Occultism

"knowledge of the paranormal", as opposed to rationalism and the "knowledge of the measurable"; latin 'occultus' means 'secret', 'concealed', 'masked'

Occultism is the study of occult or Ageless Wisdom Teachings. The word occult comes from the Latin occultus (clandestine, hidden, secret), referring to "knowledge of the hidden". Many students study the occult reading material published by or in association with the Theosophical Society, Lucis Trust, and/or the Agni Yoga Society.

Much is said amongst occult students these days anent white and black magic, and much that is said is without force, or truth... The distinction between the two exists in both motive and method, and might be summed up as follows: The white magician has for motive that which will be of benefit to the group for whom he is expending his energy and time. The magician of the left hand path ever works alone, or if he at any time co-operates with others, it is with a hidden selfish purpose. ~ Alice A. Bailey
It is an insult to human nature to brand magic and the occult science with the name of imposture. To believe that for so many thousands of years, one-half of mankind practiced deception and fraud on the other half, is equivalent to saying that the human race was composed only of knaves and incurable idiots. ~ H.P. Blavatsky
Both [esoteric and occult] mean hidden... because, at this point in the evolution of the race, it is largely unknown and unacceptable to all but a relatively small number... Occult simply means... specifically the hidden knowledge or science of the energies behind the evolutionary process. Esotericism might be seen more as the philosophy of the evolutionary process, and occultism as the science of the energies which bring that process about. ~ Benjamin Creme
The term ‘occultism’ is one which has been much misunderstood. In the mind of the ignorant it was... they often regard it contemptuously as nonsensical and unpractical, as connected with dreams and fortune-telling, with hysteria and necromancy ~ C.W. Leadbeater

QuotesEdit

  • Occultism is the metaphysics of dunces.
 
The occultist... fails, and becomes only a selfish exponent of power, working through the intelligence, unless he finds a purpose for that will and knowledge, by an animating love, which will give to him sufficient motive for all that he attempts. ~ Alice Bailey
  • Much is said amongst occult students these days anent white and black magic, and much that is said is without force, or truth... The distinction between the two exists in both motive and method, and might be summed up as follows: The white magician has for motive that which will be of benefit to the group for whom he is expending his energy and time. The magician of the left hand path ever works alone, or if he at any time co-operates with others, it is with a hidden selfish purpose. The exponent of white magic interests himself in the work of constructive endeavour in order to co-operate in hierarchical plans, and to further the desires of the planetary Logos. The Brother of Darkness occupies himself with that which lies outside the plans of the Hierarchy and with that which is not included in the purpose of the Lord of the planetary Ray.
  • The cultivation of emotional tranquility is one of the first steps towards the achievement of the needed equipment of the white magician. This tranquility is not to be achieved by an effort of the will which succeeds in strangling all astral vibratory activity, but by the cultivation of response to the Ego, and negation of all response to the inherent vibration of the astral sheath itself. (3 - 983).
  • And now what methods may be employed to safeguard the worker in the field of the world? What can be done to ensure his safety in the present strife, and in the greater strife of the coming centuries? 1. A realisation that purity of all the vehicles is the prime essential. If a Dark Brother gains control over any man, it but shows that that man has in his life some weak spot.... 2. The elimination of all fear. The forces of evolution vibrate more rapidly than those of involution, and in this fact lies a recognisable security. Fear causes weakness; weakness causes a disintegration; the weak spot breaks and a gap appears, and through that gap evil force may enter.... 3. A standing firm and unmoved, no matter what occurs. Your feet may be bathed in the mud of earth, but your head may be bathed in the sunshine of the higher regions... 4. A recognition of the use of common-sense, and the application of this common-sense to the matter in hand. Sleep much, and in sleeping, learn to render the body positive; keep busy on the emotional plane, and achieve the inner calm. Do naught to overtire the body physical, and play whenever possible. In hours of relaxation comes the adjustment that obviates later tension.
  • It is occult students for whom search is now being made, and not mystics; it is for clear-thinking men and women that the call has gone forth, and not for the fanatic or for the person who sees nothing but the ideal, and who is unable to work successfully with situations and things as they are, and who cannot, therefore, apply the necessary and unavoidable compromise.
    • Alice Bailey, "The Externalization of the Hierarchy" (1957) p. 654
  • Occult blindness is spiritually induced, and "blacks out" the glory and the promised attainment and reward. The disciple is thrown back upon himself. All he can see is his problem, his tiny field of experience, and his - to him - feeble and limited equipment... The beauty of the immediate, the glory of the present opportunity, and the need to focus upon the task and service of the moment, are the rewards of moving forward into the apparently impenetrable darkness.
  • The mystic is not necessarily an occultist, but the occultist embraces the mystic. Mysticism is but one step on the path of occultism. By finding the kingdom of God within himself, and by the study of the laws of his own being, the mystic becomes proficient in the laws which govern the universe, of which he is a part. The occultist recognises the kingdom of God in nature or the system, and regards himself as a small part of that greater whole, and therefore, governed by the same laws... To make it more simple for general comprehension: after initiation, the mystic is merged in the occultist, for he has become a student of occult law; he has to work with matter, with its manipulation and uses, and he has to master and control all lower forms of manifestation, and learn the rules... yet he will still have to find the God within his own being, before he can safely venture on the path of occult law.
    • Alice Bailey, in Letters on Occult Meditation, p. 147, (1922)
  • The basic law underlying all occult healing, may be stated to be as follows: Law I: All disease is the result of inhibited soul life, and that is true of all forms in all kingdoms. The art of the healer consists in releasing the soul, so that its life can flow through the aggregate of organisms which constitute any particular form. It is interesting to note that the attempt of the scientist to release the energy of the atom, is of the same general nature as the work of the esotericist when he endeavours to release the energy of the soul. In this release the nature of the true art of healing is hidden. Herein lies an occult hint.
    • Alice Bailey, in A Treatise on the Seven Rays: Volume 4: Esoteric Healing (1953)
  • It can be expected that the orthodox Christian will at first reject the theories about the Christ which occultism presents; at the same time, this same orthodox Christian will find it increasingly difficult to induce the intelligent masses of people to accept the impossible Deity and the feeble Christ, which historical Christianity has endorsed. A Christ Who is present and living, Who is known to those who follow Him, Who is a strong and able executive, and not a sweet and sentimental sufferer, Who has never left us but Who has worked for two thousand years through the medium of His disciples, the inspired men and women of all faiths, all religions, and all religious persuasions; Who has no use for fanaticism or hysterical devotion, but Who loves all men persistently, intelligently and optimistically, Who sees divinity in them all, and Who comprehends the techniques of the evolutionary development of the human consciousness (mental, emotional and physical, producing civilizations and cultures appropriate to a particular point in evolution) – these ideas the intelligent public can and will accept. p. 589/90
    • Alice Bailey, in The Externalization of the Hierarchy (1957)
  • The mystic seeks to work from the emotional to the intuitional, and thence to the Monad or Spirit. The occultist works from the physical to the mental, and thence to the atma or Spirit. One works along the line of love; the other along the line of will. The mystic fails in the purpose of his being - that of love demonstrated in activity - unless he co-ordinates the whole through the use of intelligent will. Therefore, he has to become the occultist... The occultist similarly fails, and becomes only a selfish exponent of power, working through the intelligence, unless he finds a purpose for that will and knowledge, by an animating love, which will give to him sufficient motive for all that he attempts.
    • Alice Bailey, in Letters on Occult Meditation, p. 149, (1922)
 
