Home Forums Thelema Thelema Do you belong to a Thelemic order?

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  • #99343
    Profile photo of Francis
    Francis
    Participant

    I’m curious if most people here belong
    to a Thelemic group/order or if most approach Thelema independently?
    It would also be interesting to hear people’s views on the benefits and downfalls of both approaches (belonging to a organized Thelemic group or going it alone).

    #99350
    Profile photo of Shiva
    Shiva
    Participant

    “The OTO is a serious and secret Order …”

    So you might not get responses from a lot of OTO members.

    Many A.’.A.’. members choose to remain obscure in their affiliation. Not that there’s an Oath of Secrecy, but simply because they’re smart. Aside from the Family being “Public Enemy #1,” the rest of society is lined up as #2.

    The Path is associated with the 4 powers of the Sphinx, and #4 is “to remain Silent.”

    These are the numbers that indicate you might not get an accurate confession or a true response.

    #99357
    Profile photo of Francis
    Francis
    Participant

    Thanks for your response, I appreciate it.
    Seems a bit confusing to me that
    People would feel they can’t respond when no one would really know who they are by the names they use here.

    #99358
    Profile photo of Shiva
    Shiva
    Participant

    It shouldn’t be confusing, but then we are living in a world of duality.

    #99359
    Profile photo of Francis
    Francis
    Participant

    Crowley wanted Thelemites to greet other Thelemites and non Thelemites with the greeting
    Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Love is the law, love under will.
    This says to me that we should be expressing the law to all we meet.
    So why be fearful of identifying oneself as a Thelemite on a site such as this?

    #99360
    Profile photo of Michael Staley
    Michael Staley
    Participant

    So why be fearful of identifying oneself as a Thelemite on a site such as this?

    It’s not a question of being “fearful”, Francis; some people prefer to work in silence and secrecy, that’s all.

    I’ve belonged to an Order since early 1976, when becoming a member of what was then known as the “Typhonian O.T.O.”. It wasn’t a question of deciding whether or not joining an Order was advantageous or beneficial; we don’t always have rational or logical reasons for doing things. Rather, I simply felt attracted by the Order. The first two volumes of Kenneth Grant’s Typhonian Trilogies had appeared; they excited and inspired me. One of my friends was already a member of the Order, and another friend knew Grant well. I’ve been there ever since, man and boy, and anticipate remaining in situ until the Grim Reaper comes calling.

    #99361
    Profile photo of Francis
    Francis
    Participant

    Thanks for the feedback Michael 😀
    I understand your point and appreciate you taking the time to explain.

    #99362
    Profile photo of Francis
    Francis
    Participant

    93 Michael,
    That’s really interesting about you being involved with Thelema
    From back in the 70’s.
    I’m always fascinated when I hear
    Of Thelemites back in the day.
    Things must have been so different back then before the Internet.
    I’m sure searching for books must have been no easy task.
    I’m really grateful to you guys for carrying the torch for those of us to come.
    I should really do some reading of Grant’s.
    Would you recommend anything in particular?
    So, I read there was some controversy with your group back in the day.
    I’m pretty open minded to exploring different Thelemic perspectives.
    Well, it was really good to hear from you, and maybe I’ll hear from you again if you recommend something of Grant’s for me to read.
    93 93 /93

    #99363
    Profile photo of Jamie J Barter
    Jamie J Barter
    Participant

    I’ve belonged to an Order since early 1976, when becoming a member of what was then known as the “Typhonian O.T.O.”. … I’ve been there ever since, man and boy, and anticipate remaining in situ until the Grim Reaper comes calling.
    “Man and boy”, Michael? But I thought the Typhonian O.T.O. had a policy where they did not admit anyone under the age of eighteen? Also, if you were born in May 1951, that would not exactly make you a boy on entry but a strapping young man of around twenty five! (Actually I cannot speak for the physicality of your state, but conjecture you may have been so strapping at that time)

    I’m curious if most people here belong to a Thelemic group/order or if most approach Thelema independently? It would also be interesting to hear people’s views on the benefits and downfalls of both approaches (belonging to a organized Thelemic group or going it alone)
    Francis, I’m curious as to what you understand is meant by a “Thelemic group/ order” or an “organized Thelemic group”. Would you perhaps care to define your terms here and how it might be possible to “organize” a collective group made up from and consisting of individual people’s sovereign true wills?

