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Occultism within Classical Religions - Johannes Aagaard

Hinduism and Buddhism are classical religions. But within them occultization takes place.

When you look at the present situation within the so-called New Religious Movements you will be struck by the obvious fact that important roots are nearly always found in India within the manifold Hindu traditions.

Hinduism, of course, is a modern term and the reality behind this term varies a lot. But there is a common substratum, a common basis for all religion which goes under the headline Hinduism.

First of all there are the basic notions of Karma and Samsara. The basic idea of Karma is that our liberation and salvation does not depend on anyone but ourselves. In our karmic development we ourselves are the gods of our lives. Karma, in fact, is a God-substitute. There is no God but Karma. Karma is the operative reality, i.e. the reality which is before us and after us and over us and within us, pushing us and determining us.

And Samsara is the logical conclusion of Karma plus Atman-Brahman. Atman as the innermost reality of a human being, and Brahman as the uttermost reality of the universe means that in the correlations between Atman and Brahman reality as such is found, and liberation means to recognize this reality. This realization is hindered by Karma, and therefore Karma has to be done away with. This can only be realized by Yoga, since in Yoga you burn away all karma from your previous lives. Therefore, no karma is allowed for in the life of the yogi.

The Karma-free unity of Atman-Brahman is divinity in itself. And to realize this is the goal of all Yoga. The Yoga-technology is simply the "know-how" of this liberation. To maintain that Yoga has nothing to do with Hinduism is as foolish as to maintain that the Eucharist has nothing to do with Christianity.
The Element of Destruction Is the Heart of the Matter

Shiva is the mythological code for this gigantic experiment. Shiva cannot be compared to someone like Buddha or Jesus Christ. In fact, Shiva cannot even be compared to such Hindu gods as Krishna and Rama. Shiva is the Occult god par excellence. Even the Hindu gods did not like him when he came out of the Occult jungle in the Brahmanical period as a black lord, the wild divinity who represented destruction and not construction, chaos and not cosmos.

Shiva is the master of Yoga, and by necessity his codes characterize Yoga. Even if Shiva became somewhat tamed in the history of Hinduism, and even if Yoga issomewhat tamed in its own history too, it is obvious that Shiva as well as Yoga is the operative reality of the Occult world.

Doing away with all Karma means the rejection of human responsibility, te responsibility which is the result of life in relations.

Doing away with all Karma means total isolation and individualization of a human person who has to go out of the world and liberate himself from all human affections and emotions.

Doing away with Karma means rejecting the divine reality of creation. The world is seen as evil and has to be dealt with accordingly. The element of destruction which is found in the cults of Shiva and in the Yoga of Shiva, is the heart of the matter.

Buddhism, of course, is not a new religious movement, but because of Theosophical trends and New Age infiltration Neo-Buddhism often functions similarily to Occult Theosophical and New Age movement.

This infiltration from occultism was and is seen for example in the close relationships between Aum Shinri Kyo in Japan and various forms of Buddhism, even the Dalai Lama's followers. Somehow Buddhism sometimes lacks sensitivity for the risks coming from such Occult infiltrations.

There are, however, Buddhists and Buddhists, and within the Buddhist fold there have been and still are voices that are raised critically in relation to such occultization.
Identity - a Real Dilemma.

Who am I? This question is basic in all guru-movements and rightly so. The question of identity of course is fundamental for all human beings.

Normally, we have our identity in our social and cultural setting, in our Karma if you like. I am my father's and mother's son, my children's father, my grandchildren's grandfather, my friend's friend and my enemies' enemy, my student's professor and a colleague of my colleagues etc. The identity of the 's is basic. The genitive cases identify us.

But eternally - who am I? My soul, who is my soul? This question is an inevitable part of the religious quest.

In Hinduism the Atman in its identity with Brahman is realized as the eternal identity, the sameness (idem) of a human being. This Atman, however, is transcendent and is not operative in the karmic world. At the most the Atman is a spectator, a voyeur, a witness, but not acting, not engaging, not participating. Who is then acting? Who is responsible? That is the real question.

