Hi All…another question found in the inbox this morning:
I regularly see occultists ask in other groups about depression and grief, would you please address this [sic] from a Gnostic perspective.
First, there’s everything healthy and functional about grief; if it’s a temporary state of mind. When we’ve lost someone; either through a break-up of lovers or a death (or any other way), we should feel a loss in our hearts, but also in the mind. And that, now empty place needs to fill up. And so in that period of time that it takes, there should be a sense of grieving, which is all too healthy. As a matter of fact, if it doesn’t occur, I’d be far more worried about the personality construct, as that sets up at least a suggestion of psychopathology.
On the other hand, depression is a strong dysfunction; a deep anger that one has against oneself. We all get ‘the blues’ every now and again. And for that matter, there’s a great musical form built around that idea. But depression is not the blues and I don’t necessarily know that they are even related; though they might feel the same in moments. For depression, one would have a great opportunity to ‘know thyself’, as one would be forced to get to the source of one’s anger and self-loathing. This may be done alone or one may depend on the help of a trusted friend, mentor or family member…and in the extreme, a professionally trained psychologist.
This brings me to an important point. I really feel that anyone who is serious about the Western Mystery Tradition should take on six months of psychotherapy. Don’t make the goal to cure you of anything; unless of course, you are depressed. But I don’t thing neuroses are necessarily curable. Rather, it should be to help one to discover the decisions made in life that one be better capable of knowing oneself. So psychoanalysis is a certain technique of Gnosis.
Another important technique is the Gnostic Dialogue or as the ancient Gnostics called it “Dialogue with the Savior.” You’ll find that this work begins with first study of holy scriptures Gnostic and Thelemic. But also creative endeavor, so that the two eventually begin to work together. And in this, you’ll find also a hint at what is really meant when one talks about the ‘Knowledge & Conversation of Thine Holy Guardian Angel.’