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Western and Eastern Esotericism


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#1 Kongming

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Posted 24 December 2016 - 05:07 PM

Three closely related questions on Western and Eastern traditions I've been pondering, perhaps some here could their perspectives:

 

--Are the goals of the Western esoteric or mystery traditions (in particular alchemy, Hermeticism, esoteric Christianity, Kabbalah, etc.) the same in your opinion as that of Buddhism, Daoism, or Hinduism? In particular is there a Western equivalent of neidan or tantra? Do the Western mystery traditions seek to produce an equivalent of the Daoist "true man" or a Buddha or a jivanmukta/jnani?

 

--Are the Western traditions inferior, equal, or superior to the Eastern traditions in this regard? Based on Western interest in Eastern traditions over the course of the past century or more  and that many Western esoteric figures either trained in or were influenced by the East I doubt many would claim superiority, though I could be wrong. That said, are the doctrines, practices, and methods of the West inferior to that of the East?

 

--Are the Western esoteric traditions in a state of lower vitality than the Eastern ones? While it seems to me that most religious and esoteric traditions, whether East or West, have experienced a qualitative decline in modernity, I wonder as to whether the West may have been hit harder in this regard. Are there true Western masters left or valid initiatory chains (an equivalent to Dharma transmission, etc) left?

 

Any input on any of these topics are welcome, or really any information, advice, or experience regarding the Western traditions in relation to the Eastern ones.


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#2 SeekerOfHealing

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Posted 24 December 2016 - 05:49 PM

1) Goals are sometimes similar, sometimes different - all those traditions you named even in the West have different idea of attainment of fruition.

 

2) Eastern is more internal, Western is more external and based on thinking. West have the best magic and occult systems (most powerful) but east have the best internal practices for mind and Qi.

 

3) Many western practices drains Qi and Jing that why those people are getting weaker. 


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#3 mvingon

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Posted 25 December 2016 - 02:01 AM

2. Are you sure?

3. Practice or hyperinflated ego?

#4 Nungali

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Posted 25 December 2016 - 12:52 PM

Three closely related questions on Western and Eastern traditions I've been pondering, perhaps some here could their perspectives:

 

--Are the goals of the Western esoteric or mystery traditions (in particular alchemy, Hermeticism, esoteric Christianity, Kabbalah, etc.) the same in your opinion as that of Buddhism, Daoism, or Hinduism?

 

 

I feel some of the goals are very different, depending on type , not so much from an east west 'divide' .  The 'further down the pyramid of 'goals' the more different, the apex of the 'goal pyramids' may be more similar.   Eg, I see the goals of some types of  Buddhism and some types of Hinduism as quite different .  

 

 

 

 

In particular is there a Western equivalent of neidan or tantra?

 

Certainly.  There are many.  

 

 

Do the Western mystery traditions seek to produce an equivalent of the Daoist "true man" or a Buddha or a jivanmukta/jnani?

 

yes, in many different forms depending on tradition

 

 

 

tumblr_lyucf2DodS1qbebq2o1_1280.jpg

 

--Are the Western traditions inferior, equal, or superior to the Eastern traditions in this regard?

 

Different and similar    :)  

 

Based on Western interest in Eastern traditions over the course of the past century or more  and that many Western esoteric figures either trained in or were influenced by the East I doubt many would claim superiority, though I could be wrong.

 

The east treats 'mysteries'  exoterically and  the west esoterically.   Its a 'modern trend' .  In the past the western tradition based in Christianity was heavily influenced by Platonists ( and, if you prefer, 'neo-Platonists' ) and hermetics.  This changed.  The focus of the west seemed to become 'capitalism' ;   commerce, trade, organisation, governance ,admin , bureaucracy and the technology to run it . As the scales tipped away somewhat from materialism in recent times, we didnt have the language (or indeed, the concepts, in many cases ) and started borrowing words and concepts from  Vedanta and Buddhism .  Aside from this, our ( western 'explanations' ) focused on 'psychology' and for this we often used terms and concepts from the German language .  

 

Nowadays most western traditions incorporate at least part of  some eastern ones.   It could be said that a big western spiritual revival came about due to contact with the easter spirituality ;    it created an eclectic outlook in Crowley's works,  its certainly the case with Blavatski ,   and all the way up to the influence  and interest in it caused by things such as The Beatles, the counter-culture movement , etc . 

 

That said, are the doctrines, practices, and methods of the West inferior to that of the East?

 

Different and similar    :)  

 

--Are the Western esoteric traditions in a state of lower vitality than the Eastern ones?

 

The western ones are full of commercialism ego and scams !  I will leave the comments about this and the eastern traditions to those that know them better   ( and to avoid some flak )   ;) 

 

 

While it seems to me that most religious and esoteric traditions, whether East or West, have experienced a qualitative decline in modernity, I wonder as to whether the West may have been hit harder in this regard. Are there true Western masters left or valid initiatory chains (an equivalent to Dharma transmission, etc) left?

 

Yes.   But in some cases it seems very 'corrupt' - eg. why  get into Theosophy at all, considering it is a hand down from a woman that had contact with masters in Tibet way back ..... when one can get direct teachings from the bonafide  students, jow masters themselves of those same people ? 

 

I think, in the east, the traditions may be easier to 'decipher' . 

 

Any input on any of these topics are welcome, or really any information, advice, or experience regarding the Western traditions in relation to the Eastern ones.

 

Yeah ..... go eclectic . 


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#5 SeekerOfHealing

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Posted 26 December 2016 - 03:32 PM

2. Are you sure?

3. Practice or hyperinflated ego?


Yes, only in the west you have magic that you can literally become king of this world.

If you ever worked with spirits you will know why it's drying you.
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#6 mvingon

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Posted 26 December 2016 - 04:18 PM

I've done a little work with other traditions. Years. It wasn't always healthy. Most of what I observed, in myself and others, was super big ego growing from it. I couldn't even stand myself with it, anymore, let alone others. I still read a lot, because I'm off my lineage, and it interests me. But practice is something I *usually* avoid, unless it's a solstice or equinox or other important such thing, to me. Even then, due to circumstances, even that's mostly stopped. I'm sure I'll pick it up again, eventually (or not), solstice and equinox and Mon phases matter to me, but there are just certain things I've learned to accept, even when they're incredibly abhorrent, to me personally. That's why I probably ended up here. Control is not about control. It's about ego, at least in my little universe, and people that want to inhabit it, with me.

Yes, it's a lonely path, sometimes. But happier, and the physical and mental benefits are showing, except when people can't stand the lack of my attention and decide, by thunder, they *will* have my attention, at any cost to themselves or others. And thanks to a couple of posters here, even that is becoming... Not easier, perhaps, just easier and faster to regain equanimity. Still, personal/family issues are a really big literal pain in the neck (and other places) when everything goes crazy, at once.

Mainly, avoiding NPD/APSD/borderline types helps a lot. And being rather rudely shoved off the cliff, I suppose. That's what made me actually sign up here.
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