Twofish's Blog

December 26, 2006

Esoteric and exoteric

Filed under: leo strauss, personal, philosophy, plato — twofish @ 1:16 am

I’ve been reading a lot of Leo Strauss recently. I got his book the “City and Man” and I’ve also got “Persecution and the Art of Writing” on order. Strauss is notorious for insisting that political speech has an esoteric reading for the initiate and an exoteric reading for the masses.  The idea is that the exoteric reading is a red herring, but the esoteric reading is the important one.

From doing the same thing in blogs, I have this suspicion that the opposite may be true, and that it is the exoteric reading which reveals grand truth whereas the esoteric reading is something that is somewhat trivial.  In hiding messages in this blog what I’ve finding is that the esoteric message is important for me and maybe a few other people in the world, but it’s unlikely to encode any universal truth, but it is the exoteric reading that would be of interest to people living in radically different times and places.

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