Scientists study the hidden, let’s admit, the occult powers of the material world and of our lives. While they clothe their study in words that imply a process that would distinguish what they do from the general term of ‘occultism’, if we reflect carefully we can see that science is essentially a subset or branch of the larger field of occultism that does not restrict itself solely to material energies or material laws of development, but which delves into the nature of existence and the operation of unseen forces across multiple aspects and planes of our existence.

The path followed by the seeker in the Taittiriya Upanishad who started with an investigation of Matter and moved through a review of the plane of life energy, the plane of mind, the plane of the causal power of creation and the plane of pure existence-consciousness-bliss is virtually identical to the path followed by scientists who, while they start from Matter, eventually wind up looking at energy, mind, and causality in the form of universal consciousness.

The first forms of knowledge are steps along the path, but not a final knowledge, and the further they go, the more they begin to appreciate that there are forces and powers at work far beyond the limits of human perception; and they also recognize that what they thought were universal laws turn out to only apply in certain limited circumstances. The opening up of the field of quantum mechanics has finally forced scientists to begin to acknowledge that the mechanical laws of Newtonian physics do not apply in all ways and at all times. Thus, we now have scientists talking about multiple universes, infinite possibilities carried out in infinite worlds where different choices are made and different formulations of existence and awareness apply.

Albert Einstein declared: “Concerning matter, we have been all wrong. What we have called matter is energy, whose vibration has been so lowered as to be perceptible to the senses. There is no matter. Time does not exist — we invented it. Time is what the clock says. Time and space are not conditions in which we live, but modes by which we think. The more I learn of physics, the more I am drawn to metaphysics. I’m not an atheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books.”

Nikola Tesla declared “The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.”

And thus, we see scientists acknowledging and embracing the science of occultism.

A disciple asks: “Mother, can physical science by its progress open to occultism?”

The Mother responds: “It does not call it ‘occultism’, that’s all. It is only a question of words…. They are making sensational discoveries which people with occult knowledge already knew thousands of years ago! They have made a long circuit and come to the same thing.”

“With the most recent discoveries in medicine, in the applied sciences, for instance, they are contacting in this way, with a wonder-struck interest, things which were known to certain sages a very, very long time ago. And then they present all this before you as new marvels — but indeed they are rather old, their marvels!”

“They will end up by practising occultism without knowing that they are doing so! For, in fact, as soon as one draws close, however slightly, to the truth of things and when one is sincere in one’s search, not satisfied by mere appearances, when one really wants to find something and goes deep, penetrates behind appearances, then one begins to advance towards the truth of things, and as one comes closer to it, well, one finds again the same knowledge that others who began by going within have brought back from their inner discoveries.”

“Only the method and the path are different but the thing discovered will be the same, because there are not two things to be found, there is only one. It will necessarily be the same. It all depends on the path one follows; some go fast, others slowly, some go straight, others, as I said, go a long way round — and what labour! How they have laboured!… Besides, it is very respectable.”

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, The Hidden Forces of Life, Ch. 5 Occult Forces, pp 106-107

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog at and podcast located at
He is author of 20 books and is editor-in-chief at Lotus Press. He is president of Institute for Wholistic Education, a non-profit focused on integrating spirituality into daily life.
Video presentations, interviews and podcast episodes are all available on the YouTube Channel
More information about Sri Aurobindo can be found at
The US editions and links to e-book editions of Sri Aurobindo’s writings can be found at Lotus Press