During a recent visit to Yogurt World with some friends, we discovered a poster taped to the wall. “Mystery School. It’s always darkest before the dawn. But you can make the sun rise in your mind anytime you want.” We were intrigued, and the four of us decided that we would go. We found Mystery School’s website and learned about what it taught – something called Western Mysticism that was all about the path to enlightenment. Seminars promised jokes! live discussion! meditation! and magic!
Well, the day of Mystery School finally arrives, and (big surprise!) Josh and I end up being the only ones who actually go. The event was located about twenty minutes away at a Del Mar Marriott. But we got lost three times, which made us ten minutes late. When we entered the hotel we saw a sign “Mystery School – Down the stairs”. So away we went.
We got to the end of a hallway and suddenly began to hear loud, creepy music. We started to get scared and argued about turning back, but before we could reach a decision, a man in a black-suit with an earpiece stepped out from an adjoining hallway. “Mystery School?” He asked. We nodded, and he motioned us a group of other late-comers waiting in front of the door. The music was much louder, and there were several other black-suited, ear pieced people hanging around. Some people will sitting on the ground meditating.
Finally, the song ended (which I identified as The Who’s “Reign O’er Me”, which is fairly intense when played at epic volumes (on a side note, Pete Townshend would have totally been into Mystery School)). The man at the door said into his earpiece, “Eleven coming in”. He opened the door, and all the late-comers were issued in. We found seats in the back. The room was packed. At least 100 people. As we sat, we noticed that there were more black-suit, ear piece people stationed at every door the ballroom had. The one near us paced back and forth.
A woman was speaking. We missed her introduction but it seemed that she was the leader, the teacher. When we came in she was just talking about the previous events (this had been going on nightly for the past week). She seemed nice. She was funny. And she cursed! A lot! A spiritual leader who curses? Cool! It seemed like it would be an interesting night. And then she said, “Let’s talk about Jesus.” Josh and I exchanged a look and tried to keep from bursting out laughing. (In her defense, she was talking about Jesus as an enlightened figure and because it’s near Christmas. She talked abut some other enlightened beings too. (She even felt one’s presence in the room at one point!))
She went on to tell us lots about Jesus. He was sexy! She told us that he wasn’t some emaciated little man, he was “beefy”! And he had sex with tons of girls. He “got shit done”. And she should know. She’s studied with him.
Finally it was time to mediate. She told us to focus on our heart chakra. I’ve never really mediated, but I understand that it’s meant to be peaceful and rather quiet. And that’s why I was confused when her music choice was heavy metal. A few times I thought, “Hey! I’m doing it! I’m meditating!” But then I realized that I was just falling asleep.
After the mediation, she spoke some more. Then we mediated again (this time to rain forest sounds). At the end of the meditation, she stood up, announced a break, started to play Christmas carols, and escorted by a black-suit, earpiece man left the room. Josh and I took this opportunity to run quickly back to the car. We checked the time: we had been at Mystery School for two hours.
In the car we debriefed and deiced that all in all, it was pretty freaky. Mediation is good. Cursing spiritual leaders are good. But were all those security people necessary? Hey, at least we tried it. Direct quote from Josh Lin: “In the last mediation I swear I felt my hand’s start to float. That shit’s not right.”
So even though we might not become as enlightened as sexy Jesus, at least you can’t say that we’re not open-minded.