Parmenides Fragment 2


In this series, I am going to analyze the meaning of the Parmenides fragments as I presently understand them. I am going to argue that, far from being the “single-brained super-logician” that modern scholarship takes him to be, Parmenides was in fact a shaman-healer and initiate of an Apollo mystery cult in his home town of Elea (an assertion borne out by archaeological evidence, no less).* Adopting this interpretation will allow us to make sense of the classical, hitherto unsolvable “Parmenides problems,” such as (a) what is the subject for being? (b) why does the goddess call her own account ‘deceitful’ (8.52)? and (c) why is the Way of Seeming (doxa) included in the poem, and elaborated upon in great detail, if false? 

It must be stated that I am not the first to have gleaned the “mystical” meaning of the Parmenides poem. Predecessors such as Peter Kingsley, Thomas McEvilley and others have proposed similar interpretations of the poem, although as far as I am able to tell, the precise contents of their analyses are almost entirely different from mine. At any rate, though, the view of Parmenides as a shaman is still an absolute minority view, with most scholars either asserting that he was a single-minded remorseless logician or a primitive physicist and physician. ...

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