One of the more amusing parts of the modern Golden Dawn tradition is that it allows people to have ego explosions over differences in operating procedure (Ok, maybe I am the only one amused by such things...but if you do not laugh about it???). Or at least, that is how I am going to describe my latest email exchange. Unless I decide to use this particular exchange in my semi-annual campaign to try to NOT be elected to my current lodge office.
Today, I was accused of having an ego atttack. I have been exchanging a series of emails with a Zelator (an ex-member of another Order) who was interested in joining the lodge. When I received an inquiry about when the next Theoricus initiation was going to happen, I asked for some information because there was always a chance that I was misreading what I thought was going on. (For the record, I thought that they were of the opinion that if you can pass the exam, then you are automatically entitled to the next initiation.) After learning what they had to do in their previous Order, I replied:
You and I are going to have a long talk about lodge/Order culture because it is obvious that Bast Temple's culture and customs are different than the ones that you are accustomed to. For instance, we do not preschedule initiations---the next initiation into Theoricus will occur when the officers of the lodge decide that someone is ready for it (and that means the initiate in question has attended a certain amount of meetings---which is the primary method of learning in our lodge).
Now, my question is: Exactly where is my ego showing in this reply? I thought that it was a simple statement, illustrating the fact that there were differences in procedure between the two Orders. And by "long talk," I meant a cup of coffee as we discussed the differences and decided if this person could tolerate the procedures that Bast Temple uses.
I was wrong...this is the response that I got:
Hold on....you don't come into my email address and start saying stuff like this "you and I need to have a talk" forget you........you don't try to make this into a servent master kind of thing. No!!!!!!!! I will not bow before you to get the secrets of magic. There is enough information out there to get the secrets. It may take me longer and it may take more research to get the secrets...but I will never bow before your ego. You have lost the whole reason for magic....self-identity. Which, by the way, cannot be found by you. You are the enemy of self identity and freedom....because you want to dominate people......Yeah...I picked that up off of your email.....I'll find what I'm looking for without your order....and if I don't I will still be much more happier........I bow to no one.
Huh? What exactly in my statement signalled that I was looking for worshipful followers? And exactly how are the current lodge members servants? Gee, I am an elected officer...if I am playing Master, why haven't they gotten rid of me?
Maybe I am wrong, but I am not sure that it was my ego that was attacking. My closing email to this Zelator mentioned that there were at least two other Golden Dawn lodges in Denver, and that they had a choice in what Order they wanted to be a member of. After all, despite the fact that I do not think that my ego is out of control, the Zelator may be right.
Update: I did get an apology from the Zelator in question. There is a mutual agreement that he is not ready to be involved in an Order until he overcomes the boundary and control issues that he developed while in Christianity. Bast Temple wishes him luck as he continues his spiritual development on his own.