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Daskalos (1912-1995)

   In his life as 'Daskalos', detailed in a trilogy of books by Kyriakcos Markides (The Magus of Strovolos, Homage to the Sun, and Fire in the Heart), Stylianos Atteshlis was considered a master of Esoteric Christianity. Some felt he was the leading Christian mystic of the 20th century. His innermost teachings are what he called the Christian Kaballah, as they worked in meditation on the Tree of Life (which he called, in its Christian form, the Symbol of Life). He was not particularly a nondualist, in the eastern sense as in Buddhism, Taoism, or Advaita; in fact, he said "he didn't believe in maya or nirvana," although towards the end of his life he began talking about something he called Absolute Be-ness, which he defined as 'That aspect of God which lies beyond the reach of human and Archangelic comprehension. The ultimate Source, the fathomless and inarticulate depths of the Divine that are beyond expression'. Yet his contribution was not in the area of pure nondual spirituality, but in that of a healer and an explorer of the inner worlds, from which he helped people daily for years.

   Theosophical leader Leadbeater prophesied that an incarnation was to be soon born in Cypress. Daskalos was born in 1912, with very strong spiritual awareness from birth. He said that he knew who and what he was right away, but needed to wait until his body developed so he could express what he knew. Knowing who he was gave him full recall of all his past lives, not as information that came back to him during his life, but rather as a natural aspect of the level of identity that he came in with. Subsequently he could also speak many languages as a young child since he could remember them from his past lives. These included Sanskrit, Aramaic, Ancient Greek, Hebrew, Egyptian (which is a dead language), Italian, English, and about a dozen or more. A few more he learned during this life such as German and Turkish. He talked about in past lives in India having achieved nirvikalpa, but did not seem to be interested in doing that in this life, because although he included inversion in his path, he was very into being present in daily life with a strong focus on service.

   He also had very strong siddhis from birth. An unusual child, one time at a circus his mother lost track of him and found him in a ring putting his head in a lion’s mouth! (Markides, The Magus of Strovolos, p. 44). He was clairvoyant and telepathic, could leave his body from a very young age, and began healing people about the age of seven. He was educated by inner masters from birth, who helped him manage being so different from others. At this time he said he began working with the ascended master Yohannan (John the Beloved) as an initiator, and accepting students. One of his first students was his school principal, who learned of his uniqueness by finding that he was able to answer any question put before him with the help of his inner friends, and even deliver the answers in whatever language they requested. So he and others became Daskalos's first students, and he began to transmit lessons from Yohannan. He studied a lot of spiritual teachings when he was younger, especially Theosophy and Christianity, but did not join Theosophy because Steiner came to him when he was in his twenties on the inner planes and warned Daskalos that if he joined the Society they would likely deify him as they did with Krishnamurti, which he suggested he should avoid. So he continued to teach independently.

   Eventually he became a more or less fully integrated master. He told one student that he had achieved liberation (jivanmukti) a long time ago, and had taken a vow to continue returning to serve humanity. He recalled lives as Tibetan Lamas, Hindu yogis, South American adepts, Christian Saints and Church fathers, including the famous Origen, who was anathematized for teaching reincarnation and the eventual salvation of all souls. Daskalos believed there was no such thing as eternal damnation,and was constantly harassed by various church authorities and threatened with excommunication, being called 'a demon' and worse. But several high-ups within the Church were secretly his students.

   He may quite possibly have been the most richly developed master of the lower planes that has written openly about these things [not that he was limited to that, he taught of many higher realms and the ultimate realization which he called ‘Theosis’, or reuniting with the Soul and Spirit-Being within, of which he said he experienced three times]. He had vast knowledge of inner regions, planes, subplanes, chakras, prana, permanent personality, reincarnational processes, elementals, siddhis (could bi-locate, materialize objects, dissolve tumors, manifest and demanifest, and so on). He examined life on other planets, knew and worked with Archangelic kingdoms, knew many other masters physically and inwardly, etc.. His ordinary state of mind was very 'superconscious', as he would term it. So that, for instance, he would describe being able to hold a conversation with someone, while simultaneously making an aspect of his awareness very small so that he could, say, examine a virus in their liver, while at the same time, still talking to them, also perform a healing and also listening telepathically to a conversations some students were having as they walked down the street coming to see him, which he would later make a joke about what they said. At the same time he taught that it was not possible to be in a human body and be perfect, and he was open about his human limitations, and refused to let others idealize him. Yet he claimed that all anger and sexuality had gone out of his system centuries ago.