It is not by studying Occultism for selfish ends, for the gratification of one’s personal ambition, pride, or vanity, that one can ever reach the true goal: that of helping suffering mankind. ~ H.P. Blavatsky
  • It is an insult to human nature to brand magic and the occult science with the name of imposture. To believe that for so many thousands of years, one-half of mankind practiced deception and fraud on the other half, is equivalent to saying that the human race was composed only of knaves and incurable idiots. Where is the country in which magic was not practised? At what age was it wholly forgotten?
    In the oldest documents now in our possession--the Vedas and the older laws of Manu--we find many magical rites practiced and permitted by the Brahmans. Tibet, Japan and China teach in the present age that which was taught by the oldest Chaldeans. The clergy of these respective countries, prove moreover what they teach, namely: that the practice of moral and physical purity, and of certain austerities, develops the vital soulpower of self-illumination. p. 19
  • How, then, can it be thought possible for a man to enter the “straight gate” of occultism when his daily and hourly thoughts are bound up with worldly things, desires of possession and power, with lust, ambition, and duties which, however honorable, are still of the earth...? Even the love for wife and family — the purest as the most unselfish of human affections is a barrier to real occultism... What lover... would not break the happiness of every other man and woman around him to satisfy the desire of one whom he loves? This is but natural... in the light of the code of human affections; less so, in that of divine universal love.
  • For, while the heart is full of thoughts for a little group of selves, near and dear to us, how shall the rest of mankind fare in our souls? What percentage of love and care will there remain to bestow on the “great orphan”? And how shall the “still small voice” make itself heard in a soul entirely occupied with its own privileged tenants? What room is there left for the needs of Humanity en bloc...?   He who would profit by the wisdom of the universal mind, has to reach it through the whole of Humanity without distinction of race, complexion, religion, or social status. It is altruism, not ego-ism even in its most legal and noble conception, that can lead the unit to merge its little Self in the Universal Selves. It is... to this work that the true disciple of true Occultism has to devote himself if he would obtain...  divine Wisdom and Knowledge.
  • It is not by studying Occultism for selfish ends, for the gratification of one’s personal ambition, pride, or vanity, that one can ever reach the true goal: that of helping suffering mankind.
  • Look around you and observe. While two-thirds of civilized society ridicule the mere notion that there is anything in Theosophy, Occultism, Spiritualism, or in the Kabala, the other third is composed of the most heterogeneous and opposite elements. Some believe ... but each believes in his own way.
  • 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.
  • Baptista Porta, the learned Italian philosopher, notwithstanding his endeavors to show to the world the groundlessness of their accusations of magic being a superstition and sorcery, was treated by later critics with the same unfairness as his colleagues. This celebrated alchemist left a work on Natural Magic ("Magia Naturalis," 1569) in which he bases all of the occult phenomena possible to man upon the world-soul which binds all with all... He shows that...by acting in unison with their parent-source, our sidereal bodies are rendered capable of producing magic wonders. The whole secret depends on our knowledge of kindred elements. He believed in the philosopher's stone, "of which the world hath so great an opinion of, which hath been bragged of in so many ages and happily attained unto by some." Finally, he throws out many valuable hints as to its "spiritual meaning."  p. 229-230
  • Science, dimly perceiving the truth, may find Bacteria and other infinitesimals in the human body, and see in them but occasional and abnormal visitors to which diseases are attributed. Occultism -- which discerns a life in every atom and molecule, whether in a mineral or human body, in air, fire or water -- affirms that our whole body is built of such lives, the smallest bacteria under the microscope being to them in comparative size like an elephant to the tiniest infusoria.
    • H.P. Blavatsky in The Secret Doctrine, the Synthesis of Science, Religion and Philosophy, Vol. 1, p. 226, (footnote), (1888)
  • Magic is a dual power: nothing is easier than to turn it into Sorcery; an evil thought suffices for it. Therefore while theoretical Occultism is harmless, and may do good, practical Magic, or the fruits of the Tree of Life and Knowledge, or otherwise the “Science of Good and Evil,” is fraught with dangers and perils. For the study of theoretical Occultism there are, no doubt, a number of works that may be read with profit, besides such books... in Latin by the mediaeval Philosophers, generally known as Alchemists and Rosicrucians, are plentiful. But even the perusal of these may prove dangerous for the unguided student. If approached without the right key to them, and if the student is unfit, owing to mental incapacity, for Magic, and is thus unable to discern the Right from the Left Path, let him take our advice and leave this study alone; he will only bring on himself and on his family unexpected woes and sorrows, never suspecting whence they come, nor what are the powers awakened by his mind being bent on them...
    • H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 3, Section VI. The Dangers of Practical Magic (1888)
  • Occultism is not magic. It is comparatively easy to learn the trick of spells and the methods of using the subtler, but still material, forces of physical nature; the powers of the animal soul in man are soon awakened; the forces which his love, his hate, his passion, can call into operation, are readily developed. But this is Black Magic—Sorcery. For it is the motive, and the motive alone, which makes any exercise of power become black, malignant, or white, beneficent Magic. It is impossible to employ spiritual forces if there is the slightest tinge of selfishness remaining in the operator. For, unless the intention is entirely unalloyed, the spiritual will transform itself into the psychic, act on the astral plane, and dire results may be produced by it.
  • In Hindustan, as in England, there are doctrines for the learned, and dogmas for the unlearned; strong meat for men & milk for babes; facts for the few, & fictions for the many, realities for the wise, and romances for the simple; esoteric truth for the philosopher, & exoteric fable for the fool.
  • Both [esoteric and occult] mean hidden... for a given time, not for all time — but hidden because, at this point in the evolution of the race, it is largely unknown and unacceptable to all but a relatively small number... To humanity in general it is unknown, therefore esoteric or occult. The word `occult' has been given, by various religious groups, a rather bad connotation; it is seen as something dark, evil, to do with nefarious practices, devil worship, and so on. This is a complete misunderstanding of the word occult. Occult simply means hidden, and specifically the hidden knowledge or science of the energies behind the evolutionary process.Esotericism might be seen more as the philosophy of the evolutionary process, and occultism as the science of the energies which bring that process about.
  • ...That dream—shall we call it a vision?—was, that you, and Mrs. K.—why forget the Theos. Soc. ?—"are all parts of a large plan for the manifestations of occult philosophy to the world." Yes; the time must come, and it is not far—when all of you will comprehend aright the apparently contradictory phases of such manifestations; forced by the evidence to reconcile them.
