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Origins of Mystery Schools?

In my previous post, some of you had a problem with my characterization of HA as being another form of the birth, death, and resurection or being "born again" mystery ceremony. First of all, it's necessary to understand just what a mystery school is. This can be a rite, a cult, a "play", or a whole religion, but they all have very similar threads running through them.

Some of you said, "Tain't 'xac'ly what my book says." Well, no and there is a good reason, the "outer" stories and the "inner" stories were indeed different and secret as well and remember, my claim is that these are all variations upon the Osiris mysteries of Egypt.

But first, let's see just 'xac'ly what a mystery play is. First, there are two or three groups of people. There is the world in general. Then there are the initiates. And lastly there are those who've passed through the play, acting as the protagonist and then been lectured on it's advanced meaning, these folks can be called by any number of names such as adepts, masters, even Jesuits. Let's just call them masters.

Why do I like that name? The term "master" came to us from from the ancient Minoans at Knossos in Crete. They had a mystery religion that derived from Ancient Egypt and was a rather pure form of the Mystery religion there. The Greeks conquered these folks and the Greek had a practice of letting people keep their own semi-autonomous social structures if these folks agreed to deliver their services. It was a bit like a hostile takeover of a small corporation and the small corporation was kept intact but was ruled by the big corp. So Greece did this with the Minoan builders of their temples, and in Grece they built Geek temples. The name of these builders were mysters. This is really how we get the word master. It also connects to the word mystery.

But exactly what is a mystery school or play? Well, it is a society with secrets. The membership may or may not be secret but the stories they tell are secret. There is an "outer" story for initiates and an inner story for the adepts. Some call them the profane and the sacred, by the way. Did you know Jesus taught his teachings in a mystery school? Remember how he taught in parables? And with this form of teaching, there is an outer story and an inner story. The appostles were his masters who had completed his mystery school. So this means Jesus was literally a heirophant or one who reveals the mysteries to the initiates and makes them into masters.

Now, the outer story for initiates is a simple story that accounts for all the known facts and there is an elaborate acting out of the story. The initiate takes the place of the protagonist of the story and then they are walked through the story. After the initiates completes the acted-out story, they are then told the "inner" story and this way they are taught something in an experiencial way so the hope is that they will internalize the new learning much better. Then after the person is given full status an a full member, master, or adept.

Why not just explain things to a person? Well, people forget and they say they understand when they don't. Also, in the old days, most people were illiterate so this kind of experiencial learning makes us retain things better. Now, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that masonic ritual follows this pattern. It is a mystery school. And of course there are lots of similar mystery schools. Early Christianity was a mystery religion. Jesus taught in parables. In the Orthodox church, they still call the sacrements, the mysteries. In the middle ages, mystery schools were taught by all the craft guilds and at a certain time of year, they were acted out publicly as well.

Now, before I go on, it's important to realize what religions were like in the old days, meaning thousands of years ago. They were essentially like this: The king is God. He says to do something. If you don't, they kill you. Or else, the god/king says not to do something and you do, he has you killed. The god/king owns everything and you pay him a percentage (tithe or tenth was customary). So it was like today living in North Korea. It was a command society.

Now, there were so-called "temple societies" like Egypt and it seems Jerusalem was the last temple society. In Early Egypt, the king or pharaoh was like I described but by the time of Hermes Trismegistus, Hermes had developed the first mysteries and these were just like I described. We don't know exactly what the form of the religion was taught back then, 6000 years ago, but by the time of the Greeks, it had evolved into the Osiris mysteries.

How was this different from the temple society? Well, the mysteries taught a story that supposedly made the followers become more ethical people. In fact, it was supposed to wake up their sleeping consciences. Why? Well, did you take the 32 degree? The story of the knight and his plight? You see, in a command society, it isn't possible to spell everything out and if you try, you create so many rules and laws that invariably one rule will conflict with another. So, that kind of society is one that has much unfairness built in and since people don't dare to act or to not act for fear of getting killed for a mistake, they take no initiative whatsoever. They play stupid.

But an ethically enlightened person is able to make the right decision. Why? Well, we all carry the word of God within us. It's called our conscience. And a person who has gone through the mystery school and had become a master will be able to hear their conscience like I wrote about in my last letter about HA. Now, this kind of society is much stronger because instead of one person or a tiny group doing all the thinking, you can have millions. Also, people who are in a command society tend to resent their lack of freedom and sit on their hands where those in an ethical society feel more empowered and more like they have a stake in society and actually act in a conscientious way, for the betterment of all. In a command society, they tend to say, "It's not MY job."

