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The object of this book is to suggest certain lines of thought as to the deep truths underlying Christianity, truths generally overlooked, and only too often denied.
Annie Besant, renowned esotericist and Theosophist, asserts in this title that there is a hidden or esoteric truth underlying all religions, a truth so deep and secret that until revealed we cannot truly reach the Divine. While many scholars, theologians and followers of conventional Christianity may not believe in such uniformity, people of all faiths can agree there are unknown elements of the Divine we all seek that are yet to be revealed. Esoteric Christianity shows us this hidden truth that is lacking from the traditional exoteric teachings of Christianity: the Divine does not come from an external, outside source; it is something that can only be found within ourselves.
Besant teaches that the Divine in each individual, what she refers to as the “mind of Christ” or “Christ-Soul,” is the answer to evolution itself. She explains that religions were given to the world “by men wiser than the masses of the people on whom they are bestowed” in order to quicken human evolution, which is done through the evolution of man’s moral, intellectual, and spiritual natures. Besant continues to explain that the evolution of Christianity is dependent on man’s ability to follow the occult teachings.
Amongst these teachings, Besant distinguishes between the Greater Mysteries, that which cannot be revealed to the masses, and the Lesser Mysteries, the partial unveilings of knowledge meant for the greater population. She also offers the esoteric perspective behind the fundamental Christian principles we have all come to know, which include: the historical and mythic Christ, the Atonement, the Resurrection and Ascension, the Trinity, Prayer, Forgiveness of Sins, the Sacraments, and Revelation. First published in 1901, Esoteric Christianity has been updated by Richard Smoley with annotations to make it more accessible for modern readers.