The goal of this exercise is to go through each of the parts of Esotericism and Theosophy and see what ideas we can pull out of them.
One of the primary goals at Theosophy.Net is to bring all of these concepts and ideas into the lives of ordinary people. Therefore we must find ways to take the design and engineering of Faivre, Hanegraaff and others and make it into something that just about any reasonably intelligent person can use in their daily life.
This deals with Part I:
Correspondence: Everything in Nature is a sign. The signs of Nature can be read. The microcosm, mesocosm, and macrocosm interplay. Synchronicity exists. Understanding of signs and synchronicities may lead to the understanding of the Divine.
What do we mean by ideas? Well, they could be the basis for books, papers, projects, classes, workshops, training nuggets, infographics and any number of blogs, forums, etc.
We'll start off here with a few...
Nature as sign and symbol.
This is a very media rich category. You can do visuals, guided visualizations, books, papers and an endless variety of other materials that help people see the richness of symbol and meaning in their lives. In Esotericism these are all tools to help one achieve Gnosis and are present in many paths.
Reading the signs and symbols.
This seems to be even more fascinating than the abstract idea of Nature as sign and symbol. This is actually the how-to portion. It's openness leaves a lot of room for creativity. How do we recognize symbols and how do we bring them into our consciousness in meaningful ways. Reading is not just about the written word. It is about recognizing something in consciousness with meaning.
These two topics could start a cottage industry all by themselves! Have I even begun to scratch the surface? Nope. Not by a longshot. But let's get into a bit more here?
What could we do with the ideas of how we relate the microcosm and macrocosm together. After all, as above, so below, as the inner, so the outer, etc. Mesocosm adds yet more layers.
Synchronicity has been addressed in numerous places, most notably by C.G. Jung, but it is still an area that can yield further insights.
Lastly, how do we tie these together, make combinations, compare and contrast, etc. This is important, because we know that none of this exists in isolation.
There is a lot of stuff here to ponder, and to be just crazy creative with. We have given a few examples of things that can be done with the first portion. If anything that you can take away from this, perhaps it's the idea of the nature of a framework and its flexibility.
It is our view, which may or may not be agreed with by some academics is that Esotericism is not solely the property of Western thought processes or traditions. We believe that the landscape is broad enough to accommodate a broad scope of Eastern and Western thought. The world is getting much smaller and some distinctions which may have been relevant only a few decades ago may have outlived their usefulness, and may, in fact become a detriment to us all.
Please, we would love to hear from you on this and please feel free to offer constructive comments.
Are there practices to improve our understanding in relation to synchronicity? In review of it, we cannot implicitly tie in every synchronic happening in our lives together, numerous things pass unnoticed, at times it has to be outright obvious for a person in order for them to notice such occurrences. In former times, people had the option of discussing moments that they perceived as signs or omens with oracles. What options or practices do we have now to make it significant for us? Also, is dreaming considered a practice in realizing symbolism in this life or is it "another reality"?
I have found that most people have a "aha" moment, or a realization of some greater puzzle "in play", that starts the path where one realizes that the world has couplings that defy mere logic. Sometimes it is just a Deja vu. That is when one starts a path to seek out those "rare events." Once one becomes aware of the existence, the ability to recognize items and spot the connections/correspondences increases. Even finding "texts" which appear with deep insights start to be noticed in a new light.
Many people who start to recognize this, may soon study Tarot, Astrology, I Ching etc. to "create" possible occurrences. If one is Christian, a great theosophical text was written Meditations on the Tarot, by Anonymous. (Tomberg). This is a fascinating look at the subject. (he uses the Tarot of Marseilles). One can also study the Tarot through the eyes of the Kabbalah (either one; Jewish or Christian).
In my case - my whole reality was pulled out from under me through a simple physical experiment testing a metaphysical question. The "Eternal Wisdom" has also "Eternal Questions" that appear. Then one proceeds to look for answers. One finds that what you think, is not what you know.
Each item is a recognition, actually a feeling or experience, that leads one to find more information and become aware. Zen Buddhism, for example, has the Mindfulness Meditation. That is something a person may start doing with no outside help. The inner/outer experience starts to blossom. They find out later it has a name.
Dreams - my experience is sometimes garbage (old stress being released), sometimes insights and sometimes a preview of an event.
In physics, we have correspondences between two (or more) events and yet have no way to tell, looking at any single one individually, if there is a correspondence with something else. Only after placing the information about both events together does one then see a correspondence. It means the correspondence can be only be seen by a knowledgeable person and after the fact(s).
It takes a "will" for one to seek or enter the path of exploration.
Indeed, possessors of the "Will" have explored in the past the realms which otherwise would not even have been thought to exist.
The question is can the "Will" be developed in the people who otherwise do not possess to the degree the great explorers of the past have?
Are there any other per-requisites for learning the law of correspondence?
Is the law of correspondence applicable in every sign of the nature that can be read? How an intensely personal "aha moment" can be related to something that is not not subjective?