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 Anonymous
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20/04/2009 10:49 am  

In order to uphold the sovereignty of the Individuals True Will over that of the state, there must be no mistake in the recognition of the True Will as it is expressed by an Individual. I somestime think that a lot of thinking about Will, ignores the fact that LOVE is the Law - Love under Will. All expressions of the True Will express LOVE. Therefore - in a court of Law or in the Sphere of Politics, then first principles demand that all acts of questionable nature be assessed as to whether they are expressions of LOVE, and therefore possessed of the qualities of True Will (and if so the indivudal is held blameless (no other shall say nay))- or whether they are simply ego led Power driven acts - which if they are deserve only the usual justice of the Slaves as the present court system manages to execute fairly well.

Politically - with the above principle firmly enshrined as the foundation of the state, I'd like to see more direct democracy and/or mechanisms of direct democracy throughout society (including the workplace) so that individuals are both encouraged and empowered to make decisions that are expressions of Love under Will.


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Aleisterion
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20/04/2009 12:18 pm  

Los wrote: "Hi, Aleisterion. Yeah, Crowley mentions that at one point (a person who commits theft magically declares that property does not exist, etc.). I think that could work as a basis on which to make laws. It seems sort of like the basic social contract ("I don't want to be killed, and I don't want my stuff stolen -- so let me get together and make an agreement with a bunch of other people who don't want to be killed and have their stuff stolen")

"But then questions arise -- what if it's your will to do X? (where "X" is an action that violates the law or the social contract)

"Are you saying that a True Will can never violate the social contract? That's a pretty bold assertion. In most cases, practically speaking, I suppose that general observaion would hold true, but I'd be very hesitant to make a hard and fast rule out of it. How about a father of ten stealing bread to feed his starving family?"

As I see it, it isn't about "do whatever you please" at any cost to others, but rather "do what you must" - i.e. not what your personal ego craves, but what your entire being (physical and praternatural) needs; and only you yourself can find out what that greater will is. A friend of mine, Alamantra, coined the term "Greater Thelema" which (while I don't agree with him in everything just as I don't agree with anyone in all things) I think is fantastic. There is a "Greater Will" and the point of initiation is to uncover it and to be assimilated into it. One thing is certain: what one truly needs is not always what one seems to want. There is a dichotomy that only a greater awareness can resolve.

I'm not saying that it is unlawful (from a Thelemic perspective) to break the rules; but then, sometimes the best way is to work to reform the rules if they stand in the way, rather than to risk going to prison (or worse) - and setting the Great Work back in the process - for whatever it is one is after. If one is in a particularly desperate situation (and believe me, I've been there), it's perhaps best to bear in mind that an unswerving application of the Act of Truth - i.e. absolute confidence in the powers that work in your greater interest - is the best way. But I don't believe in the absolute objectivity of discarnate beings (e.g. "Gods" or "Masters") - that is to say, even though I do acknowledge their reality, I am of the opinion that on some level unrealized by me in my normal state, they are one with my "Greater Thelema" or "True Will". In other words, I attribute to each of us (every Star that is - not at all necessarily what meets the eye!) far more ability than what is possible according to the most diehard rationalist. Realizing that, and working as though totally indifferent as to the odds against, is to my mind perfect Thelemic practice. You simply have to believe in yourself and work in the best way to overcome trivial (if difficult) obstacles.


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Los
 Los
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20/04/2009 8:57 pm  

Hi, Aleisterion. Putting aside all the stuff about the "praeternatural" and "gods," topics on which we almost certainly disagree, I think this is the crux of the issue:

"Aleisterion" wrote:
I'm not saying that it is unlawful (from a Thelemic perspective) to break the rules; but then, sometimes the best way is to work to reform the rules if they stand in the way, rather than to risk going to prison (or worse)

So then you acknowledge that it might be in accord with someone's will to break the social contract -- however, on the whole, it won't usually be. I can't say that I disagree with that position.

I just don't see what we gain by saying things like "Action X cannot be someone's true will." How could we ever know that?

"alrah" wrote:
All expressions of the True Will express LOVE.

Well, yeah, but...

"Lo, while in the Book of the Law there is much of Love, there is no word of Sentimentality. Hate itself is almost Love! Fighting is most certainly like Love!" (Liber II)

So how do you propose we judge "love" from "not love"? Who gets to define "love" when applying it to judge others? How could we ever possibly say if another is acting "with love" (in the Thelemic sense) or in accordance with his will (which no one else could possibly know)?

"Camlion" wrote:
No one can or need know the true Will of another, and I do not believe that Crowley was suggesting anything of the sort.

Well, I'm very glad to see that you also think that it is impossible to know the will of another.

However, Crowley was precisely saying that it is indeed possible. Let's actually look at his words: "Experts will immediately be appointed to work out, when need arises, the details of the True Will of every individual"

The operative phrases here are "work out [...] the details of the True Will" and "of every individual."

Crowley is clearly envisioning a group of experts ("expert" in what fields, one might ask) that can determine the will of each person. This sentence isn't just a call to make laws that would be conducive to Thelema; it is explicitly saying that the "details" of each individual will can be worked out -- and will be "when need arises."

But since we both disagree with Crowley on that point, let's take up the other point -- your suggestion that "we take the existing models of common justice and law, political construct and social convention as our raw material and sculpt from this incredibly incongruous, artificial and self-defeating mass something that begins to approximate the Law of Thelema."

How precisely would we go about doing this? Are you just saying that we should allow people as many freedoms as possible? I generally agree with that idea, of course, but just giving individuals more freedoms isn't necessarily going to bring anyone closer to doing their true will.

I'm not entirely clear on what you want to do that civilized societies nowadays won't allow you to do. Off the top of my head, I can't think of anything I want to do that isn't allowed in my society.

Even many things that are prohibited officially are actually tolerated unofficially -- the purchase of prostitutes and drugs, for example. If I really felt inclined to indulge in either of those activities, I could do so pretty easily with very little risk. I do think that laws prohibiting those activities should be changed, but I don't think that doing so would necessarily make anyone any more "Thelemic."


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 Anonymous
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22/04/2009 6:30 pm  
"Los" wrote:
"Camlion" wrote:
No one can or need know the true Will of another, and I do not believe that Crowley was suggesting anything of the sort.

Well, I'm very glad to see that you also think that it is impossible to know the will of another.

However, Crowley was precisely saying that it is indeed possible. Let's actually look at his words: "Experts will immediately be appointed to work out, when need arises, the details of the True Will of every individual"

The operative phrases here are "work out [...] the details of the True Will" and "of every individual."

Crowley is clearly envisioning a group of experts ("expert" in what fields, one might ask) that can determine the will of each person. This sentence isn't just a call to make laws that would be conducive to Thelema; it is explicitly saying that the "details" of each individual will can be worked out -- and will be "when need arises."

If Crowley had intended to simply say that a governing body shall divine and dictate the true Will of each individual, he would have said precisely that. He wrote volume upon volume clearly to the contrary assertion, as you are well aware. Poor articulation was certainly not a shortcoming of his. It was only in his limited apprehension of the details of application involved that he can be faulted, and faulting him for that would not be fair, considering the time in which he lived and the fact that any one of us can only be expected to accomplish so much in one lifetime. He successfully delivered the message that "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law," and elaborated upon the concept of true Will inherent to this Law. There is much, much more to "working out the details of the True Will of every individual" than telling each one what their true Will is. The devil is in the details. These are matters of the application of the true Will to the environment and, more importantly in this case, of the adaptation of the environment to the true Will. The facilitation of the true Will of the individual is the obligation of proper government. As for the self-realization of the true Will by each individual, this is the obligation of proper science and even of proper religion. (We know that the 'r-word' sticks in your craw a bit, as it understandably would for any recovering victim of Catholic or similar spiritual child neglect and abuse, but a bit more on that below.)

"Los" wrote:
[...] let's take up the other point -- your suggestion that "we take the existing models of common justice and law, political construct and social convention as our raw material and sculpt from this incredibly incongruous, artificial and self-defeating mass something that begins to approximate the Law of Thelema." How precisely would we go about doing this?

My use of the term 'sculpting' implies the gradual process of elimination applied to the existing status quo, the raw material of our present circumstances, the existing models of common justice and law, political construct and social convention that surround us. These are, indeed, incredibly incongruous, artificial and self-defeating. They do not encourage and facilitate to optimum efficacy and efficiency the self-determination and execution of the true Will of the individual. On the contrary, they discourage, frustrate, inhibit and impede that natural function.

"Los" wrote:
Are you just saying that we should allow people as many freedoms as possible? I generally agree with that idea, of course, but just giving individuals more freedoms isn't necessarily going to bring anyone closer to doing their true will.

Disingenuous and immature of you. No, freedom to do one's true Will will not insure that one does so, of course not. But the absense of that freedom will discourage, frustrate, inhibit and impede that natural function. Equally important is independence, which is not the same as freedom, as well as the self-responsibility implied by independence. Yet, even these may not compel obedience to one's own natural Law. Perhaps even the unfortunate alternative of voluntary enslavement to ideas or ideals contrary to freedom and independence will fail to compel it for some, but as long as its voluntary, that's fine. The slaves shall serve.