    Norma N Joy Conquest

    #99366
    Profile photo of Francis
    Francis
    Participant

    Francis, I’m curious as to what you understand is meant by a “Thelemic group/ order” or an “organized Thelemic group”. Would you perhaps care to define your terms here and how it might be possible to “organize” a collective group made up from and consisting of individual people’s sovereign true wills?

    Sorry i didn’t make myself clear.
    I was asking about Thelemic groups/Orders such as the O.T.O.
    You know, working with or associating with a formal group as opposed to buying and reading Thelemic books and finding one’s way on their own.

    #99367
    Profile photo of Shiva
    Shiva
    Participant

    Francis: So why be fearful of identifying oneself as a Thelemite on a site such as this?”

    Fear is a pathogenic state of consciousness, associated with the Kidney (life force, sex drive, nervous system) that is not rational and is not based on reality. “Oh, what if I were to fall down and accidentally kill someone else?” “Oh, what if the government is to collapse and my dog will run away?” Fearful, suspicious, potential events are imagined, but not rooted in real events. Paranoia is the ultimate example, with Paranoid Schizophrenia being the part where they take you away. It’s all illusion. Except the going away involuntarily for some medication and rest.

    Fright is a pathogenic state of consciousness, associated ith the Kidney (life, sex, nerves, adrenaline), and the Heart (Consciousness), that is quite rational and is based on harsh, dangerous reality. “Oh, I have epilepsy and I’m falling down and pushing someone else over a cliff! “Oh, the government is collapsing right now [I live in Venezuela or Syria] and my dog is actually running away right now … in front of a car.” Fright (shock), and life-threatening events are not imagined, but are based on bad news in real events. Paranoia does not apply, because they are really after you, It’s all factual and happening in real time.

    Note that this site uses usernames (some use real civil names). If the CIA or the FBI or Interpol or MI5-6 or The Church of Scientology or some other agency or agent wants to find out who any Harpocrates or Aleister418-666-93 is, I believe they could do it easily enough.

    Cause-and-Effect, coupled with a lengthy period of time, teaches caution, based on fright (If you push your point too strongly, the Establishment will come to get you).

    “So, I read there was some controversy with your group back in the day.”

    I ask you to name one group, back in the day or here and now, that is Thelemic, that was not (or is not) involved in some controversy, or illegality, or torts.

    It’s part of the game. The adverserial relationship of the group with the Establishment is written into every OTO degree (At least in the A.’.A.’. rites the adversaries are Crocodiles and Snakes). People go through these rites, perhaps enhanced by some magical potion [probably illegal], and if the rite “takes,” then the candidate finds himself or herself in a controversial situation that is eerily reminiscent of the initiation ceremony that they had undertaken.

    The answer to your question will be gained by saying Do what thou wilt … to every stranger you meet, and giving a copy of Liber AL to all your family members, friends, business associates, and strangers, wherever they are and whoever they be. Then, couple that with taking, say, the third-degree of OTO, or try the Tuat 2=9 self-initiation rite, with some legal libation. Do all that for one year, and then get back here with a report of why you might be hesitant to say anything.

    Now there are exceptions. There are seasoned folks like Michael (who does book work and seems otherwise distant from the Establishment) and myself (who is retired and so far removed from society that it doesn’t matter anymore) and Jamie (who has bee the Ringmaster in the Circus, and now seems to be but loosely attached to Metropolis), who have been around a long time. It is no secret that I was the Architect and Grand Secretary General <hip, hip, hooray) of what was known in the 60s as Solar Lodge OTO, a clandestine Order that was financially successful and business-like superior to almost anything else. We also were the only Order (to my knowledge) that used OTO rites, but required completion of the corresponding A.’.A.’. tasks of the grades in order to advance to the next degree.

    We ran into BIG-TIME trouble with the Establishment. Not that we didn’t cause it ourselves. There were premature deaths, people sat in jails for months. Traitors within the group became “witnesses” and told lies … and then recanted those lies (on TV, no less) after they were safely away.

    This cannot be avoided. Crowley wrote that everyone must pass through the circus of banging drums and clanging symbols (a loose quotation). (More on this below).

    Jamie: ‘“Man and boy”, Michael?’

    Anal-ysis: Heckling; Grammar and style nitpicking. In fact, I believe he lied about his age when he joined Typhonia, and he was just a “lad” of thirteen.

    Francis: “… as opposed to buying and reading Thelemic books and finding one’s way on their own.”

