One of the disturbing things that I notice about the modern branches Golden Dawn, or at least something it is distrubing to me, is the fact that many treat the Golden Dawn system as something you do for a certain amount of time and then stop after you reach the end of the system.
Part of this trend is that many people have no experience with the non-Golden Dawn Orders. Traditionally in such Orders as the Freemasons, the Elks, and the Lions, one is a member for life. This is especially true of the Freemasons--even if you cease to attend lodge and quit paying dues, you are still a Freemason. You may not by in good standing; but unless you are expelled, you are still a Freemason.
And at one time, even if you were not a member of a non-Golden Dawn Order, you knew someone that was. While I was attending High School, one of my next door neighbors was a member of the Odd Fellows. The town, Brush Colorado, also had a Lion's Club. I didn't think anything was unusual about that. And a hundred years ago, it wasn't that strange.
We forget that a cenury ago, the Orders were striving. Forty percent of the adult population were a member of one Order or another. That wasn't just old white dudes; women and minorities had their own Orders.
It is different today. My grandmother was a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, an Order which purpose is to provide insurance policies to its membership. For me, it is easier to do business with State Farm. This lack of experience with the phenomenona of the Orders and the type of people who join them handicaps our system.
Another handicapp which contributes to the tendency to consider one membership in the system as a temporary thing is the truncated revealing of the system. While the publishing of the core documents of Golden Dawn by Israel Regardie saved the system from extinction, it has also had the effect of freezing much of the system into a form that gives itself to chasing a title and then leaving the system.
In many ways, I consider myself lucky to have found my way into Hathoor Temple before I was exposed to much of the published material. For the members of Hathoor Temple, one was a member for life. Recieving the Grade of Adept Minor was not the end of your involvment with the Order; for them, Golden Dawn was a living, growing system.
It was because of this long view that their curriculum was an expanding one. This tradition carried over into Bast Temple when it formed. I encourage members of the system to take the long view and treat Golden Dawn and its offshoots as an organization that one will be a member for the entire length of their lifetime.