Visit to Godenholm by Ernst Jünger: A Story of Esoteric Psychedelic Initiation involving Albert Hofmann
This review first appeared in the Psychedelic Press journal 2015 Volume III
Albert Hofmann in Godenholm
Ernst Jünger’s short novel Visit to Godenholm, first published in Germany in 1952 as Besuch auf Godenholm[i], is now available in English language translation for the first time, thanks to the efforts of its translator Annabel Moynihan and Edda publishing.[ii]
It is published hardbound with dust jacket, limited to 400 copies in total: 360 standard copies and a special limited edition consisting of 40 copies. The special limited edition comes in a boxed set with a hand-made linoleum print by the book’s illustrator Fredrik Söderberg, signed and numbered. Publication as a limited fine edition indicates the esteem in which the author Ernst Jünger is held by the publisher and translator. Other than in the relevant volume of the collected works of Jünger’s considerable literary out, Besuch auf Godenholm has not been republished in Germany since its appearance in 1952, a testament to its obscure and esoteric nature.
As part of the cultural history of psychedelics Visit to Godenholm is important if only because it contains what is probably the first account of the LSD experience in what is ostensibly a work of fiction. More significantly, at this early stage in the history of LSD, it places its use in the context of an esoteric gnosis, reserved for the few. Although set in Norway, it is made clear that the context is Germany in the wake of the Second World War, when it was still a country occupied under partition by the Americans, British, French and Russians.[iii]
The novel makes no direct reference to a drug induced experience, but the hallucinatory sequence at the heart of the book is derived from Jünger’s experiences with LSD,[iv] as attested by Albert Hofmann himself. Besuch auf Godenholm was published in 1952 two years after Jünger first met Albert Hofmann (Hofmann 1980) and in the year after their first shared LSD experience, which took place in 1951. According to Hofmann:
About the same time that Aldous Huxley carried out his experiments with mescaline, I held LSD sessions with the well-known German author Ernst Jünger in order to gain a more profound knowledge of the visionary experiences produced by the drug in the human mind. Ernst Jünger recorded his experiences in an essay entitled Besuch auf Godenholm (Vittorio Klosterman, Frankfurt a. M. 1952), which gives in literary form the essence of his interpretations.[v]
Albert Hofmann later described how Jünger incorporated into Visit to Godenholm a specific event from one shared LSD session of early February 1951. The trip took place in the living room of the Hofmann’s house in Bottmingen in Switzerland, in the company of Heribert Konzett (1912 – 2004) an Austrian physician and pharmacologist. Hofmann invited Konzett in order to have medical aid on hand if necessary, due to Hofmann’s concerns about dosing a celebrated author and sensitive creative individual, Ernst Jünger, with a powerful psychoactive drug.[vi] During their trip Hofmann and Jünger ‘contemplated the haze of smoke that ascended with the ease of thought from a Japanese incense stick’. According to Hofmann ‘Jünger has assimilated the mentioned spectacle of the incense stick into literature, in his story Besuch auf Godenholm [Visit to Godenholm], in which deeper experiences of drug inebriation also play a part’ and Hofmann then excerpts the relevant descriptive paragraph from Jünger’s short novel (Hofmann 1980).
Jünger’s novella Besuch auf Godenholm preceded Aldous Huxley’s first published account of his mescaline experiences in The Doors of Perception (Huxley 1954) by two years. Huxley’s essay concentrated on the aesthetics of the mescaline experience, the mechanics of perception and a somewhat rarefied conception of its spiritual potential. By way of contrast, Jünger’s novella takes place in the context of an esoteric initiation under the guidance of a magus named Schwarzenberg, a figure who appears in a number of Jünger’s works under the name Magister, Schwarzenberg or Nigromontanus. Both of the latter mean Black Mountain, an appropriate name for the eminence grise depicted in Jünger’s book Das abenteuerliche Herz, recently republished as The Adventurous Heart,[vii] which describes how, ‘Among the things Nigromontanus taught me was the certain existence among us of a select group of men who have long withdrawn from the libraries and from the dust of the public arena, who are at work in the innermost spaces, in the obscurest of Tibets’ (Jünger 2012). Jünger’s The Adventurous Heart reveals a disposition towards the Left Hand Path, while Huxley’s inclinations are clearly contrary.
