Defining the Occult
The word occult is derived from the Latin word occultus, which means, “to conceal from view.” The purpose of the occult is to expand personal knowledge, guard against evil and predict the future. Through the study of nature, occultists seek to reveal a grand design for humanity, which usually requires searching for hidden and secret truths. Occult knowledge is sometimes marginalized because small groups, not mainstream culture, accept its claims.
People study occult knowledge for different reasons. In the event of a strange phenomenon, a person will either confront the experience, seek its explanation or share the experience with others. There is a certain excitement from encountering an unexplainable event that creates a new understanding of the world and ourselves. This is why groups that espouse odd and unexplained theories are appealing to people with such similar experiences. Depending on their background, people will adhere to or create metaphysical and salvation systems compatible with their own interests.
People are constantly striving to create a value system in which their own life experiences make sense. Many turn to occult materials to make sense of a personal supernatural experience that could not be explained within the framework of conventional religion. People who experience supernatural events in their lives, often hide it so as not to be regarded as abnormal or as mentally unbalanced. Western societies tend to deal with deviant behavior as a mental illness and occult materials provide a new method for investigating paranormal experiences and spirituality. More often, people will turn to explanations of the supernatural to explain misfortune, social tensions, and rapid social changes.
The occult maintains that hidden masters guide the fate of humanity. Only those initiated occultists will be privy to the truth that is obscured from the masses. For occultists, the world is designed so that there are no accidents or coincidences; it is a coherent world where everything is willed and appearances are deceptive. In addition, everything is connected with hidden connections, patterns, agendas, and correlations. For occult groups, there is a tendency to divide the world into a struggle between good and evil that will exist until the end of the world. This gives people something to battle and it is comforting to know that there is a master plan, even if it is full of malice.