Fama Fraternitatis - 1614

Wiewohl wir nun wohl wissen, daß es umb ein ziemliches noch nicht an dem, da wieder unserm Verlangen oder auch anderer Hoffnung mit allgemeiner Reformation divini et humani, solle genug geschehen, ist es doch nicht unbillich, daß, ehe die Sonne auffgehet, sie zuvor ein HELL oder dunkel liecht in den Himmel bringt und unter dessen etliche wenige, die sich werden angeben, zusammen tretten, unsere Fraternitet mit der Zahl und Ansehen des gewünschten und von Fr.R.C. fürgeschriebenen Philosophischen Canons, einen glücklichen Anfang machen oder ja in unserer Schätz (die uns nimmermehr aufgehen können) mit uns in Demut und Liebe genießen die Mühsamkeit dieser Welt überzuckern und in den Wunderwerken Gottes nicht also blind umbgehen.

Vi vet dock att det enligt vår åstundan och andras förväntningar efter någon tid kommer en allmän reformation av både gudomliga och mänskliga ting. Ty innan solen går upp, upplyses himlen av
MORGONRODNADENS ljus. I väntan på denna reformation församlas några få som med sitt antal skall utöka vårt brödraskap, höja dess anseende och stärka dess förhoppningar och ge de av Fr.R.C. föreskrivna Filosofiska Canons en lycklig begynnelse. I all ödmjukhet och kärlek skall dessa nytillkomna tillsammans med oss dela våra skatter, som aldrig skall förgås, och så lindra denna världens möda och inte längre vandra ovetande om kunskapen om Guds underbara verk.

Howbeit we know after a time there will now be a general reformation, both of divine and humane things, according to our desire, and the expectation of others: for it is fitting, that before the rising of the Sun, there should appear and break forth AURORA, or some clearness, or divine light in the sky; and so in the mean time some few, which shall give their names, may joyn together, thereby to increase the number and respect of our Fraternity, and make a happy and wished for beginning of our Philosophical Canons, prescribed to us by our brother R.C. and be partakers with us of our treasures (which never can fail or be wasted) in all humility, and love to be eased of this worlds labor, and not walk so blindly in the knowledge of the wonderful works of God.


Det brittiska ordenssällskapet Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn och den tyska Frimurarlogen L'Aurore Naissante, vilket grundades i London 1888 respektive Frankfurt-am-Main 1807, delade på samma hebreiska namn Chevrah Zerach Bequr Aur, förevisat i gyllene gult vid bloggens huvud, vilket ordagrannt kan översättas till “Stigande Gryningsljusets Sällskap”. Denna tyska Rosenkorsiska Frimurarloge i Frankfurt, vilket måste anses vara det ursprungliga modertemplet till GOLDEN DAWN, kallade sig på tyska även Loge sur Aufgehenden Morgenröthe, vilket kan översättas till “Gryende Morgonrodnadens Loge”. Detta skiljer sig åt från den engelska seden att översätta orden Bequr Aur till “Golden Dawn” eller “Gyllene Gryningen”. Med anledning av Rosenkorstraditionens tyska ursprung är en mer korrekt översättning av Bequr Aur, genom franskans L'Aurore Naissante och tyskans Aufgehenden Morgenröthe, inget annat än GRYENDE MORGONRODNADEN. Denna hänvisning till ett stigande gryningsljus, morgonrodnad eller aurora är en klar hänvisning till den allmäna reformationen omnämnt i det ovan citerade stycket från Fama Fraternitatis. Denna blogg har dock valt att behålla den försvenskade anglo-saxiska termen GYLLENE GRYNINGEN för att denna, invand som den är, lättare associeras med den Rosenkorsiska tradition som här ämnas att framställas.

Licht, Leben, Liebe

lördag 13 februari 2010

Melancholia and initiation


Today there is a wide spread opinion amongst both laymen and professionals, such as physicians and psychologists, that depression is the result of bad chemistry in the brain. Or to be more specific, the result of the depletion of serotonin. There has been proven that there is a relation between depression, feelings of aggressiveness, impulsive behaviour, and addiction, etc., and a low serotonin level in the brain. On the contrary, having a high level of the said transmittor substance is supposed to create moods of the opposite end of the spectrum, i.e. feelings of happiness, fulfilment, joy, accomplishment, etc. It is known that a bad diet and reduced sleep has a depleting effect on serotonin. It has also been proposed that it may have a biogenetic origin, which is transmitted genetically.

According to this extreme materialistic attitude or paradigm on the human soul there is simply this biological, either biogenetic or somatic, cause to depression. Therefore there is no significance or meaning at all attached to feelings of melancholy or depression. Therefore there is no point in therapeutic methods of the psychoanalytical or psychodynamic variety that interprets the symptoms. As we are dealing with a medical condition, according to the psychiatrists, it must be remedied with medicine or psychopharmaceuticals. In this case antidepressants.

