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Feb 25, 1996 04:58 PM
by Alan


Text supplied by Eldon Tucker
Converted to ASCII by Alan Bain

The Difference Between Theosophy and Occultism

Q. You speak of Theosophy and Occultism; are they identical?

A. By no means. A man may be a very good Theosophist indeed,
whether in or outside of the Society, without being in any way
an Occultist. But no one can be a true Occultist without being a
real Theosophist; otherwise he is simply a black magician,
whether conscious or unconscious.

Q. What do you mean?

A. I have said already that a true Theosophist must put in
practice the loftiest moral ideal, must strive to realize his
unity with the whole of humanity, and work ceaselessly for
others. Now, if an Occultist does not do all this, he must act
selfishly for his own personal benefit; and if he has acquired
more practical power than other ordinary men, he becomes
forthwith a far more dangerous enemy to the world and those
around him than the average mortal. This is clear.

Q. Then is an Occultist simply a man who possesses more power
than other people?

A. Far more, if he is a practical and really learned Occultist,
and not one only in name. Occult sciences are not, as described
in Encyclopedias,

 ... those imaginary sciences of the Middle Ages
which related to the supposed action or influence of Occult
qualities or supernatural powers, as alchemy, magic, necromancy,
and astrology ...

for they are real, actual, and very dangerous sciences. They
teach the secret potency of things in Nature, developing and
cultivating the hidden powers "latent in man," thus giving him
tremendous advantages over more ignorant mortals. Hypnotism, now
become so common and a subject of serious scientific inquiry, is
a good instance in point.  Hypnotic power has been discovered
almost by accident, the way to it having been prepared by
mesmerism; and now an able hypnotist can do almost anything with
it, from forcing a man, unconsciously to himself, to play the
fool, to making him commit a crime, often by proxy for the
hypnotist, and for the benefit of the latter. Is not this a
terrible power if left in the hands of unscrupulous persons? And
please to remember that this is only one of the minor branches
of Occultism.

Q. But are not all these Occult sciences, magic, and sorcery,
considered by the most cultured and learned people as relics of
ancient ignorance and superstition?

A. Let me remind you that this remark of yours cuts both ways.
The "most cultured and learned" among you regard also
Christianity and every other religion as a relic of ignorance
and superstition. People begin to believe now, at any rate, in
hypnotism, and some, even of the most cultured, in Theosophy and
phenomena. But who among them, except preachers and blind
fanatics, will confess to a belief in Biblical miracles? And
this is where the point of difference comes in. There are very
good and pure Theosophists who may believe in the supernatural,
divine miracles included, but no Occultist will do so. For an
Occultist practices scientific Theosophy, based on accurate
knowledge of Nature's secret workings; but a Theosophist,
practicing the powers called abnormal, minus the light of
Occultism, will simply tend toward a dangerous form of
mediumship, because, although holding to Theosophy and its
highest conceivable code of ethics, he practices it in the dark,
on sincere but blind faith. Anyone, Theosophist or Spiritualist,
who attempts to cultivate one of the branches of Occult science,
e.g., Hypnotism, Mesmerism, or even the secrets of producing
physical phenomena, etc., without the knowledge of the
philosophic rationale of those powers, is like a rudderless boat
launched on a stormy ocean.

Ancient Wisdom for a New Age

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