Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising. Indulge in some esoteric knowledge, you can never go wrong with the words from Manly Palmer Hall. An ancient philosopher once said: "He who has not even a knowledge of common things is a brute among men. In this age the word philosophy has little meaning unless accompanied by some other qualifying term. Since the postulation of the atomic theory by Democritus, many efforts have been made to determine the structure of atoms and the method by which they unite to form various elements, Even science has not refrained from entering this field of speculation and presents for consideration most detailed and elaborate representations of these minute bodies.
After Pythagoras of Samos, its founder, the Italic or Pythagorean school numbers among its most distinguished representatives Empedocles, Epicharmus, Archytas, Alcmæon, Hippasus, Philolaus, and Eudoxus.
Melissus, who is included in the Eleatic school, held many opinions in common with Parmenides.
The Elean sect was founded by Phædo of Elis, a youth of noble family, who was bought from slavery at the instigation of Socrates and who became his devoted disciple. The Megarian sect was founded by Euclid of Megara (not the celebrated mathematician), a great admirer of Socrates.
From Thomasin's Recuil des Figures, Groupes, Thermes, Fontaines, Vases et autres Ornaments.
Diogenes of Sinopis is remembered chiefly for the tub in the Metroum which for many years served him as a home.
Platonic philosophy is based upon the postulation of three orders of being: that which moves unmoved, that which is self-moved, and that which is moved. In the above diagram Kircher arranges eighteen objects in two vertical columns and then determines he number of arrangements in which they can be combined. Eclecticism may be defined as the practice of choosing apparently irreconcilable doctrines from antagonistic schools and constructing therefrom a composite philosophic system in harmony with the convictions of the eclectic himself. The Neo-Pythagorean school flourished in Alexandria during the first century of the Christian Era. Virgil describes part of the ritual of a Greek Mystery--possibly the Eleusinian--in his account of the descent of Æneas, to the gate of hell under the guidance of the Sibyl.
Although Ammonius Saccus was long believed to be the founder of Neo-Platonism, the school had its true beginning in Plotinus (A.D.
When the physical body of pagan thought collapsed, an attempt was made to resurrect the form by instilling new life into it by the unveiling of its mystical truths.
The term Patristic is employed to designate the philosophy of the Fathers of the early Christian Church. Patristic philosophy culminated in Augustinianism, which may best be defined as Christian Platonism.
The death of Boethius in the sixth century marked the close of the ancient Greek school of philosophy. Scotism, or the doctrine of Voluntarism promulgated by Joannes Duns Scotus, a Franciscan Scholastic, emphasized the power and efficacy of the individual will, as opposed to Thomism.
The Baconian, or inductive, system of reasoning (whereby facts are arrived at by a process of observation and verified by experimentation) cleared the way for the schools of modern science.
Having broken away from the scholastic and theological schools, Post-Reformation, or modern, philosophy experienced a most prolific growth along many diverse lines.
Baruch de Spinoza, the eminent Dutch philosopher, conceived God to be a substance absolutely self-existent and needing no other conception besides itself to render it complete and intelligible.
In ridiculing the geocentric system of astronomy expounded by Claudius Ptolemy, modem astronomers have overlooked the philosophic key to the Ptolemaic system.
German philosophy had its inception with Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibnitz, whose theories are permeated with the qualities of optimism and idealism.
Though a product of the Leibnitzian-Wolfian school, Immanuel Kant, like Locke, dedicated himself to investigation of the powers and limits of human understanding. Recognizing the necessity of certain objective realities, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling, who succeeded Fichte in the chair of philosophy at Jena, first employed the doctrine of identity as the groundwork for a complete system of philosophy. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel considered the intellectual intuition of von Schelling to be philosophically unsound and hence turned his attention to the establishment of a system of philosophy based upon pure logic. Johann Friedrich Herbart's philosophy was a realistic reaction from the idealism of Fichte and von Schelling.
The true subject of Arthur Schopenhauer's philosophy is the will; the object of his philosophy is the elevation of the mind to the point where it is capable of controlling the will. Before a proper appreciation of the deeper scientific aspects of Greek mythology is possible, it is necessary to organize the Greek pantheon and arrange its gods, goddesses, and various superhuman hierarchies in concatenated order. Of Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche it has been said that his peculiar contribution to the cause of human hope was the glad tidings that God had died of pity!
Of the other German schools of philosophic thought, limitations of space preclude detailed mention. René Descartes stands at the head of the French school of philosophy and shares with Sir Francis Bacon the honor of founding the systems of modern science and philosophy.
The Positive philosophy of Auguste Comte is based upon the theory that the human intellect develops through three stages of thought. Henri Bergson, the intuitionalist, undoubtedly the greatest living French philosopher, presents a theory of mystic anti-intellectualism founded upon the premise of creative evolution, His rapid rise to popularity is due to his appeal to the finer sentiments in human nature, which rebel against the hopelessness and helplessness of materialistic science and realistic philosophy.
