Staying or getting fit, living a healthy life is one of the Holy Grail of modern man. All sort of ‘miraculous’ or ‘secret’ methods are circulated nowadays. However, not so many people are aware that esotericism deals not only with abstract and apparently fruitless theoretical aspects but also with the health of the physical body.
According to the most commonly used definition in the dictionaries, esoteric means “intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with specialised knowledge or interest.”
People are generally scared and refractive of things they do not know or do not understand. Bringing up ‘esotericism’ is one of those things that makes people uncomfortable. Esoteric is often considered mysticism and the sum of dubious medieval superstitions and practices.
Western esotericism, on the other hand, is a term under which scholars have categorised a wide range of sciences – sometimes considered pseudosciences – traditions and philosophies.
In my opinion, esotericism is the body of theoretical knowledge and practices meant to explore both the ‘microcosm’ and ‘macrocosm’. One, meaning the ‘small cosmos’ refers to ourselves, the other, meaning ‘large cosmos’ refers to the universe. One is the mirror image of the other, discovering and learning things about one will contribute to understanding the other. Theory without practice is futile and fruitless; practice without the grounds of theoretical knowledge is dangerous, confusing and misleading. On the other hand, excessive theorising leads to dogmatism and rigid structures which are not capable of further development.
According to Éliphas Lévi, the dogma represents the theory, while the ritual represents the practice. Only a theory with direct and immediate practical application is worth to be considered working and confirmed theory. Dogma means knowledge and ritual means practice, respectively applying the theory to real, day to day life.
Gurdjieff noted that “there are two lines along which man’s development proceeds, the line of knowledge and the line of being. In right evolution, the line of knowledge and the line of being develop simultaneously, in parallel, and helping one another. People understand what ‘knowledge’ means. And they understand the possibility of different levels of knowledge. Though they do not understand this in relation to ‘being.’ ‘Being,’ for many, simply means ‘existence’ to which the opposite is ‘non-existence’. They do not understand that being or existence may be of very different kinds, levels and categories. And they do not understand that knowledge depends on being. If knowledge gets far ahead of being, it becomes theoretical and abstract and inapplicable to life, or actually harmful, instead of serving life and helping people for the better to struggle with the difficulties they meet, it begins to complicate man’s life, bringing a new level of difficulty into it, new troubles and calamities which were not there before.”
Interestingly, at some point, Gurdjieff divided his work into two halves and distributed between two of his students, one man and one woman. The further development of the theory was attributed to Ouspensky, while the work regarding the so-called movements was handed to Jeanne De Salzmann. However, the two disciples never managed to collaborate, and these two halves, theory and practice, one without the other are incomplete and inefficient. While the theoretical aspects of Gurdjieff’s teaching are clearly outlined, unfortunately, the practical aspects, respectively the so-called movements are poorly documented. The issue of sacred dances and sacred music remains one yet to be adequately explored.
The artificial division persists within the individuals. While some people are only focusing on theoretical aspects, others are concerned only about practising. For instance, a large number of Tarot readers nowadays show no interest in the study and learning theoretical aspects, considering the art of reading a matter of psychic abilities and intuition.
Esotericism is a way of life and governs all aspects of life. And the foundation of life is hermeticism, respectively the principle of the trinity. The Law of Three, just like other fundamental esoteric laws, is not an abstraction, but its diverse manifestations are tangible in our day to day lives.
The Law of Three, or the law of the three principles or the three forces, is described by Gurdjieff as “the second fundamental cosmic law”. Gurdjieff stated that “every phenomenon, on whatever scale and in whatever world it may take place, from molecular to cosmic phenomena, is the result of the combination or the meeting of three different and opposing forces. (…) The teaching of the three forces is at the root of all ancient systems. The first force may be called active or positive; the second, passive or negative; the third, neutralising.” The Law of Three is the very foundation of Hermeticism, as opposed to the Judeo-Christian dualism.
The Law of Three has been preserved in different ‘hidden’ or sometimes altered forms in various religious or esoteric concepts.
Here we should mention trinity. Trinity is Mother, Father and child. However, it has been altered into an unnatural masculine set-up of Father, Son and the Holy Spirit (or Ghost – although, Spirit and Ghost are two quite different things, I am not going into this matter at the moment).
The Mother, Father and child is also the alchemical formula of creation, sometimes called ‘chemical wedding’, meaning marriage and translated to plane algebra is one plus two makes three. This is the (holy) formula of creation, and it cannot be replaced by one plus one makes two or two plus two makes four.
The Law of Three in Alchemy is represented by the Three Primes: Salt, Sulfur and Mercury. In Astrology these are identified with the Three Qualities: Fixed, Cardinal and Mutable.
Being ‘spiritual’ does not mean one should…
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