  • The aspiration for brotherhood between our races met no response—nay, it was pooh-poohed from the first—and so, was abandoned even before I had received Mr. Sinnett's first letter. On his part and from the start, the idea was solely to promote the formation of a kind of club or "school of magic."... It was Mad. B.—not we, who originated the idea; and it was Mr. Sinnett who took it up. Notwithstanding his frank and honest admission to the effect that being unable to grasp the basic idea of Universal Brotherhood of the parent Society, his aim was but to cultivate the study of occult Sciences, an admission which ought to have stopped at once every further importunity on her part, she first succeeded in getting the consent—a very reluctant one I must say—of her own direct chief, and then my promise of co-operation—as far as I could [legally] go. Finally, through my mediation, she got that of our highest Chief, to whom I submitted the first letter you honoured me with. But, this consent, you will please bear in mind, was obtained solely under the express and unalterable condition that the new Society should be founded as a branch of the Universal Brotherhood and among its members, a few elect men would, if they chose to submit to our conditions, instead of dictating theirs—be allowed to begin the study of the occult sciences under the written directions of a Brother."
    • Koot Hoomi, The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, Letter No. XVIII, p. 209, (1923)
  • A hot-bed of magick we never dreamt of. Such an organization as mapped out by Mr. Sinnett and yourself is unthinkable among Europeans; and, it has become next to impossible even in India—unless you are prepared to climb to a height of 18,000 to 20,000 amidst the glaciers of the Himalayas. The greatest as well as the most promising of such schools in Europe, the last attempt in this direction,—failed most signally some 20 years ago in London. It was the secret school for the practical teaching of magick founded under the name of a club by a dozen of enthusiasts under the leadership of Lord Lytton's father. He had collected together for the purpose, the most ardent and enterprising as well as some of the most advanced scholars in mesmerism and ceremonial magic, such as Eliphas Levi, Regazzoni, and the Kopt Zergvan—Bey. And yet in the pestilent London atmosphere the "Club came to an untimely end. I visited it about half-a-dozen times, and perceived from the first that there was and could be nothing in it. And this is also the reason why, the British T.S. does not progress one step practically. They are of the Universal Brotherhood but in name, and gravitate at best towards Quietism—that utter paralysis of the Soul. They are intensely selfish in their aspirations and will get but the reward of their selfishness.
  • The student of occult science either knows a thing or suspends his judgment about it; there is no place in his scheme for blind faith. Naturally, beginners in the study cannot yet know for themselves, so they are asked to read the results of the various observations and to deal with them as probable hypotheses—provisionally to accept and act upon them, until such time as they can prove them for themselves.
  • We tend in these days to be impatient; if we try any plan we expect immediate results from it, and if we do not get them, we give up that plan and try something else. That is not the way to make progress in occultism. The effort which we are making is to compress into one or two lives the evolution which would naturally take perhaps a hundred lives. That is not the sort of undertaking in which immediate results are to be expected. We attempt to uproot an evil habit, and we find it hard work; why? Because we have indulged in that practice for, perhaps, twenty thousand years; one cannot shake off the custom of twenty thousand years in a day or two.
  • Another great difficulty in our way is the lack of clearness in our thought. People in the West are little used to clear thought with regard to religious matters. Everything is vague and nebulous. For occult development vagueness and nebulosity will not do. Our conceptions must be clear-cut and our thought-images definite. Other necessary characteristics are calmness and cheerfulness; these are rare in modern life, but are absolute essentials for the work which we are here undertaking.
  • A large number of men have attained the Adept level—men not of one nation, but of all the leading nations of the world—rare souls who with indomitable courage have... captured her innermost secrets, and so have truly earned the right to be called Adepts. Among Them there are many degrees and many lines of activity; but always some of Them remain within touch of our earth as members of this Hierarchy which has in charge the administration of the affairs of our world and of the spiritual evolution of our humanity... A few of these great Adepts, who are thus working for the good of the world, are willing to take as apprentices those who have resolved to devote themselves utterly to the service of mankind; such Adepts are called Masters. One of these apprentices was Helena Petrovna Blavatsky—a great soul who was sent out to offer knowledge to the world. With Colonel Henry Steel Olcott she founded The Theosophical Society for the spread of this knowledge which she had to give. Among those who came into contact with her... Mr. A.P. Sinnett... his keen intellect at once grasped the magnitude and the importance of the teaching... Although Madame Blavatsky herself had previously written Isis Unveiled, it had attracted but little attention, and it was Mr. Sinnett who first made the teaching really available for western readers in his two books, The Occult World and Esoteric Buddhism.
  • The term ‘occultism’ is one which has been much misunderstood. In the mind of the ignorant it was, even recently, synonymous with magic, and its students were supposed to be practitioners of the black art, veiled in flowing robes of scarlet covered with cabalistic signs, sitting amidst uncanny surrounding's with a black cat as a familiar, compounding unholy decoctions by the aid of Satanic evocations. Even now, and among those whom education has raised above such superstition as this, there still remains a good deal of misapprehension. For them its derivation from the Latin word occultus ought to explain at once that it is the science of the hidden; but they often regard it contemptuously as nonsensical and unpractical, as connected with dreams and fortune-telling, with hysteria and necromancy, with the search for the elixir of life and the philosopher’s stone. p. 3/4
  • Students, who should know better, perpetually speak as though the hidden side of things were intentionally concealed, as though knowledge with regard to it ought to be in the hands of all men, but was being deliberately withheld by the caprice or selfishness of a few; whereas the fact is that nothing is or can be hidden from us except by our own limitations, and that for every man as he evolves the world grows wider and wider, because he is able to see more and more of its grandeur and its loveliness.
  • At each of the great Initiations, which mark the advance of the neophyte along the of the higher 25rogress, a definite new block of knowledge is given to him. That is quite true, but the knowledge can be given only because the recipient has evolved to the point at which he can grasp it. It is no more being withheld from ordinary humanity than the knowledge of conic sections is being withheld from the child who is still struggling with the multiplication-table. When that child reaches the level at which he can comprehend quadratic equations, the teacher is ready to explain to him the rules which govern them. In exactly the same way...
  • People who have been trained in European habits of thought are, unhappily, so familiar with the idea that a blind, unreasoning adhesion to certain dogmas may be claimed from a disciple of any religion, school or sect, that on hearing that in Occultism doubt is considered to be an obstacle to progress, they are likely to suppose that this Path also requires from its followers the same unquestioning faith as do many modern superstitions. No idea could be more entirely false. p. 194
 
