RE: Occult Sciences What is its nature and sphere of coverage?
Nov 10, 2000 04:39 AM
by Dallas Tenbroeck
Nov 9th 2000
Your questions are interesting and (to me) valuable, and make us
re-think many things we take for granted in our arts and
sciences. How much is FACT, and how much is THEORIZING and
May I offer the following thoughts?
On the surface OCCULT means "obscure, hidden from sight."
SCIENCE = "knowledge, art, skill, study and observation, usually
relates to physical world (specific)." (WEBSTER'S College
But, apparently, Theosophy uses these two words in a may that is
different, as it asks us to look into their origin for the source
of their usage. Or, so it seems to me.
HPB (as it seems to me) uses the term ("occult Science") to
designate the underlying knowledge, accumulated down the ages by
all those who have delved into and analyzed Nature's workings.
Of course she posits universal evolution of the "life atom"
(named MONAD and is said to be an indissoluble compound of
SPIRIT/MATTER). In the SECRET DOCTRINE she traces this evolution
from its earliest Source-beginnings, and she declares that all
being in the Universe - Earth - Humanity down to the very Atoms
and Sub-atoms. She says in effect that ancient Science has
always existed and left records of its findings shrouded in the
language and symbolism of its times (sometimes quite
indecipherable to us).
>From the non-manifest, she passes to the manifesting and then the
Manifested Universe. She declares that the Monad (life-unit) is
indestructible, eternal, and is in continuous contact with its
Source, the UNIVERSAL and ETERNAL ONE SPIRIT -- in this,
"perfection" of all knowledge and work is said to reside. Each
Human she says is a MONAD on its way towards this "perfection."
It has to "win" a re-connection with the ONE SPIRIT (symbolically
its "Father") though the process of learning all the laws of
Nature that apply to it and its environment, and which briefly
expressed in terms of Universal Ecology is "BROTHERHOOD."
By this process those Monads which have the least experience, and
presently form what we call "Matter," are transmuted through our
efforts (and theirs) into "human Monads," where the stage of
free-choice resides and forms the basis for all individual
learning. This is, generally, where we as mankind, is. The
objective (to our senses) matter and its many forms, surrounds
We infer the causative and invisible universe of force power,
motive, will, thought and emotion, and assume they play their
underlying but regulated part in our environment. It is this
invisible but powerful influence that we are seeking to discover
and to learn about. The process is called Reincarnation, under
the Laws of Nature which have been called Karma as a whole. Our
present faculties, talents (or lack of them), and "drive" are
evidence of the position that we have made for ourselves in this
vast host of similarly self-endowed Monads (the Human Race).
As a Compendium (ISIS UNVEILED on Occult Science, and elsewhere
in Theosophical literature), this literature relates to the Laws
that operate in "invisible and causative" Nature (or "Space") to
cause physical results (in "Visible" Space). While these remain
invisible, their effects are visible as effects to us.
As a Science it would mean the identifying by choice of certain
causes that would bring on effects in nature (and to others),
according to the knowledge (or ignorance) of the practitioner who
chooses to use those forces. [That is: We, ourselves, as we can
determine if we seek to discover the motives we employ and the
resulting actions, words, etc... that carry that "power" into
It is also assumed that we all have some secret and invisible
personal powers along those lines, but that we have not become as
familiar as we ought to with their effects of their use. The
usage becomes a matter of force and power when we begin to study
the psychology of our own selves and that of others around us.
This, is in effect, a partial penetration to one or other aspects
of the great and unavoidable: "Occult Science." Our
observations, if impartially made, add to those which constitute
that Science, and our knowledge of it. We are all practical
psychologists and occultists, but we are yet unaware of the fact,
and the opportunities that are ours.
Sometime back, thinking along these lines I became aware that
many things I had taken for granted as laws and facts in Science
were in fact theories and hypotheses. Let me explain:
Some invisible workings of Nature such as electricity, magnetism,
heat, light, sound, are pretty well established as essentials
because of the repeated results of their influence which is
observed on matter. But they have, of themselves so far, never
been actually observed. They are inferred. Their power, energy
and the way in which they affect the forms of matter, being
observed, LAWS relating to them and to specific aspects of
matter, are inferred by observers. But the actual POWER or
ENERGY is not actually made tangible. Only its EFFECTS are made
visible by the changes induced in and upon matter and its forms
with which we are familiar.
