THE ESOTERIC SPIRITUAL TEACHING THAT
The principal Scripture (or holy book) of the tradition of the Western “world” is the “New Testament”. The “New Testament” communicates principles and ideas and beliefs that, more than those communicated by any other book, are responsible for conventional Western ideas about “religion” and Spiritual life. Although Western culture includes “religious” traditions other than Christianity, the dominant “religious” text which, in the West, tends to inform all popular notions about “religion” and Spirituality is the “New Testament”.
If you grew up in the Western (and predominantly Christian) cultural sphere, you are perhaps influenced by the “New Testament” more than by any other “religious” book. Even if you are not very familiar with the “New Testament”, you have (nevertheless) been impressed, over the years, with certain conventions of “religious” presumption of which the “New Testament” is the source. The conceptions associated with the traditional interpretation of the “New Testament” are not only part of the “religious” teaching of Christian churches, but part of Western culture in general. Through your schooling, through your childhood “religious” training, and through the influence of those with whom you were associated as a child—even though they might not have spoken of “religion”—you have been greatly influenced by these conceptions, some of which are directly communicated in the “New Testament” itself and others of which are simply traditions that are, by extension, associated with “New Testament religion”.
Everyone is dominated, to one or another degree, by conceptions of life that have their origin in exoteric “religious” culture. Even though scientism (or scientific materialism) is tending to displace exoteric “religion” as a way of “knowing”, exoteric “religion” still tends to be the basis for present-day morality and social conceptions. In fact, exoteric “religion” has traditionally always been associated with moral and social conceptions. Thus, if you are, by birth, a Westerner, and even if you were not brought up as a Christian, you have, since your birth, been exposed to propaganda that is, at least in its origins, both conventionally “religious” and specifically Christian. And the basic intention of all such conventionally “religious” propaganda has been to convince you—and, thus, the collective of everyone—that certain kinds of behaviors are appropriate and other kinds of behaviors are not appropriate.
Every present-day legal system—and even the entire body of social contracts by which people are related in their daily lives—has its justification in the tradition of exoteric “religion”. Therefore, in a time when the legitimacy of exoteric “religion” as a way of “knowing” is being undermined by scientism, so (likewise) is the political and social order simultaneously being undermined by scientism. This is not only a time when individuals are moving from exoteric (and, thus, collectively enforced) “religious” ways of “knowing” toward materialistic and secular and even individualistic ways of “knowing”, but this is also a time when society as a whole is becoming corrupted and made chaotic by those same tendencies—and, therefore, new political forces are arising in immediate coincidence with the new cultural forces. Human beings are more and more impinged upon by the forces of political materialism—while, at the same time, they are impinged upon culturally by the forces of scientific materialism. The way of “knowing” in a culture cannot be changed unless the way of keeping order is changed at the same time—and Western society has kept order for many centuries through exoteric “religious” belief, exoteric “religious” presumptions, and exoteric “religious” conventions of behavior.
If, all of a sudden, exoteric “religion” is “discovered” to be untrue, and if, as a replacement for the “point of view” of exoteric “religion”, the “point of view” communicated through scientific materialism dominates the present culture, then the traditional justifications for so-called “moral” behavior have, as a consequence, been abandoned—and not yet replaced with a viable public alternative. Therefore, how will the necessary public order be maintained? A new political force is, under the circumstances, required, to replace the moral programs of exoteric “religion”. Thus, all kinds of political idealisms arose in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries—revolutionary ideas, communistic ideas, egalitarian ideas, socialistic ideas, capitalistic ideas, all kinds of political experimenting—the basic purpose of which is to keep people in order, to keep material production going, to maintain public peace, to make life somehow acceptable to the people, so that the people will not rise in revolt, or go mad, or create chaos.
The rise of new political idealisms is coinciding with the new cultural circumstance, and not only is all of this dominant in the West but it is, likewise, dominant all over the Earth—which is now everywhere “Westernized”, both East and West. This change in the orientation of the mind of humankind has gradually been developing since the Renaissance era in Western (European) culture. The conventions of human orientation began to change in the period of the Western Renaissance—from a sacred orientation to an orientation to the human individual, from Deity-centeredness to ego-centeredness, from ecstasy and sainthood to “Narcissism” and ego-possession, from sacred culture to secular culture, from a dominantly right-brained culture to a now dominantly left-brained culture.