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Autobiography of Alice A. Bailey - Appendix - What is an Esoteric School
1. Esoteric Schools in the Past

These are the schools with which we are most familiar, such as the inner schools of the many Theosophical groups, the Rosicrucian orders and the countless mystical and metaphysical organizations. They are definitely exoteric in nature but are useful in challenging public interest. They convey much useful information about the three worlds of human evolution - the physical world, the world of the emotions and the mental world. They are definitely for neophytes upon the Path of Probation. They are concerned with the heart approach to God and with the deep human instinct, if haply man may find Him. [265]

2. Esoteric Schools of the Present

These schools, now forming, have more esoteric knowledge; this is being correlated and applied. Much remains theoretical, but theory must ever precede practice. These schools will advance the teaching beyond the point reached in the earlier schools, carrying it out of the three worlds into the realm of the soul. They will deal with the world of occult values and will be mental in nature, laying the emphasis upon knowing God, and not just upon feeling after a sensed divinity. At their best, the old schools brought about the integration of the personality and made the essential dualism of the mystic factual. The new schools aim at a higher fusion - that between the integrated personality and the soul. They reveal that behind the dualism of the mystic (a necessary stage) there is the occult fact of identity with the divine.

3. Esoteric Schools in the Future

These schools will be truly esoteric for humanity will then be ready. The higher consciousness of the disciple will be evoked and trained. He will be taught to work consciously on spiritual levels and to act as a soul in the three worlds of human evolution, through the medium of a highly intelligent personality. Disciples will be prepared for initiation, and initiates will be trained to take the higher major initiations. Emphasis will be laid upon the right handling of energies and forces, upon wisdom as the result of applied knowledge and upon the work and plans of the Hierarchy. The intuition will be developed and a still higher fusion brought about - between the spiritual man and the universal One.

I would like to divide what I have to say about the schools into the following divisions:

  1. Some definitions of esotericism.
  2. How an esoteric school is formed.
  3. The fundamental truths taught in the new schools.

A study of these themes will help us to know what esoteric teaching is and aid us to work as esotericists, taking the needed training and learning to tread the Way correctly. Leaders and teachers in the present so-called esoteric schools must face the facts - hard as they [266] may be. If they are true and sincere, they will do so gladly and will adapt themselves to the need of the times; they will evaluate correctly their place upon the ladder of evolution and thus decide where their effort should be placed. Nothing can arrest the hierarchical plans as outlined above. Those who cannot face themselves and rate their work at its true value, will find their schools in the discard - and this can be seen happening everywhere today. Those who can realize the situation and can register the vision of the future will move forward to increased usefulness, to vital reconstruction and to greater service.

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