Esotericism: "The philosophy of the evolutionary process both in man and the lower kingdoms in nature. The science of the accumulated wisdom of the ages. Presents a systematic and comprehensive account of the energetic structure of the universe and of man's place within it. Describes the forces and influences that lie behind the phenomenal world. Also, the process of becoming aware of and gradually mastering these forces." ("Maitreya's Mission III" by Benjamin Creme, p. 609)
"Esotericism is a science -- essentially the science of the soul of all things -- and has its own terminology, experiments, deductions and laws (The opposite of exotericism)". ("Education in the New Age" by Alice Bailey, p. 64)
"As an esoteric science -- meaning simply that it lies beyond the understanding or comprehension of the average person -- it presents a systematic and comprehensive account of the evolutionary process, in man and nature, from an energetic standpoint: how the universe came to exist, how it operates, and man's place within it. Esotericism, as it is sometimes called, is also the art of working with those energies which emanate from the highest spiritual sources. From behind the scenes, these teachings have guided and shaped civilization after civilization, leading to all the great advances in human endeavor, be they in the sciences, politics, the arts or religion." (Benjamin Creme)
"Esotericism might be seen more as the philosophy of the evolutionary process, and occultism [meaning "hidden"] as the science of the energies which bring that process about." ("The Ageless Wisdom Teaching" by Benjamin Creme, p. 5)
"In its essence esotericism is the art of consciously recognizing that all existence, manifested in its myriad variations of form and quality, is fundamentally based on energy." ("Bridges" by Aart Jurriaanse, p. 233)
"The Ageless Wisdom Teaching, or esotericism as it is often called, is not a religion. It is not, strictly speaking, a philosophy; it is not an art or a science, but it has something of all of these.
You might say that esotericim is the philosophy, or the science, of the evolutionary process, as it pertains to the human and the subhuman kingdoms. But it is about the evolution of consciousness, not of the physical form. If you want to know about the evolution of the physical form, turn to Darwin - he has pretty well summed up the nature of evolution as regards the form of the animal and the human kingdoms. But in terms of the evolution of consciousness, you have to turn to the esoteric -- esoteric only so far; for that which is esoteric gradually becomes exoteric." [The human being is not simply an animal but is the point where spirit and matter meet.] ("The Ageless Wisfom Teachings" by Benjamin Creme, p. 5)