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  #1  
Old 20-01-2021, 04:15 AM
Scholarly Tarot Scholarly Tarot is offline
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The Exoteric Vs. Esoteric of Spirituality

So far as I can see, based on readings I am involved in, the esoteric and exoteric really canít be reconciled easily, if at all. There are reasons for this which I will describe briefly.

Exoteric is outward religion, going to church, participating in sacraments, prayers, rituals in a group setting of a religion, whatever name it goes by.

Exoteric wants things tidy, all cleaned up, logical, in line, orderly, scientific and simple. No messy contradictions or puzzling paradoxes are allowed if at all possible. Everything has to be smooth, well groomed, hair cut missionary style, slick and easily accessible and understood by all. Keep it simple stupid, the lowest denominator of concepts, words, and desires that even children grasp the ideas and themes. In short, it wants total control. It will let knowledge out in the speed it chooses, the quality it accepts for the public and only then will allow it to be read, digested, and believed. It controls. That is the essence of the exoteric.

Esoteric, itís brother, is best summed up by the scripture, ďThe Spirit bloweth where it will.Ē While the exoteric clamps onto control, the esoteric is entirely free to take wings at any time and any place, simply because it knows the Spirit is in charge, not the intellect. The intellect cannot control the Spirit. There is no control with the exoteric, because that is not the desirous thing. Logic, order, and neat systemization is irrelevant to the Spirit. The revelation will come when the Spirit decides to charge, not when the person decides it is time for the Spirit to go to work.

The exoteric is external, loud, almost boisterous with its claims, banging out information for the world to see, grasp, hear, and latch onto. It is effort magnified through teaching, indoctrination, systematic elaboration over and over again so the public gets the point. It sells itís knowledge in public, steadily, and non-stop, step by step fashion so as no mistakes can possibly be made if it can be prevented from making them. It is official, judicious and determined to get the word out. It demands obedience of the esoteric to bow to its doctrine and will. The esoteric doesnít even consider worrying about what the exoteric thinks or does, whether it follows its paths or not. It is entirely irrelevant to the esoteric how the exoteric responds to its whispers of truth in the souls of men.

The exoteric claims it alone possesses the truth and fights with other exoteric claims for the simple reason that every exoteric claim, no matter how contradictory of other exoteric claims insists it alone possesses the truth. It is exclusive, divisive, and never at one in its views.

There has always and only been one doctrine to the esoteric, though its methods may be numerous, and culturally defined and performed, its symbolisms can reflect great variety based on where in the world the Spirit has blown and inspired men and women.

The exoteric is always out in front, seen of men, and insists on public acknowledgment and fame. It is a steady outward manifestation insisting on being popular, accessible, and airing its doctrines with a megaphone, to clearly, and unmistakably be seen by men, the more, the better. It insists its interpretation of history is correct. If knowledge is lost to its way of thinking this is a negative for all mankind, an apostasy, a heretical doctrine, a blasphemy. It can be refuted and defeated, and so, underneath all its bluster, it is paranoid more or less. It has no choice because it can never be sure if the esoteric is with it or not.

The esoteric can bob up and down, be seen, and then go invisible to the exoteric, for long stretches of time if need be. It is never lost, or defeated, it just goes invisible to the exoteric, yet always working whether visible or not. It has no desire, let alone need, for proofs, logical analysis or the cheering of men in public forums. It has no creeds, articles of faith, rules to follow or buildings to exist within. The esoteric needs no advertisement of its truth, it works through the still small voice within, not the loud logical stentorian demonstrating its truth systematically to a willing public. It seeks not popularity, but souls in need of its light. The exoteric demands faith in it, the esoteric demands faith in inner self. The exoteric demands submission to its priesthoods, powers, principalities, and quorums. The esoteric suggests submission to the universal light within, and asks time to learn to see that light within.

The exoteric can lead to the esoteric enlightenment, but esoteric never leads to exoteric enlightenment as the truth, because the truth cannot come from outside oneself. This the exoteric cannot grasp, the esoteric knows for certainty it comes from within or not at all.

This is part of the difficulty to working esoterically. It has enemies from who ought to be its friends. It is not about power or wealth, but knowledge. The exoteric needs power and wealth in order for it to continue being a show for mankind rather than a substance. It needs buildings, temples, clothes, and media to spread its message or hope through it alone. The esoteric needs no trappings such as these. They are a complete distraction. The temple is oneself, not some expensive building. The temple is the world and stars one has access to 24 hours a day. Access to the exoteric trappings is limited and definitely guarded. The esoteric is holy wherever or whenever one is in the world. It needs no group, demands no intermediate blockades, other than oneís own desire or lack thereof to tap into the stream of the holy.

