THE CENTER FOR ESOTERIC STUDIES NEWS BULLETINS 1, 2 and 3, dated 1961, 62, and 63.
Following the course "Introduction to esoteric Philosophy" given by Boris Mouravieff at the University of Geneva for several years, beginning 1955, and more specifically on the year after the establishment of the Center for Christian Esoteric Studies in 1960, the Center circulated an approximately yearly news bulletin called "Bulletin d'Information" in order to help students who have read the first volume of Gnosis and have come to ask certain related questions. The very first of those bulletins was circulated only two months after publishing Gnosis and therefore its contents are more historical and detailing the statutes of the Center. All in all six Bulletins were circulated during Boris Mouravieff's life and one posthumously by his widow. Here-below are the second and third Bulletins; more precisely the sections of those Bulletins relating answers to esoteric questions.
No 2 - December 1961 Message
The President and the director Committee of the Centre d'Etudes chretienne esoteriques address to the Members and Correspondents of the Center their most sincere wishes on the occasion of the New Year.
They hope that the new year will be favorable to them and above all will permit them to accomplish some real progress on the way of esoteric evolution.
At the threshold of the year 1962, the President reminds that the divulgence in depth of the traditional Doctrine in the series "Gnosis", which in process of publication - as well as the creation of the Centre d'Etudes chretienne esoteriques - has been undertaken by him with a precise goal: contributing to the formation of the new man. For, it is of the appearance in good number and in a near future of this new human type, that will depend the success of the transition situated between our civilization that has reached its end and the new era to which humanity is arriving in its historic evolution.
He reminds also that the actual youth demands increasing attention. For it is from their ranks - and from those of the following generations - that will emerge the bearers of innate predispositions, which, if they are developed on two planes: That of a very advanced professional formation, be it artistic or intellectual. and moreover, that of the esoteric formation, will render them apt to enter as active elements in the frameworks of the new elite. Vigilance is nevertheless necessary: particularly to prevent the danger of incomprehension of the milieu, sometimes of the parents (Mathew: X. 36). To help esoterically these young Brothers and Sisters is as noble a task as it is delicate; and the President calls upon the Members and Correspondents to take to heart this essential problem.
Particular attention must be given to young girls. For, if the fall of Adam was provoked by Eve, we shall not forget that it was by the Virgin Mary that our Lord came to the world to indicate to man the Way of Salvation. And it is moreover up to Woman, daughter of Eve, that it is given today to act out fully, with her refined sensibility, her inspirational role in this difficult transitional period towards the promised Era of redemption.
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The President draws the attention of the Correspondents of the Center to the fact that esoteric work demands above all precision. Vague ideas, approximate thoughts, ascertainments done in a state of somnolence, un-reflected words, are obstacles to the attainment of mastery over the Personality, which is the great objective of this work.
Accordingly, in the Notes, Memoirs, Articles which the Correspondents wish to address to the Center, they must push themselves to give the maximum they can, regardless of how small their subject is. It is an exercise: a sober style, a direct and condensed exposition, a language that is alive, vivid (animated), that does not however turn to neologisms, must characterize their writings. The same remark applies to presentation, which must be impeccable. Aside from ongoing correspondence, the Notes, etc. must be presented in double exemplary, typed (with double space), leaving a margin for annotations.
We must not think that it is a matter of "detail", for there is no detail in esoteric work. Everything must be done with love, joy and precision. The President reminds finally that, to advance, one must burn. The fire that smothers under the ashes does not suffice.
No 3 - December 1962 Message
The President and the director Committee of the Centre d'Etudes chretienne esoteriques address to the members and correspondents of the Center their most sincere wishes on the occasion of Christmas and the New Year and wish them all the necessary force to progress on the path in which they have become engaged.
Let us beware! For the transitional period is coming to an end and the final trials which crown the passage from the Cycle of the Son to that of the Holy Spirit are close by. Time is pressing. The salvation of humanity, threatened by the Deluge of Fire (II Peter: III, 10), will depend on their outcome.
