Reuniting Eastern and Western Spiritual Practices
It is commonly believed in esoteric circles that there is a so-called Eastern mindset and a so-called Western mindset. The theory is that Eastern spiritual practices evolved from an “Eastern” way of thinking and that Western spiritual practices evolved from a “Western” way of thinking.
Basically the Eastern approach is said to be one of withdrawal from the world with focus on inner spiritual development, whereas the Western approach aims at changing the world.
Although there may be some truth to the stereotypes, I believe that the differences are actually the result of the spiritual practices, not the cause.
Aeons ago there was one spiritual tradition which was understood by everyone, didn’t need to be taught, and about which nothing was ever written down. This was the Golden Age.
But as the Yugas went down, particularly in the Kali Yuga, things increasingly had to be written down, and the potential for misuse of powerful esoteric teachings became a real problem to the sages and masters. So in order to safeguard the teachings, it became clear that some sort of “lock and key” was needed. Basically, the idea was to teach some part of the mysteries publicly, and withhold some key part of it for private instruction. In this way, students could be vetted, and the danger of something going wrong was less.
There were two schools of thought as to what part of the path to withhold and reserve for private instruction, “mouth-to-ear.” One group of teachers decided to withhold the inner side of things, while talking about the practical applications. This safeguarded the teaching, because without the inner tools, the ability to change reality was hopelessly beyond reach. This became the Western tradition, and ultimately it shaped the entire Western mind-set. There is this desire to change reality, but few practitioners have the inner qualifications to do so. The Western tradition therefore has lots of ineffectual information.
On the other hand, another group of teachers decided to teach the inner side, but withhold the tools to translate this into the World of Action. This safeguarded the teaching, because without the keys to apply the inner practices, the ability to change reality or to achieve the ultimate spiritual goals was also hopelessly beyond reach. There are a number of practitioners with extensive training in meditation, but who lack the keys to put this into action. We might say, therefore, that the Eastern tradition has lots of apparently pointless practices.
Many people have joined Western magical orders, hoping for the tools to change both themselves, as well as physical reality, the world in which we live, only to find, sometimes after decades of study, that nothing is really happening. This is because without the inner tools, spiritual change doesn’t happen and the outer magic doesn’t work.
There are enough hints in historical records to make it clear that the Egyptians, the Greeks, and the Christians, for example, had inner esoteric practices of meditation that were passed by word of mouth. But as the chain of mouth-to-ear was broken, all that was left was the outer or most superficial aspects of those traditions. As I have said for years, “Christianity has lost its yoga.” This could be generalized, and we could say “The West has lost its yoga.”
This is not entirely true, of course, for Christianity still has Jnana (mind) and Bhakti (devotional) practices, but these are very slow pathways to enlightenment. There is considerable evidence that the desert monastic Christian tradition had advanced esoteric practices, of which a few still remain in the Eastern Orthodox tradition. There is also evidence that a lot of these practices were carried eastward along the Silk Road to Tibet and India and influenced the spiritual traditions there. The Christians got it from the Jews and the Egyptians, and they got it from somewhere else.
About 150 years ago there began a sort of spiritual revival in Europe, and a number of esoteric groups and orders arose which put emphasis on magical techniques. The problem was that these orders had almost no meditative or mystical side, so their students lacked the inner development to make their magic work. This was putting the cart before the horse.
So there is this great divide between the East and the West, inner vs. outer. In the Western traditions there is some recognition of this problem, because the Western esoteric tradition has been borrowing aspects from the East for at least a hundred years, if not longer, in an attempt to fix itself. The difficulty is that this often lacks authenticity, and it is often poorly understood or incomplete.
The solution, which we now have before us in the curriculum, and elaborated from the far memories and discernment of our abbot, is to reach beyond the great divide, back to the time of the pure primordial tradition. From there we can touch the tradition before the great divide. This is what is before us.
The practitioner of this curriculum, armed with both the methods of inner development, and the keys to outer transformation, is in the position to quickly exit this system of reality, or stay within it to change it, as desired.
As the yugas go up, the first step must be to help complete the traditions. This will be done by teaching the whole path. This is happening here, and it will spread to other schools. Once these ideas are applied and practiced, they will inoculate other traditions, so that they too can be more effective. What happens here will inevitably influence other schools and traditions, through inward means, if not through outward means. This means that Drukama and its practitioners are called to play a “talismanic role” in the evolution of human consciousness.
I’m in. Are you?
If so, then join us at the teaching site: Drukama.com
~ Niysah Iyahu
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