In Buddhism the radical step is taken. There is no one at home. There is An-atman, no Atman as well as no Brahman, only Sunyat (i.e. emptiness or nothingness! - the absolute void behind all phenomena and. concepts which are all relative). The identity problem, of course, is therefore radicalized. The dilemma is very crucial: who am I?
Identity by Identification

In Hinduism there is no acting subject who can be held responsible for the actions of a human being. The living being, the jiva, comes close to being a soul. But jiva is not Athman. So Jiva is not the real human being in its relation to God.  In Buddhism there is no acting subject at all. The human being is a construct of karmic influences, and not-being is found within the shifting patterns of such influences.

This makes for some serious problems and open questions when it comes to anthropology and theology.

In this dilemma occultism comes in with an offer which is nearly irresistible. In the Occult universe you are what you are made by the forces behind you and below you.  In many ways occultism is close to vitalism. The life-forces constitute the individuals, and the individuals come into being as results, often blind results, of natural forces.

This vitalism makes for occultism, in its radical form even for various forms of Satanism. When God is nature, then nature becomes God.

Therefore naturalism, vitalism and occultism belong together. The secularization of Christianity, which ended up in naturalism, often continued in the shape of occultism!

And the conclusion could be even radical forms of Satanism.

If you have no other identity than what is found in nature already, then some Darwinist Evolutionism is easily accepted and even fused with the inherent elitism. And such Evolutionism may end up in a Fascist conclusion. The survival of the fittest may be the survival of the toughest!

Shiva, of course, can abstain from destruction, and his devotees pray for and rely on that, but with the fear and trembling which is caused by the insight that Shiva 's nature is the nature of nature, unreliable and unpredictable.

If Karma is a God-substitute, then the elimination of Karma of course means the elimination of God. And when liberation means the recognition of the identity between Atman and Brahman, this means that no one but your own Atman is God. In this spirituality, you do away with the God of creation and salvation and create a "scape-god", found only in your own divine self.

This religion is the most fantastic human construction ever made. It is the gigantic attempt to dethrone God and enthrone man.
Buddhism Is Different

The Hindu nationalists (Visva Hindu Parishad) make it a major point that Buddhism is just another of the many Hindu sampradayas, i.e. sects. This, of course, is unacceptable for genuine Buddhists. Recently the patriarch of Thailand had to stress this by blocking leaders from Visva Hindu Parishad from entering Thailand.  Buddhists fundamentally reject the notion of both Atman and Brahman. There is no soul (Anatman) and there is no Brahman (Sunyat). No Hindu can accept this dictum and remain a Hindu.

But there is most certainly Karma within Buddhism, and Karma has to be burnt up as is the case in also all the Hindu sampradayas.

The negation, therefore, is even stronger in Buddhism than in Hinduism. And Karma as a God-substitute is even more radical.

In principle, therefore, Buddhism cannot have anything to do with occultism. But, in fact, there is at least as much occultism in for instance Thai Buddhism as in Indian Hinduism.

Occultism is all over the place. Only some of the reform-movements stand up against the occultization of Buddhism.

The Tantric Buddhism ,the radical wing of the Mahayana tradition within Buddhism, is not only Occult by nature but is expressing the radical occultization of Buddhism, both in Tibetan Buddhism and in similar traditions in most countries of East- and South-East Asia, in Japan for instance in Shingon-Buddhism.
The Occultization of Buddhism

It is a controversial statement, but I still want to make it: The Mahayana traditions and the Tantrayana (Tibetan) traditions first of all express a continuing influence from Hinduism on Buddhism. The situation in Nepal illustrates that this influence or infiltration is age-old, and probably it was original, meaning that the specificity of Buddhism only came into being by the liberation of Buddhism from Hinduism as a gradual and slow process which never has finished.

Nowadays, however, a new wave of Hindu-occultization takes place within Buddhism, influenced, of course, by the universal New Age occultization which was started by the various Theosophical movements. Buddhism has as its main problem the sort of occultization which has taken place from the Theosophical origin of Neo-Buddhism which began in India and Sri Lanka under the patronage of the early Theosophists and still goes on via various New Age Buddhist authors.

