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Thrice-Greatest Hermes, Vol. 1, by G.R.S. Mead, [1906], at


XX. I. These are approximately the chief headings of their myth, after the most ill-omened have been removed,—such as, for instance, the one about the cutting up into pieces of Horus, and the beheading of Isis.

2. That, however, if people suppose and say these things about that Blessed and Incorruptible Nature according to which especially the Divine conceives itself, as though they were actually enacted and really took place, “thou shouldst spit out and cleanse mouth,” according to Æschylus, 6 there is no need to tell thee; 7 for of thyself thou showest displeasure at those who hold illegitimate and barbarous notions about the Gods.

p. 292

3. But that these things are not at all like lean tales and quite empty figments, such as poets and prose-writers weave and expand as though they were spiders spinning them out of themselves from a source that has no basis in fact, but that they contain certain informations and statements,—thou knowest of thyself.

4. And just as the Mathematici 1 say that “Iris” 2 is the sun’s reflexion many-coloured by the return of its visual impression to the cloud, so the myth down here is a reflexion of a certain reason (logos) that bends its thinking back on other things; as both the sacred offerings suggest by the reflected element of mournfulness and sadness they contain, and also the dispositions of the temples which in one direction open out into side-walks and courts for moving about in, open to the sky and clear of objects, while in the other they have hidden and dark robing-rooms under ground, like places for putting coffins in and burying-spots.


291:6 Ed. Nauck, p. 84.

291:7 Sc. Klea.

292:1 Presumably, again, the Pythagorean grade above the Hearers.

292:2 Sc. the rainbow.

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