DIALOGUE BETWEEN ADEPT AND PUPIL
PUPIL: Some time ago, you said – to someone else, but I typed the letter – “Laziness is a weapon of the subconscious, but why not try to use that weapon? It should not be too difficult to become too lazy to take stances.” OK, but it seems like a cop-out. Sitting back and letting the world go by.
MASTER: You are not under an obligation to give a response to everything, or anything. You have realized how effective a non-response can be.
PUPIL: No obligation to respond. That’s difficult to assimilate because it is the automatic reaction to respond to every stimulus. And, because it is automatic, it is of course, instigated by the subconscious. So the subconscious would like me to give a response to everything, conversely, it would like me to be too lazy to respond. Is it illogical?
MASTER: No. It’s winning either way. Either you respond like a puppet, or you feel guilty about your laziness in responding.
PUPIL: So I must start thinking of laziness – in this context, at least – as a good thing.
MASTER: It could be a good thing in other ways, such as preventing you from over-tiring yourself. Look at thinks in a different way. We have often advised readers to do that. You designed DL’s front cover with its mirror-image lettering to represent that policy. Surely you should not find that too difficult, especially when, some years ago, you wrote an essay looking at the positive factors of the so-called “Seven Deadly Sins” and retitling them the “Seven Satanic Virtues.”
PUPIL: That’s all very well in theory, but difficult in practice. Yes, I know nothing is meant to be easy. I must stop feeling guilty about being a naturally lazy person and must stop-overworking to compensate for my natural laziness.
MASTER: You must do everything in balance. How often must I repeat that?
PUPIL: Until I understand it – perhaps. Or as many times as I get a new perspective on it. You go over the same thing a dozen times and it eventually sinks in. You must think I’m worth it, or you would have written me off long ago.
MASTER: People write themselves off, I do not need to do anything.
PUPIL: Those of your pupils who have decided not to go any further – was that their independent decision or did you put it into their heads because you knew they would not benefit from further instruction?
MASTER: They are intelligent people, otherwise I would not have accepted them in the first place.
PUPIL: I know you won’t say whether you thought that any of them was making a mistake by leaving, or whether any of us is making a mistake by staying. But would you still bother to teach anyone whom you felt was not capable of taking advantage of the instruction?
MASTER: I stopped teaching you for several months, while you went through a bad patch and pulled yourself together.
PUPIL: I know you couldn’t help me – I expected that – but you deliberately made things worse for me. Or was that just my misinterpretation?
MASTER: What do you think?
PUPIL: Yes, that answers my question. Why do you teach anyone anything? Whether we, or any of us, become Adepts, or however far we get or don’t get has no affect on you. Why do you teach some people and not others; why do you teach anyone at all?
MASTER: You think that is a fairly simple question. If I tried to explain, you would not understand. Very few readers would understand, and those few do not need me to spell it out.
PUPIL: But those few don’t need DL. It is produced for those who are still struggling along the Path, not for the few who have made it.
MASTER: You still think of Adepthood as “making it”. It is not like getting a degree or becoming a millionaire. Every step along the Path adds to your responsibilities and detracts from what are generally supposed to be the good things in life, such as happiness and contentment.
PUPIL: I have never been happy or content since I started on this quest – and I started long before I met you, even if I wasn’t getting anywhere. I think that happiness must be an illusion, a refusal to face reality.
MASTER: Yet you are still seeking an illusion.
PUPIL: I am just beginning to understand that. This problem of happiness, contentment, seems to relate to a question that several readers have asked me, and I don’t feel that I have adequately answered it. How can we be sure that you are telling us the truth – how can we even be sure that you know the truth? Having known some phoneys, I personally think that you are the genuine article, but that could still be a subjective judgement, even though your other pupils agree with me. There are other Occult teachers whose pupils think they are the greatest. How can we be sure?
MASTER: What would convince you?
PUPIL: Oh no, I’m not walking into that trap. “Perform a miracle to convince them”. I’ve seen you do that, and it doesn’t help, because it could be just an amazing coincidence – and let’s not get side-tracked at this point into a discussion of coincidence. And, even if the details were printed in DL, that wouldn’t help because most pf the readers wouldn’t believe us, why should they?
MASTER: Then try this one: why do you need convincing?
PUPIL: I don’t. I am conveying a question from the readers. So ask me why they need convincing, why it matters. Of course it doesn’t matter. If they think you’re phoney they will either stop buying DL or go on buying it because it’s interesting anyway.
MASTER: I did not ask why they need convincing. I asked why you need convincing.
PUPIL: I want to be sure that it is real, that I’m not wasting any more time.
MASTER: You – and all the rest – are looking for a crutch. That is why it is not important why you believe or do not believe. If you choose to see me as a phoney, you will blame me for everything that goes wrong. If you believe that I am not a fraud, you will still blame me for everything that goes wrong because you cannot make it work for yourself. Either way, you are still using a crutch.
If you believe in me or in any other god, you will stop thinking for yourself because you expect me to do it all for you. Back to Square One with no progress made.
If the existence and power of any god was provable, half the people would be delighted and half would be disappointed. If there was a means of proof, people would still talk themselves around it. The possibility is more important, more malleable than the reality.
PUPIL: So it would not be any use for anyone who could do so to perform a miracle?
MASTER: Remember what I have told you about balance. It is a law of the Universe that you cannot give to one without taking from another. Even something which, at first glance, might appear entirely a good thing – for instance, the eradication of famine – would harm as many as it helped. No Adept would perform miracles. It simply isn’t worth the hassle.
PUPIL: But the manipulation of coincidence is permissible.
MASTER: You do not know that coincidence was manipulated.
Consider the miracles of Jesus. Assume for the purposes of this illustration that they took place. They may have helped a few people at the time, but does that excuse all the suffering they have been causing ever since?
PUPIL: So, if another miracle-worker was let loose on the world, the same trouble would start all over again.
MASTER: Why are no miracles performed now? Because the reverberations from the last lot have not settled yet.
PUPIL: This is still assuming that the alleged miracles actually took place.
MASTER: Whether or not they did is irrelevant. The world behaved as if they did.
PUPIL: And could it take any more?
MASTER: Why should it have to?
From the Dark Lily Journal No 9, Society of Dark Lily (London 1989).
[This was the final instalment of the series:
“The regular DIALOGUE BETWEEN ADEPT AND PUPIL is not featured in this issue because recent sessions have been too esoteric or too individual to be of use to readers. It is expected that this feature will be reinstated in future editions of DL.”]