I think Jason's right. And so are the folks commenting on the blog and sending me emails offlist.
The comments about the Eastern systems blowing away the systems of the West came into my life at a time when I was also trying to help people understand how to do stuff in the Western systems. Much of the Hermetic Tradition is misunderstood, and the idea that the East is superior to the West annoyed me.
As I delved deeper though, what I found was what Jason (and others) said, the systems aren't that different when you get into the details. The differences lie in the vocabulary. It is hard in the West to pursue magic. I'd like to make it easier. It's equally hard in the Eastern cultures. I can't address that. It is alien to me.
So for now, I'm going to back off the whole East vs. West thing, and get back to what I'm most interested in, expanding my understanding and the effectiveness of my magical system. I've had to re-evaluate how I look at things like the Golden Dawn, Theosophy, and Eastern systems of magic in general over the past couple of days, and I like what I've seen. I'm more confident now than ever that the "Western" systems of magic are as effective as the "Eastern" systems. I have more detailed things to pursue in my Work as a result. I have specific paths to tread that I didn't know were there before, specific questions to ask spirits, and specific rituals to perform with my HGA as a result of some of the shallow reserch I did on Dzogchen.
Most of what I found was tempest in a teapot stuff. Making mountains out of mole hills. Exaggerating the importance of what I was thinking because I didn't understand what I was seeing. A little knowledge cann be a dangerous thing.