Why study Occult Science?
Learning the plan and meaning of Life
Occult Science is the systematic study of the hidden laws and principles of man and the universe. As such, it embraces all that modern science has discovered about the material world, as well as subjects of which material science knows little or nothing, such as philosophy, higher ethics and metaphysics.
What is Occult Science? Is it astrology? The Kabbalah? Fortune-telling by means of the tarot, numerology, runes or even tea leaves? Is it the casting of spells or the summoning of spirits? No, it is none of these things, though some of them come under the broad umbrella of the occult ARTS, which are not the same thing as the occult sciences, as you can read in our explanation of these misunderstood terms in our Occult FAQ.
Every week visitors write to us saying they sincerely wish to learn the occult sciences, but when we explain that this will mean a great deal of hard work for them, we never hear from them again. Despite the fact that most of us know nothing can be achieved in life without hard work, commitment and patience, many seekers imagine this does not apply to them or to occult studies! Those of you who have completed an academic course of study at university will know that it takes a great deal of hard work to master any scientific subject. This is even more true of occult science, embracing as it does all the physical sciences, PLUS philosophy, metaphysics and a host of other, related subjects of which material science knows little or nothing.
For these reasons it is no use whatsoever to flit from one occult book or teacher to another in a haphazard and desultory manner in the hope of discovering Truth. Nor is it any use to indiscriminately mix up the often contradictory teachings of the various lesser occult groups and teachers, hoping in that way to learn the occult sciences. Far too many seekers after occult knowledge labour under the misapprehension that they can discover the great Truths of Life without any great effort on their part, or without making any sacrifices. It simply cannot be done. The study of the occult sciences requires hard work over many, many years. If you are not prepared to do this, it is better that you stop reading NOW, and go and play a computer game instead, or a round of golf, for then at least you will gain some satisfaction from your activities!
Golden thread of knowledge
Most seekers after Truth share the feeling that somewhere, somehow, there must exist a golden thread of knowledge, that could they but lay hold of it, would give them some idea of the plan and meaning of life; what man truly is, whence he comes and where he is headed. Knowledge that would explain the apparently haphazard and meaningless tangle of events that go to make up earthly life. The disparities of wealth, position and power, the seeming punishment of the good and the reward of the wicked; the endless disasters, famines, poverty, persecutions, wars and revolutions. The latter, it seems, often started by men of true vision, who get swept away in the rush for power of the ruthless and unscrupulous revolutionaries. Revolutions that after a while show a New World emerging that is little different from the Old, except that wealth, position and power is now in a different set of hands.
The words "fool's paradise" would seem to sum up, generally speaking, human history and human endeavour, especially surveying the present state of the world. . . and yet we repeat, something in our inner Self insists that there IS a meaning to the whole crazy pattern, if only we could find it. That meaning can be found in Occult Science—a satisfying and complete science which gradually reveals the Divine plan and meaning of life in all its sublime grandeur and profundity. As we study this science, the inevitable hardships and difficulties of everyday life gradually fall into their just proportion, and we find ourselves rising above them, as the mental impression of something of the immense Tapestry of God's Universe begins to unfold itself, and we realise that there is a pattern after all, and that each one of us, unimportant as we may seem within that vast scheme, still has his or her part to play within it. Once this understanding has been gained, we see that nothing is haphazard, illogical, meaningless or foolish in life. . .if we can only get back far enough to view the picture in its true proportion, or at least those areas of it that we are able to perceive and comprehend.
Occult Science can give us this sense of proportion by revealing the spiritual and material laws that govern man and the universe. It can tell us how and why the universe arose, what matter, energy and electricity really are, what 'gravity' is, why we are here on earth, where we are going, what happens after death, what good and evil are, and answer a host of other questions that neither material science nor the Church can adequately answer.
We are not here speaking of what is generally regarded as 'the occult' by those who know no better. Many mistake the 'occult' and the so-called 'occult arts'—that is, magical rites, satanism, spells, fortune-telling, etc.,—for Occult SCIENCE. Nothing could be further from the truth as you can read in Astral Conversations—a series of twelve articles being published in serial form that dispel the fantasies and speculations that surround the subject of the occult in no uncertain manner.