Applying the Baconian method to the mind, John Locke, the great English philosopher, declared that everything which passes through the mind is a legitimate object of mental philosophy, and that these mental phenomena are as real and valid as the objects of any other science. Attacking Locke's sensationalism, Bishop George Berkeley substituted for it a philosophy founded on Locke's fundamental premises but which he developed as a system of idealism. In the Associationalism of Hartley and Hume was advanced the theory that the association of ideas is the fundamental principle of psychology and the explanation for all mental phenomena. In an effort to set forth in an appropriate figure the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, it was necessary to devise an image in which the three persons--Father, Son, and Holy Ghost--were separate and yet one. The chief position in the Italian school of philosophy should be awarded to Giordano Bruno, who, after enthusiastically accepting Copernicus' theory that the sun is the center of the solar system, declared the sun to be a star and all the stars to be suns. Vicoism is a philosophy based upon the conclusions of Giovanni Battista Vico, who held that God controls His world not miraculously but through natural law.
Having thus traced the more or less sequential development of philosophic speculation from Thales to James and Bergson, it is now in order to direct the reader's attention to the elements leading to and the circumstances attendant upon the genesis of philosophic thinking. From indisputable facts such as these it is evident that philosophy emerged from the religious Mysteries of antiquity, not being separated from religion until after the decay of the Mysteries. The question may legitimately be propounded: If these ancient mystical institutions were of such "great pith and moment," why is so little information now available concerning them and the arcana they claimed to possess?
Symbolism is the language of the Mysteries; in fact it is the language not only of mysticism and philosophy but of all Nature, for every law and power active in universal procedure is manifested to the limited sense perceptions of man through the medium of symbol. The book to which this is the introduction is dedicated to the proposition that concealed within the emblematic figures, allegories, and rituals of the ancients is a secret doctrine concerning the inner mysteries of life, which doctrine has been preserved in toto among a small band of initiated minds since the beginning of the world. The ancient symbol of the Orphic Mysteries was the serpent-entwined egg, which signified Cosmos as encircled by the fiery Creative Spirit. In the twentieth century, however, it has become a ponderous and complicated structure of arbitrary and irreconcilable notions--yet each substantiated by almost incontestible logic.
The body of philosophy has been broken up into numerous isms more or less antagonistic, which have become so concerned with the effort to disprove each other's fallacies that the sublimer issues of divine order and human destiny have suffered deplorable neglect. By far the most remarkable conception of the atom evolved during the last century is that produced by the genius of Dr.
He declared the universe to be immovable because, occupying all space, there was no place to which it could be moved.
According to Plutarch, Socrates conceived every place as appropriate for reaching in that the whole world was a school of virtue. The Athenians passed a law decreeing death to any citizen of Megara found in the city of Athens.
When his father brought him to study with Socrates, the great Skeptic declared that on the previous night he had dreamed of a white swan, which was an omen that his new disciple was to become one of the world's illumined. The people of Athens loved the beggar-philosopher, and when a youth in jest bored holes in the tub, the city presented Diogenes with a new one and punished the youth.
In reality, however, pleasure (especially of a physical nature) is the true end of existence and exceeds in every way mental and spiritual enjoyments.
That which is immovable but moves is anterior to that which is self-moved, which likewise is anterior to that which it moves.
By the same method Kircher further estimates that fifty objects may be arranged in 1,273,726,838,815,420,339,851,343,083,767,005,515,293,749,454,795,408,000,000,000,000 combinations. Practical philosophy embraced ethics and politics; theoretical philosophy, physics and logic.
Zeno was succeeded by Cleanthes, Chrysippus, Zeno of Tarsis, Diogenes, Antipater, Panætius, and Posidonius. While Diogenes was delivering a discourse against anger, one of his listeners spat contemptuously in his face. The Epicureans also posited pleasure as the most desirable state, but conceived it to be a grave and dignified state achieved through renunciation of those mental and emotional inconstancies which are productive of pain and sorrow. Eclecticism can scarcely be considered philosophically or logically sound, for as individual schools arrive at their conclusions by different methods of reasoning, so the philosophic product of fragments from these schools must necessarily be built upon the foundation of conflicting premises. Only two names stand out in connection with it--Apollonius of Tyana and Moderatus of Gades. Opposing the Pelasgian doctrine that man is the author of his own salvation, Augustinianism elevated the church and its dogmas to a position of absolute infallibility--a position which it successfully maintained until the Reformation. The ninth century saw the rise of the new school of Scholasticism, which sought to reconcile philosophy with theology. The outstanding characteristic of Scholasticism was its frantic effort to cast all European thought in an Aristotelian mold.
Bacon was followed by Thomas Hobbes (for some time his secretary), who held mathematics to be the only exact science and thought to be essentially a mathematical process. The universe of Ptolemy is a diagrammatic representation of the relationships existing between the various divine and elemental parts of every creature, and is not concerned with astronomy as that science is now comprehended. The mind of man is one of the modes of infinite thought; the body of man one of the modes of infinite extension. Leibnitz's criteria of sufficient reason revealed to him the insufficiency of Descartes' theory of extension, and he therefore concluded that substance itself contained an inherent power in the form of an incalculable number of separate and all-sufficient units.