   He refused to be seen as a guru, preferring to be called a brother guide. By his death, though he tried to work mostly in secrecy, he had over ten thousand students. In war-torn Crete he could move freely between Greek and Turkish zones without fear of danger he was so well-respected by both sides. Among his students were high priests and military personnel. He said he came to the Earth as an already spiritually developed person about 3500 years ago from another world. He lived until he was eighty-four, and was a big man, 6'5", with jet black hair until the day he died, with only a tiny trace of gray around his sideburns. He needed very little sleep, and had such strong clairvoyance that he could see the physical world (its etheric/astral counterpart) so clear that he was fully functional in total darkness. Once a student went to study with him. They had a black-out, and it was very dark. They went looking for him and found him in his studio in the pitch black painting. He said he could see the canvas as clearly as if it were in the midday Sun. Since he didn't sleep much, he would stay up all night painting, then sell his painting to give the money to the poor. His paintings were also talismans, as he would bless them with tremendous vitality. He also played piano and violin.

   Since he would also perform healing from a distance, he was constantly serving people (he would say that it was the Holy Spirit that did the healing), and usually had stacks of hundreds of pictures of patients on his mantel that he was working with at any given time. He did not accept money or even donations for teachings or healings. Sometimes he would perform healings by taking on the karma of others. The last year of his life he was bedridden with a stroke. He was asked if he had chosen to take on this karma himself, and he said no, that the Logos had place it upon him as a cross to carry. He died in 1995.

   As a human personality, like us all, he had his flaws, but which were relatively benign, and which he readily admitted, including misconceptions about his past lives when he was thought of as a Cyprian saint but had really acted like a bit of a sorcerer. He was not good at creating boundaries, so he was always helping people, even if they arrived in the middle of the night. A student and Daskalos' daughter had to manage all the thousands that would come each year for healings and teachings, as he did little to organize or limit all the inquiries and interest. He steadfastly refuse to do interviews, allow books to be written, or an organization to be formed around him, and turned down interests from Europe to do documentary films about him, but finally gave permission for Markides to write the Magus of Strovolos when he was in his seventies. He was dedicated to Christ as Logos, and not terribly informed about various eastern teachings. Daskalos taught exclusively from his own experience. He was not one to quote other people much, except Jesus. But he also transmitted teachings from Yohannan, and would admit when certain teachings were beyond his experience. But not usually. So one is inclined to believe that although he probably picked up some terminology from Theosophy, the idea for Monads and such that he expressed was not Theosophical but fairly unique to him and his masters.

   Daskalos was esoteric and orthodox at the same time. He told people to go to church regularly, even those who had inner experience and capability.

   For his inner circle there were a graded series of initiations. He spoke of John the Baptist saying that “one would come who would baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” He felt that the true 'fire' of initiation could take years if not centuries to fully develop itself in a person.

   One might ask, how do we know that Daskalos was actually seeing the past,  particularly regarding Christ, and not a collective thought-form of what most  Christians thought happened? For there is much contrary information suggesting that the historical Jesus was not how the Gospel accounts portray him. The answer is we have no way of knowing for sure, unless we have the inner abilities to check these kinds of things ourselves. Daskalos said he could objectively, due to his prior development, read the records preserved in the Universal Mind and know these things. We certainly can't just take his word for it, or course, or any body else's. We would be giving our power and discernment away. On the other hand, we can become familiar enough with someone to get a sense of how accurate and reliable they are. With Daskalos, for instance, if we are to believe Markides, we have over six hundred pages of anecdotes about Daskalos's advanced and remarkable psychic abilities, and spiritual insight, which give the impression that he was very talented in that area. Daskalos seemed to have the indications of someone who knew what he was doing. Paul, who was his personal assistant for six years and spent time with him almost every day, said Daskalos was so talented at healing and other siddhis that these amazing things became so common place that he just started taking them for granted. His psychic knowledge (diagnosis, telepathic insight, etc) was extremely accurate. he could enter the psycho-noetic dimension and 'travel' to a distant location, manipulate the elements to produce a pair of hands in the physical world to help someone in special need. Yet to him this was rather ordinary! He would tell archeologists where ancients cities were, that he could remember where they were buried because he had lived there in ancient times. Then they would dig and find them. The stories are endless. So, there is no way of knowing about some of what he claimed without having similar abilities, but there is a lot of contextual information and testimony that seems very credible and suggests he was fairly accurate about these things, and had no small degree of spiritual mastery. For his deeper teachings check out the in-depth article, The Idea of Man on this website, as well as a revealing short interview with him called The Teaching.