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Achyrkidis Konstantinos ST.

No: 30001068 Word count: 3843

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Esoteric Healing is a tradition that could be related to the Egyptian Therapeutae (the healers) reported form H.P. Blavatsky, the inspirer of the revival of modern esotericism in the western world and the spiritual parent of A. A. Bailey. 1 But the majority of the immediate information about the practice of Esoteric Healing can be derived by the literature of the latter. According to these texts human organism and its health are closely related with planetary movements and humanity can interact and control its fate.2 So a complex Cosmology is underlying this practice. Aim of the Research Project: As Bryman states:Even highly abstract ideas, must have connection with an external reality. 3 So this project will consider the level to which belief in the Cosmology of Esoteric Healing is open to investigation and to what extent can research of this kind penetrate successfully to what has been described by David A. Snow and Richard Machalek as the plausibility structures of a belief system. Plausibility structures are said by the above two researchers to operate in order to enhance what is logically self-perpetuating in a belief system; on the other hand if there is a problem in reconciling discrepancies between belief and experience there is cognitive dissonance.4 In any similar to the present project attempt though, there should be kept clear the distinct difference between Webers Verstehen which values inner experience, that is apprehending the meaning of being a believer (insider turning simultaneously an outsider or a non participant researcher), to actually being a believer (a non scientist believer). 5 In this respect a dialectic relationship must be established where the researcher aims to learn about a community, endeavors to find context for the data collected within a wider frame, and thus maintains his/her integrity. 6 This will be a two way question though, in terms of integrity: can Esoteric Healing in Greece maintain its intellectual integrity by means of systematization of its belief/s? Can the beliefs reported by members of an Esoteric Healing Group be classified according to Snow-Machaleks four Quarters diagram?7 Are the beliefs of the group, part of a general cosmological narrative counter/inter-active to/with the researchers source of integrity? Academic Rationale:
1

H.P,Blavatsky,The Key To Theosophy, www.theosociety.org/.../key/key-hp.htm, [Accessed 17 Mar 2011]


2

Alice A.Bailey, Treatise on Cosmic Fire, (New York, London: Lucis, 2007),pp.247307. 3 Alan Bryman,Social Research Strategies, Social Research Methods,2nd edition,(Oxford: Oxford University Press,2004),[Hereafter, Bryman, Research strategies], page 5 4 David A Snow and Richard, On the Presumed Fragility of Unconventional Beliefs, Jurnal for the Scientific Study of Religion,Vol 21,1,1982,p.22,[hereafter Snow & Machalek, Unconventional Beliefs] Joe Pearson,Going Native in Reverse The insider as Researcher in British Wicca, in the Theorizing Faith: The Insider/OutsiderProblem in the Study of Ritual, edited by Elizabeth Arweck & Martin D. Stringer,(Birmingham: University of Birmingham Press,2002),page. 105,[hereafter Pearson, Insider] 6 Pearson, Insider,p.109
5 7

Snow and Machalek, Unconventional beliefs, p.20

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Russell T. McCutcheon argues that, in respect of matters of belief, the researcher actually steps into the process of a game played among belief systems; this game produces meaning indeterminately. 8 In this process, Frederick R. Lynch suggests that sociologists have ignored the deep individual understanding of identity and successful manipulation of emotions and tension through group integration and ritual. 9 As a result of this oversight of social scientists there are cases of studies, such as this of Antoine Faivres in esoteric traditions, where Hugh B. Urban, quoting Beryl Bellman, recognizes a tendency to neglect a form-context distinction; Urban directly connects this gap to the effect of structures of secrecy of a belief system that veil this distinction.10 Plausibility structures, for David A Snow and Richard MachHalek serve to control, eliminate or accommodate the challenges from the every-day commonsense world.11 Actually this according to James Borhek and Richard Curtis happens when believers draw proof from a non-falsifiable belief, to maintain integrity when confronting falsifiable facts.12 This process can be seen in operation, when belief in miracles is drawn from strong determination concerning religious beliefs; for example belief in the Immaculate Conception or the Resurrection of Christ can be invoked to justify miraculous visions and apparitions of Saints. Literature Review: Pearson, MacCutcheon, Lynch, Urban, Snow and Machalek have conducted research among adherents of groups defined in respect of their belief systems; they have adopted a reflexive attitude when considering matters such as epistemology, secrecy, exchanged symbolic values, plausibility. All of them tend to recognize a four quarters pattern in analyzing their data. I will follow Snows and Machaleks lead in exploring the levels of integrity, self perpetuation and viability of the group researched in relation to its cosmological beliefs. The two researchers question the usual tendency of social scientists to regard skepticism as a natural attitude for academic researchers to hold, towards the beliefs they encounter; the common inclination of human beings to relate to a belief system should be considered as a physical mechanism too. The logic of focusing on the identification of viability structures, especially in unconventional beliefs, is balanced by the need to recognize also the modes of operation of the mechanism of doubt encountered by individuals, even if sometimes found among religious group members. 13

Russell T. McCutcheon (ed.), The Insider/Outsider Problem in the Study of Religion: A Reader,( London and New York: Cassell,1999),p.10,[hereafter MacCutcheon, Insider/outsider]
9

Frederick R. Lynch, "Occult Establishment or Deviant Religion? The Rise and Fall of a Modern Church of Magic, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Vol. 18, No. 3 (Sep., 1979), p.296
10

Hugh B. Urban, The Torment of Secrecy: Ethical and Epistemological Problems in the Study of EsotericTraditions, History of Religions, Vol. 37, No. 3 (Feb., 1998), p.213,[Hereafter Urban, Torment of Secrecy]
11 12 13

Snow and Machalek, Unconventional beliefs,p.17 Snow and Machalek, Unconventional beliefs,p.21

