Peter Levenda Quotes

This may be at once the curse and the blessing of the modern age, that the ready availability of printed books—and now, electronic versions easily downloadable from virtually anywhere on earth—has enabled teachings to be preserved and passed down, passed around, and disseminated to anyone with even a glimmer of interest. It's a curse, because this ready availability cheapens the teaching by making it that much easier to obtain without all the psychological preparation of periods of intense study, fasting, purification, and other conditioning techniques. The effect of this is noticeable on social media and websites in which serious studies of various forms of esoteric tradition are airily dismissed by casual readers who have difficulty understanding their specialized terminology due to a lack of years of preparatory instruction or even a basic classical education, but still feel competent enough to pass judgment. Yet books are what we have in lieu of the secret society, the midnight initiations, the training by an experienced guru. Books also have preserved essential information from being lost due to persecution by enemies or opponents, or to execution or death by natural causes of lineage holders in sacred traditions (the Chinese invasion of Tibet comes to mind, and the decimation of various sects in Iraq and Afghanistan by the Taliban, the Islamic State, and others beginning with the oppression of the Kurds under Saddam Hussein). A deeper question than we can address adequately in this place is what happens to a tradition if its human teachers are all dead, unable to pass on the oral instruction or the psycho-spiritual techniques of initiation?