Why Gods return
by A. D'Alonzo
© copyright 2007 by Esonet.it – Esonet.com
According to the famous forecast by Andrè Malraux «The twenty first century will be religious or it won't be at all». Indeed, the French writer was right. Today we witness a chaotic proliferation of new forms of spirituality, which for epistemological convenience we can call ‘new religious movements (NRM)' or ‘new magic movements (NMM)'. They have been studied by great specialists such as Massimo Introvigne and Gordon Melton. If it is true, as the French writer François Champion says, that we are in the presence of a ‘mystic-esoteric nebula' made of an attitude based on an holistic principle, of an optimistic view of existence, of the frequent use of psychosomatic techniques, of the search for extreme experiences aimed at individual eudemonistic realization, etc., then we must become aware that contemporary spirituality is new and a work in progress. It is quite bizarre that our era rediscovers the Spirit, since the Roman Catholic Church has focused its evangelical theme on the exclusivity of orthopraxis and of the confrontation with great ethical subjects of the contemporary world to the detriment of any mystic and Gnostic dimension. Old gnosis has been deleted from the Christian Church through the swords of the Crusades, mysticism has been ostracized through the Inquisition, the ban of books and authors and the flames of stakes (what we commonly call ‘mysticism' today doesn't have anything to do with the great tradition destroyed at the end of the seventeenth century).
Despite everything, until the beginning of the fifteenth century the theological thought was very close to the Western esoteric tradition; for example the School of Chartres was in no way inferior to many later Western schools (note 1). During the fifteenth century an epistemological break occurs; theology embraces Aristotelian thought and Scholasticism, cosmology (intended as science of second causes) becomes a prerogative of esoterists of the Renaissance in the Medicean Florence. Theology loses forever its incommensurable heritage of symbols, Mythologems and archetypes. By referring to the Aristotelian thought, though, theology is destined to failure, when Aristotelism is replaced by modern science in the seventeenth century. The new paradigm, based on experimentation and on the reproducibility of the phenomenon in a laboratory, originates with Descartes and his Discourse on the Method. Cosmologic knowledge and esotericism, on the contrary, spread outside the Roman Catholic Church, becoming the prerogative of researchers that in the courts of the Renaissance start the proper modern Western esotericism (Christian Cabbala, Theosophy, Alchemy, Paracelsianism, etc.). >From this moment on the Roman Catholic Church has to insist on the gift of faith and on the via amoris of the soul, also because the speculative – intellectual and noetic – mysticism has been fully disowned and repressed. The Roman Catholic Church could have faced the assumptions of modern science, referring to archetypes and symbolism; but after it focused on the Scholasticism and Aristotelian syllogisms, was not able to recover the corpus of esoteric and cosmological doctrines, now belonging to researchers alien to ecclesiastical offices. The Church, forced to stay in the wake of Aristotelian thought, faces the modern scientific thoughts; since it can't oppose their theories, it has to turn to ethics and religious sentimentalism. The Roman Catholic Church could have won against neo-positivism if it hadn't thrown away the steady theoretical pillars of medieval cosmology, if it hadn't disowned the mysticism of essence in favor of the mysticism of the ‘nuptial love'. Indeed, the esoteric thought didn't die out but received new lymph from the studies on psychoanalysis and Imagery. The Catholic Church today pays the price of its wrong choices. The theology of the twentieth century is founded on the ascertainment of the failure in front of the laicization of society and the dechristianization of the West. Today the Roman Catholic Church is forced to ride the tiger of modernism; it is weak in front of the modern science, but at the same time it is ‘forced' to pursue wrong policies, such as birth control and the use of contraceptive methods, at a time when the demographic explosion of the Third World risks to put in danger the ecosystem. Furthermore, it is in trouble when facing the quick social changes, such as the events in South America. On the contrary, the situation of the Eastern Orthodox Church is different; for example the Russian Church is at a stage of revival.
Survivals and assimilating re-molding
Despite the crisis of secularized Catholicism and the fact that the past century has been ruled by great ratiocentric ideologies, products of the heritage of the Enlightenment, such as ‘rationalism', ‘positivism', ‘materialism', ‘nihilism', etc. (with an excessive use of ‘isms'), the anthropological desire for the transcendent dimension has not disappeared. Indeed, if the formulation of a non-place refers to a non-time and a non-space, the dimension of sacredness remains associated to the idea of a spiritual Elsewhere. The horizontal view typical of social utopia reappeared only recently, after the fall of the great political ideologies of the twentieth century, for example with the no-global movement, the vertical view of man towards the Sky has never decreased. God never died in the Western spirituality.