A student of the history of the development of Science during the
past 2,000 years will be able to note this, Just as a Scholar
who studies ancient philosophies, traditions, customs,
literature, and religions will soon notice analogetic
definitions and inter-actions. The literature of Theosophy draws
specific attention to this, as one of its objectives is to
provide evidence that demonstrates the brotherhood of all
religions, of mankind and of the common pilgrimage we participate
in. It is but natural that the so-called "Occult Sciences" are
found to be included under this heading, as their history shows
that suppression and repression has been imposed by one religion
or cult on others. Our recent experience with Catholicism in the
: "West" during the past 1,000 years is a case in point.
Matter per se is still not a specific observation. Any form is
produced by the lattice-like substrate (electro-magnetic?) on
which atoms, molecules, sub-atomic particles, cells, crystals,
amorphous, liquid, gaseous, ethereal (fiery, tenuous, solid
objects) are classified. One could say that the rapid movement
of atoms, molecules, etc, produce as phenomena a sense of
solidity, and of existence, but, when traced to their source,
they are of themselves tangible. Thus our Science is the study
of effects, and the inference of their causes.
The forms of matter, the "atomic numbers," "atomic weights," and
the properties associated with the pure or compound forms of
matter are all assumed (theorized, hypothesized) to be "REAL."
There is no "proof" other than the fact that these various
substances can be used in ways whereby those laws, qualities and
properties associated with them (and assumed to be a result of
their atomic and molecular existence (pure or in compound forms)
are found to repeat faithfully. We trust the repetitive and
invariant response of Nature rather than the "think in itself."
If we assume that the foundations (so commonly taught to
children) of chemistry, physics, mathematics, etc... are
expressions of FACT, and TRUTH, and LAW (in so far as those
"laws" relate to specific substances under controlled and
specific conditions of heat, pressure, time, location, etc...(all
being restrictive, and which concentrate, confine, or dissipate
them) are immutable (as far as we can determine), then all our
knowledge (and the many applications in engineering, research,
etc.) is based on intangibles. The existence of a "Reality" is
assumed (or proved ?) by the repetitive similarity of EFFECTS
that CAN BE MEASURED with the instrumentality we have.
Qualitative and quantitative chemistry and the basic laws of
physics are easily demonstrated and proved. In chemical
equations the fact that response is NOT invariable is represented
by the double arrow that shows the direction in which a process
We may now assume that we are dealing with physical realities,
but in actual fact we are only dealing with the effects (that we
can SENSE in one way or another). These effects we tend to group
among the phenomena that are deemed (because of our own
sensoria) as physical and tangible to us. Gases are invisible
until we feel them as an effect of their pressure -- wind or a
breeze. Liquids are such until we lower the temperature and
cause them to solidify (water to ice as an instance). Solids
(and liquids) vaporize under increased heat (Sulfur, Mercury or
water are illustrations of this).
Some substances transmit an electrical flow, others block it.
The "flow" of electricity is assumed to be a change in ionic
valency exchanged from electron to electron, but this is only a
theory. Heat (or cold) is said to flow. The nature of
sub-atomic particles is assumed from observing the resistance and
deflection of the obstacles presented to them in a "cloud
chamber,* or a suitable "film." In biology the growth of plants
and the healing of wounds (scarring) are observed and it is
theorized that there are specific laws that govern the phenomena.
The actual cause and process is not actually seen. The effects
are observed, and from these certain Laws are inferred.
The whole of our "Science" will be found on close examination to
be erected on these "invisibles." Their action and effect on the
tangible scene, gives rise to the theories that Science
designates as the Laws it has "discovered."
When we come to the study of the psychology and the mental
powers and qualities of humans we indeed meet with problems,
because the power of volition and of choice are not invariable.
Changes of consciousness, the persistence of identity, volition,
influence, perception on planes of experience other than the
physical (trance, mediumship, channeling, clairvoyance,
clairaudience, intuition, etc... ) remain to be examined and
Some of the records of those who have experimented in this area
in the past have come to us and may be classified as "magic," or
"occult Science." But there seems to be no clear-cut set of
definitions. The advent of Theosophy and its literature on this
subject seems to place it in the realm of early study. We have
yet to fully analyse or understand ancient records in this
This is a vast subject indeed, and Theosophy seems to offer one
of the clearest views of its nature.
I hope this will be of help. Any comments will be welcome to
From: Jim Rodak
Sent: Wednesday, November 08, 2000
Subject: Occult Sciences
I often come across the term "occult sciences" in theosophical
Would anyone care to expound on this subject in some detail and
it to the term often associated with it, "laws of nature." JLR
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