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Azidonis
(@azidonis)
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28/06/2011 6:14 am  

93,

This is an attempted redirection of the comments in the following thread:

http://www.lashtal.com/nuke/PNphpBB2-viewtopic-t-5095-postdays-0-postorder-asc.phtml

It has been created with the idea that this thread may house such ideas as are cropping up and being discussed in the other thread, without causing detriment to the main intention of that thread.

It would be a shame to see the thread in question locked, possibly hindering the overall premise of the thread and its future announcements.

93 93/93


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
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28/06/2011 11:22 am  
"Camlion" wrote:
I believe it's no secret that this site doubles as a KG site, of sorts, with the blessings of Paul, justified no doubt by the relationship between AC and KG (- between the men rather than between their work, imo). This is very generous of Paul, and would not be indulged on many other AC sites.

The homepage of this website makes it clear that it is devoted to the life, work and legacy of Crowley. Unless it is to be a museum piece, his legacy continues to develop, and Crowley's is no exception. Crowley's work was a major impact on that of Kenneth Grant - this is readily apparent to all but the voluntarily blind - and thus the latter's work is one of a number of developments of Crowley's legacy.

Throughout the fifties and sixties, the Grants were part of a circle of people who worked to preserve and propogate Crowley's work. Grant did most of the work involved in making typed copies of what were judged to be Crowley's most important papers prior to their shipping to Germer. These copies formed an important basis for the Yorke Collection at the Warburg, the more so given the subsequent destruction of the originals. The edition of The Confessions edited by Grant and Symonds appeared in 1969, consolidating the growing interest in Crowley

Thus on a site concerned with Crowley's legacy, Grant's place thereon is fully merited, as distinct from being simply a matter of Paul's indulgence.

Best wishes,

Michael.


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michaelclarke18
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28/06/2011 11:52 am  

I suppose it all depends - and this has been discussed many times - on the degree that you consider KG and his work to be the legitimate successor to AC.
I think that KG is a very interesting writer - and I would never be without his books - but essentially he is post-Thelemic, and not Thelemic in the pure sense. In no way is that a negative - this is what makes him so interesting as an occultist, he has taken elements of Thelema and developed them into a highly personal system of his own. It's for that reason, I think, that he deserves a significant place on this website.

Never-the-less I also agree with Camlion that there are a number of Thelemic websites in which it would not be appropriate to discuss KG, as they are rather more pure in their approach to AC. As for me, I am interested in both KG and AC and intend to develop this interest further.


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Los
 Los
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28/06/2011 4:12 pm  
"michaelclarke18" wrote:
I think that KG is a very interesting writer [...] but essentially he is post-Thelemic, and not Thelemic in the pure sense.

I suppose it depends on what we mean by “Thelema.” If we consider Thelema – as Crowley did – to be a philosophy of individual conduct that revolves around discovering the true will, then I fail to see how Grant’s writings could be said to be a development of Thelema, since those writings do not deal with discovering the true will but with engaging in certain practices that may (or may not) be a part of any given individual’s true will.

Grant’s followers are quick to observe that his books are not “for beginners” and not “practical manuals of occultism,” that these books presuppose an understanding of Thelema and presuppose that those who read and participate in such practices have already determined that engaging in such practices is part of their true will.

That being the case, Grant’s writings can’t really be said to be a development of Thelema. They are an expression of one person’s idea of what his true will is, an expression that other people like and participate in.

To make an analogy, let’s say that I had studied with Crowley and determined that my true will was to be the next “cake boss.” I go on to write several books on making cakes, and I then host a television show about making cakes. In this scenario, people might rightly be interested in my work because of my connection to Crowley, but it would be false to say that my books and shows about cakes are a “development of Thelema.”

They may be inspired by Thelema or something that I believe to be my personal expression of my true will, which I learned from Thelema, but you couldn’t logically say that I’m developing Thelema itself by baking cakes


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Patriarch156
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28/06/2011 4:24 pm  

I second the statements that given the manifest influence Crowley had on Grant, and perhaps even more importantly his significant role in caretaking his legacy through decades of little or no interest, not to mention s widespread influence on many current Thelemites, including people like me who are not involved actively working with concepts that Grant spearheaded, his presence at the home of the Aleister Crowley society is not only warranted but needed.