Living with a sense of catastrophe given the post-war situation in Germany, the central character in Visit to Godenholm named Moltner, senses that, ‘the shipwreck had already happened and he was floating on the ruins… Security had vanished, values became provisional; yet ancestral inheritance remained’. Salvation might lay in the work of initiatic groups behind the scenes to initiate change, as guided by Schwarzenberg.
The plan to assess the situation in small groups – and test their limits in experiments was not so senseless. There was nothing new about this idea; there had always been such a plan during great transitions – in deserts, cloisters, in hermitages, in stoic and gnostic communities, in circles surrounding philosophers, prophets and initiates.
Jünger expressed the same view in a letter to Hofmann (Hofmann 1979).
Wine has already changed much, has brought new gods and a new humanity with it. But wine is to the new substances as classical physics is to modern physics. These things should only be tried in small circles. I cannot agree with the thoughts of Huxley, that possibilities for transcendence could here be given to the masses. Indeed, this does not involve comforting fictions, but rather realities, if we take the matter earnestly. And few contacts will suffice here for the setting of courses and guidance. It also transcends theology and belongs in the chapter of theogony[viii], as it necessarily entails entry into a new house, in the astrological sense. At first, one can be satisfied with this insight, and should above all be cautious with the designations.
The magus figure as Nigromontanus or Schwarzenberg appears in other of Jünger’s works, including the novella Heliopolis (Jünger 1949), also drug themed and which includes a cryptic reference to Albert Hofmann. Researchers have principally identified the fictional figure of Schwarzenberg/Nigromontanus with the German philosopher Hugo Fischer (1897–1975) with whom Jünger travelled to Norway in 1935. Jünger recounted that journey in ‘Myrdun’ Briefe aus Norwegen (1943),[ix] in which Fischer is identified only under the title Magister. Fischer later emigrated from Germany to Norway in 1938[x] and Schwarzenberg is credited with the same pre-war relocation in Godenholm, but he is almost certainly a composite figure used by Jünger to represent a custodian and teacher of esoteric knowledge.[xi] In Besuch auf Godenholm (1952) Jünger almost certainly intentionally identifies Schwarzenberg with the controversial spiritual teacher George Ivanovich Gurdjieff (1872 – 1949), whom Jünger mentions by name in Der Waldgang (1951). The account of Schwarzenberg’s travels in Besuch auf Godenholm closely resemble Gurdjieff’s early expeditions to Central Asia, his presence in Russia during the Kerensky Government (1917) and his later presence in Berlin (1921-22).[xii] Jünger referred to Gurdjieff in connection with magical drugs in his letter to Hofmann of December 1961 (Hofmann 1979).
In mentioning radioactivity, you use the word crack. Cracks are not merely points of discovery, but also points of destruction. Compared to the effects of radiation, those of the magical drugs are more genuine and much less rough. In classical manner they lead us beyond the humane. Gurdjieff has already seen that to some extent.
In Besuch auf Godenholm Schwarzenberg embraces a science of catastrophe in which ‘all discoveries were preceded by periods of conflagration’.
The Godenholm Story
The story opens with the musings of the central character Moltner as he stands on a beach, then swiftly moves on to a description of two men, Einar and Moltner and one woman, Ulma, being rowed on a foggy winter’s day from the Norwegian coastal town of Sandnes to an imaginary island named Godenholm.[xiii] They are on their way to a meeting with Schwarzenberg, the magus figure under whose tutelage they have been receiving an esoteric education since the summer. The narrative centres on third person descriptions of the experiences, thoughts and emotions of Moltner and Einar.
The character Einar, depicted as a veteran of the First World War, who fought in the trenches, is clearly based on Jünger himself. However, the story centres on the experiences of Einar’s friend Moltner a physician and neurologist who served in World War One as a medic and it culminates with a cathartic psychedelic epiphany on the part of Moltner. Moltner the critical intellectual with dark curly hair, a spiritual gadfly drawn from one spiritual teacher to another, is continually contrasted with the pragmatic blond Einar of peasant Flemish stock. Moltner is described as sanguine, optimistic and cheerful, while Einar is phlegmatic, unemotional and stolidly calm. Moltner is a neurologist, while Einar is a prehistorian who has studied the megalithic monuments of Europe, which is how he encountered the magus Schwarzenberg.
