Notifications
Clear all

Aleister Crowley and 'magical fascism'  

Page 6 / 11
  RSS

Azidonis
(@azidonis)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2964
20/06/2011 4:25 pm  
"Keith418" wrote:
When people disagree with Crowley on democracy, are they questioned as to whether or not they have really come to their conclusions via free and independent means, or whether or not the years of conditioning they have received from the society around them has made their decisions for them?

Part of the Great Work is stripping away those "years of conditioning they have received from the society around them".


ReplyQuote
 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
20/06/2011 6:00 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
It is very likely that he was simply unqualified in the field of political science, but that was then and this now.

Agreed. Crowley didn't distinguish himself with political theories that could be practically applied easily. He also had no experience in politics apart from trying to run his magical orders.

"Keith418" wrote:
But their opposition to so much of what he taught and stood for gravely limits their progress and their abilities to use his teachings fruitfully.

IMO Crowley taught people to think for themselves whether they agreed with him or not. Crowley had some political ideas but he didn't teach politics. The only thing that limits progress in his system is failure to do the work. It's possible to make great advances without having a clue to what Crowley's politics are.

It does seem possible that opposition to Crowley's views on Liberty can hang up people who feel it necessary to restrict the rights of others from finding and carrying out their True Wills.


ReplyQuote
Keith418
(@keith418)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 127
20/06/2011 7:21 pm  

I had a discussion with an older friend who is familiar with some of Crowley's writings, but is not himself a Thelemite. He was amazed when I told him that most Thelemites I know are liberals and generally on the left.

"But Liber Al is not a liberal book," he told me.

Neither, I think, for that matter is Liber Oz. But what do you say to someone who, like Crowley, sees the books for the first time and is repelled by the morals they contain - or a least sees them as being fundamentally opposed to a leftist ideology? I told him that only after he saw how people had been trained to separate out all the things in Crowley's writings that they reacted negatively too, and to feel okay about making those editing decisions in the name of "thinking for themselves," that he would understand how those calling themselves Thelemites could also be liberals and on the left.

How can people read any of the basic Thelemic texts and ignore, or be ignorant of, their profound moral, ideological, and political implications? Forgive me, but if someone read these books and didn't go on to really grapple with their deep meanings, and weren't challenged significantly by the implications in them, I can't see how this same person could go on to somehow make great strides with the rest of what's there.

Can you really compartmentalize the experience so much that your basic moral values remain unchanged from what they were? If so, I have to wonder what other significant changes these texts, and the practices associated with them, might effect.


ReplyQuote
the_real_simon_iff
(@the_real_simon_iff)
Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1836
20/06/2011 9:31 pm  
"Keith418" wrote:
"But Liber Al is not a liberal book,"

93, Keith!

Apart from the fact that there is nor reason to accept the opinion of "an older friend" as the "correct opinion" - and apart from the fact that "LiberAL" very well might be an intended pun - and apart from the fact that it is my opinion that you greatly underestimate the intelligence of a lot of Thelemites out of personal preferences - there is no reason to believe that Liber AL is a fascist, right-wing, anti-left or whatever book. It is some kind of apocalyptic book, a poetic riddle, a religious scripture, but not a political manual. Of course, there might be drawn some conclusions that could be applied to politics. But I don't quite get what you want with your complaints. You say that the Thelemic "movement" is so marginal because it is so lefty and liberal? Do you think it would be less marginal if there would be a completely new political organisation involved (because obviously there is no political organisation around that would fit)? Or do you want to simply recruit "right-wing" personnel because then Thelemites would be larger in number? I really would like to hear some practical advice from you regarding what in your opinion would be the best political movement to vote for (or to support) as a Thelemite, instead of complaining about the alleged un-Thelemic-ness of the liberal left. As far as I see most Thelemites are pretty unpolitical, often they are artists, musicians, computer-freaks (no offence intended) - and quite unadapted overall. I find this a lot more siginificant. Never heard of anyone praising democracy or egalitarianism. So what is your point?

And as an aside, right-wing organisations appear to be quite humourless and not really joyous - which would be two of my main pointers of a Thelemic movement.

Love=Law
Lutz


ReplyQuote
 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
20/06/2011 9:50 pm  
"Keith418" wrote:
I had a discussion with an older friend who is familiar with some of Crowley's writings, but is not himself a Thelemite. He was amazed when I told him that most Thelemites I know are liberals and generally on the left.

Well, I can't see, myself, how a Thelemite would fit comfortably in either the traditional Left or the Right, but they manage - and I agree that in doing so they are often deluding themselves, clinging to politics that are near and dear to them and failing to reevaluate themselves completely in the light of Law. It really calls for a different worldview altogether, one that contains components from both Left and Right perspectives, but also rejects elements traditionally associated with each.


ReplyQuote
Azidonis
(@azidonis)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2964
20/06/2011 10:11 pm  

93,

"Keith418" wrote:
I had a discussion with an older friend who is familiar with some of Crowley's writings, but is not himself a Thelemite. He was amazed when I told him that most Thelemites I know are liberals and generally on the left.

I would have to argue it is a matter of personal preference and opinion as to which "side of the fence" anyone is on politically, be they Thelemite or not.

"Keith418" wrote:
"But Liber Al is not a liberal book," he told me.

Liberal: b. "archaic : of or befitting a man of free birth"

I assume you meant liberal in the political sense, as in Liberal

"Keith418" wrote:
But what do you say to someone who, like Crowley, sees the books for the first time and is repelled by the morals they contain - or a least sees them as being fundamentally opposed to a leftist ideology?

You tell them to drop their preconceived notions, be an adult, and think for themselves.

"Keith418" wrote:
I told him that only after he saw how people had been trained to separate out all the things in Crowley's writings that they reacted negatively too, and to feel okay about making those editing decisions in the name of "thinking for themselves," that he would understand how those calling themselves Thelemites could also be liberals and on the left.

Thinking for oneself implies an informed decision. That is, one takes in all information and processes it, ideally without bias, and then arrives at a decision based on one's own perceived needs at the current time. If those perceived needs happen to be more "left" or "right" or "center" or "left-field" or "short-stop" is a matter circumstance.

The informed human being makes decisions based upon actual perceived needs. The guy constantly voting Republican just to vote Republican is an example of someone who obviously isn't making informed decisions, as it would imply that Republicans are always right, which we all know is far from the truth.

"Keith418" wrote:
How can people read any of the basic Thelemic texts and ignore, or be ignorant of, their profound moral, ideological, and political implications?

"There is no grace, there is no guilt; this is the law, do what thou wilt."

"Keith418" wrote:
Forgive me, but if someone read these books and didn't go on to really grapple with their deep meanings, and weren't challenged significantly by the implications in them, I can't see how this same person could go on to somehow make great strides with the rest of what's there.

There are many reasons people read works by/about Crowley. It could be that someone is interested only in his career as an amateur mountaineer. It could be that someone is only reading about how he played chess, or how he handled addiction. Hell, it could be someone who had a fecal fetish stumbled across the poem "Leah Sublime".

In any of those cases, one would not necessarily be expected to say, pursue the A:.A:.. One would expect the mountaineer to get what he could from Crowley, and move on. Likewise with the other two.

To assume that anyone who reads materials by/about Crowley has to be challenged by the deeper meanings in his work also borderlines erroneous. For example, there have been many books written by various authors which in the past I would have found "challenging". Those same books now may seem like repetitious nonsense. That would make said authors neither interesting or challenging, and Crowley's work is no exception.

If you are looking into his writings on politics and expecting them to be as accurate as the Holy Books, you will be greatly mistaken, and rightfully disappointed. As many here have already pointed out, Crowley was not a politician. In fact, he was appalling to many people, and didn't go out of his way to please socially or politically. Where it concerns the Great Work however, the man was a genius.

