How has Thelema changed your life?
As I have been reading throughout various topics in this forum, I agree with those users that say that it would be a great idea to have some sort of “testimonial” section, or topic. Testimonials, very common among Christians, specially protestants, and always go something like “my son was dying, I saw a light and then poof! He healed, so I worship Jesus”, maybe Baphomet healed him, maybe shiva, or Allah, but it doesn’t matter, a testimonial is a “how I became an insert-worldview-here, and how it has changed my life”. So, in the spirit of sharing and Love under Will and all that, I’d like to present my story. My story doesn’t have dying people from bone-chilling accidents, visions of doomsday, sex, drugs or violence, so yes, it is kind of boring, sorry.
When I was a child I wanted to be an actor more than anything, and I was pretty good too, but then, as I grew older I became quiet and introspective, from 13 or so to 17 I wanted to be a comic book writer (I even wrote several stories, some good and some bad), but since I can’t draw, at all, absolutely nothing, even if the fate of the world depends on it (although that’s a hard-to-picture scenario), so such a career, in Mexico, could not be possible.
However, when I was about 15 or so I wrote a story called “the gospel according to Lucifer”, sure, the style was childish, but the argument was incredibly beautiful, so dramatic and bright (or at least I think so), it’s the only story I’m really proud of. The story just poured out of my soul, I didn’t need to think about it, it was already there when I wrote it, like it was waiting in the back of my head.
Soon after that I thought that literature was my thing, but as I started reading serious literature I realized I liked the argument more than the style, and that it was the philosophical parts that I truly loved. That’s how, finally, I chose philosophy, and I already was an introspective and reflective young man, so it made sense.
Now, for the love story, or “of how I met the devil”, in high school I met the most beautiful carbon-based organism known to mankind, the goddess, my savior, my virgin Mary, she shone with a light not of this world, all purity and no vice, magnificent cathedral of desire, peak of all creation, the instant I laid eyes on such a supernatural exquisiteness I fell madly in love (and I emphasize “MADLY”). Unfortunely I had developed by then a very serious and chronic depression syndrome, now try to imagine me as I was back then, a cynical clown that drinks way too much (in Mexico we learn to drink since we’re 16 or 17, because the majority of age is 18) with suicidal tendencies, yep, not a pretty picture. We became friends but psychological unbalances just weren’t her thing, so we never had anything serious. In the midst of my non-treated depression, my paranoid tendencies, my compulsive and addictive behavior I spiraled down a path of madness and obsession, and that’s how I met the face of despair, the anguish that comes from a tortured soul with self-inflicted scars, in conclusion, that’s how I met the devil. So yeah, this is were the story gets interesting, but don’t get your hopes to high, it ends right about that period of time, for I finally confess my problems to my family, and seek professional help.
As soon as I began studying philosophy I found the corpus Hermeticum, and since then, I’m in love with the occult, it fascinates me to a very deep level. Having a depression syndrome, it was only a matter of time before I started to try out religions, believing that maybe if I surrended my Will to some divine Will the pain would go away. I started studying the esoteric philosophy and the occult from the corpus hermeticum, and from there in a chronological order (so I wouldn’t start reading Crowley before Agrippa for instance), it was Eliphas Levi, in the “libro de los sabios” (which in English it should be like “book of the wise”), the one were it begins with dialogues, and the second part with aphorisms in different subjects. I’ve never read anything so pious, that man was a saint, there was no evil in his heart, it shook me and converted me to Christianity (to his version of Christianity), and to this day I feel offended by the mere suggestion that he was a satanist (common mistake among christians).
I could not assimilate with the protestants, I found the protestant faith to be too simplistic, it lacks an intellectual aspect or dimension, so I got involved with Catholicism. Except for the Catholics, everything was running smoothly for a while, except of course for my unusual reading habits. I was attending a private college owned by the Opus Dei, and I could not understand their hatred towards masonry and occultism, I defended Eliphas Levi a thousand times “he was a catholic!”, “he never stopped loving the holy church!”, but Levi and the Opus Dei just didn’t mix.
After I moved with my family here to Merida Yucatán, and started my studies over from scratch, I continued investigating and studying continuously, inside of me I felt like I was in the verge of something major, my faith in christianty dwindled, thanks to the Christians of course, and finally it happened.
It wasn’t a bright light, or some miracle that defies modern medicine, or anything of that sort, it was different, and in a way, at least to me, far more profound and intimate. The previous days I had encountered a huge beetle, or scarab, black and beautiful in front of my bedroom door, of course, at first I was in panic (the biggest insect I had ever seen), the day after that I found it again, and at night again (I usually stay up late writing, the house is more calmed at one or two in the morning), over my bed, until the night in question. That particular night I had decided to cease my studies on the kabala and Eliphas Levi, at least for the moment being, I had been in contact, via e-mail, with a Thelemite from Spain, who explained Thelema to me in many different ways, so I decided to read Liber Al Vel Legis and the book of lies (he sent me a digital copy).
I arranged my whole day around that moment, finally reading the book of the Law, and the Book of Lies. Then “it” happened (this is the part of the story that gets mysterious), we had a mirror close to the computer, I noticed, as I sat down and face the mirror that there was something unusual, the slightest alteration of a rutinary image. Couldn’t quite place what was wrong, or unusual, so I stood up and tried again, and there it was, the reflection on the mirror was “delayed”, I’d stand up, and the mirror would reflect the image a second late.
