Article - Laura Knight-Jadczyk

Commentary on Boris Mouravieff's Gnosis

The cult of Demeter which celebrated the Eleusinian rites was well established in Mycenaea in the 13th century BC, and it is more than likely that the Feast of Tabernacles in Canaan was an offshoot of this activity. Our sources of information regarding the Eleusinian Mysteries include the ruins of the sanctuary there; numerous statues, bas reliefs, and pottery. We also have reports from ancient writers such as Aeschylos, Sophocles, Herodotus, Aristophanes, Plutarch, and Pausanias - all of whom were initiates - as well as the accounts of Christian commentators like Clement of Alexandria, Hippolytus, Tertullian, and Astorias, who were critics and not initiates. Yet for all this evidence, the true nature of the Mysteries remains shrouded in uncertainty because the participants were remarkably steadfast in honoring their pledge not to reveal what took place in the Telesterion, or inner sanctum of the Temple of Demeter. To violate that oath of secrecy was a capital offense. For these reasons,scholars today must make use of circumstantial evidence and inferences, with the result that there is still no consensus as to what did or did not take place.

Many experts have concluded - probably erroneously - that the Mysteries at Eleusis originally must have come from Egypt. The fact is, the sanctuary ruins in Eleusis evidently go back centuries earlier than the Egyptian Hymn to Demeter recited by Homer that is often cited as the proof that the origin was Egyptian. What is more, the excavations have unearthed no Egyptian artifacts there from that period.

Many scholars today favor the view that the cult of Demeter probably derived from Thessaly or Thrace. They base this conclusion partly on references in Homer and other ancient authors to some evidently pre-Dorian temples to Demeter in the Thessalian towns of Thermopylae, Pyrasos, and Pherai; partly on certain etymological links connecting key words in the rites of Demeter to pre-Hellenic dialects from the north . Other scholars point out that Demeter may be the same as a goddess "Dameter," who is mentioned briefly in Linear B tablets from Pylos dating from approximately 1200 BC. This evidence suggests that the cult of Demeter may after all have originated in the southern Peleponnesus.

In any case, whether the specific cult of Demeter at Eleusis originated in northern or southern Greece, the undeniable parallels with worship of grain goddesses in other parts of the eastern Mediterranean region point to frequent contacts and the cross-fertilization of religious ideas. And we certainly think that the Canaanite Feast of Tabernacles was a corrupted version of some more ancient form.

As it happens, the term "Thesmophoria" is derived from thesmoi, meaning "laws," and phoria, "carrying," in reference to the goddess as "law-bearer." But the symbolism of the ark as the "law bearer" in the "tent of meeting," or the "Mother-Delta," the "doorway to the higher realms," replaced the original meaning and the role of women in the process. Based on our own researches, we believe that True Christianity - which is almost virtually unknown today - was a resurgence of a very ancient Tradition - and that this same Tradition was preserved, in part, in Shamanic lore, was part of the Cathar beliefs as well as the true meaning of the Grail legends.

Jessie L. Weston writes in From Ritual to Romance:

The more closely one studies pre-Christian Theology, the more strongly one is impressed with the deeply and daringly spiritual character of its speculations, and the more doubtful it appears that such teaching can depend upon the unaided processes of human thought, or can have been evolved from such germs as we find among the supposedly 'primitive' peoples... Are they really primitive? Or are we dealing, not with the primary elements of religion, but with the disjecta membra of a vanished civilization?

Certain it is that so far as historical evidence goes our earliest records point to the recognition of a spiritual, not of a material, origin of the human race. Students of the Grail literature cannot fail to have been impressed by a certain atmosphere of awe and mystery which surrounds that enigmatic Vessel. There is a secret connected with it, the revelation of which will entail dire misfortune on the betrayer. [...] It is so secret a thing that no woman, be she wife or maid, may venture to speak of it. [...]

There is no doubt that the Grail was something secret, mysterious and awful, the exact knowledge of which was reserved to a select few. […] The Nature Cults still remain reliable guides; it is their inner, their esoteric, ritual which will enable us to bridge the gulf between what appears at first sight the wholly irreconcilable elements of Folk-tale and high Spiritual mystery."

In our work on Noah, we have tracked the Grail legends back to prehistoric times - in Western Europe and Central Asia - via the very area emphasized in many other ancient myths, including that of Jason and the Argonauts: Colchis and the Caucasus regions. Mircea Eliade writes:

Recent researches have clearly brought out the "shamanic" elements in the religion of the paleolithic hunters. Horst Kierchner has interpreted the celebrated relief at Lascaux as a representation of a shamanic trance. The same author considers that the "kommandostabe" - mysterious objects found in prehistoric sites - are drumsticks. If this interpretation is accepted, the prehistoric sorcerers would already have used drums comparable to those of the Siberian shamans.