The latest generation of antidepressant medicine is of the so-called SSRI variety, the most well known being Prozac. SSRI stands for Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. As the name indicates these kinds of medicines inhibits the reuptake of serotonin after it being released in the brain’s synapses. This produces the effect of raising the level of serotonin in the brain, and hence alleviating the depression. Thus in this simplistic view the symptom (the depression) is but a malfunction of the chemical balance in the brain; the chain of causation is thus very short between the cause and effect.

On the other hand, according to Sigmund Freud and his later followers melancholy has its origin in the superego, the aspect of our psyche that accuses us and punishes us, it being the internalisation of the father’s law as an outcome of the Oedipus complex. This means that melancholy is a trait acquired from the interaction with one’s parental figures and the fear of breaking against the morality of society, as represented by the patriarchy.

Later psychoanalysts expanded upon Freud’s thoughts and in my opinion Melanie Klein was the one who took it to its greatest heights. She introduced two major “positions” of the individual, the schizo-paranoid and the depressive, by later authors re-defined as “integrative”. I personally call the second position the depressive-integrative. According to Klein we all are born into the schizo-paranoid position because of the traumas associated with birth and frustrations in the early phases of life.

Basically the child cannot cope with a mother that frustrates it while also providing it with the most gratifying of satisfactions, which the child attributes to evil and good qualities respectively. Thus the child is forced to split up these two aspects of the mother, and of itself, to be able to cope with it, ere it would fall into a total confusion and psychic disintegration. Hence the terms “evil breast” and “good breast”. The child copes with its own “evil” desires, such as gluttony, sadism, etc., by rejecting it through splitting and projection out of its own system. Thus the child within the schizo-paranoid position divides the world into clear-cut aspects of evil and good, within airtight compartments. This also creates an anxiety related to persecution and paranoia, because of the projected evil persona which the child sees in “the others”.

But in due time, as the child matures, it starts to see both evil and goodness inside of the mother, and thus also inside of itself. It starts to see that it itself has had destructive intentions and behaviours, such as fantasies of killing off its mother or its father. This creates a bad conscience or guilt, which in turn leads to depression. Here we see a child who has entered into a state of integration of the opposites and of depression resulting from that integration. This in turn leads to an urge to reparate that which has been damaged; to make amends for the hireto aggressive and destructive behaviour.

The natural outcome of all this is that the symptom (i.e. depression) is but a sign of an internal conflict between the superego and the ego, and between dynamic conflicts residing in the unconscious caused by the early interaction between the child and its parents. Therefore there is always a meaning to a depression as it can lead you to understanding the underlying dynamics of your soul. According to Freud there is no actual chance to psychological processes and phenomena; everything is determined by earlier experiences and therefore has an important meaning. Contrary to this, the bio-chemical paradigm believes in randomness and chance, depleted of any meaning.

As a magician and hermeticist I of course don’t recognize any chance or randomness in any aspect of the existance, neither of the microcosm nor of the macrocosm; that everything is determined by higher causual factors beyond the material, and that everything has a true meaning. So personally, both as a psychotherapist and as a magician, I adhere to the paradigm of psychoanalysis regarding the origins and nature of depression and melancholia. Thus I am strongly against this general view or attitude that the origin of mental “illness”, of whatever kind, solely resides in the brain, in matter. Mental “illness” properly belongs to the realm of spirit but has its effect upon the body in the form of feelings of anxiety and depression.

Sadly enough however, I have recently watched and participated in discussions where occultists are defending the attitude of modern psychiatry and the extreme materialistic view upon “soul” and its “illnesses”, as the by-product of bio-chemical processes in the brain. Contrary to them I adhere to the psychodynamic view that the true origin of mental “illness” resides in the social context of the individual and how each particular individual chooses to deal with the existential facts of life and that unique context experienced by the individual. This especially is relevant for all kinds of depressive or melancholic states, but also holds true of very severe mental “disorders” such as schizophrenia.

Thus depression is not a malfunction of the brain; it is a reaction or a way of coping with existential issues, as are all “mental disorders”. This means that the same may be said about schizophrenia and psychosis. What we undisputedly do observe in the brain (the serotonine level, etc.) and the body is a reaction to these experiences and reactions to trauma. This fully confirms the hermetic axiom of “spirit over matter”.

However I agree with the observations made that some physical (somatic) disorders may change consciousness and the emotional state. But we are not talking about chronic depression (as a psychiatric diagnosis) in these few instances, so it’s not actually relevant to our discussion here. But I do acknowledge the fact that there is no real differentiation between body and spirit. And it is of course correct that the body produces hormones which also are related to emotional states; “as above so below”.

But I want to point out that I don’t actually believe in the concept of mental “illness” (that’s why I have written the word “illness” within quotation marks). Our behaviour and mental attitude, regardless of type, is our personal way of adequately coping with life and our life’s experiences; a survival strategy. Sometimes this strategy can be very hindering indeed. That’s why people seek out therapy. But it has to be remembered that each and everyone’s strategy always is adequate according to the limits of one’s maturity, experience, knowledge and understanding.

