Format: Global Grey free PDF, epub, Kindle ebook
Pages (PDF): 84
Publication Date: 1908
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A solemn period of the world's destiny was approaching; the sky was overshadowed with darkness and filled with sinister omens.
In spite of the efforts of the initiates, polytheism, throughout Asia, Africa, and Europe, had terminated only in the downfall of civilization. The sublime cosmogony of Orpheus, so gloriously chanted by Homer, had not been attained, and the only explanation possible is that human nature found great difficulty in maintaining a certain intellectual altitude. For the great spirits of antiquity, the gods were never anything more than a poetical expression of the subordinated forces of Nature, a speaking image of its inner organism; it is as symbols of cosmic and animic forces that these gods live indestructible in the consciousness of humanity. This diversity of gods and forces, the initiates thought, was dominated and penetrated by the supreme God or pure Spirit. The principal aim of the sanctuaries of Memphis, Delphi, and Eleusis had been precisely the teaching of this unity of God with the theosophical ideas and moral discipline resulting therefrom.
But the disciples of Orpheus, Pythagoras, and Plato failed before the egoism of the politicians, the sordidness of the sophists, and the passions of the mob. The social and political decomposition of Greece was the consequence of its religious, moral, and intellectual decomposition. Apollo, the Solar Word, the manifestation of the supreme God and the supra-terrestrial world, is silent. No more oracles, no more inspired poets are to be heard! Minerva, Wisdom, and Foresight, veils her countenance in presence of her people converted into Satyrs, profaning the mysteries, and insulting the gods in Aristophanic farces on the stage of Bacchus. The very mysteries themselves are corrupted, for sycophants and courtesans are admitted to the Eleusinian rites. … When soul becomes blunted, religion falls into idolatry; when thought becomes materialized, philosophy degenerates into scepticism. Thus we see Lucian, poor microbe born from the corpse of paganism, turn the myths into ridicule, when once Carneades had denied their scientific origin.
Superstitious in religion, agnostic in philosophy, egoistical and divided in politics, reeling under anarchy and fatally abandoned to despotism. Greece had become sadly changed from the time when she transmitted the science of Egypt and the mysteries of Asia in immortal forms of beauty.
If there was one who understood what the world needed, and who endeavored to restore this need by an effort of heroic genius, that one was Alexander the Great. This legendary conqueror, initiated, as was also his father, Philip, into the mysteries of Samothrace, proved himself even more of an intellectual son of Orpheus than a disciple of Aristotle. Doubtless, the Achilles of Macedonia, who, accompanied by a mere handful of Greeks, crossed Asia as far as India, dreamed of universal empire, but not after the fashion of the Cæsars, by oppression of the people, and the destruction of religion and unfettered science. His grand idea was to reconcile Asia and Europe by a synthesis of religions, supported by scientific authority. Impelled by this thought, he paid homage to the science of Aristotle, as he did to Minerva of Athens, the Jehovah of Jerusalem, the Egyptian Osiris, and the Hindu Brahma, recognizing, as would a veritable initiate, an identical divinity and wisdom beneath these differing symbols. This new Dionysus possessed a broad sympathy and mighty prophetic insight. Alexander's sword typified the last flash of the Greece of Orpheus, illumining both East and West. The son of Philip died in the intoxication of victory and the glorious accomplishment of his dream, leaving the shreds of his empire to selfish and rapacious generals. But his thought did not die with him; he had founded Alexandria, where Oriental Philosophy, Judaism, and Hellenism were to be fused in the crucible of Egyptian esoterism, until the time might be ripe for the resurrection word of the Christ. In proportion as Apollo and Minerva, the twin constellations of Greece, paled away on the horizon, the people saw a menacing sign, the Roman She-Wolf, rise in the troubled sky. What is the origin of Rome? The conspiracy of a greedy oligarchy, in the name of brute force; the oppression of the human intellect, of religion, science, and art, by deified political power: in other words, the contrary of truth, by which a government receives its justification, according to the supreme principles of science, justice and economy. The whole of Roman history is merely the consequence of the iniquitous pact by which the Conscript Fathers declared war, first, against Italy, and afterwards against the whole Roman race. They chose a fitting symbol; for the brazen She-Wolf, with tawny hair erect, and hyena's head turned in the direction of the Capitol, is the image of this government, the demon which will take possession of the Roman soul to the very end.