Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). People like Newton decided Egyptians had secret, The global hits on Netflix in the U.S. are a long way from the, Riesling from everywhere is still undervalued as are wines made from, All this is to say that even Newton was deep in his pseudoscience cups, studying alchemy and searching for, Post the Definition of esoteric to Facebook, Share the Definition of esoteric on Twitter, The Difference Between 'Hoard' and 'Horde'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. disapproving or … In some instances (e.g., Buddhism and Yoga), the knowledge imparted includes instruction in mystical techniques designed to achieve spiritual deliverance.…. esotericism 1. the holding of secret doctrines; the practice of limiting knowledge to a small group. According to one account, those who were deemed worthy to attend Aristotle's learned discussions were known as his "esoterics," his confidants, while those who merely attended his popular evening lectures were called his "exoterics." Some people claim that the Bible contains esoteric keys that “unlock” hidden knowledge and allow a person to understand what the Bible “really” means. However, although the manifestations have their differences, there are obvious and more often hidden similarities. If you describe something as esoteric, you mean it is known, understood, or appreciated by only a small number of people. This knowledge, known as Brahma Jnana, is referred as re esoteric subjects/concepts [+] more examples [-] hide examples [+] Example sentences [-] Hide examples. In the olden days, achieving esoteric knowledge meant getting initiated into the mystical arts, learning secrets unknown to regular folks. An additional definition was proposed by Hanegraaff, and holds that "Western esotericism" is a category representing "the academy's dustbin of rejected knowledge." If you describe something as esoteric, you mean it is known, understood, or appreciated by only a small number of people. ‘Now all such esoteric knowledge is regarded as suspect, as somehow unjust.’ ‘His adored father was a more or less failed Swiss pastor, a melancholic man of esoteric interests.’ ‘This has led him to an interest in the esoteric world of art restoration.’ One who believes, or is an initiate, in esoteric doctrines or rites. 'Nip it in the butt' or 'Nip it in the bud'. Omissions? Perhaps you have felt that there is a deeper meaning to the Rising Sign than a mere description of the physical appearance, the persona or the manner in which we project ourselves? These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'esoteric.' While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. This distinction was probably adopted by the Pythagoreans and was also attributed to Plato and, by some late writers, to Aristotle. 'All Intensive Purposes' or 'All Intents and Purposes'? Spiritual and esoteric knowledge has appeared in many different cultures, and has found its expression in different words, symbols, sacred sites, teachers, prophets, messengers, gurus, avatars, artwork, dances, poetry, and much more. Updates? The commonly accessible materials are ‘exoteric’ knowledge, as opposed to ‘esoteric’ knowledge, which, by definition, is not at the reach of everyone. It signifies anything which is public, without limits, or universal. The definition of esoteric is something only understood by a chosen group. See Synonyms at mysterious. Magic and mysticism are often erroneously conflated. a. In esoteric astrology, the Ascendant is the key indicator of the Soul’s Purpose. Definition of esoteric. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. 1 a : designed for or understood by the specially initiated alone a body of esoteric legal doctrine — B. N. Cardozo. Delivered to your inbox! How to use a word that (literally) drives some pe... Do you know these earlier meanings of words? Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/topic/esotericism. esoteric (comparative more esoteric, superlative most esoteric) 1. — esoterist, n. Some associate their esoteric knowledge with concepts such as numerology, astrology, sacred geometry, and so forth. This does not mean that the empirical evidence of traditional astrology is invalid. Without an understanding of these matters, it is impossible to discern between fake and real knowledge. Menu. Both esoteric and exoteric started appearing in English in the mid-1600s; esoteric traces back to ancient Greek by way of the Late Latin esotericus. The concept of the “esoteric” originated in the second century AD with the coining of the Ancient Greek adjective esôterikós (“belonging to an inner circle”); the earliest known example of the word appeared in a satire authored by Lucian of Samosata (c.125 – after 180) The noun “esotericism”, in its French form “ésotérisme”, first appeared in 1828 in the work by Jacques Matter[fr] (1791–1864), Histoire critique du gnosticisme (3 vols.). Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. The word esotericism (or esoterism) used in a general sense can simply mean any knowledge which is secret or confidential. esoteric meaning: 1. very unusual and understood or liked by only a small number of people, especially those with…. Furthermore, they can reveal people’s characteristics and spiritual qualities. adjective Intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest. The word is derived from the comparative form of Greek ἔξω eksô, "from, out of, outside". It is an inward "knowing", comparable to that encouraged by Plotinus (neoplatonism), and differs from proto-orthodox Christian views. 12a – Esoteric Knowledge of Sleep States of Consciousness. True knowledge or wisdom is not something that one can acquire in an academic way just by using the brain. The Greek esōterikos is based on the comparative form of esō, which means "within.". The Bible, solid orthodox Christian theology, and even archaeology and history, stand against such claims. [12] In this respect, it contains all of the theories and world views that have been rejected by the mainstream intellectual community because they do not accord with "normative conceptions of religion, rationality and … This term circa 1660, in the meaning defined at sense 1a, Late Latin esotericus, from Greek esōterikos, from esōterō, comparative of eisō, esō within, from eis into; akin to Greek en in — more at in. 2. Learn more. An esoteric doctrine or treatise; esoteric philosophy. Dictionary ! Dictionary Thesaurus Examples Sentences Quotes ... Intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest, or an enlightened inner circle. esoteric knowledge [+] more examples [-] hide examples [+] Example sentences [-] Hide examples: hard to understand. Books or learning, the common means to human understanding, are not capable of describing the esoteric knowledge of the reality of the Supreme. The esoteric term derives from esotericism , which does not It is something other than a secret knowledge, not publicly disclosed.It is commonly used to designate that wisdom of certain religious practices. 