I also nurture a spiritual view upon melancholy and depression. In my opinion depression gives a rich opportunity for spiritual progress. How can it be otherwise? How can any soul develop if there are no pains, sufferings or frustrations allowed? How can there be any progression without an urge to better one’s condition and self? I hold that depression is a key to enlightment. There is the term “dark night of the soul” coined by S:t John of the Cross, the renown Carmelite monk, which basically is a depression induced by spiritual practices, such as contemplation, meditation and ritual.

Depression forces you to look into yourself and revalue your life. In this instance taking antidepressants would seriously harm this great opportunity of self-knowledge and spiritual progress. I have seen this at close hand in one of my students so I’m talking out of experience here. So in my opinion you cannot combine antidepressants and other psychopharmaceuticals with initiation. Allow me to develope this further.

Initiation is about “knowing yourself” and I know for a fact that even our modern antidepressants make you more insensitive to your emotional life, as that is the point in taking medication. They effectively put the lid on you subconscious and emotional life, at least in part.

Your doctor will tell you that SSRI medication doesn’t numb you emotionally at all, and that you will feel more and different emotions. I have heard from people taking SSRI medication that instead of feeling just that one constant feeling of depression they now can feel a wider spectrum of emotions that they couldn’t feel before, because of the depression laying its shadow over whole of the soul.

I can appreciate this kind of descriptions and do respect this attitude in a patient, but cannot help thinking that there is a danger spiritually speaking in cutting off the darkest levels of emotion. While it is true that SSRI antidepressants don’t take away your emotional life it does in fact level out your depression. It is also true that one is able to feel other emotions instead of melancholy, but this has not that much to do with emotions being silenced by deep melancholia. Instead it has more to do with the fact that this kind of antidepressants induces other emotions artificially in place of the melancholia.

The wanted effect of SSRI medication is to induce “positive” feelings instead of the “negative” feelings associated with depression, the rationale being that a high level of serotonin gives feelings of comfort and happiness, while depleted or low levels of serotonin induces depression, destructive behaviour, addiction and aggressiveness.

So what SSRI medication basically does is to effectively cut out or inhibit one important aspect of life, and of especial spiritual significance, the dark side of the soul and of existence. It bars away a person from experiencing grief, sorrow and melancholy. I therefore ask how anyone may develop and mature as an individual and spirit if one is made insensitive to respond to the real hardships of life?

From a psychoanalytical or psychodynamic perspective depression gives you the opportunity to descend into your unconscious (or subconscious to use occult nomenclature). I have seen this myself in my own therapeutic process, in my clinical observations and experience, and in the experience of my colleagues; this is a typical trait belonging to these kinds of psychodynamic therapeutic methods.

There is a phase in psychotherapy when the patient experiences depression, the equivalent of a “dark night of the soul” of the mystic, magician or alchemist. But the patient must perservere to be able to reclaim his or her life, as the esoteric student is to experience the new dawn rising within his or her soul. Thus the same may be said of intiation as of psychotherapy.

Massive clinical experience (of the psychodynamic variety) says that SSRI medication actively hinders this necessary therapeutic process of the descent into darkness. Much research points out to the fact that psychodynamic psychotherapy (i.e. which takes the unconscious into account) is more successful if not combined with antidepressants. But this means that one have to accept to suffer from a period of worsened symptoms.

Regarding the numbing effect of SSRI medication I had a talk the other day with a quite well known psychotherapist in Sweden. He confirmed my thesis with his own clinical experience, without me mentioning my position. He litterary said that one of his patients, who happens to be on SSRI medication, cannot sink down into the level of the emotions necessary in trauma therapy. Since taking her medication she cannot work with the process of emotionally dealing with her original trauma; she is only able to work with it on the superstratum or middle level of the unconscious, and levels belonging to higher cognitive functions. This effectively inhibits the therapeutic effect, which needs to process the deeply buried emotional content to be able to release it.

With SSRI medication you effectively make it harder to feel deeper feelings (“deep” as in dark, frustrating and depressive, etc.) but are instead induced to feel higher feelings (“high” as in feelings of happiness, well being, etc.). If you want to work with your self – with your own demons so to speak – you have to be able to sink down into your deeper emotional layers. This applies both to psychotherapy and initiation.

Thus I really have no problems with depressives or melancholics in my Temple. But I expect of the melancholics to be prepared to deal with their emotional issues and surpressed contents. If any melancholic lacks the guts to deal with his emotional issues the G∴D∴ is not for him. And if a candidate has a biological (i.e. materialistic) view upon mental illness, instead of the psycho-dynamic or spiritual, he or she has no place in a G∴D∴ Temple or in any hermetic Lodge for that matter.

