the Mystery-systems have always exhibited an example for the instruction, encouragement and emulation of those prepared to make the attempt and the necessary sacrifice. To hearten them to the task the Initiatory Colleges have held up a prototype in the person of some great soul who has already trodden the same path and emerged triumphant therefrom. It matters nothing whether the prototype be one whose historic actuality and identity can be demonstrated, or whether he can be regarded only as legendary or mythical; the point being not to teach a merely historical fact, but to enforce a spiritual principle. In Egypt the prototype was Osiris.
W.L. Wilmshurst. The Meaning of Masonry