Comment 1: The words of Ingersoll are introduced at this point in the
book, not only with reference to those people who declare them to be
word for word their own conviction. Many people do not do so, and yet
their ideas about natural phenomena and man are such that if they were
logical they would have to arrive at these statements. It does not
matter what anyone declares to be his conviction theoretically, but it
matters whether this conviction really follows from his whole method
of thought. Someone may even abhor or laugh at the above words; but if
he forms for himself an explanation which takes into account only the
outer facts without rising to the spiritual background underlying
natural phenomena, as a logical consequence he will construct a
materialistic philosophy out of it.
Comment 2: For those who can observe rightly the Spirit of Nature
speaks powerfully in the facts which are at present being dealt with
by the cliches struggle for existence, omnipotence of natural
selection, etc. But not in the opinions which science forms about
them today. The first of these circumstances contains the reason why
natural science will gain increasingly widespread attention. From the
second circumstance it follows that the opinions of science need not
be accepted as essential to cognition of the facts. The possibility of
being tempted by the latter is, however, immeasurably great at the
Comment 3: It should not be concluded, from remarks such as those
regarding the sources of the Gospel of Luke etc., that the author of
this book underestimates purely historical research. This is not the
case. It is absolutely justified, but it should not be intolerant of
the method of thinking which proceeds from spiritual points of view.
In this book no value is placed on bringing in quotations at every
possible point, but whoever wishes to do so can see clearly that an
all-round and really unprejudiced judgment will find no contradiction
anywhere between what is said here and what is truly established
historically. Admittedly, anyone who wants to be one-sided, and holds
this or that theory to be what has been established as certainty, may
find that the assumptions of this book do not hold their own from
the scientific standpoint, but are without any objective
Comment 4: It is said above that those whose spiritual eyes are opened
can behold the realm of the spiritual world. It should not, however,
be concluded from this that a logical judgment about the results of
initiation can be formed only by one who himself has spiritual eyes.
These are necessary only for research. When the results of the
research are communicated, everyone can understand who allows his
intelligence and unprejudiced sense of truth to speak. Such a person
also can use these results in life and gain satisfaction from them
without as yet possessing spiritual eyes himself.
Comment 5. The sinking into the mire of which Plato speaks must also
be interpreted in the sense of the previous comment.
Comment 6: What is said about the impossibility of communicating
teachings of the Mysteries refers to the fact that they cannot be
communicated in the form in which the initiate experiences them to
anyone who is unprepared. But they always have been communicated in
the form in which they could be understood by the non-initiate. For
example, the myths provided the ancient form for communicating the
content of the Mysteries in a generally comprehensible manner.
Comment 7: In ancient mysticism Mantic signifies everything relevant
to knowledge gained through spiritual eyes. On the other hand,
Telestic is the indication of the paths which lead to initiation.
Comment 8: Cabeiri in ancient mysticism, are beings whose
consciousness is far above that of modern man. Schelling wishes to say
that through initiation man himself transcends his present
consciousness and enters a higher one.
Comment 9: Regarding the significance of the number seven, enlightenment
may be gained from my book
Leipzig 1910. [26th
edition, Stuttgart 1955.]
Comment 10: The meanings of the apocalyptic symbols can be only very
briefly indicated here. Of course one could enter much more deeply
into all these things. However, this does not lie within the scope of