Finally, Karl J. Narr has reconsidered the problem of the "origin" and chronology of shamanism in his important study. He brings out the influence of notions of fertility (Venus statuettes) on the religious beliefs of the prehistoric North Asian hunters; but this influence did not disrupt the paleolithic tradition. His conclusions are as follows: Animal skulls and bones found in the sites of the European Paleolithic (before 50,000 - ca. 30,000 BC) can be interpreted as ritual offerings. [...] Soon afterward, probably about 25,000 BC, Europe offers evidence for the earliest forms of shamanism (Lascaux) with the plastic representations of the bird, the tutelary spirit, and ecstasy. [...]

What appears to be certain is the antiquity of "shamanic" rituals and symbols. It remains to be determined whether these documents brought to light by prehistoric discoveries represent the first expressions of a shamanism in statu nascendi or are merely the earliest documents today available for an earlier religious complex, which, however, did not find "plastic" manifestations (drawings, ritual objects, etc) before the period of Lascaux.[…]

Everywhere in those lands, [ in Central and North Asia,] and from the earliest times, we find documents for the existence of a Supreme Being of celestial structure, who also corresponds morphologically to all the other Supreme Beings of the archaic religions. The symbolism of ascent, with all the rites and myths dependent on it, must be connected with celestial Supreme Beings; we know that "height" was sacred as such, that many supreme gods of archaic peoples are called "He on high," or "he of the Sky," or simply "Sky." This symbolism of ascent and "height" retains its value even after the "withdrawal" of the celestial Supreme Being - for, as is well known, Supreme Beings gradually lose their active place in the cult, giving way to religious forms that are more "dynamic" and "familiar" (the gods of storm and fertility, demiurges, the souls of the dead, the Great Goddesses, etc.) […]

The reduction or even the total loss in religious currency of uranian Supreme Beings is sometimes indicated in myths concerning a primordial and paradisal time when communications between heaven and earth were easy and accessible to everyone; as the result of some happening, these communications were broken off and the Supreme Beings withdrew to the highest sky.[…]

The disappearance of the cult of the celestial Supreme Being did not nullify the symbolism of ascent with all its implication. […] The shamanic ecstasy could be considered a reactualization of the mythical illud tempus when men could communicate in concreto with the sky. It is indubitable that the celestial ascent of the shaman is a survival, profoundly modified and sometimes degenerate, of this archaic religious ideology centered on faith in a celestial Supreme Being and belief in concrete communications between heaven and earth. […] The myths refer to more intimate relations between the Supreme Beings and shamans; in particular, they tell of a First Shaman, sent to earth by the Supreme Being or his surrogate to defend human beings against diseases and evil spirits.

This historical change in the religions of Central and North Asia […] in turn altered the meaning of the shaman's ecstatic experience. Descents to the underworld, the struggle against evil spirits, the increasingly familiar relations with "spirits" that result in their "embodiment" or in the shaman's being "possessed" by "spirits," are innovations, most of them recent. In addition, there are the influences from the south, which appeared quite early and which altered both cosmology and the mythology and techniques of ecstasy. Among these southern influences we must reckon, in later times, the contribution of Buddhism and Lamaism, added to the Iranian and, in the last analysis, Mesopotamian influences that preceded them.

The initiatory schema of the shaman's ritual death and resurrection is likewise an innovation, but one that goes back to much earlier times; in any case, it cannot be ascribed to influences from the ancient Near East. But the innovations introduced by the ancestor cult particularly affected the structure of this initatory schema. The very concept of mystical death was altered by the many and various religious changes effected by lunar mythologies, the cult of the dead, and the elaboration of magical ideologies.[including Egyptian]

Hence we must conceive of Asiatic shamanism as an archaic technique of ecstasy whose original underlying ideology - belief in a celestial Supreme Being with whom it was possible to have direct relations by ascending into the sky - was constantly being transformed by a ongoing series of exotic contributions culminating in the invasion of Buddhism.

The concept of mystical death, furthermore, encouraged increasingly regular relations with the ancestral souls and the "spirits," relations that ended in "possession." The phenomenology of the trance underwent many changes and corruptions, due in large part to confusion as to the precise nature of ecstasy. Yet all these innovations and corruptions did not succeed in eliminating the possibility of the true shamanic ecstasy.

More than once we have discerned in the shamanic experience a "nostalgia for paradise" that suggests one of the oldest types of Christian mystical experience. As for the "inner light," which plays a part of the first importance in Indian mysticism and metaphysics as well as in Christian mystical theology, it is already documented in shamanism.

But shamanism is important not only for the place that it holds in the history of mysticism. The shamans have played an essential role in the defense of the psychic integrity of the community They are preeminently the antidemonic champions; they combat not only demons and disease, but also the black magicians. [A shaman is a] tireless slayer of demons. The military elements that are of great importance in certain types of Asian shamanism (lance, cuirass, bow, sword, etc.) are accounted for by the requirements of war against the demons, the true enemies of humanity. In a way it can be said that shamanism defends life, health, fertility, the world of "light," against death, diseases, sterility, disaster, and the world of "darkness."[...]

