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Dear Intuitive Times,

I have been exploring mysticism and have frequently come across the term "Oracles." Can you tell me what this is exactly?

Danielle, Mission BC


The first recorded controlled parapsychological experiment took place in ancient Greece during the sixth century B.C. Greece was at that time famous for its oracles which were generally connected with the temples of the various gods. Generally these oracles operated through a priestess or medium who went into a trance or became possessed by the god of the oracle and uttered prophetic words which were then interpreted by the priests. Their enormous prestige and political influence was attested to by kings and generals who would consult with these oracles before making major decisions.

Herodotus, the Father of History, reports that the King of Lydia, Croesus, wishing to test the different oracles, sent messengers to those of Aba, Miletus, Dodona, Delphi, Amphiaraus, Trophonius, and Jupiter Ammon. His idea was by this means to choose the best of them to consult about his proposed campaign against the Persians. On the hundredth day after their departures all of the messengers were to simultaneously ask the oracles to tell them what Croesus was doing at that very moment. Accordingly, on the day appointed, when the emissaries had entered the temple of Delphi, even before they had time to utter their mandate, which had been kept secret, the priestess said in verse:

I count the grains of sand on the ocean shore
I measure the ocean's depths
I hear the dumb man
I likewise hear the man who keeps silence.
My senses perceive an odor as when one cooks
together the flesh of the tortoise and the lamb.
Brass is on the sides and beneath;
Brass also covers the top.

This reply was committed to writing and rushed back to Croesus who received the lines of the priestess with utmost veneration. On the appointed day he had sought for something impossible to guess: having caused a tortoise and lamb to be cut into pieces, he had had them cooked together in a brass pan upon which he had afterwards placed a lid of the same metal. The oracle of Amphiaraus also proved lucid in this experiment; others were less definite. The presents that Croesus sent to Delphi were of incalculable value. A detailed list may be found in Herodotus.

Out of this cultural milieu developed a philosophical tradition that was hylozoistic, conceiving of nature as animated or alive; ontological, inquiring into the very essence of things; and monistic, seeking to find a single principle to explain all phenomena. Now, we will explore the theories of mind and consciousness promulgated by the ancient philosophers. Note that their teachings consistently emphasized a unity between the goals of philosophy and the practices of living. Such a unity of thought and action is sadly de-emphasized in the contemporary quibbling of much modern academic philosophy.

Taken from "The Roots of Consciousness" by Jeffrey Mishlove, Ph.D. with permission.


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