Exoterism and esoterism


“The exoteric point of view is fundamentally the point of view of
individual interest considered in the highest sense, that is to say,
extended to consider the whole cycle of existence of the individual
and not limited solely to terrestrial life. Exoteric truth is limited
by definition, by reason of the very limitation of the end it sets
itself, without this restriction, however, affecting the esoteric
interpretation of which this same truth is susceptible thanks to the
universality of its symbolism, or… to the twofold nature, inward and
outward, of Revelation itself; whence it follows that a dogma is both
a limited idea and an unlimited symbol at one and the same time”.

An important point, I think, that Schuon makes is that “the exoteric
aspect of a religion is thus a providential disposition that, far from
being blameworthy, is necessary in view of the fact that the esoteric
way can only concern a minority”. What he decries is an “all-invading
autocracy… the narrow precision of the Latin mind… the exoteric
viewpoint doomed to end by negating itself once it is no longer
vivified by the presence within it of the esoterism of which it is
both the outward radiation and the veil [and leading to] heretical and
atheistic negations”. The veil, that is, maya.

(This is part of a post in ‘Advaita Vision’ with the title, ‘Mithya, Mythology, and Metaphysics’)

About amartingarcia

General surgeon (retired). Studied Western philosophy at U of Toronto. Afterwards interest turned to advaita vedanta and non-duality for past 20 yrs, plus a long interlude in Sufism coinciding with that period. Now contributing in ’Advaita Vision’ with regular posts and discussions.
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