Cari Fratres, Carae Sorores,
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Some of you might consider to become a Probationer or Student in our Noble order the AA. To be able to understand what we do I give you some background about the way we see tuition. I want to present you a couple of important instructions as they have been given in Equinox volume 1 number 5.
A Probationer is technically without the Order. You are pretty much on your own during this time. In Equinox Volume 1 #5, you can read the following and I quote: Probationers are reminded that the object of Probations and Ordeals is one: namely, to select Adepts. But the method appears twofold: (i) to fortify the fit; (ii) to eliminate the unfit.
It is not so strange that this is such a hard selection process. If you look at the Book of the Law, there are many quotes that hint in that direction. I give you a few: Mind you these are mine interpretations, in my view they can give you an idea why our Noble order is not all rainbows and unicorns.
27. There is great danger in me; for who doth not understand these runes shall make a great miss. He shall fall down into the pit called Because, and there he shall perish with the dogs of Reason.
28. Now a curse upon Because and his kin!
29. May Because be accursed for ever!
30. If Will stops and cries Why, invoking Because, then Will stops & does nought.
31. If Power asks why, then is Power weakness.
32. Also reason is a lie; for there is a factor infinite & unknown; & all their words are skew-wise.
33. Enough of Because! Be he damned for a dog!
And in part 3 there are also other hints that you can keep in mind what it is to become a Thelemite.
57. Despise also all cowards; professional soldiers who dare not fight, but play; all fools despise!
Even though it is said that the Law is for all, not all will make it as a Neophyte, there can be many reasons for people not to make it to the next step. Not be able to keep up, get into a rebellious mood. If you stick to the work and have the mind and soul of a soldier then nothing will stand in your way to make progression to the next step. I do not know one lazy ballerina dancer, nor other top professionals in other crafts what ever you do in life you have to study for it and practice it day in day out.
What do we look for in a Probationer?
First of all we look at the tasks a Probationer is given at the beginning of his/her journey. That is always the starting point of the tuition that a Probationer is given.
And we also look at it from a Thelemic point of view as it is also written in that Equinox 1, volume 5 and I quote again:
I have been asked by Authority to say a few words on the relations which should subsist between a Neophyte and his Probationers. Though a Neophyte is obliged to show zeal in service towards his probationers, it is no part of his duty to be continually beating the tattoo. He has his own work to do very serious and important work and he cannot be expected to spend all his time in making silk purses out of pigs ears. He is not expected to set definite tasks, nor has he the authority to do so.
The Probationer is purposely left to himself, as the object of probation is principally that those in authority may discover the nature of the raw material. It is the duty of the Probationer to perform the exercises recommended in his text-books, and to submit the record of his results for criticism. If he finds himself in a difficultly, or if any unforseen result occurs, he should communicate with his Neophyte, and he should remember that although he is permitted to select the practices which appeal to him, he is expected to show considerable acquaintance with all of them.
More than acquaintance, it should be experience; otherwise what is he to do when as a Neophyte he is consulted by his probationers? It is important that he should be armed at all points, and I am authorized to say that no one will be admitted as a Neophyte unless his year work gives evidence of considerable attainment in the fundamental practices, Asana, Pranayama, assumption of God-forms, vibration of divine names, rituals of banishing and invoking, and the practices set out in sections 5 and 6 of Liber O.
Although he is not examined in any of these, the elementary experience is necessary in order that he may intelligently assist those who will be under him.
But let no one imagine that those in authority will urge probationers to work hard. Those who are incapable of hard work may indeed be pushed along, but the moment that the pressure is removed they will fall back, and it is not the purpose of the A∴ A∴ to do anything else than to make its students independent and free. Full instruction has been placed within the reach of everybody; let them see to it that they make full use of the instruction.
So yes, we give sometimes extra instructions, but remember those are always in tune with the AA, we are always very careful what we ask of a Probationer as it have to be in in line with the noble order itself. Wat we look for is the raw material. That is why we do not work with instruction books, you are your own Thelemite and it is ask of you to make your way though the material as you see fit or the feedback we give you when you hand in your diary or other material. Ask yourself: What is it that you bring to the order? What are your goals? Why do want to do the work?
Remember it is called Probationer, and this is a period of time where a candidate can proof he/she is worthy. It is up to you and nobody else if you succeed!
Love is the law, love under will.