In the West of secularized Christianity it is gods who mainly return. According to Jung there can't be true collective oblivion in archetypes. If the polysemy of mythic meanings was removed from historic memory, archetype would still keep producing energy in the Imagery as negative or demoniac meanings. In the pre-Nazi Germany groups of youngsters called Wandervögel (note 2) practiced life in the woods and nudism, exalted dance and beauty. They rejected the industrial civilization and re-actualized the archetype of Woden , king of the gods in the Nordic pantheon. Woden or Odin, defeated by the Christianization of Germanic populations, could be re-actualized in the Imagery only by assuming a negative value, in the form of god of war and not wisdom. This is why National Socialism retook possession, through Wagnerism, of the archaic structures of Nordic tradition, using the mythological device for the mad propaganda on the race and the subjugation of non-Germanic peoples.
As Mircea Eliade reminds us, the myth, viz. the archetype, is transcendent in relation to history; the latter can reach added meanings to the symbol but can't completely destroy the original semantic structure (note 3).
After all, it is a kind of historical nemesis, if we think about the many loans from paganism to post-Pauline Christianity. Let's remember the figure of the Holy Virgin taken from the Egyptian goddess Isis. Some relations with the Celtic calendar are also quite interesting. The Samhain, the Celtic New Year's Day, occurred at the beginning of the dark part of the year. New Year's Day was not fixed in relation with the solar calendar, because in the lunar calendar the beginning of lunations didn't coincide with the beginning of the months in the solar calendar. Christians invented All Saints or Halloween (1 st November), which has nothing to do with Judaic-Christian traditions, but celebrated the crop of the Celts for the winter. Saint Michael's day as well was originally a farmers' festivity in ancient Britain. Easter was strategically set near the spring equinox, when Nature wakes up and recovers from the wintry darkness, renewing the cycle of seasons and man's time. Which better metaphor for Resurrection? It is not a coincidence that the Hebrew Easter, Pesach , was the crop feast. When Christianity spread in Northern Europe, the spring festivity absorbed the Mediterranean feast of the crop: Ostern (German for ‘Easter') comes from Eostre or Astarte, the Mother Goddess in the ancient Near East, promoter of the fertility of plants, animals and women.
The symbolism of the Cross is an Indian solar symbol. The aureole is an Egyptian symbol; the Christmas tree is a Celtic and Germanic symbol that refers respectively to Irminsul, the holy oak of Celts, cut by Charlemagne in 772, and to the oak in Geismar dedicated to Thor, cut by Saint Boniface. Even Jesus' birth, arbitrarily set on the 25 th December, is an attempt to re-shape and assimilate the festivity of the Sol Invictus (winter solstice), which in Ancient Rome often coincided with the Saturnalie and the birth of Mithra.
Theodicy and sense of sin
In this article we are not interested in studying the neo-pagan phenomenon from the sociological point of view or in the reconstruction of the history of the movement, from the Wicca to the Chaos Magick. What we want is to analyze the reasons for this apparent failure of the monotheistic god compared to the more versatile divinities of the pagan pantheon. We think this is the crisis of the dualistic system as opposed to the monistic metaphysics. Especially in the Christian tradition, God is presented as a being full of love and mercy; this alleviates the frowning and vindictive features of the JHWH of the Hebrew Scriptures. At the origin of the Fall of man, we find a tempting snake able to convince Eve to try the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (note 4). The original sin is made by man, but he is induced to do wrong by the presence of an Adversary (note 5), although in the biblical tale it is not clearly stated that the snake is the devil, Satan of Lucifer. For the first time we have the ethical and gnoseologic dichotomy with which the Western thought will have to deal.
