Esotericism (X): Esotericism (Β’)

Esotericism (X): Esotericism (Β’)

- in Esotericism


1. What is esotericism?

The word comes from Greek, the adverb esō ‘inside, within’. From this is generated the adjective esōteriko ‘inner, internal’ and from this the English esoteric which then gives esoteric-ism ‘study, subject, system, thinking connected with what-is-internal, not obvious’.

This applies not just to anything but religion, psychology and philosophy. The esoteric aspect of a religion focuses on a teaching that is not immediately or directly apparent in the official and general setup of the particular religion. E.g in Christianity the official main doctrine is that one believes that Jesus Christ was the one and only Son of God and worships him and thereby obtains salvation; it helps if one applies the ethic taught by Jesus to love and forgive others, not to kill, or steal and the like.

The esoteric aspect of Christianity is that by applying rigorously Jesus’ commandments and following certain practices of austerity like intensive prayer, fasting and the like, one rises mentally or psychologically to a higher level of consciousness, knowledge and being and acquires new out-of-the-ordinary powers like healing, telepathy etc.

2. Philosophical schools/systems like Platonism or materialism and psychological ones like those of Freud of Jung do not strictly have an esoteric aspect but there is a large, non-academic thinking which is both philosophical and psychological, which is ‘esoteric’.

As with esoteric Christianity, this fairly broad study termed “esotericism” examines the possibility of man’s rise in consciousness, knowledge and being and the manifestation of powers that are latent but not accessible in our usual state.

In higher states of consciousness (higher mind, knowledge and being) manifestations are much more frequent and lasting and can even be produced at will, if one has reached a very high state.

3. These higher states and their powers are not things a man may acquire like implantations of teeth or kidneys or prosthetics of arms and legs.

These states are natural to man and latent within everyone. But to have them established permanently like the states of sleeping and being awake, the man must undergo a discipline and re-education in moral and spiritual values in a Group or School under the guidance of a teacher who has some knowledge about this having himself gone through such a discipline and received permission from his own teacher to teach.

The process can be long and at some points may seem difficult and painful as the aspirant begins to see several sides of his character that he does not like at all. He has no inner unity and consistency, no will and control over most functions; he lies to others and to himself about everything; his feelings change frequently, suddenly and intensely; his thoughts run on and on incessantly; he decides one thing only to change a few minutes later; and so on…

4. Here one should beware of pseudo-esoteric organizations. In our days they are legions and thousands of people flock to them allured by the promise of higher states and new powers. And because of this propensity to lying, people invent spiritual experiences, visions, communication with spirits and all sorts of self-delusions.

Often, a man drops out of a school for various reasons and decides he will form his own “school” and use whatever published material he can find. He deceives people, perhaps for very long, pretending he has esoteric knowledge and can do things. The more acute students soon see through the pretence, the others continue to be deceived and may even imagine that they “develop” and “evolve” into higher beings.

Some start their enterprise for money, others for power, self-aggrandizement or self-glorification. They change the little knowledge they acquired and their imagination invents astonishing fantasies about superhuman beings and extraordinary paradisiac worlds.

The genuine aspirant will not be deceived for long. A genuine teaching would make him/her face useless habits of thinking and feeling and dissolve them; also and mainly face egoism and false notions about oneself thus leading to a truer and larger feeling of oneself.

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