The result was his critical philosophy, embracing the critique of pure reason, the critique of practical reason, and the critique of judgment.
Whereas Fichte regarded self as the Absolute, von Schelling conceived infinite and eternal Mind to be the all-pervading Cause.
Of Hegel it has been said that he began with nothing and showed with logical precision how everything had proceeded from it in logical order. To Herbart the true basis of philosophy was the great mass of phenomena continually moving through the human mind. Schopenhauer likens the will to a strong blind man who carries on his shoulders the intellect, which is a weak lame man possessing the power of sight. Proclus, the great Neo-Platonist, in his commentaries on the theology of Plato, gives an invaluable key to the sequence of the various deities in relation to the First Cause and the inferior powers emanating from themselves. The outstanding features of Nietzsche's philosophy are his doctrine of eternal recurrence and the extreme emphasis placed by him upon the will to power--a projection of Schopenhauer's will to live. The more recent developments of the German school are Freudianism and Relativism (often called the Einstein theory).
As Bacon based his conclusions upon observation of external things, so Descartes founded his metaphysical philosophy upon observation of internal things. In his investigations of the origin of phenomena Locke departed from the Baconian requirement that it was first necessary to make a natural history of facts. Hartley held that if a sensation be repeated several times there is a tendency towards its spontaneous repetition, which may be awakened by association with some other idea even though the object causing the original reaction be absent.
It has been said of Charles Robert Darwin that he determined to banish spirit altogether from the universe and make the infinite and omnipresent Mind itself synonymous with the all-pervading powers of an impersonal Nature. In different parts of Europe may be seen figures similar to the above, wherein three faces are united in one head. According to Spencer, however, disintegration took place only that reintegration might follow upon a higher level of being. The laws by which men rule themselves, Vico declared, issue from a spiritual source within mankind which is en rapport with the law of the Deity.
Transcendentalism, exemplified in the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson, emphasizes the power of the transcendental over the physical. Although the Hellenes proved themselves peculiarly responsive to the disciplines of philosophy, this science of sciences should not be considered indigenous to them.
Hence he who would fathom the depths of philosophic thought must familiarize himself with the teachings of those initiated priests designated as the first custodians of divine revelation. The answer is simple enough: The Mysteries were secret societies, binding their initiates to inviolable secrecy, and avenging with death the betrayal of their sacred trusts.
Every form existing in the diversified sphere of being is symbolic of the divine activity by which it is produced. They realized that nations come and go, that empires rise and fall, and that the golden ages of art, science, and idealism are succeeded by the dark ages of superstition.
Departing, these illumined philosophers left their formulæ that others, too, might attain to understanding. Awaken Humanity does not claim liability for it's members or anything posted or submitted by our members. By assigning a position of primary importance to what remains when all that is secondary has been removed, philosophy thus becomes the true index of priority or emphasis in the realm of speculative thought. The lofty theorems of the old Academy which Iamblichus likened to the nectar and ambrosia of the gods have been so adulterated by opinion--which Heraclitus declared to be a falling sickness of the mind--that the heavenly mead would now be quite unrecognizable to this great Neo-Platonist. But he who knows all that can be known by intellectual energy, is a God among men." Man's status in the natural world is determined, therefore, by the quality of his thinking. The ideal function of philosophy is to serve as the stabilizing influence in human thought. He held that the soul existed before the body and, prior to immersion therein, was endowed with all knowledge; that when the soul entered into the material form it became stupefied, but that by discourses upon sensible objects it was caused to reawaken and to recover its original knowledge. Phædo was succeeded in his school by Plisthenes, who in turn was followed by Menedemus. Their doctrine may be described as an extreme individualism which considers man as existing for himself alone and advocates surrounding him by inharmony, suffering, and direst need that be may thereby be driven to retire more completely into his own nature.
Learning of the fame of Socrates, Aristippus journeyed to Athens and applied himself to the teachings of the great Skeptic. That in which motion is inherent cannot be separated from its motive power; it is therefore incapable of dissolution.


From this it will be evident that infinite diversity is possible, for the countless parts of the universe may be related to each other in an incalculable number of ways; and through the various combinations of these limitless subdivisions of being, infinite individuality and infinite variety must inevitably result. Metaphysics he considered to be the science concerning that substance which has the principle of motion and rest inherent to itself. Epicurus held that as the pains of the mind and soul are more grievous than those of the body, so the joys of the mind and soul exceed those of the body.
Prominent among the Neo-Platonists of Alexandria, Syria, Rome, and Athens were Porphyry, Iamblichus, Sallustius, the Emperor Julian, Plutarch, and Proclus. Despite the antagonism, however, between pristine Christianity and Neo-Platonism many basic tenets of the latter were accepted by the former and woven into the fabric of Patristic philosophy. The ante-Nicene period in the main was devoted to attacks upon paganism and to apologies and defenses of Christianity.
