SES then and now - what has changed?

Discussion of the SES, particularly in the UK.
emmalu9
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2005 12:07 pm
Location: London

Postby emmalu9 » Thu Oct 06, 2005 2:12 pm

I would like to say congratulations to Snowman and Erikdr for managing to conclude what is clearly a very personal issue in such a functional way. Having looked it up it occurred to me that perhaps they are using the term "occult" in different ways...? I'm sure Erikdr wil have an humble opinion about it.

The word occult comes from Latin occultus (hidden), referring to the 'knowledge of the secret' or 'knowledge of the hidden' and often meaning 'knowledge of the supernatural', as opposed to 'knowledge of the visible' or 'knowledge of the measurable', usually referred to as science. The modern term's meaning is often imprecisely translated and used as a term for 'secret knowledge' or 'hidden knowledge', in the sense of meaning 'knowledge meant only for certain people' or 'knowledge that must be kept hidden'. For most practicing occultists, however, it is simply the study of a deeper spiritual reality that cannot be understood using pure reason or material science. In general though, the term is used in reference to "evil" spiritual practices, such as devil worship, child sacrifice, or the casting of curses, or at best it is defined by things considered to be superstitious, such as seances, Ouija boards, or astrology.

The ancient Greek term for occult is esoteric.

Many people, especially Conservative Christians, use the term in a derogatory, connotative sense to refer to a number of practices which they disapprove of on religious grounds but which those who participate in for the most part do not consider occult. These include the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons, heavy metal music, and sometimes even Catholicism. However, as there is nothing secret nor hidden, the term 'occult' would not denote role-playing games, "Harry Potter" books or heavy metal music.

For reference, one should compare the term 'occult' occultus = oc 'dark' + cultus 'culture', p.p. of cultare to grow, cultivate with the term cult. A cult must involve ritual, or religious rites. By Webster's New International Dictionary of 1920 as it applies here:

2. Worship; generally, the worship of a deity according to its specific rites ; as, the cult of Apollo ; or, the worship of a group of deities allied in nature or relationship ; as, the cult of the chthonian gods.
3. Hence : a The rites and ceremonies, or externals, of a religion, as distinguished from its inner meaning or truth. That which was the religion of Moses is the ceremonial or cult of the religion of Christ -Colleridge.

Hence, any religion involving ritual is a cult; anything hidden from the eye so as to appear mysterious or supernatural could be referred to as an occult.

(This was merely copied and pasted, and does not necessarily contain any of my own views)

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erikdr
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2005 7:14 pm
Location: Amsterdam

Occult or not?

Postby erikdr » Sun Oct 09, 2005 5:52 am

Thanks emmalu! Nice to know that more than the two of us are reading this thread...

Having looked it up it occurred to me that perhaps they are using the term "occult" in different ways...? I'm sure Erikdr wil have an humble opinion about it.


Hmmm... I am not defending practices which I label occult, I even tried to avoid the term because it can create so much confusion.

As you said,

Many people, especially Conservative Christians, use the term in a derogatory, connotative sense to refer to a number of practices which they disapprove of on religious grounds but which those who participate in for the most part do not consider occult.


It just seems that my own experiences of SES and opinions vary widely from Snowman's. Actually, afterwards I did read the quotes he pointed to and found that, besides some good critiques of SES, it contains quite some material which I usually find solely amongst conservative Christians (and Muslims/Jews). And which IMHO is almost as bad and intolerant as SES itself, e.g. pointing to Renaissance as having bad elements (and the Dark Ages before them as good? Hohoho...) and even sometimes labeling modern liberties like equality of sexual orientation as bad.

Whether it is wise to continue a discussion on that dimension with Snowman here in this area I have my doubts. So for now I leave the issue parked, but I'll be very carefully watching any future post of his. If they contribute of the common opinion of all of us ex-SES indoctrinates, e.g. focusing on self-responsibility and humanity, fine. If they try to replace SES values by another framework which certainly is not mine and which I'd warn any other sensible human being against, ?'ll definitely warn everyone about these partially hidden replacements...

Tnx again,
With folded palms,

<Erik>


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