" Know yourself "the origin, the meaning and the purpose, explained by René Guénon 2/3


So there is a preparation for the wisdom which is higher than philosophy , which doesnot concern  the reason, but the soul and spirit , and we can call it inner preparation , and it seems it had been the highest levels of the school of Pythagoras . It has extended its influence through the school of Plato to the neo -Platonism of the Alexandrian school , where it appears  clearly again . If for this inner preparation words are still used , these  could no longer be taken only as symbols for fixing the inner contemplation.By this preparation , man is led to some states that allow him to exceed the rational knowledge that he  previously achieved , and  as all this is above the level of reason , its was also above philosophy since the name of philosophy is always used in fact to describe something that belongs only to the reason  . However, it is surprising that  modern  consider philosophy as if it were complete in itself , and so they forget what is higher . .

The first philosophers, especially Pythagoras , had consider their education , as being a new expression of the old ideas . There were several kinds of mysteries with diverse origins. Those that inspired Pythagoras and Plato were related to the cult of Apollo . “Mysteries” always had a reserved and secret character , the word “mystery”  itself  means etymologically the  total silence , since things which are related to could not be expressed by words , but only taught by a silent way . But modern who ignore any other method which doesnt involve the use of words,  falsely believed ,  that there was no teaching . We can say that this silent teaching was using figures , symbols, and other means designed to bring man to the inner states allowing him to gradually achieve the  real knowledge or wisdom  . This was the essential and ultimate goal of all the “mysteries” .

As for the “mysteries” that were specifically related to the cult of Apollo and Apollo himself , it must be remembered that he was the God of sun and light ,in the spiritual sense it s   the source from where  all knowledge  , arts and sciences derive.

stone found in the temple

It is said that the rites of Apollo came from the North and it refers to an ancient tradition , which is found in the Hindu Vedas as sacred and also the Persian Avesta books. This northern origin was even affirmed especially for Delphi that was supposed to be a universal spiritual center , and there was a stone in the temple called ” omphalos ” which symbolized the center of the world .. If all sciences were attributed to Apollo, so it was so particularly for geometry and medicine. In the Pythagorean school , geometry and all branches of mathematics occupied the first place in preparation for higher knowledge . With regard to the knowledge itself , these sciences were not set aside , but instead remained employed as symbols of spiritual truth. Plato also considered geometry as a prerequisite for any other educational preparation and had inscribed on the door of his school these words : “No one enter here if he is not a geometer . ” We understand the meaning of these words when we link them to another formula of Plato himself : ” God always  does geometry ” when he  speakis of a geometer God  , Plato was still referring to Apollo . It is therefore not surprising that the ancient philosophers have used the phrase inscribed at the entrance of the temple of Delphi, since we now know the links that bound them to the rituals and symbolism of Apollo. From all this we can easily understand the real meaning of the phrase studied here and the error of the modern about it.

This error comes from what they considered the sentence as a simple word of a philosopher , to whom they attribute always a comparable  thinking to themselves. But in reality the old thinking differed profoundly from modern thought. Thus, many attribute to this sentence a psychological sense , but what they call psychology is only  the study of mental phenomena, which are only external changes – not the essence of the human being. Others  , especially among those who attribute this sentence to Socrates  see it as a moral purpose , to find a law applicable to practical life. All these external interpretations , which are not however  always entirely false , do not justify the sacred character this sentence  had originally , and which involves a lot deeper meaning than the one  they would like attribute  to it . It first means that no exoteric teaching is able to provide a real knowledge , that man should find only in itself, because, in fact , all knowledge can only be acquired only by a personal understanding….

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