Occult Mysteries FAQ
Frequently asked questions about the Occult answered
The following questions have all been put to us at various times by our readers. We have tried to answer them simply, clearly and candidly. Longer answers to some questions can be found in the sidebar.
Many visitors spend a lot of time using our search page to find what they're looking for when many of the answers they are seeking are given in this FAQ! Many answers on this page also contain links which lead to further information. In this way our FAQ provides an extra index to the content of the website. This page is updated on a regular basis, so do check it often for new questions and answers. Finally, if you have a question that is not answered here or in our articles, please feel free to ask it.
To read what our readers themselves think about our many articles about the Occult, see our Readers' Comments page.
General questions about the Occult
- How do I navigate this website? (see answer in sidebar)
- What is the occult?
- What is the difference between Wicca, Witchcraft, and the Occult?
(see answer in sidebar)
- Why is so much occult knowledge kept secret? (see answer in sidebar)
- Can I get rich through the occult?
- Can I get power through the occult?
- Is it possible to predict the future by occult means?
- Is the occult evil?
- Can you be Christian and an occultist?
- What is sin?
- Is it wrong to commit suicide?
- If God is good why does he allow evil?
- Is there a right way and a wrong way to pray? (see answer in sidebar)
- What is the best way to meditate?
- Can I find the meaning of life in the occult?
- How do I learn the occult?
- What are the best occult books to read?
- Can occult books harm me?
- How do I learn how to read occult writings and understand mystic symbols?
- Did Atlantis exist and where can I find out more about it?
Occult teachers and teaching
- Are occult Teachings dangerous?
- How do I tell the difference between good and bad teachers?
- Is it wrong to charge for occult teaching?
- How do I find a true Teacher?
- Why don't you say anything about Aleister Crowley?
- What do you think of Franz Bardon?
- What do you think of Samael Aun Weor?
- Was H. P. Blavatsky a fraud?
- Why don't you mention Alice Bailey?
- Why was Socrates not initiated into the mysteries?
- The Comte de Saint Germain
- How does occult science regard the psychology of Carl Jung?
- Is there any value in modern psychology?
- Is there any truth in the Law of Attraction?
- Is there any truth in Freemasonry?
Conspiracy theories, Aliens and 'Ascension'
- Is the world really controlled by the Illuminati Conspiracy?
- What is the New World Order?
- Do we live on some kind of prison planet which is covertly controlled by aliens and/or an elite group of devil-worshippers?
- Are evil aliens occupying this planet?
- Is a planetary Ascension taking place right now?
- Do UFOs exist? (see answer in sidebar)
- Is the Earth flat?
Karma, reincarnation and the astral world
- What is Karma?
- If reincarnation is true why is the world population increasing?
- What is Cosmic Consciousness and how can I attain it?
- What is an initiate and how do I become one?
- Is there life after death and what happens when we die?
- Do our loved ones watch over us after they have died? Do they know about us and our lives? If they do, why don't they make themselves known to us?
- Where do the dead go? (see answer in sidebar)
- Does Hell exist?
- What is the astral world or plane?
- Where can I find a description of the astral world? What is it like?
- Are the descriptions of heaven by Swedenborg true?
- How do I explore the astral world?
- What are elementals?
- What are elves?
- Are there such beings as devils and demons?
- What are Nature spirits and Fairies?
Magic, alchemy, etc.
- What is Magic?
- What is Black Magic and the LHP?
- How do I protect myself from black magicians?
- What is Alchemy?
- Is Alchemy black magic?
- Where can I find books in which the secrets of magic are revealed?
- Is spiritualism dangerous?
- Is New Age Shamanism dangerous?
- Is channeling dangerous?
- Is Tibetan Buddhism dangerous?
- Is the Tibetan Book of the Dead true?
- What are 'Sigils and Servitors' and how do they work?
- What are the 'Akashic Records' and how do I read them?
- Are Tibetan singing bowls dangerous? (see answer in sidebar)
- Are you against New Age teachings?
Health, drugs and dreams
- Is vegetarianism necessary for spiritual progress?
- Is fasting necessary for spiritual progress?
- Are sexual abstinence and asceticism necessary for spiritual progress?
- Is homosexuality wrong?
- Are psychoactive drugs harmful?
- Are prescription drugs harmful?
- Is it wrong to have fun?
- Is it wrong to get drunk?
- What are Dreams?
- What about dream interpretation?
General questions about the Occult
What is the occult?
Hidden knowledge. You can read what the occult is and what it is NOT in the sidebar on your right, in the many articles listed on our Homepage, as well as in Masters of Mischief—a humorous story with a serious message about two typical occult students in search of occult mysteries and 'masters.'
Can I get rich through the occult?
It needs no wisdom to become rich . . . only shrewdness, aided by Destiny; but only a wise man knows how to control riches rightly. They have value only when applied to relieve the distress of the deserving. Otherwise, riches are useless and a curse instead of a blessing. J Michaud PhD — 'The Quest of Ruru'
Yes, very easily. All you need to do is to convince a large enough number of people to give YOU their money by promising to make THEM rich. Simple, isn't it? And we haven't charged you a penny for this priceless advice! We would add that the kind of person who hopes to get rich quick through the occult invariably lacks the will-power, concentration and self-discipline to achieve anything in life.
Having said that, many proponents of the so-called 'Law of Attraction' which we discuss in one of our articles, are firmly convinced that 'positive thinking' alone can make you rich. All we can say is that we have met quite a lot of these optimistic individuals over the years and they were all as poor as church mice. Then there are certain occult methods by which our material conditions may be improved in a sensible manner, provided that we do so for the benefit of others as well as ourselves. Apart from such popular magical methods as sigils and servitors (which fail as often as they succeed) there are special techniques taught in some occult orders to their members. But these techniques are secret. You won't find them on social media or in any books. What you will find on Tumblr, Reddit and others social media sites are a host of completely useless and nonsensical rituals which promise to make you rich. But. . .as we said earlier. . . such methods invariably make their authors rich at YOUR expense!
Can I get power through the occult?
Yes, see above question. Simply substitute the word 'power' for 'rich' and you'll have your answer. If, on the other hand you wish to acquire real power; that is, the power to change yourself and the world around you for the better through learning the true occult sciences, then you can expect a very long and difficult journey with no reward except the knowledge that every selfless act you perform brings you closer to the only power worth having; the power to serve, bless and save mankind.
If you have stumbled on this page because you believe or have been told that it is possible to gain all sorts of 'occultic powers' by using the rituals and spells to be found in the many 'magical' books and 'grimoires' then we must disappoint you. All you will gain (assuming you do not give up after a few half-hearted attempts), is contact with evil men and women who will use YOU until you are of no further use to them. See Chapter 4—on Witchcraft—in The Golden Star.
Is it possible to predict the future by occult means?
Yes, but it may not always be wise to do so. You can read more about such occult arts as the tarot, numerology and astrology in our article about Divination.
Is the occult evil?
