In the television program Myths of Mankind – The Gnostic Origins of Christianity (Timestamp 43:12-43:54), Elaine Pagels PhD of Princeton University is quoted as saying,
“Every great world religious tradition whether its Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism has both the teaching for everyone, exoteric teaching, which every adherent of that faith is supposed to follow and esoteric or mystical teaching. The only one that lacks that is western Christianity. I think it is unfortunate that that which many people find necessary for their own integrity and development has been regarded as either heretical or a path leading nowhere.”
When I posed the idea that Christianity does not have an esoteric teaching to several of my spiritual friends, they did not agree with Dr. Pagels’ conclusions.
In my opinion, Christianity is the only tradition that openly celebrates both spiritual paths. I can agree that there is no secret teaching, because both spiritual paths are out in the open for everyone to see. However, by definition, the esoteric teaching is the second leg of the spiritual journey. The esoteric teaching does not have to be “secret” in order to maintain its mystery. The mystery of the esoteric path can only be revealed when the exoteric path or first leg of the spiritual journey is fully completed.
Christmas celebrates the enlightenment of the feminine or creative personality. The Divine Power of Grace comes down from the heavens into the consciousness as an experience of birth of the Divine Masculine, which includes the qualities of peace, organization, and logical/linear thought.
Easter celebrates the expansion of the masculine or intellectual personality. The Divine Power of Passion/Kundalini rises up to facilitate the shedding of ego and the emergence of the Divine Feminine, which includes the qualities of creativity, the interconnectedness of life, and the grand design of the cosmos.
These two paths, the Birth of the Divine within the soul and the Death of the Ego, are the two paths that make up the complete spiritual journey in every sacred tradition throughout time. These paths must be traveled to their completion one after another. Every master of the sacred arts, from every tradition that I have ever read, has insisted that an adherent must choose one path and follow it to its completion, then follow the second path. Only those who complete of both paths gain full conscious awareness. Since the Divine Energies annihilate each other, jumping back and forth between the paths leads only to suffering and disillusion.
Either path can be considered exoteric or esoteric. The designation of “exoteric” and “esoteric” is determined by which path is completed first and which is pursued second.