People who have been trained in European habits of thought are, unhappily, so familiar with the idea that a blind, unreasoning adhesion to certain dogmas may be claimed from a disciple of any religion, school or sect, that on hearing that in Occultism doubt is considered to be an obstacle to progress, they are likely to suppose that this Path also requires from its followers the same unquestioning faith as do many modern superstitions. No idea could be more entirely false. ~ C.W. Leadbeater
  • It is true that doubt (or rather uncertainty) on some questions is a bar to spiritual progress, but the antidote to that doubt is not blind faith (which is itself considered a fetter, as will presently be seen), but the certainty of conviction founded on individual experiment or mathematical reasoning. While a child doubts the accuracy of the multiplication table, he can hardly acquire proficiency in the higher mathematics; but his doubts can be satisfactorily cleared up only by his attaining a comprehension, founded on reasoning or experiment, that the statements contained in the table are true. He believes that twice two are four, not merely because he has been told so, but because it has become to him a self-evident fact. And this is exactly the method, and the only method, of resolving doubt known to Occultism. p. 194
  • Blessings. Under this heading should come the various types of blessings such as are given in the Church, in Freemasonry, and by the pupils of our Masters. Blessings may be arranged in two sections—those which a man gives from himself, and those which are given through him as an official by a higher power. The first kind of blessing is merely an expression of an earnest good wish... this will depend upon the earnestness of the good wish and the amount of spiritual force put into it... If the words were uttered... without much feeling or intention behind them, the effect would be slight and transient; on the other hand, if they came from a full heart and were uttered with definite determination, their effect would be deep and lasting. The second type of blessing is that which is uttered by an official appointed for the purpose, through whom power flows from some higher source... the power of giving a definite blessing is one of those conferred upon the Priest at his ordination... he is simply a channel for the power from on high, and if it should unfortunately happen that he speaks it merely as a matter of course and as part of his ritual, that would make no difference to the spiritual power outpoured. The blessing flows equally over all, but the amount of the influences which any individual can obtain from it depends upon his receptivity. p. 142-143
  • I well remember giving each of these (Blessings) on different occasions to a great Angel of the neighbourhood with whom I have the honour to be well acquainted. Passing close to his territories... I gave him once as a greeting the full blessing of my Master, and it was indeed beautiful to see the way in which he received it, bowing profoundly and showing his appreciation by a lovely soft glow of holiness and uttermost devotion. Another day under similar circumstances I gave him the blessing of the Brotherhood, and instantly every power of that great Angel flashed out in glad response, and the whole of his territory lit up. It was as though a soldier had leapt to attention, as though everything, not only within himself but in all the thousands of minor creatures working under him, had suddenly been vivified and raised to its highest power. All nature instantly responded. You see, my Master, however deeply reverenced by him, is not his Master, but my King is his King, for there is but One.
  • The Lord Buddha has his own special type of force, which he outpours when he gives his blessing to the world, and this benediction is a unique and very marvellous thing; for by his authority and position a Buddha has access to planes of nature which are altogether beyond our reach, hence he can transmute and draw down to our level the forces peculiar to those planes. Without this mediation of the Buddha these forces would be of no use to us here in physical life; their vibrations are so tremendous, so incredibly rapid, that they would pass through us unsensed at any level we can reach, and we should never even know of their existence. But as it is, the force of the blessing is scattered all over the world; and it instantly finds for itself channels through which it can pour (just as water instantly finds an open pipe), thereby strengthening all good work and bringing peace to the hearts of those who are able to receive it.
  • Life is often sorrow, but a kind of sorrow that can be entirely avoided. The man who lives the ordinary life of the world often finds himself in trouble of various kinds. It would not be true to say that he is always in sorrow, but he is often in anxiety, and he is always liable at any moment to fall into great sorrow or anxiety. The reason for this is that he is full of lower desires of various kinds, not at all necessarily wicked, but desires for lower things; and because of these desires he is tied down and confined. He is constantly striving to attain something which he has not, and he is full of anxiety as to whether he will attain it; and when he has attained it, he is anxious lest he should lose it....How often, for example, a young man desires affection from someone who cannot give it to him, who has it not to give! From such a desire as that comes often a great deal of sadness, jealousy and much other ill-feeling. You will say that such a desire is natural; undoubtedly it is, and affection which is returned is a great source of happiness. Yet if it cannot be returned, a man should have the strength to accept the situation, and not allow sorrow to be caused by the unsatisfied desire.
  • When we say that a thing is natural, we mean that it is what we might expect from the average man. But the student of occultism must try to rise somewhat above the level of the average man—otherwise how can he help that man? We must rise above that level in order that we may be able to reach down a helping hand. We must aim not at the natural (in the sense of the average), but at the supernatural.
    One who is clairvoyant will readily subscribe to the truth of this great teaching of the Buddha, that on the whole life is sorrow; for if he looks at the astral and mental bodies of those whom he meets he will see that they are filled with a vast number of small vortices all whirling vigorously, representing all sorts of odd little thoughts, little anxieties, little troubles about one thing or another. All these cause disturbance and suffering, and what is needed most of all for progress is serenity. The only way to gain peace is to get rid of them altogether...
  • I understand that the word ‘occult’ means hidden, but surely that is not meant to be the final state of all this information, hidden forever. I don’t see why there is any need to further obscure things that are actually lucid and bright. Language and strange terminology – to keep them as some private mystery. I think there is too much darkness in magic. I can understand that it is part of the theatre. I can understand Aleister Crowley – who I think was a great intellect that was sometimes let down by his own flair for showmanship — but he did a lot to generate the scary aura of the magician that you find these sad, Crowleyite fucks making a fetish of. The ones who say ‘oh we’re into Aleister Crowley because he was the wickedest man in the world, and we’re also into Charles Manson because we’re bad. And we are middle-class as well, but we’re bad’. There are some people who seek evil – I don’t think there is such a thing as evil – but there are people who seek it as a kind of Goth thing. That just adds to the murk to what to me is a very lucid and flourescent subject. What occultism needs is someone to open the window, it’s too stuffy and it smells. Let’s get some fresh air, throw open the curtains – I can’t go for that posturing, spooky guy stuff. When they wanted me to do Fortean TV it became apparent that they wanted me to be Spooky Bloke. But I’m not actually trying to look spooky. I dress in black because it makes me look less fat, it’s as simple as that. It’s not a gothic flourish. I don’t want to be thought of as a figure of mystery or a master of the occult, surely this is about illumination, casting light on things. I’m an illuminist, that’d do for me.
  • The more I look at most of the art movements, it’s all occultism, when you get down to it. The Surrealists were openly talking about being magicians.
  • Annie Besant’s book where she put forward the idea that theosophical mystical energies could be portrayed as colours or abstract shapes was practically the invention of abstract art. A lot of artists rushed out and read it and suddenly thought, ‘oh God you could, you could portray love as a colour, or depression as a colour” All of a sudden abstract art happens, a flowering out of occultism.
 