No, although like everything in this world, it can be put to evil uses. Shakespeare said that "nothing is good or evil but that thinking makes it so". We agree. It is the intention and the intention alone that makes any occult activity good or evil. We are aware that many religious persons are told, or believe that the occult is 'evil', but we are afraid that this simply demonstrates their lack of knowledge. You can read what the occult is and what it isn't in the column on your right.
Can you be Christian and an occultist?
Why not? There is nothing in the teachings of Jesus that is incompatible with the study and practice of occultism. 'Occult', as we explain above, simply means 'hidden'. Jesus himself withheld 'hidden' or occult knowledge from the multitudes, as anyone can read in the Bible.
From this it should be clear that both Jesus and St Paul were occultists. That is, if by 'occultist' we mean one who is instructed in the occult, or hidden knowledge. We would add that there have been (and are) many devout Christians who have been occultists. Among them we would mention Sir Isaac Newton, and, in more recent times, the Christian Mystic, Anna Kingsford, and the Theosophical writer, Geoffrey Hodson. See also our answer to the next question below.
What is sin?
Occult science does not acknowledge the dogma of sin as it is commonly understood, or as it is taught by most organised religions. The only 'sin' occult science acknowledges is that of ignorance. All other human behaviour comes under the category of right and wrong thinking and action, which is either rewarded or punished. But that punishment is inflicted by ourselves, not by any supernatural agency. See our occult studies course article on Karma and The Teachings of Li Wang Ho for more information about sin.
Is it wrong to commit suicide?
Yes. Occult Science teaches that suicide solves nothing. All that happens is that after death we find ourselves on some part of the astral plane where the identical problems will have to be faced all over again, and be worked out, often under much worse conditions than we tried to escape from on earth.
Madame Blavatsky says regarding suicide: "whenever the Ego gets consciously and deliberately rid of its body before the hour marked, then must it still live, even as a disembodied suffering soul. The Ego (Higher Self in our terminology) having learned nothing...and in its mental torture lost the remembrance of the little it knew on earth, is violently ejected out of the earth's atmosphere and carried adrift, a prey to the blind current which forces it into some new incarnation which the soul itself is unable to select as it otherwise might with the help of its good actions." You can read more about the evils of suicide in Eve Bennett's eloquent account of her personal encounters with those who have taken their own lives.
If God is good why does he allow evil?
The Church cannot answer these questions. Nor can material science, much less 'humanism' and the other pseudo-sciences which have replaced true religion in the hearts and minds of mankind. But Occult Science can! Read more in our investigation of the problem of Good and Evil.
Can I find the meaning of life in the occult?
Yes, if you are sincere and learn to discern the difference between truth and falsehood, half-truths and downright lies. We suggest you have a look at the list of Occult Studies articles, one or more of which may appeal to you.
How do I learn the occult?
Through consistent study and hard work. We have published a FREE online occult studies course to introduce all sincere seekers after Truth to the Sublime Occult Mysteries. Much of the material in our course is not available anywhere else, or in any books. We also suggest that you read and study the many occult and philosophical books we recommend. An open mind is also essential. A closed mind is a narrow mind that will not admit the smallest particle of Truth, lest it upset the apple cart of preconceptions and prejudices narrow minds cling to with blind tenacity. Humility is necessary too, for the person who thinks he has nothing to learn has learned nothing. Finally, we would also add sincerity, patience and perseverance to the list, for those who are insincere in their search, or who imagine they can master Occult Science in a few months with no effort, will waste their time and energy.
What are the best occult books to read?
The ones that teach you the most! To expand on that, there are countless books on the occult to suit all tastes and pockets. Which ones are best is something only you can decide. We have published electronic editions of five rare occult books which you can read here. In addition, we review and recommend a number of classic occult books on this website.
Can occult books harm me?
We are not sure what is meant by this question, but as several visitors have asked it, we shall try to answer it. Firstly, the only way in which any book might harm you is if you believe it can. Secondly, the mere reading of an occult book (which is what we think our questioners meant) cannot possibly harm you in any way. If, on the other hand, such a book contains magical rituals, so-called 'words of power', occult breathing exercises and similar practises, then, trying them out indiscriminately MAY well harm you, both physically and mentally. See the fourth of our Astral Conversations articles for more information about the dangers of so-called occult breathing.
How do I learn how to read occult writings and understand mystic symbols?
The same way you learned to read your native or any other language; by consistent study and practise over several years. This may come as a shock to those who imagine there is a secret 'Da Vinci' code which at a stroke will magically 'unlock' the obscure allegories, arcane symbolism and archaic language used by occultists. We're afraid that no such 'code' exists, has existed, or ever will exist, except in the minds of novelists and conspiracy theorists. What does exist are certain KEYS, such as allegory, symbolism, geometry and astronomy. It is through the use of these keys that we can discover the hidden meaning in occult writings. See our articles on occult symbolism, the Mystery Language, and the hidden meaning in the Bible.
Instructions on how to use these keys are few and far between. There are many reasons for this, one of which is that there are some truths which cannot be revealed, either because they appertain to the secrets of Initiation, or because they might place dangerous knowledge into the hands of those who would misuse it. Having said that, we know of a few books in which correct explanations of some of these keys are given, together with instructions in their use. These include H. P. Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine and Isis Unveiled, Gerald Massey's Ancient Egypt: The Light of the World, and the books of J. Michaud PhD, especially The Golden Star.
Did Atlantis exist and where can I find out more about it?
Yes, we have no doubt whatsoever that it DID exist. We say this after a lifetime of study of the best scientific books on the subject. You can read more about Atlantis and find a list of recommended books for further study in our article on the Facts and Fancies of Atlantis. We also explore the subject of Atlantis and its history further in our investigation of Plato's account of the lost continent, as well as in our three-part series on the legacy of Atlantis: an investigation of the migrations of the Atlanteans and the colonies they founded around the world.
Occult teachers and teaching
Are occult Teachings dangerous?
Some are. Especially those that teach various 'occult' breathing exercises, or offer to 'develop' the chakras, or sacred centres of the astral body in a few weeks or months. Unless you are under the PERSONAL supervision of a GENUINE teacher these things are best left well alone. Wrong breathing in particular can do you very great harm, spiritually, mentally and physically. Many teachings and teachers mean well, but only succeed in leading their disciples into deeper confusion. If you read the TRUE STORY we have published, you will find a very good description of the dangers of some occult teachings and the tricks used by false teachers to trap and manipulate the unwary and uninstructed seeker.
How do I tell the difference between good and bad teachers?
By their FRUITS! Study them and their teachings. Are they men and women you would admire, who possess the qualities of compassion, tolerance, humility, kindness, patience, generosity, decency and service to others without thought of reward? Or do they display the opposite of these virtues? Do their teachings provide clear answers to the great questions of Life? Or do they consist of vague statements, pious platitudes and incomprehensible psycho-babble? Only YOU can judge!
Is it wrong to charge for occult teaching?
