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have been exploring mysticism and have frequently come across
the term "Oracles." Can you tell me what this is exactly?
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
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:
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.
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.
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.
from "The Roots of Consciousness" by Jeffrey Mishlove,
Ph.D. with permission.
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