Gnosticism, a system of emanationism, interpreting Christianity in terms of Greek, Egyptian, and Persian metaphysics, appeared in the latter part of the first century of the Christian Era.
Representative of the main divisions of the Scholastic school were the Eclecticism of John of Salisbury, the Mysticism of Bernard of Clairvaux and St. Eventually the Schoolmen descended to the level of mere wordmongers who picked the words of Aristotle so clean that nothing but the bones remained. Hobbes declared matter to be the only reality, and scientific investigation to be limited to the study of bodies, the phenomena relative to their probable causes, and the consequences which flow from them under every variety of circumstance. The most recent developments in the field of philosophic thought are Behaviorism and Neo-Realism. In the above figure, special attention is called to the three circles of zodiacs surrounding the orbits of the planets. Through reason man is enabled to elevate himself above the illusionary world of the senses and find eternal repose in perfect union with the Divine Essence. Matter reduced to its ultimate particles ceases to exist as a substantial body, being resolved into a mass of immaterial ideas or metaphysical units of power, to which Leibnitz applied the term monad.
Realization of the Absolute is made possible by intellectual intuition which, being a superior or spiritual sense, is able to dissociate itself from both subject and object. Hegel elevated logic to a position of supreme importance, in fact as a quality of the Absolute itself.
Examination of phenomena, however, demonstrates that a great part of it is unreal, at least incapable of supplying the mind with actual truth. The will is the tireless cause of manifestation and every part of Nature the product of will. Nietzsche believed the purpose of existence to be the production of a type of all-powerful individual, designated by him the superman. The former is a system of psychoanalysis through psychopathic and neurological phenomena; the latter attacks the accuracy of mechanical principles dependent upon the present theory of velocity.
Cartesianism (the philosophy of Descartes) first eliminates all things and then replaces as fundamental those premises without which existence is impossible. Thus theology and metaphysics are the feeble intellectual efforts of humanity's child-mind and positivism is the mental expression of the adult intellect. He even conceives the possible victory of life over matter, and in time the annihilation of death. He declared it impossible to adduce proof that sensations are occasioned by material objects; he also attempted to prove that matter has no existence. The Utilitarianism of Jeremy Bentham, Archdeacon Paley, and James and John Stuart Mill declares that to be the greatest good which is the most useful to the greatest number.
Agnosticism and Neo-Hegelianism are also noteworthy products of this period of philosophic thought. This is a legitimate method of for to those able to realize the sacred significance of the threefold head a great mystery is revealed. Consequently when he thus relegated the world and man to an obscure corner in space the effect was cataclysmic.
He is anti-theological in his viewpoints, does not believe in the immortality of the soul, and seeks to substitute ethics and aesthetics for religion. Many of Emerson's writings show pronounced Oriental influence, particularly his essays on the Oversoul and the Law of Compensation. The Mysteries claimed to be the guardians of a transcendental knowledge so profound as to be incomprehensible save to the most exalted intellect and so potent as to be revealed with safety only to those in whom personal ambition was dead and who had consecrated their lives to the unselfish service of humanity. Although these schools were the true inspiration of the various doctrines promulgated by the ancient philosophers, the fountainhead of those doctrines was never revealed to the profane. By symbols men have ever sought to communicate to each other those thoughts which transcend the limitations of language. With the needs of posterity foremost in mind, the sages of old went to inconceivable extremes to make certain that their knowledge should be preserved.
But, lest these secret processes fall into uncultured hands and be perverted, the Great Arcanum was always concealed in symbol or allegory; and those who can today discover its lost keys may open with them a treasure house of philosophic, scientific, and religious truths.
We do however claim that we are here to make changes to the train of thought most of society has been riding into the 20th and 21st centuries. The mission of philosophy a priori is to establish the relation of manifested things to their invisible ultimate cause or nature. Convincing evidence of the increasing superficiality of modern scientific and philosophic thought is its persistent drift towards materialism.
He whose mind is enslaved to his bestial instincts is philosophically not superior to the brute-, he whose rational faculties ponder human affairs is a man; and he whose intellect is elevated to the consideration of divine realities is already a demigod, for his being partakes of the luminosity with which his reason has brought him into proximity. By virtue of its intrinsic nature it should prevent man from ever establishing unreasonable codes of life. On these premises was based his attempt to stimulate the soul-power through irony and inductive reasoning.
Among the prominent members of the Socratic sect were Xenophon, Æschines, Crito, Simon, Glauco, Simmias, and Cebes.
After the cruel death of their teacher, the disciples of Socrates, fearing a similar fate, fled to Megara, where they were entertained with great honor by Euclid.
Euphantus, who lived to great age and wrote many tragedies, was among the foremost followers of Eubulides.
The Cynics renounced all worldly possessions, living in the rudest shelters and subsisting upon the coarsest and simplest food. Socrates, pained by the voluptuous and mercenary tendencies of Aristippus, vainly labored to reform the young man. The past cannot be regarded without regret and the future cannot be faced without misgiving; therefore neither is conducive to pleasure. Thus it is further evident that life can never become monotonous or exhaust the possibilities of variety.