The outlook on the fogbound island of Godenholm is gloomy and in translation the word ‘grey’ occurs four times in the first two pages of the story and regularly thereafter. The weather is frequently referred to as affecting the mental state of the characters. Visit to Godenholm is filled with a sense of elemental powers and their interaction with every aspect of life and Jünger refers to the ‘three natural realms’ of Air, Fire and Water as the system by which Schwarzenberg arranges his collection of natural curiosities. Just as the dominant colour in Visit to Godenholm is grey, the dominant element in the novella is water. Fish abound in the story as the element’s native inhabitants in the waters around the island of Godenholm, creatures whose behaviour is linked to the phases of the moon. In the heart of the psychedelic phase of the story Moltner is drawn into a turbulent underwater realm before emerging into a realm of golden light.
The Norwegian landscape is depicted as monochrome and fogbound and the book’s illustrations by Frederick Söderberg are likewise largely monochrome. The description of the countryside around Sandnes is that of an idealised rural past, unchanged since the Middle Ages. It is implied by their mutual dress in blue smocks typical of the region that Einar, like Ulma, whose father is a local farmer, shares a connection with the local region where, ‘the earth was spiritualized and made cerebral by the long nights’. Einar and Ulma are at ease with Schwarzenberg’s rough and ready retainers, his factotum Gaspar and housekeeper Erdmuthe, who are imbued with primaeval energies, while Moltner finds their presence unsettling.
Einar, Moltner and Ulma, have enjoyed an idyllic Norwegian summer of naked swimming and beach picnics, while having regular sessions with Schwarzenberg. Their psychedelic experience takes place during the winter solstice, when the sun barely peeks over the horizon in these northern latitudes. The winter solstice is Yule in the Nordic pagan calendar, a time of transition, and frequent references are made to other aspects of Nordic mythology, such as the presence of the Goddesses Freya and Herta. As indicated earlier, it is not made explicit in Visit to Godenholm that the psychedelic experiences of Schwarzenberg’s students are drug induced. They apparently occur spontaneously in his presence, in the same way that the mere presence of certain Sufi masters or a short benediction by one can induce an altered state of consciousness.
In a familiar pattern in the guru-disciple relationship, the story describes a honeymoon period for Moltner in which feelings of guilt and pain melt away in the guru’s presence, and nothing warns that severe tests will follow. However, Moltner later feels neglected by his guru Schwarzenberg, who seems careless and disinterested in his health and mental state. He develops paranoid thoughts about Schwarzenberg’s intentions towards him in the very moments leading up to his psychedelic epiphany in Schwarzenberg’s presence. Immediately prior to their shared psychedelic experience even Einar and Ulma are feeling uneasy. Moltner confronts Schwarzenberg with his doubts and his intention to leave there and then, but in the midst of the argument he slips into a psychedelic reverie.
The Godenholm Trip
Visit to Godenholm has fourteen brief chapters, the last seven of which are dedicated to the psychedelic sequence. It is thus evenly balanced between the setting of the scene and introduction to the characters, and the psychedelic experiences of Moltner, Einar and Ulma. Jünger’s description of the psychedelic experiences of the characters is convincing, evidence of both his own drug adventures and his considerable experience as an author. In common with Hofmann’s descriptions of his own shared LSD sessions (Hofmann 1980), Schwarzenberg pays attention to set and setting. The room has been prepared elaborately by Schwarzenberg for their trip, with seats arranged for the participants in a dimly lit room: ‘Sigrid had brought the tea. The samovar stood on the mantelpiece; the cups had been set next to the candelabra. The fire glowed in quiet splendour.’