"Los" wrote:
I'm not entirely clear on what you want to do that civilized societies nowadays won't allow you to do. Off the top of my head, I can't think of anything I want to do that isn't allowed in my society.

Even many things that are prohibited officially are actually tolerated unofficially -- the purchase of prostitutes and drugs, for example. If I really felt inclined to indulge in either of those activities, I could do so pretty easily with very little risk. I do think that laws prohibiting those activities should be changed, but I don't think that doing so would necessarily make anyone any more "Thelemic."

Well, silly me! And to think that I had overestimated the woes of the world. You're right, the implementation of the Law of Thelema would be redundant in the face of the utopia already in place on the planet. 🙄

"Los" wrote:
George Carlin once remarked that we could always outlaw religion and thus make such sexual crimes practically disappear in a generation or two. But, then again, as he hastily added, "we don't have time for rational solutions."

I do miss George, and he was quite correct in identifying this lingering and most foul specter of older aeon religion, primarily as represented by Judeo-Christian-Islam. But, Los, in reality, religion does not just go away. Outlawing it, which has been attempted with brutal enforcement in the recent past, is not at all effective. Religion does not just go away, but it does evolve, and it is evolving right now. Thelema, in some of its manifestations, represents such religious evolution in modern times. True, for many, there is no longer a need for religion at all. For these, Thelema in its some of its more secular manifestations is appropriate. Some people have use for religion and some do not, each as they Will.


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Los
 Los
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23/04/2009 1:40 am  

Hi Camlion,

I can't be sure whether I agree with you or not because the conversation is getting a bit nebulous. Can you give me a specific example of the kind of law you would consider Thelemic (which would encourage people to do their wills)? I can't actually think of one myself.

And also, to return to my earlier post, can you give me a specific example of something you wish to do that is currently not permitted in modern civilized society? I still can't think of something I want to do that's not at least unofficially permitted.

There is much, much more to "working out the details of the True Will of every individual" than telling each one what their true Will is. The devil is in the details. These are matters of the application of the true Will to the environment

I never got the impression that Crowley in that sentence was talking about creating laws that facilitate the true will -- I got the impression that he was talking about "working out the details" of each of those wills.

Others reading this thread -- how do you read that statement by Crowley?

I mean, certainly, I would prefer that Crowley meant passing laws that would facilitate the true will, but if that's what he meant, he utterly failed to convey it in that sentence....


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 Anonymous
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23/04/2009 1:47 am  

Dear Los - many of the conceptions of Mill when he wrote 'On liberty' are nebulous, precisely because they are foundation thinking - philosophical a priori's - Kantian in the sense that they are right in themselves rather than justifying some utilitarian outcome that can be demonstrated. Yet - look closely at British law and you'll find Mill's principles enshrined - in the spirit if not in the letter of the law.

Thelema is capable of being a parallel of Mills foundation thinking.


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Los
 Los
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23/04/2009 2:08 am  

Hi, Alrah,

"alrah" wrote:
Thelema is capable of being a parallel of Mills foundation thinking.

Well, if that's the case, how about a specific example of a law that would encourage people to do their wills?

I'm not necessarily saying it's not possible; I would just like to be shown some concrete examples.


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phthah
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23/04/2009 3:02 am  

93,

"Los" wrote:
how about a specific example of a law that would encourage people to do their wills...

Actually we had a similar discussion about this in another thread called "Θελημα & anti social behavior". In that thread I presented the following idea. "For example, let's take the legalization of drugs, in light of AL ii 22. It has been said that certain drugs or substances can temporarily release your inhibitions, your complexes and the conditioning you have been subjected to all your life, which in turn then let's your true self come to the conscious surface. Now, the Government that passed this law would not necessarily need to be Thelemic, but the passage of the law could help facilite a persons ability to discover their will. Would this not create a more Thelemic atmosphere within the society? BTW, this is a purely hypothetical example for the benefit of discussion and I am in no sense advocating the use of drugs!"

93 93/93
phthah


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 Anonymous
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23/04/2009 3:14 am  
"Los" wrote:
Hi, Alrah,

"alrah" wrote:
Thelema is capable of being a parallel of Mills foundation thinking.

Well, if that's the case, how about a specific example of a law that would encourage people to do their wills?

I'm not necessarily saying it's not possible; I would just like to be shown some concrete examples.

In this case, we are not after a specific common law that would encourage an individual to do their true Will. We are after common law, no, broader yet, existing models of common justice and law, political construct or social convention, that discourage, frustrate, inhibit or impede that natural function from full expression.

Do you understand the difference, Los?


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Los
 Los
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23/04/2009 5:07 am  
"Camlion" wrote:
We are after common law, no, broader yet, existing models of common justice and law, political construct or social convention, that discourage, frustrate, inhibit or impede that natural function from full expression.

I understand where you're coming from -- but consider: any law could conceivably frustrate someone's will. We said earlier in this thread that it might be an individual's will to break the social contract in certain situations. (Remember the father stealing bread to feed his starving family?)

So the law against drugs could frustrate those (maybe few) people whose will it is to take drugs; and the law against stealing could frustrate those (maybe few) people whose will it is to steal.

Yet I assume you're in favor of a law against stealing -- and the reason for that is that our laws are based on a social contract in which we weigh the consequences of allowing people to do certain activities.

From a purely rational standpoint, looking at the evidence, it makes sense to allow people to take drugs, and it makes sense not to allow people to steal. We measure consequences. If we allow people to take drugs, not only will it have almost no effect (large numbers of people take drugs now anyway), it will have many positive effects (reducing drug crime, ending drug wars, providing a legal business that will produce more tax revenue, etc.). If we allow people to steal, we will have results we don't want -- anarchy, instability, etc.

Questions of "will" don't enter into it.


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 Anonymous
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23/04/2009 9:07 am  
"Los" wrote:
"Camlion" wrote:
We are after common law, no, broader yet, existing models of common justice and law, political construct or social convention, that discourage, frustrate, inhibit or impede that natural function from full expression.

I understand where you're coming from -

Thank goodness and evil! I was hoping that you at least knew where I was coming from. Honestly, I was beginning to wonder, and still do... (Pardon any typos, I am writing in haste tonight.)

"Los" wrote:
-but consider: any law could conceivably frustrate someone's will. We said earlier in this thread that it might be an individual's will to break the social contract in certain situations. (Remember the father stealing bread to feed his starving family?)

I didn't say anything at all about that earlier, but I do recall that you did. Please be mindful that more than undergrad sociology might be required here.

Also, please be mindful that the necessity to steal might likely be the result of circumstances well beyond one's control, circumstances not in one's best interest to begin with, but in the overriding interest of some misguided models of common justice and law, political construct or social convention. Theft is actually a very poor place to begin a discussion such as this, although it is the basis of this theory of "social contract." This is common 'ape-law,' actually. I suspect that you are seeking diversion from the points of my previous statements.

It is hardly conceivable that it would be one's true Will to steal for the sheer sake of doing so. This desire without justification is evidence of personality pathology.

The root of all evil is not to be found in its rotten fruit, but in its roots themselves. It is necessary to look beyond the immediately apparent circumstances when it comes to violation of these "social contracts" of yours, so many of which are fraudulent to begin with. Their only basis being the convenience of the moment, often at the point of desperation, subject to change at a moment's notice. No Law can justifiably be based solely upon expediency for its own sake, without individual true Will as its sole point of reference, its 'true north.' Your 'law of the jungle' is showing, I think, but I live in a garden of my own cultivation, weeds pulled with regularity, and your 'logic' strikes me as extremely suspicious and rather insulting to the intelligence of the average readership here, frankly.

"Los" wrote:
So the law against drugs could frustrate those (maybe few) people whose will it is to take drugs; and the law against stealing could frustrate those (maybe few) people whose will it is to steal.

Yet I assume you're in favor of a law against stealing -- and the reason for that is that our laws are based on a social contract in which we weigh the consequences of allowing people to do certain activities.

Again, we are stepping onto what you assume to be solid ground, an assumption which I find doubtful, to say the least. You are suggesting treatment for relief of various and sundry symptoms rather than seeking their actual causes, usually by quick and temporary compromise with the facts; "social contract," as you like to call it.

"Los" wrote:
From a purely rational standpoint, looking at the evidence, it makes sense to allow people to take drugs, and it makes sense not to allow people to steal. We measure consequences. If we allow people to take drugs, not only will it have almost no effect (large numbers of people take drugs now anyway), it will have many positive effects (reducing drug crime, ending drug wars, providing a legal business that will produce more tax revenue, etc.). If we allow people to steal, we will have results we don't want -- anarchy, instability, etc.

Regarding prohibited drugs, why is there such a huge demand for them, and why such a great fear of them? And how is it that no one notices how each perpetuates the other? Again, this is probably a premature sub-topic, although a fascinating one.