The Stoics were essentially pantheists, since they maintained that as there is nothing better than the world, the world is God.
The Cyrenaics asserted pleasure to be dependent upon action or motion; the Epicureans claimed rest or lack of action to be equally productive of pleasure.
In the Roman Empire little thought was devoted to philosophic theory; consequently most of its thinkers were of the eclectic type.
Like the former, it contained many exact elements of thought derived from Pythagoras and Plato; like the latter, it emphasized metaphysical speculation and ascetic habits. Neo-Platonism was the supreme effort of decadent pagandom to publish and thus preserve for posterity its secret (or unwritten) doctrine.
Briefly described, Neo-Platonism is a philosophic code which conceives every physical or concrete body of doctrine to be merely the shell of a spiritual verity which may be discovered through meditation and certain exercises of a mystic nature. The entire structure of pagan philosophy was assailed and the dictates of faith elevated above those of reason. Practically all the information extant regarding the Gnostics and their doctrines, stigmatized as heresy by the ante-Nicene Church Fathers, is derived from the accusations made against them, particularly from the writings of St.
Bonaventura, the Rationalism of Peter Abelard, and the pantheistic Mysticism of Meister Eckhart.
It was this decadent school of meaningless verbiage against which Sir Francis Bacon directed his bitter shafts of irony and which he relegated to the potter's field of discarded notions.
Hobbes laid special stress upon the significance of words, declaring understanding to be the faculty of perceiving the relationship between words and the objects for which they stand. The former estimates the intrinsic characteristics through an analysis of behavior; the latter may be summed up as the total extinction of idealism. Spinoza, it has been said, deprived God of all personality, making Deity synonymous with the universe.
Thus the universe is composed of an infinite number of separate monadic entities unfolding spontaneously through the objectification of innate active qualities.
Kant's categories of space and time von Schelling conceived to be positive and negative respectively, and material existence the result of the reciprocal action of these two expressions. God he conceived to be a process of unfolding which never attains to the condition of unfoldment. To correct the false impressions caused by phenomena and discover reality, Herbart believed it necessary to resolve phenomena into separate elements, for reality exists in the elements and not in the whole. This superman was the product of careful culturing, for if not separated forcibly from the mass and consecrated to the production of power, the individual would sink back to the level of the deadly mediocre. John Stuart Mill believed that if it is possible through sensation to secure knowledge of the properties of things, it is also possible through a higher state of the mind--that is, intuition or reason--to gain a knowledge of the true substance of things. The former is the belief that the nature of ultimates is unknowable; the latter an English and American revival of Hegel's idealism. Durant declares that Herbert Spencer's Great Work, First Principles, made him almost at once the most famous philosopher of his time.
However, in the presence of such applications of symbology in Christian art, it is scarcely proper to consider the philosophers of other faiths as benighted if, like the Hindus, they have a three-faced Brahma, or, like the Romans, a two-faced Janus. For the heresy of affirming a multiplicity of universes and conceiving Cosmos to be so vast that no single creed could fill it, Bruno paid the forfeit of his life.
The philosophy of Ontologism developed by Vincenzo Gioberti (generally considered more as a theologian than a philosopher) posits God as the only being and the origin of all knowledge, knowledge being identical with Deity itself. The theory of Pragmatism, while not original with Professor William James, owes its widespread popularity as a philosophic tenet to his efforts. The last was patterned after the shadow cast by the sanctuaries of Ellora, Ur, and Memphis upon the thought substance of a primitive people.
Both the dignity of these sacred institutions and the validity of their claim to possession of Universal Wisdom are attested by the most illustrious philosophers of antiquity, who were themselves initiated into the profundities of the secret doctrine and who bore witness to its efficacy. Furthermore, in the lapse of time the teachings became so inextricably linked with the names of their disseminators that the actual but recondite source--the Mysteries--came to be wholly ignored. Rejecting man-conceived dialects as inadequate and unworthy to perpetuate divine ideas, the Mysteries thus chose symbolism as a far more ingenious and ideal method of preserving their transcendental knowledge. They engraved it upon the face of mountains and concealed it within the measurements of colossal images, each of which was a geometric marvel. In his encomium of "the science of sciences" Cicero is led to exclaim: "O philosophy, life's guide! Philosophers themselves, however, have frustrated the ends of philosophy by exceeding in their woolgathering those untrained minds whom they are supposed to lead in the straight and narrow path of rational thinking.
The soul of the world he regarded as an exhalation from its humid parts, and he declared the ebb and flow of the sea to be caused by the sun. Pythagoras was one of the first teachers to establish a community wherein all the members were of mutual assistance to one another in the common attainment of the higher sciences.
Rejecting the theory of motion, he asserted that there was but one God, who was an eternal, ungenerated Being. Professor Zeller, the great authority on ancient philosophies, has recently declared the writings of Xenophon relating to Socrates to be forgeries. Menedemus is presumed to have been inclined toward the teachings of Stilpo and the Megarian sect.
