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  God Bless The Child
General Thelema Posted by Mordecai on October 20, 2001 @ 10:08 PM
from the that's-got-Hoor's-own dept.

It is clear that, at least at times, Crowley expected that he would have a "Magical Heir" (see, for instance, his 1920 Comment on verse II:75). Quite a number of people, both in Crowley's lifetime and since his death, have claimed to be just that (and even more have privately held to that opinion of themselves). None of them have garnered many supporters. The person who Crowley recognized and then later disowned, C.S. Jones, is one of the more widely recognized, though certainly only a small minority of present-day Thelemites consider him to be Crowley's 'true' heir. Probably a majority of Thelemites do not follow anyone that they believe fulfills the role.

In this article I want to discuss some implications of Crowley's "Magical Heir" as a concept, but first I'd like to make a few remarks inspired by Colin S. McLeod, an articulate spokesman on this forum for what he might call the Thelemic literalist position. I, on the other hand, have often argued here for what I would term the transliteralist position. The inconsistencies I discern in McLeod's interpretation have led me to try to delineate what would qualify as a truly literal reading of the Class A COMMENT by Ankh-f-n-khonsu. It finally dawned on me that it is offering us two entirely valid yet diametric options. Either at one's "own risk and peril" one chooses not to destroy one's first copy of the Book of the Law but rather to study it and even discuss its contents, or one makes the literally "wise" decision and tears up the bloody "BOTL" and never has anything more to do with it. Half measures won't cut it. Refusing to discuss the issues raised by the text of Liber Legis may be a valid strategy for leading one's life, but it's scarcely an intellectually honest reading of the COMMENT.

Though I suppose you could make a case for treating the Book of the Law entirely as a fetish object, putting it up on the altar, but never reading it (that's the principal form of study!) or quoting from it (a form of discussion). Come to think of it, I've known Thelemites who do just that! Maybe they're the ones who have it all figured out. Frankly, I can't claim that myself. Paradoxically, perhaps, I shall not use this post to quote, interpret, or otherwise discuss the contents of the Book of the Law, but rather to ask my readers to consider how the concept of heirship relates to the future of Thelema as a social movement.

Most spiritually-inspired social movements seem to last for long periods of time only if they become either very widespread and diversified in a culture or very deeply rooted in some small but persistent subculture. It seems like Thelema could well be on its way to achieving the latter status, but in spite of the dreams of mass acceptance which lie behind much of Crowley and company's thinking about Thelema, there is no sign at present of such acceptance. Crowley may be Prophet enough, with a message compelling enough, to become the founder of a relatively long-lived religious movement, but there will have to be some major changes in both society and Thelemic practice for it ever to be anything like a majority viewpoint.

Enter the child of Aleister Crowley, his "Magical Heir," to succeed where he failed, in effectively evangelizing this gospel (if you'll forgive the phrase) of Thelema to all of Humankind. Success in this obviously takes talent, total dedication, and a lot of real magical "juice." But without some sort of fulfillment of Crowley's expectations of a "Magical Heir," Thelema seems to me unlikely to ever achieve much social importance.



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    Re: God Bless The Child
    by Xnoubis on Monday October 22, @08:31PM
    My feeling is that Crowley caught an early glimpse of the worldview that is presently emerging, and wrote about its characteristics at a time when they were still unthinkable to almost everyone. The worldview is available to all, and will eventually become consensus reality. But his early impressions of that worldview are and will be of interest only to a few.

    Instead of seeking an Heir who could convince everyone of the accuracy of Crowley's formulations, I think we should examine which of those formulations withstand scrutiny, and communicate how they apply to the lived experience of people in the present day. A network of individuals might be more effective at that than a single charismatic superstar.

    • Re: God Bless The Child
      by Fra THA;M on Monday October 22, @11:37PM
      I would have to proffer my agreement with the first half of your post. We live in a time of unprecendented individual liberty. The slave morality under whose thumb the world existed for so long is eroding. Fetish culture is lauded and examined, homosexuality is accepted, and fringe religions are bestowed with some degree of credibility. All this is occuring to a degree unfathomable a few decades ago. It's true that these liberties are under constant attack, but the real threat I foresee lies in the consequences of these liberties themselves. There exists a fine line between the celebration of the flesh and spirit, and an unfocused and dangerous hedonism which is detrimental to everyone. I assume Crowley predicted this trend, and fabricated his sound philosophies as a way to impede these inherant dangers. A general acceptance of the law of Thelema (whether implicitly Crowleyan or not) is the only solution to stall the increasing societal decline into ego-gratifying self-interest.