No. Does not the Bible say that 'the workman is worthy of his hire?' What greater service can anyone render than to lead others to the Light? Should we expect such men and women to live on bread and water and dress in sackcloth and ashes? To expand on this, books cost money, ink and paper cost money, tuition, whether face-to-face or through correspondence, costs money. Unless a teacher is fortunate enough to be independently wealthy (and by their very nature, GENUINE teachers have little interest in material things), they need money just like the rest of us.
How do I find a true Teacher?
See the above answer. To enlarge on this, true Teachers and Masters still exist today, have always existed, and will exist so long as there is one sincere seeker who longs for Truth and enlightenment. How then, may such teachers be found? They do not advertise themselves in the pages of New Age magazines, YouTube videos, or social media websites. Nor are they to be found within the lesser occult orders or groups, though they may keep a watchful eye on such organisations in order to help a promising and deserving seeker take a few steps further on the path to the Light. This is one meaning of the occult aphorism that "when the pupil is ready, the master appears."
In other words, if you sincerely and selflessly desire to learn the great Truths, the true Teacher will appear. This may come about in any number of different ways. You may find a book, or books that open your mind and heart to Truth. You may encounter a website like this one, or a kind friend may point you in the right direction, as was the case with the author of The White Brother, reviewed on our books page. In this and similar ways the true Teacher can be found. You can read more about Masters in our article about initiates and initiation and in our article about Tibetan Lamas: the cult of the masters.
Why don't you say anything about Aleister Crowley?
Actually, we refer to this 20th century occultist in several articles, most notably in part two of our occult studies course. The reason we say so little about him is that the very few nuggets of Truth in his many books can easily be found more clearly and simply expressed elsewhere, and these are vastly outweighed by the mountain of misinformation Crowley wrote, much of which is highly dangerous. Moreover, if we study Crowley's life we find that his influence was mostly destructive and evil. During his short career he abandoned his wives, children, wrecked the lives, and in some cases sanity, of his disciples and exploited his friends and enemies alike for his own personal gain and self aggrandisement. Crowley is perhaps the best or worst example—depending on one's point of view—of where the selfish pursuit of fame, money, material power and sex ultimately leads.
Whilst he had plenty of sex during his lifetime and became more famous after death than he ever was in life, Crowley ended his days as a broken-down drug-addict in a seedy boarding house, alone and penniless. The fact that so many people interested in the occult follow his so-called 'teachings' and revere him as the greatest of 'magicians' only goes to show the fatal fascination black magic holds for all too many seekers. This is not to say that Crowley started out as an evil man though he undoubtedly became so in the end. But you won't find the reasons for this change in character in any of his books or the biographies about him.
Crowley was undoubtedly a gifted writer and excellent scholar with a wide knowledge of sorcery and black magic. But he knew nothing whatsoever about white magic, the true occult constitution of man, the real nature of the Astral World, or the occult laws that govern the Universe. His literary accomplishments, such as they are, were vastly overshadowed by his addiction to drugs and black magic. For that reason alone we neither review nor recommend his books, and regard his so-called 'teachings' as exceedingly dangerous to body, mind and spirit.
What do you think of Franz Bardon?
We believe his teachings are misleading and dangerous. Let us explain why. In largely omitting and ignoring the spiritual dimension and concentrating instead on the development of material, psychic powers, Bardon followed the same dark path as Aleister Crowley. Though he never acquired the notoriety of the self-styled 'Great Beast,' Bardon nonetheless advocated commerce with material spirits which if not actually evil, are certainly not angels either.
His many fans have hailed Franz Bardon as "the greatest and most important Hermetic adept of the 20th century." He has also been praised for the simplicity and accessibility of his writing, the practical nature of his teachings, and the revelation of occult 'secrets', one of which is the supposed meaning hidden in the first three tarot cards of the Major Arcana: namely, the 'Magician', the 'High Priestess' and 'The Empress.' None of these claims is true, as we discuss in our detailed review of Franz Bardon's books and his occult career elsewhere on our website.
Much of Bardon's appeal for the modern occultist is that he comes across as a much nicer, more 'respectable' role model than Crowley. This is further enhanced by the frequent references to 'Divine Providence' (Göttliche Vorsehung in German), in his books, a phrase that Crowley never used and would most likely have sneeringly dismissed as 'religious claptrap.' The irony is that there is nothing remotely spiritual, never mind religious, in this term, which frankly, may mean anything or nothing in the sense Bardon uses it. He also mentions God a good deal in his books, especially in the first of them—Initiation into Hermetics—but in none of them does he provide the reader with the transcendental depictions of the Supreme we find in the books of J Michaud, PhD, such as The Golden Star.
So why mention 'Divine Providence' or God? The reason is simple and therefore not obvious to the devout followers of this Czech occultist. Bardon's occult teachings are not concerned with the spiritual emancipation of man from the bonds of the flesh. They do not provide the keys to the mysteries of Man and the Universe; of Life and Death, as he claims. Nothing in Bardon's teachings ever soars above the mundane world of spirits and material, as opposed to spiritual power. The Great Light of the spiritual realms which has ever been the goal of all sincere seekers after Truth and Wisdom is entirely absent from them. And this is the reason we believe his teachings are so very misleading and dangerous, especially for the inexperienced and uninstructed occult student.
What do you think of Samael Aun Weor?
As little as possible! For a variety of reasons we have no liking for 'knocking' specific authors. Nor is it within our purview to discuss the merits or demerits of particular occultists unless there is some compelling reason to do so, such as in the case of Franz Bardon, whom we mentioned above. But as several readers have asked us to say something about Samael Aun Weor, we will do our best to satisfy them, though frankly the answer lies in the man's name!
Now, although one might be forgiven for not wishing to go by one's given name when it is 'Victor Manuel Gómez Rodríguez' (his real name), he could simply have opted for Victor Rodríguez, or even 'Vic Rogers' if he wished for a shorter, American-friendly name. But, no, like so many of his egocentric ilk, he had to have something that sounded grand, 'mystical' and important, the better to impress his UNthinking followers, though we think that 'Samael' rather gives the game away, for the name is that of the Angel of Death in the Jewish Zohar and Kabbalah!
Samael Aun Weor's so-called 'teachings' are a very mixed bag of Gnosticism, Catholicism, Theosophy, Anthroposophy, Tibetan Tantricism, shamanism, transpersonal psychology, necromancy, extraterrestrial moonshine and 'New Age' mysticism laced with a heady cocktail of sex-magic (always a popular ingredient to attract the thrill-seeker). We are sorely tempted to insert a 'yawn' here, for this list of ingredients is exactly the same as the 'teachings' of a hundred other would-be 'adepts', 'masters' and other colourful charlatans who prey on the inexperience and gullibility of seekers the world over. As soon as one of these 'great adepts' dies, a dozen others pop out of the woodwork to replace him (or her) and always will do so long a people prefer fantasy and thrills to the simplicity of the plain, unvarnished Truth we TRY to disseminate. . . though mostly it feels like pushing water uphill with a rake. . .
Was H. P. Blavatsky a Fraud?
