THE ESOTERIC SCHOOL November 24, 2022


The S.S. Großer Kurfürst left Bremen, Germany, on April 29, 1905. There were several clocks on board the steamer which indicated the time of the major world cities, the ship had only been out to sea for a day, and Ernest Temple Hargrove was unsure if they were still in German waters.

Ernest Temple Hargrove.

For the efficacy of the ritual to work, each of the seven members belonging to the Inner Court of the Esoteric Section had to synchronize their meditation.

S.S. Großer Kurfürst

Figuring that he must be somewhat close to London, at 2:45 p.m. found a quiet place away from Aimée and the children, and facing west, he cleared his thoughts and focused on the Master.

The Lafayette-Brevoort Hotel

April 30, 1905, was the final day of the Eleventh Annual Convention of the Theosophical Society. This year it was held in the Lafayette-Brevoort Hotel, on Fifth Avenue, where Charley Johnston had lived for some time. Being both the Chairman of the Executive Committee for the Theosophical Society, and Chairman of its Occult School, the Esoteric Section, this was a major convenience. Before the proceedings of the exoteric society began, Charley and the members of the E.S.T. held a morning meeting which began with their thirty-minute Group Meditation. By 10:45 a.m., Charley was well into his discourse on esoteric instruction.

“If all members of the School were fully trained and accepted Chelas,” he said, “then the Masters could work actively through each of us, with certainty of success. As it is, the Masters can and do work actively through the Groups, wherever these are strong and compact enough. Therefore it is of utmost importance to make our Group work and Meditation, our Group life, what it should be, for only through the Groups can the Masters do local work.

“Group life is important in another way. In Group Meditation, the Inner Selves of the members of the Group are, or should be, blended in common consciousness, in the spiritual world. Each member of the Group should and can be conscious of this. And this shared Group consciousness which, expanded in full splendor, is the consciousness of the Lodge, ‘held by all pure souls in common.’ Whatever comes within the consciousness of one Master becomes a part of the consciousness of the whole Lodge—and this is we can begin to understand through our Group Meditation.

“That the Group life may be right, it is necessary that the daily life of its members be right. In the same way, right Group life leads to the right life of the School, and prepares the Soul of the School to see, to hear, to speak, to stand in the presence of the Masters, and thus to share their immortality.


Charles Johnston.

“This is the meaning of Discipline, beginning with the small things of daily life, and rising in ordered steps to the life of the Lodge. This is the task in which we are to perfect ourselves. And if we rightly understand, we shall find deep cause for satisfaction in the knowledge that our practical Occult training has begun, and we shall do what we can to rise to the opportunity. It is not without significance that the members of the School as a whole are now being given the actual Rule for Daily Life formulated by the great Indian Master for the training of the probationary Chela. It remains with us to show how far this privilege is deserved. Here is a part of our task for the seven years to come.

“Madame Blavatsky has left us in her books, the entire mass of the Lower Mysteries, with the Instructions for a key; not in detail, not all worked out, for no wise teacher does so. But the knowledge is there, in the rough as it were, and by our patient search and digging, we will not only gain the information we desire, but awaken in ourselves the faculties we need to perfect comprehension. In other words, the training is three-fold. The Soul must be awakened by the life; the higher mind, by the intellectual effort linked to aspiration (the fire of Kundalini playing on the pineal gland); and the registering on the brain of the knowledge thus acquired. One fact must never be forgotten: we must live the life to know the doctrine. We can study the Secret Doctrine endlessly, but we cannot understand them until we have lived them, for only he who has lived them is worthy to understand.”


[To Be Continued…]

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