And if a applicant cannot be without his antidepressants, even of the relatively gentle SSRI variety and of the lowest dose, I would say that it definitely categorizes someone as emotionally unstable which practically hinders them from being admitted for membership. Thus persons diagnosed with a severe mental illness have no place in the G∴D∴. And in my experience lots of mentally disturbed people seek out the mysteries, for a help of a remedy.

A Temple must bar away mentally and emotionally unstable persons of the severe kind, both for the sake of the Temple’s egregore and for the sake of the applicant. My experience tells me that initiation into the Golden Dawn creates a severe artificial disintegration of the soul, a process which may be likened to the Alchemical phase of Nigredo or putrefaction. This creates quite some hardships and turmoil for the average neurotic and emotionally functional initiate. Imagine what would happen if a person with severe cronical depression or even worse mental states would be admitted for initiation. In my opinion it is unethical to admit such a person as it definitely will lay its karmic burden upon both the initiator and the egregore.

Simply speaking, you cannot substitute initiation for psychotherapy. And if you prefer your medication instead of psychotherapy – i.e. dealing with your problems and getting to know yourself – you have no place in a G∴D∴ Temple.

You may find my words severe and harsh. Perhaps they are, but believe me they are said in the best of meaning and interests for all parties involved in an initiatory process, the initiate, the initiating team and the Temple egregore. My words that I have spoken are based upon almost two decades of experience of G∴D∴ initiation and individual initiatory processes. Today I have a quite severe selecting process for my Temple that takes one year, at least. And in my selection I use my professional knowledge of psychotherapy to spot the unprepared.

So, I have no prejudice at all against melancholics. On the contrary I prefer them as they often are of the reflective and aware kind, not to say sensitive, compassionate and emphatic. But if diagnosed with clinical depression and considering initiation they have to choose between their medication (if any) and being initiated. Sometimes taking psychotherapy before initiation is recommended to better prepare a candidate for initiation.

Regarding finding a good therapist many occultists are afraid of prejudice against the occult, afraid of being diagnosed as psychotic or mentally disturbed because of their interest in the esoteric. I don’t know how the situation is in other countries, but in Sweden a psychotherapist isn’t allowed to intervene in their patient’s religious or political convictions, or sexual orientation for that matter. It is unethical, according to the code of professional psychotherapists in my country, to try to “cure” their patients from religious, political and sexual preferences. I guess the situation is the same in other countries.

There is much misconception about psychotherapy. Psychotherapy isn’t about curing “disease”. It’s about broadening your perspective and deepening your understanding of yourself, to emancipate you. The patient defines what the problem is and what should be worked upon. The therapist uses himself and his experience to assist the patient in this process of emancipation and self-knowledge. It can truly be likened to an initiatory process.

But if someone resorts to taking medication as a solution, instead of taking psychotherapy, that’s fine by me. I’m not in a position to judge anyone’s character or choices in life. But when it comes to initiation I have to look at certain criteria, and this particular strategy is not what is to be expected from someone seeking initiation (at least not in my Temple).

Now I expect people to start refute my position and start to defend the bio-chemical-materialistic view upon man and his soul. Sadly enough I even expect this from some of my fellow occultists. This topic is very sensitive and I understand that I may have stepped upon someone’s toes, or evoked the feelings of severe and unjust judgement against their decisions in taking medication. I beg your apology in being so uninhibited in my discussion. I mean no harm. But I have to state my opinion and share my experience, both as a professional therapist and as an initiator into hermetics. And besides this, now you also know what to expect of my Temple if you decide to apply for initiation into it.

Someone will probably bring up the diabetes and insulin analogy. But I don’t particularly like this analogy, nor do I accept it as relevant. I have heard that argument before, especially by people taking antidepressant medication (it more sounds like their doctor speaking). It’s a very easy and comforting way of not dealing with one’s existential issues. And that is not becoming of an aspiring initiate.

Someone will perhaps bring out the question of menopause and estrogen medication. But this is another not particularly relevant analogy. Women applicants should of course be allowed to take estrogen pills. It cannot be compared to taking antidepressant SSRI medication. So it’s no real issue here. Again, estrogen cannot be compared to psychopharmaceuticals proper even if it affects one’s emotional life (but it doesn’t put the lid on it). Meno-pause is a natural state of a woman, and cannot be regarded as a disease as pregnacy cannot be. Therefore I would recommend someone experiencing a menopause not to take estrogen medication and to deal with this natural phase of one’s life, but I definitely wouldn’t bar anyone from initiation resorting to this medication if their symptoms are to severe.

But both of these examples are more attributed to somatic conditions. I am addressing psychiatric diagnosis in this essay, not somatic ones. And my experience tells me that you cannot fully take the advantage of initiation and magic if you are on psychopharmaceuticals or on sedation.

