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Jan 31, 1994 06:37 PM
by Eldon B. Tucker

This is by Brenda Tucker.

The terms esoteric and exoteric used to mean to me: that a shell,
although representative of the seed within may be misleading.
The seed may not be smooth and round as the pecan shell suggests,
but in fact when we look within there are definite sections with
bits of shell growing across and through the nut meat.  The
exoteric discusses the shell as if it were the nut itself and any
further information is considered too sacred because if someone
who was not ready to receive it heard the significance of the
inside of the nut, it would result in not only skepticism about
the value of the nut, but a profound difference of opinion and
general denial and ridicule of the treatment of the subject
matter.  For in fact, very few had ever opened a pecan.

Quite simply, exoteric meant the outer, the words, and you are
not to take it at its face value.  Esoteric meant the inner, the
meaning, and the truest rendering possible of what would
otherwise be a mystery.  Says THE SECRET DOCTRINE, Vol II p. 9
"Geography was part of the mysteries, in days of old.  Says the
Zohar:  "These secrets (of land and sea) were divulged to the men
of the secret science, but not to the geographers."  Does this
present an urge to the uninitiated to become initiated?  Is this
essential for the cooperative endeavor of the planetary forces?
In any case, we are quick to label the exoteric as false,
misleading, and "bad" when we are in search of the mysteries.
Recently, partly by reading the submissions to the network, I
evolved a more satisfying definition of esoteric-exoteric.  I
don't know if there is anything that I could read that would
support my new feelings, but in particular I was amazed to find
H.P.B.'s use of the term in THE SECRET DOCTRINE to be quite
fluent.  I couldn't imagine that a whole book could be termed
esoteric, because I felt that they all had blinds, that they all
required keys.

She says, Vol II, p. 309 "The present seventh Manu is called
'Vaivasvata' and stands in the exoteric texts for that Manu who
represents in India the Babylonian Xisuthrus and the Jewish Noah.
But in the esoteric books we are told that Manu Vaivasvata, the
progenitor of our Fifth race who saved it from the flood that
nearly exterminated the Fourth (Atlantis) is not the seventh
Manu, mentioned in the nomenclature of the Root, or
primitive-Manus, but one of the 49 Manus emanated from this

My new conception of esoteric-exoteric is valuable because it
resurrects the exoteric from its demeaning stature and makes it
luminous.  Exoteric are those writings that are put forward for
the assistance of those working in the world, both initiated and
uninitiated.  They are meant to provide hints and suggestions
regarding accomplishment in the arts and sciences.  They are to
aid the progression of a culture, to create a unified sense in
facing the unknown, and to permit the ordering of the "known" in
new and fascinating manners.  In this way, THE SECRET DOCTRINE is
an exoteric work.

H.P.B. says Vol I, p. xvii, "The esoteric truths, presented in
Mr. Sinnett's work, had ceased to be esoteric from the moment
they were made public; nor did it contain the religion of Buddha,
but simply a few tenets from a hitherto hidden teaching which are
now supplemented by many more, enlarged and explained in the
present volumes. But even the latter, though giving out many
fundamental tenets from the Secret Doctrine of the East, raise but a
small corner of the dark veil. For no one, not even the greatest
living adept, would be permitted to, or could even if he
would give out promiscuously, to a mocking, unbelieving world,
that which has been so effectually concealed from it for long
ons and ages."

Where does this leave the esoteric then?  My only appealing form
of the meaning of the word esoteric has become "that which will
be inwardly felt, will strike chords in the inner being of the
reader, will stress character development or a journey within,
and have little to do with the work or outer existence of a man,
woman, or planet other than by encouraging a "living of the
teaching" and a direct influence of new concepts and inner
knowledge on everyday interactions, which students are able to
more aptly manifest in their lives as a result of this sharing of

Once I was very miserable at camp.  Our counselors all had code
names like "Sparky," "Bananas," etc.  One of the counselors tried
to perk me up by befriending me, and as part of the process,
agreed to share her real name (since I had asked).  By sharing
this secret, she gave me a sense of "being loved."  It made going
through the days with the other girls much easier because I had a
special friend.  However, during the nights my toes and nose
still froze.

"For the Esoteric philosophy is alone calculated to withstand, in
this age of crass and illogical materialism, the repeated attacks
on all and everything man holds most dear and sacred, in his
inner spiritual life. The true philosopher, the student of the
Esoteric Wisdom, entirely loses sight of personalities, dogmatic
beliefs and special religions. Moreover, Esoteric philosophy
reconciles all religions, strips every one of its outward, human
garments, and shows the root of each to be identical with that of
every other great religion. It proves the necessity of an
absolute Divine Principle in nature. It denies Deity no more than
it does the Sun. Esoteric philosophy has never rejected God in
Nature, nor Deity as the absolute and abstract Ens. It only
refuses to accept any of the gods of the so-called monotheistic
religions, gods created by man in his own image and likeness, a
blasphemous and sorry caricature of the Ever Unknowable.
Furthermore, the records we mean to place before the reader
embrace the esoteric tenets of the whole world since the
beginning of our humanity, and Buddhistic occultism occupies
therein only its legitimate place, and no more. Indeed, the
secret portions of the  Dan  or  Janna * ( Dhyana ) of Gautama's
metaphysics grand as they appear to one unacquainted with the
tenets of the Wisdom-Religion of antiquity are but a very small
portion of the whole. The Hindu Reformer limited his public
teachings to the purely moral and physiological aspect of the
Wisdom Religion, to Ethics and MAN alone. Things  unseen and
incorporeal,  the mystery of Being outside our terrestrial
sphere, the great Teacher left entirely untouched in his public
lectures, reserving the hidden Truths for a select circle of his
Arhats. The latter received their Initiation at the famous
Saptaparna cave (the Sattapanni of Mahavansa) near Mount Baibhr
(the Webhra of the Pali MSS.). This cave was in Rajagriha, the
ancient capital of Magadha, and was the Cheta cave of Fa-hien, as
rightly suspected by some archologists." (THE SECRET DOCTRINE
Vol I, xx)

"*Dan, now become in modern Chinese and Tibetan phonetics ch'an,
is the general term for the esoteric schools, and their
literature. In the old books, the word Janna is defined as  to
reform one's self by meditation and knowledge,  a second inner
birth. Hence Dzan, Djan phonetically, the  Book of Dzyan." (fn
p. xx)

I've been searching THE SECRET DOCTRINE as you know and think
there is quite a bit of interesting information on the races that
maybe people could benefit from.  So my plans for the next couple
of weeks is to present some of what is written there on the
different races, continents, and subraces.  Anyone who would like
to comment is welcome.

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