Yet sufficient remains to evince the nature of the Mysteries since, besides those before named --Plotinus, Proclus

, Porphyry, Synesius, and Iamblicus especially --- all refer to them, declaring also the objects and revelations. And in what the disease of the Spirit consists, and from what cause it falsifies and is dulled, and how it becomes clarified and defecated, and restored to its innate simplicity, may be learned in part from their philosophy; for by the lustrations in the Mysteries, as they describe, the soul becomes liberated and passes into a divine condition of being. Synesius writes appositely on the early disciplines, showing the phantastical condition also of the natural understanding essence, before it is purified by art and exalted. This Etherial Spirit, he says, is situated on the confines of the rational and brutal life, and is of a corporeal and incorporeal degree; and it is the medium which conjoins divine natures with the lowest of all. And nature extends the latitude of a phantastic essence through every condition of things; it descends to animals in whom intellect is not present; in this case, however, it is not the understanding of a divine part (as in man it ought to be) but becomes the reason of the animal with which it is connected, and is the occasion of its acting with much wisdom and propriety. And it is obvious, he continues, that many of the energies of the human life consist from this nature, or if from something else, (i.e., to say, from reason), yet this prevails most; for we are not accustomed to cogitate without imagination, unless, indeed, some one should on a sudden be enabled to pass into contact with an intelligible essence (11). That is into the identical apperception of true being; which is not possible under the ordinary conditions of thought in this life; but reason is always more or less debilitated in its energies by the habitual dependence on sense for data and objective proof, and by that modal consciousness which prevents from transcending it. Nor is this the only barrier, since when freed from the encumbrance of the senses temporarily, when in a state of trance they are quiescent, their impressure yet remains, and, as Synesius says, a false imagination, which it is requisite to destroy, as well as to banish all influxions from without, before the understanding spirit can superinduce Divinity. It is well known that Pythagoras instituted long preparations and ordeals to train the minds of his disciples, previously to admitting them into the deeper mysteries of his school; and his biographer relates how, by divine arts and media, he healed and purified the souls of his followers, and that by constantly holding them allied to a certain precedential good, their lives were preserved in continual harmony and converse with the highest causes. But dense thickets, which are full of briars, says Iamblicus, surround the intellect and heart of those who have not been purely initiated, and obscure the mild and tranquil reasoning power, and openly impede the intellective part from becoming increased and elevated: and again, --- It may be well to consider the length of time that we consumed in wiping away the stains which had insinuated themselves into our breasts, till, after the lapse of some years, we became fit recipients for the doctrines of Pythagoras; for as dyers previously purify garments, and then fix in the colors with which they wish them to be imbued in order that the dye may not be evanescent, after the same manner also that divine man prepared the souls of those that are lovers of Wisdom. For he did not impart specious doctrines or a snare, but he possessed a scientific knowledge of things divine and divine (12). The Egyptian Olympiodorus also speaks of the natural imperfection of the human understanding, and how far its conceptions are adverse to divine illumination. The phantasy, says he, is an impediment to our intellectual conception; hence, when we are agitated by the inspiring influence of divinity, and the phantasy intervenes, the enthusiastic energy ceases; for enthusiasm and the phantasy are contrary to each other. Should it be asked whether the soul is able to energize without the phantasy, we reply, that the perception of Universals proves that it is able (13). As a rational promise to this life of a higher reality, the subsistence of these Universals cannot be too often or too distinctly brought to mind; for not only do they reveal in us a necessity of Being beyond present experience, but, adumbrating, as it were, their antecedent light, assist much, if perspicaciously beheld, to introduce the Idea of that consummate Wisdom, wherein this reason, becoming passive, receives the substance of her Whole. And the ancients glowingly describe the truth so conceived as an

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