True religion means a linking back to the Source of All, the One. It is what constitutes spirituality as opposed to being obedient to others demands. The only demand is upon oneself. One can never tell another who wishes for esoteric insight that obedience must be performed, since obedience is irrelevant to where the Spirit blows. It can strike at anytime, anyplace, anywhere, anyone. When esoteric people gather, there is not an undergirding necessity for agreement of ideas, hopes, and doctrines. There is not conformity, there is inquiry, learning, intelligence sharing with intelligence gifted. There are no heretics in the esoteric. The very thought makes no sense at all. The ways of the Spirit are infinite and from infinity which stretches out across infinity, including all opposites, paradoxes, contradictions, normalities, abnormalities, and conceptualizations. The Canon is the individual soul, not an outside source. The loyalty is to oneís own search for enlightenment, not to anotherís interpretations, influences, or determinations concerning doctrines, scriptures, or acceptable procedures to please a god of any kind. The God is within. The exoteric wants a relationship to a God without, to be in agreement with God, the esoteric recognizes the God within is oneís very self, there is no relationship, there is awakening to know One is it. Itís not one in agreement alone, it is One, period.

So far as I can understand, the exoteric cannot see the legitimate revelations and enlightenment in any others while the esoteric see the revelations and enlightenment in all mankind no matter where on earth they are, nor in how they express it. The light flows through all mankind, not one group to the exclusion of the others. The expression, symbolisms, and metaphors differ with the esoteric expression of enlightenment, with cultural inflections, of course. But the message is just one message throughout history, best expressed as Tat Tvam Asi, ďThou Art That,Ē that is, thou art the divine in the universe, just expressed in the many. The goal of the Divine One is the unifying of the many back to itself. That is the core of the esoteric doctrine, no matter how it differs in expression of symbolisms, experiences, etc. It is not about aligning with correct doctrines, it is about experiencing the unification, regardless of country, gender, race, or beliefs. It has nothing to do with agreeing with interpretations of the scripture in alignment and agreement as with the exoteric. It is not about conformity, it is about experiencing the Divine.

So far as I can tell, this is the essential difference of the two ways of religion. The exoteric will not tolerate the exoteric unless and only if it aligns with exoteric thinking and doctrines and knowledge, nothing else is allowed. The esoteric is not nearly in such a narrow corridor because it has no need for the exoteric to agree with anything of what it says. It cannot be and will not be a missionary way because there is nothing to share publicly. Everything is internal for oneself. There is no need to even attempt a conformity of experience, because, The Spirit bloweth where IT will. The speed, the timing, the path comes from God, not controlled by human institutions. It is a direct connection, not a testimony based on what someone else says or believes.

The exoteric wants to be in control of the Spirit and tell it where it blows, the esoteric simply follows where the Spirit blows. The exoteric will not and cannot agree with the esoteric, while the esoteric doesnít care what the exoteric believes, it follows what it gets straight from the Divine itself. That, in a nutshell is the entire column of experience between the two. The exoteric would crucify Jesus again if he came and taught His Gospel, the esoteric would embrace it. The exoteric has never been correct about the truth, it is all about outward appearance of possessing the truth. The esoteric has never been wrong about the truth, though it is expressed in myriads of different manners, the doctrine is always the same. That is the essential difference.
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  #2  
Old 20-01-2021, 10:28 AM
Lorelyen Lorelyen is offline
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It's a no-brainer really. Spirituality can only be esoteric. It's about personal experience, the Self, the beliefs that drive us and these can only be owned by the individual. There are very few useful words to describe our personal experiences except by well-known metaphor and simile.

Religions are systems of governance as has been shown with Christianity (standardised though several variations), Islam, Judaism, Scientology and on. Some spiritual beliefs cross that barrier in allowing followers latitude in how they interpret the scriptures or doctrine (Shinto for example). Religions use the idea of an external all-seeing God that can punish or reward according to how well subscribers toe the line.

Followers are told what to believe basically by some kind of governor. They have no say in the process unless one chooses to start a new variation.

In a smaller way we find quasi-religious practices out there that border on the occult. (Some appear here in this forum). A notion/idea put forth by a name that's got itself famous, instructing people how to achieve something or other.

There's little comparison to me between religion and spirituality except that religions use the idea of spirit to achieve control. The whole idea that priests (usually men) can be closer to their external God than the congregation is amusing.

Spirituality. The power is within you.
..
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  #3  
Old 21-01-2021, 01:27 AM
Scholarly Tarot Scholarly Tarot is offline
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Good points. I can't say I can disagree with anything you say. What, you tryin to stop me from arguin?!

I think though we might both be surprised at how many people aren't really aware of the differences however. I know, I know, it's hard to grasp, but that was one reason I wanted to share it. I know some people think they are enemies but one can be both exoteric and exoteric without necessarily having to duke them out against each other.

