As this writer gazes at the stately portrait of Rudolph Steiner, he is reminded how that philosopher, as well as his comrade, Krishnamurti, was steeped in the ways of yoga and tantra, only to then declare intellectual independence from his Theosophical teachers. Perhaps both men escaped the idea that an enlightened person has something to say to the whole world, as did Tuntunpal Baba, one of the mentors of Osho Rajneesh. Diversity is such a miracle. How can a sensitive (wo)man trample upon it in the name of some merely axiomatic idea of unity? Melvinism is the denial (by word or deed) of the existence or importance of many gods, or beings so beautiful and powerful that they deserve to be considered divine. Or, Melvinism can be a pattern of belief that makes various concessions to harmony and specialization, while sowing the seeds of eventual recidivism into an intolerant perspective. Why is this not a good thing, if so many people claim otherwise? Is there an alternative? Or, are we too late? Can the world be saved? Or, more importantly, perhaps, can we who actually care about things fragile and wonderful find salvation for ourselves?
Even if what appear to be many gods are actually masks of one Great Spirit, these personalities are sufficiently well drawn to command adoration and respect from those who have come into contact with them. In the past, mankind has used the myths of the demigods to create divisions and conflict where none previously existed. This is not what we propose to do, here. Lord Krishna says that those who worship the devas actually worship Him, though in an imperfect manner. Catholics are criticized by Protestants for paying adoration to the Saints. Yet, where there exists a university of ancient knowledge, there is a need for espirit de corps, and the Netjeru of the Egyptian system serve well not only to define different departments of concern, but to lend vibrant enthusiasm to the branches of investigation and involvement that spiritual life under its auspices has to offer. This matter has been afforded at least a basic explanation by Joseph Campbell, and need not be elaborated upon in this discussion.
Let us consider for a moment the conscientious henotheist or perhaps the pious polytheist. A pagan is historically thought to be someone who worships the higher powers with outdoor ceremonies, answering a challenge by the Creator and the creators (be they beloved juniors or valued equals) and finding for himself an integral place in the cosmos. More importantly, it has come to mean someone who understands the value of intuition and variety, whether personally advanced in these or not, and recognizes that there is a community or perhaps hierarchy of unseen beings in the Universe upon whom he may call in times of gratitude or difficulty. Yet, he understands that they, being entities of great dignity, afford him his own soul’s sovereignty, as long as he practices fitting respect toward them, himself, and his fellow terrestrial creatures. (S)he understands that beings who take loving and eternal joy in true beauty uphold one anothers’ rights and destinies.
Not everyone is intelligent enough to recognize the value of tolerance. A naïve person will take them as license to exploit and vandalize for his own short term benefit. This is where we get our supply of villains. A true child of the cosmos finds himself under the auspices of one of the gods, who live by an originating principle of being on the level. An untrustworthy citizen of creation pretends that his god is the only god, and that his set of preferences is the only sanctioned one (though he may habitually abuse his professed code behind closed doors). A good pagan is secure enough to recognize the value of fun and safety. It takes many a special divine archetype to balance enhancement with protection in each dependent human archetype. Monotheists widely ignore or reject this healthy fact, and thus there is no wonder that pagans have a reputation for being secretive. Why is confidentiality so important in our studies? We understand that the mob rarely steers anyone along the right path, and a true pagan aspires to the exhilaratingly rare and unique, rather than the endlessly arbitrary, comfortingly ragged, and mind numbingly mediocre. Pagan methodology is scientific and experiential, and in an age of ruthless competition, more and more technology must become proprietary, if only to help prevent sabotage, even if rivals lack the skill to imitate it.
Life affirmative monotheists who focus on mind mending skills and do not dwell upon spurious prophecies or oppressive doctrines are not so bad, as they understand the beauty of diversity and the importance of mental, physical, and spiritual health. Unfortunately, most who imagine only one being to deserve the appellation, “god”, egotistically and delusively reject the truth and create more misery and hypocrisy than joy and light: the same treatment is prescribed for every illness and person. Nobody actually gets cured, but all monotheists claim to be transcendentally whole, running around "fixing" things that could (with patience or a bit of appreciation) take care of themselves, neglecting things that can't, and abusing things more wonderful than they deserve to get their hands on. No credit is given anyone for deep, intuitive understanding, and their insistence on a “cure” for everyone makes it impossible for anyone under their heavy hand to acquire needed treatment.
