Well, that’s an interesting way to phrase it, and I saw it that way in a book I picked up at my local Barnes and Noble this evening. The book, by Christopher Penczak, is called The Magick of Reiki. I’m not really sure if I’d recommend it yet, as I’ve only gotten through the first little bit, but its definitely been an interesting read so far. Within the book, Mr. Penczak makes a very good point: Does there have to be one way or the other?
I think, yes, to a point. My high priest believes the same way. The truth is, that if you speak of complicated astrophysics to a child of five, they will go, “oooh, pretty!” but not have a damn clue what you’re talking about. I believe some things which are sacred should be kept secret, and here’s why:
Energy and Spiritual Mechanics
Referring to my previous post, you’ll see that my general concept of energy is that it is used to cause change. Now, of course, it follows, that the process is a two way street. If energy is applied to something, then that energy will change that something. If the energy of attention is applied to the concept of some spiritual theory, it follows that, however slight, the concept will undergo change.
Just like the gossip game, as something is passed on, it gets transformed. You can see it with the Wiccan Rede. Everyone adopts a concept and finds some way to make it special. If you google “Wiccan Rede” you will find many, many different versions. They may have one word changed, or perhaps a misplaced comma, or may be entirely different than the one I have posted. Unfortunately, some of the meaning is lost in translation.
This is not to say that change is bad, it is necessary and natural. However, being able to choose and control that change is an ability which we all have. Concerning those things which are sacred to us and we offer our respect towards, it seems silly to tell just anyone who may go on to speak of the concept lightly or malformed to another.
Transfer of Karmic Responsibility
Each and every person that posts or types or writers or teaches someone anything has a karmic responsibility regarding how that student uses that knowledge. “Knowledge is power” they all say. If I teach a student the theory of basic energy, there is nothing to say that they can’t somehow use that theory and piss off the powers that be. Ultimately, that responsibility does fall, to a certain extent, on me.
Fluffy Bunnies and Dumbasses
Who actually wants a thirteen year old going around with bread and wine proclaiming the body and blood of Christ? Who wants someone else walking around yelling “an it harm none do what ye will!” as they run naked through the mall parking lot? Similarly, you don’t want someone chanting the Lesser Summoning Ritual of your religion to see what pops up. Coined fluffy bunnies and weekend witches by the general wiccan community, people like this are the ones that drive a religion or a tradition into the mainstream societies – in a bad sort of way.
Unfortunately, there tends to be an opening up of the door in this modern age. In fact, that’s what pretty much every one is trying to do, along the way to peace and spiritual enlightenment: share what they know.
So, I’ve determined that its best for some bits of knowledge to be sacred and secret. Is there anything that can be sacred and NOT secret? Absolutely. Look at the bible, or the qu-ran, or the torah. These are just as sacred AND exposed to the public. I think Christianity really got into the whole distribution-of-knowledge thing, and everyone else had to rush to catch up.
The Wiccan Rede is sacred to Wiccans, and it is also the first thing that we point newcomers towards. That or a Scott Cunningham book.
I guess I’m not really coming to a conclusion here. In the end, its best if your tradition has standards. I’m not going to bring out my Book of Shadows to show Christians for amusement. Not that they could read it. Due to the internet, perhaps unfortunately, things like the rede and the charge, theban and Gardner’s rites are all under public scrutiny. For those of us who believe in the dogma of “Know and be silent”, we’re forced to create our own ceremonies, and rituals, and those of historic function are used as a basis, nothing more and nothing less. But is it not time for improvement?
To know, to will, to dare, and to keep silent – these come to mind on this topic. Yet, here I am, speaking to you, the general internet user, about magic. Would I be making my spiritual ancestors proud?
I believe so.
Sacred or secret? A little bit of both is best, I think.