Thies Travel on As Aristotle said, the initiate was not required to learn anything, but rather after suitable preparation to undergo an experience and be put in a certain state.2 One can scarcely speak of anything so definite as doctrine in connexion with Eleusis. The root idea was more akin to magic, whose efficacy depends on the thoroughness of the preparatory measures and the punctilious correctness with which certain prescribed actions are carried out. Clearly also a large part was played by the emotional state which had been induced by the series of preliminary actions leading to the ultimate revelation set, as it appears, in a scene of contrasts between darkness and the dazzling light of hundreds of torches. It may be doubted however whether Dikaiopolis and his friends were so easily overawed as some. The Athenian loved a show, and had no wish to water down the impressive and spectacular elements of the mysteries; indeed he added to them. But one cannot help feeling that it remained to him primarily a show, with certain desirable consequences. Thies Travel 2016.
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