The short answer is an emphatic 'NO'. This question is invariably asked by those who approach the occult sciences from either a rigid scientific or orthodox religious background and have not bothered to do their own research, preferring as all too many seekers do, to obtain their information at second-hand from third-rate writers who often have a hidden agenda for their attacks against Blavatsky.
Those who doubt the motives, sincerity and probity of H. P. Blavatsky and her teachings may find much to enlighten them in our article about the accusations made against her, as well as in the following resources: The teachings of H. P. Blavatsky and the occult books of H. P. Blavatsky. In addition, we suggest interested readers obtain a copy of either of the following biographies of Blavatsky's life and teachings: The Esoteric World of Madame Blavatsky by Daniel H Caldwell and Extraordinary Life of Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky by Sylvia Cranston.
Why don't you mention Alice Bailey?
For two main reasons. Firstly because her books are of little or no value to the general seeker, dealing as they do with advanced occult teachings which Bailey herself frequently states cannot be revealed. This begs the question of why she, or her teacher—the so-called 'Tibetan'—chose to reveal the little she did in such books as A treatise on Cosmic Fire and Initiation, Human and Solar. As we say in several of our articles, a partial truth is far more misleading than a downright lie. Our second reason is given by the Tibetan himself in the Statement included in all the early editions of Bailey's books. We quote: "The books that I have written are sent out with no claim for their acceptance. They may, or may not, be correct, true and useful." Frankly, any teacher of the occult sciences who makes such a statement is not a guide we would wish to follow. Can you imagine Jesus making such a statement or Gautama Buddha, or even Madame Blavatsky? The latter, for all her modesty, taught the truth and nothing but the truth, taking for her maxim Satyat Nasti Paro Dharma—'There is no religion higher than Truth—which later became the motto of the Theosophical Society she helped to found.
This is not to say that Alice Bailey's books and teachings are without merit. J Michaud PhD quotes selectively from A treatise on Cosmic Fire in The Golden Star and the seer Geoffrey Hodson whose books we review elsewhere on our website, thought highly of her. The Tibetan whose Statement we quoted earlier, adds "It is for you to ascertain their [the books] truth by right practice and by the exercise of the intuition." This is all very well, but how is the beginner in occult studies or general seeker to know what is 'right practice', never mind how to correctly 'exercise' their intuition? For these and other reasons we regret that we cannot recommend Bailey's books to anyone other than advanced occultists, and as the latter are rarer than hen's teeth, we have decided not to review any of her books.
Why was Socrates not initiated into the Mysteries?
It was a fixed rule of the Eleusinian Mysteries that all those with innate—as opposed to acquired through disciplined occult training—psychic abilities, were not admitted to the Mysteries. As Socrates was a natural-born psychic who was not in conscious control of his supernormal abilities at all times he was liable to unconsciously reveal one or more of the secrets of the Mysteries while in a trance. Hence he was not, and could not be initiated. You can read more about the difference between the psychic and the spiritual and the dangers of psychic powers elsewhere on our website
The Comte de Saint Germain
As more than one reader has asked us about the mysterious Comte de Saint Germain, we have decided to say a few words about this 'occult' luminary of the past who flourished in the mid 18th century.
Also known as Prince Racoczy or Rákóczi of Transylvania, this celebrated 'wonderman' as Voltaire sarcastically dubbed him was born around 1710 in Germany. If we are to believe all the tall tales told about him by various writers he was a virtuoso violinist who seems to have combined the philosophical genius of Plato, the magical abilities of Apollonius, the talents of half-a-dozen gifted alchemists, and the smooth-tongued charm of a second-hand car salesman.
He was seen and known for well over a century in many places all over the continent. In 1822 he is said to have left for India, probably to join the rest of the 'great ones' in Tibet or the Himalayas, where he still reigns in majesty over his adoring disciples. What utter nonsense all this is. What does anyone actually know about this mysterious 'count'? Nothing; nothing at all! Some say that he was the famous 'Comte de Gabalis' who authored the book of the same name. Others claim (founded on what?), that he passed through 'philosophical death', like Francis Bacon and others are supposed to have done at some time or other. Meaning that he never died at all, but enjoys eternal life on earth. If so, he's welcome to it!
Andrew Lang, the fairy tale expert, asked: "Did Saint-Germain really die in the palace of Prince Charles of Hesse about 1780-85? Did he, on the other hand, escape from the French prison where Grosley thought he saw him, during the French Revolution? Was he known to Bulwer-Lytton about 1860? Is he the mysterious Muscovite adviser of the Dalai Lama? Who knows? He is a will-o'-the-wisp of the memoir writers of the eighteenth century."
Exactly! A very useful wisp indeed when a writer runs short of material with which to beguile and bamboozle his gullible readers, hungry for thrills and mystery. If you have formed the opinion that we do not think much of this occult 'wonderman' and place small credence on the tall tales told about him, you would be right.
We would go further, and write him off as an 'adept' in anything, except perhaps the art of fooling almost all the people all of the time. So, I'm afraid we must discard him, along with the rest of the colourful gang now known as the Master Morya, a Rajput Prince, once the veritable Akbar, now living at Shigatse in Tibet, and Koot Hoomi previously Pythagoras, also living at Shigatse at this very moment, Hilarion, who once went about as Saint Paul, now a Cretan, spending much of his leisure moments in Egypt, and Serapis, Greek by birth, who works with the 'Deva Evolution', whatever is meant by that. And let us not forget the great 'Venetian Master', once Paul Veronese, and any others of the same ilk.
All these occult luminaries are the figments of the unruly imagination of thrill seekers and mystery-mongers. To some extent, though not altogether, we blame Madame Blavatsky for starting this ramp about 'Ascended Masters'. Today we see crowds of silly women running after the same sort of mystical masters from the East, where they always seem to come from, sitting at their unwashed feet and imbibing flattery from those oily 'saints'. For flattery is their principal weapon of attack on the vapid minds of such easily led females, flattery in large doses, frequently repeated, and then plenty more, though there are plenty of empty-headed men too that fall for the same sort of thing.
Do we really need to mention the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the giggling 'guru' of 'transcendental Meditation' who had an immense following of young people in the West during the 1960's, or Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, since called 'Osho', who, after his death in 1990, is regarded by his 45,000 'initiates' as the 'greatest spiritual teacher' of the 20th Century? Still—we suppose there is a lesson in all these things, if only the mind can eventually learn and understand it, turning from the false to the true. Let us hope that this is so, and let us be thankful that some of our readers at least, can see through all this trickery and know better.
How does occult science regard the psychology of Carl Jung?
Occult science regards Jung as a partially enlightened man, but in attempting to fit occult principles into his own personal psychological paradigm he only succeeded in adding to the confusion that surrounds the subject of consciousness. We discuss the nature of consciousness and dreams in several of our articles.
Is there any value in modern psychology?