I thought your idea on religion and spirituality was really good too actually. Unfortunately, far too many in the world get a little religion and want to use it as a pretext to control others. It's weird how that works, but really, it's gotta be because of the lust for power. However, karma actually does come into play, so yes we all are limited, but man seeking for power for its sake is just not the smartest thing to do. I know we all need power for ourselves, overcoming the elements of nature is tough enough, without question. But power over self is also power I think.

Kind of like Jesus said in the Gospel of Luke, "The Kingdom of God is within you." I can't help but think, whether whatever religion one is who reads this, that it is recognized that we have power already. And, it's the best kind of power, the power to be powerful for us, our loved ones, our friends, and yes, our enemies, but not in power to kill, to own, to gloat over, no. Power to allow them to be also. Power to make friends of them, thus ridding ourselves of enemies, the most powerful way to do things.

Yeah, yeah, I know, pie in the sky, right? Maybe, maybe not. We also have the power to try. We have the power to change, we have the power to spirituality. That freedom, that responsibility is important for our own self esteem. Sure I am only one, but I AM one. That means something.

Thanks for your thoughtful ideas, I really enjoyed them.
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Old 21-01-2021, 09:14 AM
Lorelyen Lorelyen is offline
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No, I'm agreeing! Promoting your point of view.

Agree equally with your discourse here: too few people are aware of the difference, thinking that 'being religious' is being spiritual. Well, it is to the extent of using someone else's doctrine and trying to follow its precepts but that's as far as it goes.

It isn't an individual developing their own spirituality, their cosmic relationship, finding their Selves which is the real refinement; opening their minds to who or what lies behind the layers of delusion and illusion and reaching their inner 'God', and the means to make changes to our lives that religions can't give us.

Your mention of Jesus is interesting. I likewise believe that Jesus was trying to help rather than teach people to understand. A few authors and latter-day gurus who try to push their ideas are deeply in His shadow. The Gospel of Thomas has long interested me as the closest reports on what Jesus actually said (perhaps also the fragments of Mary Magdala's Gospel).

Verse III of Thomas is enlightening: "Jesus said, 'If your leaders say to you, 'Look, the kingdom is in heaven,' then the birds of heaven will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is inside you and it is outside you.
"When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are the children of the living father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you will dwell in poverty and you are poverty."

If THAT isn't esoteric I can't think what else could be.

Jesus was the most sagacious of people. So much of what he pointed out stands as good today as it did in his time but it has little to do with Constantine's "Christianity" and the Church of Rome.

So, thank you for your most interesting response.
Stay well.
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  #5  
Old 21-01-2021, 04:31 PM
Starman Starman is offline
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Exoteric operates by a different set of rules than esoteric, yet most people want to apply the same rules that govern material existence to the rules that govern spiritual existence. They want to apply objective scientific method to subjective spiritual experience. Neither does logic apply but that seems to be the standard of this physical world. In this world quantity validates quality. The more people who believe in something the more validity that thing is given. But spirituality does not require others to be proven or validated.

I guess the closest paradigm I can come up with is that of relationships. How we have relationships with each other, especially those we love, is not objective. The spiritual experience is a relationship and it follows some, but not all, of the rules of human relationships. You do not have to prove to others, who are not involved in your intimate relationships, that you love the person or people who are in that relationship. I feel it is the same way with spirituality.

The spiritual experience is the most intimate relationship a person can ever have. I embrace that life is 100% subjective, and even if we crash our car and injure ourselves that is a subjective experience. If we injure someone else, empathy or sympathy makes that experience subjective. But if a person has not developed a conscience they may neither feel sympathy or empathy for others. But that does not make life any less subjective. Just because there are objects in physical existence does not necessarily make physical existence objective. The objects may or may not be objective depending on our perception.

Repetition gives validity to patterns but it does not give validity to the nature of reality. Reality is a matter of perception. Exoteric and esoteric support each other, even for those who are unaware of such support. Spirit uses matter to express itself, and matter can not exist without spirit. Opposites complement each other, and on another level they are not mutually exclusive. They are only different because we assign them different names or labels, and people believe in what they call things. In my opinion esoteric and exoteric function with a different set of rules that support each other. After all, everything is One.
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Old 22-01-2021, 12:34 AM
Scholarly Tarot Scholarly Tarot is offline
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Lorelyen,
Yer a Gospel of Thomas reader too?! I honestly think the Gnostics get too bad of a rap sometimes. Pagels "Beyond Belief" is one of the singular coolest books I have ever read where she compares and contrasts Thomas with one of the Gospels in the NT, can't remember which one, it's been a while since I read her. I ended up going Gnostic crazy and buying up as much as I could even getting the Pistis Sophia and the Books of Jeu, and all the writings on Mary Magdalene as I could. I think as a foil (maybe) for the canonical stuff, the Gnostics are quite a cool balancer. I have a book by ole whatshisname.....um, Klimkeit, I think, on the Gnostics from Manichaeanism that is absolutely over the top amazing with the texts out of ancient Iraq/Iran instead of the Egyptian ones they found in 1945.

