PHILOSOPHY OF ESOTERICS, by Dr. Peter Egger
The term "esotericism" comes from the Greek word "esoterikos" and means inner/secret. In Latin it is named as "occultus". It means hidden/secret/hidden and closed.
Philosophically, esotericism is about teachings that are only accessible to a certain select circle. These secret teachings are meant to give those authorised a certain view of life and the human being. They are also supposed to provide answers to existential questions of life. This secret knowledge is ultimately supposed to impart a happy and successful life. It is also supposed to impart a knowledge of secret, supernatural powers that exceed those that can be perceived by the senses. These are parapsychic, occult and magical powers. They promise to find full development and fulfilment with them. It also seeks to impart access to secret powers. These occult powers are spiritual beings that guide people and help them to success and happiness.
Now we want to go into essential points of esotericism: Let us begin with the reference to the "divine, absolute and eternal primordial ground" of all being. The divine primordial ground is beyond the cosmos and the world and at the same time also in the cosmos and the world. Esotericism represents a pantheistic image of God and sees the divine in the cosmos and also in human beings. The divine can only be seen and experienced in a mystical and spiritual way. Esotericism sees the primordial source as an impersonal entity; it therefore does not see God as a person. And since God is not a person, there can be no personal contact with God. Man cannot turn to God in prayer. He can only immerse himself in the divine in meditation. Esotericism also regards the divine primal ground as an impersonal energy. God is the primal energy of the entire cosmos. This divine energy is spiritual in nature and contains spirit and life. It works in the whole cosmos and leads to the self-organisation and evolution of the cosmos.
Now let us ask ourselves what Christianity has to say about this teaching of the divine primal energy. In contrast to esotericism, Christianity teaches that God is not an impersonal source, but a personal being. Furthermore, Christianity says that God is not in the cosmos but beyond the cosmos. Christianity opposes the pantheistic image of God of esotericism, which equates God with the cosmos, and clearly distinguishes between God and the world. Christianity teaches that the divine is not in nature and is not in man.
Now we come to a second focus: What is the cosmos, i.e. the universe, and the world from an esoteric point of view? Esotericism teaches that the cosmos and nature are an outflow from the divine source. The divine primordial ground is like a spring from which the cosmos and the world constantly flow out or emerge. The cosmos and the world are therefore not a creation that God made out of nothing. Esotericism teaches that the cosmos and the world themselves emerge from God and are thus an expression of the divine. It is in this world that the divine manifests itself. In this way, therefore, the divine becomes visible in the cosmos and in the world. And the divine is also present in nature and in human beings. Esotericism thus leads to a divine understanding of the cosmos and the world. It sees the cosmos and the world as a revelation of the divine that is present in the cosmos, in the world and in nature. Esotericism thus leads to a return to the old nature religions.
What does Christianity have to say about this concept of cosmos and world? In contrast to esotericism, Christianity teaches that the cosmos and the world are not an outflow from a divine source. Cosmos and world are a creation of God. The cosmos and the world are not divine, but creatures of God. Christianity teaches that God is not visible in nature and the cosmos, but that traces of his wisdom and divinity are visible. Christianity opposes any form of nature religion and declares nature to be a creation of God.
Now we come to the third focus, namely the nature of the human being. What does esotericism teach about the nature of man? It teaches that the human being consists of soul and body. Soul and body, however, do not form a body/soul unity. Rather, the soul forms an independent principle that exists for itself. The body is not a component of the human being, but only a dwelling place, indeed a prison of the soul. Esotericism also teaches that the soul is a part of the divine source. Its ideal of life is individual self-determination and acts according to the principle "do what you want" - that should be the whole law. The supreme law is therefore one's own will. If one's actions correspond to one's will, then they are morally justified. Esotericism teaches that evil does not exist in itself. Evil is only a consequence of inadequate knowledge, due to the lack of divine consciousness. Man only acts evil because he knows little about his destiny and about morality. What does Christianity have to say about this? In contrast to esotericism, Christianity teaches that man is not an autonomous being who can give himself laws. Rather, man is placed in God's order and is to adhere in freedom to God's values and commandments. Christianity also teaches that every human being has sufficient knowledge of God's commandments through his conscience and reason. It also teaches that man acts wickedly and sins when he consciously chooses to go against God and His commandments.
Now we come to a fifth point, namely the unfoldment of man: Esotericism deals in great detail with the question of how man can reach his full development. It teaches that the unfoldment of the human being happens above all through the absorption of supersensible forces. The first access to these supersensible forces is through an expanded consciousness. Through his expansion of consciousness, man becomes capable of gaining access to the supersensible. In a way, he has to be like a radio set that has certain antennas so that he can pick up the various waves from outside. How does this expansion of consciousness come about? This expansion happens through meditation, but also through yoga, but also through various kinds of esoteric music. The expanded consciousness thus enables the inflow of divine consciousness. This also leads to the unfolding of the divine being in him.
