In describing the Ancient Wisdom part of our White Eagle Wisdom School, here is White Eagle’s explanation:
'What is the Ancient Wisdom? We will put it into simple language, and call it the truth of man’s spiritual being, the story of humanity’s creation and the creation of the solar system. The Ancient Wisdom is the only true religion, from which has sprung many another school of religion, from the oldest in the East (and the West) to the present Christian religion. The Ancient Wisdom was the teaching given to men and women when human life began on this earth. It is the Religion of the Sun. When we refer to the Sun, we do not mean merely the sun above, which gives physical life to the earth. We mean the divine Principle, a life force, spiritual in essence, but which has many manifestations.
The Ancient Wisdom is that inner knowledge which was imparted to men and women by certain Beings who came to the earth for this purpose. In the beginning, then, there was what I will call the first Mystery School. It was known then and is still known, as the Temple of the White Light. All the mysteries were practised in this Temple. The Ancient Wisdom then was the wisdom of the heart, of the divine Light; the knowledge of the divine fires and creative powers with which all men and women are endowed.
The ancients taught us to regard another man’s religion as sacred. There are many lines of approach to truth, many schools by which people reach the same truth. Therefore it behoves us to respect and revere the religion of another. Here is the whole point—in the heart of all religions there is the Mystery School. Those who have trained themselves may perceive the jewel within the heart of all religions.
When we speak of the eternal things in the Ancient Wisdom we cannot touch any point and say, ‘This is the beginning,’ because in the Ancient Wisdom there is no beginning. The wisdom of eternity has always been. It just is, like God the Creator. It is impossible for you to comprehend eternity with a finite mind. Only when you can escape from the bondage of your personal self and touch the spheres which are called cosmic can you comprehend. So while it is incorrect for us to say ‘In the beginning,’ yet for you we must use these words in order to give a point from which you can work. At the same time we would suggest that you endeavour in meditation to comprehend life as a circle.
The mystery schools established in the beginning have continued throughout the world's history, extending to one continent after another.'
As can be seen from the above, the Ancient Wisdom really lies at the heart of all Wisdom Schools. In the case of the White Eagle Lodge, all the departments are grounded in the White Eagle teaching which in turn is based on the Ancient Wisdom.
In the Ancient Wisdom department itself, the main areas of study are those mystery schools of the past, as White Eagle has described them to us—how what was taught then is relevant to us today.
White Eagle is always very careful to say that it is not in books and that kind of learning that we discover the mysteries, but through our response to daily life and our inner times of meditation. We seek to unfold the ‘wisdom of the heart’.
Saturday May 27 to Thursday June 1 (after breakfast) led by Colum Hayward. Discover more about the whole mystical tradition and how St John is a part of this. (The image is of the Sanctuary above the cave on the island of Patmos in Greece, where St John is reputed to have received inspiration for 'Revelations'.)