Inner Christianity: A Guide to the Esoteric Tradition
This nonsectarian guide to mystical and esoteric Christianity unearths truths from the entirety of the Christian tradition, orthodox and heretical, famous and unknown. Historically, the esoteric tradition has sought meanings that would result in a more intimate inner understanding of the divine. While orthodox Christianity follows a chronological path from Adam’s Fall to the Day of Judgment, the esoteric frequently views time as folding in on itself, bringing all points to the present now. While the Church struggled furiously over theology, the esoteric drew freely on various traditions—Kabbalah, astrology, and alchemy—in their search for fundamental truth metaphors.
Rather than focusing on exponents of esoteric doctrine, scholar Richard Smoley focuses on the fundamental issues that concern every searching Christian. How is it possible to have direct spiritual experience? What does “the Fall” truly teach us about coping with the environment in which we live? Is it possible to discover redemption in daily life? How do we spiritually advance through the various planes of existence? What was the genuine message of Christ to humanity? From Thomas’ Gospel to A Course in Miracles, from the Jesus Prayer to alchemy and Tarot, from Origen to Dante to Jung, Richard Smoley illuminates these and other themes through the lens of an alternative Christianity.