Modern esotericism

For students and teachers of the Alice A. Bailey books, the essay written by the Lucis Trust on the “Jewish People” is a very useful reference. Their effort is to be commended, particularly in the context of Master D.K.’s definition of modern esotericism, “the newer esotericism which the more modern groups and the more mental types will sponsor.” 

One would expect that such crucial definition, at the very heart of the essential purpose of an esoteric school, would appear prominently in its home page. Instead, a quote from the book Education in the New Age (pp. 59-68) is hidden (no pun intended) in the tab “Key articles” under the rubric “Other talks and articles” among many other articles.

It would greatly benefit students and teachers alike if the Arcane School would provide a comprehensive definition of what esotericism essentially is, worded in modern language and grounded in the Teachings, such as:

Esotericism comprises the study of that which is concealed and hidden and which, even though suspected, remains unknown. Essentially, esotericism is a science, the science of the soul of all things. This soul is the animating consciousness found throughout nature and on those levels which lie outside the territory usually called nature. As such, esotericism has its own terminology, experiments, deductions, and laws.

The esotericist is concerned with that living, vibrant substance of which the worlds are made, developing the needed responsiveness and sensitivity to the quality of the life dominating any form, arriving eventually at the quality of the ONE LIFE which animates the planet and within Whose activity we live and move and have our being. Therefore, esotericism is the Science of Redemption, the redemption of substance and its forms, as all World Saviors are the everlasting symbol and exponents.

The spiritual Hierarchy of the planet, with its great Leader, the Christ (the present World Teacher), might be regarded as a Hierarchy of Redeemers, skilled in the Science of Redemption. Once They have mastered this science, They can then pass on to the Science of Life and deal with the energies which will eventually hold and use the qualified, redeemed and principled substance and forms. It is the redemption of unprincipled substance, its creative restoration and spiritual integration, which is Their goal.

Esoteric study, when coupled with esoteric living, reveals in time the world of meaning. The esotericist starts by endeavoring to discover the reason why.  Wrestling with the problem of happenings, events, crises, and circumstances, the esotericist arrives at their meaning. Having ascertained the meaning of any specific problem, the esotericist uses it as an invitation to penetrate more deeply into the newly revealed world of meaning, learning to incorporate personal or national problems into the problem of the larger Whole. The true esoteric viewpoint is always that of the larger Whole.

adapted from Education in the New Age, pp. 59-68

It is in this context that the “Jewish Problem” is approached by the Tibetan Master, and the essay written by the Lucis Trust staff is an excellent synthesis and reference. Its best approach may be found in the following paragraph:

Some people wonder why, when human history is replete with examples of “man’s inhumanity to man”, the Tibetan seemed to single out the Jews for special criticism. Everything that the Tibetan wrote needs to be studied in the context of the entire body of teachings which promote goodwill, tolerance, and mutual respect. Comments on the Jewish people must be read in their entirety, which includes mention of the splendid contribution of the Jewish people in many departments of human life. Criticism of separative tendencies in Zionism must be read in the context of biting comments on the subterfuge of the Vatican, materialism in the Christian churches, and “churchianity” in general. He was also outspoken in his opposition to American isolationism, Soviet totalitarianism, fascism, Nazism, and the great evil embodied by Hitler and his closest associates, and to pacifism during the World War—all of which compromised the essential oneness of humanity and the spirit of responsible freedom.

Concerning The Ageless Wisdom Writings On The Jewish People, by the Lucis Trust

However, the essay is flawed with a false equivalence by referring to the occupied Palestinian territories as “neighbors” of the Zionist state.

Another point of concern for many is the Tibetan’s unwavering opposition to Zionism. He believed that the Jewish problem could be solved only by their integration into the world’s nations, not by setting the Jews further apart in a separate nation. However, almost all the writing that developed from his collaboration with Alice Bailey was completed before the state of Israel was founded in 1948, and Israel has been a reality for sixty years. The situation is not helped by critical, hateful thinking towards either the Israeli citizens or their neighbours. Rather, all people of goodwill are obligated to bring loving understanding and compassion to all affected by the suffering resulting from the long-standing conflict in the Middle East. All who espouse spiritual values must approach the situation of the Middle East with a realistic appraisal of present circumstances and a focus on creative change leading to better conditions for all concerned. It is a difficult challenge but not an impossible one. And it is worth every ounce of effort we can bring to bear upon a just resolution, for “When humanity has solved the Jewish problem (with the understanding cooperation of the Jew) and overcome ancient antipathies and hatreds, it will do so by fusing the problem in one vast humanitarian situation” (The Externalisation of the Hierarchy, p. 77).

Concerning The Ageless Wisdom Writings On The Jewish People, by the Lucis Trust

The word “Palestine” is avoided, even implying that the original teaching of the Tibetan Master may be outdated and must be reinterpreted and adapted to the current situation. This may be so. Hopefully, the next dispensation of the Teachings would clarify the current stance of the spiritual Hierarchy on the unlawful occupation of the Palestine territories as a fait accompli.

However, “esotericism has its own terminology, experiments, deductions, and laws.” One of such law is the Law of Karma. The unlawful occupation of the Palestine territories would be an additional karma generated in the world by the Zionist state of Israel. The ideology of Zionism — different from the Jewish people — is unequivocally identified as evil in the Teachings.   

Zionism today stands for aggression and for the use of force, and the keynote is permission to take what you want irrespective [Page 680] of other people or of their inalienable rights.  These points of view are against the position of the spiritual leaders of humanity, and therefore the leaders of the Zionist movement, and the group of men who direct and control the policies of Russia, are against the policies of the spiritual Hierarchy and are contrary to the lasting good of mankind. -R&I

Therefore, caution must be exerted before accepting the revision to the Teachings suggested by the Lucis Trust, as we keep in mind the scope of “esoteric research” in the practice of the newer esotericism.

There is a tendency among esoteric students, particularly those in the older Piscean groups, to regard any interest in the energies producing world events or which concern governments and politics as antagonistic to esoteric and spiritual endeavor. But the newer esotericism which the more modern groups and the more mental types will sponsor sees all events and world movements and national governments, plus all political circumstances, as expressions of the energies to be found in the inner world of esoteric research; therefore they see no sound reason for excluding such an important aspect of human affairs from their reasoning and thinking and from the discovery of those new truths and techniques which may bring about the new era of right human relations. They ask: Why omit political research from the spiritual curriculum? They deem it to be of equal if not of greater importance than the activity of the churches; governments condition people and aid in the production of any current civilization, forcing the masses of men into certain needed lines of thought. The churches and men everywhere need to learn that there is nothing in the entire world of phenomena, of forces and of energies, which cannot be brought under the control of that which is spiritual. All that exists is spirit in manifestation. The masses today are becoming politically minded, and this is viewed by the Masters as a great step forward. When the spiritually minded people of the world include this relatively new area of human thought and its international activity within the field of their esoteric research, very great progress will be made.

War is, factually, a great explosion of energies and forces, generated on the inner planes where the esotericist ought to be working (but is seldom to be found), and finding its dire and catastrophic expression upon the physical plane. This is indicated today by the constant use of the terms “Forces of Light” and “Forces of Evil.” When the inner, esoteric, and predisposing causes of war are discovered through esoteric research, then war and wars will come to an end. This is in the nature of truly esoteric work but is scorned by present day esotericists who regard themselves as spiritually superior to such affairs and—in their ivory tower—concentrate on their own development, plus a little philosophy.

Education in the New Age , pp. 62-64

-José Becerra, M.D.

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