The life of the Essenes was perfectly organized in a hierarchy. There were those who lived in the villages surrounded by a low wall, completely cut-off from the cities, in the middle of nature. Their life was simple, austere and pious, lulled into a rhythm by the seasons, by the days of celebration, and by visitors. Others lived in the cities, in large buildings which belonged to the Community and which served simultaneously as their home, as an inn and as a hospital.
Indeed, they devoted their time and their activity to healing the sick and to providing hospitality to strangers passing through. There were others who traveled the roads, circulating news and information around all of the centers spread out in every country.
This is how the Master Jesus was able to go out into the world, benefiting from a minutely-detailed organization which operated to perfection.
There were also those who lived in the monastery-schools situated precisely in certain places, in accordance with the knowledge of the land of light, and of the doors which exist between it and the earth that we know. The Essenes who lived in these "temples" were almost always unmarried.
When an individual from outside of the order asked to be admitted--and after verification of certain aptitudes for the inner life--the candidate had to practice a kind of meditation. In complete calm, he examined his past life clearly, in order to arrive at an objective summary of it--with the successes, the failures, the motivations, the vibrations experienced, and the wisdom acquired. He had to discern the impulses which he had received from "heaven" and from "his angel" during his childhood and throughout his life, and look at how he had responded. Had he moved away from them, or had he remained faithful?
Through this analysis, a new bond with the higher world of the free spirit could be forged; and the candidate was led to discover his own mistakes--the cause of all of his suffering. In this way, he could bring about changes within himself, take control of his life, become responsible in the initiatic sense of the word, and prepare himself effectively, and in full awareness, to enter the Community of Light.
He entered the sacred world on the royal path.
After his initiation, which made him a full-fledged Brother (or Sister) of the community, the newcomer received, simultaneously with his white-linen robe, a mission to be accomplished during his life. This mission had to be a goal, an orientation which must never leave him, and which was a way of uniting him with God and making him useful to the earth and to humanity. He was never to stray from the conducting thread of this mission. This is what gave a positive meaning to his passage on earth and made him a true human being. For the School, to be a man was to carry inside oneself a beautiful light--to be offered to the earth, to its inhabitants and to oneself.
The white robe was a materialization of the power of his baptism and the purity of his soul, which had to protect him from the many contradictions of the world.
The staff, or cane, which he also received on this occasion symbolized his knowledge of the secret laws of life and his ability to use them harmoniously for the successful accomplishment of his task.
He was also required to take an oath to respect the earth as a living, sacred and intelligent being. In order to maintain contact with it, to honor it and to participate in its healthy evolution, he had to be in contact with the ground through his feet--and, sometimes, his whole body. This is why the Essenes were often barefoot.
One had to be at least 21 years old in order to receive this initiation.
The living knowledge of the laws of reincarnation (laws of evolution and mercy) and of the laws of destiny (laws of cause and effect) allowed the hierophants to choose a mission which corresponded exactly to the work which the soul had come to earth to accomplish.
In order to fulfill this particular mission, the Brother (or Sister) often had to surpass himself, to question himself, and to obtain the assistance of the Holy Spirit.
He was given techniques to help him; for example, he had to examine himself and observe himself often. Periodically, he was to look back at himself--watching his life unfold before him, image by image, like the pages of a book: "Was what he saw inscribed in this book worthy to be included in the Great Book of Life?"
Every thought, every feeling, every action, and its motivations, had to be clearly outlined "in black and white".
Then, it had to be determined if the idea of the mission, the high ideal, was the source. The Essene Masters knew from experience how quickly one can stray from the path of light and get lost, unable to find the road again. The task of the neophyte was to simplify everything within himself, in order to become one with his ideal. If this ideal shone only intermittently, as if to call him back to order, then that was not a good sign. A problem was taking root inside of him. He had to immediately clarify his life, in order to keep alive and pure his bond with the Most-High, with the sun of his soul. For him, this was the source of all healing, and of all authentic healing power.
The necessity to purify oneself constantly--by washing one's feet, hands and body--was very important to the Brothers and Sisters. They cleansed themselves physically and spiritually before entering someone's house, at the beginning and at the end of the day, and before eating or praying. They also washed each other's feet, as a sign of friendship and to cultivate the idea that they must take care of one another, as the Father of all took care of them. They also blessed one another by laying their hands on the top of the head, in order to be always united with the light and to reinforce the love which flowed among them.
They possessed an advanced science of speech and were able to cure certain illnesses just by chanting sounds. From childhood, they learned to speak in a soft voice and to control their words.