Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How long a commitment do I have to make to the School for Esoteric Studies?
A: No specific time commitment is required, and there is no stigma attached to withdrawing from the School. Naturally, the longer you remain a student, the more you benefit; and, in turn, the more you serve the immediate group and the larger groups to which we all belong.
Q: Can I still belong to a church? Or will the teachings conflict?
A: Several School members are active members of an established religion also. Religion generally teaches “exoteric” spirituality, or the extrapolation of esoteric principles suitable for the masses. Often there is some dogma also, which you are asked to accept. That’s up to each individual to reconcile, or to choose the system that makes the most sense.
Q: If I am enrolled in another course offered by a spiritual organization, will I have to discontinue it?
A: We do not ask you to discontinue it unless either of the following applies: (a) the teaching of the other organization contradicts the teaching of the School; or (b) you have too little time to do the work required in both satisfactorily. If either of these is true, you will have to make a choice.
Q: How can I meet other School members?
A: The School’s training focus is on helping students engage with their Soul as their teacher and to work with the School group and the broader esoteric community on an energetic Soul level, rather than on a personality level. To complement training, students are encouraged to also engage in the growing number of collaborative service initiatives, and information regarding some of them appears on the Other NGWS Initiatives webpage.
Q: I’m already meditating according to how I was taught. Will I have to change?
A: If you have enough time, you can meditate twice a day using two systems. You shouldn’t combine the two at one time as the energy movement will be different and there could be negative results. Generally, we recommend a trial period using only our meditation to see how it works for you. Ours is an advanced (and advancing) form of meditation, and it is integrally a part of the whole curriculum. If you should prefer your former meditation in the end, the School’s work would probably not be for you.
Q: Is this essentially Eastern philosophy – say, a mixture of Buddhism and Hinduism?
A: The esoteric root of all religions is the same fountainhead of wisdom. Therefore, all the religions that developed around this core have left some traces over time. But in terms of doctrine, it is quite different from current Eastern and Western religions, although some of the fundamental principles remain ever the same. The deepest scriptures and sacred writings come closest to esotericism, such as The Bhagavad Gita and The New Testament.
Q: How much time daily is recommended?
A: Time spent in meditation and esoteric study varies by a student’s place on the arc of training. In general, 10-15 minutes of meditation and 15-30 minutes of study are required. When you are ill or have visitors, your rhythm may be interrupted; but it can easily be re-established. When the time comes every few months to write the answers to the questions posed in the lesson or to address the questions for a written report, you may need to spend more than half an hour on the study portion. We highly recommend that each day you spend a few minutes jotting down ideas in your journal so that, when it is time to write your report, most of the insights and experiences are readily available.
Q: I have definite psychic tendencies. Is that a help or a hindrance?
A: It depends on your attitude. Psychic abilities can be an asset as long as they are kept in perspective as a natural part of the past evolution of the human being. We are working toward the next level, or “higher psychism,” and so a preoccupation with the psychism of the personality (instead of the Soul) can retard our growth.