What is fundamental and universal is the shaman's struggle against what we could call "the powers of evil." […] The shaman's essential role in the defense of the psychic integrity of the community depends above all on this: men are sure that one of them is able to help them in the critical circumstances produced by the inhabitants of the invisible world. […] A member of the community is able to see what is hidden and invisible to the rest and to bring back direct and reliable information from the supernatural worlds.[…]

We have already referred to the likenesses between the accounts of shamanic ecstasies and certain epic themes in oral literature. The shaman's adventures in the other world, the ordeals that he undergoes in his ecstatic descents below and ascents to the sky, suggest the adventures of the figures in popular tales and the heroes of epic literature. Probably a large number of epic "subjects" or motifs, as well as many characters, images, and cliches of epic literature, are, finally, of ecstatic origin, in the sense that they were borrowed from the narrative of shamans describing their journeys and adventures in the superhuman worlds. [ Eliade, Mircea, Shamanism, Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy.]

In short, we suggest that Esoteric Christianity - the REAL teachings of Jesus - were a revival of the most ancient of True Traditions of Freedom - an antediluvian tradition handed down from the Ancient Athenians of Plato's myth - the defenders of the world against the Evil Empire of Atlantis. This Evil Empire of Atlantis is reincarnated in the present day - the controlling empire of our world - and seeks to establish a One World control system exactly as Atlantis did ages ago. Part of the means of doing this includes brainwashing the masses, even those who are seeking alternative explanations in philosophy and religion. For those who seek outside the already corrupted standard religions, there is now the Stargate Conspiracy - the promotion of Egyptian and South American mysticism as the source of the Tradition. And it is a lie.

Christianity is quite interesting when one removes the obvious gloss of the Egyptian resurrection myth. When the reader is fully informed about the variations on these two themes, it is almost pathetically easy to read the New Testament and see what might be original to "Jesus," and what was added by the "creators" of Christianity as we know it.

What is even more interesting was the fact that the only writings contemporary to the times of early Christianity, which mention it specifically, remark that it is a "vile superstition." Yet, what we have as Christianity today, is nothing more or less than the same religious practices of the peoples who branded it a "vile superstition." Obviously something very strange happened between the times of the early Christians, and the times in which Christianity became the established religion. And whatever it was that happened, changed Christianity from a "vile superstition" to an acceptable, all-inclusive, monotheistic device. In short, it seems evident that "true Christianity" has completely disappeared from the world stage and those individuals who call themselves Christian are not, in fact, Christians in the original sense of the word by any stretch of the imagination.

The question that comes to mind is: what would the peoples of that time have considered a "vile superstition," when one is aware of what they considered normal religious practice? The only thing that seemed to fit the bill, so to say, is the possibility that whoever was the figure around which the Jesus legend was wrapped, was teaching that the "God of this world" was an "evil magician." Not only that, but that he probably suggested that man is the manifestation of God, and all creation is the "body of God," and that there was no point in praying to an "external god" at all. Now that would have set just about everybody back then on fire! To suggest that sacrifice to the gods, that appeasing the gods, that honoring the gods, that praying to the gods, that expecting to be saved by or cleansed from sin by any of the gods, was a waste of time would have been absolute heresy to all of the many religions! For them, such an idea, and only such an idea, would have been most definitely a "vile superstition."

In fact, we have something of a parallel in some remarks about Pythagoras. He was accused of believing the "vile superstitions" of the barbarians, that a soul is born over and over again into different bodies as opposed to the nonsense of the Egyptians that induced them to place all their hopes in a physical resurrection, for which purpose they went to such extremes as attempting to preserve their bodies for that future resurrection!

Clement of Alexandria writes:

These are the times of the oldest wise men and philosophers among the Greeks. And that the most of them were barbarians by extraction, and were trained among barbarians, what need is there to say? Pythagoras is shown to have been either a Tuscan or a Tyrian. And Antisthenes was a Phrygian. And Orpheus was an Odrysian or a Thracian. The most, too, show Homer to have been an Egyptian. Thales was a Phoenician by birth, and was said to have consorted with the prophets of the Egyptians; as also Pythagoras did with the same persons, by whom he was circumcised, that he might enter the adytum and learn from the Egyptians the mystic philosophy. He held converse with the chief of the Chaldeans and the Magi; and he gave a hint of the church, now so called, in the common hall which he maintained. And Plato does not deny that he procured all that is most excellent in philosophy from the barbarians; and he admits that he came into Egypt.

