mystic temple

Mystic Temple and the Light of Wonder

“Let us enter the mystic temple and be initiated,—though it must be supposed that, a year ago, we were initiated into the Lesser Mysteries at Agræ. We must have been mystæ (veiled), before we can become epoptæ (seers); in plain English, we must have shut our eyes to all else before we can behold the mysteries. Crowned with myrtle, we enter with the other initiates into the vestibule of the temple,—blind as yet, but the Hierophant within will soon open our eyes. “But first,—for here we must do nothing rashly,—first we must wash in this holy water; for it is with pure hands and a pure heart that we are bidden to enter the most sacred enclosure . Then, led into the presence of the Hierophant, he reads to us, from a book of stone, things which we must not divulge on pain of death. Let it suffice that they fit the place and the occasion; and though you might laugh at them, if they were spoken outside, still you seem very far from that mood now, as you hear the words of the old man (for old he he always was), and look upon the revealed symbols. And very far, indeed, are you from ridicule, when Demeter seals, by her own peculiar utterance and signals, by vivid coruscations of light, and cloud piled upon cloud, all that we have seen and heard from her sacred priest; and then, finally, the light of a serene wonder fills the temple, and we see the pure fields of Elysium, and hear the chorus of the Blessed.” ~Thomas Taylor

Mystic Temple

What constituted a mystic temple in the ancient world varied depending on several factors. One factor was the standards of those who founded the temple. Another was the acceptance of the area for mystics. Where they were not only allowed, but encourages, they may have had open temples like that of King Solomon. In other places, they may have been hidden caves that few knew about. In some cases, the temple may not have been a structure of any kind, but simply a group of like-minded mystics working together.

As with many buildings today, what you used it for defined it more than the architecture itself. Yet there were things that most of the mystic temples had in common. One was some form of chamber or maze where initiation was performed. Another was the entrance that had two pillars by it, one to the left, one to the right. It is said that in some of these temples, once you passed between the pillars, there was no turning around. That is why new students were not simply allowed to enter and wander around. They entered only when they had been prepared for initiation. That preparation part alone may have taken a year or two.

Shut Our Eyes

The students of the mystic temples did not literally shut there eyes in order to prepare for the knowledge of the mysteries. They certainly didn’t blind themselves. They shut their eyes allegorically. They stopped blindly accepting the material world as exactly what it appears to be and as the only reality. They at least accepted the possibility that the world of matter was an illusion. They could not have moved outside of those limitations without accepting that more existed. Their eyes were shut to illusion, not reality.

Wash in Holy Water

Having initiates “wash in holy water” in the mystic temple may be why many churches started the idea of using holy water for one ceremony or another. I really don’t know who started it, but I remember reading that the first known vending machine was in a religious temple and dispensed a few drops of holy water when a coin was dropped into the slot. But water that is made holy simply by being blessed by a priest isn’t the real holy water. It is an allegory, much like the “shut your eyes” above. The real holy water is the flowing light of the spiritual sun that awakens the spirit and soul. It is this that prepares one to enter the mystic temple and complete the initiation.

Book of Stone

Did mystic temples really have a book made of stone from which the Hierophant read? Perhaps. But whether it was literally real or not doesn’t matter. It is the symbolism that matters. The idea of using a book of stone is to say that what as being revealed was eternal truths, indestructible truths. It wasn’t the opinions and interpretations of men found in most written books of paper. If you have never done so, read a few books that are two or three hundred years old. Not spiritual books, but others. See how things that were accepted as normal or true would be laughed at today.

Light of Wonder

It may start with short bursts of light, that spark of light called “ vivid coruscations of light,” in the quote. But eventually, you are filled with that light and you begin to understand the truth. This is not truth in a sense of human history. It is eternal truth, ultimate truth. It is wisdom. The mystic temple could just as easily be called a wisdom temple. Today, many confuse education with wisdom, They are not the same. And real truth and wisdom never come from reading books. They must be experienced by each of us individually. That light of wonder does that for us. That light that originates with God and reaches us through the spiritual sun.

