Mystery Schools and Ancient Philosophers

“From indisputable facts … it is evident that philosophy emerged from the religious Mysteries of antiquity, not being separated from religion until after the decay of the Mysteries. Hence he who would fathom the depths of philosophical thought must familiarize himself with the teachings f those initiated priests. … The Mysteries claimed to be the guardians of a transcendental knowledge so profound as to be incomprehensible save to the most exalted intellect. …
“The Mysteries were secret societies, binding their initiates to inviolable secrecy. … Although these schools were the true inspiration of the various doctrines promulgated by the ancient philosophers, the fountainhead of these doctrines was never revealed to the profane.” ~Manly P. Hall

Mystery Schools and Philosophies

Many people study the philosophies of both modern and ancient philosophers. Many are impressed by the great ideas they expressed. That is wonderful. They have much to say that is worthy of our attention in our all too materialistic age.

But when studying the great philosophers it is important to remember that they were rarely the developers of the ideas they shared. They were merely interpreting, or putting into simple language, the teachings of the ancient Mystery schools. Some of those philosophers were students of such schools. Plato is one such example. Some were even secretly teachers in such schools. Such philosophers definitely knew what they were talking about.

The Mysteries of the Mystery Schools

Today many just don’t get the concept of a mystery school. Why keep things secret? Why not share with all? If the secrets are good things, shouldn’t they be shared? There are several reasons why they were, and still are, guarded secrets.

Reason 1. Danger. The mysteries can be dangerous to people who learn them when they are nor ready to use them wisely. Students who were let into the mysteries when they were not ready have gone mad because of it. Secrets that completely shatter the world you live in and believe in wholeheartedly must be revealed slowly and carefully.

Reason 2. Harmful to Others. You wouldn’t reveal a formula for making a powerful explosive to a person you know to be violent and unstable. Such people exist. So mystery schools must carefully select students who will not use such knowledge to harm others.

Reason 3. Laws and Politics. Throughout history much of what is taught in the mystery schools has been forbidden by governments and despotic leaders. Even powerful priesthoods that function much like a government have done the same. They do not want such things taught because it gives regular people too much power and undermines their authority. There is noting a government hates more than philosophies and teachings that undermine their authority.

Mystery Schools Today

Mr. Hall says that philosophy emerged after the “decay of the mysteries.” The mystery schools didn’t “decay”. They were either destroyed by those in power, or forced to go even deeper underground. Some of the ancient wisdom was lost in this process, but is being rediscovered.

Today is a different age. While it may seem like the darkest and most materialistic of times, we must remember that it is always darkest just before dawn. We have entered what is often called “The End Times”. This does not mean that the world will soon end, but it will change dramatically. For those unwilling to change, it will be the end. Those of us who desire change welcome it.

As part of this new time, some mystery schools have come out of hiding and new ones based on the ancient teachings have come into being. These schools can help us bring about the new Golden age, if we listen to them. But we have to become students and learn the great mysteries. We can’t just declare ourselves spiritual masters and make it so.

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