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This review is taken from PN Review 48, Volume 12 Number 4, March - April 1986.

Michael Freeman SEVEN AGAIN

1. The fourteen theses nailed to the door of Manchester Cathedral have their own Lutheran, costive urgency and purgative charm. However, their language - as it authoritatively constructs its own Platonic reality - derives from a corpus of hermetic doctrine which requires exegesis.

2. The theses are fourteen as an exfoliation into Manichean binary form of the mystical number seven invoked in rituals of purification (see Leviticus 12.2) and in the consecration of altars and priests (Exodus 29.30-37).

3. They are fragments from a sacred narrative, a mythos of the Logos. In principio there were Traditional Approaches and they preserved a pristine pluralism for they were organically conceived. But then there came Alternative Approaches which necessarily declined into a scleroid orthodoxy for they had been theoretically constructed. Moreover they sought to render to Caesar that which was God's.
 
4. Obscure sections of the text allude to Alternative Perspectives, as Alternatives-to-the-Alternatives. This is a hard saying but we may see these things by virtue of a ghostly paradigm which transcends both the old covenant and the new shibboleths.

5. The mythos embodies gnostic wisdom. Principal axioms are two. First, some rites and practices are Very Bad and shall be cursed as: unjustified, unthinking, contemptuous, fantasizing, self-righteous sectarianism. Second, other rites are Very Good, entailing Enjoyment through Rigour and Discipline (with scourges). It is necessary and sufficient to hold these axioms: argument would offend their plenitude, and all naming of the false ...


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