The Esoteric Inner Mysteries
The ancients were esotericists, writing only of the inner life and for initiated pupils. They wrote of inner things under an outer veil. They wrote of the Greater Mysteries, which were never given out to the multitude, but taught in secret to disciplined students. Spiritual truth was not published in modern fashion as we experience and mistakenly think is the way it was always done. Whatever was written, was veiled under allegory and symbolism. Mostly it was taught by oral tradition. That is what makes the following passage so radical:
Col 1:26-27 26
"Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: (KJV)
Mystery schools once existed throughout the ancient World - Egypt, Greece, India, China, South America, among other locations. These Spiritual centres provided a place where students could receive a mystical education by progressing through a series of Spiritual trials and initiations.
The goal was to provide seekers with the highest levels of Spiritual realization - to understand the deep truths of existence, the cosmos and human life. Initiates of the Mysteries were credited with wisdom, as well as great magical and occult powers. The main method of teaching the Mysteries was through myths - stories with deep mystical and psychological symbolism; for example, the Egyptian, Greek and Roman Myths. In reality, these stories possessed two different levels.
There were the Outer Mysteries, what we might see today as going to church, listening to mass, and perhaps lighting a candle with prayer. Then, there were the Inner Mysteries. The Exoteric, versus the esoteric. People were carefully chosen from among the masses to become initiates into the Inner Mysteries. They showed signs of desiring to know more. They were in under the guidance of the Heirophants (priests) and for many, went through years of initiation into the hidden secrets that lay buried within the literal myths and legends.
Like a pearl hidden within the oyster, the Truth was protected, hidden, veiled from the commoner for fear of midirected gain. There was much to learn for those who had eyes to see, and ears to hear. But it was reserved for the select few. Not much has changed these days except for the small amount of knowledge we have of these mystery schools and their documentation before the literalist Roman Church destroyed the records, temples, and most of the pratitioners of the ancient craft.
Just a thought ...
~Justin Taylor, ORDM., OCP., DM.