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OKontrair
(@okontrair)
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03/12/2009 2:18 pm  

I broadly agree with Patriarch156; perhaps I expressed myself poorly in my previous remarks.

I do not interpret the conversation reported by Dadaji as being the admission that he took it to be. I see it as just a vague answer to a stupid question; in short, gossip. If Crowley were actually lost/separated/abandoned to/from/by Aiwaz/s/ss it would be significant but what it might signify would still be debatable.

A public declaration to that effect might be monumental but whispers, not.

I got a letter from Dadaji in the early 1970s. Yes, he was trying to promote himself back then. I took the view that he was entitled to his opinions but I couldn't see the much of a Crowley connection other than name dropping.

I didn't realise I had crossed threads with the elixir pills, sorry. These threads get a bit long and I just remember it as being on the table last week. I appreciated the plan for its comic elements, like AC's 'Save Our King' badges for the abdication. A man has to eat. And A E Waite was promoting the sleepy-time drink Horlicks and MacGregor Mead peddling Sanatogen.

Its a shame they didn't work; he might still be with us.

OK


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Patriarch156
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03/12/2009 2:23 pm  

I do not think any of what you have mentioned makes it less likely that he would rewrite his narrative as having been sanctioned by Crowley. Particularly considering the dearth of evidence that he was in contact with Crowley, let alone having Crowley admitting something that goes against all that he wrote and said on the subject.

"MichaelStaley" wrote:
Incidnts such as, for instance, beating up Bertha Busche do suggest the possibility that Crowley from time to time lost his connection with Aiwass, or thought he did. I don't ragard such loss from time to time as anything to be wondered at, let alone something that shakes the very foundations of Crowleyanity.

Crowley's abuse and sponging of his friends and disciples was pretty much a mainstay throughout his life. If such an incident indicates loss of contact with Aiwaz (though given what Aiwaz says when he was in contact with him I am not sure that would be the case) then Crowley was for the most part in a perpetual state of having lost that contact.

Whether or not this shakes the very foundations of Thelema depends on how you largely see it. It does however shake the foundations of his claims to authority within the movement he created.


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Aleisterion
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03/12/2009 2:28 pm  

93 Patriarch 156,

I'm not sure what to make of Dadaji -- it is odd that Crowley made no mention of him anywhere -- but that quote from The Equinox of the Gods is hardly "Class A" material, and frankly, I think it's an obvious example of his infamous "ill will" (see AL 2:10). It's flat out wrong, and in more ways than one. First, Crowley was not "the sole authority competent to decide disputed points with regard to the Book of the Law" -- at least not according to Aiwass in the book itself, who proclaimed the Scarlet Woman to be even greater in power than the Beast, which would make her equal in authority, clearly. In fact, at one point Crowley relinquished all authority, via an "Absolute and Irrevocable Vow of Holy Obedience" (see The Magical Record of the Beast 666, July 1920), to his Scarlet Woman, Alostrael (Hirsig) --- then he betrayed that Magical Oath on a whim by abandoning her for Soror Astrid.

Secondly, the point in the passage in which he covets the 93 Current for himself is demonstrably false. We have clear proof of that in the fact that the first Scarlet Woman --- and others after --- did achieve contact with Aiwass, and was even able to receive passages of Liber Legis that Crowley had missed. In fact, she -- not Crowley -- was the first person to ever have such contact with this discarnate mind. But Soror Fidelis was also at one point in contact with this being and she did not even hold the office of Scarlet Woman.

It is no surprise that Crowley penned the Tunis Comment not too long after the time that he wrote that passage. Clearly he was bothered by the failure of earlier students, including Mudd who had commented extensively on the mathematical implications of the Book of the Law and who sided with Hirsig after Crowley's departure. How do you square the restriction of this passage and that of the Tunis Comment with AL, 1:55-56 and 2:75-76? If Crowley had "some, though not all, in the dark", and some other were to come at some later time to clear this up, then doing so would be self-destructive and isolating to him -- not exactly ideal conditions in which to "expound it".

As for that quote from Liber LXV: "Thou shalt instruct thy servant in his ways, thou shalt speak often with him": yes, but that hardly means that one is always in a state to hear properly if at all.

93 93 93


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Patriarch156
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03/12/2009 2:46 pm  
"Aleisterion" wrote:
but that quote from The Equinox of the Gods is hardly "Class A" material, and frankly, I think it's an obvious example of his infamous "ill will" (see AL 2:10). It's flat out wrong, and in more ways than one.

No doubt you disagree severly with Crowley on this subject matter, and really it is none of my business that you do, nor was that really my point.

My point was rather that Miles's comment is monumental because it flies in the face of what Crowley expressed everywhere else during this period of his life. Hence it is odd that he would not note this in his diaries or mention it to anyone else.

Consequently the dearth of evidence that he was at all in contact with Miles should make us suspicious as to the veracity of his claims about what Crowley had told him.

In other words, while you certainly can construct an argument that argues against Crowley's supremacy as far as Thelema goes, it would be without justification to use that quote from Miles that Crowley would agree with you on this subject matter, when there is neither any evidence that Miles told the truth, nor that Crowley ever entertained such a notion.


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 Anonymous
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03/12/2009 4:19 pm  
"Patriarch156" wrote:
As I noted Crowley claimed exclusive contact with Aiwaz in print as late as 1937 e.v. in his publication of The Equinox of the Gods, which was several years after Miles claimed to have been told this

Moreover the whole notion of loosing contact with him would also make mockery of Liber LXV's points in I:30, a book on which much of Crowley's theology about the Holy Guardian Angel rests.

Is "Crowley's theology about the Holy Guardian Angel ...", the same as the religion Thelema's "theology about the Holy Guardian Angel", or is this "theology about the Holy Guardian Angel" something which in Thelema is left to each individual "Thelemite's" acceptance or disregard?

And pursuing this further: Is also the thelemic "theology about "Crossing the Abyss"" ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abyss_(Thelema)) ..., left to each individual "Thelemite's" acceptance or disregard, , or is this something only relevant for Thelemites especially interested in this subjectmatter, like for example members of the A.'.A.'., and up to them to freely accept or disregard?

You also note that "Crowley claimed exclusive contact with Aiwaz in print as late as 1937 e.v. in his publication of The Equinox of the Gods."

According to Koenig( http://user.cyberlink.ch/~koenig/sunrise/vanloo/mylewis.htm) Crowley went bankrupt in 1935, whereas according to wikipedia.org ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleister_Crowley) Crowley was declared bankrupt in 1934.

According to you Aleister Crowley did get published in print 1937, 2 or 3 years after his bankruptcy.

Do you know how many times he got published in print in the last 10 years of his life from 1937 to 1947? ... or from his bankruptcy until his death for that matter? That is, did his bankruptcy lower his rate of getting published in print?

The reason I am asking is that Koenig in e-mail correspondence with me have stated that Crowley died a rich man, with lot of money he had saved for the OTO and for publishing, but Koenig added he could not give more details, this being involved in a courtcase.


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mika
 mika
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03/12/2009 7:07 pm  
"wellredwellbred" wrote:
Is "Crowley's theology about the Holy Guardian Angel ...", the same as the religion Thelema's "theology about the Holy Guardian Angel", or is this "theology about the Holy Guardian Angel" something which in Thelema is left to each individual "Thelemite's" acceptance or disregard?

There are several errors in the above questions:
1. Crowley's statements regarding the Holy Guardian Angel do not necessarily constitute "theology".
2. Thelema is not inherently a religion, many people do not regard it as such.
3. Individual Thelemites can accept Crowley's statements regarding the Holy Guardian Angel without engaging in religious belief, it is not a matter of having to choose between accepting theology or disregarding the HGA work entirely.

Why are you having such a hard time letting go of the belief that Thelema is, and must be, a religion? How do you reconcile your claims about Crowley's religious intentions with his very own statements about the futility, pointlessness and danger of engaging in religious belief?


