Joining doesn’t require much participation, if any at all. It isn’t mandated that you take advantage of the training, advice, or other resources offered. We don’t demand that you conform to any one of our beliefs or teachings. All that one says in joining the Dark Aspect is that you resonate with Darkness, so becoming affiliated and associating yourself with the Dark Aspect is simple, all one must do is ask.
Of course, it does tend to paint a target on your back – other darksiders tend to be confrontational, especially with each other. But, even as this warning is given, I would encourage any potential newcomers to embrace the conflict. If less experienced practitioners engage you, it’s at worst an oppurunity. More experienced practitioners wil have a better sense of timing, so if they engage you it will likely be because they think it will do you (or them) some good. For many of us, it is a sacred practice.
“It is the passion to connect something more to the mundane, to give mystery to the known. It is a meditation, a sacred trancendent engagement.”
While it may be off-putting at first, the antagonism serves a purpose. It’s our way of forging connections, getting to know each other. It is a means of opening oneself up enough that more experienced practitioners can offer relevant advice, nudges, or insights. If nothing else, remember this: being challenged, questioned, or antagonized, will only happen if someone cares enough to engage in conflict with you. If that is to much to deal with, it might be a good idea to keep your distance from the training offered. Whether it’s in the form of a training program or an apprenticeship, the more involved you get and the further you advance, the more attention you’re liable to attract.
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Becoming a student calls for a little more than just asking. Those seeking to gain access to the hidden training areas will not be recognized as legitimate students, and will therefore not receive access, until they have been reasonably active as a member of the FA for two weeks or more. Until that minor prerequisite is met, newcomers are advised not to bother requesting such access. During that waiting period, we advise would-be students to get involved, read the discussions, participate in those that catch your interest or create one that does. Seize the initiative, demonstrate your passion, your resourcefullness.
“You have chosen your path. Yet, you have proven nothing.”
Once an individual has access, it is encouraged that he or she exploit any and all training offered to the fullest extent. Dark Knights and Masters often give time, effort, and attention to guiding students that prove themselves to be proactive and ambitious, so keep our suggestions in mind and exploit their attention when it’s given. The aspiring student seeking to learn and grow through the use of the aspect, its training, and its members is encouraged to move beyond the choice of affiliation, because alone that choice proves nothing.
You will only get out of it what you put in. No time, no effort, no footwork, no experiential, hands-on learning and you won’t advance on your path or evolve as an individual. And needless to say that, when this is the case, you also won’t advance in the hierarchy of the DA – though our recognition of your growth may be far less important, it’s also something to keep in mind.