DYNASTIC EGYPT AND ITS MYSTERY SCHOOLS-1
In our last lesson, we began an intellectual and metaphysical tour of the ancient Near East. We discussed the nature of sacred knowledge and answered some commonly asked questions about what an esoteric school is, how it manifests in the physical world and what are its purposes and activities. Today, and for the next few months, we will be continuing this discussion in greater depth. Our goal being to provide a proper introduction to the field of study and application of sacred knowledge; while dispelling common misunderstandings. Moreover, we will utilize these lessons so to introduce you to several well-known and previously operating exoteric schools. Exoteric schools desirous of attracting serious students who will commit personal time and energy to studying the tenets and exercises of each school.
Before we progress too far into this month’s lesson, it is appropriate to introduce a new term signifying the operation of an esoteric school within the secular world. Previously, we referred to these physical schools as exoteric so to differentiate them from the inner, hidden esoteric parent. To review, exoteric refers to: (1) an outer or public group, (2) something which is related to the mundane, outer world of human experience or (3) concerns knowledge or doctrine suitable for public presentation. Esoteric refers to: (1) an inner, select group, (2) something which is related to metaphysical or spiritual study outside the understanding of the common man and woman and (3) special knowledge or doctrine which is restricted to a small number of qualified persons (private or confidential).
Consequently, even though we were careful to explain and qualify our use of the term exoteric to refer to legitimate mystery schools operating upon the earth, a clearer term would be mesoteric. This term is derived from the Greek root, mesos-, which means “in the middle or intermediate.” In other words, a mesoteric school serves as a link or interface between the mundane and inner worlds. This is the term we should all use subsequently.
We will accomplish this goal by addressing several issues: (1) the fact that the great majority of metaphysical and spiritual information presented today in the media and within private schools is incorrect, (2) that studying incorrect information is often more harmful for a student’s development than remaining in the mundane world, (3) that it is difficult for a seeker to fully understand and utilize sacred knowledge, even when accurate, unless he or she is studying under the watchful eye of a qualified teacher and genuine mesoteric school (operating under the guidance of the Great School) and (4) by exploring the history of the earliest known sacred schools.
During today’s lesson we are going to introduce you to the earliest evidence we have for the existence of ancient schools formed for exploring issues of cosmogony, cosmology, ontology and eschatology. Issues delving into theories and models explaining the creation and origin of our universe, its nature and structural elements, those elements necessary and sufficient for explaining an individual’s and cultural group’s interactions and obligations with the creative powers or god(s) and what happens after mortal life ceases and the end of the world approaches.
Schools asking the same questions, seekers ask today: Does the Universe operate with purpose? Does purpose arise out of Existence itself or was it ordained even before the birth of our Universe? What is the purpose of life? What is my personal purpose? Is life more than just materiality?
Questions asked and partially answered over many thousands of years prior to the invention of the first written languages by the Sumerians (ca 3200 BCE), the Egyptians (ca 3100 BCE) and the Harappans of the Indus Valley (ca 2500 BCE). Questions initially answered by shamanistic priests operating under the earliest human belief systems, animism and ancestor worship, taught via oral myths, creation stories, cave art and drug-induced altered states of consciousness. Questions awaiting the evolution of written language and the secondary development of analytical abstraction more adequate for describing god and creation. Questions influencing the conscious evolution of mankind, eventually leading to the formation of the first mystery schools and the arising of the one Great Esoteric School of our earth.