Chapter 9. Demons

Thy next supposition comes up now for consideration, namely: “That the Soul, through such activities, generates from itself a faculty of imagination in regard to the future, or else that the emanations from the realm of nature bring daemons into existence through their inherent forces, especially when the emanations are derived from animals.”

These statements appear to me to exhibit a fearful disregard of the principles pertaining to divinity, and likewise those of the theurgic operation. For one absurdity appears at the outset, namely: that the daemons are generated and perishable things. <sup>1</sup> But another one more woful than this is, that by this hypothesis those beings that are prior are produced from those that are posterior to themselves. For the daemons existed already in some manner before soul and the faculties incident to the bodily structures. Besides these considerations, how is it possible that the energies of the divisible soul, which is held fast in a body, be transformed into essence and be separate by themselves outside of the soul? Or how may the faculties incident to the bodies, which have their very being in the bodies, become separate from them? Who is it that is freeing them from the corporeal framework and collecting the dissolved substance into one group? For a being of such a character will be a daemon preexisting before the placing of the component elements together. The statement, however, has also the usual perplexity. For how may divining be produced from things that have no oracular quality, and how may soul be generated from bodies that are without a soul? Or, to say the whole at once, how may the things which are more complete be produced from those which are less complete? The mode of producing appears to me likewise to be impossible. For to produce essence through the activities of the soul and through the powers in the bodies is not possible; for from the things which do not have it, essence cannot be developed.

Whence comes the imagination of that which is about to take place? From what does it receive the faculty of divining? For of the things which have been sown anywhere through generation we absolutely never see anything possessing more than what is imparted to it from the first parentage. But it seems that the imagination may receive a certain superior addition from what has no being; unless it may be said that the daemons get a foothold upon the matter from the sacrificed animals, and that, being brought under their influence, they are moved in respect to it by a common sympathy. According to this opinion, therefore, the daemons are not generated from the forces inherent in bodies, but being at the lead of them, and existing before them, they are moved in like manner with them. Granted that they are thus exceedingly sympathetic, yet I do not see in what manner there will be anything true in regard to what is to come. For the foreknowing and forecasting of the future do not come within the range of a sympathetic power, nor a nature belonging to the realm of matter, and held fast in a specific place and body; but, on the contrary, the faculty must be free in respect to everything.

Let the supposition which thou hast made receive these corrections.
 

Immediately after this, observations are brought forward as of one that was wavering in regard to the nature of divination; yet as they are advanced there is an endeavor apparent to overturn the art entirely. We will, therefore, direct the discussion to both these conditions of the case. We will begin by first answering the former of them: “That during sleep, when we are not engaged with anything, we sometimes chance to a premonition of the future.” It is not suggested that the source of the divination is from out of ourselves and that the one which accompanies it is from without. The two are closely allied together and are intimately interblended with each other. Hence, their operations in respect to these matters are carried out in the manner defined, and follow the causes which precede them, being allied to them in close relations. When, however, the cause is free from such attachments, and preexists by itself, the end is not marked out in relation to us, but everything depends on influences outside. Now, therefore, it is likely to happen in such cases that the truth in the dreams does not come out in concert without ritual operations, and it often shines forth from itself. This shows that divination, being from the gods without, and endued with authority which is all its own, will, when it pleases, graciously reveal the future. Let these explanations be an answer of such a character.
 

Afterward, in the endeavor to explain the nature of divination, thou doest away with it altogether. For if, as thou affirmest, “a condition of the soul” constitutes the source of divination, what person of sense will accord to a thing so palpably unstable and capricious foreknowledge that is normal and stable? Or, how can the soul that is discreet and constant as to the better faculties – those of the mind and understanding – be ignorant of what is to be, when the individual that is receptive as to disorderly and turbulent impressions throws the future wide open? For what in the world is peculiar in the passive condition to qualify it for the beholding of the things that possess real being? Why is not this condition a hindrance rather than an aid to the more genuine perception? Further, also, if the things in the world were placed together by means of passive conditions, the similitude of the passive conditions would be in close proximity to them. But if they are established through principles and through ideas there will be a different nature of foreknowledge, which will be quit of everything like passive condition.