No tricks of pseudo-occultism and magic will lead to true... In order to... one has to establish the corresponding high vibrations. The application in life of the Living Ethics is the quickest way to reach the goal. And now one more warning: theoretical occultism is most dangerous. Many most harmful books flood the market... . As it is said, "Many of them are the creation of hands that are lacking in beauty, knowledge and honesty. ~ Helena Roerich
  • Probably there is no single doctrine of the Esoteric Tradition which makes so instant an appeal as does the idea of the present existence in the world of great sages or seers. In most minds there lies an intuition that there must be in the world human beings of far loftier spiritual capacity and of immensely more developed intellectual power than the ordinary run of men. Those who hear of this for the first time instantly turn to those luminous figures, such as Gautama the Buddha, Jesus the Syrian avatara, Apollonius of Tyana, Lao-Tse, Krishna, Sankaracharya, etc. and, among many, the first reaction is: if such great figures have already existed in the world, why should they not exist again? Ch. 19
  • The Brotherhood of great seers and sages, united in a common purpose and governed by common ideals and esoteric knowledge, has existed as an association of high adepts under the direct inspiration and guidance of their hierarch, or mahaguru, for many millions of years — certainly for not less than twelve million; in other words, since the appearance on earth of the root-race which preceded our own present fifth root-race...The cause of the disappearance of the Mysteries has always been degeneracy, faithlessness on the part of the students, and their lack of an imperative and heart-reaching call for light. Where there is a genuine spiritual and intellectual call issuing from both heart and mind, there invariably comes the response by way of a new installment of teaching from the Brotherhood. Ch.22
  • To label Seth as a spirit guide is to limit an understanding of what he is . . . The minute I found out after my first book was published that this automatically put me in what people called the psychic field . . . I was so humiliated I could hardly hold my head up. I'm using my writing [and] my life to transform intuitive, sometimes revelationary material into art, where it can be enjoyed, understood to varying degrees, and stand free of the stupid interpretations . . . The whole psychic bit as it is, is intellectually and morally psychologically outrageous as far as I'm concerned and I want no part of it or the vocabulary or the ideas.
  • Avoid all magic and pseudo-occultism! Without the proper development and broadening of consciousness, all the widespread suggestions for the sliding out of the astrosom, and other externalizations, conjurations and other manifestations, might be harmful.
  • Everything you say about the so-called occult groups does not surprise us but confirms what we expected, as we know of the sad situation within many organizations and we know that human nature is everywhere similar. The evil is always the same: lack of tolerance and a terrible exclusiveness which destroys all foundations. The presidents of numerous societies and lodges pretend to have an exclusive monopoly and authority over everything concerning the Teaching given by the Great White Brotherhood. In addition, some wish to be the sole channel through which the High Teaching may be introduced. But in the poverty of their imagination they fail to see that the Great Brotherhood, which leads the evolution of the whole of humanity, cannot limit itself to one or even ten currents or recipients who are, in any case, just temporary!
 
Everything you say about the so-called occult groups...The presidents of numerous societies and lodges pretend to have an exclusive monopoly and authority over everything concerning the Teaching given by the Great White Brotherhood. In addition, some wish to be the sole channel through which the High Teaching may be introduced. But in the poverty of their imagination they fail to see that the Great Brotherhood, which leads the evolution of the whole of humanity, cannot limit itself to one or even ten currents or recipients who are, in any case, just temporary! ~ Helena Roerich
  • No tricks of pseudo-occultism and magic will lead to true... In order to... one has to establish the corresponding high vibrations. The application in life of the Living Ethics is the quickest way to reach the goal. And now one more warning: theoretical occultism is most dangerous. Many most harmful books flood the market.... As it is said, "Many of them are the creation of hands that are lacking in beauty, knowledge and honesty."
  • There are many ways of resisting evil. First of all, by the power of spirit—certainly, resistance performed without hatred, occultly speaking, is a hundredfold stronger. All these assertions of Christ prove that He was an Initiate, and that He knew the strength of the reversed blow. Similarly, one should understand the words from Deuteronomy (the book of Moses): "To me belongeth vengeance, and recompense." The Apostle Paul uses this very apophthegm in his Epistle to the Romans. Again, we see that Christ came not to destroy the law but to fulfil it.

