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By Evert W. Beth (Eds.)

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By Evert W. Beth (Eds.)

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By this knowledge of the principles, man is initiated into the mysteries of life, and he acquires intellectual immortality; he becomes inaccessible to wonder, which is considered as intellectual death. Therefore, according to Plato and Aristotle, man must be thrown into perplexity, in order to become capable of the intuitive vision of the principles, just as in the ancient mysteries he must suffer ritual death in order to rise to eternal life. 7) For this reason Chrysippus, in contradiction to his predecessors, Zeno and Cleanthes, said that only the souls of the wise can survive the periodic world fire.

Consequently, a metaphysician is a man who has been initiated into the mysteries of existence, who has found the clue to the enigma of life. The ancients fully realised the analogy between metaphysics and mysticism; this appears from a text by Psellus, which has been published by J. Bidez and which is entirely inspired by Aristotle's doctrines,") I restrict myself to quoting a few essential phrases. ..

This initiation is intended to liberate man from the continuous amazement forced upon him by his inconstant destiny. ANALOGY OF ARISTOTLE'S THEORY WITH MYSTICAL DOCTRINES 35 by giving him once for all an explanation, definitive and irrevocable, of his experiences. Nihil mirari prope res una quae possit [acere et servare beatum (Horatius). Such an explanation of our experiences is implied in the knowledge of the principles; metaphysics as a science of principles therefore affords us the supreme wisdom and gives us the supreme degree of felicity.

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