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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Neophyte

One who is newly initiated into something; a novice, postulant, or candidate for the Mysteries. In mystical or esoteric schools or traditions, one who is newly accepted for training is considered a neophyte, and has to undergo trials and instruction, specifically towards the purification of the personal nature and the awakening of one’s higher consciousness and faculties. In addition to the development of one’s intuition, Helena P. Blavatsky mentions the need to develop inner powers, mental attitude and will (CW III:252). In the ancient mysteries, they need to go through the trials of the four elements (water, fire, air and earth) which made them masters of the “Undines, Salamanders, Sylph and Gnomes” (ibid.). In theosophical literature, neophytes are those who have been accepted by a Master of the Wisdom and are to undergo such trials and training. He or she starts as a Probationer where the repressed tendencies are allowed to surface.

In Christian esotericism, the Neophyte is symbolized by Jesus in the Chrestos condition, aspiring to attain the Christos state, the Christ consciousness (CW XI:499).

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