(Published December 2014)
The world of antiquity, shaped by gods and oracles, seems to have overcome us today. But it had a real essence - and are we really so much more advanced today than we were then, has it perhaps just changed the forms?
Socrates and the Transcendence
If one reads the writings of the ancient philosophers, one is surprised to find that the educated people, the philosophers, also believed in the ancient gods at that time. A classic example would be the “Apology of Socrates” from Plato. Justified in his defense speech (apology) before the High Court of Athens Socrates his behavior with the oracle of a god. The ancient Greeks sought advice on questions of life in the temples of the oracle priests, the most famous of which was in Delphi. (See. "The Oracle of Delphi", under "History of Religion").
An admirer of Socrates was bold enough to talk about the Delphic Oracle Socrates (470–399 BC) to be questioned during his lifetime:
“So he asked if anyone was wiser than me. The Pythia said there was nobody wiser. " (4, p. 17).
From then on it was the main occupation of the Socrates, to question his fellow men to find out if the deity could have been mistaken. It turned out that Socrates was wiser or "wiser" than his fellow citizens in that, unlike most, he was aware of the limits of his knowledge or "wisdom."
Imagine how Socrates - surrounded by a crowd of students and admirers - his fellow citizens with clever questions threw themselves into confusion, then it hardly seems surprising that he did not make himself popular.
One of his pupils was the brilliant speaker and general Alcibiades (451-404 BC). This one was extremely charming, as clever as that Odysseus and wicked like Thersites. Alcibiades was the epitome of the irresponsible politician who only thinks of himself. In this way he contributed to the decline of Athens. For his treacherous behavior, the philosophy became his teacher Socrates blamed. Most recently, the now aged philosopher was dragged to court for political reasons  with a haunted indictment .
Appealed against the threat of the death penalty Socrates on his "daimonion" , his inner voice, by which he felt confirmed in his actions. Believing in this higher insight imparted to him, he defended himself in a way that further angered the judges against him. After his conviction, he courageously went to his death.
We people today often have problems with such a "belief in transcendence" to which we can hardly find access.
A lost faith
It is customary today to shift any belief in higher forces, natural beings , deities into the realm of mythology and superstition.
Belief in God or in the immortality of the soul is one of the "certainties of faith", i.e. the basis of religious teachings, but for modern people these are often only lip service, hardly borne by genuine conviction.
It was different in antiquity. The majority of people, including philosophers like Socrates and Plato, believed in deities, survival after death, multiple lives on earth, etc. Apparently, for the ancients there were many natural beings, small and large, or the "leaders of the elements" called "gods" (Grail Message, lecture "Gods - Olymp - Valhall ") still living certainty. Even then, most people did not see any natural beings or even the gods, but they believed in them and looked in the oracles for ways of establishing contact with higher powers.
Behind the facade of humanized gods
When reading Greek or Germanic legends of the gods, one is amazed at how much these deities resemble people; with human errors, weaknesses, and even vices. Can these be true images of higher beings?
If one puts the knowledge of the Grail Message “In the Light of Truth” from Abd-ru-shin there is some evidence that we must assume that these ancient gods were on two levels that can be distinguished from one another:
On the one hand the higher levels, in which great beings act powerfully as “leaders of the elements” in the construction and maintenance of creation. These spheres are finer, far higher than the earth's circle. Once upon a time, gifted seers were able to sense these high nature beings, perhaps even perceive them directly and report on their tasks and their work. Many such reports by completely different visionaries from thousands of years ago then delivered different, probably contradicting images.
Later human sensations, thoughts, and fantasies dealt with these gods, who could no longer be clearly perceived for a long time. In this way, man-made forms of thought or sensation by these “gods” emerged on a near-earth level. Such imaginative images were then in turn picked up by sensitives, who further changed them, closed gaps in looking with their own ideas, right up to the descriptions of the poets. to Socrates Times apparently still saw a number of people - more or less clearly - in visions (distorted) images of deities, and their belief in higher beings thus became a certainty for them personally.
It is not much different today with some religious ideas. For example with apparitions Mary's as Mother of God or Queen of Heaven, which believers have been reporting about for centuries. It is then not possible to perceive the Original Queen herself, of whom the Grail Message tells, but at most - in rare exceptional cases - her (spiritual) radiation image. In most cases, the seers are very likely to see a distorted image formed by human thoughts and sensations. In individual cases such images could apparently even be photographed; which suggests that it is only a matter of material condensation and not of high, spiritual radiation images.
Proven oracle priests and sibyls
The name "Sibylle" has become synonymous with a seer. Originally it was probably a proper name. The practical Romans also referred to oracles and, for example, consulted the "Sibylline Books" on important questions. These prophetic books were supposedly written by the Sibyl of Cumae to the Roman King Tarquinius Priscus sold.
Priests were responsible for interrogating the oracle books. When in 83 BC When a fire destroyed these books, the Roman Senate spared no effort to put together a new collection of Sibylline prophecies from private copies and from writings stored in Greek temples of Asia Minor, which were then stored in Rome in the Temple of Apollo. There they were closely guarded until they became the Christian general Stilicho (366–408) burned as a pagan oracle at the beginning of the 5th century.
From today's point of view, the oracles and the interpretations of the Scriptures are likely to have invited the priests concerned to corrupt and deceive. But the advice of the priests must often have proven itself, because the great oracle temples were highly respected for many centuries.