Some Glimpses of Occultism: Ancient and Modern, by C.W. Leadbeater (1903)Edit

(full text online multiple formats) (1903)

  • This course of lectures was designed to put before the public in broad outline some of the principal teachings of Theosophy, and also to help men to realize something of its scope and comprehensiveness by showing how wonderfully all else is included in it — how it is the mighty truth underlying all systems of religious thought, even those which differ as much on the physical plane as do Buddhism, Christianity and the Ancient Mysteries, and how also it offers the only rational and coherent explanation of the phenomena connected with clairvoyance, telepathy, mesmerism, spiritualism, dreams and apparitions. The titles of the lectures were as follows
  • The course of lectures as a whole offered a popular and necessarily somewhat superficial exposition from the Theosophical standpoint of most of the manifestations of occultism known to the Western world at the present day, and it gave also a few glimpses into the fuller and more perfect manifestations which were current two thousand years ago. It seems to me, therefore, that these lectures may perhaps be of some use to our members, as offering them a -starting point for their thought along all these various lines, and it is with that hope that I am putting them before our Society in this form.
  • Many persons who feel themselves attracted towards Theosophy, whose interest is aroused by its reasonableness and by the manner in which it accounts for many things which otherwise seem inexplicable, yet hesitate to take up its study more deeply, lest they should presently find it contradicting the faith in which they have been brought up — lest, as they often put it, it should take away from them their religion. How, if a religion be true, the study of another truth can take it away, is not very clear; but, however illogical the fear may be, there is no doubt that it exists It is nevertheless entirely unwarranted
  • Theosophy neither attacks nor opposes any form of religion; on the contrary, it explains and harmonizes all. It holds that all religions alike are attempts to state the same great underlying truths— differing in external form and in nomenclature, because they were delivered by different teachers, at different periods of the world’s history, and to widely different races of men; but always agreeing in fundamentals, and giving identical instruction upon every subject of real importance. We* hold in Theosophy that this truth which lies at the back of all these faiths alike is itself within the reach of man, and indeed it is to that very truth that we give the name Theosophy, or Divine Wisdom, and it is that which we are trying to study.
  • No man need fear that we shall attack his religion, but we may help him to understand it better than he did before There is nothing in Theosophy which is many way in opposition to true primitive Christianity, though it may not always be possible to agree with the interpretations put upon that truth by modern dogmatic theology, which is quite another matter.
  • If we come down to the other end of this great gamut, to very slow vibrations, we shall find a certain number so slow as to affect the heavy matter of the atmosphere to strike upon the tympanum of our ear and reach us as sound there may be, and there must be, an infinity of sounds which are too high or too low for the human ear to respond to them; and to all such sounds, of which there must be millions and millions, the human ear is absolutely deaf. If there be vibrations so slow that they appear to vs as sound, and other exceedingly rapid ones which appear as light, what are all the others? Assuredly there are vibrations of all intermediate rates We have them as electrical phenomena of various kinds; we have them as the Rontgen rays. In fact, the whole secret of the Rontgen rays, or X-rays, is simply the bringing within the capacity of our eyes and within the field of our vision a few more rays, a few of the finer rates of vibration, which normally would be out of our reach
  • If we come down to the other end of this great gamut, to very slow vibrations, we shall find a certain number so slow as to affect the heavy matter of the atmosphere to Strike upon the tympanum of our ear and reach us as sound There may be, and there must be, an infinity of sounds which are too high or too low for the human ear to respond to them; and to all such sounds, of which there must be millions and millions, the human ear is absolutely deaf. If there be vibrations so slow that they appear to vs as sound, and other exceedingly rapid ones which appear as light, what are all the others? Assuredly there are vibrations of all intermediate rates We have them as electrical phenomena of various kinds; we have them as the Rdntgen rays In fact, the whole secret of the Rontgen rays, or X-rays, is simply the bringing within the capacity of our eyes and within the field of our vision a few more rays, a few' of the finer rates of vibration, which normally would be out of our reach
  • Vegetables contain more nutriment than an equal amount of dead flesh. This will sound a surprising and incredible statement to many people, because they have been brought up to believe that they cannot exist unless they defile themselves with flesh, and this delusion is so widely spread that it is very difficult to awaken the average man from it. It must be clearly understood that this is not a question of habit, or of sentiment, or of prejudice; it is simply a question of plain fact, and as to the facts there is not and there never has been the slightest question. There are four elements necessary in food, all of them essential to the repair and the upbuilding of the body...
  • The use of flesh foods, by the excitation that it exercises on the nervous system, prepares the way for habits of intemperance in everything; and the more flesh is consumed, the more serious is the danger of confirmed alcoholism
  • The lower part of man’s nature is undoubtedly intensified by the habit of feeding upon corpses. Even after eating a full meal of such horrible material, a man still feels unsatisfied, for he is still conscious of a vague, uncomfortable sense of want, and consequently he suffers greatly from nervous strain. This craving is the hunger of the bodily tissues, which cannot be renewed by the poor stuff offered to them as food. To satisfy this vague craving, or rather to appease these restless nerves so that it will no longer be felt, recourse is often had to stimulants. Sometimes alcoholic beverages are taken; sometimes an attempt is made to allay these feelings with black coffee, and at other times strong tobacco is used in the endeavor to soothe the irritated, exhausted nerves. Here we have the beginning of intemperance, for in the majority of cases intemperance began in the attempt to allay with alcoholic stimulants the vague, uncomfortable sense of want which follows the eating of impoverished food—food that does not feed.
  • There is no doubt that drunkenness, and all the poverty, wretchedness, disease and crime associated with it, may frequently be traced to errors of feeding.
  • The subject of the future that lies before humanity may obviously be treated in various ways; perhaps the simplest division which we can make is to speak first of the immediate future, then of the remoter future, then of the final goal... it is well that we should try to look forward a little, so that we who are units m this great mass of humanity may be able to take our part intelligently in the evolution which we see to be progressing all round us.
  • Unless we are terribly prejudiced, we must admit that in spite of our boasted civilization there is very much which is highly unsatisfactory... In every direction we see lamentable failures, although in certain matters there may be success and progress.
  • One of the most important factors of human life — religion... Wherever we may look all over the world we shall find religion in an unsatisfactory condition.,, Religion has given us far too largely faith instead of knowledge; it has given us some hope, perhaps, hut no certainty; it has put before us dogmas and authoritative statements, but very little of clear reason, very little that can be definitely comprehended; and that is why many of the most cultured people find themselves believing in it in only a half-hearted way, even if they are able to accept its conclusions at all-
  • Again, if we examine the social conditions of the world, we must once more admit that things are far from satisfactory; for although there are those who push to the front and make enormous fortunes, there are also great masses of people who are still steeped in poverty and in ignorance...
  • In every country we see society more or less at war with itself, race against race, where there are different races, class against class, labour against capital, and sometimes even sex against sex. Everywhere seems to be the clash of warring interests, and so people range themselves on opposite sides. Then the great question of government is also in an unsatisfactorv condition; for I think all will agree that there is no country in the world which is governed, as every country in the world ought to be, solely with regard to the interests and advancement of the people. All of these difficulties arise from ignorance and selfishness If men understood the plan of evolution instead of working each for his own personal ends they would all join together as a community and work harmoniously for the good of all with mutual tolerance and forbearance. It is obvious that if this were done all of these evils would almost immediately cease or at any rate could very shortly be removed
  • Everyday a greater number of people are beginning to understand to some extent and to strive towards a better and more rational condition of affairs. There are many societies and associations which have for their object the amelioration of the condition of humanity Some of them begin at one end and some at the other, each approaches it from his own point of view and with his own set of remedies, but at least they are striving towards that development of unselfishness which is the only true solution of all our difficulties.
  • In the mighty civilization of Atlantis a level of universal prosperity for all was attained which we certainly have not yet reached, and that condition in their case was stable and lasted for thousands of years. But to that great race came also the test that comes to all nations, when the fuller truth gradually dawns upon them, and when their people come to know the possibility of powers higher than the physical plane. The great nation of Atlantis misused these powers', majority there chose the path of selfishness and not of selflessness, and so Atlantis perished.
  • We are now repeating the earlier part of their history; we are increasing in wealth and in prosperity, and we are gradually tending towards the world-wide dominion which was held by Atlantis Many among us are now beginning to obtain glimpses, at any rate, of these higher powers, and assuredly the knowledge of them and the possession of them will steadily spread among us. So we are repeating the history of Atlantis very closely, and the question for us is whether having thus reproduced the earlier part of it we are about to follow its example in the latter part — ^whether after repeating the glory and the expansion of the world wide empire, we are going also to repeat the disgrace and the downfall Whether that will happen to the present civilization of the world or not depends very largely upon the men of today, the men who are here at the beginning of the new order of things
  • Never was there a greater need for the diffusion of knowledge, for in the present ignorance of men there is very real and imminent danger.
  • There is no time to waste, for the forces of discontent and danger are daily growing, and at any moment some spark may light a conflagration, the extent of which no man can foresee.
  • We can speak with greater certainty as to the remoter future than we can with regard to that which is more immediately impending. The study of the earlier ages of humanity and a comparison of their conditions with the state of affairs at the present day shows us quite clearly the direction in which evolution is moving; so that there can be no question that after a certain considerable lapse of time qualities which are now only just beginning to dawn will be fully developed, and all the conditions of society will be radically changed thereby.
  • There can be no uncertainty with regard to this; but the intermediate steps through which we must pass are not so clearly defined, I have often had occasion to speak of the possession by man of the astral and mental bodies, and of the development within some of us of the senses of these bodies, so that they have become what is commonly called clairvoyant. Those who possess these faculties now are those who have turned their attention especially to them either in this life or in some previous existence; but the faculties are undoubtedly the heritage of every human being, and there is no question that the race is moving steadily towards their fuller development. I have explained in the concluding chapter of The Other Side of Death how the man who wishes for the use of these faculties may proceed to unfold them within himself.
  • That process, however, is only an acceleration of what nature is gradually doing for us all; and the time is not far distant when a considerable portion of the higher races of mankind will possess them naturally and without any special effort. In America we have the most striking evidence that this statement is true, for the proportion of partially psychic men and women is far greater here than it is many of the older nations with the exception, perhaps of some of the smaller and distinctly Keltic races such as the Highlanders of Scotland p. 336
  • Let us think then of the time when the majority of the men of advanced races will possess such endowments as these and let us see what difference that will make their lives. Naturally the development of astral sight will come first To the advanced and trained clairvoyant the possession of astral sight is a very small matter, for he can reach much higher than that, and has much more extended powers at his command But for the majority of people the possession of even this faculty would change the whole face of life I remember once hearing Mrs Besant speak on this subject, and she explained that there were three great parallel roads as it were along which men would progress — the paths of Power, Wisdom and Love She said that if one examines these three roads one may easily see for oneself what difference be made in each of them when the higher faculties of man are developed. Under these three headings she grouped the various activities through which the powers of man could be manifested.
  • There is very truly a gospel in all this teaching us never to forget that though the outer side of life may seem so dull and heavy, there is yet always the Divine fire glowing within, remember that “the soul of things is sweet, the heart of being is celestial rest , stronger than woe is Will, that which is good doth pass to better, best. So this celestial bliss, that lies beyond the sorrow and the suffering shall become for you the ever present reality, until you learn to look through the misery and see its cause — and not only to see the cause but (far beyond that) the exhaustion of that evil through this temporary suffering, and the glory that is to come the magnificent qualities which all this is developing in the man.
  • This gospel will become a living reality to you. So, although you sympathize ever more and more deeply, you will find that you have within you the power to help, to comfort and to save, because you know, because you have this gospel in your hearts, and so you can communicate its light to others So you will say to them once more, in the words of the greatest of Indian teachers:
    "Do not complain, and cry and pray, but open your eyes and see;
    the light is all about you, if you will only remove the bandage from your eyes and look;
    it is always with you, so wonderful, so glorious, so far beyond anything that man has ever dreamt of or prayed for, and it is forever and forever.” p. 392