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lashtal
(@lashtal)
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03/12/2009 7:39 pm  
"wellredwellbred" wrote:
Koenig in e-mail correspondence with me have stated that Crowley died a rich man, with lot of money he had saved for the OTO and for publishing

Are you referring to the money found hidden under his bed? That's widely known - you'd have known about it, too, if you read a book in your 'research', rather than referencing Wikipedia over and over again. 😉

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 Anonymous
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04/12/2009 12:41 am  

Thanks for clearing up the "moneymatter" Site Admin, as for wikipedia.org I have already proved it to be a good source earlier in this thread.

Reading all the new biographies about Crowley, I still managed to miss this information, maybe due to the time pressure caused by the timelimit set by the central public library in my homeprovince.

But two of my questions remain unanswered?
One: Is what Patriarch156 describe as "Crowley's theology about the Holy Guardian Angel ...", the same as Thelema's "theology about the Holy Guardian Angel"?

Two: Similar to the prophets in other religions, prophet Crowley wanted to spread the good tidings, did Crowley's bankruptcy lower his rate of getting published in print? How many works/books did Crowley manage to get published in print between his bankruptcy and his death?

And as for mika's question: "Why are you having such a hard time letting go of the belief that Thelema is, and must be, a religion? How do you reconcile your claims about Crowley's religious intentions with his very own statements about the futility, pointlessness and danger of engaging in religious belief?"

This is not a matter of belief for me, I am arguing and asking in line with the subject matter of this thread: "Thelema/Magick's semblance to religion in general."

Thelema i still a young movement, take Christianity, for example. It wasted more then 3 centuries of intense infighting before becoming focused enough, to lash out at the world.


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 Anonymous
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04/12/2009 10:55 am  
"wellredwellbred" wrote:
But two of my questions remain unanswered?
One: Is what Patriarch156 describe as "Crowley's theology about the Holy Guardian Angel ...", the same as Thelema's "theology about the Holy Guardian Angel"?

There is no difference as far as I can tell. But Crowley's conception of the HGA changed over the years. In his earlier years he conceived of the HGA as related to the Silent Self and in this aspect it seems similar to the Egyptian ka, which is what Gunther suggests. In his later years he conceived of the HGA as an objective entity separate from the subjectivity of the adept. His insistence on this point is worth noting:

[the HGA] is not, let me say with emphasis, a mere abstraction from yourself; and that is why I have insisted rather heavily that the term "Higher Self" implies a "damnable heresy and a dangerous delusion".

If it were not so, there would be no point in "The Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage".

Apart from any theoretical speculation, my Sammasati and analytical work has never led me to so much as a hint of the existence of the Guardian Angel. He is not to be found by any exploration of oneself. It is true that the process of analysis finally leads to the realization of oneself as no more than a point of view indistinguishable in itself from any other point of view; but the Holy Guardian Angel is in precisely the same position. However, close may be the identities in millions of ways, no complete identification is ever possible.

But do remember this, above all else; they are objective, not subjective, or I should not waste good Magick on them.

(MWT, chapter 43; underline mine)

The question arises, to what extent was Crowley's later conception of the HGA as objective influenced by his realization of Aiwass as his HGA and to what extent did he claim Aiwass as his HGA to consolidate his authority as Prophet of the New Aeon? The very expression "damnable heresy" implies the orthodoxy of a new religion and yet everything is linked together and consequently there is also a truth to his assertion. The HGA is the Other, the principle of objectivity and reality, as opposed to delusional subjectivity.


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lashtal
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04/12/2009 1:06 pm  
"wellredwellbred" wrote:
as for wikipedia.org I have already proved it to be a good source earlier in this thread.

You're just sounding silly, now. You didn't "prove" any such thing, you merely quoted a 2005 (!) CNET News article that gave a particular point of view relating to Wikipedia articles "in the round".

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 Anonymous
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04/12/2009 5:51 pm  

I shall try to minimize my use of wikipedia, at least as only source.

Regarding Dadaji/Lawrence Amos Miles's claim about Crowley's loss of Holy Guardian Angel, I agree with MichaelStaley's Post subject: Posted: Dec 03, 2009 - 02:17 PM, where he writes: "He[Dadaji] had for many years been pursuing Kaula Tantra, and did not need to buttress his authority or his ego with a Crowley connection."

A fast background search about Dadaji/Lawrence Amos Miles brought me to this site of the International Nath Order:

http://www.nathorder.org/wiki/International_Nath_Order

It contains information about Dadaji/Lawrence Amos Miles both being a sadhu (which is defined as having "renounced the world and all attachments" and a sannyasin ( which is defined as involving "renunciation of worldly aims and involvements." An according to the site not only was Dadaji/Lawrence Amos Miles accepted as both a sadhu and a sannyasin by other sadhus and sannyasins in India, but that he also was made Guru and Sannyasi member of the two ancient sects Adi-Nath and Uttara Kaula.

This makes it unlikely that his claim about Crowley's loss of Holy Guardian Angel, was due to some egogame, and make him a very reliable source on the personal level of character and stature.

I wonder if conviction of Crowley having lost his Holy Guardian Angel, is the reason why the leader of the biggest thelemic organisation in the world, Hymenaeus Beta, believe in the "Separate to person-nature" of the Holy Guardian Angel, a belief mentioned by ianrons Post subject: Posted: Nov 26, 2009 - 12:11 AM?

Koenig has also described Hymenaeus Beta as being inspired by Scientology, and scientological inspiration might alos be a reason for Hymenaeus Beta's belief in the "Separate to person-nature" of the Holy Guardian Angel, as this belief corresponds with the Church of Scientology's belief in "exteriorization", meaning the spirit being separatable from the body and the mind?

The discovery of "exteriorization" is described from 8.40 to 9.00 in this official video from the Curch of Scientology, as the birth of the Scientology religion: Scientology Video: L. Ron Hubbard: Founder -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dziK04-9qqQ

But leaving speculation aside, I want to point out some examples of "religion in everything but name"-way of thinking, described by Iskandar Post subject: Posted: Dec 01, 2009 - 08:44 PM, like this:

"Los, with all due respect but to argue that people have the Will in the same manner that stars shine and grapes grow is to argue a metaphysical position. It is to imply the meaning and/or purpose behind natural phenomena and to argue the correlation between the psychological and material and biological manifestations."

*First an example from page 9 in the introduction to Master of the Mysteries The Life of Manly Palmer Hall By Louis Sahagun http://processmediainc.com/titles/images/mom_introduction.pdf :

"His (Manly Palmer Hall's) readers came to view his works as instruction manuals for harmonizing with the inflexible laws of the universe, laws that guide the motion of planets and human evolution, even the destiny of the nation."

*Here follows another example/version of the same kind of thinking:

"The Christian churches are based on human ignorance and attempt to keep a vast part of humanity in ignorance, since this is the only way the Christian churches retain their power. National Socialism, on the other hand, is based on a scientific foundation. The unshakeable principles of Christianity, by whuch it has been guided for almost two thousand yars, have congealed more and more into dogmas that are cut off from life. National Socialism in contrast, if it wishes to achieve its aim, must always be guided by the most recent data of scientific research [Hitler]."

"I am a relgious man, although not in the usual sense of this word", said Hitler of himself; and those who knew hom (Hoffmann, Speer, Goebbels) affirmed that the Providence he repeatedly invoked was by no means a empty word to him. (Source, page 291-292 in Totalitarian Art in the Soviet Union, the Third Reich, Fascist Italy, and the People's Republic of China, by Igor Golomstock, Icon (Harpe) 1990).

Bormann was only translating Hitler's high-flown rhetoric into simple ideological formulae for the Gauleiters when he pronounced: "When we National Socialists speak of a belief in God, we do not understand by God,
like naive Christians and their spiritual opportunists, a human-type being, who sits around in som corner of the spheres . . . the force which moves all these bodies in the universe, in accordance with natural law, is what we call the Almighty or God .... The more thoroughly we know and attend to the laws of nature and life, the more we adhere to them, the more do we correspond to the will of the Almighty. The deeper our insight into the will of the almighty, the greater will be our success." (Source: J. McGovern, Martin Bormann the Life and Disappearance of Hitler's Closest Confidant , London, 1968, pp. 181, 212-13).

