Esoteric Schools are for those seeking personal transformation. They should not be discussion groups for a general ranging across a wide field of different approaches. The value of a true school lies in its focus. That focus can help you to transform your life if you can develop the will to do so within its “walls”
The shallowness of much of modern esoteric practice derives from the fact that there is the expectation of result from very little effort, and that the meaning of the esoteric term “The Work” is misunderstood.
The Work has always been here. It surrounds us like a vast and loving Sea, it constantly calls to those who have attuned their lives to its presence. We do not manifest it; rather it manifests itself, using the vehicle of our Selves as a wonderful resolving engine, whereby it may reach its ground state – that of coming into being in our lives and thereby the collective life of the Earth.
To achieve that at the individual level requires a curious combination of Active and Passive skills. The Work will use everything positive that we have to offer it. In this respect, we are a very active part of the process of the Work’s manifestation. The passive element is that it cannot carry out its purpose while we are in the way . . .
To not be in the way means to remove our “belonging to personality”, and to learn to act from Essence, instead. To begin to do this needs a carefully structured approach, ideally personalised to each individual. Where this is not possible, working with a Group can accelerate the process, and add a feeling of conscious harmony.
Every esoteric school has to be built on certain principles. We have adopted an ancient seven, comprising the following:
The attraction of Knowledge
The essential presence of Struggle and Hazard
The personal need for Service
Getting out of the way of the Work – Manifestation
Receptivity to higher influences – opening ourselves to the loving Cosmos
Discovery and Submission to a Higher Will without any loss of individuality
Striving for Perfection.
As an example, let us take the first, the Attraction of Knowledge, and expand on our thinking a little.
We confuse Knowledge and Understanding. Knowledge leads to understanding, but only when we can see the “bigger picture”. Initially, this sounds counter-intuitive. How can we know the bigger picture when we are struggling to get to know the basics of our esoteric learning? The answer is strange and wonderful: as we work from “Below” (and for this, we should only understand something more limited than the “Above”, not lesser in its essential qualities), the higher Understanding works from Above, and can only work in us. This dual process is built into us so that we all have some chance of fulfilling the magnificent spiritual potential that we all share.
When knowledge becomes understanding, we know it to be so. There is no inner argument, no doubt. It is as though we have grasped something with more than one part of ourselves. Often, our emotions are involved, such as the joy of the whole being in attaining a new skill – learning to ride a bike, or learning to ski, or being able for the first time to hold a small conversation in a new language. These encounters with the “Higher” we take to be just personal revelations, but they are more than that, and are there to show us what potential lies ahead if we are bold and unafraid.