Friday, February 17, 2012

Lineage and Spiritual Traditions East and West

by Alpha Omega Imperator
David Griffin

There has again been significant buzz in recent weeks on the Golden Dawn fora and blogs about the importance, or lack thereof, of lineage in the Golden Dawn tradition. The concept of lineage is found not only in esoteric orders, but also in the great spiritual traditions of the East, as well as in Christianity and Freemasonry in the West.

In Christianity, the doctrine of Apostolic Succession maintains that the Christian Church today is the spiritual successor to the original body of believers in Christ, composed of the Apostles. In pre-Protestant Reformation Churches, Apostolic Succession is claimed as having been passed through unbroken lines of bishops beginning with the original Apostles.

In its formal aspect, lineage may amount to little more than a formal means of mutual recognition, as in the case of Freemasonry, which uses charters and systems of mutual recognition between Grand lodges to establish ‘regularity.’

George Washington
Of course, in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and in the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega, we have our charters, which we are very proud of, even though we understand that there is more to spiritual lineage than just charters. The Golden Dawn is not unique in in this regard, either.

In Western esotericism, numerous orders use lineage as a means of ensuring a direct transmission of spiritual principles and energies. Lineage, like trademarks, is also a basic form of protection for the public, that what members find is actually what they associate with the name or the spiritual tradition. Who wants to join a Martinist order, only to find Hindu teachings instead, or to join the Golden Dawn looking for tradtional initiation and to learn Hermetic and Rosicrucian magic and alchemy, only to find New Age teachings and "Astral" initiation instead?

Louis-Claude de St. Martin
Martinist orders, for examples all claim lineage deriving from Louis-Claude de St. Martin. L'Ordre Martiniste (the Martinist Order) came about in 1884 when Gerard Encausse (Papus) met August Chaboseau. They discovered that they had both apparently received Martinist initiation through two different chains of succession which linked back to Saint-Martin and his original disciples. Papus claimed to have come into the possession of the original papers of de Pasqually and to have been given authority in the Rite of Saint-Martin by his friend Henri Viscount Delaage. However, Encausse realized that there was a "missing link" in his own chain of succession: he and Chaboseau therefore "swapped initiations" in order to consolidate their lineages.

Let us not forget, however, that the Golden Dawn is first and foremost a spiritual tradition. Therefore, charters and such, are not all that matter. In all of the great spiritual traditions, both East and West, lineage carries with it a spiritual transmission or realization, as in the case of Dharma transmission in Zen Buddhism.

Zen Buddhism, for example, maintains records of their historical teachers who, according to the traditional history of that school, have passed the Dharma from generation to generation in an unbroken line since the time of the Buddha. Dharma transmission is the formal confirmation by a master of Zen or Chan Buddhism of a student's awakening. This one-to-one transmission is said to trace back over 2,500 years to Gautama Buddha when he gave dharma transmission to his disciple Mahakasyapa, who is regarded as the first patriarch of Zen in India.

Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche
Shambhala Buddhist Lineage
I have often heard people in the Golden Dawn community say that: "Lineage does not matter. What matters is to do the work." This is certainly half true. "To do the work," however, one must have the necessary spiritual practices, as is the case with the Buddhist lineages.

The various lineages of the Alpha Omega carry with them a vast corpus of knowledge and spiritual practices from the Hermetic and Rosicrucian traditions. These include advanced magical and Hermetic Internal Alchemical systems that the Alpha Omega already shares with a number of traditional Golden Dawn orders.


  1. proof is in the pudding!

  2. Thank you for making clear what the actual importance of lineage is in the Golden Dawn. In a spiritual tradition like ours, it is all about the work and the ability to do the work using effective spiritual technology.

    Keep your chin up and don't let the GD clowns that keep attacking you and the Alpha Omega get you down. Everyone sees through their silly games, trying to paint the Alpha Omega as the agressor while continuing their petty attacks out of sheer envy because of your contact with the Secret Chiefs and all of the advanced material they keep giving the A.O. The only reason they keep attacking that they know they are riding in the short bus.

  3. Also, I loved the analogy in your earlier post. We all know who Sideshow Bob is. We also know who Krusty the Clown is too!

  4. You'd think the Golden Dawn clowns would have learned a lesson from what happened to Sideshow Bob.

    Instead, it looks like Krusty just replaced Bob Zink with Sideshow Mel.

  5. Over the last month, the only thing that Pat Zalewksi and his entourage have been discussing has been lineage and Secret Chiefs, of course in any derisive manner that they can invent.

    It appears that these guys are completely obsessed with the Alpha Omega and that they will likely continue to harrass the entire Golden Dawn community with this flame war nonsense forever.

    In this regard, it seems that the Golden Dawn community has already found a suitable replacement for the antics of Robert Zink.