In the Black Flame Immersion private Facebook group, I mentioned my thoughts on meditation. Sometimes, I wrote, feelings I would normally dismiss will arise and these are things I need to deal with. As an example I talked about my decision to withdraw my application from the Temple of Set last year. I didn’t want to get into the weeds of why I did this, but rather impress how specific things were weighing on my mind and leaking into the meditation practice itself.
Someone replied to me, asking the following:
However, in terms of making a change because of that, how do you know what the right kind of action is? To continue your example, what if the required change would have been to actually give your application time, to be patient, and for once not to assume it was just all about “politics”?
Let’s say your self is a book and your many selves are the readers. Which reader’s interpretation of the book are you going to follow?
When I applied to the group in question, I was impressed with being exact and putting my all into the process. The person giving me these instructions, was themselves detached from the process. They lost my letters, lied about it, and strung me along for nearly 2 months.
During that processing time, I began to see more issues that concerned me, but I shoved them deep down. I didn’t want to address them as I wanted to join the group. All these feelings were there, and what they were feeling was suppression. I saw how some students were mocked by other members in public forums, others were mocked by their leaders. I saw slave like mentalities of members as they applauded the leader who openly mocked them in public posts. I saw, but chose to ignore it all.
When I sat down in meditation one day during all of this, I had a these feelings rise up. At first I pushed them off. Then I felt I needed to deal with it. I observed the feeling. Why was I angry at the “Executive Director?” Well he appeared to be lying to cover up his own inability to respond. He appeared to be stringing me along… but how does that translate in Left Hand Path terms?
To use a word from Don Webb, it translates as an issue with my Personal Sovereignty. You see, if I let someone (regardless of what title they own) tell me a lie, or continue to ignore or give me little in response, while I’m instructed to give my best effort… we have a power dynamic.
That’s what I began to feel in meditation that day. The power dynamic here was that the group in question was lording over me their need for me to perform at a level they chose not to. In other words, “I’m superior and demand you do such and such to excellence, but I could care less about providing an equal response to you.”
Beyond that we have a problem with the leadership and membership brutalizing each other in forums and public scenes. That too rose up in my thoughts that day. I realized that again there’s a power dynamic at play. Those with the titles can enjoy the status and respect, while those without the titles can be trod upon, mocked and humiliated.
This, I felt, was the problem with all such groups. Leadership requires demands on others, but often isn’t willing to take the same level of demands for themselves. How would it seem if the body of neophytes rose up to publicly humiliate their own leaders? Don’t you think that might cause some strife, or issue?
Power dynamics like this always scale from the those who wield power to those who crave it. Those who crave it will put up with abuses until they get what they want. Once they achieve what they need, they will disconnect from the group.
That is one of the failures of groups.
To answer the question… the reason I knew what direction to take came down to the Left Hand Path concept of Personal Sovereignty. In other words, will these things lead to my greater sense of Self? Or are these elements suppressing my nature to become someone else?
That doesn’t mean I take whatever thought I have in meditation and run with it. I analyze it. I think deeply on it. It make take weeks or months. I realize what’s being done, and while I may not know the true intention of the action, I know how it makes me feel. When I feel that such actions are working against my Personal Sovereignty, then I exit and withdraw.
Such things will come up in meditation. Even if we don’t make a change in our relationships because of the feeling, the feeling itself needs to be addressed. That’s one reason meditation is there… it’s to help us know ourselves better… to better care for our true nature and achieve a greater Sense of Self.