Ideals of Conduct: An Exposition of Moral Attitudes

By John Dashiell Stoops | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVIII
THE WORLD OF THE INNER LIFE

The inner world of the heart and the will, the intellect, the conscience; the world of Jeremiah, of Socrates, ruled the thought empire of the Mediterranean world from Alexander the Great to Constantine, who made Christianity the religion of the Roman Empire. Before Socrates the Greek had been taught that he was a soul, that he had a divine nature, that he was one with Zeus. Later on the old nature religions in Asia Minor, in Greece, in Persia, in Egypt, with their nature rituals, with their interpretation of the life and apparent death of plant and animal and man, became mystery religions. The Phrygian bull-sacrament was no longer an identification of the worshiper with the life-giving energies of the bull which symbolized the life of nature. The taurobolium had become a baptism of blood through which the initiate rid himself of all that was temporal, worldly, all that had to do with the physical life of nature, and took upon himself the immortality of the god. The worship of Mithra was no longer an identification of the individual with the sun as the source of heat and light and food. Dualism had entered. The sun was above the physical things of earth; he was ethereal, spiritual. To be identified with the sun was to become

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