Beginning Thelema
 
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Beginning Thelema


SerpentKiss9
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What are some of the practices that anyone would recommend as a beginning practitioner to Thelema? I know the LBRP and Liber Resh, would you recommend anything more? I'm trying to build a strong foundation for myself.


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Shiva
(@shiva)
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LBRP was abrogated over a century ago. But it will still work. It was upgraded to The Star Ruby (see Ch 25, Book of Lies). Add Asana and simple Pranayama. Resh is beloved by some folks, but I never got anything (energetically speaking) out of it.


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dom
 dom
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@serpentkiss9

The exercises in Liber E and Liber O, free online and the main practice is yoga asanas.

https://www.lashtal.com/wiki/Aleister_Crowley_Timeline


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Michael Staley
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MANIO - it's all in the egg
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Section SSS of Liber HHH. I undertook this for a year or so in the early 1980s as gradework within the Typhonian O.T.O. It moved me beyond rationalism, and - not wishing to turn into a pillar of salt - I've never looked back.


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dom
 dom
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Resh is beloved by some folks, but I never got anything (energetically speaking) out of it.

Are you doing it right?

https://www.lashtal.com/wiki/Aleister_Crowley_Timeline


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Michael Staley
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MANIO - it's all in the egg
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@dom

The exercises in Liber E and Liber O, free online and the main practice is yoga asanas.

Where is there practise of yoga asanas in Liber O?

Yes, the holding of a chosen asana is a practice in Liber E, but it's one of several yogic practices, and it's not in my opinion the "main practice".


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dom
 dom
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Yes, the holding of a chosen asana is a practice in Liber E, but it’s one of several yogic practices, and it’s not in my opinion the “main practice”.

It's the bedrock isn't it?

What are the main practices then?

https://www.lashtal.com/wiki/Aleister_Crowley_Timeline


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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Hi SerpentKiss9,

Determining where on Earth to put such a foundation is as important as the foundation itself.

To give some asked for advice to the beginner who intends to practice A∴A∴ rituals by sliding along the serpent:
Read Liber LXI vel Causæ and study the layers of historical context regarding Thelema. Poetically speaking, learn the basic eco-system and with mindfulness plant your practice tree in the garden. Tend it by mimicking the published rituals and it will bear fruit as a result. Rinse. Eat. Repeat.
For Perfection abideth not in the Pinnacles, or in the Foundations, but in the ordered Harmony of one with all.

Read Liber XXX as guidance for scrutinizing and developing practices.
True ritual is as much action as word; it is Will.

Read Liber LXV and, with a timetable in mind, to the best of one's learning and ability construct a ceremony with the goal of achieving the spiritual experience of Malkuth. If the beginner doesn't know what Malkuth means, if they are determined, they will find out. The skills developed in learning how to read the Liber, gain some understanding of it, build and perform the ceremony, as well at the ceremony's result will serve the beginner well later on and as an undeniable achievement of spiritual initiation.

Myself, being cursed as we all are to teach what we know, recommends the Tattva practice for certain beginners. Brings together some basic elements of ritual practice in a safe-ish way and the results are predictable. They tie in historically, adding a bit of colour to the contextual painting, and have a connection with Florence Farr who was recently mentioned in the News Items.

Have fun.


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Michael Staley
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MANIO - it's all in the egg
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@dom

It’s the bedrock isn’t it?

In your opinion, clearly it is, but not mine. I have been able to practise pranayama and dharana quite happily and fruitfully without maintaining the same posture for the duration of these practices.

What are the main practices then?

There are a number or practices in Libers E and O, none of which I would describe as "the main practices".


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Sonofthoth
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Everything you need is contained in Liber Legis, everything else is irrelevant.


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strider
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LBRP was abrogated over a century ago.

I must say that this whole issue of "abrogation" is a bit of a stumbling block for me. This is not meant as a direct critique of your post, Shiva, but rather a meditation on the topic, which your post has elicited. To say, "LBRP was abrogated over a century ago" strikes me as an appeal to faith similar to that made in any institutional religion, i.e. "Something happened long ago before you were born, and now that you're here you're stuck with it. And by the way--we'll tell you EXACTLY what it means!" Now, I have no problems with faith--we all have some sort of faith in something. But faith, to be real, must be personal. It can't be handed down from above. Where I start to feel uneasy is when faith appeals become collective "laws," and this strikes me as fundamentally at odds with gnosis, and hence Thelema, which is after all predicated on knowing one's True Will (Holy.Guardian Angel in A.'.A.'. terms.)

