Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Esoteric Circle

So where does one find this secret knowledge that Ouspensky and so many others have hinted to in their writings? For Ouspensky, there is a secret circle of like-minded people who quest after this knowledge. This circle can range from secret cults and druids to monks, ashrams, the 12 apostles, etc.

"According to this idea, humanity is regarded as two concentric circles. All humanity which we know and to which we belong forms the outer circle. All the history of humanity that we know is the history of the outer circle. But within this circle there is another, of which men of the outer circle know nothing, and the existence of which they only sometimes dimly suspect, although the life of the outer circle in its most important manifestations, and particularly in its evolution, is actually guided by the inner circle. The inner or the esoteric circle forms, as it were, a life within life, a mystery, a secret in the life of humanity" (19).

More than that, Ouspensky believes that this inner circle, comparable to the fables of Dune, or The Giver, or even the collective unconscious, holds a quantity of secret of knowledge that has been passed down throughout all of humanity:
"The esoteric circle is, as it were, humanity within humanity, and is the brain, or rather the immortal soul, of humanity, where all the attainments, all the results, all the achievements, of all cultures and all civilisations are preserved" (19-20).

See this Wikipedia plot summary of Frank Herbert's Dune and the spice agony:
"The spice gives the secretive Bene Gesserit, often referred to as "witches", advanced mental and physical abilities in part developed through conditioning called prana-bindu training. A Bene Gesserit acolyte becomes a full Reverend Mother by undergoing a perilous ritual known as the spice agony, in which she ingests an otherwise lethal dose of an awareness spectrum narcotic and must render it harmless internally. Surviving the ordeal unlocks her Other Memory, the ego and memories of all her female ancestors. A Reverend Mother is warned to avoid the place in her consciousness that is occupied by the genetic memory of her male ancestors, referred to as "the place we cannot look." In light of this, the Bene Gesserit have a secret, millennia-old breeding program, the goal of which is to produce a male equivalent of a Bene Gesserit whom they call the Kwisatz Haderach. This individual would not only be able to survive the spice agony and access the masculine avenues of Other Memory, but is also expected to possess "organic mental powers (that can) bridge space and time." The Bene Gesserit intend their Kwisatz Haderach to give them the ability to control the affairs of mankind more effectively."

Or this (poor) summary of The Giver, by Lois Lowry:
"After Jonas has been selected to be the Receiver of Memories, he is set aside to receive training through the Giver (who was the last Receiver of Memory), who becomes his teacher. Jonas telepathically receives memories of things eliminated from his world: violence, sadness, and loss, as well as true love, beauty, joy, adventure, animals, and family. Having knowledge of these complex and powerful concepts alienates Jonas from his friends and family, as well as making him more cynical towards his previously sheltered life, as he often discusses with the Giver. Eventually, these revelations prompt Jonas to seek to change the community and return emotion and meaning to the world."

And Carl Jung's own description of a unifying knowledge in the human species:
"My thesis, then, is as follows: In addition to our immediate consciousness, which is of a thoroughly personal nature and which we believe to be the only empirical psyche (even if we tack on the personal unconscious as an appendix), there exists a second psychic system of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature which is identical in all individuals. This collective unconscious does not develop individually but is inherited. It consists of pre-existent forms, the archetypes, which can only become conscious secondarily and which give definite form to certain psychic contents."

Ouspensky lists many of the great thinkers, "Moses, Gautama the Buddha, John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, Pythagoras, Socrates and Plato: also the more mythical - Orpheus, Hermes Trismegistus, Krishna, Rama and certain other prophets and teachers of mankind" (32) as members and leaders of this esoteric, inner circle. But of course, he notes that these men seek nothing other than the truth. And this separation from material society often makes them hard to find. "Men belonging to the esoteric circle, when they appear among ordinary humanity, always wear a mask through which very few succeed in penetrating." (32)

So, how do you go about finding and being initiated into a true esoteric circle? That's a different problem all together...

Quotes from Ouspensky's "A New Model of the Universe," which is available FREE online

And the awesome illustrations are from Jung's "Red Book."

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