Esoteric cosmology  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Esoteric cosmology is cosmology that is an intrinsic part of an esoteric or occult system of thought. It almost always deals with at least some of the following themes: emanation, involution, evolution, epigenesis, planes of existence or higher worlds (and their emanation and the connections between them), hierarchies of spiritual beings, cosmic cycles (e.g., cosmic year, Yuga), yogic or spiritual disciplines and techniques of self-transformation, and references to mystical and altered states of consciousness.

Such cosmologies cover many of the same concerns also addressed by religious cosmology and philosophical cosmology, such as the origin, purpose, and destiny of the universe and of consciousness and the nature of existence. For this reason it is sometimes difficult to distinguish where religion or philosophy end and esotericism or occultism begins. However, esoteric cosmology is distinguished from religion in its more sophisticated construction and reliance on intellectual understanding rather than faith, and from philosophy in its emphasis on techniques of psycho-spiritual transformation.

Examples of esoteric cosmologies can be found in Gnosticism, Neoplatonism, Tantra (especially Kashmir Shaivism), Kabbalah, Sufism, the teachings of Jacob Boehme, The Urantia Book, the Sant Mat/Surat Shabda Yoga tradition, Theosophy, Anthroposophy, The Cosmic Tradition of Max Theon and his wife, Max Heindel (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception), elements of the teachings of Sri Aurobindo, Meher Baba, the Fourth Way propounded by Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, PaGaian Cosmology and many current New Age teachings, to give only a few examples.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Esoteric cosmology" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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