The universal stepped path of enlightenment
Modern man is only a one-day fly compared to the existence of only our material universe, and he considers, impressed of modern science and its horizontal complexity, his limited body-based consciousness and his mind as a measure for truth. But a development of body, mind and soul takes place everywhere in the universe despite human esoteric blindness, which is not visible to us regarding the various higher worlds.
On our planet the human being goes currently through a development of the mind, which distinguishes him from the animals, and he is not sufficiently developed to be able to consciously perceive mind and soul. His role in creation is also ultimately insignificant.
Human evolution has been mainly biologically. There are basically two main lines of evolution:
1. The one line has to do with matter and form. Here the soul identifies for a long time with the form-aspect and strives to follow the dark 'path of death' (Naturalism).
The second line has to do with the soul, with the consciousness aspect and with the thinker in the form. Here man ultimately transcends the material plane.
To enter the path of the spiritual soul means conscious and fast development with many turning points and uncertain success perspectives, accompanied by an ignorance of the steps of the path, but also because of ignorance of the personal dharma.
"... The whole trouble of this incertitude arises from the fact that we do not look straight at the whole truth of the world as it is and draw from it the right conclusion as to what the world must be and cannot fail to be. This world is, no doubt, based ostensibly upon Matter, but its summit is Spirit and the ascent towards Spirit must be the aim and justification of its existence and the pointer to its meaning and purpose. But the natural conclusion to be drawn from the supremacy and summit existence of Spirit is clouded by a false or imperfect idea of spirituality which has been constructed by intellect in its ignorance and even by its too hasty and one-sided grasp at knowledge.
The Spirit has been thought of not as something all-pervading and the secret essence of our being, but as something only looking down on us from the heights and drawing us only towards the heights and away from the rest of existence. So we get the idea of our cosmic and individual being as a great illusion, and departure from it and extinction in our consciousness of both individual and cosmos as the only hope, the sole release. Or we build up the idea of the earth as a world of ignorance, suffering and trial and our only future an escape into heavens beyond; there is no divine prospect for us here, no fulfilment possible even with the utmost evolution on earth in the body, no victorious transformation, no supreme object to be worked out in terrestrial existence.
But if supermind exists, if it descends, if it becomes the ruling principle, all that seems impossible to mind becomes not only possible but inevitable. If we look closely, we shall see that there is a straining of mind and life on their heights toward their own perfection, towards some divine fulfilment, towards their own absolute. That and not only something beyond and elsewhere is the true sign, the meaning of this constant evolution and the labour of continual birth and rebirth and the spiral ascent of Nature... (Sri Aurobindo, The Supramental Manifestation, pg. 63 ; PDF )
The knowledge of the methods was strictly kept secret, and first in the last century it reached a larger public, at first often through the treason of the methods and philosophies, but later also within the research of religious studies and upcoming teachers.
The reason for this is, besides the immaturity of humanity, that the supreme divine does not strive for a general deification or enlightenment.
Since safe paths have been cut out in the past, it is advisable to first orient oneself to the already traced paths of the past, which were usually written down by the initiates in a secret hermetic symbolism or a tantric twilight language, and which were often only passed on verbally.
The unveiling of this symbolism to a certain extent shall be the subject of the following.
It will reveal a universal step-by-step development process, through which in principle every spiritual development runs - independent of the practices.
It is by no means my intention to resurrect the old external religions, which degenerated into falsifications of the religion of the founders, but sometimes, as in Hinduism and Buddhism, constitute only the external cult of uninitiated disciples.
There are a variety of methods of meditation and other techniques in the world, whose meaning and limitations are first clear by understanding this process.
All spiritual teachings unconsciously have this UNIVERSAL PATH as the basis, which was and is the secret key to the Arcanes. It describes the process of individual and cosmic evolution within the higher worlds.
At the moment, quite a few mind-schools use this concept openly, and they also do not teach the division of the path to the highest enlightenment into 22 (or 24) steps. These steps and the whole process of development were in the past a guarded hermetic secret, and they must not be fully disclosed, not least to prevent that this knowledge falls into false or unworthy hands(black path).
Several enlightened people in the past published parts of their experiences and parts of their knowledge. Many of these techniques have been written down in an allegorical language to guarantee the secrecy. Very often stand the persons in the scriptures of the world-religions only as symbolic characters.
As a 'bad example' we find in "Dhammapada 294" sentences like " "Bhikkhus, look at that thera. He has killed both his father and his mother, and having killed his parents he goes about without any dukkha." - with the inner meaning that he has slain in himself selfishness and thirst for life - i.e. the drives for preservation of the race and self-preservation of the false ego.
