We live in a vast energy world we call the universe or cosmos. Each one of us is a dynamic energy system. Yet most of us see and experience this universe or cosmos as a world of solid objects. We go about our daily existence unaware of the energy process of which we are all a part. There is a Power with which we are conscious, which motivates all activity. In each of us that Power-to-be-conscious is striving to become aware of its true nature. Vitvan, an American master (1883-1964), presented a methodology for contacting and experiencing this energy world. He also provided instructions for learning to cooperate consciously with the process of expanding self-awareness.
The list of Vitvan's works represents more than forty years of writing and teaching. Vitvan experimented with many approaches over the years trying to correlate his vision of the ancient wisdom teachings with modern science and General Semantics, at the same time trying to differentiate his work from metaphysics, occultism, and mysticism. He felt that such teachings, with their vague spiritual language, often caused confusion in the minds of students. In his effort to formulate a non-metaphysical system of thought, he employed the language of modern physics and General Semantics most often, finding these languages actually helped his students to clarify their own thoughts and better understand the wisdom teachings.
To get acquainted with Vitvan's approach to the wisdom teachings is no small task. A great deal of time and effort is demanded of the serious student, remembering that that which is most valuable is worthy of extra effort. Vitvan recommended that new students devote two years to studying his language and methodology before making a final determination as to its value for them. He anticipated that after two years students would possess the tools to understand the implications of his wisdom teachings. Then he foresaw that another twenty years of diligent study, practice, and meditation would be required before the student could begin to live the teachings in a responsive, intelligent way.
New students often feel confused as to where to begin. It is best to follow the intuition and plunge in wherever you feel a strong pull. Some students may have trouble with that approach and prefer more direction. If you have a background in physical science, the Dawn of the New Day might be an appropriate beginning. For the student with an interest in meditation, Self-Mastery Through Meditation is a book which will describe the basic methods of meditation used in this school. If you have a background in philosophy, then the three volume set The Natural Order Process might be best. For those who have recently left a more orthodox Christian environment, A Treatise On Faith will bring fresh insights to an old problem: Where do we put our faith? The New Cycle Gnosis is a reprint of a lecture in which Vitvan explains why his approach should not be considered mystical, metaphysical, or occult in its orientation and approach.
For those interested in how Vitvan correlates his teaching with the discipline of General Semantics as developed by Alfred Korzybski, Clear Thinking, Perceptive Insight, and The Veil of Maya, read together, will present an excellent foundation. For those with an interest in the healing arts, Healing Technic presents Vitvan's subtle approach to the vibrational aspects of healing. It is not a how-to-book, but rather a broad discussion of attitudes and inner orientation. The Christos was developed out of a series of lectures which touched upon almost all of the themes mentioned so far. Some students feel that it provides the best overview of Vitvan's teachings. In any case it is vital to see these books as the product of an entire lifetime. The biography, Vitvan: An American Master by Richard Satriano presents the story of Vitvan's life as a framework for the emerging perspectives of thought with all their richness and scope.
From a review by a student:
"Vitvan (1883-1964) was an American gnostic teacher who has not achieved the recognition which so many who claim to be spiritual masters have done. The likely reason for this is that not only are Vitvan's works privately published, but they are intellectually and spiritually challenging. There is no room for emotionalism and new age pseudo esotericism. Vitvan outlines a tradition based system of esoteric thought coupled with the clarity of modern science and semantics. This last aspect many seem unusual but when we consider the great distortions so obvious in modern language then it becomes obvious that it is not the best means to express metaphysical and esoteric thought. Vitvan felt that the work of Alfred Korzybski (especially Science and Sanity) were of great significance in clarifying how we use language, its distortions and how it can be correctly applied to clearly expressing the truth we wish to communicate.
Bringing together General Semantics and metaphysics is quite a task, yet such works as Clear Thinking by Vitvan help to show that the beginning of wisdom is found in understanding how we think and speech and what this says about ourselves and our understanding of the world. Vitvans work was voluminous, ranging from studies on thinking and semantics to works on meditations, spirituality and the esoteric tradition. All embody a clarity of language which brings the metaphysical traditions alive in a way that most writers cannot achieve. In this days of fuzzy thinking and relativist spirituality, it is a breath of fresh air to find someone who embodies traditional esotericism, ancient metaphysics and a strong demand for self discipline and inner understanding. This is not short cut to gnosis here, Vitvan demands a disciplined approach to the spiritual life and while this is not popular it is a sure sign of his integrity and depth of vision.
Vitvan: An American Master by Richard Satriano is an excellent introduction to his life and work. While not really a biography, it offers a glimpse of his life and a picture of the man and what he attempted to achieve. Vitvan avoided the cult of personality, indeed he said "My life is my work, know my work and you know me. The emphasis of Vitvan: An American Master is on the interface between gnosticism, philosophy and science, an understanding which is of exceptional significance for it explains the nexus of Vitvans work to re-express the ancient wisdom in a form useful for modern man but without compromise or loss of quality.
The Christos was first published in 1951 but has a significant place in esoteric literature. It is one of the better texts which really explains the nature of the life of Jesus and the true significance of the Christ or Christos. Vitvan traces the Christos from its origins in Egypt through the Mystery cults of Greece to that state of consciousness which Jesus embodied, the "Christos" being a state of awakening rather than a deity's surname. This is an extremely erudite and insightful text which offers not only a deeper understanding of the Christian revelation but a intense vision of the real nature of the Christ.
Other works from the School of the Natural Order include a range of booklets and an excellent guide to mediation Self Mastery through Meditation."