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2013, ISBN: 2940016014852
An excerpt from the beginning of Chapter II:II. THE ORPHIC ORIGINSThe Mythological OrpheusIT would be too tedious to recite here the various glosses of the Orphic legend, or to enter into a critical examination of its history. On the whole the legend has been preserved with sufficient fidelity in the recitals of the poets and the works of mythographers, and the general outlines of it are sketched as follows by P. Decharme in his Mythologie de la Grèce Antique (pages 616 sq.).Orpheus was son of Oeagrus, King of Thrace, and Calliope, one of the Muses. He was the first poet and first inspired singer, and his whole life is the history of the results of divine harmony, Lord of the seven-stringed lyre, all men flocked to hear him, and wild beasts lay peacefully at his feet; trees and stones were not unmoved at the music of his heavenly instrument. The denizens of the unseen world and the princes of Hades rejoiced at the tones of his harp. Companion of the Argonauts in their famous expedition, the good ship Argo glides gently over the peaceful sea at the will of his magic strains; the fearsome moving rocks of the Symplegades, that threatened Argo with destruction, were held motionless; the dragon Colchis that watched the golden fleece was plunged in sleep profound.His master was Apollo; Apollo taught him the lyre. Rising in the night he would climb the heights of Pangaeus to be the first to greet the glorious god of day.But great grief was in store for the singer of Apollo. His beloved wife Eurydice, while fleeing from the importunities of Aristaeus, was bitten by a serpent hidden in the grass. In vain the desperate husband strove to assuage the pain of his beloved, and the hills of Thrace resounded with his tunefull plaints. ...Eurydice is dead. ...In mad distraction he determines to follow her even to Hades, and there so charms the king of death that Eurydice is permitted to return to earth once more – but on one condition – Orpheus must not look back. And now they had almost recrossed the bounds of death, when at the very last step, so great is his anxiety to see whether his dear wife is still behind him, that he turns to gaze, and Eurydice is instantly reft from his sight (Virgil, Geor., iv.499):'ex oculis subito ceu fumus in auras commixtus tenues, fugit diversa;''quick from his eyes she fled in every way, like smoke in gentle zephyr disappearing.'The death of Orpheus is variously recounted. Either he died of grief for the second loss of Eurydice, or was killed by the infuriated Bacchanals, or consumed by the lightning of Zeus for revealing the sacred mysteries to mortals. After his death the Muses collected his torn members and buried them. His head and lyre were carried by the waves to Lesbos. Orpheus, A Generic NameSuch is the bare outline of the romantic Orphic Legend. That Orpheus ever existed as one particular person is highly improbable; that Orpheus was the living symbol that marked the birth of theology and science and art in Greece, is in keeping with the general method of mythology, and relieves us from the many absurd hypotheses that historians have devised to reconcile the irreconcilable. Orpheus was to the Greeks what Veda Vyâsa was to the Hindus, Enoch to the Ethiopians, and Hermes to the Egyptians. He was the great compiler of sacred scriptures: he invented nothing, he handed on. Orpheus, Veda Vyâsa, Enoch, Hermes and others, are generic names. Veda Vyâsa means the 'Veda-arranger'. It is said that the hieroglyphical treatise on the famous Columns of Hermes or Seth, which Joseph affirms were still existing in his time (De Mirville, Pneumatologie, iii.70 ), was the source of the sacred science of ancient Khem, and that Orpheus, Hesiod, Pythagoras and Plato took therefrom the elements of their theology. There was a number of Hermes, the greatest being called Trismegistus, the 'thrice greatest', because he spoke of the 'three greatest' powers that 'veiled the one Divinity' ( Chron. Alexand., p. 47). We also learn from the MS. of Lascaris (Mar. Taurin., 'Prolegg, in Orph.', p. 98) that there were no less than six Orpheis known to antiquity. Ficinus (De Immort. Anim., XVII.i.386) traces what the Hindus call the Guruparamparâ chain, or succession of teachers as follows:'In things pertaining to theology there were in former times six great teachers expounding similar doctrines. The first was Zoroaster, the chief of the Magi; the second Hermes Trismegistus, the head of the Egyptian priesthood; Orpheus succeeded Hermes; Aglaophamus was initiated into the sacred mysteries of Orpheus; Pythagoras was initiated into theology by Aglaophamus; and Plato by Pythagoras. Plato summed up the whole of their wisdom in his Letters.'.... Digital Content>E-books>Self-Transformation>Other Mystical Philosophies>Other Mystical Topics, OGB Digital >16
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G.R.S. Mead, NOOK Book (eBook), English-language edition, Pub by OGB EBooks, Books~~Body Mind & Spirit~~Ancient Mysteries & Controversial Knowledge, ORPHEUS~~G-R-S-Mead, 1272845, ORPHEUS, G.R.S. Mead, 0016014855, OGB, , , , , OGB
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