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Thelema-like qualities of Thelema?

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 Anonymous
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"Patriarch156" wrote:
So it is no wonder that we are met with failure, in fact the most successful model for predicting success among new religious movements predicts so.

Patriarch156, I realize that this calls for some guesswork on your part, but I am wondering what percentage of the total number of people interested in Thelema view it as a religious movement in the way that Crowley did, in your 'guestimation'?


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Patriarch156
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"OKontrair" wrote:
Surely the spread of ideas and attitudes is more important

This of course is begging the question as to just what these ideas and attitudes which are important to be spread are in the first place.

Given your optimism of their widespreadness everywhere in society, and eventual assimilation into our consciousness, I think it is reasonable to assume that you have your own distinct idea about what constitutes Thelema.

But isn't it reasonable that someone who has a very different idea about what constitutes the important ideas and attitudes to be spread would come to a different conclusion and as such would not share your optimism?

This is why bringing in straw-men such as guilt by association to the convert is empty rhetorics in the first place. Not only does it shut down rational discourse, but it also leaves assumptions about what constitutes Thelemic ideas and values unquestioned in the first place.


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 Anonymous
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Here is the major problem with the version of Thelema that so many want to believe is Thelema. It is a very liberal take, not just on Thelema but on belief at all. It is a view that basically by saying Truth is personal is saying that Truth does not exist at all. It says, "Do what thou wilt" means you have some random spinner type free will that makes it's choice totally without influence to external factors, If pressed many in this mind set believe that the external world in a projection of their arbitrary personal desires.

This is not only the case with Thelemites, it is a common belief these days. People refuse to accept that ANYONE can be wrong, they absolutely deny any external or absolute factor or standard. This is because from an early age we are pelted with the notion of equality that we feel guilty is anyone is left out or their feelings are hurt. We have to respect everyone without regard to Race, Gender, intelligence, Religion or Politics, this is so driven into our heads that he extreme believer refuses to even acknowledge these factors at all. The refuse even to distinguish True from False, because some one's feelings might get hurt if they are proven wrong or inadequate,

This is an extreme Slave mentality. This is doing what the book of the law warns about, which is compassion for the weak, a refusal to strike low and hard, it is handling everyone with kit gloves as if they might break. This is very unthelemic.

We need some kind of set standards, or else why do we need a book at all, you can believe that the book means ANYTHING you damn well please, then you might as well just write you own book. Why, bother others can read into your book anything they want, why bother talking to anyone, they will not hear what you say, in their world they will decide that you said something totally different.

Thus Thelema does not mean Every man and every woman is an island in their own world where all truth and reality is projected from their minds via interpretation, and we must be very careful to let constantly reaffirm others that their made up personal world is valid, since objective reality will not serve to affirm subjective beliefs on it's own. Thus we have to be SENSITIVE and accept the RIGHT of others to be deluded with their heads up "their own worlds".

A thelemite in a world of such fragile porcelain hippies, is like a bull in the china shop, taking a hammer to the Idols, smashing them with malice and disdain, sneering over the rubble, until one of these does not shatter but resounds a tone. (To borrow a metaphor from Neitzsche) and this one that does not break, this one is a chosen to be put through more and harder ideals. to be tempered by FIRE, and this one becomes a Thelemite. As for the rest of the rabble, A wise man once said "Let the dead bury the dead"


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Patriarch156
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"Camlion" wrote:
Patriarch156, I realize that this calls for some guesswork on your part, but I am wondering what percentage of the total number of people interested in Thelema view it as a religious movement in the way that Crowley did, in your 'guestimation'?

I can only speak of my own experience and I can easily say that seven out of ten people that I have spken with do not really view Thelema as Crowley did. I have however neither met enough Thelemites to make claim that it is a representative group nor conducted any scientific surveys on it and as such it would be folly to attempt to make any generalisations, let alone guestimations.

Whether or not this makes them members of a religious movement or not is entirely a different question (I am only qualifying this because of your insistance of religious, magical and secular Thelema). In fact, thpugh many of them imagine that they are not religious, my impression is that most of them are some of the most religious (and superstitious I might add) persons I have met.

If something looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then more often than not it is a duck.


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 Anonymous
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"Patriarch156" wrote:
If something looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then more often than not it is a duck.

LOL If things were only that simple, and all ducks were that 'self-aware'. Thanks for the reply, Patriarch156.


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Patriarch156
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"Camlion" wrote:
LOL If things were only that simple, and all ducks were that 'self-aware'. Thanks for the reply, Patriarch156.

After having worked as a Clinical Psychologist for over a decade my view is that the avarage human being is about as self-aware as the avarage duck (IMO of course πŸ˜‰ ).


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Azidonis
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"Patriarch156" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
I'm talking of this:

In other words your own take on Thelema which does not really coincide with that of Crowley for whom it was a missionary religion.

Not saying that you can't disagree, only saying that when you are obviously merely referring to your own take on Thelema, perhaps a bit less categorical statements would be more intellectually honest.

93,

I suppose Crowley did have missionary intentions, and you're right I don't agree.

I agree with public Rites and gatherings. I agree with sharing the ideas of Thelema to people. I agree with that unforgetable charge: "He shall everywhere proclaim openly his connection with the A.'. A.'. and speak of It and Its principles (even so little as he understandeth) for that mystery is the enemy of Truth."

I agree with making Thelema available in as many languages, and I agree with establishing Thelema as a major world religion, even though some people may not see it as a religion.

These things may be considered missionary efforts.

I don't agree with going door to door handing out tracts explaining the precepts of Thelema.

I don't agree with the idea of declaring war on people who do not accept the Law of Thelema, unless of course Thelema becomes irrefutably the law of the land in the very broad spectrum. Even in that case, I believe all out war and eradication might be a bit extreme.

I do not believe that other religions should be "demonized" in the manner which other religions have demonized each other throughout history. In such a case, education is the best "attack" instead of demonization.

So I suppose I don't see Thelema as a missionary religion in the extreme sense that Jehovah's Witnesses and Muslim might, what with their door-to-door antics and the jihad, but that might just be me.

I think that if Crowley wanted it to be that way, he might have been able to create such a scene, at which he would have probably died early and as a martyr. Instead, he took to working things in a different way, assuring that he had as much time as possible to "get it all out".

I just don't see an addition to the Probationer or Neophyte Tasks saying explicitly that they must go door-to-door to tell people about Thelema.

93 93/93


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Patriarch156
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"Azidonis" wrote:
I just don't see an addition to the Probationer or Neophyte Tasks saying explicitly that they must go door-to-door to tell people about Thelema.

No instead we have the following update on the demands made on all members of the A.'.A.'. in One Star in Sight:

"They must accept the Crowned and Conquering Child as the Lord of the Aeon, and exert themselves to establish His reign upon Earth."

The main instruction for this is the A.'.A.'. book Liber CCC, which among other things asks one to declare the Law to everyone, including seeking out new people to promulgate it to, giving such fun options as holding social gatherings where the law is read and explained, making children accept the Law of Thelema, promoting the power of the O.T.O. as the vehicle for this kind of work and so on. Incidentially Liber CCC is part of the official curricullum of... yes you guessed it... Probationer..


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Azidonis
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93,

"name538" wrote:
Maybe Guild, would be a better term than Caste.

I agree wholeheartedly, name538. The term Guild can be used more in-line with what you are saying. In college you choose a "major", in which you begin more advanced studies in preparation for initiation into the "Guild" of those who have the same major.

