Exoteric vs Esoteric Spirituality

I see a lot of “teachers” who are exoteric (externalized) in their worldview, aka, they are approaching spirituality through the lens of a materialism, even if they are rebelling against it. Unfortunately, just because they may be rebelling against the effects of materialism doesn’t mean that they have corrected the false paradigm from their thinking. Whereas materialism is exoteric, mysticism is esoteric (internalized), and deals with the inner world of our thoughts, feelings, and state of being, as the ALL is mental. Yet exoteric teachers provide spiritual sounding actions, such as building an alter, praying at it, drinking moon blood (dear lord, really?), dancing, worship of external deities, looking for external signs, yoga poses, and other exoteric practices, as a means to achieve supposedly conscious change. Actions are merely the results of our thinking, and not the cause, but when observed, they are able to provide us with feedback and clues about our core thoughts, which allows us to alter our thinking and feeling, and therefore corrects course along the way. 

Exoteric thinking is in direct opposition to the First Hermetic Principle which states that “the All is mind; the Universe is mental“. With this esoteric truth in mind, the only means of change that actually provides tangible results will be those that change our thinking, as our thinking causes our feelings, and our feelings motivate our actions and outcomes. This is why I recommend that people turn their thinking inwards in self-reflection and self-assessment, shadow work, processing of emotional triggers, deconstructing limiting beliefs and poor logic, and conscious (dialectical) arguing.

External actions on the physical plane are merely an effect, while thinking on the mental plane is the cause, so exoteric spirituality reverses cause and effect, therefore perceiving that actions are cause and thinking is the effect, which is an inversion of the sixth Hermetic Principle of Cause and Effect.

“Every Cause has its Effect; every Effect has its Cause; everything happens according to Law; Chance is but a name for Law not recognized; there are many planes of causation, but nothing escapes the Law.” ~The Kybalion

What actions have you done in the past as an attempt to be spiritual? Can doing spiritual make you be spiritual? How has self-reflection, shadow work, emotional processing, and conscious arguing changed your life? What was the catalyst in your life to transition from an exoteric to an esoteric perception of reality? How might you still be seeing the world through the lens of exoteric materialism?




About Nathan

One Response to “Exoteric vs Esoteric Spirituality”

Read below or add a comment...


  1. […] a previous article titled “Exoteric vs Esoteric Spirituality” I talked about how many spiritual teachers are focused on external actions and reality as a […]

Leave a Reply