It certainly holds a much more important place in that context than say Austin Osman Spare, whomI personally find extremely interesting, but whom I have seen no credible evidence that Crowley ever had a huge impact on (a generalized and uncompleted period of Probation does not really count for much), but whomit can be argued has had a huge impact on modern Thelemites, again largely because of Grant's pioneer work.

Whether or not Grant is the heir to Crowley's legacy, even if we overlook the fact that there obviously are many heirs to his legacy, remains irrelevant. I do think however that a more critical and because of that objective assesment and investigation into his impact on Crowley's legacy, including the accuracy of his presentation of Crowley's ideas and what exactly constitutes a development of it and on what grounds such cases can be made, is highly warranted and more than a little overdue, at least if we want to be more than simple fans, we need to give him the same critical treatment that we award Crowley.


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Patriarch156
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28/06/2011 4:33 pm  

Los, given that Crowley thought of, wrote about and applied the Law of Thelema to things far beyond a philosophy of individual conduct that revolves around discovering the True Will, your baker analogy kind of breaks down.


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 Anonymous
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28/06/2011 4:48 pm  

I really don't want to defend an author who doesn't need defending, I'll just post my two ideas on the topic.

Contextualizing the life and works of Aleister Crowley within a wider frame of a Tradition, including other notable figures such as Achad, Spare et alii, is a great service to those interested in Thelema and those curious to know more about this Tradition. Now you may not agree with the author, think his theories are strange and sinister. But as regards to relevance to Thelema and developing and highlighting some aspects of the Thelemic current, I don't think anyone can argue with that.

'But', Thelemic fundamentalists will argue, 'Grant does not write about discovering one's true will! He cannot be of interest to Thelemites!'

But I then think that 'Nightside of Eden' was written as an exploration and elucidation on Liber CCXXXI. That's an actual book written by Crowley you know, it's “Liber Arcanorum τών ATV τού TAHVTI QUAS VIDIT ASAR IN AMENNTI sub sigurâ CCXXXI Liber Carcerorum τών QLIPHOTH cum suis Geniis. Adduntur Sigilla et Nomina Eorum" and was written in 1907. It's not really on discovering one's true will, therefore according to previous definitions, it's a 'non-Thelemic' book written by a Thelemic author, such as Crowley. How would we class liber 231? Extra-Thelemic even though by Thelemic authorship?

I suppose one of Grant's major qualities was to expand the range (both in topics and time span) of the Thelemic current. On top of this he is amongst the three or four people whom we most have to thank for Crowley material having been available through the years. I would dare call Grant Thelemic, as would anyone who would find the time to just read his first trilogy.

Wish you luck in finding your true will, Los, and eventually in your cake business, if your hunch is right. 😉


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Los
 Los
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28/06/2011 6:34 pm  
"FraterLucius" wrote:
'But', Thelemic fundamentalists will argue, 'Grant does not write about discovering one's true will! He cannot be of interest to Thelemites!'

I don’t think anyone has suggested that a Thelemite can’t be “interested” in Grant or anyone else. I’m interested in all sorts of things that have nothing to do with Thelema, including things that Crowley wrote that have nothing to do with Thelema.

[Liber CCXXXI is] not really on discovering one's true will, therefore according to previous definitions, it's a 'non-Thelemic' book written by a Thelemic author, such as Crowley. How would we class liber 231? Extra-Thelemic even though by Thelemic authorship?

Well, here we’re running right into the problem of this thread: what is it exactly that we consider “Thelemic”? Is anything written by Crowley “Thelemic,” even if it’s not a text about Thelema? That’s a mighty strange definition of “Thelemic,” wouldn’t you say?

