Question 9: How are students taught within a mystery school?
Answer 9: Whenever, a new student is accepted into a mystery school, he or she enters as a probationer and is initially instructed within the ‘atrium, or outer chamber of the temple’. These periods of probation are of critical importance for both the student and the school. During the period of probation instruction is primarily didactic; didactic instruction comprising one of the two primary supporting pillars of esoteric study. This initial instruction is important for assuring that the student will benefit from, and not be harmed by, the experiential or ‘practical’ work comprising the later esoteric studies. Initial efforts are directed to introducing each student to the details and specifics of the language utilized by the mystery school so to assure that he or she can meaningfully understand and discuss the theoretical and practical aspects of their personal work. Learning a proper language is the critical first step necessary for beginning construction of a working scaffold for esoteric progress. Much of the work consists in coming to realize the vagueness and inadequacy of mundane language for accurately expressing our experiences and contemplations about the universe and how to correct these defects within the language of the mystery school. The period of probation and didactic instruction provides an environment in which the school instructors can personally interact with each new student so to determine his or her character and potential in the work. Didactic instruction begins introducing the student to the theoretical scaffold utilized by the school for understanding how the inner worlds function.
During the probationary state, each student is reminded that even though the information presented in the evolving curriculums taught within the mystery schools is both experiential and didactic, that the details and explanations of the underlying structure and operation of the inner worlds were gathered and organized by the meditations of past masters and students. Exploration of one’s inner mind provides the ‘data-base’ necessary for construction of models for how the universe arose, is structured and operates. Conscious evolution and the formation of the first mystery schools (and early religions) studies were initiated secondary to the experiential material gathered during one’s individual exploration of the inner world.
Following the probationary period, students who diligently applied themselves to their studies and assigned tasks, demonstrated perseverance and intellectual honesty, good character and temperament and passed the tests provided by the school, were offered the opportunity to move into the main temple and enter into the preliminary degree studies (teaching is always arranged in a progressive manner). As the student progresses through each degree, he or she is presented with advanced didactic instruction and training in the mystical techniques taught within the mystery school for entering into and communicating with the ‘God Within’. Mystical instruction forms the basis of all mystery schools.