by Richard R.
(Mill Creek WA, USA)

Until the age of 35 my life could be described as average, traditional and rather mundane. At 35 however, my life changed dramatically. At this time, I was (without warning) suddenly confronted with a very painful and unwanted divorce; an experience that left me feeling betrayed, rejected and resentful.

Anger and cynicism were soon to follow resulting in a debilitating depression that (at the time) I truly thought would never end. But soon logic, reason and common sense prevailed and I began to regain my emotional equilibrium. I also began to ponder the reason for my pain and suffering. Did this experience have some deeper meaning for my life? If so, what could it be?

As time went on, I continued to seek an answer. I even begin to Frequent small specialty bookstores hoping to find a rare or obscure text that could provide me with some secret or hidden knowledge that would provide me with an answer or at least a clue.

One Sunday morning, lonely and alone, I decided to have breakfast at a small restaurant I had heard of in a part of town with which I was unfamiliar.

I was hoping the change of scene would help cheer me up a bit. Fortunately, the breakfast was satisfying and the neighborhood inviting so I decided to take a short walk before returning home.

After having walked a block or two, I happened upon a small (and rather run down) used bookshop. After browsing for a short time, I found nothing of interest.

Disappointed, I turned to the elderly shop owner and casually asked what books he might recommend if someone wanted to know the “secrets of life” (figuratively speaking of course). He seemed to understand the metaphor and smiled at me knowingly.

Then, saying nothing, he simply motioned me to follow him into a small back room. There on a narrow shelf was a row of small, dust covered blue books.

He took the thickest one (blew off the dust) and handed it to me; the title was, “A Treatise on Cosmic Fire” (by Alice A. Bailey). He then said you might try this little book, and a few others I am going to recommend.

If you find there is something familiar about them, as if you are remembering them anew, they may help you get started. The books were A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, A Treatise on White Magic and volumes one and two of Esoteric Psychology (all by Alice A. Bailey). He also included two volumes of The Secret Doctrine (by H.P. Blavatsky).

I was effusive in my appreciation, left the bookshop and hurried home. I couldn't wait to open the books and drink in the wisdom that I was sure I would find inside. With trembling hands, I anxiously opened the first book (A Treatise on Cosmic Fire) and read several lines.

I was stunned! I couldn't understand a word I was reading; it just seemed like so much gibberish. However, I don’t know why but I said to myself, this is it! This is the STUFF, I don’t have a clue what I’m reading but it seems so familiar I just know it’s the source; this is what I have been seeking.

I didn't know what it all meant but I knew I must find out! I didn't know how long it would take but I knew it was the right stuff.

That was the moment I first set foot on the esoteric path!!

14 years later (1995) I discovered the book The Knowledge of Reality (by Henry T. Laurency) while attending an esoteric conference in San Diego California sponsored by The Seven Rays Institute;

It was this book that introduced me to Pythagorean Hylozoics and a more westernized approach to the esoteric path. It Has also been this book that has helped broaden my understanding of some of the more abstruse principles of esoteric philosophy that I had missed in my earlier studies of Bailey and Blavatsky.


It has now been 34 years since I began the esoteric path (this lifetime). And there are three very important things that I that I have learned (sometimes the hard way) along the path that I hope will be helpful to other seekers.

• When you are new on the esoteric path it is easy to become so
enthusiastic about what you are learning that you want to share it
with others. However, you will find that sharing this learning with
those who are not on the esoteric path is simply “casting pearls” to
the disinterested, naïve or skeptic. Save your enthusiasm for other
seekers that share a similar level of esoteric insight and

• Do not interfere with or attempt to impose your esoteric beliefs of
others. Remember, others beliefs attitudes and opinions are as
important to them as yours are to you. Each of us must find the
esoteric path in our own way and in our own time.

• It is not uncommon for many on the esoteric path to believe they
are much further along the path than what they actually
are. Maintain a healthy skepticism as to the extent of your own
esoteric growth and knowledge. The path is exceedingly long and
one lifetime is but an instant in your progress. So study, meditate
and serve. Your progress on the path will always be a function of
these three basic principles.


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Aug 30, 2019
Belated response
by: Fr. E.S.Q.S.

Hello there, Richard R.,

Apologies if it has taken me so very long to get to you; however, seeing as I had stopped in to write a little response to J.P. (of Paris, France), I figured that I might as well extend that vey same courtesy to you. Like I had said to J.P., I am a firm supporter of communication between students. We are silent way too much. We miss out on a lot of wonderful opportunities for fruitful exchange that way.

I must remark: isn’t it interesting how apparent "Coincidences" seem to lead us to discovering deeper things? Your case is very particular, and wonderful to read about, that much is for sure – it is certainly nice to know that things like this can and do happen. What a way to discover Esoterics! If ever there was a "Sign", then – surely – that must have been it for you!

