The Basics Of
Esoteric Philosophy and Psychology
The word 'esoteric' means hidden or inner, contrasted with that which is outer or 'exoteric.'
Esotericism is, therefore, the body of knowledge or wisdom about all aspects of life which are within, behind, or beyond the outer appearance, form, or expression of life's many aspects.
True knowledge or wisdom is not something we can acquire solely by using our minds and brains, learning it in an academic way. It can only be gained by experience. Experience does not imply doing something physical but rather necessitates a direct contact between one's consciousness and a state of energy.
For example, if you meet someone who has just suffered a severe loss and you attune to that person, feeling what they feel, you have an experience that can make you a wiser person, knowing more about the nature of loss and its consequent pain. If, however, you can experience that person at a deeper level of being, you will gain the wisdom of knowing the real purpose of the loss and its meaning in that person's life.
To have this deeper experience requires the ability to have conscious awareness of the Soul or Higher Self. To take this example even further, if you have conscious awareness of the Planetary Soul, you would be able to experience the person's loss in the light of all losses that everyone experiences and see what place loss has in the unfolding intelligent and loving life of the planet. The wisdom derived from such an experience would be very profound.
As you see, what is esoteric cannot be neatly and simply defined or confined to narrow parameters. There are many levels of what is inner and many dimensions of energy states that can be experienced.
Behind every phenomenon exists a 'world' of energies. It is energy that produces phenomena or forms when it descends or manifests in the lower three worlds of thought, feeling, and physical matter. Beyond these worlds are other formless but real worlds or dimensions of life energy.
All that exists is some type of energy that has its source in ultimate simplicity or purity of formless energy. For reasons beyond our comprehension, we perceive this simple energy manifesting itself by degrees of greater complexity. As it does so, it descends through many levels of expression, first formless and then formed. When it is formed, we experience it with our form nature -- our bodies, emotions, and brain-minds. When it is still formless, we can, however, also experience it with the formless aspects of our individual consciousness -- namely our higher minds, intuition, Soul, and Spirit.
Every stepping down of energy from a higher (simpler and more inclusive) state to a lower (more complex and particular/exclusive) state is a cause-producing effect. It is the higher state of energy, being the cause, that is the purpose and meaning of every lower state or effect. If we do not relate to or search for the cause, if we do not attempt to experience beyond phenomena, we cannot know the higher purpose or meaning of anything, least of all ourselves.
Written by Andrew Schneider, Author of the "Mysteries Revealed"
The park bench was deserted as I sat down to read
Beneath the long, straggly branches of an old willow tree
Disillusioned by life with good reason to frown,
For the world was intent on dragging me down.
And if that weren't enough to ruin my day,
A young boy out of breath approached me, all tired from play,
He stood right before me with his head tilted down
And said, with great excitement, " look what I found!"
In his hand was a flower, and what a pitiful sight,
With its petals all worn - not enough rain or too little light.
Wanting him to take his dead flower and go off to play,
I faked a small smile and then shifted away.
But instead of retreating, he sat next to my side.
And placed the flower to his nose and declared with overacted surprise,
"It sure smells pretty, and it's beautiful, too.
That's why I picked it," here, it's for you."
The weed before me was dying or dead.
Not vibrant of colors; orange, yellow, or red.
But I know I must take it, or he might never leave.
So I reached for the flower and replied, " just what I need."
But instead of him placing the flower in my hand,
He held it in mid-air without reason or plan.
It was then that I noticed for the very first time,
The weed-toting boy could not see; he was blind.
I heard my voice quiver; tears shone in the sun
As I thanked him for picking the very best one.
"You are welcome," he smiled and then run off to play,
Unaware of the impact he'd had on my day.
I sat there and wondered how he managed to see
A self-pitying man beneath an old willow tree.
How did he know of my self-indulgent plight?
Perhaps from his heart, he'd been blessed with true sight.
Through the eyes of a blind child, at last, I could see
The problem was not with the world; the problem was me.
And for all of those times, I myself had been blind,
I vowed to see the beauty in life,
And appreciate every second that's mine.
And then I held that wilted flower up to my nose
and breathed in the fragrance of a beautiful rose
and smiled as I watched that young boy,
Another weed in his hand,
About to change the life of an unsuspected old man.
"If it breaks from the inside, life begins.
If it breaks from the outside, life ends."