In ancient Greek worship there is revealed to us one of humanity’s greatest religious ideas — we make bold to say the religious idea of the European spirit. It is very different from the religious idea of other civilizations, and particularly of those which customarily supply our religious scholarship and philosophy with examples for the origin of religion. But it is essentially related to all genuine thoughts and creations of Hellenism, and is conceived in the same spirit. Like other eternal achievements of the Greeks it stands before humanity large and imperishable. The faculty which in other religions is constantly being thwarted and inhibited here flowers forth with the admirable assurance of genius — the faculty of seeing the world in the light of the divine, not a world yearned for, aspired to, or mystically present in rare ecstatic experiences, but the world into which we were born, part of which we are, interwoven with it through our sense and, through our minds, obligated to it for all its abundance and vitality.
When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.
— Eric Hoffer (via poboh
The ancient world was settled so sparsely that nature was not yet eclipsed by man. Nature hit you in the eye so plainly and grabbed you so fiercely and so tangibly by the scruff of the neck that perhaps it really was still full of gods.
I am wiser than this man, for neither of us appears to know anything great and good; but he fancies he knows something, although he knows nothing; whereas I, as I do not know anything, so I do not fancy I do. In this trifling particular, then, I appear to be wiser than he, because I do not fancy I know what I do not know.