To say that a man was a lay carpenter, a bad politician, a great public speaker, extremely charismatic, and had attained enlightenment, may indeed make you think that the man was not well rounded. However, if you stop to look at the fact that his carpentry was just a way to earn a living, his politics were so far ahead of their time they were borderline revolutionary, but he was such a great speaker to his select audience that people would follow him without question, and he could quite possibly show you the Way to enlightenment, you might rethink some of what you were saying. To go back and say, "Well, Jesus was a shitty carpenter, as he didn't attain the summits of carpentry," is a misnomer, for he helped shine a light on the Path of Initiation which helped guide Aspirants to the Stainless Abode for nearly 2,000 years. So you can focus on his carpentry all you want, but you would be missing the point. It is no different with Crowley, or any other prophet.

"Keith418" wrote:
Can you really compartmentalize the experience so much that your basic moral values remain unchanged from what they were? If so, I have to wonder what other significant changes these texts, and the practices associated with them, might effect.

Change is the nature of things. To be completely remain unchanged after any experience (even reading a book), implies that one quite possibly didn't get out of the experience what one could have.

93 93/93

P.S. If you are discussing something with someone on the board, the quote feature is a very useful tool. As it is, you appear to be making broad, sweeping statements, that in many cases are way off the mark.


ReplyQuote
Keith418
(@keith418)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 127
20/06/2011 10:39 pm  

I think the community remains marginal, in no small part, because it is so conflicted. Remember what Crowley himself teaches about the nature of ataxia. If you are pulled one way to Thelema and one way to a liberal-left politics, a political set of values and thinking that derives - ultimately - from Judeo-Christian theology, then how much progress can you ever be expected to make? The Thelemic community is saddled with a teacher and a book (or books) that it very grave qualms with. How can we be surprised when this kind of conflict proves to be as debilitating as it so obviously is?


ReplyQuote
the_real_simon_iff
(@the_real_simon_iff)
Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1836
20/06/2011 11:05 pm  

93!

Thanks for the "answer".

But the solution would be what? You REALLY think the community remains marginal because it is being pulled to liberal-left politics? I mean REALLY? It sounds like you think you have a solution. I would like to hear it.

Love=Law
Lutz


ReplyQuote
 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
20/06/2011 11:24 pm  
"Azidonis" wrote:
If you are looking into his writings on politics and expecting them to be as accurate as the Holy Books, you will be greatly mistaken, and rightfully disappointed.

Actually, I approach politics by applying the principles that I find in the Holy Books. This is what Crowley tried to do, too, but he lost it in the translation to practical application on the plane to which it applies, with the possible exception matters internal to the OTO. He lacked that political science skill set, and it wouldn't have mattered much by now because so much has changed since he drew his last breath. It's an ongoing process of thinking outside of the box, until that box has been redefined.


ReplyQuote
Azidonis
(@azidonis)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2964
20/06/2011 11:29 pm  

93,

"Keith418" wrote:
I think the community remains marginal, in no small part, because it is so conflicted.

I disagree. In my opinion, the Thelemic community remains marginal due to the fact that the law of Thelema is a law of enlightenment first and foremost, and very few people are actually "called" to accomplish the Great Work period, and an even fewer number are "called" to accomplish the Great Work under the banner of Thelema.

Not everyone is cut out for it. In addition, what you might see on the outside as a "conflict" is in many cases only a conflict to the untrained eye.

Also, from Liber Aleph, "Wherefore he Begat His Son: So that there be Freedom"

Do what thou wilt! - be this our Slogan of Battle in every Act; for every Act is Conflict. There Victory leapeth shining before us; for who may thwart True Will, which is the Order of Nature Herself? Thou hast no Right but to do thy Will; do that, and no other shall say nay. For if that Will be true, its Fulfilment is of a Surety as Daylight following Sunrise. Is is as certain as the Operation of any other Law of Nature; it is Destiny. Then, if that Will be obscured, if thou turn from it to Wills diseased or perverse, how canst thou hope? Fool! even thy Turns and Twists are are in the Path to the appointed End. But thou are not sprung of a Slave's Loins; thou standest firm and straight; thou dost thy Will; and thou are chosen, nay, for this Work thou wast begotten in a Magick Bed, that thou shouldst make Men free." P.77

"Keith418" wrote:
Remember what Crowley himself teaches about the nature of ataxia. If you are pulled one way to Thelema and one way to a liberal-left politics, a political set of values and thinking that derives - ultimately - from Judeo-Christian theology, then how much progress can you ever be expected to make?

From Liber Tzaddi, v33-43:

"I reveal unto you a great mystery. Ye stand between the abyss of height and the abyss of depth.
In either awaits you a Companion; and that Companion is Yourself.
Ye can have no other Companion.
Many have arisen, being wise. They have said «Seek out the glittering Image in the place ever golden, and unite yourselves with It.»
Many have arisen, being foolish. They have said, «Stoop down unto the darkly splendid world, and be wedded to that Blind Creature of the Slime.»
I who am beyond Wisdom and Folly, arise and say unto you: achieve both weddings! Unite yourselves with both!
Beware, beware, I say, lest ye seek after the one and lose the other!
My adepts stand upright; their head above the heavens, their feet below the hells.
But since one is naturally attracted to the Angel, another to the Demon, let the first strengthen the lower link, the last attach more firmly to the higher.
Thus shall equilibrium become perfect. I will aid my disciples; as fast as they acquire this balanced power and joy so faster will I push them.
They shall in their turn speak from this Invisible Throne; their words shall illumine the worlds."

"Keith418" wrote:
The Thelemic community is saddled with a teacher and a book (or books) that it very grave qualms with. How can we be surprised when this kind of conflict proves to be as debilitating as it so obviously is?

How about you change this to, "My perception of the Thelemic community is a bunch of people saddled together with a teacher and a book (or books) that they have very grave qualms with", or "As a member of the Thelemic community, I feel saddled together with a bunch of people, a teacher, and a book (or books) that I have very grave qualms with".

The point is, you are making very general, sweeping statements about "Thelema", when you are discussing "Thelemic pop-culture" at best, and completely missing the mark, at worst.

Do you even know what a Thelemite really is?

Simply throwing around the word "Thelemite" like the latest commercial catch-phrase isn't going to cut it. Thelema is the Greek word for "Will", indicating that a Thelemite, properly speaking, is one who knows and does his/her Will, that Will being congruent with one's understanding of the Atman, Holy Ghost, Gnosis, Buddha Nature, Anahatta chakra, or whatever you want to call it.

There is no "Sunday Thelemite", where someone can sit around buying/reading a bunch of books, participating in lectures, donating to the O.T.O., etc. and still call themselves a Thelemite. It simply doesn't follow suit. Remember this when you are talking about a real Thelemite, an actual in-the-flesh person who both knows and does his/her True Will, and not someone who's closest connection to Thelema is feeding some random publishing house with cash. Failure to remember this simple fact is not only an expression of one's own ignorance of the subject, it shows a blatant disrespect for those who do/have indeed walk/have walked the Path and have earned the right to proudly call themselves Thelemites. Note, there are real Aspirants, who's goal it is to attain that right, but they are more unlikely to be seen using the term "Thelema" as the latest catch-phrase, and in some instances may even be considered Thelemites themselves. I can't imagine how many people perform the equivalent of spitting in an Adept's face every single day.

Also, for those with the inability to search the forums, or for those who are just too lazy to do so, or for those who may be new to these forums and just don't know where to look, the topic of Thelema and politics has been discussed quite extensively over the years. I can think of one such thread, presented here. This particular thread, while exhausting, is by no means exhaustive, and there are other threads along the same lines if you only search hard enough. Just so, not every subject imaginable has been covered here, and then, "there is help and hope in other spells".

93 93/93


ReplyQuote
 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
20/06/2011 11:31 pm  
"Keith418" wrote:
I think the community remains marginal, in no small part, because it is so conflicted. Remember what Crowley himself teaches about the nature of ataxia. If you are pulled one way to Thelema and one way to a liberal-left politics, a political set of values and thinking that derives - ultimately - from Judeo-Christian theology, then how much progress can you ever be expected to make? The Thelemic community is saddled with a teacher and a book (or books) that it very grave qualms with. How can we be surprised when this kind of conflict proves to be as debilitating as it so obviously is?