Daily experience shows that the efforts of spirits endowed with a high human intelligence and moved by the best goodwill are insufficient to face the problems of ensemble of actual life, a life full of promise, but also full of great dangers. Salvation cannot be had except through efforts accomplished on the esoteric plane, by our conscious efforts going forward to the call coming from Above.
Speaking of the Jews, Jesus says to his disciples: If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. (John: XV, 22) Let us beware! For these words also apply to our times and to ourselves. We should redouble our efforts and call upon all our courage to advance in our esoteric work. In order to be able to contribute effectively to the coming of the new human type, the bearer of Gnosis, - superior Knowledge and Consciousness- capable of redressing the situation and of establishing on earth a logical and rational order, conforming to the precepts which have been left us by Jesus and his Apostles.
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Two general questions come out of the exchanges between the Center and its correspondents. We are asked for the properly esoteric definition of the terms "Christian" and "Initiate". Here is the text composed by the author of Gnosis to serve as a general orientation, in answer to the questions put.
We understand by Christian, in the widest meaning of the term, every person pertaining to one of the Christian confessions. The essential act to become Christian is baptism. It was - and still is - given either at the moment of conversion for the catechumen, or in Christian families, shortly after the birth of infants.
It is the Baptism of Water, ceremony of immersion into the baptismal font. This baptism, said of repentance, which is accessible to all, is the consecration of Salvation in Hope by entering into Christian life (even before crossing the first Threshold). John the Baptist says: "I baptize you with water, to lead you to repentance: but He who comes after me... will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into his granary, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."
The Baptism of Fire is the ultimate test of purification; it is given before the second threshold, immediately before the second birth, birth of the individuality, which is the "wheat" in the above text, and gives access to the Kingdom of God the "granary" in the imaged language of John the Baptist.
He who comes lightly before the second birth is burned by this "unquenchable" fire. At this test, every alloy is, in effect, burnt: only pure gold resists. And if, in he who presents himself, in an un-reflected manner, nothing exists but "alloy", that is to say nothing but an under-developed Personality, which has not accumulated within itself the gold of "B" influences, and therefore does not contain elements of "wheat" but only of "chaff", then as is said above, it will be burned.
Nevertheless, the Baptism of Fire is still not definitive. For, despite this consecration of Salvation in fact and no longer only in hope, yet the eventuality of a fall is still not excluded. It is through the Baptism of Spirit given before the Third Threshold, by the Holy Spirit, the Consoler, that comes the consecration of eternal Life preserved in the bosom of the Lord.
Let us see how, historically, the term "Christian" came to be used, and more especially, what profound meaning was attributed to it by the Apostles and as their disciples.
Let us first note the passage from Acts that speaks of sending the Apostle Barnabas to Antioch, by the Church of Jerusalem:
"When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad; and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose; for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a large company was added to the Lord. So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Paul; and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church, and taught a large company of people; and in Antioch the disciples were for the first time called Christians."
Let us also take cognizance of a passage of Clement of Alexandria, author of the second century. Speaking of gnosis he says: "To James the Just, John and Peter, the Lord gave gnosis after the resurrection: They gave it to the Apostles; the other Apostles gave it to the seventy, of which one was Barnabas."
Alluding to these facts in The Stromatas, after having given praise to his masters, particularly to the last one he met in Egypt and who "was the foremost by his radiance", he says:
"These masters, who conserve the true tradition of the blessed teaching, issued straight from the saint Apostles Peter, James, John and Paul, transmitted from father to son - but few sons are at the image of the fathers - have arrived down to us thanks to God, in order to plant in us these beautiful seeds of their ancestors and of the Apostles." It follows from what precedes that in the strict esoteric sense, can only be considered a Christian, he who carries within him the monad of Christ, he who having been initiated by the study of orthodox gnosis - to the superior Knowledge - and having victoriously passed through the Baptism of Fire, and reached the second Birth, gate to the Kingdom of God. It is thus that the first Christians held the celestial Jerusalem to be their home, not considering themselves here-below, on earth, to be but pilgrims.
