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prevails as among the performers. Plays of a humbler description, from subjects in legendary or sacred history, are not unfrequently got up by the villagers around Insbruck, which show a certain rude dramatic talent, though not comparable to what is exhibited at Ammergau. Girls very generally represent both the male and female characters. See illus., VIENNA AND AUSTRIA, vol. XV., p. 88, fig. 2.
MYSTICETE, a name of the whalebone whale, a cetacean of the family balanidæ, or toothless whales, see WHALE and CETACEA.
MYSTICISM (Gr. mustikos, mystical), a term used with considerable vagucness, but implying that general tendency in religin to higher and more intimate communication with the divine, to which, in most religions, ancient and modern, certain individuais or classes have laid claim. In the Platonic philosophy, and in the eastern systems, from which that philosophy is derived, the human soul being regarded as a portion of the divine nature, it is held to be the great end of life to free the soul from the embarrassment and mental darkness in which it is held by the material trammels of the body in which it is imprisoned. In the pursuit of tắis end, two very opposite courses were adopted: the first, that of spiritual purification, partly by representing the natural appe. tites and weakening the sensual impulses by corporeal austerities, partly by elevating the soul through intense contemplation and withdrawal from the outward objects of sense; the other, that of regarding the soul as superior to the body, independent of its animal impulses, incapable, from its higher origin, of being affected by its outward actions, or sullied by contact with the corruption in which its lower nature might love to wallow. A similar clement of mysticism, which, in truth, must form in some sense a constituent of every religious system, is traceable in the early doctrinal history of Christianity, and the career of Christian mysticism also divides itself into the same twofold course. Among the early sects external to the church, we trace the first in the system of Tatian and of the Eucratites, while the second finds its parallel in the Syrian gnostics in Carpocrates, Bardisanes, and in one form at least of the Nicolaitic heresy. Within the Christian church there never has been wanting a continuous manifestation of the mystical element. The language of St. Paul in Gal. ii. 20, and in 2d Cor. xii. 2, and many expressions in the Apocalypse, may be taken as the exponents of Christian mysticism, the highest aspiration of which has ever been toward that state in which the Christian “no longer liveth, but Christ liveth in him.” And although no regular scheme of mysticism can be found in the early fathers, yet the writings of Hermas the shepherd, ihe epistles of St. Ignatius, the works of St. Clement of Alexandria, the expositions of Origen, and above all, the confessions of St. Augustine, abound with outpourings of the true spirit of Christian mysticism. It is curious that the first systematic exposition of its principles is said to be in the works of the pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite; but it was not till the days of the Scholastics that it received its first development, when the mystic life was resolved into its three stages, viz., of purification, of illumination, and of ecstatic union with God and absorption in divine contemplation. It was upon the explanation of this third stage that the great division of the medieval mystic schools mainly turned; some of them explaining the union with God in a pantheistic or semipantheistic sense, and thereby annihilating the individual will, and almost the personal action of man in the state of ecstasy; others, with St. Bernard, fully preserving both the individuality and the freedom of man, even in the highest spiritual communication with his Creator. Of the former, many, as the Hesychasts (q. v.) in the Greek church, and the brethren of the free spirit (q.v.) and the Beghards in the Latin, drew from these mystical doctrines the most revolting moral consequences; in others, as Tauier, Ruysbroek, Ekkari, the error does not seem to have gone þeyond the sphere of speculation. The writings of Thomas à Kempis (q.v.), of St. Catherine of Siena, of St. John of the cross, and of St. Teresa, may perhaps be taken as the most characteristic representations of the more modern form of the traditionary mysticism which has come down from the mystics of the middle ages.
The later history of mysticism in the Roman Catholic church will be found under the heads of FENELON, MADAME GUYON, MOLINOS, and QUIETISM. The most remarkable followers of the same or kindred doctrines in the Protestant communions are Jacob Böhme (q.v.) of Görlith, Emmanuel Swedenborg (q.v.), and the celebrated William Law (q.v.)
MYTH and MYTHOLOGY. The word myth (Gr. mythos) originally signified speech or discourse, and was identical with the word logos. After the age of Pindar and Herodotus, however, it came to be synonymous with the Latin word fabula, fable or legend. According to the present use of our language, a myth is an idea or fancy presented in the historical form; and though, of course, any fiction at any time in this shape might be called a myth, yet by usage the word is confined to those fictions made in the early periods of a people's existence, for the purpose of presenting their religious belief, and generally their oldest traditions, in an attractive form. The tendercy to create myths in this way seems inherent in every people; certainly there is no people so surk into the brute as to be without them. A myth is not to be confounded with an allegory; the one being an unconscious act of the public mind at an early stage of society, the other a conscious act of the individual mind at any stage of sociál progress. The parables of the New Testament are allegorical; so are Esop's fables; no one mistakes them for realities;
MYTHOLOGY.-1. Rhea. 2. Saturn. 3. Cybele. 4. Jupiter. 5. Junio. 6. Neptune. 7. Vesta.
16. Amor. 17. Mercury. 18. Vulcan. 19. Esculapius. 20. Hygeia. 21. Vertings. 22.. Bacchus. 29. Tritous and Nereides.
8. Pluto. 9. Ceres. 10. Bacchus. 11. Minerva. 12. Apollo. 13. Diana. 14. Mars. 15. Venus. | Melpomene. 23. Erato. 24. Thalia. 25. Ganymede. 26. Bacchante. 27. Silenus. 28. Procession of