Whence, writing in the Phaedo that the philosopher can receive aid from all sides, he said: "Great indeed is Greece, O Cebes, in which everywhere there are good men, and many are the races of the barbarians."[…]

And in the Symposium, Plato, landing the barbarians as practicing philosophy with conspicuous excellence, truly says: "And in many other instances both among Greeks and barbarians, whose temples reared for such sons are already numerous." And it is clear that the barbarians signally honoured their lawgivers and teachers, designating them gods. For, according to Plato, "they think that good souls, on quitting the supercelestial region, submit to come to this Tartarus; and assuming a body, share in all the ills which are involved in birth, from their solicitude for the race of men;" and these make laws and publish philosophy, "than which no greater boon ever came from the gods to the race of men, or will come.[…]

And it is well known that Plato is found perpetually celebrating the barbarians, remembering that both himself and Pythagoras learned the most and the noblest of their dogmas among the barbarians.[…] [Circa AD 260-340]

But, as one notices when reading Clement, he has an agenda to validate Judaism and the New Covenant of Christianity. He identified "barbarians" as including Egyptians, Persian, Hindus, Babylonians, Phrygians, and so on. Again we find that all we can discover about the deeper beliefs of the ancient secret schools is what we hear from their detractors. In the end, Clement promoted the idea that the "true philosophy" was Hebrew, and that it was preserved most closely in the Egyptian "Mystery Schools." This twisting of the facts by someone with an agenda, has been the foundation for centuries of researchers to look in the wrong direction for the answers, and to follow the wrong clues regarding such things as the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail.

The teaching of Jesus - whatever his real name was - was obviously this True Tradition, and was later corrupted and glossed by those who rewrote the Bible for purposes of power and control.

But this is nothing new.  Time after time the Esoteric Tradition is misunderstood or deliberately buried, and so it dies.  Then, when the time is ripe, it must either be restored or rephrased.  In the meantime, the meaning is kept alive in communities or schools symbolized by the name "ark," of which Noah's Ark was one.

A clear sign that the inner knowledge has been misunderstood is the idea that the inner knowledge is "secret."  This misunderstanding comes from a lack of comprehension of the term "inner" itself.  The impression is conveyed that these ideas are the possession of an "inner group" and are not to be given to others, when nothing could be further from the truth.  The real problem is due to what we now understand as "vectors of direction," the many "agents of the Matrix" in our reality who interpret the terminology in a purely material way, and promote their versions on the unsuspecting public.  An example is the case of the crucifixion itself.  The words that Paul used to describe "Christ crucified" have nothing to do with an historical event, and everything to do with an "inner event."  The crucifixion describes things which can and do happen within and between serious esoteric students and is a clear analogy for problems of the inner life of man which urgently require study.  Those who understand the crucifixion in a purely outward way, or who cling to the past as promoted by the Control System, miss the living tradition.

As Jesus said:  "let the dead bury the dead."

The fact is: inner knowledge is freely available to all those who are willing to look into themselves and face the pain that this brings.

Boris Mouravieff tells us that the Christian Esoteric Tradition has always remained alive within certain monasteries in Greece, Russia, and elsewhere.  It is true that this knowledge was hermetically hidden, but at the same time, its existence was known and access to it was never forbidden to those seriously interested in esoteric questions.

Mouravieff tells us that his commentaries are drawn directly from the Eastern Christian Tradition: the sacred texts, the commentaries written around these texts, and especially from the Philokalia which is, above all, the same teaching and discipline, transmitted by fully authorized individuals.

Attentive examination and comparison of Mouravieff's work to that of Ouspensky and Gurdjieff will show the incomplete character of the latter, as well as the deviations from the ancient doctrine.

Christ categorically affirmed that entry into the Kingdom of God is closed to those who have not been born anew.  This second Birth is the object and goal of esoteric work.

Mouravieff tells us:

The greatest genuine faith, human intelligence, and goodwill, are not sufficient to prevent errors and deviations in everything that touches the domain of Revelation.  The errors and deviations of Ouspensky's book [declared by Gurdjieff to have been accurate as far as it went] - attest to the fact that it was not written under the aegis of the Esoteric Brotherhood.  This means that the facts on which the book was based have a fragmentary character,  In the esoteric realm, all fragmentary knowledge is a source of danger.

As it was in the past, so it is in the present:  certain Gnostic schools, seeing the imperfection of the created world, and without searching for the reason for the existence of these imperfections, have, by a shortcut of thought, jumped to conclusions. One modern day example is the work of Dr. J.S. Chiappalone.

The Tradition is One, whether it is the esoteric core of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sufism, or Sufism, and whoever delves deeply into these things cannot fail to note the Unity of the teachings.  All the great religions which have issued from the One Tradition are messages of truth - yet each of them addresses only part of humanity - parts with certain character.  Esoteric Christianity , in its perfect expression, aims at a general resurrection while other doctrines, even though they belong to the Truth, essentially aim at individual salvation and are therefore only partial revelations of the Tradition.

Most of the writings of the Philokalia were intended for people who had already acquired some proficiency in esoteric studies.  One could actually say the same about the Gospels, corrupted and glossed though they be.  Bishop Theophan, in his preface to the Philokalia, insists on the fact that without help nobody can succeed in penetrating the doctrine.  This is why esoteric science conserves and cultivates an oral tradition which brings the letter to life.  Oriental Orthodoxy has known how to keep this Tradition intact by applying the absolute rule of Hermetism in each particular case.  From generation to generation, ever since the time of the Apostles, it has led its disciples up to mystic experience.

