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In conventional western theology an attempt is made to know God by thought; to make statements about God. In esoterism this effort is abandoned and replaced by a union with God directly.
ESOTERISM & SYMBOL
Esoterism can be neither written nor spoken and hence cannot be betrayed. One must be prepared to grasp it, to see it, to hear it. This preparation is not a knowing but a being-able, and can ultimately be acquired only through the effort of the individual himself, by a struggle against all obstacles and a victory over the human-animal nature.
There is a sacred science and for thousands of years countless inquisitive people have sought in vain to penetrate its ‘secrets.’ It is as if they attempted to dig a hole in the sea with an axe. The tool must be of the same nature as the objective to be worked upon. Spirit is found only with spirit and esoterism is the spiritual aspect of the world, inaccessible to cerebral intelligence.
Those who profess to reveal the esoterism of such teachings are chalatans. They may try to explain the implications of a certain word or formula as with a conventional secret, but with regards to sacred science, they will never be able to do more than put one word in place of another and at best this will be bad literature replacing a simple idea.
The true initiate can guide a gifted pupil and help him to travel more quickly along the path to consciousness and the pupil, upon reaching the stage of illumination by his own inner light will read the esoterism of such teaching directly. No one can do it for him.
—R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz