The word occult meaning - ("knowledge of the hidden." In common English usage, occult refers to "knowledge of the paranormal," as opposed to "knowledge of the measurable,) Has and is being used to demonized the TS ,This is what christainity does to anything that doesant blindly follow its teachings,,they say the word Devil was brought back from egyptian times to demonise the Deva"s and enlightened being of the people of india when the christians invaded india,therefore the word Deva became Devil,,if your not with us you are followers of evil.

Likewise any one we feel open enough to introduce to theosophy,seeing or hearing the view that theosophist are into the occult,will bring a fear of it,based on upbringing in christainity or other religions,will have to feel they are turning there back on there god to proceed,when really it is only applying an open mind to the mystical observations in life.

The witch craft,or becoming followers of some sort of Satan or Evil,and or, gaining powers from occult discovery,is now the view of the outsider, of the dirty word occultism.

Reminds me of what my mother said about spells,magic,and one upmanship " if you could gain powers over other people,you would never gain,since what you can take in one hand you will lose from the other,"  in comes Karma .

So unless the word is to be removed (and it cannot be taken away from the history of the TS)  i can only see the answer being,we must "clean up the view of the word" with an understanding of its truer meaning put "out there"

 and as dificult at that seems,im reminded of the fact that words like Karma are now worldy known dew to the TS and even the beatles helped usher in these  eastern ideas..stu

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Comment by Dewald Bester on May 17, 2017 at 7:02am

hi Eric

i don't have any experience of blogging, but i would think you should consider your intended audience. If it is to include academic types you should consider a spell check program. Your word 'woferling' is going to keep me smiling for a while. I don't mean this unkindly, you have interesting and passionate points, but i think you will lose some respect from a certain audience with oversights on spelling and grammar. (It could be you don't care about that type of audience.)

Yes, i also agree 'religion' has lost its explanatory power in certain quarters.It still seems pretty important in many individuals private lives. No-one really takes religious statements about the world seriously. They are all to be interpreted. But, perhaps, that is not so bad. It leaves a space for you to offer your interpretations. I think that is a challenge anyone with an opinion must face: which is basically, why should anyone else care what you vision and version of something is. There is sort of a struggle for supremacy. Maybe that is also ok. Ideas should prove themselves in the public arena. The challenge is to undo dominant discourses and reframe the debate in terms we (you) find more useful. The bullsh!t and appeal to personal experience argument has its place. But, i dont think that alone will see any change in the conversation. Something much more will be needed. What it is, I am not sure.

Comment by ERIC STEWART MCGOUGH on May 16, 2017 at 12:14pm

hi dewald,personaly not being the academic type,i couldant mount an argument not to privilege science over religion,,i try  only yesterday on youtube someone blew my comment about Karma away,saying " ther is no prof that there is karma,thats bull sh1t" Yet to me i see karma everywhere and even science has the caurse and effect,which is another word for it,,,but thats the problem religion is also a dirty word now,its seen more as a war caurser,or a fantasy for fearful people.

This website should be buzzing with life,,but even searchers are very few these days.

and thinking of doing a couple of blogs soon,but fear im not academic enough to put my points without woferling on lol

Comment by Dewald Bester on May 16, 2017 at 11:00am

I think I would agree with Eric that descriptive terms like 'esoteric' and 'occult' are not particularly explanatory or helpful. And function to distance theosophy from more 'acceptable' discourses. Though, perhaps, they are becoming more acceptable and domesticated. And, with John that the meanings of terms are context bound. Even the term 'theosophy/Theosophy' is ambiguous, contested, and ill-defined (or multi- defined). Meaning is in use, and John's work to re-appropriate the term 'theosophy' is interesting. His line below of 'taking hpb out of theosophy' has made me think. If hpb theosophists dropped the term 'theosophy', what would the implications be.
I think i'd drop some of the hpb vocabulary, like 'closest we know of truth'. How would one know if they had the truth or not? it hardly helps to answer, that someone else told us we had the truth, even if that 'person' was an hpb book. Radicalized religion - could we also speak of a radicalized science? Could we mount an argument not to privilege science over religion?

Comment by John on April 30, 2017 at 12:13pm

I forgot to add that if you believe in the 3 objects of theosophy, then Philosophy, Science and Religions should all be examined/studied.. Science is often viewed as an enemy of theosophy. I've never understood that. Science is the best defense against radicalized religions. Buddhism, Hinduisn, Abrahamic religions etc. have had  fighting on and off for centuries among their radicalized followers. Even the theosophical societies have been fighting (verbal) for over 100 years. That is not a good example to set. Radicalized theosophy should take a break for a while and solve its own problems (especially Adyar).

As to the word "occultism", I never use it. If people bring it up, first ask what they mean by the word. That can open the door to correct the definition(s) of occult. It doesn't always work.

Peace -


Comment by John on April 29, 2017 at 6:21pm

Hi -

My personal take is that theosophy is much bigger than HPB. So, if you take HPB out of theosophy, is it still theosophy? 

(There was a Theosophical Society in London around 1783)

I think it better to broaden theosophy and work on getting HPB un-demonized. Occult is a word used in science today. Words have many meanings, depending on the context in the sentence. I would push for education.

In any case, I am unsure.   <g>


Comment by ERIC STEWART MCGOUGH on April 28, 2017 at 7:08pm

Hi i waited a day or two before replying to you John,Since my answer has to be "well bye bye brotherhood then" im not sure about what the hpb trap is,apart from i think they said he cheated in her letters that apeard from nowhere ? having never read TS stuff i only heard things said as a kid,,,(my mother did talk about meeting Jiddu Krishnamurti)

I worry that theosophy has always taken a back seat and yet has so much more credibility than religions when its ideas are thought through,,,maybe HPB needs to be un-demonised, at the same time,,its almost insulting if HPB isant taken as far far ahead of her time (on a personal evolution level anyway)

theosophy being the closest we know of truth,should be very hard to demonise in itself as a way to proceed,since any other way,makes less sence.

Sadly im not left with any answers about this one..stu

Comment by John on April 25, 2017 at 4:23pm

I think it worse to tell someone you are a theosophist, only for them to then think of HPB the famous occultist. For some reason, people just fall into the "theosophy = HPB" trap.


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