Effects typical of LSD are described, with time tremendously extended, super-acuity of visual perception, auditory and visual hallucinations and the imaginative interpretation of everyday sights and sounds. The housekeeping activities of Gaspar and servant Sigrid in the courtyard outside are interpreted as sinister troll-like scrapings and scratchings. The howl of the yard dog is interpreted as that of the monstrous wolf Fenrir of the Edda.[xiv] Fenrir is an important figure in the events of Ragnarök, the apocalypse of Nordic myth in which, after a destructive battle of the gods, the world is born anew, destruction and renewal being a repeated theme within the Godenholm story. The descriptions of the participant’s trips are laced with references to figures from Nordic mythology. Moltner hears the song of the Erlking, an invitation to enter the other world, the realm of the dead from which one may never return. The Erlking is a figure synonymous with King Herla or Odin as leader of the wild hunt, a ghostly group of hunters on horseback with hounds galloping across the night sky, a portent of catastrophe. Anyone who sees them may be carried away by them to the land of the dead. Moltner, Einar and Ulma all experience an awareness of the inevitability of death and decay, which is written in their own faces.
The trip takes place by stages, as if conducted from one otherworldly domain to another. Moments of intense psychic pain precede moments of equally intense sensory pleasure, the whole process being conducted by the magus Schwarzenberg. The faces of the participants become painfully revelatory of their inner nature and emotional states. Schwarzenberg repeatedly and intrusively addresses Moltner with the question ‘Isn’t it true, don’t you know yet more?’ each time mercilessly pushing Moltner further and further within himself. The phrase is an echo of his insistence to Moltner at the outset, ‘you know that you are suffering – thus you know more. That is the artesian point’. This reflects Jünger’s belief in the personally illuminating nature of pain and the ability to endure pain. Moltner experiences this questioning by Schwarzenberg, ‘like a blow from a weapon whose existence he didn’t know about. It was comparable to the kind of shock one experiences from an attack that is simultaneously violent and obscene.’ Eventually Moltner feels stripped to the bone, exhausted and thrown into a psychic encounter for which he was simply unprepared. The experience of a severe initiatic process, which the participant is not equal to and fails, is a recurrent theme of Jünger’s The Adventurous Heart (2012).
The trip proceeds with a sense of musical rhythm, conducted by the sounds of the nearby ocean and a storm, outside the room in which the participants are seated. As the sounds diminish in intensity so does the trip and Moltner feels a shared complicity in communing with something entirely other than the people actually present. As the intensity diminishes, ‘All sounds were now hushed. The ancient serpent began to move off silently’ – the serpent being a symbol for Jünger of the dangerous wisdom of heretical gnosis (Loose 1974). The participants’ painful sense of personal exposure is replaced by the experience of typical geometric and naturalistic visualisations and this is the point at which the Hofmann related moment of the spiral of incense smoke is included in the narration of the trip. After a last plunge by Moltner into a watery vortex filled with marine life, the sudden unexpected intrusion into the room of Erdmuthe the housekeeper, Gaspar the factotum and the yard dog, signals a return to the world of normality. Moltner emerges into a domain of golden light with a sense of recovery and renewal. For a moment, to Moltner’s horror, it appears that Schwarzenberg intends to again intensify matters but he relents, saying to Moltner, ‘You are right – we shouldn’t go any further’.
Two chapters are largely dedicated to Einar’s own psychedelic experiences. The contrasts between Einar and Moltner are reiterated, such as Einar’s earthiness and Moltner’s intellectuality. Einar steps into a ‘not unfamiliar landscape’ and doesn’t descend so deeply as Moltner. Einar is clearly based on Jünger himself, not only by means of references to his First World War experiences, but also his philosophical views. In particular by reference to Einar’s description as being one who, ‘loved pain as the ultimate mark of reality’. A view expressed in Jünger’s essay Über den Schmerz (Jünger 1934), originally published just after the Nazi seizure of power and recently published in translation.[xv] The ability to withstand pain and to face death unflinchingly is, in Jünger’s assessment, an indicator of a higher level of being and this aspect of his nature expressly defines the nature of Einar’s psychedelic experience. ‘The closeness of death attracted him’ and he ‘welcomed the risk that Moltner had avoided’.
