Wednesday, August 21, 2013

When Meeting A Remarkable Person

Nick Farrell recently threw down the gauntlet and challenged the supposed secret chiefs to communicate with him and prove, once and for all, their existence - or else, something, something. He then spent a month building up his expectations that a high adept must be something of a superman or quasi avatar, a half-human and half god-like being. He compared such a being with the Theosophical Mahatmas, which are very nearly godlike transcendent individuals. Most of us just expected the challenge to come and go without anything or anyone materializing. Certainly, if I were an enlightened being, why would I bother with someone as apparently flawed and arrogant as Mr. Farrell?

However, much to everyone’s surprise, someone did answer Nick’s call to meet with a representative of the secret chiefs. Even so, the meeting was with just another (well dressed) human being but with quite an amazing occult pedigree. That climactic ending to the month-long challenge was something of a shocker for me, but Nick’s response to this fascinating situation could be summed up with the words, “Meh, thanks, but no thanks.” He was sorely disappointed that the erstwhile master was a flesh and blood human being who seemed to be no more amazing or special than himself, or at least at first impression. Anyway, you can find Nick’s blog article here, and read it for yourself.

Here a few juicy tidbits from Mr. Farrell’s post.

He was exactly what you would expect from a secret chief.  Well, dressed, calm, urbane, and clearly well off.  He managed to look younger than he was. He told me he was a Corsican of aristocratic pedigree.

We met in a coffee shop close to St Peter’s so that my wife, Paola, who works in the area,  could act as a translator so that he would be more comfortable talking.

He was extremely interesting having been connected with lots of magical orders and alchemical groups that I had never heard of.  In one breath he was in something called the Osiris Order, the next it was Grand Orient and Scottish Rite freemasonry and the Italian strain of Misraim and Myriam.  There were lots of great French alchemists named, his greatest love appeared to be Alchemy and he threw a lot of alchemical words into the conversation which I totally failed to understand.”

All of this is quite interesting, in fact, and does seem to be very likely. Nick is describing someone who might very well be a high adept, or at least connected to high adepts. If I were attending this kind of meeting, I would be quite interested in knowing more. I would certainly be cautious but open, at any rate.

Since Mr. Farrell has not since written that his experience was just a hoax to titillate his allies and throw off his critics, I think that we can assume that he was sincere in what he reported. I will give him the benefit of the doubt, although there are many reasons to doubt his “truthiness” regarding secret chiefs. Nick wrote the whole thing off as an encounter with an occult trickster or confidence man. He was especially appalled when the man told him that membership to his organization and access to secret alchemical lore would cost him money. If what Nick wrote was accurate, then there seemed to be more behind the encounter than just an interview with some confidence man. I was intrigued by what Mr. Farrell experienced, but he was disappointed, and it would seem that he had no intention of advancing this curious occult contact any further. 

Instead of being open minded and having an inquiring mind, Nick was, in fact, dismissive and even a bit put out. This individual was obviously not a “secret chief” of Nick’s specific line of the Golden Dawn and didn’t know the secret password and sign associated with his inner order, or for that matter, much about the Golden Dawn itself. He also didn’t appear in a blaze of majestic light accompanied by the sounds of heavenly trumpets, nor was he heralded by an angelic choir. It was actually a rather banal and humdrum experience in a commercial coffee shop. It was, in fact, a kind of meeting that people have every day of the week. Nick’s secret chief challenge appeared to be answered, but not by someone or something with the “right stuff.” Maybe Mr. Farrell was protecting himself from being swindled or made a fool of, or perhaps he was just too cynical or jaded to be able to discern a real encounter with someone who might have been remarkable.

One of the individuals who commented on that article seemed to have a lot more insight into some of the things that this individual talked about. In fact, it is likely that Alex Sumner may have revealed some very interesting clues about Italian and continental occultism in regards to this supposed secret chief - you can find his article here. We who lack an expertise to converse and read in foreign languages like Italian, French and German will not have access to the occult knowledge-base that is to be found on the European continent. We will be narrowly confined to what is available in the English speaking world, and it is likely there is rich source of magic and occultism in Europe, not to mention organizations and adepts, that lie behind the barrier of language. So, it would seem that Nick Farrell got his wish and his challenge was met with a counter challenge, but he wasn’t interested in investigating it further, and therefore, probably missed an opportunity to meet and connect with some remarkable men and women.
Previously, I have written about what I call (self-made) remarkable men and women within the occult world, and I believe that these are the true high adepts, or at least they are individuals who can inspire and point one to the next important stage of their path towards the Great Work. You can find that article here. I have also defined what it is to be an adept or a high adept, since these levels of spiritual and magical achievement are not beyond my ability to rationally discuss. Such exalted individuals are, in fact, human beings, just like us, flawed and imperfect, but with a greater knowledge and levels of experience than us. Certainly, these kinds of individuals and their obscure treasuries of lore are all around us, and from time to time, we might have a chance to stumble upon them. Or, if we persevere, we might become a remarkable man or woman ourselves, inspiring others with our work and knowledge. Such are the possibilities and potentials for growth and spiritual evolution that exist as opportunities arrayed before us, all we need to do is to engage them and determine their validity.

