Esoteric Schools of the Future


Up to date, the so-called esoteric schools have dealt with aspirants upon the Path of Probation or of Purification.  The schools now forming, such as the Arcane School, are concerned with training disciples and preparing them to tread the Path of Discipleship and to come—at some later date—into direct contact with the Masters.  The new schools which will appear in the next century will take disciples and prepare them to tread the Path of Initiation.

We have thus one graded, unified effort for which the Masters are responsible.  The schools now forming to train disciples are intermediate in nature and are intended to bridge the gap between the esoteric schools of the past and the true schools which will later appear.  These facts might be summarised as follows:

1. Esoteric Schools in the Past
These are the schools with which we are most familiar, such as the inner schools of the many Theosophical groups, the Rosicrucian orders and the countless mystical and metaphysical organisations.  They are definitely exoteric in nature but are useful in challenging public interest.  They convey much useful information about the three worlds of human evolution—the physical world, the world of the emotions and the mental world.  They are definitely for neophytes upon the Path of Probation.  They are concerned with the heart approach to God and with the deep human instinct, if haply man may find Him.

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2. Esoteric Schools of the Present
These schools, now forming, have more esoteric knowledge; this is being correlated and applied.  Much remains theoretical, but theory must ever precede practice.  These schools will advance the teaching beyond the point reached in the earlier schools, carrying it out of the three worlds into the realm of the soul.  They will deal with the world of occult values and will be mental in nature, laying the emphasis upon Knowing God, and not just upon feeling after a sensed divinity.  At their best, the old schools brought about the integration of the personality and made the essential dualism of the mystic factual.  The new schools aim at a higher fusion—that between the integrated personality and the soul.  They reveal that behind the dualism of the mystic (a necessary stage) there is the occult fact of identity with the divine.

3. Esoteric Schools in the Future
These schools will be truly esoteric for humanity will then be ready.  The higher consciousness of the disciple will be evoked and trained.  He will be taught to work consciously on spiritual levels and to act as a soul in the three worlds of human evolution, through the medium of a highly intelligent personality.  Disciples will be prepared for initiation, and initiates will be trained to take the higher major initiations.  Emphasis will be laid upon the right handling of energies and forces, upon wisdom as the result of applied knowledge and upon the work and plans of the Hierarchy.  The intuition will be developed and a still higher fusion brought about—between the spiritual man and the universal One.
(A.A. Bailey, The Unfinished Autobiography)


LETTER ΙΧ, September 26th, 1920
...Preliminary remarks.

Let us pause a moment and lay down certain postulates anent the present that will (so to speak) clear the ground for future action.

The value of meditation is becoming everywhere admitted.  Schools for concentration and methods of mental development are commonly advertised in the daily papers.

True meditation is as yet little understood.  Concentration is but the foundation upon which the future work is to be based.

As yet the future structure cannot be raised, due to two causes primarily:—

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a. The inherent inability of mind at this juncture to attain the causal level and the consciousness of the causal level.
b. The absence of a Master in personal presence, able and equipped to teach the true scientific development which is the aim of true meditation.

The troubled condition of the world at present is sufficient barrier to any general acceptation of training, and of the scientific development of the vehicles.

These premises are laid down here as a starting point.  That some individuals here and there achieve the goal, that some people do master the system of Occult Meditation and make the desired progress is undeniable, but they are only few in number and those numbers are inappreciable when set against the vast bulk of human beings in incarnation at the same time.  They achieve by right of age-long effort, and because in previous lives they trod the Path or neared the portal of initiation.  But even the average man of intelligence of today—the product, for instance, of western civilisation—is far from being ready for occult training.  Experiments are being made now, unknown oft to the subjects themselves, to see how quickly a man may be pushed through experience and a general hastening of the evolutionary process into a position where it will be safe to train him further.  People in many civilised countries are under supervision, and a method of stimulation and intensification is being applied which will bring to the knowledge of the Great Ones Themselves a mass of information that may serve as a guide to Their future efforts for the race.  Especially are people in America, Australia, India, Russia, Scotland and Greece being dealt with.  A few in Belgium, Sweden, and Austria are likewise under observation, and should the response [Page 299] be as hoped they will form a nucleus for further expansion.

