** The use of images and emblems of a sacred character to typify divine power and energyis universal. Somewhat of the divine was supposed to inhere in them. The "images" and
or "groves" mentioned in the Bible were of this character. So was the "idol in a grove," made byQueen Maachah, as well as the simulacrums which, as Herodotus states, the Egyptian womencarried at the festivals.*** Compare
Gospel according to Matthew
, XI, 12. "From the days of John the Baptist tillnow, the kingdom of heaven is forced, and they who are violent seize it."------------
Why, then, are many things performed to them in the Sacred Rites, as toimpressionable beings? The invocations are made as to gods that are impressionablebeings: so that it is implied that not the daemons only are impressionable, but the godslikewise, as was declared in Homer:''Even the gods themselves are yielding."Suppose, then, we say, as certain individuals have affirmed, that the gods are puremental essences and that the daemons are psychic beings participating of mind.* The factremains, nevertheless, that the pure mental essences are not to be charmed or mingledwith things of sense, and that the supplications which are offered are entirely foreign to thispurity of mental substance.** But on the other hand the things that are offered are offeredas to sensitive and psychic natures.
-------------* Xenokrates, who was a disciple of Plato, himself taught these doctrines. He consideredthe heavens as divine and that the substance of the divine nature was mind pure and absolute. Healso described the stars as "visible divinities." The daemons were depicted as of a psychic nature,subordinate to that of the gods, and therefore subject to emotion and perturbation like humanbeings, while at the same time sharing in a degree in the power and intelligence of the gods.** Greek,
the mind or "rational soul," the essence or principle of intelligence whichtranscends the understanding or reasoning faculty, and is capable of knowing truth intuitively andinstinctively from being itself of divine origin.--------------
Are gods, then, separated from daemons by the distinction of bodied andunbodied? If, however, only the gods are incorporeal, how shall the Sun, the Moon, andthe visible luminaries in the sky be accounted as gods?How is it that some of them are givers of good and others bring evil?What is the bond of union that connects the divinities in the sky that have bodieswith the gods that are unbodied?The gods that are visible (in the sky) being included in the same category with theinvisible, what distinguishes the daemons from the visible, and likewise the invisible, gods?
II - The Superior Races and their Manifestations
In what does a daemon differ from a hero or half-god or from a soul* Is it inessence, in power, or in energy?**
-------------* Here Porphyry has given an ancient classification of spiritual beings into four orders, thegods, daemons or guardians, the heroes or half-gods, and souls. There were other distinctions inthe Eastern countries, and we find Abammon, the Teacher, adding to these the archangels, angelsand archons of both the higher and lower nature. These were named in several of the Gnosticcategories that were extant at that period. "We have no conflict with blood and flesh," says theChristian apostle, "but with archonates, authorities, the world-rulers of this dark region, and