Scholars have also classified Theosophy as a form of Western esotericism. Campbell for instance referred to it as "an esoteric religious tradition", while the historian Joy Dixon called it an "esoteric religion". More specifically, it is considered a form of occultism. Along with other groups like the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Theosophical Society has been seen as part of an "occult revival" that took place in Western countries during the late nineteenth century. The historian of religion Wouter Hanegraaff noted that Theosophy helped to establish the "essential foundations for much of twentieth-century esotericism".
During the Chinese Tang dynasty (618–907), Chinese Esoteric Buddhism was introduced from India and Chan Buddhism (Zen) became a major religion. Chan continued to grow in the Song dynasty (960–1279) and it was during this era that it strongly influenced Korean Buddhism and Japanese Buddhism. Pure Land Buddhism also became popular during this period and was often practised together with Chan. It was also during the Song that the entire Chinese canon was printed using over 130,000 wooden printing blocks. During the Indian period of Esoteric Buddhism (from the 8th century onwards), Buddhism spread from India to Tibet and Mongolia.
planes of existenceplane of existenceplane
Blavatsky, who in The Secret Doctrine and other writings propounded a complex cosmology consisting of seven planes and subplanes, based on a synthesis of Eastern and Western ideas. From theosophy the term made its way to later esoteric systems such as that of Alice Bailey, who was very influential in shaping the worldview of the New Age movement. The term is also found in some Eastern teachings that have some Western influence, such as the cosmology of Sri Aurobindo and some of the later Sant Mat, and also in some descriptions of Buddhist cosmology.
Metaphysical cosmology. Esoteric cosmology. Evolution (philosophy). Hindu idealism. Ietsism. Involution (metaphysics). Plane (cosmology). Religious cosmology. The Celestine Prophecy.
Today, reincarnation is an esoteric belief within many streams of modern Judaism. Kabbalah teaches a belief in gilgul, transmigration of souls, and hence the belief in reincarnation is universal in Hasidic Judaism, which regards the Kabbalah as sacred and authoritative, and is also held as an esoteric belief within Modern Orthodox Judaism. In Judaism, the Zohar, first published in the 13th century, discusses reincarnation at length, especially in the Torah portion "Balak."
Further, the New Age movement shows little interest in magic and witchcraft, which are conversely core interests of many Pagan religions, such as Wicca. Many Pagans have sought to distance themselves from the New Age movement, even using "New Age" as an insult within their community, while conversely many involved in the New Age have expressed criticism of Paganism for emphasizing the material world over the spiritual. Many Pagans have expressed criticism of the high fees charged by New Age teachers, something not typically present in the Pagan movement.
During the occult revival of the early 19th century, alchemy received new attention as an occult science. The esoteric or occultist school, which arose during the 19th century, held (and continues to hold) the view that the substances and operations mentioned in alchemical literature are to be interpreted in a spiritual sense, and it downplays the role of the alchemy as a practical tradition or protoscience.
Some groups listed have been dissolved or are no longer operating. • Anthroposophy • Ashrama Hall and Christchurch Garden Theatre • Behmenism • Bogomilism • Brethren of Purity • Catharism • Druzism • Essenes • Gnosticism • Manichaeism • Martinism • Michał Sędziwój • Neoplatonism • Numerology • Parabola Allegory • Pythagoreanism • Rosicrucian cipher • Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum • Rudolf Steiner • Western esotericism • Western Esotericism (academic field) Old editions Publications Essays Fictional literature Conspiracy literature Lectorium Rosicrucianum, 1924. Archeosophical Society, 1968. Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, 1801.
Kabbalah (literally "receiving"), is an esoteric method, discipline and school of thought of Judaism. Its definition varies according to the tradition and aims of those following it, from its religious origin as an integral part of Judaism, to its later Christian, New Age, or Occultist syncretic adaptations. Kabbalah is a set of esoteric teachings meant to explain the relationship between an unchanging, eternal and mysterious Ein Sof (no end) and the mortal and finite universe (his creation). While it is heavily used by some denominations, it is not a religious denomination in itself.
