Human Regeneration – part sixteen
- Published: Thursday, 28 September 2017 10:57
Radha Burnier – India
[Recognizing regeneration as the kernel of all Theosophical work, the International Theosophical Centre at Naarden, the Netherlands, jointly with the Federation of Theosophical Societies in Europe, organized two seminars in July 1990, with a number of office bearers, workers and members of the Society from different countries as participants. Proceedings of the seminar were published as a book under the title Human Regeneration: Lectures and Discussion (Amsterdam: Uitgeverij der Theosofische Vereniging in Nederland, 1990). This chapter (discussions) is here slightly revised.]
In ‘Practical Occultism’, HPB writes of some basic ideas of Theosophy. The second article is on ‘Occultism versus the Occult Arts’. The occult arts are sometimes confused with Theosophy. Could we go into this problem?
RB: The occult arts are basically concerned with the siddhis. The Hindu books have classified them, for the people of India, Tibet and some of the oriental nations are very fond of classifying everything. The siddhis include the ability to become very small or large, very light or heavy, control over others, clairvoyance and so on. The word ‘siddhi’means basically: perfection, accomplishment. If you use the plural, siddhis, it means all these things. It can also be used in the singular to mean attainment, attainment of perfection. A Siddha is a perfected man; it is then a synonym for Mahatma or Mukta, a liberated man. Thus the word 'siddhi' refers to spiritual realization. Now let us go back to occultism and the occult arts.
RH: Occultism is the knowledge of all that is not perceptible to the usual physical senses. It is the perception of the realities of a subtler world than the physical. As for occult arts, you have to consider every art separately.
EA: Perhaps it is the difference between self-centered action and action which is not self-centered.
IH: Occultism is the science of the hidden side of Nature. What we perceive is very, very little of the totality of Nature and so treading the occult path is the pursuit of the reality that lies beyond the superficial form or the forms which our senses and our everyday mind are able to perceive. The simplest definition of occultism is: The science of the hidden side of nature.
With regard to the occult arts, I would refer you to HPB's essay on occultism and the occult arts. The term ‘occult arts’ is usually applied to the use, or the abuse, of power for selfish ends. It does not mean that one has to use it like that, but that is how the word ‘occultism’ in the West has taken a pejorative meaning. It has a bad flavor, a bad connotation. Occultism is often confused with occult arts. It is neither good nor bad; it is the science of the unseen. Just as with the study of the seen side of nature, e.g. chemistry, once you have discovered the of a chemical, you can use it to poison people or heal them. Occultism is neutral; it is the science of the hidden side. What you do with results of your study can be either good or bad, helpful or harmful to humanity.