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 Anonymous
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This is a short article putting forward the proposition that all Officers of a local body OTO should be of at least Second Degree as below that degree within the Order, you are at best a child from an initiatory and magical perspective. The author contends that at this level, within the magical context of the local body, one is ill equipped, and shouldn’t be expected or required to take on the responsibilities of an Officer.

This quote taken from the Ameth site makes interesting reading. I don't know who wrote this, but many of the members of the OTO I know personally were better suited before their II degree than after it for many reasons. The outer degree in the Order is certainly not indicative of maturity , magical or otherwise as I can personally attest. It is the inner attainment, regardless of the superficial trappings of the external grade, that really counts imho.

Atzilut


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Shiva
(@shiva)
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Joined: 13 years ago
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"Atzilut" wrote:
It is the inner attainment, regardless of the superficial trappings of the external grade, that really counts...

I would agree with this statement. It sounds just like the boom of the drum that I am always beating.

But why would you be discussing the fine points of the inner workings of a "serious and secret" society with us here on a public forum?


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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But, let's just say a Practicus of the A.'.A.'. joins the O.T.O. and decides to form a local body, wouldn't he be more than a child from an initiatory and magical perspective? I used the example of the A.'.A.'., but it could apply to any walks of life. The grade you have in an order doesn't always reflect the level of initiation the person has. Or does it? 😉


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Shiva
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"FraterLucius" wrote:
The grade you have in an order doesn't always reflect the level of initiation the person has. Or does it?

Both posts in line before you (in fact, all the posts in this thread) each said what you just said, although this axiom may be obscured by other considerations. The answer to the question, "Or does it?" is obviously, "No."

I cannot imagine anyone who is so steeped in illusion that they would answer this question with a "Yes."

However, Stand By, for somebody must surely be waiting to enter a debate, even if they do think that their "credit score" accurately reflects the amount of cash they have stashed in their garage.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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"Shiva" wrote:
"FraterLucius" wrote:
The grade you have in an order doesn't always reflect the level of initiation the person has. Or does it?

Both posts in line before you (in fact, all the posts in this thread) each said what you just said, although this axiom may be obscured by other considerations. The answer to the question, "Or does it?" is obviously, "No."

I cannot imagine anyone who is so steeped in illusion that they would answer this question with a "Yes."

However, Stand By, for somebody must surely be waiting to enter a debate, even if they do think that their "credit score" accurately reflects the amount of cash they have stashed in their garage.

I wasn't implying you had written the opposite of what I wrote, I just find it curious that the author of the article, who obviously has the initiatic experience to write what he did, can seriously believe grade and experience go hand in hand..


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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As the title suggests having read this article I feel I can comment on what I believe to be a valid if slightly badly worded point.
Yes this is the kind of opinion that will of course raise hair on a lot of backs (mine included at first glance!) but first in the authors defence I would like to say that he does point out near the end of the article that he himself held office before second and therefore this article is in many ways autobiographical.
Second and this is more important, while I believe it is simply delusional to think that all who join the O.T.O are not mature magically before attaining second degree as one has no way of knowing the practises a minerval has embarked on before taking his initiation, I agree with the author in so much as it relates to ones experience within the order itself.
Taking the O.T.O initiation system as an elevated form of psycho drama one takes on a role to access the current, if one is not prepared to then why bother joining an order to begin with. A Minerval should enjoy his time as a guest, the character he 'plays' within the order should be busy enjoying the hospitality of his surroundings not concerned in any way, shape or form with what goes on behind the scenes. AFter First again one should not be expected to bother taking on any responsibilities either as that also does not fit well with the role he is playing.
Obvioulsy in a practical sense this is not always possible but it does represent a form of ideal where the grades have some form of meaning when played out in full.
If one is not willing to play the roles then maybe joining an order is not for them and fair play if that is so. And remember i dont think this translates into any form of heirarchy as such or at least it shouldnt but responsibilities within an order should almost be burdens that one chaffes at to begin with rather like a child wanting to go back to enjoying the innocence of childhood (stuffing yourself at feasts!) To lust after position early maaaaaaybe (only maybe) simply an indicator that one feels somewhat powerless in their daily life and therefore is looking to fill the void.
Thats how i take it anyway.
93 brothers and sisters


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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Topic starter  

To be fair, the above synopsis doesn't go into any detail as to the reasons why the author views those beneath
the II degree as 'children', although it could be argued it's a question of an individual familiarizing themselves
within the context of the rites specific to the OTO. What does surprise me is how many individuals still maintain
that the external grade somehow qualifies the aspirant, irrespective of experience or lack of. Initiatory experience
may or may not confer, depending on the individual at the time, something which guides them to appropriate
maturity and the ability to understand the deeper significance of the rites themselves seen from an observers
point of view.
As to my discussing a secret society on a public forum, I haven't broken any oath or said anything that couldn't
otherwise apply to any other Initiatory body, secret or otherwise. As Ameth have chosen to advertise the magazine
on Lashtal, this seems a good a place as any to discuss issues it raises. One of these issues is certainly the whole
question of whether the limitations certain members of those Orders wish to impose on others are justified. Often
these debates as they are debated by members of those orders are far more complex and thought out than some
publications would have us believe. As a member with some experience in this field, I am interested to see if the
author indeed responds;)
Thanks for your replies btw.

Atzilut


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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Topic starter  

ps...now who was that famous Minerval who ended up taking high office?


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 Anonymous
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Hmm. Not sure its about Magickal maturity. I think its more about staying power and perseverance.

I am Secretary of a Lodge. I was asked if I wanted to become secretary after my 2nd.

In the years I have been involved now with the OTO I have gained practcal experience in watching hhow people progress, if at all.....

We get many that write to the lodge interested in joining, but never show up to any events. Some do show up a couple of times, then no more. A few come enough to decide to take their minerval. Many minervals come to a few events a year but never much more, some just drift away, some people seem to "collect" secret societies and degrees and never come to anything again.

A few will keep coming to events, start volunteering to side officer or hold classes, or help out in other ways. These more dedicated members go on to take their 1* and some of these will go on to take 2* or higher.

