As mentioned last month, this week’s post is the first of a monthly series of open-discussion posts focusing on books I’ve written. Our theme this time is Mystery Teachings from the Living Earth, Chapter One: An Ecology of Spirit. I’d like to ask readers to keep their questions and comments focused on that chapter and the ideas it contains; we’ll have another Ask Me Anything post later this month, and of course a substantive monthly post and another Stormwatch links-and-discussion post in due time.
For the sake of clarity, here’s a rough outline of Chapter One:
1 – There exists a traditional body of lore, dating back to ancient times, which deals with the deepest mysteries of human existence and the practical methods of gaining personal experience of those mysteries. This is what we’re discussing when we talk about the mystery teachings.
2 – These teachings have been passed on for a very long time by mystery schools, which provide education, practical training, and initiation into the mystery teachings. These aren’t the sort of thing you get in romantic fantasies about Himalayan adepts or, for that matter, Hogwarts School; in our time, they’re relatively quiet organizations that operate on shoestring budgets, so as to avoid the predictable downsides of wealth and influence.
3 – Presentations of the mystery teachings vary from time to time due to changes in culture. Just now, it’s useful to reframe the mystery teachings using the language of ecology. Partly this is because ecology is so important for understanding the predicament of our time, but partly it’s because ecology, like the mystery teachings themselves, deals with whole systems, and whole systems are what shape the context of our lives—mystically as well as ecologically.
4 – Public presentations of the mystery teachings typically get distorted over time as the normal human reactions of greed and fear get to work on them. The notion that “you create your own reality,” which has been marketed in recent decades as a mystery teaching, is an example of this distortion; so is the claim that the universe is set up to give you whatever material goodies you want, so long as you pester the universe for them in the right way.
5 – A reframing of the mystery teachings in the language of ecology is a good antidote to these distortions, because it’s relatively easy to see how things happen in the world of nature, and apply those to human nature and to our own lives. That’s what this book attempts to do.
Questions? Comments? Discussions? Have at it—subject, of course, to the usual rules.