IS THERE NO HOPE?
[Lucifer, Vol. II, No. 9, May, 1888, pp. 259-260]
I think, after reading the conditions necessary for Occult study given in the April number of Lucifer, that it would be as well for the readers of this magazine to give up all hopes of becoming Occultists. In Britain, except inside a monastery, I hardly think it possible that such conditions could ever be realised. In my future capacity of medical doctor (if the gods are so benign) the eighth condition would be quite exclusive; this is most unfortunate, as it seems to me that the study of Occultism is peculiarly essential for a successful practice of the medical profession.*
I have the following question to ask you, and will be glad to be favoured with a reply through the medium of Lucifer. Is it possible to study Occultism in Britain?
* By “successful practice” I mean, successful to everybody concerned.
Before concluding, I feel compelled to inform you that I admire your magazine as a scientific production, and that I really and truly classify it along with the Imitation of Christ among my text books of religion.
Marischall College, Aberdeen.
EDITORS’ REPLY—This is a too pessimistic view to entertain. One may study with profit the Occult Sciences without rushing into the higher Occultism. In the case of our correspondent especially, and in his future capacity of medical doctor, the Occult knowledge of simples and minerals, and the curative powers of certain things in Nature, is far more important and useful than metaphysical and psychological Occultism or Theophany. And this he can do better by studying and trying to understand Paracelsus and the two Van Helmonts, than by assimilating Patañjali and the methods of Taraka-Raja-Yoga.
It is possible to study “Occultism” (the Occult sciences or arts is more correct) in Britain, as on any other point of the globe; though owing to the tremendously adverse conditions created by the intense selfishness that prevails in the country, and a magnetism which is repellant to a free manifestation of Spirituality—solitude is the best condition for study. See Editorial in this issue.*
* [“Occultism versus the Occult Arts,” Lucifer, Vol. II, May, 1888, in the present Volume.––Compiler.]