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Agape (AH-gah-pay), sometimes rendered as Agapé, is the English transliteration of the Greek word Αγαπη, meaning "love". Specifically, Agape refers to spiritual or "higher" love as opposed to Eros, the "lower" or sexual love.
In the original Greek text, I Corinthians chapter 13 concerns agape. In later Latin Bibles, the translated term was caritas.
Early Christians referred to their rite of common worship as an "Agape feast", which appears to have been characterized by group sexual activity as well as the sharing of the Eucharist.
Agape and Thelema
The word Agape is important to Thelemites for numerological reasons. The Book of the Law, Chapter I, verse 39 states that "The word of the Law is Θελημα" (Thelema), which means "Will" in classic Greek. Using the most common form of Greek gematria, Thelema adds up to 93, which is therefore an extremely significant number to Thelemites.
Verse 57 of the same chapter contains the sentence "Love is the law, love under will." This seems to indicate that love and will are to be balanced or equilibrated. As it turns out, though the word does not appear in the book, Agape also enumerates to 93, so it is commonly used as an equivalent Greek term for "love" in the sense appearing in this verse, balancing Thelema. It is indeed the devotional Love of agape that flows through the 93 Current.
Aleister Crowley suggested that Thelemites use "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law" as a greeting, and "Love is the law, love under will" as a farewell. Using the numerology above, it is common to abbreviate both of these to "93", especially in verbal communication. In informal written communication between Thelemites, it is common to see the greeting rendered as "93", and the farewell as "93 93/93", which is shorthand for "Love (the left 93) is the law, love (the denominator) under will (the numerator)".
Agape can be considered as a devotional love of adoration, perhaps exemplified by the love of a devotee for their guru/patron/deity etc... Within Thelema it is often used to denote the Love that permeates and impels creation, filling the heart and eyes of the aspirant as they gaze upon the reflection of G_d in the Kingdom of Malkuth.
Agape and the OTO
The word "Agape" has played several roles in the history of Ordo Templi Orientis. The first chartered local body in North America was Agape Lodge #1 in Vancouver, Canada; the second was Agape Lodge #2 in Los Angeles (later Pasadena), California.
When Hymenaeus Beta became the Outer Head of OTO in 1985, he designated the United States governmental apparatus of OTO as "Agape Grand Lodge" to distinguish it from the earlier seat of Order government under Hymenaeus Alpha, Thelema Lodge. This practice persisted until 1996 when U.S. Grand Lodge was officially established as a separate entity from OTO International, at which time the "Agape" name was dropped. However, the name survives in the title of the official U.S. Grand Lodge periodical Agapé.
- This page was originally sourced from Thelemapedia. Retrieved May 2009.