Qualifications for Brotherhood
by Richard Kieninger
The Balanced Way
There has to be equalization between three major aspects of the personality—mentality, practicality, and ideality—before one can be an Initiate in the Brotherhoods. Practicality has been traditionally thought of as a more masculine trait and ideality has been more often regarded as a feminine trait. These distinctions tend to blur as a person becomes Egoically more evolved since one tends to take the very best of what is femininity and the very best of what is masculinity and do away with the negative aspects of those characterizations.
It is characteristic of overly practical individuals to tend to believe in only what is tangible. If they can see it, feel it, measure it and put it in the bank, then it is real so far as they are concerned. If they’re going to put forth effort on anything, they’d just as soon that it is something that practically turns a profit. Generally speaking, they are mostly interested in whatever benefits them; so they are comparatively unimpressed with what’s benefiting mankind or society.
Even though practical people are widely regarded as the builders and doers of the world, overly practical individuals tend to be skeptical and suspicious of other people’s motives. They know what works for themselves, and they’d just as soon not have anybody come along with some new ideas—which might upset their apple cart—whether it will work better for them or not. They tend to be atheistic. If you tend to believe in only those things that you can see, God seems to be a little distant.
Cultural aesthetics, music, art, and architecture seem to be a waste of time for these practical people to even think about and consider. They don’t see that it puts any bread on the table. They would likely not object to having automobiles all look exactly alike and having all homes look like they were stamped out by the same cookie cutter. Being totally utilitarian serves to bring the price down, and that would be fine so far as overly practical persons are concerned. They tend to prize efficiency. They don’t like to waste time or personal energy.
Unfortunately, they also tend to be very critical of others, who tend to regard them as opinionated. But they also tend to be “go-getters” which means they get things done. The world is very much dependent upon that type of individual actually making things happen, but at the same time they don’t seem to have very much imagination along artistic lines or operate with faith in the unseen.
The overly idealistic type of people tend to believe that shunning material things makes them spiritual. Many of them are very arty; kind of frivolous. They also tend to be somewhat gullible. They tend to fall for wrong causes and false gurus. They hold work in contempt, for the most part. However, they are giving of themselves for others, which certainly sets them apart from the overly practical type. They tend to be wasteful, improvident for own needs in the future, careless (with money, for instance), a little sloppy about precision in the household and how things look—unless they happen to be very artistic.
Although some idealistic people may be admired as visionaries, overly idealistic people are typically fanatical and intolerant in religious beliefs. They are just as critical of others as the practical person is critical. They usually make quite a pretense of humility. Even though they are trying to be humble, they’re also convinced that they are made of finer clay than everybody else. They are dreamers who unfortunately lack persistence, so they don’t get much done. They’re imaginative, very faithful in religion, and have faith in other people. They’re trusting.
Artistic types tend to be overly impractical because of their idealism, but that allows them to try things that everybody else “knows won’t work.” And they find out it does work. They’re governed more by their hearts than their heads. They tend to make hasty decisions on hunches and emotions rather than on thought and reason. They also tend to be temperamental.
The above characterizations are the extremes of the purely practical and idealistic persons. Most people are mixtures of these traits and exhibit them in moderation rather than these extremes. And rather unfairly, the idealistic type is popularly regarded as being related to femininity and the very practical type as being related to masculinity.
Mentality is closely related to intelligence. All the things you have learned in order to perceive your environment for what it is and to develop ways to cope with it allows you to survive. To understand what is happening about you so you can develop cause-and-effect relationships eventually develops reasoning processes. A lot of educated people have no intelligence to speak of, and a lot of people with hardly any education are extremely intelligent.
When people get together who become good friends or who are potential mates, it’s usually found that their intelligence is approximately the same. Spending a lifetime with a mate with a lower mentality would not sharpen you or challenge you to grow beneficially in areas you haven’t experienced before.
The “Three Kings”
Complementary types provide good examples to one another; a practical man marrying an idealistic woman is a common example. Some of the things that are beneficial in her ways of doing and being are going to rub off on him, and some of the things which are his strong points, which may be missing in her personality, can be picked up by her just observing the things he does. This would be an example of an Egoically balanced coupling, or “balanced polar coupling.”