Frankly, very little. The main reason for this is that psychologists do not know that there are two minds in man which we call the Higher and lower selves. Ignorance of this fact means that whilst psychology can tell us something of the functions of the body and lower self it knows very little about the actor behind the mask—the real, permanent spiritual Ego that Occult Science calls the Higher Self or mind. Nor does it know anything whatsoever about the Occult Laws of reincarnation and evolution.
Is there any truth in the Law of Attraction?
Frankly, not much, and what little there is has been grossly misinterpreted and misapplied. Occult Science has known and taught for thousands of years that the universe arose out of Mind and not matter, as modern science believes. It further affirms that all that we are and all that we experience by means of our physical senses is the result of the operation of mental forces. These forces and the occult Laws which govern them formed a large part of the secret teachings of the ancient Mystery Schools, which, in turn, were partially inherited by the early Freemasons, Rosicrucians and the various occult orders descended from them.
In the early twentieth century the remnants of those occult teachings which had entered the public domain were misappropriated and indiscriminately mixed up with various 'New Age' concepts to concoct the so-called 'law' of attraction popularized in such books as Prosperity Through Thought Force by Bruce MacLelland, published in 1907. This was the first of many more books, all capitalizing on a complete misunderstanding of the Hermetic Law of Mentalism.
So we arrive at the 21st century, when the film The Secret (2006) and its companion book written by Rhonda Byrne brought the 'law of attraction' to the attention of millions. This was quickly followed by Esther and Jerry Hicks' Money and the Law of Attraction (2008), which has since spawned countless similar books, all promising happiness, success, weight loss, and fame and fortune! We discuss the mechanics of this so-called 'law' and it's use and abuse elsewhere on our website.
Is there any truth in Freemasonry?
Yes and no. Freemasonry is the illegitimate child of the remnants of the Mystery Schools of Greece and Egypt, and as such preserved some of the teachings of these schools in the past. But in adapting itself to modern conditions, Freemasonry has lost much, if not all of this esoteric knowledge. Many Masonic Lodges are now little more than social clubs concerned with networking and charitable activities, much like the Rotary Club. You can read more about the institution of the Mysteries in our article about Initiates and Initiation.
Conspiracy theories, Aliens and 'Ascension'
Is the world really controlled by the Illuminati Conspiracy?
No. The theory that a super-secret society has infiltrated every conceivable area of government, finance, science, business (and the local Womens' Institute!) is complete and utter nonsense. We say this not only from our personal knowledge of 'secret' societies of all kinds but from a lifetime's study of the true laws of Occult Science; laws which prove that no assembly of human beings, however 'clever', 'devious' or powerful can control the 'world', for that is the prerogative of the spiritual powers under the direct guidance of the Supreme Ruler, or Architect of the Universe.
This does not mean that we deny the existence of smaller or larger groups of individuals which seek to manipulate and exploit their fellowmen and women for their own, questionable ends. Why is this news? By their very nature such agglomerations of power-hungry, selfish men and women have always been in acrimonious competition with other groups seeking a slice of the same pie, whether the cake be financial, political, scientific or any other flavour. This must be self-evident to all thinking minds. This being so, the utter impossibility of such suspicious and mendacious individuals or groups collaborating together for hundreds of years in mutual pursuit of the goal of universal domination, is simply laughable. Even the average business can't manage to pursue a common goal for more than a few months without something (or someone) screwing up. Quite why the so-called 'illuminati' are immune to these human failings only the conspiracy theorists who dreamed them up, know.
You can read more about the REAL Illuminati in John Temple's excellent article on this subject.
What is the New World Order?
Another colourful figment of the overheated imaginations of conspiracy theorists. We are sorry to pour cold water on the myths and speculations surrounding the existence of the 'New World Order', but we speak the truth. See our answer to the previous question. We feel compelled to add that any serious seeker after Truth should take all conspiracy theories with a very LARGE pinch of salt. Whilst there may be something in some of these theories, none of them can tell us anything worthwhile about the things that truly matter on the path to the Light. You can read more about the most popular conspiracy theories in our article of the same name.
Do we live on some kind of prison planet which is covertly controlled by aliens and/or an elite group of devil-worshippers?
No. Nor are aliens abducting human beings. Neither is there a secret worldwide cabal that practices satanic worship and blood sacrifices hell-bent on killing off 90% of the world's population and sparing the rest to serve the needs of their sadistic masters. Such popular conspiracy theories defy all reason and commonsense as we explain in several of our articles, notably The Illuminati and Cosmic conspiracies. This is not to say that evil men and women do not exist who follow all kinds of devilish agendas, some of whom may well practise black magic, including human sacrifice. But this is nothing new. Such misguided souls existed in the past too, and will always exist so long as greed, selfishness and the lust for material wealth and power motivate some human beings to commit evil acts of all kinds.
But it is also true that the suspicious, envious and arrogant nature of such individuals makes it quite impossible for them to cooperate on a sufficiently large scale to bring about the so-called 'New World Order' and global domination discussed in our answers to the previous two questions. This is simply commonsense, or we hope it is!
Are evil ET's occupying this planet?
No. Any race that possessed the technology to travel the immense distances which separate our tiny, insignificant little planet from the nearest potentially habitable world, would surely also have the ability to wipe out the entire population of earth without harming the planet in any way. So why go to the bother of controlling mankind 'covertly'? It simply defies all reason, a quality sadly lacking in those who come up with these fantasies and those who swallow them without a second, or even any, thought. Probably because it is so much easier to lay the blame for all the evils that beset mankind at the door of a scapegoat—in this case, aliens—rather than ourselves!
Is a planetary Ascension taking place right now?
No. Benevolent aliens are emphatically not going to rescue us from the results of our own stupidity, greed, cruelty and selfishness and miraculously create some kind of New Age paradise on earth with the aid of their advanced technology. Mankind has had every opportunity to create its own paradise but has chosen instead to turn this earth into a living hell for millions. What man has corrupted and despoiled only man can heal and repair. To argue otherwise is to regard humanity as mere robots with no minds or free-will of their own, who must be 'rescued' like irresponsible little children who cannot be trusted to manage their own affairs in an intelligent and constructive manner. To believe in such mad fantasies is to 'ascend' into complete imbecility.
Is the Earth flat?
We have avoided answering this question for several years in the hope that those who ask it might relinquish this fantasy by using their own common sense. But as some visitors continue to email us about it we have decided to say a few words here. Frankly, we ought to be astonished that millions appear to believe the Earth is flat, but we are not, for there is no end to the gullibility of human beings when it comes to conspiracy theories. Why is this? We can think of only one reason. The belief in a massive 'cover up' perpetrated by NASA, the 'Illuminati' or shape-shifting alien lizards; take your pick. If this were remotely true thousands of eminent thinkers from the earliest times such as Plato, Socrates and Euclid must have been in on the conspiracy too. Not to mention the ancient Chinese, Egyptians, Maya and Babylonians, all of whom knew the Earth was round.