What I believe happened to Nick Farrell was that he met one of these incredible remarkable men, or at least, a representative of one of them. He had a true and rare encounter with someone who might have been an important link in his spiritual and magical process. This individual might also have been a complete fraud and a crook, but only a careful examination would have revealed that fact. To pass up a potential opportunity with one of these amazing individuals and their organization is, in my opinion, the height of folly. The door leading to great spiritual and magical opportunity opens but rarely in the life of an occultist, and when it does, it behooves one to investigate it fully so that he or she might validate the individuals and the group behind it.

Yet it would seem that Nick is stuck in his own small bubble of Golden Dawn reconstructed lore when there are possible living traditions within his grasp. He decries those who jump from magical organization to organization, not admitting that sometimes one has to look elsewhere in order to faithfully follow one’s spiritual and magical path. Nick’s supposed secret chief required some kind of money for the teachings that he had to share and impart, and this is not really too unusual. I have found that rubes and outsiders often devalue something that is given for free, and as far as promising wealth, well there are quite a number of interpretations of what that would be in terms of outcomes. 

Nick said that this supposed secret chief didn’t ask him any questions or try to determine Nick’s level of knowledge. Perhaps his erstwhile master was testing Nick throughout this process and trying to determine how serious he was about mastering a whole new occult perspective and system of lore. It might also be true that he was also trying to fraudulently bilk money from Nick. However, since Mr. Farrell was unwilling to even attempt to validate this potential master and teacher, we will never know whether or not he was authentic.

This brings me to my point in writing up this article. If by some chance you might meet a remarkable man or woman, how can you tell if they are legitimate? How can you know an authentic master from one that is a fake? How do you comport yourself to ensure your own personal safety and the safety of your fortune from potentially fraudulent teachers? There are some basic common sense measures that one can take to validate a remarkable person and determine their authenticity without being dismissive, cynical, and obnoxious on one hand, or being a credulous fool and a complete sucker on the other hand. I have previously written an article about magical teachers and paying for occult knowledge. You can find it here.

One very important consideration is to enter into a trial period in order to determine if what is being presented by a teacher is legitimate or relevant. If it takes a large sum of money to even get into the door, then the supposed lore is probably suspect and the teacher is likely a fraud. An honest high adept would allow a potential student to test his or her lore, or at the very least to give something to the student so that he or she can form an opinion before committing to a large expenditure in terms of resources and time.

Remarkable men and women can be opinionated, irascible, and even at times, harsh, but they are, as a rule, fair and even handed. The knowledge that they possess is authentic, and it doesn’t take too much time or effort to prove that. My advice would be to behave respectfully and ask lots of questions. Allow the potential teacher to ask questions as well. It is important for mutual trust to be fully engaged before the period of training can begin, and once that trust is established, it should be a clue that the student believes in the validity of the teacher. However, it might take a while before that mutual trust is established, and that should be perfectly acceptable to all parties. The teacher, if he or she is legitimate, shouldn’t have to rush the student into making any kind of decision.

A true mentor is patient, understanding and sensitive to the needs of his or her charge. Anything that is rushed or purposely made obscure by the potential teacher should set off the student’s alarm bells. An important consideration is that teachers, like students, are just human beings with human failings. You should never expect your teacher to be perfect or even to practice what they teach at all times. However, there is no excuse for a teacher behaving in an exploitative manner, and all teacher-student relationships should be open ended. When a teacher becomes irrelevant, then the student should respectfully but firmly end the relationship. This is also true if the relationship becomes abusive to any degree.

I believe that if the student uses the above common sense approach to dealing with a remarkable man or woman who could potentially become a valuable teacher, then what they will receive will be quite amazing and remarkable. When we have a meeting with a remarkable man or woman, then we should seek to validate them and the lore that they desire to impart to us. Not taking advantage of such a situation, in my opinion, is not only foolish, but it is highly self-limiting.

Frater Barrabbas

1 comment:

  1. I think it a bit strange that Nick would frown at the fact that he is asked a fee for joining the "Adept's" Order! Isn't he the one who posted that a teacher should not be financially put out for teaching! Is admittance to his GD Order free? The last time I wanted to join a GD Order, the fees where pretty steep... I have nothing against Nick, I often agree with him, but I find he is inconsistent on this point...