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LucidElement

Mystery Schools

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LucidElement

Mystery Schools are a new topic for me. I am reading this book titled "The Secret History of the World"  by Mark Booth where he opens up the introduction explaining the unknown of Mystery Schools.

I would like to quote a couple paragraphs from the book since i am still "green" on the topic and for those who have a better understanding could chime in and explain more to these "secret gatherings".

 Quoting from "The Secret History of the World" By Mark Booth;

Quote

"Historians of the ancient world tell us that from the beginnings of Egyptian civilization to the collapse of Rome, public temples in places like Thebes, Eleusis and Ephesus had priestly enclosures attach to them. Classical scholar refer to these enclosures as the Mystery Schools. - Here meditation techniques were taught to the political cultural elite. Following years of preparation, Plato, Aeschylus, Alexander the Great, Caesar Augustus, Cicero and others were initiated into a secret philosophy. .... Schools involved sensory deprivation, breathing exercises, sacred dance, drama, hallucinogenic drugs and different ways of redirecting sexual energies. These techniques were intended to induce altered states of consciousness in the course of which initiates were able to see the world in new ways." (Introduction Page 1 - Mark Booth)

He goes on to explain that any pupils of Mystery Schools were sworn to secrecy and those who did not abide but those laws were to be executed.

Are there any foundations of these supposed Mystery Schools still standing? I haven't gotten a chance to do further research but I was hoping by starting here I could learn tidbits / more information on these Schools.

Thanks!

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Windowpane

A review  of the book.

The author's thoughts ...

 

 

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Piney
1 hour ago, LucidElement said:
Quote

Schools involved sensory deprivation, breathing exercises, sacred dance, drama, hallucinogenic drugs and different ways of redirecting sexual energies. These techniques were intended to induce altered states of consciousness in the course of which initiates were able to see the world in new ways." (Introduction Page 1 - Mark Booth)

 

Developed from the Hindu and Buddhist influence brought back by Alexander's troops.

Because most sacred writings were destroyed, it was forgotten in the West that Hindu and Buddhist Temples and teachings were found all over the Greek World up until the fall of Rome. 

 

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Piney
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, LucidElement said:

He goes on to explain that any pupils of Mystery Schools were sworn to secrecy and those who did not abide but those laws were to be executed.

None of the Greco-Buddhist who came running to Asia to avoid Christian and Muslim persecution ever mentioned that, so I'm calling "bull chips". 

Edited by Piney
Where's the red paint?
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LucidElement
21 minutes ago, Piney said:

Developed from the Hindu and Buddhist influence brought back by Alexander's troops.

Because most sacred writings were destroyed, it was forgotten in the West that Hindu and Buddhist Temples and teachings were found all over the Greek World up until the fall of Rome. 

 

Very Interesting, so all we know about Mystery Schools was the broad categories i quoted above from the book? Nothing more in depth? I'm curious to know what mind altering drugs they made these leaders try. No wonder many of them were "sideways" lol. And who was really redirecting their sexual energies, Ancient European civilizations were orgy happy.

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Piney
Just now, LucidElement said:

Very Interesting, so all we know about Mystery Schools was the broad categories i quoted above from the book? Nothing more in depth? I'm curious to know what mind altering drugs they made these leaders try. No wonder many of them were "sideways" lol. And who was really redirecting their sexual energies, Ancient European civilizations were orgy happy.

The Eastern, Western Iranian's and other Asian groups always had cannabis as part of their religions. 

Then you had Tantra sexual practices which Alex's soldiers more than certainly brought back. 

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LucidElement
1 hour ago, Windowpane said:

A review  of the book.

The author's thoughts ...