One has only to look up at the night sky through a telescope to see that our insignificant little corner of the universe is populated with many spherical objects in the form of stars, planets and moons. There is not a flat, disc-shaped object among them. All are round, just like the globe we are living on. Unless, of course, you prefer to believe that the Good Lord, Aliens, Big Bangs, or whatever you think was responsible for creating the Universe, decided, for reasons known only to itself, to break the mould and make just one, single solitary speck of dust flat. We could easily write an entire book, listing all the reasons why a flat earth is about as plausible as hens queuing for the dentist, but frankly we can't be bothered to waste our time on such inane fantasies. Two occult students familiar to our regular readers have wasted their time answering this question in a short article entitled 'Is the Earth Flat?' So if you remain unconvinced we suggest you read it!
Karma, reincarnation and the astral world
What is Karma?
A figment of the imagination of those who do not know the true hidden laws of Nature. We hope that we shall thoroughly shock you when we say that there is no such thing as Karma. We do not believe in it, any more than we believe in the dogma of sin and punishment, as such. See our article on Karma for more information.
If reincarnation is true why is the world population increasing?
Many people believe that as all souls are eternal and no new souls are ever created, the increase in world population means that the number of human bodies will eventually exceed the number of reincarnating souls. These and similar objections to the truth of reincarnation depend on three assumptions. Firstly, that population is always increasing. Secondly that the number of human souls is finite, and thirdly that the period of rest between two incarnations is fixed and has remained constant throughout human history. All three assumptions are false.
Occult science affirms that there have been times when the world population was even greater than it is now and there will be times in the future when it is very much smaller. Even within continental Europe some countries such as Norway have an extremely low population density, while large parts of eastern Russia (which is larger than north and south America combined), are almost uninhabited.
Occult science also affirms that 'new' souls are constantly coming into incarnation to replace those who have completed their cycle of earthly incarnations and evolved to higher dimensions. Finally, although the time of rest between incarnations is generally said to be about 144 years, there always have been, are, and will be, exceptions to this rule, such as the untimely death of infants, who often reincarnate almost immediately. See our occult studies course articles on Reincarnation and Evolution for more information.
What is the best way to meditate?
The advice we were given many years ago was "Do it thoroughly!" There is much truth in this. Half-hearted and irregular efforts can only bring mediocre results, if any at all. The first and most important step to successful meditation is complete relaxation of body and mind. Unless we do relax body and mind completely, we may be 'day dreaming' but we are emphatically not meditating. We give a safe, simple spiritual meditation exercise all may benefit from in the afterword to our article on occult studies and meditation. We discuss meditation further and in more depth in our article: The Occult Student, whilst our short story Meditation: or the Way of Escape also provides additional hints and tips about the right conditions for productive meditation.
What is Cosmic Consciousness and how can I attain it?
It may refer to the Consciousness of the Kosmos Itself, which is God, or to the human consciousness of Cosmic Truth—which is also God, as you can read in our article about consciousness after death. This realisation can only be attained by contemplation and meditation; withdrawing from the outer world and focusing our inner sight upon the Light.
What is an Initiate and how do I become one?
There are many grades of Initiates. Many know little or nothing of the occult sciences. There are others who are complete charlatans. To become one of these is easy. Anyone can call themselves an 'initiate' and wait for admiration (and perhaps money) to descend upon them. A genuine initiate of the Mysteries, however, is something quite different, as you can read in our article about Initiates and initiation.
Does Hell exist?
Is there life after death and what happens when we die?
Yes there is. Recent scientific studies of near-death experiences (NDEs) have shown quite conclusively that consciousness persists after the death of the physical body. You can read more about this in the sidebar at right and in our articles about Life after Death and consciousness after death.
Do our loved ones watch over us after they have died? Do they know about us and our lives? If they do, why don't they make themselves known to us?
Before we can answer these questions we need to ask ourselves what we mean by 'loved ones'? Do we mean those whom we love, or those who love us? The two do not necessarily go together or there would not be so many unhappy marriages, divided families and acrimonious relationships. Moreover, many of us know from bitter experience that 'loved ones' are often the first to desert us in our time of genuine need. The truth is that few human beings truly love one another and even fewer are constant in their love. From this it follows that unless the bond between two people is a spiritual one it will not persist after the death of the material body, for what drew them together was only a temporary connection, whether of the body or personality.
If the bond is a spiritual one and especially if it has endured through many incarnations, then and only then, is there any possibility of continued contact between loved ones. In such cases the departed may well watch over the loved ones they left behind on earth and be fully aware of their circumstances. Such contacts generally manifest as sudden moments of great joy, inspirational thoughts or simply an overwhelming feeling of being loved and cared for. In very rare cases we may even see and hear the departed loved one, but NOT via séances, 'channeled' messages and the similar charades believed in by some people. But such contact is only possible if the departed one was trained in the Occult Sciences while still on Earth, or underwent such training in previous incarnations.
In this and similar ways can our loved ones make themselves known to us and even help us, if we are worthy of such help and do not shut ourselves out from contact by excessive grieving. By dwelling in sorrow on the absence of a loved one, we erect a prison around us which our departed loved ones cannot penetrate. There is another possibility too, and that is when we reach out in thought to a loved one who has passed away. If we do this peacefully, powerfully and positively, our thoughts will reach them, and if they are able, they will respond in the ways we mentioned above. For there is no barrier to the power of real Love, as you may read in The Quest of Ruru.
What is the astral world or plane?
A world of lesser or greater density than the physical, material one we dwell in. 'World' should be interpreted both as a state of consciousness and an actual place. Occult Science teaches that there are many 'worlds' surrounding the earth, each of which is an 'astral world', plane or realm invisible to our physical senses. Read our occult studies course and also The True Gospel of Chrishna-Jeseus, Chapter 22 for more information.
How do I explore the astral world?
Through clairvoyance, clairaudience, psychometry, so-called 'astral travelling' etc., which are natural abilities we all possess—though dormant in most persons. But like any ability, these must be developed through proper training under guidance from a qualified instructor. Frankly, we know of no such instructors outside the genuine Occult Orders. Any attempt to contact the astral world without such instruction and guidance is foolhardy and can be dangerous. See our occult studies course article on the astral world for more information.
Where can I find a description of the astral world?
In our Occult studies course article of the same name. You can also find further descriptions of the conditions in, and the inhabitants of, the astral world in The Golden Star and in The Gospel of Chrishna-Jeseus, both written by J Michaud PhD. Parts of the astral world are so much like conditions on earth that those who penetrate into these regions would not notice any difference at all. There are other regions of great beauty, tranquility and happiness and regions of unbelievable ugliness, squalor, disorder and misery, just as we find on earth. The astral world is many times LARGER than the physical world we know on earth.
Consequently, it is quite impossible to even attempt to give a comprehensive description of it, since the conditions in its various regions or sections (each as large as our world, or larger), vary enormously. You can find further descriptions of parts of the astral world in the books of Emanuel Swedenborg (see answer below) and in many other books written by genuine seers. We emphasise the word 'genuine' as there are now many more modern books that purport to describe the astral world which are simply the figments of their authors' overheated imaginations.
Are the descriptions of heaven by Swedenborg true?