Regarding theft, and I do not believe that your concerns with this are any more sincere than your concerns about drugs are, but a nice Thelemic economy would be based upon the individual axiom that 'enough is enough,' money that is, plus approximately 20% depending upon one's anticipated longevity. Any less would be a distraction from one's true Will being done, as would any more. Something along those lines, depending upon one's own honest evaluation.

"Los" wrote:
Questions of "will" don't enter into it.

By "will," I must conclude from what you write that you mean 'want.' In that case, we are at cross-purposes, and you are being deliberately dishonest within the context of this thread and of this website, IMO. Thelema means more than to do what one imagines one wants, or imagines that one can get away with, within the confines of prevailing allowance, regardless of motivation. It means being true to one's innate impetus, the nature of which may be either retained or, more likely at present, recovered consciously.

Of course, there are some that like to think that Thelema means whatever they imagine it to mean. It is very convenient to hitch one's differing ideas to the coattails of a label with rising popularity and interest.

I would ask you to clarify, Los, what your definition of Thelema is?

What exactly do you mean by "will"?


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Los
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23/04/2009 10:40 pm  

Well, let's start here:

"Camlion" wrote:
What exactly do you mean by "will"?

What I mean by will is, to paraphrase Crowley, a bid for grapes to grow and stars to shine, for each star to follow its orbit. That is to say, the "will" is the course of action most natural and most suited to an individual in a particular situation, as determined by nature and nurture. It most emphatically does not mean to do what you like (or, rather, what you *think* you want to do or what you feel you *should* be doing, etc).

Crowley says, "Do what thou wilt--then do nothing else" (Liber II). It is Thelemic to do your will. It is unthelemic to do anything but your will.

A law that simply permits an action cannot be Thelemic because it would allow people to do that action even against their true wills. Such a law might be consistent with the will of some citizens, but it could not be Thelemic in the sense of "do nothing else."

A law that prohibits an action could be Thelemic, but *only* if we knew in advance that it is against the will of every single citizen to engage in such an activity.

I additionally assert that it's impossible for an individual to know what anyone else's will is. It is thus impossible to make a priori assumptions such as "it could never be anybody's will to do X."

That last sentence is the one on which you and I disagree, and I'll return to it in a moment.

If all of my assumptions are true (including the assumption you don't agree with), I don't see how it would be possible for one law to be "more Thelemic" than another. Because, in order to be Thelemic, the law would have to be based on the wills of all others, which we can't determine.

If, however, one of my assumptions is wrong and it is indeed possible to determine a priori "it could never be anybody's will to do X," then it would be possible to make some very general laws prohibiting actions (and consider those laws to be Thelemic).

But how could you possibly know that action X could never, ever be a person's will? Unless, of course, it is in fact possible for one person to know another person's will. In which case, the question arises: where does it end? If you can tell it's not a person's will to do X, can you also tell that it's not a person's will to do Y? Can you also tell that it *is* the will of every person to do Z?

That's what I meant by "slippery slope" in my first post on this thread. Who gets to decide the limits of other people's wills? Imagine if someone came along and declared, a priori, that it could never be anybody's will to lie (since misrepresenting reality to other stars might obstruct their performance of their wills)? How could you prove him wrong? Would his assertions consitute justification for a Thelemic law against lying?

Anyway, I'm going to be out for most of the rest of today, so I probably won't be able to respond until tomorrow -- until then, I'd like to hear from more Thelemites on this issue. Does everyone actually think it's possible to know the limits of other people's wills? If so, what are the limits of knowing such limits?

And again: to be absolutely clear, I am in favor of laws against stealing and I am in favor of legalizing drugs -- but I'm not sure that there's a Thelemic basis for those opinions (unless it is possible to know the wills of other people, which I don't think is possible).

[For the sake of completeness, and so that I'm not accused of anything, I'll point out that several premises in my argument are extrapolations from other reflections on Thelemic politics, such as this one: http://www.erwinhessle.com/blog/?p=80
I would politely ask everyone to respond only to the ideas I've presented here and not to the character of any particular thinker]


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 Anonymous
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23/04/2009 11:25 pm  
"Los" wrote:
Well, let's start here:

"Camlion" wrote:
What exactly do you mean by "will"?

What I mean by will is, to paraphrase Crowley, a bid for grapes to grow and stars to shine, for each star to follow its orbit. That is to say, the "will" is the course of action most natural and most suited to an individual in a particular situation, as determined by nature and nurture. It most emphatically does not mean to do what you like (or, rather, what you *think* you want to do or what you feel you *should* be doing, etc).

Crowley says, "Do what thou wilt--then do nothing else" (Liber II). It is Thelemic to do your will. It is unthelemic to do anything but your will.

A law that simply permits an action cannot be Thelemic because it would allow people to do that action even against their true wills. Such a law might be consistent with the will of some citizens, but it could not be Thelemic in the sense of "do nothing else."

A law that prohibits an action could be Thelemic, but *only* if we knew in advance that it is against the will of every single citizen to engage in such an activity.

I additionally assert that it's impossible for an individual to know what anyone else's will is. It is thus impossible to make a priori assumptions such as "it could never be anybody's will to do X."

That last sentence is the one on which you and I disagree, and I'll return to it in a moment.

If all of my assumptions are true (including the assumption you don't agree with), I don't see how it would be possible for one law to be "more Thelemic" than another. Because, in order to be Thelemic, the law would have to be based on the wills of all others, which we can't determine.

If, however, one of my assumptions is wrong and it is indeed possible to determine a priori "it could never be anybody's will to do X," then it would be possible to make some very general laws prohibiting actions (and consider those laws to be Thelemic).

But how could you possibly know that action X could never, ever be a person's will? Unless, of course, it is in fact possible for one person to know another person's will. In which case, the question arises: where does it end? If you can tell it's not a person's will to do X, can you also tell that it's not a person's will to do Y? Can you also tell that it *is* the will of every person to do Z?

That's what I meant by "slippery slope" in my first post on this thread. Who gets to decide the limits of other people's wills? Imagine if someone came along and declared, a priori, that it could never be anybody's will to lie (since misrepresenting reality to other stars might obstruct their performance of their wills)? How could you prove him wrong? Would his assertions consitute justification for a Thelemic law against lying?

Anyway, I'm going to be out for most of the rest of today, so I probably won't be able to respond until tomorrow -- until then, I'd like to hear from more Thelemites on this issue. Does everyone actually think it's possible to know the limits of other people's wills? If so, what are the limits of knowing such limits?

And again: to be absolutely clear, I am in favor of laws against stealing and I am in favor of legalizing drugs -- but I'm not sure that there's a Thelemic basis for those opinions (unless it is possible to know the wills of other people, which I don't think is possible).

[For the sake of completeness, and so that I'm not accused of anything, I'll point out that several premises in my argument are extrapolations from other reflections on Thelemic politics, such as this one: http://www.erwinhessle.com/blog/?p=80
I would politely ask everyone to respond only to the ideas I've presented here and not to the character of any particular thinker]

Thanks answering my question, Los. I think we are on common enough ground. Remember, though, that the scope of the subject is rather broad, not just something as simple common law that prohibits one from smoking a joint in one's bedroom, but any existing models of common justice and law, political construct or social convention that discourage, frustrate, inhibit or impede the natural function of true Will from full expression. And, I am not after common law that compels obedience to the Law of Thelema, my sights are set on those constructs which in various ways oppose that obedience. Such an effort is surely 'Thelemic,' regardless of whether it actually compels obedience to the Law of Thelema or not. The facilitation of a 'Thelema friendly world' is a Thelemic endeavor, is it not, assuming that it is one's Will to engage in such an effort?


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 Anonymous
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24/04/2009 12:19 am  

PS to my last: Perhaps a simple analogy will help, Los. If my goal to grow wheat in a given field, and I find that field in such deplorable condition that it must be completely cleared prior to planting, the clearing is just as critical to process of growing the wheat as any other - perhaps more than any other. I would assume that it is the true Will of the wheat to grow if allowed and encouraged to do so, but it will be unable to do so in an environment so extremely inhospitable to that growth. Capiche?


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 Anonymous
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26/04/2009 2:09 am  

PPS to my last, Los:

In view of the your principal argument being one against the very viability of Thelemic government, (or even of government more Thelemic than is presently available), which you admit is a reflection of Hessle's own convoluted logic, I might as well take a few moments to address this absurd position. This objection is not unique to either one of you two geniuses, and is certainly not new to me. It is just so silly that one tends to doubt that anyone might possibly take it seriously.

The objection is usually presented as based upon selective citation from Liber AL, usually the ones Hessle uses, plus or minus a few others:

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

So with thy all; thou hast no right but to do thy will. Do that, and no other shall say nay.

There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt.

The conclusion is then erroneously drawn that the acceptance of the Law of Thelema is to be universal, that it must be embraced by everyone without exception, and that no one will have the opportunity to reject this new Law, to 'opt out' of it. This happens to be a clear misinterpretation of Liber AL but, based upon this absurdity, the argument is made that a government cannot possibly be Thelemic unless it knows with certainty the true Will of each and every one of its citizens and can thus enforce those true Wills upon them. Since knowing with certainty the true Will of another is impossible, Thelemic government must therefore be impossible. Again, the initial basis of this conclusion seems to be that the acceptance of the Law of Thelema by humanity is to be mandatory without exception. Hence the notion that a Thelemic government must be a totalitarian dictatorship, and out goes any consideration of Thelemic government in the mind of any sensible person.

