THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN ‘SMALL MYSTERIES’ AND ‘GREAT MYSTERIES’The distinction between ‘small Mysteries‘ and ‘great Mysteries‘ dates back to the Greek esotericism, but in reality it is always the same path followed by the man who wants to return to God, to be a part of his Kingdom. They are stages or grades of the same progressive Initiation. The small Mysteries are a preparation for those great, since the purpose of the ‘small’ is only a stage of the initiatic way. The small Mysteries are the preparation for the Mystery of the mystical death and of the resurrection. The genius of Moses, guided by the wisdom of the Egyptians, outlining the plan of the Genesis, has already given, in the myth of Adam and Eve, of the terrestrial Paradise and of the drama of the fall due to the famous fruit of the Tree of the Science of the Good and of the Evil, then with the intervention of the Cherubs armed with flaming swords in defense of the Tree of the Initiatic Life, we say has given the way to go to the ‘small’ and to the ‘great’ Mysteries. The small Mysteries synthesize all that which refers to the development, to the perfection of the human state considered in its integrality; traditionally, they designated the restoration of the ‘primordial state’. Generally, this is what the various esoteric schools aim at, and it is already a great conquest, but it would be a half-way journey. Much more was, and had to be, the state of Adam-Eve, archetype of the Humanity. If we read again the Mosaic passage of Genesis, II, 16:17, we would understand better what it means: “Jahve God commanded man: – Of all the trees of the garden you can eat (the fruit), but of the tree of the knowledge of the good and of the evil you must not eat, because on the day in which you eat, you must certainly die -“. The Archetypal Man, therefore, had to feed also on the fruit, on the juice of the Tree of the Life. Here is the fundamental theme of the ‘great Mysteries‘! Adam had to develop into a superhumanity, to be like God, to identify himself with Him by the will of God Himself, but he cut himself off from this possibility. If the minor (small) Mysteries are the restoration of the ‘primordial state’ (or Edenic), the ‘major (great) Mysteries’ can do much more because they relate to the realization of the superhuman states, taking the being from the point in which it has been left by the ‘small Mysteries’. The ‘great Mysteries‘ are the taking possession of the superior states of the being: knowledge of what is beyond the nature, pure immutable metaphysical knowledge, one in its essence, for its Archeosophical character; a taking possession of superhuman states and of the order of the pure spirituality, ably described by Clement of Alexandria in Stromata, V, 11, writing of the Initiation to the epoptate (the state of who no longer reasons, but contemplates God in himself). “Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing the good and the evil. And now let him not extend the hand and let him not take also of the tree of the life, so that he eat of it and live in eternity! ….. He drove out the man, and to the east of the garden of Eden, did place the Cherubs and the flame of the dazzling sword, to guard the way of the Tree of the Life.” (Genesis, III, 22 and 24). Only after the descent of the Messiah, the Son of God, the true Master, is the humankind permitted to feed itself again on all the fruits of the trees, including that of the life, but through the experience of the Ascesis, of the progressive Initiation, and of the stages called ‘minor mysteries’ and ‘major mysteries‘. Who can understand the Apocalypse of John, after having passed through the four Gospels, studied and lived, following a certain esoteric order, glimpses the ‘great Mysteries‘. […] The ‘great Mysteries‘ are concerned with the realization of the superhuman states, and to these Archeosophy wants to lead, taking the Disciple in his being, from where he has been brought and left by the ‘small Mysteries’, that is, at the center of the dominion of the human individuality. The ‘great Mysteries’ take the being beyond the dominion, to the final liberation, to the Supreme Identity, through the super-individual states, still conditioned, up to the unconditional state of the Supreme Initiation, conforming to what the Son of God has said: “….. I have given them (to the Initiates of the New Alliance) the glory you have given to me, so that they may be one, like we are one, I in them and you in me, so that they may be made perfect in unity, that the world may know that you sent me and you loved them, like you loved me” (John, 17: 22-23). All this is the same as to feed oneself with the fruit of the Tree of the Life. In the myth, this Tree is the personal Wisdom of God (Proverbs, 3: 18). (1) T. Palamidessi- THE WAY OF THE SYMBOLS AND THE SPIRITUAL TRANSMUTATION- Booklet 14.
Tags: 4th Booklet, Archetypal Man, Clement of Alexandria, final liberation, great Mysteries, major Mysteries, minor Mysteries, primitive Mosaism, primordial state, progressive Initiation, Small Mysteries, superhuman states, Supreme Identity, terrestrial Paradise, Tree of the Initiatic Life
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