Now one has explained the popular misconceptions surrounding the 'occult' better than H. P Blavatsky:
"There are not in the West half-a dozen among the fervent hundreds who call themselves 'Occultists,' who have even an approximately correct idea of the nature of the Science they seek to master. With a few exceptions, they are all on the highway to Sorcery. Let them restore some order in the chaos that reigns in their minds, before they protest against this statement. Let them first learn the true relation in which the Occult Sciences stand to Occultism, and the difference between the two, and then feel wrathful if they still think themselves right. Meanwhile, let them learn that Occultism differs from Magic and other secret Sciences as the glorious sun does from a rush-light, as the immutable and immortal Spirit of Man reflection of the absolute, causeless and unknowable ALL—differs from the mortal clay—the human body."
Apart from the books of H. P. Blavatsky, you can find true expositions of the Occult Sciences in the books of J Michaud PhD, most of which we have republished in electronic editions which are free to read online. In addition, we have prepared our own, highly condensed, structured occult studies course which explains and explores the main principles of these sciences in considerable depth. The only 'qualifications' you need for this course are sincerity, an open mind and the determination to give your full attention to what we will put before you. Should you decide to take the course, we will do our level best to answer any questions your studies may raise. You can find full details of this course and the subjects it covers by following the link above.
To return to our theme—it is said that knowledge is power; but to what end? To desire knowledge to gain power for oneself, over others, to obtain fame, wealth, or even the admiration of others for one's superior knowledge—it is for none of these things that the truly sincere student of Occult Science desires knowledge and true understanding of themselves and of the Universe to which they belong, and of which they are an integral part. On the contrary, they desire—and work and study to obtain—knowledge so that they may become polished instruments in the hands of Those greater than themselves, who may honour them by using them to help mankind in general along its path of more or less blind existence.
We have now answered the question with which we began this article; namely, why study occult science? Firstly, to learn what man truly is, whence he comes and where he is headed. Secondly, to understand the Divine plan and meaning of life, so that we shall no more be the sport of 'fate' and 'bad luck', sitting ineptly by the wayside of life, like the rest of mankind; blind, deaf and lame, hoping against hope that 'something' or 'someone' will rescue us and make sense of it all without us having to lift a finger to help ourselves. Finally, to learn how to be of REAL service to our fellowmen and women, and by our example to improve the conditions of the world in general. But this cannot be accomplished by idly skimming a few articles such as this one, or casually surfing YouTube videos, as we made clear earlier.
Occult Science is often regarded as unscientific in the mistaken belief that it does not make use of scientific methods to obtain 'facts'. We shall try to discover what scientists mean by 'facts' a little later on, but before we do so it might be helpful to analyse the methods material science uses and compare these with the methods used by Occult Science, to see where the differences, if any, lie. We explore one aspect of these differences in our discussion at right, in which we suggest two ways in which we may investigate anything.
We may broadly define the scientific method as an intellectual process that depends upon observation, experimentation and deduction. At each stage results are cross-checked, verified and conclusions drawn, ultimately resulting in scientific 'facts' about which there can be no dispute. This at least is the theory. In practice, results are often 'manipulated' in various ways for all sorts of sound (and sometimes not so sound reasons) to fit the data to the theory. This results in the well-known phenomenon of scientific theories being dropped like hot potatoes when they are no longer tenable (or expedient), to be replaced by new ones.
In addition, scientists employ an armoury of ever more sophisticated tools, ranging from microscopes, telescopes and various chemical processes, to particle accelerators, DNA sequencers and spectrometers. Essentially, all that these tools do is to allow scientists to extend their physical senses in different directions to observe the various modifications of matter in ways their unaided senses cannot do. X-rays are an example of this, by means of which science is able to peer inside our luggage at airports and even undress a lady without her knowing anything about it! A Chinese Philosopher of 2,000 years ago put it rather more tersely when he wrote that: "the sciences are the shovels with which men turn over the mud of materialism." Quite so, for the Spirit of things, whether of a grain of sand, a stone, a plant—or a man—cannot be detected by any scientific instruments.
You may be surprised to learn that Occult Science employs the same methods, albeit in a different manner and using other instruments. Moreover, the occult scientist is concerned primarily with Truth and not with utility. Or we may say that he or she studies natural phenomena in order to learn what things ARE, rather than what they appear to be, thus drawing nearer to the greatest scientist of ALL—who is God. Neither is the occult scientist answerable to any earthly paymasters who may wish to use their discoveries for their own selfish (and often harmful) purposes. No, he or she is first and foremost a servant of Truth and secondly a servant of mankind. There are some scientists of whom one can say the same, but if you are honest you will admit that they are very few indeed.
