Western esoteric tradition.


This talk is the last in a series of talks on western esoteric traditions. In the first two talks we discussed the historical development from ancient times up to the Middle Ages. Today we will close this series by discussing the historical development from the Middle Ages up to the Present day and the re-entry of esoteric knowledge. The re-entry of esoteric knowledge into human affairs is demonstrated by three dedicated university chairs on the subject in Europe. In Amsterdam, Paris, and Exeter. When we look at the history of humanity, we see only the outermost surface of events. The true historical event lies deeply hidden, experienced by all, but seen by none.

Humanity has grown to be so strong, and it is now dangerous for it to be disunited. War has revealed the destructive potentialities that are innate in the aggregations of people. This power to injure, is now scientifically organized. It is trained to wreck the fullest measure of evil. We must protect ourselves from this impending menace.

Why protect ourselves? The thing in you that says “I am”, is identical with the thing in me that says “I am”. Then why should we not unite in our common purpose?


We create various crisis in our world. At present it is a financial crisis, or recession going on. People long to find a meaning to these endless succession of crisis. Esoteric knowledge used correctly, for the unification of humanity, will help to find our way out of this endless spiral of crisis. By awakening our personal self, we can focus on the light of the true self. Only then can we fulfil our dream of modernization, civilization and progress.


What is the difference between esoteric and exoteric?

Esoteric comes from the Greek word esoterikos meaning inner. For example: Jesus gave his disciples esoteric or inner knowledge. To the public, he spoke in parables, which are exoteric.

The exoteric information spoken in parables is symbolic and we need keys to figure it out.  On the basis of this, esoteric is the inner knowledge of our soul or consciousness.

Religion and science have avoided the subject of our soul or consciousness for a very long time. They are in possession of the exoteric symbols. They need the esoteric keys to figure out the meaning. It is important to awaken the personal consciousness to see the unity of all life.


A good example of this is the subject of death and the states of heaven and hell after we die? The modern scientific knowledge of near-death experiences by health organizations is giving us insights into the infinity of human consciousness. We are awakening to knowledge of our Inner lives.


The ancient and occult writings, teach us of a continuation of consciousness after death. Humanity has forgotten this. It has become ignorant and disrespectful to the knowledge of the ancients. We intend to bring back the humble acknowledgement of the goodness of God. The ancients taught that God is not like anything that we know of or has a being. Space is the ever unseen and unknowable deity. It always is and ever will be. We have no knowledge of its transcendence. It is beyond human understanding. Astronomical science is making attempts in trying to map the physical Universe. Space or the macrocosms, like everything else in nature, is not only filled with matter. There are ethereal and rarefied spheres. An example of this is the invisible akasha realm that the ancients told us about. These spheres cannot be mapped out with instruments such as telescopes.


As I previously have put forward, since the early stages of human development the esoteric doctrine has come down to us from the unbroken oral teachings that were revealed by living divine men to the elect of humanity.

The teachings have reached us unaltered.

And there still exists a great brotherhood of humans, called the masters of wisdom and compassion. These masters are thoroughly versed in the sciences based on the uninterrupted teachings. They are men, who have evolved through self-devised efforts a high spiritual and intellectual supremacy. They are the guardians of the mankind and from time to time, when the world is ready to listen to them, they give out long-forgotten wisdom.


In the Middle Ages there arose, into the West, a reintroduction of Hermetism. Hermetism is identical to theosophy. It emphasizes the unity of everything in the universe. Life is governed by laws or ‘the Law’. These laws are eternal and not created. Deity is Law and Law is Deity. Basically Hermetism implies a participation between the human spirit and God or Space. Judaism and Christianity regard God as beyond comprehension. Hermetism states, that once humans can figure out the symbols, they can know God directly.


In the Middle Ages, printing was invented in Europe, and there was publication of knowledge in the various vernacular languages. This gave more people access to the various sciences. It brought about the reformation. For example, reading the Bible in the vernacular and the spread of literacy changed Christianity. People learnt to think for themselves. Protestantism came about.

The Middle Ages were a cruel, uncivilized and primitive period in European history. After the building St. Paul’s cathedral in 1710 in London. Europe came out of an age of religious wars, which had lasted 130 years! The French civil wars, the Dutch revolt against Spain, the Scottish rebellion, 30 year War in Germany, the Puritanical revolution and Civil War in England. All these conflicts had their origin in religious controversy. The Church manipulated the brute force of kingly power to deter progress. Kings believed that they had a divine right to rule the people. This obstructed the formation equality and democracy.