Therefore someone who has attained 2* has been showing up, helping out, volunteering, ect and is propably going to be constant enough to be trusted with office.

GOverment is Service - I spend hours a day in correspondance, nagging other offices for outstanding actions from officer meetings, keeping the calendar up to date, sending our announcements and propoganda for events, making and placing posters and flyers in the local occult shops, talking with other offices, maintaing our online presence on facebook, yahoo, occult on line groups, preparing for lodge meetings. This is on top of the Lectures I give at the lodge, Liber XV and other rituals, the articles I write for our body magazine.

On top of this I have my own magical work to do, a day job and and family.

Its a lot of work.

I love it. I love seeing the number of new members we are getting. I love the OTO.

But its big work - so in my humble POV waiting until someone hits 2* before making them an officer is common sense.

In LLLLL


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einDoppelganger
(@eindoppelganger)
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All this tells me is the officers of the local body need to know they will be pushed into the well by the other initiators...

There is *nothing* transmitted in the Man of Earth degrees that ensures the candidate is advanced beyond the level they approached as a Minerval... beyond that triad I see no evidence the situation improves.
The II* is a fine indicator of your willingness to "stay around" and "pitch in" and "pay your moneyz." I dont think that equates with any level of maturity, magical or otherwise.

I must agree with the posters above who point out that the mundane paperwork you attach to your name has no bearing on proper initiation. No work is required to advance through the man of earth degrees other than signing up, paying dues, and having someone in the lodge to sponsor you.... Of course you have minor tasks here and there like making a robe or a red triangle or some felt letters... There is the issue of a tattoo much later in the process but thats hardly "work."

Once you move past "man of earth" there is still no work other than being valuable or useful to the upper management (and remaining on the party line). How many PIs were created 'cause there was a need for a Lodge Master or a Priest...

I know Minervals who are so enlightened they shit Buddhas.

All true initiation is self initiation. Do the work... or as one honorary saint of the Secret Sanctuary of Pataphysical Gnosis James "Jimmy" Hoffa XI* said :

"If you have to say you is... you aint'"


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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Dear All,

93

I think one of the strongest points of such publications is to inspire people, provoke them and create a constructive dialogue.

In order to make it happen, we need to familiarize ourselves with the source material, so I would suggest to first read the article in question and then discuss its content. Btw, the author of the article doesn't seem to postulate that a formal initiation into the IInd degree is the only necessary requirement to become an Officer in the O.T.O. local body. There are other factors involved in the proposed process discussed in that piece.

As to "nothing transmitted in the Man of Earth" and all the rest, I don't know whether einDoppelgange has been a member of the Order, but it seems he is missing the point. It's all a question of ability to resonate with the specific paradigms that are not necessarilly for all (please note, I don't postulate any sort of egalitharism here). The opinion expressed by einDoppelganger seems to indicate he didn't resonate with the system. His lack of respect to those who take O.T.O. initiatory system as a portal to the Sacred Mysteries is appalling. I concur with the opinion that the real Initiation takes place in the heart of the Aspirant but the formal process can help him or her to tune in the vibrations / level of counsciousness / kundalini (call it as you like) and direct Initiate's karmas into the desired direction. (On the slightly separate note, is there fundamentally any difference between "the inner" and "the outer"?) Liber Porta Lucis makes it clear: "few indeed are called, but of these few many are chosen." So O.T.O. at least provides a platform for those who think they are ready (or they simply want to try) to tread on the Path and helps them to decide whether this particular system (and maybe the Path itself) is for them or not. Coming back to the "nothing transmitted" statement, it's somewhat sad that many of us can't see magic in the simplest facts of nature, in the Life itself, reflected so beautifully during the Man of Earth journey. As we read in Liber Librae: "He who knoweth little, thinketh he knoweth much; but he who knoweth much hath learned his own ignorance. Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? There is more hope of a fool, than of him." But this is a topic for another dicussion.

Now, back to the subject :).

93 93/93
Krzysztof


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einDoppelganger
(@eindoppelganger)
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"krzysztof" wrote:
The opinion expressed by einDoppelganger seems to indicate he didn't resonate with the system. His lack of respect to those who take O.T.O. initiatory system as a portal to the Sacred Mysteries is appalling.

I am well aware of how the system is *supposed* to function.
And yet the author of the article seems to think the system transmits or bestows maturity (magical or otherwise) by awarding a degree. I find *that* appalling.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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93.

Thank you for your reply.

I am well aware of how the system is *supposed* to function.
And yet the author of the article seems to think the system transmits or bestows maturity (magical or otherwise) by awarding a degree. I find *that* appalling.

Have you read the article?

93 93/93
Krzysztof


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einDoppelganger
(@eindoppelganger)
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"krzysztof" wrote:
93.

Thank you for your reply.

I am well aware of how the system is *supposed* to function.
And yet the author of the article seems to think the system transmits or bestows maturity (magical or otherwise) by awarding a degree. I find *that* appalling.

Have you read the article?

93 93/93
Krzysztof

Are we to assume the author was unable to summarize his thesis in the extract and it is inaccurate to his opinion that
"all Officers of a local body OTO should be of at least Second Degree as below that degree within the Order, you are at best a child from an initiatory and magical perspective?" I cannot imagine how this can be further classified to lessen its misguided hubris.

That seems like a bold and clear statement which is endemic to the arrogance and immaturity displayed by many degree collecting "magicians." The article itself is immaterial if you are coming in and defending the point of view and suggesting that degrees actually equal attainment. Most of the discussion is in regards to the sentiment expressed in the extract. The sentiment that degree is equal to spiritual attainment has been seen time and time again by members of various magical orders not limited to "The American Reconstructed OTO inc and her subordinate worldwide franchise holders.


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einDoppelganger
(@eindoppelganger)
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I'm sure the author goes on to make other points and I note you do not share the point of view I (and others) are criticizing. The focus of the discussion here and what I was responding to is the tendency of many to make the fallacious link between the paperwork they attach to themselves and their level of attainment.

I still maintain that one can pass through the entire MOE and higher without advancing a spiritual micron. I venture many people advance while they recede.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

93

Please note that the article in question has a polemic nature and perhaps indicates a problematics within the O.T.O. structures on the level of the local body.

