Path of the Adept
This path is not for everyone. It is
for those who have come to realize that an inner world exists.
This world is as real as the world we see, hear, feel, and touch.
This inner world far surpasses in importance the external world
The ability to recognize the difference
between these two worlds is the first clue for recognizing one
who is on the path of Adeptship. The Adept understands that the
outer world is unreal, an illusion. Only the inner world is real
Adepts may be found playing many roles
in the outer world. They are very much like actors. Adepts act
out these many roles only because of another life they live on
an inner plane which is both concurrent and coherent with the
outer plane. The adept may be more accurately described as artist
rather than actor. The adept knows that the outer life is unreal,
merely an illusion. Nevertheless the Adept plays it well and
Each experience in the outer world has
an inner lesson to advance the disciple. These experiences are
opportunities to develop courage, endurance, wisdom, and other
similarly desirable characteristics.
The greatest obstacle the Adept has to
overcome is the immense and incessant pressure of public opinion,
especially the opinions of the spiritually ignorant and the unenlightened.
How exactly does the Adept differ from
the ordinary person? Fundamentally, it is a difference in attitude.
The Adept lives to gain neither position nor honors. Rather,
the Adept lives in accord with the principles of an inner world,
principles unknown to the uninitiated. The disciple is always
trying to develop some virtue such as love, for example,
or patience, or tolerance.
Not all Adepts retire from the world,
though some may. More likely, an Adept may be found mingling
in the outer world and its various activities. Here I would remind
you of the words of Augustine: many there are who will die for
Christ, but few there are who will live for Him.
The invitation to become an Adept is
only to those who desire to receive it. These are seekers of
truth. They shall find the secrets of the Masters.
On the physical plane we consider the
age of the body. On the spiritual plane we consider the age of
the Soul. The Soul on the path begins to show signs of advancement
in intelligence, emotional maturity, and spiritual power. This
advancement has little or nothing to do with the worldly age
of the personality.
What constitutes initiation as an Adept?
Understand that it is an "inner" initiation.
It's the opening of a door to the inner world, symbolically to
represent "the opening of the doors of the mind". What
constitutes this opening? Simply, it is the realization that
there is another life to live other than this ordinary worldly
life. This worldly life seems to pale next to the inner life
to which we are suddenly attracted.
This realization may be called by different
names. The Hindus refer to it as viveka (discrimination).
Christians refer to as conversion. This latter is an apt
word for the experience. It is a turning around of one's life,
a change in direction. In the words of one of the Christian apostles:
Set your affections on things above, and not on things of the
Initiates begin by learning not to be
swayed unduly by their emotions. They keep their expression governed
by their mind, not by their feelings.
Next, they begin to bring the physical,
astral and mental bodies in line. The astral is dominated by
the emotions. The mental is the causal element of our being.
The initiate's consciousness becomes
open to continual expansion. Yet, regardless how inclusive the
consciousness becomes, the initiate never loses his or her individuality.
This is the nature of the spiritual, an expanded consciousness
and a well-grounded individuality.
The Adept comes to understand that matter
is not evil, but merely an expression of Spirit. Matter may be
said to be evil only when it hinders us on our way, when it becomes
an obstacle to our enlightenment. Just as a knife may be said
to be evil when we cut ourselves with it. Thus the disciple prays
to be delivered from the false, the impermanent, and to be open
to the true, the permanent, and the real. Each set of expressions
is a set of synonyms for the same thing.
The initiate, accepting the invitation
to become an Adept, prays with all his or her heart to
be led from darkness to light He yearns for knowledge of
the path and the higher planes of existence to which it leads.
Gradually, he realizes that each plane is quite out of all proportion
and superior to the one below it.
Finally, the initiate desires to overcome
death and to obtain the immortality in which the Adept firmly
believes. Death to the Adept is a door into a higher and fuller
life. We were not meant to live for all eternity in our present
personality, but to evolve into a form more grand than we are
yet capable of conceiving.
For further understanding of the concept
of Adeptship, you may want to read my articles on The Mechanisms
of Consciousness and The
Fourth Dimension of Consciousness.