is the ‘occult’ real? | Yahoo Answers
The word occult comes from the Latin occultus (clandestine, hidden, secret), referring to “knowledge of the hidden”. In the medical sense it is used commonly to refer to a structure or process that is hidden, e.g. an “occult bleed.”
The word has many uses in the English language, popularly meaning “knowledge of the paranormal”, as opposed to “knowledge of the measurable”, usually referred to as science. The term is sometimes popularly taken to mean “knowledge meant only for certain people” or “knowledge that must be kept hidden”, but for most practicing occultists it is simply the study of a deeper spiritual reality that extends beyond pure reason and the physical sciences. The terms esoteric and arcane can have a very similar meaning, and the three terms are often interchangeable. The term occult is also used as a label given to a number of magical organizations or orders, and the teachings and practices as taught by them. The name also extends to a large body of literature and spiritual philosophy.
Some religious denominations view the occult as being anything supernatural or paranormal which is not achieved by or through God, and is therefore the work of an opposing and malevolent entity. The word has negative connotations for many people, and while certain practices considered by some to be “occult” are also found within mainstream religions, in this context the term “occult” is rarely used.
In Judaism, special spiritual studies such as Kabbalah have been allowed for certain individuals (such as rabbis and their chosen students). These studies do not conform to mainstream Jewish ritual. Also, some forms of Islam allow spirits to be commanded in the name of Allah to do righteous works and assist steadfast Muslims. Furthermore, there are mystical branches of Christianity that practice divination, blessings, or appealing to angels for certain intervention, which they view as perfectly righteous, often supportable by gospel (for instance, claiming that the old commandment against divination was superseded by Christ’s birth, and noting that the Magi used astrology to locate Bethlehem). Rosicrucianism, one of the most celebrated of Christianity’s mystical offshoots, has lent aspects of its philosophy to most Christian-based occultism since the 17th century.
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