Esoteric Tradition and Public Opinion
Dec 04, 2006 07:35 AM
Gregory Tillett, Friends,
(Minutes ago I sent a message similar to this. It apparently did not go through. I re-prepared it.)
This is but a general approach to the esoteric tradition, yet it contains a couple of ideas about its relationship to public opinion.
Honest researchers may get frustrated because the esoteric tradition does not open all of its texts and information to them, or to the public.
Yet just as modern science can't publish all it knows about atomic energy, for instance, so esoteric science, which deals with keys to dangerous subtle energies, has to be careful. HPB herself made this comparison between esoteric science and scientific military tecnology, in order to show the need for secrecy in some matters. I can bring the bibliographical references here if anyone wants me to.
In the expression "esoteric tradition", the term "esoteric" means that not all of it is public, and I have to say that the creation of such "secret" wisdom tradition is not something which can be safely ascribed to Helena Blavatsky.
What are my sources, as to that? Let’s take a look at some of them, at least.
Lord Jesus says in the New Testament, not referring to honest historians, but to that which one might call "public opinion":
“Do not give what is holy to dogs – they will only turn and attack you. Do not throw your pearls in front of pigs – they will only trample them underfoot.” (NT, Matthew, 7: 6.)
Strong words indeed.
Yet before our critics blame the NT Jesus for the creation of esoteric schools, I must say in His defence that he was just repeating a much older practice and wisdom. Some five centuries before Christian Era, Confucius taught in ancient China, as the "Analects" tell us:
“The Master said: ‘I expound nothing to him who is not earnest, nor help out any one not anxious to express himself. When I have demonstrated one angle and he cannot bring me back the other three, then I do not repeat my lesson’.” (1)
What does the Zen tradition say?
In “The Iron Flute”, a collection of 100 zen koans, one sees reference to “an ancient oriental proverb”:
“It is useless to show the gold piece to a cat”. (2)
But – does that mean that we, poor mortals, can’t have any access to the real, nearly eternal esoteric tradition? Not quite. We can. The dividing line between having or not access to wisdom (‘esoteric’ or otherwise) seems to be given by one’s own intention and motives. And that depends on each of us.
The NT Jesus teaches:
“Ask, and you will receive; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks will receive, and anyone who seeks will find, and the door will be opened to him who knocks.” ( Matthew, 7: 7-8 )
Of course, you will receive according to the level of consciousness and intention with which you seek, as Jesus goes on to explain in the few lines after the above quotation.
The New Testament Jesus turns it clear that Esoteric Schools or ‘inner circles’ are necessary for those students who are seriously committed to the search for wisdom. He teaches:
“You have been given the secret of the Kingdom of God. But the others, who are on the outside, hear all things by means of parables, so that, ‘they may look and look, yet not see; they may listen and listen, yet not understand’. ” (Mark, 4: 10-12)
Why is it? The explanation is that Jesus told people in the public “as much as they could understand” (Mark, 4: 33), and nothing more than that. Of course the verb “to understand” here means the ‘heart understanding’, not the merely ‘mind reasoning’. Jesus was talking about the “Heart Doctrine” as opposed to the “Eye Doctrine”, which is mentioned by HPB in “The Voice of the Silence”.
Each student can harvest that which he has planted, either recently or in a more remote past. But above all, each can seek and look for, according to what he finds to be the best in his own heart.
The real esoteric tradition is not physical, and it is as old as our humanity – nay, older than it.
Two things I can still add:
1) This inner tradition has nothing to do with mere ritualistic or bureaucratic organizations; and,
2) It respects the inner autonomy of the learner (if it does not, it is not authentic).
More about this can be read in the books “The Key to Theosophy”, “Isis Unveiled” and “The Voice of the Silence”, by H.P. Blavatsky – among others.
If researchers will accept that reality has more levels of consciousness than the three-dimensional world, they will get to a much broader and more complex view of the esoteric tradition.
Best regards, Carlos.
(1) “The Analects”, Confucius, Dover Thrift Editions, Dover Publications, Inc., New York, copyright 1995, 128 pp., see p. 34, Book VII, paragraph VIII.
(2) “The Iron Flute, 100 Koan”, Translated and edited by Nyogen Senzaki and Ruth Strout McCandless, published by Charles E. Tuttle Company, Rutland, Vermont, and Tokyo, Japan, second printing, 1985, 175 pp., see p. 23.
O o o O o o O o o O
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