by Harry Palmer
The Avatar Course is something more than the information and exercises contained in the study packs. Someone could gather all the packs and study them thoroughly. They could look up every word and demonstrate the meaning of every sentence, and they would totally miss the essence of Avatar.
Now isn't that strange?
Let me tell you a parable. Long before there was anything even resembling culture in the West, there was a highly evolved civilization that flourished along the upper Nile. It was an enlightened civilization governed by teacher-priests. Its people were loving, compassionate and skilled in fellowship. How did they achieve this highly evolved state while the rest of the world remained uncivilized barbarians?
The secret rests in their mystery school of Ra!
Ra originally meant source of consciousness. Only later did it become the name of an Egyptian god. These people reached the pinnacle of civilization, not by technological brilliance, but through their ability to externalize and mold their own collective consciousness. The information and exercises that taught this ability were contained on a secret papyrus scroll studied only after the proper initiation by the teacher-priests of Ra.
Initiation means an initial preparation for instruction. The power of an initiation goes far beyond its words. It is a fully aware experience that awakens a sincerity that is deeper and more subtle than the habitual mental system one uses to sort information and make decisions. It is a fellowship that dissolves barriers to enlightenment like bias and prejudice, dishonesty and deception, dishonor and fraud. It is a space of feeling safe enough to discover that maybe you don't know.
One day, an itinerant trader working the Nile learned about the secret papyrus scroll and, finding it unguarded, stole the scroll and later sold it to a Pharaoh in the lower region of the Nile. So great was its rumored power that the Pharaoh's goldsmiths built a special chest, lined with gold, to hold the plundered wisdom.
The most privileged minds of the kingdom studied the scroll, argued about its meanings and presented their most flattering interpretations to the Pharaoh.
The interpretations became the intellectual foundation for a great religion based on Ra, the sun god, personal defender of the Pharaoh. A great tiled temple and a ten-meter tall golden Ra was built, showing a god with the head of a hawk surrounded by the sun as a crown and holding the scepter of the Pharaoh. Hawks were known for their keen ability to see, and the sun was the symbol of beginning. The presence of the scepter showed clearly that Ra and the Pharaoh were, if not the same, at least closely allied.
In the name of the new religion, the kingdom recruited a powerful army and declared war upon the neighbors that were not willing to accept Ra, the sun god, as their chief deity. Temples of the older gods were either destroyed or re-dedicated to Ra, priests were re-educated or slain and, in a short time, Ra became the supreme deity of the lower Nile valley.
The Pharaoh (first as a rumor, and then as word of law) was regarded as the earthly incarnation of Ra—a marriage of convenience between the mysteries of spirit and the harsh realities of power. And oh, by the way, the secret scroll was misplaced, and the gold lining of the chest was hammered into a toenail for one of the many statues honoring the Pharaoh-god.
So that's what happens when someone is not properly prepared for instruction. Without the sincerity that is awakened by honest fellowship and initiation, people interpret new information within their habitual framework of intention and idea. Word lessons.
Such people underestimate the prisoning ability of their own mind. If enlightenment were possible within the habitual framework they use to sort information and make decisions, they would have it. No external instruction would be necessary.
The mind automatically works out all the possibilities within its own particular system of sorting, and then presents the most flattering word lessons to the ego. And the ego uses the word lessons to build a religion to itself. Any truth the habitual mind knows is already worked into a doctrine of word lessons to exalt the ego. The ego's primary interest is not in becoming enlightened, but in receiving the praises of its neighbors.
...people interpret new information within their habitual framework of intention and idea...such people underestimate the prisoning ability of their own mind.
Masters who have had students who wanted to read the Avatar Materials just to see if they contained something they didn't already know, know exactly what I'm talking about.
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There are word lessons and there are world lessons. A word lesson is an effort to convey an experience via spoken or written symbols. A word lesson can be informative or enjoyable or inspiring. A word lesson is an expression of someone's belief. A word lesson can be a very nice thing, but it should not be confused with a world lesson.
A world lesson is something that you live through. It's something you encounter and deal with in life. And from the world lesson you emerge changed, more experienced, wiser. A world lesson is an experience. It does not require translation into symbols or sounds for you to remember it. It becomes part of what you know, of how you define yourself to yourself. A word lesson seldom has this impact.
A world lesson becomes a word lesson as soon as it is expressed. What you know becomes a belief as soon as it is expressed. A word lesson can convey descriptions and instructions, but as far as experience, it is a pale substitute.
Your study of The Avatar Course begins as a word lesson describing exercises and conveying instructions, but as you participate, it changes to a world lesson. The word lessons of The Avatar Course are insignificant compared to the world lessons you create by your participation.
So, go beyond reading the words. Seek an experiential clarity of what is encountered. Bring it into your tent and try it on. If you've been studying about the taste of apples, go eat an apple.