OTO: Pause for Thought
Whilst the main discussion thread for discussing the OTO Trademark case is locked, I wonder if we can use the time to approach the matter from a different angle - one of respect for each other?
We are all of us, in the various groups utilising the name OTO, Thelemites, working for the establishment of the Law of Thelema. We have much more in common that that which divides us. This is not to say that the matters of division are not of substance; of course they are. However, it is to say that we should keep things in perspective.
Subsequent to the outcome of this trademark case, there are clearly going to be new alignments. These need to come about from a background of respect for each others' views, and with fraternity. Otherwise, the same animosities and bitterness will simply be carried forward, poisoning the atmosphere no matter what new alignments are thrown up.
Most recently, to visit the trademark thread was, by and large, to find oneself in a primary school playground at lunchbreak, but without the maturity. No doubt I made my own contribution to the building of this febrile atmosphere. Could we all please just calm down, reflect on the amount we have in common as against that which divides, and go forward on a positive rather than a negative basis - please.
Not exactly rocket-science, I would have thought.
Well said, Mick. Cooler heads must indeed prevail.
Michael, it couldn't have been put any better... i made a similar comment on the Facebook "The Aleister Crowley Society" page.
People must display the wisdom of maturity and age rather than the folly of a minor.
We all need to proceed along this path in tandem.
"As brothers fight ye!"
and to quote Krishnamurti
"The enemy is not the other, the enemy is you."
I couldn't agree more. Even if we are not friends we shouldn't be enemies. After all we all work with the same ideas, many of us follow a Thelemic philosophy and work magic or are spiritual in one way or another.
I hope these recent events will make us pause for thought, as Michael suggested. I also hope that we will wake up to the fact that no ideology is exempt from the potentials of corruption. Einstein said that there are only two things without limit: universe and human stupidity, although he was not quite sure about the universe. To profess oneself a Thelemite is not a guarantee against bigotry, ignorance and fanaticism. I have witnessed Thelema used as a justification for Fascism, and I've been told on several occasions (by a source I consider trustworthy) that some of Crowley's statements were used in order to denigrate women (who 'have no soul') or adherents of other persuasions ('troglodytes'). Despicable behaviour with regards to 'others' unfortunately has a long history in Thelema, as in any other system of belief. Martin Starr's "Unknown God" paints Therion in no flattery colours in this regard. We all know that his displays of supremacy were not always Nietzschean. Motta was frankly, in my opinion, close to being manic in his Jeremiads (to borrow again expression from Starr) against other Thelemites. And so on and so forth.
To finally come to my point. There is no Thelema. It does not exist as such. To the degree that it actually does exist, it is displayed in our behaviour, in our way of life. I am not being clear, I fear. I am trying to say that we need (in my opinion) to move from being to action, from noun to verb. There is no Thelema and there are no Thelemites: there are only acts and deeds done in accordance with what each of us understand as 'Thelemic.' We need to create this constantly: it is not earned by virtue of belonging to ANY order, it is not equivalent to possessing ANY grade or degree, no matter how high. I am absolutely convinced (but then that's just me) that Buddhist are right in their claim that practice is enlightenment and that if one neglects to practice enlightened actions one stops being awake. "Buddha is still practicing and he is only a half way there," is a saying from which we could all learn a lot.
I continue to be dissatisfied with my attempts to deliver what I have in mind. It is not what or who we are, it is what we do that counts. Caliphate versus Typhonian versus Albion etc. obscures the issue, since the virtue is imputed to 'what' instead of 'how.' Forgive me all, but I see a good deal of inflated egos in these arguments lately. We focus on the surface of things and neglect the subtlety. With this approach, we might one day create and justify a literal society of slaves and masters, for that's what the good book says.
Perhaps the best thing to do would be to say nothing. Silence is golden, but on the other hand, it might be the wrong kind of silence. Thus I speak, but still find a little value in my own words. I am not even sure what I am trying to communicate. Except maybe the conviction that we all tend wrongly to believe that the acceptance of the Law of Thelema turns us into gods by this very fact. And so Thelema remains an idea in our heads, instead of being expressed through our actions.
Actually, Kenneth Grant stated it best, in my opinion, in a private letter, when he said that Thelema was not a philosophy, but a state of mind. The implication therefore is that only those who have achieved this state of mind are entitled to the appellation of 'Thelemite'. It is emphatically not the name of a group of people who happen to subscribe to a particular philosophy, despite the fact that this is how the name has come to be used. Naturally, only those who have achieved the state of Thelema will be acting in a Thelemic manner, which I take to be doing one's True Will.
During the recent trademark discussion, in one of the last posts, magispiel quoted the OTO manifesto. One sentence in particular caught my eye:
"Moreover, it possesses a Secret capable of realizing the world-old dream of the Brotherhood of Man."
Those in possession of this secret ought perhaps to cease hiding their light under a bushel.
