Lethe and aletheia in occultism

While thinking – reflection as well as contemplation – about being (Sein) is present and integral to both philosophy and religion – and I include occultism, many forms of which use magic, in the latter -, philosophers do not appeal to faith (Glaube). The religious do; and dependent on which faith they adhere to, non-negotiable statements about their faith which are all shared by the faithful in a particular faith makes religion completely distinct from philosophy (it is in this sense that Buddhism is a religion, not a philosophy). These unalterable statements constitute the beliefs (Glaube) or the belief system of the faithful (Gläubige).

What distinguishes religion from philosophy is that the former cannot exist without distinct sets of practices, most of which can come under the category of ritual. Others relate to charity, such as the performance of good deeds in society to help the poor, the sick and the oppressed. Religions that involve magic in their beliefs and rituals can be said to have an occult dimension – the truth of magic is hidden from public view. Occultism, while leading to aletheia in personal as well as group experiences, is to the common perception lethe; and this serves a protective role, given that practitioners of magic are usually misunderstood in society and were even persecuted in various periods of history.

Lethe provides a favourable environment for personal involvement and commitment as a neophyte. In occultism, not only is magic to be learnt and harnessed, the neophyte and his or her teacher also have the high expectation of attainment of gnosis in the former, so that spiritual progress can be made in a particular occult system. Even more so than magical prowess, it is gnosis that makes an occultist truly special, who will in fact experience it as the apex of his or her Dasein.

Mayer (2013):

Because the adherents of modern paganism try to fill gaps in their reconstructions of traditional religions with their personal (or shared) religious experiences, the concept of UPG actually permits the creation of fragments of new religious dogma out of EE.

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