*Stalin and Trofim Lysenko's belief that plants grew in accordance with the laws of Marxism, is another version of this "religion in everything but name"-way of thinking.

And when things are not happening in accordance with the natural/divine/universal laws, then it is time to start looking for saboteurs to purge, punish and/or kill.


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 Anonymous
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04/12/2009 9:13 pm  
"wellredwellbred" wrote:
I wonder if conviction of Crowley having lost his Holy Guardian Angel, is the reason why the leader of the biggest thelemic organisation in the world, Hymenaeus Beta, believe in the "Separate to person-nature" of the Holy Guardian Angel, a belief mentioned by ianrons Post subject: Posted: Nov 26, 2009 - 12:11 AM?

Surely the obvious explanation is Crowley clearly wrote the HGA is separate from the person (refer to the MWT quote, relevant parts underlined) and HB’s responsibility as OHO, regardless of his personal views on the matter, is to not stray from this position unless overwhelming evidence suggests otherwise. There are sound reasons, relating not least of all to questions of sanity, for insisting on the objective nature of the HGA. Other criteria for claiming the objective nature of the HGA is “success is your proof”.

"wellredwellbred" wrote:
Koenig has also described Hymenaeus Beta as being inspired by Scientology, and scientological inspiration might alos be a reason for Hymenaeus Beta's belief in the "Separate to person-nature" of the Holy Guardian Angel, as this belief corresponds with the Church of Scientology's belief in "exteriorization", meaning the spirit being separatable from the body and the mind?

I have no doubt you believe “scientological inspiration” is the reason for HB’s position, but that says more about you. The concept of spirit being separatable from the body and mind is found in pretty much every religion - Egyptian, gnostic, Christian, shamanism, voudoun etc.

You’re making some point on “religion in everything but name”, but you might want to consider where the line is drawn between religious thinking (i.e. non-scientific and irrational) and religions containing universal and ancient ideas on the constitution of consciousness, the nature of which science has hitherto failed to ascertain. You would get much further if you turned your inquiry around and started observing the irrational and contradictory thought-processes of supposedly “scientific” and “rational” people and what that says about history and human nature.


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 Anonymous
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05/12/2009 5:14 pm  

tai Posted: Dec 04, 2009 - 09:13 PM

"I have no doubt you believe “scientological inspiration” is the reason for HB’s position [on the "Separate to

person-nature" of the Holy Guardian Angel]."

This is not a matter of belief for me, if you read carefully you will see that I defined this part of my posting as

speculation.

Then you write:

"You’re making some point on “religion in everything but name”, but you might want to consider where the line is drawn between religious thinking (i.e. non-scientific and irrational) and religions containing universal and ancient ideas on the constitution of consciousness, the nature of which science has hitherto failed to ascertain."

Do you mean "religions containing universal and ancient ideas on the constitution of consciousness" as according to the socalled "Perennial Tradition", where it is claimed that there is "the secret legacy", "a single stream of initiatory teaching flowing through all the great schools of mysticism", or do you mean something like Jung and his archetypes, or both, or non of these?

I like this suggestion at the end of your post Posted: Dec 04, 2009 - 09:13 PM:

"You would get much further if you turned your inquiry around and started observing the irrational and contradictory thought-processes of supposedly “scientific” and “rational” people and what that says about history and human nature."

Do you have any recommendations for sources/texts/books "observing the irrational and contradictory thought-processes of supposedly “scientific” and “rational” people and what that says about history and human nature?"

Is see Proteus Post subject: Posted: Nov 30, 2009 - 03:03 AM, and Camlion Post subject: Posted: Nov 30, 2009 - 11:16 P, emphasising Hinduism as compared to Thelema.

I am going to India for 18 days january next year. If any of you have been to India, were you left with any lasting impressions as regarding Hindusim and its dissimilarities or similarities to Thelema?

Overindulgent use of "bling-bling" in ceremonial matters is a similarity I expect to see.

Also, I wonder what it will be like to experience being among the Hindus, for whom there is no big gap or difference between gods/goddesses and human beings.

And by the way, happy Jesus Christ birthday to all of you.


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 Anonymous
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07/12/2009 5:12 am  
"Camlion" wrote:
".... , no one is denying that there is religion or magick to be found in Thelema, for those who Will have use for it. Further, this magick and religion are different and are an improvement upon those that came before Thelema. However, these are optional and not mandatory. Only 'Do what wilt' is mandatory to Thelema.

Hope the Indiatour question did not distract you, and in danger of being chain-threading, I have a new question about Thelema/Magick's semblance to religion in general.

According to the quote from Camilon, "Do what thou wilt" is not left to free will in Thelema.

Now in Christianity free will is something important, whereas it is somehing unimportant in Islam.

Initiation in the Aeon of the Child: The Inward Journey, by J. Daniel Gunther - a book recomended by James Wasserman, and by Hymenaeus Beta (Frater Superior of the O.T.O.) on its back jacket - is reviewed on Amazon.com

Under the headline "Uninformative, obscure, and poorly written", one of the reviewers points out that Gunther writing: "Thelema is antithetical to Determinism", contradicts Crowley.

http://www.amazon.com/Initiation-Aeon-Child-Inward-Journey/product-reviews/0892541458/ref=cm_cr_pr_hist_2?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&filterBy=addTwoStar

Following that remark that reviewer writes:

"This last one [of Gunther's many contradictions of Crowley] is especially funny as Crowley explicitly writes that free will is "imbecile" in one place, and disparages it in about 4 others. Either he is absolutely ignorant of Crowley's writings on the subject, he is too fearful to actually say that Thelema embraces Determinism, or he should admit that he's speaking of his own brand of idiosyncratic Thelema that has little relation to what Crowley expounded in commentaries to Liber AL, Liber Aleph, etc."

And I ask, does "Thelema embraces Determinism" like Islam embraces determinism?,... or is this critical


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Anonymous
 Anonymous
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07/12/2009 4:48 pm  

I think you should pay attention to the messages posted by Michael Staley, in fact there are some keys in his words. The continuum of consciousness can not be explained in words, this is pure perception, but in my viewpoint, this continuum is achieved in day-to-day along with daily practice so that there is a growing understanding of the whole, for example, Hadit within Nuit and vice versa.
The intellectual way of seeing all this of course will lead to endless discussion. Unfortunately, this Sunnyata concept is often misunderstanding, but if you pay attention what teaches us the Advaita path (LAM is the PATH), you'll understand what that really means, again, theres no words, nor space and time, ie, his heart will always be totally silent. This is very subtle.

Best.


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Michael Staley
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08/12/2009 2:12 am  
"wellredwellbred" wrote:
"This last one [of Gunther's many contradictions of Crowley] is especially funny as Crowley explicitly writes that free will is "imbecile" in one place, and disparages it in about 4 others. Either he is absolutely ignorant of Crowley's writings on the subject, he is too fearful to actually say that Thelema embraces Determinism, or he should admit that he's speaking of his own brand of idiosyncratic Thelema that has little relation to what Crowley expounded in commentaries to Liber AL, Liber Aleph, etc."

In whatever context Crowley described free will as "imbecile", I would certainly use the same adjective to describe this passage of review.

This passage is remiss on two levels.

Firstly, Crowley's written works span some fifty years, encompassing a great deal of mystical and magical experience. Small wonder that someone can cherrypick that diverse work and find contradictory passages. A somewhat greater wonder that this consideration seems not to have occurred to said person, let alone those who so approvingly peddle this quoted passage.

Secondly, those that come after Crowley, working within the Thelemic tradition, do not always feel the compulsion to "toe the line" or to uphold the words of "the Master". We are not adrift in Stalinism.


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 Anonymous
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08/12/2009 2:37 pm  

MichaelStaley: "...those that come after Crowley, working within the Thelemic tradition, do not always feel the

compulsion to "toe the line" or to uphold the words of "the Master". We are not adrift in Stalinism."

Yes, and this is a good side with Kenneth Grant and some others working within the Thelemic tradition.

MichaelStaley: "... Crowley's written works span some fifty years, encompassing a great deal of mystical and

magical experience. Small wonder that someone can cherrypick that diverse work and find contradictory passages."

