Mircea Eliade "From Primitives to Zen": PLATO ON INITIATION


('Phaedo,' 69 c)

The Neoplatonist Olympiodoros comments on this passage: 'He is adapting an Orphic verse.'

It looks as if those also who established rites of initiation for us were no fools, but that there is a hidden meaning in their teaching when it says that whoever arrives uninitiated in Hades will lie in mud, but the purified and initiated when he arrives there will dwell with gods. For there are in truth, as those who understand the mysteries say, 'Many who bear the wand, but few who become Bakchoi.' Now these latter are in my own opinion no others than those who have given their lives to true philosophy.


Translation and introductory note by Frederick C. Grant, in his Hellenistic Religions (New York, 1953), PP. 136-44

Books by Mircea Eliade:

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