“There are a number of Occult Brotherhoods, of varying degrees of advancement, scattered throughout the various countries of the earth. Theses brotherhoods agree in principle with the Yogi Teachings, although the methods of interpretation may vary somewhat. … These Occult Brotherhoods vary in their nature. In some, the members are grouped together in retired portions of the earth, dwelling in community life. In others the headquarters are in some large cities of the earth. Other have … members scattered all over the face of the earth, the communication being kept up by personal correspondence and privately printed and circulated literature. Admission to these true Occult Brotherhoods is difficult. … They seek to impart information and instruction only to those who are prepared to receive it—to those who have reached that stage of spiritual unfoldment that will enable them to grasp and assimilate the teachings of the inner Circles.” ~William Walker Atkinson
I would prefer to call these groups Mystery Schools, Mystical Schools, or Spiritual Schools rather than Occult since that name is often associated today with black magic and Satanism, but otherwise I can agree with what Mr. Atkinson says about such schools (he says a lot more, but I didn’t want to quote 500 words).
First, he tells us that these spiritual schools have varying degrees of advancement. That is true, even if we only look at the real schools and not the ones thrown together by some business person trying to make a quick buck. Some of the differences in such schools, however, are not due to their degree of advancement, but to their location and the students they intend to serve. In short, a spiritual or mystical school in India or in the Oriental countries must teach in different ways than one located in America or Europe. This is not to say we are not all equal, but we are different and certain methods work best with those brought up in one part of the world, while other techniques and allegorical tales seem to work best in other areas. The actual teaching do not vary, just the methods of delivering them.
Mr. Atkinson goes on to explain three varying “natures” of these schools. He says that there are those that form communities in rural areas where they can practice without too much interference. These communities may be fairly well known to those in nearby cities, or they maybe so secretive that hardly anyone is aware they exist. Or they may reside in a city and draw their members from that urban area. Such schools are usually larger and wealthier since it costs more to operate in cities, but not always. They may advertise their presence, or they may rely on recommendations from existing members. The third group is more universal having a community that is scattered over a wide area who, as Atkinson notes, communicate with the headquarters of the school, or an assigned teacher, by mail, email or phone.
So which of these three “natures” does Cosolargy fall in? All of them, actually. We have a core community in the Reno, Nevada area where our spiritual headquarters is a rural sanctuary outside of the city proper. We also have a legal headquarters in a building within the city. And we have members all over the world who we communicate with by email, mail, and phone calls as well as an annual gathering called a Convocation held in Reno where certain teaching that are never put in writing can be shared. Materialistic persons might jump to the conclusion that we are a bunch of uneducated new age types, but they would be wrong. I think the average education of our members is well above that of the general population with a high percentage having colleges degrees. We have doctors, lawyers, musicians, artists, software engineers and many other professions represented. But we are very much a real spiritual school.