For more on the mystic temples, read this earlier post.

knowledge, great university, truth stages, ontologism, gnostics

Great University of Spirit and Truth

“The great university will be divided into grades, admission to which will be through preliminary tests or initiations. Here mankind will be instructed in the most sacred, the most secret, and the most enduring of all mysteries—symbolism. The initiate will be taught that every visible object, every abstract thought, every emotional reaction is but the symbol of an eternal principle. Here mankind will learn that Chiram (Truth) lies buried in every atom of Cosmos; that every form is a symbol and every symbol the tomb of an eternal verity. Through education—spiritual , mental, moral, and physical—man will learn to release living truths from their lifeless coverings.” Manly P. Hall

The Great University

It is difficult to believe in this age of materialism that a great spiritual university could exist at all. Not only did secular institutions steal the name “university,” which originally meant schools that teach universal truth and was applied only to spiritual schools, but in some places governments now restrict the use of the word so only those secular schools approved by the government can be called universities. But what Hall says is true, such a university will happen.

The Beginning

Because of the state of the world we live in, that great university won’t start out great. Not in the terms of the secular world, at least. It won’t have many thousands of students. It won’t have a campus of many fine buildings covering hundreds of acres. The library of the university won’t have many thousands of books to read and study. Not in the beginning.

It must start out small. A private school that may began with only a few dozen students. It may, for a time, have to operate underground to avoid problems with secular authorities. It may have to avoid advertising itself in public media, relying on word-of-mouth as the primary means of advertising. A humble beginning. But that is probably a good thing since humility is a valued attribute of the spiritual student.

A Growing Force

That great university will have humble beginnings, but will grow. As the general population becomes more and more disenchanted with materialism and its empty promises, more will seek for something more. Many will turn to the spiritual and the university will grow. But even there problems will happen. Continue reading “Great University of Spirit and Truth”

speak truth, spiritual discipline, mystery school students, ancient knowledge, teaching, secret schools, self-governed, Cosmogonies of the great teachers

Spiritual Discipline in a Spiritual School

“All men within the Brotherhood are to be taught to live by these ordinances, which provide for the discipline of the spirit:

  • Men shall be made to abstain from all manner of wickedness and hold fast to all that is good. They shall become speakers of Truth and followers of uprightness, and justice shall be upheld in their hands. …
  • There are guides upon the path, guideposts and places of rest and shelter for the weary. …
  • The Master shall admit into the brotherhood all who have, by diligent study and rigid self-rule, established themselves. They shall become one with those who climb the steps, and find their appointed place.
  • The Master shall instruct them in the School of Light and life, revealing to them all the secrets of their nature and the manner of the Soul’s release.” ~The Kolbrin Bible (SOF:20:1-5)

Spiritual Discipline

Discipline is indeed an important thing for all spiritual students to develop. The spiritual path is not an easy one. Those who lack discipline will either give up or be led astray by dark beings and forces. This is why the Essenes and most ancient mystery schools took in students on a trial basis for the first two or three years. During that period they were taught only limited spiritual techniques. But they were taught self-discipline and observed. If they were unable to discipline themselves, they would be denied permanent membership and access to the higher teachings.

Abstain from Wickedness

This can be a difficult rule to follow. Not because we lack spiritual discipline, but because what is or isn’t wicked varies depending on who you ask. New spiritual students must rely on the teachers and elders for guidance in this. Eventually, they will be guided by their own awakened intuition.

Speakers of Truth

A truly spiritual person does not repeat rumors or opinions. At least not those involving spiritual development. He shares with others only that which he knows to be true. And then he is very selective with who he shares that information with. Continue reading “Spiritual Discipline in a Spiritual School”

sacred brotherhood, community of light

Teacher and Student Relationship in a Spiritual School

“The conditions attached to esoteric training are not arbitrary. They are the natural outcome of esoteric knowledge. Just as no one can become a painter who refuses to handle a paint-brush, so, too, no one can receive esoteric training who is unwilling to meet the demands considered necessary by the teacher. … To insist on being admitted to esoteric training without fulfilling the conditions would be equivalent to saying: “Teach me how to paint, but do not ask me to handle a paint-brush.” The teacher can never offer anything unless the recipient comes forward to meet him of his own free-will. But it must be emphasized that a general desire for higher knowledge is not sufficient. … Nothing can be achieved by it alone so long as the special conditions attached to esoteric training are not accepted.” ~Rudolf Steiner

Do What Your Taught

Whether you call it esoteric, mystic, or spiritual, training in this art is necessary as is a need to follow rules and instruction. As Mr. Steiner says, you can’t become a painter if you are unwilling to handle a paint brush, paint knife, or some modern equivalent such as an air gun. In other words, you can’t be a painter just by wishing it to be true; you actually have to start painting something, even if it isn’t good. And for best results you need to get some instruction from a competent art teacher, or apprentice with an accomplished painter. Continue reading “Teacher and Student Relationship in a Spiritual School”