(Repost of a post on Across the Abyss, July 21, 2014* with minimal editing and updating)
One thing I see a lot that I think is detrimental to the passing of what we know and learn, the lore the spirits have given us, and the lore our teachers, both formal and informal, have given us is entitlement.
I’m talking about the entitlement that because someone knows something or can teach you something, they should and that what they know should not be kept to themselves, that all information should be free and accessible.
This is kind of a general war cry in our time, from the call for all software to be open source and license free, to the idea that all government records should be available to the public, to the idea that if something is published on the Internet, it is automatically public domain and can be used without citing or credit, to the idea that copyrights on music and patents on things developed by corporations are automatically an attack on the people. While there might be legitimacy in several, maybe all, of these in some cases, the general idea that all things should be free and available, when we want it and how we want it actually does us all a disservice. We are all singing with Queen, “Here’s to the future, hear the cry of youth, I want it all, I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now.” But if we’re going to live a Rock and Roll slogan, maybe we need to hear the Rolling Stones singing, “No, you don’t always get what you want, no, you don’t always get what you want, no, you don’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you might find, you get what you need.”
I’d like to quote one of the tenets of Toteg Tribe in regard to this, as I think it expresses well what I’m referring to.
“We listen with consideration to those who choose to share their wisdom with us, and respect their rights to do so in their own way, in their own time.”
The thing is, the process of learning from someone, whether they are formally teaching you or not, whether they are human or not, is not a dump of information like you can get by using Google or Wikipedia to find answers fast. The narrative, the context, and the story that goes along with the teaching is just as important, and stories don’t live in the “I want it all and I want it now” range. The story gets lost there, and the information loses its meaning.
It’s in the narrative between teacher/master and student/apprentice that the craft is taught, not in the facts and information. Facts and information might help you learn dogma, but the craft isn’t about dogma. Facts and information might help you learn a liturgy of lore, but that liturgy is of no use in the craft if it’s just that, just words repeated like the catechism of the Catholic Church. Facts and information might, maybe, point you in a direction where you might be able to apply them and make contact with spirits, and learn on your own, but why do you need a teacher if that is your course? It’s the narrative between the teacher and student, master and apprentice, where any craft is taught, and our craft even more so. You don’t learn enough to start a business in smithing after a weekend course. You don’t learn enough to wire a house after a weekend course with an electrician. You can’t build quality, beautiful cabinets or build a house after a weekend course in carpentry. You can’t build a cathedral after a weekend course in masonry. If you could do any of these, the requirements for a license would be to watch Youtube videos. No, it takes time to learn these crafts, training with a master, and it’s the stories and tales of their experiences that you learn more from than lessons in the simple skills or a dump of information. Why would our craft be different from that?
The teacher that can and will teach you will do so in their own way and their own time. You’re job is to be receptive and live the story they share.