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The Light of the Ancient Greeks



from study papers of

Frator Thoth

(Nickolas Varalis)




            In one of her poems, Sappho writes: ως ποτ' αελίω δύοντος ά ροδοδάκτυλος σελάνα πάντα περρέχοισ' άστρα φάος δ'επίσχει θάλασσα επ' αλμυράν ίσως και πολυανθέμοις αρούραις - just as the sun rises, the moon with a red dimness ushers all the stars round her to disappear and a light spreads over the salty open sea and upon fields of thousands of flowers, where the glistening dew drips ...The essence of the ancient Greek way of thinking can be easily found in these verses, as it is also found in the Odyssey and Iliad of Homer and even in all the writings of the ancients that have been handed down to us. What may be observed is that all the events that they describe are  revealed in a clear light, in a clear language. The Greek manner of describing a thing was to describe it in detail. With the first mention of a god, that god is described in detail. Describing both his/her attributes and powers, and then continuing with the story. By using the technique of describing some thing in great detail, one tends to give a three dimensional image to that thing one is describing[1]. Reading them one is certain that they were written during the noon hour of the day. When the Greek sun leaves no shadows and allows an eternal plateau of clear-brightness to once and for all uplift the weight of existence. In this light, never did a Greek feel the stranger too. The Greek took his place in the Light with body and emotions, never as an observer but actively taking part in the nature of things. Not by force but with the flow of constant communion. This active manner was how the Greeks created; from their Architecture, to even the manner inwhich their religion was created.

            The Dodekatheo [the twelve gods] is not a religion in the manner which we know religion today. The Center; the Higher Mind; the Originator; the Creator was not only present but also humanly present. Deity had special abilities and held an authority over mortals but it is apparent that the same laws that ruled over the universe also applied to the same. Even the Sun, if he would exceed the measures, would be extinguished... said Heraklietos. The Gods of the Greeks played an active part in their lives and have their own lives as a reflection of that of mortals. The Gods of the Greeks did not hide themselves. They too were seen in the clear light, full of light. They interacted and lived in the mortal world, even sharing in mortal sorrow, of their dying physical bodies. Finally, the Gods of the Greeks never had a dark face, to show even their darkness in the light. As Sappho said :... though the sun sets upon the land, the land is still alit by the constant presence of the Moon. A refuge and hope at the same time ...

            The God of the old testament was always in the dark. No-one could see his face. He lays out laws that, if the faithful followed, would win them eternity. But immortality was the promise of a future afterlife, whereas for the Greek this immortality was always in the present. By placing laws, the matter of an exchange between God and His faithful is implied - If I do this then God will reward me. In this manner, Law demands certain ceremonies of worship because God must be praised in only one specific manner. By organizing  & customizing certain ceremonies, there is created an open market to the creation of others in competition. Perhaps because Religion tends to always be associated, more-or-less, with Authority. Therefore one who is not under this authority is free to create other traditions and gods. And with this the zealous thirst for power/authority is born.

            The Greeks did not have specific rituals or ceremonies[2]. They were free to express their prayers and invocations of the gods with many different means & ways. Besides, Greeks had many  different gods[3] to whom they worshipped throughout the whole Greek year. Since, all that was round them, all gods were emanations of the single divine ideal, their day itself was the prayer, the invocation of all these divinities. A prayer different than the usual, where there is no written word or organized thought but simply inspirational and instinctive behavior. The Greek did not talk to the God of the Old Testament, for it was not permitted to look upon his face. The Greek spoke to a Partner in life, to a higher power than him/herself that did not have the bonds of physical life. This power he/she invoked as a support to the Work, which was life itself and inwhich, this power took an active part in.

            These are the differences with which all began. The West rested upon Roman Catholicism that finds its roots in the old testament, that portrayed God as something with-out the individual. A god that demands conformity from mortals, places laws (rules) upon them and in doing so, awaits repayment for the divine gesture to repent. If not found the individual is consequently punished. The individual is alienated from the same world that so freely embraced him as one of its very own. He/She then creates external matter, external dependence and still try to reach these certain ideals without being able touch on it's real essence. It is true that the word alienation is not just a modern day phenomena but is a phenomena coming from a whole way of thinking. This alienation phenomena will continue to exist until someday we may come to terms with ourselves and return to our divinity, - the Nature[4] of things.

            The Orthodox[5] religion came to Greece, as strange as it may seem, as the continuance of the Dodekatheo and the Greek way of thinking. One could say that if we are looking for authentic pieces of the ancient Greek way of thinking, one could find them in the Orthodox religion, in its pure state as it lived on in the unconscious of  many Greeks. Here then is made the difference, that union with God does not occur through the implementation of laws but through the Eros[6]of the Divine. The individual is not different with the Divine[7] but takes active part in it. For the individual to really see this, one must fall into the sober drunk of Eros to the Divine. In this manner one can overcome the obstacles of ego and remain a pure essence in the Universe. But the key to it all is Biosis, making this Eros a manner or way of living. The Orthodox looks then to become one with his/her religion instead of aspiring to gain its knowledge.

            The Orthodox technique painting Icons is another example of the way of thinking that is so close to the ancients. In these Icons, light plays the leading role as does the surface. All objects must be visible from all sides, whether it is in a corner or on a table, even the pages of a book must be visible. Nothing is left in the darkness.  With the light one may see the world clearly for the first time, as the world was when I was a child; in a clearly plain light.

            In this Light all Orders, of all kinds, are abrogated. Because an Order is to imply a collective entity who, in turn, comes under another official entity. As all such things are abolished in this Light, all that remains is the taking active part in the Eros of God and the world. It is an invisible path that each individual must tread upon with whatever strength one has and by oneself. People are not in need of more mind, in fact we probably have more than enough. People are in need of more Heart, so that they can find again their old relationship with the things of life. The world must find again her true meaning, the world with no borders, created by the ego. People must find Biosis in their lives and learn that nature herself, life itself which is God, is found right beside them, ready to give its' continual conscious lessons of life. If one can allow him/herself to take life itself as his/her teacher, then the reality of what is around him/her also becomes the teacher. But this teacher is a silent teacher, since when enlightenment comes into consciousness, it embraces the world and exorcises the need for logos/word, leaving only the true adjustment of things. In this, all who that remains in the darkness is destroyed. Just as the darkness and shadows are destroyed as soon as light flows in. The matter is that one must find his/her Will to open the window and let in the Sun Light of Homer, as it was and continues to remain our only real hope.




The Christian religion is dead, let it rest in peace. Now is the time to evolve religion even further and in so doing, create a New religion. Not based on "for the masses" but as individual expressionism. The New religion for the Greeks is the Ancient - Threskia.


[1]This is very useful in ritual workings.

[2]Except for very few that were mostly made of official state ceremonies, such as those in Athens that took place for the Eleusinian mysteries.

[3]So far I have counted 130 approximately.

[4] The Goddess Demetra, the Great Mother.

[5] Christian Orthodoxy as apposed to Roman Catholicism.

[6] True Love not the love of Cupid.

[7]The God within, as opposed to a separate, different thing - God without.