The word ordeal is derived from Old English ordel, ordal, "judgment, verdict," from Proto-Germanic noun *uz-dailjam "that which is dealt out" (by the gods).
Ordeals are tests and challenges given by the inner Being (Divinity) to theof the aspirant to the spiritual development. Ordeals are given by the of the student through the circumstances of life. The tests are given continuously, in varying degrees, in order to reveal the qualities of the . Without ordeals, one cannot discover weaknesses and change them. Therefore, ordeals are primarily psychological. Ordeals generally correspond to the four elements according to their character and purpose:
"Candidates aspiring to membership in the religious orders underwent severe tests to prove their worthiness. These ordeals were called. Those who passed them successfully were welcomed as brothers by the priests and were instructed in the secret teachings." —Manly P. Hall
"In the ancient Egypt of the Pharaohs, these four ordeals had to be courageously faced in the physical world. Now the candidates have to pass these four ordeals in the supra-sensory worlds." —The Perfect Matrimony,
"The ordeals of fire, air, water and earth always defined the diverse purifications of the neophytes. The neophytes are submitted to the four initiatic ordeals which are verified in the Internal Worlds. The human being still is not a king or queen of nature, but the human being is called to be a king in accordance to Melchizedeck. Disciples must be tested by the four elements in order to examine them. They are submitted to ordeals in the forty-nine regions of thought. These ordeals are for everyone, man and woman. One can help oneself by having pure thoughts, but this is not enough; Tarot and Kabbalahis necessary." — ,
"The ordeals of The Revolution of Beelzebubare extremely severe. The disciple has to follow a perfect, holy and chaste path. Thus, when reaching the Intimate, the human being becomes converted into a Master of Major Mysteries and into a Theurgist." - ,
“Many esoteric ordeals exist on the initiatic path. It is necessary to pass through the ordeal of the Guardian of the Threshold in the three planes: astral, mental, and causal; it is necessary to pass through the ordeals of fire, air, water, and earth; it is necessary to pass through the ordeal of justice, etc. However, all of those ordeals, as hard and difficult as they might be, become gentle and swift when we compare them with the frightening and tremendous ordeal of the Ninth Sphere (sex).” - Aztec Christic Magic,
"Goal of life is Service to Guru [inner Being, inner divinity]. Every unpleasant incident in life is a test of your trust in Guru." —Swami Sivananda
"Money, fame andare all great tests. A Sanyasin or a householder devotee might imagine himself great and saintly: when these tests come, he will succumb to them like a lamb at the hands of a leopard. Saintliness consists in constant vigilance and jumping over the hurdles of money, fame and , when they are set up by Maya. Great South Indian saints were put through strange tests. Maya tried to lead a saint astray: on whatever he set his foot, it would be turned into a diamond. Apsaras girls were sent to attend on him. But the saint was unmoved. Only then could he reach the divine." —Swami Sivananda
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