Then, again, the passive condition is conscious only of what is going on and what is now in existence, but foreknowledge extends also to those things which as yet do not have being. Hence, foreknowledge is far different from a passive or susceptible condition.

Let us, however, consider thy arguments for such an opinion as thou hast put forward. Thy statement that “the senses are held in check” tends to the contrary of what thou hast before declared, for it is an evidence that no human phantasm is active at the particular time. But “the fumes which are introduced” are in close relationship to the god, but not to the soul of the Beholder. The “invocations” do not induce an inbreathing into the reasoning faculty or passive conditions of body in the worshipper, for they are perfectly unknowable and arcane; but they are uttered intelligibly to the god alone whom they are invoking. But what thou remarkest, “that by no means everybody, but only the more artless and young are suitable” for the procedures, demonstrates that such as these are more in condition as a receptacle for a spirit that enters from without and holds the subject entranced.

From these things, however, thou dost not conjecture rightly that the enthusiastic rapture is a passive condition; for the evidence follows likewise from these signs and tokens that it flows in from without, as an inbreathing. Let these things, therefore, so be with us.
 

After these conjectures there follows another, a descent from the entheast aberration to ecstasy or alienation of mind on toward a worse condition. It is declared, most irrationally, that the origin of the divining art is “the mania that occurs in diseases.” For it sets forth enthusiasm or divine inspiration as due to melancholia or the redundancy of black bile, the perverted conditions of drunkenness, and the fury incident to, rabid dogs. It is necessary from the beginning, therefore, to make the distinction of two species of ecstasy or entrancement, of which one causes degeneration to an inferior condition, and fills with imbecility and insanity; but the other imparts benefits that are more precious than intelligence. The former species wanders to a disorderly, discordant and worldly activity; but the latter gives itself to the Supreme Cause which directs the orderly arrangement of things in the world. The former, being destitute of real knowledge, is led aside from good sense; but the latter is united with those superior sources of wisdom that transcend all the sagacity in us. The former is constantly changing, but the latter is unchangeable. The former is contrary to nature, but the latter is superior to nature. The former brings down the soul into lower conditions, but the latter leads it upward. The former places the subject entirely outside of the divine apportionment, but the latter joins, unites him to it.

Why, then, does thy discourse lead off so much from the proposed hypothesis as to be turned from the things superior and beneficial to the worst evils of mania? For in what does the enthusiastic inspiration resemble melancholy or drunkenness or any other form of alienation originating from morbid conditions of the body? What oracle can ever be produced from distempers of the body? Is not a product of such a kind wholly a destruction, but divine possession a perfecting and deliverance of the soul? Does not the worthless trance happen at the same time with debility, but the superior enthusiastic rapture with complete reign? In short, to speak plainly, the latter, being in a tranquil condition as relates to its own life and intelligence, gives itself to be used by another; but the former, operating with its peculiar species, renders them utterly wicked and turbulent.

This difference is therefore the most palpable of all, as all operations by divine beings differ from others. For as the superior orders are completely apart from all the others, their operations are accordingly not like those of any other beings. When, therefore, thou speakest of the aberration of a divine being, let thy conception of it be free from all human “aberrations.” And if thou imputest to them “abstinence” similar to that of the priests, do not look upon human abstinence any more as being similar to it. But of all things, do not compare “diseases of the body, such as suffusions, and fancies set in motion by morbid conditions,” with the divine visions. For what have they in common with each other? Neither art thou at liberty to contrast “equivocal states of mind, such as may occur during abstinence and ecstasy,” with the sacred visions of the gods, which are defined by a single energy. But on the other hand, thou mayest not associate in mind the spectacles of the gods that are superlatively efficacious with “the apparitions got up by technical magic.” <sup>2</sup> For the latter have neither the energy nor the essence nor the genuineness of the objects that are beheld, but only project bare phantasms that seem real.

