Suicide and ritual suicide
1) What is your opinion about suicide? Could it sometimes be part of an initiatory
2) Does it exist an African esoterism, even if not coded? What do you think about
Voodoo, drugs, or altered states of conscience?
3) The power of silence C. Castañeda is (was) talking about is the same
of the Rule of silence?
1) Western cultures have not developed definitive principles
about suicide, supporting in this way all religious moral dogmas. However, philosophical
abstraction leads to pure conjecture, and that’s why the
only certainty is absolute uncertainty.
If we look at the past, we notice how man has been able to ease his fear of
death by carrying out some of his ideals, simply consecrating and making death
a ritual act.
So the death of an animal or a human sacrifice becomes a “ritual offer”,
then a Totemic sacrifice (see article on Totemic Banquet
by C.G. Jung op. cit.). In other words the act of ritually eating God’s
body (see e.g. Catholic “Eucharistic mysteries”) is abstracted,
as far as it takes the meaning of “self-sacrifice”, or offering
one’s own life to an earthly or divine ideal.
Different utopias have developed from this ideal. By «sacrificing himself»
a suicide warrior, saint, prophet or patriot tries to exorcize
his death in the “light” of an Ideal which could make him immortal.
In Egyptian Mysteries some emblematic figures were conceived beside Osiris:
Anubis and Upuat, chiefs of his army; Thot,
high priest; and Isis, his bride and sister, who had the power
to give men immortality (only male people were allowed to be initiated).
Man could finally aim at immortality through Isis’ Mysteries. But he had
to become like Osiris to reach his goal. This was possible only after he accepted,
stood and passed awful trials that could bring him to his “symbolic death”,
followed by the “knowledge of immortality” and the resurrection.
This death was sought to be born again as immortal
(see initiatory ceremony to 3rd grade of Master mason), and it is the first
ritual death form that appears to be similar to a suicidal
Some kind of excess in mass religions came from the misunderstanding of conceits
like inner death, or from a superficial reading of conceptions
such as «…One dies, or must die in a state of conscience, if
he wants to be born again in a higher state of conscience …those who are
alive are the shadows of immortal souls…».
Even the conceit of “death and rebirth” was re-veiled
(or revealed) and disguised as spectacular ceremonies arranged to give people’s
curiosity a sense of “wonder”. This was also to protect “one’s
own mysteries” from any abuse of power by popular leaders.
Complex hierarchies conducted very impressive ceremonies and inspired respect
for “mysteric principles”. Paraments, colours, symbols and special
signs marked the difference between the ordinary audience and those who had
the knowledge of principles and represented them in real “shows”.
Every kind of exoteric representation of Mysteries was made
in this way, while their secret interpretation was a path winding only inside
Greeks (then also Romans) overemphasized the concept of “death and rebirth”
and conceived another “philosophical excess”: getting enough pureness
to gain immortality in a human condition is possible only in a “short
moment” to be prepared and caught in an instant of extreme catharsis
of a timely ritual suicide.
As far as suicide Eastern mysticism has conceived an irrefutable
position: in case of violent death (war or murder), or unnatural (accident),
or voluntary (suicide), the being’s thin body keeps tied to his physical
body (his rotting carcass) until the moment of a separation provided by his
physical Karma. This conceit clearly refers to the western idea of hell.
The separation from the “energy cord” linking thin to physical body
can not happen through a voluntary (murder – suicide) or unvoluntary action
(accident), but only due to the karmic cycle.
This kind of theory acknowledges a natural coincidence between karma and death
cause. If for any reason death anticipates the “right moment”, this
could produce a negative karma to be soon dispersed before taking a new step.
It will not be worth at all every sorrow born while the thin body grasps at
the physical one.
2) There are many forms of African esotericism.
When the awful phenomenon of “slavery” took place, many forms of
Magism were also deported to countries like Brazil (macumba) or America (santeria).
In esoteric almanacs is reported how black people magic was a specialization
of the first two lesser chakra (energy ganglia). So sexual excitement
was a main part of this form of magic.
“Black magic” was called like this because it was black people magic,
or the magic of the first human race.
Black magic and sexual magic are two faces
of the same phenomenon, defined today by an unfavourable definition of: involute
Magism. But when it was born it was a form of primeval magic:
the most a primitive human conscience could conceive.
Today is commonly agreed that conscience has its field of action in a superior
mind, by developing empathy or abstract and intuitive intelligence.
3) Altered states of conscience are part of the history of
human mysteries, especially when connected to “dreams” and “religious
excitement”. Many worshippers turned to excesses or to the privation of
physiological needs, in order to reach some kind of “emotional heights”.
They practised extreme wakings, hungers or exposures to excessive hot or cold,
in order to reach a state of clear prostration next to a hallucinatory
and divining perceptiveness.
In many cases they used natural products (see Soma) and psychoactive
plants. So, apart from real mental pathologies, many spiritual
mirages phenomena started spreading in lower astral inspirations.
Artificial changes produced astral hallucinations, often reached
in a violent and unnatural way.
Where does the right end, and the wrong begin? It’s a controversial issue
that could be resumed in a few questions.
«What is the difference between hallucination and spiritual vision?»
«Do spirituality, dream and hallucination have anything in common?»
«Is a spiritual vision real, and if it is, how to tell it from the glitters
of dreams and illusions?»
«Is it possible to improve ourselves by giving up dreaming?»
«Do fantasy, dream and imagination come before intuition, or intuition
just comes from a higher intellect?»
These questions drive every “esoteric people” to study the subject
in detail. Here are two opposite answers: on one side the study C.G. Jung made
on Paul of Tarsus’ (St Paul’s) Messianic behaviours; on the opposite
side the “filosofia psicadelica” by Carlos Castañeda
about the use of peyote as a mean to reach the illusion of a lost popular
4) As for the «Rule of Silence»,
in these days I’m broadening the subject to its esoteric,
initiatory and theurgical features. I will all explain in a
digest about the esoteric use of Silence and Words. Its title
will be: «The Art of Telling and not Telling»
Esonet Editorial Staff