Esotericism Notes

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37 The true nature of esoteric wisdom is very different from what is generally suspected. Often enough the myths and symbols are used with as serious and rational intent as are the Orestian myths in Aeschylus.
The creation of a culture with a lot of conceptual space for instinct to operate, a solid mass of tradition which acts as an automatic counterbalance to any attempt to be glib. This one reason perhaps why esotericism has been so fertile, as at the renaissance. It does need its popular mythic aspect, much of which may run counter to science as much as any religious dogma. Yet the intellectual lumber may contain much of great value, and it helps to forge a relationship between magus and people. Men like Pico, Dee, Bruno, Fludd, Lull, Roger Bacon, Paracelsus, all very lively figures, very clear headed in many respects. In the popular mind there must be created the idea of some form of hierarchy of wisdom.
The popular mind can be excited and stimulated by the introduction of a great number of alternative thought patterns, instead of remaining stuck in the superstitions of the day.
Artists could make paintings of Sophia, personify the new philosophy in symbols.

163 Demonstrating that the instincts served may be found in tantric or renaissance culture, in forms of esotericism which break into a freedom that is greater than that permitted in popular exoteric culture. In the urge to a total satisfaction of present instinct in a culture which tends to promote idea of such satisfaction. Such a culture will be complex and will contain a great number of possible ideas within it, a representative and comprehensive human microcosm. It seems non rational because it transcends the discursive reason.


307 Lampert’s article on esotericism, (Journal of Nietzsche Studies, 1995 spring edition) is interesting. Idea of Descartes as an esoteric thinker. Suggesting Descartes’ real intention was a kind of scientific materialism and that the God stuff was a blind. That Plato’s tyranny was a concern for his friends. That Nietzsche thought the time had come to reveal the esoteric truth because the threat was now different. This is very interesting.
He doesn’t like the occult aspects of esotericism. What about the ‘buzziness’ of materialism? La Mettrie, rococo voluptuousness?
Nobodaddy and Ialdabaoth. One and the same. Blake producing a proto form of Nietzsche’s philosophy. We should look to this, the Gnostic impulse. And we should also look in materialism and scientific progress, what was good about it. I say the exhilaration it offers to the individual. The idea of unlimited human betterment is a pipe dream.


191 What I do not like in Vico is his proto-Hegelianism. He rejected the idea that the mythologies and symbolism of the past contain an esoteric wisdom, that the men of the past were ruled by elites of sages. Their thought forms, he says, were simply more primitive than ours. We cannot really learn from them except about the genesis of ourselves. This viewpoint is depressing and sterilising. But on the whole the idea is that the object of historical investigation is to uncover what men thought, rather than simply classifying what happened according to our own schemes.

260 In Edmund Wilson’s book (Axel’s Castle), Proust, Joyce, seem all too easily comprehensible. To be mysterious one probably has to be a bit Satanic.
Eliphas Levi on justice and virtue. Crowley suggests much of this is tongue in cheek, which would make him profound. But was this so? It is nice to feel yourself just and virtuous, but naïve to preach that in its most obvious sense.. Esoteric wisdom preaches satisfaction. Ordinary morality is on the face if it a barrier to that. The point is – be just, not become just.
The point is to learn to read the runes. Communication between different cultures. Communication (intercourse) between different people, what better than the sexual? If you respond to something I have produced do I agree that you have understood it? Perhaps.
Common Christianity of Christians. They agree all to be fellows, they claim to understand each one another in the symbol of the cross. But that is mere convention. Artificial unity, but unity nonetheless.
I respond to the pyramids, I could share a drink with the man who built the pyramids. Perhaps we would have much in common. Read the runes.
Esoteric philosophers may say one thing and another that on the face of it quite contradict each other. But they have an interest in feeling they can all communicate with each other in feeling and a common unity.
‘All religions are one’ says Blake. Sectarian fanatics disagree. Blake could find mystics from other religions who agree with him on this, and who are concerned as he is to minimise sectarian controversy. They look for agreement, unity, not points of dispute. They come from diverse traditions but they agree. What do we make of it?