All such questions, however, which lead away from the subject and carry the attention from contraries to contraries, we do not consider as touching the hypothesis before us. Hence, having set them forth as foreign to the subject, we do not suppose it to be necessary to waste more time upon them, as they have been set in a disputatious way to lead us to wander from our course, but not with any curiosity of a philosophic character.
 

One will wonder, therefore, at the many and different suggestions of new points of argument which are evidently brought forward for the purpose of disputing. He will be astonished, with good reason, at the oppositeness of the opinions that are put forth to explain divining. It is affirmed that the whole art is only a matter of appearances produced by jugglers, there being nothing substantial, and likewise that it is exercised by persons who are impelled by emotion or disease, and are in a condition to dare anything of a delusive nature, and that it is possible for them to come upon the truth by chance. For what principle of truth, or what starting-point of something that may be understood, less or greater, will there exist in these individuals? We should not receive that as the truth, however, which comes in such manner by chances; as that also happens to be recorded of those who are borne along to no purpose. That, however, is not to be acknowledged as the truth in which the things are done in concert with those that are performing them; for these things coexist with the physical senses and with the perceptive faculties of animals. Hence, that which is done in this way has nothing that is its own, or divine, or superior to what is common in nature.

On the other hand, the truth which is to be regarded stands permanently in the same manner as respects operation. It has perfect knowledge present with it of existing things, and is itself of the same nature with the essence of things. It employs the stable reasoning faculty, and sees everything as existing in its perfectness, its fitness for use, and its dimensions. This truth, therefore, is in close connection with the art of divination. It ought accordingly to be much more than natural presentiment, such as the instinctive perceiving of earthquakes and great storms of rain, which is possessed by certain animals. From this a feeling in common, certain animals being acted upon together, or perceiving more or less accurately, through an acuteness of sense, things which are taking place in the atmosphere above but have not yet been brought to pass upon the earth. <sup>3</sup>

If, then, these things which we are saying are true, although we may have received from nature a power to ascertain things, or though we feel what is going to take place, that we shall accept this kind of impression as oracular foreknowledge, yet it is similar to divining, except that in divination there is nothing wanting in certainty and truth, while the other is a matter of chance for the most part, but not always; perceiving correctly in regard to certain things but not in relation to all. Hence, if there is any instruction in the arts, as, for example, in pilotage or in medicine, which gives power to forecast the future, it does not pertain in any respect to the divine foreknowledge. For it reckons up what is to happen by probabilities and certain signs, and these not always credible; and they do not have the thing that is thus signified in a proper connection with that of which the signs are indicators. But with the divine foresight of things to be there are, before all, steadfast perception, the unchanging assurance completely at one with the Causes, an indissoluble holding of everything to everything, and a knowledge always abiding of all things as being now present, and their province defined.
 

It is not proper to make this statement: “That the realm of nature, art, and the feeling in common of things throughout the universe as of the parts of one animal, contain foreshadowings of certain things with reference to others”; nor “that the bodies are so constituted as to be forewarnings from some to others.” For these things, which are very clearly beheld, remove the traces of the divine oracular power in a greater or less degree. But it is not possible that any one should be bereft of it entirely. On the contrary, as in all things, the image of the good carries the god in it; so, also, a certain likeness of the divine oracular power, obscure or more active, appears to be in them. But none of these is such as the divine form of divination, nor may the one divine, unmingled form of it be characterized from the many phantasms which go down from it into the realm of generated existence. Nor is it proper, if there are any other false or delusive appearances, which are farther removed from genuineness, to bring these forward in the forming of a judgment of the matter. On the contrary, we must think of it as one single utterance, one arrangement, and according to one divine ideal and one intellectible and unchangeable truth.; and in like manner we must regard the change which may be taking place at different times, and in different ways, as denoting instability and discordance, and disrespect for the gods.

