May Benzenberg Mayer, known as MBM, was a leader in sharing esoteric teachings, tools, and techniques that spanned and bridged the world’s spiritual traditions. True knowledge, according to Mayer, was not to be found in religion (faith) or philosophy (theories) alone but through that to which all the wisdom traditions point. Her goal in teaching was for her students to reach higher states of consciousness, where they could organically find truth; these techniques were referred to as mystical and noetic experience.
Little is known of Mayer’s early life. In the teens and 20s of the 20th Century, she did train under Sigmund Freud before forming a substantial mentee relationship with Carl Jung.
First founded by MBM was the School of Applied Philosophy in 1924. 1937 saw the opening of Whiting Arches, a residential program in New York State in a cooperative living arrangement. The Source Teachings Society, which held the school as its chief enterprise, was organized in 1943 and incorporated under the Religious Corporations Law of the State of New York. In 1948, the society moved to East 63rd Street in Manhattan, having outgrown its original building. It is unknown when the society disbanded. May Benzenberg Mayer “passed over” in 1952.
All Mayer’s teachings promoted a universal spiritual perspective and study of many sacred traditions: “Chinese, Tibetan, Hindu, Babylonian, Persian, Buddhist, Egyptian, Druidic, Norse, Oceanic, Quiche, Gnostic, Islamic, Greek, Hebraic, and the message of the Founder of Christianity” (Source Teaching Society 11).