Vegetarianism and Occultism, by Charles W. Leadbeater (1913)Edit

(Full text online multiple formats)
 
We Want the Best. I take it that in food, as well as in everything else, we all of us want the best that is within our means. ~ C. W. Leabeater
  • We all know what is meant by Vegetarianism; and although there are several varieties of it... We need not concern ourselves with these divisions, but simply define the vegetarian as one who abstains from any food which is obtained by the slaughter of animals—of course including birds and fish.
  • How shall we define Occultism? The word is derived from the Latin occultus, hidden; so that it is the study of the hidden laws of nature. Since all the great laws of nature are in fact working in the invisible world far more than in the visible, Occultism involves the acceptance of a much wider view of nature than that which is ordinarily taken. The occultist, then, is a man who studies all the laws of nature that he can reach or of which he can hear, and as a result of his study he identifies himself with those laws and devotes his life to the service of evolution.
  • How does Occultism regard Vegetarianism? It regards it very favorably, and that for many reasons.
  • One of the objections frequently brought against vegetarianism is that it is a beautiful theory, but one the working of which is impracticable, since it is supposed that a man cannot live without devouring dead flesh. That objection is irrational, and is founded upon ignorance or perversion of facts.
  • We Want the Best. I take it that in food, as well as in everything else, we all of us want the best that is within our means. We should like to bring our lives, and therefore our daily food as a not unimportant part of our lives, into harmony with our aspirations, into harmony with the highest that we know.
  • It has been the sad experience of many that much of the best and the most beautiful is lost to those whose mental food consists exclusively of the sensational paper or the cheap novel, or of that frothy mass of waste material which is thrown up like scum upon the molten metal of life—novelettes, serials, and fragments of a type which neither teach the ignorant, nor strengthen the weak, nor develop the immature.
  • The destruction of life is always a crime. There may be certain cases in which it is the lesser of two evils; but here it is needless and without a shadow of justification, for it happens only because of the selfish unscrupulous greed of those who coin money out of the agonies of the animal kingdom in order to pander to the perverted tastes of those who are sufficiently depraved to desire such loathsome aliment.
  • It is not only those who do the obscene work, but those who by feeding upon this dead flesh encourage them and make their crime remunerative, who are guilty... of this awful thing.
  • Beyond all question the future is with the vegetarian.
  • It seems certain that in the future — and I hope it may be in the near future — we shall be looking back upon this time with disgust and with horror.
  • I am certain that our descendants will look back upon this age as one of only partial civilisation, and in fact but little removed from savagery.
  • I am abandoning the field of ordinary physical reasoning, and taking you up to the level where you have, naturally, to take the word of those who have explored these higher realms. Let us then turn now to the hidden side of all this — the occult.
  • There are many types and degrees of density among astral matter, for example, so that it is possible for one man to have an astral body built of coarse and gross particles, while another may have one which is much more delicate and refined. As the astral body is the vehicle of the emotions, passions and sensations, it follows that the man whose astral body is of the grosser type will be chiefly amenable to the grosser varieties of passion and emotion; whereas the man who has a finer astral body will find that its particles most readily vibrate in response to higher and more refined emotions and aspirations.
  • We all know that on the physical plane the effect of over-indulgence in dead flesh is to produce a coarse, gross appearance in the man. That does not mean that it is only the physical body which is in an unlovely condition; it means also that those parts of the man which are invisible to our ordinary sight, the astral and the mental bodies, are not in good condition
  • The man who learns to see these higher vehicles sees at once the effects on the higher bodies produced by impurity in the lower; he sees at once the difference between the man who feeds his physical vehicle with pure food and the man who puts into it this loathsome decaying flesh.
  • Let us see how this difference will affect the man’s evolution.
  • It is clear that a man’s duty with regard to himself is to develop all his different vehicles as far as possible, in order to make them finished instruments for the use of the soul. There is a still higher stage in which that soul itself is being trained to be a fit instrument in the hands of the Deity, a perfect channel for the divine grace; but the first step towards this high aim is that the soul itself shall learn thoroughly to control the lower bodies, so that there shall be in them no thought or feeling except those which the soul allows.
  • The physical, body and its sense perceptions can never be at their best unless the food is pure.
  • Anyone who adopts vegetarian diet will speedily begin to notice that his sense of taste or of smell is far keener than it was when he fed upon flesh, and that he is now able to discern a delicate difference of flavor in foods which before he had thought of as tasteless, such as rice and wheat.
  • The same thing is true to a still greater extent with regard to the higher bodies. Their senses cannot be clear if impure or coarse matter is drawn into them; anything of this nature clogs and dulls them
  • This is a fact which has always been recognized by the student of Occultism; you will find that all those who in ancient days entered upon the Mysteries were men of the utmost purity, and of course invariably vegetarian. Carnivorous diet is fatal to anything like real development, and those who adopt it are throwing serious and unnecessary difficulties in their own way.
  • The purity of the heart and of the soul is more important to a man than that of the body. Yet there is surely no reason why we should not have both; indeed, the one suggests the other, and the higher should include the lower.
  • We are none of us so far advanced along the road towards spirituality that we can afford to neglect the great advantage that it gives us. Anything that makes our path harder than it need be is emphatically something to be avoided. In all cases this flesh food undoubtedly makes the physical body a worse instrument, and puts difficulties in the way of the soul by intensifying all the undesirable elements and passions belonging to these lower planes.
  • If, through introducing loathsome impurities into the physical body, the man builds himself a coarse and unclean astral body, we have to remember that it is in this degraded vehicle that he will have to spend the first part of his life after death... all sorts of undesirable entities will be drawn into association with him and will make his vehicles their home, and find a ready response within him to their lower passions. It is not only that his animal passions are more easily stirred here on earth, but in addition to this he will suffer acutely from the working out of these desires after death.
  • The higher sight, when brought to bear upon this problem, shows us still more vividly how undesirable is the devouring of flesh, since it intensifies within us that from which we most need to be free, and therefore, from the point of view of progress, that habit is a thing to be cast out at once and forever.
  • Every religion has taught that man should put himself always on the side of the will of God in the world, on the side of good as against evil, of evolution as against retrogression. The man who ranges himself on the side of evolution realizes the wickedness of destroying life; for he knows that, just as he is here in this physical body in order that he may learn the lessons of this plane, so is the animal occupying his body for the same reason, that through it he may gain experience at his lower stage. He knows that the life behind the animal is the Divine Life, that all life in the world is Divine; the animals therefore are truly our brothers, even though they may be younger brothers, and we can have no sort of right to take their lives for the gratification of our perverted tastes
  • The feelings of nervousness and profound depression which are so common there, are largely due to that awful influence which spreads over the city like a plague-cloud. I do not know how many thousands of creatures are killed every day, but the number is very large. Remember that every one of these creatures is a definite entity — not a permanent, reincarnating individuality like yours or mine, but still an entity which has its life upon the astral plane, and persists there for a considerable time. Remember that every one of these remains to pour out his feelings of indignation and horror at all the injustice and torment which has been inflicted upon him. Realize for yourself the terrible atmosphere which exists about those slaughterhouses; remember that a clairvoyant can see the vast hosts of animal souls, that he knows how strong are their feelings of horror and resentment, and how these recoil at all points upon the human race.
  • I read an article only the other day, in which it was explained that the nauseating stench which rises from those Chicago slaughterhouses, and settles like a fatal miasma over the city, is by no means the most deadly influence that comes up from that Christian hell for animals, though it is the breath of certain death to many a mother’s darling. The slaughterhouses make not only a pest-hole for the bodies of children, but for their souls as well. Not only are the children employed in the most revolting and cruel work, but the whole trend of their thoughts is directed towards killing... I read how one boy, for whom a minister had secured a place in the slaughterhouse, returned home day after day, pale and sick and unable to eat or sleep, and finally came to that minister of the gospel of the compassionate Christ and told him that he was willing to starve if necessary, but that he could not wade in blood another day. The horrors of the slaughter had so affected him that he could no longer sleep. Yet this is what many a boy is doing and seeing from day to day, until he becomes hardened to the taking of life; and then some day, instead of cutting the throat of a lamb or a pig, he kills a man, and straightway we turn our lust for slaughter upon him in turn, and think that we have done justice.
  • I read that a young woman, who does much philanthropic work in the neighborhood of these pest-houses declares that what most impresses her about the children is that they seem to have no games except games of killing, that they have no conception of any relation to animals except the relation of the slaughter to the victim. This is the education which so-called Christians are giving to the children of the slaughterhouse —a daily education in murder; and then they express surprise at the number and brutality of the murders in that district. Yet your Christian public goes on serenely saying its prayers and singing its psalms and listening to its sermons, as if no such outrages were being perpetrated against God’s children in that sink-hole of pestilence and crime. Surely the habit of eating dead flesh has produced a moral apathy among us.
  • Even on the physical plane this is a terribly serious matter, and from the occult point of view it is unfortunately far more serious still; for the occultist sees the psychic results of all this, sees how these forces are acting upon the people and how they intensify brutality and unscrupulousness. He sees what a center of vice and of crime you have created, and how from it the infection is gradually spreading until it affects the whole country, and even the whole of what is called civilized humanity.
  • The world is being affected by it in many ways which most people do not in the least realize. There are constant feelings of causeless terror in the air. Many of your children are unnecessarily and inexplicably afraid; they feel terror of they know not what—terror of the dark, or when they are alone for a few moments. Strong forces are playing about us for which you cannot account, and you do not realize that this all comes from the fact that the whole atmosphere is charged with the hostility of these murdered creatures.
  • The average man is not after all a brute, but means to be kind if he only knew how. He does not think; he goes on from day to day, and does not realise that he is taking part all the time in an awful crime... every one who is partaking of this abomination is helping to make this appalling thing a possibility, and undoubtedly shares the responsibility for it.
  • Let us at least make the experiment; let us free ourselves from complicity in these awful crimes, let us set ourselves to try, each in our own small circle, to bring nearer that bright time of peace and love which is the dream and the earnest desire of every true-hearted and thinking man.