 

 

Quote

The Secret History of the World is packed with examples of people who have known important things and not by the scientific method. The priests and artists of the Egyptian and Hindu temples knew of and understood the function of the pineal gland thousand of years before it was 'discovered' by German and English anatomists more or less simultaneously in 1866. Robert Temple has shown that the Egyptian priests knew that Sirius is a three star system, something only confirmed by French astronomers using radio telescopes in the second half of the twentieth century. According to Rudolf Steiner – the founder of Anthroposophy – knowledge of the evolution of the species from marine life to amphibian to land animal to anatomically modern human was encoded thousands of years of ago in the imagery of the constellations. Jonathan Swift was deeply immersed in esoteric philosophy. In Gulliver's Travels he predicted the existence and orbital periods of the moons of Mars. A hundred years later, when astronomers first observed these moons using the latest telescopes, they named them Phobos and Demos – fear and terror – so awestruck were they by Swift's evident supernatural powers.

How did these guys know? Where did their 'powers' come from? Isn't there something going on we don't fully understand?

WOWZA!!!! I just started this book but looking forward to reading about the alternative thoughts and ideas of history. This is going to be a great book to read, I like how it comes at you from the alternative perspective of history. Something most of all love to read about.  I will drop interesting tidbits as I come across them and we can talk about it.

But I couldnt even get through the first few pages without posting in this forum (Mystery Schools - had no idea).  The things that arent taught in history class.

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Tatetopa

It seems like an interesting topic from a psychological perspective as well as a historical one.  

Is it  a way to preserve historical data?

Is it to provide humans with the knowledge to become more successful living their lives and contributing to community ?

Is it to share something nobody else has and use that as a form of power over others?

Many writers seem to be fixated on the last and still hoping to follow Indiana Jones into a secret temple where a golden idol will reveal all knowledge.

 

I am not criticizing mystery traditions per se, but it is good to know where they come from and what their purpose was.  I can't speak about Greek or Egyptian mystery schools, maybe the book you mentioned can explain them, they might have similar underpinnings though.

Over the decades I have participated in several non-European traditions that 20th century Western culture might have touted as mysterious and full of hidden knowledge, yoga, martial arts, and for want of a better term some Indian spiritual practices.

 

Yoga might have been a secret teaching full of mysterious power to the Victorian observer seeing a practitioner in 19th century India.  It might have been a way to improve health, focus concentration and improve quality of life for those who practiced it. It has become that for millions of practitioners all over the world today so might be deemed highly successful in that regard. 

Still some of the Christian religious right  consider yoga exercises as works of Satan.  Might add a little to the cachet for others.

Even today  some gurus and masters spring out of yoga who want to convince their followers they are superhuman and deserve to be showered with respect and riches.  It works out that way because some want power and some want to believe that power exists and will even cling to a fakir rather than give up on the idea of the power existing.

Martial arts are wide spread in Western culture now.  Many started out as a military secret battlefield advantage that some clans or states followed for superiority in battle.  The stuff works and you wouldn't want your enemy to know all of your unexpected moves..

Martial arts fills that mystery requirement of providing its practitioners with uncommon personal power  and control over  mind and body.  a spiritual focus for stability and a hierarchy of recognition and respect from a group of other practitioners.  Why isn't everybody a 5th degree black belt in aikido like my friend and teacher is?  Because it takes a lot of work and devotion.   Much of the mystery dissolves in sweat and repetition.

Or you can take the Steven Segal hype approach to wealth and power.  Some want the wealth and power, some want to believe in it.

Mind altering substances or physical privations are also ways to travel outside the bounds of everyday routine and find some spiritual insights, physical endurance, and strength of character. Some you take on solo wit mixed results, or find a teacher willing to share knowledge and experience.  Again with the trope of the wise teacher who can provide some guidance into realms unknown to the initiate.

One thing they all have in common is the choice to share and spread wisdom and power to any who are willing to work for it or to hold it in secret for personal gain and power.

I don't know if he is widely read these days but the insights of Joseph Campbell were highly regarded in the 70's and 80's.

The Hero with a Thousand Faces  might be the book that encapsulates a lot of his thoughts and certainly pertains to the hero's journey of finding teachers, gaining wisdom, and developing personal power.

 

 

 

 

 

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jaylemurph

The book is trash. The truth is out there, and quite a bit is known about it, but it involves reading real history books, not the ones covered in “history will be re-written!” or “amazing secrets inside!” stickers. 

As I recall, the banality of actual history is your second choice to that kind of history-adjacent hoopla. 

