The Essene Principles and Rules of Life
The rules of life, and the very strict discipline which went with them, were not a constraint, but were freely accepted as ways to forge character and to develop in one's highest being.Above all, their foundation in wisdom was recognized by everyone, using his own intelligence. No arbitrator reigned in the Brotherhood-School.The Essenes received many teachings of the ancient universal wisdom, which they had to bring to life inside themselves as a sacred service to humanity. They were fully aware that the major part of this wisdom was for a future humanity; and they thought that the great Masters who would come in the future could make use of their work. They believed that, without them--the Masters--the benefactors would not be able to help human beings, and that people would, therefore, sink into the darkness of ignorance and depravity, and eventually destroy one another through wars and other unspeakable atrocities.This enlivening of the Teaching of Light occurred in groups during ceremonies; through songs, dances and movements; or even during work in the fields or the vineyards, or some other manual work or construction. It was also accomplished through individual work, in the solitude of one's personal temple.Each Essene was required to respect the privacy of others--their solitude, their intimate and private lives. Solitude was regarded as sacred, because, when one was alone with oneself, one was in the presence of God, the Sublime One, the Source.The life of a couple was also regarded as sacred, as was community life. These were the three degrees--one's private life corresponded to the inside of the temple; the inner life, to the couple; and the external life, to the community. The student was to look closely at himself in these three lives, and remain honest, morally upright, pure and authentic in all three.There was a rule forbidding them to reveal the Teaching to people who were not prepared to receive it. The law of silence and discernment was strictly imposed.Thus, an Essene never tried to convert another person to any belief.