Sermon 05: Secular esotericism

05. Lunar Calendar: 22nd Day of the 5th Month, Year of the Buffalo.
Gregorian Calendar: June 18th 1949
Đức Hộ Pháp Thuyết Đạo Tại Đền Thánh

Tonight, I will talk about secular esotericism because I have already spoken about secular exotericism the last time we met. I would like to elaborate upon esotericism so that you, the children of God, can tell the difference between truth and falsehood.

It is generally thought that there is no esotericism in the secular world. Yet there is, but it is usually hidden, for example, those causes that have made great men and women improve the world. Those celebrated persons always have a wish: to be remembered and admired by younger generations before or after their death. To realize their dream, they try to serve their community, their country or the whole world. If they decide to serve people, they work based on their true heart. Their activities are relevant to religious practice because wholehearted service is actually a religious practice.

God announces: - Without the secular life, religion lacks strength; without religion, secular life lacks power.

The two concepts should be mutually compatible with each other all the time. They are absolutely inseparable. Lots of effort has gone into proposing theories to separate them but these have been in vain.

Care LitaireOn occassion His Holiness Hộ Pháp makes references in his sermons to contemporary events. We suspect that this is what he is doing here with his reference to 'Care Litaire'. Unfortunately we could not find reference to this figure in our present research. [2], for instance, was desperate to leave the Roman Catholic Church, but completely failed. To put it another way, these people and the contemporary situation always wants to step away from religion and/or spiritualness, but they cannot.

For a long time, the Russian government has adopted Communism and atheism, denying God. Against any moral codes, they have introduced the Three-No Policy Three-No PolicyNo family, no country, no religion. [3], the leading principle of which is atheism. They have decided to overthrow all religious ethics for their purpose of materialism. They, however, still have not been able to do so. Having gained power and established the Russian Soviet Republic in 1917, Stalin oppressed all religious activity in the country.

Finally, all Christian churches are now being revived. In spite of constant human efforts to be independent from religion, they have never been able to succeed. They are surely aware that the people cannot be governed without religious morality - even though religion partly reduces their political power.

Since time immemorial, nobody has been able to rule a nation on earth without the existence of religion. That is why our Vietnamese ancestors always emphasized morality when talking about politics. Based on Confucianism, they always taught the younger generations to carry out:

  • 1. The investigation of phenomena.
  • 2. Enthusiastic learning.
  • 3. Sincerity.
  • 4. The rectitude of purpose.
  • 5. Self-development.
  • 6. Family discipline.
  • 7. Local self-government, and,
  • 8. Universal self-government.

It is thanks to the relation with religion that the greats are still remembered and admired. In Asia, the kings always canonized the mandarins who had died for the country; they had temples built for them. In Western countries, the statues of celebrated people are placed in public sites to serve as role models. This is a practice similar to religious ones, and so it can be dubbed secular esotericism.

All the current rulers of the world dream of one thing: to be remembered for the good they have done. That is why a lot of people have been willing to suffer a great deal fighting for their fatherland. Despite unexpected setbacks that wish still forces them to continue their work.

Hence, I again affirm that secular esotericism is being memorialized and admired by future generations. Additionally, there is an invisible, but frightening thing, which is word of mouth. Some events, which are by some means unable to be recorded in history, are spread by spoken communication. This is what prevents politicians from behaving badly. This precious sort of esotericism, which God grants humans, really lasts a long time. That is the utmost esotericism.


[2] On occassion His Holiness Hộ Pháp makes references in his sermons to contemporary events. We suspect that this is what he is doing here with his reference to 'Care Litaire'. Unfortunately we could not find reference to this figure in our present research.
[3] No family, no country, no religion.
Vietnamese source