“It is of course the training and the understanding that are an important factor in the use of the arcane arts such as astrology, sacred geometry, and, indeed, theurgy. And it is perhaps worth remembering that there was a time when mathematics was seen to be fairly miraculous. Interestingly, with the development of computers, we can again return to some of the ancient ideas about the relationship between mathematics and music and find them provable.
“By quoting Irenaeus when he was talking of Marcus who was an avid user of astrology we can perhaps take the arguments in a full circle and can accept that there will always be problems in the acceptance of these arts.” ~Bernard Simon
Training and Understanding
Training is important for real spiritual growth. Understanding is even more important.
Those who chose self-training have several disadvantages. First, it is hard to know which methods really work and which don’t do anything. Second, it is hard to know what order things should be done in or where to start. Third, the books, videos, and web sites never have a complete system. The authors never tell you that.
But even if you get good training, you have to understand to apply it correctly. If a brain surgeon knows how to cut correctly, but can’t tell what tissue needs to be removed, he can’t be an effective surgeon. Similarly, if you practice spiritual techniques without any understanding of what you are doing, you will likely not get good results. In the worst cases, you might end up dealing with a demon pretending to be a light being.
So having a good teacher or a good spiritual school teaching you is worth the effort and cost. A teacher can make sure you are taught only as much as you are ready to handle. She can also make sure that you understand what you have been taught.
Sadly, we also have to deal with false teachers these days. Many see spirituality as a “growing industry” hat they want to cash in on. They have little or no spiritual training themselves, but they throw together a system from information gathered from various public sources, and write books and give seminars. We have to able to use our intuition and recognize the phonies.
There are a number of arts and sciences that are part of spiritual development. There are even more that are affected by it. Mr. Simon mentions astrology. Most ancient mystery school did teach astrology. But that taught it as something that could be used to help guide you rather than something that limited you or provided an excuse for shortcomings.
He also mentions sacred geometry which was studied in the school of Pythagoras as well as some others. While some school didn’t emphasize training in sacred geometry, most taught that geometry was the language of the soul. They also taught that the shapes of our homes, workplaces, and even the vessels we drank from or carried food in had some effect on our spiritual growth.
Theurgy is the third science mentioned. This word is so seldom used today that my spellchecker flags it as an error. It is defined as trying to get a god or supernatural being to do what we want. I think what is meant in this case is the art of getting help from angels and other Light Beings. We cannot, however, get them to do what we want. They will aid us in spiritual growth, but only as God wants.
One of the arts practiced in many of those ancient schools that if too often ignored today is sun-gazing. While this can mean simply looking at the physical sun, usually at dawn, there is another side of it. Just as any other being has a spirit the sun has a spirit. This spiritual sun is what the prophet Malachi called “the Sun of Righteousness”. Looking at the spiritual sun rather than just the physical brings a different kind of light to us. A spiritual light that awakens the spirit and soul. That is one of the most important lessons of those ancient mystery schools.