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: In all cities of the ancient world were temples for public worship and offering.
In every community also were philosophers and mystics, deeply versed in Nature's lore.
These individuals were usually banded together, forming seclusive philosophic and religious schools.
The more important of these groups were known as the Mysteries.
Many of the great minds of antiquity were initiated into these secret fraternities by strange and mysterious rites, some of which were extremely cruel.
Alexander Wilder defines the Mysteries as " Sacred dramas performed at stated periods.
The most celebrated were those of Isis, Sabazius, Cybele, and Eleusis.
" After being admitted, the initiates were instructed in the secret wisdom which had been preserved for ages.
Plato, an initiate of one of these sacred orders, was severely criticized because in his writings he revealed to the public many of the secret philosophic principles of the Mysteries.
Every pagan nation had ( and has ) not only its state religion, but another into which the philosophic elect alone have gained entrance.

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