Yes and no. They are true inasmuch as Immanuel Swedenborg was a genuine seer who was able to behold the invisible planes of the astral world and record what he saw and experienced there in his books. They are false because, like other clairvoyants who are not trained occult scientists, he did not know the various divisions of the astral world and the occult laws that govern the appearance of the scenes, beings and conditions he saw in his glorious visions.
To him they were all 'Heaven' and every inhabitant was an 'Angel'. For this reason many of his descriptions have been challenged by other seers (who did not know the real differences or laws either). The untrained clairvoyant who is ignorant of the laws of occult science cannot help but mistake the denizens of one astral plane for another. Some clairvoyants have seen some of the great spiritual Masters who dwell in the higher astral planes and mistaken them for God and his Archangels, as Swedenborg did. In short, the number of wrong interpretations and errors the untrained seer can make in his explorations of the astral world are legion, and therefore all the more misleading to those who read such accounts.
The only true description Swedenborg gives of a higher astral plane can be found in his book Heaven and Hell, in which he writes: "I have seen palaces in heaven of such magnificence as cannot be described. Above they glittered as if made of pure gold, and below as if made of precious stones, some more splendid than others. It was the same within. Both words and knowledge are inadequate to describe the decorations that adorned the rooms. On the side looking to the south there were parks, where, too, everything shone, in some places the leaves glistening as if made of silver, and fruit as if made of gold; while the flowers in their beds formed rainbows with their colours." Here, Swedenborg glimpses the plane which forms the subject of Vision 6 of The Golden Star by J Michaud PhD, in which chapter you can find a full description of this glorious realm, which we may rightly call 'Heaven'.
What are elementals?
Beings that belong to one of the four occult elements of Fire, Air, Water and Earth. They exist in the non-physical dimensions, or astral world and can only be seen by clairvoyant vision, not by physical eyes. You can find accurate descriptions of elementals in Vision 3 of The Golden Star by J Michaud PhD, as well as several of the books we review and recommend on our website. See also our answer below. Note that elementals should not be confused with ELEMENTARIES, which are the astral shells of the personalities of departed human beings. No good can come of contact with these beings. See our article on channeling for more information about elementaries.
What are elves?
The word may mean several different things. Elf or elves can refer to the fictional characters invented by J. R. R. Tolkien in his mythology which underpins the Lord of the Rings and Silmarillion. It can refer to the elemental beings that belong to the occult element of Earth, as described in our article about Nature Spirits and Fairies. Or it can refer to so-called 'machine elves', also known as 'fractal elves' and 'self-transforming elf machines', first popularised by Terence McKenna, an author and advocate of the use of psychedelic drugs to expand consciousness. In this case, they are either the hallucinatory figments of the imagination of drug takers or elementary entities dwelling in the astral world. If the former, they are mental illusions and nothing more, like the 'pink elephants' supposed to be seen by alcoholics. If the latter, they are what our ancestors rightly referred to as 'demons'—low grade spirits bent on mischief and evil. You can read about these entities in our occult studies course article about the Astral World, as well as in our Astral Conversations articles on Shamanism and Channeling.
What are Nature spirits and Fairies?
Elemental beings which dwell in the astral world. There are many different classes of nature spirits, ranging from the semi-conscious agents of universal laws, through fairies, gnomes, mermaids etc., to the great Devas, or angels who rule over the four occult elements of Fire, Air, Water and Earth. See our article on Fairies and Nature spirits for more information.
Are there such beings as devils and demons?
Yes. Some are the elementaries referred to above, others are evil beings of all kinds and classes who either have been human beings or will become so at some point in their evolution. You can find accurate descriptions of devils and demons in Symphonie Fantastique by J Michaud PhD.
Magic, alchemy, etc.
What is Magic?
The exercise of the will and imagination in the employment of natural laws. Perhaps you hoped for a more colourful answer, such as "the casting of spells" or burning candles, chanting mantras, or invoking demons? Whilst some of these things may come under the broad heading of the 'magical arts' we are afraid that they are as far removed from real Magic as the Sun is removed from a dirty candle in a dark cellar filled with bats. For more information read and study our occult studies course.
What is Black Magic and the LHP?
The misuse of ANY knowledge or power for selfish purposes. You can find a fuller answer to this question in the sidebar on your right.
How do I protect myself from black magicians?
By having nothing to do with them! To enlarge on this, it must be clear to you that like attracts like. If we experiment with dubious magical practises with selfish aims in view, especially if such practises involve the shedding of blood, communication with so-called 'spirits' or harm to ourselves or others, we will draw evil conditions and evil men and women towards us. See also our answer in the sidebar about black magic for further information.
What is Alchemy?
The science of transmutation, whether we regard this from a philosophical, spiritual or physical point of view. This is based on the Occult scientific law that all matter is of one and the same basic origin and that all forms of matter contain the same spiritual principle which is permanent, although the body or outer form is transitory.
Is Alchemy black magic?
No. As we explain above (see 'What is black magic?'), it is always the intention which makes any act of so-called 'magic' black or white, and this applies to any act, 'magical' or not. Thus we may say that a chemist who brews poison in his laboratory with the intention of taking human life, or a nuclear physicist who develops a more 'efficient' hydrogen bomb, are black magicians whether they realise it or not.
Where can I find books in which the secrets of magic are revealed?
These secrets cannot be found in ANY books. As you can read in The Golden Star: "they were never put in plain words, but always written in such a way that only with the help of the real Adept, or Master, can one apply the key that opens the door to the secret occult knowledge. Such knowledge is a double-edged Weapon and unfit for the ignorant or the selfish." This is true, for those who want power, fame, glory and riches will never discover the real secrets of magic, no matter how many occult books they read or how many so-called 'magic spells' and rituals they employ.
Is spiritualism dangerous?
It can be. The average spiritualist séance is generally quite harmless. The weak mentality, low psychic development and poor physical vibrations of the participants mean there is very little real power available for the elementals. However, when a genuine medium has the ability (inherent or acquired through so-called 'development') to get en rapport with the entities and conditions in the astral world, there is the possibility that these may cause real harm, both to the medium and the sitters. You can read more about Spiritualism and its dangers in The Golden Star, chapter 5.
Is New Age Shamanism dangerous?
Yes, we believe it is. You can read more about the dangers of New Age Shamanism and the drug culture associated with it in two articles we have published: Tripping out with Shamans, part six of a series of occult investigations conducted by two occult students, and Shamanic Medicine — a very personal account of taking Ayahuasca and a critique of Shamanism by a seeker who immersed herself deeply in the practise over several years.
Is channeling dangerous?
Channeling is simply a new word for Spiritualism—see answer to the previous question—and can be just as dangerous. The messages that are received by channelers range from the nonsensical through the blindingly obvious to the almost wise. The latter are the most dangerous of all, for in mixing up a few basic occult truths with fantasies, the seeker is more completely deceived than if they were the victim of downright lies. You can read more about channeling and its dangers in our article of the same name.
Is Tibetan Buddhism dangerous?