Snow and Machalek, Unconventional beliefs,p.25

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It will be effective to analyze this projects data in line with the four models (Pearson, MacCutcheon, Urban, Snow and Machalek) and trace some possible relations. For example: are data classified according to Pearson in the 4th quarter, which she names as secret, known only to researcher, easily cross-referenced with MacCutcheons system pertaining to the agnostic approach? Some aspects of the groups viability and self-perpetuation will be then safer to estimate according to where on the quarter system their mechanisms are found polarised. Methodology: As Rist states, quoted by Bryman: the researcher formulates his views about the proper foundation of social reality and then chooses his method of investigation. 14 Accordingly, this project was connected with previous research which related partially to the characteristics of the target group (of which I am a member) and a questionnaire was modeled on those of previous researchers in this field of inquiry. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used in the prospect that etic data are obtainable early in a study when the researcher can select partial information; having studied the responses , an emic approach is adopted and interviews are conducted which draws upon his/her participant/observer status.15 Both senior and younger members of the group were interviewed in order to collect historical and theoretical data of the groups development; interviews were open-discursive while this was preferable in order to select and make notes from information imparted but to keep an open space for interviewees to share their insights and both participate fully in the process.16 My intention was to share my complementary position as a researcher with all fellow group members and that was intentionally stressed throughout the whole process both survey and interview. Finally a reflexive analysis followed, informed by assimilation of every possible recollection of the moments of participant observation with the target group, that I have shared for the last eight months. Distribution of questionnaires was made via e-mail; interviewees were contact by phone, on account of distances involved while face-to-face or skype interaction was not feasible. Target group: My target was a group of Esoteric Healers practicing a particular tradition derived and developed from A.A. Baileys writings. The practice is present in Greece since 1994. I used the web site created by my group leader to distribute the questionnaire to as many members as possible beyond my immediate - Level I. Members are resident in various Greek cities; they are males and females of various ages. Alan Bryman,The Debate about Quantitative and Qualitative Research in the Quantity and Quality in Social Research, (London: Routhledge,2001),p.105 15 Kenneth L Pike, "Etic and emic standpoints for the description of behavior." In the Language and thought: an enduring problem in psychology, edited by Donald C. Hildum, (Princeton, NJ: D. Van Norstrand Company, 1967), [hereafter Pike Etic & Emic ],page 30 16 Judith Bell, Planning and Conducting Interviews,in the in the Doing your Research Project,3d edition,(Buckinham-Philadelphia: Open University Press,1993),p.138
14

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I contacted three categories of the group researched: 1. The closed group of students of the Esoteric Healing Curriculum Level I whose meetings I currently attend. 2. The wider group of several levels still participating in the Greek Esoteric Healing curriculum, but activate within a different group formation. 3. The leaders and some senior fellows from whom I expected to collect some historical data including information about lapsed memberships and about sometime members who continue their interest in the subject but have moved on to separate forms of organization.

Results: Twenty individuals answered the questionnaire.17 Some quantitative data irrelevant to the central question are not included in the main corpus of this paper.18 Pertaining to the social characteristics of the sample, eleven are University graduates, and one holds a post graduate degree.19 Only four of them follow a vocation relevant with healing practices (Psychology counsellor, physiotherapist, reflexology practician). Most of them are practicing irrelevant with Esoteric Healing vocations: lawyer, economist, English teacher, entrepreneur, secretary, housewife, two clerks, musician, two journalists, and one retiree occupied in publishing a pamphlet, a corporation manager, a mechanical engineer. 20 In the question if there is any historical relevance of Esoteric Healing in Greece with prior documented similar initiativessix replied that they didnt know, three related Esoteric Healing with H.P. Blavatskys Theosophical Societys Schools, five stretched back to ancient Greek mystery schools of Pythagoreans and Asclepius and Hippocrates healing practise, three answered that it is something different, two didnt answer and one was positive without designating 21 A 37.03% appeal of the Esoteric Healing knowledge as such to the subjects was challenged by their almost 41.04% commitment to proceed further to the path of discipleship with humanitarian and group integration.22 Fourteen participants are conducting full moon and new moon meditation. 23 To a 25,01% subjects are open to trust their relatives in terms of the Esoteric Healing knowledge they process, a 31.26% of the answers showed openness to friends, and approximately the same percentage expressed confidence to cautious selection of persons away from close familiar environment, while a 11.11% chose to keep the knowledge for themselves.24 Ten of the participants related planetary movements with human organism based on their conviction to universal interrelatedness. Two expressed their belief with no provable experiences to themselves, two related the phenomenon to the doctrine of correspondences (as above so below) and two
17 18

Question 2- fifteen women and five men Average age of participants 45 (question 1), average time of commitment with group 6.47 years per participant (question3), 18 participants stayed in the same group (question 4), 17 stay in Athens(question 5), the majority attended Levels II and V and there were three teachers, mode of initial conduct with Es. Healing-8 through a friend,6 personal enquiry, 4 both, 2 other (question 10), 19 Question 15 20 Question 2321 Question 2722 Question 2823 Question 7 24 Question 8- only 0.33% didnt answer.

