…or, everything is true, nothing is permitted!
It is truth that liberates, not your effort to be free.
– Jiddu Krishnamurti
While thinking on the nature of tradition, belief, what we do and where we are going, I have lately come to some stark realisations which I would like to share with you. Frequently, we see people asking how to do such and such, what makes traditions different or the same, what others think, feel or believe. This ever grasping, ever seeking, ever reaching is a ceaseless anxiety of longing for the comfort of rules, the confinement of formula and concepts, which never sates that yearning. There has been episodes on my own life where I have been all too willing to be what a teacher needs me to be to sustain their authority, subconsciously hoping some measure of that authority is gleaned in the process. When we follow a master, we are relinquishing authority for ourselves and accepting absolutely that of another. This is unhealthy for both the master and the student.
Many groups insist upon requirements of membership, the process of invitation and acceptance, with the most meagre of apology or outright denial for their own elitism. Elitism means to assume an air of superiority, that the elitist is distinct from you or I and, in some measure, better. Such groups who perpetuate this do not do so for any but the maintenance of their own grandiose delusion. However, some will profess that their covetousness of legitimacy and authority is only for all our benefit. What nonsense.
Speaking to the Jews, Jesus said “the truth will set you free,” and in this simple phrase we see a clear indication for our own salvation. Enlightenment, illumination, freedom, cessation of suffering, can be found only in ourselves. Taking the words of Jesus, many religious or spiritual bodies, from high church to pagan group, brandished truth as a weapon with which to commit violence upon its followers, violence of control and authority. The authority of a pope, high priestess, or other figure, is the enslavement of the individual.
Big Name Pagans write, speak, teach, professing to adoring masses the legitimacy of authority, brandishing the hint of truth held only in their hands and cloaked discretely and covetously from prying eyes. We too eagerly enter into the play of giving away authority, the age old habit of trying to acquire some power through proximity as though the touch of the king will cure us of all our woes. This is not Truth.
We all desire the next book, as though possessing the object imparts some Truth in itself. Truth must never be mistaken for the symbol, for that is not Truth. The next conference, blogpost, speaker, workshop, will give nothing but words, symbols, methods, concepts, which all serve to restrict. Shani Oates once imparted, “the donkey laden with books is still a donkey.” I’m considering selling my own library as not one iota of nourishment from possessing books has fed my hunger for Truth. Do we ever truly find satisfaction outside of ourselves?
“The word of sin is restriction,” says Liber AL, the Book of the Law. Crowley played with the paradox of liberty first through dogma, the idea that we may become feee by first doing as we are told (so long as it follows THIS path, rules, ideas).
Like most, I live in a state of perpetual shifting upon a spectrum of thoughts and feelings. Thinking people would respond to some practical instruction, I wrote a post which utterly flopped. Here, I’m clearly advocating avoiding any form of acquiescence to another’s authority, to reject authority in all its forms in the pursuit of Freedom and Truth. Seemingly dichotomous considerations, joined only by the human condition which produced them, circumstances commingling to bring both about.
So, how does this end? With you reading this blog post and responding with a like or dislike, an agreement or disagreement, both of which are a reward that reinforces the behaviour? But I am at risk of allowing my ego to feel justified and some semblance of righteousness or power… authority. Genuinely, my sincerest hope for these mere thoughts is that you read, think and go about the pursuit of life with a careful eye to Truth and Freedom. Nobody else, no words or ideas will liberate you or impart real Truth. Do not satisfy my need for confirmation and gratification, don’t reply! Please!