I'm well aware of the statements in Liber AL regarding abrogation, but I really don't think this is clear cut by any means. AC said, in an editorial in The Equinox:

"There is only one Rock which Scepticism cannot shake: the Rock of Experience. We have therefore endeavoured to eliminate from the conditions of acquiring Spiritual Experience its dogmatic, theological, accidental, climatic and other inessential elements."

I don't know how one can "experience" the abrogation of a certain ritual, except precisely as a PERSONAL experience! I'm sure it does happen in certain mystical states, but I refuse to accept that this could ever become a collective "law," one that is understood and applied across the board in a single way.

Many religions makes claims that all other religions are "abrogated" by the new revelation. I don't deny that certain statements of abrogation can be found in the scriptures, but my own understanding of this, after years of reflection, is that something much more mysterious is at work here. There is an exoteric level--aimed at "the masses" (I dislike that term); and there is an esoteric level. If any true revelation is the result of an adept's living experience with his or her Holy Guardian Angel (who is God FOR him or her), then such a revelation can only be of use or relevant to me insofar as it is relevant to my own Holy Guardian Angel, my own "God within". Hence the "esoteric hermeneutics" of scriptures vary wildly.

Mahayana Buddhism has tons of Sutras which have the Buddha saying vastly different things and even "abrogating" everything else, and entire rival schools are built around their own favorite Sutras, while still accepting each other as "valid" expressions of Mahayana. While viewing their own particular Sutras as superior, they will tend to look at the others as so many upayas ("skillful means") utilized by the Buddhas to lead beings to Nirvana. Early Christian Gnosticism was similarly characterized by a plethora of unique and often wildly opposed revelations from "Jesus", which is why the official Church eventually clamped down in favor of a totalitarian system of pure "belief" and submission to a single creed. This is always the downfall of gnosis. To be honest, I'm rather disappointed that Thelema has not yet produced (publicly at least) many personal revelations of adepts, besides the well-known ones of Kenneth Grant or Nema and a few others. I would have thought there would be tons of these by now, and their public visibility--even if they are at odds with each other, even if they led to new "religions"--would only testify to the vibrancy of the tradition, and that it could lead to truly prophetic consciousness. But the whole thing still seems very much under the shadow of AC.


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Shiva
(@shiva)
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Dom: Are you doing it right?

No. Of course not. I do everything wrong.

Str: Many religions makes claims that all other religions are “abrogated”

Yes. And Thelema is foremost with the front runners in this regard. Pecking beaks, flapping wings, and wheels to be broken upon (see Liber AL) all combine to wipe the slate clean for the NEW AGE.

(The New Age is an Old Term. Which, like Higher Self, is

    relative

.

But the whole thing still seems very much under the shadow of AC.

Jesus hates me, this I know.
For Aleister Crowley, tells me so.
Little children from him run along,
For I Am right, and he is Wrong.

(sung to the tune of Rockaria)

General Comment on this Thread:

Perhaps the type of post that receives the most rapid and most voluminous response is when somebody asks: "What books should I read first?" or "What practices should I start with?"

The answers just POUR in (mine among them). It's similar to the A.'.A.'. Path: (1) Student - reads appointed books. (2) Probationer - begins such practices as he may prefer.

Whether one has a mentor ... or not ... the process is the same. The official curriculum tells one where to start (Liber E and Liber O). But the unofficial party line says " It is improper to assign tasks to a Probationer, because it's a test to see how well he (or she) does in starting to put the jigsaw puzzle together." (words to that effect).

It is virtually impossible to find a Neophyte who just can't restrain themselves, and they just

    have

to give their Probationer some assigned task ... usually which practices to undertake ... plus elements of their own personal cultural bias and philosophy.

It is for this reason that at least one lineage refuses to allow a Neophyte to enlist Probationers. They may start at Netzach (to oversee students), and they need to have a student by Dominus (not to be confused with Dom.'.) Liminis, because said lineage only recognizes three grades (the system of 10 degrees having been abrogated <haha>).

This is very complex, and readers are advised to seek solace in Liber 418 and especially Liber 25.

.


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 Anonymous
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I don’t know how one can “experience” the abrogation of a certain ritual, except precisely as a PERSONAL experience! I’m sure it does happen in certain mystical states, but I refuse to accept that this could ever become a collective “law,” one that is understood and applied across the board in a single way.