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specimens of two and four persons correspondingly expressed ignorance or avoided to answer.25 Four participants identified Esoteric Healing activities with 100% of their personal aspirations, eight related an above 50% importance to the traditions role in their lives and three answered for a below 50% importance.26 Ten of the subjects recognised a dissonance between the outer world and the inner world of Esoteric Healing but initiated positive activities to overcome, through meditation, healing extrovert interaction, five were experiencing this turmoil but chose a more neutral stance to overcome it, while two didnt experience turmoil at all resolving lifes circumstances through analysis of Esoteric Healing philosophy, laws and rules.27 Asked to indicate their way of interacting with Esoteric Healing knowledge twelve participants declared their use of a colloquial language to understand and conduct the practice. Five subjects found it a special language they needed to learn, for two it is a new language to construct with fellow co-students, while one said that an individual code expressed their thoughts more. A 1.11% expressed a predilection of contacting an individual model of interaction with Esoteric Healing practise while two sample specimens of an equal 0.37% chose a more social economic interaction or a more holistic approach.28 Twelve Participants found equal the importance of the attitudes of belief and doubt in the human behaviour, three found belief predominantly important and two selected doubt as a leading characteristic. Two subjects found this pair of opposites as inessential to enquire, one didnt answer.29 Thirteen expressed belief in both the doctrines of the soul and reincarnation, six to the doctrine of the soul and one didnt answer.30 Seven subjects gave numerical account of actual healing cases they could remember. One reported a significant number (17) while the average number for the particular specimen was 6.27 healing cases per subject. Four participants didnt answer; one reported self healing as an indication of successful interaction with Esoteric Healing, one said that it is not important part of his enquiry to ask for concrete results, three reported the word enough-to keep them engaged-instead of a number of healing cases, while one said that he conducted Esoteric Healing as a precautionary practice aiming to the causes of disease with healing to be its aftereffect.31 Fourteen subjects practise triangulation meditation and exactly the same number report sharing in a unifying planetary consciousness. 32 Fourteen participants declared their intention to proceed with their membership and practice of Esoteric Healing four were negative and two were reluctant to define. 33 Eighteen were endorsing a plural organization with interrelatedness among small groups.34 In terms of profile and secrecy nine participants were fond of a more extrovert attitude for the Esoteric Healing initiatives in Greece with creative dialogue with scientific and religious community. Another specimen of nine selected a balanced mode of a cautious protected but positive to social interaction stance. Finally
25 26

Question 9Question 11- two specimens of two persons each didnt answer or expressed low appeal to the question 27 Question 12- three didnt answer the question. 28 Question 14 29 Question 1330 Question 16- a 23.63% were negative to respond. 31 Question 2032 Questions 30,29 33 Question 1734 Question 18- one chose for a more central management while one vouched for both.

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two subjects were endorsing the secret and protective attitude.35 Subjects were asked to choose among some indicated reasons that appealed most to them as attracting, to continue practicing in Esoteric Healing. A 46.00% of the answers related to the actual effectiveness of the traditions healing properties, a 16.67% related this appeal to the social activities they find themselves engaged. 12,50% and 8.03% correspondently to low profile and international status of the group and equally three specimens of 0.42% each, expressed another reason ( a way of life, a step to a greater endeavour, its philosophy).36 The majority of the participants to a 58.46% of the answers, referred to a subjective reason-pertaining to the need of humanity for healing qualities-to base their conviction about the success of the scope of Esoteric Healing in Greece. Accordingly a 19.35% found this reason in the Esoteric Healing philosophys extensive literature that provisions with daily lifes challenges and a 22.58% in members commitment. 37 Sixteen of the participants identified a positive role of Esoteric Healing in current Greek Economic crises.38 A 23.01% of the answers based the resolution of this crises to making known to the public Esoteric healing properties, a 45.45% to social interaction of the group members, an equal result of a 9% for three specimens promotes a business initiative, a national Healing project or recognizes no necessary involvement of Esoteric Healing with the crises. 39 Finally subjects were open to scientific research in the field of Esoteric Healing and public dialogue with scientific community to a 58.86%. Negative answer was popular for a 22.22% while a balanced, cautious attitude but in terms of publicity was popular for a 16.66% of the replies. 40 Additionally nine Esoteric Healing practitioners were interviewed by telephone. Three of them completed the questionnaire too. Three of the total group interviewed were teachers with experience in Esoteric Healing practice and provided with information of general interest. The mode of conducting the interview was open conversation. Six of the interviewees were from the immediate group of my attending Level I and they informed me that they were not able to continue due to family, busyness, and health troubles. The heavy program of a monthly meditation report, a two thousand essay every two months, daily practise and reading were tasks that they couldnt respond. The teachers expressed their interest for this project and were willing to cooperate and defined each their particular agenda. The one, a female has kept a low profile with no Information Technology networking for her work. She limited her activities to a small group and followed her vocation mainly (Psychotherapist) using Esoteric healing in a complementary mode.41 She was interested to participate in the interview but she was cautious also-exploratory to know my intentions. 42 She wandered why she had lost contact with her co-students.43 The second Female held a healing centre and a more wide cycle of students. She was calmer in her tone of voice and less challenged from this conversation than the
35 36

Question 19Question 21 37 Question 22 38 Question 25 39 Question 26 40 Questions 31,32 41 My group is small but thats enough. / . 42 I am not going to participate in any judgmental survey/ . 43 I dont know why we lost contact /

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former. She confided to me that she felt limited to only one part of the Esoteric Healing that of Esoteric psychology but she explained that the loss of her husband had held her back with her aspirations. She also expressed a limitation in her knowledge of Information Technology as a way to communicate with a wider number of students. But in this, her son was a person to count on.44 She was willing to cooperate and talked extensively about the prospect of the engagement of esoteric healing with scientific research. 45 Finally I conducted my current teacher of Esoteric Healing. He and the previous interviewed ladies are among the senior initiating members of the tradition in Greece since 1990. My teacher performs the wider interaction with multi-leveled activities within the field of Esoteric Healing and beyond. He keeps a parallel cycle of business and social activities with humanitarian and cultural agenda. He was willing to participate in this project and found scientific exploration of Esoteric Healing a challenge useful to provoke.46 He stressed the need for the practitioners to press forward in challenging their convictions in order to help the rest who temporarily are held back with daily problems. 47 He related the fact of our groups unsuccessful integration to the conditions of current crises and special planetary alignments. 48 He also provided me with an overall statistics number of the Greek Esoteric Healing curriculum scores. That is during the last fifteen years almost five hundred and eighty students have enrolled and about 132 have completed the lessons, a 22%. Discussion: From the above results some further information can be derived according to the sample and if the mass of the participants is hypothetically of a holographic effectiveness.49 Then the unveiling of some principles also active for the wider group of Esoteric Healers in Greece can be a working hypothesis too. The majority of the participants showed no allegiance to a textual historical approach to the tradition of Esoteric Healing but preferred the disciples path according to Hugh B. Urban, so they seem to polarize to the second quarter of the initiate.50 Also the majority doesnt keep secret from familiar environment the knowledge they process in the
44 45