You argue well for the many-sided nature of Aleister Crowley's lifework, "making it easy to cherrypick for

"contradictory passages" within it."

But since you bring up the subjectmatter of Stalinism, MichaelStaley, erasing all "contradictory passages" from

Crowley, like in the amazon.com-reviewed book (Initiation in the Aeon of the Child: The Inward Journey) by J.

Daniel Gunther, is acting along the lines of Stalinism.

Erasing all "contradictory passages" from Marx, was standard under Stalinism, a standard who's support by Stalin,

was of course echoed by Stalin's trusty little sidekicks, and approvingly peddled by them.

Likewise, Hymenaeus Beta's (Frater Superior of the O.T.O.) support for the following book erasing all

"contradictory passages" from Crowley: Initiation in the Aeon of the Child: The Inward Journey, is of course echoed

by Hymenaeus Beta's trusty little sidekicks, and approvingly peddled by them.

No great wonder I guess, as Hymenaeus Beta also act along the lines of Stalinism when it comes to censorship, for

example trying to restrict access to AGAPE vel LIBER C vel AZOTH, and De Arte Magica.


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 Anonymous
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08/12/2009 3:59 pm  
"wellredwellbred" wrote:

Likewise, Hymenaeus Beta's (Frater Superior of the O.T.O.) support for the following book erasing all

"contradictory passages" from Crowley: Initiation in the Aeon of the Child: The Inward Journey, is of course echoed

by Hymenaeus Beta's trusty little sidekicks, and approvingly peddled by them.

No great wonder I guess, as Hymenaeus Beta also act along the lines of Stalinism when it comes to censorship, for

example trying to restrict access to AGAPE vel LIBER C vel AZOTH, and De Arte Magica.

I see. This is more about petty personal politics than Thelema's semblance to religion in general.


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lashtal
(@lashtal)
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08/12/2009 4:15 pm  
"wellredwellbred" wrote:
Likewise, Hymenaeus Beta's (Frater Superior of the O.T.O.) support for the following book erasing all "contradictory passages" from Crowley: Initiation in the Aeon of the Child: The Inward Journey, is of course echoed by Hymenaeus Beta's trusty little sidekicks, and approvingly peddled by them. No great wonder I guess, as Hymenaeus Beta also act along the lines of Stalinism when it comes to censorship, for example trying to restrict access to AGAPE vel LIBER C vel AZOTH, and De Arte Magica.

Why am I not in the least bit surprised by this off-topic rant, given your previous participation under this username and others?

Once again, you appear to mistake this site for something that it isn't, presumably because you still choose to ignore the guidelines that are a prerequisite of membership here.

This site prides itself on its impartiality, on encouraging open discussion without small-minded pettiness and partisanship. Your reference to Hymenaeus Beta as Stalin-like is immature and rude and I'm not prepared to tolerate it, any more than I would if you made similar ridiculous comments about any other member. Doubtless, you will consider this as evidence of some pro-OTO bias but I think representatives of other Orders and groups will acknowledge that this is not the case. By the way, quoting user reviews on Amazon, articles from Wikipedia and all the rest, serves only to demonstrate your total lack of understanding of the complexity of the issues involved.

Your right to post on LAShTAL.COM without pre-moderation is therefore withdrawn with immediate effect.

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3951
08/12/2009 5:53 pm  

wellredwellbred, I wonder if you please could just calm down. You seem to think that people like Breeze or Gunther are authorities at the head of Thelema before whom all Thelemites must bend the knee and from whom we must imbibe the latest papal enchiridions. It's not like that. I am happy to embrace the label "Thelemite", because I accept the Law of Thelema. I don't accept the Book of the Law in its entirety (the wretched and the weak are liable to be left untrampled in my wake, for instance), and neither do I regard Crowley as Prophet. To use an analogy, I do not see the need for an intermediary between myself and Godhead. Some do, and I am happy to accept such diversity within the Thelemic movement; in my opinion, it's a sign of strength.

I don't know whether anyone has suppressed adverse reviews of Gunther's book. It's not something of great moment in my opinion, since - again, in my opinion - the well-springs of Thelema are best tapped through magical and mystical work.

Best wishes,

Michael.


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kidneyhawk
(@kidneyhawk)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1827
08/12/2009 6:08 pm  

To use an analogy, I do not see the need for an intermediary between myself and Godhead

You're a Thelemic Martin Luther! 😉


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kidneyhawk
(@kidneyhawk)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1827
08/12/2009 6:14 pm  

93 Theses on the Warburg Door.

😀


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3951
08/12/2009 7:25 pm  

And if just one Thesis should accidentally fall,
There'd be 92 Theses on the Warburg Door.

😆


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Palamedes
(@palamedes)
Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 450
08/12/2009 8:23 pm  
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
neither do I regard Crowley as Prophet. To use an analogy, I do not see the need for an intermediary between myself and Godhead.

Michael, I both respect and disagree with your opinion. It is not an either/or situation. To accept Crowley as Prophet of Thelema does not imply that he or anyone else is an intermediary between a person and Godhead. To use an analogy, Muhammad is Prophet of Islam but Islam teaches that there are no intermediaries between a Muslim and God - thus, there is no priesthood in Islam comparable to Christianity for example. Similarly, the Buddha announces the Dharma but each Buddhist should work for his or her own enlightenment. In my opinion, a Thelemite accepts The Book of the Law as at least inspired text and the text does refer to the scribe as the Prophet. One does not need to accept this literally but still, it makes perfect sense to take it as it is and to regard Crowley as Prophet.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
08/12/2009 8:58 pm  

[This posting is approved by moderator]

Zardoz Posted: Dec 08, 2009 - 03:59 PM: “I see. This is more about petty personal politics than Thelema's semblance to religion in general.”

“Erasing all "contradictory passages" from Crowley”, is akin to the “streamlining” of theology happening in early Christianity, something which increased the focus of Christianity as a movement.

“Streamlining” of Thelema’s theology might possibly increase its focus as a movement.

As for trying to restrict access to various religious texts, this is similar to what the Church of Scientology does with its religion today.

This censorship of Thelema’s theology might possibly give it as bad a reputation as the Church of Scientology has today.


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mika
 mika
(@mika)
Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 360
08/12/2009 10:06 pm  
"wellredwellbred" wrote:
This censorship of Thelema’s theology

What censorship? One author picking and choosing which of Crowley's material he cares to write about is not "censorship". Even the head of the OTO choosing to limit which of Crowley's material is studied and used within that organization is not censorship. All of Crowley's work is accessible in some way or another to whoever is interested, regardless of whether or not different people dislike portions of that work.


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OKontrair
(@okontrair)
Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 501
08/12/2009 10:53 pm  

wellredwellbred

One of the less satisfactory features of the internet is that old controversies, long resolved, linger on to be snuffled up by people who perhaps do not have enough time to research things to their utmost bottom.

One of the more satisfactory features is that if anyone wants to stop something or other coming out they will, generally speaking, fail. Which is not the same thing as their having to provide it.

Let’s turn to your earlier enquiry about Crowley’s publications before and after his bankruptcy. This is a good question but is even an accurate answer useful? Crowley was made bankrupt in April 1934. Over the next ten years he published, or had published, about twelve items. In the corresponding span of time before 1934 he also had about a dozen items put into print.

There are plenty of ways anyone can find this out if they put their minds to it but I’ll list them for you:

In the decade 1923-1934

Diary of a Drug Fiend (in USA), Songs for Italy (2 versions), To Man, An Open Letter to Lord Beaverbrook, The World Teacher to the Theosophical Society, The Avenger to the Theosophical Society, Pansophia (in Germany), Madame Tussaud Besant, Offener Brief, Ein Zeugnis Der Suchenden, Kreis Um Thelema, Liber Al vel Legis, Little Poems in Prose, Moonchild, Magick in Theory and Practice (Two versions), Your Interest in Magick, The Dawn of a New Life, Confessions vols. 1 & 2, The Stratagem, Golden Twigs (proofed but not released) and Gilles de Rais.

