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heresy (hèr´î-sê) noun
plural heresies
1.a. An opinion or a doctrine at variance with established religious beliefs, especially dissension from or denial of Roman Catholic dogma by a professed believer or baptized church member. b. Adherence to such dissenting opinion or doctrine.
2.a. A controversial or unorthodox opinion or doctrine, as in politics, philosophy, or science. b. Adherence to such controversial or unorthodox opinion.

[Middle English heresie, from Old French, from Late Latin haeresis, from Late Greek hairesis, from Greek, a choosing, faction, from hairêisthai, to choose, middle voice of hairein, to take.]


The conscience of the world is so guilty that it always assumes that people who investigate heresies must be heretics; just as if a doctor who studies leprosy must be a leper. Indeed, it is only recently that science has been allowed to study anything without reproach.
internal linkAleister Crowley (1875-1947), British occultist. _The Confessions of Aleister Crowley_, ch. 17 (1929; rev. 1970).

Political Correctness

All . . . forms of consensus about "great" books and "perennial" problems, once stabilized, tend to deteriorate eventually into something philistine. The internal linkreal life of the mind is always at the frontiers of "what is already known." Those great books don't only need custodians and transmitters. To stay alive, they also need adversaries. The most interesting ideas are heresies.
Susan Sontag (b. 1933), U.S. essayist. Interview, April 1975, Salmagundi (Fall 1975-Winter 1976; repr. in A Susan Sontag Reader, 1982).

Emotion, religion and morality: Religion: Heterodoxy
heresy (noun)

heresy, heathen theology, Gnosticism
Monarchianism, Arianism
Apollinarianism, Nestorianism
Monophysitism, Monothelitism
Montanism, Donatism, Manicheism, Albigensianism
Erastianism, antipapalism

Other Forms
unbelief: infidelity, misbelief, heresy
heterodoxy: heresy, rank heresy


The difference between heresy and prophecy is often one of sequence. Heresy often turns out to have been prophecy- when properly aged.
Hubert H. Humphrey (1911-78), U.S. Democratic politician, vice president. Speech, 23 April 1966, Washington, D.C.


Heresy, any religious doctrine opposed to the dogma of a particular church, especially a doctrine held by a person professing faith in the teachings of that church. The term, which originally meant a belief that one arrived at by oneself, is used to denote sectarianism in the Acts of the Apostles and in the Epistles of Saint Paul. In later Christian writings the term is used in the sense of a belief held in opposition to the church's teachings.

The Church

There is no heresy or no philosophy which is so abhorrent to the church as a human being.
internal linkJames Joyce (1882-1941), Irish author. Letter, 22 Nov. 1902, in which Joyce declared his intention of leaving Ireland for good; from a private collection (an inaccurate text, taken from a typescript of this letter, is printed in _Letters of James Joyce, vol. 1_, 1957).
James Joyce x3

witch-hunting (adjective)

orthodox: intolerant, witch-hunting, heresy-hunting, inquisitional, inquiring

Rush - Moving Pictures
Giordano Bruno - heretic


It may be you fear more to deliver judgment upon me than I fear judgment.
internal linkGiordano Bruno (1548-1600), Italian philosopher. Quoted in: I. Frith, Life of Giordano Bruno, ch. 11 (1887), to the inquisitors who had condemned him to death.


For my name and internal linkmemory I leave to men's charitable speeches, and to foreign nations and the next ages.
internal linkFrancis Bacon (1561-1626), English philosopher, essayist, statesman. Last will, 19 Dec. 1625 (published in Works, vol. 3, ed. 1765).


The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.
Elie Wiesel (b. 1928), Rumanian-born U.S. writer. U.S. News and World Report (New York, 27 Oct. 1986).

Human Rights and Social Justice, 1314

The grand master of the French Knights Templar Jacques de Molay, 71, has been seized by order of Philip IV (see 1314), taken before the French Inquisition at Paris, charged with heresy, found guilty, and burned at the stake in March.

