Understanding esoterism

I think it's necessary to discern authentic esoteric commentary and practice, and commentaries / practices that owe more to snycretism and misunderstanding, and sadly 'Christian esoterisms' that are little more than anti-institutional propaganda.
What would you say is the mark of authentic Christian esoterism?

How much syncretism is there in Christianity, that's considered authentic enough?
 
What would you say is the mark of authentic Christian esoterism?
Any teaching that can evidence its roots in the Tradition.

The Fathers' disputes with the 'Gnostics' is a case in point, and I'm probably more open to Gnostic speculation now than I was, but still regard much of its as interpreting the Christian Tradition is view of pre-existing assumptions – that it was not Jesus who was crucified but another, possibly Judas, or that Jesus was an angelic being who only appeared human, and hence could not suffer, etc.

The idea of two separate and distinct streams of Christianity – the visible exoteric Petrine stream, essentially 'dead in the water', and the invisible and esoteric Johannine stream – the latter, of course, being the province of the 'esoteric schools' ...

It's a fine line ... I observe a distinction between 'esoteric Christianity' (a pseudo-esoterism) and 'Christian esoterism' (which isn't) – in the same way as speaking of Platonic Christianity, as opposed to Christian Platonism – the distinction being who takes the superior place in the discussion – Christian principles according to a Platonic perspective will arrive at a different place than Platonic principles according to a Christian perspective.

An example of the latter is St Maximus' correction of the errors of 'Origenism' (and not necessarily Origen).

More pointedly, Maximus revised the Platonic model of rest-movement-becoming (stasis-kenesis-genesis) (the eternal state of souls, stasis, satiated by the Divine Gaze, move, turn or fall away, kenesis, and the world is created, genesis, to catch the spark of the soul in its descent, simply by turning it on its head, as given in Scripture, so its genesis (from non-being to being) and the movement towards rest (stasis) in God.

How much syncretism is there in Christianity, that's considered authentic enough?
Again, much like the Perennialists, I try and discern between complementary truths that manifest themselves in particular forms in the various traditions, as opposed to a rather blanket assertion that 'all religions say the same thing' (they clearly don't) and that any particular element of any religion can be shaped to conform to any and every other.

Therefore I see pagan rituals, those based on the natural rhythms of season and zodiac, etc., as being 'absorbed' into Christianity without offence to either – much like symbols that carry universal and particular meanings ...

Whereas perhaps the Christian habit of clothing itself in the trappings of Roman Empires can be understood, but with as much sadness with regard to what was surrendered, as charity towards what was assumed.
 
More pointedly, Maximus revised the Platonic model of rest-movement-becoming (stasis-kenesis-genesis) (the eternal state of souls, stasis, satiated by the Divine Gaze, move, turn or fall away, kenesis, and the world is created, genesis, to catch the spark of the soul in its descent, simply by turning it on its head, as given in Scripture, so its genesis (from non-being to being) and the movement towards rest (stasis) in God.

Fascinating. But aren't both of these dynamics present in standard, exoteric Christianity? The parable of the Prodigal Son?
 
Whereas perhaps the Christian habit of clothing itself in the trappings of Roman Empires can be understood, but with as much sadness with regard to what was surrendered, as charity towards what was assumed.
What about the more fundamental incompatibilities between Biblical and Classical world-views, such as the resurrection of the body vs. spiritual afterlife?

The bodily resurrection "won", but there are passages in the Christian Bible which can be read as traces of a troubled attempt at syncretization: Paul may have been "camp spirit", also the powerful imagery of Doubting Thomas touching the resurrected body of Jesus. To this day, my average Christian neighbours seem to lean towards the pagan Classical view, even if they repeat the creed during Sunday service.

And of course, a major part of esoteric Christian / Christian esoteric thought rests on the distinction between body and spirit, to the extent that the body is often viewed as a second class part of the human being, again, straight out of Paul's writings.

Is this a case of Christianity assuming Classical trappings, or a more legitimate syncretic esoterism based in the Fathers?
 
Fascinating. But aren't both of these dynamics present in standard, exoteric Christianity? The parable of the Prodigal Son?
I don't think exoteric Christianity quite accepts the idea of the soul's fall before the creation of the world, which is the Platonic model.

Not sure how you see the parable in this instance?
 
What about the more fundamental incompatibilities between Biblical and Classical world-views, such as the resurrection of the body vs. spiritual afterlife?
Well traditional Christianity embraces both?

The bodily resurrection "won", but there are passages in the Christian Bible which can be read as traces of a troubled attempt at syncretization: Paul may have been "camp spirit", also the powerful imagery of Doubting Thomas touching the resurrected body of Jesus. To this day, my average Christian neighbours seem to lean towards the pagan Classical view, even if they repeat the creed during Sunday service.
Not sure where you see the syncretisation here? The classical world view was against physical resurrection in the Christian sense, whereas for Paul it's absolute fundamental, and Thomas' epiphany again shows how the idea of Jesus' resurrection was not on the cards at the time of his crucifixion?

... on the distinction between body and spirit, to the extent that the body is often viewed as a second class part of the human being, again, straight out of Paul's writings.
Inasmuch as I'd say that body-soul dichotomy is straight of out Hellenism, and probably not what Paul was getting at, at all – but I do accept that the view generally prevailed in Christendom.

Is this a case of Christianity assuming Classical trappings, or a more legitimate syncretic esoterism based in the Fathers?
The former, I'd say ...
 
I don't think exoteric Christianity quite accepts the idea of the soul's fall before the creation of the world, which is the Platonic model.

Not sure how you see the parable in this instance?

From the individual's "inside" perspective, "original sin" and "fall before the creation of the world" are indistinguishable, I think.

How would one tell the difference?
 
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