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These considerations allow giving, as a corollary, a precise definition of the terms initiation, initiate, initiatory, which often lend to confusion. We will understand now that the initiate, in the esoteric sense, is he who received the Baptism of Fire, who sustained the test, and having thus reached the second Birth, has thereafter been progressively admitted into the circles of the Alliance of Love of the Celestial Jerusalem, which is the Kingdom of God. Any other initiation, whether followed or not by ceremony, has no esoteric sense. "A river of words for a drop of reason"; for "The Truth is never a matter of opinion".
But "The Truth is one" and the Baptism of Fire equally is one.
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The readers' attention is called to the last postulate of this text. For, since the formation of the Center, the following question has often times been asked: why does the qualifying word "Christian" show up on the title of the Association? It is written to us for example: "I am glad of its creation (the Center): my only astonishment: why the qualifier "CHRISTIAN"? Does not symbolism have this in particular, that it is ONE at the base of ALL the religions, of which it effects, precisely, their unification? Why such limitation?"
Herein exists, in the first place, a confusion between cause and effect: symbolism, as such, pertains not to the first but to the second category of phenomena. The Truth is One. Religion, which is its gradual revelation makes use of symbols to express certain aspects of the Truth, which ordinary human intelligence cannot cease directly. They are in some way puzzles, put forward to man, that he may resolve them with efforts oriented towards the elevation of his level of consciousness. In this respect, the symbol is a beacon that helps the seeker not to lose himself in the brush of "free conceptions".
Thus, symbolism plays a functional role and does not rest at the base of religions. Expressing the One Truth it is revealed in each religion under a particular aspect, adapted to the mentality of the people or group of peoples to whom it is addressed. The work of the Centre d'Etudes chretiennes esoteriques is oriented towards researches in the precise domain of the Christian esoteric Tradition, which already presents an enormous field of activity. To embrace at the same time other traditions and symbolisms would be a pretentious attempt, and which would not have serious chances of going beyond purely intellectual conjectures.
Nevertheless, given that Truth is One, the Centre d'Etudes chretiennes esoteriques would be pleased to tie fraternal relations with analogous structures, pursuing the work in the domain of other religions. Islam in the first instance. A particular reason favors such a collaboration. The approaching New Era will not establish itself in all the corners of the world at once. Just as the political federation of peoples requires the existence of a "federating" group, in the same way the establishment of the Era of the Holy Spirit demands a starting terrain and a group of Apostle-Peoples.
There exists an indication that the starting terrain is just about the same now as it was two thousand years ago, that is to say the geopolitical ensemble which embraced the Hellenistic world and became the cradle of primitive Christianity, then that of Islam, which have both thereafter radiated in all directions.
The symbolism of Oriental Orthodoxy represents the Golgotha with the skull and the bones at the foot of the Cross. According to the Tradition, it is there that lay the remains of the Old Adam, having become mortal after the fall. Also was crucified there the New Adam, who by his death - says the paschal hymn - vanquished Death by guarantee and promise of Redemption.
Doesn't the millenary permanence, in old Jerusalem, of the basilica of Saint Sepulcher next to Omar's mosque, symbolize today, with all due account of the general re-estimation of values, the call of the Faithful from the two great monotheistic religions oriented towards the future, for a new departure towards the New Jerusalem, descending from Heaven, image of the general Resurrection?
This spiritual fraternity, sealed by the streams of spilled blood, having been realized since centuries on Russian soil between Orthodox and Muslims, between the Russians and Tartars, their old conquerors, should it not embrace at present the whole perimeter of the old Hellenistic world, in order to prepare, and then defend, through conjugated efforts the birth of the New Golden Age?
Of course, numerous obstacles are still to be surmounted, psychological and political obstacles, in order for the march towards the Celestial Jerusalem be placed under the banner marked by the Cross and the Crescent. But the Sages, who discern in their vision this banner floating over the legions of Faithful, know that Faith and blessed Gnosis have the power to move mountains.