Thanks God my son helps /

I think there is a wide range of knowledge and experience to share with the world / . 46 If we dont question how we can believe? / ; 47 Take your co-students that could not keep up in your mediation. / ( ) . 48 The energies of Saturn are correspondingly related with the throat centre of the human organism where all the conscious endeavour of the modern man/woman is transferred from the lesser centres below the diaphragm. Thus creativity is achieved and thats what calls for the current crises, a more mental polarization of humanity. / . 49 Wlliam Braud, Integral Inquiry, in the William Braud and Rosemarie Anderson, Transpersonal Research Methods for the Social Sciences: Honoring Human Experience (London: Sage, 1998), pp.35-68
50

Urban, Torment of Secrecy, p.215,216

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classes. In relation to the fact of a balanced predilection in total, for both extrovert and low profile attitude the group seems to hold a double polarization in Joe Pearsons public and blind quarters.51 The group of participants preferred a plural organization for Esoteric Healing activities for a 90%, which shows a tendency to low systemic structure and so according to David A Snow and Richard Machalek it is less possible any internal flow to expose its integrity to external pressures. Nevertheless there are empirical activities that the subjects possibly must expect results from. Triangulation- full/new moon meditation in 70% participation, healing sessions with a 46% appeal to subjects allegiance to the group, are elements that charge with strong empirical relevance the group. 52 That is that integrity is challenged by multiple attacks for falsification. In this respect the low number of subjects reporting actual healing cases, tend to enforce this point. But the group seems to hold counteractive measures in its plausibility structures. The similar amount of subjects conducting Triangulation- full/new moon meditation have reported experiencing a unifying planetary consciousness and this can be related with their relatively high determination to continue participating in Esoteric Healing activities. The equal esteem both to the attitudes of belief and doubt, the use of the doctrines of the soul and reincarnation, the use of the currently emerging idea of interrelatedness to connect Esoteric Healing with Planetary movements make the management of empirical relevance controllable. Actually the strong belief in the healing effects of the tradition gives the momentum to the subjects to counteract against any possible dissonance from every inconsistency between theory and practice. The majority with 80% identifies a positive role for Esoteric Healing in the current economic crises; above 50% are dealing in a positive mode with the disharmony between the external world and the inner world of Esoteric Healing but trust more the social interaction of the members, than the healing potentials of the group. Nevertheless they base their conviction for the success of Esoteric Healing to the subjective need of humanity for healing properties. The fact that the majority accepted the possible cooperation with scientific community can be related with Russell T. McCutcheons first quarter and the rest of the responds accordingly. 53 This last tendency related to the subjects educational level which is for the majority academic, probably enforces their conviction about the competency of their belief in Esoteric Healing with current scientific discoveries. From my participant observation I can account for the context of the curriculum taught which relates ancient traditional lore about the constitution of human organism -etheric body with current scientific literature about the subtle electric nexus underlying the human body. From the interviews it can be surmised that participants were not familiar with such a mode of interaction. But they were all cooperative and open, in a cautious way though. The fact of the significant number of students quitting classes and never completing the curriculum was present in the discussion but I can relate this phenomenon to the heavy program of obligations already in subjects lives. The participation in Esoteric Healing curriculum leads the subject to start a novel directed academic endeavor of search, practice and reading. This mode of life for individuals
51 52

See Appendix I Snow and Machalek, Unconventional beliefs, p.19 See Apendix I

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has already dropped below conscious daily life, in the middle of professional and family obligations. But what is this? Is this perhaps another limitation to plausibility structures reinforcing the reality of a status? But this is what already has been stressed; plausibility structures are a useful tool to use for highlighting the probable flaws of a human group or belief system. Given the fact that it is a common characteristic it must be transcended with other elements to investigate such as systemic structure and empirical relevance. 54 The first is investigated by highlighting external structures of organization discharged from contextual knowledge. The other is identified by the ability of a belief precisely to verify claims about the empirical world.55 Conclusion: So the particular subjects, forming a sample of the wider body of Esoteric Healers in Greece, hypothetically can be seen as constructing a low systemic but empirical relevant part of a potential organism of individuals. They seem to hold good to their plausibility structures deriving from non-falsifiable ideas to explain and assimilate falsifiable parts of their beliefs. But this is what all human organized societies do.56 Nevertheless the subjects showed a positive attitude to deal with external world crises and that is a potential way to counteract with intellectual dissonance as result of their beliefs high empirical relevance. The total attitude of the sample towards scientific investigation was open and cooperative. As a participant observer, I used the model of four quarters in this early attempt to interact as a researcher within this group where I also am a member. I was able to recognize those compartmentalized areas of the field described by the researchers above. Of course the division is a mechanism and in reality the distinction is less conscious to control. But it seems that according to the area of focus and interaction this is a working model. Nevertheless there should not be any early attempt to fuse the models of each of the aforementioned methods. The results could be misleading and this is evident in the appendix I. The strong polarization in the first quarter could be possible sign for a tight systematic structure but this not at all the present reality. Maybe it reflects a future aspiration of the members. A further research could show any closer relevance with cautious construction of questionnaire, interviews and adequate time to conduct the process. It can be concluded that the Esoteric Healing group I participate acknowledged the challenge of scientific investigation but in the future a more experienced approach will further expand the need for systematic highlighting of its assets and flaws.

