Monday, September 2, 2013

Occult Question, Part 2

I received a very thoughtful email from a reader in response to my post last week, Why I Don't Believe in the Occult. He agreed to let me post our short exchange, as I think it adds to the conversation and provides some clarification of my points.

Reader's Comment:

To the author at Jacobs cafe RE: on the nature of the spiritual world. 
I write, on an iPhone, in response to your comments about what you don't believe in related to the spiritual world of the occult and Hollywood's formulas about such. 
I have no problem with agreeing with you about the typical Christian Bookstores problems with popular supernatural fiction and Harry Potter and all that. I start with the assumption that CS Lewis' ScrewTape Letters and Charles Williams works like Descent into Hell are pretty tame and accessible and acceptable literary statements with "relative theological acceptance" on the mainstream Protestant conversation. So I want to make clear I am leaving all that context behind just to honor or admit some particular spiritual encounters I had with the Occult that were not shared by any of that sophisticated reflection. The experience i speak from was only a raw and totally "re-settling" and "over-turning" event. 
So, Part of me agrees with you and my "sophisticated theological" training supports much of that denouncement you make. BUT, also I was fortunate enough 40 years ago to directly experience some very deep encounters with the occult and from that found Jesus, as rescuer from that occultic violence. 
What you probably need to expand your horizons and reflection is to have some "scary as hell" encounters with the demonic realm where you shit your soul's pants and then thank God you were preserved from further fury and demise. When you find yourself like Job in a whirlwind holding your hands over your eyes and wondering where your ground of being and cosmological correctness vaporated... You will end up with a more complete sense of the context of your occult investigation.  
 I say that with an old Jesus people hippy guy's heart that has read thousands of sophisticated theological works over the last four decades but never forgotten several soul-shaking occult encounters.
Best of luck with your occult encounters and supporting grace. 
My reply:
Thanks for your comments, ___. 
I want to clarify that my post was really about the potential process of the occult and the concern people have in engaging in incantations and formulaic "magical" interventions. If dark forces exist, I don't think they operate in that fashion, so I see no threat in those activities. I see them just as games.
The existence of conscious dark forces is another conversation and debate, of course, which I talked about a little two and a half years ago ( Ultimately, I see it as a matter of faith, as any experience could be explained by a variety of psychological, cultural, sociological, medical, etc. theories. But they could be actually caused by dark forces. I'm not sure we'd ever be able to prove it one way or another, just like we cannot prove or disprove God. It's faith.
I'm not sure I would live my life any differently if I was very confident in an active, conscious Satanic force. I still think the ways we engage evil in the world would be the same whether it is human nature or active dark forces...

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