Esoteric Christianity

didymus said:
Glad to be back. I hope to participate in the forum this time without engaging in heated debates. I felt that it was affecting me negatively.

I understand.

Bandit, you be nice! I've some pickle jars of my own. :p
Hi Didymus!!!!

I was just asking about you...
Interesting place for us all to meet up....
Esoteric Christianity has come across some of my reading nowadays. Interesting, interesting....
I'd like to know more about it from the people who live it. Maybe ones who have converted from the church doctrine into this way of life.
Hi, and Peace to All--

Hi didymus--I am so glad to see you here. You were here before I ever was.

Esoteric? What does it mean? The fountain of youth? (that is one guess--not a definition).

Does it mean a return to what is already known as truth? I don't know. I think that people tend to attach labels to things, and I am a label-hater.

But I am interested in this topic.

I am old enough that when I ask a question like this, it means I am not afraid to show my ignorance. What do you guys think about the reading material already introduced in this long and old thread?

Young and old, of all political and religious persuasions--

(And those with none of the above:) )

I believe in mysticism--and I do not personally "condemn" magic (or magick, if you like). I could never do that--silly me--before God told me about it and how I should handle it, it was Him who talked to me in the first place. He is way more powerful:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D ;)

Well, now I have surely dipped my toes in up to my knees at least (and please, don't call me "Surely"):)

Hi Lothlorien -

Before commenting on this topic let me first draw a distinction between 'Esoteric Christianity' and 'Christian esoterism,' as the two are quite distinct.

'Esoteric Christianity' implies (and would require) a total separation between itself and its exoteric counterpart - it would require its own liturgical rite as a means of transmitting the grace (gnosis) of itself, that is different from the common or exoteric rite as practiced by Christians generally.

'Christian Esoterism,' on the other hand, is simply a deeper and more profound understanding of the Mysteries, the spirit that illuminates the letter. 'Esoteric' means simply 'more interior,' in its proper sense of a mode of understanding (rather than 'esoteric' being a piece of knowledge not commonly known).

To say 'Esoteric Christianity' is to miss the point - the 'scandal' of Christianity is that it is an esoterism in plain sight. Christ might well have taught his followers in private, but he lived and died in the public gaze, and worked his wonders for all to see. Whether they got the point was another matter, whether they had 'the eyes to see or the ears to hear' depends ultimately upon the disposition of the heart towards God, "This people honoureth me with their lips: but their heart is far from me," (Matthew 15:8).

The symbolism of the rending of the Veil of the Temple, at the moment of Christ's death upon the Cross, signifies nothing other than the abolishment of any formal distinction between esoteric and exoteric domain, and similarly ends the separation between God and the world:

"And he said to them: Go ye into the whole world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall he condemned."
Mark 16:15-16

The conversion of the centurion Cornelius, as recorded in the Acts 10, points to this, and is worthy of lengthy consideration in itself.

To believe that there was a secret and inner transmission of yet a higher degree, vouched to a few, would require there to be an 'inner gnosis' and an 'outer gnosis' - yet there is no evidence of this in the writings of the Apostles, Doctors, Fathers, Mystics, Saints or Theologians - in fact quite the reverse.

In fact Dionysius talks of the 'legal' and 'celestial' character of Christian Initiation, (the exoteric and esoteric aspect) - of reception into the Church, and by 'celestial' and 'legal' he means the Church in her Sacramental and doctrinal aspects - 'in spirit and in truth'.

The important point here is that it is one and the same initiatic act, and one and the same church.

The pivotal act of Christian Initiation is Baptism:
"since one has put on the Son of God, one has been judged worthy to accede to the perfect initiation and Baptism is received 'in the name of the Father,' our Lord Jesus Christ himself giving the power to become children of God,"
said St Basil of Caesarea, and before him St Athenasius (The Father of Orthodoxy) and Origen (the Man of Steel) both regarded Baptism as such.

St Cyril of Jerusalem, a great instructor of the catechumenate, said:
"Prepare your own heart to receive instruction for communion in the Sacred Mysteries. Pray more earnestly that God will make you worthy of these heavenly and immmortal mysteries."