54 55

Snow and Machalek, Unconventional beliefs, p.18 Snow and Machalek, Unconventional beliefs, p.19 56 Snow and Machalek, Unconventional beliefs, p.18

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Appendix I: The four quarter model or modified Jo-Hari window. Classification of belief systems according to epistemological approach, degree of secrecy, interrelatedness, extend of empirical relevance, and vulnerability to challenge. TIGHTLY
INTEGRATED 90% affilation to same group 70% intention to procced with Es.Healing 22.58% members commitment related to Es.Healings successful scope

HIGH EMPIR EEMPIRICAL RELEVANCE 70% participation in empirical experiences demanding verification 19.35% extensive literature for the success of Es.Healings scope.

Pearsons Bublic 56.27% Social interation For crises:45.45% MacCutcheons open book or explanatory approach 58.86% Urbans textual approach 37.03% Appeal to international status: 8.03% Usual Historical relevance: 40% Over 50% Identification of Esoteric Healing with personal aspirations: 40% Basing the belief in Esoteric Astrology on a common public shared conviction(Interrelatedness): 50%

Known to al Known only to subjects Pearsons blind 31.26% Vulnerable to Vulnerable to Healing Logical Internal Campaign for Inconsistency Contradiction crises:23.01% and to and Schism. MacCutcheons External Enigma or empathetic Evidence. approach 22.22% Urbans initiates Experience 41.04% Appeal to healing properties 46% Initiates knowledge of historical data:15% 100% Identification of Esoteric Healing with personal aspirations: 20% Basing the belief in Esoteric Astrology on no provable reason: 10%
LOW EMPIRICAL RELEVANCE 58.46% subjective need of humanity for healing reason for Es.Healings successful scope

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Open to publicity:16.66% Negative to scien. investigation: 22.22% Known only to researcher Unknown to both researcher and subject Pearsons secret 11.11% Pearsons Low Nothing for crises: 9% Vulnerable to Unknown 0.33% Vulnerability MacCutcheons neutral External Busyness-other to Internal or agnostic approach crises: 18% Evidence Contradictions subject accepting MacCutcheons and External researchers views other or fourth Evidence. 0.00% fusing approach. 16.66% Urbans Noas Ark Service in preserving Urbans balance between hermeneutics Ancient tradition 1.11% and privacy 0.37% Appeal to low profile 12.5% Appeal to other reasons personally No knowledge of historical data: 30% constructed 0.42% Below 50% Identification of Esoteric No historical interest: 15% Healing with personal aspirations: 15% No reply for identification of Esoteric Basing the belief in Esoteric Astrology on Healing with personal aspirations: 20% the doctrine of Correspondences: 10% Not interfering with the belief in Esoteric Astrology: 30% Open to scientific investigation:58.86%
LOOSELY INTEGRATED 90 %preference for plural interrelated organization. 92% failure to procced in current Level I classes.

Appendix II: Questionnaire in English

Research Questionnaire: This is a non-formal research conducted within the post graduate module in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology attended by Konstantinos Achyrkidis in Saint David Trinity University of Wales school of Archaeology and Anthropology. It is primarily an exercise that will help the conductor of this process to asses some skills in the methodology of proper academic research. Still your meticulous participation and effort to provide with your replies what appeals closer to your truth, is essential to this project. Your anonymity will be safeguarded thus you dont have to complete you name in any point of this paper.

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The scope of the research is to find possible relation between Esoteric Cosmology and group integration under the light of scientific knowledge. That is, can Esoteric cosmological beliefs interact in harmony with scientific arguments in the field of nonconventional belief systems such as the group of Esoteric Healers in Greece you participate? Please keep in mind that all ethical guidelines related to proper academic research have been followed to limit any risk for the discipline researched (Esoteric Healing) and the individuals participating. With completing this form and sending it to Konstantinos Achyrkidis e-mail: karamanoras@gmail.com you also report that you have been aware of the guidelines above and the exact purpose of this process. 1. Please choose among the periods you a.18-22 b.23-27 c.28-32 d.33-37 e.38-42 identify you approximate age. Cycle f.43-47 g.48-52 h.53-57 i.58-62 j.over 63 a, b, c, d or e. If this form is processed in a computer delete the irrelevant choices living just the appropriate. 2. Please indicate your gender. Choose Male: Female: the appropriate box with an X or 3. Please fill the box with the number of years, you remember being a student of Esoteric Healing. 4 Please answer if the above period has Yes: No: been in the same group. Choose with an X or 5 What part of Greece are you living? Example Attica or Peloponnese not exact city or suburb. 6. In what level do you attend the a. Level I b. Level II c. Level III d. Level curriculum? Choose the appropriate IV indication deleting the rest. e. Level V, f. Graduate g.Teacher 7. Please answer if you practice full Yes: No: moon, new moon mediation, assimilating and channeling the particular energies of the constellation in alignment with Earth and the Sun this period? Choose the appropriate box with an X or 8. Do you talk openly to your friends Yes to relatives: Yes to friends: and family about the knowledge you With caution to new I keep it to myself: process in Esoteric Healing classes? acquaintances: 9. Explain as simply as possible how do you relate Esoteric Healing with Esoteric Astrology. How do you connect planetary movements with human organism? 10. How did you contact Esoteric a. A friend recommended it, Healing? Choose the category you b. Through personal enquiry, relate deleting the rest. c. Both the above, d. other (please explain)

Achyrkidis Konstantinos ST.No: 30001068 Word count: 3843 11. In what range do you identify your individual aspirations with the role of Esoteric Healing in Greece? Please find your place with an X or in the scale next from 0 to 100.Double click the censor on the line and type. Do you ever experience doubts about the non- conventional nature of Esoteric Healing? Please explain how do you deal with those thoughts? How do you find the human mechanism of doubt as related to belief? Please choose the answer best expressing your individual attitude deleting the rest. At the point you are currently participating in the lessons and activities of the school of Esoteric healing where exactly do you find yourself? Choose a, b, c or d and delete the rest.