Keith, you are sounding like a person with a Rightest bent who is doing the same thing you are faulting the Leftists for. Thelema would logically call for a particular political hybrid of the two extremes that best suits its principles. 🙂


ReplyQuote
Azidonis
(@azidonis)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2964
20/06/2011 11:50 pm  

93,

"Camlion" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
If you are looking into his writings on politics and expecting them to be as accurate as the Holy Books, you will be greatly mistaken, and rightfully disappointed.

Actually, I approach politics by applying the principles that I find in the Holy Books. This is what Crowley tried to do, too, but he lost it in the translation to practical application on the plane to which it applies, with the possible exception matters internal to the OTO. He lacked that political science skill set, and it wouldn't have mattered much by now because so much has changed since he drew his last breath. It's an ongoing process of thinking outside of the box, until that box has been redefined.

I find the Holy Books much more enlightening politically than any political speech I have ever heard, Cam. But I also have learned throughout the years how to See, in my own way. For those that may not have figured how to yet, I posit the Holy Books provide a much healthier function in helping them learn how to Look first, so they may See later.

"Is there not joy ineffable in this aimless winging?" This one sentence, so completely freeing and fulfilling in many aspects of life, can be completely contorted to imply absolute anarchy.

Part of all of our tasks, therefore, would be to help ensure that such a "school of thought" doesn't take root on these forums or elsewhere. Are schools such as this not a member of that Lodge who dubbed Our Brother Beast, "the wickedest man in the world"?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not on some "Freedom fighter" kick, as it may seem. I just think that in any scientific experiment there are controls and variables. In the experiment of politics, controls and variables must exist as well. In Thelema, the Tunis Comment, in my opinion, is meant as a sort of control.

The Holy Books contain elements of both controls and variables, but it is much easier for the untrained mind to grasp onto one variable or another and run off with it, than it is for them to run off with the control (not saying it doesn't happen).

Michael Jordan is a legendary basketball player. He is arguably the greatest basketball player that has ever lived, certainly a master on the court. As such, many of his "famous quotes" can be applied to other aspects of life as well. They may not always fit, however. And for one to carry out a tangent about how what he said doesn't apply to an engineering project for a skyscraper would simply be a lost cause in many cases. He is a master basketball player, a master sportsman, not a master engineer. Likewise, Crowley was an enlightened master, but he was most certainly not a politician. Surely, the trained Eye can find many things within both Crowley and Jordan's words that they can apply to their own Wills and professions, and that is a sure sign of mastery. But, when one cannot see how those words fit with one's Will, then one has to either a) keep searching for the fit, or b) acquiesce in the possibility that those worse just might not fit. And if it comes down to my Will or Crowley's words, I choose my Will.

Note, I'm not saying Michael Jordan is enlightened.

93 93/93


ReplyQuote
 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
21/06/2011 3:58 am  
"Keith418" wrote:
I think the community remains marginal, in no small part, because it is so conflicted.

IMO it's this viewpoint of Thelema and the community that's marginal, trying to marry it to a right wing belief system, which is also an old Aeon, Judeo-Christian derivation. The community has grown significantly in the years since Crowley died and seems to be gaining in popularity. The reason it's not a huge organization among the masses is because it's not the "herd" and doesn't aim to become the "herd".

I see no evidence that the community is "so conflicted." I see exactly the opposite, actually.

"Keith418" wrote:
The Thelemic community is saddled with a teacher and a book (or books) that it very grave qualms with. How can we be surprised when this kind of conflict proves to be as debilitating as it so obviously is?

What kind of evidence can you show to support this ridiculous sounding claim? Why would there even be a Thelemic community if everyone had "very grave qualms" about Crowley and his books?


ReplyQuote
Los
 Los
(@los)
Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 2195
21/06/2011 5:50 am  

First of all, I already pointed out that all Thelema demands is that an individual do his or her will. If that individual decides that a particular piece of legislation will assist him or her in that endeavor – whether that particular piece of legislation is “liberal” or “conservative” or “egalitarian” or whether it is anything else – that person has sufficient Thelemic justification for supporting that piece of legislation.

Much more on this can be found here, including an explanation of my authority to interpret the Book of the Law (correctly) and further elaboration on the theme of this thread: http://thelema-and-skepticism.blogspot.com/2011/06/you-will-respect-my-author-it-tay.htm l"> http://thelema-and-skepticism.blogspot.com/2011/06/you-will-respect-my-author-it-tay.html

Second of all, Thelema is marginal not because it’s “leftist” and not because it is a “law of enlightenment” or whatever. Thelema is marginal because it’s largely considered – and is typically presented as – bound up in kooky Victorian occultism that pretty much nobody in his right mind would take seriously.

Sure, one can very clearly explain the philosophical principles of Thelema, but if people insist on presenting Thelema as involving “praeterhuman intelligences” and “prophets” and dressing up in robes to chant and doing inane pathworking exercises with alien spider queens, then of course it’s going to be “marginal.” Presenting it as yoked to such nonsense and then expecting it to be anything other than “marginal” shows a serious disconnect with reality.

And yes, I’m aware Crowley didn’t interpret things like that. Anyone who is about to make that stunning insight can save it.

But third of all – and maybe most interestingly of all – no one has even raised what’s probably a more fundamental question: does “democratic society” and “egalitarian society” and whatnot actually do what it “says on the tin,” as the British say?

It can be argued – in fact, it has been argued – that the whole democratic process is nothing more than a smokescreen to keep the populace distracted while the privileged few do what they want. In other words, these “egalitarian principles” are just word games that very thinly mask the rather blatant hierarchies and inequalities that do exist in our social system.

If that’s the case, then “democracy” and “egalitarian legislation” – or whatever other ideas that some screwballs are so vehemently against – serve a very useful function indeed: they maintain social order by providing at least the illusion that the average citizen has “control” or can view himself as “equal” to others.

If that’s the case, then one might argue that democratic and egalitarian ideas and legislation contribute to a stable environment that is very effective for the vast, vast, vast majority of Thelemites to do their wills – assuming that it’s not part of their will to be, say, killed in a violent revolution or mass protests or riots.

And further, one might argue that pointlessly opposing such democratic principles for no better reason than “because Crowley says so” or “because the Holy Books say so” or “because I’m a total loon” could quite possibly, in the long run, destabilize society enough so that it actually becomes a problem for one’s will. Well, it could do that if the person doing the opposition were actually capable of effecting change, rather than merely capable of effecting the writing of a bunch of silly conservative nonsense.

The thing is that as soon as a person turns Thelema into a political orientation, that person has converted it into a form of morality. Now, all of a sudden, certain policies are “right” and others are “wrong.” Now, all of a sudden, an individual can start acting on the basis of ideas about how things should be, not on the basis of the will.

And that’s not even Thelema anymore.


ReplyQuote
 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
21/06/2011 10:29 am  
"Los" wrote:
Second of all, Thelema is marginal not because it’s “leftist” and not because it is a “law of enlightenment” or whatever. Thelema is marginal because it’s largely considered – and is typically presented as – bound up in kooky Victorian occultism that pretty much nobody in his right mind would take seriously.

Sure, one can very clearly explain the philosophical principles of Thelema, but if people insist on presenting Thelema as involving “praeterhuman intelligences” and “prophets” and dressing up in robes to chant and doing inane pathworking exercises with alien spider queens, then of course it’s going to be “marginal.” Presenting it as yoked to such nonsense and then expecting it to be anything other than “marginal” shows a serious disconnect with reality.

Again, it sounds like this biased and narrow viewpoint is marginal, not Thelema itself. All of the world's major religions are presented, far more than Thelema, as being yoked to and bound up with "kooky occultism" and superstition, and they are not marginal.


