Dionysian Mysteries The Dionysian Mysteries were a ritual of ancient Greece and Rome which used intoxicants and other trance-inducing techniques (like dance and music) to remove inhibitions and social constraints, liberating the individual to return to a natural state. It also provided some liberation for those marginalized by Greek society: women, slaves and foreigners. In their final phase the Mysteries shifted their emphasis from a chthonic, underworld orientation to a transcendental, mystical one, with Dionysus changing his nature accordingly (similar to the change in the cult of Shiva). Origins Early Dionysus cult The ecstatic cult of Dionysus was originally thought to be a late arrival in Greece from Thrace or Asia Minor, due to its popularity in both locations and Dionysus' non-integration into the Olympian Pantheon. Role of wine Rites Emergence and evolution The mystery religions consisted of a series of initiations, benefiting the individual or their society.
Apeiron (cosmology) Apeiron (ἄπειρον) is a Greek word meaning "unlimited," "infinite", or "indefinite" from ἀ- a-, "without" and πεῖραρ peirar, "end, limit", the Ionic Greek form of πέρας peras, "end, limit, boundary". His ideas were influenced by the Greek mythical tradition and by his teacher Thales (7th-6th century BC). Searching for some universal principle, Anaximander retained the traditional religious assumption that there was a cosmic order and tried to explain it rationally, using the old mythical language which ascribed divine control on various spheres of reality. This language was more suitable for a society which could see gods everywhere; therefore the first glimmerings of laws of nature were themselves derived from divine laws. The Greeks believed that the universal principles could also be applied to human societies. The word nomos (law) may originally have meant natural law and used later to mean man-made law. Scholars in other fields, e.g.
1611 bible Platonism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - Aurora Platonism (with a capital "P") is the philosophy of Plato or the name of other philosophical systems considered closely derived from it. With a lower case "p", "platonism" refers to the philosophy that affirms the existence of abstract objects, which are asserted to "exist" in a "third realm distinct both from the sensible external world and from the internal world of consciousness, and is the opposite of nominalism (with a lower case "n"). Lower case "platonists" need not accept any of the doctrines of Plato. Philosophy The primary concept is the Theory of Forms. [Socrates:]"Since the beautiful is opposite of the ugly, they are two." Platonist ethics is based on the Form of the Good. History The Academy Site of Plato's Academy in Athens Platonism was originally expressed in the dialogues of Plato, in which the figure of Socrates is used to expound certain doctrines, that may or may not be similar to the thought of the historical Socrates, Plato's master.
Eleusinian Mysteries Votive plaque depicting elements of the Eleusinian Mysteries, discovered in the sanctuary at Eleusis (mid-4th century BC) The rites, ceremonies, and beliefs were kept secret and consistently preserved from a hoary antiquity. The initiated believed that they would have a reward in the afterlife. There are many paintings and pieces of pottery that depict various aspects of the Mysteries. Since the Mysteries involved visions and conjuring of an afterlife, some scholars believe that the power and longevity of the Eleusinian Mysteries came from psychedelic agents. Mythology of Demeter and Persephone The Mysteries are related to a myth concerning Demeter, the goddess of agriculture and fertility as recounted in one of the Homeric Hymns (c. 650 BC). According to the myth, during her search Demeter traveled long distances and had many minor adventures along the way. Mysteries Participants To participate in these mysteries one had to swear a vow of secrecy. Secrets
Pythagoreanism Pythagoreanism was the system of esoteric and metaphysical beliefs held by Pythagoras and his followers, the Pythagoreans, who were considerably influenced by mathematics, music and astronomy. Pythagoreanism originated in the 5th century BC and greatly influenced Platonism. Later revivals of Pythagorean doctrines led to what is now called Neopythagoreanism. Two schools According to tradition, Pythagoreanism developed at some point into two separate schools of thought: the mathēmatikoi (μαθηματικοί, Greek for "learners") andthe akousmatikoi (ἀκουσματικοί, Greek for "listeners"). The mathēmatikoi The mathēmatikoi were supposed to have extended and developed the more mathematical and scientific work begun by Pythagoras. The akousmatikoi The akousmatikoi focused on the more religious and ritualistic aspects of his teachings: they claimed that the mathēmatikoi were not genuinely Pythagorean, but followers of the "renegade" Pythagorean Hippasus. Natural philosophy
Glands Epicureanism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - Aurora Epicureanism is a system of philosophy based upon the teachings of Epicurus, founded around 307 BC. Epicurus was an atomic materialist, following in the steps of Democritus. His materialism led him to a general attack on superstition and divine intervention. Following Aristippus—about whom very little is known—Epicurus believed that what he called "pleasure" is the greatest good, but the way to attain such pleasure is to live modestly and to gain knowledge of the workings of the world and the limits of one's desires. This led one to attain a state of tranquility (ataraxia) and freedom from fear, as well as absence of bodily pain (aponia). The combination of these two states is supposed to constitute happiness in its highest form. Epicureanism was originally a challenge to Platonism, though later it became the main opponent of Stoicism. Some writings by Epicurus have survived. History By the 16th century, the works of Diogenes Laertius were being printed in Europe. Religion
Esotericism Esotericism (or esoterism) signifies the holding of esoteric opinions or beliefs, that is, ideas preserved or understood by a small group of those specially initiated, or of rare or unusual interest. The term derives from the Greek, either from the comparative ἐσώτερος (esôteros), "inner", or from its derived adjective ἐσωτερικός (esôterikos), "pertaining to the innermost". The term can also refer to the academic study of esoteric religious movements and philosophies, or to the study of those religious movements and philosophies whose proponents distinguish their beliefs, practices, and experiences from mainstream exoteric and more dogmatic institutionalized traditions. Although esotericism refers to an exploration of the hidden meanings and symbolism in various philosophical, historical, and religious texts, the texts themselves are often central to mainstream religions. For example, the Bible and the Torah are considered esoteric material. Etymology Definition
Orpheus Roman mosaic depicting Orpheus, wearing a Phrygian cap and surrounded by the beasts charmed by the music of his lyre. Orpheus (/ˈɔrfiːəs/ or /ˈɔrfjuːs/; Ancient Greek: Ὀρφεύς) was a legendary musician, poet, and prophet in ancient Greek religion and myth. The major stories about him are centered on his ability to charm all living things and even stones with his music, his attempt to retrieve his wife, Eurydice, from the underworld, and his death at the hands of those who could not hear his divine music. As an archetype of the inspired singer, Orpheus is one of the most significant figures in the reception of classical mythology in Western culture, portrayed or alluded to in countless forms of art and popular culture including poetry, opera, and painting. Background The earliest literary reference to Orpheus is a two-word fragment of the sixth-century BC lyric poet Ibycus: onomaklyton Orphēn ("Orpheus famous-of-name"). Mythology Early life Travelling as an Argonaut
Statue of Liberty Asceticism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - Aurora Asceticism (/əˈsɛtɪsɪz(ə)m/; from the Greek: ἄσκησις áskēsis, "exercise" or "training") is a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from various worldly pleasures, often with the aim of pursuing spiritual goals. Many religious traditions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and some Christian groups (for example, the Desert Fathers) include practices that involve restraint with respect to actions of body, speech, and mind. The founders and earliest practitioners of these religions lived extremely austere lifestyles, refraining from sensual pleasures and the accumulation of material wealth. Etymology The adjective "ascetic" derives from the ancient Greek term askēsis, which means training or exercise. Sociological and psychological views Early 20th-century German sociologist Max Weber made a distinction between innerweltliche and ausserweltliche asceticism, which means (roughly) "inside the world" and "outside the world", respectively. Religious motivation Hinduism