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100

12.

13.

a. belief more vital than doubt b. doubt more vital than belief c. equal d. I dont ever think about this pair of opposites. a. The language I use to explain to myself Esoteric Healing is colloquial. b. It is a special language I am learning. c. I feel I am constructing a new one along with my fellow co-students. d. I use an individual code distinct from other members. a. High school b. College c. University d. post graduate d. Dr,Phd d. Other (explain) a. Yes to doctrine of soul b. Yes to doctrine of reincarnation c. No to both doctrines d. Yes to both

14.

15.

16.

17.

18.

19.

What is your current education? Choose for the box next deleting the irrelevant categories. Do you accept the doctrines of soul and reincarnation? Please choose one or other both or none according to your own determination or skepticism. Delete the irrelevant categories. Will you continue to participate in the classes of Esoteric Healing? Choose with X or Do you find the activities of Esoteric Healing in Greece need a more concrete organization with central leadership and planning or more interconnected plural scheme with independent groups? Please choose with an X or Do you feel that Esoteric Healing should keep a low profile expanding slowly and protecting with some secrecy the values of the discipline or there should be organized extrovert campaign to argue openly with

Yes: Dont know: One central organism:

No:

Plural interconnectedness:

Both:

Yes secrecy and low profile: Other explain if needed:

Yes extrovert campaign:

Achyrkidis Konstantinos ST.No: 30001068 Word count: 3843 conventional medicine and religious establishment? Choose with X or or explain if needed. How many cases of healing have you witnessed? Give just the number you remember. Please choose any or all or none of the possible reasons Esoteric healing appeals still a strong sense of certainty to you in remaining participant in its curriculum. Delete the irrelevant categories or write what else you find important What do you think the main reasons that Esoteric Healing can succeed in its purpose? Choose any, none, all and write in your own words if necessary. Delete the irrelevant categories. Please give your current professional status. Example lawyer or technician. Are you married with kids? (example unmarried 0 kids or married 1 or what else)

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20.

Number:

21.

a. international status, b. persisting in low profile, c. participating in social activities, d. a real effectiveness of its healing properties a. Its philosophys extensive literature provision in dealing with daily challenges? b. The members commitment to the purpose of Esoteric Healing? c. a subjective reason pertaining to the need of humanity for healing qualities.

22.

23. 24.

Married: kids: Divorced: Kids: Yes :

Unmarried: Kids:1 Other: Kids: No :

25.

26.

Do you think Esoteric Healing has any role to play in resolving the present economic crisis in Greece? Choose with an X or and describe if any other thought appeals to you most. How do you think, the unraveling of this economic crises described above can be effected, through Esoteric healing? Choose any combination, all, none, explain writing your own major ideas. Do you consider Esoteric healing a discipline that belongs to a historical tradition of esoteric/mystery schools in Greece? Please choose the closest among the four options that appeal most to your current status in Esoteric Healing school. Choose one and delete the rest.

27.

a. making known the properties of Esoteric healing in Greek society. b. development of interaction of Esoteric healing in business activities. c. social interaction and initiatives of Esoteric Healing co-students. d. other(explain) Yes: No something different (explain): Dont know: a. Interested in Esoteric Healing knowledge. b. Walking further the path of discipleship in committed service to group members and humanity. c. Participating mainly in social and

28.

Achyrkidis Konstantinos ST.No: 30001068 Word count: 3843

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economic activities. d. Conducting my own model of interaction. 29. So far in your involvement with Esoteric healing do you consider yourself related to a unifying planetary consciousness? Yes: No:

NA: I No:

30.

31.

32.

Do you practice triangulation Yes: mediation and interaction with other members of the group? Choose with an X or Do you have any particular ideas that future research could be useful to investigate regarding your group and its aspects? Example: its healing results or the benefits/implications of the individual interacting with Esoteric Healing. Do you find important to make Yes: known Esoteric Healing practice to the Greek academic scholarship?

No:

Appendix III: Questionnaire in Greek : Snt David Trinity . . , . . . ; e-mail : karamanoras@g.mail.com . 1. .18-22 .23-27 .28-32 .33-37 .38 42 .43-47 .48-52 .53-57 .58-62

Achyrkidis Konstantinos ST.No: 30001068 Word count: 3843 . . X . ? X . . , . ; . . X ; X j.over 63 : :

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2. 3.

4. 5

6.

. 1, . 2, . 3, . 4, . 5 : :

7.

8.

: :

: :

. ; 10. ; . 11. ; ( 0 100) , . X 12. ? 9.

. / , . , , . ()

100

Achyrkidis Konstantinos ST.No: 30001068 Word count: 3843 ; , , . 13. ; . 14. ; , , .

Page 17 out of 24

15. . . 16. ; . . 17. ; X 18. ; X 19. , , . X . 20.

. , . , c. , d. . . , . , . , . . . , . , . , . , . . . () . , . , , . , . . : : : (): : :

: : :

Achyrkidis Konstantinos ST.No: 30001068 Word count: 3843 . 21. , . . 22. ; , , .

Page 18 out of 24

. . c. d. . . . . . .

23. . , . 24. . : X : 01 ; ; , , . ; E ; .

25.

: : : : :

: : : : :

26.

27.

. , . , . , . () : (): . . . . .

28.

Achyrkidis Konstantinos ST.No: 30001068 Word count: 3843

Page 19 out of 24 . . .

29.

M E ; ; X ; ; ;

30.

31.

32.

