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Esoterik (of Greek εσωτερική, esoterikós, „internal “), in the original meaningthe theory of the secret knowledge, is today mostly a comprehensive term for a broad spectrum of different world views, which stress the mirror-image-ritual development of the individual, however no organized religion in the closer sense is. Frequently the term is used synonymously for new Age.

Thatto partly clearly it is common differentiating and even contradicting teachings, which fall under the term “Esoterik”, that they stipulate the existence of phenomena outside of the experience-scientifically measurable and both science and traditional religions and too limited regards, around thoseTo be able to explain world completely.

Table of contents

word meaning and Etymologie

literal means the Greek adjective εσωτερική [γνώση] „the internal, internal, hidden, secret knowledge “and „to the internal circle duly “(esôteros - the inside). ThatWord „Esoterik “designates traditionally and after its Etymologie therefore secret teachings, which only inaugurating are made accessible; in contrast to it the term of the Exoterik designates an open and for each accessible teachings. In the today's linguistic usage the meaning becomes of theWord however usually turned into, and actually Exoteri is esoterisch called .

Esoteriker understand usually Esoterik as the teachings , thus on mental, referred to the inside, mirror-image-ritual causes. Exoterisch are after this interpretation viewpoints, itself on the five senseshumans and concentrate the understanding and reject mirror-image-ritual causes.


the classical theory of the Esoterik was called in the tradition of the antique secret teachings decreasing/going back on Hermes Trismegistos also Hermetik. The classical Esoterik was in medals, Logen and esoterischen schools organize and made its teachings only for members accessible. Beside okkulter practice it delivered above all delivered ideas within the range Tarot, Astrologie and Zahlenmystik. Also the theories of the Gnosis, Hermetik, Kabbala, Alchemie and the rose cruiser ranked apart from partially locally meaning currents among the esoterischen excessive quantities.

In the viktorianischen age Okkultismus and most diverse forms of Orakeln experienced a bloom time. Somewhat more moderately in contrast to this the movement of the mirror-image ritualism was, also the bridgeto the eastern religions struck.

In the last 150 years the Esoterik changed itself it to a world view, their trailer contentwise often as all comprehensive and universalreligious and as combination of the master instruments of all religions sees (Theosophie, new spirit movement).Since the 1930er and in a second large wave for the 1980er years the Esoterik - in particular in the western culture area - is become a mass movement with broad effect, which covers many partial contradictory partial currents.

Esoteri world view

thereit, contrary to the Spiritualität, with which Esoterik does not act necessarily around personal religious experiencing, but around a multiplicity of individual offers and ways to the implementing of an individual religious experience, leaves itself cultural and sociologically only very much itspecify limited.

The traditional allocation in a public and secret teachings, how it for example by the rose cruisers is practiced, does not apply to the today's Esoterik usually any longer. However by many Esoterikern one states, one knows esoterische teachings onlyunderstand after study of many years and judge.

spreading today

Esoterik is the over term for a number of different teachings and traditions, which the natural science does not recognize, which are socially partly accepted however as a sign of individual Spiritualität. A certain meaningfor the development of the post-war period here the combination OARCA ( Omnia Arkana) had, the magazine esotera as well as the publications of the Psychotherapeuten Thorwald Dethlefsen and Ruediger Dahlke. In Switzerland Oskar Rudolf impact , that practice the mediumEx minister Hans Dieter Leuenberger as well as the magazine traces with the publisher Martin fresh farmhand influence out. Esoterik is not congruent necessarily with a Parawissenschaft, since the different disciplines raise usually no scientific requirement (strict experimental guidelines etc.) and only over certainworld-descriptive thing in common orders. Many esoterische offers as for example the Astrologie are coined/shaped of a strong pseudoscientific character. Individual esoterische welfare methods are called also experience sciences. Separately, but that terms after contentwise and formally connected, becomes in the science the esoterische Buddhismus(z. B.Mikkyo and here especially. z. B. the Shingon - shū) regards.

directions, to currents, ranges

Esoteri currents

gives numerous different currents of the Esoterik, which partly overlap themselves, not to do partly much with one anotherhave. Not all of them can be counted completely to the Esoterik. To the most important belong:

most esoterischen directions stress Spiritualität and illuminating(Recognize from metaphysical ones) of the individual.

