Mystery Schools, founded by
mystics, have been the caretakers of spiritual knowledge for
thousands of years. Virtually all of the surviving
major religions base their tenets on the words and deeds of
a great mystic being.
Such founders not
identified as Masters in their lifetimes become so after
death at the installation of a priesthood. Once deceased,
the reputation, teachings, and personality characteristics
of the departed Master become the property of a designated,
or assumed priesthood who thereafter act as interpreters and
arbiters of their Master's divine wisdom.
So, while mystic
experience has spawned great religious systems, the
caretakers of these systems have destroyed the mystic basis
for further additions of knowledge, though they continue to
maintain that their particular avatars or prophets possessed
esoteric knowledge and mystic abilities. These mystics had
direct access to Infinity.
The one thing the
religious and academic communities can not change is the
history left to us regarding mysticism, metaphysics, and the
esoterica of previous generations. We have their work laced
across the planet, stored in a systematic way, waiting for
those who are particularly suited to gather that which has
been scattered, and to return it to the public domain as
general knowledge. It was mystics, metaphysicians, and
esotericists who introduced the Divine sciences to humankind
in the past, therefore the only possibility of recovering
the fullness of this knowledge is to trace the flow of
mysticism through recorded history from the present to its
point of origin if we can.
If one starts on this
path from the West, all roads lead to Egypt. In many cases
in the ancient world of the Middle East, conquerors not only
introduced their own laws and taxes, but also superimposed
their own national religion on the conquered. Then as now,
religion was highly political.
In the case of the
Egyptian religion precisely the opposite became the norm.
The Greeks, the Romans, and then unwittingly the Christian
world adopted the principles and tenets of the Egyptian
Early on, initiates
who returned to their native lands after attending the
Egyptian Mystery School (many of them Greek and Roman,)
brought with them the secret teachings acquired in Egypt.
These 500 or so initiated graduates introduced such a
grandly refined and well presented body of knowledge that
virtually all of the modern Western concepts of religion,
law, philosophy and government can be traced to ancient
Owing to the
excellence of Egyptian understanding, both the Greeks and
the Romans imported Egyptian priests into their households
and communities. It is amazing to find that these two
conquering societies were religious liberals. Liberal, of
course, means having an open mind.
While the flow of
priests is largely unknown, some of the finest Egyptian
monuments, statuary, obelisks, and art now rest in Italy,
France, England, Germany, and the U.S., in public squares at
the Vatican, in the Louvre, in private collections, museums,
and even Central Park. Virtually all of such treasures were
either temple decorations, or part of the geodetic
infrastructure by which the priesthood measured and mapped
both heaven and earth.
During the dark and
middle ages of Europe, many of the ancient Egyptian
teachings were disguised in song, in poetry, literature, and
art in such ways as to promulgate the principles without
revealing their true esoteric nature. There were also a
series of secret societies such as the Knights Templar who
gave their light to the Masons, the Rosicrucians, the
Knights Templar and others which became vessels for specific
parts of the secret teachings of all ages. The preservation
of symbols was an important part of their arcana.
The mystic trail is
long, sometimes wide and watered down, sometimes very narrow
and specific. Mysticism is tough to trace because in the
political limitations forced upon it by emerging belief
systems. The combination of alliances between churches and
states have largely been successful in alternately
expunging, or appropriating the accomplishments of great
mystics from history itself. History, as we all know, is
written by the victor.
In Egypt, it's hard
not to stub your toe on things ancient and profound. The
digging up of physical evidence is not the all in all
however. What modern science has failed to understand is
that the indigenous religion was an almost completely
separate structure from the Great Mystery School at Giza.
The Pyramid complex at
Giza was enclosed on all sides by high stone walls. The
remnants of the perimeter are still visible today. Like its
ancient predecessors, The Mystery School at Giza was an
hermetically sealed environment, physically and mystically.
Profane persons never entered inside the walls, much less
the Temples. It was a world unto itself.
