I think…that the true esotericist searches by himself and for himself. The true initiate knows well that no ‘earthly’ answers can be ‘conclusive’. …I am my only master and I don’t acknowledge any others. Freemasonry is a solitary, egoistic and personal path, free from dogmas; therefore nobody has anything to teach to anybody. Is it possible that the Master must be killed to let the value of his teaching live?|
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Education and growth
by Athos A. Altomonte
Q : I think... that the true esotericist searches by himself and for himself. The true initiate knows well that no ‘earthly' answers can be ‘conclusive'.
A : Dear friend, I don't agree on this point. Education based on questions and answers is an indispensable element. This means that a pupil asks questions and a master gives him answers in order to accelerate the process of orientation. This is not enough, though; even when the pupil is well oriented he remains a pupil for a long time. Having a safe guide gives confidence in choices, accelerates progress and provides a countercheck during the evolution of thoughts, preventing him from getting lost in Pindaric flights.
I think it's a fact that too many people use too many quotations from more or less erudite or sacred books. Isn't the need to base our arguments on words taken by books a sign of lack of our own ideas? Therefore to quote other people's ideas is not a subtle form of plagiarism, especially for those who claim to be free, to the extent of wishing to ‘kill the master' that hinders their way or for those who hypothesize that there aren't any Masters.
Reading is one of the forms of education. If what we read doesn't poison our minds, studying can contribute to our growth. Being educated through ‘good sources' is an indubitable advantage for us and for those interacting with us. What is passed through words and written text contributes to educate and therefore it gives a sense of responsibility for bringing healthy or unhealthy nourishment.
Reliability and competence, viz. Masterhood, comes from the best possible educations (and we need many of them). Denying it is a childish contradiction.
Q: ... I am my only master and I don't acknowledge any others. Freemasonry is a solitary, egoistic and personal path, free from dogmas; therefore nobody has anything to teach to anybody.
A: Emphasis always makes me feel uneasy. I find it hard to understand how one can say with confidence that ‘he is self-sufficient'. It is legitimate to imagine that other people might find this statement singular. If it was true we should congratulate the person saying it. Especially people like me, who keep running around trying to fill the thousands of holes of things that they don't know yet. Fortunately for me, I have always found people better than me available to teach me and then to commit me to others more able then them. Nevertheless, I have nothing like fortresses of certainties.
I won't talk about oriental masters, because I should be sure that I can start from a least common denominator, which is to share the fundament of the oriental teaching, the ‘philosophy without support'.
An initiate ‘doesn't use mental supports to think', but to be able to talk about it we should be familiar with ‘mindless thinking'. I have no elements to think that this fundament is shared; therefore I will stop here.
As far as the western masters are concerned, it is certain that from the year 1200 (Damascus, House of wisdom) they work in synchrony with the eastern Brothers. They are developing a common project through disciples and pupils; without being indiscreet, I can describe it as ‘Restoration and Exteriorization'.
Of course I'm talking about masters, not ‘operetta gurus' that sell folklore to the ‘holidaymakers of spirituality'; or people who fill bookshops with illustrated paper. Incognito masters are truly incognito. The demonstration is that they tap on your shoulder when they want you, it is never the contrary. It is correct to interpret the expression ‘to kill the master', which we often find, as the duty not to ‘fall in love' with the master (don't give in to the transfer, we would say in the west); on the other hand I am sure that a true master wouldn't allow that.
In general, talking about masters, I would say that before we can think of ‘burning' the master we should find him, first of all. It is necessary to have very special qualities in order to inspire a master to ‘transmit' what is inside him (see ‘The Bread of Knowledge'). Honestly, though, I think that to arouse the interest of a master is out of reach.
Q: Is it possible that the Master must be killed to let the value of his teaching live?
A: This is a proper initiatory teaching. What you say is not only possible, but it is an actual rule. Perhaps you could start from this ‘philosophical equation' and push your sensitiveness towards the ‘whys', looking for the ‘right questions' that provide you with the ‘answers useful and necessary' to your inner growth. When we talk about Initiates and Initiation (true, not symbolical) we should know their rules and principles. Otherwise we risk spending time with little and bad results.
If you allow me to give you an advice, avoid ‘DIY' and improvisation. Talking about time, I would like to share a teaching that I have shared with three people in my whole life.
It says: ‘ time is the money of the soul' . When I received this teaching I shuddered for the carelessness that I had had; I immediately committed to the honor and the burden not to waste ever again ‘what doesn't belong to me'.