If Hermetism has provided a safeguard for nearly twenty centuries, it must be said that circumstances have now changed.  At the current point in history, as at the time of the Coming of Christ, the veil has been partially raised.  Therefore, for those who want to advance beyond book knowledge, which never goes beyond the domain of information; for those who intensely seek the true sense of life, who want to understand the significance of the mission of those who labor in the vineyards of the Lord at the time of the Harvest, the possibility exists for initiation into this divine Wisdom, mysterious and hidden.

Mouravieff tells us that clarity of the New Testament can be extracted from obscurity by comparison to the Slavonic texts.  There are two reasons for this.  The first is that the translation of the New Testament into Slavonic was done at a time when the spirit of the texts still remained close to the original meaning.  The second is that the fixed nature of the Slavonic languages, Russian in particular, remain very close to the old Slavonic language which is still in used in the divine service of the Orthodox religion in the Slavic countries.

The Slavonic text is generally attributed to Constantine the Philosopher, also known as St. Cyril, and to his brother St. Methodius, both learned Greeks from Salonika.  Arriving in Chersonese of Tauric, St. Cyril found, in the ninth century, that the Gospels were already written in this language, suggesting that they were produced in a period when the forms remained alive - as stated by the apostle St. Andrew, who taught Christianity in Russia in the first century of the present era… close to the time of the events.

Mouravieff notes that all serious esoteric teaching, as in ordinary education, is almost uniform.

It is generally accepted that nobody can go on to secondary school without having completed an elementary education.  Nor can a person be admitted to a university without having a secondary education.  These graduations automatically "select" those able to become active members of the cultural elite of human society.

Exactly the same is true in the esoteric Tradition.

However, in our modern world, we encounter a curious phenomenon.  For example: we would not seek to discuss Newton's binomial theorem without having studied algebra, for without this, every opinion we expressed on the subject would be worthless.

Yet, in the esoteric field, we find a host of "experts" who declare their opinions on esotericism without having ever learned even the rudiments of this knowledge.

At the same time, some of them demand "simplicity" from esoteric teachings on the generally accepted principle that Truth itself must be simple.  They conclude from this that access to Truth ought to likewise be simple.  Then they assert that the methods to access Truth must be easily assimilable.

This argument would be perfectly correct if human beings and the problems they face were simple and just.  However, that is not the case.  There is a long road to travel from our state of distorted inner disorder to any "original simplicity."

In practice, the doctrine of "simplicity" - if regarded as an axiom - turns the student aside from the strait gate and the narrow way that leads to Life.  Impelled by this counter-truth, he believes he stands before this door, when he is in reality - although undoubtedly in perfectly good faith - walking the wide path that leads to perdition, ad majorem Diaboli gloriam, of course.

The Doctrine of Simplicity, correct in itself, but wrongly interpreted, becomes a snare for hearts and minds that are already too corrupt; a danger which should be recognized and avoided.

Some people complain that the subject of the fundamentals of esotericism is not simple.  Others have said that it leads to great clarity.  This apparent contradiction is explained by the fact that esotericism is addressed to readers who are predisposed to esoteric culture by their nature, formation or personal experience.

Jesus said: "Beware of false prophets which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves."  And then he adds:  "You shall know them by their fruits."

It is difficult, if not impossible, for an esoterically unevolved person to discern false prophets spontaneously.  He will recognize them more easily by their "fruits," by the observable results of their works, which serve as signs.  The Tradition knows and teaches a whole Science of signs.

Jesus further said:  "Temptations (snares, traps set to entice to sin) are sure to come, but woe to him by or through whom they come!  It would be more profitable for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were hurled into the sea than that he should cause to sin or be a snare…"

This warning is disturbing, but its value is real.  A thief can carry off our wealth; a 'ravening wolf' can deprive us of salvation. 

That 'ravening wolves' appear in sheep's clothing we shall learn from the following text, well-phrased to frighten us:

"It is not everyone that saith unto me:  Lord, Lord, who shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that accomplishes the will of my Father which is in Heaven.  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?  And in thy name have cast out devils?  And in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then I shall declare unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye who work iniquity."

The conclusion is that neither prophecies that are fulfilled nor the occurrence of miracles give us any surety against 'ravening wolves.'

And in our own times: "There shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they should deceive the very elect."

Our era is the time of Transition.  We are in the heart of this period, which is relatively short.  All the signs show that the necessary conditions for the End are emerging before our very eyes.

This time brings with it a great preparatory task for the transition to the approaching Cycle of the Holy Spirit.  The preparatory task fundamental to the Time of Transition can and must be accomplished under the Aegis of the Absolute, for human beings and BY human beings.  Success depends upon the emergence in the near future of a sufficient number of people belonging to a new human type - torch bearers who have an innate predisposition for esoteric work.  And, it is Women who must play the inspirational role in this difficult time of Transition leading to the promised era of redemption.

The objective of esoteric work is the march towards Consciousness, which means towards Truth.  The final aim that man can hope to achieve by esoteric work is to attain the Second Birth and so overcome Death. 

With rare exceptions, this aim can only be attained by the student through hared and methodical work.  The sum of the conscious efforts required is proportional to the degeneracy of the Personality.

