The Mystical Teachings Of Jesus, which have existed for several thousands of years, are esoteric and mystical in nature, for they are not confined to the dogmas and doctrines created by religious theologian throughout history. Religions represent mankind’s search for God, whereas Mysticism is a seeker’s experience of God. Religion is based on faith and belief, which is the first phase of the journey; however, Mysticism is experiential spirituality, the second phase of the journey. Too often seekers get stuck in a holding pattern in the first phase, and never ascend to the next level. This next level is where true spiritual growth takes place, where our quest for Divine Union occurs.
The word “esoteric” to the uninformed is always misunderstood. The new aspirant often understands the esoteric as hidden or secret occult teachings excluded to a select few. This is a naïve perspective, for this is the most commonly accepted interpretation. The idea that the higher teachings should be strictly concealed is a common misconception, seen more in practice by secret schools than by their actual nature. In fact, this concept is an exoteric explanation of the more esoteric reality, which is considered to be great mysteries of the ages.
The Greater Mysteries are esoteric not merely because secret societies and mystical schools have concealed their advanced teachings, which has been the common practice even in ancient times, but ultimately because the true Wisdom of God’s Truth is beyond the human intellect. The genuine Truth can only be realized and experienced in the heart and soul; however, the mind will be enlightened in the process and the understanding will increase. The fact is, the unawakened person simply will not be able to comprehend these deeper teachings, hence, he rejects them. Often the unenlightened will become aggressive in their rejection and skepticism, because they often tend to ridicule students of such esoteric teachings. This is the commonest reason the mystery schools and Gnostic groups have cloaked their teachings, due to persecution from outsiders.
The most typical assailants to the esoteric schools were the staunch orthodox religious communities who accused them of heresy, particularly the Roman Catholic Church in the Dark Ages that initiated the Inquisition and its horrible acts of persecution. Members of these mystical groups were all too often alleged of being inspired by Satan or evil forces, in spite of their sincere claims of being servants of God or followers of Jesus Christ. Therefore, such schools would be forced to withdraw from the public, to move underground, or be scattered to the four winds.