As an organic structure of institutions, the pagan mysteries sank into historic oblivion about the 6th century A.D. A night of spiritual darkness descended upon the world, and theological dogmas eventually eclipsed the light of reason. Certainties were obscured by uncertainties. Practices surrendered to theories, and the dictates of a blind and fanatical faith supplanted the noble doctrine of the initiated philosophers.

Thus came the Dark Ages, long centuries of benightedness, in which man tortured and destroyed his fellow man for the glory of an all merciful God. Out of the religious and ethical chaos that followed the collapse of classical learning emerge the dark-cowled form of the Inquisition. Theology retrograded to the condition of a pious sham, until humanity with one desparing gesture repudiated the thralldom of an unendurable dogmatism, and rushed to embrace the materialism and skepticism of modern times.

Manly P. Hall

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