However, by simple alternative citation from Liber AL, we see that the acceptance of the Law of Thelema is not mandatory at all, and that it need not necessary be universally accepted, although it is highly recommended by Liber AL for a truly successful and joyful life:

Let my servants be few & secret: they shall rule the many & the known. These are fools that men adore; both their Gods & their men are fools.

For these fools of men and their woes care not thou at all! They feel little; what is, is balanced by weak joys; but ye are my chosen ones.

Hear me, ye people of sighing!
The sorrows of pain and regret
Are left to the dead and the dying,
The folk that not know me as yet.

Is a God to live in a dog? No! but the highest are of us. They shall rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us.

Beauty and strength, leaping laughter and delicious languor, force and fire, are of us.

Yea! deem not of change: ye shall be as ye are, & not other. Therefore the kings of the earth shall be Kings for ever: the slaves shall serve.

and to each man and woman that thou meetest, were it but to dine or to drink at them, it is the Law to give. Then they shall chance to abide in this bliss or no; it is no odds.

Success is thy proof: argue not; convert not; talk not over much!

At the very point of acceptance or rejection of the Law of Thelema, the operative word is VOLUNTARY. The alternatives are, without doubt, unfortunate, but acceptance must be voluntary, nonetheless.

At the point of acceptance of the Law of Thelema, freedom to do one's true Will is to be granted, and the responsibility to do that and none other is to be imposed. Yes, with this freedom comes that bond, that responsibility to do nothing other than true Will. (The necessity of recreation for creativity, of diversion of glance for accurate focus, etc., will be understood and assumed by anyone with a capacity for either, of course.) But a few points of clarification seem to be in order, in light (or, rather, darkness) of your assertions, Los:

The freedom referenced above is self-bestowed, its nature is self-determined, and the responsibility to do no other than that true Will is self-enforced. Government, and the models of common justice and law, political construct or social convention that compose government do not enter the equation at this point; but only later, by way of support. Government cannot enforce the Law of Thelema upon the individual, nor dictate its terms particular to the individual, nor judge its execution as being appropriate to the individual. This could not and would not be the function of Thelemic government, in reality.

One other notion that should probably be addressed in this place is that of "complete conscious liberty," imagined as somehow relevant to Thelema or to Thelemic government and then appropriately (with straw man set up) criticized by Hessle. "Complete conscious liberty" would be tantamount to the human mind in free flux, undisciplined to true Will or any other overriding code of conduct, running completely amok into action. I know of no one outside of the usual silly anarchists who would advocate this as acceptable behavior, let alone as appropriate to the rule of Thelemic Law applied to common law.

It is as if we are being led to believe that the Law of Thelema leaves us only two appropriate avenues, totalitarianism or anarchy. I am very suspicious of anyone claiming to be an advocate of Thelema drawing such analogies or conclusions. I can see no motive for this beyond attempting to covertly discredit Thelema while posing as someone sympathetic to its ideals. This is 'Do what wilt' being portrayed as 'Do as you please,' in order to justify and necessitate 'Do as you're told.' Apparently the targeted conclusion is 'Let's call the whole thing off and forget about Thelema as a viable worldview,' in other words, 'Kill it before it grows!'


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Los
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26/04/2009 10:01 am  
"Camlion" wrote:
The conclusion is then erroneously drawn that the acceptance of the Law of Thelema is to be universal, that it must be embraced by everyone without exception, and that no one will have the opportunity to reject this new Law, to 'opt out' of it.

That's actually not my conclusion. As a Thelemite, I do not think that everyone else is required to do their true will. Everyone else can do whatever they like -- they can follow their will or not. I have no way of telling, and either way, *I* am going to do my will as best I can.

However, if those people want to call themselves Thelemites, they are not free to do whatever they like. If they want to call themselves Thelemites, they must do their wills.

Similarly, I don't think it's a good idea (or even possible) for a government to mandate that people do their wills. I think laws should be written so as to give people the freedom to do whatever they like (within reason). We can't tell if people are following their wills or not anyway.

However, if we want to call laws Thelemic, they cannot be written so as to allow people to do whatever they like. If we want to call laws Thelemic, they must be grounded in the wills of the citizens (which, I assert, is not possible).

Since we agree that Thelema does not mean "do whatever you like," we can agree that Thelemic laws -- by definition -- cannot advocate a position of "do whatever you like" and still be called "Thelemic." You could write laws that allowed people to do whatever they like; but if you wanted to call laws Thelemic, the laws would have to be grounded in the wills of the citizens.

Indeed, as you point out, the Book of the Law indicates that there will always be people who are not doing their true will -- people who are, in fact, doing whatever they like. And, importantly, they are not called Thelemites.

The word, the label, is reserved for those doing their will. And if you want to apply the label to laws, the laws must -- by definition -- be grounded in will.

What you are actually advocating is a political system that allows as many freedoms as is reasonably possible -- I applaud that goal and share it with you (though we might disagree on some fine points). However, I don't think that such a political system (or any political system) is Thelemic, nor would it lead to a more Thelemic society.

For example, if tomorrow you legalized every single substance and every single behavior, you could still have a society in which hardly anyone acts in accordance with his or her true will (and in which hardly anyone gets any closer to acting in accordance with his or her true will). In fact, one could argue that legalizing drugs would increase the number of distractions of citizens from their wills.

Importantly, I'm not writing off Thelema as a "worldview," nor am I saying that Thelema "leads to" anarchy or totalitarianism. I'm saying that Thelema, as far as I can tell, can't be a political system. It's a personal philosophy based around doing your will. Any political system or form -- including anarchy or totalitarianism -- could not be Thelemic in and of itself, even if someone was trying to argue that it was.

A Thelemic society cannot be created through legislation. If you want a Thelemic society, the only option you have is to convince individuals, one at a time, to undertake the hard work of understanding and mastering themselves. And not only is it very, very unlikely that you will persuade a majority of people to do this, it would be impossible to measure the results (unless, of course, it's possible to know the will of someone else, which I assert that it is not).

Anything short of convincing individuals seems to be just taking whatever political position you personally have and calling it "Thelemic."

I'm a little disappointed that no one else has been contributing to this thread. I'm really curious as to the answers to these questions: is it possible to know the limits of another person's will? And if so, what are the limits of knowing such limits? (Is it "no one's true will to steal"? How about "no one's true will to lie"? How about "no one's true will to be mean to others"? When does it start being absurd?)

[And just as a note, let me remind everyone that I would like to discuss the ideas, not the character of any particular thinker; I also wish to avoid name-calling and accusations]


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 Anonymous
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26/04/2009 10:52 pm  

The ART of Government is the Mastery of Chaos, and Mastery of goverment contains the ART of CHAOS within it.

It's in the ways we deal with mischief that we encourage creativity.

All rebels are closet aristocrats;-)


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 Anonymous
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26/04/2009 10:59 pm  

Heh - otherwise by the LOVE we would feel free to grant the WILL to the plebs. Our fellow human beings, but it is not love that answers from aristocrats. It is fear. Them? LOVE? SLAVES! lol.

As you all were.

Review, and then look to how politics can work to make the people you reject as 'not good enough' to review.

Plato - "What is good and what is not good - need we anyone to tell us these things?" How does this differ from LOVE? Answer and be damned.


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27/04/2009 12:16 am  
"Los" wrote:
The word [Thelemites], the label, is reserved for those doing their will. And if you want to apply the label to laws, the laws must -- by definition -- be grounded in will.

What you are actually advocating is a political system that allows as many freedoms as is reasonably possible -- I applaud that goal and share it with you (though we might disagree on some fine points). However, I don't think that such a political system (or any political system) is Thelemic, nor would it lead to a more Thelemic society.

93 Los,

Interesting. Of course, the obligation for doing one's true Will is that of each individual alone. It cannot be compelled. It was never my intention to suggest otherwise, as you know.

In considering the possibility of societies that are 'more Thelemic' than are common today, we are questioning only the role of common law, political construct and social convention in either best supporting or at least best refraining from impeding that natural function of true will among its citizens, the individuals in whose best interest they are to serve.

It is likely too much of a distraction to focus now on common law for examples of societal impediments to the individual doing true Will. Chipping away at those foolish laws prohibiting so-called consensual crimes is perhaps the easiest of the tasks required in the overall process of transforming societies toward optimum support of Thelema, of the apprehension, comprehension, expression and fulfillment of true Will by the individual.

Perhaps we can identify a social convention, very deeply ingrained and continuously reinforced from one generation to the next, that thus compels a totally artificial life-goal from childhood onwards. Artificial life-goals are, as I'm sure you agree, the antithesis of the natural life-goal of doing true Will, unless they happen to coincidentally match perfectly. These are those life-goals with no basis of reference or relation to true Will, but are nonetheless very often universally regarded by societies as the benchmarks of success in life for the individual.

