Way of Essenic Studies
Esoteric Christianity refers to the occult study and the mystic living of the esoteric knowledge related to what adherents view as the "inner teachings" of early Christianity, seen as a Mystery religion. The term is originally associated with the Essenes and later with the Rosicrucians.
Modern-day scholars believe that the foundational teachings of Esoteric Christianity were held secret by the Essenes and the early Christians until publicly presented to the world in the early 20th century in an effort to establish a future universal religion as mankind, with a more developed mind and will, walk forward to the understandings of universal Brotherhood. Its central aim is to aid each human being in his/her task of developing the "Golden Wedding Garment": the Christ Within that must be born.
The Christ Within is defined as Paul of Tarsus' "soma psuchicon", meaning soul body, needed by each individual in order to be able to enter and permanently live in the next Sixth Epoch's etheric environment (new heavens and a new earth): the New Galilee.
These teachings are also believed to enable each individual to understand the mystery of life, that is, the mystery of death, eliminating the fear of it and are preparing human beings for in due time, as the Sun enters Aquarius by precession, to start seeing among themselves their true inner being.
This is done according to the words "For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad." (Luke 8:17; KJV) and it is knowledge that had to wait its own time to be grasped by our own mind, as Christ spoke: "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." (John 16:12).
It is also referred in Esoteric Christianity that there are, and always have been, those being prepared towards Initiation - into the Lesser Mysteries, the secrets concerning the Science of Life and Being, in the spiritual worlds by the Hierophants of the seven invisible Lesser Mystery Schools - through harmonious development of the mind (occultist) and the heart (mystic) in a spirit of unselfishness service to mankind and an all-embracing altruism.
According to Max Heindel the door of a genuine Mystery School is not unlocked by a golden key, but is only opened as a reward for meritorious service to humanity. "The true pupil of any Mystery School is far too modest to advertise the fact, he will scorn all titles or honors from men, he will have no regard for riches save the riches of love given to him by those whom it becomes his privilege to help and teach."
The Way: "Ego sum Via, Veritas et Vita"
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6; KJV)
The Esoteric Knowledge
He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. (Matthew 13:11)
And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. (Luke 8:10)
The Mystic Living (the heart)
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. (Matthew 16:24)
And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. (Luke 9:23)
The Occult Study (the mind)
And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3)
Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. (Mark 10:15)
20th century Writings
The Western world is undoubtedly the vanguard of the human race, and, it is held by the Rosicrucian that neither Judaism nor "popular Christianity," but true Esoteric Christianity is to be its world-religion. (Max Heindel in The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception, 1909; Rosicrucian Fellowship)
This is the Way of the Divine Wisdom, the true THEOSOPHY. It is not, as some think, a diluted version of Hinduism, or Buddhism, or Taoism, or of any special religion. It is Esoteric Christianity as truly as it is Esoteric Buddhism, and belongs equally to all religions, exclusively to none. (Annie Besant, Esoteric Christianity or The Lesser Mysteries, 1914, Theosophical Society)
In Christianity, too, especially as far as its central point, the Mystery of Golgotha, is concerned, we must make a distinction between exoteric conceptions and esoteric knowledge. An exoteric contemplation of Christianity, accessible to all the world, is contained in the Gospels. Side by side with this exoteric contemplation, there has always been an esoteric Christianity for those who were willing - as I have said before - to prepare their hearts and minds in an adequate way for the reception of an esoteric Christianity. (Rudolf Steiner, Exoteric and Esoteric Christianity, 1922, Anthroposophical Society)
If this inner doctrine were always concealed from the masses, for whom a simpler code had been devised, is it not highly probable that the exponents of every aspect of modern civilization--philosophic, ethical, religious, and scientific-are ignorant of the true meaning of the very theories and tenets on which their beliefs are founded? Do the arts and sciences that the race has inherited from older nations conceal beneath their fair exterior a mystery so great that only the most illumined intellect can grasp its import? Such is undoubtedly the case.
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