Mystery Religions Quotes

Quotes tagged as "mystery-religions" (showing 1-3 of 3)
“The mystery religions were instituted in order to protect the marvels of the commonplace from those who would devalue them.”
Peter Redgrove, The Black Goddess and the Unseen Real: Our Uncommon Senses and Their Common Sense

Zeena Schreck
“The Gnostic’s passionate adoration of Sophia was known as philosophia – the love of Sophia – a mystical communication with divine feminine wisdom, having little to do with the strictly intellectual, most often masculine, pursuit currently labeled “philosophy.”
Zeena Schreck

Gore Vidal
“The failure of Hellenism has been, largely, a matter of organization. Rome never tried to impose any sort of worship upon the countries it conquered and civilized; in fact, quite the contrary, Rome was eclectic. All religions were given an equal opportunity and even Isis—after some resistance—was worshipped at Rome. As a result we have a hundred important gods and a dozen mysteries. Certain rites are—or were—supported by the state because they involved the genius of Rome. But no attempt was ever made to coordinate the worship of Zeus on the Capitol with, let us say, the Vestals who kept the sacred fire in the old forum. As time passed our rites became, and one must admit it bluntly, merely form, a reassuring reminder of the great age of the city, a token gesture to the old gods who were thought to have founded and guided Rome from a village by the Tiber to world empire. Yet from the beginning, there were always those who mocked. A senator of the old Republic once asked an auger how he was able to get through a ceremony of divination without laughing. I am not so light-minded, though I concede that many of our rites have lost their meaning over the centuries; witness those temples at Rome where certain verses learned by rote are chanted year in and year out, yet no one, including the priests, knows what they mean, for they are in the early language of the Etruscans, long since forgotten.

As the religious forms of the state became more and more rigid and perfunctory, the people were drawn to the mystery cults, many of them Asiatic in origin. At Eleusis or in the various caves of Mithras, they were able to get a vision of what this life can be, as well as a foretaste of the one that follows. There are, then, three sorts of religious experiences. The ancient rites, which are essentially propitiatory. The mysteries, which purge the soul and allow us to glimpse eternity. And philosophy, which attempts to define not only the material world but to suggest practical ways to the good life, as well as attempting to synthesize (as Iamblichos does so beautifully) all true religion in a single comprehensive system.”
Gore Vidal, Julian