How about the social convention of formalized marriage? By this I do not mean loving relationships or even monogamous life-long loving relationships, for these are quite natural for those individuals so inclined, and do not, in themselves, necessitate formalized marriage at all. Leaving aside the benefits of formalized marriage in ancient times, as related to questions of paternal and property identification and responsibility, etc., formalized marriage today is mostly an artificial and arbitrary construct, imposed upon individuals by societal convention, religious, legal or however it might be legitimized.

I'm reasonably confident that I don't have to illustrate at too great a length, Los, the damage done by such artificial social conventions should they run contrary to the natural course of true Will among the individuals concerned. Yet, as in this example of formalized marriage, it is indoctrinated as a life-goal from childhood fairy tales through family and peer pressure to the point of almost inevitable acquiescence in most cases. Nor should I have to elaborate on the high failure rate today of formalized marriage or on the miseries attendant to such failure, or even attendant to its success, of it is not suited in reality to the true Wills of the individuals constrained by it - other than by way of unreasonable compromise and self-sacrifice.

The question is then, Los, in societies 'more Thelemic' than are common today, would social conventions such as formalized marriage be ingrained from childhood upon individuals, regardless of the consequences to the accomplishment of the true Wills of the individuals concerned?


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Los
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27/04/2009 2:48 am  
"Camlion" wrote:
In considering the possibility of societies that are 'more Thelemic' than are common today, we are questioning only the role of common law, political construct and social convention in either best supporting or at least best refraining from impeding that natural function of true will among its citizens

Well, in order to support or refrain from impeding upon the true will, you would indeed have to be able to know something about the wills of others.

You point to social conventions, suggesting that there are social conventions that are set up as "artificial goals" that are usually not in accord with citizens' true wills. And you give the institution of marriage as an example.

As far as that example goes, I agree that marriage is sometimes an artificial goal unconnected to the will. Of course, that's just a guess on my part, and I wouldn't use that guess as a justification for making any laws. In fact, I think marriage is actually set up as an artificial goal in this day and age less often than it's ever been in Western history -- so I wouldn't presume it's against anyone's true will to get married.

However, for a long time now, I have been of the opinion that the government shouldn't be granting "marriages." We need a secular word for it -- "partnership," maybe? -- that the government will grant, and we can then reserve the word "marriage" for the religious folks (and they can argue until they're blue in the face about who should be allowed to get married and which church "recognizes" marriages, etc.).

But I don't see that opinion as a "Thelemic" opinion; I don't think a government that instituted that idea would be "Thelemic"; and I don't think that a society in which that idea was instituted would be even the slightest bit more "Thelemic."

My opinion is simply a rational, reasonable idea based on my estimation of what would be best, given the controversies surrounding marriage. Hell, most of my non-Thelemic friends hold the same position.

But at any rate, you'll never remove marriage as an artificial goal for the vast majority of society -- and even if you did (like, if you outlawed it or something) something else would replace it.

There are tons of artificial goals that are -- or at least should be -- completely beyond the control of the law. Goals like becoming a successful, rich [insert profession here] (artificial goals that actually help to fuel the economy that we're all a part of, I might add). Goals like throwing lavish sweet sixteen parties that are practically mandatory in some (weird) social circles. All kinds of social decorum that are completely arbitrary.

You obviously can't legislate that someone follow his or her will, but you also can't legislate encouragement for it. Even if you outlaw one thing that you think might be impeding the wills of some citizens, there are still a million other things impeding those wills (much of it self-imposed).

There will always be people who do not do their true wills, and they will always be in the majority (but not like we could ever know, anyway) -- as you nicely indicated with quotations from the Book of the Law. And, incidentally, the Book is also pretty clear as to the attitude we're supposed to take towards those folks: namely, not to care.

At best, we should tell them about the Law, and then leave it up to them.

So let me summarize my position: Thelema is a personal philosophy, and government involves making public policy; one depends on an individual's hard work to master the self, and the other depends on making rational decisions as to what would be most beneficial for society.

Maybe that's the best way to put it: government is utilitarian (or the ideal of it in modern Western society is, anyway)...Thelema is not utilitarian.


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IAO131
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27/04/2009 5:28 am  
"Los" wrote:
"Camlion" wrote:
In considering the possibility of societies that are 'more Thelemic' than are common today, we are questioning only the role of common law, political construct and social convention in either best supporting or at least best refraining from impeding that natural function of true will among its citizens

Well, in order to support or refrain from impeding upon the true will, you would indeed have to be able to know something about the wills of others.

You point to social conventions, suggesting that there are social conventions that are set up as "artificial goals" that are usually not in accord with citizens' true wills. And you give the institution of marriage as an example.

As far as that example goes, I agree that marriage is sometimes an artificial goal unconnected to the will. Of course, that's just a guess on my part, and I wouldn't use that guess as a justification for making any laws. In fact, I think marriage is actually set up as an artificial goal in this day and age less often than it's ever been in Western history -- so I wouldn't presume it's against anyone's true will to get married.

However, for a long time now, I have been of the opinion that the government shouldn't be granting "marriages." We need a secular word for it -- "partnership," maybe? -- that the government will grant, and we can then reserve the word "marriage" for the religious folks (and they can argue until they're blue in the face about who should be allowed to get married and which church "recognizes" marriages, etc.).

But I don't see that opinion as a "Thelemic" opinion; I don't think a government that instituted that idea would be "Thelemic"; and I don't think that a society in which that idea was instituted would be even the slightest bit more "Thelemic."

My opinion is simply a rational, reasonable idea based on my estimation of what would be best, given the controversies surrounding marriage. Hell, most of my non-Thelemic friends hold the same position.

But at any rate, you'll never remove marriage as an artificial goal for the vast majority of society -- and even if you did (like, if you outlawed it or something) something else would replace it.

There are tons of artificial goals that are -- or at least should be -- completely beyond the control of the law. Goals like becoming a successful, rich [insert profession here] (artificial goals that actually help to fuel the economy that we're all a part of, I might add). Goals like throwing lavish sweet sixteen parties that are practically mandatory in some (weird) social circles. All kinds of social decorum that are completely arbitrary.

You obviously can't legislate that someone follow his or her will, but you also can't legislate encouragement for it. Even if you outlaw one thing that you think might be impeding the wills of some citizens, there are still a million other things impeding those wills (much of it self-imposed).

There will always be people who do not do their true wills, and they will always be in the majority (but not like we could ever know, anyway) -- as you nicely indicated with quotations from the Book of the Law. And, incidentally, the Book is also pretty clear as to the attitude we're supposed to take towards those folks: namely, not to care.

At best, we should tell them about the Law, and then leave it up to them.

So let me summarize my position: Thelema is a personal philosophy, and government involves making public policy; one depends on an individual's hard work to master the self, and the other depends on making rational decisions as to what would be most beneficial for society.

Maybe that's the best way to put it: government is utilitarian (or the ideal of it in modern Western society is, anyway)...Thelema is not utilitarian.

So you think there is no standard to judge whether a given political system is more Thelemic than another? Is Monarchy just as Thelemic or not Thelemic as Libertarianism where the rights of the individual are paramount?

IAO131


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Los
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27/04/2009 8:11 am  

Hi, IAO131,

"IAO131" wrote:
So you think there is no standard to judge whether a given political system is more Thelemic than another?

Not quite -- I'm arguing that the idea of applying Thelema to a political system doesn't make sense...that is, *if* we are defining Thelema as "doing your will and doing nothing else."

I'm saying that the phrase "more Thelemic" doesn't make sense in the context of politics.

Presumably, you think libertarianism is "more Thelemic" than a monarchy on the grounds that libertarianism gives more freedom to the individual to do whatever he or she pleases. But Thelema -- by definition -- is not about doing whatever you please.

Or perhaps you think that libertarianism is more likely to produce a society in which more people adhere to their true wills -- but that is certainly not necessarily true. One discovers the will not by being given freedoms, but by undertaking the hard work of self-understanding and self-mastery.

Neither system fits the definition of Thelema we've been using, and neither is closer to that ideal.

For avoidance of confusion, I personally favor a system that gives individuals more freedoms (though I wouldn't consider myself a libertarian or a monarchist). I just don't think that favoring such a system is a necessary consequence of being a Thelemite, nor do I think that labelling such a system "Thelemic" is correct or useful. Thelema, as far as I can see, doesn't necessarily lead to any particular political position -- a Thelemite is free to adhere to any political philosophy that is in accordance with his or her will.

Or do you think I am wrong about this? Are Thelemites limited in their choice of political philosophies? I'd be interested in hearing some arguments for that.


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IAO131
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27/04/2009 9:24 am  
"Los" wrote:
Hi, IAO131,

"IAO131" wrote:
So you think there is no standard to judge whether a given political system is more Thelemic than another?

Not quite -- I'm arguing that the idea of applying Thelema to a political system doesn't make sense...that is, *if* we are defining Thelema as "doing your will and doing nothing else."