The Occult World by A.P. Sinnett (1888)Edit

Fifth American edition, from the Fourth English Edition with the Author's Corrections and a New Preface, (1888)
(full text online)

 
Men of science in former ages worked in secret, and instead of publishing their discoveries, taught them in secret to carefully selected pupils. Their motives for adopting that policy are readily intelligible. ~ Alfred Percy Sinnett
  • There is a school of Philosophy still in existence of which modern culture has lost sight. Glimpses of it are discernible in the ancient philosophies with which all educated men are familiar, but these are hardly more intelligible than fragments of forgotten sculpture,-less so, for we comprehend the human form, and can give imaginary limbs to a torso; but we can give no imaginary meaning to the truth coming down to us from Plato or Pythagoras, pointing, for those who hold the clue to their significance, to the secret knowledge of the ancient world. Side lights, nevertheless, may enable us to decipher such language, and a very rich intellectual reward offers itself to persons who are willing to attempt the investigation. (Introduction)
  • For, strange as the statement will appear at first sight, modern metaphysics, and to a large extent modern physical science, have been groping for centuries blindly after knowledge which occult philosophy has enjoyed in full measure all the while. Owing to a train of fortunate circumstances, I have come to know that this is the case; I have come into some contact with persons who are heirs of a greater knowledge concerning the mysteries of Nature and humanity than modern culture has yet evolved; and my present wish is to sketch the outlines of this knowledge, to record with exactitude the experimental proofs I have obtained that occult science invest its adepts with a control of natural forces superior to that enjoyed by physicists of the ordinary type, and the grounds there are for bestowing the most respectful consideration on the theories entertained by occult science concerning the constitution and destinies of the human soul. (Introduction)
  • People in the present day will be slow to believe that any knowledge worth considering can be found outside the bright focus of Western culture. Modern science has accomplished grand results by the open method of investigation, and is very impatient of the theory that persons who ever attained to real knowledge, either in sciences or metaphysics, could have been content to hide their light under a bushel. So the tendency has been to conceive that occult philosophers of old- Egyptian priests, Chaldean Magi, Essenes, Gnostics, theurgic Neo-Platonists, and the rest-who kept their knowledge secret, must have adopted that policy to conceal the fact that they knew very little. Mystery can only have been loved by charlatans who wished to mystify. The conclusion is pardonable from the modern point of view, but it has given rise to an impression in the popular mind that the ancient mystics have actually been turned inside out, and found to know very little. This impression is absolutely erroneous. (Introduction)
  • Men of science in former ages worked in secret, and instead of publishing their discoveries, taught them in secret to carefully selected pupils. Their motives for adopting that policy are readily intelligible, even if the merits of the policy may seem still open to discussion. At all events, their teaching has not been forgotten; it has been transmitted by secret initiation to men of our own time, and while its methods and its practical achievements remain secrets in their hands, it is open to any patient and earnest student of the question to satisfy himself that these methods are of supreme efficacy, and these achievements far more admirable than any yet standing to the credit of modern science. (Introduction)
  • The trials through which the neophyte has to pass are no fantastic mockeries, or mimicries of awful peril. Nor, do I take it, are they artificial barriers set up by the masters of occultism, to try the nerve of their pupils, as a riding-master might put up fences in his school. It is inherent in the nature of the science that has to be explored, that its revelations shall stagger the reason and try the most resolute courage. It is in his own interest that the candidate's character and fixity of purpose, and perhaps his physical and mental attributes, are tested and watched with infinite care and patience in the first instance, before he is allowed to take the final plunge into the sea of strange experiences through which he must swim with the strength of his own right arm, or perish. (Occultism and the Adepts I)
  • For the present let us consider the position of the adepts as they now exist, or, to use the designation more generally employed in India, of "the Mahatmas." [Mahatma -Great Soul, or Great Spirit, derived from Maha and Atma.]
    They constitute a Brotherhood, or Secret Association, which ramifies all over the East, but the principal seat of which for the present I gather to be in Tibet. But India has not yet been deserted by the adepts, and from that country they still receive many recruits. For the great fraternity is at once the least and the most exclusive organization in the world, and fresh recruits from any race or country are welcome, provided they possess the needed qualifications. The door, as I have been told by one who is himself an adept, is always open to the right man who knocks, but the road that has to be travelled before the door is reached is one which none but very determined travellers can hope to pass. It is manifestly impossible that I can describe its perils in any but very general terms, but it is not necessary to have learned any secrets of initiation to understand the character of the training through which a neophyte must pass before he attains the dignity of a proficient in occultism. The adept is not made: he becomes, as I have been constantly assured, and the process of becoming is mainly in his own hands. (Occultism and the Adepts II)
 
The secret of all future development is a recognition that everything achieved by man from a right comprehension of evolution is a sowing of seed which must ripen into love. ~ Rudolf Steiner
 
By many, occult science is looked upon as a lofty goal of human effort, the crown of all other knowledge and cognition; others, who are devoting themselves with the greatest earnestness and noble love of truth to that which appears to them true science, deem occult science mere idle dreaming and fantasy, in the same category with what is called superstition. ~ Rudolf Steiner

An Outline of Occult Science by Rudolf SteinerEdit

AnthropoSophic Press, New York (1922)
(full text online)

  • One who undertakes to represent certain results of scientific spiritual research of the kind recorded in this book, must above all things be prepared to find that this kind of investigation is at the present time almost universally regarded as impossible. For things are related in the following pages about which those who are today esteemed exact thinkers, assert that they will probably remain altogether indeterminable by human intelligence. One who knows and can respect the reasons which prompt many a serious person to assert this impossibility, would fain make the attempt again and again to show what misunderstandings are really at the bottom of the belief that it is not given to human knowledge to penetrate into the superphysical worlds. (Preface to the Fourth Edition)
  • At the present time the words “occult science” are apt to arouse the most varied feelings. Upon some people they work like a magic charm, like the announcement of something to which they feel attracted by the innermost powers of their soul; to others there is in the words something repellent, calling forth contempt, derision, or a compassionate smile. By many, occult science is looked upon as a lofty goal of human effort, the crown of all other knowledge and cognition; others, who are devoting themselves with the greatest earnestness and noble love of truth to that which appears to them true science, deem occult science mere idle dreaming and fantasy, in the same category with what is called superstition. To some, occult science is like a light without which life would be valueless; to others, it represents a spiritual danger, calculated to lead astray immature minds and weak souls, while between these two extremes is to be found every possible intermediate shade of opinion. (Chapter I. The Character of Occult Science)
  • Through occult science man gains the conviction that from a higher standpoint the weal and woe of the individual are intimately bound up with the weal and woe of the whole world. This is a means by which man comes to see that he is inflicting an injury on the entire world and every being within it, if he does not develop his own powers in the right way. If a man makes his life desolate by losing touch with the unseen, he not only destroys in his inner self something, the decay of which may eventually drive him to despair, but through his weakness he constitutes a hindrance to the evolution of the whole world in which he lives. (Chapter I. The Character of Occult Science)
  • It is impossible to know anything in the occult sense of the present and future of human or planetary evolution without understanding that evolution in the past. For, that which presents itself to the occult student's observation when he watches the hidden events of the past, contains at the same time everything that he can learn of the present and future. In this book we have spoken of the Saturn, Sun, Moon and Earth evolutions. We cannot follow the evolution of the earth, as the occultist understands it, unless we observe the events of preceding evolutionary periods. For what meets us today, within the bounds of our earthly globe, comprises in a certain sense the facts of the evolution of the Moon, Sun and Saturn. The beings and things that took part in the evolution of the Moon have gone on developing, and all that now belongs to the earth, is the outcome of that development. (Chapter VI. The Present and Future Evolution of the World and of Humanity)
  • Everything which the ego is able to unfold within itself must give birth to love. The all-embracing archetype of love is set forth in the revelation of... the Christ Mystery. Through Him the germ of love is planted in the innermost core of the human being; and from this starting-point it must flow through the whole of evolution. Just as the wisdom previously formed manifests in the forces of the earthly sense-world, in the “elementary forces” of to-day, so love itself will manifest in the future, in all phenomena, as the new “elementary force.” p. 401 (Chapter VI. The Present and Future Evolution of the World and of Humanity)
  • The secret of all future development is a recognition that everything achieved by man from a right comprehension of evolution is a sowing of seed which must ripen into love. And the greater the amount of love-force, so much the greater will be the creative force available for the future. In that which will grow from love, will lie the mighty forces leading to that culminating point of spiritualization described above. The greater the amount of spiritual knowledge that flows into human and terrestrial evolution, so much more living and fruitful seed will be stored up for the future. Spiritual knowledge is transmuted through its own nature into love... The wisdom of the outer world becomes inner wisdom in man from the Earth period onward and when it is concentrated in him, it becomes the germ of love. Wisdom is the necessary preliminary condition for love; love is the fruit of wisdom, reborn in the ego. p. 402 (Chapter VI. The Present and Future Evolution of the World and of Humanity)

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