The multitude of personalities in the scriptures symbolize parts of the human higher bodies (Jiva, the individual self; the white horse as a symbol for spiritual love, the white swan represents the universal atmic light and the individual spiritual soul, the red rose is symbol of divine love; Krishna and Jesus stand for the spiritual soul, etc.).
Sometimes such books were encrypted or written backwords or hidden under a vulgar language. Therefore these inner teachings were relatively unknown to the outer religions and were mostly denied by them and also persecuted as erroneous.
To enter the path of the spiritual soul, as on the eightfolded path of the Yoga-Sutras of Patanjali, means conscious developement and faster development with many turning points and uncertainties because of personal karma and personal Dharma.
The Universal Doctine describes the process of individual and cosmic evolution within the higher worlds.
The cycles of the human development
The stepped path of human development goes at first through three big involutionary steps of the nature - evolution:
1. The very primitive nature-man
This lowest step is the unconscious adaption of that kind of man who is mainly an animal without real intelligence. Primitive wild people belong into this categorie and many simple farmers who do primitive work on the fields und have not received a modern education. The man of this stadium is completely directed by his instincts and not much better at than an animal.
2. The human being begins to develop his feelings and the natural mind.
The next step of unconscious adaption is that kind of man who begins to show a small glimmer of understanding by his own thoughts. This still happens partly instinctiv und is based on growing selfishness. A simple and primitive selfcentered consciousness rather than an instinctiv group-consciousness can be found here.
We find this growing self-feeling (for example) in primitive people in the slums of towns(with their lack of education and culture) and also in the small criminal man who has enough instincts to keep himself alive by his small criminal deeds und his manual skilfulness. This is the stadium of animal-slyness. A large part of today's humanity is first at the beginning of the next stage.
3. The mass-man of our modern world with his mind and mental "Ego".
On these steps follows the conscious and completely egoistic adaption of the individual person to the individual ambience. In these cases man is conscious of his motivations. He plays it through and tries to get the best out of it, and he tries to live in harmony with the world. This is certainly a good motivation but in principle this man is so much governed by his wishes for pleasure and comfort that he plays the good fellow to be able to exist and to live together with everybody, more....
The 22 steps of human spirituality
The initiation path to the gate of the cosmic initiations of the ONEs in the very highest divine, which are in not mentioned in the religious scriptures, includes 24 steps, of which only 22 are documented.
These 22 steps have four main sections:
- Beginner (0-6)
- Trialpath (7-12)
- Spiritual initiation path to enlightenment (nirvana, moksha) (13-18)
- Further steps of divine mastership (19-22).
The representation of the first 20 steps was very different in the various spiritual schools and their scriptures. Steps above step 20 are for human beings practical unreachable.
These steps are characterized by periodic cycles of the 7 'rays' or 4 higher 'elements' or "universal principles" (the highest are the four 'animals' which the tarotcard 22 shows), within which the higher human bodies develop, the secret 'Opus Magnum'.
Many atheistic seekers speak of a highest power (like the Tao), but above this power is still a highest consciousness - force and therefore an universal over-cosmic DIVINITY with a consciousness that is so high,comprehensive, powerful and timeless that it is even for masters hardly ascertainable !
The system of Ashtanga Yoga (or Raja Yoga) of Patanjali is the best prepared multistep system of spiritual development.
It divides the spiritual process into eight double - steps. Therefore it contains only 16 steps of the universal 22 steps and ends at first with the Ishvara-samadhi.
But Patanjali mentiones several further samadhis (Yogasutras, Samadhi-pada : 1. Laya Samadhi; 2. Savikalpa Samadhi; 3. Nirvikalpa Samadhi ) and 4. Sahaja Samadhi.
The Nirvikalpa-Samadhi is here the true enlightenment with the Cosmic Consciousness (U.Path 18/19)
The Cheops-Pyramid was built as a temple for initiation, and it is a symbol of the two main pathes. It has been guessed that the 22 Tarotcards come from egypt, but is has been genetically proved, that the origin of the gipsys is in India.
The Kabbala is the unofficial inner teaching of the jewish religion. The predecessor was the merkabah-mysticism with soultravels into the heavens.
Characteristics of modern kabbalah are the tree of the 10 Sephiroth, the En-Soph-Aur, the boundless divine light, and the En-Soph, with which man can not become one according to the doctrine of Kabbalah.
Important books are the Sohar, the Sepher Ha-Bahir(which details the 10 Sephiroth) and the "Sepher Jezirah", which speaks of "Jah Jahve Zebaoth" as the ONE omnipotent, merciful, and gracious god and creator.