It is true that according to the interpretative parameters of historical-religious sciences we can't talk about a proper dualism in Christianity, since the opposition is not on a cosmologic or anthropogonic level – we could say in the sphere of metaphysical principles – but only on a plane derived and consequent to the epiphany of Creation. In other words the duality is not cosmogonic, but ethical and axiological (note 6). Therefore in the case of simple ethic dualism, such as Christianity, where the contraposition good–evil is related to the antagonism between God and the devil, where the latter is the result of an act of rebellion towards the original order, we can't talk about ontological dualism in the strict sense. On the contrary of what happens, for example, in Zoroastranism and Manichaeism, where good and evil refer to ontological principles that are related and opposed, therefore primary; Ahura Mazda (Ohrmazd) will fight with its evil antagonist Angra Mainyu (Ahriman) until the end of time (note 7). In Christianity, Hebraism and Islam, Satan rebels to the will of God, but the challenge is not fair and it looks like the former can perpetuate the evil in Creation only thanks to a tacit consent of the latter, as unconscious and suitable instrument to the eschatological plan. The Christian God appears with the features of the dues otiosus , distant and keen, after the descent of the Redeemer, to contemplate the human choices from the hyperuranium, waiting for the time of the Final Judgment to come. Evil doesn't live in the god of Christians, but he derives from a lesser entity, a fallen tempting angel that will be destroyed at the end of time. The possibility of evil has been interpreted by Christians as a diabolical effect caused by guilt or the original sin; this answer is not satisfactory, because another problem arises, linked to the persistent predisposition of man to evil. Why does man keep sinning, despite the sacrifice of the Redeemer on the cross? In the history of Western thought many have tried to answer this question or to elaborate a theodicy: from Liebniz to Dostoevskij, from Kafka to Arendt. In On the Genealogy of the Morality, Nietzsche writes:
‘Ascetic ideal means that something was missing, that a huge gap surrounded man – he couldn't justify, explain, affirm himself, he suffered the problem of his meaning <…> not the suffering in itself was his problem, but rather that the cry: ‘what is the purpose of suffering?' didn't have an answer. <…> man, the most courageous animal, the most used to pain, doesn't deny suffering in itself; he wants it, he even craves it, provided that he is given a sense for it, a ‘why' for suffering (note 8)'.
In front of the divine silence towards absolute evil, be it Auschwitz or the Tsunami – man is hit by anguish, he wonders lost and perplexed on the reasons of this gap. Evil as effect of the original guilt, as lack of good, as divine punishment…
The cosmic energy that gives and takes
So far we have seen how the presence of evil and suffering is explained in Christianity through the process of two main consequential points: a) the persistence of evil and the suffering as diabolical manifestation; b) evil and suffering as punishment for a sin.
Now we want to analyze the historical-religious characteristics of the divinities of polytheism, in relation with the evaluation of its answer to the problem of evil. In other words we will try and understand if the pagan can deal with suffering better than the believer of a monotheistic religion, in particular Catholicism.
The gods of the polytheistic pantheon present marked characteristics and complex features, like the human psyche, extremely different among themselves (note 9). The matter is easily understandable if we pay attention to the fact that they develop the first characterologies of ‘superior' civilizations reflecting the plurality of human interests and needs. >From the distinction in classes and arts originates the polytheistic pantheon; at the same time, though, the gods refer to the different human ideal-types. The sociologic School of Durkheim used to attribute the manifestation of the religious phenomenon to a kind of divinization of society (note 10), but in actual fact there isn't a clear contraposition between the sociologic and psychological approach, otherwise there wouldn't be a reason for the intimistic relation of the individual as a cellular element in front of Nature. Furthermore, in an indo-European circle the passage to the interiorization of religious archetype is philologically noticeable. For example let's examine the introspective process of the Indian conscience towards exterior ritualism and the world of myth, occurred in the ninth century B.C. and expressed in the Upanishad (note 11); the gods start inhabiting the interiority of self-conscience. At that time polytheistic divinities were already thought of as archetypes or manifestations of a unique energy that pervades the whole cosmos. In the Greek pantheon as well gods represent archetypes that reproduce the complexity of human nature, therefore they represent all the necessary aspects for the keeping of the cosmic balance. If it is true that the microcosm is nothing but the allegoric representation of the macrocosm, unconscious symbolic structures that coordinate the functioning of the psyche express themselves by reflecting on the many features of the divine personalities necessary to the balance of the whole. The same pantheon of the gods in its plurality symbolizes universal harmony; likewise the many archetypes of the psyche refer to the reached maturity of human personality. In this sense it is easy to remember how Aphrodite represents the sensual love and Ares the fighting energy. Above each of these divinities there is the powerful and implacable yoke of Moira; likewise above the balance of the human psyche impends the heritage of the past and the advent of the future. Gods are not omnipotent like the unique god; like mortals, they also depend on the projects of Ananke, which hits and rewards indiscriminately according unknowable plans. The will of Fate is known by the gods but they can't change their course, because what has to be will be. Simone Weil in Iliad or the Poem of Force (note 12) identifies in the Homeric poem the cosmic yoke of this obscure necessity which all, animals, men and gods must undergo. All that we are and we think that characterizes our essence is determined by force. It doesn't make any sense to stand proud for wealth, beauty and intelligence; all that we are depends on fate. The only Homeric virtue consists of remaining humble, avoiding the temptation to worship destiny, since force hits everybody, gives and takes. Tomorrow the winner of today will be the defeated. In the Iliad evil doesn't come from an original sin or from a tempting devil. Force destroys everything because it must maintain the cosmic balance. Therefore we don't have a sensitive sinning world opposed to a celestial kingdom, an ‘earthly city' opposed to ‘God's city'. In front of Ananke's power all is good and deserving of love. Weil claims the possibility of freeing ourselves from gravity, from pesanteur and open to grace (note 13).
