Home Forums Thelema Thelema ‘Pure’ Thelema vs ‘Crowleyan’ Thelema?

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  • #4794

    Martialis
    Participant

    Praeter-human Intelligence, the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, the Secret Chiefs, the Holy Books, 666, etc. in a word the entire Crowley corpus, could it be construed as mainly (and/or simply) Crowley’s interpretation of Thelema? I think a large percentage of what is considered ‘Thelemic’ isn’t necessarily so if we’re being very strict in our definition of ‘Thelemic’ regarding that which has its foundation or roots in Liber AL vel Legis (or rather Liber Legis, no?).

    #30257

    Patriarch156
    Participant

    Is Christianity really Mithraism? Or Buddhism really Hinduism? Most of the basic ideas of Communism comes from Christian ideas, does that mean that it is really merely Christianity? Or how about feminism, the two biggest victories of feminism, the right to vote and to own property was first fought by and inspired by people who were Christians who sought confirmation of this in their Christianity. Does this mean that feminism is Christianity as well?

    In other words this cause the problem of infinite regress. Nothing evolves from nothing (despite ex nihilo nihil fit 😉 ) in this world of cause and effect.

    I think a far better way of saying it is that the Law of Thelema is one particular framing/expression of the current that lies behind all of religious experience, rather than claim that those currents are Thelema.

    I.e. as a thelemite I can discuss with and even see that the local Buddhist monk in the Temple 10 minutes from here is on the same road as me (in the general spiritual sense), but I wouldn’t really call him a Thelemite and I know that he would be offended if I did.

    #30258

    fraseth
    Participant

    Crowley = Thelema.

    There is no protestantism without Luther.
    There is no Thelema without Crowley.

    #30259

    Michael Staley
    Participant
    "fraseth" wrote:
    Crowley = Thelema.

    There is no protestantism without Luther.
    There is no Thelema without Crowley.

    So you’ve never seen the essay by Crowley called ‘The Antecedents of Thelema’?

    No, Thelema does not = Crowley. On the contrary, Crowley amplified a current that existed previously.

    #30260

    Patriarch156
    Participant
    "MichaelStaley" wrote:
    So you’ve never seen the essay by Crowley called ‘The Antecedents of Thelema’?

    As far as I know the essay describes antecedents to Thelema, in the same way that Catholicism is an antecedent of Protestantism. Crowley holds still himself and the Book of the Law as supreme:

    1. St. Augustine is namedropped but dismissed as having an alltogether different approach than that of A.C. and AL.

    2. Rabalais receives a far more favorable mention, but again, is ultimately reduced to making a forecast of the Book of the Law.

    Not saying that you have to agree, just saying that that particular essay doesn’t really support your contention that fraseth is wrong.

    Moreover, given that you refer to this essay, do you really believe that Crowley was right and Rabelais was not merely writing a satire, but deliberately making prophecies about the coming of the New Aeon in 1904, the reception of the Book of the Law, given by Aiwaz to Crowley, and that A.C. because of this should be worshipped?

    As far as I can see Crowley’s evidence for this, particularly the stuff that deals with perdurabo, is flimsy at best.

    #30261

    rzk
    Participant
    "MichaelStaley" wrote:
    No, Thelema does not = Crowley. On the contrary, Crowley amplified a current that existed previously.

    Or Aiwass did, through Crowley. I agree with you, and this is an important point: thelema is alive, And thelema is not only Crowley, or only Aiwass. it is not a dead religion where all the important happenings are over and we can just sit down looking back at the great times. Actually we have the greatest change ahead of us. As Kenneth Grant said in 2004, before some uf us dies..! This is the fire of Thelema.

    Thelema did not die when Crowley died, in any way. We have people like Steffi and Kenneth Grant, Michael Bertiaux and many other people functioning as prisms of the light of the current.

    #30262

    fraseth
    Participant
    "MichaelStaley" wrote:
    "fraseth" wrote:
    Crowley = Thelema.

    There is no protestantism without Luther.
    There is no Thelema without Crowley.

    So you’ve never seen the essay by Crowley called ‘The Antecedents of Thelema’?

    No, Thelema does not = Crowley. On the contrary, Crowley amplified a current that existed previously.

    Oh I did see that, long time ago, but wasn’t the essay about important antecedents of Θελημα and the use of the term? You can trace the term back to St.Augustine, probably even further. The Rabelaisian Thelema Abbey was a satirical construct, making fun of religious institutions of his time. The Rabelaisian “Do what you wilt” is not a religious statement, it is a political statement.

    Now, let’s assume it is true what you say, let’s simply imagine modern Thelema without Crowley. There is not much that remains. It’s comparable to imagining modern Christianity without Jesus. Possible, though.

    #30263

    Mirrorman
    Participant
    "fraseth" wrote:
    Now, let’s assume it is true what you say, let’s simply imagine modern Thelema without Crowley. There is not much that remains. It’s comparable to imagining modern Christianity without Jesus. Possible, though.

    You would be right if thelema was a religion. Fortunately, it’s not.
    It’s a magickal system. It doesn’t need Crowley or anything else. There are millions of people practising it without having any knowledge or need for Crowley, TBOTL or any other mental regalia. There are also some people who are obsessed with Crowley and talk of nothing else. Don’t confuse them with each other.

