More and more people use the word “esoteric,” and among other things, it has become commonplace to say that symbolism usually has an “esoteric meaning.” Some, therefore, believe that esoteric means “mysterious” or “mystery,” but the word “mystery” is Greek, and was originally used for the often dramatic representations of the world’s creation, cosmic processes, and energies, or the qualities and development of the spirit and the soul, etc. The Hierophants (the chief priests performed the mysteries as dramas in the temples, in order for the neophytes to interpret the esoteric significance of the esoteric rituals, and all that happened in the walls of these mysteries – strictly kept secret. Others believe that esoteric is the same as “occult.” Occult comes from the Latin “occultus,” and the word really just means “hidden,” for the word denotes what is hidden from the eyes. Unfortunately, many believe that occultism is black magic or satanism, but it is a huge confusion.
- Exoteric research focuses on the exterior (shape or skull).
- Esoteric research focuses on the interior (energy or quality).
The word “esoteric” simply means the “inner” as opposed to “exoteric,” which means “outer.” In ancient cultures, exoteric rituals were used to represented esoteric processes. Esoteric knowledge refers to the inner, spiritual meaning that lies behind all forms and actions, and therefore it is correct to say that spiritual science symbolism is called esoteric. True knowledge or wisdom is not something that one can acquire in an academic way just by using the brain. Esoteric insight can only be gained through experience. Experience does not involve doing anything physical, for experience is rather a direct contact between consciousness and an energy state.
For example, if you meet a good friend who has just suffered a painful loss, and if you experience such great compassion that you are able to feel what your friend feels, you get an experience that leads you to know more about the nature of the loss and the accompanying pain. But if one is able to experience the friend at an even deeper level, one will attain the wisdom that comes from knowing the real purpose of the loss in this human life. Getting this deeper experience requires the ability to have a deeper and conscious contact with his soul or his higher self.
If the example above goes even further, one might say that if one had conscious contact with the soul of mankind, one would be able to experience the person’s loss in the face of all the losses that everyone has suffered and subsequently understand the role of loss account for the development of humanity’s intelligent and loving life. The wisdom that could be deduced from such an experience would be very deep.
As can be seen, the esoteric cannot be defined easily or be limited to narrow parameters. The interior has many levels, and one can experience many layers of energy states.
The world of energies
Behind all external phenomena is a world of energies. It is energy that is expressed as thought, feeling and physical substance. Everything that exists expresses some form of energy that originates from the original simplicity or purity of formless energy. For reasons beyond human understanding, this pure energy manifests itself in increasingly complex states. While it does, it descends through many layers of fabric, first shapeless and later shaped. When shaped, it is experienced in human nature – bodies, brains, emotions, and thinking. But one can also experience it while it is still formless, namely with the formless aspects of the individual consciousness – that is, man’s intuition, soul and spirit.
Each decrease of energy from a higher (more complex and exclusive) state to a lower (simpler) state is a cause that creates an effect. It is the higher energy state which, in its capacity as the cause, is the purpose and meaning with any lower condition or effect. A student seeks the truth, and it is been said again and again. And the truth is identical to the cause of human existence. If one does not relate to or search for the cause, one will never be able to recognize the higher purpose or, the higher meaning of anything, and least of all with himself.
Quantity & quality
That’s the reason that represents quality. Quantity is the goal of external characteristics such as size, physical features, weight, etc. Quality is the expression of the energy in the form. It is because of the experience of quality that one can act on conscious causes instead of unconscious effects in life.
What makes a person be one with an individuality? Usually, individuality is perceived as the personality (physical body, brain, emotions, and thoughts). But the personality is just the outer or exoteric expression of man’s individuality. The soul is the inner or esoteric expression of character, and because it is esoteric, it represents a higher state of energy and is, therefore, more inclusive, more creative and causative and therefore more real and central to human nature.
The most important way to anchor the soul’s energies is to consciously incorporate them and express them through thoughts, feelings, and actions in the form of ethics, morals, and qualities such as kindness, compassion, sacrifice, discipline, love, forgiveness, tolerance, patience, etc. In short, all the qualities that reflect the true, the good, and the beautiful and create a growing unity or harmony.
Esotericism involves an effort to live in accordance with the inner realities of existence. You have to look beyond the quantitative and discover the quality that is latent in any form. One must consider the apparent meaninglessness behind many events and uncover the meaning of them. One must realize that behind all human expressions or natural events lies an unconditional love. If you do so, life becomes immensely enriched and governed by the purpose of each cause and effect.
Esotericism is a science.
Yes, esotericism is a science. There is research into the inner or hidden sides of life, and the observations are available in the spirit science. Natural science and intellectual science use the same research method in principle. Both sciences are empirical – i.e., experience-based because science is based on observation through the use of the senses – the physical senses, while intellectual science is based on observation using the senses – only n this case the metaphysical senses. Spiritual science is also called “the esoteric doctrine,” “the eternal wisdom-doctrine,” “the timeless wisdom,” and the like. The reason for the term “eternal” and “timeless” is that spiritual science examines and describes the laws of nature that govern life in both macrocosm and microcosm, and these laws are immutable.