This is a guest post by Rory, who had been working out a personal program. He proposes that it, in whole or in part, may be useful for a new Fourth Order. I have registered the domain The Bernard Option, although it has not yet been configured. If there is enough interest, I will move similar discussions to the new site. If you would like to contribute your own ideas, please let me know. I also hope someone would be interested in assuming the duties of a webmaster. ~ Administrator
A strange bit of synchronicity occurred with your Templar post. For a while, I have been sketching and contemplating a sort of program that I feel the past and perhaps future Templar order would have had in the process of training warriors and actualized men. I’ve drawn up seven disciplines based on various sources such as Marcus Aurelius, Geoffrey de Charny, and Baldassare Castiglione‘s Book of the Courtier and perhaps more than a few personal idiosyncrasies.
Asceticism/the Greek Training
Marcus Aurelius makes mention of the Greek training which were ascetic disciplines put forward by different philosophical schools. This would be a system of ascetic disciplines covering physical training, diet, sex, and way of life.
This would be a combination of individual combat training of striking, grappling, weapons, and firearms. Alongside would be a study of tactics, strategy, and leadership
A grounding in fieldcraft and emergency response/medical skills as well a general ability to be at home in nature if the need arose.
The world being what it is this would be the money generating discipline in the program. While the original Templars were involved in finance I’m partial to a kind of gentleman farmer archetype. I’m still developing whether this would be a trade or some other form of business.
This would be a skill in negotiating and diplomacy. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar and external considering allows a level of understanding that would resolve frustrations and aid in self-reflection.
For thousands of years the trivium and quadrivium were considered the basis of an educated gentleman. A grounding in these arts would open one’s mind to the order pervading the world.
Contributing to the Hermetic stream
This would be the spiritual sun around which the disciplines would orbit. Spiritual devotion and practice bridging the churches of Peter and John. Ideally, the disciplines would draw from this and serve as vehicles to a greater awareness of the spirit and build individuals as pathfinders of Tradition and carry the Hermetic torch.
Of course, any one of these disciplines could entail decades of study so a jack of all trades approach would be the best one could hope for with a brief tour of this mortal coil. But also believe all the disciplines would coalesce and overlap in myriad ways.
I’d been tossing these ideas about and your post triggered a new perspective. I had also been thinking of ways to incorporate the minor arcana to structure the training. Of course, I hope to avoid the temptation to build but rather plant good seeds in the soul and “add style to one’s character”. Another obstacle is to avoid another modern bourgeoisie system of self-improvement. I’d like to believe my discernment of spirits is somewhat adequate.