Common Ground: The Kinship of Metaphysicians

A syncretic approach to esoteric teachings - the golden threads that connect Pagans, Yogis, Rosicrucians and Masons.

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You Will Know Them By Their Fruits

I periodically run across blogs proclaiming that the shadowy guides who control spiritual evolution on this planet are divided into Good and Evil contingents—and that our religious and metaphysical organizations have become unwitting pawns of the Evil ones. According to these disaffected souls, any organization you can think of has been taken-over by the Dark Side: the Catholic Church, the Masons, the Theosophical Society, A.M.O.R.C., Self-Realization Fellowship, Eckankar, the Mormons, Wicca. You can't trust anyone!      

How to evaluate such extreme accusations? This is what my life experience has taught me:  

All human organizations consist of individuals at various levels of development and understanding. Every church, every temple, every mosque, every order, every fraternal or metaphysical lineage, contains a jumbled mix of people. Some are well on their way to enlightenment, and these perceive in the teachings of their organization a message of Unity and Oneness between themselves and all created beings. Others in the very same organization are in the earliest stages of their spiritual evolution, and are mired in superstition, fear and bigotry. They perceive in the teachings of their group (the very same teachings, mind you) a message of exclusivity and separation between themselves and all others who hold different points of view.  

An individual receives, from the group, vibrations exactly equal to those that he or she brought into it. The Beatles said it concisely: "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." A less flattering way is, "Garbage in, garbage out." This is why it is so unhelpful to judge an individual by his or her affiliations.  

Jesus didn't say, "You will know them by their membership cards." He said, "You will know them by their fruits." People should be evaluated by the effects they produce in the lives of those they touch, much more than by their past histories or self-identification. Until you interact with somebody intimately, you can't know what motivated him to join a group, nor the degree to which he has bought the party line, nor the extent to which he retains his own power of discrimination, interpretation and judgment. 

Jesus found individual supporters even among the religious sects that ran the Temple and generally drew his condemnation. As we have no record of those good men resigning their offices, his observations must have motivated them to correct their organizations from within.   

There used to be a moral warning when I was a kid, that you should never judge a book by its cover. But that is exactly what we do when we lump together all Masons, all Rosicrucians, all Catholics, all Muslims, all Hindus, all Jews, all Mormons, all Republicans, all Democrats, all Wiccans, all Heathens. Shame on us! This is the height of spiritual laziness. 

I am most bewildered by conflicts between the members of metaphysical organizations, considering that their groups all promote the same basic principles: Our souls reincarnate in various bodies on different planes of existence, depending on the level of spiritual development we attained in our last lifetime and the direction in which our actions in that life sent us—either forward or backward—but eventually we are all destined to attain enlightenment and perfection, releasing us from the necessity of physical rebirth, at which point we will become helpers of the Divine on the spiritual plane. There are Ascended Masters, some no longer in the flesh and others who still return periodically, who direct the progress of these reincarnational events. The more powerfully gifted an individual is, the greater potential he or she has for creating both good and evil in this world, for energy is neutral and this physical realm exists through the balance of opposites.  

All of these groups believe in vast cycles during which the spiritual vibrations of the planet expand and contract—though there is little agreement between them as to the exact length of those cycles, or in which direction the energies are moving at any given point in time. They do agree, though, that great spiritually-enlightened civilizations existed on Earth in times past, in such places as Atlantis, Lemuria, Mu, the Americas and the Vedic India of Lord Rama, and that they all have some sort of common connection to Egypt and the mystery schools that held initiations in underground chambers beneath the Pyramids and Sphinx. Many of them claim direct spiritual descent from Akhenaton or Christ, though there is considerable disagreement between them as to exactly what those Masters taught their disciples in private. 

If all these groups, traditions, lineages and organizations promote basically the same universal principles—then where do some of them get off, accusing the others of being under the thrall of Evil? 

Isn't it exactly this sort of exclusionist message that keeps justifying the crimes of lynchings, witch hunts, pogroms, inquisitions and wars? "Our group is holy but your group is evil. We are smart enough to see the difference, but you are too stupid." 

Another thing: Have you noticed how these negative people come out of the woodwork just when you have committed yourself to a certain course of study? Why was it, do you suppose, that you never heard from them when your interest was dormant? 

 Another metaphysical principle is that there is some downward-pulling force that doesn't want us to become enlightened. It will try very hard to dissuade us from a path of Truth—including trying to convince us that there is something dangerous about it, and that we had better stop.

 So, I would respectfully ask the well-meaning folks (I can only assume that they are well-meaning) who post hysterical blogs against metaphysical and religious societies, and promote mistrust, paranoia and division, how they can be so bloody sure that it's not their shadowy guides who are promoting misinformation. 

After all—you will know them by their fruits.



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Tagged in: Controversies
A student of esoteric traditions since the age of 16, Ted Czukor (Theo the Green) taught Yoga for 37 years until retiring in 2013. For 26 years he was adjunct faculty for the Maricopa, AZ Community Colleges, teaching Gentle Yoga and Meditation & Wellness. Raised in the Methodist Church but drawn to Rosicrucianism, Hinduism and Buddhist philosophy, he is a devotee of the Goddess in all Her forms. Ted has been a Shakespearean actor, a Masonic ritualist and an Interfaith wedding officiant. He is the author of several books, none of which made any money and two of which are available as .pdf files. He lives with his wife Ravyn-Morgayne in Sun City, Arizona. Their shared dream is to someday relocate to Glastonbury, England.


  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis Thursday, 11 September 2014

    Great stuff! I generally agree, with one exception. Let me tell a story:

    For decades, I dealt with a tradition whose practitioners kept hurting people. I tried to keep an open mind, told myself it was only individuals in the tradition, not the group as a whole. After decades, I had to come out of my denial, because every single member of the tradition who I let in my life eventually burned me badly.

    I finally had to admit the enormous evidence of wrongdoing to me and others allowed no denial that the tradition's energy line is tainted, its teachings are subtlety corrupting of the kindest souls, and its gatherings attended by demons who take over its attendees’ minds. I have seen wonderfully aware individuals enter the tradition and suddenly act so irrationally and unkindly that I finally had to admit to those demons.

    This tradition is an exception to your premises—the exception that proves the rule?—but it is important to mention, bc the number of deaths, incidents of child molestation, incidence of psychotic breaks, and other tragedies consistently occurring within that tradition motivate me to say that discernment is paramount. In other words, it is possible for a system to be corrupt, and we must allow that possibility, instead of being in denial. We know them by their fruits.

    I daily pray for the people in that tradition.

    Your essay is excellent. Among other things, it urges us not to shadow project. I just do not want anyone to take it to the opposite extreme and be in denial when confronted by real evil. Blessings on you for an essay that is spot on and motivated by love.

  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor Thursday, 11 September 2014

    You are absolutely right, Francesca, and while I didn't have such a case in mind when I wrote the piece, in the interests of balanced reporting I should add a paragraph dealing with corrupted and demonic traditions. (I don't know, for example, how I would get close to a member of the Nazi party or skinheads.) And for my own information and protection, I would appreciate your emailing me the name of that group you have referenced.

  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis Thursday, 11 September 2014

    I suspected you would agree with the point I made, bc you are generally very balanced in your perspectives, instead of black or white, from what I have seen so far. Rock on! Blessings on your day.

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