Future Schools of Meditation

In handling this matter we might, as is our usual custom, divide the subject matter under different heads:—

1. The one fundamental School.
2. Its national subdivisions.
3. The location, personnel, and buildings of the School.
4. The grades and classes.

Now I would emphatically point out to you the fact that all that I now impart is a portion of a tentative plan, which has in view the hastening of the evolution of the higher mind, and the bringing under control of the bodies of men, through the power of the God within.  This plan has been drawn up in view of the crying need of a world in which the mental equipment of men is increasing out of all proportion to their emotional balance and to their physical equipment.  The rapid advance of knowledge, the spreading of the educational system which brings the product of many minds into the environment of the very poor, the ability of all to read and write in such a country as America or among the other Anglo-Saxon races, has been the cause of a very real (I might almost say an unexpected) problem arising to confront the Great Ones.

Mental development when paralleled by emotional stability and a strong healthy body is the aim for all.  But now you have mental development paralleled by an unstable astral and a weak, underfed, badly raised physical.  Hence disorder, lack of balance, the clouding of the vision and disproportionate discussion.  Lower mind, instead of being a means to an end and a weapon for use, is in fair [Page 300] way of being a ruler and a tyrant, preventing the play of the intuition and shutting out the abstract mind.

Hence the Masters, if it can in any way be accomplished, purpose a movement that has in view the harnessing of the lower mind through the instrumentality of the people themselves.  With this object in view They plan to utilise the incoming Ray of Ceremonial Law or Organisation, and the period immediately co-incident or following the coming of the Great Lord, to start these schools (in a small inconspicuous way at first) and bring to the consciousness of men everywhere the following four fundamentals:—

a. The evolutionary history of man from the mental side.
b. The septenary constitution of the macrocosm and the microcosm.
c. The laws governing man's being.
d. The method of occult development.

A beginning has already been made........through the various schools at present extant.......All these are the beginnings of the plan.  When they are firmly grounded, when they are working smoothly and with public recognition, and when the world of men is being somewhat coloured by them and their subjective emphasis, when they are producing scholars and workers, politicians and scientists and educational leaders who make their impress on their environment, then mayhap will come the time for the founding in exoteric fashion of the true occult school.  By that I mean that if the earlier schools and colleges do their work satisfactorily they will have demonstrated to the world of men that the subjective is the true reality and that the lower is but the stepping stone to the higher.  This subjective reality being universally admitted will, therefore, permit of the founding of a chain of inner schools [Page 301] ...that will be publicly recognised.  This will never at any time obviate the necessity for always having an esoteric and secret section, for always there will be certain truths and facts of dangerous import to the uninitiated; but what I seek to point out is that the mysteries will eventually be admitted as facts for universal recognition and for universal aim and goal.  They will be prepared for and entered from schools that definitely undertake, under expert guidance, to train novitiates for the mysteries.

Such schools have existed before and in the turning of the wheel again they will be in manifestation.

You ask, when?  That depends on humanity itself and on all of you who work with faith and aspiration at the beginnings of the plan.

H. P. B. laid the foundation stone of the first school in this particular lesser cycle (which is nevertheless a relatively important one, being an outgrowth of the fifth root-race, the efflorescence of the fifth principle).  This is the keystone.  The work proceeds in the founding, as aforesaid, of the various schools, and mental science also has its place.  It will go forward as desired if each one who is now under occult training strains every nerve and bends every effort to the work in hand.  If all that is possible is done, when the Great Lord comes with His Masters the work will receive a still further impetus, and will gradually expand and grow till it becomes a power in the world.  Then will come the day of the occult schools that will definitely train men for initiation.

(A.A. Bailey, Letters on Occult Meditation).