The second access is through the sources of the divine within the human being. The opening of the spiritual sources in the inner being happens through autogenous meditation, that is, through immersion in the inner being of the human being. Through yoga exercises, through mobilisation of the consciousness, through hypnosis techniques, etc.. From these sources the human being should live freely in his inner being, from which a supersensible energy then flows.
The third access is through the access of special sensitive persons. For example, a prana therapist or a healer can convey psychic powers through a touch or the laying on of hands. An initiated medium, a guru or a magician can impart occult magical powers through magical formulas, through mantras or through an initiation (initiation). In this way, man has three possibilities to access supersensible powers, which then enable him to develop in a special way. These three accesses are first of all the expansion of consciousness, then the release of supersensible powers and then the imparting of supersensible energies. Through these, man can unfold, he gets strength and insight; he gets a vision.
What does Christianity say now. In contrast to esotericism, Christianity teaches that unfoldment does not happen through supersensible forces, but through man's efforts, through the love of his fellow man and above all through the grace of God. He must make an effort himself to unfold; then he also needs the love and support of fellow human beings and the grace of God, which gives him the strength to unfold.
The sixth focus is now on the fulfilment of the human being: Esotericism teaches that man can achieve all goals with the help of supernatural powers. He can use them to promote his health, he can develop an unprecedented self-confidence through positive thinking, he belongs to the worldwide community with all people and he lives in harmony with nature and can find his fulfilment in this way. Esotericism thus promises man an ideal world and earthly paradise. But it also promises man perfect harmony with his inner being, in supernatural wisdom and Far Eastern transfigured harmony. Through the guidance and accompaniment of spiritual beings, man receives supernatural instructions and powers. Finally, esotericism teaches that man can evolve into a divine being. Through divine consciousness and the absorption of divine energy, he can become a divine being and ascend to the divine cosmos.
Unlike esotericism, Christianity teaches that man will never find an ideal world and an earthly paradise. It also explicitly declares that man is not a divine being and therefore cannot evolve into a divine being. It also teaches that the goal of man is not unity with the cosmos, but eternal communion with God. It also teaches that man's goal is not unity with the cosmos but eternal communion with God.
The seventh point is about the eternal life of man: Esotericism teaches that man lives on eternally through the transmigration of souls. It does not regard the transmigration of souls as a compulsion imposed on man to repent for his past sins. Rather, it sees transmigration as an opportunity to experience further forms of life. Through the transmigration of souls, man thus has an infinite number of chances to develop more and more. She sees transmigration as a prerequisite for an infinite learning process. Esotericism speaks of a court that determines the degree of maturity of the human being after each earthly life. But there is no punishment and no damnation. Man is always given a chance to return to the world to continue learning and perfecting himself as a human being. Esotericism teaches man that the many transmigrations of the soul make him more and more of a cosmic being until he finally merges into the cosmos and becomes a part of the divine source again. In this way, man finds his highest fulfilment.
What does Christianity have to say about this idea of eternal life? In contrast to esotericism, Christianity teaches that there is no transmigration of souls and that man lives only once. It further teaches that man will be judged by God after death. Finally, Christianity teaches that man's goal is not in redemption in the cosmos, but eternal life with God.
We have thus become acquainted with various points that are typical of esotericism. We now want to take a closer look at the different points of view in relation to Christianity: Let us begin once again with the image of God. Esotericism offers a pantheistic image of God and regards the cosmos as the divine source of all things. Critically, it must be said that the cosmos has a beginning and therefore cannot be the divine source. Everything that has a beginning needs a cause that lies before it. Also, the cosmos is limited in time and space and therefore cannot be divine. The cosmos consists of energy, but it does not have a spiritual intelligence. Secondly, the world view: Esotericism explains the origin of the world as an outflow from the divine primordial ground. The world is of divine origin and therefore something divine. But the world has its limitations and shortcomings and therefore cannot be divine. Finite things are not expressions of the divine. Thirdly, the image of man: Esotericism teaches that man has a divine soul and a mortal body. The soul of the human being migrates from the body into another body after death. Critically, it must be said that the human soul is not divine but limited. Furthermore, it must be said that the soul of man cannot migrate into another body. A mature soul cannot find expression in another begotten body. Fourthly, the morality of man: esotericism teaches that man is an autonomous being who can determine his own life. It teaches that evil does not exist. Critically, it must be said that human beings are not allowed to act arbitrarily, but must be guided by certain values. Furthermore, it can be stated that there is indeed a distinctly evil action. Fifth, the unfolding of the human being: Esotericism explains the unfolding of the human being with the help of expanded consciousness, through access to supersensible energies and through the mediation of supersensible forces. Critically, these often lead to contact with occult and magical powers rather than Christ. Sixth, the fulfilment of the human being: Esotericism promises that with its help there will be fulfilment on earth and in nature. And finally, it promises man to find lasting fulfilment through it. To this it must be critically said that fulfilment on earth cannot be a lasting fulfilment and that the doctrine of the divine nature of man is nonsense. On the last, seventh point, the doctrine of eternal life claims that man can improve himself eternally via transmigration of souls.
