As you read the outlines of these Lesser Mysteries you may like to reflect back on your life and consider when you may have experienced some of them.
The Earth initiation is the Zero degree, as well as the Fourth degree in each cycle. As the Zero degree it is the beginning of the spiritual journey in each lifetime, while as the Forth degree it is a culmination of the journey.
We may experience multiple cycles of these four lesser mystery degrees within our lifetime and they also repeat through the larger cycles of the Greater Mysteries.
In each life the personality must reawaken to its spiritual nature. This is often preceded by suffering due to conflict in relationships, illness, failures, losses or a lack of meaning.
The re-awakening may be triggered by contact with a senior disciple or teacher from the Great White Brotherhood.
This glimpse of your divine Self stimulates the emergence of your soul qualities, which lie within the grail or causal body.
Seership, healing and other capacities come to light and it is up to the disciple to find the avenues to develop them. Some people don’t want to know about it, because it triggers their unconscious past life memories or ego factors.
This stage is actually precipitated by our soul and inner teachers, who have the task of helping us to rediscover who we are in our deepest self.
I know in my own case that the Zero degree occurred when I was 19 and came after a prolonged period of emotional and mental suffering. At that time I began to understand that the hedonistic and confused lifestyle I was living was making me miserable and that there must be a better way.
As I started to look around for answers fate led me to a spiritualist meeting, which opened up the possibility of life after death. I then started yoga and met my teacher and from then on I was a student in the classical yoga tradition. Within a fairly short time frame the practice of yoga and meditation started facilitating the reawakening of my soul and all sorts of experiences occurred.
It helps to remember that the conscious self has no recollection of its past lives or its spiritual career, and so has to reawaken and release much of the collected wisdom that remains hidden within the soul.
Only as the personality reawakens to its higher purpose does the soul take an interest in it.
The Zero degree introduces us once again to the cycle of initiations and we slowly progress through them, often taking one step forwards and two steps back. Initially, there may be a wonderful honeymoon period, where we glimpse so much of what is good, beautiful and true in life.
It is as if all the accumulated spiritual credit from our past lives is seen at this stage, but then we have to surrender to the sometimes harsh realities of spiritual boot camp.
These realities need to play themselves out through the various challenges and initiations that are to come. They mature and purify the personality and make it a fit container for the powerful energies to be awakened at the appropriate time.
In all of this it can help to remember the original vision of the Self that reawakened us to the Path in this lifetime and to have faith that it will re-emerge in time.
For me the occasional glimpse of this immense silent Presence was always compelling and has remained so throughout the years.
The thing to be remembered at the initial stage of awakening is that we are the silent Presence, having a physical incarnation, mediated by a mind that is conditioned by illusion. This challenging scenario is why guidance is so necessary throughout the journey.
The Zero degree leads into a period of purification of the body, emotions and mind to integrate the personality and prepare it for fusion with the super-conscious self.