Monday, May 14, 2012

No such thing as secrecy

Besides the two extremes of the secrecy spectrum and the numerous points between the two extremes, there is also a point that is completely off of the spectrum. And that is the position that there is no such thing as "esoteric secrets."

This is not the same as believing that all the secrets can be told because the true esoteric secret lays in the experience and work.

No, this is a belief that all the esoteric secrets are "artificial" and merely exist to control the membership of a secret society. In other words, the esoteric secrets that an initiate is sworn to maintain are merely to conceal the fact that a leader(s) is using the secret society for another purpose...think conspiracy, sex, and money.

Now, one can believe in the esoteric secrets and still think that someone at the top of the pyramid is misusing their membership. Both the believer and the non-believer in esoteric secrets will admit that secrets are wonderful way to keep members in a group. The difference is that the non-believer in esoteric secrets believes that all secrecy is bad while the esoteric believer will argue that perhaps even a mis-ran group can lead to some good if it actually has a few real esoteric secrets in it.

An important question that every member of a secret society has to answer for themselves is: Does the benefit of the esoteric secrets one is given outweigh all the grief that one has to put up with in order to recieve them?


Pallas Renatus said...

Being pretty firmly stuck in the "the experience is in the work" camp myself, this one stumps me a little. To my mind, saying "there are no secrets" either implies that (1) You already know everything (ie, nobody knows anything you don't), or (2) it's all bullshit (ie, there are literally no secrets). I could see an atheist or other "nonbeliever" off-the-scale in this way, but where would we find an esotericist adopting this point of view?

Rufus Opus said...

Where does "All your esoteric secrets are belong to us" fall in the spectrum? That is, the belief that all esoteric secrets were revealed by spirits, and therefore with the proper conjure techniques, you can get access to them directly yourself?

Andrew B. Watt said...

I'm minded to agree with Ben Franklin, who in his autobiography said that one could shout the secrets of Freemasonry from the rooftops, and it wouldn't make one whit of difference, because no one could make use of them without the experience... and that for many of the secrets, they were very ordinary things derived from common sense.

I'm also minded of my friend Jim, who said that Crowley said, "protect the mysteries — reveal them openly." I don't know that Crowley said that, but it seems to be a useful mindset, nonetheless.

(Except RO's and Jason's stuff, of course — I bought their courses a while back, and I'm enjoying them, but it seems improprietous to share their materials when they're using the income to fix cars and pay bills..)

Morgan Eckstein said...

@ Pallas--I should have made it clearer that I was mainly talking about the non-believer here. Opps, I be bad writer.

@ Rufus One of those I had already listed in my outline for this series; the other one I have added. Stay tuned--I will get there eventually.

@ Andrew Someday, I have to hunt down those exact quotes. I agree that it is wrong to share the secrets of teachers who are using the money to buy food and pay rent.