“Mouth-Ear”, metaphor of how to teach by asking questions
An example of how you can achieve a teaching from a question.
Why the Sulfur Element is related to the demoniac essence called Satan? And why Sulfur is also the elemental principle (elemental, not elementary, Note of the Author) of Hell?
This is one of the many questions that one of the biggest cabbalist and alchemist used to ask his pupils, teaching them how you can penetrate the operative part of the so-called mysteries by exploring certain concepts.
The method of asking questions in order to induce answers offers extraordinary occasions to discover the relations between man (ourselves) and the universal Man (Adam Kadmon).
The active learning technique is antithetical to the method where one asks questions and gives answers at the same time. The latter can originate passive and dependent mental forms that are open to suggestions. Many people don’t even realize that they are giving up to ideological suggestion and end up depending on closed systems (cit. Karl Popper).*
We are all bound to be part of one or more closed systems. The difference is in the way we perceive the belonging to them. To belong to a closed system without self-criticism is a clear symptom of lack of spiritual freedom.
The initiatory teaching requires the active participation of the pupil, without subjecting him; indeed, it helps self-determination and the free vision of his conscience. Active learning is not addressed to postulants but to those who have passed the stage of textual learning (sciolism). Its method is to use intuition to develop intuition; this is not a play on words, but it means to develop intuition to improve spontaneous intelligence.
The development of spontaneous intelligence is the most advanced part of education, so-called occult; it uses the deductive method hidden in the metaphor ‘mouth-ear teaching’. Occult education never provides direct answers; the teacher uses his own words to direct the pupil towards what he ‘must discover’, putting him through benevolent enigmas and intellectual provocations.
Through a particular form of dialogue (from which it takes the name of ‘mouth-ear’), teacher and pupil interact in order for the latter to get close to the answer by deduction. Only then the teacher will supply the last clue that will enlighten the subject.
* Closed system – it is called closed system a watertight thesis. Totally abstract and abstruse theses are closed systems. Likewise ideological statements or, more specifically, religious dogmas that find confirmation only inside their structure and through their instruments. Therefore they can’t be denied. Closed systems are self-immune, because they are based on reasonable models that can be supported without questioning any part of them. Therefore they are immune from any possible denial that can derive from a dialectic contradiction or an intellectual confrontation. Furthermore, we call closed systems all the ideological theses and creeds that pose themselves as omni-comprehensive propositions. That is all the speculative systems containing the explanation for everything.
Karl Raimund Popper (1902-1994) was an analyst and a philosopher of science; he rejected the principle of meaning, where the sense of propositions is in their ‘verifiability’. He reckons it is not enough to explain universal propositions (scientific laws) and he replaces it with the principle of ‘falsifiability’. The idea is that universal propositions never derive from particular propositions but they can be confuted by them.
Everybody can test himself on this method, by trying and solving the alchemy question below.
Why the Sulfur element is linked to the demoniac essence called Satan? And why sulfur is also the elemental principle of Hell?
by Athos A. Altomonte