How do you describe anything in the spirit? Jesus complained that we couldn’t understand “love one another” how could He begin to have us understand heavenly things. He described the things of the spirit like wind that we cannot see, yet we can see the effects of it. So it is with this Grecian spirit that Alexander unleashed upon the “known world” of his day. Defining it might be difficult but seeing its effect is much easier.
The Grecian spirit, kind of like living on the beach, enjoying life; a kind of “Zorba the Greek” philosophy that helps us live day-to-day enjoying each day for what it brings. Paul described it with a quote from Isaiah: “Let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die”. This more describes the end game of the Grecian spirit. This Greek spirit of Alexander’s was a combination of the Aristotle (his tutor) examination of the material world combined with an understanding of the spiritual world that makes room for the acceptance of the given superstitions of the day.
The Grecian spirit carries the scientific method with it. There is a need to know, a need to discover and a need to explain. It is the foundation of the education of the world. Thomas Jefferson had it, and Lewis and Clarke took it with them when they explored the Louisiana Purchase. It’s working on me as I chase little pieces of knowledge while writing the things I write. It is finding the design of the world we live in. Discovering the mathematical building blocks of the universe, with the Grecian spirit driving us on to the next discovery and the next, until…until there is nothing left to discover, no, that will never happen…until we run into what Aristotle called the “Unknown Mover” or what Paul mentioned when he was in Athens: “The Unknown God”.
It is here that we must look at the effect of the winds of the Grecian spirit and their effect upon Alexander’s world. The Grecian spirit focused on the material world while being very aware of a spiritual world that they could not measure. We see this in their shrines, but all of mankind is aware of something beyond what our senses can explain. Alexander and his army took care to honor the gods and rituals of Greece. Yet, the Grecian spirit had led them to the top of Mount Olympus, and they found stones, not gods. They could not measure it, but they couldn’t let go of it, it becomes more superstition than fact, but it is their explanation for the spiritual world that they are sure exists, they just can’t know it like they can know the internal organs of a fish.
So they remain tied to their gods, and are very careful to not make light of the gods of each of the lands and cities they conquer, because you never know. They know nothing for sure, so they just want to cover all of the bases. Our gods verses your gods, who knows, you sacrifice and we will sacrifice with you. In Alexander’s world everyone was free to sacrifice and worship to the gods of their choice. They were many. People were free to switch from one god to the next depending upon location or feelings. So what was the effect of the Grecian spirit upon the worship of these gods, which were multiplied by the amount of cities and lands encompassed in the empire? They are all dead. They are unworshipped and their grip on humanity is something to be studied by the historian and archeologist. Don’t get me wrong, they reappear throughout history as superstitions or fads, but as a truth to be worshipped they are all dead. After all, we have been to the top of Mount Olympus and we only found stones.
Only One withstood the onslaught of the Grecian spirit. That was the God of the Jews. The Grecian spirit leads us to know the “why” and the “how”.
One last point, think of the gods that are not worshipped in Alexander’s lands and the gods of the lands just beyond the reach of the Grecian spirit in India. In Alexander’s lands they are all dead. In India they are alive and well in their millions with a firm grip upon a humanity tied to the lands they control. We easily see the wind effect of the Grecian spirit.