Joachim Fernau says: “It is quite out of the question that the phytia had the slightest influence or that there were real mystics among the priests. This college was a cabinet of political observers, a body of experts in world politics and masters of psychology, against which a Vatican cardinals college is only a pale shadow. " (1, p. 145).
Oracle makes history
The best-known example of oracles that made history came from the years 480/81 BC. When a numerically superior Persian force invaded Greece, the Greek cities sought advice from the Delphic Oracle. The oracle was devastating:
“You unfortunate ones! Flee to the end of the world, the quick Ares throws everything down. " (1, p. 146).
But the Athenians were not satisfied with this saying. They obtained a second oracle, more hopeful. This spoke of "Wooden walls"who have favourited the Greek strategist Themistocles (525-460 BC) knew how to interpret ships, as well as from "Divine salamis". In fact, the Greek fleet was able to achieve a decisive victory over the Persians at Salamis. -
Searching for orientation then as now
The questioning of oracles common to all ancient peoples is difficult for us to understand today.
But we should remember that even today we still refer to sacred books such as the Bible or the Koran for ethical problems. For example with the question of the beginning and the meaning of human life, which is hotly debated in connection with pre-implantation diagnostics . Different religions come to different interpretations here, and the natural scientists can only offer controversial assumptions.
In the Middle Ages, Christian Europe believed in the higher insight of spiritual personalities. So enjoyed mystics like Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) or Birgitta of Sweden (1302–1373) were held in high regard and their opinions were taken seriously by popes and kings. the recluse Niklaus von der Flüe (1417–1487) was even able to prevent the threatened collapse of the Swiss Confederation through his intervention. (5).
Sometimes even today one wishes for a highly respected, non-partisan, spiritual personality who, if necessary, could call the divided political parties to order with a generally noticed, serious word.
Inquiries of the various oracles, interpretations of holy books, attempts to establish contact with higher beings, astrological horoscopes, etc. go - consciously or unconsciously - from one person closed worldview off with immutable laws.
In this worldview, everything is related to everything, and the greatest is reflected in the smallest. Seemingly incidental events - ominas, oracles, etc. - allow conclusions to be drawn about large connections. To put it bluntly, one can experience the whole cosmos with its uniform laws in a drop of water.
Religions prefer (not always) the idea of a unified creation, supported by immovable laws, which are unswerving in the greatest and in the smallest, in this world and in the hereafter.
Doing so creates the common notion of one arbitrarily acting god some confusion. He supposedly lets what he wants to happen, condemns or pardons whoever he wants, and transgresses his own laws as he wants. The human being must feel helplessly at the mercy of this divine arbitrariness, without great opportunities to turn his personal fate in a positive direction.
The various major denominations are - despite similar beliefs, including belief in God - quarreling or even enemies with one another and therefore unable to find a common denominator when it comes to fundamental questions about being human. So the regular connection between cause and effect, between spiritual decision and earthly or transcendent consequence, between karma and fate remains an insoluble riddle for the majority of believers.
Our modern access to nature takes place with the help of many scientific disciplines. Each faculty researches its own special field. Scientists from different disciplines often find it difficult to understand each other and their predictions contradict one another.
With almost every new knowledge the world becomes more complicated and confusing . The comprehensive overview, the great visions of the future, which the priests and later the philosophers wanted to deliver, are missing.
The ideas of the future of mankind and its design that are necessary for far-reaching decisions are inevitably full of inconsistencies and irresolvable contradictions.
Whether wise oracle priests of antiquity, or medieval mystics, with intuition and a good feeling for the time and its requirements, who could advise the rulers more reliably than the modern augurs with their scientifically disguised prognoses?
In any case, the following applies: The best advice is useless - then as now - if decision-makers do not want to be guided by the facts for political reasons!
You can also read the article under "History of religion" "Religions of Antiquity I".
(1) Fernau, Joachim, Roses for Apollo, Herbig, Berlin, 1961.
(2) Gonick, Larry, The Cartoon History of the Universe I, Doubleday, New York 1990.
(3) Hagl, Siegfried, The apocalypse as hope Droemer-Knaur, Munich, 1984.
(4) Plato, Apology, Reclam, Stuttgart, 1961.
(5) Wikipedia encyclopedia, article “Niklaus von Flüe”.
 Thersites is an ugly figure of the Iliad in every respect. Because of his diatribe he is severely reprimanded by Odysseus and beaten with the scepter by Agamemnon.
 Socrates preached a philosophy that, according to conservative circles, contributed to the decline of Athens. But he could not be charged for this "political crime" because it fell under an amnesty.
 The application stated: "Socrates does injustice and drives mischief by examining underground and heavenly things and rightly doing injustice and teaching this to others." (4, p. 13).
 In ancient times, the daimonion was seen as a personal protective spirit or an inner voice of divine origin. With Socrates the daimonion stood in contrast to the logos (reason). Accordingly, the daimonion recognizes what remains hidden from reason.
 In Iceland supposedly more than half of the people believe in natural beings, many are supposed to see them, and there is even an official elven commissioner.
 In pre-implantation diagnostics (PGD), artificially fertilized embryos are subjected to cell biological and molecular genetic examinations. The results of the examination decide whether the embryo is inserted into the uterus or whether it is discarded. The question arises as to whether the embryo is already a human being, which different religions answer differently.
 The almost proverbial search for the world formula (great unified theory) or the discovery of the “god particle” (Higgs boson) do not make our human world clearer, in which politics, ecology, economy and finance tumble from crisis to crisis.