Sunday, August 22, 2010

When ego attacks differences of procedure

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 don't come into my email address and start saying stuff like this "you and I need to have a talk" forget 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.


S. J. Reisner || Audrey Brice || S. Connolly said...

Wow! Clearly there is a difference in groups and his expectations and his response say a lot about HIS ego, not yours.

Peregrin said...

Unless you edited your replies, I'd say this person would react that way to something sooner or later. Some folk just have an issue and are looking for a reason to vent it. There are always mung beans out there. Yout lodge is better off without them :)

QDCAFA said...

For better or worse, and not taking any sides, I can see why this person misinterpreted your e-mail. "You and I are going to have a long talk" sounds a lot like "I'm calling you out to have a 'talk'," just like an unhappy boss would.

I'm not saying you were wrong, I'm just saying I can see how the mistake was made.

Karmaghna said...

First, let me just say that misunderstanding in on-line dialog (email, chat, etc.)is quite common. Most of the time such misunderstandings can be resolved through subsequent communication. It happens to me more than I care to say.

Secondly, I would like to point out that you refer to the word "I" only once, and only in conjunction with the term "you" ("You and I" = "we"). You further clarify your position by speaking about "we" - meaning the group.

Your email correspondent, however, uses the term "I" or refers to "himself" eight times, all in opposition to you. No ego there!

Don't sweat it! Just keep this event in mind to help you develop better communication skills.

Unknown said...

I find myself wondering how old this particular Zelator is. Atrocious grammar and punctuation aside, the tone of accusatory indignation in the reply, alongside the vague references to "The Secrets" would make me guess 14 or so.

Of course, I imagine that's fairly far off, given that he's seeking admission to his second lodge now, but one does wonder.

At least he's doing the seeking, though. I do hope he finds what he needs.

O. Jackson said...

The zelator most likely thought your tone came across as that of an admonishing parent. They just got their buttons pushed, most likely because someone in their family used to say "have a talk" and "obviously" when the person was about to get chewed out. Just picture the most obnoxious mom you know saying those words and it will probably ring a bell. I can see why that wouldn't have occurred to you though, I probably wouldn't have anticipated that reaction.