The Five Grades

When P.D. Ouspensky embarked on his search for the miraculous, he soon realized that he would have to find an esoteric school where he could learn the secret teachings of spiritual enlightenment. Eventually, this led him to G.I. Gurdjieff and a life long study of The Fourth Way.

The basic premise of a “school” is that it has levels and grades. You cannot access the fourth grade, for example, until you have mastered the third. Teacher and student are bound together in such a way that the teacher cannot progress until she has helped a student progress and the student cannot progress until the teacher has progressed. There is an element of Catch-22 here, which can only be broken by a kind of magical synergy.

The Way of the Holy Mushroom is a new “school”, although it is securely based on the tried and tested wisdom of the ancients. There are five levels in this school, which can be described as follows:

First Grade: Interest and participation in the school, especially via the mushroom tea ceremonies. There is a glimpse of the potential benefits of the work and an (unconscious) deepening of gnosis, kenosis and pistis.

Second Grade: Further interest in and deeper engagement with the specific teachings of the school. The mantra is practiced and the writings of the teacher and other recommended texts are studied. Gnosis, kenosis and pistis are now consciously cultivated.

Third Grade: The twelve ceremonies, the twelve books, and the Biblical corpus are completed. Gnosis, kenosis and pistis, and the six yogas, are progressively realized and strengthened with the aid of the continued rotation of the ceremonies and readings.

Fourth Grade: There is a withdrawal as much as possible from Babylon for the exclusive training in and mastery of the practices and teachings of the school. The word is made flesh and the flesh is made mushroom.

Fifth Grade: Full spiritual enlightenment. Bodymind dropped. No trace remains.

Or to put it in more Learyesque terms:

First Grade: Turn on.

Second Grade: Tune in.

Third Grade: Stay tuned.

Fourth Grade: Drop out.

Fifth Grade: Return with helpful hands.