In America, we have Unions as well. They take people in who are interested, train them, etc.

93 93/93


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 Anonymous
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There is no need to force thelema down people's throats. if the OTO for example was set up as Crowley wanted, then people would want to get in, important people would be invited to the proff house and treated to an evening of culture and Thelemic hospitality that would rival 5 star cruise liners. They would be persuaded to join in the efforts or at least to write large checks. In order to be admitted as a member of course one would have to ritually disavow the slave religions at the door. As per the third chapter of the book of the law. T. Polyphilus has an excellent ritual for this on his web site that includes spiting and stomping on one's sacred text, while formally disavowing oneself of them and accepting the mark of the beast.

The idea is that others will see the Thelemic life and will volunteer to join as an escape from the religions of the past and the society that is derived from those principles.


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 Anonymous
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Yes, the important part is I mean more than just economic job training, like it's more than just skill. The guild needs to train one is manners, virtues, beliefs etc. that go with the nature of their work. If one is a chef, one is always a chef and should be seen and understood always as a chef by everyone, taking a note of pride and identity in that social role. He must adhere to strict codes of honor, that anyone passing the grade for chef would rather die than break, and could not be paid enough to sell out his honor. Thus one can be assured that Chef's of the grade will never use inferior ingredients, will never break any sanitation rule, and will strive to do provide the foods to the community which best support their WILL to eat and drink to nourish their bodies properly to the great work.

The official seal and emblem of a chef is his mark of honor and you can trust his food in every way to meet the highest standards of health, tastes and cleanliness, on his honor as a chef of the community which is the WILL to which he has dedicated his every though, word and deed, in service to fortify the individuals of the community to the accomplishment of their unique WILLs which contribute to the great work.


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Azidonis
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"Patriarch156" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
I just don't see an addition to the Probationer or Neophyte Tasks saying explicitly that they must go door-to-door to tell people about Thelema.

No instead we have the following update on the demands made on all members of the A.'.A.'. in One Star in Sight:

"They must accept the Crowned and Conquering Child as the Lord of the Aeon, and exert themselves to establish His reign upon Earth."

The main instruction for this is the A.'.A.'. book Liber CCC, which among other things asks one to declare the Law to everyone, including seeking out new people to promulgate it to, giving such fun options as holding social gatherings where the law is read and explained, making children accept the Law of Thelema, promoting the power of the O.T.O. as the vehicle for this kind of work and so on. Incidentially Liber CCC is part of the official curricullum of... yes you guessed it... Probationer..

93,

Something interesting...

A commonly used Site for links of Libers and such is Hermetic.com

Liber 207 does not contain any Class E documents in its listings.

However, Book 4 does, and I have found a copy online which does, here.

This second version of the Syllabus, though I have no idea why there is a Syllabus that doesn't include the Class E Documents, places Khab Am Pekt, Liber CCC, into Class E.

"Class E consists of manifestoes, broadsides, epistles, and
other public statements."

"LIBER CCC. Khabs Am Pekht.
A special instruction for the Promulgation of the Law. This is
the first and most important duty of every Aspirant of whatever
grade. It builds up in him the Character and Karma which form
the Spine of Attainment."

I am now very curious as to why Hermetic.com does not include the Class E Documents.

Patriarch156, I suppose you are right. (Yes, I said it.) It seems I had become confused consciously with the current state of affairs in Thelema as opposed to the necessary state of affairs. This struck me as I considered your statements, and my own Will in regards to Thelema, and the very reason I am in school for a Religious Studies degree. When people hear that I am going for that degree, the question I am always asked is, "What do you plan to do with it?" I naturally respond that I am taking a minor in English, and plan to use writings, lectures, and such in order to help... promulgate the Law of Thelema (though I use more pragmatic words on that last part).

Perhaps for me, a personal task would be getting over that pragmatic use and sticking the idea of Thelema out into the world, regardless of the outcome.

I chose not to view this from the standpoint of the missionary due to the stereotypes of the word, created by such misuse as the Jehovah's Witnesses, Evangelicals, and the like have given it.

This makes me question three things:

1) I've always questioned Karl Germer's decisions regarding the A:.A:. and O.T.O. In lieu of making any judgments or determinations regarding the actions and choices of a Master, I have simply let the question sit thinking one day I may understand.

2) Marcelo Motta seemed extremely opposed to Christianity. I recall having a copy of his book "Calling the Children of the Sun", which I found to be a really great book. For some reason that is absolutely beyond me (for I take good care of all of my books), I have not been able to find my copy. I suppose that I will find it again once I am able to re-unite with all of my belongings, but one can only hope. Anyway, I have always wondered why he seemed so hell-bent on the utter annihilation of Christianity, and suppose that it was actually a part of his Will to declare that part of the overall mission.

3) I wonder, if and when the Thelema-state actually becomes a living truth, where the A:.A:. System will go... if it will become the forefront model of government, or continue to be a behind the scenes factor. I suppose only time will tell.

Thanks for the "jolt". It's been a while since I've had one...

93 93/93


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 Anonymous
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"name538" wrote:
In order to be admitted as a member of course one would have to ritually disavow the slave

religions at the door. As per the third chapter of the book of the law. T. Polyphilus has an excellent ritual for

this on his web site that includes spiting and stomping on one's sacred text, while formally disavowing oneself of

them and accepting the mark of the beast.

The idea is that others will see the Thelemic life and will volunteer to join as an escape from the religions of

the past and the society that is derived from those principles.

Reality Check, this would be counterproductive and scare others from volunteering "to join" when seeing "the Thelemic life." Why, because showing such disrespect for other religions would end up getting people killed, maimed and/or rejected by their lovede ones, and/or families and/or local communities.

"Patriarch156" wrote:
Research has shown that Religions basically increase their membership through different

means than both their detractors and their supporters believes: that they becomes convinced because of the

doctrines.

Yes, I have seen this mentioned in scholarly literature on the sociology of religions. I have also had this 'confirmed' in talking with Mormon missionaries knocking at my door, them stating that their success rate for converts is mostly only with persons that they before conversion have already developed some social ties with. I think knocking at the doors of strangers is called "cold calling" by the Mormons.

"Patriarch156" wrote:
"... Crowley does what he usually does when he does not want to discuss the unpleasant

aspects of AL, he defers to the Secret Chiefs and declares that he is but a servant of them and has no say in the

matter.

IOWs[= in other words] whether or not he agrees with the [Secret Chiefs' supposed]plans to exterminate most of the

human species or not is a moot question (cf. for a similar take on it in MWT where he basically declares that we

have to accept it because Aiwaz is not asking he is telling us) and one he is not likely to discuss, except refer

people to AL where it is set forth in all its problematic glory.

This is the reason why in the same letter[first letter from Crowley to Grady McMurtry quoted in this source:

http://www.billheidrick.com/tlc2000/tlc0600.htm#ps2 ] he declares: "What we want is the establishment of a

principle; in the same way, the Commander-in-Chief unhesitatingly flings men by the hundred thousand into the jaws

of destruction -- that his cause may triumph. I cannot see much point in pretending to be sorry about it." Hardly

the view of someone who thinks that he has no position in explaining Thelema to others.

This might as well be Crowley making clear that we mere mortals have no position in doing anything about changing the - or "pretending to be sorry about" - the intention[-s] of the Secret Chiefs.

