I have never posted on this before, mainly because I opt to avoid the Golden Dawn wars, but some time ago, I started a lodge under the supervision of an adept. The plan was that as I reached adepthood the 95% leadership roll would merge into 100% my responsibility. I tried to work hard on that. I did put in a lot of effort some of which was seen and other parts of that work were hidden. However, something always interfered. Things were never really right in my gut.
Today, I sent a letter to that small group announcing my resignation from all things Golden Dawn, save serving as an initiatory officer under an adept friend and answering any questions they may have continuing their Work.
I could point to the asinine social judgments that often occur in group work (but didn't in my short-lived lodge), the mistakes my mentor made over the years, the mistakes I made over the years, the sometimes explosive results of initiation, the wanna-bes, the wankers and the guy that wanted to learn to astral project into women's locker rooms. Oh yes, we remember you!
Once, one of my "students" went from "Robert the Great" to "Robert is the devil" simply because I obtained a girlfriend. Though, I am quite pleased of my nonplussed reaction to being threatened to be hit over the head with a brick. You haven't lived until you get phone calls from human watchers telling you that someone is attacking you and upon hearing the description of the person they have never met realizing that it is one of your own. Really? No one wants to deal with that.
(Insert plug here for being able to admit what your talents are not and allowing friends to watch your back.)
To this day, I don't know if that particular attack was intentional or subconscious. Frankly, I am not sure if I should have responded more harshly than I did. What I did do was reflect the attacks and piggy-backed a prayer to Hermes that she would learn whatever she needed to from the experience. I didn't have the arrogance to try to control the lesson or even figure out what it was. She can own that part. I do know that Hermes went along for the ride. Hermes and I have a thing. My response was my version of the balance between severity and mercy. I do not think I did wrong. Oddly, as trying as it was, I value that learning experience at this point.
That learning experience was understanding that I can protect myself and have gained enough compassion for someone that was doing me harm to assist that person in some way. In the past, I would have sacrificed myself completely on the magickal side or utterly destroyed the perpetrator. No more. In this type of situation, balance is mine. This was a very valuable lesson to learn.
Others counselled revenge. To me, this is a very base emotion and a pointless exercise for a theurgist. Allowing such harmful magick into your sphere (in order to work it) means you have to deal with that level of distraction in the future for it must be balanced and reconciled. I do not see much value in that for my work. Still others counselled extreme mercy. No. I will not suffer for another's illness. I will heal an illness, if I can. I will protect myself and, if it prevents such attempts from being made at others in the future, I will strike but again, with compassion.
That said, all of that complaining and finger pointing about so-called bad things in GD work as an excuse for stepping aside would be total bullshit. I consistantly participated in GD work while some version of all that was going on for ten years. A lot of that stuff is where the great lessons come from. This is something that GD detractors from Ellic Howe to many modern magicians have never understood. In the bullshit lay the lesson. My mentor was right far more often than wrong and I learned. From time to time, you may hear me lament at certain public exercises of GD silliness but you'll never hear me bad mouth the system. It worked for me.
The fact is that I am no longer what I was. The Manifestation Meditation, its evolution and teaching is my life's work at the moment. It is not Pagan or Christian. It is not a system but a method. This is a softer, gentler and a more universal art than GD. Part of what GD did for me was to teach me not to get trapped into what flows against my nature but to flow into my nature. This is a positive affirmation of Golden Dawn Style work, not a rejection.
I seek not consistency, only Truth.
Part of my growing work with the manifestation meditation is love. I did not seek this lesson but it appeared spontaneously. It is seeing the people in this world as agents of the divine, every last one of them. This has long fit into my philosophy but it is now creeping into my reality. The Buddhist have an exercise in which they look at each person they meet and think "Buddha," "Buddha", "Buddha"...this is sort of what it is like for me now. I would like to have that awareness all the time but I am not there yet.
Writing the Book
As mentioned yesterday, I was inspired to read the Dalai Lama's book Beyond Religion instead of doing actual writing. I am more than a little blown away to find that the conclusions I reached in GD work and what I have been writing in the book, line up up with His Holiness' work. In fact, were I in college, I'd have been nailed for plagiarism for a three paragraph snippet that was ever so close to what I had read in Beyond Religion. Of course, I had written it before I read it.
I had tree dreams that I clearly remembered upon waking. Unfortunately, it is three hours later.
1. I dreamed that I was having a conversation with someone that hurt me very deeply a long time ago. She said how unhappy she was in the tradition of her initiation. This woman is very good at showing you whatever emotion she thinks you want to see from her. Her real emotions are deeply buried. I didn't get that this time. Her statements of pain seemed genuine.
Analysis: If this dream was my own mind trying to make me feel better about a long ago incident, it didn't work. That time is past. Instead, I was left with a feeling of compassion. Being unhappy within an initiatory tradition that by oath you cannot get out of has to be more painful then going every day to a job that you absolutely despise.
2. I dreamed I was a murderer. Like most dreams of late, my reaction was much more of "Well, that is reality" then "Holy shit, what did I do?" The murder was not recent but someone in authority, like a coroner, had recently found out.
3. I have no idea what this dream was anymore. It had something to do with magick.