When we study the laws and principles of Occult Science as described by such Sages as Pythagoras and Heraclitus we see that they agree in every particular with the same laws and principles as laid down in the Puranas, the Vedas, the Tao te King, and the Egyptian Book of the Dead—to name but four widely different sources from all times and climes. All these sources affirm the indestructibility of matter, the existence of polarity (or positive and negative states and beings), force, energy and an unknowable and immutable source from which all that exists has arisen. How was this universal consensus arrived at you may ask? By observation, experimentation and deduction! A process not one whit less 'scientific' than that upon which our modern-day scientists pride themselves. With the important distinction that the occult scientist knows that "eyes and ears are bad witnesses to men who have not an understanding heart", as Heraclitus stated, meaning that without the use of the HIGHER senses, and intuition, it is quite impossible to comprehend the true nature of anything, material OR spiritual.
It is now known that the ancients possessed telescopes long before the birth of 'modern' science. How else are we to account for the knowledge of the planets Uranus and Neptune recorded in the Vedas, written thousands of years before Galileo? In addition to these and other instruments, such as the famous Greek Antikythera mechanism dated to the first century B.C., they also employed their highly developed and carefully trained spiritual senses to see not only into matter, but beyond it. How they did this is well illustrated by the occult researches of such trained seers as Geoffrey Hodson, who was able to extend his consciousness and behold the actual conditions inside an atom. This most gifted and impartial investigator also explored the hidden side of Nature, revealing for the first time the appearance and activities of the invisible inhabitants of the elements: those beings we know as fairies, gnomes, sylphs, etc.
In this and similar ways, countless generations of occult scientists investigated the material and spiritual worlds, constantly cross-checking, verifying and comparing results until they were sure of their facts. This process began many, many thousands of years ago in Atlantis, and was continued in China, India and Egypt for millennia, by many millions of earnest experimenters. Can material science boast such a lineage of consistent and impartial research into the mysteries of Life? If we are honest, we must admit that it cannot, notwithstanding the very great progress it has made during the last few centuries. Those who doubt these facts may consult the many books, both old and new, in which the advanced scientific knowledge of the ancients is described; seek!
Scientific facts versus occult knowledge
"The knowledge of this nether world—
Say, friend, what is it, false or true?
The false, what mortal cares to know?
The true, what mortal ever knew?"
The Secret Doctrine
We said that we would come back to 'scientific' facts later on and now is the time to do so. Already, we have seen that Occult Science employs the same methodology and rigorous scrutiny as the modern physical sciences, dismissing once and for all the spurious criticism that it is 'unscientific'. Moreover, we have also seen that it not only goes a lot further than material science in its studies, but that these stretch back so far into the remote past that it is quite impossible to say quite when they first began. We may then say with some justification that occult scientific knowledge rests on a considerably firmer foundation than the theories of modern science, which has changed most of its hypotheses several times during the past 200 years. Not so occult science. The universal laws which Madame Blavatsky describes so well in The Secret Doctrine, published in 1888, can be found in the Vedas and Puranas of India, as well as in the Hermetic literature of ancient Egypt, both of which antedate her seminal masterpiece by many thousands of years.
This does not mean that we deny the 'facts' of material science. On the contrary, science has done much to reveal the wonders of the natural world to us and explain how material things work. But none of the 'facts' it has discovered are complete, nor can they be, so long as it continues to deny the existence of Spirit, without which the causes behind the phenomena of Nature and the spiritual and material laws that govern man and the universe will remain an insoluble enigma. For these reasons, the plan and meaning of Life can only be learned and ultimately fully understood through the study and practise of Occult Science.
We receive a great many emails from readers with questions about a wide variety of occult and mystical subjects which are answered in our various articles. For this reason, if you are just beginning to study occult science, and wish to learn to distinguish between the literal sense of words, phrases and symbols and their hidden meaning, we suggest that you study our various articles that deal with symbolism. In no particular order, these are:
- The Science of Symbolism
- Esoteric meaning of Easter
- Esotericism in the Nativity
- Hidden Wisdom in the Bible
- The Magic of Water
- The Magic of Salt
- Religious quotes and occult maxims analysed and interpreted
We also suggest you make use of our search engine, remembering to place the word(s) or phrases you are interested in within double quote marks, i.e., "symbolism". Not only will this provide the answers you are seeking, but it can be a profitable exercise in itself, leading to articles and books, or parts of these, which you have not yet read or studied.
This page was last updated on 5 January 2017 — © Copyright occult-mysteries.org.