There are Masonic and
Biblical symbolisms that deal with the interplay between these three main
factors of personality. When Solomon was involved with the building of the
To change yourself requires a great deal of will and mental stamina. Like a mountain climber, you can’t reach upward until you let go of one of the anchors you’ve already established. It is hard to let go of those personality traits which somehow you’ve managed to put together into a reasonably viable package. When you disturb any one of those traits it re-adjusts everything in your personality. Most people find that so uncomfortable, that they’d just as soon stay where they are.
The beautiful things that your parents told you when you were a child have to be modified in light of the real world. And you don’t like that real world in comparison to the fairy tale, sugarplum, kind of sweetness that children are presented with. When you discover that the ultimate reality and your climb toward it are very different from what you’ve become comfortable with, there is a strong tendency to not want to pursue truth. You have to fight constantly in order to change, but the rewards on the other side are well worth it! After a while you learn that it can be fun, but it’s like learning how to be an adolescent continually—the world is constantly presenting realities new to you that you aren’t at first prepared for.
Cosmic consciousness is another prerequisite for initiation into a Brotherhood. It is a combination of two separate abilities that a man or woman can have: Mystic awareness and self-controlled clairvoyance.
Self-controlled clairvoyance is the Egoic ability at will to consciously perceive, or “see,” the Astral and Etheric planes of existence while you are awake in physical incarnation. Of course, your Mind is readily able to always perceive these two higher planes of existence when you are discarnate or when commonly your Mind functions separately away from your physical body during sleep.
Mystic awareness is the recombining of several basic physical functions of the brain, which normally remain in the non-conscious realm. These are recombined into an expanded, unified consciousness. This state can be sustained only for short periods of time. The unification of these various parts of the brain brings you in touch again with those centers of the brain that you primarily used as a child. Some of the brain extrasensory perceptions that a very young child normally has, as well as the child’s subconscious telepathic ability, are brought into conscious awareness by the adult mystic.
The cerebellum is brought into play during the mystic experience. This large area is uniquely capable of magnetic induction of electrical circuitry because of the way its nerve tissues happen to coil around each other. This unique characteristic of the cerebellum allows it to function more like an analog computer as compared with the simple digital circuitry of the cortex, which depends upon linear synaptic connections. The functions of the archaic brain (brain-stem, medulla and pons), cerebellum, and the cortex are all combined by the mystic so that he can reprocess information which is already contained in his brain’s memory and experience. This combination does not give him the power to perceive other planes of existence.
This new interconnection, which is latent in all persons over age 28, occurs through the midbrain’s complex of circuits that normally link all the brain and draws the limbic system, which is the pleasure processing areas of the brain, and the thalamus, which is the emotion and feeling center, into the experiences of mystic awareness. Bringing all three major brain centers into conscious awareness, even if only for a period of 30 seconds or so, is a profoundly beautiful and awe-inspiring experience that a mystic finds immensely pleasurable, expansive, as well as educational (offering a unique perspective).
Only the sanest of persons can make it through to mystic awareness—they have to be very balanced and very mature. There are no guarantees, by following certain practices, that you’ll ever achieve it. But by quieting your incessant brain chatter through meditation, you can put yourself more in touch with your midbrain and the archaic brain.
Controlled clairvoyance—the other half of cosmic consciousness—is also a natural process. We were intended by our Creators to just flow into that ability as we grow Egoically. It is members of primitive tribes who are more naturally able mentally to perceive the basic personality and modes of consciousness of other incarnate or discarnate Egos. These people are so close to Nature and so much in touch with their own bodies and natural processes, that they don’t have neuroses. Primitive matriarchal societies usually provide all that Nature intends for a child to receive and enjoy from his infancy through adolescence. They have few emotional blocks to the natural abilities that man is heir to.
