signs of genuine mystery schools
Nov 09, 1993 07:23 AM
How do we know when we've found a genuine school of the mysteries? What
can we use to judge our experiences? How do we tell that what we have
is real, true, with teachings deeply-rooted in the fabric of Nature
itself, and not merely the produce of someone's personal philosophy,
however many gems of truth he may offer?
The first is that we find the ring of Truth, a signiture of majesty,
a sense of the absolute rightness in what we learn. There is a feeling
of expansive beauty, love, and wisdom, that cannot be contained. We
do not grasp it, rather, it surrounds and embraces us. We are looking
at a magnificent ocean or a beautiful, golden sunset, rather than
the canvas of someone else's painting of it, and we are filled with
awe and respect for what we behold.
This is a genuine spiritual experience, and quite different than where
someone may tell us to visualize things, to tell us that we must strive
for the light, that we must try harder. We are not being preached to,
in the mysteries. When we study, the words take us to perceive, in the
mind's eye, the wonders of the inner world, with the same sense of
reality as any physical experience. But this is not psychic perception
of other planes, it is in terms of grand vistas of thought.
We may describe the experiences to ourselves in our own ways, one
person using philosophical terms, another images of form, color, using
art, and a third person using hugs, smiles, and acts of kindess to
people. There are different ways that we might give form to the wonders
in our personalities and personal life.
There are a number of things to look for in a Mystery School. One is
the manner of teaching. Does it teach according to the time-honored
method of repetition, of examination of a subject from different angles,
revealing a bit more with each return to it? Or it a subject taught in
the western manner of trying to exhaustively cover one subject then
moving on to the next?
Another is the content of the teaching. Are the teachings given as a
fixed set of rules, steps, names, structures to life, with rigid
interpretation? When you've studied a subject, can you say that you now
really know it? That would not be good. There should always be gaps,
hints at something more, higher after higher understandings of the
materials. As soon as you feel that you've learned the final word on
a subject, you're dead, as far as really understanding it. And a
real Mystery School is ever teaching its students to break the molds
of mind, to not crystalize their thoughts, to continually reexamine and
review and expand what they thought they have learned.
The study is a fludic process where the student grows and changes.
Progressing to deeper and deeper understandings of the Teachings, he
sees new ways of understanding things, *without rejecting what he has
learned before*, because the study is along a path of Truth, towards the
one Truth, one step closer. Moving from one understanding to the
next, the student finds the deeper understanding better explains what
has gone before, and nothing is rejected. The student goes further into
the same Truth rather than just exchanging one idea for another.
Another sign of a real Mystery School is that it awakens an
authoritative voice within. We find a source of teachings within that
supplements, complements, goes along with the teachings we receive
from without. We can almost say, from *knowing*, what our teacher might
next tell us, even before he speaks, because we too know, deep within,
what is being said. We have a living connection to the theosophical
thought current, to Mahat, and are experiencing a living process that
one day will make of us living representatives of Mahat itself.
What is studied enriches the experiences of life and leads the
students to see and experience it in a new way. There is a sense of
beauty and harmony to what we study, no bitter pill to swallow. This
is not to say that suffering is denied. It is accepted as a natural
part of life. There is no aversion to living life to its fullest.
But our deepest nature is touched. There is no depressing moment in
the morning, say, when we just wake up, where doubts come flooding into
our minds, thoughts that what we're doing may be phoney, a delusion,
The ideas that are taught are interconnected. None can be understood
without knowing and referencing the rest. They find practical use in
our life, are are not something that are turned off when we put down
a book or leave a meeting hall. They are rooted in love, compassion,
wisdom, the heart of our being. They have a beauty and symmetry to
them. They seem plainly logical, obvious, simple, until we try to
explain them to someone else.
What is taught in such a school does not lead the student to fixed,
rigid opinions, because what the student believes is subject to
continue change, and the student is quickly brought to see that he can
never rest and say "at last I've got it!" The type of thinking he is
taught is not rigid, demainding, but rather illuminating, expansive,
The school teaches a spiritual practice, where we come to open up
in a natural fashion, like a flower bud opening, over time, due to the
continual radiance of the sunlight. There is a process, a period of
time, a period of growth. Nothing is promised as a gift. There is not
any instant gratification. There is a sense of growth and movement in
accord with the nature and life.
This is not to say that there is no hastened development because of
the school. The reverse is true. We find ourselves opening up at a
hastened pace. We are ripening out of season, so to say, because of
an extra influence on us, something that touches and stimulates our
spiritual natures, and awakens us when we would otherwise have
Look at the affects on your life. What is brought about by the
training, by the study? Do you have a feeling of superiority, and a
mind full of slogans, ringing in the mind's ears like some aweful
television commercial that keeps coming back to haunt you? Or is
a sense of the holy, of the divine, of the grandess of life starting
to permeate your every activity, always at the back of the mind,
when not actually being thought of?
You could be a secretary typing, a cook preparing food, a mechanic
working on a car, and yet have this *presence* in the back of your
mind. It is a quality of consciousness, a coloring of the experience
of life, that lends something new to every experience of life. It is
like a part of yourself has become a thing of beauty which you are
in constant, awestruck admiration of.
We find, in a genuine school, an awakening of the intuition, of insight
into life. There is not just a new way to describe things, where you
substitute metaphysical words for some other verbal description of
things, e.g. "this is caused by the throat chakra blockage as seen in
the etheric double" being substituted for "this unconscious complex
manifests as this form of neurosis". We are not simply taught one set
of empty words to use to label the things of life with, to replace
some other set of words.
There are a number of keys to identify a real school from a would-be
school. No one can be *told* where and how to study, told the location
of the schools. It is not a matter of simply saying that this school
is false, and that one genuine. We will each go where we are attracted,
and until we reach the right stage of readiness, we just won't see what
is there, regardless of what others would tell us. We have to reach
the appropriate stage of readiness, and give the right knock, and then
we'll be admitted.
One thing that we'll find, though, that is a distinguishing
charactersitic of a Mystery School, is in its study, we find growing in
ourselves an unshakeable faith, belief, certitude in the living,
dynamic ideas that we receive, both as thoughts and as a living
influence in our lives. This faith is as strong as the very will to
live, because we have become the teachings, they have become an
integral part of ourselves, and they are our lifeblood, they are us,
they are our very lives.
Eldon Tucker (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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