If, then, divination is truly a divine work of such a character, who would not be ashamed to attribute it to the agency of nature, that accomplishes its objects without thought, as though it had elaborated in us a power of divining, and had implanted it in a greater degree in some and in a less degree in others? For in those things in which men receive from nature the means for accomplishing their individual undertakings, even in these, certain aptitudes of nature take the lead. In those, however, in which there is no human agency in the inception, neither is the final result our own. And when a certain good, older and superior to our own nature, has been so arranged beforehand, it is not possible that any natural genius or cleverness in these things should have been engaged secretly in the matter. For with these things which are fully perfected there are also those which are imperfectly developed; but both are conditions of human beings. But of these conditions which we do not experience as human beings there will not, ever, be a preparation by nature. Hence, there is no seed of the divine oracular power in us from nature. If, on the contrary, however, any one should make the invocation by a certain more common and human mode of divining, let there be a natural preparation. But in regard to that which may be truly named the divine oracular art, which belongs to the gods, it is not right to think that this is insown from the realm of nature. For, indeed, both the different modes, and the indefinite one, follow more or less with this idea. For this reason this indefinite mode of forecasting stands separate from the divine oracular art which remains in fixed boundaries. Wherefore, if any one says that the art of divination has its being from out of ourselves, it is our duty to fight strenuously against this assertion.

But thou likewise makest this statement: “Examples are manifest by the things done, namely: That they who make the invocations carry stones and herbs, tie sacred knots and unloose them, open places that are locked, and change the purposes of individuals by whom they are entertained, so that, from being paltry, they are made worthy.” All these things signify that the inspiration comes from without. It is necessary, however, not only to accept this beforehand, but also to define thoroughly what a specific inspiration is, which comes from duty, and produces the god-given art of divination. Otherwise, we shall not be fit beforehand, to give judgment on this subject, unless by applying its own peculiar sign to it and fit its own token to it as a seal.
 

Thou also puttest forth this declaration: “Those who are able to reproduce the mystic figures (idola) are not to be held in low esteem.” I shall wonder if any one of the theurgic priests who behold the genuine ideal forms of the gods should consent to allow them at all. For why should anybody consent to take idola or spectral figures in exchange for those that have real being, and be carried from the very first to the last and lowest! Do we not know that as all things which are brought into view by such a mode of shadowing are but imperfectly discernible, they are really phantoms of what is genuine, and that they appear good to the seeming but never are really so?

Other things are in like manner brought in, being carried along in the course of events, but nothing is rendered that is genuine or complete or distinct. But the mode of producing them is plain, for not God, but man, is the maker of them. Nor are they produced from single and intellectual essences, but from matter taken for the purpose. <sup>4</sup>

What that is good can come into existence, that germinates from matter and from the powers material and corporeal which exist with matter and in bodies? <sup>5</sup> Is not the thing which owes existence to human art more impotent and of less importance than the persons themselves who gave it existence? By what art or skill is this spectral figure put into form? For it is said it is molded as by the skill of Demiurgus himself. But that skill is employed in the producing of genuine essences, never in the forming of mere spectral figures. Hence, the art of producing idola is a long way distant from Demiurgic creating. On the contrary, it does not preserve the analogy with Divine creating at all. For God creates all things, but not through the physical motions of things in the sky or by those of particled matter or by the forces thus divided. But instead, it is by thoughts put into activity, by purposes and non-material ideals, through the sempiternal and supermundane soul, that he constructs the worlds.

But the creator of the spectral figures, it is said, makes them as of the revolving stars. The thing does not have its existence in the way as it is imagined. For as there are unlimited powers possessed by the gods in the sky, the last and lowest of all these is that of the realm of nature. But again,, a part of this lowest power takes the lead by itself prior to generated existence, being inherent in the principles which contain the germs of things, and established in the immovable essences. The other part, however, existing in the perceptible and visible motions, and likewise in the auras and qualities from out of the sky, exercises dominion over the whole visible order of things, in all which this last in the series rules as a deputed governor over the universal realm of visible existence in the places around the earth. But in the realm of visible existence, and in the qualities of the auras perceptible to the sense which are sent down from the sky, many different arts are brought into use, such as medicine <sup>6</sup> and gymnastics, and all others that harmonize with nature in their results. And what is more, the creating of spectral figures attracts from the auras a very indistinct portion of generative energy.

