Friday, December 2, 2011

Adopt a Secret Chief human edition

JC made a comment about expecting this sets of posts (Adopt a Secret Chief) to be about adopting cats; and I so understand why they would expect that--heck it felt wrong to write what I did without mentioning cats. Nevertheless, there are times when you have to talk about the Secret Chiefs in their human form.
And this post is one of those times.

One of the recent things that has boiled out of the stew of the Golden Dawn fora and blogosphere lately is the idea that there are only two ways to think about the Secret Chiefs and their connection with Isis-Urania #3.

One way is that you believe that the Secret Chiefs are real, and that Mathers and Westcott had contact with them, and that the system is built from older material and the only way to gain a deeper understanding of the material is to gain access to the hidden Order that served as their Secret Chiefs. This school of thought insists (more or less) that any modern material and ideas about Golden Dawn are automatically wrong.

The other way of looking at the concept of the Secret Chiefs is that the Secret Chiefs were merely a lie told by Mathers and Westcott to disguise the fact that their Order was a completely brand new thing in a time period where the only "real" Orders were thought to be secretly hundred, if not thousands, of years old. Because no Secret Chiefs were involved in the creation of Golden Dawn, the school of thought reasons that there is no reason to seek out the Secret Chiefs and the odds are that anyone claiming to make contact with the Secret Chiefs is lying and running a scam.

Please note that this black and white description is actually a simplification; one needs a scorecard to figure out what some people actually believe. Which brings me to the point of this blog post.

There is a third school of thought concerning the Secret Chiefs. And that school of thought is that it does not matter either way whether the Secret Chiefs existed, was in contact with Mathers and Westcott or not, still exist or not...none of this matters.

Now there are several ways to end up in this particular school of thought, most of them accidential. You end up being driven into this school of thought---it is not like you wake up one morning and say, "I want to be a heretic and hated by both of the major Golden Dawn camps"---no you find yourself painted into a corner and discover that you agree with a litttle bit said by this side and little bit said by the other side, and that either side wants you to belong to their side.

In my case, there are three major reasons why I find myself in this outcast school of thought.

One, I have been asked to leave by every strict observance Order that I have ever been a member of. I have a habit of talking back to people; I tend to question the leadership of groups. Opps. With my track record, I am guaranteed to be banned by any Order that claims contact with the Secret Chiefs long before gaining access to anything that would make the additional trouble involved worthwhile. Therefore, it does not matter if an Order has contact with the Secret Chiefs or not, it is not like I am going to be a member long enourgh to benefit from such contact. I am the last person in the world that will ever have a (human) Secret Chief show up on my doorstep.

Two, I am in a situation where I do not have the resources to spare. Being a poor undergraduate (and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel is me actually applying for the grad program), I do not have the money, energy, or time to devote to any particular Order beyond my local lodge. For instance, an Order that emphasizes alchemy (to any significant extent) is not a good option for me at this time. I do not have the money to buy a decent alchemy lab setup, nor the room to use it, nor the time and energy necessary to pursue the work. Other subjects being emphasized also have the same problem, including any system where I would have to travel for instruction or initiation. This is one of those conditions that end up with one not caring if the Secret Chiefs are real or not; and furthermore, not caring if someone actually has contact with them.

Three, this is the worst of the lot and the one that automatically gets me loads of hate from both sides, I am working with very specialized sections of the tradition--unless the Secret Chiefs focus on these areas, they can't help me in the first place. For instance, one of the things I have read is that the Secret Chiefs did not approve of Mathers going hogwild with certain aspects of the system, and are busy rebuilding the system to what it was supposed to look like---these disapproved areas are exactly the areas that I am most interested in and the areas where no help will be forthcoming anyways. Given the fact that I do not have an interest in pre-1888 magic and initiation, it does not matter if I believe in the existence of the Secret Chiefs or not, they can't help me advance in my areas of interest. The areas I am interested in, the Secret Chiefs do not provide support for---then again, most of the other camp do not provide support for these areas either, hence the hate from both sides of the system.

(For the record, I believe that the instant that the Secret Chiefs cut support to an Order that the Secret Chiefs no longer have any rights in that Order and that Order never has to submit to the Secret Chiefs ever again. This is especially true when the system no longer confirms to their original vision. It is opinions like this that gets me banned from groups.)

Therefore for me, and whole bunch of people, it really does not matter if the Secret Chiefs exist or not, and it does not matter if Westcott and Mathers were lying or telling the truth, for we are automatically banned from benefiting from their existence or lack thereof. If you are denied membership or are unable to benefit from the contact, then it DOES NOT MATTER if the Secret Chiefs exist or not.

Of course, this is why I think it is such a neat idea to Adopt a Secret Chief. It is like playing fantasy football or Dungeons and Dragons, it is neat to consider what weirdness would result if a different set of Secret Chiefs had been involved. It does not matter if the Secret Chiefs exist or not, Mathers or Westcott was telling the truth or not, or if anyone is currently in communication with them or not. It is not like it matters to some of us either way. We have NO STAKE in the game---we are allowed to think about the "what ifs." Of course, this annoys both parties---it is nice that they can agree on something, even if it is only to agree that some people shouldn't be in the system for being opinionated and loud-mouthed.

(Please note that this post is not completely true: I know people on both sides who think that I might actually make a decent member of the Golden Dawn tradition...someday, that is.)

1 comment:

Ms D said...

I have never liked when the minor benefits of secrecy are overshadowed by the volume of social, intellectual, and moral abuses it allows. When the apparent social and developmental damage has actually begun to outweigh the benefits, I begin to question the motives behind any who cling to it, and the likelihood of any with better intent remaining present yet allowing it to have gone so wrong. It is a shame that yet another layer of secret veto power that May Command Without Explanation or Regard has been unveiled in a manner and place that empowers petty politics more than than enlightened communion. It makes it difficult to respect or treat with reverence, and colours it more with a feeling of farce and disappointment- even if it is true.

My question is this - if this is where and how any group of mystics wish to direct power, on divisive Blogs with money and power affected in stake- why on earth would I care what they think or want, never mind choose to blindly obey? I have never given a damn about titles, and never will. If someone cannot show me by their works and state of being who and what they are, then whatever titles claimed will mean nothing to me. I obey nothing but my own Daemon and the simple truth of the Universe, and that more by the apparentness of the obvious. If a group or system does not resonate with the harmony I already sense and know in the Universe- it is telling me it lacks the very thing I am seeking communion with.
I have found people to be powerful and teachers at specific unmarked and irregular points of time, like a thousand perfect moments blooming in faces that align with the cosmos and myself, then fade back to sleep again. How can a Title from men ever mean anything to a seeker, when you can see G-D in a homeless man watching a bird?