The novel Journey to the West is an example of a work by an esoteric tradition or School. With `School` is meant an organization that teaches people to awaken. Schools have existed throughout the history of mankind. A School is comprised of a Teacher as well as a firm and experienced inner circle of students. A teaching comprised of a teacher alone, however advanced he may be, without an inner circle, is not a School but a following. A group of experienced students without a conscious teacher is at best an introductory study group. A School`s legacy, surviving through the ages in the form of art, literature and ritual, is, in its conception, designed to carry a double meaning, an inner and an outer one. The inner meaning is directed to the participants’ personal development, while the outer meaning ensures the preservation of the tradition through the ages. With the passage of time, as a rule, the inner meaning is forgotten and only the outer meaning remains. Consequently, what later generations see when they approach esoteric traditions, without exception, is only the outer meaning. But thanks to this, the form of the teaching is preserved, and once another School surfaces it can take advantage of this form, unlock its hidden meaning and apply it for its own needs.
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