I can't respond to your critique on behalf of the author (I even don't know if he visits lashtal.com) but after reading the article it seems he wanted to emphasise the energetic, psycho-magical (where one takes the O.T.O. system as a magical paradigm) differences between Man and Brother (First degree) and Magician (Second degree). In that context degrees are simply signposts helping to achieve a new level of maturity (to provide you with new life experiences and by assimilating them with better understanding). I think that the good analogy would be different education levels: starting a university doesn't make you MA but provides with different problems and new scope of your work. And yes, it's true that many people don't have to start their adventure in academic circle in order to master its methodology. In that context I take your point.

I don't advocate any particular system here, neither say that degree work is necessary at all. I just wanted to express that it seems as if the major emphasis of the essay was to propose that in order to fulfill well your duties as an officer in your local body it's advisable to attain internally to some level of maturity and integration, according to the author, represented (perhaps one would rather say, symbolised) in the IInd degree.

The question whether such systems work or not, in my humble opinion, is not a subject for this topic.

93 93/93
Krzysztof


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einDoppelganger
(@eindoppelganger)
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Thank you for your thoughtful reply Krzysztof. I look forward to reading the article as I plan on buying the journal. I enjoy many local level OTO publications as well as those from independent and other Thelemic bodies.

Cheers

S


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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Topic starter  

As always, it's good to get constructive dialogue, that sheds some light on the complexity of the
many issues that confront Orders, particularly on the issue of responsibility and taking on an
increasing role of service. I know Bro Krzysztof fairly well and he is, as far as I am aware,
held in high regard and has an intelligent/thoughtful approach in his own sphere. Sadly, that
cannot be said for others of equal rank within the OTO, let alone in the lower degrees.
The important issue here, is one of timing, experience and 'perceived' commitment by those
who have a responsibility for the MOE triad. The issue is that many experienced members get
bored and fed up waiting for something to do, or happen. Equally, those experienced and mature
senior members argue that if you can put up with that and stick around long enough, you have
proved a certain measure of commitment and staying power.
Of course, the earlier point which refers to the fact that the OTO is a kind of testing ground for
many who wish to follow some kind of more hierarchical structure is true. Many do not turn up,
or leave after reaching a certain level in the OTO. This is equally valid in term of assisting an
individual to obtain his or her true will. I myself, apart from holding office once, play a very small
part in the OTO due to other, equally important commitments from a 'magical' perspective.
Nonetheless, there is a need to review the structure and views prevalent in the lodges from
time to time, and discussions such as these do help to focus on the various ramifications that
such views may have if put into practice.

Atzilut


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

93

Many thanks for your responses and kind words.

There are a few interesting facets here. In the context of the Man of Earth triad it may be true that some people go through it "without advancing a spiritual micron." But as soon as we analize its mechanics (not necessarily being an O.T.O. initiate but simply refering to what Crowley said about it in Magick Without Tears, ch.XIII) it appears clear that these degrees mark the most crucial elements in the existence of an individual. In my personal view, O.T.O. job here is to assist such an individual in his/her journey, to provide the enviroment for experiencing those elements and at the same time to give initiatory ideas about their nature. Basically, in its potential it speeds up the evolutionary process
(understood here as ageing) by focusing initate's mind on specific factors. It should be entirely up to the individual how he or she is going to interprete them, how much meditate upon them and how to use them in life. Some of the critics of the system postulate that O.T.O. doesn't provide any teachings or, to be more specific, examinations that would make it impossible for unprepared candidates to go through the Man of Earth degrees. But, again, the nature of those degrees ("Ist: The Child experiences Birth. IInd: The Man experiences Life. IIIrd: He experiences Death.") indicates that no exams are necessary. Do we pass any formal tests before achieving sexual maturity or before death? In my opinion people who opt for a magical regime in the context of passing exams (as in A.`.A.`.) don't understand those degrees at all. Of course, it's enough to turn round and see that the world is populated by people who travel towards the End "without advancing a spiritual micron", who are not able to grasp anything about the nature of their being and that of the cosmos. And ideeed, the same may apply to the people going throguh Man of Earth because those degrees reflect conditions of the life of every individual (as Crowley clearly states in Magick Without Tears: Birth, Life and Death). To insist on taking examinations would be to manipulate an individual, to force him or her into our own sphere of perception of the whole, to impose the will on the candidate; namely, to become a Black Brother. So O.T.O. really serves here every individual, every candidate in non-partisan way: assists in that journey and provides with some keys that may be used by inititates, at the same time not doing the job for them. It's very liberal (for the lack of better word) system, it gives freedom to the candidate, the real sense of thelemic approach (if one has eyes open wide enough to see it) and like particular branch of martial arts is not for all. Some people come to find gurus and very individual course of training and they may be disappointed. Some people find it too liberal, they realise that in order to really grasp it they have to WORK. Some come here just to collect more titles, some because they strive for power or looking for sexy scarlet women. But that's all fine; our job is to serve and assist "not for reward, not for gratitude from them, not for sympathy" (Liber Librae).

Now, in my opinion, some of the views expressed in the topic, pertain to different planes. The article discusses problematics from a very specific point of view. It's not a new decree of the Order but it comes from the perspective of a person who has an experience in the field, is able to draw productive conclusions based on his observations and wants to share them with others. He does take it from a magical perspective showing mature insight into the symbolism of particular degrees, seeing them as an egregore, patterns of consciousness rather than formalities and paperwork and postulates a few ideas based on such patterns. He doesn't say that ALL members of the IInd degree will be good officers and he specifically refers to the offices that don't necessarily have any conotations with spiritual growth of the kind suggested in some of the comments above. Can Dominus Liminis be a good treasurer of a busy Lodge in London? Maybe yes, maybe no. Can Adeptus Exemptus be a good secretary, sending out thousand of emails and responding to many enquiries? Maybe yes, maybe no. An examination of the problem from that perspective is irrelevant. Yet at the same time we must be careful not to consider tasks of the officers in just mundane terms.
AMeTh Lodge is an extremely busy body with more than hundred events per year put together by members with good will and enormous dedication to the Great Work. I'm sorry folks, no hidden agenda, no corporate enterprises, no cheques from CIA. Those involved in the logistics of such body see many energetic patterns, modes of behaviour and responsibilites involved in delegating members to fulfill specific tasks. They see problems arising on many occasions, want to discuss them and propose solutions presented in such articles as this. They invite to dialogue those who really care about their own local bodies. There is another great essay in that Journal discussing hospitality of the O.T.O. body and duties officers have in that respect. In my opinion there were written to address different problems and to strenghten the structures of the local body so that next year it can offer 120 classes, workshops, seminars and yet another great symposium in order to SERVE wider thelemic community.