Hey, we are gonna have fun talkin Thomas. I shall have to begin re-reading it however, it's been awhile. I think the most analysis of the Gnostics was Thomas. LeLoup has many cool translations of many texts and several on the Gospel of Magdalene, a very fascinating look into a canonical character. I think the Gnostic materials fill in so much for us, even though they aren't Orthodox, thank God! LOL!

Hey, after all, when, I ask you humbly, when has Orthodoxy EVER gotten it right... right?!
Be good, and so nice talking with you, looking forward to a lot more, a whole lot more, this is great.

EDIT: 15 minutes later:

OK, I went down into my library and found Pagels "Beyond Belief." It was the Gospel of John! How on this loving earth could I forget THAT?! LOL What a dork I am. Interestingly she contends John was written as a protest against Gospel of Thomas! I had forgotten that too. Wowsah....hey! She wrote this in 2003?!? That is ILLEGAL! How on earth could it already be 18 years later??? I remember acting like a kid in a candy store when I went and got it from the bookstore the moment it showed up. That can't have been 18 YEARS ago........good grief. Well hey, on a positive note we can all now say we are 18 years wiser. NOT older.......lets get wiser....LOL.

Also the book by Klimkeit, it is Hans-Joachim Klimkeit, "Gnosis on the Silk Road" and he wrote that in 1993??? I also remember getting this one thrilled outta my gourd! I swear this was just yesterday. It's just not fair I say, time has no respect, it won't slow down. I swear it's not my fault. I refuse to be held responsible. Just like a man isn't it, don't take responsibility for anything? LOL! It's a very good book with lots of text from Mazda as well as Hymns to the Father of Light various parables, and a huge section on Jesus the Splendour. Some fascinating junk, as I have time I shall share some of it.

Last edited by Scholarly Tarot : 22-01-2021 at 01:58 AM.
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Old 22-01-2021, 12:40 AM
Scholarly Tarot Scholarly Tarot is offline
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Hey Starman,

Very true. I think you have it right, entirely. I think (and hope) the time has passed where we all think objective is only passable. Now that being said, there is nothing wrong with objective, but even taking that stance to be objective is itself subjective! Funny thing isn't it?

Your ideas about relationships was well taken. A very good example where in one of the most significant parts of our entire lives, the magnaminous and magnificence of subjectivity is front and center, striking us at our very core for having the maximal value. And it's esoteric for the most part. I hadn't thought of it, so I am glad you brought it out.

Thanks again for sharing great thoughts on this. We might be all over the place with this thread, but then again, isn't that the point of a message board. Besides I started this thread, and I approve of it! LOL.....see ya again soon amigo!
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Old 22-01-2021, 12:59 AM
JustBe JustBe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scholarly Tarot
So far as I can see, based on readings I am involved in, the esoteric and exoteric really canít be reconciled easily, if at all. There are reasons for this which I will describe briefly.

Exoteric is outward religion, going to church, participating in sacraments, prayers, rituals in a group setting of a religion, whatever name it goes by.

Exoteric wants things tidy, all cleaned up, logical, in line, orderly, scientific and simple. No messy contradictions or puzzling paradoxes are allowed if at all possible. Everything has to be smooth, well groomed, hair cut missionary style, slick and easily accessible and understood by all. Keep it simple stupid, the lowest denominator of concepts, words, and desires that even children grasp the ideas and themes. In short, it wants total control. It will let knowledge out in the speed it chooses, the quality it accepts for the public and only then will allow it to be read, digested, and believed. It controls. That is the essence of the exoteric.

Esoteric, itís brother, is best summed up by the scripture, ďThe Spirit bloweth where it will.Ē While the exoteric clamps onto control, the esoteric is entirely free to take wings at any time and any place, simply because it knows the Spirit is in charge, not the intellect. The intellect cannot control the Spirit. There is no control with the exoteric, because that is not the desirous thing. Logic, order, and neat systemization is irrelevant to the Spirit. The revelation will come when the Spirit decides to charge, not when the person decides it is time for the Spirit to go to work.

The exoteric is external, loud, almost boisterous with its claims, banging out information for the world to see, grasp, hear, and latch onto. It is effort magnified through teaching, indoctrination, systematic elaboration over and over again so the public gets the point. It sells itís knowledge in public, steadily, and non-stop, step by step fashion so as no mistakes can possibly be made if it can be prevented from making them. It is official, judicious and determined to get the word out. It demands obedience of the esoteric to bow to its doctrine and will. The esoteric doesnít even consider worrying about what the exoteric thinks or does, whether it follows its paths or not. It is entirely irrelevant to the esoteric how the exoteric responds to its whispers of truth in the souls of men.

