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9 October 2017: The Occult and Occultism

This week we are going to take a look at some of our works from the interesting genre and practice of the occult and occultism. The word ‘occult’ derives from the Latin word ‘occultus’ which translates as clandestine, hidden or secret. In English usage the word has developed to typically refer to paranormal knowledge. However, there are many branches of the occult and practices which includes, but is not limited to, magic, alchemy, extra-sensory perception, astrology, spiritualist religion, and divination.
 
Of many exciting works in our library, the first title to be discussed is Jane Sherwood’s fascinating Post-Mortem Journal, Communications from T.E Lawrence.The work is a biography of sorts on Lawrence of Arabia. The entire novel was reported by Jane Sherwood through the process of automatic writing. Sherwood stated she had communications with someone from the other side of the grave named ‘Scott.’ This ‘Scott’ did not believe himself to truly be dead and so this work shows the development of salvation for him. It transpired that ‘Scott’ was actually Colonel T E Lawrence. Lawrence, also known as 'Lawrence of Arabia', was a British archaeologist, military officer, diplomat and writer. The flyleaf refers to the Lawrence as ‘A tortured and guilty man who, for the first time, is forced into admitting his weaknesses and vanities during his earthly life... such revelations are harrowing and magnificent.’ 
 
Sherwood notes that the work is directly from ‘Scott’ and therefore she can only vouch for her own honesty as she has written without addition or modification through the form of automatic writing. This work is a fascinating insight into Lawrence's life and his journey to salvation. 
 
Another branch of occultism is Occult science, of which we have many works by noted occultist and Theosophist, Alice Bailey. Bailey brought the idea of occult science into association with esoteric astrology.  She also wrote most of her works through a form of automatic writing. She described her works to have been telepathically dictated to her by a Master of Wisdom referred to as ‘The Tibetan’ or by the initials ‘D L.’ ‘D L’ was also known as Master Djwhal Khul. 
 
 Bailey was a writer of more than twenty-four books on theosophical subjects. She was also one of the first people to use the term ‘New Age.’ Her works of occult science tend to relate to how spirituality relates to the Solar System as well as meditation, healing, spiritual psychology and more.  We have a second edition of Bailey’s work Telepathy and the Etheric Vehicle. The work is a study and explanation of telepathy with regards to the etheric body. The etheric body is the vehicle or instrument of astral energy. Another important work by Bailey is The Light of the Soul, Its Science and Effect. The work is on Yoga tradition and Pantanjal’s sutras on Yoga. It discusses the stages of meditation, powers of the soul, steps to union as well as a discussion of the versatile psychic nature. To see more of our works written by Alice Bailey click here. 
 
Under the branch of occult science we have a work by Canadian astrologer and mystic, Manly P Hall. Man, The Grand Symbol of the Mysteries is a really interesting work on human anatomy in terms of occult knowledge. Subjects discussed to this work include the theory of education, occult foundations of science, the three worlds, the symbolism of the world egg, occult embryology, incarnations of Vishnu, the brain, senses and much more. Our copy is the third edition, published the same year as the first edition. It is illustrated with several interesting vignettes, diagrams and full page illustrations.
 
As ever, this blog only discusses a small sample of the many works in our library. If you are looking for anything in particular please do not hesitate to contact us. Otherwise, feel free to peruse our website.  
 
     

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