Without giving too much thought to the reflection thing (a mistake, I know now, just like disregarding the scarab so quickly), I searched my computer and opened the book of the law. Obviously I didn’t understand much of it, my friend had already explained things like “every man and every woman is a star”, but it was still to hard. I must have spend hours in front of the computer reading, when I finished it I started reading from the book of lies, I started going back and forth, from one book to the other, for entire hours.
Finally, after many hours I went to bed, it must have been like 4:30 or so, and that was the best night of sleep ever, I was calmed, which was strange to me, in complete bliss and happiness, even in “innocence”. Since then I’ve been seeing things in a completely different perspective, it’s like things make sense now. My depression problem is under control through varied methods of Magick, the liber vel jugorum really saved my life, and every day I try to be closer to my True Will, I meditate and find complete spiritual calmness, something I had never felt in my entire life. I understood things about myself that really helped me, and now I’m no longer my worst enemy, the devil is no more.
I could go on and on, boring everyone to death with this, but I think you get the point. Thelema changed my life, sure, there was no bright light, no big display of fireworks, no theme song in the back, and like I said, no drugs (although there was a lot, a lot, of alcohol), no violence (except the self-inflicted kind of violence), no sex (sorry guys, I had to censor it), but at least it has a love story (or something disturbingly similar) and a very special “coincidence” with the scarab (I’ve seen it again, there are no scarabs of that kind in this part of the world, or of Mexico, and I’ve moved out of that house), and a strange “thing” with the mirror.
I hope others will share how they found Thelema, or how it influenced their lives.
A beautiful story. Thanks for sharing. I just want to quote a short part of your post, because it is something that happens quite often now to me. And to me it is always something like a "proof" that what we call reality is not what most people think it is - and as such it is a constant reminder to keep on looking for other "realities". I am talking about your "time stretching or time delaying" experience.
Years ago I suddenly experienced some kind of panic attacks. This was pretty scary because I felt honestly pretty happy at that time. However, because of the grade of scariness I also looked for "professional" help but soon found out that psychiatry or downers did not help too much (of course downers kind of help for the moment) and then turned to pranayama and "relaxation & trance" through musick. Once, on holiday with my family I felt a panic attack coming while in restaurant. I excused myself to go to my room for an hour or so to relax. I did so, putting on the wonderful "At Stockholm" from Psychic TV ("POWER - is often ... very quiet!") and soon fall in what I call a deep trance. The CD player was on replay and I listened to the record numerous times in a state of blissful relaxedness, and finally I awoke the next morning - having missed the complete evening and night with my family! Only to find out that just 10 minutes had passed. I came down to the restaurant, refreshed and relaxed and baffled. This "deformation of time" happens a lot when doing magickal work - and I just love it. It feels like "time outside time" or "extra time" (hard to find a word for it) - and not at all like "wow! this 2 hour movie went by in what felt like one hour". It feels magickal, universal, unreal (or really real)...
Well, just a little anecdote. Of course I also could expand on your experience of the Goddess, the Saviour, the Virgin Mary. By the way, I don't think anyone can critisize your mastery of English...
1)Thank you for sharing-and this is as fantastic a tale as any!
2) Your english bears NO criticism (ditto, LUTZ). With all my typos, I have a harder time with the language than YOU.
3) I'll share some stuff as well but right now I'm just waking up, going through the posts, working on the coffee and getting ready to get my little one up...but so wonderful. You didn't even even NEED my previously posted ramble rant...I, for one, would like to say that when people share, with wisdom-but honesty and sincerity-their struggles and their victories, it really does impart inspiration and connection with all whose open hearts might receive it. There's some vulnerability and some magickal details will of necessity need to remain private but your post truly warmed my heart (as the java warms my guts!).
4) So many religions impart the notion that you're damn lucky or blessed or fortunate or choosen or whatever to have found your salvation in their cult. So grovel with the gratitude. But your post sends out a simple beam of Light...we're so lucky to be alive and this LIFE itself is the "salvation." God is speaking and writing out the Holy Bible in our cells and souls as we keep opening and "spiraling out" (Tool is running through my head now-I think the coffee is working!)
5) Keep posting! And may God Bless us all (that was the absolute most silly thing I could write-but hey, what if Tiny Tim is the Dwarf-Self?)
I have not had a dramatic change either, some slightly unusual things happened to me when I watched a documentary on crowley called the wickedest man in the world, basically a picture started to hange from one fixing as the credits started and completely fell off the wall once the credits finished. not particularly meaning ful but you had to be there, any way I read a book called the Comentaries of AL. This is the book of the law disected by Crowley and Motta, giving various insights into the subtle yet profound meanings of each chapter. In the book there was mention of Scarabs or Beetles being a gift from Ra-Hoor-Kuit for the aspirant. its a brief tale of how an aspirant of Magick slays a beetle before Ra-Hoor-Kuit and names his worst enemy and his enemy falls before him. It says a more advanced student slays a beetle before Ra-Hoor-Kuit naming his enemy as himself and became master of the temple. This is analagous to your story not only because of the literal presence of a large beetle in your account but of how thelema changes lives. as mentioned in Magick and Taoism the slaying of the self or ego leads to freedom.
Any way for me thelema has made me more open minded, more accepting of the world as it is and less fearful of everything. I have found the theurgy to be a gradual realisation of truth if one can use such a term. It has not been a case of convincing myself of anything or brainwashing but more a release of ideas I already had, an answer to contradicting questions that bothered me for years. I wouldn't necesarrily say I am a thelemite yet as I am still a slave to many things but I feel my emancipation is guaranteed as long as I keep trying to discover my true will, and with some luck my example will free more slaves of their invisible fetters on the way