The ultimate mystery cannot be impersonal because the impersonal cannot think, plan, organize, or create, and such capacities are absolutely necessary to bring the universe and especially intelligent life into existence. It takes personal beings even to realize that a mystery exists; and no impersonal “Force” could beget personal beings. It is not a matter of man, as Campbell insists, having a “tendency to personify” the impersonal because of some prejudice or wishful thinking or superstition. The fact is that rational thinking demands a rational explanation for the universe, and rationality must be personal.
Furthermore, the idea of a Force with a dark and a light side is refuted by the personal nature of the revelations received through occult means and upon which the occult is based. It is not merely power that is being manifested; there is a consistent philosophy accompanying the power that is inevitably communicated. Moreover, as we have already noted, that philosophy can be traced to a personal source: the serpent, or Satan. One of the most striking phenomena encountered by any investigator of the occult is the astonishing similarity between the specific lies which the Bible claims the serpent communicated to Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis:3:1-5) and the consistent philosophy underlying all occultism. These lies include the following:
1: God is not personal but a force. Although that concept is not stated explicitly, it is implicit in everything Satan said. “Did God say?” challenged the very idea of a personal God who would forbid Adam and Eve to eat of a certain tree. The logic was indisputable. How could the fruit of one particular tree be harmful when the fruit of all of the others was life-sustaining? They all grew out of the same ground? The same force was in all things—in the ground, in the tree, in the fruit and in her as well.
2. Death is not real; we don’t really die. Because the Force that is in all things resides in us as well, we can’t die; we just get “recycled.” This lie, of course, has been elaborated as reincarnation in Eastern mysticism and as spirit survival in Western occultism. It is the message that all of the so-called “clinically dead” come back with: Death is not real, and there is nothing to fear—no judgment, just love and acceptance and continued evolutionary progress ever upward.
3. Man’s destiny is to become one of the gods. We are evolving upward into ever-higher species and ultimately will have reached the pinnacle of evolution: godhood.
4. The secret is knowledge of good (the “light side” of the Force) and evil (the “dark side” of the Force). This was surely the serpent’s rationale in persuading Eve to partake of the forbidden tree of knowledge of good and evil. There is nothing wrong with us except the way we think. The power is already within us, but we are ignorant of that fact and need to be “enlightened.”
One can easily see the relationship between the serpent’s philosophy and the occult. For example, the January 1931 edition of The Occult Digest: A Magazine for Everybody offers a book titled The Serpent Power. The ad promises 700 pages with detailed instructions in achieving “Serpent Power” through Kundalini Yoga along with “colored photographs of the yoga positions…and explanation of Serpent Power.” The same issue contains a Rosicrucian advertisement promising the development of a “sixth sense which will make you master of your destiny.” Another article, titled “Is Death Necessary?” declares, “Every thinker is agreed that the old world seems to be on the verge of some ‘mental’ or ‘spiritual’ discovery or awakening which might very easily upset every so-called fact dealing with life and death.”
Surely the obvious parallel with the biblical story of the Garden of Eden is, if nothing else, fascinating. The same 1931 edition of Occult Digest contained articles on reincarnation and on obtaining messages from the spirit world as well as articles promising that the development of these occult powers would lead to individual godhood—the same promise with which the serpent enticed Eve.
The story of the Garden of Eden is not myth; it is history. How else can one explain that the very same lies with which the Bible says the serpent deceived Eve have been avidly and gullibly pursued ever since then by her descendants? It is these very lies which make up the foundation of the occult.