The discipline is accepted voluntarily, but it is of iron.  The student can abandon the work at any moment to return to worldly interests.

The freedom of choice and the initiative demanded of the seeker bring a danger: that of taking the false for the true; the impure for the pure, allowing himself to become subject to traps and snares.  When such errors are made by the pure in heart, they will be warned in time, even if they persist in their error. 

The real danger, which can lead to mortal sin, to a definite check, occurs when an impure heart seeks to be served by higher psychic forces for its own egoistic ends.  This is a quagmire.

A curious phenomenon often occurs in the human mind when it considers the generally hermetized theories and facts of the esoteric realm.

In any field of science, pure, moral, applied, it is generally accepted that we must be well versed in a subject before we can give a valid opinion.  To speak seriously, one must speak of what one knows, which presupposes previous studies.

In the esoteric domain, many purveyors of "esoteric science" believe themselves to be competent without even completing an elementary education.  They may receive all kinds of "insights" and messages from all kinds of sources, but the problem with that is that they judge these messages and teachings to be positive or true before they have even developed within themselves the correct instrument with which to judge.

The problem is:  we KNOW that any given thing can only be conceived, understood and judged by something similar or higher.  Without this, all judgments, discussions and advice about esoteric facts remain comparable to evaluations and opinions about the shade of a specific color by someone born blind.

Just as the world we live in is closed off, invisible to the fetus in its mother's womb until the awakening of its birth, even so the higher planes of Life, the astral and spiritual, are similarly closed and invisible to us until the Second Birth.  Until then, man can only form hypotheses or refer to the testimony of authors who have themselves been Twice born.

As for passing valid judgments of these facts, no one can do this until he has himself crossed the second Threshold. 

What seems clear is that it is commonplace these days for people of perfectly good faith to persist in their ignorant attitudes about esotericism.  This phenomenon is due to two principle causes.  One is the general tendency of humans to claim qualities which exist in them only in potential, and the second - a consequence of the first - is the deification of Personality.  Without doing any real, prolonged work, they "trust themselves" or rely on their own "truth" to guide them. 

We are not speaking here of people of bad faith; we are speaking of sincere people who stray into gross error.  Their case is precisely that of the sick in need of a physician.  They are small "Sauls" who could be converted to small "Pauls," and thus might become useful laborers and earn a reward in the fields of the Lord.  But they wander in their searching beyond the place where they could receive compensation for the work that they have done.

In esoteric work the phenomenalist mentality seeks facts.  It looks for manifestations that confirm that its work is well founded, or which simply satisfy its curiosity.  This is where the snares and traps and greatest dangers lie.  For it is often possible to obtain the desired "facts" quite easily from the astral realms, to which the human personality also belongs.  When the personality is firmly anchored in the physical body it is generally incapable of making direct connection with the astral levels.  However, certain persons, known as sensitives, have the innate or acquired faculty of momentarily weakening the ties of the personality to the physical body so that, with no esoteric evolution whatever, they are able to connect with this level - connecting to the coarsest levels of the astral.

"Facts" obtained this way are often regarded by people who seek them as coming from the spiritual level.  However, this level is a vast reservoir of psychic entities that have no contact with the higher plane, including amongst them discarnate Personalities, who normally remain there to await their Second Death - the negative equivalent of the Second Birth.  This usually occurs on the fortieth day after death of the physical body.

The Tradition expressly warns seekers against contacts with this realm which is so dangerous and full of the worst illusions. 

The power of intervention of these entities in the lives of humans is a function of the credulity they meet.  The yearning to experience miracles, visions, etc, creates an atmosphere favorable for their appearance, which can assume various forms, often perceptible to the physical senses.

In the materialist mind of the cultured man of our era, the true and the false in esoteric research easily become mixed together.  This entanglement shows above all in the domain of our affections, which are generally unbalanced in us because the habit of lying has become our true second nature.  The innate faculty of immediate discernment of the true from the false is thus lost, and man, even the most cultured and learned, becomes singularly credulous, particularly in the mystical realm.

This imbalance affects us according to law:  credulity is inversely proportional to true faith. 

And here we must define faith: 

Faith is an openness and trusting attitude to truth and reality, whatever it may turn out to be.  This is a risky and adventurous state of mind.  Belief, in the religious sense, is the opposite of faith – because it is a fervent wishing or hope, a compulsive clinging to the idea that the universe is arranged and governed in such and such a way.  Belief is holding to a rock; faith is learning how to swim – and this whole universe swims in boundless space.[1]

In other words, the less open we are to truth and reality, the more our credulity grows and the more we are inclined to adopt "beliefs" and rituals, often taking grotesque forms. In this mechanism we can see the familiar action of the General Law of Accident which is the essence of the Matrix: 

To inspire the man who seeks the Way with the idea that he is already on the way.  This is the best and the most common means used by the "Devil" to turn away the seeker who has had insufficient warning from the narrow way which leads to Life.  Jesus asked:

How can ye believe which receive glory from one another, and seek not the glory that comes from God only?