And again:
"Disciples of the New Testament and partakers of the Mysteries of Christ, as yet by calling only, but ere long by grace also, make you a new heart ... Come for the Mystical Seal, that ye may be easily recognised by the Master.'

'Mystical' here is an adjective of 'Mystery,' which was understood as the liturgical and sacramental rites of Baptism and the Eucharist.


That different people have different depths of understanding is in the nature of things. There are wise and there are unwise Christians, but the only difference is the unwise have wasted the gift; they listened but did not hear, saw but did not see.

Christ often instructed Peter, James and John apart from the Twelve, but it is evident from Scripture that they were tasked to enlighten their brothers, 'and nothing shall be witheld' from the true seeker. Certainly they taught nothing contrary to the rest.

And once received in Baptism, education of the 'neophyte' (new plant) or the 'myst' (initiate) continued under the title of 'mystagogia' - spiritual growth never ceases.

St Basil of Caesarea talks of Baptism as communicating 'the divine gnosis' to those 'capable of the intelligible light', but those who by nature are less capable are in no sense second before God, they receive the same light in a different way: 'blessed are the poor in spirit,' or as the poet says, "They also serve who only stand and wait."
(On His Blindness,” Sonnet XIX of John Milton.)

We should also take care not to confuse 'divine gnosis' with 'obscure knowledge' the material product of the mental and intellective faculty - it is this that St Paul refers to in his First Letter to Timothy: "the profane novelties of words and oppositions of gnosis falsely so called," (6:20) and dare I say it, but this 'rede' reeks of it.

Now - if you want to talk of an authentic 'Christian esoterism,' the symbolical, analogical or anagogical sense of Scripture, Christian Metaphysics, Mystical Theology, then modesty forbids ...

... but you might take a peek at and 'ressourcement theology' in general.

That this 'interior' dimension is so derided in the world today is evident, and tragic, but that does not mean it is not there.

If I was pushed to the wall on this topic I would be obliged to admit that in 'our' world there are many who spend Sunday washing the car whilst a child dies every three seconds for the want of clean water.

(And if one considers the symbolism of 'water' in all its Scriptural dimensions ...)

Which is why in the Liturgy we pray (in hope) "look not on our sins but on the faith of your church."

Can't be all places at once. And WE aint God...not even close. But we do what we can. Unsolicited Guilt does not become us...I would say, we should carry on as we started.

My two cents.


Hi Quahom1 -


Interestingly Jean Borella talks of an element of guilt which is most 'unbecoming', and that is the 'possession' (and thus embodiment) of guilt that seeks to portray itself as a virtue but in reality hides a vice - a false piety - something akin to Dickens' portrayal of Uriah Heep.

Nevertheless the objective cause of 'guilt' wounds our common human nature - one might say that on the Cross Christ took upon Himself not so much the guilt, but its cause, "Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do," (Luke 23:34) and thus freed us (healed our nature as understood by the Dear and Glorious Physician) of its burden:

"Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: And you shall find rest to your souls. For my yoke is sweet and my burden light."
Matthew 11:29-30

Hello, and Peace--

Thank you, Thomas--your post was very helpful. I must admit that it took me a while to decipher (had to look up some words:)). If I understand what you are saying, then "esoteric Christianity" is associated with the early gnosticism that Paul adamently condemned. "Christian esoterism" is simply acknowledging and accepting the Truth of Christ and the purpose of His sacrifice, thereby growing in the wisdom of the Spirit--special knowledge that is available to all who believe. Do I understand correctly?

I took a look at theveil website and it was pretty deep. I didn't know the catholic church went that deep with the Word. Got me pretty interested...
truthseeker said:
I took a look at theveil website and it was pretty deep. I didn't know the catholic church went that deep with the Word. Got me pretty interested...

Hmmm, not to boast, because I am not, by any means. But the catholic church was on scene pretty much first. There is a lot of tradition and "mysticism" about the Church (esoteric I suppose is an accurate definition).

If you noticed, the Vatican, does not slam others of the faith. Did once but that was when it was 'highjacked' by ungodly people with an ultimate agenda to fill their coffers with money, and their thrones with power. That is why Luther, began the reformation.

