True: There’s a lot of misconception about the true nature of a Mystery School and what constitutes a true and grounded study of consciousness  …And there is misconception for good reason: Spirituality by it’s nature encompasses a pretty big unregulated field – with people offering all sorts of things. So yes! One should be inwardly grounded within oneself when seeking to follow a course of consciousness depth study with a spiritual teacher and guide.  (For more on this topic, please see: “Working with A Spiritual Teacher”)

In this article below however, I will be talking about “the Mystery School” that is IN YOU!   …And so I invite you here into your own deep inner reflection on the nature of what your life is truly about, what it serves, and what it means to be wholly in relationship with the divine Mystery of Life…


 

MYSTERY SCHOOL DEFINED

At its very essence, a Mystery School is a form of experiential training for those seeking direct self-realization and spiritual awareness. A Mystery School is not so much a place really. Rather, it is a method of teaching that is based on facilitating your direct personal insight and experiential understanding of what it means to be fully alive. A Mystery School is first and foremost a lifelong commitment to discovering and maturing in your own inner wisdom and divinity.

The Mystery School , is sometimes referred to as a university of the soul. It is a study of the mysteries of the inner nature of human consciousness and living relationships. By understanding these mysteries, one comes to perceive his or her intimate relationship to all living things, and strives to live at one with that divinity. (The Mystery Schools ; Grace F. Knoche; Theosophical University Press; 1940.).

Put more simply? Training in the Mysteries shows you how to find, know, and follow the inner guidance and divinity that is seeded within your own nature. Students who enter an inner and outer Mystery School process are guided in how to access their own inner knowledge through a varied array of integral mind/body/spirit practices of attunement. I call these processes and practices of initiation:  the Soul Arts of sacred alchemy.

Training in the language and powers of the Universal Mysteries leads you to discover how to live the life you were uniquely born to live and thus enter through the doorway of soul into your true wholeness and freedom of being.

A Mystery School is based on facilitating your ability to find and realize within yourself:

* the way of healing wholeness,
* the experience and communion of unity consciousness (God-in-us), and
* the reclaiming expression of one’s unique genius and meaningful life purpose.

A Mystery School helps to shine a light on your own unique path to inner wisdom. It opens the doorway to understanding the universal principles used for:

* healing transformation
* enlightenment (and enlivenment) of being; and
* intuitive (heart-based) right action in our world through attuned relatedness.


 

SOCIETAL MISUNDERSTANDING & CULTURAL IMPLICATIONS
Study of life’s Mysteries has always existed as a vital part of every civilization the world over. While some cultures, like early Egyptian and Greek sects who referred to their esoteric teachings as the Mysteries, others have used other words for referring to the highest order of their spiritual knowledge. Regardless of label, all societies throughout known history have had and have kept their highest order of spiritual wisdom and universal knowledge reserved for those truly called to the initiation it entails. Hence the Mystery behind Mystery Schools.

Because only a few people within a particular culture are deeply called to this intensity of life and spiritual study, the Mystery School became the reservoir for keeping the highest order knowledge of each religious tradition safe and accessible only to those initiates called and capable of handling its vast power (energetically, mentally, emotionally …and physically!) Initiation into the Mysteries is powerful stuff – which is why it has most often been reserved only for those who demonstrate deeply responsible and soulful readiness.

When accessed by those not yet matured in their consciousness, the Mysteries can be quite dangerous both to the initiate and to those he or she influences. Imagine for example (and it won’t be too hard) giving the antidote for curing AIDS to someone who doesn’t understand its proper application or dosage and who still harbors an immature need for power. It’s like that when the Mysteries of Life are taken up by people not grounded in spirit and still aligned to erratic egoist needs. But that is not the true intent, nor the true Mystery School . The true Mystery School is really a sacred Calling to an inner study of life’s meaning and divinity (awakening to the teacher within).

Those most deeply called to understanding the Mysteries of Life are known to us as the shamans, the monks and contemplatives, the gurus and the avatars, the mystic poets and alchemists and the visionary philosophers and artists. Today we can add to this list a fraction of the truly groundbreaking artists and scientists of quantum mechanics, pure mathematics, eco-evolution, the visionary arts, sacred psychology and the study of consciousness.

Whether it be through: Sufi and Muslim mysticism, Esoteric Christianity, Jewish Kabala, Celtic druidism, American Indian Mythology, Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism, African or Hawaiian Shamanism, those called to understand the Mysteries of soul and spiritual knowledge are those ready to learn through an induction into reflection and Self-Realization (most often with the help of a guide).