When we accept the "glory of men," yet still believe that we are on or walking on the Way, we fall directly under the law of equilibrium.  Jesus alluded to this when he quoted the Pharisees who prayed in the streets, saying that "they have already received their reward."

It is well understood that the human Personality, in the unfinished state in which we find it, forms our only instrument for esoteric work.  Better still, it is a gift; it is the talent the Master has given us so that we may make it bear fruit.  Woe to the servant who buries it in the earth of his body.  "Cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."  And here, this is no metaphor. 

We must therefore work with love and with all our strength since we do not know at what hour the Master will come.

 This being so, the attitude of the esoteric Doctrine towards lying is clear  and realistic.  ...We must fight energetically against .. useless lies.

It is only by training of this nature that we shall progressively be able to  master the rooted tendency to lie which exists within us.  Every attempt to  hurry things, so far as lying to others is concerned, though it be a noble  attempt, is doomed to early failure.  We live in a world which is immersed in  lies and moved by lies.

It is also necessary to guard against a variant of the habit of lying to  ourselves, one which we commonly adopt from early childhood, and against which  we must fight by every means.  This variant is widespread because at first  glance it appears to us to be a positive attitude.  ...When applied to  ourselves and for our own benefit, with the aim of softening a shock, or  regaining our inner peace after we have sinned, or excusing our actions or  faults, this idiom crystallizes within us over a period of time an auto- tranquilizing mechanism.  ...It is a true mechanism of mental anesthesia,  founded on a refined and disguised lie.  It sows hypocrisy in man towards  himself.

This auto-tranquillizer must be destroyed."

But we see so often how desperately people want to be "tranquilize."  How  many individuals have written to us asking for an answer that would help  them feel peaceful and enable them to go to sleep at night.  They want  "positive messages."  They want a program of meditation that will make them  feel good, or something to do or "look forward to" that will ease their anxiety  when they glimpse, momentarily, the reality of the Matrix.  They want to feel  chosen and special by virtue of having been "contacted" and performing rituals without doing the absolutely agonizing work necessary to precipitate transformation.

Mouravieff continues:

The permanent link which must be introduced between the Personality and the  real "I" is esoteric Knowledge.  The knowledge and understanding that it  permits us to acquire represent the philosopher's stone of the medieval  mystics.  They are capable of provoking in man the transmutation to which he  aspires.

We must work ceaselessly, for fear of not succeeding in time.  One must work,  says Jesus,  "while it is day: the night comes when no man can work."

These commentaries of Mouravieff are absolutely invaluable, and would be helpful to every seeker on the path and reader of the Cassiopaean Material.  This is especially so because Mouravieff actually describes  things that  we have already experienced, even though we did not precisely  understand what it was we were doing, how or even why.

For example,  Mouravieff calls the influences of the material world, the Matrix, the  predator's mind, etc, the "A influences."  (He has diagrams showing how they  affect the consciousness.)  The influences of the esoteric center, the "real  world" concealed by the "matrix illusion," the "truth," are called "B  influences." 

He writes:

If a man spends his life without distinguishing between "A" and "B"  influences, he will end as he started, one could say mechanically, driven by  the Law of Accident.  ...He can have a brilliant career in the meaning the  world gives to this expression.  Yet he will come to the end of his days  without having either learned or understood anything of the Reality.  And dust  returns to dust.

In life, every being is subjected to a sort of competitive test.  If he  discerns the existence of the "B" influences; if he acquires a taste for  gathering and absorbing them; if he continually aspires to assimilate them  better; his mixed inner nature will slowly undergo a certain kind of evolution.

And if the efforts which he makes to absorb the "B" influences are constant  and sufficient in force, a magnetic centre can be formed within him. 

If this center once born in him is carefully developed, it takes form, and in  its turn will exercise an influence over the results of the "A" influences  which are always active, deflecting them.

Such deflection may be violent.  In general it transgresses the laws of  exterior life and provokes many conflicts in and around man.  If he loses the  battle, he emerges with the conviction the the "B" influences are nothing but  illusion: that the only reality is represented by the "A" influences.  Slowly,  the magnetic center which had been formed within him is reabsorbed and  vanishes.  Then, from the esoteric point of view, his situation is worse than  the one he had started with, when he was just beginning to discern "B"  influences.

But, if he emerges a winner in this FIRST struggle, his magnetic centre,  consolidated and reinforced, will draw him to a man having a "C" influence  stronger than his own, and possessing a stronger magnetic center.  And so on in  succession, the last man being in connection with another having in influence  "D", who will be his link with the Esoteric Center "E."

Henceforth in life, that man will no longer be isolated. 

To the measure of its growth, the man will escape the dominion of the law of  accident and enter the domain of consciousness.

Mouravieff then shows a diagram of the person who deludes himself and does not  struggle against the lies of the Matrix... who has not engaged in the work of  stripping away lies:

This second figure, with black magnetic centers, represents the situation  where man deludes himself and, believing he is absorbing "B" influences and  making the necessary selection all the while, he in fact absorbs "A"  influences... This will put him into contact with people who possess magnetic  centers of the same nature: who are themselves duped or who dupe others, and  who have no direct or indirect link with the esoteric Center.