Ulma shares some of Einar’s experiences of psychedelic consciousness, in which reminiscences of First World War trench warfare are mixed with the experience of being amongst ancient defensive earth works. These earthworks, the subject of Einar’s prehistorical studies, double as grave sites and mirror Jünger’s experiences of trench walls built over the bodies of sacrificed comrades. Einar experiences a meeting with his deceased mother and father, which reads powerfully as if based on an experience of Jünger himself, an account which would have comfortably fitted among the dreamlike passages which make up The Adventurous Heart (Jünger 2012), a book beloved by Albert Hofmann.[xvi] The traumatic aspects of Ulma, Einar and Moltner’s experiences finally fade into a comforting golden glow of ancient sunlight. The ancestral mother is present as Frigga and there is awareness that they have all shared an intimation of a great mystery, outside the cycles of Time, which is intimately connected with human mortality. The spell is broken and they are back in the room. On coming down Moltner feels reborn, he is reconciled to Gaspar and Erdmuthe, whose earthiness he had previously found alienating, and he recovers from his sense of an absence of any ability as a psychiatric doctor to really heal his patients. Sensitive to set and setting, Schwarzenberg has made prior arrangements and servants bring in food and drink as a comforting and celebratory closure to their adventure.
Though Schwarzenberg is a stern and demanding psychopomp, Jünger’s account of the LSD session is one which offers a psychotherapeutic outcome for Schwarzenberg’s initiates Einar and Moltner, who are suffering from the trauma of Germany’s defeat and its catastrophic aftermath. At a time when clinical investigations were at a very early stage, it presages later developments where LSD is seen as supporting psychotherapeutic intervention, but sets it in a context of an esoteric initiation, underpinned by a seam of Nordic mythopoetic imagery. Jünger was an amateur scientist who studied entomology, but mixed his scientific bent with a deeply occult world view. After the Second World War, together with the historian of religion Mircea Eliade, Jünger conceived of and then edited the journal Antaios (1959–71), which mixed religious, esoteric and literary topics.
Godenholm in Context
To understand the book’s significance at the time of its initial publication in 1952 it is important to place Visit to Godenholm in its cultural context and its place in the long list of Jünger’s literary works. I have already mentioned that the figure of Schwarzenberg is based in part on Jünger’s friend Hugo Fischer, whose travels in Norway with Jünger were recorded by him in Myrdun (Jünger 1943). Besuch auf Godenholm was only the second of Jünger’s fictional works to be published in Germany following the occupation of Germany in 1945 by the Allied forces, following the end of the World War Two. In fact Jünger was forbidden to publish between 1945 and 1949 in the occupied zones of Germany, governed by the American and British military (Loose 1974). The Allied occupation of Western Germany actually continued until 5 May 1955, a matter of considerable distress to Jünger as he makes clear in Der Waldang (Jünger 1952). A Liste der auszusondernden Literatur (List of Proscribed Literature), published in the Soviet Zone was used by The Information Control Division of the American Military Government in Germany. The list identified books that were to be destroyed, their publication and sale forbidden. In Jünger’s case, a number of his works were cited from the list which, due to their militaristic nature, found favour with the Nazi regime, including In Stahlgewittern (Storms of Steel) and Waldchen 125 (Copse 125), (Breitenkamp 1953).
Jünger’s literary career commenced with and significantly still rests on his accounts of his experiences of trench warfare during the First World War. He was decorated twice with the Iron Cross and then Pour le Mérite known as the ‘Blue Max’, Prussia’s highest order of merit, awarded strictly as a recognition of extraordinary personal achievement. On this account and his growing literary reputation, Jünger was a person of considerable standing and widely read in Germany during World War Two and the inter-war period. Later pre-war works by Jünger focused on the increasing impact of technology on society, influenced by his experience of mechanised warfare in World War One. However, in part under the influence of his drug experiences, Jünger’s works took an Expressionist or even Surrealist turn with the dreamlike sequences of Das abenteuerliche Herz, (Jünger 1938), which alienated Jünger from the Nazi leadership (Neaman 1999), which had wanted to exploit his literary status by inducting him into the German Academy of Literature in November 1933, an offer which Jünger rejected (Morat 2012).