Hence, as the truth is so, it is right to make it known: That the individual creating the spectral figures employs in his procedures neither the revolutions of the heavenly bodies nor the powers which exist in them by nature; and, in short, he is not able to come in contact with them. But as he follows the rules of an art, and does not proceed theurgically, he deals with the last and most inferior emanations, manifestly, from their nature, about the extreme part of the universe. But these emanations being partially commingled with matter, I think that they are capable of changing to it, and likewise of taking new form and being modeled differently at different times. They likewise admit change of powers in these particulars from some to others. But such a diversity of energies, and the combination of so many powers pertaining to the realm of matter, are separated not only from everything of divine creation, but also from everything of natural production. For nature performs its own works after one plan, and, at once, by simple and uncomplicated operations. The fact remains, accordingly, that such a manner of producing spectral figures by a commingling about the lowest and a manifest celestial inflow, the things being yielded by the celestial nature, is by art.
 

Why, then, it may be asked, does the projector of spectral figures, the man who creates these things, why does he disregard himself, when he is superior, and descended from superior beings? He appears, instead, to be trusting in specters destitute of soul, <sup>7</sup> only animated with the outward appearance of life, holding together externally a framework of diversified complexion and absolutely ephemeral in duration. Does anything genuine and true exist in them? On the contrary, nothing of the things fashioned by the ingenuity of man is unalloyed and pure. But do simplicity and uniformity of operation of the entire structure predominate in them? They are wanting in all. In regard to their visible composition they are brought together from out of manifold and incompatible substances. But is there a pure and complete power manifest in them? By no means. When any such multitude of auras, accumulated from many sources, has been mingled together, it is shown to be feeble and fleeting. Yet, except these things are as described, is there the stability in the apparitions which they affirm? There ought to be much; but they vanish more quickly than the idola that are seen in mirrors. For when the incense is placed upon the altar the figure is immediately formed from the vapor as it is carried upward, but when the vapor becomes mingled and dispersed into the whole atmosphere the idolon itself is immediately dissolved, and not a trace of it remains. Why, then, should this juggling be desired by the man that loves manifestations that are true? I regard it as worthy of no consideration. If they who make these spectral figures know that these things about which they are engaged are structures formed of passive material the evil would be a simple matter. Besides this, they become in this similar to the apparitions in which they place faith. But if they bold to these spectral figures as to gods, the absurdity will not be utterable in speech or endurable in act. For into such a soul the divine ray never shines; for it is not in the nature of things for it to be bestowed upon objects that are wholly repugnant, and those that are held fast by dark phantasms have no place for its reception. Suchlike wonder-making with phantasms will, therefore, be in the same category with shadows that are very far from the truth.
 

But then thou affirmest further: “They watch the course of the heavenly bodies, and tell from the position and relation of one, with another whether the oracular announcements of the ruling planet will be true or false, or whether the rites which have been performed will be to no purpose, or will be expressive or arcane.”

To the contrary, not on account of these things will these phantasms possess the divine quality. For the last and most inferior of the things in the realm of generated existence are moved by the courses of the heavenly bodies and are affected by the auras which go forth from them. No, indeed; but if any one shall examine these things carefully they will show the contrary. For how may it be that these things which are so easy to change in every respect, and are turned round in various directions by daemons from without, so as to be rendered of no importance, whether as oracular or in regard to promises or in relation to Perfective Rites or in other matters, as the case may be, shall contain in themselves any allotment of divine power, however small? What, then, are the powers which are inherent in various kinds of matter, the elementary constituents, of which daemons are formed? Verily, and indeed, they are not. For nothing of divisible sensitive bodies originates daemons; but these, instead, are themselves generated and watched over by daemons. Neither is anybody able to fashion the shapes of daemons as from a machine, but rather, on the contrary, he is himself fashioned and constructed by the daemons according as he partakes of a body possessing sensibility.