The New Age wants to achieve a One World with its five-point programme.
°The first point is about the unity of man and nature. It sees the cause of this conflict in the false understanding that man can shape, rule and exploit nature as he pleases. The New Age now explains that nature is a part of the divine cosmos. In nature, the divine shows itself and develops. But man is also a part of the divine cosmos. In the human being, the divine reaches the level of the spiritual in its development. According to esotericism, both man and nature have their origin in the divine cosmos and are therefore ultimately one. Based on this view, the New Age demands the integration of the two. Man must not set himself up as the master of nature, but must integrate himself proportionately into nature and subordinate himself to it. Nature is not a mechanistic entity, but the primordial ground and the divine mother. With the help of ecology, the New Age strives for a harmonious unity of both quantities. Esoteric ecology assumes that man and nature can be integrated in the divine cosmos. Nature is the divine for man and becomes religion for him.
°The second point is about the integration of man and woman: the New Age also points to the conflict between the sexes. The cause of the conflict is the dissimilarity and antagonism of man and woman. The domination of the man leads to the disadvantage and oppression of the woman, in marriage, in the economy and in politics. So what does esotericism do to solve this problem. According to the New Age, integration is to be achieved through an equalisation of the sexes. The man is to become more feminine, the woman more masculine. The education of the sexes should be completely equal. The roles of the sexes are to be interchangeable. In this way, conflicts are to be overcome, harmony is to be achieved and the desired alignment is to be achieved.
°We come to the third point, the integration of social classes: the New Age also points to the conflict between social classes. The differences in education,
property, work, clothing, culture of the individual classes, leads to constant conflicts of tension. To overcome these, the New Age strives for their integration through increasing conformity and
equalisation. A unified society is to be created through the same education, the same language, the same music and fashion, the same eating habits, the same television programmes, etc. The goal
is a global classless society. The goal is a global classless society.
°Fourth point, the integration of peoples: the conflicts among peoples and nations always lead to violent wars. Diversity and antagonism lead to nationalism and racism. The New Age movement is now striving for the integration of the different nations and peoples in an international world state. A global, planetary state is to be achieved. In this One World, a permanent conflict-free peace is then guaranteed. For the concrete realisation, planetary programmes, global economy, norms, regulation of laws and a uniform language with total monitoring of all communication processes including all data storage shall form a basis to eliminate all conflicts on the basis of esoteric philosophy.
°Fifth point, the integration of all religions into a global unified religion: the individual religions have always fought each other, as they still do today, and place their respective opinion of truth as the only valid one above every other religious conviction. They always want to impose their claim to the possession of truth on all other opinions. Esotericism therefore wants to establish a uniform, global world religion that is to rest on the basis of a cosmic spirituality and universal ethics. The individual religions are then only special expressions of the one global religion. They are only different, only relative truths, as completely equivalent paths to God. With enforced mutual tolerance, the goal of a pantheon, namely a temple of all gods in which all religions coexist peacefully and harmoniously, is thus established.
Now we want to add a critical appraisal to these five programmes: the five integrations for a levelling, synchronisation and domination of all areas of man. Such a One World means a radical endangerment of nature as creation, of the genders of man and woman, of social diversity, peoples and nations and the different religions. This kind of world order eventually leads to a totalitarian world state that gently dominates and controls the whole of society.
From a Christian point of view, we can say that a world order is needed, but this world order must be structured differently. Christianity points out that there is a unity of the world, but in which diversity is preserved. It needs unity in diversity that respects the nature of nature, the two sexes, social classes, nations and religions. In other words, not a unity that abolishes all differences, but a unity in recognised multiplicity. From a Christian perspective, a world order is needed that is structured from the small to the large and not vice versa from the large to the small. This world order begins with the human person of the individual, continues with the family, religion, the nation and ends with the global world. In this way, the freedom and autonomy of the individual units are secured and in this way the totalitarianism of the One World is prevented. So Christianity warns against this One World and says we need this unity of the world in multiplicity. And we need One World, but not built from the top down, but from the bottom up. The smaller units must not be abolished and eliminated, they need their independence, but at the same time they are obliged to build up an appropriate relationship with the larger units. These two principles, that the small is fully preserved in the large and that the large does not represent an all-determining power from the top down, are the unambiguously Christian position on the question of how all of our futures are to be shaped. Dear friends, it is very very important that we deal with the spiritual philosophical backgrounds, because namely the various philosophical backgrounds shape the most diverse areas. And we have to say quite openly that thoughts also determine actions. That ideas also determine the shaping of life, society, the economy and politics. And above all, we must also recognise the wrong ideas, the wrong thoughts and the wrong world views; because catastrophic things often start from these and take their negative course. As Christians, we absolutely need a philosophically and ideologically secure basic attitude/knowledge in order to be able to exist in this world, and also to be able to offer people a secure foothold in these complex problems. Finally, I wish you all the best and God's special blessing.