Patriarch156, I hope you realize that what you mention about the usual viwpoint[-s] expressed by Crowley in respect of the unpleasant aspects of of the most holy text of Thelema, The Book of the Law, that of defering "to the Secret Chiefs" and declearing "that he is but a servant of them and has no say in the matter", is something highly problematic to do by an instigating/founding prophet of a religious movement, leaving room for critical/dangerous fatalism among the followers of this prophet.

If this prophet's well documented intentions of establishing political state governments based on his teachings had succeeded in the USA during or shortly after his lifetime, his fatalism in regard to the unpleasant aspects of the most holy text of his religion inspiring the leadership of such an Thelemic USA, would have increased the likelyhood of a "Third World War" during something like the Cuba crisis under the administration of John F. Kennedy.

As for you coming across as well acquainted with many Thelemites, I hope that you have not experienced the great majority of them sharing the fatalism of Thelema's Prophet in respect of the unpleasant aspects of of the most holy text of Thelema.


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Patriarch156
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"Azidonis" wrote:
Something interesting...

A commonly used Site for links of Libers and such is Hermetic.com

Liber 207 does not contain any Class E documents in its listings.

However, Book 4 does, and I have found a copy online which does, here.

Note that the site itself has a Class listing which includes the Class E broadsides etc.: http://hermetic.com/crowley/#class , so it has really nothing to do with the owner of the site themselves πŸ™‚

You bring up however an interesting question, one that has its solution in the publication history of the various book. Book 207 was originally written before the Class E classification existed, since it was originally publicly published in the Equinox I:10. Crowley started writing Class E broadsides and pamphlets after he attained to the Grade of Magus and recognized his duty to promulgate the Law of the world, starting with The Message of the Master Therion which served as his first declaration of his Law to the World.

Consequently we see that in the Equinox III:1 an "A.'.A.'. Curricullum" is offered which includes the writings that is classified as E within that Equinox. Then with the publication of Magick in Theory and Practice nearly a decade later a new and updated "Bibliography and Curriculum of the A.'.A.'." is published which lists the Class E writings alongside the others.

Good to hear your work concerning the promulgation and establishment of the Law of Thelema. We all contribute in whatever way we can as sovereign individuals and in accordance with our own natures and voluntarily taken obligations. Keep up what Karl Germer referred to as "the Greater Great Work." Which brings me to a question of myself, in what way are you questioning Karl Germer's decisions? I am interested but alltogether unclear as to what you meant πŸ™‚

As for your last question, according to the designs of Crowley there is a distinct difference between realizing ones finite will (i.e. what you are fitted for) and your infinite will (attainment). As such the work of the A.'.A.'. would be ever-present and important for those few who have the aptitude and ability to walk that perilious and demanding path.


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 Anonymous
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As an afterthought it might be difficult through research getting any accurate results about what Thelemites or persons attracted to Thelema mean in relation to problematic aspecs of Thelema and/or its most holy text, as many likely would not dare to be open about such controversial subject matters. But then on the other hand, the viewpoints of Telemites in general might be reflected - but I hope they are not - by Patriarch156's impression; "... that most of them [= the "seven out of ten people" that Patriarch156 have spoken with that "do not really view Thelema as Crowley did"] are some of the most religious (and superstitious I might add) persons I have met."

[The quoted and underlined words above are derived from Patriarch156's reply to the following question raised by Camlion: "Patriarch156, I realize that this calls for some guesswork on your part, but I am wondering what percentage of the total number of people interested in Thelema view it as a religious movement in the way that Crowley did, in your 'guestimation'?" In the reply Patriarch156 makes the following clear: "I have however neither met enough Thelemites to make claim that it is a representative group nor conducted any scientific surveys on it and as such it would be folly to attempt to make any generalisations, let alone guestimations."]

If this were to be the case, that is a majority of Thelemites(and/or persons attracted to Thelema) being among the most religious and superstitious of persons, this would likely increase the chance of a significant part of them sharing beliefs similar to Aleister Crowley's belief in some all powerful "Secret Masters" controlling this world, and of them considering such beliefs as an inherent and unproblematic part of Thelema, thus enabling them as 'open' respondents/sources for research on such beliefs among Thelmites and/or persons attracted to Thelema.

As for some of the far out ideas suggested for implementation in the name of Thelema in this thread, like for example "spiting and stomping on one's sacred text" in order to be admitted as a member of a Thelemic organization like for example the O.T.O., they would make for many great field days and pay days among journalists both of the tabloid and the non tabloid kind, in a world where they were to be implemented. And the tabloid kind of journalists would most likely not quote the following verse from the first chapter of the most holy text of Thelema, The Book of The Law:

"56. Expect him not from the East, nor from the West; for from no expected house cometh that child. Aum! All words are sacred and all prophets true; save only that they understand a little; solve the first half of the equation, leave the second unattacked. But thou hast all in the clear light, and some, though not all, in the dark."

Source: http://www.sacred-texts.com/oto/engccxx.htm


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 Anonymous
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"Patriarch156" wrote:
As for your last question, according to the designs of Crowley there is a distinct difference between realizing ones finite will (i.e. what you are fitted for) and your infinite will (attainment). As such the work of the A.'.A.'. would be ever-present and important for those few who have the aptitude and ability to walk that perilious and demanding path.

Nice to see this distinction being made in these forums occasionally by someone other than myself, Patriarch156. I think confusion regarding this is at the root of many a 'difference of opinion' regarding Thelema, here and elsewhere.


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 Anonymous
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"Patriarch156" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
So you envision a catastrophe which will cause people to have to rebuild, and Thelema will emerge from that. I think that pretty much has to happen seeing how Thelema is not a missionary religion.

Depends what you mean by Thelema. If you are talking about the Thelema that Crowley founded and tried to manifest it certainly was a missionary religion. If you however are merely talking about your own particular take on Thelema, then perhaps the use of less categorical terms would be more intellectually honest?

Intellectual honesty would be to realize that no one knows exactly what Crowley intended for Thelema, and that the quoted opinion is one, among many, interpretations of what he intended.

According to Crowley in An Account of the A.'. A.'., he did not start a new religion, but, rather, brought to light an ancient school.

The instructions, Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law, and There is no law above Do what thou wilt, suggests the authority to determine what Thelema "is" rests with each individual. Crowley is not the sole authority. Crowley is not Thelema.

In One Star in Sight it says: "They must accept the Book of the Law as the Word and the Letter of Truth, and the sole Rule of Life.** They must acknowledge the Authority of the Beast 666 and of the Scarlet Woman as in the book it is defined

So, the authority of the Beast 666 is defined in the Book of the Law, yet, according to the Tunis Comment, we are not to discuss the contents of it which makes it kind of hard to use this Liber to interpret Thelema as a mass missionary religious movement.

Also in One Star in Sight we are told "They must accept the Crowned and Conquering Child as the Lord of the Aeon, and exert themselves to establish His reign upon Earth. They must acknowledge that "The word of the Law is Thelema" and that "Love is the law, love under will."

Imo, exert themselves to establish His reign upon Earth refers to personal transformation and not to proselytizing a religious movement.

Following the above quote from One Star ... we read:

Each member must make it his main work to discover for himself his own true will, and to do it, and do nothing else.‑

Well, that's pretty clear, and has nothing to do with being a missionary unless that is one's true will.


