I had an interesting conversation with one of my fellow lodge members the other day. We were putting back together the pillar that I had to take apart during the last heavy snow day---yes, I know that it is bad to leave the pillar undone that long, but it is a two person job to get it back together. We found ourselves talking about one of the local members of the esoteric community and his recent behavior.
There were the standard sexual no-no that was committed, just one more proof that perhaps sex and esoteric traditions have no place standing by one another. Or perhaps it is proof that we need to understand these energies in an esoteric content; it is easy to mistake certain types of links between people as being sexual in nature.
Personally, I have mixed feelings about the whole sexual mystery issue. Nevertheless, you never want to suspect that someone set up their group merely so that they could get laid.
Important fact---this person is not a member of Golden Dawn. In fact, they feel that Golden Dawn has nothing to offer them which brings us to the behavior that they indulge in that I want to talk about.
They have a bad case of being in love with being an authority.
For those of us in the esoteric field, this is not a good disease to catch. We have enourgh temptations already without this one, temptations that threaten to bloat up our egos like sickly toads.
In the case of this person, he is arrogant already (not as arrogant as the person who told me that he was the only person in Colorado qualified to teach ceremonial magic, but close). He has bounced from one tradition to another. And he always ends up starting a group, to teach his lastest passion to others.
A few years ago, I rubbed shoulders with him in a group; we were briefly members of the same system for awhile. I decided that I could not work with him for extended periods; the feeling was mutually returned. In my case, he was teaching that any technique not in the original documents was improper. Being a modern student of the mysteries, I was using some techniques that I picked up elsewhere; as long as they produced results, I could care less if people a thousand years or more ago did not know or use the techinques. He also has never mentioned a single living teacher...his knowledge is all his own brilliant decoding of old books.
(I am not sure why he does not want to work with me...class clown, dangerous experiments, the willingness to question and talk back---take your pick.)
And being arrogant, he believes that his knowledge about one system qualifies him to criticize another tradition. He has actually walked out of public rituals, during the middle of them while loudly saying that the people doing the ritual knew nothing about the system that they were working. This is one of those people who do not realize that it is near impossible to raise a decent amount of energy in public ritual, and that some of us do not care to become a Ph.D. in the history of our traditions---sometimes you just want an entertaining ritual and could care less if one of the Ancients would understand it.
But talking to my friend, I realized that I had misjudged the man. I always thourght that he was smarter than I was (though I managed to aviod the icky sexual misbehavior), and perhaps more spiritiually advanced. This is what I had been blaming his behavior on; I thought that he had higher standards than I did. Now, I realize that his behavior can be explained by him simply being in love with being an authority.
The sad part is that I know several other teachers and leaders that also fall under the same disease. Well, I guess it takes all types.
And for the record, I am not in love with being an authority. I am just a hack writer, who loves the sound of their own voice. I am happy being a follower as long as I am allowed to exhibit my ADHD in a loud and obnoxious manner. For me, the height of the estoeric tradition is being a student---it is just too much work to be an authority figure.