Esoteric literally means “innermore.” The adjective is often conflated with occultist (“hidden”) and gnostic (“conscious”), and with some justification. (Please note that, unlike later churches, Jesus does not condemn but rather establishes mystery schools, for example, by teaching exclusively in parables when preaching publicly, which the author/transcriptionist of Luke says is to confound the uninitiated. And while there are today, and have always been, several different such schools of Christianity (many of which, mind you, are as fully Apostolic and Biblical as any mainline church can ever hope to be), I personally believe that the secret knowledge properly speaking is not the property of any group or lineage (i.e. succession) and can be boiled down to knowledge of oneself—i.e. of one’s true self, not simply in the “warts and all” sense but in the sense of Romans 8:12-17:
Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Jesus is Savior, but not in the condescending sense. He is ever an enlightener, liberator and empowerer—He left so that the Holy Spirit could basically pour into his followers the same Spirit that had given Him power (“greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father,” the latter being the prerequisite for sending the Holy Spirit), and so Paul makes it explicit in the above passage that Jesus has truly put us on equal footing with Himself!
Now, the Jesus Prayer and Hesychasm are the foundations of true monasticism, which is eremitic and which is the foundation of true Christianity. I do not mean to denigrate Scholasticism or Scholarship, but the knowledge Jesus proposes is integral, that is of heart and mind both (though actually expressly heart first), and that is because it is on the basis of the spirit not the flesh.
This page is about Ceremonial Esoteria. I probably should have titled this page something more accessible like “Gnosticism” or “Cabala,” but because it also includes Theosophy and Satanism I didn’t think that would be fair. Anyway, this page deals with those relatively more marginally successful attempts to organize the esoteric in the form of a mainstream faith (i.e. governed by rules, both esoteric [innermore] and exoteric [outermore]) as opposed to a more overtly Egyptology-based and secret society like the ↗(Free)Masons or the Ku Klux Klan (or slightly more agile groups like Orthodox Jungian Psychoanalysis). I will also be dealing mostly with Esoteria’s Twentieth Century “incarnations,” so we’ll not be visiting the Muslims or ↗Mormons. I’m not even going to deal with prominent figures like Saul Alinsky (open Luciferian) or Rasputin because, again, their devotees mainly include only the very rich, powerful and honestly out-of-touch. Let’s cut to the chase on this page: mostly it traces the popular development of so-called “New Atheism” (really antitheism, cf. Friedrich Nietzsche) and born-again paganism (cf. Carl Jung), in short the modern cult of the autocentric will to power.
I want to start with a list of historical figures you may not have heard of but whose words either you or those just socially above you repeat:
- Friedrich Nietzsche (German)
“God is dead.”
“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”
“When you look into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you.”
- Helena Blavatsky (Russian)
- Carl Jung (Swiss)
- Aleister Crowley (English)
“Do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.”
- Anton LaVey (American)
The Satanic Bible
“The whole Beatle idea was to do what you want, right? To take your own responsibility” (John Lennon in an interview with Playboy magazine paraphrasing “Do what thou wilt,” central precept of Thelema, the religion Aleister Crowley founded).
Writer of The Book of the Law and the Gnostic MassNote: this is somewhat hyped up. Some points it leaves out: Crowley’s childhood Fifth of November fireworks mishap that gave his face (and personality?) the scarring; his world (not just Egypt) occultism tour (perhaps shadowing earlier Blavatsky who zeroed in on India); and his special fondness for Mexico.
A short history of the Gnostic Catholic Church. “In the Renaissance, a character named ‘Thelemia’ represents will or desire in the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili of the Dominican monk Francesco Colonna. The protagonist, Poliphilo has two allegorical guides, Logistica (reason) and Thelemia (will or desire). When forced to choose, he chooses fulfillment of his sexual will over logic. Colonna’s work was a great influence on the Franciscan monk François Rabelais, who in the 16th century, used Thélème, the French form of the word, as the name of a fictional Abbey in his novels, Gargantua and Pantagruel. The only rule of this Abbey was “fay çe que vouldras” (“Fais ce que tu veux“, or, “Do what thou wilt”). In the mid-18th century, Sir Francis Dashwood inscribed the adage on a doorway of his abbey at Medmenham, where it served as the motto of The Hellfire Club. Rabelais’ Abbey of Thelema has been referred to by later writers Sir Walter Besant and James Rice, in their novel The Monks of Thelema (1878), and C.R. Ashbee in his utopian romance The Building of Thelema (1910)” (from Wikipedia).
As an epilogue, I want us to note the progression from Aleister Crowley to the Hellfire Club, John Lennon, Helter-Skelter, Charles Manson. Manson, in his trial testimony, said,
“Is it a conspiracy that the music is telling the youth to rise up against the establishment because the establishment is rapidly destroying things? Is that a conspiracy? The music speaks to you every day, but you are too deaf, dumb, and blind to even listen to the music. It is not my conspiracy. It is not my music. I hear what it relates. It says Rise, it says Kill. Why blame it on me? I didn’t write the music.”