Man, therefore seek not God to scan
The proper study of mankind is man.
The Wyse-ard seeks to study man, but what is odd
Through viewing man, arrives at knowing God.
By eyeing each external action as it comes to pass
Confronts himself – the world’s his looking glass.
Unseen he passes, footsteps lightly trod
For no one sees the Wyse-ard – seeing God.
The Free Priest movement was founded by Rev Mario Schoenmaker and Rev Colin Read. Our underlying philosophy is based on two cornerstones: the unique seership of Rev Mario and the utter respect for the integrity of the individuality given by Rev Colin.
Rev Mario was the Teacher (capitalised intentionally) and he cannot be replaced with another personality. Fundamental to his teaching was the axiom that people did not need to learn esoteric facts and theories; this just becomes more baggage that the soul has to carry. We all need to live as spiritual learners. We learn from each other and we especially learn from our life experiences. The challenge was to create a course that would focus on spiritual ‘learning’ rather than on spiritual ‘teaching’.
Enter ‘The Way of the Wyse-Art’. This began its life as a cycle of eleven poems written for granddaughter, Emilie. It became evident that this was not its real purpose, and after some years of meditation on the poems, images were added and layers of meaning came into focus. The poems and the images comprise the “Book of the Wyse-Art”. This represents a series of eleven gates or entry points to understanding. As a course, it occupies eleven modules. Each module should take between a week and a month to work with. Within this time frame the individual works with a meditation on a focal point; listens to a short discourse (or reads the written version) and completes a journal reflecting on how the focal point for the week is identified within life experiences. Each session involves music, imaging and reflection.
The course is thus completed in eleven steps. At every step along the way, the participant is accompanied by a mentor. This is a person who has already completed the course and who will assist the reflection process and (where appropriate) answer questions.
At the end of the course, the participant is presented with a certificate that confirms they have completed the course themselves and are now entitled to teach the course to others, either on a one-to-one basis, or within a group.
The course revolves around the figure of the “Wyse-ard” or “Wyse-artist”. That is, the individual who can let their inner wisdom flow forth from a state of beingness. Such a person is, in the end, able to become a channel for Christ – the Free Priest.
There are three Wyse-Art courses each comprising eleven modules. It thus takes thirty-three "steps" to encompass the complete experience.
The first course introduces the foundation stone of Rev Mario’s teachings: the branch he called ‘Metaphysics’. Mario was categorical about his metaphysical teachings. Metaphysics is neither a philosophy nor an esoteric teaching – it is a tool kit through which the real teachings of occultism may become available to the student.
Occultism, the subject of the second level of the Wyse-Art is not ‘esoteric studies’. To become an occultist is to become the seer. Seership becomes possible only when we have begun to use the tools given to us by Metaphysics.
The final layer of the Wyse-Art is the priesthood, about which no more need be said at present.
Some of the Indian schools of yoga developed a simple, practical protocol. Once you had studied for a certain amount of time, you were encouraged to begin teaching yoga on your own to others. In this way, the philosophy and practice of yoga swiftly spread world-wide. The Way of the Wyse-Art could be compared to a system of Western yoga. I hope that one day, there will be many people who have completed the course and have undertaken to teach others. This would be a true manifestation of the teachings given by Rev Mario Schoenmaker.