Through all the stormy periods of humanity, impressive people come and go. So for example were: George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. They too had participated in the French Revolution against the absolute power of the “Sun King,” Louis the XIV of France. Later these men fought a war in America, for the independence of the newly formed states, from tyrannical power of the King of England.

The Dutch humanist, Erasmus of Rotterdam was also one of these impressive figures. He was against all forms of absolutism. He said that it was unthinkable that a monarch can rule of the conscience of his subjects.

Through the coming into existence of the United States of America, democracy entered the arena of human affairs in Western Europe. Democracy means rule by the people, as contrasted by a special person or group. It promotes liberty and equality, as compared, with dictatorship. The true meaning of democracy is becoming aware of the unity of all life. This realization destroys the competitive standard of civilization. Competition was founded upon a dualistic theory. For example, whenever two nations or religions think up a separate origin, they think that the one better or holier is than the other.

The mosquito is not the star, but in their essential nature they are both a manifestation of the common life.

The United States of America became the new world. People from every part of Europe who had no civil and religious liberty fled to its shores. They escaped the cruelty of the monsters, monarchy and dogmatic religion. To this new world, the masters of wisdom and compassion sent their servant and pupil Madame Blavatsky. She was given the task to educate humanity in the ancient wisdom of theosophy.

Against violence, war and crisis, theosophy was brought into the world to teach us the unity of all life. It is a doctrine of coming together. We need a code of ethics that can take us forward to the unification of Spirit. The situation in which we live has called theosophy forth. All human longings for peace and sanity need a canal to entry life. Theosophy already existed, it just needed a suitable messenger, to make it know to mankind. Madame Blavatsky served this purpose. She dedicated her masterwork, “The Secret Doctrine”, to all true theosophists, in every country and race. For, as she says: They have called it forth, and it was recorded for them. Here and now we are welding a link in that great chain of tomorrows, which extends from the instant to infinity.

The Secret Doctrine teaches the fundamental unity of all existence. Existence is one thing. Fundamentally there is one being. This has two aspects, positive and negative. Ying and Yang. The positive is consciousness. The negative is matter. The One Being is absolute in its primary manifestation. There is nothing outside of it. It is All Being. It is indivisible.

From the atom, man and god, each is the Absolute being in the last analysis.

There is no dead matter. Every atom is a life.


Theosophy is the whole body of truth about man and nature, either known now or hereafter to be discovered. It has the power of growth, progress and advancement, since every new truth makes it clearer.

What is truth? . . . . Truth is relative. Each individual can take in information, but if he is mentally not ripe to understand, it means nothing to him. Truth for George may be false for Peter. Truth is relative. The secret is truth dwells within all of us. Within every man there is a secret fountain of truth. It is foolish to think that we can know the whole truth. At the most we can have a good approximation to truth.


Mankind has a cyclic progressive evolution. From etheric to physical, then back into etheric. These cycles are Karmic. In the West, the Pagans had knowledge of these cycles. The full knowledge and significance of this profound truth has now been entirely forgotten. Karma is the creator of Nations and mortals. But once created, it is they who make karma to be beneficent or harmful. According to the Secret Doctrine, man is a microcosm. All hierarchies exist within him. In truth there is but one existence.

As it is in the inner, so is the outer; as is the great, so is the small; as it is above, so is it below. There is but ONE LIFE and LAW. In the Divine guardianship, nothing is inner, nothing is outer, nothing is great, nothing is small, nothing is high and nothing is low.


From time to time, great thinkers appear on the stage of life. They devote their lives to a single purpose. They are able to anticipate the progress of mankind, and produce a religion, a science or a philosophy, which bring about important effects. Blavatsky was such a figure. Theosophy became established in the West and East during the last quarter of the 19th century. Through the knowledge of theosophy, Rudolf Steiner formed the Anthroposophical movement. He empathized Western and Christian mysticism as opposed to the Eastern philosophy.


By limiting ourselves to only one religion, culture or philosophy, we see, “only one colour of the rainbow and are blind to the rest.” So to speak. Try to live in the Light that shines through the whole arc, and you will know it all.


