In my previous post, I described why I decided to quit a small, Crowley-oriented group from when I lived in the San Diego area:
First: One of the leaders attempted to cover up his clear lack of knowledge. There is so much information available today, it is quite impossible to know everything. One of the great values of groups is their ability to bring together people with a wide range of interests and centers of knowledge. When you don’t know something it’s quite likely there will either be someone else who does have that knowledge or who knows how to access it. But when a supposed leader gives a talk on a subject with superficial preparation and the inability to either accurately answer a question or simply say, “I don’t know, but I’ll find out,” and then tries to cover up his or her lack of knowledge, it indicates a specific problem with self-image and egotism. I don’t need to be around “leaders” like that, nor do I want them to be my instructors.
Second: When a person is supposed to be an expert at a certain set of information (in this case, one ritual and some readings) but can’t answer a basic question about the material he or she is supposed to teach, I don’t want to be “mentored” by that person. It also makes me wonder about the quality of the group when an unprepared person is supposed to mentor students.
Third: When a person is supposed to be a group’s expert in a single subject (in this case, the Kabalah), but looks at you as if they are clueless and can’t answer a basic question on the topic, I don’t want to be a part of the group that says the person is an “expert.” It also make me wonder what this person did to achieve the title of “expert” since it clearly wasn’t gained through any actual expertise in the subject.
As I wrote, even though the group was supposedly dedicated to Crowley and Thelema, I didn’t suppose that the leaders knew everything. But when giving a talk on Crowley’s Thelema and Taoism, I would expect anyone to do a bit of study on the subject and not attempt to cover up their lack of knowledge. Similarly, the concept of Notarikon—the use of acronyms—in the Kabalah is a basic topic. I was not trying to be a know-it-all or act superior; I just wanted to learn. It became clear that this group did not have the knowledge or integrity I was seeking.
Later, as I more deeply researched this group I had been so anxious to join, I heard rumors about them, including the idea that young, attractive women were moved through the degrees very quickly so they could have sex…er, I mean practice sex magick with the men in the higher degrees and that when the leaders had enough money to retire, they abandoned the group. Today I have no problem with my choice to quit.
At the time, however, and even though I hadn’t been a member for more than a few months, it was still disappointing and hard to leave the group. I had really, really, REALLY wanted it to be excellent. I had worked diligently and had completed all of the first six months worth of my assignments—including readings, study, and ritual memorization and practice—in only two months. I wanted this to work.
I now acknowledge that in my mind I had set up expectations for what I hoped would happen in the group and was disheartened when my hopes were crushed and expectations were unfulfilled. This is often the result of setting up expectations rather than living in the present as it is rare when any reality will meet or exceed our imaginings. But because I had wanted this to work so much, at the time I felt ambivalent about quitting and if I had received even the slightest positive input on why I should stay, it’s possible I would have overlooked—at least for awhile—the issues that drove me from the group.
In fact, rather than just tell them something like, “you suck!” I put the onus of my departure upon myself. The dues for this group were quite high (that’s why the leaders, who allegedly took a large portion of the dues, were eventually able to retire). Calculating for inflation, the monthly dues for a beginning Minerval were more than $175.00 per month in 2013 money. The dues increased as you went through the degrees.
At the time, I was attending UCSD and had a large, gas-guzzling Chevy van to cart around my massive musical instrument gear. It was the start of a new quarter with expensive tuition at UCSD and considering my minimal income doing part-time phone sales—now called “telemarketing”—adding all of my costs made just living difficult. Although I could have made ends meet, it would have been a challenge. So I wrote them a letter wishing them well and telling them that I would have to withdraw because I couldn’t afford it.
That’s when the intimidation began.
I started receiving phone calls from members of the group’s hierarchy. Each one involved telling me things such as my life would be ruined if I didn’t continue with them. One even asked if I valued my spiritual advancement. I, of course, said, “yes,” and he said that if I really valued spiritual advancement I’d choose to live in my van so I wouldn’t have to pay rent and could instead pay their dues and stay a member. The intimation was that they were spiritually superior and if I wanted to spiritual evolve I had to stay with them or be a loser for the rest of my life.