Esoteri world views refer usually to five ranges:

  • Practical decision making aids for life planning, partly also for everyday life decisions. Into this range above all techniques fall such as Astrologie, Tarot, an oscillating or hand vintages.
  • Self realization. SomeTrailers of the Esoterik try to determine their character and its needs assistance of esoterischer world explanation concepts above all the different kinds of play of the Astrologie.
  • Medical assistance. With techniques of the alternative medicine is tried to improve the physical and mental well-being for examplewith flavour therapy, brook bloom therapy, Reiki, Homöopathie or the Feldenkrais method. The Esoterik takes care of thereby above all ranges, those the classical medicine does not take off (for example ‚assistance when well-being feeling `) or in those their success as insufficient feltbecome, as with the treatment of chronic pain or from cancer.
  • Mirror-image-ritual assistance. Most esoterischen directions postulate the presence of a unsterblichen human soul and are concerned with ways, to improve whose fate. With many of these directions concepts come Indian Religions such as Karma and Reinkarnation forwards. Frequently in a scholarly manner that one is necessary ‚cleaning `or one ‚illuminating `the trailer, in order to achieve in this world or after death a better condition.
  • Improvement of the world altogether. Under some esoterischen directionsthe opinion is common that one can change and thus improve the world by behavior according to esoterischer teachings altogether fundamentally. Such opinions are for example basis ‚of the new Age `- movement, those the water man age to start see or expected, and findingitself also in the theories of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Esoteri opinions stress in principle the mirror-image-ritual or intuitive experience in relation to scientific methods of the realization gain.

sources esoterischer world view

important one sources of esoterischer opinions are religion and Mystik. Turned aroundthe term Esoterik in some esoterischen circles in addition, in the sense of an original core of all Mystik and religion is used.

The individual esoterischen currents create their opinions and teachings on quite different sources. However some frequent bases leave themselvesdetermine:

Yoga, I

teachings and principles

it gives no uniform esoterische teachings. Become multiple however by Esoterikern some oreverything from a group of generally which were principles as valid accepts, which Hermes Trismegistos are often attributed to the mythischen. The interior life of humans and the soul are very strongly brought up for discussion in esoterischer practice in the comparison to the outside life. Many Esoterikerare the opinion, the life of itself and others (e.g. to be able to affect with illness or psychological complaints) by means of the personal attitude and thought strength very strongly. Which follows in individual cases concretely from these principles, by Esoterikern one sees often different.

  • Principle of the spirit. A creator spirit is the source of the life, spirit prevails over subject
  • principle of a cause and effect. Actions of humans affect over its Karma it back
  • principle of correspondence. Things are connected over analogies: like above,so down; like inside, so outside; like generally speaking, so in the small
  • principle of the resonance. Same is connected with same one and strengthens; Unequal pushes starting from
  • principle of the harmony. Everything strives to the harmony and to reconciliation; the weaker fitsitself the stronger one at
  • principle of the rhythm. Everything is subject to coming and going; everything has tides
  • principle of the polarity. Everything possesses in each case a pair of contrasts or Poland, directly and unequally is the same, contrasts carries only opposite signs.
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Esoterik to God and Wiedergeburt

God is understood in the Esoterik not constantly as personal opposite, but also as „the highest oscillation “, as „the perfect love “and the like. The difference between God, humans, animal, plant, earth becomes frequently onlygradually seen, the naturalistische reality is understood as manifestation of “flowing energy”.Chakren are after this view the energy centers of each organism with those it with the entire its in the exchange stand. God becomes in the esoterischen surrounding field rather as universal sourceall Seins felt, similarly the view in the Hinduismus or in the Yoga.

Today's Esoteriker believes often in Reinkarnation, connected with the conception that the soul from lives develops to lives evolutionary toward perfection. Strokes of fate become from these, Also before the start of the life regards humans as „consequence of the Karmas “and as possibilities for learning or for the Läuterung select and/or. were accepted. For such Esoteriker much in the today's life a karmische consequence of own actions is inpreceding lives. Esoteriker see therein the principle of a cause and effect, which supplies a reason also for alleged coincidences, which could not be explained with the well-known laws of nature. After the guidance saying „like so above down “reactions are to be based on the fact thatSame same causes. Therefore for example also the view agitates the fact that peace in the long term never with violent means reached or can become secured and the misunderstanding, Esoteriker are in principle fatalistic aligned.


critics criticize to the Esoterik,that it does not offer a possibility because of their stress of the mirror-image-ritual and intuitive realization contrary to the scientific method of differentiating applicable realizations from false conclusions to. Statements and acceptance of the esoterischen teachings can be occupied nor disproved neither, are thus opposite more scientificCriticism immune. Like that many alleged welfare effects are not from placebo - effects to differentiate and cut off in empirical studies even partial more badly in the alternative medicine; a welfare effect of the therapy is thus not provably and partly can even a damagethe patients to be shown.