Because the main bulk of society have not yet felt called to the intensity of such an inward study, religions have traditionally offered their congregation of followers a more rudimentary version of their knowledge in the form of religious icons and stories, group ritual and liturgy, and organized religious leadership. They saved their more deeply understood knowledge, training and initiation for those truly called to this vocation of deep inner study and direct awakening.

As a result, the Mystery School traditions have remained hidden and not something even known to exist by society at large. Because of this hidden seeming secretiveness, Mystery Schools if known at all are sometimes imagined to be something elitist – or a weird or esoteric cult. This is completely understandable. Still, when good people brought up in a particular religious tradition shy away from the concept of a Mystery School, thinking it some new age cult or a self-indulgent spiritual path, they are sadly and most terribly misinformed, due in large part to an ignorance about just what the Mystery School really is.

Granted, there have been occasions of misuse of the powerful knowledge of the Mysteries (as there are with any organized body of people or unprepared initiate). However the true Mystery School is not a cult at all; it is the reason we are here as spiritual beings in physical form. It is the sacred pathway to Re-membering who you really are. It is the classic journey that our mythic tales portray in their epic depictions of life’s deepest meaning. It is the inevitable and evolutionary calling that inevitably ignites and informs a fundamental change of heart and Self-Realization of one’s own divinity (the awakening of the teacher within).

All religions are based, at their core, on a direct realization of the Mysteries and the teachings on how to discover this within oneself that preceded becoming a religion (such as the direct realization and then the teachings of the Buddha which has become the practice of Buddhism and its many renditions; the revelation of Mohammad which has become the Muslim religion with both its liberal and radical offspring; or the unity-awareness of Jesus the Christed, which has become Christianity and its vast generations of belief from base fundamentalism to the fluid new age groups and everything in-between).

When the direct realization of the Mysteries is watered-down into an organized and authoritative religion, it becomes regressed and popularized as a belief structure rather than as an inner and direct remembering of our innate God-consciousness. (“I and my father are one” is the Christian version for highlighting this direct individual realization.)

The point here is this: Before any religion, any dogma and group organized belief structure, there were and there still are pathways to direct self-realization of the principles of Divine Wisdom and Universal Law. These are the Mysteries: The understanding and embodied application of the principles of divine wisdom and universal law. Religions have captured them (or tried to) and called them their own. But the Mysteries of Life are before any dogma or handed down belief. They are the I Am!

I Am is the self-realization of the Mysteries. No one need follow the proscribes of a leader or pastor or priest to this realization. In fact one cannot. The path can be pointed toward by a lighted guide but the individual must navigate the terrain of inner seeing Self-Realization on his/her own.

The seeing/direct realization of universal law is the same the world over when the seeing evolves from the direct experience of one who is spiritually attuned and present to Grace. It is only when belief is not founded on a mature spiritual attunement and comes from an unstable ego or a practiced belief system that arguable differences and warring self-righteousness results. And here we see our current ecology!


 

EARTH SURVIVAL AND EVOLUTION AS A SPECIES
Here’s my question to you: Have we matured as a global human consciousness to a point where the masses of humanity are getting ready to let go of the spoon-fed, watered down meal called God’s will doused in separating religious belief systems? Are we being called to give up the convenience and comfort of a patriarchal father-god so that we may start to take up our own cross of healing and direct living realization?

I know most of us, when looking at the shocking and amazing display today of radical religious fundamentalism, would say that we are farther away from an awareness of unity-consciousness than ever. And it sure seems so when you look at our TV advertisements and programming and the social values being reflected back to us that we continue to elect by our nightly patronage. It seems so too in the statistics of rising family disenfranchisement, increasing health crisis from polluted foodstuffs, growing economic polarity, frenetic tribal, ethnic, political and religious warfare, genocide, and growing hatred on all sides… and an earth home that is sickened and severely threatened by what we’ve inflicted in the name of technological achievement and civilized progress in a mere 300 years.

It surely seems that we are not ready to grow up beyond the me-first father-god adolescent stance.

It seems we’re developmentally halted; unable to grow up; unwilling to take up the more mature and responsible call of spiritual adulthood and learn what it is to shed the childhood cocoon to make the transformational flight of the heart that reflects the core Mystery behind and beyond whichever “god” we espouse (and indeed fight for, like children still insecure and needy to protect “mine mine mine!”) Still…

Still, I wonder… When you look at anything that grows and changes and evolves, what happens before the next leap? It seems that a cycle of breaking down of the old happens before and in order for something new to breakthrough.

