Common Ground: The Kinship of Metaphysicians
A syncretic approach to esoteric teachings - the golden threads that connect Pagans, Yogis, Rosicrucians and Masons.
You Will Know Them By Their Fruits
I periodically run across blogs proclaiming that the shadowy guides who control spiritual evolution on this planet are divided into Good and Evil contingents—and that our religious and metaphysical organizations have become unwitting pawns of the Evil ones. According to these disaffected souls, any organization you can think of has been taken-over by the Dark Side: the Catholic Church, the Masons, the Theosophical Society, A.M.O.R.C., Self-Realization Fellowship, Eckankar, the Mormons, Wicca. You can't trust anyone!
How to evaluate such extreme accusations? This is what my life experience has taught me:
All human organizations consist of individuals at various levels of development and understanding. Every church, every temple, every mosque, every order, every fraternal or metaphysical lineage, contains a jumbled mix of people. Some are well on their way to enlightenment, and these perceive in the teachings of their organization a message of Unity and Oneness between themselves and all created beings. Others in the very same organization are in the earliest stages of their spiritual evolution, and are mired in superstition, fear and bigotry. They perceive in the teachings of their group (the very same teachings, mind you) a message of exclusivity and separation between themselves and all others who hold different points of view.
An individual receives, from the group, vibrations exactly equal to those that he or she brought into it. The Beatles said it concisely: "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." A less flattering way is, "Garbage in, garbage out." This is why it is so unhelpful to judge an individual by his or her affiliations.
Jesus didn't say, "You will know them by their membership cards." He said, "You will know them by their fruits." People should be evaluated by the effects they produce in the lives of those they touch, much more than by their past histories or self-identification. Until you interact with somebody intimately, you can't know what motivated him to join a group, nor the degree to which he has bought the party line, nor the extent to which he retains his own power of discrimination, interpretation and judgment.
Jesus found individual supporters even among the religious sects that ran the Temple and generally drew his condemnation. As we have no record of those good men resigning their offices, his observations must have motivated them to correct their organizations from within.
There used to be a moral warning when I was a kid, that you should never judge a book by its cover. But that is exactly what we do when we lump together all Masons, all Rosicrucians, all Catholics, all Muslims, all Hindus, all Jews, all Mormons, all Republicans, all Democrats, all Wiccans, all Heathens. Shame on us! This is the height of spiritual laziness.
I am most bewildered by conflicts between the members of metaphysical organizations, considering that their groups all promote the same basic principles: Our souls reincarnate in various bodies on different planes of existence, depending on the level of spiritual development we attained in our last lifetime and the direction in which our actions in that life sent us—either forward or backward—but eventually we are all destined to attain enlightenment and perfection, releasing us from the necessity of physical rebirth, at which point we will become helpers of the Divine on the spiritual plane. There are Ascended Masters, some no longer in the flesh and others who still return periodically, who direct the progress of these reincarnational events. The more powerfully gifted an individual is, the greater potential he or she has for creating both good and evil in this world, for energy is neutral and this physical realm exists through the balance of opposites.
All of these groups believe in vast cycles during which the spiritual vibrations of the planet expand and contract—though there is little agreement between them as to the exact length of those cycles, or in which direction the energies are moving at any given point in time. They do agree, though, that great spiritually-enlightened civilizations existed on Earth in times past, in such places as Atlantis, Lemuria, Mu, the Americas and the Vedic India of Lord Rama, and that they all have some sort of common connection to Egypt and the mystery schools that held initiations in underground chambers beneath the Pyramids and Sphinx. Many of them claim direct spiritual descent from Akhenaton or Christ, though there is considerable disagreement between them as to exactly what those Masters taught their disciples in private.
If all these groups, traditions, lineages and organizations promote basically the same universal principles—then where do some of them get off, accusing the others of being under the thrall of Evil?
Isn't it exactly this sort of exclusionist message that keeps justifying the crimes of lynchings, witch hunts, pogroms, inquisitions and wars? "Our group is holy but your group is evil. We are smart enough to see the difference, but you are too stupid."
Another thing: Have you noticed how these negative people come out of the woodwork just when you have committed yourself to a certain course of study? Why was it, do you suppose, that you never heard from them when your interest was dormant?
Another metaphysical principle is that there is some downward-pulling force that doesn't want us to become enlightened. It will try very hard to dissuade us from a path of Truth—including trying to convince us that there is something dangerous about it, and that we had better stop.
So, I would respectfully ask the well-meaning folks (I can only assume that they are well-meaning) who post hysterical blogs against metaphysical and religious societies, and promote mistrust, paranoia and division, how they can be so bloody sure that it's not their shadowy guides who are promoting misinformation.
After all—you will know them by their fruits.
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