The affiliation of the Parapsychological Association (PA) with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, along with a general openness to psychic and occult phenomena in the 1970s, led to a decade of increased parapsychological research. During this period, other related organizations were also formed, including the Academy of Parapsychology and Medicine (1970), the Institute of Parascience (1971), the Academy of Religion and Psychical Research, the Institute of Noetic Sciences (1973), the International Kirlian Research Association (1975), and the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research Laboratory (1979).
new religious movementsnew religionsmodern religious movements
New Age movement. Religious pluralism. Sociological classifications of religious movements. Greco-Roman mysteries. Secret society. History of religion. Theosophy and visual arts. Barrett, David B., George T. Kurian, and Todd M. Johnson, World Christian Encyclopedia: A Comparative Survey of Churches and Religions in the Modern World, 2 vols. 2nd edition, Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. Clarke, Peter B. (2000). Japanese New Religions: In Global Perspective. Richmond : Curzon. ISBN: 978-0-7007-1185-7. Hexham, Irving and Karla Poewe, New Religions as Global Cultures, Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1997. Hexham, Irving, Stephen Rost & John W.
Although Hinduism contains a broad range of philosophies, it is linked by shared concepts, recognisable rituals, cosmology, shared textual resources, and pilgrimage to sacred sites. Hindu texts are classified into Śruti ("heard") and Smṛti ("remembered"). These texts discuss theology, philosophy, mythology, Vedic yajna, Yoga, agamic rituals, and temple building, among other topics. Major scriptures include the Vedas and the Upanishads, the Puranas, the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, and the Āgamas.
Some meditative traditions have been encouraged in Kabbalah, and some Jews have described Kabbalah as an inherently meditative field of study. Kabbalistic meditation often involves the mental visualization of the supernal realms. Aryeh Kaplan has argued that the ultimate purpose of Kabbalistic meditation is to understand and cleave to the Divine. Meditation has been of interest to a wide variety of modern Jews. In modern Jewish practice, one of the best known meditative practices is called "hitbodedut" (התבודדות, alternatively transliterated as "hisbodedus"), and is explained in Kabbalistic, Hasidic, and Mussar writings, especially the Hasidic method of Rabbi Nachman of Breslav.
New Thought Movementmind-cureHigher Thought
Atkinson was the editor of New Thought magazine and the author of more than 100 books on an assortment of religious, spiritual, and occult topics. The following year, Elizabeth Towne, the editor of The Nautilus, published Bruce MacLelland's book Prosperity Through Thought Force, in which he summarized the "Law of Attraction" as a New Thought principle, stating "You are what you think, not what you think you are." These magazines were used to reach a large audience then, as others are now. Nautilus magazine, for example, had 45,000 subscribers and a total circulation of 150,000.
List of spirituality-related topics
Involution (esoterism). Ordre Reaux Croix. Universal Life. Surat Shabd Yoga or Sant Mat. Left-Hand Path and Right-Hand Path. Black art. Black magic. Necromancy. Satanism. Baphomet. Church of Satan. Luciferianism. Philosophical Satanism. Satan. Satanic ritual abuse. Anton LaVey. Vampire. Temple of Set. Aleister Crowley. Magick. Chaos magic. Eliphas Levi. Enochian magic. Goetia. Grimoire. Necronomicon. Hoodoo. Magic. Occultism. Pentagram. Quareia. Ritual magic. Santería. Seid. The Book of Thoth. Thelema. Vodou. Martial arts. List of martial arts. List of martial arts weapons. Neijia. Baguazhang. Xingyiquan. T'ai chi ch'uan. Age of Aquarius. Munay-ki. New Age. List of New Age topics. Qigong.
List of magical terms and traditions
Esoteric Christianity. Esoteric cosmology. Esotericism. Evocation. Exorcism. Fama Fraternitatis. Familiar spirit. Feng shui. Feri Tradition. Folk religion. Fortune-telling. Galdr. Gematria. Geomancy. Geomantic figures. Gnosis. Gnosis (chaos magic). Goetia. Gray magic. Greater and lesser magic. Grimoire. Hadit. Haitian Vodou. Haruspex. Hermeticism. Hexagram. Hex. Holy Guardian Angel. Homunculus. Hoodoo. Huna. Human sacrifice. I Ching. Initiation. Incantation. Invocation. Kabbalah. Kemetism. Kia (magic). Kumina. Kundalini energy. Law of contagion. Left-hand path and right-hand path. Legendary creature. Lesser ritual of the pentagram. List of occultists. List of occult symbols.
