Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Esotericism As A Path
ESOTERICISM AS A PATH
Having made it clear how our approach differs from that of both science and parapsychology, we can now turn to the esoteric path. In taking this path we are aiming at completeness, wisdom, the joining of polarities, union with God, the unio mystica, the chemical marriage, cosmic consciousness. All these terms are attempts to give an idea of the ultimate goal of the human path. At this point such terms probably still sound rather rhetorical, but I hope that further reflections will increasingly imbue them with meaning.
To reach the goal it is necessary to recognize the esoteric laws of this universe and also to learn to understand them. As well as gaining in knowledge we must change, become more conscious in order to acquire an increasingly better understanding of our true task and destiny. As we follow our path it is very useful to have aids to orientation, signposts that indicate which direction to take at a cross-roads. We find such aids in the esoteric techniques and disciplines, of which there are many. Only the most important are mentioned here, as for example: astrology, Qabalah, tarot, alchemy, magic, yoga, meditation, I Ching. None of these systems and disciplines is an end in itself. They are, as I have said, aids to orientation, signposts on the path.
A common danger is that of confusing the signpost with the path. That is why there are astrologers who are only astrologers, dowsers who are only dowsers and a host of other specialists who believe themselves to have found in their special field the key to the world. Unfortunately, these people stop at a signpost they have grown fond of and forget about continuing on the path. Esoteric disciplines should free us from our old fixation, but all too often happens that a person believes that he or she has progressed when all that has happened is that one fixation has been exchanged for another.
At this point I must say another word about eastern and western techniques. At the end of every process of esoteric development is the realization of truth. There is only one truth. It is independent of time, culture and religion. The methods of reaching this truth have shaped themselves individually in different times and cultures, and all of these methods are equally useful as aids. At the same time, each person is closest to the systems and symbols of his or her own culture. It makes things more difficult, and as a rule longer, if a western person walks the path using eastern aids. I only mention this because it is currently fashionable to turn to eastern esoteric systems and religions, and this leads many people to overlook the fact that we in the West also have a rich supply of esoteric systems which have the advantage of being better adapted to our way of thinking and our mode of life.
This is the only reason why, in my own works, I rely almost exclusively on the four great pillars of western esotericism, namely: astrology, Qabalah, alchemy and magic. These systems are also often called the science of the first order, out of which only in th course of time the sciences of the second order (astronomy, chemistry etc.) developed.
Esotericism is as old as mankind. It has always existed and always shall exist. It has preserved, from the beginning, the sum total of knowledge about this universe which is accessible to man. Esoteric teachings are independent of time; they have never been corrected or modernized, and they never age.
Our modern science does not understand that all knowledge is always present. Science labours under the delusion that each new discovery brings us closer to the truth and that it is therefore only a matter of time until we know “everything”.
From the esoteric viewpoint the opposite is the case. Knowledge is always present, but the individual has to evolve towards it in order to recognize it. To give an example: Homer's poems have existed for a very long time. But a schoolchild who wants to read them has to evolve, through study, to the point where he or she can understand ancient Greek. For that child it is unimportant how many other people have read Homer before. Homer has been read for many thousands of years, but as far as the child is concerned it is happening for the first time.