In My Opinion
I am a Theosophist and Pantheist; a Pagan in other words. I believe in the inherent Divine and Its Wisdom present in the All. I listen, read and borrow; I observe, use discernment and whatever is emphatically worthy of Divinity, I embrace. I combine it all into a reasoned harmonious whole and move on to further learning experiences. I believe in the evolution of man’s spirit … not in its devolution.
A renowned Theosophist, Leadbeater, said that when people begin to think, they invariably begin to doubt. Mainstream religion by its very nature, does not empower their faithful with the right to reason but promotes incomprehensible and irrational dogma, belief in which is mandatory and which then leads to “criticism of” and “intolerance towards” anything that is different and unknown. The Unknown is still viewed with superstition and fear. Pagans are no different. When many convert to Paganism, they bring these doubts and undermining tendencies with them. Unless we shake off the old superstitions and embrace within ourselves the “Higher Knowledge” of what lies hidden in the sacred sanctuary of the human Soul, we will continue to stumble in the dark and miss out on the purpose and meaning of living.
When Rome and Greece underwent cultural decay and moral degradation, so did the holy rites and ancient mysteries. Fortunately, among the Adepts, the keys to self-gnosis and the sacred ways of Wisdom were preserved in secrecy. This knowledge has been handed down, from generation to generation, across families and traditions, safely hidden within the allegory of mythology and fables, which many of us have ceased to love and know. The Ways of the Mysteries was to know the Divine Wisdom intimately. It is written that Discipline and solemn secrecy was exacted from all the candidates to the Ancient Mystery Schools. This maintained the purity of the Ways as well as protected the acolytes of the dangers of knowing that which they were not yet equipped to understand or deal with. One had to earn one’s advancement through living the application of the knowledge accrued and manifesting wisdom in the process. Pretty much like progressing through school today.
Dionysus (the Logos) was symbolized by the vine. From Him came forth life, strength, everything. These were represented by the juice of the vine that when pressed, tried when the time was right, when the grape was ripe, flowed and could be drunk or be employed in the making of wine, which possessed within it the spirit of the God and could elevate the Soul to higher forms of Consciousness. In the Lesser or Outer Mysteries, folk were exposed to the myths and the fervor of faith, very much like what happens in religious groups today. In the Inner Mysteries the hidden meanings or the allegories were elucidated, but one had to be summoned, once deemed fit. Entry into the Greater Mysteries happened through a process of learning and initiation, which is still employed by Paganism today, not to mention Reiki attunements and the various “belts” one needs to progress through in order to become a Master or attain the Black Belt in Martial Arts. Philosophy and its higher ways of thinking, re-molded men from the inside, bringing forth the self-perfected man, no longer dependent on religious dogma and the need for a Saviour, but free to realize the God within.
Theosophy is not a religion. Theosophy (Theo=Divine, Sophia=Wisdom) means Divine Wisdom, such as is possessed by self-realized Gods, Philaletheians (Philo=loving, aletheia=truth) lovers of truth. It is a mystical, philosophical and spiritual movement that reconciles scientific, metaphysical, philosophical and spiritual disciplines into a unified world view and which draws from many ancient Mystery Traditions and provides a description of Reality at a metaphysical level and through the disciplines of meditation, the application of knowledge and tenets, as well as the discipline of Service (all regarded as necessary for the holistic development of humanity). Theosophy advocates an unconditional, indivisible Truth, that is timeless and causeless and which is termed the Absolute.
Persephone’s descent into the Underworld was the secret parable of the descent of the Soul into Matter. The Soul was not originally enveloped in matter. She came forth from the Creatrix (Demeter) or the Sustainer of All and her descent indicates the descent of spirit into the physical. It is written that Psyche was whisked away whilst gathering narcissus blossoms and this is a direct reference to the myth of the breathtaking Narcissus who fell in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. So enraptured was he with his own reflection, that he fell forward into the pond and drowned in the limited vision of himself. This is yet another reference to a descent of Soul into the Matter and the way we can lose touch with the Absolute Reality by focusing only on the physical.
What Brought Soul to seek its unison with material plane? Soul was attracted by the vision of itself in the solid condition of material existence, by its reflection in the water. Charmed by this, spirit identified itself with this lower form of personality abandoning itself to and merging completely with matter. Her longing for the Spiritual realm, despite her surrender to Desire (Dis the Lord of the Netherworld), enables her to periodically rise from the lower world of material existence. Persephone is therefore destined to spend half of her existence in her material incarnation and half of it in the spiritual realm, just like an Adept who practices the discipline of Balance between the Real and the Unreal (or transitory), or the mind which may be preoccupied with mundane matters of fleeting nature or rise above to loftier realms and merge with the All Consciousness.
