"What Use Would an Order Have for an Enlightened Being?"

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"What Use Would an Order Have for an Enlightened Being?"

Post  Khephra on Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:41 pm

From Gleamings from the Dawn:

If enlightened beings exist, one must wonder if it is possible to meet them in the Orders. Considering what I know about enlightenment, which is not a lot, I would have to say yes. It is possible for a person to use the tools and methods of Golden Dawn to access mental states that are normally barred to us.

Now does that mean that those members higher in the Grade structure are more enlightened than those below them in Grade--NO. One of the misconceptions about Golden Dawn arise from the correspondence of each Grade to a sephirah, and each sephirah to a mystic experience or state of consciousness. Some people believe that the mystic experience comes automatically with the Grade; this is a belief that Mathers seemed to encourage based on my understanding of his writings. One of his students, and later enemy, Aliester Crowley also encouraged this belief. It is wrong.

I have seen no evidence that the mystic experiences automatically come with the Grades. The Grades are the gateways and stepping stones to those experiences; they are not the experiences themselves. A certain amount of work must be done to realize the full potential of a Grade; a person must work to unfold the mysteries of the rose, or any of the lesser Grades.

Nevertheless, occasionally one does run into someone who has gained the vision of the machinery of the universe, or insight into sacrifice, or whatnot though the tools of the tradition. Most, if not all, of them keep their attainment to themselves. Beware of anyone who brags about their knowledge, enlightenment, or Grade; normally, such boasting is the sign of a sure fraud.

Occasionally, it has been said that the tradition is guided, and sometimes outright led, by people who have became enlightened. To be frank, this puzzles me. What possible use would an Order such as Golden Dawn have to an enlightened being?

Even if at their moment of enlightenment, they chose to come back and guide other beings into the Light, wouldn’t the trappings of our tradition be more of a hindrance than an aid to that pursuit? And how hard would it be to hang onto your enlightened state if one was forced to be the head of such an Order?

Thoughts like these affirm my own personal belief that the Golden Dawn tradition is not so much about enlightenment as it is about magic. It is not that enlightened beings are barred from joining the tradition (though I know a couple of Orders that would expel them the moment their leaders caught on to the fact), or that spiritual development can not happen inside the Order--it is merely that it does not seem to me, at least, to be the ideal vessel for this to occur.

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Re: "What Use Would an Order Have for an Enlightened Being?"

Post  Maat on Tue Aug 26, 2008 11:49 pm

"anyone who brags about their knowledge, enlightenment, or Grade; normally, such boasting is the sign of a sure fraud."

I totally agree. Enlightened beings do not need to brag. In fact, there are enlightened beings that occupy different levels of various Orders. Truly enlightened beings generally do not draw attention to themselves as they remain with us only to teach and guide those who they deem worthy.

Also, Magick is generally a solitary endeavor. Most dedicated Magicians prefer to fly solo. Some will seek out fraternal Orders in order to experience the magickal power of ritual that only a group can offer, as an enhancement to their daily ritual. The only other reason that an adept would join an Order is to be of assistance to that Order and possibly humanity itself.

I also agree that magickal and fraternal orders do not "create" enlightened adepts. It takes many years of hard work and a lot of reading, meditation and devotion. The initiatory process is designed to speed up the learning curve but even so, most people are too distracted by everyday B.S. to commit to intense, long term study.

Some Orders are honest about this and allude to this fact in the initiatory agreements. I would be very suspicious of any group that makes promises of disclosure at a certain grade or level of attainment!

Maat
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Re: "What Use Would an Order Have for an Enlightened Being?"

Post  Frater_NS on Thu Aug 28, 2008 12:44 am

Maat wrote:"anyone who brags about their knowledge, enlightenment, or Grade; normally, such boasting is the sign of a sure fraud."

One's grade within an Order has very little to do with "enlightenment". And yes those who boast about their Grades generally wish only the status associated with that grade - and have received none of the blessings of that grade.
Boasting is a classic sign of ego inflation.

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Re: "What Use Would an Order Have for an Enlightened Being?"

