There are wise and simple people among non-Christians just as there are among Christians. To show me what they were like, I have been allowed to talk with both kinds, sometimes for hours and even for days. Nowadays, though, there are not wise ones like those of ancient times, especially in the early church (this covered much of the Near East and was the source from which religion spread to many non-Christian peoples). I have been allowed to carry on personal conversations with some of them in order to find out what they were like.
One particular individual was with me who had been one of the wise at one time and who was therefore well known in the scholarly world. I talked with him about various subjects and was given to believe that he was Cicero. Since I knew that he was wise, we talked about wisdom, intelligence, the pattern of reality, the Word, and finally about the Lord.
On wisdom, he said that there was no wisdom that was not a matter of life, and that wisdom could not be an attribute of anything else. On intelligence, he said that it came from wisdom. On the pattern of reality, he said that the pattern comes from the Supreme Deity, and that living in accord with this pattern is being wise and intelligent. As to the Word, when I read him something from the prophets he was utterly enchanted, especially at the fact that the individual names and the individual words referred to deeper realities. He was quite astonished that modern scholars take no pleasure in this pursuit. I could sense very clearly that the deeper levels of his thought or mind were open. He said that he could not remain present because he felt something too holy for him to bear, it affected him so deeply.
Finally, our conversation turned to the Lord—on his birth as a person here, but one conceived from God; on his putting off the maternal human nature and putting on a divine human nature; and on his being the One who rules the universe. He said that he knew a great deal about the Lord that he grasped in his own way, and that there was no other way the human race could have been saved. All this time, some evil Christians were showering us with libels of various kinds; but he paid no attention to them. He said it was not surprising. It was because during their physical lives they had soaked up notions on these subjects that were not fitting, and that until these were ousted they could not let in notions that supported [the truth] the way people who were simply ignorant could.
from Heaven and Hell, Section 322