ReplyQuote
Azidonis
(@azidonis)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2964
21/06/2011 3:15 pm  

93,

"zardoz" wrote:
"Los" wrote:
Second of all, Thelema is marginal not because it’s “leftist” and not because it is a “law of enlightenment” or whatever. Thelema is marginal because it’s largely considered – and is typically presented as – bound up in kooky Victorian occultism that pretty much nobody in his right mind would take seriously.

Sure, one can very clearly explain the philosophical principles of Thelema, but if people insist on presenting Thelema as involving “praeterhuman intelligences” and “prophets” and dressing up in robes to chant and doing inane pathworking exercises with alien spider queens, then of course it’s going to be “marginal.” Presenting it as yoked to such nonsense and then expecting it to be anything other than “marginal” shows a serious disconnect with reality.

Again, it sounds like this biased and narrow viewpoint is marginal, not Thelema itself. All of the world's major religions are presented, far more than Thelema, as being yoked to and bound up with "kooky occultism" and superstition, and they are not marginal.

Aye... As I read the post, I thought of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the Buddhist monks walking around hitting themselves with boards.

Sanyassin, anyone? Tell me those robes don't give a lot for air flow! What, Catholic church? The Pope hat? Traditional Hebrew dress, etc.

I suppose if we all wore lab coats and pocket protectors there would be "more of us".

93 93/93


ReplyQuote
Los
 Los
(@los)
Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 2195
21/06/2011 4:03 pm  
"zardoz" wrote:
All of the world's major religions are presented, far more than Thelema, as being yoked to and bound up with "kooky occultism" and superstition, and they are not marginal.

Yeah, but there’s a difference between, on the one hand, something kooky that has become, over thousands of years, normative and acceptable and, on the other hand, something kooky that is perceived as being kooky.

Case in point: Scientology. Now, Scientology is not really any kookier than any other religion, but it’s perceived as much, much kookier because people aren’t routinely exposed to its claims about alien overlords in the same way that they are routinely exposed to claims about, for example, virgin births or miraculous apparitions.

Scientology is marginal for precisely that reason: its kookiness stands out like a sore thumb, and only absolute nutcases would take it seriously. Whether it’s actually kookier than other religions (it’s not) is irrelevant to that point. And whether you like it or not, Crowley and Thelema are perceived in much the same way.

Here’s a cute anecdote: my brother was visiting the other day and, upon looking at my collection of Crowley books, laughed, “Aleister Crowley? Is that guy considered legitimate by…anyone?” I chuckled as well and told him that Crowley is an entertaining writer who invented a pretty interesting philosophy but that he was mostly a sensationalistic figure who reveled in generating notoriety and was connected to some pretty goofy beliefs. We left the subject and didn’t talk about him again.

Like I say, to expect Thelema to be anything else than marginal, given the facts – or to attribute its marginality to politics – shows a serious disconnect from reality.


ReplyQuote
Walterfive
(@walterfive)
Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 856
21/06/2011 4:32 pm  
"jcyn" wrote:
Just in the last chapter of the book as a synopsis of Trevor Ravenscroft's Spear of Destiny

Does *anyone* take Ravenscroft's claims seriously?

At all? Isn't the fellow a complete humbug?


ReplyQuote
the_real_simon_iff
(@the_real_simon_iff)
Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1836
21/06/2011 5:22 pm  

Los, 93!

I am sure that Keith would be very satisfied if Thelema would be as "marginal" as Scientology, that is and has been quite influential in a lot of fields. But I think you are wrong that Scientology is considered "kooky". Nearly nobody knows what it's about at all. It's generally considered dangerous and somehow cultish, but surely not "kooky" (well, Tom Cruise is). A lot of religious movements are considered "kooky" and are quite succesful on the other hand. For example Kabbalah Centre, Transcendental Meditation, Creationists, Mormons, Yehovah's Witnesses, Spiritism, Candomblé, Voodoo, even Theosphists and Freemasons could be included. Of course for a strict and rational scientist every religion must appear "kooky", even if a lot of scientists are happy to believe in religions. And most of these (religions, not scientists) have not been around for thousands of years, some are quite new.

Funnily with your brother and Keith's older friend we have quotes by two non-Thelemites about Thelema/Crowley today.

At least he knew him...

Love=Law
Lutz


ReplyQuote
Azidonis
(@azidonis)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2964
21/06/2011 5:42 pm  

I knew it was the robes, man! Quick, everyone ditch your robes! Hide them, and say its an old-time metaphor, and that we wear suits now.

I wore a suit into temple once... than I sat in Asana and split the crotch at the seems. :/

(not really)


ReplyQuote
 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
21/06/2011 5:54 pm  

I wore a suit into temple once... than I sat in Asana and split the crotch at the seems. :/

I thought for a second you had taken that heel in the anus bit a little too literally.


ReplyQuote
 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
21/06/2011 7:19 pm  
"Los" wrote:
Here’s a cute anecdote: my brother was visiting the other day and, upon looking at my collection of Crowley books, laughed, “Aleister Crowley? Is that guy considered legitimate by…anyone?”

You could have told your brother that there's an obscurely marginal English guitar player named Jimmy Page who took Crowley quite seriously. He incorporated Crowley's influence into a marginal band known as Led Zeppelin.

"Los" wrote:
I chuckled as well and told him that Crowley is an entertaining writer who invented a pretty interesting philosophy but that he was mostly a sensationalistic figure who reveled in generating notoriety and was connected to some pretty goofy beliefs.

This is one of the most superficial descriptions I've ever heard of Crowley by someone supposedly familiar with him. With such a flat, mono-dimensional view of Crowley, one wonders why you have anything to do with him at all?

"Los" wrote:
Like I say, to expect Thelema to be anything else than marginal, given the facts – or to attribute its marginality to politics – shows a serious disconnect from reality.

The sum total of the "facts" given on Thelema's alleged marginality amounts to testimony from your brother and Keith's friend both of whom appear unfamiliar with Thelema.

It's not surprising that you believe that anyone who disagrees with your opinion shows a disconnect from your reality.


ReplyQuote
 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
21/06/2011 7:23 pm  

This is one of the most superficial descriptions I've ever heard of Crowley by someone supposedly familiar with him. With such a flat, mono-dimensional view of Crowley, one wonders why you have anything to do with him at all?

My thoughts exactly.


ReplyQuote
 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
21/06/2011 8:22 pm  
"RemeaviThantos" wrote:

This is one of the most superficial descriptions I've ever heard of Crowley by someone supposedly familiar with him. With such a flat, mono-dimensional view of Crowley, one wonders why you have anything to do with him at all?

My thoughts exactly.

This is a view so narrow that it fails even to approximate a sound secular appreciation of Crowley and his ideas.


ReplyQuote
 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
21/06/2011 10:47 pm  
"Los" wrote:
First of all, I already pointed out that all Thelema demands is that an individual do his or her will. If that individual decides that a particular piece of legislation will assist him or her in that endeavor – whether that particular piece of legislation is “liberal” or “conservative” or “egalitarian” or whether it is anything else – that person has sufficient Thelemic justification for supporting that piece of legislation.

Unless, of course, doing your Will happens to involve enabling others to do their Wills, in which case it is your Duty to expand the scope of your concerns to include the accomplishment of the Wills of others. In the fields of education, political science, law, sociology, psychology, etc, etc, etc, the well-being of others is a legitimate concern, and I'm sure that no Thelemite would seriously advocate for the abandonment of undertakings in these fields, provided that the people involved in them were doing their Wills.

And what model would Thelemites whose Wills dictate their involvement in such fields employ? It would be the Thelemic model of knowing and doing true Will, and would employ any methodology which enhances or enables the knowing and doing of true Will among the general population.

Again, this is the most elementary level stuff, I really can't believe anyone sees cause to debate it.


ReplyQuote
Azidonis
(@azidonis)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2964
21/06/2011 11:12 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
Unless, of course, doing your Will happens to involve enabling others to do their Wills, in which case it is your Duty to expand the scope of your concerns to include the accomplishment of the Wills of others. In the fields of education, political science, law, sociology, psychology, etc, etc, etc, the well-being of others is a legitimate concern, and I'm sure that no Thelemite would seriously advocate for the abandonment of undertakings in these fields, provided that the people involved in them were doing their Wills.

