one girl’s perspective on life, neopaganism, veganism, politics, books, films, and… stuff.

Posts tagged ‘depression’

Poem: A Beautiful Life, A Beautiful Lie

I miss the pretense of what I had
Oh, what I had,
I’d rather live a lie than die knowing
I never had anything.

Whitewash the memories
Oh, such good times,
Create a beautiful fiction to look back on
Something to store for the winter
                          (And hasn’t it been a long one, now?)
Convince myself it was real
Keep lying, dear
Maybe it’ll come true

Rainbows in retrospect

Forget that insecurity
Forget all those things you knew
Forget that harsh reality
Forget; forge fake memories
                          (Well, it wasn’t that bad, was it?)

I miss all the things I never had
Oh, what I had,
I’d rather appreciate it now,
all those things I disregarded
(did they exist?…
                          I’d like to think so…)

Redrawn pictures, happy smiles
Bleak black days reconstructed
in technicolour glory – overbright and surreal
surreal unreal
But here it is, for all the world to see
Beneath it all
“…look things in the face
and know them for what they are…”

I miss all the things I never had
Oh, what I never had,
I can’t pretend, know it wasn’t,
So really, what I miss most…
is the pretense of the belief in the pretense
of what
I never
had.

(But what a beautiful life – what a beautiful lie – it was).

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The Psychoactive Properties of Incense

It’s well known, throughout the history of religion, that burning incense acts as a “psychopomp” – i.e. if you do it every time you practice any kind of religious rite/ritual, your subconscious then associates it with that special purpose, and then when you burn the incense your subconscious automatically takes over and you achieve an altered state of consciousness much more easily.

But according to this news article, studies are being done (incidentally, on mice, which is abbhorent – there is no reason this study can’t be done on people) that indicate that incense made from frankincense resin – a scent long associated with religious practice, and still widely used in Catholic and Orthodox rituals today – actually physically affects channels in the brain:

“…burning frankincense (resin from the Boswellia plant) activates poorly understood ion channels in the brain to alleviate anxiety or depression… They found that the compound significantly affected areas in brain areas known to be involved in emotions as well as in nerve circuits that are affected by current anxiety and depression drugs…”

Of course, this effect has largely been well documented in numerous ancient texts, as reflected in contemporary NeoPagan knowledge. Scott Cunningham, for example, who is well known for his extensive writing on herbalism and aromatherapy, describes the properties of the scent of frankincense thus:

“The aroma of frankincense also reduces stress and tension… (by pointing out that our lives are bound up with more than one “reality”.) This knowledge is soothing in the face of adversity and hardship.” (Magical Aromatherapy, 1989.)

(A brief note on part of that extract – the idea of multiple realities is in accordance with contemporary psychological views that disorders such as depression and anxiety often represent the individual being trapped within their own (bleak) perspective.)

So, it’s nice to see that modern medicine has once again made a catch up with ancient religious knowledge! But sarcasm aside, it’s interesting.

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