The short answer is yes, it can be, particularly if you involve yourself in what is known as the Vajrayana school of Tibetan Tantra, wrongly called 'Buddhism' by those who know no better. You can read more about Tibetan Buddhism and its dangers in our three-part in-depth investigation of this subject.
Is the Tibetan Book of the Dead true?
No. Frankly, the whole of the Book, which purports to be a 'guide' for the dead in the so-called 'Bardo', or astral world, is a muddled tissue of lies in almost every way, with an occasional glimpse of a true occult fact or law, which, however, is straightaway contradicted or negatived in some way or another, thus destroying any value it might have had.
We discussed the few truths the Book does contain in the second of our three articles on Tibetan Buddhism. To say any more would take not one, but several articles, and ten to one, the average reader would be none the wiser. For the Book is written in such an authoritative and pompous manner, and seems so very plausible to those reared on tall tales about 'Tibetan masters' and their incomparable 'wisdom', that is all but impossible for us to say anything to counter the fatal attraction the Book holds for such uninstructed and gullible seekers.
What are 'Sigils and Servitors' and how do they work?
A sigil is a sign or image believed to possess magical power whereas a Servitor is an artificial magical entity created by a magician to perform some task or service. You can read more about Sigils and Servitors and the differences between them in a special investigation we published in 2022.
What are the 'Akashic Records' and how do I read them?
'Akashic Records' is an occult term invented during the late 19th century to describe the impressions left in the Astral Light of all the thoughts and deeds of mankind; a kind of eternal, etheric astral library. You can read more about this subject in The Akashic Records, an in-depth investigation by two occult students.
Are you against New Age teachings?
No. Some contain much that is of value. But there is very much more that is both wrong and dangerous. Moreover, in indiscriminately mixing up so many 'isms', 'ologies' and 'osophies' without a clear understanding of any of them, New Age teachings lead to greater confusion and can do much harm, both to the mind and the body, as you can read in Astral Conversations series of articles. You can find further information about the differences between New Age thought and Occult Science in many more articles, notably Losing your way, Searching for Truth, and in the commentary to our Occult Studies Course article on the Astral World.
Health, drugs and dreams
Is vegetarianism necessary for spiritual progress?
No. We know that we go against a host of 'occult' teachings from so-called 'authorities' when we say this, but nevertheless we speak the truth. We say this not only from our own, personal experience, but also because all the great Messengers and Teachers of the past have said the same. Need we quote the Bible here? "Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man" (Matthew 15:11). In other words spiritual progress is gained within through the purity and goodness of our thoughts, words and deeds, not in externals. You can find fuller answers to this question in our article on vegetarianism and spirituality.
Is fasting necessary for spiritual progress?
No. Moreover, fasting does not mean refraining from food entirely, but moderation in eating and drinking. This is the original meaning taught to the students of the Mystery Schools of ancient Greece and Egypt, since distorted into complete abstention. Fasting, for medical reasons, is a different matter, but even this should only be undertaken under the supervision of a qualified doctor or nutritionist. See also the answers below.
Are sexual abstinence and asceticism necessary for spiritual progress?
No. See answer to the above question. Sexual abstinence and asceticism are often the cloak of the worst kind of bigot and religious fanatic. No true Teacher, much less a GENUINE Master of the Holy Mysteries, such as Jesus was, would ever tell their disciples to refrain from purely natural functions, such as sex, provided they are natural and exercised in moderation. Sexual abstinence and asceticism do not develop so-called 'occult powers', much less lead to spiritual enlightenment.
Nor is it the slightest use to attempt to starve, torture or beat the body in order to kill out physical desires. Such misguided practises may suppress desires for a time, but do not eliminate them, and often lead to bodily and mental disease. We can only obtain control over the body and its turbulent desires by the rigorous control of our thoughts. See our article on Inner Peace through applied Wisdom.
Is homosexuality wrong?
This is a question only YOU can answer. Moreover, sex is a thing of bodies, not of souls, as Hermes Trismegistus taught. Sexual desire is of little importance to the genuine mystic and occultist provided it does not interfere with, or retard, our spiritual progress and enlightenment. Sex, regarded from the point of view of the Hermetic Laws of Polarity and Gender, is another matter, as you can read in our article on Hermes and his teachings. That is all we have to say on the subject.
Are recreational and psychoactive drugs harmful?
They can be, particularly if they are used indiscriminately and regularly, as they are among recreational drug users in the West. No genuine spiritual teacher has ever countenanced the use of cannabis or psychoactive drugs such Ayahuasca, DMT or MDMA to develop psychic abilities or 'expand' consciousness. Our advice is avoid the use of any drugs unless they have been prescribed for a specific medical condition by a qualified physician. You can read more about the damage cannabis and other drugs can cause to the delicate mechanism of consciousness in the brain in the afterword to our article about New Age Shamanism.
Are prescription drugs harmful?
Some are, especially the many powerful anti-depressants used to treat various psychological conditions and disorders. Recent reports have shown that prescription drugs were linked to over 200,000 adverse reactions from 2000 to 2011 which resulted in 12,000 deaths in the UK alone. You can read more about the dangers of prescription drugs in our article on Health and the occult student.
Is it wrong to have fun?
Some so-called occult and spiritual teachers seem to think so, but they are completely wrong. The person who is always serious is thoroughly unbalanced. Amusement and fun counterbalance serious thought and study, and the person who spends a certain amount of time in having fun is more ready for the deeper aspects of life than the one who is always gloomy.
Good wholesome fun, as you may read in the wise Teachings of Li Wang Ho, "keeps young the heart and mind, is like true virtue: we cannot do without it, and it will keep people away from vice."
Is it wrong to get drunk?
There are very few persons who have not got drunk at some time, both today and throughout recorded history. Having said that, it should be obvious to all that EXCESS in any form is bad for us, and this applies to drinking as well as any other habit. Alcohol has a direct and often harmful influence on man's psychic nature. We see this in the crime and violence which often result from 'binge drinking' in our major cities. It is also true that excessive alcohol consumption damages both the body and the mind and is destructive to the development of the higher powers in man.
What are Dreams?
There are many sorts of dreams, from the muddled and confusing experiences we are all familiar with that appear to make no sense to our waking consciousness, to clear, lucid dreams, such as those which warn us of dangers. You can read more about dreams in our article on occult studies and meditation as well as in the 9th part of Astral Conversations investigations.
What about dream interpretation?
You may be surprised to learn that no one can possibly interpret your dreams for you. The simple reason for this is that we each have our own inner life which no one else can share, much less interpret, and those who claim to do so are imposters and charlatans, whether they realise it or not, or mean well or not.
We know we go against the accepted 'wisdom' when we say this—nonetheless we speak the truth. Another reason why dream interpretations are invariably wrong is that no two human beings think exactly alike, or are alike, physically, mentally or spiritually. This is only common sense. Consequently, only YOU can discover what (if anything) your dreams may mean.
This page was last updated on 20 August 2023 — © Copyright occult-mysteries.org.