"Nowadays a new wave of Hindu-occultization takes place within Buddhism, influenced, of course, by the universal New Age which was started by the various Theosophical movements."
Identification and Elitism, Fascism

The lack of an identity makes for identifications with somebody. The master, the guru or the leader/Führer becomes the identity of the disciples. The consequences of such identifications are obvious. Conscience, responsibility, personal and critical stances fall away, and uncritical obedience comes in. In short: The element of fascism, which is found in such forms of religions, is part of the game and not accidental at all.
Yoga as a Technology of Identification

First of all Yoga is - as mentioned already - a burning up of Karma and thus a leaving behind of the human condition. Another condition is coming forth, a de-conditioned condition, a de-programmed programme whereby the human relations and responsibilities are left behind. This is called "total freedom", liberation.

The true yogi has already died away from life. He has no history, no memory, no past and no future. He hardly is there at all. He is a living dead (jivan mukti), and he will not be reborn. He has escaped.

Still, Yoga is also meant for living persons. Modern Yoga follow the new Hindu movements and make itself valuable, even necessary, for mortal beings that are still somehow active.

The modern yogi was created by the Neo-Hindus as an ideal leader both in national and social and political renewal. Similarily, the Yoga became a technology for the development of national heroes, disciples of the national martyrs and heroes. Yoga was made useful for daily life in the new nations.

The technologies of Yoga, however, to a large extent remain the same, but often they did not - as in Japan - produce extrovert heroes but introvert meditators.

There is a clear ambiguity in Yoga, since its goals are obviously in contrast to its means. The neo-yogi was meant to be a commissar, but it does not really work like that.

In the many Neo-Hindu movements in the West it works with the same ambiguity, but the conflict is less obvious. First and foremost this is the case, because the Western mind is more extrovert than the Eastern mind, and the Western disciples are normally - not always - less fanatic in their Yoga-exercises than their Eastern colleagues.

Therefore breakdowns have happened, breakdowns of people who go the Yoga way, without knowing what they are dabbling with. They have been caught up by this ambiguity of Yoga.

The Fascist consequences of Yoga, however, are probably more serious than the mental breakdowns. Yoga is an Occult discipline in which you are totally dependent on your master. The obedience to the master is a must, and a critical mind is out of the question. The gurus are in fact authoritarian persons in a way which is normally unseen in the West, because the guru is god, indeed more than god. This guru-divinization is not a fault in the system; it is the crowning of the system, expressed in its consequence in the Guru Gita, the Occult successor of the Bhagavad-Gita.
Religio Occulta - the New World Religion

At the end of the second and beginning of the third millennium we are confronted with a new world religion.  First and foremost its roots are found in Hinduism, and first and foremost it is communicated via Yoga. Its characteristics are presented mainly in the persuasive New Age, based on the different Theosophical traditions , going back to the 1870s.

More or less, this soft part of the Occult religion has penetrated into all the classical world religions including Christianity, based on the new modernist-spiritualistic religiosity.

The gross part of the Occult religions is coming into reality in the form of various Satanist movements world-wide. Sometimes they are combined with violence and terror. In the combination with Neo-apocalyptic sects a fusion happens with explosive consequences in te catastrophic cult..
The Christian Identification as the Alternative Religion

The Christian tradition also operates with identification and participation. But now the point of identification is God as The Holy Trinity. There is no legitimate identification figure in this human world. It means that all characteristics of a Christian life-style arise in relation to God, i.e. they are theological, not anthropological, and most certainly not Occult.

In relation to God conscience operates.
In relation to God man becomes a person.
In relation to God man becomes responsible.
In relation to God truth is revealed.

The occultization of Christianity therefore takes place in a very special way:

Instead of conscience consciousness is made operative and important. Instead of person the individual comes into the centre. Instead of responsibility ability takes the attention. Instead of truth human values dominate.

The God-identification in Christianity aims at setting man free and enables him to operate as a free person, basing his life on conscience and fulfilling it in responsibility to the truth of God and the needs of ones neighbours.