Copyright © 1996 to 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written on: 1996-MAR-11
Last update: 2017-JAN-04
Author: . Robinson
Various academics have emphasised the idea that esotericism is a phenomenon unique to the Western world ; as Faivre stated, an "empirical perspective" would hold that "esotericism is a Western notion".  As scholars such as Faivre and Hanegraaff have pointed out, there is no comparable category of "Eastern" or "Oriental" esotericism.  The emphasis on Western esotericism was nevertheless primarily devised to distinguish the field from a universal esotericism.  Hanegraaff has characterised these as "recognisable world views and approaches to knowledge that have played an important although always controversial role in the history of Western culture."  Historian of religion Henrik Bogdan asserted that Western esotericism constituted "a third pillar of Western culture" alongside "doctrinal faith and rationality", being deemed heretical by the former and irrational by the latter.  Scholars nevertheless recognise that various non-Western traditions have exerted "a profound influence" over Western esotericism, citing the prominent example of the Theosophical Society 's incorporation of Hindu and Buddhist concepts into its doctrines.  Given these influences and the imprecise nature of the term "Western", the scholar of esotericism Kennet Granholm has argued that academics should cease referring to " Western esotericism" altogether, instead simply favouring "esotericism" as a descriptor of this phenomenon.  This attitude was endorsed by Egil Asprem. 
Are you wondering whether study with the School for Esoteric Studies is appropriate for you? Please review " Is SES Right for You? " And please reflect on our Pearls of Wisdom and stay in touch with the School through our quarterly eNews .
Using the DAC proved to be a deal sealer. Utilizing the digital(!) output on the Behold Phono stage, I was able to run it into the Toslink input on the K-05. Switching from a $3750 Clearaudio Stradavari cartridge to a $2200 Ortofon Cadenza Black cartridge was also interesting.
This digital edition prepared by Joseph H. Peterson, 2004.
Copyright Shrine of Wisdom .
Used with permission.
NOTE: A new
revised version published in 2004 is available from
Shrine of Wisdom : [email protected], as well as on
For another newer translation, see
THE CELESTIAL HIERARCHIES
DIONYSIUS THE AREOPAGITE:
TRANSLATED FROM THE GREEK
BY THE EDITORS OF
THE SHRINE OF WISDOM
Published by THE SHRINE OF WISDOM
NR. GODALMING, SURREY
MADE AND PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN BY THE GARDEN CITY PRESS LIMITED. LETCHWORTH, HERTS.
CONTENTS CHAPTER PAGE Introduction 1 I. To my Fellow-Presbyter Timothy. Dionysius the Presbyter. That every Divine Illumination, whilst going forth with love in various ways to the objects of its forethought, remains one. Nor is this all: it also unifies the things illuminated 5 II. That Divine and Celestial matters are fittingly revealed even through unlike symbols 7 III. What is Hierarchy, and what the use of Hierarchy? 13 IV. The meaning of the name 'Angels' 16 V. Why all the Celestial Beings in common are called Angels. 20 VI. Which is the first Order of the Celestial Beings, which the middle, and which the last? 21 VII. Of the Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones, and their first Hierarchy 22 VIII. Of the Dominions, Virtues and Powers, and their middle Hierarchy. 27 IX. Of the Principalities, Archangels and Angels, and of their last Hierarchy 30 X. Recapitulation and summary of the Angelic Hierarchies 34 XI. Why all the Celestial Hierarchies in common are called Celestial Powers 36 XII. Why the Hierarchs among men are called Angels 37 XIII. The reason why the prophet Isaiah is said to have been purified by the Seraphim 39 XIV. What the traditional number of the Angels signifies 44 XV. What is the meaning of the formal semblances of the Angelic Powers? 45
 THE CELESTIAL HIERARCHIES INTRODUCTION Notes: The Celestial Hierarchies of Dionysius the Areopagite is based on passages from the Old and New Testaments, but like the other writings of this great mystic it embodies the essential principles of the Neoplatonic teachings. In this work Dionysius reveals the manner in which, through the ministry of the Angelic Hosts, the Divine Providential Life is transmitted from Its ultimate Source to all things, even to the remotest bounds of transiency, in accordance with the divine plan which is a perfect and harmonious unity whereby all beings and things, from the innermost to the outermost, participate in the Providential Stream in the measure of their capacity. 