The Mystery-Religions

This vintage examine bargains an realizing of the traditional spiritual cults, exploring their allure and eventual failure within the face of Christianity. themes comprise the Eleusinian mysteries of historic Greece; Asiatic cults of Cybele, the Magna Mater, and Attis; Dionysian teams; Orphics; Egyptian devotees of Isis and Osiris; Mithraism; and others.

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The god of the secret isn't just like the Jahweh of the Hebrews, whose is the earth and the fulness thereof. The Mystery-god had different features in addition to these of production and windfall. He used to be either the single and the All. An Orphic190 verse broadcasts ‘Zeus used to be first, Zeus final, and Zeus head and center. ’ In solution to Lucius’ invocation Isis manifests herself as ‘rerum naturae parens, elementorum omnium domina, saeculorum progenies initialis, summa numinum, regina manium, prima caelitum, deorum dearumque facies uni-formis, quae caeli luminosa culmina, maris salubria flamina, inferum deplorata silentia nutibus meis dispenso. ’191 an identical goddess is addressed as Una quae est omnia,192 and at the inscription within the shrine of Neit in Sais recorded in Plutarch193 Isis seems as i'm all, that which has been, is, and will probably be. ’ Attis looks because the ‘ so much excessive and bond of the Universe. ’194 Serapis is ‘ because the Coryphaeus of the universe, conserving the beginnings and the ends. ’195 The doctrine of guy as a microcosm of the macrocosm—hominem quasi minorem quemdam 196 mundum —is one to which widespread expression is given within the mystic-astrological theology. 197 it's a corollary of the kindred doctrine of Element-mysticism, viz. that guy is constructed from a similar components because the heavenly our bodies, that are considered as animate beings. 198 nobody has given clearer expression to such microcosm-theology than Manilius 199 : ninety ‘An dubium est, habitare deum sub pectore nostro In caelumque redire animas caeloque venire? Utque take a seat ex omni constructus corpore mundus Aetheris atque ignis summi terraeque marisque, Spiritus et motu rapido, quae visa, gubernet, Sic esse in nobis terrenae corpora sortis, Sanguineasque animas, animum, qui cuncta gubernat. Dispensatque hominem? Quid mirum noscere mundum Si possunt homines, quibus est et mundus in ipsis, Exemplumque dei quisque est in think parva ? ’ a really useful program used to be made up of the cosmic view of the microcosm and the macrocosm either by way of philosophy and mystic theology, specifically, that the contemplation of the cosmos, quite the resplendent starry heavens, proved to the religious soul a good technique of grace. Such sentiments are usually met in Posidonius, Vettius Valens, Philo, Cicero, Seneca, Manilius, and Plotinus. hence Philo, in resolution to the query why guy used to be created final, replies that God supplied formerly all issues priceless for him no longer simply to stay yet to reside nobly : for the latter function the contemplation of the heavens induces within the brain a love of and wish for wisdom, which provides upward thrust to philosophy, in which ‘ guy, even though mortal, is rendered immortal. ’ 2 hundred equally, Plotinus argues that the reverent contemplation of the realm brings the soul into touch with the God of the cosmos. 201 Manilius discovers man’s distinguishing dignity within the undeniable fact that he— ninety one ’ Stetit unus in arcem Erectus capitis victorque advert sidera mittit Sidereos oculos propiusque adspectat Olympum Inquiritque Iovem ; nec sola fronte deorum Contentus manet et caelum scrutatur in alvo Cognatumque sequens corpus se quaerit in astris.

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