In his recent post, Nick Farrell posted about becoming old (not really) and how things have changed since… He comments about how students these days do not always show the right dedication in following the magical path and are unwilling to scarify some of their private lives and convenience to their studies.
I definitely agree that a lot of “aspirants” these days may lack dedication and devotion. I assume that with all those Dan Brown like books, it is just fancy to call yourself a member of this or that mysterious order. I also guess that a lot of people have a profound misconception regarding the aim and essence of magical teaching and working and the “powers” one achieves as a member of such groups and orders. Such aspirants will not be missed because they would only take (if they even take) and leave instead of dedicate and provide.
I also think that the amount of magical orders, groups, lodges etc is legion and it is rather difficult to find a serious, reliable, not only profit orientated order which can provide real and profound knowledge and, in a optimal case, is close enough that one can actually afford to become a member. We see a hype about anything related to New Age, Mystical teachings, “Light Working” etc. If I just see how many kinds of Reiki were invented lately (Smurf Reiki I guess was one of the weirdest things I have read about) – there is a huge market out there and many want to get their piece of that cake. But that also means that even with modern means like the internet, finding a serious group that can provide real knowledge is still hard work.
In my case, I was reading a lot, comparing a lot, I (guess that I) developed a sense for the smell of the money (others want from me) and finally decided that the GD tradition is my way. Due to various reasons I need to stay solitary – one of then indeed is that there is no close by lodge/Temple. I simply can not afford a few hundred Euros every month or so to travel. And what I have close by indeed does not meet my needs.
Nick also said: “if people are not prepared to jump in a car or a plane to find the right training and path then let some other group have them”. That in a way sounds like promoting an elite kind of thinking. Only those who can afford and are ready to spend significant amounts of money have the right of the “right” magical training. Of course they could go to the next door group but what if that one is a scam? Tough luck? He also writes that in the old times people put their magical training as number one priority and even the loss of family, having to leave job and country would have not mattered in order to get the best training. Reminds me on Matthew 10:37,38: “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me”. I do not think that it needs that much of a dedication that I need to be prepared to leave family, house, job, country etc. Also, lucky are those who have a profession that enables them to work anywhere in the world. Some of us are rather limited. In my case, I have been lucky to work in other countries (as I currently do) but also my flexibility is limited by my profession. Of course I could always become a waiter or work in a supermarket filling shelves. At the end of the day you need to be able to prepare for you (and your family). If now the true dedication to the studying of the western mysteries means that I need to be ready to give up everything else, well then I may rather quit – with a heavy heart – but if I have to loose everything I love first, how could I possibly reach the goal I am aiming for in my magical studies? I do admire those who are able to dedicate their entire life to the quest for the light – like the monks do (maybe most amazing is the order of the Carthusians, who are a group of hermits who do not talk at all and even do not eat together, just pray and sing together at the various times) and who still live very simple)
Anyways, I am over exaggerating and I am assuming that Nick did not intent to go as far as I described it above. But I believe that true dedication does not mean that I have to sacrifice everything else. I do, however, agree that some money, travelling, time, holidays etc need to be sacrificed for the goal of a magical training because, as you said, it requires a lot of time and effort and the path is not always straight, clean and free of rubble.
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