294 How Shakespeare can speak to modern man because not altogether constrained by doctrine. How can Christians look sympathetically at their descendants who are not Christians? If the Christianity is esoteric.

300 If significance is to cross the barriers of different value systems then some form of esoteric interpretation is called for. One has to disregard the explicit statement, which causes mutual incomprehension and put an interpretation on it. Ancestor worship.
Values and purposes of one’s own. Significance of individual purposes denied by egalitarian values. Consider an individual distinction. A form of capital, Marx would say, and despise it. To seek significance in the particular is o deny it in the general. Seeking it in the general is an emotional utopianism of fanatical force.

348 Esoteric Christianity I conceive a form of it which takes Gibbon Nietzsche and Crowley on board,
‘the vision of Christ which thou dost see/ is my vision's greatest enemy’
but which goes further than that. Even prepared to admit the historical reality may be evil and repulsive. Element of unltraparadoxicality. Emotional indifference of the threshold.

368 How by renouncing the insights of one’s youth one loses power. Persuasion. The demand for persuasion. The challenge to mortal combat. Esoteric meanings that may be discovered in Malory. The challenge to mortal combat. On the basis of the insights of youth.


5 Esoteric Christianity. Christianity and Judaism one may accept in a sense, insofar as one accepts that there is a deep repulsiveness in them and their origins. We are down here to ultraparadoxicality. The repulsiveness is the dweller on the threshold.

95 I do have a religion. It is form of esotericism. Perhaps it could be said to involve contradictories and their reconciliation. It has a central reference point in Anglican churches. But the feelings involved are not orthodox nor are they unorthodox. Christianity is an interesting web or network of great complexity to some parts of which, seemingly fundamental or essential parts, perhaps, I react with violent antipathies of one kind or another.
Its origins inspire great revulsion. Hymns are aesthetically repellent. Christian morality especially on sexual maters is suffocating. But it does offer certain spiritual feelings. To an extent these may even come from or depend on an orthodoxy that is repellent.
My answer to them comes from the fact hat I am a prophet.

264 Esoteric Christianity, too, has much to be said in its favour. Where doctrine is essentially symbolic. The pain of decadence, the birth agony of creation. Consider this idea for the light it throws on Spengler et alia.
Sense of decadence, an individual sense of dissatisfaction with the ideas, thoughts, feelings, with the consciousness he feels expected to share. You overcome that by transforming it into a different consciousness, that is your creative act, bringing clarity where there was confusion.


1 Parallels between Buddhism and western philosophy should not be pushed too far, as they may tend to demean Buddhism. Buddhism it must be remembered, is a form of mysticism, always it keeps in mind the possibility of achieving the pearl of great price the hidden source of a rare and total satisfaction. Nearly all Buddhism a form of esoterism. The Buddhist believes that ordinary life is on the surface unsatisfying. The secret of how best to live is something hidden, unattained, still to be sought. Therefore the Buddhist is not capable of the extremes of pedantry to which his European counterpart may sink. The European may assert that there is nothing higher than his present activity, the value of his work serving nothing more than itself.

7 When we have a society that actually takes seriously the clichés of modernity, we have a vulgar democratic society that loses its esoteric side. The career woman has no time for the esoteric. She wants to be valued by the clear and explicit rules of an easily understood game. Those who consider themselves successful want everyone to observe the rules of such a game. The British way has generally been to import such ideas carefully, treat them with a healthy scepticism. But I feel it is changing. Where women make the rules of the game. Germaine Greer and Margaret Thatcher.

13& Triumphalism of democracy. Connection of this with the esoteric. The esoteric, or the mystical is concerned with the procurement of hidden sources of satisfaction. The path is not of interest to everybody. Not to the healthy minded who may have mystical experiences that are fully satisfying, yet need only the simplest theory to explain them.
This the great point of hell being other people’s experience.
The esoteric has an intensely personal, intensely individual character. The analogy with sexual seduction is close.
Enter the realm of the esoteric and coercive generalisation no longer applies. That is to say there is no doctrine, no external truth to which you have to adapt. Esoteric truth is satisfying and deeply enjoyable.
I have a prejudice against the Steiner movement, it seems to me foolish.
Esoteric wisdom is a type of total enjoyment, but it is one’s own total enjoyment, when there has been a certain type of obstacle to surmount.
Esoteric wisdom may be conceived as a form of complete enjoyment involving the satisfaction of demands that not every personality type would feel impelled to make.