But neither is there any incidental number of daemons generated from the elements of things of sense, but, far otherwise, the number is itself simple in nature and is uniformly operative around compound natures. Hence, it will not possess things of sense older than itself, or more lasting; but as it excels sensible things in age and power, it imparts to them the constancy which they are able to receive. Perhaps, however, thou termest the idola daemons, applying such a designation wrongly; for the nature of daemons is one thing and that of the idola another. The rank of each is likewise very widely different. And also, indeed, the Chorus-leader of idola is different from the great prince of the daemons. <sup>8</sup> For this thou givest assent when saying that “no god or daemon is drawn down by them.” Of what consideration would a sacred observance or a foreknowledge of the future be worthy which is entirely without participation, God or any other superior power. Hence, it is necessary to know what is the nature of this wonder-making art, but by no means to have faith in it.
 

Again, therefore, thy explanation of religious performances is still worse. It describes “a race of a tricky nature assuming all shapes, artful, and turning many ways, that personates gods and daemons, and souls of the dead, like, actors on the stage.”

In reply to these imputations I will relate to thee what I once heard from the prophets of the Chaldaeans.

The gods of truth, whoever they may be, are alone the bestowers of all things good. They consort with only good men; they are in intimate union with those who have been purified by the sacred discipline, and extirpate from them every bad quality and disorderly passion. When they shine upon these, then what is evil and daemonian gives way, and disappears from the presence of the superior beings as darkness vanishes before the light. Nor does the light by any chance cause any annoyance to the theurgic priests, and they receive from it every excellent quality of mind, are made perfect as worthy and decorous, are set free from disorderly passions, and purified from all irregular impulse. and likewise from godless and profane habitudes.

But those who are themselves impious wrongdoers, and who assail divine matters in lawless and disorderly ways, are not able, because of defective individual energy and lack of inherent power, to obtain intimate association with the gods. If, by reason of any contaminations, they are debarred from being with immaculate spirits, they become allied with wicked spirits, and are filled by them with the most pernicious inspiration. They become evil and profane, full of unbridled desires after pleasure, replete with badness, and likewise eager admirers of modes of life that are foreign to the nature of the gods; and, to speak briefly, they become like the evil daemons with whom they are now joined in their nature. These, then, being full of disorderly passion and badness, through their common nature attract the evil spirits to themselves and are themselves incited by them to every kind of wickedness. They grow together like beings of the same birth, as in a circle, joining the beginning with the end and returning in the other direction in like manner.

These things are sacrilegious misdeeds, full of impiety. They have been brought into the Sacred Rites irregularly, and their observance attempted in a disorderly manner by those who have come later. <sup>9</sup> At one time, as it seems, one god would be caused to be present instead of another at the komos, or mystic revel, and at another they would introduce evil daemons instead of gods, calling them rival gods. Never, when discoursing about Sacerdotal Divination, set forth these things as examples. For Goodness is certainly more opposed to intrinsic badness than those to that which is simply not good.

As, therefore, the profaners of temples fight against the religious service of the gods most of all, so also those who have to do with daemons that lead astray and are causes of excess undoubtedly take the lead in fighting against theurgists themselves. For not only is every evil spirit driven away by them, and is utterly overthrown, but every species of badness and every disorderly passion made an end of altogether. On the other hand; there is a free participation of benefits among the pure; they are filled from above from the fire of truth, and they have no “impediment” or hindrance to the good things of the soul from bad spirits. Nor does there any arrogance or adulation or enjoyment of exhalations or force of violence greatly annoy them. On the contrary, all these, as though struck by a bolt of lightning, give way, and fall back without touching – not able even to approach them.

