There has been some talk amongst the blogging friends about teachers and exploiters. The talk belies the American attitude that is best encapsulated on a bumper sticker, Shit Happens. We (Americans) are, for all our patriotic (sometimes misguided) optimism and our rugged individualism, a nation of misanthropes. This sucks, that sucks and this other thing sucks harder than a new Hoover.
I saw another bumper sticker today, Good Happens. Excellent. So, let me share a bit about teachers.
When I stopped doing magick badly by myself, I joined a group and did magick badly with them. Their magick may or may not have been great. I leave that decision to be made by the gods, who have a much better perspective than I. However, I was miserable. Even were I to give them 100% credit for being the world's best whatevers, they were not for me. My official mentor in that group actually ordered me not to read. Had I had the brain of a half smart chimp, I would have left then.
But since, I've encountered other teachers. At Pantheacon, I saw Lon Milo Duquette. I thanked him for Enochian Vision Magick and told him that it came at just the right time. His book had removed obstacles. His reply? "That is my job."
I have mentor. He's never fortified my obstacles but helped me past them when I could not help myself. More often, he gave me the tools to climb over them, move around them, assimilate them, or make the mountain a mole hill. I have no reason to believe he hasn't done that for others. Though, I will mention with no slight toward him, he isn't perfect. My relationship with him is not one of blind adoration.
The new leader of my former group dropped one by day unexpectedly for a chat. In that chat was healing. She asked for nothing in return.
At Pantheacon, I attended some classes run by Jason Mankey. He has helped me to understand Pan. He didn't go to Pantheacon with the idea of helping Frater POS. He went because he provides a service. As part of that, he kindly responded to an email asking for a book recommendation on Pan. I dropped a $100 on the book. I've read ten pages. Between what I experienced at Jason's rituals and my prep for his ritual (taught by my mentor) and the first ten pages of that book, so much about my former group makes more sense. So much about me makes more sense. A healing, from what was for me a huge psychological trauma, is underway.
Jason asked for nothing. In fact, it cost him about $1,000 to attend Pantheacon. He performed a service. Being of service is not about getting a gratuity, it is about being grateful enough to share. Lon Milo, my mentor, Jason Mankey, teachers all. Teachers in a positive way. Teachers that understand service.
Lon makes a buck (a small one) for providing his service. The others do not. That doesn't diminish Lon at all.
To them, I make the same promise I have made to those that have initiated me. When I am ready, I will do the same for others as you have done for me.