In a lot of books you will read that finding a teacher or mentor is essential or at least important or preferred when it comes to the studying of the occult. In a way this is obvious since even the most skilled person will have a better understanding when being guided while moving through unknown terrain. Some need more others need less guidance.
A mentor or teacher will help finding missing links needed for the connecting and understanding of different aspects of a given subject or principle.
The mentor will “guard” the student’s progress, lead him/her in other directions when the student gets stuck or needs to focus (more) on a different aspect of the work. Amongst other things, a mentor will provide for and bring the necessary balance – equilibrium into the students work and progress. Thus, the student does not get lost.
Today we have a lot of material out there. The internet makes it even easier to access any information you want. You will be able to find most of the stuff you need for your development, although not everything is published (yet). However in a way alone the amount of material out there is overwhelming and uncontrollable. What to read first, where should be the priorities? It made sense that in the olden times, a student would only have access to the material necessary for his current work/grade/state of development he was in. No distraction, unlike today where you will find reference on reference and jump from this to that. As much fun and entertaining as it is, and it surely also will provide for important valuable knowledge, this way of learning easily leads to a “superficial” knowledge of bits and pieces of everything and nothing without providing for the necessary deeper knowledge and understanding of the complex interactions and relations of all the various aspects and elements of the various subjects which are necessary for the successful development.
But: how to find a mentor? Of course, joining a group or order would be the easiest way. Most orders and groups will provide for a tutor, mentor, senior Frater/Soror, which will provide for guidance. If however one is unable to join such an order or group, then it really becomes difficult. A lot of capable Fratres and Sores out there already have their students from their groups and orders and would not necessarily have the time, capacity or will to add an “outsider”. That leaves the solitary student only with books and the various forums to be found throughout the internet. Specifically these forums are indeed a valuable source of assistance and guidance. The only problem is that, by asking a question you get many, you may get a variety of answers which do not have to comply. They may all be correct from different points of view, but then again this leaves it up to the student to prioritise etc. This can be a good way for growing understanding and is better than being totally alone but it still can cause distraction and maybe confusion. Having said that, a mentor is not supposed to take the student’s hand and pull him through the work spoon feeding him. Guidance is the keyword, not dominance. In that respect, the forums are a great tool of guidance for the solitary student. There still is a difference from having a personal tutor.
Having said that, I do not have a mentor/tutor/teacher. I am sucking from what I find on the net. I am reading the GD forums (not posting yet), I am reading the blogs, I am reading the material found in books or elsewhere on the net. I sometimes ask advanced Fratres and Sores I know and I also now and then answer questions in other forums, since this is a great way to straighten thoughts and often is leading to a complete different understanding of a subject. I still would like to have “my own” mentor….
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