This School presents, perhaps for the first time, a concise and scholarly examination of the history and principles of major traditions of esoteric healing. We begin with this COURSE with a brief conceptual overview of esoteric religion and related healing practices, summaries are provided for ten major esoteric traditions, including descriptions of beliefs and practices related to health, healing, and medicine. These include what are termed the pagan traditions, kabbalistic tradition, the mystery school traditions, the gnostic tradition, the brotherhoods traditions, the Eastern mystical tradition, the Western mystical tradition, the shamanic (indigenous) traditions, the new age tradition, and theosophy.

Next, commonalities across these traditions are summarized with respect to beliefs and practices related to anatomy and physiology; etiology and the classifications of disease; pathophysiology; and importantly the therapeutic modalities.

Finally, the implications of this survey of esoteric healing are discussed for clinicians, practitioners, and medical educators.

Esoteric healing traditions today are extant and widespread, called by many names, yet all having historical roots and are a sacred part of humanity. This school was formed to preserve these beliefs and modalities; recognizing them as religious practices whether practitioners of these arts wish to recognize it or not. Failure to recognize or understand their links and commonalities has caused a considerable weakening of their therapeutic potential. Hence their secularization and popularization has deteriorated their vitality.

Serious studies into the more esoteric approaches to healthcare provide considerable importance for anyone professing some form of skill or aptitude in most all of the so-called alternative and complementary medical vocations (secular or religious). It is apparent that the themes of the vital energy, the elements, the etheric anatomy and etiologies are very similar. If their observations and teachings were fictitious and pagan, one would have to ask:

• Why did so many variant, medical traditions, at separate times in history and diverse geographic locations, arrive at so similar conclusions?

• Why did the theme of vital energy so animate so many medical traditions, and why did western science seem so adherent to crush its foundation in favor of chemical medicine?

• Why did the theme of the elements, whether four or five, survive for so many thousands of years, and interlace itself not only in human anatomy (the humours), but cosmogeny (astrology) in general?

This School (Therapeutae) proposes that humanity must retain the ancient esoteric teachings for posterity. It appears now, as in times past, that there are but few mature minds in the world; and thus it was that the philosophic-religious doctrines of today were divided to meet the needs of these two fundamental groups of human intellect--one, the mature and philosophic; and the other, immature, materialistic, and incapable of appreciating the deeper mysteries of life. To the discerning few, entering this School, we reveal the esoteric, or spiritual, teachings, while the unqualified many receive only the literal, or exoteric, interpretations. In order to make simple the great truths of Nature and the abstract principles of natural law, the vital forces of the universe were personified in times past, becoming the gods and goddesses of the ancient mythologies. While the ignorant multitudes brought their offerings to the altars of deities representing the procreative energies, the wise recognized that these marble statues were only symbolic concretions of great abstract truths.

Healers are invited to make this a study.