Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth. -Albert Einstein, physicist, Nobel laureate (14 Mar 1879-1955)
Einstein was telling us that we can’t break through to new discoveries, if we’re too busy worshiping the discoveries or the beliefs of the past.
Of course, the opposite is just as bad (if not worse)… flipping off those who have come before and snubbing all of their experience and their findings, just because they are considered to be authorities.
A prudent middle path might be to ardently study all of the available material about about a given subject and really learn everything the authorities know/knew about it.
Then we should politely and thoughtfully question if those beliefs are correct and whether there might be more to it.
Never mind… that’s crazy talk. Sorry, I haven’t had enough caffeine yet.
We should totally just go off what our friends told us that the so-called authorities believe. Then we should read like two or three pages of something about them and their views, from somebody’s blog.
Let’s ask two or three people who we know are likely to agree with what our first sources said about it.
Of course, we should only look for things that confirm our previously implanted views on the matter.
That should be just fine. What could go wrong?
I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots. -Albert Einstein, physicist, Nobel laureate (14 Mar 1879-1955)
Don’t. Just don’t.
Whether you’re trying to learn how to weave baskets underwater or to use water to solve the world’s electricity problems…
whether you’re learning Latin or you’re translating an old grimoire from Latin…
whether you’re diving into Chaos Magick or just pulling yourself out of some kind of personal chaos… please, please, please, for the love of Uncle Albert and for the love of Uncle Al and for the love of Pete…
1) Don’t sneer at things that came before you, just because you don’t understand them and your peer group seems to disapprove.
2) Don’t embrace without question what came before you, just because you do think you understand it or because your daddy’s daddy’s daddy and his daddy before him said that it’s so.
I’ve tried both of the above routes and each lead only to embarrassment and re-tracing my steps. As a very wise woman once said…
Gravity is a thing today, the same as it was back when some dude was tossing apples and stones off of tall buildings, to see how fast they would fall.
Just because somebody makes a funny remark on TV about how gravity is a dumb hangover from your great granddad’s tired old world, and that soundbite gets made into a clever re-mix video on YouTube, still… gravity is undeterred.
So that hipster joke becomes a meme that makes its way on to every Who’s computer screen, down in Whoville, it doesn’t change the fact that gravity is a totally a thing to be reckoned with. And I might remind you that your apple will not taste as sweet, when you scrape it off the sidewalk, after it’s little tumble downward.
Likewise, if we accepted gravity without question, we’d have no airplanes, space shuttles or gymnastics at the Olympics.
We learn the rules and then we can intelligently break them. Unless we fully learn and assimilate them, we just look and sound silly.
If you’re studying magick, instead of dissing what “opposing schools of thought” say, try listening for what is useful. You’re a Chaos magician? See what you can learn from a Wiccan.
If you’re a Wiccan, learn what you can from Christian sorcerers. Those Christian sorcery folks should learn what they can from Tibetan sorcerers, who should learn from Palo practitioners.
Those Palo peeps might want to listen for useful tips from the Golden Dawn people, who should listen to… well anybody else for a change! Sheesh!
That was a just a friendly little jab at my GD family 😉
Even if you disagree with 97% of someone else’s philosophy, their magickal approaches and techniques, their politics or their religious beliefs, you can still choose to
1) Be polite and bring honor to yourself and your own group(s) and belief systems, approaches, peer group, etc.
2) Be open-minded and perhaps absorb that 3% that would be useful to you.
The alternatives are to behave shamefully, embarrassing everyone with your behavior and learning nothing new in the process. Blech 🙁
Learn what you can from who you can. Let each one teach one.
So mote it be!
Him? Seriously? OMG… I hate that guy, SO much!
You know, I heard from a friend who is a Chaos Magician, who heard from his friend who is a Wiccan, who heard from someone that practices Dutch magick, who heard from a friend that is into Qimbanda, that he is one of those evil, black magicians of The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn!
Now, I don’t actually know what they meant by that… but then, I don’t have time to look into it; I’m just going to trust what I heard.
I mean, I seriously doubt that any of those people would have lied or misheard something in that convoluted little game of telephone. I’m certain that no one embellished or added any, extra details into the story.
Besides, somebody told me that he said mean things about me behind my back, so… fuck him, anyway. He thinks he’s some sort of musician or something, has some kind of stupid album that he’s promoting or something.
Heard it? No, I haven’t, I wouldn’t waste my time! I heard that it was dumb, that’s what I heard! And that’s enough for me!