Most of us fail when we find the Adversary standing athwart the path, and turn aside with some false reason (which, however, we actually think we believe to be a true reason). It's this that we have to prepare members to meet, and we have to give them the means to defeat the Adversary or the Guardian on the Threshold. Up until now, we have almost invariably offered advice too late. Deception is one of the weapons of the Fiend at the Door - the false argument, the pseudo-reason, the excellent' reason for delaying, postponing, and eventually finding one's duty lies elsewhere'. The fight intensifies in direct proportion to the nearness of approach. Without our giving the neophyte the key, the neophyte will almost invariably fail. And no key is worth even a shadow if it is given after the first step on the path; because after the first step, how will the neophyte know the key from the false key? It's not that the Joker wants the neophyte to fail. Neither, though, has the Joker any wish for the neophyte to succeed. But he won't let you get by with tricks, and he is the Master Trickster. It really is essential to pick up the key before ever setting foot on the path. Few succeed without it. And this, the giving of the key, is the most important work of the priesthood.