In its essence, esotericism is the art of consciously recognizing that all existence, manifested in its myriad variations of form and quality, is fundamentally based on energy. Not only are all forms of creation composed of energy, but every form of activity also arises from streams of energy activated by that all-encompassing law of nature — the Law of Cause and Effect. The function of the esotericist is to take cognisance of these energies and, as far as his mental and spiritual evolution allows, to learn how these energies may best be guided and controlled to the maximum advantage of humanity, thus implementing the precepts of the Divine Plan. In the early stages of his conscious development as an esotericist, the aspirant will only be aware of a limited range of these energies impinging on his system, but with growing sensitivity the observed range will increase, thus progressively expanding his consciousness and consequently his capacities for effective service. The beginner will at first be lost in a maze of interlocking and interacting energies. In due course he will, however, begin to distinguish between:
- Purely physical energy, consisting of energy and forces which have been transmuted and engendered in his physical system.
- Emotional forces and mental powers evoked by energies focused through the etheric body to these two planes.
- The impelling energies sent forth by the soul and therefore emanating from the higher mental and spiritual levels.
The esotericist must also learn to recognize the energies which determine the nature of his environment. He must come to the realization that all happenings and circumstances, and every physical manifestation of whatever nature, are but the symbols or reflections of events and activities occurring within the etheric worlds. These inner realms are the worlds of reality, and it is the task of the esotericist to penetrate the separating veils, to familiarize himself with the newly discovered conditions, and then to qualify himself for fresh fields of activity. The field of esoteric study should not remain limited to considering only those energies which are directly affecting the individual or his immediate environment. It will be of even greater significance to consider the more comprehensive energies affecting national and international politics and world events.
Each disciple should endeavour to understand the nature of these forces, enabling him to contribute his part, whether large or small, towards promoting favourable world conditions. It should always be kept in mind that all creation is but spirit in manifestation, and therefore every form of energy, whether it concerns the individual, the group or the nation, and whether in the field of religion, science, economics or of a political nature, has its spiritual aspect, and stands to gain by correct spiritual approach. Thus, wars are, for example, caused by energies which have accumulated until a point of saturation is reached, and these pent up forces are then both literally and figuratively released explosively. The time will come when it will be possible to determine the incentive esoteric causes of such wars, thus enabling them to be avoided or eliminated.
Esotericism therefore concerns itself with the many energies of the soul, and aims towards free access to and functioning in the subjective worlds. It serves as the mediating principle between life and substance, but is oriented to the spiritual rather than to the physical aspects. To attain these ideals, the disciple must have a reasonably well developed intelligence, and must definitely be mentally oriented, because it is essential that, while contacting and moving amongst these inner realities, he should be able to draw his own logical conclusions and arrive at a clear understanding of that which his consciousness may register.
Increased light, leading to illumination, is the inevitable result of all true esoteric activity, and under the guidance of the soul, this in turn intensifies the inherent light of all substance brought under the influence of the work. The soul-infused and dedicated esoteric student may therefore continue on his chosen way with confidence, and with the knowledge that as he proceeds, overcoming all obstacles on his ascending path, this path will be irradiated by ever brighter light. And as each disciple, through his own efforts, is endowed with greater light, it will become part of his responsibility to develop into a light-bearer in his own right, dispersing this light amongst his fellow men who, although still largely unknowingly, are yearning for this light to brighten the darkness by which they are surrounded.
Excerpted from the book Bridges by Aart Jurriaanse, ISBN 3-929345-11-0