63 Different interpretations of the Christos. ‘the vision of Christ which thou dost see/ is my visions greatest enemy.
The democratic egalitarian Christos of the gregarious crowd.
The Gnostic esoteric Christos of those who feel the primary thing is to escape the pressure of the gregarious crowd.
Esoteric Christianity and Satanism could come to terms. Both offer a form of ‘salvation’ ie enjoyment. But the conditions of these are different.
The exoteric sort denies the esoteric has any meaning or point to it. It advocates mortification of such intellectual pride. Surrender to the collective spirit. The gregariousness of youth. The simplicities. If it feels painful to do so that is a pain that has to be endured in a process of mortification.
The supposed sexual abstinence of the Gnostic. That may have been a symbolic myth. I can conceive early Christianity as an orgiastic cult. The Moonies today use sex to seduce men into the Unification Church. I picture beautiful dark haired women tempting, inviting. Look at the pleasure you are missing. What you are renouncing. And it must be renounced, it must be rejected. But only for a time.
And the way it is rejected is not the way most people imagine. It is not the self denial of the Christian saint. It is a psychological reaction which makes it impossible.

73 Max Weber. Weber seems to imply that the peasant is perfectly fulfilled and contented as a peasant. He implies that completeness of satisfaction is possible, even general, lower down the social scale than has rationally been allowed.
All the frustration and discontented desire that pervades the whole social body, he wants to gloss over. Why? It could be a form of resentment. Resentment of the contemplative classes. Of loungers in cafes, nineteenth century decadents and aesthetes, the idle rich. The intellectual and literary needs discussed in books such as Axel's Castle.
He would deny the religious significance of work such as that of Proust or Mallarmé.
And the implication of that work is for a very different type of society.
The age old promise of an esoteric wisdom, that offers the promise of satisfaction deeper and more complete than that generally available. This is claimed to be of value for everyone, in various different ways. New scientific powers. Dissolution of barriers of class, sex and individual personality. &c &c

I like John Dee’s refutation of the accusation that he has stuck a diabolic pact. It is very revealing of his religion.

122 Channel 4 series on Gnostics. This week about Ficino, Pico and Dee. We misjudge such people if we see them purely intellectually as intellectual philosophers. The esoteric tradition aims at illuminations, states of mind in which certain conflicts are resolved

269 Goethe, Milton, Blake, all in the same tradition. But Goethe was a child of the enlightenment, like Mozart, and did not escape from its characteristic shallowness or childishness. Spengler was right to speak of Faustian man. Faustian man is discontented with the Christian scheme, he finds it irksome, he is in rebellion against the God of the Jews. The tensions come out in Milton’s Satan and are explicitly developed in Blake. What is Goethe’s solution? He invents a different God, a completely benevolent father figure. What then becomes the real drama of Faust’s life? A lot of old alchemy. Goethe himself becomes the religious prophet. What is the depth behind all the old alchemical symbolism? It can seem quite arbitrary. Does it have any clear esoteric meaning like the grail symbolism? I do not perceive that level.
Nor does Faust rise to the position of being a lawgiver. He is a child having a romp.
Faustian man’s conception of God. One must not be punished for one’s desires. Where there may seem to be punishment the punisher is not just God but a usurping demiurge.
Free spirit as lawgiver. Faust has no problems, it is like a pleasant dream. The north versus the south. Aryan myth. The protestant delight in the catholic south, its freedom from inhibition, its life of the senses. But how much of this is like the criminality of the criminal classes, less free spiritedness than a willingness to break laws and taboos? People take drugs but are not sufficiently outraged by prohibition.
The protestant or Faustian spirit. Or Aryan spirit. On might say it is antisemitic. It is opposed to the Jewish god.


