Elaborate doctrines of emanation, largely based on Neoplatonic ideas, are also propounded by some of the Arabic philosophers, as by Farabi and Avicenna.
The systematic theosophy of Plotinus and his successors does not belong to the present article, except so far as it is the presupposition of their mysticism; but, inasmuch as the mysticism of the medieval Church is directly derived from Neoplatonism through the speculations of the pseudo-Dionysius, Neoplatonic mysticism fills an important section in any historical review of the subject.
But the link that connects him with churchly realism, as well as with the NeoPlatonic mysticism, is the conviction that complete and certain knowledge rests wholly on divine revelation, i.e.
It was the Alexandrian theology that superseded them; that is to say, NeoPlatonic mysticism triumphed over the early Christian hope of the future, first among the "cultured," and then, when the theology of the "cultured" had taken the faith of the "uncultured" under its protection, amongst the latter also.
The Pythagorean theory of numbers, Neoplatonic ideas of emanation, the Logos, the personified Wisdom, Gnosticism - these and many other features combine to show the antiquity of tendencies which, clad in other shapes, are already found in the old pre-Christian Oriental religions.
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