93 93/93
Krzysztof


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Patriarch156
(@patriarch156)
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Posts: 486
 

Bravo Krzysztof! I think a great deal of mischief could be avoided if people stopped confusing the planes. The O.T.O., as reformulated by Crowley, is an Order focused on life in the external rather than the internal, both in its calling in promulgating and establishing the Law of Thelema, as well as in teaching and assisting the candidates to take control over their lives and live it in accordance with the principles of the Law of Thelema (as understood by Crowley when he reformulated the Order).

According to Crowley the Man of Earth is a training program that equips the individual to become initiated into the great mysteries of Life. While it is true that some people wander around, bored and waiting to take on tasks of various kinds, I would suggest that their time is better spent concentrating on the work of their degrees as defined by the obligations that they have voluntarily taken. There certainly is more than enough to do in each degree for members who looks at them closely and earnestly.

One may obviously criticise the contents and how it is put together (Crowley himself criticised the framing but not the content, during his last years), but in my experience this training program is well worth the time and effort for the earnest seeker on the Path in Eternity. Moreover, this is in fact an active and ongoing debate within the Order to this day. However, since the system itself is under an obligation of secrecy such an discussion would be inapropriate for members of the O.T.O. to engage with non-members or in non-tyled forums.

While someone might sleep through the class, or even cheat his way to an medical degree, I would still prefer one with an accredited diploma to operate on me. In a similar way I would rather someone who has a knowledge of the structure, mission, modes of working and someone who doesn't... mix the planes, to serve in an official capacity of the O.T.O. than someone who hasn't, for the simple reason that someone who hasn't passed beyond a certain degree has no such capacity.

While it is true that there are members of such degrees who hasn't advanced at all in such an understanding (in the same way that there are people who sleeps through classes and cheats themselves to degrees), it is equally true that the Order does not look at just the degrees when appointing members, but rather how much of the work of those degrees that they have actually accomplished and manifested in their lives.

This life, is after all as the O.H.O. points out the true curricullum and witness of the individual's grasp of the teachings of the degrees that he has just passed through.

Though there are mistakes made all the time like in all human concerns, this keeps getting better in my opinion and the Order's excellence and success keeps spreading.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 
"krzysztof" wrote:
As we read in Liber Librae: "He who knoweth little, thinketh he knoweth much; but he who knoweth much hath learned his own ignorance. Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? There is more hope of a fool, than of him." But this is a topic for another dicussion.

Perhaps, perhaps not.


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Palamedes
(@palamedes)
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Posts: 450
 
"Patriarch156" wrote:
This life, is after all as the O.H.O. points out the true curricullum and witness of the individual's grasp of the teachings of the degrees that he has just passed through.

Aumgn.


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Shiva
(@shiva)
Not a Rajah
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 5803
 
"loxley75" wrote:
A Minerval should enjoy his time as a guest, the character he 'plays' within the order should be busy enjoying the hospitality of his surroundings not concerned in any way, shape or form with what goes on behind the scenes.

This "enjoying the hospitality of his surroundings" (or "her surroundings") is something that takes place automatically when one is en rapport with one's comrades.

On the other hand, failure to perceive some aspects that are taking place "behind the scenes" can lead to disaster. We need look no further than The Black Lodge of santa Cruz or even Inside Solar Lodge - Outside the Law to see that one can get immersed in deep doo-doo if they fail to notice illegal or psychotic behavior "behind the scenes."

"It is only when the Postulant has taken irrevocable Oaths and been received formally, that he discovers what Fraternity he has joined. If he have taken false symbols for true, and find himself magically pledged to a gang of rascals, so much the worse for him!'
- Magick in Theory and Practice


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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Topic starter  

The current debate on whether or not to have an AA style curriculum in the OTO does have adherents on both sides.
There is ample scope for individuals to seek out others with a 'knowledge of...' a particular subject matter,and most
members of the OTO are usually happy to share their knowledge and experience. What is sometimes apparent is that
some members are particularly entrenched with regard to certain aspects of magic, and also lacking the basic knowledge
which would simply confuse the newcomer even more. Secondly, due to the difference in academic ability, and this is
by no means a necessary criteria, it would be unfair to impose examinations on those whose intelligence doesn't fit
that particular mode. This has been previously debated with regard to forming more specialized and academic academies,
which proved to be highly unpopular for numerous reasons.
Also, the constant interaction of individuals, all with their own personal views and practices, does help to keep the various
ego's in check, although this isn't always possible. However, it does provide scope for all members to remind one another,
that the motto 'each according to their needs' is both valid and essential towards true progress. On the other hand, it also
provides those of us who are engaged in serious and lengthy research regarding the technical underpinnings of certain branches
of 'knowledge' to remain focused where we feel our abilities and efforts are best served. Although I disagree with much of the
Western Hermetic Tradition, and worry about the real lack of understanding regarding the fundamentals of specific branches within
it, I nevertheless would not have found my 'path' had it not been for the freedom to explore and decide for myself. As heated and
infuriating as some debates can be, it is without doubt, far more preferable than being forced to learn from inaccurate materials.
Nowhere is this more apparent than the study of Kabbalah and its derivatives. I for one, am extremely glad I am not obligated to
follow the dictates of Crowley et al on this subject. This would be truly a travesty.

Atzilut


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

Excellent replies by Krzysztof and Patriarch156 (both of whom I know and would expect excellent responses from!)

