This week’s post is the tenth of a monthly series of open-discussion posts focusing on books I’ve written. Our theme for the present is Mystery Teachings from the Living Earth, and this week we’re discussing “The Spiritual Ecology of Initiation” (pp.101-118). I’d like to ask readers to keep their questions and comments focused on that chapter and the ideas it contains; I’m currently hosting a weekly Ask Me Anything post on Mondays on my Dreamwidth journal at https://ecosophia.dreamwidth.org, and there’ll be a more general open post here in due time, so comments on other subjects should go there instead.
The chapter covers a fair amount of material, but the central theme can be summed up simply enough. The work of the mystery schools we’ve been discussing for the last nine months centers on the process of initiation; while there’s been more nonsense written about that subject than about any other detail of occult philosophy, with the sole exception of the lost continent of Atlantis, there’s a vitally important reality behind all the pompous blather and handwaving. Every human being has the capacity for some form of greatness; most human beings never get around to awakening that capacity; but the experience of the mystery schools down through the centuries has been that certain specific disciplines reliably help trigger the inner changes that enable the awakening of the potentials hidden in the individual person.
What are these disciplines? Ritual, either performed by trained practitioners or practiced repeatedly by the initiate for himself or herself, starts the process; meditation, study, and certain other practices build on the foundation of ritual, and foster the ripening of individual capacity. It’s not fast and it’s not foolproof—quite the contrary, it requires steady labor over a period of many years—but it works remarkably well.
Questions? Comments? Discussions? Have at it—subject, of course, to the usual rules.
Next month’s book club post will finish up our study of Mystery Teachings from the Living Earth. After that, we’ll be going on to an important work of occult philosophy, one of the most influential such works in today’s occult field: The Cosmic Doctrine by Dion Fortune. Please note that there are two different editions of this work in circulation these days. The currently available edition, published by Weiser, reproduces the original 1924 privately printed edition; the edition most often found in the used book market, published by Helios in hardback and Aquarian in paperback, is the revised 1966 edition. I personally prefer the revised edition, because that’s the one I used in my original study of the text, and the revisions to my mind sharply improved the clarity of the presentation; the same material is covered in both editions, though. I own copies of both and will give citations from both for those who are prepared to read along and study this extremely useful manual of magical philosophy.