The Sabian Path

Part Four: "The Group"

A brief condensation of a chapter, "The Group," from "The Sabian Way" by Jonas R. Mather. The text is pure Marc Edmund Jones, compiled from various primary sources.


The sole justification of an occult group is the furthering of the various activities and processes by which all consciousness is cultured. The Sabian Assembly is an occult society . . . The occult group has a purpose. Its purpose is the same as any kind of constructive group. I mean a group that recognizes it is part of a culture, functions in that culture, primarily in the language of that culture, and primarily with the characteristic type of people making up that culture in the frame of their resources, of their capacities, their ideals, their hopes. We are an experimenting project and our goal is to locate if we can, clarify as we can, encourage as we can, specific individual group genius, or individual genius where a group of people working together exhibit something very much in common. The justification of the Sabian Assembly is its faithful maintenance of the vision of the common doing in which its members are brought together and given mutual strengthening in an eternal plussage that is to continue prior to anything lesser at all times.

The spiritual democracy to which the Sabian work adheres without the least degree of compromise is the more effective procedure for dramatizing the spiritual self-sufficiency of the human soul since it establishes a type of nucleus that does not in any way encourage an unconscious desire to compel one person to conform to the ideas of another whether good or bad. There can be no real giving of self to life by trying to accentuate a separation of self from life, as life actually is found in the shared experience of man and his fellows as social animals. Without sharing there is no spirituality. We demand validation — validation through sharing. Because as others are willing to share, or share in the sharing, they validate. It's the validation of consensus — that upon which everything rests. Man is never an individual except in particular respects of his act and reaction. Of himself he is all men, whether he likes this idea or not. As he remembers that he must establish wonder in others to have it for himself, he begins to know the eternal rhythms on the spiritual as well as the material side of reality. The Sabian contribution to the individual is very largely the training he receives in refining and applying his ideas in a way free from the encrustation of the cliches of his own life.

The basic ideal in a spiritual group is to avoid all administrative direction as far as this is possible. . . . The real is self-actuating, and any interest given by others must be as spontaneous as [the individual's]. The avoidance of group satisfaction as such can never be too greatly emphasized in spiritual work. Hence it would be entirely possible for our program, to make the world safe for living, to become changed imperceptibly in to a program to make the world safe for us who are striving to make the world safe for living and at long last to become the program to make the world safe for us who when we are safe at least propose to try to make the world safer for living, and on and on. . . .

Human nature like all life must continue to be what it is, and our primary objective is to create agencies for the continuance of the higher or impersonal being in which every seeker is more than himself and thus perpetuates the exalted moments that inseminate everyday experience. Our ultimate goal is fundamentally the sort of contribution to life as a whole that was represented in former times by the Pythagoreans, or a furthering of individual genius that to the world is an individual and not a group matter.

Copyright © 1993 by Jonas R. Mather
All Rights Reserved

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