The abrogation at the Equinox of the Gods could, in part, be interpreted as a "collective "law"" that is the result of the increase and dissemination of humanity's scientific cosmological knowledge overruling the authority of the ancient monoliths in those processes at the various levels of the human mind that order aspects of the Spiritual Commons.

certainty, not faith, while in life, upon death;


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strider
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The abrogation at the Equinox of the Gods could, in part, be interpreted as a “collective “law”” that is the result of the increase and dissemination of humanity’s scientific cosmological knowledge overruling the authority of the ancient monoliths in those processes at the various levels of the human mind that order aspects of the Spiritual Commons.

Well that all sounds nice, and if that's your experience and certainty, that's wonderful, but to me it sounds like a statement of dogma that one must accept on faith. Again, I have no problem with faith in any revelation, as long as it's sincere for the person who holds it; but I do have a problem with the enforcement of one or a few people's mystical experiences as a COLLECTIVE law that must be understood in a collective sense (in this case, historical and cosmic). I can accept concepts such as "The Equinox of the Gods" as a "skillful means", on a symbolic level that might mean (or not) different things to different people in different (individual) ways, just as I can accept the Crucifixion or Mithras' slaying of the Bull (i.e. as symbols of profound metaphysical truths). But I can't accept these events as hidebound, historical "facts" that have occurred once and for all for all mankind. This dogged literalistic historicism seems like a recipe for delusion and disappointment for "religious" people, to say the least. The idea that Buddhists, Hindus, Taoists, Muslims, Jewish Kabbalists and even Christians have ceased to produce realized gnostics or just simple "saints" since 1904 is impossible for me to take seriously (others can and will differ, of course).

It's like when the Qur'an was revealed at the end of the 6th century (a true revelation in my book)--it "abrogated" all previous revelations, that is, according to orthodox exoteric Muslim scholars (Sunni and Shi'a). This idea of "abrogation," in my opinion, could only have been a mysterious and providential upaya that was necessary to enable the new faith to grow strong and become its "own thing". The rest of the world, though, went on as if nothing had happened in Mecca and Medina. On the contrary, this was the age of the glory of Advaita Vedanta and Mahayana/Vajrayana Buddhism, not to mention Zoharic and Lurianic Kabbalah, along with Christian mysticism in the West, including the great magicians of the Renaissance (Ficino, Mirandola, Agrippa, Paracelsus, etc). Didn't all these people know that their experience of God, and the scriptures upon which they based that experience, was "abrogated" in 609 CE?


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 Anonymous
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Well that all sounds nice, and if that’s your experience and certainty, that’s wonderful, but to me it sounds like a statement of dogma that one must accept on faith. Again, I have no problem with faith in any revelation, as long as it’s sincere for the person who holds it; but I do have a problem with the enforcement of one or a few people’s mystical experiences as a COLLECTIVE law that must be understood in a collective sense (in this case, historical and cosmic)

What makes this abrogation a certainty is recognizing the collective effect of personal wisdom that comes from each individual having access to a modern and accurate cosmological understanding developed from the shared discoveries of humankind in a globally connected world.

Many of those methods and teachings you mentioned while abrogate remain part of the new establishment. Even having been developed in ancient learning and protected by isolation, they "understand a little". However, human understanding has changed meaning these ancient discoveries of truth and method are subject to the model of a greatly expanded and developing(I dare say, Proper Sidereal) scientific cosmological understanding. Through new understanding comes new wisdom which in turn informs Will and inspires the impetus of choice for each individual across the globe. This is affecting all aspects of the human psyche however broadly or narrowly you want to interpret the term "human psyche". This is happening due to the global human condition whether it's recognized by the name Thelema or not.

The idea that Buddhists, Hindus, Taoists, Muslims, Jewish Kabbalists and even Christians have ceased to produce realized gnostics or just simple “saints” since 1904 is impossible for me to take seriously (others can and will differ, of course).

Now that sounds like a statement in favour of dogmas and faiths.


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strider
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What makes this abrogation a certainty is recognizing the collective effect from personal wisdom that comes from each individual having a recognizably educated and modern level of individual cosmological understanding developed from the shared discoveries of humankind in a globally connected world.

The only way it can be a "certainty" is because some individual (you) looks at certain phenomena and interprets them in a specific manner that leads to your being personally convinced about your conclusion. But that's your personal business, not mine.

Even having been developed in ancient learning and protected by isolation, they “understand a little”.

