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Occult Underpinnings: Right, Wrong and Reason in Esoterica

Time, in a sense, has its own very unique and occult sort of language. Every man who ever has, and who ever will exist, has submitted to the eventuality of its entropic demands. When looking at the nature of time in the broad sense—or at very least, what we can discern about time through our present understanding of reality—we do begin to find more questions than answers.

Hence, perhaps, the necessity others have found throughout the ages for employing those things which we might deem “occult” in an attempt to reconcile with the otherwise inexplicable nature of temporality.

There are an awful lot of words out there that have more than their fair share of stigma attached to them, and perhaps the term “occult” is one of them. Those who speak it may unintentionally evoke images of sacred rituals and black rites carried out by cover of darkness, employed my masters of the dark arts who have long renounced their allegiance to the forces of light and goodness.

esoteric language

That’s an admittedly more flowery way of saying that people often think “occult” means pure evil. Conversely, the occult and its presumed forces of darkness aren’t always exclusive to one another; there are, in fact, occult underpinnings which make themselves available to everything from the ethos of various Christian groups, to certain levels of government as well (just consider the controversial symbolism and ritual behavior often associated with elite groups like those who gather at Bohemian Grove, in addition to countless other occult-oriented groups of influence that have emerged over the ages).

At this juncture, it would be good to define in clear terms precisely what “the occult” and its practices actually do entail, since this is obviously a rather broad-reaching phenomenon. Defined in its simplest, occult simply means the study of magical, spiritual, or mystical practices, and perhaps the belief in related phenomenon. Within this context, one can certainly see that the holy rites of the Roman Catholic Church might be deemed “occult,” even in the absence of any adherence to the malevolent powers of the Prince of Darkness and his minions of the night.

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On this week’s edition of The Gralien Report Podcast, after a half hour or so of discussion about the timely and ever-growing time bomb about to erupt in Syria, my guest, Dr. John Ward of Luxor, Egypt, and I discussed some of these occult underpinnings rooted in much of the study of ancient mysteries today, as well as human history on the whole. I asked my guest about the occult insinuations that some had made about his own work in the past; Dr. Ward, a researcher of ancient Egyptian history and many of its more overtly esoteric aspects, has indeed attracted controversy for his acceptance of the various occult traditions that have become apparent to him through his study of remnants of the ancient world.

John is, in fact, quite comfortable with being labeled an “occultist” himself: in his mind, he cannot reconcile with his Christian upbringing, which, to him, starkly contrasts with what he is able to discern about the world through historical studies, much of which looks back to the roots of esoterica that predate Christianity by centuries or more.

To an extent, I feel that almost anyone who studies the truly unexplainable might be considered an “occultist.” I’ve been warned by a number of my Christian friends (especially those who have never stopped to ask about my own spiritual viewpoints), that my interest in things like UFOs might actually be instrumental in carrying out a sort of “divine deception”, where I am led away from faith by interests I have developed in things that seem not of this world… and hence, occult

aleister-crowley

I will admit that there are certain dangers—intellectually and spiritually—which may be presented before one who seeks to look far enough “outside the box.” The study of such things will certainly challenge one’s world view, and at times, help instill in them a sense of solitude, or in the more extreme instances, disassociation from others who don’t share this new, more complex and troubling “alternative” world view. Thus, I agree that there are practical instances where thinking outside the box could be potentially harmful… I don’t know that I would agree that they are evil, on the other hand.

I think most of us know the difference between right and wrong (thank goodness). However, since this is not always the case, we must remain vigilant in all walks of life, so as to present the proper measured amount of interest in our work (those of us who deal with the unexplained, that is), and to strive for balance in what we do. All things must maintain balance, lest some sort of adversity begin to set in… and in truth, it seems that dealing in “ultimates” or “extremes” does not present a very comfortable set of standards for anyone to have to adhere to, occultist, Christian, Universal Spiritualist, engineer, or perhaps even the space-aliens among us.

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Micah Hanks is a writer, podcaster, and researcher whose interests cover a variety of subjects. His areas of focus include history, science, philosophy, current events, cultural studies, technology, unexplained phenomena, and ways the future of humankind may be influenced by science and innovation in the coming decades. In addition to writing, Micah hosts the Middle Theory and Gralien Report podcasts.
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