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; www.sevenray.org.
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.