—Jaylemurph 

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Harte

Snapshot of students in the mystery school:

Scooby-gang-1969.jpg

Harte

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LucidElement
1 hour ago, jaylemurph said:

The book is trash. The truth is out there, and quite a bit is known about it, but it involves reading real history books, not the ones covered in “history will be re-written!” or “amazing secrets inside!” stickers. 

As I recall, the banality of actual history is your second choice to that kind of history-adjacent hoopla. 

—Jaylemurph 

The author uses the word Esoteric to describe the smaller groups of people who could open their mind enough to see the other side of history instead of what we have always been taught. I think it could shape up to be an interesting alternative perspective. He stresses over and over in the first handful of pages that he wants people to try to believe in the opposite of what we've learned and read growing up.  Me personally, I always enjoy seeing the other side of the coin, its a big reason i joined U.M back in 03' always had a fascination with the "unknown and unexplained"

Quote

Although, this book can be read just as a record of the absurd things people have believed, an epic phantasmagoria, a cacophony of irrational experiences, I hope that by the end some readers will hear some harmonies and perhaps also sense a slight philosophical undertow, which is the suggestion it may be true.  - Mark Booth

Jayle, have you read it though? Or are you just saying its trash because of how the author is trying to portray the book and his supposed insight into Mystery Schools?

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Windowpane

Did you read this review?

Jaylemurph is right.

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Piney
57 minutes ago, Windowpane said:

Did you read this review?

Jaylemurph is right.

My experiences with authors who change their names like Frank  (Collin) Joseph and Micheal Tsarion is that they just make trash up. 

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XenoFish

Why was the first thing that came to mind after I read the title was, The Golden Dawn?

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Piney
5 minutes ago, XenoFish said:

Why was the first thing that came to mind after I read the title was, The Golden Dawn?

I was thinking " more Theosophist trash". :lol:

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third_eye

I still go back to "The Golden Bough" and take it from there... 

~

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jaylemurph
18 minutes ago, third_eye said:

I still go back to "The Golden Bough" and take it from there... 

~

Ah, yes: The Golden Bough: the apex of humanity is Homo Victorianus and all those trashy dark-skinned natives are just too lazy to get there on their own!

—Jaylemurph 

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third_eye
16 minutes ago, jaylemurph said:

Ah, yes: The Golden Bough: the apex of humanity is Homo Victorianus and all those trashy dark-skinned natives are just too lazy to get there on their own!

—Jaylemurph 

A product of their times, the opinions still prevails, like it or not, but we know better when we knows better... 

~

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Piney
2 hours ago, jaylemurph said:

Ah, yes: The Golden Bough: the apex of humanity is Homo Victorianus and all those trashy dark-skinned natives are just too lazy to get there on their own!

—Jaylemurph 

 

1 hour ago, third_eye said:

A product of their times, the opinions still prevails, like it or not, but we know better when we knows better... 

~

Might as well dive into 'The Masks of God' and get the whole mass comparison thing going too. :yes:

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jaylemurph
1 hour ago, third_eye said:

A product of their times, the opinions still prevails, like it or not, but we know better when we knows better... 

~

I quite agree. I think history may be the only subject where you deliberately study out-of-date texts; that's how I came to the Bough, and was sort of shocked how blatantly racist and biased it can be. I mean, there's still some value in a lot of it. E. K. Chambers was a lesser member of the Cambridge Ritual folks around Fraser, and used whole chapters from the Bough in his The Medieval Stage, which remains the most-used textbook on the subject. A not-insubstantial hunk of my dissertation was "Please, god, stop using this book."

--Jaylemurph

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Hanslune
Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Windowpane said:

Did you read this review?

Jaylemurph is right.

I read the review and the author's thought. Two sentences stuck out:

"If you go in for that sort of weaving, all you'll achieve is to strangle critical thought in a noose of wishful thinking. History isn't a matter of blind and bloody chance...... Somebody controls it. Somebody designs it. All the b******* are in cahoots. At root, this is a thought less disturbing than falsely comforting."

