Why Esoteric Knowledge and its Practitioners are Persecuted

Why Esoteric Knowledge and its Practitioners are Persecuted2018-03-10T10:04:50+00:00

The Last Supper

Jesus Taught Esoteric Knowledge

Jesus’ teachings were shocking to society: they were considered blasphemous and immoral by the religious establishment of the time and all those who followed it. So in order to avoid persecution (although it inevitably came), Jesus taught both esoterically and exoterically—that is, he taught spiritual truths openly to his disciples, but kept them hidden from the public whom he only taught in parables. On this he said:

Then the disciples came up and asked Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” He answered them, “Because the secrets of the kingdom of heaven have been given for you to know, but it has not been given to them…For this reason I speak to them in parables, because looking the do not see, and hearing they do not listen or understand.”
~ Matthew 13:10-11, 13 HCSB

He would speak the word to them with many parables like these, as they were able to understand. And He did not speak to them without a parable. Privately, however, He would explain everything to His own disciples.
~ Mark 4:33-34 HCSB

It was really Paul’s teachings which were much more palatable to society and its values (although Paul had never met Jesus and the disciples were in much disagreement with him). These, instead of conveying Jesus’ esoteric truths, used exoteric principles from what he taught to lay out the basis for leading a moral Christian life and a foundation for the Christian church. This interpretation of what Jesus taught was more easily integrated into society and formed the basis of Christianity as we know it.

Esoteric truths are much more obscure. In order to understand them it requires a certain inner spiritual level. But most don’t even wish to look for these deeper truths, and so to society looking from the outside, spiritual truths remain elusive, appear primitive, odd, incoherent, extreme, even ridiculous.  To “the few,” to “those who know,” they are a living book of wonders that reveal profound insights into life and beyond the more one searches for their meaning within themselves. These truths instead were taught secretly (such as from Jesus to the disciples, and from the disciples to their disciples) and kept hidden from society in various esoteric schools throughout the world where they could be practiced unhindered by people seeking true knowledge.

On this Jesus said:

“Don’t give what is holy to dogs or toss your pearls before swine, or they will trample them with their feet, turn, and tear you to pieces.”
~ Matthew 7:6 HCSB


Why Society Always Persecutes the Cosmic Christ

Given Christianity’s moral thrust, it is perhaps ironic that Jesus was seen by society at the time as totally immoral. He took women as disciples, he talked with women about spirituality publicly (when even to talk to a woman was inappropriate), he dined with hated tax collectors—entering the houses of sinners, he violated holy days, forgave people’s sins, and threw out merchants from the temple, etc. This was not an integration into society—in fact it challenged the hatred, corruption and darkness, which underlies much of its functioning. Through what Jesus did, this darkness was exposed, for when challenged it rose up to rid itself of that which threatened its survival. On this, Jesus himself said:

“This then is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who practices wicked things hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed. But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be shown to be accomplished by God.”
~ John 3:19-21 HCSB

“The world cannot hate you, but it does hate Me because I testify about it—that its deeds are evil.”
~ John 7:7 HCSB

In the above excerpts Jesus says that people hate the light and the truth, and in the below excerpts you’ll see him saying that he is the light and bringer of truth.

“I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.”
~ John 8:12 HCSB

“I was born for this, and I have come into the world for this: to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.”
~John 18:37 HCSB

From a spiritual perspective, what Jesus represents works on different levels: one as the cosmic divine force which became human in the person of Jesus; secondly as a figure who represents how an individual can also become one with divinity, which he portrayed symbolically in the events of his life.

In esotericism the Christ is a spiritual force in itself – a divine and eternal principle not exclusive to Jesus, but a force which an individual can merge their consciousness with through a process of attaining enlightenment/salvation/awakening etc. It is not exclusive to Christianity either, but has been portrayed by many other great spiritual figures and teachers such as Krishna, Lao Tzu, Osiris, Joan of Arc, Mithras, and Quetzalcoatl (and many others who are not historically known). This is why you will find so many common principles amongst diverse sacred writings, such as heavens, hells, angelic beings, eternal existence, the soul etc.

Those who have the Christ within serve as a vital connection between heaven and earth – they are able to convey the direct living guidance from the higher realms necessary for other people to themselves attain the Christ within, and achieve awakening. Many disciples (both men and women) throughout time have followed Christ’s guidance and attained enlightenment. This is not about advancement in the physical world, but an inner transformation through spiritual practice that allows man/woman to become one with the spiritual source of creation – called God, the Absolute, the Tao etc.

It is this claim of being one with divinity and helping others to become one with it directly that the Christ and his disciples have always been persecuted for. Darkness has always sought to suppress consciousness, as within it is contained the power to defeat darkness and all its systems of suppression. Behind all the people, politics and events, is the raw confrontation between hate and love, the animal and the spiritual, the material and the metaphysical, darkness and light. The spirit’s nature is love and light, and thus all whose nature is of darkness, however moral and upstanding they appear, are against it as love’s antithesis moves within them, often beneath their own reasoning.

And so, in an attempt once again to find, arrest, and persecute the Christ, anti-cult groups, the mainstream media and society sweep their net of cult criteria across the world, trawling through various groups to catch anything that is not subservient to the agenda of darkness. Through this their stance on real spirituality becomes clear: if one follows their criteria, one cannot teach outside established religion, cannot be spiritual, cannot have a connection with God, cannot work to bring people to enlightenment, cannot be taught by a guru, cannot be a disciple, cannot be one with divinity!