The exoteric claims it alone possesses the truth and fights with other exoteric claims for the simple reason that every exoteric claim, no matter how contradictory of other exoteric claims insists it alone possesses the truth. It is exclusive, divisive, and never at one in its views.

There has always and only been one doctrine to the esoteric, though its methods may be numerous, and culturally defined and performed, its symbolisms can reflect great variety based on where in the world the Spirit has blown and inspired men and women.

The exoteric is always out in front, seen of men, and insists on public acknowledgment and fame. It is a steady outward manifestation insisting on being popular, accessible, and airing its doctrines with a megaphone, to clearly, and unmistakably be seen by men, the more, the better. It insists its interpretation of history is correct. If knowledge is lost to its way of thinking this is a negative for all mankind, an apostasy, a heretical doctrine, a blasphemy. It can be refuted and defeated, and so, underneath all its bluster, it is paranoid more or less. It has no choice because it can never be sure if the esoteric is with it or not.

The esoteric can bob up and down, be seen, and then go invisible to the exoteric, for long stretches of time if need be. It is never lost, or defeated, it just goes invisible to the exoteric, yet always working whether visible or not. It has no desire, let alone need, for proofs, logical analysis or the cheering of men in public forums. It has no creeds, articles of faith, rules to follow or buildings to exist within. The esoteric needs no advertisement of its truth, it works through the still small voice within, not the loud logical stentorian demonstrating its truth systematically to a willing public. It seeks not popularity, but souls in need of its light. The exoteric demands faith in it, the esoteric demands faith in inner self. The exoteric demands submission to its priesthoods, powers, principalities, and quorums. The esoteric suggests submission to the universal light within, and asks time to learn to see that light within.

The exoteric can lead to the esoteric enlightenment, but esoteric never leads to exoteric enlightenment as the truth, because the truth cannot come from outside oneself. This the exoteric cannot grasp, the esoteric knows for certainty it comes from within or not at all.

This is part of the difficulty to working esoterically. It has enemies from who ought to be its friends. It is not about power or wealth, but knowledge. The exoteric needs power and wealth in order for it to continue being a show for mankind rather than a substance. It needs buildings, temples, clothes, and media to spread its message or hope through it alone. The esoteric needs no trappings such as these. They are a complete distraction. The temple is oneself, not some expensive building. The temple is the world and stars one has access to 24 hours a day. Access to the exoteric trappings is limited and definitely guarded. The esoteric is holy wherever or whenever one is in the world. It needs no group, demands no intermediate blockades, other than oneís own desire or lack thereof to tap into the stream of the holy.

True religion means a linking back to the Source of All, the One. It is what constitutes spirituality as opposed to being obedient to others demands. The only demand is upon oneself. One can never tell another who wishes for esoteric insight that obedience must be performed, since obedience is irrelevant to where the Spirit blows. It can strike at anytime, anyplace, anywhere, anyone. When esoteric people gather, there is not an undergirding necessity for agreement of ideas, hopes, and doctrines. There is not conformity, there is inquiry, learning, intelligence sharing with intelligence gifted. There are no heretics in the esoteric. The very thought makes no sense at all. The ways of the Spirit are infinite and from infinity which stretches out across infinity, including all opposites, paradoxes, contradictions, normalities, abnormalities, and conceptualizations. The Canon is the individual soul, not an outside source. The loyalty is to oneís own search for enlightenment, not to anotherís interpretations, influences, or determinations concerning doctrines, scriptures, or acceptable procedures to please a god of any kind. The God is within. The exoteric wants a relationship to a God without, to be in agreement with God, the esoteric recognizes the God within is oneís very self, there is no relationship, there is awakening to know One is it. Itís not one in agreement alone, it is One, period.

So far as I can understand, the exoteric cannot see the legitimate revelations and enlightenment in any others while the esoteric see the revelations and enlightenment in all mankind no matter where on earth they are, nor in how they express it. The light flows through all mankind, not one group to the exclusion of the others. The expression, symbolisms, and metaphors differ with the esoteric expression of enlightenment, with cultural inflections, of course. But the message is just one message throughout history, best expressed as Tat Tvam Asi, ďThou Art That,Ē that is, thou art the divine in the universe, just expressed in the many. The goal of the Divine One is the unifying of the many back to itself. That is the core of the esoteric doctrine, no matter how it differs in expression of symbolisms, experiences, etc. It is not about aligning with correct doctrines, it is about experiencing the unification, regardless of country, gender, race, or beliefs. It has nothing to do with agreeing with interpretations of the scripture in alignment and agreement as with the exoteric. It is not about conformity, it is about experiencing the Divine.

So far as I can tell, this is the essential difference of the two ways of religion. The exoteric will not tolerate the exoteric unless and only if it aligns with exoteric thinking and doctrines and knowledge, nothing else is allowed. The esoteric is not nearly in such a narrow corridor because it has no need for the exoteric to agree with anything of what it says. It cannot be and will not be a missionary way because there is nothing to share publicly. Everything is internal for oneself. There is no need to even attempt a conformity of experience, because, The Spirit bloweth where IT will. The speed, the timing, the path comes from God, not controlled by human institutions. It is a direct connection, not a testimony based on what someone else says or believes.