Lost of dots, lots and lots of dots all of which MUST mean something. There is a plan and it is usually evil

This one was particularly amusing: "Robert Temple has shown that the Egyptian priests knew that Sirius is a three-star system, something only confirmed by French astronomers using radio telescopes in the second half of the twentieth century".

What?.

French astronomers thought there might be one. Recently: "More recent (and accurate) astrometric observations by the Hubble Space Telescope ruled out the existence of such an object entirely. The 1995 study predicted an astrometric movement of roughly 90 mas (0.09 arcseconds), but Hubble was unable to detect any location anomaly to an accuracy of 5 mas (0.005 arc sec). This ruled out any objects orbiting Sirius A with more than 0.033 solar masses orbiting in 0.5 years, and 0.014 in 2 years. The study was also able to rule out any companions to Sirius B with more than 0.024 solar masses orbiting in 0.5 years, and 0.0095 orbiting in 1.8 years. Effectively, there are almost certainly no additional bodies in the Sirius system larger than a small brown dwarf or large exoplanet."

Andrew, LePage. "New Hubble Observations of the Sirius System | Drew Ex Machina". www.drewexmachina.com. Retrieved 21 March 2018.

Edited by Hanslune
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Hanslune
1 hour ago, jaylemurph said:

I quite agree. I think history may be the only subject where you deliberately study out-of-date texts; that's how I came to the Bough, and was sort of shocked how blatantly racist and biased it can be. I mean, there's still some value in a lot of it. E. K. Chambers was a lesser member of the Cambridge Ritual folks around Fraser, and used whole chapters from the Bough in his The Medieval Stage, which remains the most-used textbook on the subject. A not-insubstantial hunk of my dissertation was "Please, god, stop using this book."

--Jaylemurph

I've read hundreds of books, magazines and newspapers from the 1835-1840s about the British in India (and surrounding region) written by people of that period who had been there. Their world views and ideas are quite shocking to modern sensibilities. Science is not yet established, many doubted that the first measurements of the distance to Centauri could possibly be right, and they thought there were 12 planets and didn't believe in germs, They thought the Americans were odd, The French about to start another war, women had a role as did the classes, that German and Italians had no need or 'right' to form countries, Imperial might was acceptable , etc., etc.

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Piney
8 minutes ago, Hanslune said:

This one was particularly amusing: Robert Temple has shown that the Egyptian priests knew that Sirius is a three-star system, something only confirmed by French astronomers using radio telescopes in the second half of the twentieth century

:lol: 

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Hanslune
13 hours ago, LucidElement said:

Mystery Schools are a new topic for me. I am reading this book titled "The Secret History of the World"  by Mark Booth where he opens up the introduction explaining the unknown of Mystery Schools.

I would like to quote a couple paragraphs from the book since i am still "green" on the topic and for those who have a better understanding could chime in and explain more to these "secret gatherings".

 Quoting from "The Secret History of the World" By Mark Booth;

He goes on to explain that any pupils of Mystery Schools were sworn to secrecy and those who did not abide but those laws were to be executed.

Are there any foundations of these supposed Mystery Schools still standing? I haven't gotten a chance to do further research but I was hoping by starting here I could learn tidbits / more information on these Schools.

Thanks!

Hey Lucid

Have a good time I went down that path in the mid 70s. Be sure to read about Aleister Crowley - very entertaining. I read that stuff for about 10 years and my opinion was that it was all wishful thinking, tinted with paranoia and a deep set desire that someone or something was in charge of the world and there was a great plan or purpose. In some way the early 19th century alternative thinkers were early Beatniks, anarchists, revolutionary philosophers, dilettante's, Bohemians, free spirits, drunks, opium addicts and Hippies - the true fringe.

Enjoy and let us know what you think of it at the end. I see papageorge gave you a heart. He's a good example of a modern one. I could recommend you read some of his stuff too.

 

 

 

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third_eye

....don't forget "the green fairy"

Quote
The Green Fairy is the English translation of La Fee Verte, the affectionate French nickname given to the celebrated absinthe drink in the nineteenth century. The nickname stuck, and over a century later, "absinthe" and "Green Fairy" continue to be used interchangeably by devotees of the potent green alcohol.

~

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