A Modern Mystery School Workshop
(£20) With Carl H. Smith, Sarah Janes, Sam Gandy, Pascal Immanuel Michael and Chris Timmermann | Friday 18:30 – 20:00 | SOUL
Capacity – 15
Modern life has become increasingly full of distraction, of mental and physical pollutants. The many lessons we learn during our lifetime can be hampered by our perceived social responsibilities, our cravings, delusions, ambitions and our inability to prioritise self-reflection over our appearance in the visible world. There are ever increasing incidents of ‘early onset’ and ‘digital’ dementia in younger populations as a result of the zombifying effect of excessive screen time. Disengagement from the world around us is having a deleterious impact on memory and cognitive functioning – we are meant to be in harmony with the natural world.
How might we manage our lives to live better and more consciously, to be more certain of who we are, our motivations and to discover true contentment and peace? What gives life meaning?
In the Mystery tradition of antiquity – initiation was a ritualised, contained and sanctified mid-life crisis or Near-Death Experience of sorts. It is attested to in many accounts of those who passed through the Mystery Schools, that by accepting the inevitability of death, initiates released their fear of mortality and came to relish the fleeting beauty of their life, to feel the divine breath of the universe as it reverberates through every thread of the web of life.
Many of us find that peace and acceptance come with age and increasingly, that they follow crisis and breakdown. Has this always been the case, or is this a symptom of the dis-harmony within our society? Stripping the human experience of spirit and soul – as has been the effect of reductive materialism – has diminished the human experience to the working parts of something like a meat robot. We need our transcendent moments of divinity, our dreams, we need liminal, transpersonal experiences to truly thrive, love life and taste the ecstasy of its preciousness. We need spiritual experience to be truly human.
In the tradition of initiation, the first step is to find a mentor – The Seventh Ray – can take the place of a mentor, curating subjective experience. Giving the participant an opportunity for the sort of self-reflection required for personal growth, integration and emotional development.
The Seventh Ray team will take participants through the seven stages of initiation – utilising ancient and modern technologies to bring about a pantheistic appreciation of nature and self.
In times of widespread use and commercial interest in psychedelics, there is an urgency to develop lineages associated with their use. Lineages and forms of embodied knowing not only enhance safety but may also harness their potential for transformation. Mystery schools, and their use of ritual provide such forms of apprenticeship. How does a modern Mystery School relate to past iterations of psychedelic apprenticeship? How does it dialogue with indigenous forms of embodied apprenticeship? What can be gained from the dialogue between indigenous and Western technologies for human development?