I am a philosophical monist. Most people are aware that they have no idea what monism might be, or what arguments it might advance, so if I call myself a “philosophical monist,” most people get uncomfortable and start rationalizing their ignorance. Thus I call myself a Neo-Platonist. Most people don’t know what Neo-Platonism might be, but they remember the name “Plato,” so they can tell themselves that there are no important issues, and go back to sleep.
It is convenient for me to call myself a Neo-Platonist. I did not always refer to myself thus. I found Iamblichos after combing through a great deal of mostly useless writing marketed to enthusiasts of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The Golden Dawn never accomplished a great deal of what I would call “natural philosophy” – they were a society of fine artists – poets, actors, painters, etc. – and I consider that most of their output could more usefully be classified as “fine art” rather than “natural philosophy.” But the Golden Dawn included Dion Fortune, and one of Dion Fortune’s students was W. E. Butler, and in a book by W. E. Butler I found a reference to Iamblichos.
Iamblichus (c. A.D. 250-325) is among the most important of the so-called Neoplatonic philosophers … His influential treatise Theurgia, or On the Mysteries of Egypt deals with a ‘higher magic’ which operates through the agency of the gods. Agrippa refers frequently to Iamblichus in his Occulta Philosophia. Iamblichus also had a strong influence on other Renaissance occultists like Ficino, Pico della Mirandola, and Giordano Bruno.