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Why was it believed so necessary in former times to keep so secret the true nature of the Godhead? Why did Hindu religious laws threaten the Brahmin priests with death if they revealed it, or punish the darker-skinned lower castes with burning oil poured into their ears for listening to any reading aloud of the holy books holding this and other revelations? Why were the Hebrews warned never to utter the real Name of God? Because the common mind would soon confound the philosophic conception of the Deity with the atheistic one, would destroy religion and substitute a soulless materialism for it. This fear, misapplied by selfish vested interests, led authority to poison Socrates, crucify Jesus, decapitate al-Hallaj, murder Hypatia, and put Molinos to rot and die in a prison dungeon. If caution counselled the survivors to refrain from telling the whole truth, there was sufficient justification. But times are now different. There is a ferment of questioning, discussion, experimentation, rebellion, seeking, writing, reading, and publishing in the religious world, weaker in some places, stronger in others.

-- Notebooks Category 20: What Is Philosophy? > Chapter 2: Its Contemporary Influence > # 262

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