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 Anonymous
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"wellredwellbred" wrote:
As an afterthought it might be difficult through research getting any accurate results about what Thelemites or persons attracted to Thelema mean in relation to problematic aspecs of Thelema and/or its most holy text, as many likely would not dare to be open about such controversial subject matters. But then on the other hand, the viewpoints of Telemites in general might be reflected - but I hope they are not - by Patriarch156's impression; "... that most of them [= the "seven out of ten people" that Patriarch156 have spoken with that "do not really view Thelema as Crowley did"] are some of the most religious (and superstitious I might add) persons I have met."

[The quoted and underlined words above are derived from Patriarch156's reply to the following question raised by Camlion: "Patriarch156, I realize that this calls for some guesswork on your part, but I am wondering what percentage of the total number of people interested in Thelema view it as a religious movement in the way that Crowley did, in your 'guestimation'?" In the reply Patriarch156 makes the following clear: "I have however neither met enough Thelemites to make claim that it is a representative group nor conducted any scientific surveys on it and as such it would be folly to attempt to make any generalisations, let alone guestimations."]

If this were to be the case, that is a majority of Thelemites(and/or persons attracted to Thelema) being among the most religious and superstitious of persons, this would likely increase the chance of a significant part of them sharing beliefs similar to Aleister Crowley's belief in some all powerful "Secret Masters" controlling this world, and of them considering such beliefs as an inherent and unproblematic part of Thelema, thus enabling them as 'open' respondents/sources for research on such beliefs among Thelmites and/or persons attracted to Thelema.

wellredwellbred, concerning polling Thelemites to ascertain their views, this is best done in person, one individual at a time, usually over a number years, by someone who is not carrying a clipboard in his hand, if you know what I mean. πŸ˜‰

Also, concerning the irony of many Thelemites being inherently religious (and superstitious) people, even when thinking of themselves and expressing themselves in terms exactly opposite to those, those of rational people vigilantly employing scientific method to their 'madness,' recognizing these contradictory qualities in Thelemites probably requires a great deal of experience them, again, as well as a highly nuanced understanding of the nature of The Beast. It's not something one is likely to grasp from a cursory survey.

But, good luck with your research from one of the lab-rats. πŸ™‚


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Los
 Los
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"zardoz" wrote:
The instructions, Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law, and There is no law above Do what thou wilt, suggests the authority to determine what Thelema "is" rests with each individual.

No, they don't suggest that. They suggest that Thelema is a system of which the central concept is will and in which the *only* law is to follow your will. That's what Thelema *is*. If we can't use evidence to draw conclusions about what Thelema is, then it's nothing at all.

This is the problem that name538 was alluding to earlier on this page -- if "Thelema" is what anyone says it is, then it's completely and totally meaningless. The Comment doesn't mean "never use the Book of the Law to determine what Thelema is" -- that would be the most ridiculous thing ever.

Even in your own post, you're trying to argue about what Thelema *is*, so your argument is self-defeating.

And no, "Thelema" isn't a "missionary religion." Crowley might have conceived of his own personal goal to spread the word of Thelema, and he might have envisioned the goal of several orders to be such, but "Thelema" cannot be equated with those orders or the missions of those orders. Thelema is the thing being spread by those orders -- it's a philosophy of individual conduct rooted in Crowley's interpretation of the Book of the Law.


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 Anonymous
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"zardoz" wrote:
Following the above quote from One Star ... we read:

Each member must make it his main work to discover for himself his own true will, and to do it, and do nothing else.‑

Well, that's pretty clear, and has nothing to do with being a missionary unless that is one's true will.

Z, I believe that, in view of a number of Crowley's other writings, some of which were seemingly intended for his Orders more than for the general public, that AC sought to extend his own Will and mission to 'spread the good Word of Law' through its adherents, by proxy. You think not?

(I know how much you dislike the term "religious movement.") πŸ™‚


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 Anonymous
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"zardoz" wrote:
According to Crowley in An Account of the A.'. A.'., he did not start a new religion, but, rather, brought to light an ancient school.

The instructions, Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law, and There is no law above Do what thou wilt, suggests the authority to determine what Thelema "is" rests with each individual. Crowley is not the sole authority. Crowley is not Thelema.

As for Crowley's authority to explain or lay down the law of Thelema for others, I did not know about him numerous times hiding behind the supremacy of the "Secret Masters", when he wanted to avoid explaining difficult parts of it, before Patriarch156's mention of it in this thread. Crowley possibly either doing this as a rethorical trick, or out of true belief in the supremacy of the "Secret Masters", or a combination of both.

"zardoz" wrote:
Imo, exert themselves to establish His reign upon Earth refers to personal transformation and not to proselytizing a religious movement.

Following the above quote from One Star ... we read:

Each member must make it his main work to discover for himself his own true will, and to do it, and do nothing else.‑

Well, that's pretty clear, and has nothing to do with being a missionary unless that is one's true will.

zardoz, as presented by Patriarch156 in this thread, missionary work in relation to Thelema merely means making information about it available to others, for them to accept or not.


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 Anonymous
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As far as renouncing the slave religions.

"I am inclined to propose that you should prepare a formula, to be presented at your lectures, by which any person can publicly renounce the errors of Christianity and so on, and accept the Law. Such a person should at that time burn a copy of his old β€˜sacred book’, Bible, Mrs. Eddy, or what not, and be marked by you with The Mark of The Beast, to wit, the Acid on the Pulse of the Left Wrist."

AC to CS Jones, April 1, 1919

"You can take outsiders; but everyone who has anything to do with us at all must make a formal renunciation of ideas denounced in AL 49-56. Cap III."

AC to Karl Germer, March 14, 1942


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 Anonymous
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"name538" wrote:
As far as renouncing the slave religions.

"I am inclined to propose that you should prepare a formula, to be presented at your lectures, by which any person can publicly renounce the errors of Christianity and so on, and accept the Law. Such a person should at that time burn a copy of his old β€˜sacred book’, Bible, Mrs. Eddy, or what not, and be marked by you with The Mark of The Beast, to wit, the Acid on the Pulse of the Left Wrist."

AC to CS Jones, April 1, 1919

"You can take outsiders; but everyone who has anything to do with us at all must make a formal renunciation of ideas denounced in AL 49-56. Cap III."

AC to Karl Germer, March 14, 1942

Child's play. Anyone up for a good inquisition at home and a crusade abroad? πŸ˜‰


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ianrons
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You evidently find a lot of Crowley's pronouncements as bizarre and politically naΓ―ve as I do myself. He seemed to want to inculcate his particular and highly personal religious philosophy (and personality cult) above all other considerations, which I find to be the mark of the monomaniac.


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 Anonymous
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In order to do your WILL, you must renounce all thoughts, words and deeds that are not specifically than one selected goal.
Thus if you join the O.T.O. you must give up all affiliation out side of the order, you must accept the book of the law, and renounce all other competition for that book in your heart.

If the wand has anything sticking to it and all that jazz from Book IV part 2.
(Hmm, just kind of occurred to me, I wonder if this was referring to not using certain prophylactic devices?)

What is bazaar about his instruction. He was setting himself up as the Beast from the Apocalypse of John.
It clearly states than followers of the Beast have Forsaken Christ and they can be known by a mark on their wrist, and that in the great city run by the Beast only those who have the mark are admitted to buy and sell.


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ianrons
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name538, what you have described is exactly what all cults seek to do: separate the cult-member from all other connections (esp. religion and family), and divorce him/her from the possibility of rational criticism of the cult leader (the β€œClass β€˜'A’” documents).

I have previously argued, contrary to my earlier statements on this forum, that Thelema is a religion. More pertinently, perhaps: In what way is Thelema not a β€œcult”?