If everything written by Crowley is “Thelemic,” then all of his diary entries, his poetry, his Confessions, his correspondence, even his grocery shopping lists would have to be considered “Thelemic,” regardless of whether or not those things have anything to do with explicating the philosophy that we call Thelema.

The matter gets more confusing when we look at something like The Confessions, which isn’t a Thelemic text (it’s an autobiography) but contains some commentary on Thelema. Then there are things like Berashith, which aren’t Thelemic (it was written prior to the reception of the Book of the Law, so it can’t be), but which can be applied to a study of the Qabalah, which can be applied to a study of Thelema, and thus can be said, in a roundabout kind of way, to be relevant to a study of Thelema, but still not Thelemic.

To go back to my original point, I don’t think pathworking exercises with one aspect of the Qabalah can be considered “developing Thelema,” unless we define “developing Thelema” in such a way that would make baking a cake “developing Thelema,” which would indeed render the phrase ridiculous.

I would dare call Grant Thelemic, as would anyone who would find the time to just read his first trilogy.

What does it mean for a person to be "Thelemic"? Simply that a person is a Thelemite?

I have no problem with Grant being a Thelemite and with Thelemites reading, discussing, and practicing his work.

But just as one Thelemite might bake cakes as part of his true will -- and no one would label his cook book a "development of Thelema" (or anything at all to do with Thelema) -- so too might another Thelemite write occult instructions/fiction/pathworking prompts as part of his true will. And yet, people *do* label the occult instructions/fiction/pathworking prompts a "development of Thelema" and directly related to Thelema.

It's the discrepency in labeling that I'm taking issue with here.

Wish you luck in finding your true will, Los, and eventually in your cake business, if your hunch is right.

Keep watching Staten Island Cakes, the show that more fully develops Thelema than any other show on television today.


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 Anonymous
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28/06/2011 7:00 pm  

Los,

You do realize that "Liber CCXXXI" is one of the Holy Books of Thelema....so you're saying that just because a this book does not have the True Will as a central theme, even though Crowley included it among the other "Holy Books", that Work done with this particular Liber is not "Thelemic".....you're grasping at straws here....


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 Anonymous
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28/06/2011 7:03 pm  
"Patriarch156" wrote:
I do think however that a more critical and because of that objective assesment and investigation into his impact on Crowley's legacy, including the accuracy of his presentation of Crowley's ideas and what exactly constitutes a development of it and on what grounds such cases can be made, is highly warranted and more than a little overdue, at least if we want to be more than simple fans, we need to give him the same critical treatment that we award Crowley.

Agreed. And please, especially coming from those who are often so critical of Crowley himself on this website dedicated to his life, legacy, etc, a little less of the 'sacred cow' mantle for Grant and Spare, please? You'd think they had been universally decreed to be above criticism, which they most certainly have not.

Personally, I find Grant's work (and yes have read it myself) to be potentially supplemental to that of Crowley, for those few who are so inclined. As for its relationship to the Law of Thelema, I would call it tangential.


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mika
 mika
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28/06/2011 7:41 pm  
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
Throughout the fifties and sixties, the Grants were part of a circle of people who worked to preserve and propogate Crowley's work.

Grant may have been an integral part of the preservation and promulgation of Crowley's work, however, those contributions have no bearing on the quality and value of Grant's own magical work. It makes absolutely no sense to argue that Grant's personal work is relevant to Thelema and to the Aleister Crowley Society simply because he hand-typed some of Crowley's papers.

It would be far more credible to argue for the value of Grant's work to Thelemites by actually referencing his magical work. His Thelemic work (if it exists), not his extensive books on qlippothic workings and such, which may be very insightful and valuable but are not specifically continuations or expansions of Crowley's ideas about Thelema.

"MichaelStaley" wrote:
Thus on a site concerned with Crowley's legacy, Grant's place thereon is fully merited, as distinct from being simply a matter of Paul's indulgence.