I'm saying that the phrase "more Thelemic" doesn't make sense in the context of politics.

Presumably, you think libertarianism is "more Thelemic" than a monarchy on the grounds that libertarianism gives more freedom to the individual to do whatever he or she pleases. But Thelema -- by definition -- is not about doing whatever you please.

Right but the idea isnt freedom to do as you please but freedom to. What you do with that freedom is up to the individual but providing physical, social, sexual, etc. freedoms is a prerequisite. I would say its "more Thelemic" to trust people to make their own sexual choices than to legislate morality regarding sexuality, for example. A society that allows individuals to make their own moral choices is "more Thelemic" because it allows more individuals to follow their own Wills rather than making the One Opinion of tyranny the law.

Or perhaps you think that libertarianism is more likely to produce a society in which more people adhere to their true wills -- but that is certainly not necessarily true. One discovers the will not by being given freedoms, but by undertaking the hard work of self-understanding and self-mastery.

Right, but I think people will attain to self-understanding if their other needs are met like physical safety, desire for a relative amount of freedmo in various areas, etc.

For avoidance of confusion, I personally favor a system that gives individuals more freedoms (though I wouldn't consider myself a libertarian or a monarchist). I just don't think that favoring such a system is a necessary consequence of being a Thelemite, nor do I think that labelling such a system "Thelemic" is correct or useful. Thelema, as far as I can see, doesn't necessarily lead to any particular political position -- a Thelemite is free to adhere to any political philosophy that is in accordance with his or her will.

I see where you're coming from but I feel like in the process we miss some basic, common sense distinctions. Theres a basic difference between a society that views man as vile and requires legislation of his moral acts and a society that views man as dignified and leaves moral decisions to the individual - I would say teh latter is "more Thelemic" insofar as it is a society where each individual can accomplish their will more fully than under tyranny.

Or do you think I am wrong about this? Are Thelemites limited in their choice of political philosophies? I'd be interested in hearing some arguments for that.

I dont think Thelemites are limited nor do I think no Thelemites could arise under tyranny (in fact, spiritual giants usually emerge under oppressive conditions) but I think there is value in saying theres a difference between aristocracy, anarchy, democracy, and monarchy. I think its valid to say one is more Thelemic than the other although I dont think one is absolutely more THelemic than the other - just certain aspects.

IAO131


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IAO131
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27/04/2009 9:25 am  

93,

I meant to write "I dont think Thelemites are limited nor do I think no Thelemites could NOT arise under tyranny" i.e. I think they could and have arisen under tyrannical conditions. Sorry bout that...

IAO131


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 Anonymous
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27/04/2009 10:49 am  
"IAO131" wrote:
"Los" wrote:
"Camlion" wrote:
In considering the possibility of societies that are 'more Thelemic' than are common today, we are questioning only the role of common law, political construct and social convention in either best supporting or at least best refraining from impeding that natural function of true will among its citizens

Well, in order to support or refrain from impeding upon the true will, you would indeed have to be able to know something about the wills of others.

So you think there is no standard to judge whether a given political system is more Thelemic than another? Is Monarchy just as Thelemic or not Thelemic as Libertarianism where the rights of the individual are paramount?

IAO131

Quite right, IAO131. Los, this is growing odder and odder... For one who pretends to such high standards of reason and logic, your arguments are becoming increasingly unreasonable and illogical.


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Los
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27/04/2009 9:28 pm  
"IAO131" wrote:
Theres a basic difference between a society that views man as vile and requires legislation of his moral acts and a society that views man as dignified and leaves moral decisions to the individual

Yeah, there's an enormous difference between the two. But Thelema doesn't mean "your moral decisions are up to you." That position is actually the polar opposite of Thelema.

I mean, if we want to redefine Thelema to mean "choose any course of action you want as long as you're not hurting anybody unnecessarily," then we can call one system of government more Thelemic than another. But as long as Thelema is defined by something that can't be measured by other people (the will), it is by definition impossible to make a form of government.

At any rate -- double and triple negatives notwithstanding -- you acknowledge that Thelemites can arise from tyrannical societies and that it's quite possible for a libertarian society not to increase the number of Thelemites. That's not an argument for tyranny -- it's an argument for Thelema having no direct relationship to political systems.

In short, I don't think Thelema necessarily leads to any particular political position. I can imagine Thelemites who are liberals, conservatives, libertarians, socialists, capitalists -- hell, I saw a Thelemite's web page the other day which claimed he was a feudal monarchist.

In practice, though, most of us probably all agree that systems that give large amounts of social freedom are the best for society -- I just don't think that such a position is a necessary consequence of Thelema.

By the way, IAO131, thanks for contributing to the thread. It was getting lonely in here.


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Los
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27/04/2009 9:31 pm  

Camlion,

Rather than continuing to sound like a broken record, I'm going to switch gears for a moment. I think we agree on the kind of society we both want -- we only differ on whether we can attach the label "Thelemic" to it. In the grand scheme of things, that's a pretty minor difference. Perhaps our energies would be better spent discussing *how* to achieve such a society.

Honestly, I haven't the foggiest idea how to go about doing that. What needs to change first? The education system? Just reforming education alone could take generations.

Instituting such a society seems like an impossible task that could only be accomplished one person at a time -- "it is the Law to give," and all that.


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IAO131
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27/04/2009 10:40 pm  
"Los" wrote:
"IAO131" wrote:
Theres a basic difference between a society that views man as vile and requires legislation of his moral acts and a society that views man as dignified and leaves moral decisions to the individual

Yeah, there's an enormous difference between the two. But Thelema doesn't mean "your moral decisions are up to you." That position is actually the polar opposite of Thelema.

I mean the locus of control and moral decision lies within oneself in Thelema. We can argue that its not the ego's locus of control (which is indeed 'internal') but the Whole Self's locus, but the point is that Thelema says each person has the final say in matters of conduct, not others.

I mean, if we want to redefine Thelema to mean "choose any course of action you want as long as you're not hurting anybody unnecessarily," then we can call one system of government more Thelemic than another. But as long as Thelema is defined by something that can't be measured by other people (the will), it is by definition impossible to make a form of government.

Right, but I think you are going too far to an extreme. For example, psychology does not admit to understand the full capacity of human nature - humanistic psychology explicitly states that human nature can never be fully defined... yet they have found there are certain conditions which tend towards growth and self-actualization. Im saying there is a parallel here: we may not know Jane or Joe's will but we do know that giving them a degree of physical freedom (i.e. not confining them to physical slavery), not inundating them with myths of sin (i.e. moral freedom), and allowing individuals to decide how to express their own sexuality all tend towards more fulfillment of hte individual. Im not saying each will make use of these conditions the same - I expect they wont and thats the point - but I think its possible to say that a society which allows physical, moral, sexual, and spiritual freedom allows for fuller development of all individuals' wills than a society which does not allow these freedoms.

At any rate -- double and triple negatives notwithstanding -- you acknowledge that Thelemites can arise from tyrannical societies and that it's quite possible for a libertarian society not to increase the number of Thelemites. That's not an argument for tyranny -- it's an argument for Thelema having no direct relationship to political systems.

Or an argument for the persistence of the human spirit. The Dark Ages may have produced a spiritual giant or two but they were the Dark Ages: I would rather have a society that tended towards a goal of something like "To secure the greatest possible freedom of self-expression for the greatest possible number of Points-of-View." To give the psychological parallel, people will still grow under "maladaptive conditions" but why not change those to adaptive conditions? Growth isnt contingent on adaptive conditions but it sure helps...

In short, I don't think Thelema necessarily leads to any particular political position. I can imagine Thelemites who are liberals, conservatives, libertarians, socialists, capitalists -- hell, I saw a Thelemite's web page the other day which claimed he was a feudal monarchist.

I can imagine this too but I think it leads to the false conclusion that theyre all the same or all interchangeable. I think maybe one or the other is not theoretically, intrinsically more Thelemic but I think on a pragmatic level one type of society is more conducive to allowing more people to do their wills fully than another: and success is your proof.

In practice, though, most of us probably all agree that systems that give large amounts of social freedom are the best for society -- I just don't think that such a position is a necessary consequence of Thelema.

The problem might be the divorce of theory from practice - Thelema often takes the pragmatic stance ("Success is your proof") which doesnt see a distinction. What works (practice) is true (theory). Maximum Convenience is our Canon of Truth. In that sense, what is pragmatically most efficient is a "consequence" of Thelema

By the way, IAO131, thanks for contributing to the thread. It was getting lonely in here.

Sure. I wouldnt want to miss the fun.

IAO131


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Los
 Los
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28/04/2009 12:59 am  
"IAO131" wrote:
"To secure the greatest possible freedom of self-expression for the greatest possible number of Points-of-View."

That's an excellent goal for society, one that I agree with.

Now, the critical question: does Thelema necessitate the acceptance of that particular goal?

If it does not, that doesn't imply that all political systems are "interchangeable" -- it just means that Thelema is not necessarily connected to any of them.