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 Anonymous
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yeah, and it is also what people leaving a sinking ship do, when the people on refuse to believe it is sinking. You have to leave your family behind and cut your heart strings than bind you to that sinking ship, so that you do not jump out of the life boat to be pulled down with the sinking ship, in some irrational last ditch effort to save your family.

"Whoever does not hate his mother and father, can not follow me."
"Let the dead bury the bead, come with me"


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ianrons
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One might as well analogize (absent factual context) that the ship is not sinking and that the person telling you to jump overboard is a lunatic, with an illusory lifeboat. My point is simply that extreme action can only be taken when there is proper forethought and rational consideration, but that Crowley specifically denied the student the right to rationally criticize him and his doctrine.


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 Anonymous
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If you can not see that western industrial consumerism is a sinking ship, and a BIG ONE, that threatens all life on earth. Then I suppose you have a blight in your eye.


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ianrons
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You have now taken a different position which connects Crowley to a position on "industrial consumerism", which (whether he did so or not) is not the point at all. My point is that Crowley denied the student the right to criticize him and his doctrine, hence Thelema takes on cult-like characteristics.

And you seem very willing to jump on the zeitgeist (anti-consumerism) to justify Thelema, but that is to distance the discussion from relevant specifics.


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 Anonymous
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Does your Physics professor allow you to question the law of gravity, or that F=ma?
If you have a professor who lets you arbitrarily and uneducated decide that he is wrong and ignore him, then he can never teach you anything.

Rather like a biology student who claims, NO DR. SMITH, God cerated all life, you are a lier, now I want my A.


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ianrons
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"name538" wrote:
Does your Physics professor allow you to question the law of gravity

It depends on the Professor, and how enlightened he or she is; but of course in science gravity is not a "law" but an hypothesis, and in point of fact Newton's view of gravity has been shown to be merely a special case which doesn't approach accuracy except in certain circumstances; so your example is amusing in some respects.

As for Crowley, there are aspects of his teaching which emphasize his correctness and his superiority, and which are neither rationally nor philosophically justifiable. But if you want to be told what is true, and that you cannot criticize it, then you have found your man.


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Los
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"name538" wrote:
In order to do your WILL, you must renounce all thoughts, words and deeds that are not specifically than one selected goal.
Thus if you join the O.T.O. you must give up all affiliation out side of the order, you must accept the book of the law, and renounce all other competition for that book in your heart.

I mean, this sure does sound like a creepy cult.

Luckily, what you're describing isn't Thelema, but one particular take on one particular hypothetical application of it in one particular secret society.

I've noticed a tendency among some to equate Thelema with particular orders, particular religions (the EGC, for example), and particular politics. Thelema is not any of those things, though it can be consistent with any of those things.


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"Los" wrote:
"zardoz" wrote:
The instructions, Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law, and There is no law above Do what thou wilt, suggests the authority to determine what Thelema "is" rests with each individual.

No, they don't suggest that. They suggest that Thelema is a system of which the central concept is will and in which the *only* law is to follow your will.

It actually does not say, "the *only* law is to follow your will," the word "only" isn't there, it was (made up) added by you. It also doesn't say "follow your will." Those are your interpretations, and you have the authority to define Thelema in this way, slightly different than Crowley.

"Los" wrote:
This is the problem that name538 was alluding to earlier on this page -- if "Thelema" is what anyone says it is, then it's completely and totally meaningless.

This is a bit ironic as name538 seems to think the "correct" version of Thelema is what he dogmatically says it is with not much support to back up many of his interpretations.

"Los" wrote:
The Comment doesn't mean "never use the Book of the Law to determine what Thelema is" -- that would be the most ridiculous thing ever.

The Tunis Comment starts out, after the opening salutation:

"The study of this Book is forbidden. It is wise to destroy this copy after the first reading."

If we are to Obey the prophet! ... as we are told to do in I:32 then it becomes impossible to use Liber Al as a means of penetrating Thelema. I agree that this appears ridiculous. But we are faced with the dilemma to either obey the prophet and destroy the book, or to use our own authority, to think for ourselves, disobey the prophet and study the Book of the Law.

"Los" wrote:
Even in your own post, you're trying to argue about what Thelema *is*, so your argument is self-defeating.

If you read it again, it should be clear that I'm not arguing what Thelema "is" - something I feel would be a pointless waste of time. I'm making the case that Crowley did not set himself up as the sole authority on Thelema. Also, that Thelema is not exclusively, or even primarily, a missionary religion, a point we seem to be in agreement on.


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"wellredwellbred" wrote:
"zardoz" wrote:
According to Crowley in An Account of the A.'. A.'., he did not start a new religion, but, rather, brought to light an ancient school.

The instructions, Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law, and There is no law above Do what thou wilt, suggests the authority to determine what Thelema "is" rests with each individual. Crowley is not the sole authority. Crowley is not Thelema.

As for Crowley's authority to explain or lay down the law of Thelema for others, I did not know about him numerous times hiding behind the supremacy of the "Secret Masters", when he wanted to avoid explaining difficult parts of it, before Patriarch156's mention of it in this thread. Crowley possibly either doing this as a rethorical trick, or out of true belief in the supremacy of the "Secret Masters", or a combination of both.

"zardoz" wrote:
Imo, exert themselves to establish His reign upon Earth refers to personal transformation and not to proselytizing a religious movement.

Following the above quote from One Star ... we read:

Each member must make it his main work to discover for himself his own true will, and to do it, and do nothing else.‑

Well, that's pretty clear, and has nothing to do with being a missionary unless that is one's true will.

zardoz, as presented by Patriarch156 in this thread, missionary work in relation to Thelema merely means making information about it available to others, for them to accept or not.

Ooops, correcting myself. Missionary work in relation to Thelema, as explained by Patriarch156 earlier in this thread merely means "making something known", and not as referred to by me in the earlier posting from me in this thread quoted above in this posting: "... making information about it available to others... ."

"name538" wrote:
As far as renouncing the slave religions. "I am inclined to propose that you should prepare a formula, to be presented at your lectures, by which any person can publicly renounce the errors of Christianity and so on, and accept the Law. Such a person should at that time burn a copy of his old β€˜sacred book’, Bible, Mrs. Eddy, or what not, and be marked by you with The Mark of The Beast, to wit, the Acid on the Pulse of the Left Wrist."

AC to CS Jones, April 1, 1919

There is bound to be somebody around who in line with the above quoted statement from A. Crowley, have 'The Mark of The Beast' on the left wrist.

Now this would might not be a significant part of the "Thelema-like qualities of Thelema", but would none the less showe a sign of some - past or present - hardcore dedication to it. πŸ˜€

"ianrons" wrote:
In what way is Thelema not a β€œcult”?

Not being or having been a Thelemite, I can hardly answer your question ianrons, but in line with the subjet of this thread being "Thelema-like qualities of Thelema?", I hope you ianrons as an ex Thelemite, will answer the following question:

Is the "cult"-quality of Thelema one of the "Thelema-like qualities of Thelema" for you, in other words, is the "cult"-quality an inherent part of Thelema for you?


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 Anonymous
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"zardoz" wrote:
It actually does not say, "the *only* law is to follow your will," the word "only" isn't there, it was (made up) added by you.

So "There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt" actually means "There are, or may be, plenty of laws beyond Do what thou wilt", then?

"zardoz" wrote:
It also doesn't say "follow your will."

Right. Clearly only a lunatic could equate "Do what thou wilt" with "follow your will". Whatever are these people thinking, eh?

