Taking leave of your teachers
There are several special moments in the lifetime of each human being when a certain development has been completed and a new development begins. Obviously birth and death are the most radical examples. Other milestones include your first day of school, graduating, getting your first job, starting to live on your own, marriage, children, divorce and retirement.
In all these phases life is lived, lessons are learned and certain qualities are developed.
Sometimes it can be said of a person that youth was like a flower and old age like a bouquet. It could be a fresh and radiant bouquet, but it could also be a withered one. But that is just the outside, which is always subject to decay. The inside of man, his essence, is eternal, imperishable and always seeking opportunities to manifest itself in a more majestic and mighty way in harmony with the divine plan of creation.
In our lives things often happen quite differently than we had imagined or wished. Sometimes, when you look back on your life, you may find that all of your life experiences, no matter how radical they may have been, have contributed to a certain purification. And sometimes you feel that certain things just had to happen in order to either push you in a certain direction or to protect you.
When you look back at your experiences, most of them have turned out to have been purifications and blessings for the benefit of a great purpose. Everything in life has a spiritual purpose which usually can only be established in retrospect: purification! Then a particular mystery has taken place that previously could not have been fathomed: life itself, with all its aspects that seem to us to occur aimlessly, has initiated the lower man into higher truths.
Such higher truths cannot possibly be found in books and temples; they cannot be transmitted by masters or gurus. No, they have to be found by us in that place where initially we neither seek nor expect to find it: within ourselves. Our Self (with a capital ‘S’) is waiting to be discovered by ourselves (with a lowercase ‘s’).
Throughout all times mystery schools have existed in order to help people on their twofold path, schools in which both the personality and the soul were instructed. Pure guidelines that mortal men can follow were given lovingly to the personality, such as the recommendations of the Buddha that Elihu mentions in The Aquarian Gospel:
If men hate you regard it not; and you can turn the hate of men to love and mercy and goodwill, and mercy is as large as all the heavens.
And there is good enough for all. With good destroy the bad; with generous deeds make avarice ashamed; with truth make straight the crooked lines that error draws, for error is but truth distorted, gone astray.
He is a greater man who conquers self than he who kills a thousand men in war.
He is the noble man who is himself what he believes that other men should be.
Return to him who does you wrong your purest love, and he will cease from doing wrong; for love will purify the heart of him who is beloved as truly as it purifies the heart of him who loves.
Similar guidelines can be found in various guises in the Holy Language of all time. People who follow the spiritual path will recognise the high purity of these guidelines and spontaneously direct themselves to them because they reflect the high life of the soul. In this way they create the opportunity for the Spirit to connect with the soul.
By nature a human being, just as all other living beings on this planet, is focused on self-preservation until his last breath. Self-preservation is a necessary life force which on the spiritual path often stands diametrically opposed to the higher principles of the soul.
This sometimes causes us to experience our path as a long and especially arduous one. But the ineradicable longing for human dignity and inner life drives us to proceed on our way.
Daytime-life and nighttime-life
The inner man on the way to adulthood is not left without instruction. The soul belongs to the spiritual world but lives in the body of a mortal human being. It is completely connected with everything that happens in that person. And that is quite something because both the daytime life and the nighttime life of man provide a continuous series of impressions and influences in the form of thoughts, feelings and actions.
A mystery school is therefore much more than a building, in which certain masters are present and where only select pupils are admitted. A mystery school is first and foremost a force field, a field of energy where Truth (with a capital T) can express itself.
The Mysteries are ageless and unassailable. When we read that Elizabeth, John, Jesus, Mary and Joseph (who are all aspects of ourselves) were taught in the mystery school of Elihu and Salome, then a very special fact is revealed to us: both the personality and the soul are brought into contact with the force field of the Truth and are taught and nourished, each according to its own quality.
For the personality, the guidelines are presented in the form of Holy Scriptures, perceptible to the senses. Teachers appear in the world as representatives and bearers of the truth in human shape. Schools are established around the world so that people are enabled to make a connection with Truth and raise themselves up to it.
But the soul needs no physical form of teaching – it breathes in Truth; it lives by Truth. Due to its connection with the personality, the soul is literally deprived of its “breath” and thus of its opportunity to reveal itself.
It is not hard to imagine the damage that is caused by emotions such as jealousy, hatred, criticism and greed to both the inner and the outer human being. When someone is full of criticism, he is focused exclusively on the subject of his criticism. As a result he shuts himself off completely from the life of the soul which is then shunted to the background.
For that reason, the soul is instructed in how to steer the personality, for it is the personality that encounters many things in everyday life to which it is obliged to respond.
Often the situation can be rather confusing: on the one hand, the candidate on the path strives for the purest reaction, but that pure deed diametrically opposes his own self-preserving and self-centred nature!
The teaching of the soul takes place predominantly during the hours of sleep. “The sleep of the body is the soberness of the soul” reads an ancient hermetic text. Depending upon the directedness of the personality, during the nighttime the soul may be allowed to detach itself from the personality in order to establish a link with its own field.
There the soul receives council and instructions on how the personality can be lifted above itself in the best way, in order to let it remain subservient to the soul. During the daytime life, these nightly lessons of the soul can become apparent to the candidate by means of his reactions to events in everyday life.
Therefore, the mystery school of the soul can neither be perceived with the eyes nor understood with the intellect alone. The school of the soul reveals itself in those who actually follow the spiritual path and become disciples of the soul.
When the soul has just been born in man, it is vulnerable. It must be cared for and it needs food. That food does not consist of physical sustenance or knowledge but rather of a special force. The person concerned is not yet able to attract or liberate this force by himself, but it can be found in mystery schools.
Joseph, Mary and Elizabeth with Jesus and John – all those aspects in ourselves – are initiated in the mystery school of Zoan and strengthened to carry out the inner work.
They enter a new phase in their development. In The Aquarian Gospel it is said that after three years of teaching they return to their homes, but not to Jerusalem where Archelaus, son of Herod, still reigns.
For although the personality is being instructed as well, its forces are still too dangerous for the soul. Yet at the same time, the inner strength gained as a result of years of inward directedness can be considered sufficiently strong because:
Elihu said to Mary and Elizabeth, Our words are said; you need not tarry longer here; the call has come; the way is clear, you may return unto your native land.