The focus on Grant here has not been fully merited as far as I'm concerned, as I explained above, so it does seem as though the inclusion of Grant is indeed a matter of Paul's indulgence. But so what? Why not call it what it is? The more that people here try to defend Grant as Crowley's successor, the less believable this site is as a credible, authoritative resource on Crowley and Thelema for everyone who disagrees. I don't see the point in muddying the waters - while it validates those who love Grant, it is disappointing (at best) and downright offensive (at worst) to those of us who don't find his personal work relevant to Thelema. What's wrong with being the Home of the AC Society, with a side interest in Grant (and Spare and Blavatsky and Parsons and whoever else)? Why the need to assert "Grant's Place [in] Crowley's legacy"?


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Los
 Los
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28/06/2011 7:49 pm  
"N.O.X" wrote:
Los,

You do realize that "Liber CCXXXI" is one of the Holy Books of Thelema

It's included in The Holy Books of Thelema, but if memory serves, it's the versified portion of it -- that is, the part that simply describes the Tarot Trumps as symbolic of initiation -- that Crowley refers to in Confessions as a "Holy Book" produced that year.

Whatever one makes of the sigils -- which were apparently "received" much earlier than the verses -- I certainly wouldn't consider them to be central to anyone's understanding of what Thelema is.

Work done with this particular Liber is not "Thelemic"

It doesn't have to stop there, either. I wouldn't consider pathworking exercises done with images contained in any of the "Holy Books" to be any more of a "development of Thelema." It would be, at best, an interesting imaginative exercise that an individual might engage in because he wants to do it.


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Patriarch156
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28/06/2011 8:16 pm  
"Los" wrote:
Whatever one makes of the sigils -- which were apparently "received" much earlier than the verses -- I certainly wouldn't consider them to be central to anyone's understanding of what Thelema is.

Work done with this particular Liber is not "Thelemic"

It doesn't have to stop there, either. I wouldn't consider pathworking exercises done with images contained in any of the "Holy Books" to be any more of a "development of Thelema." It would be, at best, an interesting imaginative exercise that an individual might engage in because he wants to do it.

Actually, though you are correct that the sigils of the houses and prisons 231 was received at a different point in time than the text, and much earlier at that, they were received during the same period and from the same source as LXV, VII, etc. and were published and regarded by Crowley as part of the Holy Books and regarded by himself as intimately connected to Thelema.

Of course if you left this fancy picture you have made for yourself about Crowley agreeing with your extremely limited view on Thelema, you would probably have realized this already. Until you realize the actual facts of the matter however, I have little confidence in that you will admit to the fact thst the facts does not pander to your own prejudices in this matter about Grant.

Ironically your baker analogy is strangely apt here, since you would be a Thelemite who realized that his True Will was to be a baker and then insisted tht only boos about baking is Thelemic.


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 Anonymous
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28/06/2011 8:27 pm  

Given that Grant considered himself a Thelemite, and his work a repository of aspects of the Current, wouldn't it seem a bit mean-spirited to say to him, "Get thee to another forum, and be discussed there" - ?

And if the content of the discussion then touched directly upon Crowley's own literature, would Kenneth be allowed to pop back here and be discussed for a bit? - like Lear's Fool clutching to his leg as the storm blasts o'er the moor?

'Poor Ken's a-cold...'

o


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spike418
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28/06/2011 8:33 pm  
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
The homepage of this website makes it clear that it is devoted to the life, work and legacy of Crowley. Unless it is to be a museum piece, his legacy continues to develop, and Crowley's is no exception. Crowley's work was a major impact on that of Kenneth Grant - this is readily apparent to all but the voluntarily blind - and thus the latter's work is one of a number of developments of Crowley's legacy.

.

I think Michael, that you have hit on the crux of the matter. IMHO there are far to many people viewing the legacy as static and unable to develop. Museum pieces have their place but I really wouldn't want to go mountain biking on a penny farthing! I say this speaking as someone whose own practices don't owe much if anything to the late Mr Grant. But hey, I'm an open minded tolerant liberal and as such a possible heretic 😉


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einDoppelganger
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28/06/2011 8:58 pm  

To argue Kenneth Grant's work is somehow not Thelemic is quite absurd. It is akin to saying a book on electronics is not about electricity, because it does not discuss the mechanics of turning on the light switch.


