Mircea Eliade "From Primitives to Zen": THE EPIPHANY OF THE MYSTERY GOD


Aristides records an experience in which 'there came from Isis a Light and other unutterable things conducing to salvation. In the same night appeared Serapis and Aesculapius himself, both marvellous in beauty and stature and in certain aspects resembling each other' (Orat. Sac.,III, p. 500). All ancient epiphaneiae were of the character of a dazzling light. Porphyry knows that 'the eye of the body cannot bear' the brightness of divine apparitions (De Mysteriis, II, 8). The experience of Apuleius, 'I saw the sun shining at midnight,' and 'adoravi de proxumo,' refers to such an epiphany. In the Attis cult, 'Hail, Bridegroom, Hail, new Light' announced the epiphany. In the Liturgy of Mithra (Dieterich, p.10) we read, 'Thou shalt see a youthful god, lovely in form, with red locks, wearing a white tunic and scarlet mantle, and holding a bright crown.'


S. Angus, The Mystery Religions and Christianity (London, 1925), PP. 135-6

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