There is no way to "prove" (except to oneself, based on one's own personal observations) that the spiritual methods of the ancients are qualitatively and collectively inferior to those of Aleister Crowley. This is a myth that I have seen in many places. You are welcome to believe this, you may have good reasons for believing it yourself, but in the end it is either a matter of religious faith OR personal experience (which is valid for YOU). I mean, in my experience Crowley's descriptions of the spiritual path are superior to that of any other occultist in Western history. But I can't call that a "certainty" (except, of course, for myself, and even then I have to be open to changing my mind at some point based on new evidence or a change in my criteria for excellence.)

As for "All words are sacred and all prophets true; save only that they understand a little"--note that Crowley himself is not exempted from the exception in the second half.

Now that sounds like a statement in favour of dogmas and faiths.

It is my personal persuasion that all of these faiths, while in various states of decadence, are still fully capable of producing saints, adepts, and fully liberated beings. You are not expected to believe this if you have no basis for it. But I have no basis for knowing or believing that any of these religions are automatically and literally handicapped in some mysterious way because of Crowley's Equinox of the Gods.


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ignant666
(@ignant666)
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There may be some confusion as to what "abrogation" might mean in AL.

strider: It is my personal persuasion that all of these faiths, while in various states of decadence, are still fully capable of producing saints, adepts, and fully liberated beings. You are not expected to believe this if you have no basis for it. But I have no basis for knowing or believing that any of these religions are automatically and literally handicapped in some mysterious way because of Crowley’s Equinox of the Gods.

I don't think this is what is meant at all. For a clearer view, see

Shiva: LBRP was abrogated over a century ago. But it will still work.

Nothing is stopping you getting in a canoe and paddling across the Atlantic, but most who want to cross that vast ocean prefer to book an airplane seat these days. Trans-Atlantic canoe travel might thus be said to be "abrogate".


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Shiva
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Mal: The abrogation at the Equinox of the Gods could, in part, be interpreted as a “collective “law”” that is the result of the increase and dissemination of humanity’s scientific cosmological knowledge overruling the authority of the ancient monoliths ...

I Am the 99th monkey. Who will be the hundredth?

1904 is impossible for me to take seriously

The following is taken from The Master Codex, Ch 1:

1904 AD
The Equinox of the Gods

On March 20, 1904, Frater Perdurabo, calling upon Horus in a series of invocations, came upon the revelation that the Aeons had changed rulership.
1904 was a pretty good time to announce the beginning of a transition into a new age as the enfolding expansion of new forms of communication and scientific discovery was very extensive:
1890 - The first computer: The United States Census Bureau began using a machine to record returns using punched card input.
1895 - The Westinghouse Company and Nicola Tesla built the first hydroelectric alternating current system at Niagara Falls.
1895 - The first practical wireless telegraphy transmitters and receivers were developed by Guglielmo Marconi.
1895 - Röntgen discovered X-rays.
1895 - Arrhenius delivered data on the sensitivity of global climate to atmospheric carbon dioxide (the “Greenhouse effect”).
1896 - The discovery of radioactivity.
1903 - Orville and Wilbur Wright fly the first airplane.
1903 - The original Ford Model A was the first car produced by the Ford Motor Company.
1905 - Albert Einstein published the theory of relativity; E = mc².
-----------------------------------------------------------

But then the "scientists had their own version:

950 AD
Earth Entered a New Age

Scientists proclaimed an official end to the Holocene epoch - the current, nearly 12,000-year-long, period that began at the end of the last major ice age..
As for what “golden spike” will define beginning of our new epoch, it has been recommended that it be the nuclear bomb tests around 1950 (which scattered radioactive elements around the planet).
----------------------------------------------------------

2020 AD
Modern Times

Technically and astronomically speaking, we haven’t reached the Aquarian Age yet, but transition into something new has certainly been underway since the turn of the 20th century.

The 2,000-year Aeon concept seems to be right on schedule, with the legend of Horus versus Set being the prominent archetype that is overshadowing human consciousness and behavior.
------------------------------

1904 was the year of the golden spoke for AC. It is more important that each person look within (and above at the same time) and decide when their own silver star takes place.


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 Anonymous
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The only way it can be a “certainty” is because some individual (you) looks at certain phenomena and interprets them in a specific manner that leads to your being personally convinced about your conclusion. But that’s your personal business, not mine.

That is a good point to make. It is in the sharing and comparison of experience with others who have done objective work with these same spiritual models from The Book of the Law where any "certainty" would be discovered and not in the personal isolation of the experience. That important distinction should have been made with my post. Thank you for noticing and pointing it out.

It is my personal persuasion that all of these faiths, while in various states of decadence, are still fully capable of producing saints, adepts, and fully liberated beings.

