The following is part II of a paper submitted by Frater Entelecheia, a member of Horizon O.T.O. in Seattle, Washington entitled: “A Pattern of Trust: Building a Thelemic Lodge Culture.” There’s a lot of food for thought here!
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
The trust we have with current and prospective members is our most valuable asset. As I’ve claimed previously, we build trust by demonstrating our commitment to our Higher Cause through our words and through our deeds. According to our Supreme and Holy King, that Higher Cause is, broadly speaking, “to collectively approach, encounter, and magnify the Divine … through our shared Fraternal bonds … [and] through the sacred rituals that we work together.”
The Pattern of Building Trust
Step Two: Interest
Individual Perspective: A person not only sees us or becomes aware of us but also becomes interested in us. They suspect we believe the same sorts of things they do. Perhaps they experience this in a straightforward way by hearing someone espouse our beliefs or by reading our web page or literature. But it can also happen at the feeling level. Something we do just looks or sounds “right”. They suspect we can provide something they are missing.
Lodge Perspective: The individual suspects we believe what they believe because we have communicated what we believe through some medium. We have told them in conversation about the Higher Cause we serve. In their dealings with us, we acted with integrity: we didn’t just say what we believed but proved it through action. We presented something to them that was authentic: a ritual, an artwork, a fundraiser, an event, or a conversation illustrated clearly where we stood on some spiritual, social, or ethical issue. And whatever we did, we executed it well, which proved we’re serious about what we do.
Measure of Success: The measure of success at Step Two is whether the people who come into contact with us find our organization compelling. How often do you have new people showing up at events? How are they finding out about you? If you speak with someone at an outside event, do they show up for your next public ritual? Do people who show up for a first event show up for a second? Do first-timers leave your events with a strong enough sense of who you are? How succinctly and authentically can any of your members explain to someone what we are about? What do your feedback cards say? (Do you use feedback cards?) These are measures of how well we are generating interest among individuals who share our beliefs.
Comment: While Steps One and Two are analytically distinct, they should in practice be closely related. In other words, whenever and wherever we are visible, we should be visible in a way which is authentic and which represents as well as possible who we are and what we believe. For example, doing a fundraiser for a larger organization which also shares Thelemic values is a convenient way of piggybacking on the greater visibility of the larger organization. Some of the trust people have in the larger organization transfers over to us when we loudly proclaim, “We believe this, too!”
Love is the law, love under will
TO BE CONTINUED