Appendix III: Research Proposal Form

MA Cultural Astronomy and Astrology


Research Proposal for the Research Methodology Module University of Wales Trinity Saint David Please complete the following form and submit it to Bernadette Brady or Nick Campion for acceptance of your research project. This form is to clarify your ideas and make sure your proposed research is realistic. No student can proceed with a research project until their proposal has been accepted and they have completed the necessary ethics requirements. Name Konstantinos Achyrkidis

Title of Research - Please phrase this as a question. To what extent, if any, are the integrity and viability of a particular group of Esoteric Healers in Greece challenged, by an investigation of its cosmological beliefs by an Insider turning simultaneously Outsider.

Achyrkidis Konstantinos ST.No: 30001068 Word count: 3843

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Aim of the Research Project The purpose of your research project and in what way will it contribute to the academic understanding of your subject matter. As Bryman states: Even highly abstract ideasmust haveconnection with an external reality57.So this project will consider the level to which belief in the Cosmology of Esoteric Healing is open to investigation and to what extent can research of this kind penetrate successfully to what has been described by David A. Snow and Richard Machalek as the plausibility structures of a belief system. Plausibility structures are said by the above two researchers to operate in order to enhance what is logically self-perpetuating in a belief system; on the other hand if there is a problem in reconciling discrepancies between belief and experience there is cognitive dissonance.58 In any similar to the present project attempt though, there should be kept clear the distinct difference between Webers Verstehen which values inner experience, that is apprehending the meaning of being a believer (insider turning simultaneously an outsider) to actually being a believer (a non scientist believer). 59 In this respect a dialectic relationship must be established where the researcher aims to learn about a community, endeavours to find context for the data collected within a wider frame, and thus maintains his/her integrity. 60 This will be a two way question though, in terms of integrity: can Esoteric Healing in Greece maintain its intellectual integrity by means of systematization of its belief/s? Can the beliefs reported by members of an Esoteric Healing Group be classified according to Snow-Machaleks four Quarters diagram? 61 Are the beliefs of the group part of a general cosmological narrative counteractive to the researchers source of integrity?

Academic Rationale

57

Alan Bryman,Social Research Strategies, Social Research Methods,2nd edition,(Oxford: Oxford University Press,2004),[Hereafter, Bryman, Research strategies],page 5 58 David A Snow and Richard, On the Presumed Fragility of Unconventional Beliefs, Jurnal for the Scientific Study of Religion,Vol 21,1,1982,p.22,[hereafter Snow & Machalek, Unconventional Beliefs] 59 Joe Pearson,Going Native in Reverse The insider as Researcher in British Wicca, in the Theorizing Faith: The Insider/OutsiderProblem in the Study of Ritual, edited by Elizabeth Arweck & Martin D. Stringer,(Birmingham: University of Birmingham Press,2002),page. 105,[hereafter Pearson, Insider] 60 Pearson, Insider,p.109 61 Snow & Machalek, Unconventional Beliefs,p.20

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What is to background to your research? What problem in scholarship or in current knowledge are you addressing? What is the relevance of your work to wider areas of scholarship? Russell T. McCutcheon argues that, in respect of matters of belief, the researcher actually steps into the process of a game played among belief systems; this game produces meaning indeterminately. 62 In this process, Frederick R. Lynch suggests that sociologists have ignored the deep individual understanding of identity and successful manipulation of emotions and tension through group integration and ritual.63 As a result of this oversight of social scientists there are cases of studies, such as this of Antoine Faivres in esoteric traditions, where Hugh B. Urban, quoting Beryl Bellman, recognizes a tendency to neglect a form-context distinction; Urban directly connects this gap to the structures of secrecy of a belief system. 64 Plausibility structures, for David A Snow and Richard MachHalek serve to control, eliminate or accommodate the challenges from the every -day commonsense world. 65 Actually this according to James Borhek and Richard Curtis happens when believers draw proof from a non-falsifiable belief, to maintain integrity when confronting falsifiable facts.66 This process can be seen in operation, when belief in miracles is drawn from strong determination concerning religious beliefs; for example belief in the Immaculate Conception or the Resurrection of Christ can be invoked to justify miraculous visions and apparitions of Saints.

Literature Review What are the main scholarly works which would underpin your research question? You need about three or more books or academic articles. Pearson, MacCutcheon, Urban, Snow and Machalek have conducted research among adherents of groups defined in respect of their belief systems, as the texts referred above; they have adopted a reflexive attitude when considering matters such as epistemology, secrecy, exchanged symbolic values, plausibility. All of them tend to recognize a four quarters pattern in analyzing their data. I will follow Snows and

62

Russell T. McCutcheon (ed.), The Insider/Outsider Problem in the Study of Religion: A Reader,( London and New York: Cassell,1999),p.10,[hereafter MacCutcheon, Insider/outsider] Frederick R. Lynch, "Occult Establishment or Deviant Religion? The Rise and Fall of a Modern Church of Magic, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Vol. 18, No. 3 (Sep., 1979), p.296 64 Hugh B. Urban, The Torment of Secrecy: Ethical and Epistemological Problems in the Study of EsotericTraditions, History of Religions, Vol. 37, No. 3 (Feb., 1998), p.213,[Hereafter Urban, Torment of Secrecy] 65 Snow and Machalek, Unconventional beliefs,p.17
63 66

Snow and Machalek, Unconventional beliefs,p.21

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Machaleks lead in exploring the levels of integrity, self perpetuation and viability of the group researched in relation to its cosmological beliefs. The two researchers question the usual tendency of social scientists to regard skepticism as a natural attitude for academic researchers to hold, towards the beliefs they encounter; the common inclination of human beings to relate to a belief system should be considered as a physical mechanism too. The logic of focusing on the identification of viability structures especially in unconventional beliefs is balanced by the need to recognize also the modes of operation of the mechanisms of doubt encountered among religious group members. 67 It will be interesting to analyze this projects data in line with the five models (Pearson, MacCutcheon, Lynch, Urban, Snow and Machalek) and trace some possible relations. For example: are data classified according to Pearson in the 4 th quarter, which she names as secret, known only to researcher, easily cross-referenced with MacCutcheons system pertaining to the agnostic approach? Some aspects of the groups viability and self-perpetuation will be then safer to estimate according to where on the quarter system their mechanisms are found polarised.