And what model would Thelemites whose Wills dictate their involvement in such fields employ? It would be the Thelemic model of knowing and doing true Will, and would employ any methodology which enhances or enables the knowing and doing of true Will among the general population.

"Camlion" wrote:
Again, this is the most elementary level stuff, I really can't believe anyone sees cause to debate it.

Well said.


ReplyQuote
HG
 HG
(@hg)
Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 96
21/06/2011 11:34 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
Again, this is the most elementary level stuff, I really can't believe anyone sees cause to debate it.

I disagree most strongly.

In Thelema, as in any field whatsoever I can think of, the "elementary level stuff", the basic stuff, is what's most important.

And as we have seen time and time again, the "elementary level stuff" is not something we universally agree upon.

Let's look at some of the basic questions about Thelema:

What is the True Will?
What is the KCHGA?
Is the HGA a discarnate supernatural entity or not?
Can you lay down the law on how a Master of the Temple should behave?
In fact, what is the Master of the Temple?
Does Thelema require/prohibit certain political views?

Etc, etc.

All of these are questions that have been debated on Lashtal and elsewhere. None of these questions have been settled for good. Los says A not B, Camlion says B not A, someone else says neither A nor B but C, and so on.

It would be nice if we had an agreement on this basic stuff. Like the shape of the Earth: everybody agrees it's round, nobody argues any more that it's flat. But that's not the case with the very basics of Thelema.

So we need to debate, study and argue about this basic stuff.

If you really think you "really can't believe anyone sees cause to debate it," then how about you give your answers to the list of basic questions I wrote above. Let's see if everybody agrees with your answers, or if there's disagreement among us.


ReplyQuote
Azidonis
(@azidonis)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2964
21/06/2011 11:49 pm  

93,

I'll play...

"HG" wrote:
Let's look at some of the basic questions about Thelema:

What is the True Will?

The equivalent or Atman, or Self. The Khabs, etc. If yourself is a puzzle, and that puzzle, when completed is an arrow, the True Will would be that completed puzzle, with the corresponding arrow.

"HG" wrote:
What is the KCHGA?

That which is gained upon completing the puzzle.

"HG" wrote:
Is the HGA a discarnate supernatural entity or not?

No.

"HG" wrote:
Can you lay down the law on how a Master of the Temple should behave?

Not really. There are certain tell-tale signs, but it's not necessarily elementary.

"HG" wrote:
In fact, what is the Master of the Temple?

A Mover.

"HG" wrote:
Does Thelema require/prohibit certain political views?

No.

"HG" wrote:
All of these are questions that have been debated on Lashtal and elsewhere. None of these questions have been settled for good. Los says A not B, Camlion says B not A, someone else says neither A nor B but C, and so on.

Much of the disagreement lies within an individuals symbol set and their ability to relate their symbol set to that of another.

"HG" wrote:
It would be nice if we had an agreement on this basic stuff. Like the shape of the Earth: everybody agrees it's round, nobody argues any more that it's flat. But that's not the case with the very basics of Thelema.

There are many agreements, but they don't usually penetrate onto these boards, where there are some who are too busy trying to prove one symbol set is more correct than another.

"HG" wrote:
So we need to debate, study and argue about this basic stuff.

We have... over, and over, and over...

"HG" wrote:
If you really think you "really can't believe anyone sees cause to debate it," then how about you give your answers to the list of basic questions I wrote above. Let's see if everybody agrees with your answers, or if there's disagreement among us.

I'm sure someone will disagree with me. I'm also willing to bet that the disagreement is in the symbol set.

93 93/93


ReplyQuote
 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
22/06/2011 12:20 am  
"HG" wrote:
"Camlion" wrote:
Again, this is the most elementary level stuff, I really can't believe anyone sees cause to debate it.

I disagree most strongly.

In Thelema, as in any field whatsoever I can think of, the "elementary level stuff", the basic stuff, is what's most important.

And as we have seen time and time again, the "elementary level stuff" is not something we universally agree upon.

Let's look at some of the basic questions about Thelema:

What is the True Will?
What is the KCHGA?
Is the HGA a discarnate supernatural entity or not?
Can you lay down the law on how a Master of the Temple should behave?
In fact, what is the Master of the Temple?
Does Thelema require/prohibit certain political views?

Etc, etc.

All of these are questions that have been debated on Lashtal and elsewhere. None of these questions have been settled for good. Los says A not B, Camlion says B not A, someone else says neither A nor B but C, and so on.

It would be nice if we had an agreement on this basic stuff. Like the shape of the Earth: everybody agrees it's round, nobody argues any more that it's flat. But that's not the case with the very basics of Thelema.

So we need to debate, study and argue about this basic stuff.

If you really think you "really can't believe anyone sees cause to debate it," then how about you give your answers to the list of basic questions I wrote above. Let's see if everybody agrees with your answers, or if there's disagreement among us.

93 HG,

Firstly, the Law is for all. Not just for Magicians, and certainly not just for members of the A.'.A.'., the Law is for all. Crowley came to this realization when he turned his attention somewhat from Magick to the broader promulgation of the Law of Thelema. He concluded that Magick would be for the few with an interest and an aptitude for it, but that the Law was for all and its promulgation must appeal not just to the very narrow percentage of humanity that Magick will appeal to but to a much broader scope of humanity.

This being true, some of your questions pertain to matters not basic at all, but quite specialized and exclusive, these being:

What is the KCHGA?
Is the HGA a discarnate supernatural entity or not?
Can you lay down the law on how a Master of the Temple should behave?
In fact, what is the Master of the Temple?

You may not have been aware of these facts. Is that the case? We had better sort that out before proceeding to:

What is the True Will?

and

Does Thelema require/prohibit certain political views?

These last two are basic stuff, stuff that is immediately relevant to every human on the planet. You are muddying the waters, unintentionally I'm sure, with stuff that is beyond the really basic stuff for most people.

I happen to have some background in Magick, but I am not so naive as to suppose that this is "basic stuff" to the folks crowding Main Street.


ReplyQuote
Shiva
(@shiva)
Not a Rajah
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 5202
22/06/2011 1:25 am  
"HG" wrote:
Like the shape of the Earth: everybody agrees it's round, nobody argues any more that it's flat.

"Everybody" does not agree on anything, anywhere. To prove that statement, allow me (and the great spirit-demon-dog Wikipedia) to "argue" that the Earth is, in fact, NOT ROUND!

"The shape of the Earth is very close to that of an oblate spheroid, a sphere flattened along the axis from pole to pole such that there is a bulge around the equator. This bulge results from the rotation of the Earth, and causes the diameter at the equator to be 43 km larger than the pole to pole diameter."
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eart h"> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth

So, if Will and HGA are difficult to define, and even the shape of the Earth itself has variations when evoked for stability, then how can any two people agree on anything whatsoever?

Thank goodness we're dealing with a process that shifts responsibility for absolutely everything right into each person's brain.


ReplyQuote
Los
 Los
(@los)
Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 2195
22/06/2011 5:43 am  

A special congratulations goes to Camlion, who – after stating his intention in the chat box to “ignore” me – managed to stick to that resolution for a whole entire week.

That’s got to be a first for you, eh? Keep reaching for those stars.


ReplyQuote
HG
 HG
(@hg)
Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 96
22/06/2011 6:16 am  
"Shiva" wrote:
"HG" wrote:
Like the shape of the Earth: everybody agrees it's round, nobody argues any more that it's flat.

"Everybody" does not agree on anything, anywhere. To prove that statement, allow me (and the great spirit-demon-dog Wikipedia) to "argue" that the Earth is, in fact, NOT ROUND!

"The shape of the Earth is very close to that of an oblate spheroid, a sphere flattened along the axis from pole to pole such that there is a bulge around the equator. This bulge results from the rotation of the Earth, and causes the diameter at the equator to be 43 km larger than the pole to pole diameter."