Although published seven years after the end of the Second World War, Jünger makes clear references in Der Waldgang (1951) and Visit to Godenholm (1952) to his continued disillusionment with the war and its outcome, which he refers to in Visit to Godenholm as ‘the catastrophe’. In Der Waldgang recently published in English as The Forest Passage (Jünger 2013) Jünger expresses his anger and resentment at the defeat of Germany in the Second World War and the Allied occupation of Germany. In Der Waldgang Jünger makes repeated references to living under occupation and the word fragebogen (questionnaire) appears several times,[xvii] as well frequent references to questions and being questioned. These are a clear reference to the questionnaire that prominent individuals from the Nazi era were required to complete as part of the denazification process, a requirement to which Jünger refused to submit. Curiously the Introduction to the recent translation of Der Waldgang by Telos Press as the Forest Passage makes no mention of Jünger’s obvious and repeated references to the questionnaire, though this is critical to the understanding of the cultural context of Der Waldgang and in turn Visit to Godenholm. Importantly The Forest Passage represented Jünger’s declaration of his withdrawal from the world of politics, a retreat into a rural sanctuary from which to observe and write from a distance. In Godenholm Jünger as Einar is seeking a way forward, the ability to envisage a positive outcome from the catastrophe of Germany’s defeat in World War Two, which he may have found in part through his encounters with LSD.
Jünger’s Visit to Godenholm certainly repays repeated reading, as each new visit reveals fresh nuances and further associations with other aspects of Jünger’s life and works. Jünger, a major European writer, honoured with many literary and cultural awards, chronicled the twentieth century from a unique perspective. Those who wish to learn about the strange convergence of psychedelic culture, Jünger’s role as a representative of the conservative opposition to the Weimar Republic of inter-war Germany and the contemporary Pagan New Right[xviii] are referred to the author’s monograph Strange Drugs make for Strange Bedfellows, Ernst Jünger, Albert Hofmann and the Politics of Psychedelics published by the journal The Invisible College.
Breitenkamp, E. C., 1953. United States Information Control Division and its effect on German publishers and writers, 1945 to 1949, Grand Forks, ND: University Station.
Gelpke, R., 1966. Vom Rausch im Orient und Okzident, Stuttgart: Klett.
Gelpke, R., 1981. On travels in the universe of the soul: Reports on self- experiments with Delysid (LSD) and Psilocybin (CY). In Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 13(1): 81–89.
Hervier, J., 1995. The Details of Time: Conversations with Ernst Jünger, New York, NY: Marsilio.
Hervier, J., 2014. Ernst Jünger: Dans les tempêtes du siècle, Paris: Fayard.
Hofmann, A., 1980. LSD: My Problem Child: Reflections on Sacred Drugs, Mysticism, and Science, New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Huxley, A., 1954. The Doors of Perception, New York, NY: Harper & Brothers.
Huxley, A., Horowitz, M. (Ed), Palmer, C. (Ed), 1977. Moksha: Aldous Huxley’s Classic Writings on Psychedelics and the Visionary Experience (1931-1963), New York, NY: Stonehill.
Jünger, E., 1920. In Stahlgewittern : Aus dem Tagebuch eines Stosstruppenführers von Ernst Jünger. Mit 5 Abbildungen und dem Bilde des Verfassers. Leisnig: Robert Meier 1920.
Jünger, E., 1925. Das Wäldchen hundertfünfundzwanzig 125: Eine Chronik aus d. Grabenkämpfen Jünger, E., 1938. Das Abenteuerliche Herz. Figuren und Capriccios, 2. Fassung, Hamburg: Hanseatische Verlagsanstalt.
Jünger, E., 1943, ‘Myrdun’ Briefe aus Norwegen, Oslo: Feldpostausgabe für die Soldaten im Bereich des Wehrmachtsbefehlshabers in Norwegen.
Jünger, E., 1949. Heliopolis : Rückblick auf eine Stadt ,Tübingen: Heliopolis-Verlag, 1949.
Jünger, E., 1951. Der Waldgang, Frankfurt am Main: V. Klostermann.
Jünger, E., 1952. Besuch auf Godenholm, Frankfurt am Main, V. Klostermann.