This technique is what is called spiritual intimidation. Luckily, I had learned all about this when I was younger. My mother had referred to this as the “holier than thou” attack. Its basic approach is “I know more than you, I’m more spiritual than you, therefore you must do what I say because I’m holier than you.” Surprisingly, and although I think it is a subject that does need to be learned, when it comes to the topic of spiritual intimidation for those following an occult path, little has been written. I have read a self-published book (with very poor production quality) on the subject by the late Nelson White, but I’ve seen little else of value.
As a result of my studies, I’ve learned something that I consider a truth: each person spiritually evolves at his or her own rate. Anybody who tells you that you aren’t going fast enough or that only through studying with him or her can you spiritually evolve is not being honest. They may actually believe what they’re saying, but that doesn’t make it true. As a human being you have the right to spiritually evolve or not evolve at whatever rate you want to and use whatever capabilities toward this that you possess.
So when some teacher insists that you have to do it their way or no way at all, please understand that there are many paths leading to spiritual advancement. If someone tries to spiritually intimidate you, understand they have no right to do so. With this realization they cannot rule your life. In my opinion the purpose of spiritual evolution is greater freedom, not simply changing from being chained to one teacher or system and then to another.
One of my teachers of Hawaiian spirituality (Huna) explained there is an old saying that was a motto of some of the old spiritual schools in Hawaii:
A Ohe Pau Ko Ike I Kou Halau
It means, “Think not that all wisdom is in your school.”
***** I’m Coming Back to Las Vegas *****
THIS FRIDAY and SATURDAY!
Tantra Magick Workshop & Ritual
Well of the Moon
2650 S. Decatur Blvd. Suite A02
Las Vegas, NV 89102
Meet & Greet: Friday, November 15, 6:00 p.m. Free!
Date:……………..Saturday, November 16, 2013
Time:…………….Workshop: 2:30–5:30……Ritual: 6:15 to conclusion
Besides myself, the workshop and ritual will be led by Shama Helena: a Life, Love & Sex Coach and Tantric Educator for the last 20 years in Los Angeles, she has helped thousands of lovers through personal coaching, lectures and workshops, books and articles and on Television and radio. She offers private sessions with individuals, couples, and people in alternative lifestyles, to empower, re-balance, and provide tools that enable, enhance and energize their lives to live more consciously and create their own Heaven on Earth.
See her website: www.thepleasureparadigm.com
TANTRA is more than “that sex stuff.” It is a complete spiritual system that includes everything from philosophy and psychology to divination and magick. Spiritualized sexuality is just one part of the system. On November 16 you’ll have a chance to learn about and experience Tantra and Tantric Magick.
Come out to amazing Las Vegas, Nevada, where you’ll learn practical techniques of Tantra. During the afternoon workshop, you’ll learn such things as:
- A brief history of Tantra
- Tantra as a Path of Pleasure
- The nature of real magick (as opposed to magic tricks)
- How to set up effective goals for magick
- Tantra and the secrets of Vibration
- The importance of compassion
- The chakras and their activation through sound, visualization, breathwork and movement
At the conclusion of the workshop there will be a brief break of about 45 minutes. During this time please have a very light meal. Fruits, grains and vegetables are preferred over meats and processed foods.
Please return promptly. Only those who participated in the workshop will be permitted to attend the ritual. During the ritual you will put what you learned into practice. Either come dressed appropriately (please wear white, especially a white shirt, blouse, or dress. You may then adorn with jewelry and makeup of your choice), or change once you have arrived. The ritual will include banishings, cleansing, traditional honoring of the gods and goddesses of Tantra, movement, and finally activation of the chakras leading to sending magickal energy to achieve your goal.
During the ritual we will be sitting on the floor. Please bring pillows or other items that will cushion and support your bottom and your back. If possible, bring a colorful flower from your personal garden as a gift to the deities. If you don’t have one, it will be provided. Bring water to drink.
Please note that although we will be raising energies often associated with sexuality, there will be no nudity or sexual contact. Finally, due to the size of the location, attendance will be extremely limited. You are advised to register with the payment for the class as soon as possible to guarantee a location. Here, again, is the LINK to contact.