In the decade 1935-1944

The Equinox of the Gods (two editions), The Scientific Solution to the Problem of Government, Die Drei Schulen der Magie, Ein Bericht Uber die Grosse Weisse Bruderschaft (last three in Germany), The Book of the Law (two differing editions), The Heart of the Master, Little Essays Toward Truth, Khing Kang King, England Stand Fast, Temperance, The Creed of the Thelemites, Thumbs Up (3 versions), La Gauloise (two versions), Liber Oz, (several versions), The Fun of the Fair, ‘Landed’ Gentry, The City of God, The Oriflamme (USA), One Star in Sight (USA), Liber II, and The Book of Thoth. Liber Aleph reached proof but was not released.

Now the problems start. Are these lists equivalents? Is he doing more or less? How do the eleven copies of Liber Legis ceremonially given away to strangers in 1926 weigh against the 1938 Book of the Law? (It’s textually close). Should the slight but influential Liber Oz (one page manifesto) count more than the much bulkier Little Poems in Prose (a translation of someone else’s work)? Are the two books proofed but not released demonstrative of equivalent effort, intention or anything at all? I only included them to raise this issue.

The point I want to make is that you can have any conclusion you want. The more you care to find out the better able you will be to have an opinion worth listening to and which you could justify holding.

Not everything is on the internet. There is no real substitute for reading real books and perhaps even talking to people. Wikipedia is very good for technical subjects but in the humanities you are drinking from a poisoned well that too many people have been pissing in.

If you are just writing an essay or something like that be a bit more upfront and I’m sure lots of people here will help you.

OK


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
09/12/2009 4:56 am  
"kidneyhawk" wrote:

[MichaelStaley as an] ... Thelemic Martin Luther!

...and wellredwellbred as an Thelemic Thomas Müntzer. The Battle of Bad Frankenhausen live to read on-line at lashtal.com. 🙂


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Aleisterion
(@aleisterion)
Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 319
09/12/2009 2:06 pm  

MichaelStaley wrote: "You seem to think that people like Breeze or Gunther are authorities at the head of Thelema before whom all Thelemites must bend the knee and from whom we must imbibe the latest papal enchiridions. It's not like that. I am happy to embrace the label "Thelemite", because I accept the Law of Thelema. I don't accept the Book of the Law in its entirety (the wretched and the weak are liable to be left untrampled in my wake, for instance), and neither do I regard Crowley as Prophet. To use an analogy, I do not see the need for an intermediary between myself and Godhead."

93 Michael,

While it's true that The Book of the Law enjoins us to "Obey my prophet", his only binding injunction is to "Do what thou wilt"; and after all, "prophet" only means "forth-speaker" --- his only mission being to deliver the word of the Aeon. I'm also of the opinion that Thelema needs no human intermediary in the way that Christians need to adore Jesus in the proper practice of their cult; but I do view Aiwass as a sort of spiritual intermediary that takes a unique form in each individual's "Holy Guardian Angel" (though I don't prefer such choice of words myself). I do however see great value in ceremonial commemoration of Crowley and his works, not for any spiritual benefit aside from ordinary edification of course but for purposes of celebrating a genius and spreading his Aeonic "glad word".

I tend to regard such passages as you quoted --- i.e., the part about the wretched and the weak --- as being rooted in subtlety. For me that part refers to the wretched and the weak of will...otherwise we're all doomed to be outcast and unfit in good time! Like the part of the third chapter of the book enjoining everyone to kill and torture that really targets ideas and imperfections in the thought process and not actual people --- in my opinion anyway.

Of course I'm not trying to lecture you...far from it. I admire your work and respect your view. Just sharing my perspective!

93 93 93
Aleisterion


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Proteus
(@proteus)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 243
09/12/2009 10:39 pm  

I do view Aiwass as a sort of spiritual intermediary that takes a unique form in each individual's "Holy Guardian Angel"

93 Aleisterion,

Interesting. At the risk of diverging from the topic a bit:

Are you saying that Aiwass is everyone's HGA or is in some way involved with everyone's HGA or something else? I never considered 'Aiwass' to have any any personal connection to me - or to anyone other than Crowley, for that matter.

John


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Aleisterion
(@aleisterion)
Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 319
10/12/2009 2:15 am  

Proteus wrote: "Interesting. At the risk of diverging from the topic a bit: Are you saying that Aiwass is everyone's HGA or is in some way involved with everyone's HGA or something else? I never considered 'Aiwass' to have any any personal connection to me - or to anyone other than Crowley, for that matter."

I see every HGA as an aspect of the 93 Current...like streams branching off a Supernal river.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
10/12/2009 5:39 am  

Thanks to OKontrair for his Post subject: Posted: Dec 08, 2009 - 10:53 PM, as regarding my question about Crowley’s publications before and after his bankruptcy. Thanks to same also for giving advise that might enable me "to have an opinion worth listening to" and which I "could justify holding."

In the mentioned posting OKontrair write: "One of the less satisfactory features of the internet is that old controversies, long resolved, linger on to be snuffled up by people who perhaps do not have enough time to research things to their utmost bottom."

Does this mean that the issue of OTO and censorship has been resolved, does anyone have more information on this?

I agree to that the complexity of the issues involved can not be met by me "quoting user reviews on Amazon" and "articles from Wikipedia", as pointed out by Site Admin.

Keeping this in mind there still is a properly qualified argument referred to in one of the amazonreviews of Initiation in the Aeon of the Child: The Inward Journey, which I think does measure up to the complexity of the issues involved, and to the subjectmatter of this thread, Thelema's semblance to religion in general.

: "A Ph.D. student at the Center for History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents in Amsterdam, once remarked to me that what keeps the Thelemic current in such an anemic position is the lack of some heavy weight theologians." In reflection over this argument the reviewer concludes : "After 666 there simply has been noone[sic] able to do this important system building which is so necessary for any new religious movement if it wants to actually develop into a living and evolving school of thought."

My question is:

Is Thelema in need of some "heavy weight theologians" to do the "system building which is so necessary for any new religious movement[my emphasis] if it wants to actually develop into a living and evolving school of thought"?


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Los
 Los
(@los)
Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 2195
10/12/2009 6:40 am  

In the interest of not feeding the troll and possibly talking about something interesting....

"MichaelStaley" wrote:
I do not see the need for an intermediary between myself and Godhead.

Yes, Thelema doesn't posit an intermediary between an individual and infinity. The true self of an individual is not separate from the universe; it is "a Star among the Stars of [Nuit's] Body."

"Come! lift up thine heart & rejoice! We are one; we are none."

There's certainly no intermediary between an individual and his or her will, as the will is what each individual already is. There might be a variety of methods to get an individual to *realize* these things -- various inspirational writings among them -- but nothing in Thelema suggests an intermediary or the necessity of one.

The OTO, I'm pretty sure, also does not hold that an intermediary is necessary between oneself and the "divine" (for lack of a better word). Hence, "There is no part of me that is not of the gods."


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
10/12/2009 10:34 pm  

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law

I offer up these insights to consider. To begin with, censorship of a COTO nature has been discussed in these forums before. See, for example, the MIT&P thread of a few years ago in the magick forum. It does happen. The point to consider, though, is each individual's definition of censorship. A liberal definition or a conservative definition.

The second point to consider is more on the perspective of the HGA. For further on this, see Kenneth Grant: "Hecate's Fountain", pp. 158, and the "Magick Without Tears" page referenced in the footnote.

I simply offered both of these to this thread because, as karmic law would have it, I just happen to have come across both "accidentally", while reading this thread.

love is the law, love under will.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
11/12/2009 8:10 pm  
"wellredwellbred" wrote:

My question is:

Is Thelema in need of some "heavy weight theologians" to do the "system building which is so necessary for any new religious movement[my emphasis] if it wants to actually develop into a living and evolving school of thought"?

The premise appears wrong. Thelema is not a religious movement. There is no effort to convert or attract new followers. Thelema seems more like an Operational Principle, or, as some have said, like a Law. It already is a living and evolving school, generally speaking.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
11/12/2009 10:20 pm  

Oh for goodness and evil's sake!

