from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The study of the supernatural.
- n. A belief in occult powers and the possibility of bringing them under human control.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The study of the supernatural
- n. A belief in occult powers and the hope of controlling them
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A certain Oriental system of theosophy.
- n. Belief in occult powers or in supernatural forces other than the God of traditional religions, such as in magic, necromancy, alchemy, and astrology.
- n. The study and alleged use of supernatural agencies as in magic, astrology, witchcraft, alchemy, necromancy, spiritualism (communication with the dead), and fortune-telling.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The doctrine, practice, or rites of things occult or mysterious; the occult sciences or their study; mysticism; esotericism.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the study of the supernatural
- n. a belief in supernatural powers and the possibility of bringing them under human control
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Some extend the term occultism to cover mysticism and the spiritual life generally, but that is not a legitimate use of either word.
Though modern occultism is interesting, it is (a) not unanimous in its naming conventions (nor in its theology or cosmology), (b) largely a Modern synthesis anyway, so not archetypal, and (c) apparently ineffective by standards of most fantasy and legend, so - unlike, say martial arts - has no firm claim to objective validity.
The mystic, the teacher, and the philosopher are following the path of Gnani; so is the true occultist, but many who deal in so-called occultism are employing _knowledge_ only, entirely missing the higher quality -- _wisdom_.
Nor has this spiritual power any conceivable relation to what is currently known as occultism, or a thing to be attained by any series of prescribed outer actions.
This old pundit was himself a distinguished mesmerist, and though generally unwilling to talk about what is termed occultism, on finding in me a man naturally endowed with the physical characteristics necessary to those pursuits, he had given me several valuable hints as to the application of my powers.
It is also clear - at least as far as those 'occult systems' with their own complex cosmologies are concerned - that what might be perceived by an outsider as "occultism", is to the practitioner quite possibly religion.
We are not in any way trying to focus attention on some empty kind of occultism, or to suggest a semi-crazy, semi-magical interpretation of facts.
His numerous works, chiefly philosophical, have a strong bias toward "occultism", and run counter to the received opinions of his time in theology and scholastic philosophy.
Whatever may be the precise force of the remark in brackets, it is unquestionably true that mysticism is often used in a semi-contemptuous way to denote vaguely any kind of occultism or spiritualism, or any specially curious or fantastic views about God and the universe.
At the very time that I was at Adyar, and despite a certain repugnance to "occultism," sympathetically appreciating the serene harmony of the