The exoteric wants to be in control of the Spirit and tell it where it blows, the esoteric simply follows where the Spirit blows. The exoteric will not and cannot agree with the esoteric, while the esoteric doesnít care what the exoteric believes, it follows what it gets straight from the Divine itself. That, in a nutshell is the entire column of experience between the two. The exoteric would crucify Jesus again if he came and taught His Gospel, the esoteric would embrace it. The exoteric has never been correct about the truth, it is all about outward appearance of possessing the truth. The esoteric has never been wrong about the truth, though it is expressed in myriads of different manners, the doctrine is always the same. That is the essential difference.

Insightful and I totally agree.
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Authentic autonomy is the unity of relative and absolute; only when you go beyond all of the opposites can Spiritís unique expression be born in you and as you~Adyashanti
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Old 23-01-2021, 07:38 PM
Lorelyen Lorelyen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scholarly Tarot
Lorelyen,
Yer a Gospel of Thomas reader too?! I honestly think the Gnostics get too bad of a rap sometimes. Pagels "Beyond Belief" is one of the singular coolest books I have ever read where she compares and contrasts Thomas with one of the Gospels in the NT, can't remember which one, it's been a while since I read her. I ended up going Gnostic crazy and buying up as much as I could even getting the Pistis Sophia and the Books of Jeu, and all the writings on Mary Magdalene as I could. I think as a foil (maybe) for the canonical stuff, the Gnostics are quite a cool balancer. I have a book by ole whatshisname.....um, Klimkeit, I think, on the Gnostics from Manichaeanism that is absolutely over the top amazing with the texts out of ancient Iraq/Iran instead of the Egyptian ones they found in 1945.

Hey, we are gonna have fun talkin Thomas. I shall have to begin re-reading it however, it's been awhile. I think the most analysis of the Gnostics was Thomas. LeLoup has many cool translations of many texts and several on the Gospel of Magdalene, a very fascinating look into a canonical character. I think the Gnostic materials fill in so much for us, even though they aren't Orthodox, thank God! LOL!

Hey, after all, when, I ask you humbly, when has Orthodoxy EVER gotten it right... right?!
Be good, and so nice talking with you, looking forward to a lot more, a whole lot more, this is great.

EDIT: 15 minutes later:

OK, I went down into my library and found Pagels "Beyond Belief." It was the Gospel of John! How on this loving earth could I forget THAT?! LOL What a dork I am. Interestingly she contends John was written as a protest against Gospel of Thomas! I had forgotten that too. Wowsah....hey! She wrote this in 2003?!? That is ILLEGAL! How on earth could it already be 18 years later??? I remember acting like a kid in a candy store when I went and got it from the bookstore the moment it showed up. That can't have been 18 YEARS ago........good grief. Well hey, on a positive note we can all now say we are 18 years wiser. NOT older.......lets get wiser....LOL.

Also the book by Klimkeit, it is Hans-Joachim Klimkeit, "Gnosis on the Silk Road" and he wrote that in 1993??? I also remember getting this one thrilled outta my gourd! I swear this was just yesterday. It's just not fair I say, time has no respect, it won't slow down. I swear it's not my fault. I refuse to be held responsible. Just like a man isn't it, don't take responsibility for anything? LOL! It's a very good book with lots of text from Mazda as well as Hymns to the Father of Light various parables, and a huge section on Jesus the Splendour. Some fascinating junk, as I have time I shall share some of it.

Well, you certainly hit on a few good books. I have Pagels' the Gnostic Gospels somewhere. I haven't looked for the Klimkeit and never tried with the Pistis more for want of time - but you're right, how time flies!

The question of Mary intrigues me. I refuse to go along with a lot of New Age rubbish rewriting her story, inventing her past and supposing over her future.
Please excuse a mini-rant!
What’s galls me is when I see romantic authors, pseudo-gurus and miscreants taking advantage of a too-gullible public in the “Spiritual” market place with their populist tripe, often using a famous name as a platform for their own spoutings! It exploded after Brown and the Da Vinci code.
That’s happened with Mary Magdala. A decade ago there was just a couple of books about her. Now, there are dozens, these authoresses (mostly) rewriting what’s there to fit their own agenda. “Mary the Queen” “Mary the feminist here to teach us a way out of today’s human problems.” Forget the Jesus thing. It’s Mary who walks with us and guides us through the challenges of everyday life, the pain, the suffering…! Do leave off….
Never let facts stand in the way of a good story!

Phew, that's better.

