Abolition of Man

1947 book by C. S. Lewis, subtitled "Reflections on Education with Special Reference to the Teaching of English in the Upper Forms of Schools."

 

 

 

 

 

 

absolute idealist

One who assumes the philosophical stance, espoused by F. H. Bradley, which holds that all of reality is the product of the mind and not an object perceived by the senses. Absolute idealism is sometimes also called radical idealism.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Achilles

The greatest of the Greek warriors in the Trojan War, he eventually slayed Hector, Troy's greatest warrior and the King's son. Killedówounded in his Achilles heelóby Paris.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Actaeon

"The legendary huntsman of Greek myth, a grandson of Cadmus. During a hunt, he left the party and wandered alone through the forest when he suddenly came upon a clearing. There he saw the goddess Artemis bathing in a large pool, surrounded by her nymphs. When they noticed the hunter they flew themselves before the goddess, but he had already seen her splendid nakedness. Angered, she turned him into a stag for she refused to let any mortal say that he had seen Artemis naked" [Encyclopedia Mythica].

 

 

 

 

 

 

advaitist

A follower of Shankara's Vedantic philosophy and its central tenet of "nonduality": the principle that atman and brahman are identifical.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aeneid

Epic poem by the Roman poet Virgil (70-19) about the aftermath of the Trojan War.

 

 

 

 

 

 

a fortiori

In philosophy, "a type of argument in which two cases are compared, a lesser and a greater. The argument runs from the lesser to the greater case" (Reese 7)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Captain Ahab

In Melville's Moby-Dick, the vengeance-seeking, metaphysical-minded captain of the Pequod, who longs to repay the mysterious white whale Moby-Dick for the loss of his leg.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aha/Eureka

The notion that creativity depends upon sudden moments of insight that occur spontaneously, as in Arthur Koestler's notion of the "Aha Experience" or the famous apocraphyl tale of Archimedes' discovery of the displacement of water upon immersing himself in a bath (he supposedly jumped out yelling "Eureka! I have found it!").

 

 

 

 

 

 

Akashic Record

Acccording to Madame Blavatsky, founder of Theosophy, "a kind of psychic ether," an "incedible combination of film camera and gramophone record," which records a history of the universe able to be read via telepathy and clairvoyance (Wilson, Rudolf Steiner 12).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Albigensian

The Albigenses (from the town of Albi in southern France) were followers of the Manichaen heresy. The Albigensian Crusae (1208-1229), launched by Pope Innocent III, repressed the Albigenses and laid waste to the region.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Albion

Blake's poetical, mythic name for England (see Damon, A Blake Dictionary).

 

 

 

 

 

 

al fresco

Painting on plaster with watercolor while the plaster is still fresh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

algebra

1 a mathematical system using symbols, esp. letters, to generalize certain arithmetical operations and relationships (Ex.: x + y = x2 represents a unique relationship between x and y, and has an infinite number of examples, as 3 + 6 = 9)

2 any of various symbolic mathematical systems having formal rules of operation, defined relationships, finite processes, etc. !Boolean algebra"  [New World Dictionary].

 

 

 

 

 

 

"The Allegory of the Cave"

A fable in Plato's The Republic. Socrates tells of people imprisoned in a cave, able only to see the shadows moving on the cave wall, which they come to take for reality. An individual able to leave the cave and witness for the first time the existing things beyond the cave which cast the shadows will, upon return, find it impossible to convince his fellow beings of the existence of a higher world. Such an individual is the philosopher, who, because of his special knowledge, can no longer see the things of this world as anything but shadows, illusions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Allegory of Love: A Study in Medieval Tradition

1936 book by C. S. Lewis, a scholarly study of the role of romance and the tradition of courtly love in the literature of the Middle Ages.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ananda

In Hinduism, roughly equivalent to bliss; one of the three characteristics of divine consciousness: sat (Being), chit (consciousness), ananda (bliss).

 

 

 

 

 

 

"The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"

Coleridge's lyric poem, included in the original Lyric Ballads. Its argument, according to the poem, itself is as follows: "How a Ship having passed the Line was driven by storms to the cold Country towards the South Pole ; and how from thence she made her course to the tropical Latitude of the Great Pacific Ocean; and of the strange things that befell ; and in what manner the Ancyent Marinere came back to his own Country. "

 

 

 

 

 

 

android

A genetically engineered automaton.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Angelesey

"Anglesey or Angelsea, island and county, northwestern Wales; Llangefni is the administrative center. It comprises the island of Anglesey, which is separated from the Welsh mainland by Menai Strait, and the small nearby Holy Island, both in the Irish Sea" [Microsoft Encarta].