Post  Maat on Thu Aug 28, 2008 10:04 am

There are also many levels of enlightenment. Many feel or think they are enlightened when they have barely scratched the surface. I think one of the traits of a truly enlightened individual is one who humbly admits that he will never be able to learn it all in one lifetime. I think about that Sufi book called "The Wisdom of Idiots" and realize that the more you learn, the more you realize you don't know! The Sufi embraced that idea just as the Buddhists monks have.
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Re: "What Use Would an Order Have for an Enlightened Being?"

Post  Khephra on Thu Aug 28, 2008 8:52 pm

Maat wrote:There are also many levels of enlightenment.

Enlightenment often seems to follow a pattern of emanations. Do you think it a process of stratification through successive 'levels'?

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Re: "What Use Would an Order Have for an Enlightened Being?"

Post  Maat on Thu Aug 28, 2008 11:20 pm

Khephra wrote:
Maat wrote:There are also many levels of enlightenment.

Enlightenment often seems to follow a pattern of emanations. Do you think it a process of stratification through successive 'levels'?

I think that may be the case most of the time and it may take several lifetimes to achieve those levels too. While many or most of us may be methodically working our way up Jacob's ladder or the Tree there are others (rare) who seem to come into this world in an enlightened state. Those exceptional children may have achieved their enlightenment through precious incarnations. There are still others who seem to make quantum leaps to their enlightenment. Terrence McKenna comes to mind. Maybe the botanical pharmaceuticals helped him achieve that. They have been known to create a bridge between the right and left brain. That, I believe, is the key. Einstein's brain was actually smaller than the average human brain but it was a lot more dense and it had several "anomalies" that are not present in the average brain. Careful analysis showed that the membrane that separates the right and left part of the brain was much, much thinner than normal, enabling many new neuron connections to be made between the hemispheres! Could it be that people like Terrence McKenna and others who experimented with various mind altering pharmaceuticals unknowingly created a physical connection between the hemispheres in their own brains, thus making quantum leaps in inelegance, enabling them to "see" more than the average person?

Don't get me wrong as I am certainly not recommending the use of these substances. That is a personal decision and not for everyone. I do believe there is great merit in the initiatory systems. When properly done the initiatory experience should speed up the process of enlightenment by creating an actual, physical experience that causes the mind to look within and analyze ourselves in relation to our environment. The process does cause new connections to be formed in the brain because the experiences are real and the circumstances cause the candidate to be in a heightened state of awareness. This is why I don't really thing the "self initiatory systems" are ineffective. The only way a self initiation would be effective is if you were a true hermit and lived in the desert or on an island where there are no distractions, for a long period of time. Most of our enlightened masters "went away" for a while and came back enlightened. Jesus, Mohammad, Buddha, even Moses did.

To get back to your question, I would have to say yes. Personally, I think the candidate must have a good foundation of knowledge and experience before he/she can obtain wisdom. This is usually done incrementally as you cannot understand the next lesson until you grok the last one. Can you imagine trying to teach someone about Kabbalah who has never meditated upon the Tree?

Sorry, I got a little long winded in this post!
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Re: "What Use Would an Order Have for an Enlightened Being?"

Post  Hadrianswall on Tue Sep 02, 2008 1:28 am

I am not from the Golden Dawn tradition and maybe have wandered into the wrong bar but could someone explain to me what 'enlightenment' means from a GD perspective?

(I thought it was only wise to ask before jumping into the conversation)

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Re: "What Use Would an Order Have for an Enlightened Being?"

Post  Frater_NS on Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:36 pm

Hadrianswall wrote:I am not from the Golden Dawn tradition and maybe have wandered into the wrong bar but could someone explain to me what 'enlightenment' means from a GD perspective?
(I thought it was only wise to ask before jumping into the conversation)

The original quote from Morgan's blog explained the essence of this.

Initiation does mean "to begin" and it really is a fallacy to say that any initiation ceremony confers upon the candidate enlightenment.

The Golden Dawn initiations themselves promote changes of consciousness within the candidate.

Almost always by manipulation of the candidates sphere of sensation (subtle bodies - it has many names). Examples of which would be placing symbols (e.g. Hebrew letters) into the candidates sphere. Introducing energies into the sphere to promote a particular change in consciousness. Linking a ritual action (e.g. grade signs) to a particular energy.

