CAN INITIATION DAMAGE THE PSYCHE?
Before delving into the question of when and how esoteric initiations can be psychologically dangerous, I need to explain my qualifications for writing upon this subject.
By vocation (at least one of them), I am a psychiatrist. As I was a Rosicrucian and esotericist, I was asked to evaluate and treat patients suffering from unusual psychoses (uncontrolled intrusion of dream archetypes into daily awareness) and for removing psychic blockades preventing the experiencing of certain psychic states. Most of my corrective work was completed using medical hypnosis, as knowledgeable hypnosis will not reinforce one’s psychopathology and is excellent for reorganizing operation of the brain-mind.
By avocation (again amongst many), I have been an esotericist since I graduated university nearly five decades ago. Subsequently, I finished studying and applying the complete set of the HSL monographs and supplemental materials; served as a member of the IRC, was active in Atlanta Lodge as a ritual officer from Chaplain to Master and founding its current Heptad, was Regional Monitor, Grand Councillor, and have participated in many, many initiations.
As far as I am concerned, my activities were of small importance personally, but have been helpful to those coming to me. Most importantly for today’s blog, my experiences have engendered a great appreciation for the power and usefulness of preparatory initiations. This is what I share today.
First, esoteric initiations designed within mystically-based mesoteric schools, such as AMORC, are unlikely to overactivate a candidate’s fantasy so to cause unwanted intrusion of archetypes into the candidate’s psychic experience (gods, elementals, demons, angels, jinn and so on). Mystical initiations are more attuned to higher powers and subject matter. Such initiations, in contrast to occultism and theurgy, are not formulated around invocation or evocation of psychoistic archetypes (originating by the dream activity of our ancestors), rather the initiatory content creates a state of attunement between the candidate and Higher Being.
In my many years of initiating candidates in the various degrees of AMORC and TMO, I have never observed any significant untoward event, even, in ‘fantasy-prone’ persons (some 5% of the general population and higher in occult and spiritual organizations.
I have found that being ‘fantasy-prone,’ suffering from a mental instability, or possessing poor discrimination as to reality, is dangerous for practitioners of the occult sciences, as they work so to objectify, or make real, the various forces existing within the collective psyche. The only practitioners reasonably well protected, psychologically speaking, are those who are able to fantasize a demon or angel with the right hemisphere, while maintaining a solid connection to daily reality with the left hemisphere. Many practitioners allow such archetypes into their personal unconsciousness, as they really believe they are independent creatures, and so they take up residence by joining with existing personas.
All of us have enough problematic personas, or egostates, to deal with, no need for other ones.
I think I have said enough about initiation. Have no idea of what will be for tomorrow.