7.2.2. The TESTS
Just before the spiritual process really starts, there are all sorts of indications that something important is about to happen. One of those important things is that you are tested. There are two ways in which you may be tested, one is via a mixture of dreams, visions and hallucinations and occasionally out of body experiences, to see if you are a ‘fit’ candidate to continue; the other is via actual actions – physical activity and challenges.
Testing via spiritual experience
There may be odd ‘testing’ dreams - dreams/visions which appear to test your stamina, or dreams and visions to test your knowledge of the spiritual world. These are all designed to ensure you are ready to go this path. No one is taken along it unless they can cope with it or benefit from it. You have to be able to understand what you are seeing, gain knowledge from it and also benefit from it.
Shamans and heros in particular appear to have to undergo, via both dreams and visions, a particularly severe 'testing' process. They may also undergo trials of psychological strength. Being a shaman or hero requires stamina, self sacrifice and enormous self discipline and has its dangers.
Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa, for example, was a 'witch doctor' which means he was actually a 'good' shaman – able to counteract the evil of witches. But evil shamans did exist in his area and he calls them sorcerers. Thus a shaman has to be tested to ensure he is psychologically able to counteract and cope with 'evil'. The trial is entirely visionary or may be out of body, but because the visions are being composed probably from the thought databases of the victims of evil acts in the past, they seem all too real to the person undergoing them.
Testing via action
There may be tests that serve to break down our ego by a series of humiliating experiences. And we may be tested according to what we actually do in the physical world, and in this respect we may be given ‘roles’. I touched on the idea of a role in 3.1. but roles are applicable to the spiritual path too. You may become a hermit [illuminator], you may be a saint [see character], or a hierophant.
Alternatively you may be just one of those people who are ‘the chosen ones’ – the Fools. There are in reality more roles than this, but these four suffice to show the general principle.
The four ways
With the guests in the hall - humiliation, and ego loss
Bound and left in the hall