Jünger, E., Berman, R.A., 2012. The Adventurous Heart. Candor, New York, NY: Telos Press.
Jünger, E., 2013. The Forest Passage. Candor, New York, NY: Telos Press.
Jünger, E., Durst, D., Berman, R., 2008. On Pain, New York, NY: Telos Press.
Jünger, E., 2014. Der Waldgang, Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta Verlag.
Loose, G., 1974. Ernst Jünger, New York, NY: Twayne.
Morat, D., 2012. No Inner Remigration: Martin Heidegger, Ernst Jünger, and the early Federal Republic of Germany in Modern Intellectual History, 9, pp 661-69.
[i] Ernst Jünger, Besuch auf Godenholm, Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1952.
[ii] See http://edda.se/014.php
[iii] There were also small Belgian, Polish and Luxembourgish zones of occupation. Although the Federal Republic was established in in May 1949, the Allied occupation of Western Germany continued until 5 May 1955, when the General Treaty (German: Deutschlandvertrag) came into force.
[iv] And also no doubt Jünger’s prior experiences with mescaline. Jünger had experimented with various psychoactive drugs since his youth, including cannabis and mescaline (Loose, 1974).
[v] Albert Hofmann, Preface to Huxley, A., Horowitz, M. (Ed), Palmer, C. (Ed), 1977. Moksha: Aldous Huxley’s Classic Writings on Psychedelics and the Visionary Experience (1931-1963), New York, NY: Stonehill.
[vi] Although Hofmann does not mention it, Konzett actually worked at Sandoz. Konzett studied at the Universities of Innsbruck and Vienna, where he received his doctorate in 1936. Until 1946 he worked at the Institute of Pharmacology, University of Vienna and then went to Britain. From 1946 until his appointment to Innsbruck Medical School in 1957, he conducted research at the Pharmacological Laboratory of the Sandoz Ltd., Basel. See: https://www.i-med.ac.at/pharmakologie/nachruf_konzett.html
[vii] Jünger, E., Berman, R.A., 2012. The Adventurous Heart, Candor, NY: Telos Press.
[viii] That is an account of the origin and descent of the gods. Jünger clearly has an occult, myth based theory of history.
[ix] Myrdun was first published in 1943 in occupied Norway as a field edition for the Wehrmacht, under the protection of the German Military Forces. See: http://www.juenger-haus.de/1921-1945,177.html
[x] In 1939 Hugo Fischer moved on to England, staying one step ahead of the Nazis. Like Jünger, Fischer was one of the representatives of the conservative resistance to the liberal democracy of the Weimar Republic (1918-1933), but who sooner or later lost any sympathy with the Nazi regime and therefore put at risk of incarceration or death. It is ironic therefore that Mydrun was published in Oslo as a field edition for German troops in occupied Norway, with Fischer’s identity concealed with a nom de plume.
[xi] The fact that Jünger’s father, an apothecary, bought a pharmacy in the town of Schwarzenberg (Hervier, 1990) may be the reason for Jünger choosing this name for his magus.
[xii] See: http://www.gurdjieff.org/chronology.htm
[xiii] Although the Island of Godenholm is fictional there is a town of Sandnes in Norway, situated as described in a fjord. The fjord Gandsfjorden is situated north-south and ends in the centre of Sandnes.
[xiv] The 13th century Old Norse work of literature, which is a major source for Scandinavian mythology.
[xv] Ernst Jünger, On Pain, New York, NY: Telos Press, 2008.
[xvi] See Chapter 7 of Hofmann, LSD my Problem Child, ‘Radiance from Ernst Jünger’.
[xvii] (Jünger, 2014): Page 8 [Ch. 2 para 2 and para 3], page 9 [Ch. 2 para 5], page 12 [Ch. 3 para 3], and page 17 [Ch. 6 para 3].
[xviii] For a discussion of the emergence of the Pagan New Right see Amy Hale, ‘John Michell, Radical Traditionalism, and the Emerging Politics of the Pagan New Right’. Available at:
Also Amy Hale, ‘Marketing ‘Rad Trad’: The Growing Co-Influence between Paganism and the New Right’. Available at: