Donald J. DeGracia, Ph.D.
Go to the: Collected Writings of Donald DeGracia
Copyright 1993, 2000. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
Preface by Robert Butts, co-author of the Seth books
Explains scope and aims of book. This book is not speculative in any fashion. All that is to be discussed throughout the book is real, in the broadest sense of this word. This book is not technically exhaustive, it is meant to be a broad overview of a very complex set of topics.
SECTION ONE: Background Information 問題の背景
This section will provide the necessary background information for the claims of this book. Here we will get a feel for the state of modern knowledge from a scientific and philosophical perspective. We will as well survey the nature of occultism, and focus especially on the modernization of occultism. We will end this section with a brief survey of authors who are already involved in a scientific interpretation of occultism.
Chapter 1. Preliminary Remarks About History
This chapter sets a historical perspective for this book. Two themes are discussed here. First, that it is necessary to have a historical perspective on knowledge so as to understand the natural context of the evolution of ideas and human events. Second, that the history of the 20th century can be characterized by an explosion of knowledge, and a trend away from monolithic views towards more pluralistic viewpoints.
Chapter 2. The Four Great Classes Of Knowledge
This chapter lays out explicitly the basis of this book in the context of the four great traditional approaches to knowledge: philosophy, science, occultism and mysticism.
Chapter 3. A Survey Of Contemporary Science
This chapter discusses the nature of modern science as one event among many in human affairs. A brief history of the rise of modern science is given. A discussion is given about the role played by science in contemporary society. Finally, a summary of Thomas Kuhn's notions about paradigms and scientific revolutions is given to set the stage for the comparison of scientific and occult paradigms of Nature.
3.1 The "Hard" And "Soft" Sciences （主観の側を扱ういわばソフトの科学と、客観の側を扱うハードな科学。両者の統合の場としてのオカルティズムの評価）
Modern science is characterized in terms of the "hard" sciences (math, physics, chemistry and biochemistry, etc.), and the "soft" science (psychology, sociology, anthropology, etc.). It is explained that the "hard" sciences form an interrelated set of mature paradigms, whereas the "soft" sciences are not interrelated amongst each other and are often immature paradigms. It is stressed that there are no scientific principles common to the "hard" and "soft" sciences. This is to set the stage for a scientific interpretation of occultism which allows for a unification of the "hard" and "soft" sciences by finding principles common to the behavior of both physical matter and human psychology.
3.2 Chaos, Fractals And Quantum Theory （カオス、フラクタル 量子論）
These three branches of science contain principles identical to those found in occultism. These three sciences are explained in a technically accurate, yet layman oriented fashion so that the reader understands these sciences. The discussion of quantum theory focuses on Schrodinger's wave mechanics and the fact that he used concepts from classical wave physics to describe atomic and molecular behavior. Strong analogy is drawn between atomic behavior and music. This discussion is novel for emphasizing in a technically accurate, yet layman oriented fashion how modern views of the atom are harmonic and grounded in processes of resonance.
Chapter 4. A Survey Of Contemporary Occultism （トーマス・クーンの定義を援用にて現代のオカルティズムを論じる）
This chapter introduces the reader to occultism. I first discuss the many social-wide misconceptions of occult knowledge and then give a broad overview of the many facets of true occultism. My discussion of occultism characterizes the occult in terms of Eastern and Western branches of occultism. I explain in this chapter how occultism is also a form of science in terms of Thomas Kuhn's definition of paradigms and the scientific enterprise.
Chapter 5. The Rationalization Of The Occult
This chapter introduces the reader to the developments in 20th century occult thought. The distinction is made between classical and modern occultism. Three modern approaches to the occult are discussed in some detail to illustrate to the reader that modern occultism is indeed highly rationalized, and is a set of self-consistent paradigms about Humankind and Nature. It is illustrated throughout the following discussion how these authors used concepts identical to those found in fractal geometry, chaos theory, and quantum mechanics. The following three modern occult approaches are discussed:
5.1 Besant and Leadbeater
A summary is given of the works and world-view of the two renowned Theosophists Annie Besant and Charles Webster Leadbeater. It is shown how these authors gave a consistent, logical and highly reasonable basis to occult teachings. Many ideas that will play prominently later in the book are introduced here. Such ideas include the nonphysical planes of Nature, occult anatomy, and the concept of nonphysical matter and how this concept is related to human subjective behavior. Many direct quotes are used in this discussion.
5.2 Dane Rudhyar
A summary is given of the works of Dane Rudhyar, a second occultist whose ideas have done much to modernize occult thought. It is shown how Rudhyar's ideas are especially pertinent in the context of modern physics and debates about the nature of time and irreversibility.
The third modern occult author is Seth, a being who channeled nine books through author Jane Roberts. It is claimed that Seth's ideas are, in important respects, the most encompassing and sophisticated in modern occult thought. This discussion serves to illustrate to the reader how subtle, sophisticated, and inclusive modern occult notions are, and how the abstractions of modern science pale in comparison. This discussion as well begins to highlight some of the main differences between scientific and occult thought. The primary difference is that occultism, though it seems highly abstract, is intimately grounded in accounting for the facts of our everyday life and experience, and accounts for these in such a way as to empower individuals. Science, on the other hand, is seen to be mostly a set of abstractions that hold little relevance to our immediate experience, and ultimately, science steals power form the individual person.