This kind of divination is immaculate and sacerdotal, and is likewise truly divine. It does not, as thou remarkest, require an umpire, whether me or some one else, in order that I may distinguish it out of many. On the contrary, it is itself distinct from them all, superior above them, sempiternal, preexistent, not admitting any parallel nor the arranging of any superiority in many respects, but is free by itself, and takes the lead in a single form over all. To this it is necessary that thou, and every one that is a genuine lover of the gods, should give himself wholly; for by such means, truth, which gives a good foothold, is obtained at once in divinations, and perfect excellence in souls, and with both these the way upward will be granted to the theurgists to the Intellectual Fire, which is placed before as the end of all knowledge and of every theurgic transaction.

To no purpose, therefore; thou bringest forward the notion which some entertain: That divination is the work of an evil daemon. For the notion is not worthy to be remembered in the speculations respecting the gods. At the same time, also, these individuals are ignorant of the difference between truth and falsehood, because they have been reared in darkness from the beginning, and likewise are not able to discern the principles from which these things are derived.

With these conclusions, therefore, let us bring to a close these explanations in respect to the nature of Divination.

 

Notes:

  • 1. Plutarch in his treatise on “Oracles” speaks of Hesiod limiting the soul of a daemon and the life of a demigod, and also represents Xenokrates as saying that the nature of daemons is endued with the passions and perturbations of the mortal nature and the force and power of the divine.
  • 2. The goetic art or “black magic.”
  • 3. Ancient literature has preserved several incidents of this character. The tenth chapter of the book of “Daniel” throws considerable light upon the subject; and in the fifth chapter of the second book of the “Maccabees,” an apparition of an army maneuvering in the sky is described. The newspapers abound with accounts of dreams in which events were represented as they afterward actually occurred. This would seem to indicate that there is a world of reality about us, other than the spectacular region that we contemplate, and that scenes taking, place here are copies of what has been enacted there already.
  • 4. This process has again appeared in what is known as “materializing.” It is explained as the producing of tile figure of an individual by surrounding it with material elements procured from the body of another person who is, during tile time, in a dormant and inanimate condition.
  • 5. Pythagoras and the philosophers who adopted his views describe matter as the source of evil. This is an Oriental doctrine, and was doubtless carried to the West by teachers sent out for the purpose. The same notions have more or less pervaded opinion ever since, and given rise to the impression that so many seem to entertain that everything physical is intrinsically vile and therefore to be repressed so far as possible. But the sentiment given by Plato in “Theætetos” would seem a more rational conception. “It is not possible that evil shall be destroyed,” says Sokrates, “for it is necessary that there should always be something contrary to good. Nor can it be seated among the gods, but of necessity moves round this mortal nature and this region. Wherefore we ought to endeavor to fly hence as quickly as possible. But this flying consists in resembling God as much as possible, and this resembling is the becoming just and holy with wisdom.”
  • 6. Both Galen and Hippokrates insisted that astral knowledge is essential for physicians; and Galen derided those physicians who denied the necessity for such knowledge. He went so far as to declare medical men who were ignorant of astral learning, homicides. All the medical schools of Christendom and the “Moslem” world formerly taught astrology, and Nicholas Culpepper, in his Herbal, is careful to assign to each medicinal plant its astral relations.
  • 7. Origen treated of these idola or spectral figures as things in motion, but not beings really alive; apparitions approaching the nature, of phantoms.
  • 8. It may perhaps be well to remark that the prince of daemons here named is probably not the same personification as Beel Zebul of the Gospels. That personage is styled in the Greek Testament, Baal Zeboul, the lord of the house; and in astrology it will be borne in mind that every one of the planetary houses had its own chief.
  • 9. It was usual at the Eleusinian Initiations, and others, to have a minor observance for those who did not reach the temple soon enough for the regular proceedings. Probably irregularities might occur on such occasions, but had to be guarded against.