The Tragic Sense of Life in Men and in Peoples

By Miguel De Unamuno; J. E. Crawford Flitch | Go to book overview

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RELIGION, THE MYTHOLOGY OF THE BEYOND AND THE APOCATASTASIS

Καὶ γὰρ ἴσως μαὶ μάλιστα πρέπει μέλλοντα ἴχεισε ἀποδημει + U+311ν διασκοπει + ̑ν καὶ μυθολογει + ̑ν περά τη + ̑ς ἀποδημU_1F77ας τη + ̑ς ἴχει, ποὶαν τινὰ αὐτὴν οἰU_1F79μεθα εἰ + ̑ναι.-- PLATO: Phædo.

RELIGION is founded upon faith, hope, and charity, which in their turn are founded upon the feeling of divinity and of God. Of faith in God is born our faith in men, of hope in God hope in men, and of charity or piety towards God--for as Cicero said,1est enim pietas iustitia adversum deos--charity towards men. In God is resumed not only Humanity, but the whole Universe, and the Universe spiritualized and penetrated with consciousness, for as the Christian Faith teaches, God shall at last be all in all. St. Teresa said, and Miguel de Molinos repeated with a harsher and more despairing inflection, that the soul must realize that nothing exists but itself and God.

And this relation with God, this more or less intimate union with Him, is what we call religion.

What is religion? In what does it differ from the religious sense and how are the two related? Every man's definition of religion is based upon his own inward experience of it rather than upon his observation of it in others, nor indeed is it possible to define it without in some way or another experiencing it. Tacitus said ( Hist. v. 4), speaking of the Jews, that they regarded as profane everything that the Romans held to be sacred,

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1
De natura deorum, lib. i., cap,41.

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