I just accept the wisdoms that are there. Not difficult but these days, I suppose, people want their explanations, maybe don't enquire further about gnosticism and the earliest "Christianity"!

The intro to Jean-Yves Leloup (The Gospel of Mary Magdalene) rings true about the esoteric:
The immensity of Christianity takes its interior meaning as a sign of the immensity within the self of every human being. As a path of inner awakening, as a path of self-knowledge (that is to say ‘gnosis’) it invites and supports the inner struggle to attend to, to ‘hear and obey’ one’s own self, God in oneself. As the author suggests this is the intimate meaning of Anthropos, to be fully human oneself, the incarnation of God.
This is an unknown teaching – not in the philosophical or theological sense nor in the sense that it has never been said before, but in the sense that our ordinary thoughts and feelings can never really penetrate it. And it is unknown in the sense that we live our lives on the surface of ourselves, not knowing the one thing about our own being that is necessary for us to know and that would bring us every good that we could wish for.
We are speaking of an unknown part of ourselves, which is at the same time an essential part of ourselves: the teacher within, our genuine identity.


Which, I suppose, is what you said in your opening post!
.
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Old 24-01-2021, 02:02 PM
HITESH SHAH HITESH SHAH is offline
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exoteric and esoteric

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scholarly Tarot
So far as I can see, based on readings I am involved in, the esoteric and exoteric really canít be reconciled easily, if at all. There are reasons for this which I will describe briefly.

Exoteric is outward religion, going to church, participating in sacraments, prayers, rituals in a group setting of a religion, whatever name it goes by.

Exoteric wants things tidy, all cleaned up, logical, in line, orderly, scientific and simple. No messy contradictions or puzzling paradoxes are allowed if at all possible. Everything has to be smooth, well groomed, hair cut missionary style, slick and easily accessible and understood by all. Keep it simple stupid, the lowest denominator of concepts, words, and desires that even children grasp the ideas and themes. In short, it wants total control. It will let knowledge out in the speed it chooses, the quality it accepts for the public and only then will allow it to be read, digested, and believed. It controls. That is the essence of the exoteric.

Esoteric, itís brother, is best summed up by the scripture, ďThe Spirit bloweth where it will.Ē While the exoteric clamps onto control, the esoteric is entirely free to take wings at any time and any place, simply because it knows the Spirit is in charge, not the intellect. The intellect cannot control the Spirit. There is no control with the exoteric, because that is not the desirous thing. Logic, order, and neat systemization is irrelevant to the Spirit. The revelation will come when the Spirit decides to charge, not when the person decides it is time for the Spirit to go to work.

The exoteric is external, loud, almost boisterous with its claims, banging out information for the world to see, grasp, hear, and latch onto. It is effort magnified through teaching, indoctrination, systematic elaboration over and over again so the public gets the point. It sells itís knowledge in public, steadily, and non-stop, step by step fashion so as no mistakes can possibly be made if it can be prevented from making them. It is official, judicious and determined to get the word out. It demands obedience of the esoteric to bow to its doctrine and will. The esoteric doesnít even consider worrying about what the exoteric thinks or does, whether it follows its paths or not. It is entirely irrelevant to the esoteric how the exoteric responds to its whispers of truth in the souls of men.

The exoteric claims it alone possesses the truth and fights with other exoteric claims for the simple reason that every exoteric claim, no matter how contradictory of other exoteric claims insists it alone possesses the truth. It is exclusive, divisive, and never at one in its views.

There has always and only been one doctrine to the esoteric, though its methods may be numerous, and culturally defined and performed, its symbolisms can reflect great variety based on where in the world the Spirit has blown and inspired men and women.

The exoteric is always out in front, seen of men, and insists on public acknowledgment and fame. It is a steady outward manifestation insisting on being popular, accessible, and airing its doctrines with a megaphone, to clearly, and unmistakably be seen by men, the more, the better. It insists its interpretation of history is correct. If knowledge is lost to its way of thinking this is a negative for all mankind, an apostasy, a heretical doctrine, a blasphemy. It can be refuted and defeated, and so, underneath all its bluster, it is paranoid more or less. It has no choice because it can never be sure if the esoteric is with it or not.

The esoteric can bob up and down, be seen, and then go invisible to the exoteric, for long stretches of time if need be. It is never lost, or defeated, it just goes invisible to the exoteric, yet always working whether visible or not. It has no desire, let alone need, for proofs, logical analysis or the cheering of men in public forums. It has no creeds, articles of faith, rules to follow or buildings to exist within. The esoteric needs no advertisement of its truth, it works through the still small voice within, not the loud logical stentorian demonstrating its truth systematically to a willing public. It seeks not popularity, but souls in need of its light. The exoteric demands faith in it, the esoteric demands faith in inner self. The exoteric demands submission to its priesthoods, powers, principalities, and quorums. The esoteric suggests submission to the universal light within, and asks time to learn to see that light within.

