Glimpses of Esoteric Christianity Part 1
Esotericism There is more to Truth and Reality than what elementary minds would want to pursue and consider. It often seems more comfortable to sit in the dark where we see nothing than to face the blinding light. Is the blindness the same in both cases? The former is blissful ignorance, the latter an initial shock--but one that eventually offers solace to the soul. It is the courageous individual that seeks Truth no matter how painful or shocking it may be. In this paper we do not pretend to represent Truth, we simply give directions to it. Because there are those that seek Truth, humankind may be categorized into two distinct groups: 1) "The Many," the believers, those who are devoted and satisfied with the dogmas of their creed and resistant to any teachings that contradicts and upsets their beliefs and faith, including the higher revelations of the Paraclete, or the Holy Spirit.
2) "The Few," the seekers, those who are jaded with irrational faiths and creeds that do not satisfy the intellect nor the growing conscience of the inner self, and who seek spiritual knowledge and experience to fill the empty heart of spiritual yearning. St. Martin, the co-founder of Martinism, calls this second group, "Men of Desire." Realizing this division within humankind ever since the spring of existence, the higher intelligences that oversees the evolution of man instituted religions with dual sections that catered to the two types of men. It has been acknowledged by the spiritual guardians, the "Minor Spirits" of Martinism that the masses of man are as yet too puerile to participate in their own salvation and the unfoldment of their divinity.
Only the few had the capacity of doing so. Religion, therefore, has its mysteries, an esoteric side to its nature, established for the nurture and nourishment of those few who were qualified to receive the higher teachings that would stimulate the awakening and unfoldment of their divine consciousness, their seed potential of Christhood, or Buddhahood, and establish them firmly on the path of discipleship, that they may become initiates of the Holy Spirit. "But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory." (1Co:2:7) Religion, to be of value, should reach the hearts of men standing at various grades of the evolutionary ladder, as depicted in the symbolism of Jacob's dream. Its doctrines and precepts should include both elementary and advanced teachings of Cosmic laws that would assist man in fulfilling the ancient threefold injunction: "Know thyself, know thyself as God, and know they enemy." Teachings suitable for the few are called "esoteric." St. Paul called such manna "meat," in contradistinction to the "milk" suitable for the many--or the "babes"--those whose soul-experience, personal evolution, and consciousness are still on the elementary level. Origen, one of the early Fathers of Christianity, taught that only when the members of the church's congregation ceased to do evil would the esoteric side, or secret mysteries be revealed. Sinners were told not to sin, but notwithstanding the simplicity of this precept, the early Christian following found it difficult to put this teachings into practice, and sincere seekers, as a result, became scarce.
Gradually, the portal of the "strait and narrow gate" was closed and withdrawn from the Christian institution and its existence forgotten by lay members and priesthood alike. The "keys" to the Kingdom of Heaven were no longer in the hands of the Apostle Peter's successors--the very nature of these "keys" are unknown to most religious representatives of God, even more so to the lay follower. The latter is unconscious of its existence. Nowadays, blind leaders mislead their equally blind followers with a salvation based on a false interpretation of the scriptures. But this condition has actually always existed in the past in the temples of religious instruction. The Master Jesus was very vocal regarding these mis-leaders of the Spiritual Law. Religion in its original intent, was meant to convey to the minds and hearts of man at a certain point of his mental and spiritual development the Secret Wisdom of the Ages. Humankind is expected to be responsible for their own salvation and freedom from the bondage of matter. Since man is evolving and progressing toward the Light, revelation would need to be continuous to satisfy man's constant inquiry, growing awareness and comprehension of the Nature of Being, the ontology of his Soul. Resistance to further revelations of the "Comforter," is an act of fanaticism and causes the evolutionary impulse of the resisting one to stall and prolong the sleep of consciousness in the tomb of matter.
It was the opposition of gnosis, the Ancient Wisdom, and progressive revelation that caused the esoteric side of religions, particularly Christianity, to withdraw formally from the outer, exoteric work and form themselves into secret societies and Orders, preserving the secret teachings in their archives. It is the esoteric side of religion that infuses life into the institution as a whole. Religion without the mystical aspect, becomes a farce, a sham, and a fertile field for corruption. Dogmas and foundationless beliefs and faiths simply insult human intelligence, and the rebellion of the human soul struggling for enlightenment occurs as a natural result. Prophets and sages, exponents of gnosis, founded religions and societies with the intention of leading the masses several steps forward in their ascension towards the Light. They even gave hints of an advanced method that would accelerate the spiritual development of those who would tread such a path. The Master Jesus offered the "strait and narrow gate." Jeremiah acting as Omneity's scribe and mouth-piece, suggested that humankind ". ask for the ancient paths. (Jer 6:16)" Many stories to be found in the scriptures are representative of manuals of practical spiritual techniques of development. For instance we have, Jacob's Ladder; Elijah's mount experience; the various stages of Moses' encounters with Divinity; the Merkabah or sky-chariot of Ezekiel; Jesus's 40-day fast on the Mount with Satan; the events in Jesus's life, etc. Many of the precepts, rites, tenets, and principles of Christianity originated from old religions and Mystery Schools. This fact may be discerned should a study of comparative religions be undertaken. For instance, the doctrine of heaven and hell, the last judgment, the mediation of the Logos on behalf of humanity's salvation, and the Eucharist--all have their counterpart in the cult of Mithras, Zoroastrianism and the Essenes. It is also in the field of probability that the illumined minds of the founders of religion were enlightened with the same illumination of the Spirit concerning Cosmic laws of the universe that directs every spark of God. This would account for the many similarities between various religions. Truth is eternal and immutable, as it is One.
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