It is evident that the myths we dismiss as fairy tales have huge significance and are the secret language of the Adepts and Initiates. This is what the Christ referred to with the phrase “those who have ears to hear and eyes to see”. It has all been there all along, not hidden, simply veiled in allegory, an open invitation to those who through heightened awareness, awake to the Light of Divine Wisdom.
The allegories, the illusion of the material being the sole reality are all Mysteries which the Custodians of Wisdom guarded yet the age of Occultism is over. We live in a world of information through sheer availability, on the internet, in libraries, in book stores over the country and world. Courses in every form of art, craft and discipline are advertised in every newspaper and frequented by thousands every week. All of this is contributing towards the levels of evolution of the All: physical, intellectual and spiritual happening contemporaneously.
Theosophy and its offshoot, the New Age Movement, have disseminated a lot of literature in the West during the twentieth century. This literature, previously hidden and beyond the range of ordinary knowledge, was by many called Occult Literature, but if one looks at the roots of the word “occult” (hidden, secret, covered up), one realizes that the knowledge, nowadays, is available and out in the open. The Science of Universal Nature, the insight into the Nature of the Divine, are open to everybody’s scrutiny and study and the application of its tenets will lead to the penetration of the causal mysteries of Being, through Wisdom and Discipline. It is no longer the prerogative of the select few, but the choice of every man.
The word Occult is believed to be synonymous to “sinister” and “evil” but there is nothing evil or sinister in a philosophical form of spirituality that encourages the comparative study and respect of different religions, traditions and forms of spirituality, which encourages the belief in an Absolute Deific Principle, which is limitless and formless, contains “good” and “bad”, All and Nothing and is an Infinite Unity called “Ain-Soph”, the root of all, the impersonal All-God.
So much focus is placed by Christianity on being critical of all that is different, on the exclusive claims to the One True God, but they forget that the God of Genesis created the tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life, from which man was not allowed to partake. Man was not allowed to internalize or partake of his own divinity or to know that within him lay the greatest mystery of all, the Changeless Universal I of “Know Thyself”. God Within!
In my opinion, if God did not want Adam to know, this makes of the Biblical Jehovah the first Occultist of all.
The Pythagorean Teachings saw students progress from the stages “of Purification (Akoustikoi- those who heard the sound of the spheres and had become aware), Illumination (Mathmatikoi – knowing and understanding sacred geometry as well as the understanding of the fourth dimension, and irrefutable Universal Laws) and Perfection (Physicoi – the study of true inner life, the recognition of Divine Life under all its guises, in all its forms, which furthered the understanding of universal evolution.) ~ Wikipedia
Miyamoto Musashi’s Book of Five Rings is a tome of Martial Arts, the art of self knowledge and self defense, through the knowledge of others. Is this too to be considered Occult knowledge? Will Martial Artists also be investigated for their secret hits, strikes and weaponry? Will our books, the tools of our Craft, the ways of our Ancestors be regarded with suspicion and superstitious distrust?
In my opinion a lot of what is termed “occult” simply refers to ancient disciplines which when applied to one’s life, lead to stronger more evolved beings, who move beyond the realm of being, into the realm of BE-All.
I believe that this Mandate will lead to a lot of false accusations, accusations that cannot be substantiated or proved in a Court of Law, that prejudice will insinuate itself into men’s minds and hearts and cast out Reason and Logic and that this will promote fear and return the need for going into hiding, making of the Occult-related crimes units, in my opinion, the potential promoter of the Revived Occultism.
I believe too that current Legislation should be enforced rather than discarded in the hopes that “busting ghosts and alleged astral offenders” will bring certain crimes to halt in our Country. How are we going to deal with the so-called “invisible crimes” when we ignore the obvious and do not apply the Law with the necessary conviction and firmness?
Every religious and spiritual path has on it the unstable and unstable people resort to unstable actions. This cannot be attributed to the Path per se, but to the pathology of the person involved. We have the good fortune to live under the most progressive Constitution in the world, and this agenda-riddled Unit will not arrest the incidence of crime, but rather erode at the rights of South African Citizens, making way for another age of “darkness” and persecution.
Like most Pagans I have had previous accusations leveled at me and I do not fear being called an Occultist, nor do I fear being investigated, for I have nothing to hide. It is the infringement of my religious and political rights and that of fellow Pagans and New Agers, Hypnotherapists, Acupuncture Practitioners, Aroma therapists, Reflexologists, Ayurvedic Medicine Practitioners, Diviners, as well as the unadulterated meaning of what “I” stand for, which has brought me to the writing of this article.
“In order to know yourself, you must sacrifice your “I” to the Universal “I” (Leo Tolstoy)
The Key to Theosophy by H.P. Blavatsky
Studies in the Occult by H.P. Blavatsky
The Occult Glossary Purucker