The exoteric can lead to the esoteric enlightenment, but esoteric never leads to exoteric enlightenment as the truth, because the truth cannot come from outside oneself. This the exoteric cannot grasp, the esoteric knows for certainty it comes from within or not at all.

This is part of the difficulty to working esoterically. It has enemies from who ought to be its friends. It is not about power or wealth, but knowledge. The exoteric needs power and wealth in order for it to continue being a show for mankind rather than a substance. It needs buildings, temples, clothes, and media to spread its message or hope through it alone. The esoteric needs no trappings such as these. They are a complete distraction. The temple is oneself, not some expensive building. The temple is the world and stars one has access to 24 hours a day. Access to the exoteric trappings is limited and definitely guarded. The esoteric is holy wherever or whenever one is in the world. It needs no group, demands no intermediate blockades, other than oneís own desire or lack thereof to tap into the stream of the holy.

True religion means a linking back to the Source of All, the One. It is what constitutes spirituality as opposed to being obedient to others demands. The only demand is upon oneself. One can never tell another who wishes for esoteric insight that obedience must be performed, since obedience is irrelevant to where the Spirit blows. It can strike at anytime, anyplace, anywhere, anyone. When esoteric people gather, there is not an undergirding necessity for agreement of ideas, hopes, and doctrines. There is not conformity, there is inquiry, learning, intelligence sharing with intelligence gifted. There are no heretics in the esoteric. The very thought makes no sense at all. The ways of the Spirit are infinite and from infinity which stretches out across infinity, including all opposites, paradoxes, contradictions, normalities, abnormalities, and conceptualizations. The Canon is the individual soul, not an outside source. The loyalty is to oneís own search for enlightenment, not to anotherís interpretations, influences, or determinations concerning doctrines, scriptures, or acceptable procedures to please a god of any kind. The God is within. The exoteric wants a relationship to a God without, to be in agreement with God, the esoteric recognizes the God within is oneís very self, there is no relationship, there is awakening to know One is it. Itís not one in agreement alone, it is One, period.

So far as I can understand, the exoteric cannot see the legitimate revelations and enlightenment in any others while the esoteric see the revelations and enlightenment in all mankind no matter where on earth they are, nor in how they express it. The light flows through all mankind, not one group to the exclusion of the others. The expression, symbolisms, and metaphors differ with the esoteric expression of enlightenment, with cultural inflections, of course. But the message is just one message throughout history, best expressed as Tat Tvam Asi, ďThou Art That,Ē that is, thou art the divine in the universe, just expressed in the many. The goal of the Divine One is the unifying of the many back to itself. That is the core of the esoteric doctrine, no matter how it differs in expression of symbolisms, experiences, etc. It is not about aligning with correct doctrines, it is about experiencing the unification, regardless of country, gender, race, or beliefs. It has nothing to do with agreeing with interpretations of the scripture in alignment and agreement as with the exoteric. It is not about conformity, it is about experiencing the Divine.

So far as I can tell, this is the essential difference of the two ways of religion. The exoteric will not tolerate the exoteric unless and only if it aligns with exoteric thinking and doctrines and knowledge, nothing else is allowed. The esoteric is not nearly in such a narrow corridor because it has no need for the exoteric to agree with anything of what it says. It cannot be and will not be a missionary way because there is nothing to share publicly. Everything is internal for oneself. There is no need to even attempt a conformity of experience, because, The Spirit bloweth where IT will. The speed, the timing, the path comes from God, not controlled by human institutions. It is a direct connection, not a testimony based on what someone else says or believes.

The exoteric wants to be in control of the Spirit and tell it where it blows, the esoteric simply follows where the Spirit blows. The exoteric will not and cannot agree with the esoteric, while the esoteric doesnít care what the exoteric believes, it follows what it gets straight from the Divine itself. That, in a nutshell is the entire column of experience between the two. The exoteric would crucify Jesus again if he came and taught His Gospel, the esoteric would embrace it. The exoteric has never been correct about the truth, it is all about outward appearance of possessing the truth. The esoteric has never been wrong about the truth, though it is expressed in myriads of different manners, the doctrine is always the same. That is the essential difference.

I agree with most of it.If we dig deeper goal of exoteric,it is and should be to facilitate/induce esoteric experiences of the people it guides/mentor and goal of esoteric is to establish /facilitate / nurture the spiritual insights /wisdom gained through esoteric experiences in the worldly life through exoteric mechanisms .

Exoteric recognize that humans are spiritual beings and tries to devise worldly affairs in a manner to facilitate spiritual experiences. Same way esoteric recognizes that human beings are animal too and in recognition of that it facilitates animal/human/material experiences through exoteric dictates .

What i have described above is an ideal scenario and in real world it may have deviated many times in history . However if we go through best periods of human history we'll find existence of such an idealistic orientation in people of this period and those region.
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