|Man of Learning|
|Man of Letters|
|Man of Tao|
|Man of Talent|
Confucius taught that there are two kinds of sage, those who are so by birth and those who are so through their own efforts. The Sage or True Man is the highest stage of the exoteric path, but the first stage of the esoteric path.
What is of interest to us here, in a time and place where true initiation is difficult if not impossible to attain, is the case of the man born a Sage. Such a one does not need an outer Guru, as he has an “inner Guru”. His realization may be only virtual and not actual, but contact with certain ideas may awaken him to the remembrance of his true identity.
In group work, the group acts as the upaguru, that is, a catalyst that can activate the inner Guru. By observing and understanding not only oneself, but also the others in the group, the participant comes to understand how to actualize all his possibilities. If he is unable to see directly some such possibilities in himself, he can nevertheless see them in his fellow initiates; this will help him recognize those qualities in himself.
Society of Independents
I have been reticent about saying too much and instead have been counting on the ability of readers to “remember” what they are supposed to be doing in this life. Now a little more has been revealed. Although there is the risk of self-deception and ego-inflation, we are depending on the self-selection of potential members; thus there is no attempt at a recruitment of bodies for the sake of numbers.
The method is to recapitulate the stages of initiation. To be a man of letters means to have read broadly and experienced much. Such a man is familiar with literature, history, science, maths, and philosophy. To be a man of learning is to know this material in depth. Thus we would engage in a careful study the metaphysical works of Guenon. This will be the intellectual preparation required to understand what is going on in the inner work.
This learning is done simultaneously with group and independent spiritual work. We are only concerned with the group work. As this is experiential, it really cannot be described publicly. However, the goal can be revealed as it is Hermetic initiation, being born again of the Spirit and Water.
It is hoped that an organized body of knowledge will come out of this work. Perhaps a wiki of topics covered in the exoteric studies. A definite requirement is the creation of symbols and diagrams based on the abstract geometrical descriptions used by Guenon. Longer term, members should go out an engage the world as philosophers, artists, politicians, businessmen, and all other gainful employment.
As Guenon point out, in our age there will be obstacles to any attainment. But bear in mind that we ourselves have chosen these obstacles and hence the means to overcome them. I had hoped to be able to have a weekly group discussion of the metaphysical books. However, those interested are in widely disparate time zones, making any choice of a time inconvenient for some. Perhaps we will need two separate discussion groups.
Similarly, for group work, the same issues arises; even more so, since an audiovisual conference is required. Then again, I am reluctant to do that over the Internet where there is no guarantee of privacy. I had in mind a meeting in the flesh, of a week’s duration, at least once a year, and ideally a few times per year. These would be followed up with individual conferences.
We will start with the Multiple States of Being. Initially, this will be done with an on-line audio lecture and a closed forum for discussion.
References (all by Rene Guenon):
Innate Wisdom & Acquired Wisdom
Guru & Upaguru
True Man and Transcendent Man