You speak eloquently here of the existential crisis and the relationship of
the Student and the Master in such situations. Personal growth is always
hard fought as the ego tends to want to hold onto its present conceptions of
self. Orders and teachers theoretically, are out to challenge such false
stability and set in motion the cycle of growth by inducing the Student to
jump off the cliff. And of course, abusive masters portend to know the
Student better than him or herself, while those rare real masters facilitate
the Student's discovery of the nature of him or herself.
There is development through study...but it is not complete in and of
itself. And there is development through experience...but it again, is not
complete in and of itself. And most importantly, there is development
through the sincerity of one's Aspiration...which leads to the first two
>Subject: [t93] Musings on the path
>Date: Fri, 16 Feb 2001 23:34:13 EST
>The most interesting thing is that one works for years with dedication and
>passionate intent towards what one believes are milestones of the path, all
>the while unknowingly building up an irrevocable attraction of the universe
>to oneself. Eventually, those events that one considered perhaps still far
>off and difficult to achieve, actually head in your direction with the
>locomotion and impact of a speeding train. You take your small steps, day
>after day, toiling, wondering if there is actually movement at all,
>encouraged by the small achievements and results that come so you know that
>one is not, after all, walking backwards. Discipline acquired along the way
>ambushes the pretence of conjecture. Here labors the student, whose sole
>drink is aspiration; sole means, an inheritance of perseverance; sole
>and sustenance, the Work.
>Within this time, there may be (how understated, there) temporal conflicts.
>However, the concern is not the mundane situational conflicts that every
>dedicated student is expected to overcome. These are inherently written in
>part of the external balancing act of the path. Family, money,
>employment, etc.. are first seen as priorities, next as distractions, and
>further, as one achieves balance on one plane, are relegated to mundane
>realities necessary in support of the work. Perspective moves on from
>(Do not think it stops! One cannot proclaim Malkuth ones Kingdom until one
>wears a crown!) as ones sight loosens its limitations from the view of the
>Man of Earth Triad.
>No, the real concern for the dedicated student (pre-Abremelin) is the
>tempting trap of mis-alliance, a subtle and formidable snare. There can be
>only one Master for the Student, and that is the Self.
>Perhaps we should pause for a definition of what a dedicated student is. A
>dedicated student is one that is in the middle of a fall from a cliff. One
>has no choice but to land. There is no question IF one should jump, when
>is already in the middle of the result from doing so. One is dedicated not
>only to the travel, but to the landing, for the second is a result of the
>first, and the first has already been set into motion: if A then B. One is
>not thinking of other things. If one is thinking at all, it is only to
>what the impact will be on ones body and brain. It is more likely however,
>that the fall itself will be stimulating enough to occupy the mind. This is
>But to return to the subject of alliance, if a student is lucky enough to
>have the audience of a temporal master, from whatever spiritual path, he
>should know that the title refers to the fact that the man is a Master of
>himself. (* This statement should not be restricted to the mere gross
>however). Master, is a word denoting respect for his achievement with
>himself. It should never be said with the misconception or implication that
>the man is your master. At the same time, if one is lucky enough to have
>audience with a master (for there are so few who truly know themselves),
>to look in the direction he points!
>A Teacher, a Master, an Order, cannot be misinterpreted as the Self. This
>sounds deceptively simple, but let us repeat: There can only be one Master
>for the student, and that is the Self. There are several pitfalls in this
>arena for the dedicated student. We will use the Order as example, as this
>more common in Western Magick.
>First, as is his nature, the dedicated student devotes himself passionately
>to anything that is involved in the nature of his work. Thus, he becomes
>intensely dedicated to his temporal order. It is after all, at least in the
>beginning, his perceived connection to--well, his Perceived Connection.
>is as it should be. An Order is a fine place to learn duty, service,
>discipline, and all those other qualities that are necessary to an
>experiential understanding of certain parts of self on the path.
>I shall not go into the various kinds of Orders here or the numerous
>denigrations, flagellations, recitations, corruptions, defections,
>infractions, insurrections, circumspections, assertions and contortions
>pertaining to one or all. We may leave those bones for the dogs.
>The pitfall of an Order, is that by its very nature, one is submerged into
>whole. Yet it is not the whole of Self, rather, it is the creation of a
>different whole by many selves who have come together for that purpose. An
>egregore of all its parts. Thus, by participation, one becomes more than
>individual self, has access to the resources of more, and is involved in
>dynamics of a larger, more powerful whole.
>This is hardly a bad thing. It has its drawbacks along the way, but in an
>Order that is truly based on the movement of its members along the path,
>can move faster through the foundational triad of self-understanding, than
>alone. It is the difference between climbing up a tree and climbing down a
>tree. In the latter, one has a larger force assisting in the same
>so to speak. Of course, if one releases ones own hands during the descent,
>is the nature of any larger force to take over, and in no short time one
>find unplanned bruises on the gluteus maximus of individual will!
>The same can be said of a Master or Teacher. Though one might conclude that
>any Teacher who has the misfortune of harboring a student in the thralls of
>such an impertinent idiocy as denial of own will of self, who does not
>immediately and thoroughly trounce the student, is no real Master! But
>we have already mentioned; there is a shortage.
>Why is there a shortage? What could be more fun than to tame a pack of wild
>coyotes ready to lunge at your throat with one aversion of your eyes, while
>licking your hands to your face?
>Beware of Teachers who are excessively willing. They are most likely not
>able, although they may teach one a good lesson in discernment (as do all
>sincere charlatans). Those who are able are typically grouchy, having
>patience for the stupidity of students claiming to desire freedom who then
>clutch chains to themselves like an overcoat in winter.
>Ah yes, I see. We thought we could read our way into enlightenment. We
>thought we could gematricize our Self into shape! Or perhaps we thought we
>could sleep our way to the top? Well, that last may work after all, but
>when performed in a peculiar manner and pre-approved by ones tri-level
>I don't think you've noticed there, sir, that the orange on your tongue is
>actually a lemon! Too late to spit it out- you've taken an oath!
>The student studies. The practitioner practices. The dedicated student
>practitioner, practices falling from the cliff while studying himself. It
>not enough to absorb concepts intellectually. Understanding results only
>a concept has been put into application. It is in application that
>difficulties arise which then allow the student an opportunity to truly
>This is why the path is referred to as having tests. Many people fail the
>tests. Why? Because a concept, once in application, becomes very personal.
>And very personal things are very important to us; so important that we
>cling to our very personal things much more often than we will use the
>opportunity to apply a concept. We become caught up in the game. We don't
>that it is the crisis moment that gives us the opportunity to learn. We are
>too busy *having* the crisis moment to divert ourselves away from it enough
>to enforce applications. And woe to the Teacher who suggests such a thing ,
>though that is, after all, his job-- for he will surely be told in no
>uncertain terms to mind his own business, thank you very much. Can't he see
>there is a crisis going on?
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