Chapter 6. Science Meets Occultism: Scientific Authors Who Have Utilized Modern Occultism
This chapter discusses scientists who are using occult ideas as a basis for their research. A discussion is given of parapsychology, in the context of modern science and modern occultism, explaining that parapsychology has destroyed itself by ignoring occult theories. This chapter is meant to illustrate that modern science and modern occultism can operate together in a peaceful intellectual harmony, and in doing so can lead to greatly expanded horizons of thought.
6.1 Chakra Research
The concept of the chakras, in the context of occult anatomy, is one of the pivotal concepts in occult theory. Here this concept is explained in terms of being a consistent theory of the relationship between mind and body. This is contrasted to modern science in which there are no unified approaches to mind and body. This information is also necessary to understand the following two examples of scientists who are utilizing occult thought.
6.1.1 Kunz and Karagulla
Dr. Karagulla is a physician and Mrs. Kunz is a prominent occultists. This section explains these authors research and how it shows that occult theories of the operation of the chakras are completely consistent with concepts in modern medicine.
6.1.2 Hiroshi Motoyama
Motoyama has devised electrophysiological machines to test occult theories of the chakras. His research and some results are discussed here.
6.2 Other Examples Of Scientists Using Occult Ideas
The next four sub-sections show examples of scientists from other fields of science utilizing occult concepts and ideas.
6.2.1 Landscheidt's Approach to Astronomical Forecasting
Landscheidt uses the ancient occult notion "as above, so below" (the Hermetic Axiom) to show how solar activities correlate with terrestrial activities. This research is a clear illustration of what I call the principle of the "Self-similarity of Nature", which means that the same principle of organization operates at different scales of Nature. This work also illustrates the compatibility of fractal and occult notions.
6.2.2 Robert Monroe
Robert Monroe's research into the nature of the out-of-body experience is described here and shown to verify the teachings of occultism. Monroe also illustrates how one can operate in an occult context without having to adhere to occult dogma.
6.2.3 The Quest For Life In Outer Space
The implications of occult thought for space and time travel are discussed here. It is shown how occultism offers alternative means of conceptualizing space and time travel that may allow us to achieve these in highly unexpected ways.
6.2.4 Stephen Phillips
This is the final discussion in our survey of occultism. Here is discussed the profound work of Stephen Phillips and his validation of Besant and Leadbeater's Occult Chemistry. This discussion illustrates the truly immense sophistication of modern occultism by showing that Theosophical occultists understood and described (in 1895) the quantum nature of the microscopic world before modern science (which did so in 1925).
SECTION TWO: A Scientific Interpretation Of Occultism
In section two we will begin to analyze the meaning of the concepts presented in section one. Here I will give a critical evaluation of the claims of occultists and the relevance of these claims to modern science. We will also explore in greater depth some of the metaphysical and philosophical differences between the scientific and occult world-views. The main emphasis of this section will be an interpretation of occult claims in terms of our everyday lives. As well, we will begin to sketch out the foundations for a unification of scientific and occult world-views. We will go into detail displaying the similarities and fundamental compatibility of scientific and occult notions. This section will illustrate the claim that occultism, when interpreted in scientific terms, opens up vast new dimensions of scientific inquiry.
Chapter 7. Occult Means Of Perception
This chapter has three purposes. First to show that our normal subjective behaviors are intimately related to so-called "psychic powers". Second, to show that we have created an artificial dichotomy in how we view our subjectivity by distinguishing between "normal" and "abnormal" (or "paranormal") subjective events. Third, that we do not understand the mechanisms of our subjectivity because they are so close to us that they blind us from recognizing them for what they are.
Chapter 8. What's In A Name?
This chapter is a comparative analysis of three different world-views and their perception of occult phenomena. The world-views are: parapsychology, occultism, and the more esoteric aspects of the "soft" sciences. This chapter is meant to illustrate that the current Western academic world is not capable of understanding or appreciating the significance of occultism.
Chapter 9. Just What Do We Mean By A Science Of Psychology?
This chapter questions the metaphysics of modern science that assumes we can objectively describe human behavior. It is argued that this concept is self-contradictory. A metaphysical basis is defined that will allow us to characterize human behavior that is more self-consistent. It is argued that we can (following the example of Allen Watts) take a "meta-world-view" approach to human subjectivity. With this view, we start in this chapter to outline a general theory of human behavior that is grounded in both scientific and occult concepts.
Chapter 10. The Subtleties Of Human Behavior
In this chapter we continue building our general theory of human behavior by defining the essential anatomy of our subjectivity.
10.1 The Gestalt Nature Of The Mind
Here the gestalt nature of the mind is discussed. By carefully analyzing our own subjectivity we can come to realize that our mind is fundamentally a gestalt configuration of nonphysical factors (thoughts, emotions, memories, etc.). We can realize through introspection that the gestalt of our subjectivity has an ecosystem organization.
