training, Universal Religion

Training and Understanding for Successful Spiritual Growth

“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. Continue reading “Training and Understanding for Successful Spiritual Growth”

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midnight ceremonies

Midnight Madness in Mystery Schools

“An ancient initiate once said that the living are ruled by the dead. Only those conversant with the Eleusian concept of life could understand that statement. It means that the majority of people are not ruled by their living spirits but by their senseless (hence dead) animal personalities. … It was believed that at midnight the invisible worlds were closest to the Terrestrial sphere and that souls coming into material existence slipped in during the midnight hour. For this reason, many of the Eleusinian ceremonies were performed at midnight. Some of those sleeping spirits who had failed to awaken their higher natures during the earth life and who now floated around in the invisible worlds, surrounded by a darkness of their own making, occasionally slipped through at this hour and assumed the forms of various creatures.” ~Manly P. Hall

Ruled by the Dead

Mr. Hall provided an exceptionally short answer to the question of why the Eleusinians said the living are ruled by the dead. Lets elaborate.

First, it is true that most people are ruled by their primitive animal personality, not their spiritual higher self. This is generally not their fault. We come into this world with that primitive self fully conscious, but the spiritual self dormant. The spirit cannot rule while it lies dormant. And few people even try to awaken it. Largely, that is because the powers that be don’t want it awakened. Governments and dark spirits can control the sleeping ones better than those few who awaken. For that reason, they make all effort to stop anyone from engaging in a spiritual awakening process.

Secondly, we are often ruled by the dead because we let our thinking and behavior be controlled by the beliefs of our ancestors. We do have to learn from our parents, of course, but when we teach our young we must be sure to let them know what is definite truth and what is simply opinions and beliefs passed down from generation to generation with little or no proof. Continue reading “Midnight Madness in Mystery Schools”

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myth magic

Myth Magic and Mystery of All Ages

“It is true that, at least apparently, the modern world is not rich in myths. … We are thinking of the myth as a type of human behavior and, at the same time, as an element of civilization—that is, of the myth as one finds it in traditional societies. For at the level of individual experience it has never completely disappeared: it makes itself felt in the dreams, the fantasies and the longings of the modern man. …

“But what now interests us above all is to find out what it is, in the modern world, that fills the central position occupied by the myth in traditional societies. In other words,while recognizing that the great mythical themes continue to repeat themselves in the obscure depths of the psyche, we still wonder whether the myth, as an exemplary pattern of human behavior, may not also survive among our contemporaries in more or less degraded forms. It seems that a myth itself, as well as the symbols it brings into play, never quite disappears.” ~Mircea Eliade

Myth Magic

There was a time when the telling of myths was an important job in any society. Whether it was a bard, a priest, or a philosopher, they taught the people using myth.

We all know that when a teacher tries to fill the students head with dry facts, he generally fails. The student probably retains no more that ten or twenty percent of those facts. But when the same facts are embedded in an interesting story, the student will remember the tale and the facts hiding in it.

There is also the case of the students who are not yet ready to learn certain things and will reject them if they are given to her as simple facts. Such truths can also be hidden in myths and the students will remember the myths, even when they don’t believe. Later, when they start to awaken, they may remember some of those mythical tales and recognize the facts they held.

Myth Magic of Today

While there has been a great effort by materialistic powers to kill the myth, even going so far as to change the meaning of the word to fantasies and tall tales, they have failed. Myth magic is all around us in books, movies, songs, and other forms of entertainment. I’m sure it can even be found in many popular video games. Let’s look at a few examples.

The Star Wars movies of George Lucas are pure myth. It is no secret that he was a student of myth-master Joseph Campbell. He based the stories on the standard myth of the hero versus the great evil found in many ancient traditional myths. Both Luke Skywalker and Hans solo represent the hero side, though it is primarily Luke who is the traditional hero of mythology. The emperor and Darth Vader represent the great evil. It is David and Goliath as space opera.

The Harry potter books similarly represent modern myth telling. Harry and his friends represent the good, the hero. Lord Valdemort and his Death Eaters are clearly the evil. Like Star Wars, the heroes are young while the bad guys are generally somewhat older. This isn’t age prejudice, but a way of saying that new thinking is needed to overcome the evil around us. Old ways and old thinking leads to death. Continue reading “Myth Magic and Mystery of All Ages”

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Secret Schools of Mystery and Civilization

“Few realize the extent to which the ancient secret schools influenced contemporary intellects and, through these minds, posterity. Robert Macoy, in his General History of Freemasonry, pays a magnificent tribute to the part played by the ancient Mysteries in the rearing of the edifice of human culture. He says , in part: ‘It appears that all the perfection of civilization, and all the advancements made in philosophy, science, and art among the ancients are due to those institutions which, under the veil of mystery, sought to illustrate the sublimest truths of religion, morality, and virtue, and impress them on the hearts of their disciples.’ … With the decline of virtue, which has preceded the destruction of every nation of history, the Mysteries became perverted. Sorcery took the place of the divine magic.” ~Manly P. Hall

Secret Schools

Whether you call them Secret Schools, Mystery Schools, or ancient philosophy schools, there is no doubt that such schools existed and that they had a great influence. They existed in many different parts of the world. We are most familiar with the ones of ancient Egypt and Greece, but they were also in Babylonia, Rome, Israel, and more. In more recent times, they were found in Europe and India, and still are. And when these schools were either shut down by materialistic governments, or altered their teachings due to bad leadership internally, those nations they were in usually declined.

Secret Schools and Culture

While many don’t realize it, the ancient secret schools have contributed greatly to the development of human culture. Whether is science, art, or philosophy, we owe much to such schools.

Probably one of the first things that helped man develop into civilize societies was the development of farming. Rather than roaming around, individually or in groups, looking for food and shelter, they could now stay in one place and have food when they needed it. It was undoubtedly the ancient shamans, and the secret schools that taught them, that were responsible for this development.

The next step was probably the building of shelters rather than relying on nature to provide dank caves and tunnels to live in. The secret schools and their students helped here as well. They developed the art of making tools and using them to construct shelters.

Chemistry, astronomy, biology, and so on all owe much the mystery schools. There are two simple reasons for this. The mystery schools were willing to try new things where many others were not. Most of all, the mystery schools had knowledge that others didn’t have. Some wonder why the secret schools didn’t simply share that knowledge openly. They didn’t share most of it because it would be misused by those who had not been properly initiated. They did share what would not be harmful and would help man become more civilized.

But civilization is a two-sided coin. It brings us many benefits, but also much evil. People gathered together in a territory are more likely to start wars with other communities than are those wandering hunter-gatherers. And the have the time and resources to develop better weapons. Also, disease will spread more easily in cities and towns than in open areas. That includes some mental illnesses which are contagious on an energy level. Continue reading “Secret Schools of Mystery and Civilization”

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