      We as Thelemites must do our part, whatever we deem it to be, to proselytize who we can. But a leader will undoubtly arise, whether positive to the cause one cannot be sure, who will broach the Law to the public audience. This isn't a factor of supernatural importance, but a historical one. Out of movements one individual generally rises to the challenge of disseminating knowledge in a broader context. I only hope when (realistically I guess if) it happens, it is an individual of intelligence and authority who will give us credibility.


    • Re: God Bless The Child
      by A. Carper on Thursday October 25, @03:45PM
      I have heard it said that Liber AL could contain references to a least three Children (though AL II, 76 doesn't actually mention a Child). Crowley also used this theme, if I remember rightly, in "Moonchild". How this might work out is anybody's guess.
      As for Thelema, I think many brilliant Thelemites (and I specifically exclude myself) establishing it successfully in the temporal realm is better than "waiting for Goddo".


    Re: God Bless The Child
    by Marfiza on Tuesday October 23, @09:30PM
    > But without some sort of fulfillment of Crowley's
    > expectations of a "Magical Heir," Thelema seems
    > to me unlikely to ever achieve much social importance.

    (I first have to suppress ruthlessly the voice of Tom Lehrer singing, "To be smut, it must be ut/Terly without redeeming social importance ...")

    (There, that being done ...)

    Lord of Life and Joy, Mo, I can't believe I'm hearing YOU, of all people, say such a thing. We are *all* AC's magickal heirs, it's up to each one of us to establish and extend the Law where we can. One charismatic person might well "evangelize" the Law ... but why wait?

    IMNSHO, the biggest thing standing in the way of the achievement Crowley envisioned is the deplorable tendency of Thelemites (as with fringe people everywhere) to try to be the big fish in the small pond by dissing every stripe of Thelemite who's not Of Them, rather than jumping ponds entirely, like the carp striving up the waterfall to become a dragon. (Mix metaphor at own risk.)

    Well, that, and AC's own self-constructed rep. In many ways, we have inherited the lead yoke of Crowley the man along with the wings of Crowley the prophet.

    But that's a whole nother kettle of carp, and I don't have enough patience or enough spoons to dig into it properly.

    Agape,

         - M

    • Re: God Bless The Child
      by Mordecai on Tuesday October 23, @11:50PM
      >We are *all* AC's magickal heirs, it's up to
      >each one of us to establish and extend the Law
      >where we can. One charismatic person might well
      >"evangelize" the Law ... but why wait?

      I don't propose to wait for this to occur by itself. Obviously the Law is already of great significance to some of us individuals, and it just may be our very efforts at promulgation that bring the whole thing to the attention of the "Magical Heir" in the first place. I just don't think that these ordinary efforts will ever bring Thelema to "mass acceptance". It's just an opinion and I may be wrong, but I don't think Thelema will become the next "world religion" without the "extraordinary" efforts of a "second Prophet".


      • Re: God Bless The Child
        by fysak on Wednesday October 24, @10:29AM
        I don't see what is so imperative about convincing all of, or even the majority of Urth's population of the necessity or importance of involving oneself in The Great Work. I don't purport to know the meaning and significance of biological life on this here mud ball spinning in space; ergo I do not know that the planet needs every *homo sapiens* to develop real Will, inner Unity or anything of that sort. Seemingly greater men than I have perhaps not concocted the name*magnum opus contra naturae* for no good reason at all. I speculate that if all human primates on Urth had suddenly adopted the same priorities in life as Crowley, *homo sapiens* would soon have disappeared from the face of the planet, and that may not be what Great Nature has in mind, however much the Black Brethren would like to think so.


        • Re: God Bless The Child
          by Mordecai on Wednesday October 24, @12:28PM
          I guess I didn't make it clear that I'm not pumping for the "Child" to appear or for Thelema to gain mass acceptance. I'm just interested in the question of what it would take for it to happen.