According to the emanationist cosmology of Madame Blavatsky all monads emerge from divine unity at the beginning of a cosmic cycle and return to this source at its close. Blavatsky in her book The Key to Theosophy (1889) wrote that: "We believe in a universal divine principle, the root of all, from which all proceeds, and within which all shall be at the end of the great cycle of being." Occultist Samael Aun Weor taught emanationism from his studies with the Kabbalah and Gnosticism. He mapped out a complex esoteric cosmology with matter flowing from different planes of existence all existing in the absolute.
Gnostic ideas found a Jewish variation in the mystical study of Kabbalah. Many core Gnostic ideas reappear in Kabbalah, where they are used for dramatically reinterpreting earlier Jewish sources according to this new system. The Kabbalists originated in 13th-century Provence, which was at that time also the center of the Gnostic Cathars. While some scholars in the middle of the 20th century tried to assume an influence between the Cathar "gnostics" and the origins of the Kabbalah, this assumption has proved to be an incorrect generalization not substantiated by any original texts.
Kabbalists often use classical Jewish sources to explain and demonstrate its esoteric teachings. These teachings are thus held by followers in Judaism to define the inner meaning of both the Hebrew Bible and traditional Rabbinic literature, their formerly concealed transmitted dimension, as well as to explain the significance of Jewish religious observances. Kabbalah emerged, after earlier forms of Jewish mysticism, in 12th to 13th century Southern France and Spain, becoming reinterpreted in the Jewish mystical renaissance of 16th-century Ottoman Palestine.
Catholic Encyclopedia "Occult Art, Occultism". Catholic Encyclopedia "Witchcraft".
Esoteric Christians regard Christianity as a mystery religion, and profess the existence and possession of certain esoteric doctrines or practices, hidden from the public but accessible only to a narrow circle of "enlightened", "initiated", or highly educated people. Some of the esoteric Christian institutions include the Rosicrucian Fellowship, the Anthroposophical Society, and Martinism. Western culture, throughout most of its history, has been nearly equivalent to Christian culture, and a large portion of the population of the Western Hemisphere can be described as cultural Christians.
Jesus ChristChristJesus of Nazareth
The New Age movement entertains a wide variety of views on Jesus. Theosophists, from whom many New Age teachings originated, refer to Jesus as the Master Jesus, a spiritual reformer, and they believe that Christ, after various incarnations, occupied the body of Jesus. Scientologists recognize Jesus (along with other religious figures such as Zoroaster, Muhammad, and Buddha) as part of their "religious heritage". Atheists reject Jesus' divinity, but have differing views on Jesus' moral teachings. For example, Richard Dawkins has called him "a great moral teacher". Some of the earliest depictions of Jesus at the Dura-Europos church are firmly dated to before 256.
The Kabbalah Centre, which employs teachers from multiple religions, is a New Age movement that claims to popularize the kabbalah, part of the Jewish esoteric tradition. Jews in Islamic countries: * A. Khanbaghi. The Fire, the Star and the Cross: Minority Religions in Medieval and Early Modern Iran (IB Tauris, 2006). See also Torah database for links to more Judaism e-texts. ;Wikimedia Torah study projects Text study projects at Wikisource. In many instances, the Hebrew versions of these projects are more fully developed than the English. Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) and Rabbinic literature. Mesorah. Targum. Jewish Biblical exegesis (also see Midrash below).
Supreme BeingLordnature of God
An example of syncretism is the New Age movement. Jews and Christians believe that humans are created in the image of God, and are the center, crown and key to God's creation, stewards for God, supreme over everything else God had made ; for this reason, humans are in Christianity called the "Children of God". During the early Parthian Empire, Ahura Mazda was visually represented for worship. This practice ended during the beginning of the Sassanid empire. Zoroastrian iconoclasm, which can be traced to the end of the Parthian period and the beginning of the Sassanid, eventually put an end to the use of all images of Ahura Mazda in worship.
Along with tarot divination, astrology is one of the core studies of Western esotericism, and as such has influenced systems of magical belief not only among Western esotericists and Hermeticists, but also belief systems such as Wicca that have borrowed from or been influenced by the Western esoteric tradition. Tanya Luhrmann has said that "all magicians know something about astrology," and refers to a table of correspondences in Starhawk's The Spiral Dance, organised by planet, as an example of the astrological lore studied by magicians. The earliest Vedic text on astronomy is the Vedanga Jyotisha; Vedic thought later came to include astrology as well.