The Tower of Divine Influences


Hieronymus Bosch's The Garden of Earthly Delights






Understanding this question from the point of view of influences of the spiritual, or heavenly, from the inner life of man which move towards the material, or natural, outer life of man, the same structure applies. In esotericism, the highest level of influences is the esoteric, or inner influence. This is the influence which ought to come from the divine spark of God, as shown in the left-hand panel.


The intermediate level of influences is the mesoteric, or middle, level. And the lower level of influences is the exoteric, or outer level.


 In later centuries, Swedenborg would describe the process of the higher influencing the lower as the heavenly inflow in his book, Heaven and Hell; and G. I. Gurdjieff would speak to his pupil P. D. Ouspensky of influences A, B, and C, meaning lower, intermediate, and higher. Influences see were understood to flow into earth directly from the highest level of the divine, as they do in the left-hand panel of the Garden of earthly delights. The left-hand panel is in fact an exact replica of Gurdjieff's cosmological premise. Although Swedenborg, Gurdjieff, and other meta-physicists arrived much later in time, the concepts were already well-known in Bosch's time, and he employed them specifically, and in a mystical way, using the pink tower of God's influence to give us an idea of the mystery surrounding the inflow of the divine.


 The symbolism and overall content of Bosch's paintings reveal an inner source of understanding that was definitely imparted by divine revelation from a source identical to that of Ibn 'Arabi, Eckhart, and Swedenborg. His is a visual language that imparts the same understandings they attempted to convey using words.


The commonality of theme and content between these three masters and Bosch's paintings indicates that they were all conveyed by inflow from the same higher level of understanding.


 See the page on Bosch and Swedenborg for more commentary on this.








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All material copyright 2013 by Lee van Laer.  This work may not be reproduced without permission.