Richard Smoley is editor of Quest: The Journal of the Theosophical Society in America. He is also former editor of Gnosis Magazine. His books include Hidden Wisdom: The Guide to the Western Inner Traditions, Inner Christianity: The Guide to the Esoteric Tradition, Forbidden Faith: The Secret History of Gnosticism, The Essential Nostradamus, Conscious Love: Insights from Mystical Christianity, The Dice Game of Shiva: How Consciousness Creates the Universe, The Supernatural: Writings on an Unknown History, The Deal: A Guide to Radical and Complete Forgiveness, and How God Became God: What Scholars Are Really Saying About God and the Bible.
Here he notes that the essence of Christianity is a heart-centered focus on love. Over the centuries, as the church rose in political power, various esoteric traditions evolved for the purpose of maintaining emphasis on this central focus. He uses the analogy of the apostles Peter and John to highlight the difference between exoteric and esoteric religion. He also discusses modern Christian mystics such as Rudolf Steiner and G. I. Gurdjieff. In describing the different levels and types of love, he closes the interview with a recitation of the original “Prayer of the Heart”.
(Recorded on August 6, 2016)
Published on October 31, 2016