What is Occultism? A Philosophical and Critical Study
“Occultism is the sum total of the theories and practices, the paths of realization that are based on occult science. It presents itself throughout the ages as an altogether distinct whole, possessed of its own theories and methods, and even of its own processes of personal instruction and propagation. Hence the difficulty of thoroughly understanding this doctrine that is experienced by such as have not found their way to the centres in which it is taught, and the many errors made by critics who judge it without really knowing anything about the subject…
“Occultism, then, represents a special kind of scientific society quite distinct from a university course; and as there have always been men who prefer its methods to those of ordinary science; as it possesses a literature of its own, and affects the utmost scorn for methods of investigation that are exclusively material; as, in short, even nowadays, and in almost all lands, there exist occult brotherhoods of initiation, we find that it will be in-dispensable to analyze the system first, from the philosophical point of view; secondly, from the historical point of view; thirdly, from the standpoint of its special channels of propagation and realization at different times. We shall also have to make a very necessary dis-tinction between the theoretical and the practical or experimental part, which is generally known as magic.”
What is Occultism, Papus, Rider & co., 1913
First edition. Octavo. Hardback. Blue cloth binding. Slightly worn edges to spine and book corners. Formerly belonging to the Theosophical lending Library, Gloucester Place, Library stamps to endpapers and title page otherwise unmarked. A tight copy.