'Every particular thing,' says Proclus, 'even the most minute as well as the universal, depends for ever upon the beneficent Providence of Divinity.' And Plotinus writes: 'From first to last Providence descends from on high, communicating Its gifts, not according to a numerical law of equality, but by all-wise prescience varying Its operations according to the needs and conditions of participants.' The Celestial Intelligences are constituted in three triads, forming nine Orders, whose names represent the Divine Attributes which they manifest to all below them. They have also an inner relation with every human soul, for through their ministrations the aspiring soul becomes liberated from material bondage, receives a knowledge of its own purpose, and is enabled to live its true life and ultimately to attain to the full its Divine Likeness. The first triad, the Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones, are nearest to the Godhead, 'ever dwelling in the vestibule of Divinity'. From the Seraphim, the 'Burning' or 'Fiery' Ones, flows the stream of supercelestial Grace. Like fire they consume all that separates man from God, enabling him to rise to the highest fulfillment of his destiny through the perfection and unification  of all the activities of the soul, and its union with the Divine. The name Cherubim means 'Fullness of knowledge'. Through them the Providential Energy streams forth as a transcendental Light perfectly illuminating the soul, uniting it with the Divine Wisdom, and imparting a full and lucid understanding of the Divine Immanence in all things. The Thrones, 'Divine Seats', make manifest the purifying power of Providence which wholly penetrates the consciousness. Through them the soul is uplifted to the Divine and becomes established in the constancy of divine service. The second triad, the Dominions, Virtues, and Powers, are given the middle place as indicating the ordered governance of Providence. Through them the soul is liberated from all that is below and assimilated to that which is above. The Dominions impart order and justice, through which true liberty is gained. The Virtues are the bestowers of grace and valour. The Powers or Authorities give the providential aid which with irresistible power overcomes and re-directs the forces which fetter the mind of man to the things of earth. To the third triad of Principalities, Archangels, and Angels belongs the final execution of the work of Providence. The Principalities or Princes exhibit Divine Lordship and true Service. Through them the soul may turn from its attachment to worldly pursuits to the service of the Divine, and ultimately become a co-worker with His Ministers. The Archangels imprint on all things the Divine Seal whereby the universe is the written word of God; they impart to the soul the spiritual light through which it may learn to read this divine book, and also to know and use rightly its own faculties. The Angels minister to all men and to the things of Nature, purifying and uplifting them. The down-flowing Life of Providence has a threefold operation: It is perfective, illuminating and purifying. These qualities characterize the activities of each triad, though the work of the highest is said to be essentially perfective, that of the middle more definitely illuminative, and that of the lowest triad purgative. Thus, while the Celestial Hierarchies are the transmitters of Providential Life to all below them, they constitute for the aspiring soul which unites itself to them a spiritual ladder of ascent from earth to heaven which is seen to correspond with the threefold Way traversed by all great mystics — the Active Life  through the Way of Purification, whereby men may become true servants of God; the Inner Life, the Way of Illumination and of real sonship with God; and the Contemplative Life, which is the Unitive Way whereby men may attain to true friendship with God. The Purificatory Way leads to the Immutable GOOD; through the Illuminative Way is revealed the Sacred Majesty of TRUTH; and in the Perfective Way union is attained with the Supreme BEAUTY.
 And He summoneth all the Hosts of Heaven, and all the Holy Ones above — the Seraphim, the Cherubim, the Ophanim, all the Spirits of Power, the Blessed Ones, and all the Spirits of Principalities, the Angels, and the Powers on earth and over the water: with one voice shall they bless and glorify and exalt the Lord, in the virtue of faith, and in the virtue of wisdom, in the virtue of patience, and in the virtue of mercy, in the virtue of justice, and in the virtue of peace, in the virtue of goodness, and shall sing with one voice: "Blessed is He: may the Holy Name of the Lord of Hosts be blessed for ever."
BOOK OF ENOCH.
These passages are collected from throughout the works of various teachers of Esoteric Philosophy and provide a starting point for this topic.
We need you to keep this site online. Help TODAY to ensure that these books are preserved by purchasing the new ISTA FLASH DRIVE here ...
Archive of primary texts relating to all major world religions and many other spiritual practices, including all major scriptures and hundreds of other documents ...