We may have a fundamental difference in the esoteric basis behind such words as saints, adepts, fully liberated beings, humans, life in general which is leading to some confusion. In this abrogation model I currently speak of these historical figures are aggregates of consciousness speaking truth from their time period just as people of any time are speaking from theirs. Gnosis isn't particular to any model it happens through the activity of life at all levels, interconnected, and its product is illumination. The personal spiritual experience of which will have different triggers and meanings for individuals as their understanding of and relationship to the universe changes.
Those methods from that past that produce result still produce a result. What is made of those results in the context of the abrogation is yet to be fully discovered. As may also be discovered new methods of illumination from the syncretic experiments of the intrepid. The basic subject of which is introduced to beginners in the context of Thelema in documents like Causae, Librae, Manus et Sagittae and the editorial you quoted from the Equinox.

@Shiva
1925 - Edwin Hubble determines the distance of the Andromeda Nebula proving it to be a separate galaxy.

...and those hits keep coming. Bigger or smaller.

It's been a struggle not to mention a certain sidereal dodekatemoria(Yes. Now acknowledging the special "K" and 1440 Epochs abrogating the Shemhamphorash.) while talking about the Equinox of the Gods in this here thread. Oops. Nonetheless, it's been helpful to talk about the underlying principles indirectly.


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strider
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That is a good point to make. It is in the sharing and comparison of experience with others who have done objective work with these same spiritual models from The Book of the Law where any “certainty” would be discovered and not in the personal isolation of the experience.

That is most emphatically NOT that point I was making. You appear to be talking about collective or consensus "certainty". The only certainty that is worth anything to me for spiritual purposes is precisely that which comes "in the personal isolation of the experience."

We may have a fundamental difference in the esoteric basis behind such words as saints, adepts, fully liberated beings, humans, life in general which is leading to some confusion.

Agreed!

@ignant66:

Nothing is stopping you getting in a canoe and paddling across the Atlantic, but most who want to cross that vast ocean prefer to book an airplane seat these days. Trans-Atlantic canoe travel might thus be said to be “abrogate”.

Fair enough, but that still doesn't explain why/how Thelema qualifies as an "airplane" in comparison with everything else. What is it doing that is so radically different from the other "vessels of transportation"? You see, every religion always does this: "We're an airplane, and the others are just canoes!" It's classic! And it's perfectly natural; I have no problem with it in principle because it is what allows individual religions to grow and be their own thing. But I'm not convinced that any particular "vessel" is ever superior in an ABSOLUTE sense to any/all of the others. For me, Thelema might well be rocket fuel, but for someone else, it may be poison. You may argue, "No, Thelema is rocket fuel for EVERYONE, but some people just prefer unleaded gasoline." That's fine, but I don't find convincing evidence of this, nor have I had an experience of it which justifies such a belief. Perhaps I will one day, but as of now I don't.


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 Anonymous
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That is most emphatically NOT that point I was making. You appear to be talking about collective or consensus “certainty”. The only certainty that is worth anything to me for spiritual purposes is precisely that which comes “in the personal isolation of the experience.”

Partially, I was talking about that. Certainty, as it meets various requirements, including review, but also correspondence with reality.
If conditions for certainty related to this sort of matter are only what experience means to an individual personally there could be some issues arising from self-deception. This mistake compounded with others arising from isolation could leave a person clinging to a personally validated certainty about matters of general experience, like abrogation or The Equinox of the Gods among others. This may help explain why you are so confused and frustrated about these subjects and could provide a means for correction.


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strider
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This may help explain why you are so confused and frustrated about these subjects and could provide a means for correction.

When in fear of losing ground in an argument, invalidate your oponent's position by labeling him "confused and frustrated." Excellent!


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 Anonymous
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@strider
The subject is causing you some trouble by evidence of your own questioning. My intent was to talk with you about that personal struggle -in a manner as it may help beginners to Thelema who are reading this thread- not invalidate the existence of your problems.
However, you do seem intent on making the confrontation of your own specific questions central to the discussion and not showing much plain indication of a continual conscious effort to frame the conversation to help beginners. There is some usefulness in this as a theatrical cautionary tale for the beginner, however, a new thread may serve you and the thread better.


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Tiger
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" What is it doing that is so radically different from the other “vessels of transportation ”? "

Perhaps its giving a heads up to the untold millions ,
that follow a religion and never succeed in merging with a Goddesshead or achieving Enlightenment ;

that change can take place .


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