There definitely is religion in Thelema, and secularism, and magick and mysticism; there are also hybrid combinations of these. The elements of each are to be found in Liber AL and in Crowley's writings. Those who choose, in accordance with their own natures, one element over the others, or two, are certainly free to do so, and should, but to deny that any of them even exist in Thelema is absurd.

So, yes, Thelema is a religious movement for some, and rightfully so. The same is true with the rest of the elements that do, in fact, compose Thelema. If it's in Liber AL, it's in Thelema. And one really can't reasonably embrace some of Crowley's ideas while denying that others even exist. It's all in black and white, in print for all to see. Of course, one can reject ideas as one will, but to deny that they even exist when they clearly do is insane.

I certainly second George's comment about it being a good thing that Liber AL is in print forever, in one form or another, because it most certainly would have suffered revision by now at the hands of those who can't face all of the facts about Thelema at once.

As for dear wellred, the Herr Koenig wannabe, without doing any of the work, that is, I agree with Los that hungry trolls ought not be encouraged. He can go and read the books, at least, even if not doing any of the work involved in Thelema. He might then have an academic grasp of it.

It's nice to be back off the road. 🙂


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
11/12/2009 11:44 pm  

I recently came across Robert Lanza’s biocentricism, which if not satisfactory in explaining everything, at least grasps the fundamental problem:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biocentrism

Which reminded me of the following quote by Crowley:

Man is a microcosm; that is, an image (concentrated around the point of consciousness) of the macrocosm, or Universe. This Theorem is guaranteed by the hylo-idealistic demonstration that the perceptible Universe is an extension, or phantasm, of the nervous system.

(Little Essays, p. 9)


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
11/12/2009 11:55 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
Oh for goodness and evil's sake!

There definitely is religion in Thelema, and secularism, and magick and mysticism; there are also hybrid combinations of these. The elements of each are to be found in Liber AL and in Crowley's writings. Those who choose, in accordance with their own natures, one element over the others, or two, are certainly free to do so, and should, but to deny that any of them even exist in Thelema is absurd.

I did not deny that religion, or some semblance of, exists in Thelema. It does. I asserted that it was not a religious movement- obviously just my opinion as I see it.

Definition of a religious movement from:
http://dictionary.reference.com/

a movement intended to bring about religious reforms

Is Thelema a movement intended to bring about religious reforms? If so, which religion is it intending to reform?

So, yes, Thelema is a religious movement for some, and rightfully so.

Also would be curious for an example of someone who regards Thelema as a religious movement??

Also disagree with the opinion that wellredwellbred is a troll. She or he appears genuine and sincere with their opinions, as unusual and ill-presented as they might seem, at times. Seems a tendency to hastily label someone a troll because we don't like what they say.


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3951
12/12/2009 10:46 am  
"tai" wrote:
Which reminded me of the following quote by Crowley:
Man is a microcosm; that is, an image (concentrated around the point of consciousness) of the macrocosm, or Universe. This Theorem is guaranteed by the hylo-idealistic demonstration that the perceptible Universe is an extension, or phantasm, of the nervous system.

(Little Essays, p. 9)

Interesting passage, tai. Thanks for flagging it up.

In case anyone else, like me, goes in search of this passage and finds that the page number varies from tai's copy of the book, the passage occurs near the beginning of the first essay, 'Man'.

Best wishes,

Michael.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
12/12/2009 7:32 pm  
"zardoz" wrote:
"Camlion" wrote:
Oh for goodness and evil's sake!

There definitely is religion in Thelema, and secularism, and magick and mysticism; there are also hybrid combinations of these. The elements of each are to be found in Liber AL and in Crowley's writings. Those who choose, in accordance with their own natures, one element over the others, or two, are certainly free to do so, and should, but to deny that any of them even exist in Thelema is absurd.

I did not deny that religion, or some semblance of, exists in Thelema. It does. I asserted that it was not a religious movement- obviously just my opinion as I see it.

Definition of a religious movement from:
http://dictionary.reference.com/

a movement intended to bring about religious reforms

Is Thelema a movement intended to bring about religious reforms? If so, which religion is it intending to reform?

So, yes, Thelema is a religious movement for some, and rightfully so.

Also would be curious for an example of someone who regards Thelema as a religious movement??

Also disagree with the opinion that wellredwellbred is a troll. She or he appears genuine and sincere with their opinions, as unusual and ill-presented as they might seem, at times. Seems a tendency to hastily label someone a troll because we don't like what they say.

Hey, Z, 93,

Firstly, despite the proximity to your post, my remarks were not directed specifically toward you, or even to your post, I would have quoted you if they were. They were made more in general, in response to the frequent denial of things of a religious nature known to be embraced by many Thelemites, and the 'Thelemism' of such people being challenged thereby, at least by implication.

But, okay: I don't see were you're going with this "religious movement" idea, really, and I find that definition somewhat lame. Must a "religious movement" be something along the lines of the Protestant Reformation to qualify? Would the beginnings of, say, Christianity or Islam qualify? And, if so, would these things qualify only in retrospect, having produced profound results over great spans of time? What if Christianity had 'Petered out' after only a few hundred years or so? I'm not sure what you mean by this qualification, "religious movement." Is it the intent of the people involved that qualifies them?

Crowley wrote in the otherwise rather secular Liber Oz, "There is no god but man." Had he written "There is no god," this might have be taken as a statement of common atheism. However, as it was written, it is at the very least as statement of some sort of 'Enlightened Atheism,' but is more likely, to many, an indication of radically new and different sort of religion, one in which, by way of fuller self-realization, some sort of 'self-deification' is implied. (Liber Oz is a document that is known to be rather closely embraced by the OTO, at least at the appropriate level of membership.)

He also wrote Liber XV, an arguably religious document, which is generally referred to as "the central ritual of the OTO both public and private"* Further, there is an elaboration of this to be found in the EGC itself, "a Thelemic religious environment, dedicated to the advancement of Light, Life, Love, and Liberty through alignment with the Law of Thelema."

* http://oto-usa.org/index.html

I mention the OTO above only because it is known to be a large and prominent Thelemic organization. I am not a member.

At any rate, there are 'religious Thelemites.' I personally know too many to even count. We will see if any will heed your call and post here to discuss 'Thelema as religion,' 'religion in Thelema' or any variation thereof.

I, personally, have little use for religion, but am not so silly as to deny that other Thelemites do.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
13/12/2009 7:46 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
But, okay: I don't see were you're going with this "religious movement" idea, really, and I find that definition somewhat lame. Must a "religious movement" be something along the lines of the Protestant Reformation to qualify? Would the beginnings of, say, Christianity or Islam qualify?

Yes, all of those qualify to be called religious movements. The definition quoted was only one, the most general one, out of quite a few. NONE of the definitions came close to resembling the Thelemic movement ( if we have to call it that 🙁 ).

I agree, that there is much that is sacred, holy and religious in Thelema and of the likelihood that some consider it their religion, hence a new religious movement can be construed by some. But I was responding in the context of wellred's question:

Is Thelema in need of some "heavy weight theologians" to do the "system building which is so necessary for any new religious movement[my emphasis] if it wants to actually develop into a living and evolving school of thought"?

which compares Thelema with any new religious movement. It is NOT like any other religious movement even if it has some very general semblance to some aspects of older religions. Thelema does not need to get systematized like any other organized religion. It's system works with individuals, as per the A.'. A.'. The O.T.O. (any kind) has enough of a system for those wishing and willing to connect to a larger body. I'm not a member either, but the O.T.O. doesn't come across to me like either a Church or a Religious Movement. It does contain or is connected with the Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica which seems to me much more esoteric in it's function and operation than any exoteric religious movement.

"Camlion" wrote:
Crowley wrote in the otherwise rather secular Liber Oz, "There is no god but man." Had he written "There is no god," this might have be taken as a statement of common atheism. However, as it was written, it is at the very least as statement of some sort of 'Enlightened Atheism,' but is more likely, to many, an indication of radically new and different sort of religion, one in which, by way of fuller self-realization, some sort of 'self-deification' is implied. (Liber Oz is a document that is known to be rather closely embraced by the OTO, at least at the appropriate level of membership.)