What I am really looking forward to considering before closing, however, is your three points – your three "Gems" (as I might call them):

On the enthusiasm of the neophyte (and the casting of pearls): indeed, my good man, you are quite right. It really is no use in trying to share Esoterics with others who are not duly prepared. There are certain necessary "Qualifications." One that I look for, personally, is whether or not the person is interested in the meaning and goal of life. Most people are not. Most people are content merely to drift aimlessly on the current of life, from cradle to grave. Most people never once ask the reason why. Most people live for the pursuit of all matter of "Chimeras": wealth, glory, (personal) power, etc. That is one "Qualification." You can also test prospective candidates for the knowledge by mentioning the law of rebirth ("Reincarnation") and the law of sowing and reaping ("Karma"). How do they react? The reason that this is important is because these two laws are fundamental to any esoteric presentation, which must present conscious development as a lengthy process taking many lifetimes; also, you must be able to explain the seeming "Injustices" of life. If they are thoroughly convinced that they live once, then they cannot be helped much by Esoterics. That is another "Qualification." In summation: very few people are actually ready for Esoterics. That is a hard lesson.

On the matter of imposing: indeed. This goes back to your first point, actually. You need to be on the lookout for earnest seekers. Those are the only people who are "Fit" for Esoterics; those are the only people with the right "Qualifications." It really is no use in badgering others, it really is no use trying to force others to "Believe" (which is to turn Esoterics into a religion); in fact, going around like that does a great disservice to Esoterics. It leaves a "Sour taste in the mouth" (so to speak) and keeps people from looking into it. Esoterics is not for the many. Esoterics is for the few. Again: that is a hard lesson, but also a necessary lesson. There is nothing that we’d all love more than to be able to share the "Light" that we have found; however, we must realize the sobering fact that the blind have no use for "Light." First they must have eyes. First they must able to see.

Most people are content with some one fictitious system. Most people are content with the hypotheses of science or the doctrines of religion. Most people are stuck; more than this, they cannot be helped, they do not want to be helped - and that is their divine right. One thing I had learned over the course of many years in my dealing with peoples was that, if you are to teach anything to anyone, you need to learn to:

1. Read the prospective candidate; are they ready for Esoterics, or can you help them with an idea or two?
2. If they are not ready for Esoterics, but can be helped with an idea or two, then you need to be able to assess what sort of "Language" you shall use. Can you formulate the ideas in such a way that they do not harm the fundamental tenets of the candidate’s system, while also moving the candidate forward (to greater truth)? Thus, if you speak with a Christian, you must learn to speak like a Christian; if you speak with a Muslim, you must speak like a Muslim; if you speak with a Hindu, you must speak like a Hindu… you need to learn their "Language", their symbols; you need to become capable of adapting and formulating ideas in many varied ways. Some ideas are impossible to present. Other ideas can be presented, and ought to be presented (unity, for instance).

When I was in university, I was often accosted by religious folk who tried to convert me. This happened very often - most likely because they had that thought that I might be an "Easy target": I would often sit alone reading, writing, and thinking. One group of religious folk, a group of Christian boys, would try to convert me many times over the years. As I recall, we had a number of wonderful discussions over the years (on religion, etc.). Most often, they left the discussions sort of awestruck: they would go in trying to convince me, but would wind up very nearly convinced of a much deeper, more meaningful kind of "Christianity." I remember one comment they made when I was explaining to them the meaning of various passages of scripture: "It’s almost as if you were already a Christian." Needless to say, but I chuckled a little at that comment. I was so capable of speaking to them in their own "Language", I had such a mastery of their own symbolism, that they had thought even I was one of them.

We need to understand that this is "Long-time work." As the old saying went, "Rome was not built in a day!" Piece by piece, stone by stone, brick by brick, step by step.

One more thing though, something that needs to be said I think: everyone should be mindful of the difference between opinions (and/or beliefs), and arguments. Everyone certainly has the right to hold whatever opinions and beliefs; however, no one has the right to make an argument, to try to convince others, without it being challenged. As soon as someone tries to convince others of their opinion (and/or belief), we have a right and a duty to critique the argument.

On the matter of "Where you are": indeed. This. This is very important. We must take pains to avoid the danger of pride, for "Pride leads to the fall." We must work for humility (which is a part of wisdom). First and foremost, we must be alive to the fact that we cannot know "Where we are." It is far too easy, and far too tempting, to deceive oneself. We ought to be mindful of the fact that "All we know is where we are now, that we are here; we cannot know where we have come from (past) or where we are going (future)." We know that we are human beings, first selves, on our way to becoming second selves. That is pretty much about it. We do not know. We cannot know. There are too many factors that we cannot consider. And, so, we should not even consider it. What is important is that we do our best to do the right, as far as we can see it. Secondly, a realization that comes in due course of time: the first self cannot do it. The first self is incapable. The first self is not enough. Even the "Greatest" person is comically insignificant when you look at the big picture; even the "Greatest" person, with the "Greatest" capacities, is still just a first self – still just a self of ignorance and inability. That is a very sobering thought: we are not so great, not so capable, no matter how "High" we are. Likewise, there is the summation of man’s wisdom: I am an idiot. Work on humility. It is about high-time that we grasped the fact that the 4th natural kingdom in nature is like the nursery room of the cosmos! We are as many new-born babes! I mean, honestly: we don’t even have a permanent self-identity yet! We are constantly forgetting ourselves! But, yes… I do agree with you. Very much so.

In any case, I am glad to have heard your story, Richard R. I wish you the very best of luck on your homeward journey. Feel free to converse with me as you like. I always like a good discussion.

Thanks for your time,


Fr. E.S.Q.S.

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