    This is an interesting point. It is my observation and hypothesis that nobody gets set properly on their spiritual path without a mentor of some sort. Call it guru, Master, Teacher, Link, or whatever. In the written histories of various Adepts and Magisters, every one of them had a somebody (or a chain, or an Order) that helped them through the early stages. I know of no exceptions … except one (Sai Baba, who was an Avatar and thus needed no teacher, being born “fully awake”), and one questionable (Jack Schwarz, who seemingly had no teacher, but who was born “fully awake” also). Both these fellows displayed unusual metaphysical talents as children. Man and boy.

    So unless you’ve been birthed “fully awake,” and don’t lose it, then there’ll be a teacher or a initiator or a guru waiting for you.

    I have a student, right now, in my martial arts class, and also in the Sirius lineage. She has never had a teacher or joined a group. She learned to astral project by “stopping the internal dialog” as written in Carlos Castaneda’s book(s). She has conversations with her Angel. Is this an Adept?

    Well, she can astral project by “stepping out” and being whirled away to some unknown vortex, but she cannot control her flight at all. After flunking a “sample” astral projection test for Sirius 4, she had to admit that she had no control. She is 71 years old, and just realized that there was such a thing as controlled flight.

    Her Angel appears as some dark threatening entity. The info and guidance seems good, but the relationship is somehow clouded.

    Of course, once you make your connection at Tiphereth, you’re on your own. All that stuff in One Star in Sight about Major Adepts supporting and transmitting Exempt Adept’s energy is theoretical (unless applied inwardly to one’s own Mars and Jupiter).

    Anyone please add to this short list if they know of anybody who “attained” without the aid of a mentor in the early stages. Please identify any candidates as to whether they were born “fully awake” and never lost it (Avatars) … or not.

    Well, this has been fun, but I need to go on to the holier place.

    #99369
    Profile photo of Michael Staley
    Michael Staley
    Participant

    I’m sure searching for books must have been no easy task.

    Well, it was different. One way was to register your interest in a title with a search company. They’d often locate it for you, at a premium of course, but really not an outrageous sum. I had a friend who used to scour second-hand bookshops up and down the country. He found me a copy of the 1962 Liber Aleph for £5, and a 1936 copy of The Equinox of the Gods for £35. Though significant sums of money in those days (the early 1970s), they were probably cheaper than they are now. Bargains are rarer these days; any bookseller can check their stock via ABEBooks, Amazon, ebay etc and ascertain the going rate.

    I should really do some reading of Grant’s. Would you recommend anything in particular?

    I’d recommend starting with the first volume of the series, The Magical Revival, and working through the series in sequence. Grant’s books are each fairly self-contained, but they grow more complex as the series progresses. My own favourites are the final trilogy of the series – Outer Gateways, Beyond the Mauve Zone, and The Ninth Arch – and I’m particularly interested in the ‘received texts’ therein, namely ‘Wisdom of S’lba’ in Outer Gateways and ‘The Book of the Spider’ in The Ninth Arch. Grant’s is the richest, most suggestive body of work that I have yet encountered, though I realise that his work is not to everybody’s taste.

    By the way, my “man and boy” was unfettered flippancy. In fact in early 1976 I was, at 24, already in the throes of vigorous, swaggering manhood. In fact, I was living on a kibbutz in Israel at the time, working as a farm-labourer, and thus had biceps to die for.

    #99376
    Profile photo of Jamie J Barter
    Jamie J Barter
    Participant

    Sorry i didn’t make myself clear. I was asking about Thelemic groups/Orders such as the O.T.O.
    You know, working with or associating with a formal group as opposed to buying and reading Thelemic books and finding one’s way on their own.

    I leave aside and take no cognisance of the question (and answer) of whether the O.T.O. is a “Thelemic group or Order” in the sense of being a collective of individual sovereign true wills or not, as previously mentioned. I have strong doubts as to whether the (c).O.T.O (or O.T.O International Inc.).is ‘Thelemic’ at all – with either a big or a little “t”. I’m sure Paul won’t want me revisiting all the reasons “why” here again, but if he reelly wants, I can always recapitulate them for you. You may even be able to “search” them out here, somewhere. But if anyone is thinking of joining the “O.T.O.”, first and foremost I recommend they do their homework first. The relevant information certainly wasn’t widely around when myself and Gerald Suster idealistically joined in the mid80s.