I said the Earth is round.
I did not say the Earth is a perfect sphere.

An oblate spheroid is round.


ReplyQuote
Azidonis
(@azidonis)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2964
22/06/2011 3:21 pm  
"HG" wrote:
"Shiva" wrote:
"HG" wrote:
Like the shape of the Earth: everybody agrees it's round, nobody argues any more that it's flat.

"Everybody" does not agree on anything, anywhere. To prove that statement, allow me (and the great spirit-demon-dog Wikipedia) to "argue" that the Earth is, in fact, NOT ROUND!

"The shape of the Earth is very close to that of an oblate spheroid, a sphere flattened along the axis from pole to pole such that there is a bulge around the equator. This bulge results from the rotation of the Earth, and causes the diameter at the equator to be 43 km larger than the pole to pole diameter."

I said the Earth is round.
I did not say the Earth is a perfect sphere.

An oblate spheroid is round.

And thus the debating about the Earth's shape begins. Easy, wasn't it?

A middle school teacher I once had said it was more pear shaped than round. That was about 20 years ago now. I don't care what shape it is anymore, as long as it doesn't stop spinning any time soon.


ReplyQuote
wolfangel
(@wolfangel)
Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 32
22/06/2011 5:23 pm  

All that spin, Crowley struck me as one of these http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Individualist_anarchis m"> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Individualist_anarchism , with a mystical bent. Just take a look through all the influences from the various characters involved.

You see i engage with Crowley as being multipolitical as he is multispiritual and multicultural in his system. 777 being a particular example of his multiculturalism and Internationalism.

He in his writing represents left, right, centrist, authoritarian and rebellious perspectives, i believe this is a deliberate stand point that has already been mentioned above to do with conditioning, be it traditional or social. A plurality of perceptions leads to a wider lense to view the variety of political beliefs that individual awarenesses inhabit and use as vehicles to relate to others and civilised structures. This offers the individual a broader view, similar to exploring the many different spiritual visions that exist under the umbrella of Thelema.


ReplyQuote
 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
22/06/2011 5:23 pm  

Now I'm confused, not to detract from the topic subject anymore than is already the case but does "pear shaped" get included in the round description? Or not...


ReplyQuote
Shiva
(@shiva)
Not a Rajah
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 5202
22/06/2011 5:41 pm  
"HG" wrote:
I said the Earth is round. I did not say the Earth is a perfect sphere.

I said everybody will never agree about anything, and the actual shape doesn't matter as long as I can disagree with what you said and exactly how you phrased it (spin?), and what I think you really meant rather than what you said. If we can't come to terms on a simple (?) shape of a hard object, then how will we ever agree on Will and HGA and Master of the Oblong Sphere?

"Azidonis" wrote:
And thus the debating about the Earth's shape begins. Easy, wasn't it?

My point, exactly!

"Azidonis" wrote:
... it was more pear shaped than round.

This was my understanding also, but when I searched for a specific defintion, all I found was this oblonatable spherical thing. The human aura is not round or even oblong, but it is ovoid ("The true shape of a man is that of an egg" said Don Juan). Pears and eggs are similar in that they are unbalanced ovoids. I think it's called "middle-age spread" when it manifests in the human vehicle.

Wikipedia goes on to give us this amazing planetology: "Local topography deviates from this idealized spheroid, though on a global scale these deviations are very small: Earth has a tolerance of about one part in about 584, or 0.17%, from the reference spheroid, which is less than the 0.22% tolerance allowed in billiard balls.

How will we ever agree on the terms that define our existence?


ReplyQuote
 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
22/06/2011 5:44 pm  
"Los" wrote:
A special congratulations goes to Camlion, who – after stating his intention in the chat box to “ignore” me – managed to stick to that resolution for a whole entire week.

That’s got to be a first for you, eh? Keep reaching for those stars.

Sorry to have gotten your hopes up that your repeating these inane Thelemic political notions would finally go unchallenged, only to have them dashed by my repeating my simple corrections to them. 🙂


ReplyQuote
 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
22/06/2011 5:57 pm  
"wolfangel" wrote:
All that spin, Crowley struck me as one of these http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Individualist_anarchis m"> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Individualist_anarchism , with a mystical bent. Just take a look through all the influences from the various characters involved.

You see i engage with Crowley as being multipolitical as he is multispiritual and multicultural in his system. 777 being a particular example of his multiculturalism and Internationalism.

He in his writing represents left, right, centrist, authoritarian and rebellious perspectives, i believe this is a deliberate stand point that has already been mentioned above to do with conditioning, be it traditional or social. A plurality of perceptions leads to a wider lense to view the variety of political beliefs that individual awarenesses inhabit and use as vehicles to relate to others and civilised structures. This offers the individual a broader view, similar to exploring the many different spiritual visions that exist under the umbrella of Thelema.

There is certainly some merit here, at least insofar as it represents the requisite thinking outside of the box that is required when applying Thelema to politics, wherein government has the limited role of refraining from interfering with the individual rights of its citizens, while facilitating the doing of the true Will of each as best as it can.


ReplyQuote
amadan-De
(@amadan-de)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 686
22/06/2011 10:33 pm  

Can't stop and play due to a looming deadline for something that is intended to be the opening gambit of a 'life's work' but...

This line really needs to get transplanted to the 'Thelema and skeptism' thread

"wolfangel" wrote:
A plurality of perceptions leads to a wider lense....

Though I notice that there already seems to be a move to 'cross-pollinate' the two. Complicated stuff this big-picture work no matter how hard people try to cram it into smaller and smaller boxes.

Laters,
amadan-De Man currently on a food break but still super-powered 😉


ReplyQuote
Keith418
(@keith418)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 127
02/07/2011 9:27 pm  

I don't know how many of the people here have had too much experience with organized Thelemic groups over a long periods of time, but I will note that I know people who seemed very committed and active, but whom I suspected harbored deep conflicts with Thelema and more than a few many of Crowley's teachings. They employed the usual rationalizations to cope with these conflicts, but at a certain point the break arrived and they admitted that they never truly accepted Thelema and violently disagreed with what they finally conceded were many of its key elements. Some of these people had more or less "loud" breaks with the teachings and the communities, and some quietly left on their own, perhaps too embarrassed to admit to the grim reality of their years of denial and inner conflict, but after watching this happen over and over again for more than 20 years now, I tend to think the problem is fairly widespread and that it will continue to debilitate the community.

Who is say what is "right" or "left" in Thelema? Crowley advocated for drug legalization. Even many "leftist" Thelemites have quietly dropped this demand and it appears to matter very little to them now. Does this mean they have "moved" to the "right"? Those on the right insist on the glories of self-sacrifice for nation, etc. Crowley teaches us that these kinds of appeals are rooted in Old Aeon moralities and that the individual is the sole "autarch" - over nation, clan, family, etc. When he criticizes the family ("public enemy number one"), this antipathy no longer appears to be a teaching that resonates either on the left nor on the right.

Crowley had plenty to offend the traditional left (degrees of socialism) and those on the right (varying degrees of nationalism and conservatism), but pointing this out usually seems to indicate to people that the status quo somehow gets preserved. The community splits the difference and accepts things the way they are. Crowley, however his politics may be characterized, was a fierce critic of the status quo. Are things so great now that a criticism of the status quo, and the cultural and political institutions of Western democracies, no longer need to be attacked at its core? if this is the case, then Thelema has moved from being an enemy of the status quo to being an adjunct to it, or a new and slightly different mouthpiece for it. Is that really what it's for?

Many young people, first getting involved in Thelma, expect the communities to be far more oppositional than they turn out to be. They expect the Thelemic groups to want to shake things up, not calm things down. Is this an unreasonable expectation? If so, why would it be?


ReplyQuote
Los
 Los
(@los)
Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 2195
02/07/2011 10:39 pm  

Once again, Keith, you seem to be laboring under the delusion that Thelema is a form of morality: that a Thelemite must act in certain ways or support certain positions in order to be considered a Thelemite.

