Every religious phenomenon has its history and its derivation from natural antecedents. What is nowadays called the higher criticism of the Bible is only a study of the Bible from this existential point of view, neglected too much by the earlier church. Under just what biographic conditions did the sacred writers bring forth their various contributions to the holy volume?
The extraordinary religious movement known as Orphism made its appearance in Greece during the sixth century B.C. It is due to the researches of Rohde, Dieterich, Gruppe, Miss Harrison, and many other investigators during recent years, following in the path marked out by Lobeck, that we are now enabled to form a more or less consistent picture of the phenomenon in question.
There is a quite generally held opinion that the Aristotelian and Platonic philosophies are directly opposed, the one being idealistic and the other realistic, and that, indeed, in the most trivial sense. For Plato is said to have made the ideal his principle, so that the inward idea creates from itself; according to Aristotle, on the contrary, we are told that the soul is made a tabula rasa, receiving all its determinations quite passively from the outer world; and his philosophy is thus mere empiricism – Locke’s philosophy at its worst. But we shall see how little this really is the case. In fact Aristotle excels Plato in speculative depth, for he was acquainted with the deepest kind of speculation – idealism – and in this upholds the most extreme empirical development.
Man consists in what he thinks and what he loves and there is nothing else in man. Man’s highest possible love is for his life. Aurum so destroys this that he does not love his life, he will commit suicide. Argentum on the other hand so destroys man’s understanding that he is no longer rational; his memory is entirely ruined. We see them affecting first man’s mind, and proceeding from the mind to the physical economy, to the outermost, to the skin, the hair, the nails.
According to the principle of population, the human race has a tendency to increase faster than food. It has, therefore, a constant tendency to people a country fully up to the limits of subsistence; meaning, by these limits, the lowest quantity of food which will maintain a stationary population