The result is that some people comment. Some do not understand a phrase fragment I've dropped and I go back and restate it in English. Some immediately rip apart my 'train of thought' logic and I happily open a debate or say, "Gosh, that makes sense." And some read one line that was meant as a humourous "one-off" and focus on that. Regardless, I put these here because it's how I feel and how my mind (sorta) works (if we can call it working). It's a public statement and any person can respond in any way that they will.
So, now that those of you who haven't seen one of these things before have been warned....
Currently, on one of my boards is a debate over whether a magickal organization should pay attention to its financial state. This includes such things as maintaining a tax exempt status, realizing its assets, and growing its base of operations.
Ugh... sounds very corporate. Some have gone so far as to use phrases like, "Sucking the magick out." You see, in many traditions, money has this grubby and dirty connotation. If we invest ourselves in material possessions we cheapen ourselves and loose our spirituality.
Obviously, this explains why the monks and the priests and the hoo-hah out there need renunciation. Renunciate, renunciate, renunciate. Preach it with me. See the mystical figure chanting it much like Ballmer preaching to the developers.
I look at this and think simply... Bugger that
In most western traditions I recall learning about the core fundamental elements.
These are, in no specific order: Fire, Air, Water, and Earth. This must be the case. It's in most of the LLewelen books, many of the Weiser books, and they chant it over and over again at times in "The Craft"
The modern tarot even talks about all four of them and gives them symbolic names: Wands, Swords, Cups, and what was that last one? Oh yes, Pentacles... or Coins.
Earth is the tangible. The Material. To say that money is non-magickal or worse, 'lessens magick' is like saying that Jupiter is less of a god. It is to say that the Empress is less of a tarot card. And of course it's pointing out that the tree of life is 9 spheres with that extra dangly bit that really is distracting from the greater whole. (And in that is a greater mystery ;)
Does focus on one element 'lessen' the magickal process? Those who study ceremonial magick should remember the definition: "Magick is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will." However, most tend to gloss over the postulate:
ANY required change may be affected by the application of the proper kind and degree of Force in the proper manner through the proper medium to the proper object.
Verbose, but I tend to prefer, "The right tool for the right job."
Now many will run up beating their breasts (which I've always found to be figuratively entrancing but literally quite a pain), shrieking that they NEVER said, money was evil. Even the ones who decided that their enlightenment would only come after they got rid of all their possessions and then wondered years later, "Why did I give away that Zepplen Collection?!?!?"
The worst part of this is that this is a symptom of a greater problem. The problem we have isn't with money, or wealth. The problem is, "I don't like the element you're playing." I think my element is more important that yours. I don't like the way you do what I've already decided is the _right_ path. Money is just an easy scapegoat because societal situations condition us to have very 'tangible' feelings about the mastery of finances, goods, wealth, etc.
Some will still comment that the study of the ritual is more important than the financial base of the group. Simply saying: "AIR is more important than EARTH". Others of course hem and haw that the study and preparation detract from the passion or emotion of the true magick. They are of course saying "FIRE or WATER trumps AIR." Yadda, yadda, Rock beats scissors, Guildenstern always flips heads, Flortock metes Ramlibarg.
0. Learn first - Oh thou who aspirest unto our ancient Order! - that Equilibrium is the basis of the Work. If thou thyself hast not a sure foundation, whereon wilt thou stand to direct the forces of Nature? -Liber Libræ; The Book of the Balance
So... now I always see the inevitable. Someone comes out swinging big, bad, Liber Oz at me. Maybe it isn't my will to invest financially. Maybe it's my will to study, learn, eat, cook. Why should I have to have my will curtailed? My will should be "Paramount!"
(Pats on the head)... Yes.. you have your will. And you must be true to your will. Personally, (and I may sound really shallow and self involved here.) I really don't know what your will is, I really could care less. I'm too busy trying to find my own will. Every person has their own will and I wish them the best on their path. Every entity has its own will. An entity can be a relationship, a gathering, a community, a fraternity, an office cube farm, a corporation.... you get the idea. (The will of the people. Ooh, what a nifty phrase)
See, in a relationship (say for example with my wife) there are three unique wills at work. Her will, My will, and the will of the bond we share. The only thing I think I can safely say is that (at this time) it is our will to be part of the will of the bond we share. The process is (in other terms), "In accord with our will."
The nay-sayers charge forth. Yes, but there were times that it was like "THIS" with us. Why do some people think we should change it? One brother put it forth very well (and I'm more than happy to give him credit if he wishes), "my will is a verb, not a noun". Will is a dynamic thing. Hey, if you've got your will down to a summary sentence, by all means, go on "So you wanna be a gnostic saint" and tell St. Regis (or whoever's hosting this season), "Yes, that's my final Will." I'm certain they'll give you the Million Gnostic Points and start editing the Gnostic Mass to add your name to the list of Saints.
Change happens. And if it doesn't happen, we stagnate and die. So many people associate oaths with a reason not to change, externally or internally. I think the concept of Marriage being an Oath before G-d until Death is one that far too many people take too lightly without thinking. It's no wonder that more and more people, "Write their own oaths". Perhaps if we thought things like this through as a people when we find ourselves at that point, "Well, the relationship I have with X isn't being what it was when it started" we'd realize, "Hey, maybe this isn't the thing I want to be part of until I die." or....... maybe they'll realize, "Things change. People Change, I change. This relationship has grown and matured in a way that I want to invest even more into." or..... "Wow, this relationship hasn't changed a bit since it started... I've grown... I've changed. but......"
If something you are part of changes and you don't like the way it is changing; if something is stagnating and you feel a change is needed to stop the stagnation; you have three simple choices: Effect change, Get out, or Make your peace and accept the situation.
But please, don't use the details of the change or the lack of change as an excuse to justify painful inaction or worse whine about the decisions. I can pretty well guarantee you that the merry-go-round will continue to run whether you ride on it or not.
Bad news kids, the secret to the universe is "S^#t or get off the Pot."