Moira's power produced concatenations of expiations, destined to fall on the posterity (note 14); but, on the contrary of what it might appear at first sight, the similarities between expiations of the pagans and the Original Christian sin are only apparent.
• first of all, the chain of pagan sins and expiations can be exhausted in a few generations, therefore inside the becoming, without necessarily refer to a final Judgment outside history and time, like in Christianity.
• We must not forget that the Greek man lived the sense of existence as an obscure and absurd game, where the gods' fancies and Moira's plot escaped any persecutory self-pitying or guilt connotation. Guilt lived outside the Greek soul; it was perceived as a slip of destiny rather than guilt generated from a sin. Christian martyrs were to Christians what tragic heroes were to Greeks.
In The Birth of Tragedy , Nietzsche describes Silenus' piercing laugh when he is being chased in the woods by Midas.
Suffering creature, born for a day, child of accident and toil, why are you forcing me to say what is the most unpleasant thing for you to hear? The very best thing for you is totally unreachable: not to have been born, not to exist, to be nothing. The second best thing for you, however, is this: to die soon.
The complementary dualism between Apollonian and Dionysian as emphasis of the plastic form and dissolution in the dithyrambic elation theorized by Nietzsche has been reconsidered by Giorgio Colli in La sapienza greca (The Greek wisdom, Note of the Translator) ; Apollo is both Apollonian and Dionysian (note 16), like Pan, he also chases the nymphs under sensual ecstatic drunkenness. The fact is, like Joseph Campbell observes, that: ‘the original mythogenetic place is the human mind, creator and destroyer of all gods and poetic and supernatural images' (note 17). Therefore, whilst in Christianity the unique god appears as a kind of deus otiotus , not keen to intervene and stop genocides and crimes against humanity, the gods of polytheism appear as an extension and fragmentation of the faculties of the human psyche. In other words, they appear as archetypes in the Jungian sense of the word. When they are both interfaces and polarities, according to contemporary neo-paganism (note 18), they undergo the yoke of Fate, therefore they are able to interpret effectively the tragic and Dionysian acceptance of the human personality in front of the defeat. This is evil accepted as tragic destiny, independently from the sphere of individual subjectivity and not as intrinsic guilt or sin of the human nature. It is not the theological dichotomy between a good and merciful God and a tempting demon origin of evil. Like Apollo, many divinities are ambivalent and they represent a beaming and a terrible face, realizing the harmony of contraries relating to the human nature: the Ego and the Shadow. In particular, in the archetype of the Great Mother we can find the perfect example of reconciliation of opposites.
Charm of the Great Mother
Archetypes are universal but their manifestation in the different cultures is varied. A population of hunters-gatherers doesn't live like a people of farmers. Among farmers the archetype of the Great Mother is expressed in the cult of the Mother Earth, mistress of vegetation and agriculture. Among the hunters-gatherers there is the cult of the Mistress of animals, to which the hunter leaves an offer of firstling, part of the crop or a single prey in the woods to thank her. An important element for the interpretation on the genesis of monotheism must be found in the relation between peoples and environment. For Indo-Europeans, such as Germans, Celts, Slavs, Aryans, etc…, who lived in a natural environment full of forests, marshes, rivers, etc…, it was natural to identify the natural places with multiple divinities, especially female ones.