Atzilut you say that "The current debate on whether or not to have an AA style curriculum in the OTO does have adherents on both sides". Really? I have never once in my life heard of anyone advocate such an approach. Whilst there is "duplexity" between both Systems, they are independent and distinct. I see no place for an A:.A:. type curriculum in the O.T.O.. Whilst members of the O.T.O. may well share their knowledge freely, this has to be distinguished from the purpose and function of the Order, which is not to teach. The Man of Earth degrees are open to every man and woman who is free, of full age and good report. This is the Path in Eternity and as has already been pointed out, the Mysteries relate to the Life of the member and not the Path of the Great Return. Be careful not to confuse the Planes.

There is a lot of discussion about one Order being the "outer" and another the "inner". I contend that this is confusing. Perhaps it derives from the fact that in the Introduction to the O.T.O. Curriculum in Book Four, there is a quote from a letter from AC to Charles Stansfeld Jones about the O.T.O. and the A.:A.: where AC says "Re[garding] O.T.O. as the means in the outer." But note that this is from a private letter that AC never intended to publish. I suggest that this was just a colloquial way of discussing matters with a disciple and not a formal view on the matter. The O.T.O. has both esoteric and exoteric aspects and as regards the former there is duplexity as regards the A:.A:.. One way to view it is O.T.O. = Initiation into the Natural, A:.A:. = Initiation into the Path of the Great Return. both are "Initiation" in the true sense of the term ("journeying inwards").

einDoppelganger you say that "There is *nothing* transmitted in the Man of Earth degrees that ensures the candidate is advanced beyond the level they approached as a Minerval... " You are incorrect. Plain and simple. I can write you an essay of 70 pages to tell you exactly why but I will save my time.

I did like the article in the AMeTh Lodge magazine somewhat but from recollection I believe that it missed a vital point (although forgive me if I am incorrect - I am not at home to check the article). The key in the II* is that the member obtains a real insight into the function of the Order, for the first time. I need say no more on that matter because it is very clear to anyone who has taken that initiation. Think of this for example: "This Aeon has for its purpose the complete emancipation of the human race." "It must be the task of the pioneers of the new Aeon to put this right." - The Book of Thoth, ATU XIX The Sun. In an unpublished letter to Harris dated November 7, 1941 AC said "... so will settle finally the 'war aims' of Thelema. I shall ask you to let me use one of the coloured card for the Banner of the Manifesto. This will serve as an official O.T.O. New Year Card" (written with reference to Liber Oz). Think of the O.T.O. as a vehicle to proclaim the Law to mankind. The O.T.O. is essentially a system for teaching Morality as well. I don't believe this matter was covered in the article, but I may be wrong. First we free ourselves and then we free humanity, only the Slaves will Serve.

Furthermore, according to AC's vision for the Order each Lodge was intended to comprise approximately 1,000 members (see Tau Omphalos's lectures on the Speech in the Silence). With that vision in mind there is no reason for a formal member of the Lodge (Master, Secretary, Treasurer) to be less than II*. There is a huge wealth of unpublished material which can be discussed in relation to this idea.

The above said, I don't think anyone was pointing out that passing through a ceremony equates to "attainment". Initiation is not a ceremony, it is the journeying inwards. "Initiation means the Journey Inwards: nothing is changed or can be changed; but all is trulier understood with every step" (Little Essays Towards Truth - “Mastery”). Not all II* members will respond to an initiation in the same way and regardless of this, not all members will be suited to the role of being an Officer of a local body. Krzysztof has already pointed that out, it doesn't need repeating.


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 Anonymous
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Interesting. I, for one, would like to see OTO members posting to these forums more often.


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Shiva
(@shiva)
Not a Rajah
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 5803
 
"Heliopolis-156" wrote:
"The current debate on whether or not to have an AA style curriculum in the OTO does have adherents on both sides". Really? I have never once in my life heard of anyone advocate such an approach.

Really? You must have missed the whole Solar Lodge thread with Typhonian comment. This was actually done in Solar Lodge and Mr Staley has indicated that the Typhonians also appreciated such an approach. This was not "advocating," for it was actually done.

Now one can argue that these bodies were not "OTO," but that is a different matter, a whole new thread as it were, dependent upon copyrights and trademarks and the opinions of some who may or may not be fit, but even if you discount their OTO validity, then it was certainly "advocated."

Crowley said that an iniiation ceremony should be bestowed in recognition of work that had already been accomplished (not as a rite that will somehow propel a person into the next level of consciousness). If there is no defined "work"to be done, then how can those "in charge" determine when a candidate is ready to receive the next level? By toadying and washing the dishes?

"One day I was standing at the top of the wide staircase in the Menlo Avenue mansion. I looked down and saw Soror Medusa who was only a member of the probationary degree.
I immediately approached Capricornus in her bedroom and said, “Medusa is downstairs! Who allowed a probationer to even know about this house?“
“It’s all right,“ replied Capricornus, “She will be taking the first degree next week.“
I said, “No she won’t! She’s flunked the first-degree exam twice, and miserably at that. I certainly don’t expect her to pass it on her third attempt in the next few days. She’s not ready!“
Capricornus assumed her dictator pose and proclaimed, “She is getting the first degree whether she passes the exam or not! And she’s getting it because we need her as a worker, and she is willing to work!“
And that, dear reader, is when the internal seed of disorder was sown into the fertile ground of Solar Lodge. The standards had suddenly been altered in order to allow entrance to an unqualified candidate just because she was willing to work. Later, others were admitted to grades in a similar manner. I was simply forced to relax the rules and standards."
- Inside Solar Lodge - Outside the Law


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Shiva
(@shiva)
Not a Rajah
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 5803
 
"Camlion" wrote:
Interesting. I, for one, would like to see OTO members posting to these forums more often.

Why?

I mean, they post a lot as it is, and that's fine. The more, the merrier. But the discussion of OTO inner workings often becomes "partisan."

This is supposed to be an impartial ("non-partisan") website. Threads dealing with OTO usually end up getting Locked because differences of opinion easily arise.

Although some sort of "lineage" is claimed (and legally-recognized) by the current OTO, Inc, based on a note (not a "formal charter") from Crowley to McMurtry and ratified by a judge, it is noted by those who have left that "it ain't the OTO I was a member of."

