The details of our school are comparatively secretive. Because of this, it may be hard for a prospective student to formulate exactly what will be encountered once the school is joined, assuming one is accepted into the Probationary Period. In order to address this issue, every prospective student should first familiarize his or herself with the following information, covering what we are and what we are not.
What We Are
- A living theurgic tradition, passed down through generations of masters, separate from the more modern developments and movements of occultism.
- A growing Order composed of two parts, a School and an Ekklesia (Assembly of Adepts), as it was done in ancient times and is still done in living lineages. The Divine Science Online is the school and composes what can be called the “Outer Order.” A dedicated student could work through this in the course of six years, depending on individual prowess, leading to the threshold of true Initiation.
- A master-disciple tradition, called Paradosis, meaning “The passing on of the great gift.” Our school utilizes the position of Daskalodos, which is the spiritual overseer of the school. The Daskalodoi are flanked by Assistant Teachers. As a student, you will be under the guidance of higher-level teachers in a structured method of development. Expect personal guidance.
- A school with living adepts. The two head adepts, the Daskalodoi, are the spiritual and administrative heads of the school. There are certain formalities which surround them, and which are involved in the teacher-student relationship. If you are uncomfortable with a hierarchical school, then this is not for you. In making this system public to the modern Western audience, Ramose and Veos have stripped many of the traditional formalities associated with Daskalodoi to ease the minds of a Western audience which is essentially unfamiliar with theurgy. Even so, there are still some rules and observances which have been kept because of their efficiency.
What We Are Not
- A Rosicrucian school. We are not affiliated with, nor is our lineage at all connected to, Rosicrucian movements, schools, Orders, sects, etc. Our teachings are not the product of the Golden Dawn, O.T.O, or any other modern Order, whose existences are a recent thing.
- A general forum. Our school is not just a hang-out area for like-minded individuals who are all hoping to learn some things about theurgy. It is not a forum where members amass endlessly to share their ideas and opinions. The Divine Science Online is an online school, the outer vehicle of this Order, with all the structure, hierarchy, and regulations which come with that. This is the real deal, a living tradition of theurgy, and not just philosophers and scholars sitting around talking.
- A place for debates. There is a great deal of individual freedom and liberty on the spiritual path, in theurgy as much as anywhere else. But so long as you are here to pursue theurgy, you must keep in mind that you are here to learn about this system’s teachings on theurgy. We did not invite you to be a student so that you could have a public area to shout your own opinions, and all of the other students did not join just to listen to you. When you are a student in this school, you are here to learn what this system teaches about theurgy, not to discuss all of the other many ideas and philosophies. Those things are easily done elsewhere.
- A personality cult. If you are looking for someone to worship, a guru or savior figure to place all of your sins on, then you have come to the wrong place. Likewise if you have irrational cult-phobia then you are also in the wrong place. Because our school has legitimate instructors, capable of actually guiding its students through their hardships and experiences, there is often a great deal of respect being shown towards the instructors and Daskalodoi. This is not a license to engage in personality-worship, nor is it reason to have irrational cult-worries. Either extreme is wrong by virtue of being an extreme.
What You Will Encounter When You Join
As has been mentioned above, our school is a living tradition. What exactly does this mean? It means that we are an ongoing lineage, currently teaching its forty-fifth generation of students. As with anything this ancient, there are certain traditional observances and practices which are done. When Ramose and Veos began working on how to properly present this system to the modern Western audience, they removed some things and kept others. The practices and observances they kept, they kept because they believe it contributes to a spiritual atmosphere. It takes people out of their ego-comfort zones, and gets them into a mindset which adds power to their meditation. Other practices are meant to create an atmosphere of positive reinforcement and remind the students about the family environment which ultimately permeates the school no matter how large it becomes. Here are some of the things which a new student may encounter upon joining the school, what they mean, and why they are done:
“Be Victorious / Live Forever.” This is one of the first things you may encounter. In most ancient systems of spirituality in the world, something along the lines of “Be Victorious” is seen as a friendly salute to a fellow spiritual seeker upon parting ways. It was a traditional travel-blessing in ancient Persia, is used between Himalayan Yogis in India, and was a going-away gesture in Greece and Egypt. Our school uses it in this same spirit. It is a reminder to every student to be supportive of their fellow students’ spiritual pursuits, and is a reminder also that others are supporting them. Thus when a student signs out of a chat, or at the end of a forum post, you may see “Be Victorious.” It means literally that - be victorious in your meditation, and specifically refers to conquering the animal self so that the divine can shine through. It is a fun practice, and it strongly reinforces the supportive environment of the school.
In tandem to this, you may also occasionally see “Live Forever.” This is the advance of that same greeting, but transferred to the situation relevant for an initiate or adept. The aspirant’s main goal is to overcome the animal self, a great battle, and so we say to an aspirant, “Be victorious.” But the goal of the initiate and adept is to stabilize the consciousness in the soul, so that the transition between life and death no longer really exists for his or her mind. Thus the initiate and adept is encouraged to “Live Forever,” a reminder of the immortality of the enlightened soul without the obscurity of successive reincarnations.
Titles. The two titles you will encounter most are Daskalodos and Daskalos. A daskalodos ("teacher of the path") is the current initiator of an Order, and our system goes back to an ancient tradition which utilizes two daskalodoi. A daskalos ("teacher") is an assistant teacher of the school and a senior student of the daskalodoi. A daskalos has been given permission to initiate students into individual practices and meditations and to oversee the progress of students in the Outer School.
Greek terminology. Ramose and Veos worked to reset theurgy upon its traditional background in the scriptures of the original theurgic sages, which required that every student have a familiarity with the terminology which these sages used to convey their ideas. Thus there is a prevalence of Greek terminology, which is easily enough absorbed. If you are going to join the class, there are a few quick words that you can learn to help smooth the transition:
Paradosis - Used in our school to refer to the philosophical teachings.
Askesis - Meditation, and used to refer to the practical teachings.
Gnosis - Enlightenment, the goal of the aspirant and initiate.
It is our hope that this basic overview will help every prospective student better understand what they are getting in to, and make some preemptive decisions as to whether or not this is really what they are looking for. We of course strongly encourage every person to also consider putting aside any current biases that they may have, and at least test the waters with our free Probationary Period.