It is not difficult to understand that some humans have a deep need to remain in the religious life that was chosen for them by their fate or their family. Perhaps they have no gift for rising above a very narrow viewpoint or limited, inherited, self-defeating values. Neither is it hard to realize, though, that there are many who should take up a personal and objective search for the richness implied by the grandeur we see around us every day. Yet, being outnumbered by the sometimes viciously resentful, wisdom and discretion are equipment that such a quest requires. Thus, let us be as mysterious as we ought to be. A Melvinist demystifies. A considerate pagan should be about the Great Work of re-mystification. Vigilance recommends that we not only steer clear of head on dissent, but also that trouble which may accompany apparent allies whose interest in the arcane is actually neither very deep nor compassionate.
In the New Age, one more and more comes to encounter the very sentimental conception of a default esotericism. By syllogistic logic, of course, this is a non possibility. Still, Lord Shiva advises the bona fide adherent of obscure discipline; “No criticism of any system of philosophy.” As an illustration, let us hear how a sacred ape walked along and saw a sign in the window: “Baboons Served”. He went in, only to discover that his species were not being served at dinner, but as dinner. In his quick thinking, he politely excused himself, realizing that to learn well is best, but to learn quickly is often a requirement of the present situation. Similarly, should a votary of Thoth happen upon an enclave of those (ultimately serving another master) who are more than willing to share what they claim Thoth has revealed to them, the said domain may not be the most appropriate or safe place to reveal what the Lord has revealed to said initiate. Though the confusion may be an honest mistake, mislabeling of alchemy is probably only the tip of an iceberg. Someone who values his time and survival might regard a phenomenon like that as a potentially inexhaustible supply of trouble.
In recent times, many who claim to have encountered beings of extraterrestrial origin often describe them as appearing to give us a “stern look” (for befouling the terrestrial environment and failing to correct this error?). Perhaps the space men doubt our propriety in the handling of the technology enabling interstellar travel, as we might then export our petty conflicts to their neighborhood. As the population of our planet spirals more or less out of control, we once again find ourselves in a an evidently post-enlightened global society, gearing down for misery as the conventional way of life. If we look at the track record of civilization, we might conclude that the masses cannot be controlled by any means other than authoritarian dogma or mirages of unattainable conditions. Yet, we often hear that where there are a few people practicing meditation, the consciousness of the entire neighborhood becomes noticeably elevated and the regional crime statistics begin to drop.
Thus, instead of following the normal western custom of thinking out loud, we might consider the value of creating centers for reflection and contemplation, where advanced and often unpopular theories about the dynamics of creation can be discussed amongst those committed to developing them for constructive purposes. If the hidden sentient beings of our own or of other worlds are making an effort to share some of their guidance with us, then it might be best simply to ponder these possibilities in a private setting, rather than engaging in the kind of open speculation that breeds ridicule and persecution. Before one can genuinely spread the truth, one must realize it in his own life. Rather than working to raise the expectations of our fellows, we might better invest our energies in building ourselves up as resources in the fight against ignorance and waste. If those of allied paths wish to preach their ways, we need not allow ourselves to be drawn into conflict with them. This is especially true if we possess a secure sanctuary from which to conduct our own explorations in search of solutions.
In the ancient cities of Esna, Hermopolis, Heliopolis, Thebes, Sais, Philae, Memphis, and especially Abydos, the House of Life was an august institution where shamans and scholars schooled in the sacred arts of healing. psychology, and ritual could find access to the expertise of others who possessed relevant knowledge. If you are one of the princes or princesses that we have been advised will sponsor a Ma’at Center where the scribes and priests can meet for worship, contemplation, discussion, and planning for the Temple, you are now asking yourself, “What exactly do they need from me, besides a room to meet?” The answer is that we need the scholarly journals known as the JEA, the JNES, and the ZÄS. Beyond that, we simply need access to your confidential opinion at your utmost convenience.