I still fail to see why the CURRENT internal workings of the CURRENT OTO, currently a partisan body, are being discussed on a public non-partisan forum by OTO members.


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 Anonymous
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Topic starter  

Heliopolis-156 said:

Atzilut you say that "The current debate on whether or not to have an AA style curriculum in the OTO does have adherents on both sides". Really? I have never once in my life heard of anyone advocate such an approach.

Well, that is probably because you haven't been present when such discussions have taken place. Perhaps there is more a leaning towards a curriculum
of some sort...but there are those who have felt that at least, theoretically, the AA model would be a logical choice.

Actually, there are grounds for interpreting the OTO as a teaching order if you refer to The Equinox Vol.III no 10.

Shiva raises an interesting point re the OTO being partisan. I for one have never regarded it as such. But politics never did interest me. What
is interesting is whether one can learn from these things.

As to the idea that: "The key in the II* is that the member obtains a real insight into the function of the Order, for the first time"
doesn't follow the experiences on certain initiates I know. Some learn sooner and some learn later...most agree on that, whatever
the official line is. This is the danger of referring to documentation too much. Whatever the ideal, it rarely follows what is written,
or at least in those I have met and talked with.

Enough said...

Atzilut


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 
"Heliopolis-156" wrote:
There is a lot of discussion about one Order being the "outer" and another the "inner". I contend that this is confusing. Perhaps it derives from the fact that in the Introduction to the O.T.O. Curriculum in Book Four, there is a quote from a letter from AC to Charles Stansfeld Jones about the O.T.O. and the A.:A.: where AC says "Re[garding] O.T.O. as the means in the outer." But note that this is from a private letter that AC never intended to publish. I suggest that this was just a colloquial way of discussing matters with a disciple and not a formal view on the matter. The O.T.O. has both esoteric and exoteric aspects and as regards the former there is duplexity as regards the A:.A:.. One way to view it is O.T.O. = Initiation into the Natural, A:.A:. = Initiation into the Path of the Great Return. both are "Initiation" in the true sense of the term ("journeying inwards").
.

Although they shared the same Journal for several numbers, the A.·.A.·. and the O.T.O. were and are distinct organizations. They are so often confused that Karl Germer; Saturnus X° asked Crowley for an official statement on the subject:

“The difference between the A.·.A.·. and the O.T.O. is very clear and simple. The A.·.A.·. is a sempiternal institution, and entirely secret. There is no communication between its members. Theoretically a member knows only the superior who introduced him, and any person whom he himself has introduced. The Order is run on purely spiritual lines.

The objective of membership is also entirely simple. The first objective is the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. The next objective, omitting considerations for the present of the 6°=5 and 7°=4 degrees, is the crossing of the Abyss, and the attainment of Mastership of the Temple. This is described very fully in Liber 418. Much less is written about the 5°=6 degree, i.e. the Knowledge and Conversation, because it is too secret and individual. It is impossible to lay down conditions, or to describe the experience in detail.

The O.T.O. has nothing to do with this, except that The Book of the Law and the Word of the Aeon are essential principles of membership. In all other respects, it stands by itself as a body similar to Freemasonry, but involving acceptance of a social and economic system which is intended to put the world on its feet. There is also, of course, the secret of the IX° which is to say, the weapon which they may use to further these purposes.

To show you the difference, Theodor Reuss was Supreme Head of the O.T.O., but was not even a probationer of the A.·.A.·..”


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 Anonymous
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"Shiva" wrote:
"Camlion" wrote:
Interesting. I, for one, would like to see OTO members posting to these forums more often.

Why?

This is supposed to be an impartial ("non-partisan") website. Threads dealing with OTO usually end up getting Locked because differences of opinion easily arise.

Differences of opinion are part of life, and I don't see how their expression detracts from the impartiality of the website, not at all. In fact, if the website deliberately prohibited discussions of something as relevant to Crowley's legacy as the OTO is, it might be suggestive of it actually being partisan. I'm sure that Paul will continue as always making judgements on threads being locked on a case by case basis, without broad bans on topics.

Also, OTO members posting more to the forums would not necessarily involve the "inner workings" of their Order. I find many of them to be interesting people, I always have.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 
"Shiva" wrote:
"Camlion" wrote:
Interesting. I, for one, would like to see OTO members posting to these forums more often.

Why?

This is supposed to be an impartial ("non-partisan") website. Threads dealing with OTO usually end up getting Locked because differences of opinion easily arise.

Differences of opinion are part of life, and I don't see how their expression detracts from the impartiality of the website, not at all. In fact, if the website deliberately prohibited discussions of something as relevant to Crowley's legacy as the OTO is, it might be suggestive of it actually being partisan. I'm sure that Paul will continue as always making judgements on threads being locked on a case by case basis, without broad bans on topics.

Also, OTO members posting more to the forums would not necessarily involve the "inner workings" of their Order. I find many of them to be interesting people, I always have.


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 Anonymous
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Pardon the duplicate post, distractions are a problem today.


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einDoppelganger
(@eindoppelganger)
Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 915
 
"Camlion" wrote:
"Shiva" wrote:
"Camlion" wrote:
Interesting. I, for one, would like to see OTO members posting to these forums more often.

Why?

This is supposed to be an impartial ("non-partisan") website. Threads dealing with OTO usually end up getting Locked because differences of opinion easily arise.

Differences of opinion are part of life, and I don't see how their expression detracts from the impartiality of the website, not at all. In fact, if the website deliberately prohibited discussions of something as relevant to Crowley's legacy as the OTO is, it might be suggestive of it actually being partisan. I'm sure that Paul will continue as always making judgements on threads being locked on a case by case basis, without broad bans on topics.

Also, OTO members posting more to the forums would not necessarily involve the "inner workings" of their Order. I find many of them to be interesting people, I always have.

There is no reason, if you are so inclined, we could not discuss the symbolism of the degree initiations ourselves. The various motions, words, and ordeals. The passwords of the grades pop up in Crowley's various writings.

