What is Occultism? – Fortune and Kiernan

Occultism constitutes a scope of knowledge often hidden from the many, thus reserved and known to a few. However, the emphasis of a supernatural experience, yields speculations whose proof remain difficult. Unlike the natural science utilizing the five senses that every individual possesses, occult science appeals their judgement, rarely found developing in them (Fortune, p. 9). Equally, it reserves its revelation for a few appreciating its through natural gifts and training. Nevertheless, occultism draws an extensive range of experience beyond the philosophical and scientific reach. This explains why the vast experience yields speculations aiming its explanations and systematization. Consequently, occultism represents an extension of psychology incorporating little-known scope of both the individual mind and the natural mind (Fortune, p. 10).

The pursuit of studying occultism places an additional experience demanding beyond the objective lens laced in science. This offers a philosophical life deriving religious aspects that attracts majority devoting their lives in its experiences. Alike the rarer experience, occultism draws influences in its conviction that remains little-understood fashion (Fortune, p. 11). This affects the normal human lives, beyond what the majority realize in the ordinary settings. The studies embracing the oscillation between the visible and invisible, places occultism as changing system of ethics varying with the conceptual attitude towards the individual lives (Fortune, p. 12).

The worthwhile of occultism rests upon the emerging strength in its integrity of believing that no religion offers higher truth warranting martyrdom. It implies that the few appreciating occultism, embrace the necessity of applying self-criticism using no standards. This leaves the choice as a creation of an independent revelation that lies beyond the human reason of passing judgment, if so minded. The self-questions developed generate a periodical trial balance that allows the retention of solvency in the mind (Fortune, p. 14). This enables individuals view their fate in perspectives related to the ideal universe.

The essence of occultism emerges in its doctrines existing as algebraic systems facilitating the human mind to function beyond the reach of thought. Occultism equals mathematics that takes an analogous precision, by posing a fundamental basis of knowledge reducing all things to accurate expressions (Fortune, p. 18). Although retaining a conscious aspect in life, some constituent systems overly scrap the worthwhile when an individual is trapped in its dominion through a composite of imagination. However, occult science regards all issues that represent varying states of consciousness upon which, one gains control over the subjective nature to reflect objectiveness (Fortune, p. 21).

Summary of the Introduction by James Kiernan

The belief to express occultism represents both a universal dimension and the cross-cultural religion of human experience, unlimited to convey a relationship associating the African continent with the conviction. This ensues from the impossibility of generalizing about the continent, given the distinct situation, often varying dependent on the time and place of occurrence. To the contrary of the perception about the Durban congress, it marked a historic occasion rather than the center of attention (Kiernan, p. 2).

The modernity illustrated in the present Africa traces from the borrowed culture of enlightenment from the Europeans. These changes have superimposed changes constituting individualism, scientific rationalism, political evolutions alongside economic capitalism (Kiernan, p. 3). The revealed effect comprises increased reliance on aids, indebtedness and social marginalization condemning the masses into a deeper trough of poverty. The impression that the uncontrollable occult manifests the pace of economic progress and social changes serves to mislead. The explanation for this rests upon the belief in occultism that responds to globalization and modernization trends. In this regard, it becomes easier to Africanising what otherwise exist as puzzling and confusing backed by creation of virtual reality beyond immediate experience (Kiernan, p. 5).

Occultism offers a broad spectrum not limited to Satanism, but rather equals a religion shedding both dark and light sides. Typically, occult resides in the innermost self, reared in the human imagination, but hidden in personalities (Kiernan, p. 6). It represents a projection of predicaments experienced by individuals and expressed in resolving the paradox of conformity and deviance. The occult is innately powerful drawing upon mystical forces, inscrutability and secrecy that hinder its immediate detection. Moreover, it yields an empowering frank as it is seen to exist in alliance with earthly powers and corrupt officialdom (Kiernan, p. 8). For this reason, it brews a suspicion of being the handmaiden of wealth and economic success under the popular imagination that the poor often avoid denouncing publicly. This is in attempts to avoid suffering retaliations in the form of political and economic penalties (Kiernan, p. 10).

The study embraces a variety of approaches rather than tying to a single perspective given its broad coverage. Initially, it occurs as a source to mystical powers that represent a neutral force capable of delivering either way (Kiernan, p. 11). Besides the shroud of secrecy, several studies embrace a plurality in detecting its illicit usage through successful accusation. In addition, framing the study to a visual representation and portrayal transpires to imagery appearing in artistic depictions made visible (Kiernan, p. 16). In conclusion, studying occult cannot capture a unified point of reference, capable of pressing a standard form. Its essential elasticity and fluidity derived from the flexible relevance of varying human conditions, leaves it with mass adaptation to changing circumstances governed by the inventiveness and human imagination (Kiernan, p. 17).


  • Fortune. (n.d.). What is Occultism. Retrieved August 29, 2014, from https://resources.oncourse.iu.edu/access/content/group/FA14-BL-AFRI-L202-17859/Fortune%20_7-21_.pdf
  • Kiernan, J. (n.d.). Introduction. Retrieved August 29, 2014, from https://resources.oncourse.iu.edu/access/content/group/FA14-BL-AFRI-L202-17859/Kiernan.pdf
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