Lucifer 4: Why I'm not an Occultist.

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You may find this difficult to believe, but I don't consider myself an occultist. Before I tell you why, let me start some definitions of the term. 

Speaking for myself, I consider occultism to be hidden knowledge, but that doesn’t necessarily make it valuable or powerful. You could argue that nuclear engineers are occultists because the knowledge they possess is deliberately hidden, deeply powerful, and can pose vast danger to the world if exposed to the unworthy, but this doesn’t align with the contemporary sense of the word.

In the contemporary sense, the occult (which includes all manner of esotericism and spiritualism) is an entertaining reservoir of hidden, forgotten, and simply discarded information because it is composed of either early attempts to describe natural phenomena which are now properly understood through science, or personal or cultural fantasies which attempt to either perform or explain both the unknowable and the impossible.

Because I'm a Satanist, I'm not bound to cultural paradigms which would obligate me accept, observe, or respect religious or spiritual norms and mores. I am also free from counter-productive pride which would lock me into my own personal deceits. I am able to acknowledge the passage of history and objectively see that every variety of woo-woo that has ever been is invariably forced into the burning rubbish pile of Gehenna by the steady march of scientific advancement. 

The following argument is occasionally put to Christians who want atheists to accept Jesus: "I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours." Likewise, I’m not an occultist because I follow just one less occult paradigm than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all other occult paradigms, you will understand why I dismiss yours.

My interest in the forgotten, discarded, or hidden knowledge of the past is incidental and where the occult does enter into my life it does so because it's dramatic, stimulating, or somehow just plain useful. Fortune-telling is steeped in occultism, and while I enjoy its dramatic qualities, I don't believe in so much of the spiritual underpinnings. Past and future lives, spirit guides, ascended masters, summoning demons, angel communication, secret numerology, natal charts, fu talismans, i-ching hexagrams, and channeled languages… the list just never ends. I have yet to be convinced of the metaphysical realities or spiritual philosophies which attempt to address things which I think are either unknowable or impossible, but all these things may contain some attraction to me for the way I can use them to enhance the quality of my life or the lives of those I care about.

Because I have no use for the elaborate spiritual or metaphysical fantasies which inform so much of occultism, I find little difference between people who summon demons and people who summon Pokemon, people who quote from the Bible and people who quote from Star Wars, or people who collect haunted relics and people who collect sports memorabilia. For all these reasons, so much of the occult is simply boring to me. 

But I won't stop calling myself an occultist—it's a useful word, after all, because no matter how little invested I am in the occult, calling myself an occultist is an effective method to enhance the ways I temporarily deceive both myself and others.