Astron Argon

The Instructor’s Gambit

by Frater Centaurus

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Let us consider the fact that we humans are for the most part, asleep. We are but machines, constantly reacting to life and walking throughit like phantoms, never really touching it at all. The goal of real spiritual work is to wake up and claim that great prize: to become fully human. And the Instructor in the A.’.A.’. is a giver of methods designed to help the Student to come out of his or her sleep. In just such a case, the Instructor is always a disturber of dreams. Every one of us starts out by living in a childishly narcissistic world of dreams, expectations and projections. It is the instructor who facilitates the effort to get beyond these things. In a sense, the Instructor midwifes the birth of the ‘Wake-Up Person.’ And it is he or she that becomes as an adult; life’s realities have found their proper place and there’s no time for dreams, expectations and projections, nor any desire for these.

The Instructor is also the provider of Knowledge (Jnana Yoga). It is his or her intent to pass on that information that would preserve the integrity of Our Order and to show knowledge as a process of discovery, amazement and wonder. But along with the accumulation of knowledge comes the tendency for the lower ego to gain a strong hold and one becomes more an egotist than an Aspirant; especially true for the Neophyte. The ego becomes more fulfilled of itself as one comes to know more and argue more. One even may come to feel that he or she has got it all figured out, but the Instructor remains as a disturber of this solipsistic trance. He or she will take away that euphoric smugness and disturb the fabric of your dream and your sleep, like an obnoxious alarm clock alongside your bed. He will disrupt the glittering plan you have put together for yourself and you will get angry.

Each one of us lives in his own world, at least at first. And there may be as many worlds as there are minds because each mind created its own world. But I wonder that we are each all that different. More importantly, the Probationer of Our Order is given a first instruction to get outside of his or her own mind, to begin to consider the world outside the scope of the narcissistic self and even later, outside the scope of the mind. This is contained in the instruction to regularly perform an Adoration unto Nuit. It is a unique instruction in Thelemic Philosophy that doesn’t seem to manifest so intently in other teaching traditions.

But the teaching is always about a process of inducing consciousness. And the Instructor is always subject to the possible reprobation of his or her Students because of this; at least if the job is getting done right! The Student may come to the bitter anger seen in the scorned woman at the transgression of her lover as the Student comes in search of bliss, trusting the Instructor with the expectation of this. But instead the Instructor hands out struggle, criticism and suffering. Indeed, the Instructor can seem to do nothing sometimes, but shatter the expectations of the Student, especially that Neophyte who feels so strongly that he or she has got it all figured out. And it is the nature of Our Order that there are those phantoms waiting outside our pale, ever ready to help the Student to suddenly feel good again, showering them with those compliments that will restore the euphoric sleep and help them to fully restore the lower ego to the throne of one’s heart.

For those given to the glamour of Magick, especially Thelemic Magick with the ill-conceived use of sex and drugs by some of its more ignoble factions, there’s a terror in-store for the weak-kneed as the Student’s anguish will come up and all his or her secret hells will be exposed, leaving one the feeling of naked horror and a humbled weakness before the Instructor. What a projection for the Instructor to have hoisted onto him or her! Yet the work of the Instructor is to make the Student aware of the arrogance and pomposity of his or her lower ego, to help one to see that it is a usurper of a throne that rightly belongs to the higher ego, the ‘asar un nefer.’ Yet this lower ego may defend itself and project its horror and fear upon the Instructor as it lashes out in anger to preserve its life-long held place. The true king remains put off from the throne, from the heart, from the true center of one’s being. Though for a time, if one has given in to the phantoms of glamour, a certain comfort exists. Yet it won’t be too long before this changes.

"Begone! ye mockers; even though ye laugh in my honour ye shall laugh not long: then when ye are sad know that I have forsaken you." AL II.56

It is important that the prospective Student take note of this when considering the possibility that he or she may have met up with what might be the wrong teacher or when one begins to feel that his or her teacher has failed. And the student should observe the phantoms around oneself; circling like vultures and giving complements and presents. It is sad to see Students that don’t take responsibility for their actions but blame their problems of growth on their Instructors and so very often. Often enough, they deserve a ‘bad’ teacher because of the integrity of their own constitution. In the Western Mystery Tradition it is said: ‘When the Student is ready, the teacher appears.’ In the A.’.A.’., we take this a step further as we say: ‘Fortify the fit, eliminate the unfit.’ Every Instructor that comes our way, offers us something and sometimes even, the Instructor is a certain miscreant. But that doesn’t mean that that wasn’t all the personal integrity we ourselves had at that point in our development. In that way, we must take responsibility for those whom we choose to associate with.

The weaker Instructor begins to demand loyalty and obeisance from the Student. Such demand is rationalized as a way of providing a Bhakti-Yoga for the Student. But in reality, the Adoration of Nuit in Thelemic Philosophy should cover that. Yet without that, it is no wonder that Hindu and Chinese traditions rely on this. Blind obeisance not only threatens to inflate the lower ego of the Instructor, but serves the Student as a ‘Blind Faith.’ The humanity of the Instructor is passed-by and the Student becomes a staunch defender with a sort of jingoistic attitude regarding the lineage that the Instructor represents. The relation between Instructor and Student becomes incestuous as yet a new legion of phantoms is inevitably birthed. But really, the worst kind of instructor is the one that never criticizes the Student but comes across as the ‘Nurturing Emblematic Mother Adorant.’ And this is outside of the cult-leader who is yet worse, but not a teacher at all.

In the final chapter of this relationship, that between the Student and Teacher, “There is success.” AL III.69 The now, ‘Disciple’ has created the ‘Master’ out of his or her own need and by taking the position of ‘one who does not know’ while putting the Instructor in the position of ‘one who knows.’ It is said in ancient Gnostic scriptures that upon attainment, one will be called ‘one who knows.’ Well at some point, the Student has become awake and there is no more need for the Instructor. Yet the affection remains amongst them for having taken this journey together and the synergy of lineage is born. This becomes its own egregore, a strength to new students who have yet to approach. And yet indeed, as an egregore, other larger segments of society may yet come to be aware of the existence of this lineage and even respond to its presence.

This is perhaps as it should be in the Darwinian world that is yet upon us. And it is inevitable that the Instructor will be surrounded by a horde of reactionaries, living in the modern world that we live in. There's less and less seclusion and especially since the Internet, we are becoming more and more entwined about each other. Motta notes in his book, Astral Attack and Defense:

Certain people have a greater developed astral body than the norm, either due to deliberate training, genetic inheritance, magnetic influences of where they live or the people with which they enter into contact with. For example, trained Initiates, are themselves, developed to a high degree, but not of a degree raised enough to have overwhelmed the Ego[1], possess intensely magnetic, disturbing personalities for sensible people who are not accustomed to the existing presence of psychic force in high tension. In circumstances in the which Aspirants already of a certain development extend the conscience of the internal vehicles with greater ease, those that are not prepared can become extremely disturbed by the constant presence of an initiate. Therefore, advanced occultists that, without having yet reached total balance and destruction of one’s powers, and allow the profane to entered in one’s circle, are being imprudent and indiscreet. But they cannot, in all fairness, be accused of abusing their faculties. They emanate force involuntarily, due to its high internal load. The initiates of higher advancement[2] always live away from the multitude, they not only need isolation for their work, but know its influence produces a violent psychic reaction in profane.

[1] An apparent paradox of the invocation work is that we start by strenghtening them and developing them to the highest possible degree, and then finish by destroying the fortified castles that we erected.
[2] Mainly, the Dominus Liminis and the Adeptus Minor.

Love is the law, love under will.