I am also mainly addressing the diagnosis of clinical depression here, not of a bi-polar disorder. I would definitely bar anyone from initiation having this severe psychiatric diagnosis. In psychoanalytical terms the bi-polar or manodepressive disorder is the melancholic’s equivalent of schizofrenia in the schizoid character; i.e. it properly belongs to the range of psychosis.

Besides, psychiatrists use different kinds of medication for these two diagnoses. I don’t know the situation in other countries, but here in Sweden they have started to give bi-polars epilepsy medication, as recent “research” has “discovered” that this kind of medication also has a levelling effect on mood swings.

This is quite a strange move to take in my opinion, but on the grounds of biological inexpertise I’m not in a position to decide what medicine is good and what is not good for any diagnosis, as I am not a doctor nor a pharmaceutic scientist. But I do know what forces are behind this kind of selection processes. I do know who are behind all of these new “therapies” and diagnoses, and who gives the funds for this kind of “research.” In fact I know that it is the pharma companies, who incidentally produces the medicine and earns a lot of money in the process.

You probably won’t believe my following words as it goes against all logic. I know it does, and this makes it even more tragic. Now, normally one identifies a symptom and then tries to find a remedy for it through research; the demand comes prior to the supply. When it comes to the sordid history of the development of the SSRI medicine, the situation was in fact the reverse. Researchers suddenly discovered this new serotonin inhibiting effect through an experiment and afterwards the company started to ponder on what kind of ailments it could be used against; what new markets could be profited upon and exploited.

After resolving to engaging and mobilizing their sponsored doctors a new mental disorder was invented, called “panic anxiety”. Voalá! The company created a new marked with the help of their doctors, which of course got a good compensation in their wallets. And the company’s stockholders laughted all their way to the bank.

This isn’t all. The patent for SSRI medication have just expired a year ago or so. Suddenly other companies in third world countries could produce SSRI medicine very cheaply. Loss of profits for the original company of course resulted. But soon someone discovered that the company could profit more from the fact that the patent for this particular kind of epilepsy medicine had not yet expired. So what new “diagnosis” do you think soon was about to be invented? Bi-polar light of course!

History repeats itself. If you would care to look into the dirty business or abyss of pharma industry you would soon come to fear the dark. And this is not a “conspiracy theory”. It is all well documented and accounted for. But if I am allowed to descend even deeper into the mire of the subject of conspiracies, I wonder what higher motives or forces there is behind these pharmaceutics companies?

If this development is allowed to continue I can foresee (without resorting to my crystal ball) a dystopian society similar to the one pictured in the movie Equilibrium, starring Christian Bale. This is not a particularly good movie but it has a great motif, that of a government and society that resorts to mind control by drugging their population with a sedative that effectively takes away their emotions. This is also the theme of one of my all time favourite movies THX 1138, starring Robert Duvall. In both cases we have a totalitarian system that manages to exhort mind control over their population by controlling (or taking away) people’s ability to feel – to effectively feel alive.

The rationale behind this is that feelings of depression, of frustration, or dissatisfaction, etc. create opposition, revolution or evolution. Take away the deeper and darker feelings in any human, you will take away his incentive for individuation. Thus we will have a society that basically stops evolving, with a working force who doesn’t ask for any major improvements of their working conditions. We will effectively level out the dynamics and conflicts of our society, which lays the basis for development. We will all become one happy family of consumers making the stockholders richer while being depleted of our right to a full existence as living beings. Basically we will create a dead society.

In this context an esoteric lodge or G∴D∴ Temple poses a serious threat to such a system, as its main goal is to emancipate its members. Another category of subversive elements is of course the psychoanalysts and psychotherapists. Today we se a choir of detractors which calls themselves “sceptics”, mainly physicians and scientists sponsored by pharma companies, who runs a campaign which may be likened to a crusade, not only against all forms of alternative medicine and occult theories, but also against well proven and effective psychotherapeutic methods stemming from psychoanalysis. Anyone who doesn’t conform to the new biological gospel runs a serious risk of being branded as a quack and impostor.

In my opinion, what we see here is a serious case of projection. The occult community in general and the G∴D∴ community in particular mustn’t be allowed to compromise anything of their sacred tradition, their hermetic teachings, against these forces. On the contrary the G∴D∴ must stay put and prepare some few good men and women who will become a vanguard to lead our human society towards the new era marked by the age of Aquarius, a reformation, both of divine and humane things.


11 kommentarer:

P.B sa...

När jag var 19 år fick jag diagnosen: Depression. Under 2 år gick jag hos olika kuratorer, psykologer och distrikt läkare. Ofta tyckte de att jag skulle sättas in på SSRI behandling. Jag har alltid haft en "misstänksamhet" mot viss medicin. Då jag tror allt har en källa och anledning och därför skall beteendet eller vanan ändras för att kunna tackla källan till problemet. Men efter 2 år orkade jag inte detta tjat om denna medicin som skulle va både bra effektiv och jag skulle inte låta mig skrämmas av biverkningarna. Jag har aldrig haft en sån dålig period i mitt liv som under denna behandling. Svårt att beskriva hur det verkligen känns när man tar SSRI medicin för att det är just känslor som trycks undan, bra som dåliga. Man hamnar i ett läge som jag kallar "tomgång" som på en bil. Man tar sig varken fram eller bakåt. Man står stilla och det är OK men inte bra. Man kunde inte få dessa arg-gråt attackerna men man blev inte heller glad över något det va svårt att skratta gråta och sex och kärlek funkade knappt.