Human Rights and Social Justice, 922

The Persian mystic Al-Hallaj (abu al-Mughith-al-Hsayn ibn Mansur), 64, is sentenced to death for heresy after a long trial and is flogged, mutilated, and beheaded March 27 at Baghdad. He has supported reform of the caliphate and been seen as a rabble-rouser.


Saying that a great genius is mad, while at the same time recognizing his artistic worth, is like saying that he had rheumatism or suffered from diabetes. Madness, in fact, is a medical term that can claim no more notice from the objective critic than he grants the charge of heresy raised by the theologian, or the charge of immorality raised by the police.
internal linkJames Joyce (1882-1941), Irish author. "William Blake," lecture, March 1912, Università Popolare Triestina (published in Critical Writings, sct. 43, ed. by Ellsworth Mason and Richard Ellmann, 1959).


If the individual, or heretic, gets hold of some essential truth, or sees some error in the system being practised, he commits so many marginal errors himself that he is worn out before he can establish his point.
Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. Interview in Writers at Work (Second Series, ed. by George Plimpton, 1963). Pound was obliquely referring to his own experience, and his incarceration in an American mental institution for ten years following his arrest for treason in 1945.

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internal linkGiordano Bruno was burned at the stake in Rome on internal linkEaster Sunday, in the year 1600, because he insisted on the internal linkinfinity of the universe.  He believed the stars were not on one sphere but outside the sphere of internal linkJupiter, and that they filled all of space.  The reason the church objected to this was that it left no space for god.  Our father in heaven had no place to go, and that was very threatening to the entire system. 


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"Heresy is essential for creativity, insight, and progress.  Whenever heresy is silenced great suffering and evil ensued."

 - Brian Wilson - writer/producer of The Beach Boys

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Millions of us who sampled the internal linkpsychedelics in the 1960s experienced profound, life-changing spiritual and philosophical revelations that were of incomparable personal value.  These experiences paralleled discoveries made with the aid of sacramental vegetable products by indigenous peoples from all parts of the world since ancient times — discoveries that are enshrined in the sacred scriptures and spiritual traditions of many of the world’s religions.

The "legal" persecution of those of us who freely choose to follow this ancient and honorable spiritual path — the yoga of internal linklight-containing herbs — is ethically indistinguishable from the persecution of witches and heretics, or the persecution of early Christians by the Roman state.

Whether or not the use of sacramental vegetable products meets with the approval of the civil authorities — or anyone else — it is a personal matter that clearly deserves the protection of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,  which promises that the "free exercise of religion" will not be abridged.

 — Dale R. Gowin, _Confessions of An Amerikan internal linkLSD Eater_

of note, i say that it goes beyond "free exercise of religion" in that internal linkprohibition is an attempt of one religious view that supresses the practice of other religions.  it is first and foremost a religious war, only recently waged by the cancerous monotheistic brand of worship..  those of monotheistic (phallocentric) belief in a one god, suppressing and internal linkimprisoning those who believe in a pantheistic or paganistic system.  notice that almost all people who take psychedelic/internal linkentheogenic compounds universally accept the notion of the "all is one" internal linkmeme, at least initially.  this is not simply a coincidence.  the divisionist tactic of warmongering monotheists to conquor all others and to convert (because of insecurity and intolerance) through force (both physiologically and memetically, prisons and social stigma respectively) is a boundary constructing system.  for countless thousands of years, tribal cultures have lived under the notion of diversity and boundary dissolution, micromanaging egobased disputes before it raised itself past the meso-scale.  notice all violence stems from the monotheistic point of view:  all large scale wars, nationalism, and patriotism, borders, racism, sexism - all stem from the idea that there is but "one god", and that "my god" is the one true god.  we have to get over this notion of "objective internal linktruth".  once you base social perspectives on shared hallucinations (one based on aesthetic taste and choice), as opposed to a "one truth" -  then everyone gets what they want.  we can end war and hate easily and effectively if we simply tune this outlook on a sociological scale.. - @Om* 1/31/02

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