A particular point of interest is The Man Of Earth degrees - especially the third - relate directly to the murder of Mansur Al-Hallaj. I never see him discussed on this forum and this might be a great time to look at how he influenced Crowley when he designed the (albeit antiquated and overtly masonic) degree initiations.

These are all publicly available aspects of Crowley's legacy. I own several typescripts from Agape Lodge of various degree initiations in the MOE triad.


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 Anonymous
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"Atzilut" wrote:
Actually, there are grounds for interpreting the OTO as a teaching order if you refer to The Equinox Vol.III no 10.

Atzilut

In MWT, Morality (2), AC said "The O.T.O. is a training of
the Masonic type; there is no "astral" work in it at all, nor any Yoga.
There is a certain amount of Qabalah, and that of great doctrinal value.
But the really vital matter is the gradual progress towards disclosure
of the Secret of the Ninth Degree. To use that secret to advantage
involves mastery both of Yoga and of Magick; but neither is taught in
the Order. Now it comes to be mentioned, this is really very strange.
However, I didn't invent the system; I must suppose that those who
did knew what they were about."

Here we have a paradox because AC points out that yoga and astral work is required for the mastery of the Secret (consider also the duplexity with the A:.A:.). I would suggest that this is not yoga or astral work in the broad sense, but is instead a teaching which is very specific to the Secret.

As per my quote above, this Aeon has for its purpose the complete emancipation of the human race. This is the work of the Order and I suggest that the extent of any "teaching" which is involved is limited to that needed to achieve this end.

For me "teaching" is what I get from the A:.A:. and that is how to systematically build the Pyramid, step by step, stone by stone. In the A:.A:. I am on the Path of the Great Return. In the O.T.O. I am on the Path in Eternity.


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 Anonymous
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Shiva - your right about the Solar Lodge, but then again, I am still waiting for the 2nd ed. of this, which we corresponded about ages ago!

The issue I have is that the confusion of the planes actually does a lot of damage to the O.T.O. because instead of focusing on the function and purpose of the Order people can at times be focusing on teachings of the A:.A:.. I am simply an advocate of keeping the two separate and distinct and appreciating and working with the duplexity between the two. There is an O.T.O. Curriculum and an A:.A:. Curriculum and I am suggesting they are studied by those in their respective organisations separately. There is the upright and the averse. There is the promise of redemption.

I am not so much in the mood for hijacking this thread and turning it into one on duplexity so I'll leave my comments there.


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 Anonymous
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And another thing, why does this thing about the O.T.O. and details about it's initiation rituals have to come up time and time again. I see no reason why some of you have to post so openly about initiations you have either taken or read about. We are thelemites so since when did we stop respecting other peoples rights? Some people on these threads may want to leave those Mysteries as Mysteries and not know about a ceremony before they pass through it and may unknowingly stumble across your comments.

I see no rhyme, reason or logic for posting as you have done einDoppelganger, it's not even related to a point in discussion. To what end do you write this nonsense?


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 
"einDoppelganger" wrote:
"Camlion" wrote:
"Shiva" wrote:
"Camlion" wrote:
Interesting. I, for one, would like to see OTO members posting to these forums more often.

Why?

This is supposed to be an impartial ("non-partisan") website. Threads dealing with OTO usually end up getting Locked because differences of opinion easily arise.

Differences of opinion are part of life, and I don't see how their expression detracts from the impartiality of the website, not at all. In fact, if the website deliberately prohibited discussions of something as relevant to Crowley's legacy as the OTO is, it might be suggestive of it actually being partisan. I'm sure that Paul will continue as always making judgements on threads being locked on a case by case basis, without broad bans on topics.

Also, OTO members posting more to the forums would not necessarily involve the "inner workings" of their Order. I find many of them to be interesting people, I always have.

There is no reason, if you are so inclined, we could not discuss the symbolism of the degree initiations ourselves. The various motions, words, and ordeals. The passwords of the grades pop up in Crowley's various writings.

A particular point of interest is The Man Of Earth degrees - especially the third - relate directly to the murder of Mansur Al-Hallaj. I never see him discussed on this forum and this might be a great time to look at how he influenced Crowley when he designed the (albeit antiquated and overtly masonic) degree initiations.

These are all publicly available aspects of Crowley's legacy. I own several typescripts from Agape Lodge of various degree initiations in the MOE triad.

Scott, are you trying to sabotage the thread now by revealing matters that are meant to remain proprietary prior to certain Initiation Rituals? If so, really immature behavior, isn't it?


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einDoppelganger
(@eindoppelganger)
Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 915
 

It seems a valid topic of discussion Cam. The OTO initiation rituals are part of Crowley's body of work and worth touching on in this forum. There is some interesting stuff in there, as I am sure you know.

This is not sabotage as it is no reason to halt the thread or "derail" the topic. Its a path of discussion worth exploring if people are truly interested in Crowley from a holistic perspective.

Do you think that one must pay a tax to the American Reconstructed OTO for the right to discuss the work with a hegemonic body?

Thats rather partisan, not to mention out of character for a self styled elder statesman with a hard on for semantics like yourself.


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 4132
 
"Camlion" wrote:
Interesting. I, for one, would like to see OTO members posting to these forums more often.

I'm sure that there are many members of the OTO who are members of this site, and doubtless a few of those are regular contributors to the forums. Some are open about their affiliations; others - quite reasonably, because that is their right - are not. Given this, why is it that you would like to see more OTO members contributing to these forums? More to the point, what is it that you consider OTO members bring that others - whether members of other Orders, or not members of any Order - do not?


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 4132
 
"Camlion" wrote:
Scott, are you trying to sabotage the thread now by revealing matters that are meant to remain proprietary prior to certain Initiation Rituals? If so, really immature behavior, isn't it?

I doubt very much that Scott is "trying to sabotage the thread". This thread is fairly calm; I'm sure that you will share the wish to keep it that way.


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lashtal
(@lashtal)
Owner and Editor Admin
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Posts: 5330
 
"einDoppelganger" wrote:
It seems a valid topic of discussion Cam. The OTO initiation rituals are part of Crowley's body of work and worth touching on in this forum. There is some interesting stuff in there, as I am sure you know.

