AT THE THRESHOLD
Three students approach the foothills beneath a great mountain called Abiegnus, the Mountain of Initiation. Upon reaching the traditional archway along the road leading to its base, three teachers are called by the Heavenly Creator to appear before the students. The Lord of Hosts has shown the teachers to the students and the students to the teachers knowing in His Omniscient way that each is called to serve one with one other. But, as this partially veiled world reveals much with its Light, so does it hide much in its Darkness. Thus, even these three Adeptus Majors do not discern directly from the Heavenly Voice which student he or she is called to guide. So the testing begins...
Strenuus: The Path I teach is one of Action. Which of you would be loyal to the cause of Light and give all they have to serve it?
Strateumai: I am a soldier of Light! And I know you to be a Warrior of Light! I feel your strength and energy and desire you to consider me. In return for your teachings and attention, I offer my labor, wealth and loyalty to dispense as you see fit for this great cause!
Imbellis: I fear the fire in your convictions and what that would imply for my personal freedom. I do not seek a dictator over my life or goods and would rather not be guided along a path of confrontation with the world, even if good could come from it.
Kasmillos: I seek to learn as much as I can. And, upon doing so, I would serve according to my calling. The cause of Light, you say? That can mean many things to many people. But, if you accepted me as a student I would give due consideration to what you asked, and if it is indeed a worthy calling I would direct the best of what I have to assisting you in accomplishing it.
Placidus: The Path I teach is one of Stillness. Which of you would renounce worldy vices and place your whole attention quietly within the center of Light?
Imbellis: My heart and soul sing when you speak your words! I would gladly turn away from the poisons of this world to seek the true nectar within the Heart of God. Teach me, I beg you. Save me from the evils of this world!
Strateumai: Your words are pious and at times uplifting, but they bore me with the promise of inaction. I must rise up and conquer evil and save the innocent. Too much suffering exists in this world for me to sit idley by and do nothing with the insight and power I would learn on this Path.
Kasmillos: I deeply respect your wisdom and desire it. If you guided me on the Path thereto, I would live by its principles and endeavor to inspire others to greater works of good by my example. But, you speak of renouncing the vices of this world. Of which do you speak? When seen in the Light of God's Day, everything in this world is vanity and sin. But, when seen from the point of those in suffering, there are priorities and through such analysis one may find what truly matters to the Lord of Heaven and what things are the product of cultural protection. My energies are limited in this physical body. If I found your restrictions truly helpful to the acquisition of wisdom I would follow them even if they were difficult. But, I would do so only so far as they proved meaningful and necessary. I would not waste my time on superfluous moralisms.
Straphalos: The Path I teach is one of Equlibrium. I expect my students to advance in Knowledge and gain the power of Discernment so that when called by Higher Powers they will rise up and use what they gain through my teachings responsibly. I also expect my students to restrain themselves from abuses and excess, putting aside personal pride to make room for their Higher Self to act. In one sense, my Path is the most free for I will not impose my enlightenment or morality upon you. In the other sense, my Path is the most restrictive, for I will only teach you so long as you agree to perfectly submit to the Divine Selfhood within you. Which of you would strive to live up to such expectations?
Strateumai: There is much in what you say that is attractive to me. But, I know by your reputation that you can be fickle with your attention and vague in your structure. You teach one student one thing and another something else. You give power and authority to those you discern the Higher Powers to choose even if they oppose you, rather than the ones who show you the most personal deference and providence. If my investments of time, talent and treasure cannot directly result in a reliable return, what good are you to me as a teacher?
Imbellis: I, too, find much of what you say to be attractive. But, like my active brother, I find your reputation somewhat disturbing. You speak of submitting to the Divine Selfhood, but some of your students are known to be licentious, clearly not living up to standards of morality that are generally expected of spiritual people. Yet you teach them equally with those students of yours which have inspired many to higher states of purity. Likewise, there are those among your disciples whom you have turned away from the inner secrets you are known to possess though they are seen to be among the holiest of practitioners of the sacred arts, while some among your greatest students carouse sexually, consume animal flesh, and partake of the poisons of this world. I do not know what to think of your teachings when the fruits I value are not always there to be seen upon your tree.
Kasmillos: If you find me worthy, I would agree to strive by the expectations you have stated. I do not know what the Divine Will is for me. But, I promise to follow it to the best of my abilities when and as my Higher Soul reveals it to me. And I agree to sincerely and honestly consider your cautions when I may be in danger of mistaking the subjective license of my ingrained weaknesses as a message of permission from my Higher Self. Unlike my active brother, I do not seek your personal approval and, as such, I am gratified by the expectation to look to my Higher Self. Unlike my passive sister, I do not see the value of approval from other seekers or society and, as such, I will not project upon you or my fellow students the interpretation of Light that I recieve from the Higher. I understand that what may be good for one student is poison for another and that which hinders the progress of one student may be a necessary release for another. I may at times disagree and question your teachings but, as much as it is in me to be able to, I promise not to do so out of pride or lust, but rather out of a sincere desire for the Truth.
And, thus did Strenuus enlist his soldier, Placidus adopt her peaceful daughter, and Straphalos admit his new student. And, all began their Pathway in Light in the mode that the Creator of All fashioned them to. As the new candidates to the Mysteries passed through the archway on their way to hidden knowledge, a quiet whisper followed them breathing "Welcome to the Mountain of Initiation, the Mountain of Abiegnus."