Passion of Jesus El_Greco

Society’s Stance on Spiritual Truth

Having the Christ within, Jesus was able to give phenomenal insights into creation and the purpose of life, speaking openly and without any ulterior motive—he came to give testimony to the truth. Yet if those truths are what many would say indicate a “cult,” what then is the social agenda’s real position towards spiritual truth, consciousness, light and awakening?

To “those who know” (esoteric practitioners throughout time), there is only one eternal spiritual truth and way to salvation, which the Christ always shows humanity the way to. This eternal truth does not change—only those who teach and practice it. Therefore it emerged throughout the world and time: taught by those who had the Christ within, in different esoteric schools and written down in sacred texts around the world, forming the basis of many religions—just as Christianity formed out of the exoteric side of Jesus’ esoteric teachings.

As these teachings proliferate, they appear in many groups, each with their own interpretations which are almost always literal (instead of symbolic as intended), and are distorted by people with who do not meet the requirements needed to understand their true meanings, and even have their own ulterior motives for using them. Most of these groups are harmful only in that they lack substance and are misleading, however some are criminal, and even dangerous.

And so this is why cult criteria can so uniformly condemn both genuine spirituality and groups that have either used spirituality for other means or have misunderstood it. Society, blind to what is genuinely esoteric or not, stamps out anything outside of what it has established. And so the “witch hunt” continues to this day against minority religions across the internet and mainstream media.

View of Rome from Vatican City - photo by David Iliff

View of Rome from Vatican City (photo CC BY-SA 3.0 by David Iliff).

If Society Rejects “Cults,” What Spirituality Does it Accept?

Most societies do not reject “spirituality” altogether. They generally accept established religion (religion that shares its aims and systems) and “commercial spirituality” or in other words, spirituality run like a business.

Today enlightenment is BIG business: the marketplace in spirituality grosses in six figures, with names like Chopra, Dyer, Tolle, and Oprah, and companies like Hay House and Sounds True. But in order to be considered appealing and acceptable to society en-masse, and therefore be successful, you can only give people what they want to hear. The players in the commercial marketplace know very well that to venture into anything remotely esoteric means attracting the “cult” tag, and death to their careers and sales figures.

An interesting example is a study on Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth” which discusses whether this book is a plagiarism of Belsebuub’s work.

“Commercial gurus” (business people or “merchants” in other words) only take up ideas which have proven successful: the ones that people like to hear. Embrace your dark side, negative emotions are actually good for you, there is no single way to enlightenment—in fact, you’re already enlightened, you just didn’t know it! This is completely at odds with the teachings of someone like Jesus, yet some even conveniently use Jesus to support their own theories (which is likely only because they need to appeal to their Christian target market). The one who wants to awaken in their view, is the one who has to pay—something else Jesus totally disagreed with. And so here again, within established religion and commercial spirituality, you can find the Pharisees and the merchants of the temple:

[Jesus] In the temple complex He found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and [He also found] the money changers sitting there. After making a whip out of cords, He drove everyone out of the temple complex with their sheep and oxen. He also poured out the money changers’ coins and overturned the tables. He told those who were selling doves, “Get these things out of here! Stop turning My Father’s house into a marketplace!”
~ John 2:14-16 HCSB

[Jesus to the disciples] “You have received free of charge; give free of charge.”
~ Matthew 10:8 HCSB

An Esotericist is Different and the Social Order Doesn’t Like “Different”

So why is it that those who control society would have a place for established religion, and those selling spirituality, but not esoteric knowledge? The social order accepts both what it can understand and either control or use to control. Religion is safe: the spiritual teacher is long dead and there is an established hierarchy of power which generally keeps a divide between the individual and actual knowledge. Commercial spirituality is safe: watered down spiritual teachings are sold like any other product which contributes to the mechanisms of corporatism without actually empowering people. The aim of both religion and commercial spirituality is identifiable, understandable, and fits within “normal social behavior.”

But what about esoteric knowledge? People’s behavior in esoteric circles no longer appears normal: an esotericist no longer purses materialism, wars, violence, entertainment, and social standing without end, and uses spiritual exercises to achieve results that can’t be measured by current physical or scientific means. What would the aim of something that is invisible and intangible to the world be? How can society understand the aim of something which in itself can only be understood by people who meet certain spiritual requirements? (as spiritual knowledge is only given to people who meet grades of honesty, compassion, humility, serenity etc.) And how can it control something that it is not able to understand, and which even allows people to break free of its control by becoming something “not of this world”?

With the diverse forms of religion and spirituality that exist today, it would appear that societies around the world are tolerant towards religious freedom, however, this is changing as society itself becomes more monitored, integrated and controlled. Dark forces have set in motion a wave of oppression that is seeking to suppress the development and awakening of consciousness. This is being propagated in the Western world by the mainstream media and anti-cult movement.

Each individual is a consciousness that is on a journey of learning in the school of life, and each must have the opportunity to awaken and reunite with the divine source. This is the fundamental purpose of living, and any person, organization, nation or society that works against this is either consciously or unconsciously doing the work of darkness. Therefore, for those who value goodness – liberty, justice, freedom of expression, thought and religion – are absolutely essential to protect so that what is esoteric, marginalized and under threat can instead come out and become common knowledge.

~ Lara Atwood

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