chamber for the ether-linga inside the god's shrine; the god lives there, but inside him is another female being, the goddess ...; the lover, entering his beloved, thus seems to penetrate through all these levels (femaleness bounded by maleness bounded by the female, and so on)

to a depth -- apparently female -- that, having found, he is afraid to lose again forever."

{cf. how C. G. Jung's own personal female "soul" (spirit-guide) permanently deserted him when (according to his Liber Novus) he refused to repudiate Christianity.}



Spirit-Possession as Self-Transformative Experience in Late Mediaeval Catholic Europe

Moshe Sluhovsky


p. 152 fire of the Holy Spirit

"In the fifth century, Saint Genevie`ve of Paris" : "the fingers of Genevie`ve's hand blazed up one by one with celestial fire." (McNamara & Halborg, p. 34)

{Praeternatural flames issuing from the fingers are likewise manifest in an episode among the "Desert Fathers" (in Aiguptos).}

McNamara & Halborg = J. A. McNamara & J. E. Halborg : Sainted Women of the Dark Ages. Durham, 1992.

pp. 153-4 divinely-possessed saintesses in western Europe

p. 153

Hildegard (1098-1179) of Bingen : "Hildegard ... presented herself self as ... a "reflection of the Living Light" (umbra viventis lucis) and further compared her visions to heavenly bodies reflected in water."

Elizabeth (ca. 1129-1164) of Scho:nau : "to regard herself as a trumpet who "only renders the sound and does not produce it unless another breathes into it in order to bring forth the sound.""

p. 154

"female mystics experienced intense rapture, trance, and ecstasy, levitation, stigmatism" [p. 164, n. 21 : "Bynum 1982, 170-262"].

Bynum 1982 = C. W. Bynum : Jesus as Mother : ... spirituality of the High Middle Ages. Berkeley.

pp. 154-5 male mystics who were accused of by Catholic ecclesiasts of "unauthorized" prophesying

p. 154-5

Guillaume of Hildernissen

p. 155

Telesphorus of Cosenza

pp. 157-8 historic suppression of mysticism in western Europe

p. 157

"Women who in the past had practiced devotional ecstasy and had enjoyed clerical support were now silenced and exorcised rather than recognized as divine mediums. Divine possession ... all but lost its legitimacy, and possession of mortals by good spirits was all but ruled out."

p. 158

"The early years of the sixteenth century witness the growing popularity of the Alumbrados, or the Illuminism phenomeon in the Iberian Peninsula, especially in Castille. Due in part to ... converts from Judaism ..., as well as to Rhino-Flemish mystical traditions ..., ... during the first half of the sixteenth century many spiritually inclined believers developed new form of religiosity that emphasized personal interior expereinces and raptures. They emphasized salvation through self-transformation by means of direct communication with the divine".

"In 1525, the Inquisition published it first edict against the movement ... . ... Forms of Dominican and Franciscan female spirituality that had been approved and even encouraged prior to 1520 ..., were now reviled as dangerous and heretical. Women who had been regarded as charismatic teachers, prophetesses, and mystics were now reviled as heretics and witches". [p. 165, n. 37 : "For individual cases, see ... Kagan 1991, 105-124; McKendrick and McKay 1991, 93-104; Weber 1993, 221-234".]

Kagan 1991 = R. L. Kagan : "Politics, Prophecy, ... in Late Sixteenth Century Spain". In :- M. E. Perry & A. J. Cruz (edd.) : Cultural Encounters : ... Spain and the New World. Berkeley.

McKendrick & McKay = G. McKendrick & A. McKay : "Visionaries and Affective Spirituality during the First Half of the Sixteenth Century". In :- M. E. Perry & A. J. Cruz (edd.) : Cultural Encounters : ... Spain and the New World. Berkeley.

Weber 1993 = A. Weber : "Between Ecstasy and Exorcism : ... in sixteenth century Spain". J OF MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE STUDIES 23:221-34.

p. 158 Magdalena de la Cruz

"This Cordoban nun (1487-1560) was renowned for her prophetic supernatural capabilities. Christ himself, the Virgin, and numerous saints appeared to her in her visions, and she was also known to perform miracles. Her devotees included dignitaries of the church, among them the archbishop of Seville and the Inquisitor General, and she was honored by Queen Isabel and her grandson Charles V. But in 1543 ..., she was put on trial ... . Magdalena de la Cruz confessed that for more than fifty years ..., she had been possessed by the evil spirit Balban. Magdalena de la Cruz was sentenced to perpetual seclusion".

pp. 159-60 living saintesses in Italia

p. 159

"In Italy, lay prophecy from the mouths of "Piazza Prophetesses" and "Living Saints"became very popular in the fifteenth century. Holy figures such as Catherine of Siena, Francesca Romana (1384-1436), Columba of Rieti (1467-1501), Catherine of Genoa (1446-1510), ... became spiritual guides of both laity and clergy, initiated reforms of their local churches, and used visions to advise clerics and rulers. Various forms of female divine inspiration by means of ecstasy and paramystical phenomena such as trance and levitation became exceptionally widespread in Italy in the fifteenth century and the first half of the sixteenth. Prophetesses, visionaries, and "Living Saints" operated in many cities, acquired followers, and challenged established ... orthodoxy ... . ...

p. 160

Furthermore ..., late medieval Italian female mystics flew through the air, had visions, levitated, revealed secrets, and even passed through closed doors."

pp. 162-3 indications of spirit-possession (according to Catholic theologians)

p. 162

"In the second half of the sixteenth century, a number of young women and a few men who experienced visions and claimed interaction with the divine were defined as diabolically possessed ... . ... The girls' seizures, pains, and involuntary catatonic relapses became, by the last quarter of the sixteenth century, clear and unambiguous marks of the demonically possessed female body."

p. 163

"Only the ability to speak unfamiliar languages (xenoglossy),

{regarded in the New Testament as sure sign of the Holy Ghost}

to exhibit knowledge above one's learning, to discover secrets, and to exhibit supernatural corporal strength were, according to Pythois [1621, 16-20], uncontested signs of demonic possession."

{All of these are characteristic abilities of typical shamans.}

Pythois 1621 = C. Pythois : La de'couverte des faux posse'de's ... . Cha^lon.


David Shulman & Guy G. Strousma : Self and Self-Transformation in the History of Religions. Oxford U Pr, 2002.