A Discussion on the Origin and Nature of the Principles
The Principles are the sine qua non of The Stepping Stones to Freedom philosophy. The Principles are the foundational underpinnings that have been studied by Stepping Stone adherents for thousands of years, from the very beginnings of mankind's quest in its understanding of itself and its place in the Cosmos.
Despite the enormity of the material ascribed to the movement, Stepping Stones remains essentially an oral tradition. The original etchings, hieroglyphics and images found in the submerged caves at LeGateaux are considered its original source of inspiration. (See page 45 for a detailed discussion of the discovery of the caverns). Creation stories and parables were transmitted orally from father to son, mother to daughter, shaman to the clan. As the Stoners left their caves, transforming human civilization into an agrarian society, stories became legends and parables their myths. Great Teachers emerged over the generations, who further refined this tradition, into a cohesive philosophy of a Higher Understanding of the Divine Mysteries.
Stepping Stones is not a stagnant philosophy based on the
insights from prior millennia. Rather it is a living tradition that is
constantly evolving adapting to the times, constantly reinventing itself.
The Phoenix as depicted in the LeGateaux Caverns
When archaeologists first entered the caverns at LeGateaux, they discovered one image repeated over and over—a bird rising from what appears to be the flames of a fire. Since that finding most mythologists agree that these etchings are indeed the origins of the legends surrounding the Rising Phoenix found in ancient Greek and Roman culture. There are some who consider this the foundation of Eastern philosophy of the Wheel of Karmic Rebirth. And of course other scholars have caused tremendous controversy in recent years saying that a misreading of these myths is the basis of the Born Again movement in recent American Protestantism.
The real meaning of the image is the constant rebirth and reinvention of the philosophy itself; that it is the responsibility of each generation to take its own journey toward truth, to its own path of self-discovery. It is this vibrancy, this dynamism that is perhaps the underlying reason why Stepping Stones has been such an animated force for so many since the beginning of recorded time.
What you will find in the Stepping Stones’ Principles are not the admonitions of sages from the dusty pages antiquity, or modern ministries attempting interpretations of doctrines that were written for another time, but rather the insights and ideas that speak directly to the issues that we face today, built on a great tradition that adapts itself to the living present.
Thus we are pleased to present within these few pages the first 17 of the 2198 Principles that make up the canon that is Stepping Stones to Freedom.