At the end of the 20th century, statements about the crisis state of the universally recognized scientific system of views on the process of cognition became frequent. Specifically, they reduced themselves to the call to form a new paradigm of knowledge based on the search for a compromise between its scientific and religious directions, including esotericism. This situation is essentially the result of the manifestation of the basic laws of dialectics in the sphere of epistemology and has a certain historical conditioning, of which the French physicist Louis de Broglie said: "The history of science shows that the progress of science was constantly hampered by the tyrannical influence of certain concepts when they began to be treated as dogmas. For this reason, it is necessary to periodically examine in depth the principles that have been adopted without discussion."
It is well known that in ancient times there was no division into scientific and religious knowledge. Science was born in the bowels of religious schools and gradually budged from them, which gave grounds to characterize it as a "runaway daughter of religion." It is believed that the process of the formation of science as a system of knowledge was finally completed in the 16th-17th centuries. However, the beginning of this process goes back centuries and is directly connected with the fierce struggle of various religious schools and directions. Particularly noteworthy is the struggle of monotheists with paganism and its reminiscence, which in the Middle Ages were identified as witchcraft, witchcraft and magic.
The hunt for "devil servants" (the witches` trials, the burning of witches, - according to only the surviving protocols, over 9.5 million people were burnt at the stake of the holy Inquisition), which lasted about five centuries, stimulated the emergence of secret sciences and learned magic, which, emphasizing its The difference from folk magic made it possible to avoid accusations of witchcraft. It was in the sphere of the secret sciences, the leading places among which occupied theurgy, astrology and alchemy, as well as the sacred Kabbalah, originated and formed a natural scientific approach to cognition, which originally (XVI century) was called "natural magic", in the depths of which physics developed , chemistry and other natural sciences.
The triumph of science, marked by the publication in the 18th century of the Encyclopaedia, or the Explanatory Dictionary of Sciences, Arts and Crafts (35 volumes), was simultaneously accompanied by the introduction into the public consciousness of the notion of an "enlightened age" and a pejorative attitude towards magic. Since natural magic represented a body of knowledge about the magical powers of things in nature, including a variety of views and interpretations of natural phenomena, the formation of natural scientific knowledge required the definition of criteria for distinguishing genuine scientific knowledge from other directions of epistemology.
The main criterion for distinguishing scientific knowledge is the requirement of reproducibility (preferably in the laboratory) as a proof of the reliability of scientific facts. According to this requirement, scientific knowledge must be independent of the subject of its recipient. Another important feature of science is the following principle, known as the "Occam Razor" (XIV century), according to which concepts that are not reducible to intuitive and experienced knowledge, must be removed from science. Verbatim it sounds like this: "Do not multiply without the need for the number of existing entities." Accordingly, all knowledge that does not meet the requirements of "scientific", are considered mystical.
Despite the important progressive role of scientific knowledge, modern social practice gives rise to doubts about its exceptional superiority. Increasingly, there are examples of operating in solving traditional practical problems with phenomena that are inaccessible to modern scientific knowledge. For example, Rossiyskaya Gazeta highlighted the Japanese experience of recruitment for work with the help of psychics. It also reported that in Japan there are about 200,000 clairvoyants united in their own trade union. And in England, 20,000 psychics have joined the trade union. In the former Czechoslovakia, psychics also wrecked official recognition.
Modern Russian practice also gives numerous examples of advertising the services of various organizations and individuals for the use of transcendental and other esoteric technologies, both in business and in personal life. At the same time, the process of teaching all those who wish to basics of esotericism is under way. The frenzied interest in extrasensory technology in the late 70's and 80's of the last century was accompanied by fierce discussions about the nature of this phenomenon and the furious resistance of representatives of traditional academic science. There were diametrically opposed points of view. Simultaneously, attempts were made to explain the phenomenon of psychics from the standpoint of traditional ideas about various physical processes.
However, the result was mostly negative. And although the range of practical applications of various extrasensory technologies is very wide and varied, the subject of special attention was their use for medical purposes. A great event in overcoming resistance in the first place to the medical use of estrasensory were the famous television shows of A. Kashpirovsky and A. Chumak. And although their effectiveness was debatable and the sessions were soon discontinued, the process of esoteric services spread out of control and took grandiose proportions.
Since supply and demand are in a dialectical relationship, the scope of advertising occult, magical and magical services gives reason to believe that in practice they are applied in a much larger volume than can be assumed on the basis of speculative impressions. And since this situation has been stable for many years, it can be concluded that the cases of effective achievement of the desired result are not so rare. Otherwise, business in the field of magical services would not have developed so much.
So, as of mid-2017, the number of practicing healers reached 900,000. According to rough estimates, the incomes of the occultists are between $ 3,000 and $ 40,000 per month. They are formed from the proceeds from the reception of visitors, the sale of books, amulets and other items, telephone consultations and hoaxes. In Moscow alone, about 100,000 people work in the occult services market. These are sorcerers, their assistants and assistants, actors and guards, props masters, as well as agents attracting customers.
The popularity of religious and mystical traditions is also evidenced by the publication of articles of appropriate content not only in specialized publications, but also in scientific collections, as well as the constant growth of public interest, both to mystical knowledge and to religious rituals. This is most clearly manifested in the behavior of political figures for the sake of maintaining popularity: public participation in prayer services, blessing by church hierarchs in occupying important positions in the system of state administration, etc. This clearly indicates a conflict between official science and the needs of society, which readily accepts religious-mystical rituals, including those that are widely replicated by modern parapsychologists.
Thus, the analysis of modernity gives grounds to talk about the phenomenon of the "Renaissance of esotericism." At the same time, the dilemma of treating this phenomenon arises: should we consider the situation as a return to the earlier rejected or is it a form of manifestation of the dialectic spiral of "negation of negation," that is, an impetus to the further development of the world view, including epistemology and ontology. The development of knowledge is stimulated by the needs of practice. In the early stages of human development, knowledge of the nature of the surrounding world was clearly not enough. Therefore, practical needs forced people to use the technology of the secret sciences, that is, to enter into practical contact with the unknown, which gave rise to the deification of this unknown (for example, fire).
With the expansion and accumulation of the domain of the known, man tried to limit the scope of practical activity within the framework of the known. However, as the world's population grows and its needs expand, this is not enough. Therefore, the problem arises of practical interaction with the unknown, which ultimately leads to its cognition. This process occurs unevenly and obeys the dialectical law of denying negation. Therefore, the craving for magic and magic is periodically replaced by their denial, which is then replaced by the desire for their revival. If, however, to fear and shun the unknown, then it will be impossible to understand it. Only contact and practical interaction with the unknown can give an impetus to the next step in expanding the domain of the known. This is the dialectic of cognition.
Viktor Ledenev, Candidate of Pedagogical Sciences
You can read a Russian review of the book by Victor Ledenev "Secret Science: or attempts to synthesize, analyze and then rethink transcendence and transcendental management (Russian Edition)" and buy it on this page