Faint gibbering heard from somewhere near the restricted stacks
Tag Archives: societies
This war is as ancient as the world; the Greeks figured it under the symbols of Eros and Anteros, and the Hebrews by the antagonism of Cain and Abel. It is the war of the Titans and the Gods. The two armies are everywhere invisible, disciplined and always ready for attack or counterattack. Simple-minded folk on both sides, astonished at the instant and unanimous resistance that they meet, begin to believe in vast plots cleverly organized, in hidden, all-powerful societies. Eugène Sue invents Rodin; churchmen talk of the Illuminati and of the Freemasons; Wronski dreams of his bands of mystics, and there is nothing true and serious beneath all that but the necessary struggle of order and disorder, of the instincts and of thought; the result of that struggle is balance in progress, and the devil always contributes, despite himself, to the glory of St. Michael.
Some of these societies, being based upon a financial scheme for making money, pretending to be able to employ divine powers in their service and to have the will of God at their command for the purpose of procuring for their adherents physical health and worldly benefits, met with great success; for the multitudes will always rush to that camp, where they think that a mine of gold has been discovered and where they are expecting a share; and the holding out promises of making salvation easy has always been the fundamental power of every clerical institution.
“Pythagoras (fl. 500 B.C.E.), the first man to call himself a philosopher, was both a brilliant mathematician and spiritual teacher. This anthology is the largest collection of Pythagorean writings ever to appear in the English language. It contains the four ancient biographies of Pythagoras and over twenty-five Pythagorean and Neopythagorean writings from the classical and Hellenistic periods. The Pythagorean ethical and political tractates are especially interesting, for they are based on the premise that the universal principles of Harmony, Proportion, and and Justice govern the physical cosmos, and these writings show how individuals and societies alike attain their peak of excellence when informed by these same principles. Indexed, illustrated, with appendices and an extensive bibliography, this work also contains an introductory essay by David Fideler.” — back cover