My sister, father and I once had a conversation about Catholicism and other Christian faiths. My dad likened Catholocism to a Caddillac, and other Christian faiths to being Fords. To which my sister replied "some of us like the simple but efficient vehicle, while others like all the wingdings and high price tag". She also said that "Fords" though not as smooth a ride are easier to repair as well as cheaper to maintain, and can handle alot more dirt in the gas tank.

She has a very valid point. :D


Hello, and Peace to All Here--

I have always been a Ford "guy", myself:D

LothlorienHeadRush said:
For the past few months I have been avidly researching a hidden sect. of Christianity in which, is similar to the Judaic sect. of Kabballah. This hidden sect. happens to be like Kabballah, in that it is a form of mysticism belonging to one of the world's utmost popular Abramic religions.

This 'hidden sect.' is known as Esoteric Christianity, and practices the Christian faith as though it were a 'magical' religion. They manage to follow the Christian doctrine, ten commandments, and a rede not unlike the one followed by Wiccan practioners, and follow Christianity in a more mysticaly involved form than any other sect. of Christendom. The rede in which they call the, "Christian Magick Rede" is quoted below:

I have searched desperately, and have only been able to find two sources that have provided me with minimal information. The latter is more informative and professional whereas the former is the one which first informed me about this religion. The links are listed below:

Charmed-Boards - Esoteric Christianity: - The Cornerstone of Esoteric Christianity:

If anybody could provide me with any other information on this sect. of Christianity, it would be very much appreciated. Any further information would help me in extending my research and that is something I hope to be able to do on this subject in the near future. I would really like to hear from anyone who has heard of this before and who can give me any information at all regarding the subject.

Please do not reply to this thread if you are going to post about the on-going contridiction of magick v. Christianity v. mysticism. That is NOT what this thread is about. It is simply about my request to learn more about the mysticism sect. of Christianity called Esoteric Christianity. Thank you.


- Jay - (LothlorienHeadRush)

If you're researching that, you may want tlook into this as well (though you've probably already ran across it) mentioned Kaballah, check the website for the Heremtic Order of The Golden Dawn...they are christian Kabalists, you may want to look into the Thelemites as well. I hope that helps but like I said you've probably already came across this.
Hi InLove -

"Christian esoterism is ... growing in the wisdom of the Spirit ..."

Yes. Christian esoterism is precisely that - it is a gnosis in its pure and proper form. It is not a set of facts.

Today I drove over 100 miles. I get in the car, turn the key, and go through the motions. Do I understand how an internal combustion engine works? Well, yes, sort of. Could I build a carburetter? No.

The 'workings' of a petrol injection system is 'esoteric knowledge' to me, it is an interior knowledge of mechanics that I do not possess. There's a bloke down the road who is a 'tuning specialist' and only works on expensive cars (so not mine then) and charges a great deal of money, and has a string of very satisfied clients, who believe he is a 'genius' and 'magic' and 'a wizard with motors.'

Curiously, I met him because he's a musician, a pianist, and when I asked him how come he was such a good mechanic, he was as perplexed as the next man: "They bring the car in, and I can hear what's wrong," he said, "what I don't understand is why no-one else can." A 'musical ear' seemed a pretty significant clue to me. He still doubts it. He just thinks the others are lazy.


Mankind has persistently tried to make Christianity esoteric in a way other than it actually is. Why? Loads of reasons, here's a few:

1 - Because it gives that person power over others.
2 - Because I feel special to think they are part of something special.
3 - Because it enables them to asert themselves as an authority.
4 - Because it's a way to make money.
5 - Because I am diffferent.
6 - Because I am special.
7 - Because I read the bible, didn't get it, but think I know better.
8 - Because I don't want to have to make the effort.
9 - Because I am clever, I'm obviously better than someone who's not.
10 - Because I'm a good guy - why should I change?
11 - Because I can't see the wood for the trees.
12 - Because there's got to be more to it than Love.

... And this 'special knowledge' has different forms, but St Paul, who is the voice of Christian Gnosis, called it 'agape' - which is translated as 'charity', but often as 'love'. This 'love' (as opposed to eros from which we derive erotic, etc.) is often exemplified as that between mother and child, it is a love that asks for nothing in return, but delights in the existence and being of another.)

