Have you ever wondered why mystery schools are secret? Isn’t God for everyone? Isn’t wisdom best when it is shared? People who keep information and practices secret must be in a cult, right?
Well, not really. There really is a good reason why mystery schools are secret. I didn’t understand it until confronted with what it looks like when information gets into the hands of the uninitiated. Here’s what I mean.
I was listening to someone speak about the traditions and culture of a group she did not belong to. She had lots of respect and meant to honor this group. However, her words were not correct. Everything she said was filtered through the lens of her mainstream worldview. She lacked subtlety and understanding. So although she had the right spirit, her information was wrong.
Being a member of the mainstream society, she has more access to mainstream people who are eager to consume this type of information. Over time, her views become the standard interpretation of these practices and beliefs. In the end, her distortions pass as the truth and the true teachings get lost.
Sometimes this can have disastrous consequences. For example, I work with lots of people who have spiritual emergencies. They need a spiritual intervention, and there are lots of willing people who will help with that. Unfortunately, many of these people learn techniques that are stripped of culture and cosmology.
You can’t remove the spirit of a thing and expect it to be the same. Orange scent is not orange essential oil. If you don’t know the difference, you could create something ineffective or even harmful. Trying to dabble in the spirit world without knowledge or protection can also be very harmful to the practitioner. Instead of trying to help calm someone’s mind, you could end up making them or you crazy.
I know we live in a capitalistic society where everything can be bought. We leverage our time so that we can make as much money as possible. We think that we ought to make money doing what we love. Sharing our gifts are just part of living our purpose. So we pursue a life that combines spirituality with our gifts and profession. There is nothing wrong with capitalism, but that is really western thinking!
There is a reason why masters of esoteric spiritual and healing practices don’t teach just anyone. Everyone isn’t cut out to be a wisdom carrier or healer. It takes years of discipline to learn the underlying structure and interconnected web of information that supports the practices. Your body, mind, and energy body have to be ready for the responsibility that this entails as well. You can’t learn this in a weekend or even a six month online course.
This is a good thing. Wisdom percolates. It needs time to digest and filter into your cells. Some will get bored and drop out. Some may be so filled with ego or rage that they aren’t ready to wield the power that come with wisdom so their apprenticeship is terminated. The time spent in learning uncovers these and other issues.
The learning process helps you to understand the saying, “Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment; chop wood, carry water.” So often we get to the place that feels like enlightenment and then we think we’re done. So we never get to the other side. We carry our ignorance with us into the world thinking that we’re so wise. The ignorant sell ignorance to the masses without awareness that a whole different world exists.
When that explodes, as it must, the wisdom of the mystery schools endures and brings light back to the world. You see the world is always moving from light to chaos and back again. When the mysteries stay in the dark, they are preserved from corruption so that they can emerge again. If you are fortunate enough to be privy to these teachings, you already know to keep them there. If you stumble upon them accidentally, you might wish to do the same. If you’re pursuing enlightenment and want real, true knowledge, put your head down, get your ego out of it, and hang on for a long ride. In ten or twenty years, you might understand something worth knowing. When you get there, you will realize that some things are not for mass consumption.