256 Esoteric Christianity. Things, forms, buildings, historical happenings all presenting an esoteric significance. All are symbols. Meaning goes far deeper than what is immediately apparent.
Esoteric Christianity is different, even opposite, to gospel Christianity. Gospel Christianity is moralistic, accusatory, ideological, shirty. Esoteric Christianity deals with historical forms and energies. The apparent emotional content of some form or appearance may be quite opposite from what it is at first sight.
Thus the origins of Christianity, this fact of history which is so repellent, and which orthodox Christianity cannot escape, would be faced full squarely by esoteric Christianity as one of the mysteries.
Rosicrucianism, the leading school of esoteric Christianity. When you are happy, as when you are in love, you may be naturally attracted to ideas like this.
Rosicrucianism the Mahayana of Christianity.
Esoteric. What one looks for is ideas which can succeed in affording satisfaction to the will. One reads off forms as symbols.

351 Wisdom. Awareness of certain conditions that apply to a state of heightened happiness. … I certainly like this type of sexual mysticism. People who believe in esoteric wisdom and aspire to attain it. Something satisfying could be created out of it, a work of art. Sufficient in itself, not needing permanence., nor unsatisfactory insofar as it is not permanent. Something quite exhilarated enough to escape all the modern categories which are meant to exhaust sexuality. To get right away from modern society, and its limited range of values in an explosion of creative power.


174 The Church Fathers. Surely the strangest collection of men ever to win historical renown. Not primitives but extreme decadents. So repellent, these superstitious, fear ridden, antisexual minds. But it is as ‘fathers’ we must understand them, as the embodiment of impulses which would lead on to other things. Like it or not these weirdoes were the originators of our own civilisation. Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, Gregory, Tertullian, Ignatius, Cyprian, Benedict.
So many of them the old patrician class, with the natural instinct to rule
Strange as they were, later ages could reinterpret their achievements and preoccupations in a more rational and intelligible light. As if what they did had an esoteric meaning which would later emerge.
Sophisticated religious interpretations, symbols and allegories.
As if the fathers were naifs, yet vehicles for meaningful energies beyond their conscious comprehension. No doubt they had their pleasures and enjoyments but one of the most repellent aspects to them is their twisted sexuality. Early Benedictines finding relief though constant whipping of little boys. Jerome’s obsession with virgins. Augustine’s guilt.

200 Esoteric Christianity, esoteric socialism, esoteric church. Emotional exacerbation. They are narrow indeed and fanatical, seeming totally repressive, yet may be subjected to esoteric interpretation. Then a positive value may be made to emerge.
Luther Calvin Luckacs. Stalin.
Put it like this. There are impulses and motives to which they respond which perhaps demand attention.
Among the motives which inspire them perhaps there are some we can understand and sympathise with, and which perhaps they fulfil very well. But in their bigoted ways they might destroy much else we hold of value.
Esoteric interpretation is to do with reconciling conflicting motives. Esotericism is subtlety, civilisation, society, the reconciliation of as many different motives as possible.

304 Reflections upon art students. What they express. The effort to communicate an esoteric wisdom, the hint of a deep sensuous excitement. This can well express itself in clichés, like those of suburban menace. Feeling, excitement are no real guarantee of artistic excellence. But artists in general are less contemptible than a lot of people.
Relation of the concept of esoteric wisdom to that of the hip and the trendy. Charisma, sex appeal, effectiveness. Sex appeal of the religious leader. What, in a way, we are all after. Esoteric wisdom, deeper satisfaction. By playing on their emotions one many get them to give themselves into slavery (Hitler).


56 When some people write of the mystic inspiration behind these cathedrals there is a sense in which they are right. There is a value, an aesthetic sense if you like, which can speak universally and to which the church in those days was more finely attuned than modern society could possibly be. There is not really any mystery behind this. These people had an esoteric wisdom just in the sense that they had a particular skill that has been lost.
Modern society, in attempting to emulate or to imitate tends towards the inane. We produce great engineering feats but in architecture, for example, we may assert some form is equal to the highest beauty when that is not even part of the idea of its creation. We tend to the idea that beauty can be created by arbitrary form. The idea that the functional is the beautiful, which is simply not true. The beautiful is a separate idea. This can degrade the whole idea of beauty, it can suggest that beauty is a mater of arbitrary convention.