"If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity,
I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
And if I should have prophecy
and should know all mysteries
and all knowledge (gnosis),
and if I should have all faith,
so that I could remove mountains,
and have not charity,

I am nothing.

And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor,
and if I should deliver my body to be burned,
and have not charity,

it profiteth me nothing.

Charity is patient, is kind:
charity envieth not, dealeth not perversely, is not puffed up,
Is not ambitious, seeketh not her own,
is not provoked to anger,
thinketh no evil:

Rejoiceth not in iniquity,
but rejoiceth with the truth:

Beareth all things,
believeth all things,
hopeth all things,
endureth all things.

Charity never falleth away:
whether prophecies shall be made void or tongues shall cease
or knowledge shall be destroyed.

For we know in part:
and we prophesy in part.

But when that which is perfect is come,
that which is in part shall be done away.

When I was a child,
I spoke as a child,
I understood as a child,
I thought as a child.

But, when I became a man,
I put away the things of a child.

We see now through a glass in a dark manner:
but then face to face.
Now I know in part:
but then I shall know even as I am known.

And now there remain faith, hope, and charity,
these three:
but the greatest of these is charity."
St Paul 1 Corinthians 13

In closing, let me say that anything that qualifies itself as Esoteric is a (false) Way of Knowledge. False in the sense that, in Christianity, 'knowledge' counts for nothing - the heart is everything.

Christianity is the Way of Love.

And this special knowledge is a love because we know we are loved.

Thomas said:
Christianity is the Way of Love.

And this special knowledge is a love because we know we are loved.


Hi Thomas, just wanted to say that I really enjoy this post of yours. Thank you.

Re: Esoteric Christianity: a new world Center rises...

It is the Way of Knowledge (mind/occult) joining the Way of Love (heart/mystic).

It is not Esotericism/Esoterism as it is not hidden anymore but being brought into light; it is Esoteric (gr. esôterikos) as it is inner to each one of us: within.

Let each one of us do our best, and work ourselves inwards, as a new external Center rises in the "New World" following the ancient path (the Sun's path) from East to West: offering its Light to all mankind, for our eternal benefit.

N: N: D: N: N: S: N: T: D: G:

P.S. - Esoteric vs. Esotericism/Esoterism:

Esoteric is an adjective originated during Hellenic Greece under the domain of the Roman Empire; it cames from the Greek esôterikos, from esôtero, the comparative form of esô: "within". It is a word meaning anything that is inner and occult, a latinate word meaning "hidden" (from which we get the term occlusion). The opposite of this is exoteric, from the Greek eksôterikos, from eksôtero, the comparative form of eksô: "outside". Plato (427-347 BC) uses in his dialogue Alcibíades (aprox. 390 BC) the expression ta esô meaning «the inner things», and in his dialogue Teeteto (aprox. 360 BC) he uses ta eksô meaning «the outside things». The probable first appearance of the adjective esôterikos is employed by Lucian of Samosata (aprox. AD 120-180) in his satiric work "The Auction of Lives", § 26 (also called "The Auction of the Philosophical Schools"), written around AD 166.

Esotericism (also sometimes written as «esoterism») is a word and concept created in the 19th century and it was first used as the noun substantive l’ésotérisme in the work Histoire critique du gnosticisme et de ses influences (1828) of Jacques Matter (1791-1864). Following this, it was the occultist and cabalist Eliphas Lévi (1810-1875) who made common the use of the termos «esotericism» and «occultism». Then the term became fashion, mainly after Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831-1891), and other personalities of the Theosophic Society using it through the last quarter of 19th century and through the beginning of the 20th century. Esotericism gives reference to anything private, specifically such things which are or were forced to be kept private, or in secret, due to fears of persecution or to the unhability to be understood and also of being misused by the outside world.

