What is the occult, and is it a viable spiritual path? What’s the difference between occultism and other forms of spirituality? Should you seek occult powers, should you explore paranormal phenomena, and should you contact supernatural beings? In this episode, I’ll give an answer to all of the questions above.
First of all, what is occultism exactly? The word simply means hidden, so those who pursue the occult want to gain some hidden knowledge about themselves and the world around them. Historically, occultism referred to the three hidden arts: astrology, alchemy and magic. I have a separate video about each of these topics if you want to delve deeper.
Nowadays, the occult is an even bigger mixture of various fringe beliefs and practices like witchcraft, Satanism, Voodoo, parapsychology, demonology and all kinds of paranormal and supernatural things. While the mother of New Age philosophies is Helena Blavatsky, the modern father of occultism is Aleister Crowley. While both rely on the supernatural, the New Age movement has a strong positive vibe, occultism is often connected to black magic, and regarded by many as evil or wicked.
To tell you the truth, I’m not a supporter of either of these approaches. What I see as the big problem though, is that so many people confuse them with true spirituality. As I already recorded an episode titled “New Age vs spirituality”, I will only discuss here the similarities and differences between the occult and the spiritual. And when I talk about true spirituality, I specifically mean mysticism, which I regard as the only true spiritual path.
So why do most people confuse occultism with mysticism? Because both of these methods focus on the hidden dimensions of life, on the deeper aspects of the self, and on the experiential knowledge of spirituality. The similarities go this far, but there are many more differences I’d like to explain in the next few points.
The first and foremost difference is this: An occultist seeks the truth for his sake, while a mystic seeks the truth for its own sake. The occultist wants to gain more knowledge to have more power, to succeed in life, to use it against others. He also wants to feel more clever so that he can look down on ordinary people and feel superior to them.
In contrast, a mystic has no personal agenda, he simply desires to know what’s real and what’s illusory. He values truth more than anything else, even more than his own worldly success. He doesn’t claim exclusivity on this knowledge, he knows that even ordinary people can find it if they try hard enough.
The second difference: An occultist wants to make his ego stronger, while a mystic wants to go beyond his ego altogether. It’s a very alluring fantasy for the ego to get occult powers that nobody else has, to be able to do things that nobody else can. The ego wants to feel special in one way or another, and those who failed in the usual options that society offers, often turn to the occult.
On the contrary, a mystic’s ultimate goal is to become a nobody, to shed his personality like the skin of a snake. Instead of personal gratification, he seeks personal liberation. Instead of seeking godly powers, his goal is to become one with God. Instead of arrogance and pride, he gains humility and respect.
The third difference: An occultist wants to control gods, while a mystic surrenders to his own godlike nature. Just like a religious believer, an occultist invents all sorts of gods, angels and demons, and attempts to communicate with them to win their favor, to influence his own fate positively or to cause somebody else harm.
A mystic has no such beliefs, because he’s against the very idea of belief. Instead of trying to control his circumstances, he accepts them on a fundamental level, but at the same time takes full responsibility for his situation. He is preoccupied with finding his purpose in life, surrendering to his fate, and being just an empty vessel for God.
The next difference is that an occultist looks outside for answers, while a mystic mostly turns inside. Occultism is about discovering the supernatural beyond the mundane, while mysticism is about discovering that the mundane can be super and natural.
Occultists get drowned in their arcane books and weird practices, while a mystic can be successful without relying on anything else than himself. Although a spiritual teacher can be of great help, his wish is not to get ready-made answers, but to provoke his own intelligence and find the wisdom within.
And the final and perhaps most important difference is that occultism takes you further away from truth, while mysticism brings you closer to it. Occultism is a secondary layer of illusion on the primary illusion that we all experience in ordinary life. Instead of breaking through this basic illusion, it simply creates a new one, that has nothing to do with reality whatsoever.
While an occultist is quick to believe even the most fantastical theories, a mystic questions even the most obvious things in life, and takes nothing for granted. Even if the truth hurts, the mystic is ready to face it, and can’t be distracted by fairytales. He always chooses the inconvenient truth instead of a comforting lie.
In this free report, I’ll reveal my number one secret to spiritual enlightenment that almost nobody else speaks about. Download it now below, to find out what it is! I can guarantee you, you’ll be surprised!