Methodology Outline your research methodology. Please use citations to justify the reason for your choice of methodologies. As Rist states, quoted by Bryman: the researcher formulates his views about the proper foundation of social reality and then chooses his method of investigation.68 Accordingly, I will connect my project with previous research which relates partially to the characteristics of my target group (of which I am a member) and I will model my questionnaire on those of previous researchers in this field of inquiry, as listed above. I will use both quantitative and qualitative methods in the prospect that etic data are obtainable early in a study when the researcher can obtain partial information; having studied the responses to my initial questionnaire, I will proceed to adopt an emic approach and conduct interviews which will draw upon my insider status.69 I plan to interview some senior members of the group in order to collect historical and theoretical data of the groups development; interviews will be semi-structured in order to be easier to aggregate and quantify the results but to keep an open space for

67 68

Snow and Machalek, Unconventional beliefs,p.25 Alan Bryman,The Debate about Quantitative and Qualitative Research in the Quantity and Quality in Social Research, (London: Routhledge,2001),p.105 69 Kenneth L Pike, "Etic and emic standpoints for the description of behavior." In the Language and thought: an enduring problem in psychology, edited by Donald C. Hildum, (Princeton, NJ: D. Van Norstrand Company, 1967), [hereafter Pike Etic & Emic ],page 30

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interviewees to share their insights and participate fully in the process. 70 My intention is to share my complementary position as a researcher with all fellow group members. Finally a reflexive analysis will follow informed by assimilation of a necessarily brief period of participant observation of the target group, of which I have been an active member for the last six months. I will distribute questionnaires via e-mail; will contact interviewees by phone/Skype predominantly, on account of distances involved, although I will arrange face-to-face interviews if and when possible.

What is the target group or principal sources you would use in your research? What or who are your primary sources or target group? What are the bases for your selection of this target group? My target is a group of Esoteric Healers practising a particular tradition derived and developed from A.A. Baileys writings. The practice is present in Greece since 1994. I will use the web site created by the Group Leader to distribute the questionnaire to as many members as possible beyond my immediate - Level I. Members are resident in various Greek cities; they are males and females of various ages. I will contact three categories of the group researched: 1. The closed group of students of the Esoteric Healing Curriculum Level whose meetings I currently attend. 2. The wider group of more advanced levels still participating in the Greek Esoteric Healing curriculum, and possibly extend to members of sub-branches in other Greek cities. 3. The Leader and some senior fellows from whom I expect to collect some historical data including information about lapsed memberships and about sometime members who continue their interest in the subject but have moved on to separate forms of organization. I am confident of reaching an adequate sample of informants and acquiring a wide enough range of information to contact the project.

Please describe any ethical issues, if any, which are related to your proposed study, and outline how these will be addressed: I have read the Ethical guidelines and will comply with directions and recommended procedures. Everyone questioned will be informed about the research and will be asked to signal willingness to participate. The anonymity of informants and of the group in general will be rigorously preserved.

14

Bell, Planning and Conducting Interviews p.138

70

Judith Bell, Planning and Conducting Interviews,in the in the Doing your Research Project,3d edition,(Buckinham-Philadelphia: Open University Press,1993),p.138,[hereafter Bell, Planning and Conducting Interviews]

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Bibligraphy: Bailey A. Alice, Esoteric Astrology, New York, London: Lucis, 1997 Bailey A. Alice, Esoteric healing, New York, London: Lucis, 2007 Bailey A. Alice, Treatise on Cosmic Fire, New York, London: Lucis, 2007 Bell Judith , Planning and Conducting Interviews,in the in the Doing your Research Project,3d edition, Buckinham-Philadelphia: Open University Press,1993. Blavatsky H.P, The Key To Theosophy, www.theosociety.org/.../key/keyhp.htm, [Accessed 17 Mar 2011] Braud Wlliam, Integral Inquiry, in the William Braud and Rosemarie Anderson, Transpersonal Research Methods for the Social Sciences: Honoring Human Experience, London: Sage, 1998. Bryman Alan,Social Research Strategies, Social Research Methods,2nd edition,Oxford: Oxford University Press,2004. Bryman Alan,The Debate about Quantitative and Qualitative Research in the Quantity and Quality in Social Research, London: Routhledge,2001. Lynch R. Frederick, "Occult Establishment or Deviant Religion? The Rise and Fall of a Modern Church of Magic, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Vol. 18, No. 3 McCutcheon T. Russell (ed.), The Insider/Outsider Problem in the Study of Religion: A Reader, London and New York: Cassell,1999. Pearson Joe,Going Native in Reverse The insider as Researcher in British Wicca, in the Theorizing Faith: The Insider/Outsider Problem in the Study of Ritual, edited by Elizabeth Arweck & Martin D. Stringer, Birmingham: University of Birmingham Press,2002. Pike L. Kenneth, "Etic and emic standpoints for the description of behavior." In the Language and thought: an enduring problem in psychology, edited by Donald C. Hildum, Princeton, NJ: D. Van Norstrand Company, 1967. Snow A. David and Macalek Richard, On the Presumed Fragility of Unconventional Beliefs, Jurnal for the Scientific Study of Religion,Vol 21,1,1982. Urban B. Hugh, The Torment of Secrecy: Ethical and Epistemological Problems in the Study of EsotericTraditions, History of Religions, Vol. 37, No. 3