Plato, by the way, was a mystery school initiate who had been heavily criticized for giving away to the public many of the secrets of the mystery schools. Hall goes over this as well in his book "The Secret Teachings of All Ages":
“There are, however, but few mature minds in the world; and thus it was that the philosophic - religious doctrines of the [ancients] were divided to meet the needs of these two fundamental groups of human intellect - one philosophic, the other incapable of appreciating the 'deeper mysteries of life'. To the discerning few were revealed the 'esoteric', or 'spiritual teachings', while the unqualified many received only the literal, or exoteric interpretations. In order to make simple the great truths of Nature and the abstract principles of natural law, the vital forces of the universe were PERSONIFIED, becoming the GODS and GODDESSES of the ANCIENT MYTHOLOGIES. While the ignorant multitudes brought their offerings to the altars of Priapus and Pan (deities representing the procreative energies of the universe), the wise recognized in these marble statues only symbolic concretions of great abstract truths. In all cities of the ancient world were temples for public worship and offering. In every community also were philosophers and mystics, deeply versed in Nature's lore. These individuals were usually banded together, forming seclusive philosophic and religious schools. The more important of these groups were known as the MYSTERIES. Many of the great minds of antiquity were initiated into these secret fraternities by strange and mysterious rites, some of which were extremely cruel. Alexander Wilder defines the Mysteries as "Sacred dramas performed at stated periods. The most celebrated were those of Isis, Sabazius, Cybele, and Eleusis." After being admitted, the initiates were instructed in the secret wisdom which had been preserved for ages. Plato, an initiate of one of these sacred orders, was severely criticized because in his writings he revealed to the public many of the secret philosophic principles of the Mysteries."
Nick, when you refer back to Plato you are referring back to Plato's "knowledge" which was heavily influenced by the "Egyptian religion mysteries" and therefore the "astrotheology" of the ancient mystery schools. The "Solar Logos" ties in here of course.
I also want you to see what happened between the last golden age period and the following decent into the lowest "Kali Uga period" according to procession. The secret knowledge of the mysteries fell into "corruption" as the ages digressed toward the Kali Uga, or simply the Darkest Age.
Hall goes over the digression of the mystical traditions in part 1 but he doesn't point out the descending period of the Uga's in the lecture however. But in any case, as this decline was taking place in humanity's spiritual concepts according to the Uga cycles, we see "Zoroastrianism", "Judaism", "Gnosticism", "Christianity", "Kabbalah", and eventually "Islam", coming into existence in the historical record - a line of "Fallen Nature Religions" with clues as to how to over come the fall.
Try and get into some of these links that I'm providing here - there's no frantic hurry to skip over the links and post without looking at them. Just relax, take your time, and go over them. When you speak of these various western traditions I'm seeing a mental image of the descending Uga cycle producing these forms of mysticism that follow in the wake of the decline from the last golden age. They actually come into existence as ignorance and corruption was becoming the mainstream religious view in the various mystical traditions as Hall goes over quite thoroughly in parts 1 and 2.
I've included a short video clip about the "Kali Uga" from the "Magical Egypt" series that I copied from one of my discussion groups. Plato understood the astrological "ascending and descending" processional periods as part of his mystery school training:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... &plindex=7
Now here's a link that shows the character of Abraham that we find in the (post Babylonian exile written) Bible as actually being taken from India and the "ancient eastern traditions" originally - which has implications towards all of the "Abrahamic", or shall we say "Brahmanic" traditions that have popped in the west over the centuries:
In dealing with western religion, we appear to be looking at a "spiritual digression" from the old enlightened "Eastern Pantheism" of God being the underlying energy of everything that exists (Brahman) that is inseparable from anything that exists, to the "Fallen" conception of an monotheistic Isolated God who is in a conflict with man and nature that dwells away from the earth somewhere else entirely (Yahweh).
The "Fall of man" idea coming out of Zoroastrianism and running into Judaism, through captivity interaction, and then running on into "Gnosticism" and "kabbalah" is nothing more than a documentation of initiated knowledge about the "descending Uga cycle" - which is completely astrotheological mind you.
"The Fall of Man" = a descending ability to understand the universe and reality on the part of humanity. The more enlightened eastern "Pantheism" digressed into "Panentheism" as we're looking at the "Fall of Man".
So it appears that the "fall of man" concept that appeared with the construction of the Zoroastrian religion and then branched out into all of the western religions of today seems to be a specific reference to the fall of mans "spiritual awareness" during an astrological descending period (Kali Uga) that the ancients of the wisdom traditions knew about all to well.
These various "watered down" God conceptualizations served a purpose during the "dark age", but now we're moving back into an ascending pattern, and guess what, the enlightened Pantheist conceptions will return as the ascending ages set in once again.
Modern science is moving in the direction of holistic unity (Pantheism). As quantum wave physics takes the floor and the old point particle conception of matter fades out, which is currently happening in several different models of the universe, the idea of physical separateness between objects in the universe fades out as well:
"The idea that all these fragments are separately existent is evidently an illusion..." (David Bohm)
The holistic universe understandings are referred to as "scientific Pantheism". I have quantum physicist / philosopher friends at: www.quantummatter.com
who are working on a wave based holistic universe model to compete with the standard model cosmology right now as we speak.