The Megarian school accepted the Socratic doctrine that virtue is wisdom, adding to it the Eleatic concept that goodness is absolute unity and all change an illusion of the senses. On the assumption that the gods wanted nothing, the Cynics affirmed that those whose needs were fewest consequently approached closest to the divinities. Aristippus has the distinction of being consistent in principle and practice, for he lived in perfect harmony with his philosophy that the quest of pleasure was the chief purpose of life. Plato traveled widely and was initiated by the Egyptians into the profundities of Hermetic philosophy.
That which has motion imparted to it from another can be separated from the source of its an animating principle; it is therefore subject to dissolution. Epicurus accepted the philosophy of Democritus concerning the nature of atoms and based his physics upon this theory. Cicero is the outstanding example of early Eclecticism, for his writings are a veritable potpourri of invaluable fragments from earlier schools of thought. A striking similarity has been observed by several authors between Neo-Pythagoreanism and the doctrines of the Essenes. In comparison to the esoteric spiritual truths which they contain, the corporeal bodies of religion and philosophy were considered relatively of little value. In some instances efforts were made to reconcile the evident truths of paganism with Christian revelation. The orbits of the planets are the Governors of the World and the four elemental spheres in the center represent the physical constitution of both man and the universe, Ptolemy's scheme of the universe is simply a cross section of the universal aura, the planets and elements to which he refers having no relation to those recognized by modern astronomers. All things are conceived as consisting of single monads of varying magnitudes or of aggregations of these bodies, which may exist as physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual substances.
Von Schelling also held that the Absolute in its process of self-development proceeds according to a law or rhythm consisting of three movements. The entire intellectual and emotional constitutions of man are subservient to the will and are largely concerned with the effort to justify the dictates of the will. The trunk and larger branches of the tree symbolize the superior gods; the twigs and leaves, the innumerable existences dependent upon the first and unchanging Power. Love, Nietzsche said, should be sacrificed to the production of the superman and those only should marry who are best fitted to produce this outstanding type. The soul Locke believed to be incapable of apprehension of Deity, and man's realization or cognition of God to be merely an inference of the reasoning faculty.
Thus the belief in the existence of material objects is merely a mental condition, and the objects themselves may well be fabrications of the mind.
Spencerianism is a philosophic positivism which describes evolution as an ever-increasing complexity with equilibrium as its highest possible state. Pragmatism may be defined as the doctrine that the meaning and nature of things are to be discovered from consideration of their consequences. Thales, Pythagoras, and Plato in their philosophic wanderings contacted many distant cults and brought back the lore of Egypt and the inscrutable Orient.


In a single figure a symbol may both reveal and conceal, for to the wise the subject of the symbol is obvious, while to the ignorant the figure remains inscrutable. Their knowledge of chemistry and mathematics they hid within mythologies which the ignorant would perpetuate, or in the spans and arches of their temples which time has not entirely obliterated.
To list and classify any but the more important of the now recognized schools of philosophy is beyond the space limitations of this volume. It must be borne in mind that this apparently massive structure is actually s minute as to defy analysis. He also introduced the discipline of retrospection as essential to the development of the spiritual mind. He first asserted the earth to be round and also divided its surface into zones of hear and cold.
The soul Democritus also conceived to be atomic in structure and subject to dissolution with the body. He himself declared philosophy to be the way of true happiness and its purpose twofold: (1) to contemplate God, and (2) to abstract the soul from corporeal sense. When The Clouds of Aristophanes, a comedy written to ridicule the theories of Socrates, was first presented, the great Skeptic himself attended the play. When Menedemus' opinions were demanded, he answered that he was free, thus intimating that most men were enslaved to their opinions.
According to legend, Diodorus died of grief because he could not answer instantly certain questions asked him by Stilpo, at one time master of the Megarian school. Being asked what he gained by a life of philosophy, Antisthenes replied that he had learned how to converse with himself.
The doctrines of the Cyrenaics may be summarized thus: All that is actually known concerning any object or condition is the feeling which it awakens in man's own nature. Nature permits man to do anything he desires; he is limited only by his own laws and customs. He further considered the soul to be twofold--rational and irrational--and in some particulars elevated the sense perceptions above the mind. Eclecticism appears to have had its inception at the moment when men first doubted the possibility of discovering ultimate truth. Special emphasis was laid upon the mystery of numbers, and it is possible that the Neo-Pythagoreans had a far wider knowledge of the true teachings of Pythagoras than is available today. In the third century appeared Manichæism, a dualistic system of Persian origin, which taught that Good and Evil were forever contending for universal supremacy. The zenith of Scholasticism was reached with the advent of Albertus Magnus and his illustrious disciple, St. God is the first and greatest Monad; the spirit of man is an awakened monad in contradistinction to the lower kingdoms whose governing monadic powers are in a semi-dormant state. Durant sums up Kant's philosophy in the concise statement that he rescued mind from matter.
The first, a reflective movement, is the attempt of the Infinite to embody itself in the finite. Hegel further believed that all things owe their existence to their opposites and that all opposites are actually identical. All three notions give rise, however, to certain contradictions, with whose solution Herbart is primarily concerned. Thus the mind creates elaborate systems of thought simply to prove the necessity of the thing willed.
