Sometimes, I just love the Golden Dawn community. Like Lucy and the football, things just keep coming back (and I don’t mean reincarnations of Mr Mathers and co). Once more the blogosphere is chattering about the Secret Chiefs. Some folk are even getting hot under the collar about it all – something their secret chief would not condone I am sure, being all advanced and more than human an’ all.
Recently someone emailed me and asked me what I think,as they were getting a mite confused with all the rhetoric out there. Now, I have mentioned Secret Chiefs and other assorted folk already on MOTO (do a search), but a couple of other things occurred to me. As more than one wise commentator has said (the last one I saw was Tony DeLuce), part of the problem is that people are using the same term to describe two or more different beasties. Until the terms are really clear, confusion and hurt will simply promulgate faster than promises at election time.
Then there is the all too obvious dichotomy between Mathers having an ‘astral’ Secret Chief and Mathers having a real, flesh and blood Secret Chief who farts and burps like the rest of us. Being self brought up in my teens on a mix of St Bob, psychedelia and Quantum Mechanics, I often muse that this tension would be solved if the Secret Chiefs were like the Fey; physical and non-physical at the same time. Still, being able to email and post on blogs criticising other GD commentators and carry on a mystic pedagogical existence in another ethereal dimension may be stretching things too much. So much for a rapprochement based on 60’s hippie logic 🙂
One of the main points I stressed in my reply to the email was the sad fact we tend to see reality as we want to, making it conform to our expectations, ideas and world view. St Bob is particularly eloquent on this, giving an example of how flat-earthers and regular science folk once measured the curve of the earth over a long stretch of canal, using the same instruments and same method. The flat-earthers found no curve, hence a flat earth, while the scientists found the amount of curve corresponding to the size of the globe as they understood it. While the idea of depth spirituality is to avoid this tendency, there is little evidence it actually occurs.
So it is with Mr Mathers – the same documents are proof of astral Secret Chiefs to some, and proof of physical Secret Chiefs to others. What makes the difference? Sometimes it is easy to see, and sometimes not. For example, a leader of an Order which has astral Secret Chiefs in charge is probably going to read the Mathers’ documents as supportive of the astral theory. Similarly, an Order whose whole edifice of authority and instruction rests on messages and teachings from real physical Secret Chiefs, is likely to see the presence of physical Secret Chiefs in Mathers’ life. It is sometimes very hard to break out of our own spheres of perception.
This is why I like to read objective, non-involved academic reviews and studies – meaning people employed as professionals by the Academy, in real universities – not simply giving each other the adjective ‘scholarly’. While unqualified to comment on magic itself (and why would they bother?) academics can often see better than we who are involved with it all.
Personally, I would like there to be a really real, physical lineage of adepts acting as Secret Chiefs to Orders and folk down though history. It matters not a wit they haven’t contacted me; if such unfolded incarnations of compassion and wisdom are teaching someone, the world is a better place. Sadly, there seems little evidence of this as those people who claim to be contacted and taught by physical Secret Chiefs are often nuttier than a nutcake or lacking basic compassion, respect and good manners. Still, it could all be really real and actually secret! Wait though – a secret Order that is secret? Hidden Masters without blog comments? Sorry, what am I thinking? 🙂
As for the astral folk, well really whatever they are, they are daily companions for me, but none of them is interested in being a chief of anything at all. If you are handing over decision making or influence to a dis-incarnate someone, send us your email and bank security details – I’ve got funds to transfer out of Libya, and you’ll get a nice share.
So where does this leave us? What advice can I give? Well, when I was lad, me good ol’ Dad taught me well when he sagely advised, “believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see”. A perfect remedy to our tendency to see what we want to see and probably the best motto to have when delving into the occult and occult history. I am sure if we all approached what we think we know about the Secret Chiefs not believing what we have been told and half believing what we have seen, there would far less invective and acrimony in our community. This approach has helped me and continues to help me, everyday. Thanks, Dad 🙂