There is slight hopes, that in the field of academic research, the ‘Studies in Esoteric Tradition,’ become normalized; rather than treated as “rejected knowledge,” counter-tradition, or a “disease of reason.” There are emotional connotations of “esotericism” and “the occult,” that make reasoning with certain people on the subject, unnecessarily difficult. It should not be this difficult, and should I say, unfair. There are about two assumptions dictating how people widely think of “the occult” being: (1) it is ‘anti-reason,’ superstition, primitive interests; and (2) conspiratorial theories. Both of these, have wide influence and ready-made audiences in great numbers.
However, “esotericism” is rejected knowledge.
Christianized Western culture defines its own identity through a polemical narrative, that excludes certain religions, worldviews, or practice.
A Journal or Magazine may state, that it writes Essays on “Western Tradition,” but the writers could be mostly Christian, and define the West through the idea, that Christianity is the principal bedrock of Western Civilization. Thinkers on the political Right have repeatedly defined those who have an issue with that, as “leftists.” Many Christian sects want to protect against the threat of Islamic influence. In the 20th century, the fear was of Hinduism. Being Christian, Muslim, or Jew, majority of the time, those persons work under the common polemical story about “the Other” — monotheism; which defines its identity by rejecting “idolatry” and “paganism.” Alexander Wilder corrected this.
As that turns out, the polemical narrative is a false construction and too many people believe in it, as a result of the propaganda of theologians and religious leaders. The polemical lie occupies the collective imagination. The first Christian theologians rejected “gnosticism” as heresy. Then heresy comes in the form of magic supposedly inspired by demons as defined in the periods of medieval Christianity. Protestantism rejected Roman Catholicism as crypto-pagan idolatry. In the Enlightenment period, theologians and scientists rejected knowledge related to hermeticism and occultism.
Now, we aren’t invited to the table. No one of us, truly.
The conversation remains between the Semitic-based traditions, atheism, science, and the religious pluralists. The same conversations, and the same conflicts, that was in our opinion, solved long ago.
“What can we do differently when all our ideas are treated as a conspiracy plot, anti-reason, or luciferian doctrine?”
As stated, this is woven into the monotheist’s view of history.
The anti-reason assumption is a distortion and dead lie.
It turns out, that in the medieval period, Christianity in Europe had a very strong grip on the minds of the masses. Western Esotericism requires a serious study, but Theosophy adds the less explored history of Esotericism in Asia’s traditions (Central, East, South). Theosophy is about the narrative of the Universal Mysteries, and its historical origins. Christianity demonizes it. It is highly ironic, that people whine about esoteric elitism, but keep spreading anti-esoteric theory into popular culture, which only reinforces exactly the reason these things are secret. No one engages with the actual historical documents. They simply follow whatever a second/third person, or middle-man source says. As theosophists have attempted, we cannot even correct it in the minds of people. Yes, it is, that bad.
Popularizing Theosophy perfectly explains.
It can be seen in the 2004 Rolling Stone article —
“Listen, if the Illuminati exist, I would like to be invited! I see all that shit, and I’m like, ‘Come on, let me in! I want to be in the club!’ I have no idea what it is. It sounds crazy.
“Weird people on the Internet that have nothing to do find, like, strange triangles in your hand motions,” she continues. “I guess you’ve kind of made it when they think you’re in the Illuminati. But listen, I believe in aliens, so if people want to believe in Illuminati, great.”
Now, Katy Perry has been utilizing that well in Bon Appetit.
This celebrity has no idea the damage she is causing though.
A Katy Perry music video on Youtube reaches 200,000,000 people. Illuminati conspiracists predictable: “KATY PERRY, ILLUMINATI!” These people get from 10,000-200,000 views each. Josef Wages, a Mason trying to correct misconceptions about the historical Bavarian Illuminati has been featured in interviews, and gets what? The most, just at 13,000. Christian world population is over 2,000,000,000 and the Muslims just under. How are these dominated traditions with that much immediate influence threatened? Also, why when someone thinks your religion is bogus, or just don’t believe in it, they must be leftists, or Satan’s spawn? Western Civilization no longer finds Christianity true, but strangely finds itself appeasing Islam and factions of Islamic expansionists. Christian evangelists are therefore propagandizing a return, but in this propaganda, are peddling the same old polemics, that are not based in fact. The Semitic-based traditions are not sufficient to Western Civilization alone.
You’ll need much more than Christianity to revive the West.
This animated cartoon is a perfect example of the issue…
‘Secret Societies…Mystery Religions’
This has nothing to do with the historical reality.
In Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell and its Lessons about Occult Studies, I discussed, how much the character of the seasoned adept, Mr. Norrell expresses our desire to make Occult Philosophy respectable. It is nearly impossible to do that correctly in such a climate. At this rate, it feels we have no choice but to become insular. “Studies in Esotericism” in the university would become the studies of the elite academician.
The public is never up-to-speed with academic material.
Students are in-fact interested in these studies, from what I am told from students and universities experimenting with college classes.
Due to young people’s attitudes and willingness to learn of classical traditions besides “Christianity,” we might have more able minds to expand on the philosophies, that did not get their chance to fully exercise itself in other minds. There is an entire series I would like to write about, concerning the ‘Classical Women Philosophers,’ that were students of renowned men of antiquity, besides just Hypatia.
There is so much that can be done and written about, and the constraints on our collective imagination will have to go, as regards “occultism,” “gnosticism,” etc., to remove the caricature of “New Ageism,” pseudo-intellectualism, and garden-variety religion. There are only certain Christians, who will ally with us. Those hermeticists and platonists rejected, were also Catholics and so forth, trying to enlighten their brethren. Yet, there are Catholics spreading ideas against all of us, daily. I don’t care what you do, in this particular context. Perhaps, you are apart of an evil secret society.
This bifurcation of dark and light occultism … the type of people incessantly confusing others with anti-esoteric theories put everyone in one box. These persons also hardly engage in anything deeply philosophical about Christian mysticism in the first place. They are not even spreading anything productive, or conducive to Wisdom.