Individual Thelemites, however, might very well be connected to that goal...in fact, in the practical world, the vast majority of politically inclined Thelemites might be connected to that goal. But there may indeed be politically indifferent Thelemites and Thelemites with very different political positions. That's all.

P.S. Is that the ghost of Mill I hear in that quote?


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IAO131
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28/04/2009 2:25 am  
"Los" wrote:
"IAO131" wrote:
"To secure the greatest possible freedom of self-expression for the greatest possible number of Points-of-View."

That's an excellent goal for society, one that I agree with.

Now, the critical question: does Thelema necessitate the acceptance of that particular goal?

I think its a good formulation of a goal that is inherent in 'Do what thou wilt.' A 'Thelemic' society is one that makes it possible and even easier to find and do one's will. I believe the theory thats hammered over and over is that people should be left to make their own choices but they also need to self-examine to figure out what choices are best for fulfilling themselves.

If it does not, that doesn't imply that all political systems are "interchangeable" -- it just means that Thelema is not necessarily connected to any of them.

Right but I think it is as explained above...

Individual Thelemites, however, might very well be connected to that goal...in fact, in the practical world, the vast majority of politically inclined Thelemites might be connected to that goal. But there may indeed be politically indifferent Thelemites and Thelemites with very different political positions. That's all.

P.S. Is that the ghost of Mill I hear in that quote?

Perhaps its Mill perhaps its Comte de Fenix. Either way a society supporting individual liberities is 'more THelemic' than one than doesnt think. Perhaps its that simple?

IAO131


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Los
 Los
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28/04/2009 4:29 am  
"IAO131" wrote:
I think its a good formulation of a goal that is inherent in 'Do what thou wilt.'

Well, that's the question. Is it inherent in everyone's true will to make it easier for everyone else to do their true will?

I'm not so sure it is: "For these fools of men and their woes care not thou at all!" Unless it's specifically your will to help other people understand their wills, it shouldn't matter to you one bit whether someone else is doing his will (not like you'd be able to tell anyway).

I'm sure many of us are familiar with passages in Nietzsche about pity, about the folly of allowing concern for the tasks of others to turn us away from our own tasks. And I'm sure most of us are even more familiar with the similar passages in Liber AL.

Let me put it this way: if everyone did their true will, society would probably look a lot like the libertarian world you envision. The society would be the result.

But it wouldn't work the other way -- if you passed a lot of libertarian laws, it doesn't follow that people would start doing their wills or get any closer to doing their wills.

The way to achieve that world/society is to promulgate the Law to individuals, one at a time -- if it's your will to do so.


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 Anonymous
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28/04/2009 5:07 pm  
"IAO131" wrote:
"Los" wrote:
"IAO131" wrote:
"To secure the greatest possible freedom of self-expression for the greatest possible number of Points-of-View."

That's an excellent goal for society, one that I agree with.

Now, the critical question: does Thelema necessitate the acceptance of that particular goal?

I think its a good formulation of a goal that is inherent in 'Do what thou wilt.' A 'Thelemic' society is one that makes it possible and even easier to find and do one's will. I believe the theory thats hammered over and over is that people should be left to make their own choices but they also need to self-examine to figure out what choices are best for fulfilling themselves.

This is only obvious as the optimum ideal for a the 'most Thelemic' of societies. Also obvious is the fact that self-examination is required of Thelemites. No government can mandate that latter element of the equation, it can only best allow and encourage (through education) such self-realization.

Of course, even when it is the true Will of a Thelemite here and there to be held in bondage, oppressed, restricted, beaten and humiliated, all of this is available in a free society, complete with the trappings of black leather. 🙄

The silliest of arguments.


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 Anonymous
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29/04/2009 6:33 am  

Upon further reflection:

It's fairly obvious when someone is clinging tenuously and stubbornly to an idea, not even his own idea, which even his own common sense driven statements contradict.

Kind of a shame, when the defense of individual freedoms is really only half of the necessary equation of Thelema - the other half being individual independence and responsibility. Our getting to that side of the equation is rather shamefully stalled when someone questions whether individual freedom of choice is 'Thelemic' in the first place.

I take it as obvious that true Will is ultimately the responsibility of the individual alone. Anyone with half a wit about the subject takes that for granted. Government, common law, political construct and social convention will not deliver the Law of Thelema unto us. But, the very least that these might do is to allow it. In other words, to get out of its way.

The rest, as I said, is up to the individual; to take responsibility for him or herself and demand the independence to find themselves and to fulfill themselves, to do their own true Will.


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IAO131
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29/04/2009 5:34 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
Upon further reflection:

It's fairly obvious when someone is clinging tenuously and stubbornly to an idea, not even his own idea, which even his own common sense driven statements contradict.

Kind of a shame, when the defense of individual freedoms is really only half of the necessary equation of Thelema - the other half being individual independence and responsibility. Our getting to that side of the equation is rather shamefully stalled when someone questions whether individual freedom of choice is 'Thelemic' in the first place.

I take it as obvious that true Will is ultimately the responsibility of the individual alone. Anyone with half a wit about the subject takes that for granted. Government, common law, political construct and social convention will not deliver the Law of Thelema unto us. But, the very least that these might do is to allow it. In other words, to get out of its way.

The rest, as I said, is up to the individual; to take responsibility for him or herself and demand the independence to find themselves and to fulfill themselves, to do their own true Will.

Wouldn't a government that gave people freedom, i.e. got out of their way be necessarily more Thelemic then? Wouldnt one that is always in your business be 'less Thelemic'? I dont think were arguing that the government can somehow magically know your will if its Libertarian but rather that that is a better situation than tyranny for the reason you mention: it leaves people alone (in theory). Even your own 'common sense driven statements' lead to this idea.

IAO131


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 Anonymous
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29/04/2009 6:04 pm  
"IAO131" wrote:
"Camlion" wrote:
Upon further reflection:

It's fairly obvious when someone is clinging tenuously and stubbornly to an idea, not even his own idea, which even his own common sense driven statements contradict.

Kind of a shame, when the defense of individual freedoms is really only half of the necessary equation of Thelema - the other half being individual independence and responsibility. Our getting to that side of the equation is rather shamefully stalled when someone questions whether individual freedom of choice is 'Thelemic' in the first place.

I take it as obvious that true Will is ultimately the responsibility of the individual alone. Anyone with half a wit about the subject takes that for granted. Government, common law, political construct and social convention will not deliver the Law of Thelema unto us. But, the very least that these might do is to allow it. In other words, to get out of its way.

The rest, as I said, is up to the individual; to take responsibility for him or herself and demand the independence to find themselves and to fulfill themselves, to do their own true Will.

Wouldn't a government that gave people freedom, i.e. got out of their way be necessarily more Thelemic then? Wouldnt one that is always in your business be 'less Thelemic'? I dont think were arguing that the government can somehow magically know your will if its Libertarian but rather that that is a better situation than tyranny for the reason you mention: it leaves people alone (in theory). Even your own 'common sense driven statements' lead to this idea.

IAO131

I do agree with you, and you with me, apparently. The "common sense statements" that I was referring to were those of Los. He was defending Hessle's position that government cannot possibly be Thelemic unless it knows exactly the true Will of each individual, while at the same time agreeing with you and I that it certainly can be 'more Thelemic' if it allows greater individual freedom of choice, the 'common sense Los.' He appears to be on the fence about it. Anyway, you and I appear to be in agreement on the subject. Sorry if my statement was confusing.

'More Thelemic' is all that we can ask of government, common law, political construct and social convention, and that will do just fine for me. In some quarters today, circumstances remain far from the ideal of 'more Thelemic.'


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IAO131
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29/04/2009 6:31 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
"IAO131" wrote:
"Camlion" wrote:
Upon further reflection:

It's fairly obvious when someone is clinging tenuously and stubbornly to an idea, not even his own idea, which even his own common sense driven statements contradict.

Kind of a shame, when the defense of individual freedoms is really only half of the necessary equation of Thelema - the other half being individual independence and responsibility. Our getting to that side of the equation is rather shamefully stalled when someone questions whether individual freedom of choice is 'Thelemic' in the first place.

I take it as obvious that true Will is ultimately the responsibility of the individual alone. Anyone with half a wit about the subject takes that for granted. Government, common law, political construct and social convention will not deliver the Law of Thelema unto us. But, the very least that these might do is to allow it. In other words, to get out of its way.

The rest, as I said, is up to the individual; to take responsibility for him or herself and demand the independence to find themselves and to fulfill themselves, to do their own true Will.

Wouldn't a government that gave people freedom, i.e. got out of their way be necessarily more Thelemic then? Wouldnt one that is always in your business be 'less Thelemic'? I dont think were arguing that the government can somehow magically know your will if its Libertarian but rather that that is a better situation than tyranny for the reason you mention: it leaves people alone (in theory). Even your own 'common sense driven statements' lead to this idea.

IAO131

I do agree with you, and you with me, apparently. The "common sense statements" that I was referring to were those of Los. He was defending Hessle's position that government cannot possibly be Thelemic unless it knows exactly the true Will of each individual, while at the same time agreeing with you and I that it certainly can be 'more Thelemic' if it allows greater individual freedom of choice, the 'common sense Los.' He appears to be on the fence about it. Anyway, you and I appear to be in agreement on the subject. Sorry if my statement was confusing.

