What is Esotericism?
As long as there are human beings, there will be a yearning to find truth – an inner quest to understand the profound beyond ordinary existence. Yet not many people feel this yearning sufficiently enough to pursue persistently the mysteries of life and the universe. Those who are persistent and fortunate enough, encounter teachings which guide them to find truth within themselves.
These teachings are called “esoteric” (esōterikos in Ancient Greek) which means that they are not for people “en masse”. Esoteric teachings are understood by a few – a few willing ones who do what it takes to truly develop themselves spiritually.
“For many are called but few are chosen” – Matthew 22:13
Authentic esoteric teachings are not reserved for some “special elite group”, but only a relatively small group of people tend to feel a spiritual yearning strong enough to take it seriously. And only a small part of those people tend to put the required amount of work to step out of dry theory and convenient beliefs. Spiritual development is attained through dedication to spiritual exercises.
Spirituality can be truly understood only by practicing it.
The Origins of Mystical Teachings
Ultimately, esoteric teachings originate from the divine. Spiritual beings pass on these teachings to those seeking spiritual wisdom.
Physical remnants of mystical teachings within civilization can be found in sacred places of Egypt, Mexico and Tibet to name a few. Throughout known history mystical teachings have been taught under the names of Hermeticism, Kabbalah, Gnosticism, Alchemy, Rosicrucianism, Sufism, Zen, etc.
“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away”, Matthew 24-35
He spoke in layers of meaning to the public.
“I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.”, Matthew 13-13
But his disciples were prepared enough for a more advanced teaching.
“He would speak the word to them with many parables like these, as they were able to understand. And He did not speak to them without a parable. Privately, however, He would explain everything to His own disciples. ”–Mark 4:33-34
Jesus said to his disciples, “Blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.” Matthew 13-16
Disciples of Jesus received from him a mystical esoteric teaching.
Much evidence has emerged recently about the great depth of esoteric teachings taught by Jesus, as the profound works of the Nag Hammadi Library, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, The Gospel of Judas, etc. have been found in the 20th century, as well as the Essene Gospel of Peace.
Esotericism, Religion and Sorcery
Esotericism is completely different from religion as it is commonly known nowadays.
Religious organizations usually speak about ideas of salvation, unity with God, heaven, etc. as their goals, in a similar way to esotericists. However religious worship tends to be based around beliefs in a particular doctrine, while esoteric practice is based on understanding and faith from one’s own spiritual experiences.
Also esotericism is fundamentally different from sorcery, witchcraft, etc. in a sense of using supernatural powers and wisdom for selfish material gains.
The material world is known in mystical teachings as a place of learning and self-improvement, with the opportunity and responsibility to help others selflessly.
Esoteric teachings were brought to light in the world by the efforts of many people. They were often misunderstood and persecuted for carrying on these teachings.
“Speak not about Pythagoric concerns without light.” -the Pythagorean aphorism, collected by Iamblichus
Obviously fake gurus and evil organizations do exist, but how many genuine spiritual practitioners among Cathars, Templars and other esoteric groups have been called ‘heretics’ and subjected to horrible witch trials?
Even to this day, some modern mystics live under threats and pressure. The new label of modern persecution used to stamp out small spiritual groups is “cult”.
Yet profound spiritual teachings keep being passed on. Challenges become the means for a deep inner study and change.
Esoteric Teachings Group – in Montreal, Vermont and On-line
In an effort to help those interested in the mystical side of life, to learn proper applications of universal esoteric exercises for inner growth and profound self-realization.
All Esoteric Teachings courses and workshops are given free of charge. Donations are accepted, they help to cover costs so that more people can experience the benefits of practical spirituality.
Besides Montreal, the classes have been taught in Kingston, Ontario and are currently available in Burlington, Vermont.
Our main principles:
- The time to practice spirituality is always now.
- The ultimate goal of Esotericism is to help people awaken spiritually.
- A true positive change in the world is possible through the positive change of individuals.
- Development of all spiritual qualities such as peace, love and wisdom is the by-product of the spiritual work.
- Spirituality needs to be objective and practice-oriented in order to work, and not be based on senseless rules, beliefs and superstitions.
- Spirituality should be free – it should never be a means to make a profit.
If you wish to learn about courses in Montreal, activities in Burlington, or participate in practices on-line, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
The image credit – on top left – Gilbert Williams http://www.gilbertwilliamsgallery.com/