Controlled clairvoyance in our patriarchal culture arises from the acquisition of character uplift. The conscious development of character results in the refinement of the mental vibrations associated with each of the qualities of Egoic character. Reduction of the lower vibrations associated with base thoughts and attitudes, plus the increase in higher vibrations associated with virtuous living, bring you more en rapport with the higher planes of existence.
The person who is clairvoyant has learned how to transmit information, which he is picking up as an Egoic entity always functioning mentally on the Astral plane, to his physical brain. However, we are limited by the cultural beliefs imbued by our society’s philosophy and mythology and by our culture’s expectations of what is possible for a human being. This powerful conditioning is difficult for your Mind to override. The physical brain, then is hard for your Ego to teach.
From the viewpoint of the average person, clairvoyant perception sort of trickles into your awareness. Many people, just in the process of growing older, suddenly begin to have flashes of clairvoyant ability, which may be frightening to them because seeing other beings around you seems like moments of insanity.
A person who is totally blind is just as good a clairvoyant as a person who has eyes. So it has nothing to do with physical eyes. It has to do with mental abilities. You can perceive somebody on the Astral Plane in one of several ways: You may see that person, which is clairvoyance, or hear him, which is clairaudience, or even smell a presence.
Desire backed by faith can lift people from lowly beginnings to places of power, wealth, love and happiness; it can ward off death; and it can serve as the medium by which one can stage a comeback after being defeated in a hundred different ways. Through the power of Mind, man uses the impulse of strong desire to reach a state which recognizes no such word as impossible and accepts no such reality as failure. In that state, what we call failure is only another stepping stone toward success.
Positive Mental Attitude
Happiness is the natural state of the emotionally balanced person, regardless of age. On the other hand, the person who suffers from feelings of inadequacy constantly compares himself unfavorably to those who are competent, and he tries to tear them down in order to justify his own shortcomings.
As a person becomes happy, competent, outgoing and positive-thinking, he does not regard other persons as threats to his ego esteem; and by being unafraid, he can expand into richer interpersonal relations which elicit positive acceptance from others. In fact, he tends to accentuate the goodness in every person and in every situation he encounters. He can afford to be happy to see the success of others and to applaud their superior talents without envy. Above all, the happy person can love others and feel worthy of the love of God. He can give of himself without the shriveling fear of getting less in return than what he gives. He expands his circle of love, and he grants freedom to all because he does not need to control others in order to feel safe from encroachments he might imagine from them.
Superlative Health and Stamina
Because requirements for nutrition, sexual involvement, rest and exercise vary among individuals, it is the responsibility of each person to identify and meet his/her needs. When basic physical requirements such as these are met, mental attitudes provide added protection from sickness. In fact, confidence alone can prevent illness from ever presenting a threat—confidence in the knowledge that one can overcome the adverse influences of microbial infection by mentally reinforcing the natural defenses with positive outlook. Love is a powerful healing force, including self-love. A healthy self-esteem and the release of emotional armorings are key elements to superlative health and stamina.
High Level of Skill in a Trade or Profession
People with a high level of skill in their trade have usually learned to use the ten qualities of Mind and the Great Virtues fairly well. For example, they learn to listen to and test their hunches, to use discrimination to evaluate options, to use self-discipline in choosing their direction and maintaining their focus, to express their feelings with tact and openness and to allow for the natural outworking of events. They will have learned to fire their desire by concentration on their goals and to persevere. They are people who are guided by their own inner convictions rather than by trends or the advice of others. They have learned how to find needed information and how to be genuine in communication.
The happiness and success which people enjoy in life has much to do with the karma they generate. Forming habits which improve one’s karmic balance is easier when one becomes conscious of the habits he or she has formed which might be accumulating karmic debits. Generating economic, emotional and physical karmic credits becomes more automatic when habits carry people along on the right track, thus creating even more opportunities for growth and giving. Exploring these areas is a very personal and individual kind of pursuit.
Seven Qualifications for Initiation
1. Burning desire to become a Brother
2. Balance between mentality, practicality and ideality
3. Cosmic consciousness
4. Superlative health and stamina
5. Positive karma
6. Cheerful, willing personality
7. High level of skill in a trade or profession