In some religions, like in the Christianity, in the Islam or in the Judentum, esoterische opinions are often rejected as erring faith. Also of understanding-stressed humans with scientific conviction and atheistischer view of life the Esoterik becomes as rückschrittlich andMistake criticizes, which the clearing-up and the science would have actually already overcome.

It besides is criticized that the Esoterik offers a good operating field because of the objective examinableness lacking of most statements for Scharlatane, which would have it relatively easily with inventedTo use statements other humans financially or emotional. This can go up to large dependence in sparkling wines.

Opponents, in addition, some Esoteriker deplore also one „supermarket of the Spiritualität “: Different, partly contradictory mirror-image-ritual traditions, those over centuries in different cultures thatWorld developed, became in the Konsumgesellschaft the commodity, whereby different trends and fashions alternated fast („yesterday Yoga, today Reiki, tomorrow Kabbala “), and as product on the market of their actual contents were robbed (Lifestyle).This handling is superficial, reduces Spiritualität to plates and robs it of their actual sense.

Despite appointment to „a common Urwissen “individual terms are often very differently used by individual esoterischen currents.


  • Helmut Werner: Encyclopedia thatEsoterik. Wiesbaden, Fourier, 1991, ISBN 3925037578
  • Hans Dieter Leuenberger: That is Esoterik, ISBN 3762607222
  • Marks of Robert: The new encyclopedia of the Esoterik. Munich, Goldmann, 1995, ISBN 3442126657
  • Martin Lambeck: Does physics err? Over alternative medicine and Esoterik, Beck, 2003, ISBN 3406494692
  • Thorwald Dethlefsen: Fate as chance, (Esoteri psychology - the Urwissen for the perfection of humans), 1979 appeared first with Bertelsmann
  • Margit and Ruediger Dahlke: The mirror-image-ritual challenge. An introduction to the contemporary Esoterik. Munich, Heyne, 1990, ISBN 3453069382
  • Hugo trunk, attention Esoterik. Between Spiritualität and seduction. 2000, Pendo publishing house, ISBN 3858423882
  • Jörg yielding man: The Renaissance of the Esoterik. A critical orientation. Stuttgart, cross publishing house, 1990, ISBN 3783110149
  • Jutta Ditfurth: Eased into the Barbarei. Esoterik, (Öko) fascism and Biozentrismus.ConcretelyLiterature publishing house, first 1996, 2. Aufl. 2002, ISBN 3-89458-148-4
  • George flint: Holy fools - over the wisdom of unusual teachers. Frankfurt 1996. ISBN 381050632X
  • Kocku of stucco wheel: What is Esoterik? - Small history of the secret knowledge. Munich, C.H.Beck, 2004. ISBN 3406521738
  • Wouter J. Hanegraaff in collaboration with Antoine Faivre, Roelof van the Broek and Jean Pierre broke (OD.):Dictionary OF Gnosis & Western Esotericism. Volume. 1/ 2. Brill, suffering, bad clay/tone 2005, ISBN 9004141871
  • Colin Goldner: The Psycho scene. Aschaffenburg, Alibri publishing house, 2000, ISBN 3-932710-25-8
  • Marcus Hammerschmitt: Instance Nirwana Alibri, 2005, ISBN: 386569005X
  • Claudia Barth: Over everything in the world - Esoterik and guidance culture Alibri publishing house Gunnar Schedel, 2002, ISBN: 3932710363
  • Thomas Körbel: Hermeneutik of the Esoterik. A Phänomenologie of the pack of cards Tarot as contributionto understand of Parareligiosität. Row: Religion and biography Bd. 6, Münster; Lit, 2001; 456 S. ISBN 3825853780
  • Antoine Faivre: Esoterik in the overview - secret history of abendländischen thinking. Freiburg in mash gau, Herder, 2001. ISBN 3-451-04961-9
  • Gerhard core, Lee Traynor: The esoterische seduction - attacks on the reason and liberty. Aschaffenburg, IBDK, 1995. ISBN 3-922601-24-3

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Wiktionary: Esoterik - word origin, synonyms and translations




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