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 Anonymous
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28/06/2011 8:58 pm  
"oneiros" wrote:
Given that Grant considered himself a Thelemite, and his work a repository of aspects of the Current, wouldn't it seem a bit mean-spirited to say to him, "Get thee to another forum, and be discussed there" - ?

And if the content of the discussion then touched directly upon Crowley's own literature, would Kenneth be allowed to pop back here and be discussed for a bit? - like Lear's Fool clutching to his leg as the storm blasts o'er the moor?

'Poor Ken's a-cold...'

o

Did someone suggest kicking poor Grant out of the forums? (Not that Paul would care much if they did. This is his private property.) This is the sort of knee-jerk defensive reaction to any sort of criticism that seems characteristic here.


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einDoppelganger
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28/06/2011 9:04 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
This is the sort of knee-jerk defensive reaction to any sort of criticism that seems characteristic here.

Not in so many words Cam, if you were reading the posts in the thread you would see there is a discussion afoot about his relevance on the the Aleister Crowley Society forum.
😉 😆


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 Anonymous
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28/06/2011 9:16 pm  

Do you mean the thread about AC's relevance on the AC site! Yeah, I saw it, Scott, and I saw that someone was immature enough to take the bait. 😉

But really, it just seems like someone is very afraid they might find themselves with the miserable job of moderating forums on a Typhonian site. 🙂


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lashtal
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28/06/2011 9:33 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
But really, it just seems like someone is very afraid they might find themselves with the miserable job of moderating forums on a Typhonian site. 🙂

🙂

Just in the interests of transparency, I should mention that I've studied every one of Grant's books, starting far too many years ago when I was a teenager, and I've enjoyed all of them. It's a real shame that there isn't a serious and popular Typhonian website (yet) but, until there is, I'm very, very happy to host the Grantian Forums here.

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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the_real_simon_iff
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28/06/2011 9:45 pm  

93!

If memory serves correctly this isn't a Thelemic website but one devoted to Aleister Crowley's legacy and his impact on culture (occulture), philosophy, mountaineering, chess, literature and what not. As a man who met Crowley and who helped preserving a lot of Crowley's works, and as a man who until the end discussed Crowley in his own works, it should be clear that Kenneth Grant (and in continuation the followers of his "own brand" of magic) will always play an important part here. Just like Frater Achad or Victor Neuburg, two name a few, both hardly the perfect Thelemites. I cannot remember that any substantial in-depth discussion of the "Typhonian Current" has ever occured here and if it ever will it will probably meet the same fate as any other discussion about Aleister Crowley's "rituals" or "magic": the thread will be locked. Not because of its un-Thelemic-ness or un-Crowley-ness, but because this is neither an occult nor a Thelemic website, but if Robbie Williams quotes Crowley in his lyrics, you will find it mentioned or even discussed here.

And so it is futile to discuss which works of Crowley are more Thelemic than others. Thelema is a philosophy of personal conduct, but Crowley was also quite successful with his methods of Scientific Illuminism, techniques which can be useful for Thelemites, but equally useful for - beware! - the everyday un-Thelemic liberal hippie-sissie everywhere. Just check out which Tarot cards are among the most popular.

Seeing this discussion it was probably one of Paul's best ideas to clearly state that this is not an occult or Thelemic website - but the home of the Aleister Crowley Society alone. I am quite sure, a lot of its members aren't Thelemites.

Love=Law
Lutz

P.S. I will now shut up until I have something enormously important (or enormously silly) to say in my 1000st post...


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lashtal
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28/06/2011 10:09 pm  
"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
If memory serves correctly this isn't a Thelemic website but one devoted to Aleister Crowley's legacy and his impact on culture (occulture), philosophy, mountaineering, chess, literature and what not.

Exactly right, Lutz!

"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
Kenneth Grant (and in continuation the followers of his "own brand" of magic) will always play an important part here. Just like Frater Achad or Victor Neuburg, to name a few, both hardly the perfect Thelemites.

