The earth is conceived of as a round disk, slightly sloping towards the south, surrounded on three sides by the sea, but on the north by a high mountain of turquoises; behind this is the abode of the blest, a sort of inferior paradise, inhabited by the Egyptians who were saved from drowning with Pharaoh in the Red Sea, and whom the Mandaeans look upon as their ancestors, Pharaoh himself having been their first high priest and king.
ISLES OF THE BLEST, or FORTUNATE ISLANDS (Gr.
Viii.) or the Celtic Avalon and St Brendan's island, the Isles of the Blest are represented as a land of perpetual summer and abundance of all good things.
John Gambold, a member of the Holy Club, who afterwards became a Moravian bishop, says "he was blest with such activity as to be always gaining ground, and such steadiness that he Iost none.
Cvii.) and inscriptions preserve the knowledge that the mystic, sacratus, passed through seven degrees, which probably corresponded to the seven planetary spheres traversed by the soul in its progress to wisdom, perfect purity, and the abode of the blest: Corax, Raven, so named because the raven in Mithraic mythology was the servant of the Sun; Cryphius, Occult, a degree in the taking of which the mystic was perhaps hidden from others in the sanctuary by a veil, the removal of which was a solemn ceremonial; Miles, Soldier, signifying the holy warfare against evil in the service of the god; Leo, Lion, symbolic of the element of fire; Perses, Persian, clad in Asiatic costume, a reminiscence of the ancient origin of the religion; Heliodromus, Courier of the Sun, with whom Mithras was identified; Pater, Father, a degree bringing the mystic among those who had the general direction of the cult for the rest of their lives.
Such in particular were the Greek Isles of the Blest, or Fortunate Islands, the Welsh Avalon, the Portuguese Antilia or Isle of Seven Cities, and St Brendan's island, the subject of many sagas in many languages.
In the Fable he shows a society possessed of all the virtues "blest with content and honesty," falling into apathy and utterly paralyzed.
According to another account she married Telegonus the son of Odysseus and Circe, after he had killed his father, and dwelt with him in the island of Aeala or in the Islands of the Blest (Hyginus, Feb.
In the first warmth of his gratitude he published a tract, in which he compared Charles to that humane and generous Persian king, who, though not himself blest with the light of the true religion, favoured the chosen people, and permitted them, after years of captivity, to rebuild their beloved temple.
There are two gifts which will be blest above all others, namely, Sujata's gift before I attained wisdom under the Bo tree, and this gift of Chunda's before I pass away."
It is impossible to estimate how far this legend commemorates some actual but imperfectly recorded discovery, and how far it is a reminiscence of the ancient idea of an elysium in the western seas which is embodied in the legends of the Isles of the Blest or Fortunate Islands.