On the contrary nomads in the desert tended to idealize a patriarchal model, ruled by a single male chieftain with an absolute power on his subjects. The same cult of Isis spread quickly among farmers, because women traditionally took care of plants and were related to the idea of universal fertility. On the contrary, among the Semites in the desert, peoples of shepherds where cattle-breeding was the main occupation, women have always been socially irrelevant. The importance of the religious feminine archetype must be found in the discovery of agriculture and cultivation of plants; or in the closeness to important rivers, such as the Nile. Among the so-called ‘primitive' civilizations we find the group of ‘cultivators' to testify a feminine position socially high, such as the Ao-Naga population in the plane of Assam (India). Nevertheless, these considerations widespread in the studies of religious geography don't nullify the Bachofenian idea that at the origin of all civilizations, included the Semites, there is matriarchy and the cult of the Goddess. Campbell demonstrates how the religions of the Father are enclosed in mainly dualistic schemes (Good/Evil, Sun/Darkness, Male/Female, True/False, etc…) whilst the religions of the Mother consider the couple of opposites as simple complementary aspects of reality to be brought back to a unity. In this sense, whilst in the solar-male spirituality the Sun excludes the Shadows, in the Lunar spirituality Light and Shadow are complementary and co-exist (note 19).
The Great Mother is a religious archetype that symbolizes the cycle of Nature, therefore Life, who creates-to-destroy and destroys-to-create. Originally in archaic or ‘primitive' agricultural civilizations the cult of the Great Mother, or Mater Nature, spreads with the discovery of alimentary plants. We must introduce a first distinction between peoples of hunters-gatherers, shepherds and farmers (although it is a ‘primitive' agriculture, certainly not grain farming or with the use of the plough). For the ‘primitive' mentality it was amazing that you could obtain alimentary plants from the soil after sowing. This ‘event' was connected with the periodic alternation of seasons and with woman's fertility, because the woman's womb, like the Earth's, produces fruits, and also because perhaps women were the first ones to take care of plants, whilst men went hunting or fighting. This important series of symbolic links Earth/Nature/Seasons/Woman/Menstrual cycle was accompanied by the lunar symbolism. The Moon symbolizes the eternal return of becoming, the cyclicity of the Year and the Cosmos, since, on the contrary of the Sun, it transforms evolving in the perennial circle of time. The power of the Great Mother was associated with matriarchal regimes (note 20) such as the Minoan civilization before the Achaeans conquered Hellas, worshippers of the mutton and the solar (but also lunar) Apollo. Cybele in Phrygia, Isis in Egypt, Astarte in Phoenicia, Inanna in Sumerian civilization, Rhea in Crete, Hecate pre-Hellenic goddess of the underworld, etc…, are all Great Mothers. Of course among the Indo-Aryan gods we must not forget Kali the black, the goddess who dances on a pyramid of skulls and wearing a necklace of hands, which more than any other has a deep meaning of a Nature that creates-to-destroy but can protect her children.
Therefore it is a parallelism between the dark/terrible/destructive element and the maternal/protective/generating one. Bloody but at the same time maternal female; murderer and mother: ‘fertile womb and grave of the world' (note 21).
In Shivaist tantrism the feminine aspect represented by Shakti is more important than the masculine one. Shakti is the manifestation of Shiva's power. The tantric lesson overcomes the Gnostic-Manichean dualism for which reality is essentially dichotomist. The lesson of the Great Mother is basically this: Kali gives with the right hand and holds a sword with the left hand (note 22). The circularity of the being is articulated in a form of sacredness where the Sublime is not opposed but specular to the Terrible, the noesis to flesh, contemplation to blood and violence. This kind of metaphysics can also be found among the Aztecs (although Christian inquisitors were not less cruel and ruthless than them). A type of similar analysis is proposed by R. Girard with his studies on the scapegoat (note 23).
The non-harmony of the contraries is peculiar to post-Pauline Christianity, which triumphed in the course of history and realized the apogee of its victory with the persecution of Quietists at the end of the seventeenth century. The great tradition of Rhine-Flemish mysticism, which has its roots in the Greek thought and extends up to the French Quietism, was able to overcome any apparent theoretical difficulty derived from the speculative dualistic system at the bases of the doctrinal elaboration of the Roman Catholic Church. But the mysticism of essence was persecuted and defeated by the sacerdotal theocracy. Therefore the fundamental dualism remained unsolved and latent, ready to go back to the surface with the first cracks on the wall of religious orthodoxy. The return of the gods is nothing but the return of the Freudian ‘uncanny', the removed conflict. Contemporary theology has to resolve the psychic and religious conflict between the Ego and the Shadow, Light and Darkness, which has caused so many damages in the collective religious Imagery (note 24).
(note 1) Cf. A. Faivre, Accès de l'ésotérisme occidental, vol.3, Gallimard, Paris 1996, pages 15-16.