Jag fick snabbt flertal bi-effekter av medicinen: Ingen matlust, ingen mättnad-hunger känsla. Dålig kvalité på sömn, konstig dygnsrytm, svårt att kissa. Svårt att få erektion, Försämrad tand hygien.

Jag bestämde mig själv för att avsluta medicineringen och även om många av bi effekterna har blivit bättre så är det oerhört frustrerande att inte veta om man är fullt återställd. Jag håller på en del med meditation och det känns ibland som man "hindras" för att man tagit medicin.

Sincerus Renatus... sa...

Care P.B.,

Tack för att du delade med dig här av dina erfarenheter. Jag tror att många kommer att känna igen sig i din historia.

Du nämnde biverkningarna av SSRI-medicin, något som jag inte tog upp i min essä. Detta är en viktig aspekt anser jag och jag är glad att du tog upp det här.

Det är ganska många på SSRI-medicin som upplever en minskad sexlust. Detta ensamt, något som påverkar självaste livets primära uttryck och kraft inom oss, borde vara nog så stark varningssignal mot att ta denna typ av medicin.

In Licht, Leben und Liebe

Sincerus Renatus... sa...

This essey was in fact for most part assembled from a discussion on Dean Wilson's blog. You can read it in full here:


An anonymous individual calling himself "Kether" (hence suggesting someone engaged in occultism) refuted my position there in quite some strong terms. I will qoute it here in full as it concerns the contents of my essay:

"This is some of the most medically ignorant stuff I've ever read. Insincerus Renatus, get thee back to a current Neurology/Endocrine text. Altho what u say about the pharma industry is correct, your mechanistic comments about mind/body/spirit are so outmoded as to be laughable. Guess what? The same brain cells that pump out hormones in reaction to stress/depression (which is multi-factorial, genetic, familial, cultural, environmental) are affected by those very same hormones. Hence you have a 'damaged' feedback loop. Sad to say that stress/depression are minor, very minor, forms of brain damage. We are definitely in an over medicated/corporate driven culture, but a depressive on a spiritual path is better than a dead depressive. Your limited view says it all. That's why I would encourage everyone to not seek you out spiritually. The great teachers work with everyone and anyone."

First of all, I'm not a "great teacher", a "teacher" being a term which applies to a wide varitey of people. There are very few "great" teachers around these days, and I'm certainly not one of these.

I am however a initiator into hermetics, or specifically the Golden Dawn, since 13 years, and myself a initiate since 15 years. Furthermore I have also experience as a psychotherapist. Hence I base my opinions on my own clinical work and the clinical experience of other therapists (people who I admire as professionals). And I base my opinions on my own experience as a initiatior, and as a initiate. And I base my opinions on classical spiritual and psychoanalytical texts.

The psychodynamic view upon melancholy and depression is definitely not outmoded. Far from it. It is constantly evolving. Besides we are talking about different paradigms here. Paradigms are always constructs of the mind. So called "natural science" is not less faith based than any other religion, or philosophy or psychology, etc. The problem is that "natural science", or positivism, isn't aware of this human factor or chooses to ignore it, contrary to hermeneutic science. The only exception being quantum phsysics. Biologists are probably the most stubborn and conservative scientists ever walking this earth.

Regarding the non-inclusive attitude I'm expressing. The G.D. has always been non-inclusive and it will always be. While I as a psychotherapist never would exclude anyone based solely on their psychiatric diagnosis I definitely would when it comes to initiation.

The attitude of all inclusiveness in my retractor only reveals a great ignorance in these matters of initiation. It's easy to sit behind a desk passing out judgements when you don't have to take any responsibility for the applicant and the initiating team.

And it's a huge difference between being against melancholics or people having depression and being against a combination of SSRI medication with initiation.


Sincerus Renatus... sa...

Someone calling herself "Soror Phineas" wrote on Dean's blog:

"Yes, the Golden Dawn was historically exclusive and elitist. The original group was so exclusive and elitist that their teachings were almost lost when the group broke apart. Who would have carried this spiritual knowledge to the next generation if Crowley and Regardie had not gone ahead and just published the Golden Dawn material for everyone to read? Had it not been for that, chances are that few people reading or posting on this website would ever have come into contact with this material.

Remember, even Dion Fortune was rejected from one of the post-G.D. groups for not having the right symbols in her aura. ("A perfectly unanswerable charge.") And Fortune had her own issues with mental illness. Would you have kept Dion Fortune out of your group too?