Precisely.

"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
this is neither an occult nor a Thelemic website, but if Robbie Williams quotes Crowley in his lyrics, you will find it mentioned or even discussed here.

Yes…

"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
Seeing this discussion it was probably one of Paul's best ideas to clearly state that this is not an occult or Thelemic website - but the home of the Aleister Crowley Society alone.

Yes…

"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
I am quite sure, a lot of its members aren't Thelemites.

I'd be very disappointed if it turned out that every member was a Thelemite. I'd love to see information, opinion and observations by Moslems, Christians, Buddhists and Dawkinsians - chuck it all into the mix and perhaps we'd all learn something.

Not for the first time, Lutz, you "get" what this site is about. Er, I don't suppose you'd be interested in volunteering as a moderator of the Forums here? 😉

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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Azidonis
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28/06/2011 10:47 pm  

93,

"mika" wrote:
The focus on Grant [...] does seem as though the inclusion of Grant is indeed a matter of Paul's indulgence. But so what? Why not call it what it is?

This part here (the parts quoted, not the parts left out), I totally agree with.

If Paul wanted to have a forum dedicated to pink unicorns, he could very well do it.

Whether or not Grant deserves his own forum, is really left for Paul to decide. The debates are nice, but I think that in order to take one side of the debate or the other, an all-inclusive outlook would not be totally absurd.

For instance, some years ago the forum on Scarlet Women was added. Some of these women have absolutely no connection to Thelema, and some have little connection to Crowley aside from being a mistress for a period of time. Yet, collectively, they have their own forum. This is a decision Paul made that he thought would benefit the Site as a whole.

It goes the same with Grant, in my opinion. I haven't read anything by Grant (that I remember), but I think that he can have his own forums if it pleases the owner of the forums.

Likewise, if Paul wanted to, he could create a forum for Frater Achad, Victor Neuberg, Karl Germer, Grady McMurtry, Crowley's mother, etc. ad nauseum.

So when it comes to whether or not Grant should have his own forum here, I think that if Paul wants it here, it'll be here, and there's nothing anyone is going to do about it.

When it comes to the connection between Crowley/Thelema and Kenneth Grant, I think that is subject worth debating, and is perfectly within the realms of what/how we usually debate on these forums.

That's really why I made this thread, not to sit and "debate" whether or not Grant deserves his own forum. In my eyes, that is simply not debatable. Grant has his own forum "because Paul said so".

I'll step out again, as having no real exposure to Grant, it would be amiss to speculate at this time.

93 93/93


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 Anonymous
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29/06/2011 4:47 am  

Rant alert.

"michaelclarke18" wrote:
I suppose it all depends - and this has been discussed many times - on the degree that you consider KG and his work to be the legitimate successor to AC

I.

As it was michaelclarke18's comments in another thread that catalysed the creation of this one (something about "why don't you go and start a Grant forum, because this one is about Crowley and Thelema", lol), I'll chip in here by responding to his quoted statement above.

I agree with Frater Lucius' remark that Grant does not need defending - and yet of course there will never be a shortage of people such as myself who, although not a member of his Order, feel that it's proper to correct what we see as oft-repeated categorical errors of understanding regarding his work and its place in the lifestream of the current of Thelema.

The wording of the above remark is, in my view, a key to the categorical error being made: within it is encoded the view that there is such a thing as "the legitimate successor to AC". This is, to me, a meaningless expression outside of the formal context of formal, official succession. For upon what authority is this ghost, "legitimacy", to be based? Is it conferred by the individual according to their own lights? Or is it imposed according to the dictats of an external heirarchy?

In all cases it is the former - for it is the former which in all cases confers the latter.

The history of Thelema throws into relief the various "authority" issues involved, and these are worth exploring, particularly in the cases of Grant and Crowley.

