Don't judge the little boy with glasses, he might still be a nice friend. Don't judge someone based on their colour, clothing or behaviour.
This is one of the best things our generation has. We have learned the important lesson of equality. No matter how dumb someone is they will have a type of intelligence that normal school's don't usually measure. No matter how smart someone is, you will realise that in certain situations they are completely useless.
Why am I then naming this post (Do) Judge a book by its cover?
Because somewhere along the line we have forgotten certain things about how to judge people in cases where it is needed.
If your martial arts instructor keeps getting beaten up on the streets, something is amiss and if your A.A. chairman is never on the wagon, is he then really the best guy for the job?
There are today 3 worlds of occultism. The real one, the social clubs that pretend, and of course the one on the level of published material and the online community.
We need to re-learn how to judge people in cases where our time, well-being, level of skill or perhaps even our life depends on it.
Why is this in any way relevant? Because there is a large group of people who spend hours and hours doing what they believe is magickal ritual. (whether they do it for practical reasons or to work with their own evolution is here irrelevant)
The same people then are not successful in everyday life.
Well, if you do magick for practical reasons, it should be reasonable to expect practical results that make you more successful in everyday life. If you do magick to evolve yourself you should also become a much better person. Not in an act but in reality.
There are too many people in the online, published and social club occult communities who behave as God's latest gift to the world, without having their own shit together. I take issue with that, in the same way as I would be asking myself why a Massai warrior in full hunting kit is the person lecturing on brain-surgery.
Judging a book by its cover is them simply a question of critical thinking.
Should I buy this tattered penguin edition for €10 or do I buy a nice brand new hardcover first print for €5?
If I have the choice between two presents, and one looks like it has been wrapped by a two handed squid and one that has pretty bows and a wax seal, which one is actually the smarter one to choose?
This is not the place to argue and whine about inner strengths and such bollocks.
I have written about this before regarding joining orders.
Any system, whether it is a course at work, a spiritual technology, magickal skill, a martial art or a cooking class is best judged by its adherents and its leaders. You will immediately see whether it does what it is meant to do.
The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. If masonry doesn't bring you to the threshold of the royal art, but it doesn't claim to either and most people in the Lodge who take it seriously are nice active members of society truly living up to a masonic ideal that you yourself wish to embody, then it is probably a good thing.
If someone claims to be able to teach you the skills for practical magick and their hut is filled with magicky looking things, yet they still sneak away to poison their enemies then you should ask yourself, is this really magick?
When you have danced in a circle a few hundred times, and managed to ignore the fact your system was created by an englishman with absolutely no understanding of practical magick or theurgic accomplishment, you might want to ask yourself what this is doing aside from allowing you to pretend you belong to a religion?
Therefore, never allow an idol to emerge. Do not project your own expectations on a figure of authority, instead let them prove themselves. I, for one, will take spiritual advice from a Nun praying day and night in a cave in Rumania before I even consider Pope Ratzinger's opinions.
When buying any book or reading the advice or listening to anyone who has become an idol today, Regardie, Crowley, Carrol, Greer, Lon Milo, Fries, Hine, His Holiness the D-lama etc, ask yourself: Is this person, in real life really someone I should listen to? Has this person achieved what he or she is saying? If I did not know who this person was and they told me some of their ideas in a cafe, would I listen? Have these people truly become
A practical magicians par excellence able to raise the dead and animate objects
B created the stone of the wise and transmuted themselves into a higher level of being in a way that is obvious when dealing with them?
No? Then they are just as lost as yourself, clinging to their dualist notions or fake, mentally bellieved monism and the best they can do is offer you advice, the worst they can do is to make you feel good in your failures. You cannot move things with your mind? fret not neither can I as magick is all in the head. You are living a lie and your life is not what you want it to be? No worries, the world is an illusion, you are a godshard manifested in this horrid body and you can stop worrying about this illusion you call life.
Magick, spiritual or practical, and all systems are designed to bring about an end, and if that end has not manifested in the lives of their practitioners then it is both a comment on the system itself and its practitioners.
-Regardie is one to talk about the elemental initiations being useless, having never sat in a temple his whole life except to pass through a grade,
-Crowley might have needed to consider his sense of Ego and the many warnings of the systems he worked with to "not take the messages of the astral entities without a pinch of salt",
-Buddhists dedicating a whole room to beautiful items imported from Tibet so they can meditate in their London flats might want to consider what is meant by enchantment,
-People who claim adepthood might want to have their shit in order and be christlike instead of bitching about other religions,
-Christians might want to turn the other cheek and actually live in imitation of christ for once,
and any leader of anything who is incapable of living in this world fully instead of some fantasy landscape of having a career within the occult community, or one of its tiny-tiny-teenie islands, should obviously be avoided.
But, I hear you say: anyone can be successful in life even without the use of magick!
(Duh, 99,9999999999999% of the world are.)
Which is why -Just- having your shit together is not a proof of magickal skill or spiritual realisation. That is simply a requisite and a result. The real deal is beyond psychological accomplishment and being able to set your mind to get a job, be socially adept or loose that weight.
Now, off you go to burn your books and destroy your idols. (I always wanted to say that.)