A lot has changed in the last century or so, and going crazy just ain't what it used to be. In fact, it's much more common, and it is foolish to pretend to understand all of the reasons for this societal shift. The very drugs demonized in these posts are the ones most frequently prescribed by doctors today.

Philip K. Dick said that sometimes going insane is the only sane response to an insane society. He was a visionary, too, but I doubt he would have been able to live up to these standards, either. Another potential G.D. reject!

Though Crowley was barely out of school when he joined the Golden Dawn, he immediately observed that "the members of the Order were as vulgar and commonplace as any other set of average people." Elitism be damned. We all start out as lead."

She makes some good points. Regarding Dion Fortune I didn't know she was suffering from any mental disorder, other than the usual neurotic melancholy or schizoid character of most members. I do know she was a layman analyst, so she must have been in analysis herself; i.e. she dealt progressively with her emotional issues.

It is always an assessment to be made in each individual case. I have a selection process which takes ca. one year. After the first meeting I wouldn't reject anyone only on the basis of them having emotional difficulties, or even on SSRI medication. Who hasn't emotional issues or some sorts of depressions from time to time? I would of course immediately reject anyone exhibiting psychosis.

I once met a person seeking admission who believed he received messages from extraterrestrials through his TV set. He even suggested I was an alien! Case closed.

This is of course an extreme case. But after a year I am able to better assess the mental state of any candidate and above all his or her discipline and devotion to the Work. It is not the emotional issues per se that is the question here (we all have them more or less) but how we choose to deal with them. That's the actual issue here. As I have stated before, it is our emotional issues that drives us to develop and mature spiritually.

It is so very true that we all are lead at the beginning. A spiritual journey is also a mending of the soul, including the emotional issues. But its is a very drastic formulae which has its dangers and pitfalls. For the sake of the applicant I have to make an assessment if he or she would benefit from it or suffer a worse condition. That's my responsibility and karma.

Anyone with experience of the G:.D:. initiatory process will confirm my words. You have to have a certain basic level of integration of self and minimum level of emotional balance before you venture on this initiatory journey.


Sincerus Renatus... sa...

Addendum: Regarding the profanation of the G:.D:. by Crowley and Regardie, that's an entire different topic. But I must say that Regardie also effectively killed off all active Temple work in one of the branches of the G:.D:., namely the A.O. We can only speculate what would have become of the G:.D:. hadn't he published the material. Surely it wouldn't be as common as today, but we would perhaps still had had active and alive Temples which would have continued semi-public lives.


Sincerus Renatus... sa...

Here is another comment made by "Kether" in a amended format:

"I study Buddhism. [I] just took [the] discussion in a certain direction without giving it context...totally full of passion, aggression, & ignorance (in Buddhism, known as the 3 poisons) on my side. [...] One of my Tibetan Gurus said that a main problem in students is not that we are so emotional, but rather that we don't allow emotions to arise enough. How can we transform any of the 3 poisons, if we don't allow them to arise? The problem is that to do that takes a lot of spiritual skill. I don't at all have that skill, quite obvious from my posts. I partly poke at people to allow emotions to heighten in all 'dialoguists', myself especially. Because these emotions are the 'lead' that transforms into gold. I encourage 'lead' to be vivid in myself, & poke at others to see their 'lead', to try to get to the 'Prima Materia'. [...] I am a nurse, who has worked primarily with under served populations. & the 'usual suspects' who are slammed in the medical system, are slammed in Spiritual communities. Buddhists teachers (in general), don't want you to check your ego and neurosis, psychosis, and meds at the door because if you did, there would be no ladder to enlightenment. Do I think this is better than the traditions presented here? Absolutely not, actually. But the idea of any exclusivity on a Spiritual path concerns me. And I have indeed seen many Buddhists be exclusive.
As a ground rule, I think it's important to do what's of most benefit for the most people, so yes, I'd be one of the first to stop someone trying to physically attack someone at any gathering. But the person who believes in ET & you as a Martian, needs & deserves some kind of Spiritual guidance. Maybe that guidance comes in the form of modified individual or group support, but instead what I see in medicine & spiritual groups, is that this kind of person is shunned. The 'lead' in them frightens the 'lead' in us. Indeed, S.R. I poked at you, because your struggles that you verbalize so well, of who you allow in, & who you push out, mirror my own ideas of who should be in or out of any aspect of our lives. Whenever I, or anyone, is thinking 'this one gets inside, this one stays outside', it is a mirror of a lack of attainment. (my own lack very included). I got pissy on this blog just to hold a mirror up to me and all of us of what we find offensive. Because I believe embracing what we find offensive is a very strong rung on the spiritual ladder. So yes, I allowed my offensiveness to show, to make vivid on this very blog, what all of us, myself included wants to shun."

Sincerus Renatus... sa...

