Recently, a very public Golden Dawn Lodge blew up. I have a long held position that I do not comment on such things. First of all, I do not know any of the people involved. Second of all, I wasn't there for any of it. Thirdly, I have no first hand experience with them. Lastly, saying anything about it all means someone is likely to think I am taking sides. When it comes to GD order disputes be they leaking internal messes or external disputes between orders, my policy is that I chose not to participate.
I have made my point on public Golden Dawn silliness here.
What I will comment on is Gordon and RO posts, generally speaking, for they remind me much of Ellic Howe. For those of you that don't know, Mr. Howe wrote some very well researched books on the Golden Dawn. Like, RO and Gordon, he is educated in his field, Masonry. Yet, his anti-Golden Dawn bias was obvious. I believe he viewed the GD as a poor offshoot of Masonry. With that I am not saying RO and Gordon have an anti-GD bias. I am merely stating their stances remind me of Howe's.
In his books, he too commented on some poor behavior, downright stupidity and boarder-line insanity as an indicator of the Golden Dawn's unworthiness. Such comments, I feel, miss a large part of the Great Work. This ugly stuff is what makes the Great Work, work. Let the silliness reign!
The Great Work is often about finding things about yourself that are simply not acceptable to your own spirit. These are things you make excuses for. Yes, it is okay to fly off the handle because they deserve it. Yes, it is okay if I take some money out of the till at work as I am underpaid. Yes, it is okay if I ignore my mate when s/he needs me because I will help her out later anyway. We will even overcomplicate simple issues as an excuse to do nothing at all or worse do something actively stupid. I used to be good at that one. Someone may even tell himself that it is okay if I break my fraternal oaths to that person because he is not only a dick but stupid. I mean they could make mountains out of his stupid. Stupid, I say, on a planetary scale! I mean black hole stupid. Stupid so stupid that the heat of a thousand suns could not burn away all the galactic stupidity emanating from his ever orbiting Uranus!
We all have a thousand excuses for our poor behavior. Most of us condemn others for things we'd let slide if we did them ourselves. Many of us, will make excuses for person A doing X because A is our friend and blast person B for the same offense because we don't know him.
These are things you may get away with for years, or so it seems. For each of them, slowly closes your soul. Each time you perform those acts, you separate yourself from other humans, your spirit and the divine forces, as they will stop responding after a while. And will stop in their own good time, usually, when you need them most.
The alchemical nature of the Golden Dawn method works much like a alchemy. You start with evenly distributed heat as in the sand bath. Things get more volatile in the water bath. Sooner or later, often later than observers would like, your flame is applied directly to your leaden ass. If you haven't gotten the lead out previously, BOOM! The universe is much gentler and neophytes than higher classman. Higher classman, in theory, really ought to know better.
When explosions happen, when insanity (yours or someone else's) happens, when bad behavior happens, when you're lost because every falsehood you thought was real isn’t, when your ego ass dissolves around you, when you cry out in the darkness, you grow.
Growing in the entire point!
Yes it is ugly. Yes it is harsh to look upon. Yes, it rips your heart out to experience and watch. Why?
Because, "it" is you.
You have been this ugly. You have been this harsh. Yes it is has been tough for everyone else to watch, mostly because they forget how ugly they have been too. The lodge structure isn't ugly in itself any more than one can consider a smelting pot ugly as the melting lead releases its slag. That slag is scrapped off leaving a liquid pool of lead that looks much like a mirror. MIRROR..."He who sees muck is muck," says Mr. Crowley to Mr. Waite.
The difference between the lodge system and the smelting pot is that the goal of a lodge isn't to just purify lead for immediate use but to make gold over the long term.
When it is successful you rarely see it because it is so easy to spot the slag. Unfortunately, people are very good at remembering the ugliest moments and seeing everything through those distorted lenses.
Further, the lodge system is not for everyone. There are many other methods of making a temporary jackass out of yourself. In fact, I'd say it is guaranteed to happen no matter what form of the Work you do. If you are a solo practitioner, no one has a label to put on your form of work and therefore cannot paint it entirely with tar and black paint made from the ashes of your own self-immolation.
If you are working a system, they not only have the black paint, they will use it. Sometimes, I wonder if they are trying to cover up your ugliness, their own or the beauty of the Work itself. I guess that is for those holding the paint brush to answer.
NOTE: I am not saying that Gordon and RO are doing any painting. I was speaking in general terms.
Another Note: Comments to this post will be carefully screened. Any reference to ongoing or past silliness of any magickal group that I currently know to be in existence will not be published. If a name of a group is mentioned, please tell me that all involved members are now dead or I won't publish it. There is no way I will let my blog be part of GD wars, witch wars, trad wars or Star Wars.