If we're not talking about 'official' succession, then the judgements as to "legitimacy" and "succession" are entirely subjective. Therefore each individual has "authority" to make their own call, based on their own understanding of the current. Indeed it ought also be argued that new, original contributions to and syntheses of that current shall inevitably be made, for if these are not the "fruits by which ye shall know them", what are?

If we are talking about official succession, then the case is clear. The official supreme AA authority died with Motta (who got it from Germer); the supreme OTO succession was always invalid because Crowley himself was expelled from that order by Reuss (just as he was also expelled from the Golden Dawn decades earlier, before pirating a substantial amount of its intellectual property that was originally penned by Mathers, and adding a great deal of original material and other stuff, and calling it AA).

Therefore there is today no official successor to AC in any of these orders, unless you accept his own view that being expelled didn't matter, as he had his own spiritual authority conferred by Secret Chiefs yadda yadda yadda - indeed, judging by his actions, expulsion seemed to be taken as coronation! This is precisely the line adopted by Grant upon his expulsion by Crowley's appointed OTO* head, Karl Germer after Grant had announced "discovering a Sirius/Set current" and forming New Isis Lodge, and Grant's continued assumption of headship of the British branch of Crowley's (illegitimate) OTO (now called the Typhonian Order after being litigated over the trademark OTO by Germer's heirs) based on what he saw as his own spiritual authority, just as Crowley had done before him with both the OTO and the Golden Dawn.

Whether one feels the need to acknowledge this official assumption of authority (upon expulsion! lol) within the context of the OTO is irrelevant outside of the context of a formalised Order, and unless one is or considers becoming part of the structure or acknowledging its "legitimacy" from without, I see little point in having an opinion about it.

That said, I doubt (although I cannot know) that anyone who joins Grant's order really cares about how 'official' any of it is, relying instead upon their own convictions as to the merits of Grant's 'legitimacy as a successor to Crowley' on his own terms, not those conferred by his recognition by any other entity. Which, of course, is precisely what drew people to Crowley's orders, and perhaps also to Mathers' before him.
____

II.

This site's Supreme Editor has repeatedly declared that Grant is relevant to it and discussion of his work and life is to be included, and he's given his grounds for this conclusion, and still those who for some reason or other feel miffed by this, complain that it's just 'an indulgence' on his part.

They invite people to go off and create a special Kenneth Grant forum elsewhere so they can save this site to discuss "pure" Thelema (despite the foregoing), as though "pure Thelema" (Thelema being reasonably encapsulated by "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law", "Love is the law, love under will", and "every man and every woman is a star") somehow involves absolute homodoxy of expression and form. Houston, we have a problem.

______

III.
I have always felt, right from my first discovery of Crowley and Thelema as a teenager during the 80s (introduced to these through studying/working with Golden Dawn and Peter Carroll's material), continuously throughout my study of all of his works over more than twenty years, alongside many if not most other esoteric authors both related and unrelated to Crowley - I have always felt that whatever Grant's claims may or may not have been regarding "legitimate successorship to AC", and within what specific contexts they might or might not have been made, have never seen Thelema as being a monolithic, homogenous, authoritarian matter of "legitimate successor"ship. Titles within Orders are another matter, but as far as Thelema goes, they simply don't matter. At all.

Nema, author of Maat Magick, says of Grant (p.218):

"Nema" wrote:
"After reading his The Magickal Revival [sic.] and Aleister Crowley and the Hidden God, I began to wonder at the general lack of other writings on the shelves that served to advance the High Art. When I read his Cults of the Shadow- particularly the chapter on Frater Achad- I knew what the next step had to be, and searched harder for it among the existing publications. Surely someone was working on it!"

Coming myself at Crowley's occult writings intentionally through the lens which he did, namely, the Golden Dawn, and working with his sublime updatings of its existing magical grammar and Mysteries into forms which reflected the then-contemporary "state of The Art", it became quite natural during this process to feel drawn to then explore the Terra Nullius delineated by the extremeties of his own life's work, just as he had done with that of his predecessors.