Change is inevitable. But will the next level of new human potential be one directed from a maturing and unified (integral) conscious presence?

…Or will it be the willy-nilly adaptation of an adolescent attitude carried to its (now) ridiculous extreme?

Here’s what I sense and envision: The more ridiculous our society becomes in its imbalanced values, perceptions and lifestyle, the more surreal, obvious, and distasteful the immaturity becomes. Our values and behaviors as a species start to stand out. We begin to see. Our mistakes become more obvious, old ways no longer work, and we start to look for another way. This I believe is what we are experiencing at this amazing time. It reminds me of the lyric to a song sung by the Mamma’s and the Papa’s “…and the darkest hour is just before dawn.”

So how does all this relate to the Mystery School and to you and to me?

I think we’re just starting to make a critical mass of consciousness toward young adulthood as a human species and global culture. And we likely have some more rebellion to experience (like the man engaged to be married who falls back one more time into adolescence with a juicy bachelor party and ends up hung over at his wedding. Not wise. Not mature, but a critical rite of passage none the less).

I think we will begin to see more and more normal people aching to know and experience a deeper meaning of life, purpose and passion. We already are seeing it. Look at the relatively new and exploding occupation: life coach. I went to a entrepreneurs conference last year, and discovered to my amazement that virtually every one of the people in that business conference had their own private life coach! Every one was dedicated to looking into their own lives; finding ways to improve their sense of joy and balanced living; inquiring into what held lasting meaning and true purpose.

That kind of direct inner looking is a doorway into the Mysteries. It is the early “wake up call” (often an alarming one) that inspires the need to grow, to grow up, to put away childish things and begin to ask what it means to really live. This is not all that much different from the shaman, the monk, the priest, the poet who is called to seek and understand the meaning of life and the deeper calling of one’s soul.

It seems to me that we are being readied for greater new levels of aliveness and relatedness. It seems to me that personal and communal crisis often invoke the searching for a portal to a better way. In this respect our current and alarming foreign policy is a potential gift moving us toward radical change. The pendulum swings to extremes with great gusto, gradually slowing down until it comes to rest in the center of stillness.


 

THE CALL TO AWAKEN
We cannot and do not change the world unless and until we ourselves are changed in relationship to ourselves and to the world around us; unless and until we are opened and awakened to the primordial and timeless wisdom language of Life. Systems don’t change; the people who are part of the systems do.

In the life work that I offer to those called to work with me at Ojai Soul Arts we start with that pendulum; we honor what is in each individual’s unique life at the moment by giving it the light of conscious awareness. We shine a light on what arises. This takes us instantly beyond the situation or problem while not denying or ignoring it. We are no longer in it when we are shining a light on it. This shining is the induction into the Mysteries… or learning to center from the soul and attune ourselves with, what I call: the musical language of Love Itself, that heralds all creative manifestation.

By giving what is in your life the light of your direct conscious presence, the pendulum very naturally gentles and slows down. This is meditation. This is seeing. This is prayer. When that which is seen is further honored by giving it a reverent acknowledgement in the form of a consciously invoked and respectful action, you automatically transform the situation into new seeded potential by the seeing given an honoring light of action/form. This is sacred ceremony. This is celebration and the nurturing of the heart of compassion. This is “chop wood, carry water”. This is sacred alchemy.

When we live moment-by-moment in this simple honoring light of consciousness given over to what is, the pendulum gentles and stops and we are initiated into the Mysteries of Stillness where all potential rests. Here, spontaneous right action simply arises from stillness and informs each next movement of creation. That (and not the attachment to practices or techniques or special methods and superstitious teachings) is the true and elegant Mystery of the Mystery School . What a sacred artistry we are!

Be Still and Know…I Am. This is our truth and realization when we come to Life and listen… A mentor or spiritual teacher is only a true guide if he/she can show you (as all the great ones that have gone before have demonstrated in their teachings) that the light of divine wisdom is inside you. You are that light just waiting to be seen.

Are you ready to ignite your light and give it fully to the world as only you were born to do? Welcome to the Mystery School of You!…

Mystery School

______________

Ronda LaRue, M.S., D.D.;  More Information about working with Ronda LaRue and the SoulArts Graduate Program here.