A syncretic approach to esoteric teachings - the golden threads that connect Pagans, Yogis, Rosicrucians and Masons.
The Great Secret is that the most esoteric teachings of Creation are hidden in plain sight. How else could the Powers That Be ensure that the uninitiated would never believe them?
The founders of esoteric societies were fond of creating abstruse rituals, mainly to give initiates the impression that they were experiencing something unique. Your mystery school may possess hidden knowledge - but every wisdom tradition on earth has discovered the same principles under different names.
Before I finally discovered that Paganism was the path I had been seeking, I was a 10th Degree Rosicrucian and a 3rd Degree Mason. I found the Rosicrucian teachings so comprehensive, and AMORC's correspondence staff so patient and generous with their time, that I was appalled, recently, to see Internet blogs trashing the Order.
These vitriolic attacks were supposedly written by former members; but since I never encountered the control issues perceived by these disaffected people, I can only conclude that their diatribes reveal more about the way they misinterpreted the lessons than they say about the organization.
The same may be said of the paranoid TV shows about Freemasonry, on what is laughingly called "The History Channel." Most of those programs were cobbled together from old superstitions by alarmists who were never admitted into membership, and don't know how boring most Masonic and Eastern Star social gatherings really are!
These paranoid attacks are very similar to the lies spread against Neo Pagans, Heathens and Wiccans; the accusers think that Witches, Warlocks and Wizards actually have powers that nobody else has access to, and that our nefarious doings exert a controlling influence over the civilized world. The term Mind Control pops up, over and over again.
It is puzzling to me that fearful people don't want to believe in a mundane world where everyone else is struggling along just like they are; they would much rather believe in dark, supernatural forces that some scary individuals are able to command! For some deep Freudian reason that affects attendance at horror movies, they want to be scared out of their tiny minds.
They want to believe, for example, that a Wizard uses enchantments to remain strong (like Rumpelstiltskin on the TV show Once Upon a Time), and that his bewitched wife is a succubus with an ageless body that is impervious to cancer, lupus, Crohn's Disease or acne.
Dear Goddess in Heaven - don't we all wish that was true!
The last thing our superstitious detractors want to believe is that our spiritual practices are just the tools we use to better understand the universe and our place in it. The only difference between the muggles of this world and the metaphysicians, is that we metaphysicians admit to deeper levels of reality and are able to learn more profound spiritual lessons due to the connections we perceive.
Beyond that, we have no super powers. We have divinely-given human powers, which include the ability to communicate with higher realms; but so do all other human beings - the only distinction being that most of our fellow-travelers haven't reached the point in their evolution where they are ready to claim their birthright. And of those who are on the brink, many lack the courage to try. But we are all human. We all have the same potential and we all suffer the same ills.
The oft-repeated accusation is that the Masonic and Rosicrucian Orders (and Witches and Warlocks, too) practice Mind Control to influence world leaders, and exert economic pressure through their hidden memberships to finance wars and keep wealth in the hands of the few. This is a comforting fantasy for the disenfranchised to believe; it seems to justify their conviction that the deck is stacked against them, and no effort on their part can improve their fortunes.
The truth, as I received it as an AMORC member, is that there are effective techniques which anybody can learn for projecting their thoughts; but everybody prays for their leaders to reach sane and rational conclusions in global emergencies! The Order always encouraged us to inspire our leaders' minds to recognize the highest good, whatever that might happen to be in each situation. It never ordered us to promote a specific political agenda.
The people writing their accusatory blogs try to influence their leaders' minds just as much as any metaphysical group does; Church congregations do it, too. It is the most understandable human response in the world. To be outraged that somebody else does the same thing you do, is the height of hypocrisy.
When North Korea declares war on America, or when you lose your job and the state you live in reduces its unemployment benefits and Medicaid payments, or when tornadoes decimate whole towns and emergency funds are desperately needed, or when Iran's nuclear program threatens Israel and Syrian refugees flood into Jordan and the world holds its breath to see which will prevail -peace talks or all-out war - whatever your personal preference is, you will pray and direct your thoughts to the leaders in charge of such decisions, to get them to decide the way you want them to! Why wouldn't you?
And - since everybody in the world is doing it - the international tug-of-war is pretty much balanced out. Though murderous tyrants periodically arise, they are eventually deposed and their countries' paradigms gradually change. Social welfare programs are laboriously, if painfully, worked out in compromise with financial realities.
It is nothing more nefarious - and nothing less miraculous - than the ebb and flow of life.
Yes, the mind has higher powers - which can be accessed by anyone. Meditation, prayer and visualization can be powerful tools - for anyone. Anyone's thoughts and suggestions can be projected through the ether to the minds of public figures - who have their own divinely-gifted power as well, and are under no compulsion to do what we want them to!
Another point invariably missed by the fearful accusers of metaphysicians, is that if these groups really have been using Mind Control to direct world politics and business since 1776 (because America's founding fathers were Masons and Rosicrucians) - they've done a piss-poor job of it! How could anybody claim that our present problems of unrest and inequality fulfill the dream of those who saw America as the New Atlantis, which would usher in an era of enlightenment, world peace and brotherhood?
My favorite passage from Ecclesiastes is, "Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to the skillful; but time and chance happen to them all." Sit up and take notice, superstitious ones. Skill doesn't matter; techniques may be cool, but they don't carry the day either. We are all in this game together; and no matter who you are, it is better to be lucky than smart.