The work of magicians such as Parsons, Cameron, Grant, Jones, and others who knew Crowley personally also expresses this notion, not that one needed to know him personally to be able to take up the thread - but out of these, only Kenneth Grant has dedicated a long, prosperous life's work comprising a conspicuous and influential body of work spanning more than half a century, the first century since the declaration of the Law of Thelema by The Master Therion.

Only Kenneth Grant has significantly updated and expanded the vocabulary and grammar of existing Thelemic esoteric corpus of pantheons and practises, updating it to include (entirely according to the principle of syncretic heterodoxy exemplified by Crowley's own magical work) many significant magical currents which Crowley simply didn't know about.

The notion of "Pure Thelema" somehow automatically excluding its own growth is not one which I would expect of anyone who can rub two braincells together.

_________

IV.

In sum:

Even if considered as an original author whose almost entire literary works have over more than half a century been devoted quite specifically to expressing, elucidating, and enriching Crowley's spiritual legacy - simply considered as a writer and Artist, there is nobody whose legacy is so significant in size and scope, in originality and yet in its total immersion in the current of Thelema and in direct memory of Aleister Crowley - as that of Kenneth Grant. On these merits alone, irrespective of his relevance in purely biographical terms, he deserves a special place here.

Best regards
N


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Azidonis
(@azidonis)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2964
29/06/2011 5:08 am  

93,

"Noctifer" wrote:
If we are talking about official succession, then the case is clear. The official supreme AA authority died with Motta (who got it from Germer); the supreme OTO succession was always invalid because Crowley himself was expelled from that order by Reuss (just as he was also expelled from the Golden Dawn decades earlier, before pirating a substantial amount of its intellectual property that was originally penned by Mathers, and adding a great deal of original material and other stuff, and calling it AA).

I'm pretty sure Motta left three successors, as mentioned before. I don't think this has ever been a question. The question has been, as I understand it, if Motta himself was actually the successor. We know he was a successor, as he himself was at least a Zelator 2=9 at the time of Motta's death. Unless I misunderstand how it works, one can "officially carry on a lineage" with the minimal Grade of at least Neophyte 1=10, assuming the individual continues on with the Work and creates the Link, the first inkling of that Link being the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel.

I personally believe that any and every man and woman must create the Link themselves, and Authority comes from that Link, which may or may not have anything to do with the man we know as Aleister Crowley.

I do agree with your statements though, Noc (for once, yay!) other than the Motta tidbit.

Of course, Grant is a different question. I don't know much if anything about the T.O.T.O., but it's Grant's baby, not Crowley's. Any likeness then is a matter of 1) the "Word of the Aeon", and 2 the particular hermeneutic lens that Kenneth Grant and others have used to accomplish the "Great Work".

93 93/93

P.S.

"Noctifer" wrote:
Even if considered as an original author whose almost entire literary works have over more than half a century been devoted quite specifically to expressing, elucidating, and enriching Crowley's spiritual legacy - simply considered as a writer and Artist, there is nobody whose legacy is so significant in size and scope, in originality and yet in its total immersion in the current of Thelema and in direct memory of Aleister Crowley - as that of Kenneth Grant. On these merits alone, irrespective of his relevance in purely biographical terms, he deserves a special place here.

This is a very well thought out and well-placed statement.


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3951
30/06/2011 11:58 pm  
"lashtal" wrote:
It's a real shame that there isn't a serious and popular Typhonian website (yet) but, until there is, I'm very, very happy to host the Grantian Forums here.

I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand I'd love to see a Typhonian discussion website. On the other hand, I like seeing Grant's work in context on LAShTAL.

I don't suppose it's one or the other. For instance, if there were such a website, I would continue to be a member of LAShTAL and to contribute to the discussions. I'm sure that many would be members of both sites, continuing to discuss Grant's work on LAShTAL just as we would discuss Crowley, Spare, Bertiaux, Blavatsky, Taoism, Buddhism, Advaita and countless germane topics on the Typhonian website.

Best wishes,

Michael.


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lashtal
(@lashtal)
Owner and Editor Admin
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 5304
01/07/2011 12:51 am  

Well said, Mick.

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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