SYSTEM/written Accounts

The Teaching

Common Boundary Magazine

Mark Matousek

True communication and healing are possible only through attunement with the Self, with others, and with God, says Christian Mystic Stylianos Atteshli, known as Daskalos. 

He is one of the greatest living Christian mystics, yet Stylianos Atteshli -commonly known as the Magus of Strovolos, the Master, or simply Daskalos (“teacher”)–is not well known in this country (America). Although he has been teaching since the age of seven on his native island of Cyprus, the 84-year-old has never before spoken publicly in the United States or granted an interview to an American journalist.

As described by Kyriacos Markides in his three-part biography. Daskalos’s practices are legendary and, to my knowledge, unique among contemporary Christian teachers. They are the sorts of metaphysical practices we have come to associate more with Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism, and shamanism than with the Western mystic tradition.

For example, Daskalos is frequently engaged in the practice of “exosomatosis,” in which he is able to leave his body, fully conscious, and travel to faraway places and dimensions in the company of “invisible helpers” in order to be of service to others. He claims to be aware of his past lives (in one, he says, he tended the rooms where Jesus Christ slept during his visits to the Essenes) and to be able to revisit these incarnations at will.

Daskalos has been reported to be instrumental in hundreds of public healings, such as the following incident described by an Italian journalist in the Markides biography: In front of several witnesses, Stylianos Atteshli healed a three-year-old English boy of polio. I stared with curiosity at the English-woman holding her child. Only when she placed the boy in Stylianos Atteshlis’ arms did I notice that [the boy’s] left leg was covered with a heavy plastic brace. It was atrophied and clearly shorter than the other leg…. Stylianos Atteshli sat on a chair with the child in his arms and began to speak to him with a very sweet tone in his voice. As he was doing that, he began to gently stroke the sickly leg. He pulled it a few times as if to make it longer. . . . Ten, twenty minutes must have passed; I don’t remember. I had my eyes glued sometimes on the child and sometimes on Stylianos Atteshli. Suddenly, the child made a pained grimace. At that point he raised the boy up, gave him a light slap on his buttocks, and said, “Now, run, my boy. “And the child began running around the room. Was it a miracle! Was it suggestion! One can make whatever conclusions one wishes. I just describe what I saw.

Despite these reputed powers, Daskalos rejects the mantle of miracle worker. “They are phenomena, nothing more,” he insists. “If we knew how nature works, we would not call them miracles.” Like most genuine mystics, Stylianos Atteshli has led an outwardly unremarkable life. He was born in 1910 in the Greek part of Cyprus, near the town of Strovolos, and spent his years as a civil servant, family man, and Christian. Behind the worldly facade, however, Daskalos was an altogether different being. Gathering a circle of students ( “Researchers of Truth”) around him in the Stoa  [school room] at the back of his modest home – Daskalos set about instructing the group in esoteric Christian wisdom, contemplation, exosomatosis, and the development of healing powers.

Although such a great soul would have been venerated in most cultures as a mahatma, shaman, or curandero, Daskalos was rejected by the orthodox clergy of Cyprus, who made efforts to have him excommunicated from the Church as a “magus of Mephistophelean proportions,” to quote Markides. In time, as Daskalos’s fame grew and the harmlessness of his work became apparent, these misguided charges were dropped by the Church. Harmless though the work may be, the Gnostic system that Daskalos teaches is nearly impenetrable for those who have not been initiated into its terminology and imagery, as thousands of us found out during two sold-out lectures by Daskalos at Town Hall in New York City. Stepping onto a stage littered with hundreds of letters and photographs from devotees requesting healing, Daskalos led us in the Lord’s Prayer and then spoke for an hour about the origins of the universe, the psycho Noetic planes, the “mind super-substance,” the holy archangels, the “infinite absolute Beingness” (God), and the mission of Joshua Emmanuel the Christ.

As the tall man in a gray suit ranged mysteriously from topic to topic, many of us–well versed in meta-physics-tried without much success to follow the sweep of his mind. I left both talks intrigued, confused, and convinced that Daskalos was operating at a level achieved by few. Interviewing such a mystic is far from simple, as I discovered the next day at a hotel in midtown Manhattan. Already apprehensive, I was further surprised when this extraordinary man took my hand and informed me, without ceremony, that he could read my thoughts and knew exactly what I wanted to ask. Having established this advantage, he ignored many of my questions and allowed his discourse to follow its own self-dictated rhythm.