Returning now to the historical development of human culture. All cultures across the globe, from remote antiquity to the present continually develop. This is demonstrated in the New Age movement. It came into being in the 1970’s and 1980’s. It came out of theosophical literature and UFO cults. It combines a system of various beliefs and popular practices. For example, healing, channelling, interest in crystals and positive thinking. The belief is that at present the world is going through an evolutionary transformation into a New Age. This is known as the Aquarian Age.



The New Age movement is an unsystematic construction of various beliefs that are available. Having historical links to ancient cultures of the Egyptians, Indians and native Americans. It absorbs modern science, especially quantum mechanics. Astrological or tarot interpretations of our past and future lives. Death being a transition into something new and better. The belief is that the entire cosmos is not just filled with material objects. It is an interconnecting web of meaning, identifiable with  consciousness or energy. We humans contain a spark of this energy. By using it we can change our reality. The belief is that the body, mind and spirit should be treated as a whole. This holistic approach should be used in healing. The idea being that there are states of consciousness, that can be accessed through channelling, giving us insight into a divine plan.


With this a short summery of what we have discussed. We do not have much knowledge of our ancient history. We know little of the Atlantians, Druids, Pagans, Phoenicians, Zoroastrians, and Babylonians.  Our historical information goes back only a couple of thousands of years. Christianity developed into the Western religion. After the destruction of Paganism and primitive cultures it spread to other continents of the world, through missionaries and colonialism. During the Middle Ages there was little tolerance for other beliefs, through the cruelty of the Inquisition.  Even now this is not the case. This will have, in time, its karmic consequences, for the comparative irresponsibility to the other nations of the world.


After the Middle Ages, democracy and theosophy had influence in human affairs. We are now slowly learning to think in a more responsible fashion by the development of our consciousness. Rebirth gives us a logical meaning to life. Death is not an end to our existence here. The future is looking up for us. Ahead of us is the study and manifestation of the Soul with its hidden powers.


Ubuntu is a humanistic philosophy of the Nguni tribes of Southern Africa. Mandela and others explained this to us. It is the next progression in the future from Democracy. Ubuntu states that humanity is a quality that we owe to each other. We create each other and we need to sustain this otherness of creation through brotherliness. We belong to each other and participate in each other’s creation. The spiral of violence will cease when we treat each other as equals.



I will close this talk with the following theosophical quote; “Do not kill your personality in the sense of wiping it out. You have brought it into being yourself; it is a part of you, the emotional and psychical part of you. The lower mental and passional part of you. This is the evolutionary work of aeons in the past. Raise the personality. Cleanse it, train it, make it shapely and symmetrical to your will and to your thought. Discipline it to make it the temple of a living god so that it shall become a fit vehicle. A clean and pure channel for passing into the human consciousness the rays of glory from the god within. These are the rays of the consciousness of the spirit, the divine consciousness. Be the noblest and purest that you can think of.”



Source references:

  • Dictionary of Gnosis and Western  Esotericism               W. J. Hanegraaff
  • Echoes of the Orient                                                             W. Q. Judge
  • ENCYCLOPEDIC THEOSOPHICAL GLOSSARY                     G. de Purucker
  • Golden precepts of esotericism                                                     “
  • Hermetica I: Westerse Esoterie, reader                             W. J. Hanegraaff
  • Lectures on ancient philosophy                                           M.P. Hall.
  • Occult Glossary                                                                    G. de Purucker
  • Oxford dictionary
  • Pseudo Dionysius                                                                 C. Luibheid
  • Raja Yoga                                                                              R. Iyer
  • Routledge Philosophy Encyclopedia
  • The Secret Doctrine                                                             H. P. Blavatsky
  • The Esoteric Tradition                                                          G. de Purucker
  • The western Esoteric Tradition                                          N. G. Clarke
  • Theosophical Encyclopaedia                                                P. S. Harris.
  • Theosophical Articles and Notes                                         P. G. Bowen
  • To light a thousand lamps                                                   G. F. Knoche
  • Wikipedia, Internet.
  • Wind of the spirit                                                                 G. de Purucker
  • Zohar                                                                                     N de Manhar



If you wish to make a comment on this lecture or contact the author, please email: andrewrooke@hotmail.com