It seems evident that many people when they feel needed and meet that need they feel good about themselves. Is this human nature or is this programming? I believe that Wilhelm Reich would maintain the latter and I tend to agree.
Socialization and enculturation are forms of learned behaviors and thus fit the term programming. What is the result? We have heroes and victims, at the extreme we have vampires--those that prey upon those well-meaning social people who want to be supportive and giving.
All people have physical or mental health issues from time to time. (Those that say they don’t are in denial and thus have a mental health issue.) Many receive a diagnosis. What is that? Is it information about you that enhances your self-awareness? Do you address it and move on? Is there healing? Perhaps you use this diagnosis as a permission slip or wear it like a badge; it is the ready at hand reason* that you are in need and unable to provide for yourself. (*excuse)
Been there done that. As a child I had a serious heart murmur, allergies and was all in all a well-medicated youth. My life was all about my mom feeling needed and my health issues were the prime focus in my home. This biographical nugget explains a lot, and as Crowley concluded, “A nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse.”
There are parallels to this human tendency. For example, for every Masochist there is a Sadist. For every angry abusive dude there is someone willing to be a punching bag. These people seem to find each other as if they have a special beacon or a radio tuned to a their own frequency.
The Tarot has a card--The Hermit. There are hermits among us, some walk with us shoulder to shoulder, and their existence as humans is strong evidence that this need to be needed and being needy are learned behaviors. We all have coping mechanisms, our skill set; these are how we deal with stressful situations generally brought about by each other. Transference, deflecting, reframing, denial, rationalizing, being shy, being aggressive, and our tempers--these are not problems and they are not symptoms, necessarily.
B.F. Skinner, father of Behaviorist School of Psychology and resulting treatment did have some valid points to make. Primarily that the study of the psyche will always be mysterious but that we can monitor behavior. If an individual’s actions are within accepted norms the person is okay. If a person’s behaviors are deemed unacceptable by “the powers that be” then that individual needs help. Honestly if a person isn’t fitting in or finding space, they are likely enough unhappy or dangerous to themselves and others. We can all use some help but should we seek it and do we need it?
What does this discourse on the human condition mean for Ecodites? Well for one thing there are no priest/priestess relationships within ECoD clergy. Vestiges of Thelemic relationships established in ritual settings however are not easy to dismiss. Personally it took some time for me to see how maintaining established relationships without scrutiny produces a fertile environment for sin. According to our Articles of Faith--We believe sin to be that which impeded spiritual progress. Please consider this in conjunction with the First Central Support, Freedom. We do not teach the Myths of Freedom. These myths extol Freedom while actually supporting the opposite--conditioning humanity to accept more and more subtle forms of slavery. They are tools of the Spectacle and as such must be identified, neutralized, and eradicated.
We teach real Freedom, total Freedom, complete with all its attendant horrors. In truth Freedom is to have the soft and comforting silken robes of the Spectacle stripped off leaving us naked and shivering before the all-penetrant, all-judging, oppressive Eyes of the Universe. There is no more hiding behind impotent mythologies. This is the true nature of total Freedom--a frightening and necessary component of Salvation--and is what we must teach in the ECoD.
Thelemics is not all bad, obviously. Within Crowley’s discussion of Da'ath he refers to the demon Because. In a nut shell, those things that prevent us from crossing over to the divine and leaving this mortal world behind. Prime examples of this demon Because can be illuminated in the following line: “If I die who will take care of my child/dog/mom/garden.” This demon is a manifestation of sin. This demon prevents spiritual progress at the most crucial moment.
Anyone who has spent time with me has heard me say, ”Need is a strong word.” In the context of Ecodite interaction it is potentially sinful. Within the church, Ecodites to not fulfill the roles of care-giver and patient. The paradox at hand is that we do care and we are healers and we do provide. We also become injured and truly need to be able to rely upon one another for love and support. We do not however become co-dependent; we do not co-sign each others diagnoses. We seek to empower our souls. We are free men and women and are indeed naked to the universe. Verse 14 of the Gospel of Thomas includes Jesus telling the apostles that, “if you give to charity you will harm your spirit.”
So Ecodites, it is okay to ask for help and you should be charitable but don’t make a habit of it.
Post script; please pardon the jumpy nature of the above writing. I realize that it is somewhat disjointed and perhaps confusing. However, my feeling is that anything over a 1000 words is too much and that explanations are for those that lack confidence. Perhaps I am feeling the presence of St. Johannes, John Dee. Anyway here is a link to our most recent addition to the web site a short and obscure essay by St, Carl, indeed his feast day starts at sunset tomorrow. http://theecod.org/writings/jung_article.html.