In Hidden Wisdom: A Guide to the Western Inner Traditions written with Jay Kinney, Richard Smoley, former editor of Gnosis magazine, devoted a chapter to esoteric Christianity. In this paperback, he gives a more detailed analysis of this tradition which emphasizes "knowledge of the inner levels of experience." Smoley believes that within Christianity this path has been slighted in favor of prayer, contemplation, and mysticism.
The author begins this erudite work with a brief overview of the esoteric tradition as it has been unspooled in Gnosticism, the Brethren of the Common Life, the Rosicrucians, and modern seers such as Rudolf Steiner, C. G. Jung, G. I. Gurdjieff, and Helen Schucman's A Course in Miracles. Smoley looks at common themes elucidated by these thinkers, including the world and the fall, salvation, the second birth, and the feminine face of God.
According to the author, "In inner Christianity, spiritual practice is not solely a matter of technique, and it does not achieve its effectiveness through individual effort alone. There is a subtle and profound dynamic between effort and grace, between activity that one performs and results that seem to come about on their own." This dynamic is spelled out in practices of the body, which emphasize attention to the tasks at hand, and practices of the psyche, including mental inventories at the end of the day and working with thought-forms. Other practices are also used in mainstream Christianity: the Jesus Prayer, Centering Prayer and Meditation, Lectio Divina, and the Lord's Prayer.
Smoley concludes his examination of the interior spiritual truths with a look at "the inner church" and the symbols and rites of Christianity. The bibliography at the end of the book offers a fine smorgasbord of resources for those who want to travel further on this path.