I see - I thought you were referring ot the 'common sense' idea that if a system says personal freedom is good that a government which gives personal freedom is 'more [that system]'... in this case Thelema.

IAO131


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the_real_simon_iff
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29/04/2009 11:28 pm  

93!

It might be helpful if we try to define which form of government today is "more Thelemic" or "more Thelema-friendly". I can imagine why there are probably no Thelemites in the Vatican. I can imagine that the religious freedom of the United States is a good starting ground for Thelemites, but there doesn't seem to exist much sexual freedom. Some might say that the Netherlands allow people to "take strange drugs and wines that foam", but is this "Thelemic"? Somalia is agreed to have no government in function at all, but not many Thelemites over there, are they?

If Thelema is a religion (I refer to the sticky threads here), all governments that divide politics from religion can't be "Thelemic". If it is a philosophy, government could very well be inspired by it.

Why do so many Thelemites occupy computer-related jobs or are artists? (some survey showed this) Is access to information and economic independence important? Is Thelema elitist? Are slaves that serve us important? What kind of government would that be?

I don't have a real idea so far...

Love=Law
Lutz


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 Anonymous
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30/04/2009 2:21 pm  

As a semi-direct democracy that allows each individual citizen to create initiatives that lead to referendum, I would class Switzerland as more Thelemic. In general I'm in favour of mechanisms of direct democracy as 'more Thelemic'. The Dalai Lama has worked to promote dd for his exiled Tibetans with excellent results.


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30/04/2009 2:45 pm  
"alrah" wrote:
In general I'm in favour of mechanisms of direct democracy as 'more Thelemic'. The Dalai Lama has worked to promote dd for his exiled Tibetans with excellent results.

It's true - he is indeed a wonderful man, I'm sure no-one would agree with this more than his erstwhile backers, those well-known democrats the CIA.

http://www.timboucher.com/journal/2005/07/25/dalai-lama-on-cia-payroll /"> http://www.timboucher.com/journal/2005/07/25/dalai-lama-on-cia-payroll/
and numerous other places.

I like the thing about his fabby new throne, too. 😆

o


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 Anonymous
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30/04/2009 4:39 pm  

93 Lutz,

"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
It might be helpful if we try to define which form of government today is "more Thelemic" or "more Thelema-friendly". I can imagine why there are probably no Thelemites in the Vatican. I can imagine that the religious freedom of the United States is a good starting ground for Thelemites, but there doesn't seem to exist much sexual freedom. Some might say that the Netherlands allow people to "take strange drugs and wines that foam", but is this "Thelemic"? Somalia is agreed to have no government in function at all, but not many Thelemites over there, are they?

I don't think there are any really good, close to ideal, 'Thelema-friendly' governmental models yet, although some are much better than others in that they have mechanisms in place where they can modify themselves, democracies rather than dictatorships, for example. The US, where I am, is really a big mess right now politically, has been for a long while and will be for quite a while yet - perhaps a long while, on too many levels to list here. This is not the stable country that many imagine it be, politically or economically. Too bad that a global economy is resting on its shoulders at the moment. LOTS of potential for individual liberties are to be found in its founding principles, true, although a lot of people here still believe that this is the old-aeon god's favorite country, REALLY believe it, and there is a serious streak of the puritanism in its roots, as well.

Some of the European models seem better laboratories for social experiment because they are much smaller, although their governments seem really overbearing to me in not leaving many of their citizens with enough self-reliance. I think that personal self-reliance and economic independence are important 'Thelemic' advantages. There is also a lot of old-aeon religious fog still lurking in Europe, it seems to me. European Thelemites would be better informed about all this than I am, of course.

As for Somalia, well, there are a lot of countries in similar chaos, really, and I blame old-aeon religion for colonizing and converting the territories that preceded the present nations, scorching their roots and then leaving them to rot. But perhaps that's just my anti-old-aeon religion bent.

All in all, I think that much more really creative social and political thinking needs to be done to approach a 'more Thelemic' governmental model. A melding of seemingly contradictory ideas into a new hybrid of sorts, beyond the Left vs Right dichotomy.

"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
If Thelema is a religion (I refer to the sticky threads here), all governments that divide politics from religion can't be "Thelemic". If it is a philosophy, government could very well be inspired by it.

If Thelema is to be a religion, it will have to be one centered on the self-deification of each individual, with each being the center of the Universe, which is not a religion at all in the old-aeon sense of the word. It is the 'method of science - aim of religion' realized. In that case, with individual rights being of paramount importance, I see (new-aeon) religion and politics as being more compatible than they used to be.

As a philosophy and worldview, I can see Thelema inspiring every human endeavor, as it should, IMO. For each to know and do true Will - Do what thou wilt.

"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
Why do so many Thelemites occupy computer-related jobs or are artists? (some survey showed this) Is access to information and economic independence important? Is Thelema elitist? Are slaves that serve us important? What kind of government would that be?

As above, I think that economic independence is as essential as freedom of personal choice is to Thelema, that these are two sides of the same Thelemic coin. Again, I blame the Left vs Right sociopolitical dichotomy for preventing the marriage of these two values.

Seeing Thelema as elitist is to ignore the fact that Liberty is VERY demanding upon the individual that seizes it. It is much easier to opt out of Liberty in favor of slavery, of leaving your fate to gods and governments, IMO. Being told exactly how to think and behave is much less difficult than freedom and independence is. I see slavery as voluntary and the easy way out, which most will probably continue to take, at least for quite a while. As long as it's voluntary, it's cool.

Just morning thoughts before coffee...


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 Anonymous
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30/04/2009 4:43 pm  

Oneiros - I'm shocked! Are you trying to tell me those patriotic people in the CIA are war mongering manipulating swineherders, that would ignore a clear warning about the 9/11 threat in order to have an excuse for securing foreign oil? Oh surely! You know - if I didn't ****************************** true I'd think it was just a paranoid conspiracy theory!

However - it's not the DL's dubious associations that his brother made when Tibet was falling that I'm refering to here. Let's keep on track. It's the system of direct/participatory democracy that the DL introduced to the exiled Tibetans that I'm highlighting here.

And btw - he (the DL) could be useful in spreading that to China you know.

Love under Will,

Alrah.


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 Anonymous
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30/04/2009 5:07 pm  

I know, I know - was just being mean and off-topic.

But perhaps, if it's a matter of "Doing what one Wilt" in accordance with the Current to which one's opened oneself, then the DL's maybe quite a good example of the process in action - ?

o


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 Anonymous
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30/04/2009 5:48 pm  

Well - the DL isn't attached to buddhism. He comes back for different reasons. Attachement as a barrier from knowing your true will is still the theme in this aeon. Thelemites should ignore the dogma of Buddhism, and focus has shifted from the pain and suffering of enslavement to the inherent appreciation of non attachement in the context of Love under Will (without lust of result) - acting according to our true nature - knowing our little 'i' and conscious self as a small part of the higher self. The path of the star gives knowledge in the moment. In the moment we live and act according to our true will, and knowledge is without reflection on the right hand path. We understand and follow through with our will in the moment and may not understand until later.

In this aeon we are challenged to hold both the reins and so the nature - or rather the knowledge and understanding of the lh/rhp has changed. But always we should obey the instant call to action as demanded by the path of the star, lest we stumble. The path of the priestess and the path of the lovers in triordinal combination will always fulfill our soul with Love under Will. Don't choose one over any other and be faithful to your HGA in this life over any God, Goddess, - yea, even the Lady Babalon says this to you.


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 Anonymous
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30/04/2009 5:50 pm  

Should have read 'We know and follow through with our will in the moment and may not understand until later.' 🙂


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 Anonymous
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30/04/2009 9:09 pm  
"alrah" wrote:
Well - the DL isn't attached to buddhism. He comes back for different reasons. Attachement as a barrier from knowing your true will is still the theme in this aeon. Thelemites should ignore the dogma of Buddhism, and focus has shifted from the pain and suffering of enslavement to the inherent appreciation of non attachement in the context of Love under Will (without lust of result) - acting according to our true nature - knowing our little 'i' and conscious self as a small part of the higher self. The path of the star gives knowledge in the moment. In the moment we live and act according to our true will, and knowledge is without reflection on the right hand path. We understand and follow through with our will in the moment and may not understand until later.

In this aeon we are challenged to hold both the reins and so the nature - or rather the knowledge and understanding of the lh/rhp has changed. But always we should obey the instant call to action as demanded by the path of the star, lest we stumble. The path of the priestess and the path of the lovers in triordinal combination will always fulfill our soul with Love under Will. Don't choose one over any other and be faithful to your HGA in this life over any God, Goddess, - yea, even the Lady Babalon says this to you.

Evening tipple time?


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 Anonymous
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30/04/2009 9:31 pm  

Mars in aries! lol I had to tribute with red wine or it would not have been proper! 😀


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