The Biblical Occult

As this internet age of touch screens and digital propaganda takes its control like some kind of enlarging typhoon, the categories of so-called occultism and "dark-arts" can be spotted and identified as nothing more than a meaningless gathering of costume show attenders—with not a foundation of substance in sight. Of course, occultus in Latin means hidden or concealed (its context being one of mystery and divine knowledge), but today's idea seems to be something completely different⁠—like some kind of Spencer's display, or a mall-metal festival. The implications are shocking indeed.

One of the most common spreading mentalities that I have seen in fact, is this odd sort of repudiation of the Biblical documents within the context of occultism. That is, that the Bible itself seems to be completely disregarded and separated from the occult in the mind of such people, as many seem to think of the Bible as some kind of Christian source, where in reality, nothing could be further from the truth. The fact of the matter? The Biblical writings are loaded with Hebrew esotericism, Gnosticism, and astro-theological symbolism⁠—quite an amazing body of occult literature to say the least (and it need not be separated from any other ancient mythology). Those who fall for the Christian bear trap (i.e. the lie that the Bible is a Christian set of documents) obviously fail to perceive this truth. The Kybalion asserts:
"From old Egypt have come the fundamental esoteric and occult teachings which have so strongly influenced the philosophies of all races . . ." (The Hermetic Philosophy, Ch. I)
Yet the Egyptian and Hebrew connection is quite emphatic (e.g. Exodus 9:1), and so the connection of occultism should come across as no surprise.

Moreover, unlike the absurdity of today, the occult "icons" of the past were very much involved in and associated with the Biblical context. For instance, well known occultists such as Crowley, Eliphas Levi, ⁠Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, and even Hermes Trismegistus were all connected to the Bible in some kind of way. Aleister Crowley not only claimed a deep rooted "intimate knowledge of the Bible" (see Crowley on Christ), but as far as his philosophical perspective went, he was apparently influenced by the Biblical usage of the Greek term Θελημα (Thelema), resulting in the well known "Do what thou wilt" concept. Moreover, Eliphas Levi (which is a "transliteration" of his actual name "Alphonse Louis" into Hebrew) not only speaks on Christ in his book The Paradoxes of the Highest Science, but also calls religion "the collective poesy of great souls." He was very theologically informed. And, his famous Baphomet drawingwhich of course has to do with the equilibrium of opposites—seems to nowadays get pulled out of its original context and turned into some kind of "Hot Topic" symbol. Really, it's interesting how this particular drawing of his remains popular while his drawing of the seven seals from the book of Revelation (Apocalyptic Keyseems to get less recognition. But if anything, that just presses my point even further.

As for Agrippa, he was clearly a learned theologian, well aware of Biblical and Kabalistic teaching. Firstly, he rightly understood the concept of "the Magician" not as a superstitious sorcerer, but rather, as "a wise man, a priest, [and] a prophet" (Natural Magic, Introduction).1 He even said that if one is not learned in theology, they could not "understand the rationality of Magick" (Ch. II, ibid.). His Biblical involvement is quite obvious in fact, referencing Christ's words to Nicodemus as well as pointing to the content of the Book of Joshua (and "the Chaldeans furnace" in the Book of Daniel).

Hermes Trismegistus, to whom the well known aphorism "As above, so below" is attributed (Emerald Tablet), not only wrote in accordance with Biblical teaching,2 but was even understood to be either a contemporary of Moses, or thought to perhaps be Moses himself (e.g. see Theologica Platonica). The latter is quite a good argument actually given the parallel between the "tablets," along with the obvious Egyptian connection (Exodus 2:10; 7:10-22). It is also no marvel that Hermes and Gnosticism get associated together, since the Gnostic Acts of Peter even mentions "those that are above as those below" (XXXVIII.), and Gnosticism itself is very Biblical (see The Gnostic Testament). Thus, the connection is surely manifest.

And so, as can be seen, true and pure occultism cuts back to the ancient world⁠—the Bible being no exception to this. Even today, with the 50th anniversary edition of The Black Arts going around, Biblical/Hebraic references can be seen (e.g. p. 1, 117, 252). It is basically inescapable. Yet, since many are not studied in the Bible's complex content (nor do they usually understand what the Bible even is), how could such a thing be discerned? Many people claim to be occultists, but why? Are they interested in speaking to the dead? That is necromancy, an ancient esoteric practice (see Necromancy). Are people worshiping deities such a Hecate, the triadic moon goddess? That cuts back to Greek Mythology, which is basically the same thing as Hebrew (and Roman) mythology (e.g. Yahweh, Zeus, Jupiter). Are they into magic? That cuts back to the Hebrew Key of Solomon, and hence, the Levitical Grimoire. Before jumping ahead, one may want to ponder these things, as this is traditional occultism.

- Robert Anthony

____________________________________

Footnotes:

1. Agrippa rightly used the term "occult" of course, stating:
"Whosoever therefore is desirous to study in this Faculty, if he be not skilled in naturall Philosophy, wherein are discovered the qualities of things, and in which are found the occult properties of every Being . . ." (ibid.)
2. For instance, compare The Holy Sermon, #7 with the creation account of Genesis. Also, notice Proverbs 25:3, "[As] the heavens for height and the earth for depth, so the heart of kings [is] unsearchable." There is an equation between above, below, and the heart. This balance is consistent with Hermetic thinking (not to mention Jesus' prayer in Matthew 6:10).

3. In the context of writing against Hermeticism and Gnosticism, the Christian website www.gotquestions.org says the following:
"However, according to the Bible, wisdom is not set aside for a select few who have the key to a secret door" [https://www.gotquestions.org/Hermeticism.html]
This is the exact opposite of Mark 4:11-12; Matthew 11:25; Luke 10:21.

2 comments:

  1. If doctrine is the sum of a man and not the man himself, then the Bible speaks of selfish man and attempts to implicate morale to the masses without questioning it own affirmation. It's not that I do not see mysticism within the contents of the Bible. Only a fool would say the Bible lacks esoteric value. As only a few can truly decipher it's deep meanings. Yet it fall short when it shuts out the esoteric value of every other facet of the divine, scriptures and word.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You say "without questioning it own affirmation," yet the Bible teaches the false pen (Jeremiah 8:8-9). Of course it is to be questioned, as 1 John 4:1 emphatically notes (cf. Deut 18:21-22; 1 Kings 13:8-26; Galatians 1:7-9). You claim "it fall short when it shuts out the esoteric value of every other facet of the divine, scriptures and word," yet the Apostle Paul is found quoting an "idolatrous poet" in Acts 17:28, and says "deceivers" spoke true testimony in Titus 1:10-13. Notice 1 Thessalonians 5:21, "Test all things; hold fast what is good." That includes all "scriptures and word" anywhere. You may want to also see my post entitled Is The Bible Biblical? Of course it may "fall short" at times, as the Bible itself warns (e.g. Revelation 22:18-19).

      Delete