(note 2) Cf. W. Mogge , I Wandervögel : una generazione perduta. Immagini di un movimento nella Germania prenazista, (The Wandervögel: a lost generation. Images of a movement in the pre-Nazi Germany, Note of the Translator) ed. Socrates, Rome 1999. For further study cf. N. G. Clarke , The Occult roots of Nazism.
(note 3) Cf. M. Eliade , The Sacred and the profane.
(note 4) Cf. Genesis 3:1
(note 5) ‘Adversary', Satan in the Old Testament, translated in the third century B. C. by the Egyptian Hebrews with ‘diabolus' .
(note 6) Cf. M. Eliade , Dualism , in Encyclopedia of Religions.
(note 7) Cf. M. Eliade , Monotheism , in Encyclopedia of Religions.
(note 8) Cf. F. Nietzsche , On the Genealogy of Morality.
(note 9) Cf. A. Brelich , Introduzione alla storia delle religioni ( Introduction to the history of religions, Note of the Translator), Istituti Editoriali e Poligrafici Internazionali, Pisa-Rome, 1995.
(note 10) Cf. N. Turchi , Storia delle Religioni (History of Religions, Note of the Translator) , vol. 1, Sansoni, Florence, 1954.
(note 11) Cf. H. Zimmer, Philosophies and religions of India.
(note 12) Cf. S. Weil , Iliad or the Poem of the Force, in Greece and pre-Christian intuitions.
(note 13) Cf. S. Weil , La pesanteur et la grâce , Plon, Paris, 1948.
(note 14) Cf. Enciclopedia delle Religioni , La religione dei Greci ( Encyclopedia of Religions , The Religion of Greeks, Note of the Translator), Garzanti, Milan, 1991.
(note 15) Cf. F. Nietzsche , The birth of Tragedy.
(note 16) Cf. G. Colli, La sapienza greca (The Greek wisdom, Note of the Translator) , Adelphi, Milan 1987.
(note 17) Cf. J. Campbell , Occidental Mythology.
(note 18) Cf. F. Dimitri , Neopaganesimo, (Neopaganism, Note of the Translator) , Castelvecchi, Rome 2005, pages 85-86.
(note 19) Cf. J. Campbell , Occidental Mythology.
(note 20) Not all historians of religions agree on the likelihood of a primordial matriarchy, theory expressed for the first time by Bachofen. Among the main theorists of primordial matriarchy we find the famous scholar of American comparative mythology, J. Campbell.
(note 21) Cf. J. Campbell, Occidental Mythology.
(note 22) Cf. Id.
(note 23) Cf. R. Girard, The Scapegoat.
(note 24) A typical example of this epileptic dramatization of the conflict between contraries is the famous story of the demoniacs in the convent of Loudun.
• W. Mogge, I Wandervögel : una generazione perduta. Immagini di un movimento nella Germania prenazista, (The Wandervögel: a lost generation. Images of a movement in the pre-Nazi Germany, Note of the Translator) ed. Socrates, Rome 1999 .
• N. G. Clarke, The Occult roots of Nazism .
• M. Eliade , Encyclopedia of Religions .
• F. Nietzsche , On the genealogy of morality .
• A. Brelich , Introduzione alla storia delle religioni ( Introduction to the history of religions, Note of the Translator), Istituti Editoriali e Poligrafici Internazionali, Pisa-Rome, 1995.
• N. Turchi , Storia delle Religioni (History of Religions, Note of the Translator) , vol. 1, Sansoni, Florence, 1954 .
• H. Zimmer, Philosophies and religions of India .
• S. Weil, Iliad or the poem of the force in Greece and pre-Christian intuitions .
• S. Weil, La pesanteur et la grâce, Plon, Paris 1948.
• Enciclopedia delle Religioni, La religione dei Greci, ( Encyclopedia of Religions , The Religion of Greeks, Note of the Translator), Garzanti, Milan 1991.
• F. Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy .
• G. Colli, La sapienza greca (The Greek wisdom, Note of the Translator) , Adelphi, Milan 1987 .
• J. Campbell , Occidental mythology .
• F. Dimitri , Neopaganesimo, (Neopaganism, Note of the Translator) , Castelvecchi, Rome 2005 .
• R. Girard, The Scapegoat .
• M. Eliade , The sacred and the profane .
• M. Eliade , Encyclopedia of religions .
• A . Faivre , Accès de l'ésotérisme occidental, vol. II, Gallimard, Paris 1996.