114 Esoteric Christianity. Suppose one treats everything that is disgusting in Christianity as a mystery. If there is an esoteric doctrine, why should not the exoteric contain a deal that is in several respects repulsive?
An established church like the C of E carries a great burden just because it is an established orthodoxy. It must accommodate the sophisticated as well as the unsophisticated.

230 Hegel's Introduction, the clearest exposition of his philosophy in its appeal and its originality, Inventing a religion, making the modern feel the wisest and deepest richest child of time. His rejection of all esotericism.
The hope he provides that every desirable aim can be accomplished in a right understanding of the present. To be charged with infinite meaning.
This fanatical exoterism, a self inflation, an awful smugness. "that every prig ought to be a Hegelian" (William James). A religion that makes everything you do and have done part of the progress towards some infinitely valuable goal, the achievement of a most desirable purpose.
No one could have understood Hegel who does not understand the force of this emotional appeal, the power of this new religion which aims to raid all the treasures of time. The magic here. That no secret has been lost, that everything is contained in the most modern philosophy.
That philosophy is the fullest rational explicitness of what was implicit in religion.
This magical meaningfulness of all action.
Deep and rich. Only subjective emotions, though it can take a long time to see this.
It is very like being the worshiper of a god. Actually very Hebraic.
He aims to empty the content from all the mysteries. Now, he says, is the deepest and richest.
All culture is like manifestations of philosophy.
Every excitement one may imagine from contemplating any form, and cultural manifestation from the past, is said to be present, now, in only a deeper and richer form , if only we understand the present and its most advanced philosophy.
History reveals exciting possibility which we feel we have already appropriated, and that everything we do is obscurely aimed towards this most desirable goal.
'The Absolute Idea' a rational replacement for God, a supposedly rational explication of religion.
The acts that it sanctifies are those of the most enthusiastic commitment to modernity, a fanatical surrender to the zeitgeist.
Nature of this religion. Intense consciousness of history, involvement, action. But whatever one does, whatever one feels involved in doing is made intensely meaningful. For the most up to date philosophy reveals all the treasure of time.
This fantastic conceit. Is it any more of an illusion than the neoplatonic or the Buddhist scheme?
To me they seem more plausible as religions. And far better defined.


70 Against Gordon Childe and more with someone like Jung, I would want to say that the culture of the bronze age answered in a particularly vivid way to human psychic needs. Childe sees it solely as determined by transient economic forces. By the time of the iron age the forms of bronze age culture with its monarchies and priesthoods had become redundant. Israel and Persia embodied cultural forms with were redundant from the outset, these were atavistic states. The ‘wisdom of the ancients’ would be merely useless lumber to an economically more advanced era.


68 Quinton says that the philosophy behind modernism is existentialism. I disagree. The philosophy behind modernism is some kind of Kantianism. Idea that there is a reality behind appearances and the exploration of that. What is the philosophy behind the various aesthetics of modernism? Kant. Braque, Picasso, Cezanne, Le Corbusier, Einstein, Joyce, Andre. Infusing into the notion of the thing in itself a powerful emotional charge. So many people when questioned appear to take Kant for granted, no matter what other ideas they profess. The esotericism of modernism turns out to be no more than Kant, or the emotional exploration of Kant. The philosophy is out of date. I resent the hierophantic pretensions of the artistic establishment, their assumption that one ought to share their beliefs. The Kantian philosophy is obviously used for an elitist purpose. It is used for a species of esoterism preserving the privileges of an elite group, an academic establishment.

130 Platonism, the esoterism of the western world. the hip and the square. The tyranny of fashion enforcing conformity of thought. Platonism. An image of a philosophy permeating all aspects of life and culture. An anti historical, anti Hegelian type of philosophy. Plato's conservative aims, resisting the decadent tendencies of the democratic movements in his own day. Western esotericism & magic, infusing society as a whole with a philosophical meaning of which the primary function is to draw away from immediate prejudice. It should not be treated as superstition. Resistance to the tyranny of fashion.

