Written by Amber
The word estoteric comes from the Greek word esoterikos in around 1650 and means “the inner circle”.
Looking at the Facts and Mystery of Estoteric Philosophy…to understand first we must piece a few things together, firstly we should take a look at our metaphysics…this is the concepts/assumptions and our own personal beliefs and faith, this is different in all of us as individuals, and it is this that gives us our understanding of the world we live in.
Our own individual metaphysical framework can be quite simplistic or elaborate depending on how we choose to live our lives. So depending on how you chose to live your life, dictates your own personal ethics and what you believe to be “right” or “wrong”. For example those following the Christian faith wish to enter Heaven after death this they believe is “right”, so for a Christian they will follow what they feel is the right path and so gain access to Heaven, to not follow this path to a Christian would be “wrong” and therefore lead them “below”.
Another example is that of the Marxist who would say want social equality this is what they assume “right” and therefore the “wrong”‘ path to the Marxist would be to retreat from this, class eradication and the lack of equality. For both examples an ethical decision on what they feel to be “right” or “wrong” is made by the individual’s own ideals and goals or beliefs belief’s…their own individual metaphysical framework.
Therefore as individuals we all have different ideas and ethics, which are personal to us. Following this thought, it is true to say that there are times when what we feel is right can sometimes prove to be the wrong decision, nevertheless, we have assumed it right and therefore followed it through, this a choice we make depending on our own individual set of ethics/values.
So from the perspective of esoteric thought, “Estoteric” refers to insight or understanding of inner or spiritual or metaphysical realities. This can be a specific teaching, spiritual path or belief a path of “spiritual wisdom and tradition” which is based on purely spiritual or mystical interpretations not on scriptures or writings.
Therefore, looking at the facts and mystery of estoteric philosophy and teachings involve complex cosmological, cosmogonic and anthropological suggestions, ideas and accounts on the nature of reality and spirituality.
Another definition is as suggested above a knowledge/belief that is shared by a small number of people “the inner circle” typically this belief/knowledge is difficult for those not in the group to understand.
This form of estoteric is found in Ancient Egypt, in Pythagorism, in Hindu and Buddah tantra, in Rosicrucianism and Hermetic Occultism. This form of estoteric can be referred to as secret, not because of private teachings or sects but purely because of its very nature and the reality that only the very few will have the right intellectual or spirituality capability.