"Guiding by not Helping" -

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"Guiding by not Helping" -

Post  ankh_f_n_khonsu on Mon Feb 16, 2009 7:09 pm

For the complete article, see The Treasure-House of Pearls:

Guiding by Not Helping:

This afternoon I was reviewing the Golden Dawn Flying Rolls on Astral Projection. It has been quite a while since I read these, and I still have not systematically gone through them all, although that is a near term goal. Nevertheless, I was struck by this section at the end of Flying Roll XI. In this document, D.D.C.F. (i.e. Mathers) instructs about the three types of astral work. Yet, at the end he warns:

You must do all these things by yourself alone. No one can make you nor take you. Do not try to make, or take others. You may only point out the Path, and guide but must not help others.A strong person can galvanise a weak one, but its effect is only a temporary folly, doing good neither to the strong nor to the weak.

Only offer guidance to those who are making necessary efforts of themselves; don’t assist a negligent pupil, nor encourage one whose desire is not in the work.

This rule is open to some alteration when, passing from our Mystic studies, you refer to the worldly guidance of childhood—a parent is in a special position, and has a natural duty incumbent upon him or her to train, guide, and protect a child.

Still, even here, do protect and lead, but don’t ‘obsess’ a child, don’t override by your peculiar personal predilections all the personal aims of the offspring. A man’s ideal of true propriety is often himself, and his idea of doing good to a child is to make it like himself. Now, although this father may be a good man, his form of goodness is not to be made a universal type, and there are many other forms equally existing, and equally fit to exist, and any attempt to dictate too closely a child’s ‘though life’ may, while failing of success, yet warp aside from the truth what would otherwise pass into a Good Path, through its own peculiar avenue.

When I read of this I thought of the line about Thelema’s approach to compassion and to the strong and the weak. How well does it assist another in helping them to become like you? Mathers is talking about an important point at the end of this section. We often envision ourselves as the models others should follow, but how much like us should the followers be? It is like the issue of compassion, if we try to feel like someone else we cease being ourselves and become some imagined other which neither reflects ourselves nor the person we imagine with which we are feeling. Similarly, when we “help” someone to be like us, then we cause them to invariably move away from being themselves. How “helpful” is that really?

Guidance is different though. When we attempt to guide, we point out things, instruct and inform, but the student or child still must learn for themselves. We may guide a child not to touch fire, but if they need to experience the burn to really learn, we should not hold them back, even though it will pain us and the child through the experience. “Experience is the great Teacher,” writes Crowley.
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Re: "Guiding by not Helping" -

Post  Hadrianswall on Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:50 am

There is a big difference between educating (an evolutionary gesture - a giving over of tools so that the student may surpass the teacher) and the hubris of trying to create in our own image. Many teachers forget that they are travelers and begin to think of themselves as some fixed point.

Being a ‘teacher’ is an enormous ego trap and often sets up the false dichotomy of ‘he who knows’ and ‘they who don’t.’ (This is only ever partially true). One of the first traps is to believe that it is ‘you’ doing the helping. As a result you can often think that you know what is ‘best’ for the student.

The truth of the matter is that it is not you doing the helping. You cannot help someone who doesn’t want, or isn’t ready to be helped. (self-defense mechanisms such as stupidity, blindness etc are often there for a reason). By the same token someone who is truly ready to awaken can profit from even the most mundane of teachings. In all cases it is the student’s disposition which is the driving force. If you try to PUSH this matter you are violating their freewill.

Reading between the lines Mathers is also commenting on the use of Shaktipat or energy transmission while teaching. This is an issue with many pros and cons. Again much depends on the student.

The commentary itself I feel shows the authors limited understanding of compassion, confusing it with intellectual empathizing. I would posit the contrary, that in truly ‘seeing’ the pain of another we become more Ourself.

1. Had! The manifestation of Nuit.
2. The unveiling of the company of heaven.
3. Every man and every woman is a star.
4. Every number is infinite; there is no difference.
__________________CHAPTER I: Liber AL vel Legis

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Now burn all your books, including mine. - Sendivogius

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Re: "Guiding by not Helping" -

Post  ankh_f_n_khonsu on Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:31 pm

Hadrianswall wrote:Being a ‘teacher’ is an enormous ego trap and often sets up the false dichotomy of ‘he who knows’ and ‘they who don’t.’ (This is only ever partially true). One of the first traps is to believe that it is ‘you’ doing the helping. As a result you can often think that you know what is ‘best’ for the student.

As a 'professional teacher', I generally agree with the sentiment you've expressed here; however, I'd be remiss for not pointing out that good teachers often do know what might prod students to the next level. But that's a little different from assuming they know what's 'best', which seems like a red herring under most circumstances imaginable.
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Re: "Guiding by not Helping" -

Post  Hadrianswall on Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:31 pm

I just wanted to clarify, that I used ‘teacher’ as opposed to just teacher as I meant to refer to those within the occult/mystical/self-development field. In general I have nothing but respect for teachers as they perform a very important, thankless and undervalued task in society.

Just to avoid any confusion about where I am coming from Smile

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