couple of questions. I am struggling on where to start in Thelema. I have been reading like mad but still do not know where to begin and what practices I should take up. What do you do? And also, What is the connection between existentialism and thelema? Can anyone offer me any advice? I'd greatly appreciate it! 🙂
93, welcome lldrew
what draws you to Thelema in the first place, and what have you read?
Personally, I started with the collected works of Aleister Crowley, the AA Cirriculum and Kenneth Grant and the bibliographies in his works. There are so many avenues to explore and experiments that can be made and I tend to think you'll end up working along the lines most expressive of your own Genius. The AC collected works are great for learing the fundamentals especially Book 4 and Magick Without Tears.
I suggest you starting with LBRP as practices, also rite of Will and Liber Resh... Meditate strictly on them and _try_ not to forget to perform these, according to recommendations existing. Read on and things will arrange themselves in brain, I say it on my own experience... When you do not have possibility to read (for example, just smoking at the breaktime) and you are alone, try thinking of something that needs your understanding - meditate... This will be a good start!
Although he's not regarded very highly on here, I'm pretty sure it was Colin Wilson who first made the connection between Crowley and Husserl (in THE OCCULT, 1971). Husserl being the father of both existentialism and phenomenology - "the study of the structure of consciousness" - which aims to uncover the secrets of the transcendental ego (in Thelema: the Genius, or HGA, or the Hidden God.) In MTP Crowley states "Every intentional act is a magical act" and intentionality is one of Husserl's key concepts (ie consciousness is active, not passive). Bear this metaphorical approach in mind when you read Crowley - especially MAGICK IN THEORY & PRACTICE - and you'll understand the connection (and probably get closer to what The Beast actually meant).
Great site, by the way...! 😀