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
I myself am a member of an occaisional organisation called the O.T.O.D which means the Only True Order Of Druids. Membership rites are secret but require people to be at Avebury Stone Circle on the Summer Solstice and be open to the breaking of taboos, I can say no more. You could quite happily argue that this is a joke but actually there is a really serious magickal disillussionment involved that has an ancient folklore involved.
So allthough this is not an 'OTO' as such, it is deliberately using the term 'OTO' to mean 'Thelemic' and O.T.O.D to reffer to a Druidic idiology that you could only get from being in a British Stone Circle on the Summer Solstice. Are we in the group, that has grown quite large in numbers over the years (it cannot be taken back as an initiation), to assume we are next in the firing line, ever? Goddess I hope not!
Please can us Thelemites start to solve differences between Thelemites within our community, rather that leave it to the Pashu [uninitiated or non-Thelemite] World? As a Thelemite I find it hard to accept a Christian court or any other for that matter, govern fairly over any Thelemic issue. If you try to sell me a UK, USA or any other arbitary bullshit country's Christian shitty idea of what is fare about Thelema. I am allways going to automatically going to think it has been perversed. So is every Thelemite out there who doesn't happen to be in the Order of the winning plaintif.
What is needed is a Pan-Thelemic Parliament to try and sort this before hand. I have no desire to undermine the great work of any individual or order. I just want to see an way where we stop fighting each other.
Love is the law, love under will.
Yikes! That means we'll have the men in black AND the men in white after us 😯
Can't make up my mind if this is a typo or not...
Listen, cats, I haven't been here that long, and really I thought that this was going to be more like a compendium of information via learned individuals; between the intellectual circle-jerks and all the bitching about who does what and who looks stupid and who everyone who can't spell-check before they post a comment (which is funny, I will admit), it feels like no one can get any work done.
The gentlemen and ladies that have provided me with information have been delightfully responsive despite my idiot inquiries. And I must admit that I've seen some really wonderful and well-informed posts. But you guys, even the peacemakers, have to stop coming in here trying to show off who has the biggest Thelemic dick.
All of these ideas and ideologies and philosophies are great, but we have serious studying to do. You're wasting time and energy on nothing - No pun intended.
Get it? Nothing. That's a terrible joke.
Every thread about "the OTO" ends the same way, which is why I was very surprised to see the last one started at all. (and by the boss as well 😉 )
I liked Alastrums post a lot, maybe everyone whould ponder it a bit.
he said that Thelema was not a philosophy, but a state of mind
And it may well be that once having entered that "state of mind," consideration of "Thelema" itself will cease and new modes of expression arise.
What is needed is a Pan-Thelemic Parliament to try and sort this before hand
Who watches the watchmen?
I actually really want to know if Alex thinks "ideology is idiotic" and thereby referring to any ideology as idiology or if it was a typo.
I'm not sure that idiology isn't a word, even if it is rare. It could refer to the study of idioms, for example, rather than idiots. However, I was glad to know that there are other self-styled Druids who are also Thelemites. Perhaps Alex might consider joining me in the DNA (Druids of the New Aeon). I am also aware that the EQ Thelemites in the West Country formed a Thelemic Druid group, but that was only so they could join in a Pagan/Christian dialogue that was going on at the time.
Meanwhile, I for one do not want this thread to end "the same way" as others, I was getting quite heated and think I did no service to the current disputes or my own Order. The "problem" is that Thelemites are passionate people, which is not necessarily a bad thing but can sometimes be so.
I keep wondering if these recent events are not an unfortunate reflection of the monotheistic cast of mind that seems ingrained in our culture. We are all well aware of the long history of antagonism, and often war, between rival Christian denominations (Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox). Similar animosity persists between Sunni and Shi'a Muslims. This appears to be endemic for ideologies based on One Book, One God, One Truth, and other monolithic monsters. Alain Danielou has argued consistently and continuously that polytheism - he has in mind primarily India - is a much more healthier environment. I see Thelema being poised somewhat unclearly in this regard. To my mind, it is based on the notion of plurality of truths: my Will is not your Will, my Truth differs from yours, and everything should be peachy. Now, where and how does the problem creep in? I'd say, for the most part if following one's will is not practiced but only believed in. Those Magicians who really practice - I find them to be the least dogmatic. They mind their own business. I deeply apologies for those who are exceptions to this, but methinks that we are for the most part just talkers.
What is needed is a Pan-Thelemic Parliament to try and sort this before hand
As long as we get a Pan-Thelemic Funkadelic to go along with it. 🙂
Not my most inspired decision here, I grant you! (No pun intended...)
To be honest, now the dust has settled, I'm finding it a little difficult to see the trademark case as anything more than peripheral to the site's raison d'etre. It's been about an hour since I last wrote this, so here I go again: LAShTAL.COM is the home of the Aleister Crowley Society. It is not an occult website. It is impartial.
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