 

 

 

 

 

 

angelology

The study, including classification, of angelic beings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

anthropocentrism

The tendency to view all things in nature in human terms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

antinomian

Believing that "faith in Christ frees the Christian from obligation to observe the moral law as set forth in the Old Testament" [Microsoft Encarta 97 Encyclopedia. (c) 1993-1996 Microsoft Corporation].

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aphrodite

"[T]he goddess of love, beauty and sexual rapture. According to Hesiod, she was born when Uranus (the father of the gods) was castrated by his son Cronus. Cronus threw the severed genitals into the ocean which began to churn and foam about them. From the aphros ("sea foam") arose Aphrodite, and the sea carried her to either Cyprus or Cythera. Hence she is often referred to as Kypris and Cytherea. Homer calls her a daughter of Zeus and Dione [Encyclopedia Mythica].

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apocalypse

D. H. Lawrence's posthumously published 1931 book laying out his highly unorthodox reading of the meaning and direction of history.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apollo

"The son of Zeus and Leto, and  the twin brother of Artemis. Apollo was the god of music (principally the lyre, and he directed the choir of the Muses) and also of prophecy, colonization, medicine, archery (but not for war or hunting), poetry, dance, intellectual inquiry and the carer of herds and flocks. He was also a god of light, known as "Phoebus" (radiant or beaming, and he was sometimes identified with Helios the sun god)" [Encyclopedia Mythica].

 

 

 

 

 

 

a priori

In philosophy, refers to "what we derive from our definitions and what is implicit in the meanings of ideas already accepted" (Reese 22). The opposite of a posteriori.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arachne

A young Greek girl who challenged Athena to a weaving contest, lost, killed herself, and was transformed into a spider.

 

 

 

 

 

 

archaeopterytx

The first known bird, discovered in the 19th century.

 

 

 

 

 

 

archetypal psychology

A school of psychology with its origins in the work of C. G. Jung.

 

 

 

 

 

 

archetypes

Jung's term for the ever-recurrent road markers of human experience; images, forms,  patterns,  symbols, rites of passage that transcend particular cultures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ares

Greek god of war.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ariadne

Daughter of Minos, the King of Crete, who assisted Theseus in navigating the labyrinth and slaying the Minotaur.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art of the Fugue

Unfinished work (1745-50) by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Artemis

"The daughter of Leto and Zeus, and twin sister of Apollo. Artemis is the goddess of the wilderness, the hunt and wild animals, and fertility (she became a goddess of fertility and childbirth mainly in cities). She was often depicted with the crescent of the moon above her forehead and was sometimes identified with Selene (goddess of the moon). Artemis  was one of the Olympians and a virgin goddess " [Encyclopedia Mythica].

 

 

 

 

 

 

King Arthur

Legendary king of the Britons from his castle at Camelot and founder of the Knights of the Roundtable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

artificial intelligence

The long-imagined but not-yet realized creation of autonomous machine/computer intelligence roughly equivalent to human intelligence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aryan

Usually used to describe all those people who speak any of the Indo-European languages.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ascalaphus

A variation on Asclepius, "Greek hero who later become the Greek god of medicine and healing" [Encyclopedia Mythica].

 

 

 

 

 

 

asseverated

To state seriously or positively; assert

 

 

 

 

 

 

astral body

In Anthroposophy, "the part of us that leaves the physical body during sleep, and in so-called 'out-of-the-body' experiences'" (Wilson, Rudolf Steiner 110).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Atlantis

A supposed island and technologically advanced civilization that antiquity believed existed in the Atlantic Ocean until its destruction by an earthquake.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Atman

In Hinduism, the individual soul or self.

 

 

 

 

 

 

atomism

The theory, which first appeared in the ancient world, that all matter is made up of tiny, simple, indivisible particles that cannot be destroyed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

automatic writing

Writing done without conscious control by the author.  Examples include the automatic writing practiced by Surrealism as a means of tapping the unconscious and the dictation given to William Butler Yeats' wife (via a quija board) which led to his book A Vision.