254 Gregory the Great, creating western civilisation as something separate from the east. One with a great sense of historical possibilities. Prophecy. We admire him for what we consider to be his pure sense of power. His mind may have been bigoted like Lenin’s. Hegel’s idea of the world historical figure. We interpret Christianity highly esoterically. Our Christianity is diabolic. What is our sense of religious intoxication? Gregory the Great as the last of the aristocratic Romans. His natural command. Prophecy. Reinterpretation of dogma from Joachim to Hegel and Marx. Thus the concerns of one generation are continuously linked to the very different concerns of another. Significance of the number 3 for prophecy and esoteric interpretation. Thesis/antithesis/synthesis is not really the point. I think that logic is essentially inadequate, even false. It is not exactly synthesis that is produced. The ‘Church of John’ represents an overcoming of all that is objectionable in positive dogma while preserving such desired continuity as required.
Obvious influence of similar Jewish, ie kabbalistic, movements on Joachim,
Esoteric interpretation enables us to expand the field of action of historical figures.
What did Gregory intend? Would he have approved or disapproved of what he effectively created in western civilisation with all its glorious Christian anti Christian and post Chrisitan culture? Doctrine of historical opportunities, ideas creating historical opportunities. If religion is to be capable of fulfilling this function it needs to be open to an unpredictable amount of reinterpretation.
A figure like Joachim brings this out very clearly. &c &c


124 I seriously believe that the occult and esoteric tradition in western civilisation has a seminal and fertilising effect of very considerable proportions on the mainstream or exoteric developments, that thought does not have to proceed so much by leaps and bounds as our conventional historians suppose, that perhaps there is a logic, or several logics creative or seminal thought which are not intellectually respectable and which should certainly not become so, but which at certain points admit the possibility of such clarification that a discovery of exceptional genius may be said to have been made.


77 Government by secret society. The whole moral significance behind the secret traditions, wisdom only to the initiated, discrimination. We do not believe that enlightenment, in the nature of things, is for the many, if it were we should reject it. But we despise cultured snobs with their implication that true fulfilment lies with what is openly and officially offered within our society. Thus we are perverse.


119 I should like to form something like Pythagorean brotherhood. I should like to express my ideas in a suitably artistic form. I should like to invent a form of spiritual discipline so that the mind can recall complex ideas and states of mind in a systematic fashion, develop itself in one pointedness. In the west monasteries have served that purpose, but they have generally existed in the service of an infantile repressive anti sexual form of religion. But I imagine that there have been times when there was more in the monastic system that that described by Lewis, Maturin or Diderot….etc etc


134 Sketches of an occult system. Symbolism and desire. A book like Magick in Theory and Practice, science of impossible solutions.
Claiming esoteric knowledge. The objects of magical science, an extreme romantic interpretation of man. The offer to fulfil all objects of desire.
Come to a consideration of my own personality and how I do not seem to meet up to the exalted standards of a Crowley. How nevertheless I feel I wish to clam a sort of perfection.
Esoteric knowledge. The knowledge of how to satisfy the desires, the most ambitious magical type of desires.
This is something not necessarily to be taken absolutely literally, but certainly not simply allegorically. Interpret life as a business of trying to satisfy these extremely ambitious desires or what you would happily accept as an equivalent. The desires set the pitch for the type of satisfaction aimed at. How in reaching such satisfaction in effecting the substitution, a great variety of concepts and categories will be encountered.
From this point of view everything you encounter is symbolic, has at least a surface and a deeper meaning.
There is a radical ambiguity in all symbols, no clear instruction can be given as to how to achieve the object. All esoteric literature has to be read between the lines. A world of symbols. A personal mythology. You have to learn to read the world in relation to your own object.
Life as an effort to achieve satisfaction.
You are surrounded by ideas, by conflicting instructions, interpretations.
The ability to read the world symbolically. Those who aspire to secret knowledge must not take everything at face value. Through the interpretation of symbols you achieve the satisfaction of desire.

Symbolism substitution etc. Thus the trouble with occult systems. Really they can be little more than suggestive.
Object being to impart esoteric knowledge. This impulse, this desire, can only be accomplished by a complicated step by step process of symbolisation and substitution. Many conflicting emotions will be brought into play, the process must be different for each person.


