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Esotericism for All

Interviews with Aldo La Fata

Bruno Bérard and Aldo La Fata

To be released in 2024 by Angelico Press

The book is to be published in France, Italy and the United States in 2024. Here are the main elements:

Over the last few decades, a great deal of academic work has been carried out on all forms of esotericism, from ancestral megalithism to modern philosophical gnosticism. However, the historicist approach, descriptive by nature, deserves to be complemented by appreciations and value judgements, and it is important to know from which point of view these judgements can be made.

Aldo La Fata, whose “cognitive humility” has been so aptly expressed by Carlo Gambescia, and whose Catholic intimacy is neither occult nor outrageously displayed, has the immense advantage of an expert’s point of view, as sought here.

Aldo La Fata’s erudition is essential, but never clutters his discourse, and his speech is free and clear, making him the ideal “touchstone” for this introduction to esotericism. The reader will be the judge.

Contents

Exergue

  1. Esotericism and Science
  2. Esotericism and Religion
  3. Esoteric Biography
  4. A History of Esotericism
  5. Esotericism and Esotericists
  6. An Adventure in Esotericism
  7. Esotericism and Mysticism
  8. Jewish Esotericism
  9. Muslim Esotericism
  10. Christian Esotericism
  11. Hindu Esotericism
  12. Buddhist Esotericism
  13. Taoist Esotericism
  14. Modern Esotericism
  15. Esotericism and Metaphysics
  16. Esotericism and Cognitive Humility

Excerpt

BB. How would you conclude this interview on the relationship between religion and esotericism?

ALF. I would conclude by saying that religion and esotericism are not only interdependent, but complementary and necessary to each other, and that in fact they cannot exist separately. And I would add that the means may be different, but the goal is the same. In my opinion, the goal can only be the same, even though the means to achieve it may differ for each of us, and even though our individual aspirations and possibilities differ so much from one another. An esotericist may think that Paradise “is still a prison” (as some Sufis used to say), and a devotee (“exoterist”) that it’s too ambitious a goal; in the end, however, neither of us knows the outcome of the journey, which is transcendent and therefore beyond all personal ideas and beliefs. I’ll limit myself here to recalling the Gospel maxim: “Blessed are the last, for they shall be first”1. Which, among other things, also means that in the afterlife, hierarchies are reversed2.

BB. Can we say, then, that in the afterlife, “simple” people of faith can have a better or higher destiny than members of initiatic organizations?

ALF. It’s certainly possible, but, of course, who could say for sure? Nevertheless, I’d make a suggestion to those with esoteric aspirations: it’s not to play too much with the ideas of “world champion”; better: to use a soccer metaphor, to keep a low profile, to stay at the bottom of the ranking.

Footnotes

  1. Mt 20:1.[]
  2. See Bruno Bérard, Aldo La Fata, Christian Words, Misunderstanding and Truth, to be released in 2024 in English, French and Italian.[]

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