isis unveiled, vol 2: chapter iii (religious sects)

“Professor A. Wilder, the editor of Taylor’s Eleusinian Mysteries, observes “a like disposition on the part of Jesus and Paul to classify their doctrines as esoteric and exoteric, the Mysteries of the Kingdom of God ‘for the apostles’, and ‘parables’ for the multitude. ‘We speak wisdom’, says Paul, ‘among them that are perfect’, (or initiated).”

In the Eleusinian and other Mysteries, the participants were always divided into two classes, the neophytes and the perfect. The former were sometimes admitted to the preliminary initiation – the dramatic performance of ceres, or the soul, descending to Hades. But it was given only to the “perfect” to enjoy and learn the Mysteries of the divine Elysium, the celestial abode of the blessed; this Elysium being unquestionably the same as the “Kingdom of Heaven”. To contradict or reject the above, would be merely to shut one’s eyes to the truth.

The narrative of the Apostle Paul, in his second Epistle to the Corinthians, (12:3-4), has struck several scholars, well versed in the descriptions of the mystical rites of the initiation given by some classics, as alluding most undoubtedly to the final Epopteia. “I knew a certain man – whether in body or outside body, I know not: God knoweth – who was rapt into Paradise, and heard things ineffable, αηματα οηματα, which it is not lawful for a man to repeat.” These words have rarely, so far as we know, been regarded by commentators as an allusion to the beatific visions of an “initiated” seer. But the phraseology is unequivocal.

These things “which it is not lawful to repeat”, are hinted at in the same words, and the reason for it assigned, is the same as that which we find repeatedly expressed by Plato, Proclus, Iamblichus, Herodotus, and other classics. “We speak WISDOM only among them who are PERFECT”, says Paul; the plain and undeniable translation of the sentence being: “We speak of the profounder, (or final), esoteric doctrines of the Mysteries, (which were denominated wisdom), only among them who are initiated.”

So, in relation to the “man who was rapt into Paradise” – and who was evidently Paul himself – the Christian word Paradise having replaced that of Elysium. To complete the proof, we might recall the words of Plato, given elsewhere, which show that before an initiate could see the gods in their purest light, he had to become liberated from his body, i.e., to separate his astral soul from it.

Apuleius also describes his initiation into the Mysteries in the same way: “I approach the confines of death; and, having trodden on the threshold of Proserpina, returned, having been carried through all the elements. In the depths of midnight, I saw the sun glittering with a splendid light, together with the infernal and supernal gods, and to these divinities approaching, I paid the tribute of devout adoration.”

H. P. Blavatsky

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