Christianity is not merely an exoteric (external, public, popular understanding), which can be read in the outer documents of the Bible and specifically the Gospels. Christianity is also esoteric (inner, within; a specialised, deeper understanding). It reveals what the Christ himself taught to his initiated disciples after his resurrection. One who contemplates this deeply comes to understand that Christ could impart such teachings only after he experienced life and death on earth. A bit like we can only understand the soul mood of another country if we live there for a while.
Christ was a spiritual being, far higher than angels, who indwelled the body of a high initiate called Jesus of Nazareth. Death was unknown in the spiritual worlds. No being of the divine worlds had passed through death – Christ is the ‘first-born’ from the world of the spiritual hierarchies who passed through death, the spiritual hierarchies who co-operated to create this earth.
The secret of Golgotha is the inclusion of the experience of death into life. Before Golgotha, the knowledge of life did not include death. We experienced life more as a continual stream of existence.
Now death became known as an essential part of life, as an experience which strengthens life. Humanity went through a weaker form of life when nothing was known of death; humanity must live more forcefully if it wants to pass through death and yet remain alive. Death, in this connection, is also the intellect.
Humanity thought the thoughts of the Gods, we didn’t have the capacity for form thoughts of own. This required certain soul forces that develop according to evolution. Personal use of our brain to think independent thoughts is relatively new and can be seen in the great thinkers since the 15th Century.
As we learned to use our thinking ability we needed to develop the capacity to make the right judgement about right and wrong. Today we can see the degradation of this capacity everywhere. People lie without compunction. A sense of moral goodness is either forced on us from outside or is totally absent. Ethics are on the lips many but it is merely lip service.
A strong and striving life is required if we are to reach the sphere where natural moral impulses flow out of the force of pure thinking, and where we learn to understand the freedom in man, through the impulses of pure thinking.
Today’s thinking contains many dead thoughts. These need to be awakened, resuscitated, resurrected to life in the form of these natural moral impulses that do not need endless legislation and moral judgements from others. An inner Christianity will rise up in people or every faith and belief. This is Esoteric Christianity at its core.
The dissipation of the disputes concerning the nature of Christianity in an exoteric, historical sense, needs this esoteric Christianity.