This process took place in the rituals of initiation into the Mystical Teachings in places called Mystery Schools in Egypt, and later Secret Societies, in places like Greece, France and the United States.
These initiations, similar to those used by terrorist and military organizations, are designed to break down the individuals perception of reality; and rebuild it according to the “rebirth” of the individual into the ways and doctrines of the Order.
An excellent example is the Leonardo Di Caprio movie, Blood Diamond. In a sequence of scenes, we witness a young boy taken hostage by hostile guerrillas- left in isolation for days- re educated to kill in the classroom- and then finally forced to kill a hostage blindfolded.
This process is similar to that found in Mystery Schools like Freemasonry. If you want to know more about how this process changes the brain, and allows it to become open to re programming, read Robert Anton Wilson’s Prometheus Rising.
Now, the Mystery Schools process of initiation was far more enlightened. The individual usually sought the Mystery Schools out of free will- spent a month in isolation, refraining from all sexual thoughts and temptations- and studied the teachings and principles of the Mysteries; before usually blindfolded, and placed among the Order, to perform the Ritual Act of Initiation; where they could now officially hold rank. Notice the similarities between this process in that found in Blood Diamond?
And this was for significant reason. Like the Guerrilla process of Initiation found in Blood Diamond, it was a way to “kill” your old self, give birth “month of Isolation” to the new you; and finally, “reborn” through the Ritual of Initiation into the Order.
The Lower Mysteries
At the core of the Mystery School tradition are the Mysteries. The lower Mysteries revolve around the concept, “man, know thyself”; or “Who am I, what is my purpose; and how do I reach my highest potential?”
To do this, one must master the basic elements of communication and expression: Reading, Writing, Speaking and Music. It would later serve the foundation of the Greek Education System; thanks to the Bards who kept true to the Homeric Mysteries of their forefathers. This would later expand with Pythagoras who put a strong emphasis on Mathematics, Geometry, Philosophy and Music.
The Higher Mysteries
The higher Mysteries involved deeper subjects such as Consciousness, Astronomy, Alchemy and Acoustics. These higher mysteries were used to dig deeper into the question. These questions were either to enlighten the Lower Mysteries or ask “what is Creation? Is their a creator? And how do I become the most sublime creator I can be in this lifetime?”
The higher one goes. One finds self sacrifice; and the transcendence of materialism for Higher Levels of Consciousness; and the knowledge obtained for service to mankind as the major factors behind the work of the Mystery School High Priests such as Francois Bacon (Rosicrucian High Priest), Benjamin Franklin (Freemasonic High Priest); and even Imhotep (Alchemist, High Priest of the Mysteries and later Egyptian God) who might also be histories first Polymath, or Renaissance Man.
These man found a way to explore the Question without getting trapped in the answer. Finding higher levels of understanding within the question. And using that to ask other questions until the next level of understanding was acquired by leaving the answer a mystery; and the information acquired as the stepping stone to higher levels of understanding; and so on into infinity.
The Sciences of these Higher Mysteries were in themselves, ways to speed up, enhance and increase the potency of the process of acquiring higher levels of understanding.