At this stage, his attention may be called to Astrology. No one can seriously and thoroughly investigate this occult science without becoming convinced that certain positions of the planets coincide with certain characteristics and events in the life of men.
No psychic sense is needed for such a demonstration. It is purely a matter of experiment. For if a certain angular relation of two planets coincides always with events of a certain nature, and enough birth charts of persons having this position can be secured to prove it to be much more than a coincidence, no amount of theoretical argument can refute the facts.
Physical science is reluctant to accept such conclusions, or even to make the necessary experiments to verify them, because it has so far found no adequate theory to account for them. Isabel M. Lewis, of the U.S. Naval Observatory, writing in Nature Magazine for April 1931, says: “It is doubtful, indeed, if any astronomer would know how to cast a horoscope or make astrological predictions of any kind.” (See Chapter 6, Course 17, Cosmic Alchemy, Serial Lesson 169) Yet these same astronomers, ignorant even of how to set up a birth chart, freely pass judgment that astrology must be false because they have no theoretical grounds by which to explain it.
Alchemy may next claim the attention of our investigator. Although he knows it is stigmatized as an exploded science, he no longer accepts as final the dictum of a school he has found to be often prejudiced, a dictum, moreover, pronounced by men without knowledge of the subject they condemn. He finds that the two chief tenets of alchemy, as laid down by the ancients, are that there is a Primitive First Substance of which all physical matter is composed, and that it is possible to transmute one or more metals into another totally distinct metal.
Such ideas have been ridiculed by chemists until within the last few years. Now, however, it has been proved that all atoms are built up in a special way of particles of electricity, some negatively charged, others equally positively charged, all held within a certain volume by the interaction of the attraction between the negative electrons and the positive positrons. Thus, has electricity been demonstrated as the Primitive First Substance.
Furthermore, radium decays into helium and lead. Professor Ramsey has transmuted copper into lithium. Other scientists, through bombarding the atoms of one or two elements, much as radium bombards on its own, occasionally score a direct hit and smash out a piece of the nucleus of the element and thereby transmute each part into an atom of some other element. Thus the very theory and processes of alchemy, so long scoffed at by material scientists, have now been demonstrated in their own laboratories.
By methods as experimental as theirs, under conditions as strictly scientific, the Occult Scientist has demonstrated Magic, Astrology, and Alchemy. This makes him reluctant to discard any branch of occultism without first giving it a thorough investigation.
He approaches different methods of divination with, perhaps, a good deal of skepticism; but even in this he is surprised to find results that cannot be attributed to coincidence, and he is forced to conclude that there are laws underlying such matters totally ignored by physical science. But then, he reflects, physical science has never determined the laws governing the source of the sun’s heat. Every theory it has formulated to account for this phenomenon—and, for that matter, for numerous others—has been torn to shreds by later investigation. It is not astonishing, then, that it has failed to discover the mental laws governing divination.
But just as the true scientist finds the material sciences oppressed by many erroneous ideas and theories, so also he finds speculation and supposition so largely covering the facts of occult science that he can gain very little through reading the current works upon such subjects.
Mystical folly and absurd and conflicting doctrines meet him on every hand. Everyone whom he consults has an opinion, but usually quite unsupported by experimental facts. His only recourse seems to be to advance, step by step, applying the methods of experimental science to psychical and spiritual things, and so gain knowledge at first hand. He knows that to do this requires application, effort, keen discrimination and, finally, the development of the senses of the unconscious mind.
Although intuition and thought transference undoubtedly are activities or perceptions of the unconscious mind, because they so commonly reported the phenomena of the physical plane the ancients classified them as physical senses, along with the other five. But whether five or seven, the experience gained through these physical senses is the foundation of all knowledge of physical life.