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We are pleased to present to our readers two extracts from the introduction to the second volume of Gnosis:
"The present introduction is addressed especially to the correspondents who have tackled problems of a general order and more particularly the questions dealing with the Goal and the Work. These two points are intimately bound and form, so to speak, but the two facets of one and the same question.
A very old maxim quoted in the Gospel according to saint Luc situates the problem. He writes: "The laborer is worthy of his hire". This maxim is placed in the context of sending seventy disciples "as sheep among wolves" in order to announce to the people that "The Kingdom of God is at hand".
This means that in the esoteric domain, as in worldly affairs, man earns his salary by working for the enterprise in the service of which he got hired. However, exterior life, that of 'A' influences, allows the possibility of acquiring goods without working, by speculation for example, or by all sorts of non-punishable abuses, and still by other means, by more or less fraudulent procedures, that nonetheless do not exceed the limits fixed by human law.
A sufficiently large margin of tolerance is left by the General Law to humans thus working in the domain of 'A' influences. It is of them that it is said that the sons of this world are wiser in their own generation than the sons of light. And let us not forget that Jesus placed this conclusion at the end of the famous parable regarding the dishonest steward.
On the other hand, we cannot gain anything that is pure and true, and therefore beautiful, without having furnished a work of which the sum and importance are equivalent to the result which the worker aspires for himself. Inversely, the importance of the results which one obtains for oneself is always equivalent, quantitatively and qualitatively, to the measure and output of the services rendered - on the esoteric plane, of course.
We emphasize: pure and true, therefore permanent. For it is possible to obtain so to speak esoteric results, but impure, and consequently, false and transient. We allude here to the vast domain of occultism where the sons of this world, wiser than the sons of light, seek to apply their cleverness beyond the visible world. It concerns what we call the "phenomenal mystic". We will come back to this later.
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Henceforth, if the seeker begins from a negative position of insufficiency and dissatisfaction and approaches the esoteric domain propelled by the desire to find directly therein a personal , thus impure satisfaction, he will not be able to advance very far on this way. If he insists, there would be the fall. For the error of conception made at the start will lead him, insensibly, towards this "phenomenal mystic". In its active form, this case has already been mentioned in the first volume of this work. As for the veritable satisfaction, the recompense of which the Gospel speaks, the student will not find it except in serving a pure and true esoteric cause.
The attentive reader will draw from what precedes a practical conclusion: it's a question in the first place of finding a veritable esoteric work which is being accomplished in the world, of making oneself useful to this work and of entering therein in order to take an active part.
There is the meaning of the parable of the laborers, where it is said:
He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, 'One sows and another reaps'. I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor; others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.
Let us examine now the case of those whom the Gospel calls ravening wolves. Jesus says:
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravening wolves. And he adds: You will know them by their fruits.
It's because it is difficult, if not impossible, for the man who is still insufficiently evolved esoterically, to discern spontaneously the false prophets. He will recognize them more easily by their "fruits", that is to say according to the observable results of their works, which constitute the indices.
The Tradition knows and teaches a whole Science of indices. Jesus says:
Temptations to sin are sure to come (we translate: It is impossible but that offences -scandales- will come); but woe to him by whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea... Let us not try for the moment to understand the reasons due to which it is impossible, as said Jesus, that scandals do not happen in the world. Let us take this text as a warning and let's not forget that its range is twofold, for the Lord adds to conclude: take heed to yourselves.
This warning is troubling. But its value is real. A thief can ravish our fortune: a "ravening wolf" can deprive us of salvation. That these ravening wolves present themselves precisely in sheep's clothing, we shal learn from the following text made with the intention to frighten:
Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord', shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophecy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?'
And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.' Results therefrom that neither the prophecies realized, nor the miracles accomplished, constitute any guarantee against the "ravening wolves". It is important to know it, for the indication given is precise.
Jesus says that the end will come when the Gospel will be preached throughout the world; but then today, this is an accomplished fact. And in this epoch - our epoch -:
For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.