"zardoz" wrote:
I'm making the case that Crowley did not set himself up as the sole authority on Thelema.

"I lay claim to be the sole authority competent to decide disputed points with regard to the Book of the Law" - Aleister Crowley

"ianrons" wrote:
In what way is Thelema not a β€œcult”?

In the way that its supposed cult-leader has been dead for over sixty years.


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 Anonymous
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"Camlion" wrote:
Z, I believe that, in view of a number of Crowley's other writings, some of which were seemingly intended for his Orders more than for the general public, that AC sought to extend his own Will and mission to 'spread the good Word of Law' through its adherents, by proxy. You think not?

(I know how much you dislike the term "religious movement.") πŸ™‚

93 Cam,

I agree, the communication of his ideas was of paramount importance to Crowley, hence his self-publishing, among many other methods. And yes, he does float the idea of a new religion and sometimes uses a religious context for those types predisposed to religion. But in the context of the totality of his writings, the religious angle seems only one among many, and not a particularly dominant one, at least in terms of a mass religious movement.
Crowley's last two major works, The Book of Thoth, and Magick Without Tears barely mention religions at all.


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"Erwin" wrote:
"zardoz" wrote:
It actually does not say, "the *only* law is to follow your will," the word "only" isn't there, it was (made up) added by you.

So "There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt" actually means "There are, or may be, plenty of laws beyond Do what thou wilt", then?

What it "actually means" is open to interpretation. My interpretation of "There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt" is that are other laws that are not beyond Do what thou wilt. I'm not sure where the word "only" gets hallucinated.

"Erwin" wrote:
"zardoz" wrote:
It also doesn't say "follow your will."

Right. Clearly only a lunatic could equate "Do what thou wilt" with "follow your will". Whatever are these people thinking, eh?

They were probably not thinking at all being to busy reacting by making sarcastic comments with zero information content. "Follow your will" is easily misinterpreted as "do what you want," even easier than it is to misinterpret "Do what thou wilt..."

"Erwin" wrote:
"zardoz" wrote:
I'm making the case that Crowley did not set himself up as the sole authority on Thelema.

"I lay claim to be the sole authority competent to decide disputed points with regard to the Book of the Law" - Aleister Crowley

Where is this taken from? I'd like to see the context before addressing this point.


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 Anonymous
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"ianrons" wrote:
but that Crowley specifically denied the student the right to rationally criticize him and his doctrine.

I'm sure you can find a quote to substantiate your statement. Crowley contradicted himself quite a bit, possibly as a means for students to not blindly and unquestioningly accept everything he said, but rather to learn to think for themselves. Liber Oz clearly and unequivocally allows criticism of himself and his doctrine.


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 Anonymous
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"zardoz" wrote:
My interpretation of "There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt" is that are other laws that are not beyond Do what thou wilt.

Your "interpretation" is mad as a brush, then. I suppose your "interpretation" of "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law" is that there are some other laws that are only part of the Law, then?

The propensity of some folks for completely reversing the meaning of some plain and simple words when it suits them is astounding.

"zardoz" wrote:
I'm not sure where the word "only" gets hallucinated.

No, I really don't think you are.

"zardoz" wrote:
Where is this taken from? I'd like to see the context before addressing this point.

The Equinox of the Gods. You know the one, Crowley's well-known, late-in-life, definitive statement regarding the reception and import of The Book of the Law, and all that. Coincidentally, given your earlier remarks, it comes soon after:

"Where the text is simple straightforward English, I shall not seek, or allow, any interpretation at variance with it."

and just before:

"my award is therefore absolute without appeal."


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 Anonymous
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"zardoz" wrote:
"Camlion" wrote:
Z, I believe that, in view of a number of Crowley's other writings, some of which were seemingly intended for his Orders more than for the general public, that AC sought to extend his own Will and mission to 'spread the good Word of Law' through its adherents, by proxy. You think not?

(I know how much you dislike the term "religious movement.") πŸ™‚

93 Cam,

I agree, the communication of his ideas was of paramount importance to Crowley, hence his self-publishing, among many other methods. And yes, he does float the idea of a new religion and sometimes uses a religious context for those types predisposed to religion. But in the context of the totality of his writings, the religious angle seems only one among many, and not a particularly dominant one, at least in terms of a mass religious movement.
Crowley's last two major works, The Book of Thoth, and Magick Without Tears barely mention religions at all.

"ianrons" wrote:
You evidently find a lot of Crowley's pronouncements as bizarre and politically naΓ―ve as I do myself.

Z and Ian, I try to keep a holistic view of Crowley in focus, using a broader lens than some others do, rather than to extrapolate selectively from him and then just deny the rest. This way I manage to judge what was wise, what was naive, etc, in as balanced a way as possible for myself. Would Crowley approve of my style? I doubt it. I suspect that he would approve of the more overtly religious take on Thelema, until he saw how much it narrowed the overall appeal of Thelema, then he might think again, or perhaps not. πŸ™‚


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 Anonymous
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PS to my last, it should read "rather than to extrapolate selectively from him and then just deny huge portions of the man's total makeup and output." (Missed my edit time limit.)


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 Anonymous
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The following quotes below are from a posting posted May 19, 2010 - 11:20 PM on page five in the thread, by Patriarch156, in reply to my following question:

"Are there other religions with the 'non preaching' quality of Thelema that you also mention, that - in a sociologically significant sense - are expanding fast in terms of membership numbers?."

"Patriarch156" wrote:
The findings of Rodney Stark (among others) indicates that religions manage to gain success to the extent that they adhere to a ten-factor model. Among these factors are of course missionary work of one kind or another, but the chief factor involved is making something known which generates the possibility of creating social ties with the new community. Bribing, preaching and doctrine itself has very little to do with it.
"Patriarch156" wrote:
Whether or not his adherents actually followed up on the kind of religion he envisioned (but in practice to his own constant whining lament never followed through with) is another question of course, and the answer would be no which explains to a large extent the anemic state that Thelema still exists in after nearly hundred years of existence. But the fact remains, the kind of Thelema Crowley envisioned fulfills nine out of the ten factors, even if the kind of Thelema that a nearly everyone I have met adheres to filfils barely one if that. So it is no wonder that we are met with failure, in fact the most successful model for predicting success among new religious movements predicts so.

From the above two quotes can on the one hand be derived that an inherent quality of Crowley's envisioned Thelema, is that it fulfills nine out of ten factors in a research proven ten-factor model for managing to gain success.

On the other hand can from the last of the above two quotes be derived that an inherent quality in "the kind of Thelema that a nearly everyone" Patriarch156 "have met adheres to filfils barely one if that", of the ten factors in a research proven ten-factor model for managing to gain success.

In respect of this thread's title "Thelema-like qualities of Thelema?", and of what was just derived from the two quotes above, Thelema very vidly defined, seems to similarily contain among its qualities, nearly all of the qualities required for it to succeed as a mass movement, and nearly non of the qualities required for it to succeed as a mass movement.

Go figure.:idea::?:


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 Anonymous
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"Erwin" wrote:
"zardoz" wrote:
My interpretation of "There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt" is that are other laws that are not beyond Do what thou wilt.

Your "interpretation" is mad as a brush, then. I suppose your "interpretation" of "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law" is that there are some other laws that are only part of the Law, then?

