In current terms, Barfield asks us to remember, "All qualities are occult, inasmuch as they are not accessible to passive sensation alone. There has to be an element of feeling in the perception, which is ruled out by the presuppositions of the scientific method. That is why science has become all quantities" ("IOB" 13).
The sort of acts and/or knowledge customarily
thought of as occult (talking with the dead, etc.), these Barfield describes
as being like attempts "to botanize, or to cultivate, a love and understanding
of nature by investigating fungi." "This is," he adds, "not to condemn
it. A loving study of fungi may well throw a special light not only on
fungi themselves, but on the whole working of nature in her normal manifestations"