P.S. 2 - CR ( forum is the deepest english language forum on Religion and pursuit of true knowledge and of common ground I have been in touch with.
As I see it you are doing and excellent work; Congratulations.
If one wishes to 'engage' in any serious fashion with Christian esoterism - I reject the notion of an 'esoteric Christianity' as presented by the various Hermetic Orders (Rosicrucians, et al) as I have explained elsewhere - then one is obliged to do two things:

Contemplate the Mysteries
Practice the Liturgy

The idea of 'a mystic' or a 'mystical way' did not come into play as it is understood today until the 17th century. Prior to this time, and certainly for the first millenia, the 'Christian Mysteries' are its Liturgical Rites.

Hi everyone, first I just have to say I'm really impressed with these forums :)

Thomas, I thought your above posts were well thought out.

There's a bible quote I hear people...emm...quote.. :p often, something about not casting your pearls before swine, not sure where in the bible it is. I was just thinking that this might be hinting at a deeper hidden knowledge of christianity, knowledge that may be revealed to you as your understanding and wisdom grow. Wouldn't this suggest at least a modicum of esoteric practice within christianity, presuming the church follows the example set by Jesus.

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts this, or if I have totally missed the mark (which has been known to have happened on more than at least one isolated occasion :p)
Hi tiernfalcon:

"Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you."
Matthew 7:6

In the early Church there were the catechumens (under a 3-years course of instruction) and the initiates, and at a given point within the Liturgy, commencing the Mystery of the Eucharist the deacons would call something like 'let the dogs go out' at which point the catechumens would leave and only the initiates would remain to witness the Mystery.

"Wouldn't this suggest at least a modicum of esoteric practice within christianity, presuming the church follows the example set by Jesus."

Absolutely - but the point is that Christianity is an 'esoterism in plain sight' - it is an 'open secret' and that is why it is vilified. Everyone who is called is engaged in a Mystery whether they understand it or not, comprehend it or not, sense it or not. Every liturgical act and action reeks of a profound interiority, every line of Scripture opens onto infinite vistas ...

Love is the most occult force in creation - occult in the proper sense (occluded, obscure or invisible) - because love transcends knowledge and all that is illuminable by the light of the intellect ... where love is, there God is also ... love is the source and cause of the light 'that lights the lives of men'.

One should point out at this stage that the west has lost almost entirely the true meaning of love - people today love what makes them feel good, be it another person, place, or thing - love is thus reduced to a material commodity and a trading value - there is no love without sacrifice - there is no love without the gift of self ...

... and now we are into deep esoteric realms, for such a love finds its source in the Trinity ...

My point is that there is nothing more profound, more esoteric, more occult, than the Liturgy, and there is nothing that comes anywhere near it. The fact that these days anyone can walk in off the street (as they do), witness it and then decry or ridicule it does not alter it one jot - they ridiculed Christ on the cross, and they ridicule Him today. Nothing changes.

In fact today is worse ... today it is cool to believe in nothing ... faith in anything is a weakness ... modernism is an intellectual and existential nihilism ... nothing matters

What I reject - absolutely and with vigour - is the notion of an 'esoteric Christianity' as a 'secret', belonging to an elite, as something 'real' professed by a few in locked chambers whilst the vast majority fuddle around in some vague and meaningless exoterism - my soul abhors it with a passion that Christ displayed in the cleansing of the Temple, my spirit revolts against it, because it mocks God, and it mocks my neighbour.

It is Luciferian in its ontology.

It is the same Lie that the serpent whispered in the garden.

Sorry for the rant, but it's my Church.

Thomas said:
Love is the most occult force in creation - occult in the proper sense (occluded, obscure or invisible) - because love transcends knowledge and all that is illuminable by the light of the intellect ... where love is, there God is also ... love is the source and cause of the light 'that lights the lives of men'.

One should point out at this stage that the west has lost almost entirely the true meaning of love - people today love what makes them feel good, be it another person, place, or thing - love is thus reduced to a material commodity and a trading value - there is no love without sacrifice - there is no love without the gift of self ...
This reminds me of two quotes from C.S. Lewis:
This is one of the miracles of love: It gives a power of seeing through its own enchantments and yet not being disenchanted.
C. S. Lewis

I sometimes wander whether all pleasures are not substitutes for joy.
C. S. Lewis

Good post, Thomas. :)