Esoteric, within. Exoteric, without. These terms are said to have been
employed by the Pythagorians to the disciples of the school, according
as they were, or were not, perfectly initiated.
Aristotle distinguishes between his exoteric and his acroamatic
writings. Dean Blakesley argues that the latter were not distinguished
from the former by containing anything more secret or mysterious. The
difference between the two he contends was that between an occasional
discussion and a systematic discourse.
The terms esoteric and exoteric are now, I think, always applied to
doctrines and teaching, the elementary instruction suited to the
beginner, the milk that is suited to babes, being exoteric, and the
deeper wisdom the strong meat that is due to the advanced disciple being