Overcoming the fear of death.
Initiation involves the experience of changing consciousness or a mini-death.
The Eleusinian Mysteries depict the initiation ceremonies that mark the right of passage into Greek Society.
Mircea Eliade: Wrote his thesis in Rumania on Buddhism, moved to Paris then the US and later wrote on tribal shamanism and mythologies. Best known for the Encyclopaedia of Religion he chaired Religious Studies at Chicago University. Died 1986.
[Initiation’s] function as an entry into the culture.
It reveals a world open to the trans-human, a world that, in our philosophical terminology, we call transcendental.”
It makes [the initiand] open to spiritual values.”
•In psychology, cognitive dissonance is mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs. The brain strives for consistency. [Leon Festinger].
•Cognitive dissonance causes irrationality.
•Psychology experiments have also shown that initiations increase feelings of affiliation.
The Fox and the Grapes Aesop’s Fables. [Aesop classical Greek story teller.
Origins of Hermeticism.
Abu Mūsā Jābir ibn Hayyān
8th Century AD
Born in Iran of Syrian parents and the Umayyad Caliphate (Al-Ḫilāfat al-ʾumawiyya), This was the second of the four major Islamic calipates established after the death of Muhammad.
Umayyad Caliphate (Al-Ḫilāfat al-ʾumawiyya) Empire. 750 AD.
Sufism and the Whirling Dervishes.
While all Muslims believe that they are on the pathway to God and hope to become close to God in Paradise—after death and after the “Final Judgment”—Sufis also believe that it is possible to draw closer to God and to more fully embrace the divine presence in this life.
Dervish: Proto-Iranian cognate with the Vedic Sanskrit 1500–600 BCE.
• Water that’s poured inside will sink the boat
• While water underneath keeps it afloat.
Driving wealth from his heart to keep it pure
King Solomon preferred the title ‘Poor’:
That sealed jar in the stormy sea out there
Floats on the waves because it’s full of air,
When you’ve the air of dervishood inside
You’ll float above the world and there abide…
• Rumi writes in Book 1 of his Masnavi.
First Mother Goddesses.
Estimated to have been carved 24,000–22,000 BCE [Upper Paleolithic] Venus of Willenforf.
Venus of Dolní Věstonice
29,000 BCE – 25,000 BCE Found Brno Czech Republic.
Mother-Goddess: The palace of Qusay Amra Al-Walid II (743–44).
Concubine School of vocal arts and dance.
Great Mosque Cordoba.
Berber heroes: Jabal Tariq:
(Gibr Al-Tariq) Gibraltar and Dihya.
Berber warrior led the Visigothic Hispania conquest 711 AD.
Origins of the Eleusinian Mysteries In Homer’s Odyssey and Iliad.
The Mycenaean Myth of the Trojan War.
The Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Greeks after Paris of Troy took Helen from her husband Menelaus king of Sparta (1600–1100 BC). Troy was located in the vicinity of the Dardanelles in what is now north-western Turkey. By modern times both the war and the city were widely believed to be mythological.
Greek version of the Eleusinian Mysteries.
Persephone (sometimes described as Proserpine and as Cora or Kore), when gathering flowers, was abducted by Pluto, the god of Hades, and carried off by him to his abode in the Underworld with Zeus, the brother of Pluto and the father of Persephone having given his consent for the abduction.
When Persephone’s mother Demeter found out she was so angry she left the heavens and came down to Earth [Eleusis] and caused the fields to be barren. Since there were no gifts to sacrifice to the gods they got angry and demanded that Hermes command Zeus to tell Pluto to return Persephone to her mother.
Hermeticism: Hermes Trismegistus [Thrice Great].
• Persephone, having eaten the pips of the pomegranate was forced to return to Hades during the months of winter when the fields were dormant.
• Demeter renewed the fields in the summer months and all who witnessed the rebirth were warned against upsetting the gods.