It's not that hard to understand. There are obviously many other laws, legal, religious, or otherwise. Do what thou wilt is beyond them all, ie it is supreme. If Aiwass meant to say Do what thou wilt is the only law he could have said it. It obviously isn't the only law. That it shall be the whole of the Law refers to law in a different way, with a different meaning, by the fact that it's capitalized. I don't find this a particularly mad interpretation.

"Erwin" wrote:
The Equinox of the Gods. You know the one, Crowley's well-known, late-in-life, definitive statement regarding the reception and import of The Book of the Law, and all that. Coincidentally, given your earlier remarks, it comes soon after:

"Where the text is simple straightforward English, I shall not seek, or allow, any interpretation at variance with it."

and just before:

"my award is therefore absolute without appeal."

I'll have to find the whole passage and read it before responding.


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 Anonymous
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"zardoz" wrote:
It's not that hard to understand. There are obviously many other laws, legal, religious, or otherwise. Do what thou wilt is beyond them all, ie it is supreme. If Aiwass meant to say Do what thou wilt is the only law he could have said it.

Putting aside this rather odious and juvenile tendency some people have to say "Aiwass said" and "Aiwass meant", your own argument turns against you. If "Aiwass" had meant to say there are plenty of laws, but none of them are more important than "Do what thou wilt", he'd have said so, but he didn't. The simple fact that a particular passage is not worded quite to your satisfaction doesn't automatically make any interpretation you choose to come out with correct.

The fact is that when you take:

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

and

"There is no law beyond Do what you wilt. Do that, and no other shall say nay."

and

"Thou hast no right but to do thy will"

together, along with Crowley's extensive commentaries, the only sensible reading is that there is only one law, and that law is "Do what thou wilt". Any other "interpretation" is stretching the use of language language beyond breaking point, and amounts to a statement that you're going to decide The Book of the Law means what you want it to mean regardless of what it actually says. There are certainly cases where people may legitimately come to different interpretations on a particular passage in a particular book, but there are also plenty of cases where they can't, and this is one of the latter.

"zardoz" wrote:
It obviously isn't the only law.

Well of course it's not the only "law", but what is or is not the only law is not the issue, here - the issue is what The Book of the Law says, rightly or wrongly. There is obviously no god, too, but that doesn't mean I can legitimately pronounce the Bible to mean something completely different from what it appears to mean.

"zardoz" wrote:
I don't find this a particularly mad interpretation.

OK. I acknowledge that you don't find it mad. I do. There's not much more I can add, really.

"zardoz" wrote:
I'll have to find the whole passage and read it before responding.

It's right at the end of Chapter 7, in the section that begins "I conclude by laying down the principles of Exegesis on which I have based my comment."


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Azidonis
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93,

"wellredwellbred" wrote:
As an afterthought it might be difficult through research getting any accurate results about what Thelemites or persons attracted to Thelema mean in relation to problematic aspecs of Thelema and/or its most holy text, as many likely would not dare to be open about such controversial subject matters. But then on the other hand, the viewpoints of Telemites in general might be reflected - but I hope they are not - by Patriarch156's impression; "... that most of them [= the "seven out of ten people" that Patriarch156 have spoken with that "do not really view Thelema as Crowley did"] are some of the most religious (and superstitious I might add) persons I have met."

[The quoted and underlined words above are derived from Patriarch156's reply to the following question raised by Camlion: "Patriarch156, I realize that this calls for some guesswork on your part, but I am wondering what percentage of the total number of people interested in Thelema view it as a religious movement in the way that Crowley did, in your 'guestimation'?" In the reply Patriarch156 makes the following clear: "I have however neither met enough Thelemites to make claim that it is a representative group nor conducted any scientific surveys on it and as such it would be folly to attempt to make any generalisations, let alone guestimations."]

If this were to be the case, that is a majority of Thelemites(and/or persons attracted to Thelema) being among the most religious and superstitious of persons, this would likely increase the chance of a significant part of them sharing beliefs similar to Aleister Crowley's belief in some all powerful "Secret Masters" controlling this world, and of them considering such beliefs as an inherent and unproblematic part of Thelema, thus enabling them as 'open' respondents/sources for research on such beliefs among Thelmites and/or persons attracted to Thelema.

As for some of the far out ideas suggested for implementation in the name of Thelema in this thread, like for example "spiting and stomping on one's sacred text" in order to be admitted as a member of a Thelemic organization like for example the O.T.O., they would make for many great field days and pay days among journalists both of the tabloid and the non tabloid kind, in a world where they were to be implemented. And the tabloid kind of journalists would most likely not quote the following verse from the first chapter of the most holy text of Thelema, The Book of The Law:

"56. Expect him not from the East, nor from the West; for from no expected house cometh that child. Aum! All words are sacred and all prophets true; save only that they understand a little; solve the first half of the equation, leave the second unattacked. But thou hast all in the clear light, and some, though not all, in the dark."

Source: http://www.sacred-texts.com/oto/engccxx.htm

In the case of Patriarch's statement on the number of Thelemites he as met, it's really a moot point. He stated that he recognized it as uncogent argument, even though it is a strong one.

Just thought I'd put that out there.

93 93/93


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"Erwin" wrote:
"zardoz" wrote:
It's not that hard to understand. There are obviously many other laws, legal, religious, or otherwise. Do what thou wilt is beyond them all, ie it is supreme. If Aiwass meant to say Do what thou wilt is the only law he could have said it.

Putting aside this rather odious and juvenile tendency some people have to say "Aiwass said" and "Aiwass meant", your own argument turns against you. If "Aiwass" had meant to say there are plenty of laws, but none of them are more important than "Do what thou wilt", he'd have said so, but he didn't. The simple fact that a particular passage is not worded quite to your satisfaction doesn't automatically make any interpretation you choose to come out with correct.

The fact is that when you take:

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

and

"There is no law beyond Do what you wilt. Do that, and no other shall say nay."

and

"Thou hast no right but to do thy will"

together, along with Crowley's extensive commentaries, the only sensible reading is that there is only one law, and that law is "Do what thou wilt". Any other "interpretation" is stretching the use of language language beyond breaking point, and amounts to a statement that you're going to decide The Book of the Law means what you want it to mean regardless of what it actually says. There are certainly cases where people may legitimately come to different interpretations on a particular passage in a particular book, but there are also plenty of cases where they can't, and this is one of the latter.

"zardoz" wrote:
It obviously isn't the only law.

Well of course it's not the only "law", but what is or is not the only law is not the issue, here - the issue is what The Book of the Law says, rightly or wrongly. There is obviously no god, too, but that doesn't mean I can legitimately pronounce the Bible to mean something completely different from what it appears to mean.

"zardoz" wrote:
I don't find this a particularly mad interpretation.

OK. I acknowledge that you don't find it mad. I do. There's not much more I can add, really.

"zardoz" wrote:
I'll have to find the whole passage and read it before responding.

It's right at the end of Chapter 7, in the section that begins "I conclude by laying down the principles of Exegesis on which I have based my comment."

zardos, you can read what Erwin is referring you to for free online following this hyperlink:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/7305438/The-Equinox-of-the-Gods

I can read it when using Firefox, and the relevant passage starts at the bottom of page 38.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 53 years ago
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"Azidonis" wrote:
93,

"wellredwellbred" wrote:
As an afterthought it might be difficult through research getting any accurate results about what Thelemites or persons attracted to Thelema mean in relation to problematic aspecs of Thelema and/or its most holy text, as many likely would not dare to be open about such controversial subject matters. But then on the other hand, the viewpoints of Telemites in general might be reflected - but I hope they are not - by Patriarch156's impression; "... that most of them [= the "seven out of ten people" that Patriarch156 have spoken with that "do not really view Thelema as Crowley did"] are some of the most religious (and superstitious I might add) persons I have met."

