Saturday, 15 October 2016
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In the war letters Dion Fortune makes three statements:

1. “It is the aim of both psychotherapy and initiation to bring about harmonisation between consciousness and sub-consciousness. Both methods of dealing with the human mind depend for their results on the same factor- the resources made available to the personality when this unification takes place. Initiation differs from psychoanalysis in that it carries the process a stage further and unites subconsciousness with cosmic consciousness; save for this, the two methods have more in common than either of them realises.”

2. “The powers of the macrocosm can only function in the world of men through the medium of men’s souls…through them the cosmic powers work.”

3. It is necessary to have a working knowledge of both psychology and the mysteries.

It is not for me to teach the Psychologists their business, however great the need.

5 years ago
Thanks for the warm welcomes! :)

Psyche, I find it very interesting that you mention the more receptive functions of the mind, as I was thinking in the same direction when I was writing my last paragraph. Bion has some very interesting things to say about this I think (for those who don't know, he was a very prominent British psychoanalyst).

A concept of his I always found very interesting is 'negative capability', the capacity to tolerate not-knowing without falling back on ready-made answers. Very important in psychotherapy, but also in the mysteries I imagine. And of course there's also the concept of 'faith', but I don't think I would be able to say anything useful about this without diving into my books!

5 years ago
Ah negative Capability! (I have a hunch your Bion is better than mine for which I salute you- not an easy read is he? :) ).

Yes indeed, that is exactly the sort of thing I am referring to, and I love the articulation of the importance of balance between knowing and not knowing.

Some would say I'm rather good at not knowing, and of course it is actually a virtue :)


It is not for me to teach the Psychologists their business, however great the need.

5 years ago
I am no psychologist, rather I am an engineer by profession, but it struck me that the 'negative capability' you discuss above may be connected to a common trait of the personality that seems to me to make it very difficult for most people to say 'I do not know'.
There is a school of thought, to which I subscribe, that the only difference between a 'junior' and 'senior' engineer is that a 'senior' engineer is not afraid to say 'I do not know' (and then seek out as best they can the answers to the questions posed).
I suppose all professions and walks of life have experience of similar things. If only folk were more ready to declare their absence of knowledge, all could surely progress in greater safety. At the end of the day it must also be better for the guesser to admit their lack of knowledge rather than to professes some knowledge that is not there, as folk taking the latter path may well be proven wrong with time and so attract the sort of attention that they had perhaps thought they were avoiding by guessing.
Is it perhaps possible that those involved in the esoteric are more likely to be able to accept their absence as knowledge for, if they set off in that field believing they knew all, they would be unlikely to be able to come to any significant realisations.
5 years ago
One of Dion Fortune's Inner Plane contacts, the Greek philosopher Socrates who is said to have communicated much of The Cosmic Doctrine to her, made some interesting observations on the subject of 'knowing' and 'not knowing' and on those who claim to know when they do not! He is quoted by Plato as having said:

"So examining this man—for I need not call him by name, but it was one of the public men with regard to whom I had this kind of experience - men of Athens - and conversing with him, this man seemed to me to SEEM to be wise to many other people and especially to himself, but not to be so; and then I tried to show him that he thought he was wise, but was not.

As a result, I became hateful to him and to many of those present; and so, as I went away, I thought to myself, “I am wiser than this man; for neither of us really knows anything fine and good, but this man thinks he knows something when he does not, whereas I, as I do not know anything, do not think I do either. I seem, then, in just this little thing to be wiser than this man at any rate - that what I do not know, I do not think I know either.”

Peter Nascien
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