The lone exception was
the person of the Pharaoh. According to Manly Palmer Hall,
the Pharaoh participated in the initiation of the third
degree. In this test, a candidate for initiation into the
degree was first tempted by the Pharaoh, who offered his
crown to the initiate in exchange for quitting the Mystery
School. The candidate was said to have to discard the crown,
and throw it on the ground to pass one of the tests of
As a political
reality, he Mystery School respected the position of the
Pharaoh who had jurisdiction over the indiginous laws,
temple system, priesthood, and subjects. The mystery school
probably shared enough of their mystic techniques for a
Pharaoh to occasionally impress everybody. But the Mystery
School at Giza never was a part of the native Egyptian
religion. Some Pharaohs were interred in proximity to the
Pyramids, but no Pyramid was ever used as a tomb for one.
The school and its
teachings were preserved until the Roman occupation. The
burning and destruction of the Library at Alexandria was the
beginning of the end.
But much of the
ancient wisdom was preserved in Gnosticism which originated
in Egypt. The neo-platonic Gnostic school of Alexandria
became its center in the first century A.D. From mystery
teachings of the various Gnostics sprang Christianty, Middle
–Eastern mysticism and Jewish gnosticism. The latter
survived in the Jewish Kabbalah.
The various Gnostic sects
played an important part in early Christianity and the
formation of its myths and gospel. Their influence and
tradition essentially came to an end when the Jesus myth was
adopted by Rome. Faith became fused with the ruling power
when Eemperor Constantine established a state religion in
the fourth century A.D., uniting all religion under his
rule. He forced all the religions of the Roman Empire to
come together as one and agree on one set of teachings. All
other religious organizations were outlawed.
Gnosticism and the ragged remnants
of other Mystery Schools, remained a source of inspiration,
however, for the few who knew of its ideas, which were kept
secret. At the center was the belief that the seen and
unseen world is the manifestation of the One Divine Being.
Gnostic texts concern the fall of man from the divine to the
material world. The spark of divine light imprisoned in man
is to be set free so that it may return to God. Gnosis,
the spiritual experience, is said to rank over analytical
knowledge. It was said to be obtained by various
initiations. Use of hallucinogens may have played a part in
obtaining mystical experiences.
Gnosticism influenced many heretical West-European sects,
such as the Kathars in
the Middle Ages, who were fiercely persecuted, and mystics
In the eighth and
ninth centuries A.D. Baghdad had become the great
intellectual center of Arabic studies. Scientific and
philosophical books were disseminated through the Moorish
emirate of Cordoba, Spain. The universities of Granada and
Saragossa made translations available of the great Greek
classical works from Arabic into Latin.
On the basis of the
few documents that have survived from later centuries
scholars take it that a myth struck root around the Jewish
wisdom teacher Joshua (in Greek Jesus). The Catholic Church
absorbed these teachings along with the mystery teachings of
the popular pagan religions of the day. The Biblical Jesus
is a combination of the gods revered at the time.
Osiris-Dionysus for instance, was considered a Son of God
and was born to a virgin on the 25th of December before
Another tradition that reached Europe was that of Jewish
mysticism. Their esoteric doctrine the Kabbalah appeared in
Jewish mystic circles in Spain and Southern France in the
12th century. Its oldest part, the Sefer
Jetsira, was written between the third and sixth
According to this
belief God gave a second revelation to Moses together with
the Law. It explained the secret meaning of the Law. This
revelation is said to have been passed on down the ages by
initiates. Kabbalistic studies in the Hebrew scriptures
developed in a theosophical mystique and sometimes in a sort
of unintended religious magic.
Shortly before the
expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 Pico della
Mirandola in Florence conceived a Christian version of the
Kabbalah. He associated the Kabbalistic truths with those of
Greek Hermeticism, derived from the Egyptian mystics. Thus
an amalgamy was introduced between the tradition attributed
to the Greek Hermes Trismegistus and Jewish mysticism
purportedly descending from Moses.