[The quoted and underlined words above are derived from Patriarch156's reply to the following question raised by Camlion:
"Patriarch156, I realize that this calls for some guesswork on your part, but I am wondering what percentage of the total number of people interested in Thelema view it as a religious movement in the way that Crowley did, in your 'guestimation'?" In the reply Patriarch156 makes the following clear: "I have however neither met enough Thelemites to make claim that it is a representative group nor conducted any scientific surveys on it and as such it would be folly to attempt to make any generalisations, let alone guestimations."]

If this were to be the case, that is a majority of Thelemites(and/or persons attracted to Thelema) being among the most religious and superstitious of persons, this would likely increase the chance of a significant part of them sharing beliefs similar to Aleister Crowley's belief in some all powerful "Secret Masters" controlling this world, and of them considering such beliefs as an inherent and unproblematic part of Thelema, thus enabling them as 'open' respondents/sources for research on such beliefs among Thelmites and/or persons attracted to Thelema.

As for some of the far out ideas suggested for implementation in the name of Thelema in this thread, like for example "spiting and stomping on one's sacred text" in order to be admitted as a member of a Thelemic organization like for example the O.T.O., they would make for many great field days and pay days among journalists both of the tabloid and the non tabloid kind, in a world where they were to be implemented. And the tabloid kind of journalists would most likely not quote the following verse from the first chapter of the most holy text of Thelema, The Book of The Law:

"56. Expect him not from the East, nor from the West; for from no expected house cometh that child. Aum! All words are sacred and all prophets true; save only that they understand a little; solve the first half of the equation, leave the second unattacked. But thou hast all in the clear light, and some, though not all, in the dark."
Source: http://www.sacred-texts.com/oto/engccxx.htm

In the case of Patriarch's statement on the number of Thelemites he as met, it's really a moot point. He stated that he recognized it as uncogent argument, even though it is a strong one.

Just thought I'd put that out there.

93 93/93

You most certainly are right in what you are pointing out at the end of the quote above, Azidonis.

But on the other hand, Patriarch156's argument - mentioned in the quote at the bottom of this posting - about the kind of Thelema Crowley envisioned fulfilling nine out of ten factors in a research proven ten-factor model for managing to gain success, success in terms of becoming a mass movement, this argument is presented both as a congent or valid argument, and as an argument having much practical significance or relevance.

In connection with the just mentioned valid, practically significant and relevant argument, is also added as an observation - also mentioned in the quote at the bottom of this posting - that nearly all of the Thelemites Patriarch156 have met, adhers to a kind of Thelema that "filfils barely one if that" of the already mentioned research proven ten-factor model for managing to gain success, success in terms of becoming a mass movement.

If Patriach156's just mentioned observation were to through extensive research be documented, this would with a higher degree of accuracy, get closer to nailing down a lack of nearly all of the scientifically proven qualities required for a movement to succeed as a mass movement, to be an inherent quality in the kind of Thelema common or popular among the greater majority of current Thelemites and/or persons attracted to Thelema.

Thus "my"* hypothesis is, that an inherent quality in the kind of Thelema common or popular among the greater majority of current Thelemites and/or persons attracted to Thelema, is a lack of nearly all of the scientifically proven qualities required for a movement to succeed as a mass movement. A hypothesis that it should be possible to confirm through extensive research, even by researchers "carrying a clipboard" Camlion ;), and without making the respondents/sources feeling to much like "lab-rats." πŸ™‚

*By the way, such research would likely have to contain a note of thanks to Patriach156, for inspiring it.

"wellredwellbred" wrote:
The following quotes below are from a posting posted May 19, 2010 - 11:20 PM on page five in the thread, by Patriarch156, in reply to my following question:

"Are there other religions with the 'non preaching' quality of Thelema that you also mention, that - in a sociologically significant sense - are expanding fast in terms of membership numbers?."

"Patriarch156" wrote:
The findings of Rodney Stark (among others) indicates that religions manage to gain success to the extent that they adhere to a ten-factor model. Among these factors are of course missionary work of one kind or another, but the chief factor involved is making something known which generates the possibility of creating social ties with the new community. Bribing, preaching and doctrine itself has very little to do with it.
"Patriarch156" wrote:
Whether or not his adherents actually followed up on the kind of religion he envisioned (but in practice to his own constant whining lament never followed through with) is another question of course, and the answer would be no which explains to a large extent the anemic state that Thelema still exists in after nearly hundred years of existence. But the fact remains, the kind of Thelema Crowley envisioned fulfills nine out of the ten factors, even if the kind of Thelema that a nearly everyone I have met adheres to filfils barely one if that. So it is no wonder that we are met with failure, in fact the most successful model for predicting success among new religious movements predicts so.

From the above two quotes can on the one hand be derived that an inherent quality of Crowley's envisioned Thelema, is that it fulfills nine out of ten factors in a research proven ten-factor model for managing to gain success.

On the other hand can from the last of the above two quotes be derived that an inherent quality in "the kind of Thelema that a nearly everyone" Patriarch156 "have met adheres to filfils barely one if that", of the ten factors in a research proven ten-factor model for managing to gain success. In respect of this thread's title "Thelema-like qualities of Thelema?", and of what was just derived from the two quotes above, Thelema very vidly defined, seems to similarily contain among its qualities, nearly all of the qualities required for it to succeed as a mass movement, and nearly non of the qualities required for it to succeed as a mass movement.

Go figure.:idea::?:


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 Anonymous
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You still have to understand that WILL means something more like Niche or the inertial of your physical body, rather than what you feel, think or believe you like to do or is right for you to do.

WILL basically means what your determined mechanical course is than is set out by nature and you as the result of the zeitgeist as a whole.

You can either admit that determined niche and work with it, or ignore it and work against it, trying to do what you want to do rather than what you are fated to do. Of course your niche is not strict and allows some deviation and variance, which you are totally free to follow those orbital eccentricities, however no matter what you can not physically move beyond your orbits limits, or else you risk, death, madness, disease, pain, and other problems than push you back in your place, or KILL you thus ending your WILL all together.


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 Anonymous
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"...For Freedom is not found in looseness and lack of governance, but in the right ruling of each individual of the common weal so as to assure his own well-being no less than that of the whole. And this effect is to be won by perfect organization under the eye of an Intelligence adequate to comprehend the general and the particular need together" (Heart of the Master)

"Yet hearken again; the opposition of two movements is not always evidence of conflict or error. For two opposite points upon the rim of a wheel move one North, the other South; yet are they harmonious parts of the same system. And the rowlock which resisteth the oar hindereth not but aideth the True Will of that oar."

So then if it is the Work of the Oar to know itself and the rowlock also to know it's own nature. Then if Oar and rowlock never meet, and each knows not the other. Who then but the Master, whom has taken the sorrow of the world unto himself, shall feel the unfulfilled aspiration of both Oar and rowlock, and with his attainment to understanding discern the nature of that sorrow, that he may in his Wisdom Guide each to unite with it's Correlate in Love under WILL.

Shall it be considered a bright on the liberty of the Oar to be placed in a caste that moves ships and not as a saw to fell the trees?

Shall we consider the master a tyrant, who forces Oar and Lock from the total liberty to waste their days in unsatisfying trysts with inappropriate partners which frustrate rather than compliment each other's WILLs?


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