    A.C. himself was against the idea of a group gathering together in his name, as it invariably gave rise to what in one letter he called “the usual trouble” – i.e., intrigue, backstabbing on the back stairs, all that sort of thing; in other words, internal “politicking”. And there was plenty of that in the (c).O.T.O.! In fact, let me tell you —Ahem, cough sorry about that. Where was I? Oh, yes. That was why A.C. limited the A.’. A.’. (in theory) to one’s immediate superior and inferior (relativistically speaking, of course).

    Note that this site uses usernames (some use real civil names). If the CIA or the FBI or Interpol or MI5-6 or The Church of Scientology or some other agency or agent wants to find out who any Harpocrates or Aleister418-666-93 is, I believe they could do it easily enough.
    Quite so. Which is why I’m not particularly paranoid myself (no more than usual or necessary for anyone living in our particular first world society anyway. Que sera sera, as they say; your name is either on the bullet or it is not. Incidentally, back in the day I once had a “positively vetted” interview with a “Colonel Winchester” of MI- (actually, probably better not tell you that particular story…)

    Jamie (who has bee the Ringmaster in the Circus, and now seems to be but loosely attached to Metropolis), who have been around a long time.
    Too kind, sir, too kind (I think!?)

    So unless you’ve been birthed “fully awake,” and don’t lose it, then there’ll be a teacher or a initiator or a guru waiting for you.
    Unfortunately (?) I never had such a mentor, Shiva. I’m not sure what that makes me but I am “self taught”, as the saying goes. Perhaps I need one now, even at my advanced time of life?! Would you say it is ever “too late” for us ‘orphans’!?

    I have a student, right now, in my martial arts class, and also in the Sirius lineage. She has never had a teacher or joined a group. She learned to astral project by “stopping the internal dialog” as written in Carlos Castaneda’s book(s). She has conversations with her Angel. Is this an Adept?
    Some, acting on limited knowledge, and without knowing the full facts of the matter, might surmise she’s a Schizophrenic hearing voices in her head and just awaiting those nice men in their white van to convey her to the nearest funny farm: an alternative point of view. (- but perhaps one a mite too flippant for you, mayhap?!)

    Lux nox ‘n’ pax,
    N Joy

    #99378
    Profile photo of Michael Staley
    Michael Staley
    Participant

    A.C. himself was against the idea of a group gathering together in his name…

    He doesn’t seem to have discouraged Jones from operating Agape Lodge no 1 in Vancouver, nor many years later Smith and later Parsons from operating Agape Lodge no 2 in California; indeed, when it came to the latter he subsequently appointed Parsons as the Lodgemaster in place of Smith. Over in good old Blighty, he chartered Gerald Gardner to operate a ‘Camp’ of the O.T.O.

    #99380
    Profile photo of Jamie J Barter
    Jamie J Barter
    Participant

    He doesn’t seem to have discouraged Jones from operating Agape Lodge; […] he subsequently appointed Parsons as the Lodgemaster in place of Smith.
    Yes, that same Agape Lodge about which Martin Starr in his The Unknown God (p.225) observed that: “in practice, Crowley treated the sole O.T.O. lodge under his direction as his personal fundraising agency”. It was also actually in the direct context of Agape Lodge that Crowley made his comment; unfortunately at this short notice I am unable as yet to provide the letter with the specific reference in question (maybe someone else would kindly oblige?) However in its place I did come across instead the following, taken from a letter Crowley wrote at around the same time to his final secretary, Frederic Mellinger:

    “[A] whole lot of different people keep on writing to me about one thing and the other. I have not time to deal with their non­sense and am saying so. I would rather break up the whole Group than allow things to go on as they are going. Every month or so there is some new project, or the finding of some valuable person, or the kicking of him out a fortnight later, and they expect me to waste my time on dealing with them, and their silly infantile squalling […] I am having to dismiss all these idiots. I am going to issue an Encyclical in the next week or two forbidding them to pester me with their silly troubles” [dated 30-Oct-45]

    Over in good old Blighty, he chartered Gerald Gardner to operate a ‘Camp’ of the O.T.O.
    Maybe a cynic might conjecture Gardner ‘crossed his palm with silver’; it usually helps, when short of moolah as A.C. invariably was during the autumn sunset of his life. (Tangentially I wonder why it was only ever a Camp, that lowliest of Order bodies intended for the reception of Minervals, which he chartered rather than a more fitting and grander ‘Lodge’)

    ‘И∫ºλ

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