Here’s a New Year’s challenge from sorcerer Jason Miller. I like the premise!
“One of the most challenging things about being a teacher is explaining your practices over and over and over again to people of various backgrounds. It is also the best thing about being a teacher, because it forces you to know your subject through other people eyes. You can’t hide behind lingo, or not give a crap about where something comes from or means because someone you are teaching will call you out on it. This is what teachers mean when they say that teaching gave them a whole new understanding of their subject.
“Not everyone is a teacher though, and not everyone should be. Honestly, I get worried about people who seem to want to teach right out of the gate, and seem more concerned with playing doctor than with taking their own medicine. I didn’t start teaching until well into my 30’s, and then only because I was asked.
“This creates a conundrum: if teaching offers a way to learn, but not everyone can or should teach, how do these folks learn what teachers know? The answer brings me to my new year challenge: EXPLAIN YOUR PRACTICE.
“That’s it. Find a friend who is inquisitive and interested, but not involved in Magic, Witchcraft, or Sorcery. Explain your practice to them in detail using no specialized terms or craft lingo. Don’t try to convert them. explain that this is an experiment for your own benefit. Ask them to ask questions about anything they don’t understand.
“I can guarantee if you have never done this before, you will learn a lot about your own practice, come away with a different framing, and reveal some weak spots in your own understanding.”
I will add that this is a great exercise for any OTO Local Body officer especially if you ever consider talking to the profane media about O.T.O. For me the key part is avoiding “specialized terms” and “craft lingo.” Because if you fully understand principles of Thelemic philosophy, the goals of the O.T.O. or of a magical practice you should be able to translate it to colloquial, mainstream language. If you can’t – perhaps this is a good time to contemplate these mysteries further until you can make that leap. Just sayin’.
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