In point of fact, the only requirement a Thelemite has is to discover and follow his or her True Will.

If a Thelemite decides that his true will is aided by the status quo, then that is the only justification a Thelemite needs to support maintaining the status quo.


ReplyQuote
 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
02/07/2011 11:23 pm  
"Keith418" wrote:
I don't know how many of the people here have had too much experience with organized Thelemic groups over a long periods of time, but I will note that I know people who seemed very committed and active, but whom I suspected harbored deep conflicts with Thelema and more than a few many of Crowley's teachings. They employed the usual rationalizations to cope with these conflicts, but at a certain point the break arrived and they admitted that they never truly accepted Thelema and violently disagreed with what they finally conceded were many of its key elements. Some of these people had more or less "loud" breaks with the teachings and the communities, and some quietly left on their own, perhaps too embarrassed to admit to the grim reality of their years of denial and inner conflict, but after watching this happen over and over again for more than 20 years now, I tend to think the problem is fairly widespread and that it will continue to debilitate the community.

If you look for them, you can see signs of such internal conflicts within members in the forums here, as well. Usually people will just compartmentalize Thelema so that they enjoy the elements that they are interested in and find pleasant and acceptable (compatible with their preferred paradigm) and disregard the the ones they find less pleasant to think about, until someone else raises a valid issue which exposes the sore spot.

"Keith418" wrote:
Who is say what is "right" or "left" in Thelema? Crowley advocated for drug legalization. Even many "leftist" Thelemites have quietly dropped this demand and it appears to matter very little to them now. Does this mean they have "moved" to the "right"? Those on the right insist on the glories of self-sacrifice for nation, etc. Crowley teaches us that these kinds of appeals are rooted in Old Aeon moralities and that the individual is the sole "autarch" - over nation, clan, family, etc. When he criticizes the family ("public enemy number one"), this antipathy no longer appears to be a teaching that resonates either on the left nor on the right.

There are some Thelemites, though there are notable exceptions even here in these forums, who can simultaneously embrace individual freedom in all germane matters of personal choice, and embrace individual independence (from nation, culture, family, society, etc.) at the same time. This requires a hybrid of traditional "Leftist" and "Rightist" ideals in keeping with the principles of the Law of Thelema. It is a rare bird who advocates for the rights outlined in Liber OZ, and for the fiscal responsibility on both personal and community levels that is implied by the ideals of individual independence, for example. Again, this requires a hybrid of traditional "Leftist" and "Rightist" ideals in keeping with the principles of the Law of Thelema.

"Keith418" wrote:
Crowley had plenty to offend the traditional left (degrees of socialism) and those on the right (varying degrees of nationalism and conservatism), but pointing this out usually seems to indicate to people that the status quo somehow gets preserved. The community splits the difference and accepts things the way they are. Crowley, however his politics may be characterized, was a fierce critic of the status quo. Are things so great now that a criticism of the status quo, and the cultural and political institutions of Western democracies, no longer need to be attacked at its core? if this is the case, then Thelema has moved from being an enemy of the status quo to being an adjunct to it, or a new and slightly different mouthpiece for it. Is that really what it's for?

Thelema remains, and must always remain, (in accordance with its core principles,) the enemy of certain elements of the status quo to be found tradtionally in both the "Left" and "Right" political camps of today. It is the "Thelemites" of today who are at fault, not Thelema itself. There are numerous reasons for this, one being that Thelema's hallmark freedom of choice seems to imply the freedom to choose to be unThelemic when one wishes, to cling to the status quo when it suits one's fancy, one's conditioning, one's comfort zone. The resistance to the process of auditing of one's personal values that is essential to Thelema is so prevalent among "Thelemites" that they might easily be mistaken for Christians or socialists or Moslems or fascists or Jews, when all of these in reality contradict the principles of the Law of Thelema in whole or in part. Many "Thelemites" are in denial about these contradictions, a denial that is fostered by this implied freedom to choose to be unThelemic when one wishes.

"Keith418" wrote:
Many young people, first getting involved in Thel[e]ma, expect the communities to be far more oppositional than they turn out to be. They expect the Thelemic groups to want to shake things up, not calm things down. Is this an unreasonable expectation? If so, why would it be?

Another hallmark of Thelema is work, the Great Work, in fact. The Work essential to the process of self-realization that reveals the Universe and each Individuals central role in It. The work ethic seems to have gone out of Thelema. We find that most "Thelemites" are as lazy and complacent as the next person on the planet. They are as easily distracted, prone to compulsion and obsession, confusion and self-delusion as anyone else. The processes of painfully honest introspection and analysis of the facts of life that are another hallmark of Thelema are very, very hard to find among "Thelemites."


ReplyQuote
 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
02/07/2011 11:30 pm  
"Los" wrote:
Once again, Keith, you seem to be laboring under the delusion that Thelema is a form of morality: that a Thelemite must act in certain ways or support certain positions in order to be considered a Thelemite.

In point of fact, the only requirement a Thelemite has is to discover and follow his or her True Will.

If a Thelemite decides that his true will is aided by the status quo, then that is the only justification a Thelemite needs to support maintaining the status quo.

Unless, of course, doing your Will happens to involve enabling others to do their Wills, in which case it is your Duty to expand the scope of your concerns to include the accomplishment of the Wills of others. In the fields of education, political science, law, sociology, psychology, etc, etc, etc, the well-being of others is a legitimate concern, and I'm sure that no Thelemite would seriously advocate for the abandonment of undertakings in these fields, provided that the people involved in them were doing their Wills.

And what model would Thelemites whose Wills dictate their involvement in such fields employ? It would be the Thelemic model of knowing and doing true Will, and would employ any methodology which enhances or enables the knowing and doing of true Will among the general population.

Again, this is the most elementary level stuff, I really can't believe anyone sees cause to debate it.


ReplyQuote
Keith418
(@keith418)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 127
03/07/2011 5:30 am  

Crowley himself seemed to be mistaken about Thelema being a "morality" - as he titled the chapter in MWT: "Morals of AL—Hard to Accept, and Why nevertheless We Must Concur." Obviously, he wasn't as wise and as insightful and as experienced as the people on this forum.

The object I keep seeing is to deny both the chapter's title and its message - the morals of Liber Al either do not exist as a "morality" (semantic game playing), or that if they are a "morality" they aren't "hard to accept" at all. Or both.

Any Thelema, like anything else, that can mean anything to anyone soon becomes meaningless to everyone. Is Crowley wrong in this chapter? If he isn't, then why does what he say in it still seem so hard for people to "accept"? Could it be because what he's asking people to accept is a profound and eviscerating attack on the ideals that we have been taught since we were children - that we tend to accept as "natural" and as being beyond criticism?

Even if we insist that Thelema isn't a "morality" this still doesn't excuse the general pass and lack of investigation accorded to the sustaining morality and ideologies propping up the status quo:

"We are born into a World which is in Bondage to Ideals; to them we are perforce fitted, even as the Enemies to the Bed of Procrustes.”

What are those "ideals" but democracy, equality, humanitarianism, etc.? If we don't see these as ideologies and "ideals" that we are in bondage to, then what else are they? And if we accept them, and reject Crowley's criticisms of them, then what is left in Thelema that's meaningful? Kooky paintings of Lam done in photoshop?


ReplyQuote
Los
 Los
(@los)
Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 2195
03/07/2011 6:46 am  
"Keith418" wrote:
Crowley himself seemed to be mistaken about Thelema being a "morality" - as he titled the chapter in MWT: "Morals of AL—Hard to Accept, and Why nevertheless We Must Concur." Obviously, he wasn't as wise and as insightful and as experienced as the people on this forum.

Obviously. As he himself noted, he was the first and "therefore worst Thelemite."