2 : limited to a small … Used in its more specific sense it refers to the knowledge of those who claim to have had supernatural experiences. The term “esotericism” thus c… Keep this information in mind as we explore the name coronavirus. Exoteric dogma of religions has cloaked esoteric wisdom that weaves a common web across cultures & time: unveiling profound spiritual truths into the otherwise occult causes of the human condition. Esoteric knowledge refers to the inner, spiritual meaning that lies behind all forms and actions, and therefore it is correct to say that spiritual science symbolism is called esoteric. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... …an esoteric knowledge (hereafter called esoterism) that explores the divine life itself and its relationship to the extra-divine level of being (i.e., the natural, finite realm), a relationship that is subject to the “law of correspondences.” From this perspective, the extra-divine is a symbol of the divine; it is a…, …thus developed a doctrine of esoteric knowledge that was adopted also, in a modified form, by the Sufis. Having to do with concepts that are highly theoretical and without obvious practical application; often with mystical or religious connotations. What made you want to look up esoteric? and its correlative exoteric were first applied in the ancient Greek mysteries to those who were initiated (eso, “within”) and to those Confidential; private. When it comes to magic, many people refer to Aleister Crowley’s… The Twelver Shiʿah recognize 12 such imams, the last (Muḥammad) having disappeared in the 9th century. Esoteric insight can only be gained through experience. Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible). Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free! Before we begin this section, here is a quick reminder of a few relevant terms: The meta-conscious is the totality of the monad’s (self’s) consciousness. Esoteric Philosophyis a phrase frequently used in Theosophicalliterature to refer to a body of knowledge about the cosmos, the divine, and the human being, and does not take into account only their visible aspect but, more predominantly, their invisible, metaphysical, or spiritual dimension. Since that time, the, Such knowledge is of an esoteric kind and is usually presented as divine revelation and imparted secretly to specially prepared candidates. The writing in this manual is very esoteric; I need a degree in … Intended for or understood by only a small group, especially one with specialized knowledge or interests: an esoteric philosophical doctrine. As with all the other occult and esoteric topics, most of the available materials are rubbish fake commercial products. Esoteric Knowledge of Sleep From The Science of Spirituality. very unusual and understood or liked by only a small number of people, especially those with special knowledge: He has an esoteric collection of old toys and games. Since material that is geared toward a target audience is often not as easily comprehensible to outside observers, esoteric acquired an extended meaning of "difficult to understand." It includes many different teachings that reveal the inner nature of man. who were not (exo, “outside”), respectively. Now when a subject is called esoteric it's usually something not so mystical but still hard to penetrate: financial accounting might seem esoteric for people who get easily stumped filling out their tax forms. The historian of esotericism Antoine Faivre noted that "never a precise term, [esotericism] has begun to overflow its boundaries on all sides", with both Faivre and Karen-Claire Voss stating that Western esotericism consists of "a vast spectrum of authors, trends, works of philosophy, religion, art, literature, and music". Esoteric Theory is an ancient and perennial alternative hypothesis as to the nature of reality to that held by most people in Western society. It’s often used to describe knowledge that’s only intended to be revealed to people who have been initiated into a certain group. While these experiences typically are not validated by scientific experiments, scientific proof is not always n… Naturally, this belief assumes that every other scholar, theologian, believer, and skeptic has … Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge! In many esoteric teachings, names are important because they give people the power of identity. Also esoterism. Gnosis definition is - esoteric knowledge of spiritual truth held by the ancient Gnostics to be essential to salvation. The word esoteric generally relates to that which is known and accepted by a restricted number of people (contrast exoteric). See the full definition for esoteric in the English Language Learners Dictionary, Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for esoteric, Nglish: Translation of esoteric for Spanish Speakers, Britannica English: Translation of esoteric for Arabic Speakers. When you learn how to decipher words, you can access the knowledge of God. 2. an interest in items of a special, rare, novel, or unusual quality. Esoteric in the sense of mystic is also used to describe certain schools of Buddhism. What we can say is that the soul’s purpose is projected throug… Another frequent claim is that many religions have commonalities but have been adulterated for social or political reasons. The opposite of esoteric is exoteric, which means "suitable to be imparted to the public." In a religious context, gnosis is mystical or esoteric knowledge based on direct participation with the divine. People claiming to have esoteric keys usually also claim to be among the very few to obtain such knowledge. There is broad agreement among scholars as to which currents of thought can be placed within a category of "esotericism", ranging from ancient Gnosticism and He… Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times. What does “esoteric” mean in principle Let’s figure out what the word “esoteric” means (from the Greek “internal”). b : requiring or exhibiting knowledge that is restricted to a small group esoteric terminology broadly : difficult to understand esoteric subjects. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. These were dangers both to one's life and, more notably, to the body of esoteric knowledge itself (termed "arcana" in its plural expression), that would (not infrequently) be … , outside '' between fake and real knowledge, in esoteric doctrines rites... Muḥammad ) having disappeared in the olden days, achieving esoteric knowledge of (! And spiritual qualities with mysticism and the occult views expressed in the examples do represent... Simply mean any knowledge which is known and accepted by a restricted number of people with a Membership. 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