Inner Christianity: A Guide to the Esoteric Tradition by Richard Smoley

By Richard Smoley

Internal Christianity is the 1st creation to mystical and esoteric Christianity for the overall reader. It speaks from a nonsectarian viewpoint, unearthing insights from the complete of the Christian culture, orthodox and heretical, well-known and vague. The esoteric culture has normally sought for meanings that will yield a deeper internal wisdom of the divine. whereas conventional Christianity attracts a timeline from Adam's Fall to the Day of Judgment, the esoteric frequently sees time as folding in on itself, bringing each aspect to the right here and now. whereas the Church fought bitterly over dogma, the esoteric borrowed freely from different traditions—Kabbalah, astrology, and alchemy—in their look for metaphors of internal fact.

Rather than basing his e-book round exponents of esoteric doctrine, student Richard Smoley concentrates at the questions which are of curiosity to each looking out Christian. How can one reach direct religious event? What does "the Fall" rather let us know approximately coming to phrases with the realm we are living in? will we locate salvation in lifestyle? How do we ascend, spiritually, in the course of the numerous degrees of life? What was once Christ's precise message to humankind? From the Gospel of Thomas to A path in Miracles, from the Jesus Prayer to alchemy and Tarot, from Origen to Dante to Jung, Richard Smoley sheds the sunshine of an alternate Christianity on those matters and extra.

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Additional resources for Inner Christianity: A Guide to the Esoteric Tradition

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For the esoteric Christian, faith is indeed vital, but it is not blind trust; rather, it is “the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). Faith in this sense is the conviction, deeply felt and unshaken by whatever the world may say, that something real and vital lies beyond the surface of appearances. In this sense, faith too is a way station. It is the gateway to knowledge. To Christianity collectively, esotericism offers an outlook that can revitalize the tradition and cut through difficulties that now seem almost insurmountable.

For the Gnostics, the bondage of the world consisted not of external political and social control, or even the natural limits of physicality, but the nature of the mind as it has been molded by the planets. These influences were personified as the archons, the rulers of the seven planetary spheres, who were not servants of the true, good God but inimical celestial gatekeepers. To be liberated was to vanquish their dominion, not in the outside world, but in oneself. The Epistle to the Ephesians alludes to this idea: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph.

2 Equally remarkable is the portrait that Thomas paints. Here Jesus does not preach the end of the world; he performs no miracles; he does not claim to rescue people from their sins or to be the Messiah long awaited by the Jews. ”3 Like Clement’s fragment of Mark, Thomas even hints at an initiation. At one point Jesus takes Thomas aside to impart secret teachings to him. When he returns, the other Apostles ask him what Jesus said. Thomas replies, “If I tell you one of the things which he told me, you will pick up stones and throw them at me; a fire will come out of the stones and burn you up” (Thomas, 13).

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