10.2 What Is The Ego?
Here a new definition of the ego, or sense of "I-ness" is given, one that is grounded in occult concepts. The ego is defined as being the connection between the physical and nonphysical facets of our being. This concept is given a geometric interpretation. That is, the geometry of the ego is defined to be Mobius in character.
Chapter 11. The Psychological Value Of Quantum Physics
The next stage in our model is to go more in depth as to the meaning of "nonphysical". Here is displayed in more detail the relation between physical and nonphysical facets of our being. Utilizing Besant and Leadbeater's ideas, it is displayed that our psychology operates in a fashion identical to the behavior of microscopic matter. The concept of "thought-forms" as expounded by Besant and Leadbeater is pivotal in making this connection. This concept is explained in detail. An epilogue is provided to this chapter arguing that quantum process do indeed operate at the macroscopic level.
Chapter 12. A Synthesis Of Science And Occultism In Light Of Modern Neurosciences
This chapter discussed altered states of consciousness. An attempt is made to make sense out of clairvoyant claims in terms of neuroscience. It is shown that the following altered states of consciousness can be related on a mathematical basis: psi, hypnogogia, schizophrenia, creativity, drug induced hallucinations. The mathematical basis is fractal geometry. Hallucinogenic drug induced altered states of consciousness and occult perceptions are shown to display fractal features. The implications of this view toward the neurosciences (neurophysiology, neurochemistry, etc.) is discussed.
Chapter 13. Biological Perceptions
This chapter describes the author's own occult experiences and shows how it is necessary to utilize both scientific and occult concepts to make sense of these experiences. The experiences discussed are the author's direct perception of his body's physiological structure, thus, "biological perceptions". This chapter is a concrete example of the fusion of scientific and occult approaches.
13.1 An Apology Of Sorts
This sub-section discusses the use of hallucinogenic drugs and what they imply in a scientific and occult context. An analysis is given of recent historical reactions to these drugs. These issues are put in the perspective of our real and actual experience.
Chapter 14. A New Concept Of Motion
This is the culminating discussion of the fundamental compatibility of science and occultism. The following sub-sections summarize and tie together the previous chapters of this section of the book.
14.1 Disparities Between Science and Occultism
Here the moral implications of scientific and occult knowledge are compared. Occultism is seen to be participatory and ecological, science is seen to be alienating and reductionistic.
14.2 A Synthesis of Science and Occultism
In spite of the above mentioned philosophical and ethical differences, scientific and occult ideas overlap substantially. This is no surprise given that both approaches are attempting to understand Nature.
14.3 Nonphysical Physics
The implications of occult thought in physics is discussed in terms of "Grand Unified Theories". It is suggested that, by coupling occult thought with modern physics, we can expand the scope of such "unified theories" to also include subjective phenomena.
14.4 Nonphysical Geometry
The geometrical implications of major occult concepts are distinguished. This discussion illustrates the necessary directions for tying science and occultism together in a mathematical fashion.
14.5 Ecological Quantum Psychosociology
A general theory of psychological and sociological processes is expounded. This theory is a total fusion of scientific and occult concepts. This theory describes human behavior in terms of both quantum mechanical and ecological processes.
SECTION THREE: Putting It All In Perspective
This final section is a group of independent but interrelated essays. Taken as a whole, they are meant to put what has been discussed in the previous two sections in the greater light of our actual and real experience as human beings. The repeating theme of the following discussions is that which is expressed in the following quote by Rudhyar, yet each essay addresses this idea from a different point of departure. This theme can roughly be stated as follows: no set of ideas can ever capture the totality of our living experience as human beings and, no matter how we see or define ourselves, no definition can ever take the place of our actual and living experience.
"We are living in a psychological century in a time of total revolution and hopefully, at the threshold of a new age in which individuals will be able to encounter openly the universe and all experience without intermediaries forcing social, religious or ethical categories upon them."
Dane Rudhyar, The Sun Is Also A Star, (1975)
Chapter 15. Occult Morality
This chapter illustrates that occult views of human behavior necessitate a definite moral and ethical framework. These morals are not arbitrary but are grounded in a sure knowledge of the mechanisms of human subjectivity.
Chapter 16. Intellectual Pretension
This chapter uses a quote from Aleister Crowley and asks, "Do pretension and intellect go hand in hand?" It is shown that intellectual pretension results when one is ignorant of spiritual realities.
Chapter 17. Comments On A Great Idea: The Seth Quote
Here we discuss the possibility for a freer relationship between human beings and the ideas that fill the minds of human beings.
Chapter 18. Words And Experience
Words and concepts decorate experience but are no substitute for it.
Chapter 19. The Ultimate Meaning Of Things: Discourses On The Use Of Music
Music, the mystical experience and the ever-changing unity of life.
Chapter 20. Conclusion: What's Going On Here?
The conclusion of this book is: "The world is made up of stories, not atoms".