Nietzsche also believed in the rule of the aristocracy, both blood and breeding being essential to the establishment of this superior type. At the same time Berkeley considered it worse than insanity to question the accuracy of the perceptions; for if the power of the perceptive faculties be questioned man is reduced to a creature incapable of knowing, estimating, or realizing anything whatsoever. According to Spencer, life is a continuous process from homogeneity to heterogeneity and back from heterogeneity to homogeneity. Hence, he who seeks to unveil the secret doctrine of antiquity must search for that doctrine not upon the open pages of books which might fall into the hands of the unworthy but in the place where it was originally concealed. They wrote in characters that neither the vandalism of men nor the ruthlessness of the elements could completely efface, Today men gaze with awe and reverence upon the mighty Memnons standing alone on the sands of Egypt, or upon the strange terraced pyramids of Palanque.
The vast area of speculation covered by philosophy will be appreciated best after a brief consideration of a few of the outstanding systems of philosophic discipline which have swayed the world of thought during the last twenty-six centuries. Pythagoreanism may be summarized as a system of metaphysical speculation concerning the relationships between numbers and the causal agencies of existence.
During the performance, which caricatured him seated in a basket high in the air studying the sun, Socrates rose calmly in his seat, the better to enable the Athenian spectators to compare his own unprepossessing features with the grotesque mask worn by the actor impersonating him. Menedemus was apparently of a somewhat belligerent temperament and often returned from his lectures in a badly bruised condition.
Being asked about the nature of the gods, he declared himself ignorant of their disposition save that they hated curious persons. In the sphere of ethics that which awakens the most pleasant feeling is consequently to be esteemed as the greatest good. A philosopher is one free from envy, love, and superstition, and whose days are one long round of pleasure. Cicero describes the threefold constitution of Platonic philosophy as comprising ethics, physics, and dialectics. Superior to both the mortals and the immortals is that condition which continually moves yet itself is unmoved.
Chrysippus maintained that good and evil being contrary, both are necessary since each sustains the other. Observing all so-called knowledge to be mere opinion at best, the less studious furthermore concluded that the wiser course to pursue was to accept that which appeared to be the most reasonable of the teachings of any school or individual. Even in the first century Pythagoras was regarded more as a god than a man, and the revival of his philosophy was resorted to apparently in the hope that his name would stimulate interest in the deeper systems of learning.
It recognized the existence of a secret and all-important doctrine which from the time of the earliest civilizations had been concealed within the rituals, symbols, and allegories of religions and philosophies.
In Manichæism, Christ is conceived to be the Principle of redeeming Good in contradistinction to the man Jesus, who was viewed as an evil personality.
The mind Kant conceived to be the selector and coordinator of all perceptions, which in turn are the result of sensations grouping themselves about some external object. The second, that of subsumption, is the attempt of the Absolute to return to the Infinite after involvement in the finite. Thus the only existence is the relationship of opposites to each other, through whose combinations new elements are produced.
Genius, however, represents the state wherein the intellect has gained supremacy over the will and the life is ruled by reason and not by impulse. Nietzsche's doctrine did not liberate the masses; it rather placed over them supermen for whom their inferior brothers and sisters should be perfectly reconciled to die. Descartes has the distinction also of evolving his own philosophy without recourse to authority.
Mute testimonies these are of the lost arts and sciences of antiquity; and concealed this wisdom must remain until this race has learned to read the universal language--SYMBOLISM. The Greek school of philosophy had its inception with the seven immortalized thinkers upon whom was first conferred the appellation of Sophos, "the wise." According to Diogenes Laertius, these were Thales, Solon, Chilon, Pittacus, Bias, Cleobulus, and Periander. Babbitt create this form of the atom but he also contrived a method whereby these particles could be grouped together in an orderly manner and thus result in the formation of molecular bodies. This school also first expounded the theory of celestial harmonics or "the music of the spheres." John Reuchlin said of Pythagoras that he taught nothing to his disciples before the discipline of silence, silence being the first rudiment of contemplation.
From the Infinite a host of minute fragmentary bodies descended into the vacuum, where, through continual agitation, they organized themselves into spheres of substance. Aristotle intimates that Democritus obtained his atomic theory from the Pythagorean doctrine of the Monad.
The most famous of his propositions is stated thus: That which is not the same is different from that with which it is not the same.
To this constitution the power of abidance is inherent; it is therefore the Divine Permanence upon which all things are established.
The four major divisions of his philosophy are dialectics, physics, ethics, and metaphysics. The soul was regarded as a body distributed throughout the physical form and subject to dissolution with it. From this practice, however, arose a pseudo-broadmindedness devoid of the element of preciseness found in true logic and philosophy.
But Greek philosophy had passed the zenith of its splendor; the mass of humanity was awakening to the importance of physical life and physical phenomena.
To the mind unacquainted with its fundamental tenets, Neo-Platonism may appear to be a mass of speculations interspersed with extravagant flights of fancy.
