Dion Fortune - The Machinery Of The Mind (214.0 Kb)
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ORIGINALLY given as a popular lecture course, this little book does not pretend to be a contribution to the formidable array of psychological literature. It is intended for those who have neither the time nor the training necessary to assimilate the standard works on the subject, but who want to know its elements and to understand the principles on which our characters are formed and the means by which the process of thought is carried on, not so much from the scholastic point of view, but in relation to the problems of ever... More >>>
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ORIGINALLY given as a popular lecture course, this little book does not pretend to be a contribution to the formidable array of psychological literature. It is intended for those who have neither the time nor the training necessary to assimilate the standard works on the subject, but who want to know its elements and to understand the principles on which our characters are formed and the means by which the process of thought is carried on, not so much from the scholastic point of view, but in relation to the problems of everyday life.It is hoped that many will find herein the key to things that have puzzled them in their own natures, for only those who hold such unsolved problems in their hearts can know how crippling and tormenting they are.
This book does not aim so much at an orderly setting forth of the elements of psychology as at planting certain fundamental concepts in untrained minds so that they may serve as a basis for future studies. To this end the writer has adopted a pictorial, almost diagrammatic method of presentation in order that a framework of general ideas may be formed into which details may subsequently be fitted, having found this to be the best way to convey novel concepts to minds untrained in web physical subtleties. The teachings of no special school of psychology are adhered to the writer is indebted to all, though loyal to none holding that in the absence of any accepted standard of authority in psychological science each student must review the doctrines offered for his adherence in the light of his own experience.
This book is essentially practical in aim, written in response to a practical need. In her experience of remedial psychology, the writer saw that many cases of mental and nervous trouble would never have developed if their victims had had an elementary knowledge of the workings of the mind. She also found that many patients required nothing but an explanation of these principles to put them on the road to recovery, and that even when more than this was needed to effect a cure, such a knowledge greatly expedited the treatment by enabling the patient to co-operate intelligently.
So far as she is aware, there is no book that deals with psychopathology, not from the point of view of the student, but from that of the patient who needs an elementary knowledge of the laws of the mind in order to enable him to think hygienically. This book is written to fulfil that need. It is not only applicable, however, to those who are sick in mind or state, but to those also who desire to develop their latent capacities by means of the practical application of the laws of thought and character.
Dion Fortune (December 6, 1890 - 1946), born Violet Mary Firth, was a British occultist and author who was born at Bryn-y-Bia in Llandudno, Wales. Her pseudonym was inspired by her family motto "Deo, non fortuna" (which translates as "God, not fate").
She reported visions of Atlantis at age four and the developing of psychic abilities during her twentieth year. She attended courses in psychology and psychoanalysis at the University of London, and became a lay psychotherapist at the Medico-Psychological Clinic in Brunswick Square.
Her first magical mentor was the Irish occultist and Freemason Theodore Moriarty. In 1919 she was initiated into the London Temple of the Alpha et Omega before transferring to the Stella Matutina order.
She wrote a number of novels and short stories that explored various aspects of magic and mysticism, including The Demon Lover, The Winged Bull, The Goat-Foot God, and The Secrets of Dr. Taverner. This latter is a collection of short stories based on her experiences with Theodore Moriarty. Two of her novels, The Sea Priestess and Moon Magic, became influential within the religion of Wicca, especially upon Doreen Valiente.
Of her non-fictional works on magical subjects, the best remembered of her books are; The Cosmic Doctrine, meant to be a summation of her basic teachings on mysticism, The Mystical Qabalah, an introduction to Hermetic Qabalah, and Psychic Self Defence, a manual on how to protect one's self from psychic attacks. Though some of her writings may seem dated to contemporary readers, they have the virtue of lucidity, and the avoidance of the deliberate obscurity that characterised many of her forerunners and contemporaries.
In 1922, after a falling out with Moina MacGregor Mathers and with Moina's consent, Dion Fortune left the Alpha et Omega and formed the Fraternity of the Inner Light as an offshoot of the Alpha et Omega. This brought new members to the Alpha et Omega. Fortune's group was later renamed "The Fraternity of the Inner Light", and was, later still, renamed "The Society of the Inner Light". This society was to be the focus of her work for the rest of her life. Her masterpiece, The Mystical Qabalah was first published in England in 1935, eleven years before her death from leukemia.
Dion Fortune met and corresponded with Aleister Crowley, whom she acknowledged in the introduction of The Mystical Qabalah.
Dion Fortune claims to have participated in the "Magical Battle of Britain", which was an attempt by British occultists to magically aid the war effort and which aimed to forestall the impending German invasion during the darkest days of World War II. The effort involved in this endeavour is said to have contributed to her death shortly after the war ended. Her Society of the Inner Light continues to function.