The "Sepher Jezirah" coordinates the 22 letters of the ancient Hebrew alphabet and the numbers and teaches a cabbalistic mysticism.
The appearance of the 10 Sephiroth is like a lightning without an end, it is said in the Sepher Jezirah. The tarotcard 16 shows a similar flash. Each 10 consecutive steps of the 22 are also analogous to the 10 Sephiroth. The 10 Sephiroth are also a theme in the mental sphere - magic of the adepts, but the mental spheres there are far underneath the Sephiroth.
Already R. Steiner had pointed out in his book "Christianity as a mystical fact" that in reality the exodus of the soul from matter is described.
The Philosophy of antiquity lasted from about 600 BC to 600 AD. Greece with its mythology is often regarded as the cradle of European philosophy.
The classical greek philosophy from 420 BC to 300 BC is symbolized by the owl of the goddess Athena. Concepts such as the Absolute and the Logos and the related Artemis - Mysteries of Ephesus originate from this cultural circle. But behind the many Greek myths stood a spiritual initiation doctrine for mature initiates.
The deeds of Herakles and the travel to Troja are themes of the ancient greek "religion" and philosophy. Plato teaches in his allegory of a cave" (which is in reality the dark Maya-Cave of our material world) that people live like in a big cavern and think that the shadows are the reality, and he puts the question, whether they should be pushed into the sun outside the cavern.
Even the scool of Pythagoras had besides vegetarism a beleif in the rebirth of the soul.
Modern mind-orientated philosophy, in the absence of introspection and spiritul self-realization, lives in the dark platonic maya-cave with its deceptions, delusions and illusions, which it regards as overcome with its knowledge theories. Sri Aurobindo had written in his book "Heraklit" about the problems of european mental thinking.
The christian doctrine is based on the apostle letters, the four gospels and the Apocalypse of John, whose 22 visionary chapters correspond exactly to the 22 steps of the Universal Path. The four gospels contain allegories of the path. They begin however first on higher steps, and their origin is unsafe.
Pathes of Buddhism
Taoism moved away from pure shamanism of the beginnings. Laotse developed a spiritual philosophy, which was expanded under the influence of Mayayana and Manichaeism. It teaches about Dao, emptyness, Wu-wei ("without action") and about the two cosmic forces Yin and Yang. So it has now far more to offer.
The rosicrucian movement of the middle ages was known to be haunted by the church and the authorities, not only the french Cathar-movement.
The "Ich bin" (I am) - Meditation of the german Rosicrucians of the middle-ages is widely known. Their book "Fama Fraternitatis" contains a secret symbolic description of the steps 1 to 18: On step 6 C.R. meets his teacher "P.A.L.". On step 10 C.R.C awakens and begins to "spin the wheel" until he reaches the first initiation. The Fama ends with the vision of the Father C.R.C., the Paramatma, the enlightenment.
Other books of Valentin Andrea are the seven days or initiations of "The Chymical Wedding" and the "Confessio Fraternitatis". R. Steiner classified these books as the western path of initiation.
The 7 Initiations of White Brothership of Alice Bailey (A. A. Bailey : Initiation - human and solar) first begin on step 14 of the 22 steps. These seven initiations were well known to the ancient rosicrucian movement and others. Mrs. Bailey was the first person who mentioned the higher hierarchies of the ONEs.
The relics of the Maya cultures of south America leave an ambivalent and rather shamanistic-magical impression behind, which has black features with its starwars and blood sacrifices.
It must also be pointed out, that shamanism handed down from South America with the four animals and the all-power, is at most to be attributed to the magical path, which ends on step 14 and then branches into a broad development resulting in the expulsion of the ruler of the underworld by the hero twins.
Modern Shamanism is also intertwined with astral natural spirits. South American shamanism has surprisingly many parallels to taoist shamanism, because large parts of the south american mysteries have their origin in China.
North european Mysteries
In old north-european mystics the 18 Runes of the new "futhark(Spiessberger)" symbolized the first 18 steps ! Other runes were used for other purposes.
One important ancient european mystic place were the Extern-Stones, where a small (Initiation-)coffin was found.
Alchemy and Opus magnum
Finally an old theme : The transmutation of man, the spiritual alchemy (not the transmutation of lead into gold), which goes exactly through 18 steps of the Universal Path :
1-8 Preparation 9. Materia Prima 10. Calcination
11. Sublimation 12. Solution 13. Putrefaction
14. Destillation 15. Coagulation 16. Tinctura (Rebis)
17. Multiplication 18. Projection
The 3 fundamental principles "SAL, Sulphur and Mercurius" can be compared with the three hinduist "Gunas" (Tamas, Rajas, Sattwa) and with the three "Doshas" of Ayurveda ( Vata, Pitta and Kapha ), which describe the qualities of Maya or Prakriti and therefore indirect our material world.