    MM

    #30264

    fraseth
    Participant
    "Mirrorman" wrote:
    It’s a magickal system. It doesn’t need Crowley or anything else. There are millions of people practising it without having any knowledge or need for Crowley

    Well, I see your point now. You certainly have one, at least as far as the systematics are concerned. It seems indeed possible to practise Thelema without Crowley. The Theory of Relativity is most certainly valid without Einstein. He was just the messenger, as Crowley was the messenger for Thelema. We might not know as much about the Theory without Einstein, though, and we would probably not know a whole lot about Thelema without Crowley either, but it still would work.

    Besides, I do value Crowley, he is fun. Not that I am obsessed with him, I do enjoy his essence, though. He was so irresistibly gross, so obscene, so anti-establishment. For a child of the Victorian Age he was a true rebel, with few limits, an anti-hero without any concessions. Who can tell what would have happened without him?

    “Thou hast conquered, O pale Galilean; the world has grown grey from thy breath;”

    #30265

    Martialis
    Participant

    The original intention of my posting was to indicate how sometimes all things Crowley are seen as all things Thelemic which, I don’t think is always necessarily the case. For instance, the phrase “Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel” and the uses of the names “Babalon” and “Chaos” while they perhaps fit well in a Thelemic context are not necessarily integral to it’s understanding or application.

    That being said, I should say that I too value Crowley and his works, both, those that I do and don’t understand, and am in no way infringing on his position (as if I could!) as ‘top dog’ of the magical world.

    #30266

    ROTHGATE
    Participant

    I think Crowley himself is at the center of what is Thelemic and his commentary just as important as any of his writings.

    #30267

    TreeDragon7

    i see the topic you are getting at . I think its a very good one.

    What is called ‘ thelema ‘ has an essesence or core meaning that has definetly been around for ages and maybe even since time began. So Crowley should not be seen as inventer of the wheel. But like someone said, he definetly kicked things into overdrive during his times and own calling.

    Lets never forget that the man himself studied the masters. and sought the hidden masters. He read hard to find esoteric books like Levi, Bysshe, and beyond. The material he wrote and taught is invaluable. But what were HIS secrets ? Every great must have them to become what they are. Lets dont assume that he would expose every technique and master plan to his students and contemporaries. Neither do I.

    Magick is an awesome tool. But, I am convinced that the laws of nature and powers attainable are inherit in each and every one of us : non-dependent on names and systems.

    Like it is said, where theres a will, theres a way . . .

    Ryan

    #30268

    ROTHGATE
    Participant

    I see your point, but one could not attribute the works of Shakespeare to the man who made the paper on which he wrote. If a person unveils a new idea and writes it in French, this does not mean the idea is to be attributed to France. If Magick is the wheel, then he did not invent it, but it is Crowley’s way of using it that is Thelemic.

    #30269

    gurugeorge
    Participant
    "Martialis" wrote:
    Praeter-human Intelligence, the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, the Secret Chiefs, the Holy Books, 666, etc. in a word the entire Crowley corpus, could it be construed as mainly (and/or simply) Crowley’s interpretation of Thelema? I think a large percentage of what is considered ‘Thelemic’ isn’t necessarily so if we’re being very strict in our definition of ‘Thelemic’ regarding that which has its foundation or roots in Liber AL vel Legis (or rather Liber Legis, no?).

    Excellent question! I think we could usefully distinguish between Thelemic ideas (which go way back), a Thelemic current (which is a sort of general “wind of change” animating the Zeitgeist), Thelemic organisations and Thelemic practices.

    The first two don’t need Crowley, and indeed part of the beauty of Thelema is seeing people who know nothing of magick or Crowley coming up with their own paraphrases, their own ways of living a Thelemic life. But Thelemic organisation and Thelemic practice arising from the revealed text Liber AL are definitely intrinsically connected to Crowley, and use symbolism developed by him. It’s “his” religion, and if you follow it seriously as a religion, you follow that Prophet (blessing and worship to him! 🙂 ) and his ways.

    The last two aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. The function of Thelemic organisations (I would say, according to my understanding of the theory anyway) is to generate and focus the energy that drives the broader Thelemic current that’s going to animate human life – creative, business, political, etc. – and make it beautiful for the next few thousand years. For the next few thousand years, millions upon millions of people are going to be living Thelemic lives without ever having heard of Crowley, without ever having to hear about Crowley or do any practices he recommended. They will find their own way – if dedicated Thelemites do their part.

    And there’s a subtext there: yes, it’s something of a straightjacket (haha 🙂 ), but one has a choice whether to become a Knight-Monk of Thelema or not; however, if one does it’s like any other dedicated “calling”, you give up everything for it and mould your life around prescriptions and rules. You do that so that others can be free. (That’s how I see the Lover’s way anyway, taking orders from the Hermit so that Men and Women of Earth can live lives of freedom, joy and beauty. It’s where the beautiful idea of self-sacrifice goes, the place it has, after the death of its corrupted, mangled form, it took on in literalist Christianity, Buddhism, etc., etc.)

    Thelemic practices per se are a bit neutral in all this. They are just the practices that Crowley himself developed, and will be used in a more or less “pure” form by Lovers, but I think they can be added to and developed along harmonious lines, and could be easily adapted for the use of Men and Women of Earth, probably in a multitude of different ways, just keeping the core mechanics.

    #30270

    TreeDragon7

    I agree with all of you !

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