Hopefully the blessings of the thousands of hours of work of the Initiation team - can be conferred to the candidate in a single ceremony. (this is the ideal!).

These "energetic keys" placed into the Initiate mean, by using a Name, Image and Action one is able to access the energies conferred by that grade. It’s a energetic "leg-up" towards further progress. Which is a distinct advantage over a non-Initiate - who would need to work on their own personal connections with these energies.

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Re: "What Use Would an Order Have for an Enlightened Being?"

Post  Hadrianswall on Wed Sep 03, 2008 12:51 am

Frater_NS wrote:
The original quote from Morgan's blog explained the essence of this.

Initiation does mean "to begin" and it really is a fallacy to say that any initiation ceremony confers upon the candidate enlightenment.

A nice explanation of the initiation process.

However, I was asking about the term 'enlightenment' and its meaning within the GD tradition. It seems to be a blanket term used in many traditions and yet not always with the same meaning.

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Re: "What Use Would an Order Have for an Enlightened Being?"

Post  Frater_NS on Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:49 pm

Hadrianswall wrote:
However, I was asking about the term 'enlightenment' and its meaning within the GD tradition. It seems to be a blanket term used in many traditions and yet not always with the same meaning.

Damn, you noticed I'd side stepped the question Laughing

The process of the GD and RR et AC, if practiced with sincerity, leads to a more enlightened person.
If you're talking enlightenment in terms of producing a Buddha, Krishna, Mohammed and Jesus - by following a set formulae. I don't think any system enables this.
With ritual magic you can raise your level of consciousness up by set formulae only so far. Going any further than this you into the realms of Mystery. No formulae can guarantee your success, it can only be strived for with honest devotion and the grace of God.

The Outer Order concentrates on balancing the Lower Self and the Inner Order establishing connecting with and developing the Higher Self. So I suppose, enlightenment within the GD/RR et AC framework means the establishment of the connection to the Higher Self.

jocolor

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Re: "What Use Would an Order Have for an Enlightened Being?"

Post  Khephra on Thu Sep 04, 2008 12:56 pm

Although the initiatory process may lead to a 'more enlightened being', the passage through Portal might also be looked upon as symbolic of 'enlightenment'.

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Re: "What Use Would an Order Have for an Enlightened Being?"

Post  Hadrianswall on Sat Sep 06, 2008 3:40 am

Frater_NS wrote:
Damn, you noticed I'd side stepped the question Laughing

Ha! Long may the dance continue

Frater_NS wrote:The process of the GD and RR et AC, if practiced with sincerity, leads to a more enlightened person...

The Outer Order concentrates on balancing the Lower Self and the Inner Order establishing connecting with and developing the Higher Self. So I suppose, enlightenment within the GD/RR et AC framework means the establishment of the connection to the Higher Self.

jocolor

thanks. I find that easier to get my head around than the original article, and seems to fit in with what Kephra and Maat were talking about in regards to 'levels' and 'stratisfication'.

The original article with phrases such as “if … they chose to come back” (where else is there?) and “hang onto your enlightened state” (attachment to disattachment?) seems to be infering complete ascension, but by your definition I imagine that the Golden Dawn as a global unit should be teeming with enlightened beings or at least more than a handful?

Occasionally, it has been said that the tradition is guided, and sometimes outright led, by people who have became enlightened. To be frank, this puzzles me. What possible use would an Order such as Golden Dawn have to an enlightened being?

Service?

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Re: "What Use Would an Order Have for an Enlightened Being?"

Post  Frater_NS on Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:10 pm

Hadrianswall wrote:
but by your definition I imagine that the Golden Dawn as a global unit should be teeming with enlightened beings or at least more than a handful?

Yeah if only! Sadly a good proportion of the magicians I've met are crack ports, egotistical maniacs or just plain deluded. Very few have the compassion and humility, which is usually the sign of genuine spiritual growth. *sigh* Neutral

What possible use would an Order such as Golden Dawn have to an enlightened being
Service - helping other beings achieve the same.

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