The origin of this alchemical knowledge was in the asian countries( Śarīrayoga) and in egypt. The knowledge of the initiates about true Alchemy and Spagyrics was much deeper than modern Ayurveda : "Opus Magnum" - the big work that makes perfect.
The various old books of such traditions have been written so deeply veiled and so symbolic that they are misunderstandable and deliberate misleading. ( "Joh. Helmond, Alchemy unveiled" can give an impression; O. Wirth : Lehrbrief zur hermetischen Alchemie - is an old competent introduction).
Behind all evolution stand this process of Transmutation and later of Transfiguration, and not just another enlightened or a highest philospophical view.
Satgurus and cosmic initiations
Very high above the divine creator - god (Ishvara, Jah J. Zebaoth, Allah) rule the highest divine hierarchys above the universes with the background of an eternal divine plan.
Only few masters are allowed to exceed step 20, and therefore hardly any master reaches step 22. The true Satguru has at least finished step 21 (or the sixth big initiation). Behind step 22 are two further cycles, which only the rosicrucian 'Chymical wedding' mentiones as the two missing leaves, and there are still 5 higher cosmic initiations of the ONEs .
These 5 cosmic initiations of the still higher ONEs are not possible on our planet because we live on a negative planet, and they are unreachable for human souls.
Miss Bailey says that the planetary One is on the first cosmic initiation, and the S. S. Kumara startet his cosmic initiation at the beginning of last century in the Pleyads. The logos of our sun is regarding to her on the third cosmic initiation, and the ONE from Sirius is on the fourth cosmic initiation. (A. A. Bailey: Telepathy and the etheric vehicle, pg. 148)
The path and the dharma
Can we have success on the path? "The Karma and that Ishvara (god, Adi dharma and higher) does not want the englightenment are the hindrances on the path".
Karma: Karma has its root in the five Kleshas(hindrances) and must come to fruition in this life or in some later life. It is based on the nature-laws of the Prakriti, within mental plane - but it is nevertheless under the control of the divine Dharma.
Ishvara's (and above him Sadashiva's) will, which depends on still higher worlds, determines the run of the world, and therefore our Karma and the divine Dharma are an indirect consequence of Ishvaras will. Above is the Adi-Dharma of the seventh plane, which ends in the plan of the misanthropic overcosmic ONEs.
True understanding comes from study of the 'Universal Path'. For the beginner with little intuition it may be advisable to study the Ashtanga Yoga at first.
This website coordinates and explaines the teachings of the past. A new synthesis is not really necessary because such techniques of transformation and of spiritual transfiguration already exist.
In our time a pure spiritual path is only possible in a quiet and clean surrounding. The student who lives in practical life needs techniques which transform the disharmonic energies of modern life and which protect him.
Spirituality is not a kind of philosophy (which is for the human mind and is mostly a waist of time). It is not a branch of philosophy but a transformation process, accompanied by a spiritual philosophy. It has always been written down in symbols to hide it from those people who fight against all spiritual things.
Some modern people may further argue that all this is not for our time. But modern multimedial and modern mentality is not really modern, but it is mostly only very technical and bound to that what is scientiffically capable and attractive for the dark and vital forces in the people - old wine in new bottles.
The slogan of the medieval Rosicrucians (and also in Math. 7.6) was "Do not throw pearls before the pigs or roses before the donkeys, otherweise they freem You" or „Knowledge-Daring-Willpower-Reticence" because the average fellow man is unreceptive for spirituality and depends on maintenance drive and the self-preservation drive.
So You will have to set new priorities, develop intuition, a firm will, the flame of aspiration and surrender to the inner divine self.
"Do not let it become a religion", said the MOTHER(Aurobindo). "The religions failed because they were separated. People were told to be religious under exclusion of other religions, and each branch of the knowledge failed because it was exclusive. The new consciousness wants (and it insists on that) : No further separations : One must be able to understand the spiritual extrem, the material extrem, and to find the meeting-point, the point where all this becomes a truthful force."
"What i understand under spiritual Transformation is something dynamic. It is an absorption of the spiritual consciousness in every single part of human nature down into the unconscious. This cannot happen through the influence of the self, because it lets the consciousness mostly as it is , even if purged and with an enlightened mind and heart and a becamed vitality. It means to bring down the divine consciousness, static and dynamic into all these parts and the complete replacement of the momentary consciousness through this."(Sri Aurobindo)