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Plutarch - De Iside et Osiride

Identifier

006531

Type of spiritual experience

Background

The specific activities used in the Mysteries Plutarch was initiated into are not known.

 

A description of the experience

Plutarch - De Iside et Osiride

When you shall hear of the fables the Egyptians tell about the gods - their wanderings, cutting to pieces and other mishaps you should not suppose that any of them happened or was done in the manner related. Nations have established and do
employ symbols, some obscure, some more intelligible, in order to lead the understanding into things divine. In the same way must you hear the stories about the gods, and receive them from such as interpret myths, in a reverent and philosophic spirit.

At the moment of death the soul experiences the same impressions as those who are initiated into the Great Mysteries.

Those common and trivial stories of people who identify the legends concerning the deities with the seasonable changes of the atmosphere, or with the growth, sowings and ploughings of the grain, and who say that Osiris is then buried when the sown grain is hidden in the ground, and that he comes to life again when there is a beginning of sprouting; let men take good heed and fear lest they unwittingly degrade and resolve divine beings into winds and currents,- sowings and ploughings and affections of the earth, and changes of the seasons.

The Mysteries were intended also to preserve the meaning of valuable passages in history.

While we are here below, encumbered by bodily affections,  we can have no intercourse with God, save as in philosophical thought we may faintly touch him as in a dream.  But when our souls are released (by the Mysteries) and have passed into the region of the pure, invisible and changeless, this God will be their guide and king who depend on him and and gaze with insatiable longing on the beauty which may not be spoken of by the lips of man.

[He refers to the goal of the Mysteries of Isis as follows:]

"By these means they may be the better prepared for the attainment of the knowledge of the First and Supreme Mind, whom the Goddess exhorts them to search after. For this reason is her temple called Iseion, alluding to that knowledge of the eternal and self-existent Being which may thus be obtained, if it be properly approached."

The source of the experience

Plutarch

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

god