Or as Heinlein has Valentine Michael Smith put it in his Thelemic primer, Stranger in a Strange Land, Thou Art God which maybe relates with Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Communicating enlightened self-actualization does not, for me, a religious movement make even if the communication involves something religious. Although I will allow that this, in itself, could constitute a kind of religious movement to some ... as long as you spare me the theologians. 🙂

And I would like to point out that the book is called Magick, not Religion.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
15/12/2009 3:26 am  

Thanks for bringing up http://oto-usa.org/index.html Camlion.

http://oto-usa.org/faq.html contains the following on thelema that I find relevant for its semblance - or lack

thereof - to religion in general:

"Do I need to be a member of the O.T.O. to participate in the Gnostic Mass?

Membership in O.T.O. is not a pre-requisite for attendance at the Gnostic Mass, in most locations. The Gnostic Mass

is generally referred to as "the central ritual of the O.T.O. both public and private" and often serves as a

contact point for those interested in finding out more about the Order and its practices.

Is O.T.O. a religion ?
No. O.T.O. is a religious organization and magical fraternity that works within the wider context of the spiritual

philosophy known as Thelema which technically could be considered a religion.

I'm a [Buddhist|Wiccan|Catholic|Baptist|Druid|etc.]. Can I stay one if I join the O.T.O.?
O.T.O. does not impose restrictions on members' beliefs, or on their affiliations with other organizations that do

not attempt to infringe on the rights and operation of O.T.O. However, higher-degree members are expected to avoid

allowing their participation in other groups to unduly limit the time and energy they can devote to their O.T.O.

obligations.

How do I become a Thelemite?

There is no requirement to join any particular organization, to associate with (or shun) other Thelemites, or to

follow any specific course of study, meditation, or ritual practice."

The quotes from http://oto-usa.org/faq.html above, does not show this OTO's understanding of thelema as resembling

anything like a strict religious interpretation of it, demanding much of this order's members.

The http://thykaaba.livejournal.com/ is a blog where some from the abovementioned OTO write about and discuss how

to make this order's interpretation of thelema more strict, so as to make it something along the lines of "a

successful Religious Movement."

http://thykaaba.livejournal.com/589.html
"Resources and the O.T.O. - Introduction: [goes in to ]What constitutes a successful Religious Movement;"

This introduction refere to the work of the American Professor of Sociology and Comparative Religion, Rodney Stark

(1934 - ), and contains the following list describing what that "constitutes a successful Religious Movement:"

"1. New religious movements are likely to succeed to the extent that they retain cultural continuity with the

conventional faith(s) of the societies in which they seek converts.

2. New religious movements are likely to succeed to the extent that their doctrines are non-empirical.

3. New religious movements are likely to succeed to the extent that they maintain a medium level of tension with

their surrounding environment— are strict, but not too strict.

4. Religious movements will succeed to the extent they have legitimate leaders with adequate authority to be

effective. This, in tum, will depend upon two factors:

a. Adequate authority requires clear doctrinal justifications for an effective and legitimate leadership.

b. Authority is regarded as more legitimate and gains in effectiveness to the degree that members perceive

themselves as participants in the system of authority.

5. Religious movements will grow to the extent that they can generate a highly motivated, volunteer religious labor

force, including many willing to proselytise.

6. Religious movements must maintain a level of fertility sufficient to offset member mortality.

7. Other things being equal, new and unconventional religious organisations will prosper to the extent that they

compete against weak, local conventional religious organisations within a relatively unregulated religious economy.

8. Religious movements will succeed to the extent that they sustain strong internal attachments, while remaining an

open social network, able to maintain and form close ties to outsiders.

9. Religious movements will continue to grow only to the extent that they maintain sufficient tension with their

environment remain sufficiently strict.

10. Religious movements must socialise the young sufficiently well as to minimise both defection and the appeal of

reduced strictness."

Some more quotes from the blog http://thykaaba.livejournal.com :

http://thykaaba.livejournal.com/1410.html :

"... strictness promotes an increase of numbers, the reason being that people join something because it gives

something

different than they can get elsewhere. This is particularly true when it comes to religious movements, new or

otherwise, considering that most of them demands a large part of the resources if the members in order to manifest

their stated goals.

It is easy to see how Thelema as it is largely practiced among it's adherents today fails abysmally on this

proposition.

Stark predicts that a permissive culture beyond the fact that it will keep the numbers low, will also result in a

chaotic and conflict ridden community, where a lot of the members are simply not happy with their membership in it

and consequently even those who are committed will increasingly grow weary of contributing any of their resources

to it. That this is not a healthy community goes without saying, that this to a large extent is what many of us

have experienced in our own community is also something of an understatement."

http://thykaaba.livejournal.com/1573.html :

"As I have shown there are several continuities with western cutlure, be it that we organize along the lines of a

Church, have a creed and even position ourselves as a successor religion to that of Christianity to name but a few.

http://thykaaba.livejournal.com/2537.html :
... many people tend to treat Thelema as if it was just as if it were any religion interchangeable with all of

them, instead of a religion with clearly identifiable facets and practices. This leads them to adopt any feature

that are incompatible with Thelema and thereby creates mischief. Ironically those who engage in this today are

those who claims it is not a religion, by which they actually in practice mean that it is any religion."


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Horemakhet
(@horemakhet)
Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 525
15/12/2009 12:19 pm  

Well Read Well Bred: You must have something to prove, & maybe some time on your hands. If you truly believe that 'Thelema' is a religion, then it is. For you. Finished. Nice challenge, though. I grew tired of it after the first 25 posts. Just me. Continue....


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
16/12/2009 7:45 am  

Thanks for all the quotes, wellred, that further delineate what constitutes a religious movement. Those quotes do not resemble the Thelemic lineage. They support the claim that Thelema is NOT a religious movement. I've not seen any convincing evidence to suggest that it is.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
16/12/2009 12:04 pm  

I don’t know much about Thelema but I feel it would be ok to share the following thoughts with you… (I tried to read all the previous posts to avoid any overlapping. Sorry if I missed anything.)

It is a very interesting synchronicity to find this conversation here, as recently I had to deal with the concept of Religion, myself.

A few years ago, after spending several years in the Orthodox Christian religion, I was guided to a totally different point of view; that is, the belief that religion would have no place in a future world. I could see the vision clearly: every man and woman would communicate and honor God -Higher Self / Spirit / Guardian Angel / whatever one calls it- within their heart. Nothing could be better than that.

However, my guides had prepared a surprise for me. Last summer I had to deal with the idea of a new religion. I will leave out the details of that, as it’s not much relevant with the present topic. I will stick to my reaction when I heard the word “religion” –I was totally shocked and it caused me much stress-, and the final explanation that made things clear and showed me the real challenge behind this concept.

Trying to gain some clarity, I looked up my dictionaries for the definition of the word “religion” in Greek (the language I speak) and in English (the only other language I can use).

The Greek word “Θρησκεία” is found in Homer and is also used by Herodotus to show the worship and the honor a human has to render to God. The word is derived from the word “θρώσκω”, which means “I ascend”, therefore the term “θρησκεία” means human’s ascension towards God. Besides, the word “human” in Greek is “άνθρωπος”, which is analyzed to the words “άνω θρώσκω” (ascending upwards), therefore it is also connected with the idea of ascension.

One of the possible derivations of the English word “Religion”, according to which the word derives from the corresponding Latin verb “Religare” = “to tide fast”, was a very nice surprise as it seems to convey the profound idea of Union. Some scholars believe that the derivation of the word "religion" is not yet clarified, however what we presently know is good enough to give us some food for thought.

So, religion is “the way of ascending higher” and “tiding things previously separated”. This idea could only make me think of the Ascending through vibrations one can achieve through the spiritual path and the realization of one’s unity with a higher part of one’s existence called Higher Self, Guardian Angel, God etc, etc.

"OK, I thought, under this light, every work towards the above goal can be considered as religion." But still, it was quite difficult for me to accept to put this altruistic and pure quest under a term which has been so badly misused, not only by the clergy of the previous religions but from the majority of their followers too (well, on the other hand, all this has to do with humanity’s collective journey so there is no point in blaming anyone…)

Then my guidance told me “Religion is the quest for the Self”.
At first it sounded weird. Later I saw the relation with the idea of re-connecting with Higher Self (Guardian Angel, etc, always referring to the Highest consciousness one can perceive in the manifested world).