The expectation in Thelema -- as in any real subject of any kind whatsoever -- is that the subject will develop and grow as people study it. This is the case in all real subjects. Modern understanding of evolution, for example, differs considerably from Darwin's understanding of it, even though he came up with the basic outline of it. We've learned more over time.

Now, in all fantasy-land subjects, like religions, you don't get any kind of development because all you have to work with are fantasies. Religions don't change substantially because they consist of nothing more than following a bunch of codes written down by dead people.

What I'm telling you is that Thelema is a real subject, something that can be studied and that, as a result, is something that we today should have a better idea about than Crowley did. If you dispute this, you're going to have to argue that Thelema is nothing more than a nutty religion and is just as worthless as every other religious system that revolves around nothing more than living up to moral codes.

At any rate, the letter you cite isn't about "morality" in the sense I'm using it -- it doesn't announce that Thelema requires one to follow a particular moral code, as you have been maintaining. It's about the difficulties people have in accepting the basic facts described by the Book: that, to use an example Crowley does, there are Masters and slaves in society and that, to use his other example, the human race is a warlike and violent race whose violent tendencies aren't getting any "better" and aren't going away any time soon.

These are, of course, things that anyone who studies the real world should know. They are not uniquely revealed by The Book of the Law.

People do have a hard time accepting these things. But the author of the Book -- whoever that author may have been -- isn't asking us. He's telling us.

Even if we insist that Thelema isn't a "morality" this still doesn't excuse the general pass and lack of investigation accorded to the sustaining morality and ideologies propping up the status quo

Of course. Thelema rejects all morality whatsoever, including morality "propping up the status quo" and the morality that says "it's good to challenge the status quo."

The point here is that Thelema is against all morality, which not just includes the idea "It's good to conform," but its opposite moral idea "It's good to rebel." According to Thelema, neither the act of conformity nor the act of rebellion has any inherent virtue and there are no obligations for anyone -- "Thelemite" or not -- to engage in either of those actions.

So, wait, I hear some people asking. If Thelema isn't a set of rules telling us "Thou must rebel against the status quo" or "Thou must oppose those dastardly 'leftist' programs everywhere thou seest them," and if it's also not telling us "Thou must conform to society" or "Thou must treat everyone equally," then what is it commanding us to do?

And the answer is simple: Thelema's only commandment is that an individual obey his or her actual inclinations.

For some people, this is going to involve promoting "right wing" politics, and for others, this is going to involve promoting "left wing" politics. For many, if not most, others, this is going to involve not caring about politics at all and just doing what interests them. For this latter group, as long as they're left alone to do their will, they likely won't care at all about politics. And if the "status quo" provides a stable environment that's conducive to their will, then my guess is that they'll be perfectly fine with the status quo.

And that's the precise reason that all your blather about "Sincere Thelemites must do X" or "Sincere Thelemites must do Y" comes off as utterly batshit. The idea that "Thou must oppose liberal programs" is just as much an "ideal" as the idea "Thou must support liberal programs." Thelema is opposed to both.

Thelema is about getting rid of all the "thou shalts," including -- most perniciously at all -- the "thou shalts" cooked up by your own mind that convince you that such-and-such is somehow objectively "better" for the world.

Now look, if you want to respond sensibly to this post, you're going to have to do a little bit more than quote some Crowley and follow it up with endless rhetorical questions that go nowhere.

You're going to have to -- at a minimum -- demonstrate that you have some kind of understanding of what Thelema actually is and actually make an argument that Thelema -- oh, excuse me, excuse me: sincere Thelema, that's the ticket, isn't it? -- places requirements upon its adherents outside of obedience to their own true wills.

Now, the problem for you, Keith, is that the central text upon which this philosophy is based says, explicitly, "There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt," and it stresses continually and repeatedly throughout its text that the Thelemite is to completely disregard anything other than his or her will. That's going to make mounting a convincing reply all but impossible for you. But hey, it's not like I've ever seen you adequately address a point to begin with, so it's familiar territory for you.

what is left in Thelema that's meaningful? Kooky paintings of Lam done in photoshop?

Let's hope not! No, what's left in Thelema is precisely what the word says: the will. Thelema is a practical system for individuals to discover and accomplish their true will, not some piece of political morality that demands obedience to a set of ideals.


ReplyQuote
 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
03/07/2011 9:12 am  

Los, you are fantastic.


ReplyQuote
 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
03/07/2011 11:21 am  
"Los" wrote:
The expectation in Thelema -- as in any real subject of any kind whatsoever -- is that the subject will develop and grow as people study it. [Emphasis added.]

No, Los, as people grow and practice it.

You really must take the quantum leap from theory to practice in order to put the principles of the Law of Thelema into widespread practice, if that is your Will. If it is not your Will, stand back and make room. You are taking the illogical approach of rogue anarchy, of the 'lone wolf' Thelemite, which really will not work if projected onto the big picture.

The appropriate approach to "Thelemic morality" or"Thelemic politics" is not to pretend that they will not exist. They must exist in the very narrow margin where things and ideas are dealt with that we all must hold in common.

Of course, 'Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law," but in fields such as education, political science, law, sociology, psychology, etc, fields which mold the common environment in which each of us must be able to do our Will, there must be a common understanding of which environment best suits everyone doing their own Will at the same time and in the same place.

This idea that socialism might best suit one while its antithesis might best suit another, and that each should thus seek out their preference, is childish fantasy. These are things that we must hold in common because, to a certain extent, our "moral" and "political" environment must be a shared one. It must be flexible enough, yet stable enough, to suit each individual doing their true Will in the same world.

You write a great deal about reality and other people's denial of it, but your political and social perspectives on Thelema in widespread practice are very, very far from reality.


ReplyQuote
 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
03/07/2011 12:02 pm  
"Fr.N.L.A.M." wrote:
Los, you are fantastic.

Curiouser and curiouser.

See the 'How relevant is Crowley to Thelema today?' thread where Fr.N.L.A.M. poses this question, to which Los replies with

"Los" wrote:
We might say that Crowley is an “authority” on Thelema in the same way that Darwin is an authority on evolutionary theory: Darwin came up with the broad outline of evolutionary theory, and laid out all of the basics, but we’ve learned quite a bit about the subject since then, and on several points, modern understanding of evolution differs quite significantly from that of Darwin.

Whereby, one assumes, that Crowley's ideas both esoteric and pertaining to social revolution "differ quite significantly" according to Los and Co.

What utter and unfounded crap. I think it is important to distinguish between building upon the foundation that Crowley laid and replacing it with something quite different. 😉


ReplyQuote
Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 4087
03/07/2011 12:50 pm  
"Keith418" wrote:
And if we accept them, and reject Crowley's criticisms of them, then what is left in Thelema that's meaningful?

Crowley's entire body of work subsequent to the transmission of The Book of the Law is an elaboration of Thelema in its various aspects. You're concentrating on one aspect, the political application.

So, what are we left with? Well, everything else really - The Holy Books, The Equinox, The Vision and the Voice, Book Four, The Book of Lies, Liber Aleph, Magick in Theory and Practice, Little Essays Toward Truth, Eight Lectures on Yoga, The Book of Thoth, Magick Without Tears, etc. Rather a lot, eh?

We all focus on aspects of Thelema which appeal to us, but it's best not to run away with the idea that only that which appeals to us is important. You choose to focus - in a very lugubrious manner, if I may say so - on the political application of the Law of Thelema, but there's a lot apart from that.

Best wishes,

Michael.


ReplyQuote
amadan-De
(@amadan-de)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 686
03/07/2011 2:16 pm  
"Fr.N.L.A.M." wrote:
Los, you are fantastic.

Quite literally.
This statement

"Los" wrote:
Religions don't change (through time) substantially because they consist of nothing more than following a bunch of codes written down by dead people.

is remarkably far from observable reality.

(Aside to Los - to prevent the usual stereotyping you are prone to, I am not a practitioner of nor a subscriber to any religious system nor have I ever been, even as a child, I am however interested in the History of Religion as a subject of study.)


ReplyQuote
Page 6 / 11
Share: