“The school of Pythagoras has several peculiar characteristics. Every new member was obliged to pass a period of five years of contemplation in perfect silence; the members held everything in common, and rejected animal food; they were believers in the doctrine of metempsychosis, and were inspired with an ardent and implicit faith in their founder and teacher. So much did the element of faith enter into their training, that ‘ autos epha’ “’He said it’ – was to them complete proof. Intense fraternal affection between the pupils was also a marked feature of the school; hence their saying, ‘my friend is my other self,’ has become a byword to this day.
“The teaching was in a great measure secret, and certain studies and knowledge were allotted to each class and grade of instruction. … N o person was permitted to commit to writing any tenet, or secret doctrine, and, so far as is known, no pupil ever broke the rule until after his death and the dispersion of the school.”
“The most striking peculiarities of his doctrines are dependent on the mathematical conceptions, numerical ideas and impersonations upon which his philosophy was founded. The principles governing numbers were supposed to be the principles of all Real Existences; and as numbers are the primary constituents of Mathematical Quantities, and at the same time present many analogies to various realities, it was further inferred that the elements of numbers were the elements of Realities.” ~William Wynn Westcott
Mystery School Students
It may be true that the school of Pythagoras required a period of five years of silent contemplation, but this was not the general standard of mystery schools. Most accepted new students on a trial basis of two or three years. I have never heard of them being required to spend all that time in silent contemplation.
They were required to keep to themselves all that they were taught. I have read that some schools threatened their students with death if they revealed any on the teachings. Many think this means that other members of the school would kill them. I doubt that. No member of a legitimate spiritual school would kill another person as that would doom their own soul and stop their spiritual progress. I think it meant that they would make no further spiritual progress and lose their right to eternal life in spirit after physical death.
There is a fraternal affection that happens with mystery school students. It becomes a community, a family. You help each other and protect each other. You get to know each other, often better than your own family knows you. This is a good thing. It is something most spiritual schools encourage. The real one do, anyway.
Studies and Classes
It is sad to see on social media how many have fallen for the sick joke that a spiritual awakening is something that happens instantly and involves no more than a recognition that the world of matter is not all that exists. No great spiritual or mystery school has ever taught such a thing. They didn’t spend years developing the students spiritual faculties slowly because they wanted to keep them in the school. They did it because it was necessary.
Gradual spiritual growth is the only safe way for mystery school students to do it. You don’t join a gym and expect to become a champion bodybuilder in a week or two. It takes years. The same with spiritual development. It doesn’t even end with the death of the physical body. Those who awaken their spiritual faculties while still alive in the material world will continue to grow after death. They will continue to climb one level at a time.