The Esoteric Path: An Introduction to the Hermetic Tradition

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Sophia Perennis, 2005 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 148 pages
Traditional esoterism, though capable of the highest degree of elaboration, is based on a few first principles - Absolute Reality, hierarchical manifestation, the necessity for initiation, the centrality of the spiritual Heart, etc.-which can be stated simply. In The Esoteric Path, Luc Benoist does just this for the monumental writings of the great metaphysician Ren Gunon. If ever there was a 'primer' on traditional metaphysics and esoterism, one that does not dumb down its subject but rather opens a door to profound spiritual depths waiting to be explored, it is this book. The first section deals in a general way with metaphysical principles, their modes of transmission and the spiritual practices based upon them. The second presents the central principles of such Eastern traditions as Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Islam, and also various forms of Western Esoterism, including Eastern Orthodox Hesychasm, Freemasonry, Hermeticism, the Templars, Dante and the Fedeli d'Amore, Meister Eckhart and his 'school', etc. Far more than a bouquet of mystical teachings plucked from various sources, designed to titillate the reader's spiritual sensibilities, The Esoteric Path firmly situates that Path in its appropriate, traditional context, so that the seeker's first steps on the 'path to the Path' will be firm and confident, and point him or her in the right direction, away from the time- and soul-consuming attractions of those 'paths' that exhibit (in the author's words) 'the confusion between the spiritual and the psychic., the identification of the spiritual with what is most inferior in the psyche, the identification of religion with magic, totemism, and even sorcery, the popular dissemination of pseudo- or counter-initiatic rituals. A worthy companion to the biographical Ren Gunon and the Future of the West by Robin Waterfield and the Collected Works of Ren Gunon, also published by Sophia Perennis, The Esoteric Path will be of great value to scholars, seekers, and anyone searching for a clearer understanding of the great spiritual traditions. 'Luc Benoist is generally considered the most balanced and authentic exponent of Gunon's teaching. I know of no work in which true scholarship is combined so well with conciseness and comprehensiveness.' -Robin Waterfield
 

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Contents

Exoteric and Esoteric
7
Tradition
14
Initiation
21
The Greater and the Lesser Mysteries
28
Folk and Fairy Tales
34
Mysticism and Magic
40
Prayer of the Heart
47
Cycles
54
Zen Buddhism
77
Islamic Tradition
85
Esoteric Christianity
93
Knights Templar Fedeli dAmore and the RoseCross
100
Guilds and Freemasonry
107
Theosophers
114
The Tradition in Great Britain
124
Conclusion
131

THE EAST
62
Buddhism
69

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