top of page

The True Purpose of the Ancient Mystery Religion



Because of their simpler way of life, the ancient peoples knew something that we no longer know in todays busy times. The ancient mysteries, in which the well-prepared neophyte was initiated into higher

knowledge, had spread to a small extent as occasional retreats around the world, but in ancient Egypt its

sacred culture was strongest. It can even be said that in its hidden mystery chambers was a subjective

science that was able to give a concrete experience of the reality behind the scenes of life. It was no

stranger to the riddle of death, because as Plutarch, who was initiated into the mysteries stated: at the

moment of death the soul experiences the same impressions as those who have received the initiation to great mysteries.

According to our understanding, the mysteries were divided into three parts. First of all, mystery plays for

the people, whose purpose was to arouse interest in something bigger with their symbolic presentation.

When the probationer, awoken from the sleep of the world - who could no longer find satisfaction in the

everyday affairs of the world - had then thrice knocked on the solid door of some mystery temple, and his

tenacity had been tested by sending him far away to the temples of different cities and back again, he was taken as a temporary neophyte whose qualities were observed. When the in-depth training that lasted for several years was over, an allegorical, route-like initiation journey according to the mystery route was finally arranged for the probationer, which symbolically described the events that he would experience inthe actual temple dream. He had to grope his way through dark mazes, hear scary sounds and finally find his way to their creepy quiet place, where the creatures immediately attacked him.

There is little information about the original initiation, as the secret rite of the Mysteries was strictly veiled

in a vow of silence. Perhaps the best "speaker" was Apuleius Lucius, after the golden age of the mysteries had long since subsided, who was initiated into the Isis mysteries in the Roman Empire, which had alreadydecayed at that time. This is what he says in his book The Golden Donkey:

"And day by day my desire to enter into the mysteries grew more and more, and again and again I went to the high priest, making my most fervent entreaties that he would at last initiate me... But as he was of a stable character and famous for his exact compliance of the rigorous laws, he spoke with kind and lofty

words, as parents are wont to restrain the premature wishes of their children, denied my demands and

pacified me...



He directed me, as well as others, to wait with respectful patience for these ordinances, warning me that it was my duty to guard with all my soul against excessive zeal and impatience, to avoid both these errors. For the gates of the underworld and the power of life are in the hands of the Goddess, and the act of initiation itself is considered a voluntary death and risking life, since the Goddess does not want to choose those

whose lifespan is close to the end and who stand at the threshold of the night, but rather they are people

whom the mysteries of the Goddess can be safely entrusted to. The Goddess brings these people to a new birth and puts them back at the beginning of a new phase of life. That is why you too should wait for

Heavens order.

...I hurried straight to the priests quarters. I met him just as he came out of his bedroom and greeted him. I

had resolved to insist, with even greater obstinacy than was my wont, that I should now be brought into the administration of the Mysteries, as it now belonged to me. But as soon as he saw me, he stepped forwardand said: Lucius happy and blessed are you, to whom the majestic divinity condescends to bestow her grace

with such a good will. The day for which your tireless prayers have so long begged has come, when throughmy hands you will be permitted to receive, by divine command from the goddess of many names, the most sacred secrets of the mystery:

Then this kindly old man took my hand with his right hand and led me to the doors of the great sanctuary, and after opening the gates with a solemn pattern, he took from the caches of the sanctuary certain scrolls, the titles of which were written in unknown characters.

Then he took me back to the temple and when the day was already more than half over he placed me at

the feet of the Goddess herself. And after he had confided to me certain secrets too sacred to be uttered, he openly requested me, in the presence of all present, to abstain for the next ten days from all the pleasures of the table, not to eat any living thing, and not to drink wine.

All these orders I fulfilled with respectful restraint, and at last the day came. Crowds of holy initiates

gathered around me from all quarters and everyone respected me according to the old custom, with various gifts. At last all the uninitiated were removed, and a linen cloak, which no one had yet worn, was thrown around me. The priest took me by the hand and led me right into the heart of the holy place.

Perhaps you, avid reader, are dying to know what was said and done. I would like to tell you, if it were

lawful to tell, and you would know everything, if it were lawful for you to hear. But both tongue and ear

would be defiled with guilt if I indulged such thoughtless curiosity. But since perhaps it is the thirst for

wisdom that afflicts you, I do not want to torment you by prolonging your pain:

Then listen and believe, because what I tell you is true. I approached the gates of death, stepped over the threshold of Proserpine, queen of the underworld, was carried through all the elements and returned to earth again. I saw the sun shining with a bright radiance in the dead of the night, I approached the gods above and the gods below and looked at them face to face. Behold, I have told you things of which,

although you have heard them, you know nothing, because I am only telling you as much as can be told to laymen to understand without committing a transgression. (Apuleius Lucius-Metamorphoses)

What was the driving force and secret procedure of the mysterious temple dream that Apuleius did not

want to enlighten his readers about, although he did tell a little about the next stage. What was done

before stepping over the threshold of the queen of Manala": what made possible the incredible event that

Want to read more?

Subscribe to fatemag.com to keep reading this exclusive post.

Comments

Couldn’t Load Comments
It looks like there was a technical problem. Try reconnecting or refreshing the page.
bottom of page