“Anyone whose natural mysticism impels him to seek for sympathetic contact with other minds, is astonished to find how large a number of persons are not only interested in Mysticism generally, but are actually themselves Kabalists. The river dammed during the Middle Ages has flowed since noiselessly underground. … Hundreds today study the Kabalah, where scarcely one or two could have been found some fifty years ago, … Unfortunately many are called but few are chosen.” ~H. P. Blavatsky

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A spiritual teacher with students.

What Blavatsky wrote in this section of her book about the Kabbalah is just as true if we replace Kabbalists with Gnostics, or just generalize it as Mystics. It is probably not as true today as it was for Blavatsky that people who suddenly become interested in studying mysticism, gnosticism, kabbalism, or other spiritual disciplines are surprised to find others are doing the same. With books considered spiritual selling millions of copies and major celebrities like Madonna and Ashton Kutcher studying the Kabbalah people are well aware that these spiritual schools and disciplines exist, though they may know little about what they teach.

Unfortunately, another problem that probably didn’t exist a century ago when Blavatsky wrote is that many spiritual schools and spiritual teachers of today are more interested in making money and selling books than is teaching truth. We see this especially in Yoga which the western world has degraded from a school of spiritual disciplines to an exercise system. I don’t really have a problem with someone who teaches a very partial system, as long as they make their students aware of that fact, but most do not.

But that deep flowing river that went underground during the Middle Ages, according to Blavatsky, still exists. It may not be as far below the surface as it was for several centuries, but it is not at the surface either. So for those who want to get deeper into true spiritual and mystical studies, such schools operate openly now, though without a lot of publicity.

In the Western World, we have a marked tendency to pay attention to extremes more than what is true and real. We would rather drink something that is extremely sweet and has strong, exotic flavors than something with actual nutrition. We would rather watch cars racing at over 200 miles an hour than read a book and possibly learn something. We make a national hero of the soldier who shot fifty people while ignoring the other soldier who had to sit in the middle of the battlefield cooking meals for 300 other soldiers or the medic who ran around dodging bullets to find and treat the wounded.

A little over a decade ago, we all fell in love with the music of Yanni (most of us, anyway), particularly after he did the concert in Athens, Greece at the Acropolis with a big orchestra. After a few years, though, we lost interest in this music that was all surface glitz and glamor, but had little depth (I was told that by someone with a degree in music). We wanted something with some depth to it. I think some people are waking up to the fact that many popular spiritual schools and disciplines like Yoga and meditation, at least the versions of them that have become popular in the Western World, are like that music with no depth, and they are starting to look for something more. And if they haven’t wakened to that fact yet, I think they soon will. So know that when the surface glitz and sparkle gets old, real spiritual schools are waiting to help.

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