Since the earliest times, Man has been a religious being. Some people -and there are many of them- state and behave like they do not believe in anything of the kind but, deep down inside them, they want to know where they come from, who created them, and what there is after death. Modern science is able to give us some answers to many questions, but it is still unable to explain, in a satisfactory way, the most puzzling points:
– The “Black Hole” theory explains how the solar system, of which we are part, originated. But does this tell us really where we came from?
– Darwin Theory of Evolution is very convincing, and generally accepted these days. However it does not clarify at all how the process started!
– Medicine has made huge progress these last 50 to 60 years, and more or less everything about our body, and how it works, is known. But it cannot really tell us, in a definite way, what death is, not to mention what happens after.
Man wants a clear answer to all these questions. Unfortunately, up to now, nobody seems to be able to satisfy his requests and, since the earliest time, he had to look outside the material and rational world to receive at least some indications.
In the antiquity, most men were poorly educated and their knowledge very limited compared to what is available today. But they were already asking more or less the same questions. As no answer was available, they used their own imagination and created what became known as the Old Mysteries where the knowledge available at that time was collected, and recorded for transmission to the future generations. This knowledge was not very accurate, and much of it was the product of the imagination of the most fertile minds of that time. At least some answers, true or not, were available to the members. What these answers were is generally unknown. But they were considered to be so powerful that they could not be given to all the people. Only those who accepted to be gradually initiated through a long process of study, and go through mental as well as psychological preparation, would receive them; the rest of the population received only very limited information.
There were many Old Mystery Schools, each of them answering the needs of the population of a limited region. There were no or few contacts between people of different regions in normal time, and those that occurred were mainly the results of war and invasion. Later on, mainly between 1000 BC and 1000 AD, some intelligent men founded what became known as religions. Their founders, known under different names (such as prophets), came with strong ideas, or stated that they had received instructions from a Higher Being (God); they all soon started to teach their ideas, or preach about the instructions they had received from “above”. Many such organisations were founded, and quite a few of them survived for a long time, some of them until now. Those that survived for a long period of time had a few points in common:
– The message was simple and understandable by most people.
– The organisation was clear, well defined, and stable.
– The faithful members were rewarded (often in the afterlife).
Again all the “knowledge” could not be given to all the members. The ordinary people received the “doctrine” that was simple and easily understood, whereas the “initiates” (priests and bishops in the Christian Church) were, presumably, told more.
The situation today is a kind of crystallisation of what happened in the past with the result that we have:
– A limited numbers of universal religions, most of them divided in a large number of separate churches.
– A very large number of sects of various orientations.
Due to the advance in science, to the diffusion of education and learning, to the explosion of the techniques of mass communication as well as the ever increasing well being of the people -at least in the western world-, man has more and more difficulties to accept the authority and influence of the organised churches over their beliefs and, even more, over their day-to-day life. People are now ready, and prepared to look for other more individual and personal paths towards God and Salvation.
In this book we will describe our thoughts on the subject, our own experience, and our suggestions. We are well aware that there are few satisfactory and logical answers to man’s quests. Moreover there are many paths leading to what some see as Salvation, others as Divine Union, and others still as a better understanding of the way the Universe works. Each of us must choose not only his path, but also the goal he wants to reach. This is necessary if we take into consideration the fact that hard work, loneliness, and misunderstanding by others are all parts of the individual path. The official churches, on the other hand, offer an easy way out; all they require is a full belief in their doctrine.