In the post-Nicene period more emphasis was placed upon the unfoldment of Christian philosophy along Platonic and Neo-Platonic lines, resulting in the appearance of many strange documents of a lengthy, rambling, and ambiguous nature, nearly all of which were philosophically unsound. The third, that of reason, is the neutral point wherein the two former movements are blended. As the Divine Mind is an eternal process of thought never accomplished, Hegel assails the very foundation of theism and his philosophy limits immortality to the everflowing Deity alone. Though capable of filling space, if reduced to its ultimate state it consists of incomprehensibly minute units of divine energy occupying no physical space whatsoever. The strength of Christianity, said Schopenhauer, lay in its pessimism and conquest of individual will.
Consequently his conclusions are built up from the simplest of premises and grow in complexity as the structure of his philosophy takes form.
The long residence in America of George Santayana warrants the listing of this great Spaniard among the ranks of American philosophers.
Water was conceived by Thales to be the primal principle or element, upon which the earth floated like a ship, and earthquakes were the result of disturbances in this universal sea. This point being admitted, Menedemus continued: To benefit is not the same as good, therefore good does not benefit. He further declared philosophers to differ markedly from other men in that they alone would not change the order of their lives if all the laws of men were abolished.
In The Book of Speusippus on Platonic Definitions, that great Platonist thus defines God: "A being that lives immortally by means of Himself alone, sufficing for His own blessedness, the eternal Essence, cause of His own goodness. God is defined as the First Mover, the Best of beings, an immovable Substance, separate from sensible things, void of corporeal quantity, without parts and indivisible. Though some of the Stoics held that wisdom prolonged the existence of the soul, actual immortality is not included in their tenets. Such a viewpoint, however, ignores the institutions of the Mysteries--those secret schools into whose profundities of idealism nearly all of the first philosophers of antiquity were initiated. The post-Nicene philosophers included Athanasius, Gregory of Nyssa, and Cyril of Alexandria. Thomas Aquinas, sometimes referred to as the Christian Aristotle) sought to reconcile the various factions of the Scholastic school. Being subject to mathematical laws, time and space are considered absolute and sufficient bases for exact thinking. Evolution is consequently the never-ending flow of Divine Consciousness out of itself; all creation, though continually moving, never arrives at any state other than that of ceaseless flow. To those who understand the true meaning of power to be virtue, self-control, and truth, the ideality behind Nietzsche's theory is apparent.
Defending himself with the shield of skepticism alike from the illusions of the senses and the cumulative errors of the ages, Santayana seeks to lead mankind into a more apprehending state denominated by him the life of reason. Among prominent philosophers influenced by the Cyrenaic doctrines were Hegesias, Anniceris, Theodorus, and Bion.
According to Plato, the One is the term most suitable for defining the Absolute, since the whole precedes the parts and diversity is dependent on unity, but unity not on diversity. The Platonic discipline was founded upon the theory that learning is really reminiscence, or the bringing into objectivity of knowledge formerly acquired by the soul in a previous state of existence.
The soul was said to be composed of eight parts: the five senses, the generative power, the vocal power, and an eighth, or hegemonic, part.
The Patristic school is notable for its emphasis upon the supremacy of man throughout the universe.
Thomism was basically Aristotelian with the added concept that faith is a projection of reason.
Kant's practical reason declared that while the nature of noumenon could never be comprehended by the reason, the fact of morality proves the existence of three necessary postulates: free will, immortality, and God. To the superficial, however, it is a philosophy heartless and calculating, concerned solely with the survival of the fittest. Pleasure he declared to be a pestilence because it was opposed to the temperance of the mind; he considered a man without deceit to be as rare as a fish without bones. Its exponents denounced all negative propositions and all complex and abstruse theories, declaring that only affirmative and simple doctrines could be true. Aristotle taught his pupil, Alexander the Great, to feel that if he had not done a good deed he had not reigned that day. Man was conceived to be a separate and divine creation--the crowning achievement of Deity and an exception to the suzerainty of natural law. In the critique of judgment Kant demonstrates the union of the noumenon and the phenomenon in art and biological evolution. Life--the manifestation of the blind will to live--he viewed as a misfortune, claiming that the true philosopher was one who, recognizing the wisdom of death, resisted the inherent urge to reproduce his kind. Anaximander, differing from his master Thales, declared measureless and indefinable infinity to be the principle from which all things were generated.
To the Patristics it was inconceivable that there should ever exist another creature so noble, so fortunate, or so able as man, for whose sole benefit and edification all the kingdoms of Nature were primarily created. German superintellectualism is the outgrowth of an overemphasis of Kant's theory of the autocratic supremacy of the mind over sensation and thought. Anaximenes asserted air to be the first element of the universe; that souls and even the Deity itself were composed of it. The philosophy of Johann Gottlieb Fichte was a projection of Kant's philosophy, wherein he attempted to unite Kant's practical reason with his pure reason.
Fichte held that the known is merely the contents of the consciousness of the knower, and that nothing can exist to the knower until it becomes part of those contents.



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