39 Hargrave Jennings a much maligned writer, yet probably a profound one, a profound counter revolutionary. A seer of symbols, like Freud and Jung, but he externalised them into the environment, thus infusing a secret, a subversive meaning into everything. This is perhaps one of the signs of madness, but if disciplined it can represent a radically original way of looking at the world, an exciting erotic mode of experiencing the urban environment.


71 Guenon’s vision of esoteric truth. So open to criticism and I don’t mean ‘philosophical’ in these sense he attacks. What I call the protestant or the dissident method is another way of arriving at truth. These may be outer husks but what of it?

276 Also, however we try to define pagan, so much of our heritage is in a so called Christian tradition as everyone must recognise. The difference between a neopagan and an esoteric Christian is extremely blurred and may often reduce to terminology.
What of Walt Whitman introducing Satan into his deific square?


81 Spenser and sex. Christian God anti sex. Underlying esoteric meanings. affirmation. Esoteric principle. All the ideals of married love. Voltaire’s apothegm.
God, sex and the fall. Jewish pro-sexuality. Sexual excitement and the temptation to invoke God.


72 Esoteric wisdom is to be found in almost every age. It’s aim perhaps is to bring under the power of the will all the various possible basic forms of experience. this is to be achieved by a number of special disciplines which transcend the particular culture in which its aspirant finds himself a part.

297& The great sages are less conflicting than they are united. There is a common interest against confusion and stupidity which outweighs their respective differences. Clarity of expression itself brings a certain unity, most radical disagreement comes from fuzzy thinking. When all positions are made clear, then real hatred is impossible.
All the sages could be reconciled. Ideas could remain as beautifully delineated possibilities. belonging to the world of strife while the real source of happiness lies in the freedom bestowed by a framework of symbols.
Ideas devoid of all particular content. Why esoteric philosophy often does not seem like philosophy though it can be very seminal in its effects. Plato, Wittgenstein. Leaning to understand our concepts.
We may conceive the sages as like the great yogis of Hinduism, liberated beings, void of all emotion born of ignorance, unpredictable in the choices they might take.

Free functioning total mastery, all that is needed is power, not faith, the power bestowed by an adequate symbolism, language, kabbalah, mathematics.
The form of certainty.
Esoteric wisdom, what may sound trite were it not that is detached from creeds.


205 Esoteric philosophy is not like a scientific or philosophical theory, it is like a map. “Theories are essentially argumentative systems of statements, their main point is that they explain deductively. Maps are not argumentative” (Popper). Thus even the argumentative nature of some esoteric philosophy is not necessarily what it seems.
Esoteric philosophy is beyond all theory, its object is to be a map, its argument may be a part of its maplikeness, the only question to arise is whether it is a good map or a bad one, not whether it is true or false.


48 We must learn to write on two levels, and to keep these levels separate. I want no attempt to control the masses by officially sponsored mass religion. but we philosopher kings must see the value of popular ideas as bases for forms of life. The masses need ideas as much as the elite.


236 the occult philosophy deserves deep study, not as something one simply learns about and then digests. Yet there is the seeming arbitrariness of the symbolism. Why should I accept that there are seven qualities, or ten sephiroth or seven planets with their specially defined influences? Why should I accept the ascriptions and correspondences that characterise occult thought? Yet if I wish to learn music I accept the notation, I accept the symbolism of mathematics and the alphabet.


180 Esoteric tradition nearly always subversive, always for the few. Ideas that give an especial perspective. Ideas that have gone against orthodoxy throughout most of history, yet have had a profound influence. A usable tradition. A history of ideas. Prohibited ideas. Not a dry academic study. That received opinion is limited or mistaken. A very powerful alternative tradition. The esoteric tradition. A line that is not usually traced. An outlook or philosophy that is radically critical of present civilisation. A philosophy and an outlook usually condemned as heresy. Seen as insignificant or foolish, the possibility of which is usually denied. Orthodoxy reacts so strongly against the idea of a secret wisdom that is treats the very suggestion as the merest foolishness. Esoteric wisdom is oppose to conventional wisdom, and expresses a personality that has not found generally favour, especially in Christianity. The old wars between magic and religion. Censored ideas. A mentality, a dissident mentality.