Well, this kind of ethical society has produced very culturally rich societies but the command societies have tended to conquer them. And after the conquerer starts to learn what the conquered society is and how it works, it wants it for itself and so it brings home the values of the conquesed. In history, when the Greeks brought the Osiris story home, the Greek people being xenophobic said, "We're not worshiping any Egyptian god. If their god was so great, how come they lost the war with us?" So, even though it had very clear advantages, the barbarians, after conquering a more advanced society, they had to hide the teachings within the conquerers own gods and cultural heritage.

The Greeks recycled Dionyius from a wine god into a dying/resurecting or born again god like Osiris. These were the Eleusian mysteries and through these mysteries, they taught the Osiris mystery school, however, Osiris was unacceptable in Greece so they respun the same stories and lessons but they did so in the context of Greek culture and religion.

This same thing was done in all of the ancient world. Mithras was at one time, a Zoroastrian god but later Greek soldiers adopted Mithras as their god. Adonnis and Saturn were also the same kind of thing where the lessons of ethics and conscience was taught to the Syrians and Romans. Jesus was a respinning of the mysteries in the context of the Hebrews in Jerusalem. Remember, Jerusalem was a thoroughly Helenized culture. They were the last temple society but were also extremely well acquainted with all things Greek, including the mysteries.

What we find is that every culture had it's own set of stories but underneath it all, they were all basically the same. They were stories that when acted out in a mystery play, the initiate was supposed to awaken their sleeping consciences and become ethical and enlightened creatures.

Now we get back to why HA is dead and I said he was resurected. Well, like I said, with every mystery school, there is an inner and outer story. Since freemasonry has basically one story, it isn't clear if it is the inner or outer story. We'd all like to think of it as being the inner story but perhaps it is not. History tells us freemasonry sprang up in London in 1717 and there were only two degrees then. Earlier records show absolutely no references to any mystery school teachings. Yet, we know they existed because we know all craft guilds had these schools within and that every year, they were acted out in public.

By the way, these crafts and their masters came from the Greeks to the Romans from their earlier Minoans, and they came to England and to us through the Roman Collegia (hear the word lodge there?) when Emperor Constantine lived in York England. These lodges (of collegia) were the trade guilds of Greek temple builders, decended to us from the Minoans, which in itself was an offshoot of ancient Egyptian culture. And their religion? Well, it was at one time, the Osiris mysteries but later have been reworked into the local cultural context and using the local gods.

But you say, HA built the Temple of Solomon?! Yes, like I said, all the lessons of the mysteries were reinterpreted in the cultural context of the conquering people. In this case, Jerusalem didn't conquer Egypt but they did take Egyptian culture and religion with them after their stint as slaves, and they had further chance to refine these stories because the Greeks heavily influenced their culture and I believe they melded the two into a new set of mysteries, the stories of Jesus. Solomon's wife was Egyptian so they were a lot alike.

Now, why does freemasonry have elements that are like those taken from Jerusalem? Well, as Christianity was developing in Europe and with the Church killing everyone who had any story to tell that they did not approve of, there aparently had been another tradition that began in York and came to us from the Roman Collegia, the builders of Rome's military and government buildings and structures. At some point, however, aparently in an effort to remove the parts of the York tradition that seemed a lot like Christianity they borrowed heavily from Bible sources, putting Old Testament events in place of similar stories in their other tradition and making it agree more with Christianity for safety sake.

This is why you see Fides mentioned, an old god, and much good said about the Greeks and little good said about the Romans. The Collegia were Greeks. Their guild in Rome was the Roman Collegia but they were still Greeks held as a captive trade guild. The old gods were later replaced with Christian stories in an effort to keep from being killed as Heratics.

Over the years, some of the early references where retained in the ritual because everyone had forgotten their significance and couldn't see how it would be offensive to the Church. Fides is like that. Also, HA is like that. It seems he was retained but parts of the story were dropped that made him look too Christ-like and then everyone forgot how it was before.

In freemasonry, there really isn't even an outer story and the inner story clearly has elements that seem more like they should be in the outer story. So perhaps the two separate stories melded into one before 1717. So even though the story of HA is not 'xac'ly like the other mystery stories of birth, death, and rebirth as an enlightened soul, one can clearly see that it must have been like that at one time.

How do I know this? Well, the Church objects to freemasonry because it teaches ethics and morality and they say they are the only ones who can do that. And freemasonry does claim to make a person more ethical after the ceremony. It all fits. It is a mystery school. Now, use reverse engineering to undo some of the changes induced by the Church and you can see how it all fits and is very consistent

You are free to disbelieve it if you want to but for those who are open-minded, I think you'll see the truth in what I've said.

Copyright © by The Book of THOTH - The complete guide to the Tarot, Magick and the Occult All Right Reserved.

Published on: 2005-09-13 (7848 reads)

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