The last taboo – Janny LeggedoorAugust 30, 2013
The contents of this blog, which has been sent to us by Janny Leggedoor who recently visited the library, expresses the author’s own ideas and opinions. If you would also like to post a blog with content relevant to the BPH please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Last Taboo
We live in a culture that is completely suffused by the age-old Western Mystery Tradition, but if we’re not careful, information about this cornerstone of our civilization is going to be censored, or worse, this tradition will again become so oppressed that practitioners and scholars alike will be forced to go underground. The U.K. government wants to seal all information about the Western Mystery Tradition, the Golden Dawn, and the Pagan Traditions behind a family filter, thus making their websites inaccessible.
Years ago, in a Dutch television show, the hostess Sonja Barend remarked that by covering the actual subject, the last taboo had been broken. I don’t remember what the exact subject was, but I remember recalling in my head a series of taboos; a lot of them in the seventies covered subjects such as freedom of speech, sexual freedom, and emancipation. I now think these subjects are in direct relation to one another, but at the time I was not aware of that. The Internet did not yet exist, and something that did not cross my mind while I recalled these taboos was the possibility to censor the freedom to acquire information.
All this went through my mind when I spoke to Ina (Ina Cϋsters-van Bergen, head of an esoteric school). While journeying home from holiday in the U.K., she and her husband embarked on a long boat trip home from the north of the U.K.. An excellent opportunity to do some work on my website, Ina figured. To her amazement she was unable to get access to her website. “What is going on here?” she asked herself, to find out soon after.
Filtering, the new censorship
The British government is in the process of implementing a family filter that will make it impossible to access sites containing pornography or excessive violence through computers, tablets or smart phones. Sites that give information about suicide are to be filtered as well. Although disputable, they make a certain amount of sense. But the plan Cameron and his friends have come up with is considerably more far-reaching. And that is why Ina got upset: “Believe it or not, my esoteric site is behind the family filter. Everything we’ve put online is being filtered, and because of this I could not access my own website. In other words: censorship!”.
Although the filter had yet to be turned on, the ferry company had already put its own filter on their public internet access.
“It is complete madness that in this time and age people are being treated like they are not entitled to acquiring an opinion of their own, it is discriminating. Think of what this means for communities like my school, who teach esotericism, for Freemasons, Gnostic currents or another aspect of the Western Esoteric Tradition who use the internet to build international connections and exchange information! Especially in the U.K., where these traditions are deeply rooted in the culture and where there are so many esoteric schools, this is frightening news. Really the topics disappearing behind the family filters are pornography, excessive violence and esotericism.”
Inspiring knowledge buried
Still flabbergasted, and even a bit shaken that ‘her’ Western Tradition is being maltreated, she starts to get angry. “Hinduism, Buddhism, Yoga, all are welcomed in the West, by me too! But here in the West we also have an age-old tradition of spiritual development that serves Humanity and has enlightenment as a goal, though most people don’t even know about it. Beautiful Western esoteric systems, compatible with the Ayurveda systems from the Orient, lie in libraries collecting dust. Because they are so little known, they have been misunderstood, and now placed behind a family filter.”
“Esoteric schools with the goal of achieving the Great Work and providing spiritual training that enables people to manifest their missions in the world.” Ina’s definition of spirituality is to connect the divine part of yourself with the world around you. “Spirituality with roots”, she adds.
According to her our modern society suffers from a lack of spirituality. We live in a mechanical world wherein the spiritual component is broken. “People no longer understand spiritual language and they don’t know where to go when they have queries about spiritual issues.” Western Esotericism has become a complete labyrinth of trends, masters, and systems, populated by inexperienced teachers on the one hand and specialists on the other. “I understand that it is difficult for people to find their way through this labyrinth, that can at times be beset by quackery.”
Not out of the closet yet
“Openness in this field is developing slowly, in the Netherlands we now have an academic chair in Western Esotericism (History of Hermetic Philosophy) at the University of Amsterdam. The world’s biggest library concerning this age-old Western tradition is located in Amsterdam (The Ritman Library) but we still have a long way to go compared to other traditions, mostly Eastern orientated or Jewish-Christian; now Cameron wants to put our community behind a family filter. Absurd.”
“People who are members of my school still have difficulties facing discrimination. Students cannot be public about their membership, running the risk of losing their jobs because being associated with my school. Recently this almost happened to one of my students. Luckily it could be prevented by explaining our tradition, but it could very well have turned out differently.”
“I know, there is nothing new about suppression of information, because this has been happening to us for ages, but that does not mean we should accept this. Prejudice remains prejudice, which one should fight by taking action. My opinion is that people who work for the light must be able to do their work in full daylight.”
“And it is of the utmost importance that people know that we serve the light. That way they can find a listening ear when they find themselves in situations that are suspect. On the quest for spiritual enlightenment there are more options than becoming a Christian or a Buddhist,” according to Ina Cϋsters-van Bergen.
by Janny Leggedoor of Brightnezz
Ina Cϋsters-van Bergen is the head of the Hermetic Order of the Temple of Starlight; her school offers an education in line with the teachings of the Golden Dawn. For more information go to www.templeofstarlight.eu