In both the Wave Series and the Adventure Series, we have been dealing with identifying these very influences and emphasizing the necessity of "collecting" the "A" influences in terms of "seeing the unseen" of what we have called the Theological Reality. We have also met many characters that are aptly described by Mouravieff in his diagram of those individuals who have deluded themselves and have created a magnetic center of negativity, and how they attract to themselves others with similar negative magnetic centers.

In other words, the activities described in the Adventures series - the constant questioning,  stripping, looking at what is difficult and dealing with it - the shocks of  seeing the Matrix, the "man behind the curtain," the effort to "see the unseen"  is the very activity of collecting these "B" influences which then lead to the  "magnetic center," or "lodestar," as the C's called it.

Q: When I post material on the website, those people who resonate to the material believe that this refers to them also. I have been of the opinion that Unified Thought Form being must mean a very large group as represented in this density. I know that we are dealing with limiting terms. But, is this applied to people who CHOOSE the Cassiopaean option?
A: Maybe it is best to say it applies to those who recognize the application.
Q: So, if they recognize it, if they know it is them, they are part of it. (A) But, thinking in nonlinear terms, its up to us to work to make this precise. You are asking this question which implies that the answer exists. But, exactly what the answer is may be it is not yet chosen, and it is up to us to make it this way.
A: Lodestar is a clue for you.

Mouravieff writes:

This evolution seems a long process, an uninterrupted combat with a series of  successes and falls.  More than once, he who searches will fall into crises of  discouragement; more than once it will seem to him that he is being driven  beyond the limits of his own life; he will sometimes feel crushed under the  burden of the tests and difficulties against which he will be pitted during his  search. 

This can be understood when we know that esoteric science in its teaching goes  far beyond simple information.  Its purpose, in fact, is nothing less than the  TRANSFORMATION of the very being of those who study it...

In every case where esoteric science offers ALL, it demands ALL in return.  One  must pay all.

It is impossible to reach the true by the path of lies or hypocritical games,  because in this case we seek to BE, rather than to "appear to be."

Mouravieff describes the reaction of the "matrix/ B influences" to the person  who is on the Path:

As long as man accepts the principle of the final annihilation of his  Personality without a fight, he can carry on in life without attracting the  increasing pressure of the General Law of Accident upon himself.

The case is totally different if he struggles to surpass the limits which it  imposes.  He then runs against the action upon him of this Law and its  derivatives.  It acts simultaneously on several planes: physical, mental and  moral.  Its action on the moral plane is conceived by man, since time  immemorial, in the form of the personification: the Devil."

We are also reminded of Gurdjieff's remarks about the "mechanical force"  having promoters and adherents at very high levels who act under its powerful  influences.  We suggest that both are 4 and 5 D STS beings.

...Once the first positive results are obtained those students will  unmistakable run up against the active opposition of the law and the "game of  the Crafty One."

It must be realized that in placing himself under the aegis of the Law of  Exception, man goes against the General Law of Accident, which he is even   called upon to overthrow, if only on the individual scale.  He must no forget -  under penalty of "surprise attack" - that salvation depends on victory over the  Devil, which, as we have said, is the personalized moral aspect of the General  Law of Accident.  This is so even though this, being a cosmic law, is naturally  a divine law. 

One must not be afraid, as the Law of Exception is also a divine law.

In choosing it, man continues to serve the interest of the whole, but  differently and in an incomparably more efficient manner.

During his fight against the first law, he is subject to tests that often take  the form of temptations.  ...We are permitted to draw attention to the indirect  nature of diabolical action.

If, aiming straight towards his goal, which is liberation and salvation, the  seeker successfully overcomes the obstacles and by this shows proof of a  strength that would permit him to defy the authority of the General Law, the  latter will begin to act upon him indirectly, generally by the mediation of his  near ones if they do not follow the same path:  this action occurs on the moral  plane, and often takes emotional forms appealing to his most noble, generous  and disinterested sentiments: to his charity; his obligation; his pity.  It  impels him down blind alleys, insinuating that he will thus be returning to his  duty, that by so doing he will go on walking in the right path, etc. 

This will clarify the profound saying of Jesus that : "A man's worst enemies  are those of his own household."

Let us repeat:  esoteric work is by its nature a revolutionary work.  The  seeker seeks a change of state: to overcome Death and attain Salvation.  This  is the goal give to this work by the scriptures:  "If ye live after the flesh,  ye must die."

The man who lives passively under the first law, insensibly and without being  aware of it  - even as an excellent citizen - involves himself in "The broad  way that leadeth to destruction; he who chooses the Law of Exception takes :  "The narrow road that leadeth to life."

Continue to More Mouravieff

[1]  Alan Watts, cited without reference in Steve Allen, Steve Allen on the Bible, Religion & Morality, 1990, Prometheus Books, Amherst, N.Y., p.  415

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