Let me start by saying that I’m a technophile .. I LOVE being able to integrate the new technology that we have developed, physical, electronic, and spiritual, into our practice and study. I frequently take classes from online groups and have worked with both online and in-person groups.
This post was inspired by one from Llewellyn’s blog where Donald Michael Kraig discusses the future of Occult training (1). Kraig also points out that Nick Farrell has also posted his view on the subject (2).
I must admit that I agree with both of them! The proliferation of of easily accessed material has allowed people who have not taken the time to do the Work to call themselves leaders and teachers. It’s sad when a simple question such as “why?” stumps a teacher. I don’t have to agree with you, but I do require that you have thought through what you are teaching me.
That being said, I also agree that we can utilize technology to counter these fly-by-night witches and magicians. Kraig’s suggestion that we utilize the online media for workshops and individual interaction blended with Farrell’s suggestion that we establish more of a Master-Apprentice relationship that utilizes online media sounds fantastic to me. I find that the online courses that keep my attention are the ones where I have a human to regularly interact with. A human who is aware of my progress, offers suggestions, and generally is available to interact. The courses were there was limited interaction with a mentor or teacher type failed to hold my interest.
The online technologies do mean that one person can individually interact with more people than they used to be able to. Emails can go back and forth frequently, instant message conversations and Skype calls can be done on an ad-hoc or scheduled basis, and there are a number of free video-conferencing options currently available for people who prefer to see the person on the other end of the “line”.
Universities are utilizing the online technologies for training, and we would be smart to look at what they are doing and adapt it to our needs.
The way that people learn has changed. Working in-person with an individual is rare now. Building the connections online, and in-person is invaluable for us as a society. We live in a connected world, and we should take advantage of it. I’ve met some great people in-person because I knew them online and that helped to overcome the barrier of “OMG it’s someone new” so we were able to talk.
We should never try to eliminate the in-person meetings and socialization, but let’s not overlook the advantages that technology can give us.
** Notes **
(1) Kraig’s post can be found at http://www.llewellyn.com/blog/2012/12/apocalypse-not%E2%80%94and-the-future-of-occult-training/
(2) The link included in Kraig’s post for Farrell’s blog post is http://nick-farrell.blogspot.com/2012/12/apprenticed-to-magic.html