95 Details of exhibitionistic delights. Why not a suitable subject for poetry? Because ambivalent. Easy slide into the ludicrous or the disgusting as other interests arise. So the sexual needs to be put into some kind of symbolism. Hence all the poeticised sexuality of chivalry, grail legend, round table, rosy cross, order of the garter.
I do not mean to reduce everything to sex. Nor is the symbolism anything to do with guilt or repression. I would say this mediaeval symbolism, read aright, is a form of lyricism.
Sex understood in its widest potential.
It is normal for men to think and talk a lot about sex. A novel like Lady Chatterley’s Lover fails completely. Most pornography fails too.
Multidimensionality of Arthurian legends. Side by side with the love stories, and the chivalrous love idiom, there is the deeper and more immediate symbolism of objects. There is a direct lyricism of aspects of experience which at other times have been considered obscene or comic.
I do not mean to say that the meaning of the Arthurian legends is solely sexual, for the sexual is itself a symbol, a figure, of human happiness in all its manifold variety.
The Arthurian is closely involved with esoteric, which means heretical, Christianity.
Energies finding their outlet within more or less Christian framework of symbols and concepts.
A profound form of lyricism so easily debased by such as Tennyson or Wagner.
A product comparable to Greek mythology but very different. (as Aeschylean from Shakespearean tragedy, a Doric temple form a gothic cathedral)
The western barbarian lyric impulse. See as different from the Greek impulse. Western man was confronted with a religion teaching high mysteries and claiming to contain all wisdom, something concentrated about it, expressing a constructive civilisation building impulse.
Remove the emotion from mythology and it loses its point. Wagner gave it emotion, but a kind of fascistic collective emotion.
Through the lyric impulse one’s aim is to express truths of the greatest scope and moment, not just particular description. Pornography has value when it is symbolic of something else.

212 Charlie’s generation younger than mine, fixated on a later phase. More on the glamour. I came of an age group and class that tended to disdain pop music. My fixation was on something a bit deeper than all that, on problems of esoteric wisdom and mystical illumination.

285 Siege perilous to electric chair. Esoteric Christianity. Christianity as mere magical symbolism, the real values of life being heroic and certainly transcending any conventional ideology. The round table. What is that? Even that has some obscure sexual signification, I suspect. There are sources of great energy that are sexual in nature.
To the Greek the naked arse was an object charged with great creative power. We appreciate the significance of the nude, but what gives the nude its special significance but the erogenous zones, primarily the arse?
Modern sexual liberation is nothing of the sort, it is the imposition of a new set of rules, a new game with its possibilities of success and failure/
The Arthurian legend. The heroic values transcend conventional Christianity, because they seem profoundly responsive to historical change, conscious that ideas, cultures, even religions come and go.
Such a consciousness hardly fits a into a conventional Christian scheme. It gives rise to an ideal of life which must transcend, or underlie, whatever are the officially preached values of life.


310 Stirling’s idea that rhetoric is the art of saying one thing while seeming to say another. That the real meaning of religion is not morality at all, that morality is only mores, custom.
Esoteric symbolism of religion.

322 Stirling on Veronese’s St Helena. On the above interpretation it is indeed a very beautiful painting. Mysticism, beauty, amazing forms. Phallic mysticism and non phallic. Hargrave Jennings. And his description of the Rosicrucians. Barbarous symbols that seem charged with meaning, even understood meaning, though you would be hard put to say what it is. Like innocent meaning. The mystic bug.
Look at the real, the deep inner significance of this fertility religion, essentially the defeat of the moralising interpretation of religion. Certainly no intention of reducing religion to sexual activity, on a Swedish model.
An interesting new field opens up, of esoteric religion, which relates closely to all I have written about Nietzsche.
Understand why there is the need for all this to remain hidden. So easy for it to be profaned. And the esoteric cryptic style of expressing it, conveys very much more than otherwise it might.

330 Vico, like the Puritanism of the emergent middle classes who want to differentiate themselves from the mass, as they do all over the world. Attack on the idea of esoteric wisdom of Homer. Attack on heroic morality, on the aristocratic spirit of his own age. On Iamblichus. And speaking up for moral restraint for respectable virtues.

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