How Occult Ideas Infiltrate Normal Culture

Via Reality Sandwich, discussing the state of the occult in 2013, author Mitch Horowitz on how esoteric ideas saturate contemporary society:

This notion of using your mind as a causative agency colors almost every aspect of our culture. It’s spoken about from evangelical pulpits by figures like Joel Osteen and T.D. Jakes. It’s heard in political speeches, such as when Ronald Reagan used to say, “nothing is impossible”; at the heart of our business motivation philosophies; it appears in the recovery movement; and it’s a form of popular religiosity that’s spread all across the culture.

You turn on the television and one sitcom character is telling another to think positively, and they’re having a laugh about either the potential, or the dismal irony, of trying to use your mind to change a situation. It surrounds us. Americans embrace ideas and discard terms, hence you don’t hear terms like occult or New Age within mainstream culture, yet the assumptions around them are everyplace.

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  • Zenc

    Perhaps I am mistaken, but I always considered the esoteric becoming the exoteric to be the unspoken theme of .


    • Calypso_1

      I recall the wry amusement various compatriots and i shared when Dan Brown became a mainsteam phenomenon decades after other circles had played with such notions ad infinitim.

      • Clean

        what about umberto eco?

      • Stephen Benson

        Yes indeed. Who could have imagined that someone would come along able to make ‘The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail’ look scholarly…

    • Matt Staggs

      Shh. Know! Will! Dare! Keep Silent!

  • BuzzCoastin

    > This notion of using your mind as a causative agency colors almost every aspect of our culture.

    only in this sense
    people are aware of that “notion” and half believe it & half doubt
    and many who use it, only use it to gather bling-bling
    but very few actually act on it and know it to be true
    so the widespread “notion” remains just that
    a disempowering notion

  • Antediluviancurrent

    I feel this quote is appropriate:

    “Ideas enter our above-ground culture through the underground. I suppose that is the kind of function that the underground plays, such as it is. That it is where the dreams of our culture can ferment and strange notions can play themselves out unrestricted. And sooner or later those ideas will percolate through into the broad mass awareness of the broad mass of the populace. Occulture, you know, that seems to be perhaps the last revolutionary bastion.”
    -Alan Moore

  • believein1

    Joel Osteen is like a proponent for The Secret. A false teacher. He preaches the prosperity gospel which was never part of worshiping God. I know there aren’t many Christians that peruse this site but just some info from a Christian himself.

  • BuzzCoastin

    > You turn on the television and one sitcom character is telling another to…

    the content of media is primarily designed to obscure the effects of media
    to set a general tone for subjects appropriate for discourse
    through programing by use of cliche
    think positively, save the earth, global warming, 911, Everybody Loves Raymond
    the effects of media are far worse than the programing it contains
    because it’s media that makes the massage work
    this Krazy Kapiatist shit can’t be done without the use instant electric information
    and the stupefying effect of media

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