I response to the latest comment made by "Kether", I have to agree with him and his teachers that emotions, especially "negative" so-called, are very important or imperative for our spiritual progression. That's why I'm so against medicine which hinders the emotional contents to arise.

The G:.D:. is a very emotional and bumpy ride. You basically disturb or awaken your repressed sides of yourself. It is like a bellows igniting the parks into a full fire in the athanor of the unconscious. So you have to evoke the emotions, the inner fire, and their contents to get to know them and to be able to transform or transmute them.

Sometimes things go wrong, very wrong, and people end up being very hurt by the initiatory process, and even end up in the lap of a psychiatrist, because they cannot cope with the disturbed emotional contents. Unfortunately I have seen this happen at close hand. It's not a pleasant experience for anyone. That's why I recommend taking psychotherapy in conjunction with initiation.

Likewise with initiation psychotherapy is also about stirring the emotions and the repressed sides of yourself into life, to be able to transform them and your own attitudes towards them.

In some cases certain individuals would benefit more from taking another spiritual route than the G:.D:. because of the extremely dynamic process involved with initiation. A spiritual teacher must be able to see if the path that he represents is beneficial for the student, or if perhaps another path would serve him or her better.

For example, if someone with an extreme disassociate personality, such as of a severe schizoid type, would take up initiation in a G:.D:. context, the risk is to great that he or she would suffer a severe trauma or even psychosis because of the necessary disintegrating process contained in the initiatory path (the solve phase of alchemy).

In this case a recommendation to take up Zen Buddhism, or something similar meditative path, would be more beneficial as that kind of deep meditation has more of an integrating effect upon the soul, which would help and benefit the schizoid character more.

Likewise in psychotherapy, a therapist may choose not to take on a patient on different grounds, but he would always recommend another therapist for the patient. So just because an applicant is barred from initiation into a Temple doesn't mean that he isn't going to get any help or guidance from it.

The G:.D:. is not a religion, even if it is a spiritual path. One may debate wether Buddhism is a religion or not, but one trait is shares in common with religion is that it is inclusive and presents a spiritual path for all.

The G:.D:. is better compared with "spiritual therapy". As with all kinds of therapeutic systems, such as exemplified by rehab houses, they often meet the applicant or client first and then decide if their form of therapy or treatment would benefit from it. This is similar with how it is done in the G:.D:., at least in my Temple.

Thus, the G:.D:. cannot (nor any spiritual path for that matter) suit everyone, nor may it help all. But an experienced teacher may at least guide the seeker to the right path.

If I come to the decision that someone would not benefit of initiation into my Temple I always guide them somewhere else and also offer my counsel through correspondence. That's the very least I can do.


Frater YShY sa...

GD temples can be elitist to varying degrees, but no more than a soccer team is. Just because you can't make the team, doesn't mean you can't kick the ball around a field with your friends and grab a few beers after. It is nothing personal.

There are also different levels of pro-sports. This is similar to GD, but without taking a hierarchical stance, some GD groups may be better suited to each of us than others.

However, if someone is psychotic, like you said, SR, some extreme people could benefit better from another path. This is not about excluding those who need help, this is recognizing that the kind of help they need is not found in a temple of our tradition. While we all like to think our system is the be-all and end-all of life, it is not. It is not a religion, it is more like getting a Bachelor's and subsequent Master's degree. That is why the drop-out rates are just a little better than first-year university. Were such an unsuitable person to be Received and subsequently Initiated, I think that all concerned would ultimately be disappointed with the results. Especially if the GD facilitated a breakdown!

Such a person should seek help or spirituality in a tradition that doesn't steam and simmer your sense of self into its composite 'elements' which would only cause a mental breakdown. Only reletively healthy people can benefit from the eventual rebuilding of a healthier self-awareness that occurs next.

Such an example of an unstable person might actually excel in another arena that is a little more tame, that perhaps incorporates relaxation techniques.

Frater YShY sa...

To add to the above:

GD could also be compared to a theater troupe. While the certain unsuitable people in question could benefit from joining a secular social event like that, GD is not a good choice to 'get out and integrate with society'.

The very minor level of psychological projection and transference that is intentionally cultivated in an initiatory body and it's rituals makes such unfit people entirely unsuitable for the Officer positions, which is of course one of the preliminary acts of contribution a GD member is often asked or required to make as part of his or her training. To go back to the sports metaphor, they would literally 'drop the ball'.

So, with this little tidbit of information, the 'why' of our reasoning is a little more solid.

In the gentlest of manners, I encourage anyone not understanding the mechanics of this tradition to feel free to ask around at any time. That is what I do when I am stumped on something, we are all students in this tradition, and asking the right questions when something seems weird works wonders in life!

Anonym sa...

Care S.R
Thanks for this great article.I have to say that your articles are VERY informative and professional.This post in particular taught me something invaluable and once again i thank you for that.

Sincerus Renatus... sa...

Care Anon,

Thank you for your kind and encouraging words.

In Licht, Leben und Liebe