Sunday, November 8, 2009

Book Review: The Occult Christ

Having read The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila and Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross, I knew that there was a strong (if not well publicized) spiritual tradition with the Catholic Church. Meditations on the Tarot, which I've been examining in detail, is also firmly in that tradition, but none of these three books offers an explicit program of study and practice. The Occult Christ: The Hidden & Mystical Secrets of Christianity by Ted Andrews offers just such a program.

The words "occult" and "Christianity" aren't obviously compatible, especially in the minds of those Christians who prefer literal interpretations. To those of us in the know, on the other hand, "occult" simply means "hidden," and there are explicit references in the Gospels to knowledge that was shared with the Apostles but not the general public. Also, you can't have the rest of the Bible meant to be taken literally but not John 14:12, and it's no good saying "He didn't mean it that way, because it hasn't happened."

That brings me to an important point: the old saying that history is written by the winners. The Catholic Church was at one point more powerful than any king in Europe, and until the 1400's they had almost exclusive control over not only the Bible, but recorded history itself. The version of the Bible that we have now is more or less the version they wanted us to have. However, I don't think any censorship that may have happened was because they didn't want anyone to know; I think it was because they didn't want everyone to know, at least not right away. As a religion for the masses, it has to be lowest common denominator. Most people simply aren't ready for the program outlined in this book, and they need to have things be black-and-white. It can't be helped.

But that doesn't apply to us recovering materialists, and if you happen to come from a Catholic background, you'll be able to relate to the program given in the book, and that means that it would be a good choice for you.

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