You make an important point, einDoppelganger, although I do not see any reason why the content of the rituals of any initiatory body should be 'revealed' here. It's not as if the information can't be located elsewhere on the web by anyone armed with Google and a little patience.

At the moment, my view on this frequently contentious subject is simple: an Agatha Christie website would doubtless discuss the existence of 'The Mousetrap', its derivation, influence and broad plot outline - it wouldn't welcome revelation of just 'whodunnit', though.

So, the amount you've 'revealed' about the content of some of the rituals seems fine to me, but I wouldn't expect much more of the same!

I am naturally disinclined to 'censor' posts or to restrict the discussion of relevant subjects here and would appreciate it if members did their best not to force me into that position…

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
"Camlion" wrote:
Interesting. I, for one, would like to see OTO members posting to these forums more often.

I'm sure that there are many members of the OTO who are members of this site, and doubtless a few of those are regular contributors to the forums. Some are open about their affiliations; others - quite reasonably, because that is their right - are not. Given this, why is it that you would like to see more OTO members contributing to these forums? More to the point, what is it that you consider OTO members bring that others - whether members of other Orders, or not members of any Order - do not?

Not that I should have to justify my preferences, but I find the apparent orientation of many OTO members to be refreshing, particularly within the context of this particular website at this particular time. Were I to be asked what I attribute that apparent orientation to, I would have to say that I would attribute it to the 'Path in Eternity' degree system and the overall mission of the OTO with regard to the promulgation of the Law of Thelema.


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einDoppelganger
(@eindoppelganger)
Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 915
 
"Heliopolis-156" wrote:
To what end do you write this nonsense?

That I might fortify minds thereby.
To what end?
That I might accomplish the Great Work.

Love is the Law, Love under Will.

"Heliopolis-156" wrote:
Some people on these threads may want to leave those Mysteries as Mysteries

I'm sorry, but I was under the impression the little plays are not the mysteries. Do you think otherwise?

It is all relevant to Cam's apparent suggestion of more cOTO-centric discussion on the site. I suppose you are caught up in one narrow portion of this thread but I might suggest you re-read and note it is, in fact, multi- faceted.


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einDoppelganger
(@eindoppelganger)
Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 915
 
"lashtal" wrote:
"einDoppelganger" wrote:
It seems a valid topic of discussion Cam. The OTO initiation rituals are part of Crowley's body of work and worth touching on in this forum. There is some interesting stuff in there, as I am sure you know.

You make an important point, einDoppelganger, although I do not see any reason why the content of the rituals of any initiatory body should be 'revealed' here. It's not as if the information can't be located elsewhere on the web by anyone armed with Google and a little patience.

At the moment, my view on this frequently contentious subject is simple: an Agatha Christie website would doubtless discuss the existence of 'The Mousetrap', its derivation, influence and broad plot outline - it wouldn't welcome revelation of just 'whodunnit', though.

So, the amount you've 'revealed' about the content of some of the rituals seems fine to me, but I wouldn't expect much more of the same!

I am naturally disinclined to 'censor' posts or to restrict the discussion of relevant subjects here and would appreciate it if members did their best not to force me into that position…

Thank you Paul, appreciated and noted.


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 Anonymous
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Posts: 0
 
"einDoppelganger" wrote:
It is all relevant to Cam's apparent suggestion of more cOTO-centric discussion on the site.

This site has always been far from "OTO-centric," but I do appreciate balance, if that's what you mean, Scott.


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 4132
 
"Camlion" wrote:
Not that I should have to justify my preferences,

Of course not. When you voice them on a discussion forum, though, people might want to discuss them. Hardly impertinent, I'd have thought.


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einDoppelganger
(@eindoppelganger)
Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 915
 
"Camlion" wrote:
This site has always been far from "OTO-centric," but I do appreciate balance, if that's what you mean, Scott.

yes, I took that as your point and I was suggesting we examine the OTO system itself since it is a large part of Crowley's body of work and quite pertinent to the forum and direction of the discussion. I am at a loss to what you are intent on being upset about Cam. I agree, lets talk about "the OTO."


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
"Camlion" wrote:
Not that I should have to justify my preferences,

Of course not. When you voice them on a discussion forum, though, people might want to discuss them. Hardly impertinent, I'd have thought.

Quite so, and thus I elaborated, Michael.


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Shiva
(@shiva)
Not a Rajah
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 5803
 
"Atzilut" wrote:
As to the idea that: "The key in the II* is that the member obtains a real insight into the function of the Order, for the first time" doesn't follow the experiences on certain initiates I know.

Er, let me help you out here. the key is "service,"

Get it? Willing obedience and servitude. Volunteering for duty. Pitching in to make the boat go, according to the wishes (Will) of the present and visible leader - who theoretically is expressing the wishes (Will) of his/her superior, up the chain to the Grand Master, and, ultimately, the Frater Superior.

The keyword is "service," and some [like myself and many of my associates from the olden days] just jump right in and are productive; others, not having any concept of service. hang around and then float away; sometimes they create their own psychodrame in rebellion or altercation. I just hate it when that happens.

Of course, the service to a Lodge (guru, grand master or ashram) is where one is supposed to align their puny, personal willpoweer with the greater true Will of the enlightened leader, who, when the time comes and you are ready, will cut you loose from the nest as a blazing Star. Originally a member of the IX* exercised full autonomy when operating in the field, a chivalrous kight or masterless samurai. Now it's a continuous hierarchy up to the OHO. "A King [10*] is appointed by the OHO.

So, one might have to look "behind the scenes" to see whether one is enrolled in an Academy of Astralia (one that guides you to your own Star), or a Synagogue of Satan (I always chuckled at that title) that will keep you in servitude for the benefit of a mundane Master for your entire lifetime - unless you walk or run away.

I know these things because I was there. I did my service to an ideal ashram ... and then watched as the guru's evil genius (another great term) turned it all into a self-centered business. This same archetypal scenario can be taking place in a religious order near you. Just look behind the scenes and see. I have no doubt that many camps, oases and lodges are wonderful grounds for growth. I have heard terrible, just terrible, tales about others. It really depends on who is in charge, doesn't it? I am unable to glorify, or point fingers at, the higher echilons simply bcause I am not there.


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