Ah! I wished I wasn’t so much into the old ways that had distorted my ideas about religion in the first place! I realized how the “common sense” under the imposed idea of being separated from God due to some horrible unknown sin can totally distort even the higher ideas in our conscious mind and make one feel totally unworthy to hold his/her own sovereignty! Why should we take seriously the old interpretations then? They are interpretations of people who live under fear and let this fear permeate their thoughts. Exactly those interpretations are the ones which have been colouring our perception of the higher symbols and ideas, ever since. Why should we accept this manipulation and give away all the sacred archetypal symbols (words are symbols too) and ideas, as if we are not capable of finding the truth within our own hearts?

It was then that I remembered something I was shown a couple of years ago; that a symbol is merely an energy vessel and NOW is the time to start changing the energy in order to take human consciousness further.

After discussing this with a friend (a psychologist) we realized that, the one who holds the interpretation of the symbols can actually influence the human subconscious and it’s a very serious task that should be treated with the highest possible altruism. In every case, we, people of the new era, need to take the semiology in our hands, go into our hearts and, according to "the Father’s heart Will" (which is our heart’s will), work in order to take it further, thus expanding the given field of consciousness.

I apologize for the length of this post but I think I managed to show the need for the workers of the inner path not to deny the old stuff altogether but to accept the challenge of changing the old paradigm (including that of religion) in the dawn of the new era.

Hecate


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
16/12/2009 10:20 pm  

Very nice post, Hecate. I find that many people take almost automatic offense at the use of the words "religion" or "politics" in connection with Thelema. It is almost an irrational revulsion, something along the lines of an allergic reaction, which they sometimes must go back and rationalize after the fact, if they are reasonable people to begin with. I'm well aware of the unpleasant connotations that these words conjure, due to past associations, but no word should be allowed such power over us that we cannot use it in our Work if its application is appropriate in new ways.


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Tiger
(@tiger)
Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1503
17/12/2009 12:18 am  

The false prophet was nailed ! The Prince of Peace failed . A replacement is still being awaited. The Beast brought freedom !


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
17/12/2009 2:36 pm  
"Horemakhet" wrote:
Well Read Well Bred: You must have something to prove, & maybe some time on your hands. If you truly believe that 'Thelema' is a religion, then it is. For you. Finished. Nice challenge, though. I grew tired of it after the first 25 posts. Just me. Continue....

It seems Thelema to Crowley was a religion,... with divine forces behind it:

Aleister Crowley on the divine forces behind Thelema: [from: http://thykaaba.livejournal.com/3492.html ] :

[Crowley] in a letter to Gasoigne dated 25. april 1938 e.v., who proposed to put his organisation under the Wing of

666 but remained critical of the Book of the Law and the aims of promulgating and establishing it's Law, regarding

this program as "Criminal folly":

"The forces behind the Book [of the Law] determine the time and place of wars[my emphasise]; and if you are in a

position to put a spoke in the wheel of such people, I certainly am not. I fought against these forces with the

whole of my power for many years, and I came out at the little end of the horn. You must read up the history of the

business, if you want to understand the actual position."

[Crowley on the same divine forces] few years later... ...in his book Magick Without Tears:

"The Book of the Law takes us back to primitive savagery," you say. Well, where are we? We're at Guernica, Lidice,

Oradour-sur-Glane, Rotterdam and hundreds of other crimes, to say nothing of Concentration-camp, Stalag, and a

million lesser horrors and abominations, inconceivable by the most diseased and inflamed Sadistic imagination forty

years ago.You disagree with Aiwass—so do all of us. The trouble is that He can say: 'But I'm not arguing; I'm

telling you.""

Crowley originally envisioned for Thelema something more like the numerical success of todays christian

megachurches: [ from: http://thykaaba.livejournal.com/860.html ]:

"...going over the numbers Crowley are using, a fully established Grand Lodge would have over 11 000 members alone

and if it had a functioning Church for the general populace the numbers would be well over 25 000 members." Here

the following is also mentioned:

"...the O.T.O. has been for nearly a hundred years moslty unable to grow the socalled third generation Thelemite in

any great numbers (only now are we beginning to see this change and that in USGL[US Grand Lodge] which has had

through it's Grand Master somewhat focus on opening up for this.

This lack of third generation Thelemites is an incredible feat for a organization that has existed as long as we

have, but largely understandable when we look at our communities unwillingness and hostility towards exposing our

young to the Law of Thelema. I am naturally not advocating lessening the age of requirement in the O.T.O., but a

more pro-active recruitment of the Children of the members of the Church into the E.G.C. which was designed by A.C.

to include Children. A.C. is pretty clear on instructing Children in the Law in Liber CCC and even had plans of a

scout like organization which would train them and instruct them in the Law on more rigid lines."

Short description of how Crowley changed the religion Thelema during his lifetime [from:

http://thykaaba.livejournal.com/1279.html ]:

"After Crowley became a Magus [under is stay in the USA during WWI]Thelema changed from being an essence religion

to becoming an

open and organized religion ruled by an elite who practiced it as an essence religion

. This

is what is called the Blue Equinox model of the O.T.O., a model Crowley would continue to tweak until his death,

ending with a strict focus on the Gnostic Mass and community organizing along Thelemic lines, training only the

leaders in what he called technical subjects.

What is interesting is that Crowley's increasing focus on these non-technical subjects were not only fueled by his

Magus initiation, but also by his continued disappointment with what he called "drifting occultists." He quickly

realized that most people did not have the aptitude for Magick, but still would benefit from engaging the Law of

Thelema. Moreover he found out that trying to make a Thelemite out of someone who came to him to be taught in

Magick, even when he acknowledged that they were successful, was like trying to make a silk purse out of a sows

ear. It was better to start in the other end and limit the teaching of Magick to the experts who already were

Thelemites.

In the end he came to view it as a distraction as he noted in one letter to Charles S. Jones, from his duty as a

Magus, which was to promulgate and establish his Law of Thelema."

The writer behind the blog http://thykaaba.livejournal.com , argue against training all people in Magick "thereby

creating a series of false negatives", because not all people have the aptitude for Magick, and offers this

alternative:

"Instead we should as A.C. wanted us to focus on the Law of Thelema itself, teaching them our doctrines and ideas

and from there pick people with the aptitude for it, ...it is how most successful religious movements goes about

their organizing and the fact that Crowley wanted us to organize in a similar way testifies that his ideas are

sound in this particular part."

In short, Thelema's lack of numerical success is according to this blogwriter, "not really because of something inherently

problematic about the doctrines of Thelema as such", but because Thelema is being applied in an ineffective way
[ http://thykaaba.livejournal.com/860.html ].

If this is the method for turning Thelema into a massreligion like Aleister Crowley wanted, i don't know, but I am sure that if it remains in its present state, being a disorganized - if not weakly organized - subcultural pehnomenon, it will most likely wither away even more from what it was intended to be.


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Los
 Los
(@los)
Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 2195
17/12/2009 6:05 pm  

Continuing not to feed the troll....

"Camlion" wrote:
Very nice post, Hecate. I find that many people take almost automatic offense at the use of the words "religion" or "politics" in connection with Thelema.

There are some people like that, and there are also other people who correctly recognize that Thelema isn't a religion, in any sense of the way that word is actually used.

You could certainly redefine the word "religion" until Thelema fits into it, but it's almost always going to be a struggle, especially if your idea of religion entails a "higher self," which Crowley tells us is a "damnable heresy" -- now there's some religious language for you.

The fact is that Thelema doesn't fit the word "religion" in the way it's actually used by the vast majority of people. One can practice a religion that *incorporates* Thelema, but Thelema itself can't be equated to "religion," unless you want to confuse people.

Now if you want to confuse people, that's a different story....


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
17/12/2009 7:25 pm  

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law

Hey Los,
Where did you get that view from Uncle Al about the "higher self"?
Thanks!

love is the law, love under will


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