© Fra Nefastos 2011
© English translation by Fra Demergon 2016
What is “esoteric guidance”? Basically it concerns the guidance someone receives through their own Ego which, when facing upwards, is organically linked to the utmost truth of the monad. Thus it is theoretically possible that one can reach great progress without meeting a teacher. This practice is called the pratyêka-path. The problem of this lonely path is that it regards the buddhi – the most meaningful principle concerning guidance as the pathway between the Ego and monadic self – as secondary. The higher the path leads, the more difficult it becomes – and travelling this path without a teacher thus becomes less useful.
The greatest problem of esoteric guidance is the student’s ability to receive teaching and then to find an able teacher. In modern western culture these two issues are practically identical: there are barely any able teachers – who would, in any case, not be easy to follow – and people who have a desire to follow an outer authority are usually people who have the least capability for occult growth. Here the intelligence and the willful clarity of an individual are not developed enough. Thus, instead of focusing on the development of subjective (personal) intelligence and overcoming it, the brilliant spontaneity has not been sufficiently cultivated.
As at least those who have read ‘the Book of Paths’ in Writings on Magic (forthcoming in English) know, esoteric guidance is, however, practiced within the Star of Azazel. Though the fraternity does not prerequisite the acceptance of authority, its inner circle does, sooner or later, demand the readiness to accept practical guidance from above. Occultism has hierarchical and anarchistic (absolutely individual, border-breaking) elements, but it has very little “democratic” elements: mystical schools and profane schools alike cannot work on the principle that their students have a say regarding the structure of the teaching. The student has the freedom to choose his school and classes but, once embodied, these schools and classes are in a giving position in regards to the students. This inevitably forms a hierarchical, but hopefully still fraternal, construction.
In esoteric teaching, the whole structure is tinted and even strongly defined by one factor that has very little to do with profane teachings: RESPONSIBILITY. When what is being taught is the students’ own soul and consciousness, and that the actions of the soul and consciousness continuously affect everything around them, we can clearly see that the added intensity and ethical choices – in other words, the quality and quantity of the soul’s power – radiate an explosive effect outwards from the “school”. A problem from which practical schools are enviably free. As has previously been concluded, the teacher’s responsibility for his teachings are “nearly limitless”. This is not solely about choosing and recognizing the right words for each situation, but also to take care that the students have been able to understand the complete concept in a way that makes possible the ever-expanding harmony and benevolence, as far as it is possible within the matters being dealt with.
Thus we can understand that the devotional, spiritual guidance that the modern world can only give bad examples of – as harmful and subjective cult activity, as the problems of confessional secrecy, as fanaticism that encourages suicide and acts of terror etc. – is at its core anything but deception. It is merely a question of finding the right student-teacher relationship, instead of dangerous teachers and methods. The kind that never demands or allows harm, not in outer acts of violence or humiliation nor in internal obligation – not from teacher to student nor outwards to the community. This is really how simple the threshold question of the “new age” is, which separates it from the older school systems. The absolute prohibition of violence and force, while still staying true to our own ideals with the deepest of devotion, with no fear of falling into tepid irrelevance.