          • Re: God Bless The Child
            by fysak on Thursday October 25, @05:55AM
            I'm suggesting that this may not even be possible. I could elaborate on this if you wish, but I fear it would mainly consist of quoting Gurdjieff according to Ouspensy ("approved" by G.)
            I used to find this question imensely interesting in my "psychedelic warlord" days of the early nineties; cfr. Tim Leary's "critical mass of enlightenment." speculation. But now? Naaah, it smacks too much of politics and "altruism". Anyway, I don't think I could remove a single mote from the eyes of one of my brethren without first getting rid of the rather enormous beam in my own eye. my own "I" ? Aaargh! "I an't got no soul !" (Beck Hansen)


            • Re: God Bless The Child
              by Mordecai on Thursday October 25, @09:14AM
              >Anyway, I don't think I could remove a single
              >mote from the eyes of one of my brethren without
              >first getting rid of the rather enormous beam in
              >my own eye. my own "I" ? Aaargh! "I an't got no
              >soul !" (Beck Hansen)

              Interestingly, Buddhism has taken this very position and made itself a "world religion". It is, after all, politics. People don't have to actually become doers of their own true wills in order to identify as Thelemites. If we see that happening today, imagine what it would be like if people felt "social pressure" to identify themselves as such.


              • Re: God Bless The Child
                by J. A. on Thursday October 25, @12:05PM
                Buddhism is Bullshit.


                • Re: God Bless The Child
                  by Mordecai on Thursday October 25, @12:16PM
                  As many Buddhists will happily assert.


                  • Re: God Bless The Child
                    by J. A. on Thursday October 25, @01:46PM
                    ...But fail to see the point.

                    When you say religion you invoke partisan, which means to 'follow blindly'. This is not what I want. For first of all, I absolutely detest whores! In the book of the law it could be interpreted that women should be as a whore. If you want anyone to take you seriously I doubt this is the way to go. I mean Get a life already! ALl this bullshit about accepting the BOTL and no one can honestly say what it means exactly...your asking for trouble just as xtianity had fallen into.


          • Re: God Bless The Child
            by A. Carper on Thursday October 25, @10:08AM
            IMHO we should consider the Law of Thelema as exactly what it says it is, i.e. the Law. To imagine that it must become a "religion" is to miss the point. Setting aside the issue that the word "religion" does not occur in Liber AL, Western definitions are necessarily limited by our cultural perspectives. As an example, consider China where "religion" is viewed as a "cultic practice" with concommitant social consequences. The Falun Gong Movement is a contemporary case in point.
            In these dark times we demand justice, do we not? And what does the little world need but a Law sufficient for justice? This, I feel, is the nub of Crowley's statement in "Magick without Tears" that Thelema is not a "religion", and given that humanity (so far as we know) is the Child, I would suggest that we drop the cerements of the dead-god and affirm that we are legalists who only want folk to do their wills.


            • Re: God Bless The Child
              by Mordecai on Thursday October 25, @11:24AM
              >To imagine that it must become a "religion" is to miss the point.

              Become a religion? Thelema meets all the criteria for a religion as that is generally defined (a U.S. Federal court has held that as a "finding of fact"). I would never deny that it has features that make it rather unique among religions, but to deny that it is one (as you correctly point out that Crowley did) is specious semantics at best, intellectually dishonest self-delusion at worst.


              • Re: God Bless The Child
                by J. A. on Thursday October 25, @12:03PM
                No. This cannot be more clear: Thelema is ANTI-RELIGION. Do you understand what that means? (Obviously not!) The quacks who think they are Thelemites are obsessed with Thelema as being some sort of religion. Yet its principles pre-date any religion even the term religion itself.


                • Re: God Bless The Child
                  by Mordecai on Thursday October 25, @12:24PM
                  One is, of course, free to define and use terms as one wills, but if one expects to be understood one takes cognizance of how terms are understood by one's society.

                  >The quacks who think they are Thelemites are
                  >obsessed with Thelema as being some sort of religion.

                  I don't know about "obsessed", but most people who identify as Thelemites indeed practice what society would call a religion. That they are not Thelemites may be the divinely-inspired knowledge of the privileged few (or one), but that has yet to change the perceptions of society. I'm not making a moral judgment here, just pointing out the situation as it appears to be.


                  • Re: God Bless The Child
                    by Fra THA;M on Thursday October 25, @02:18PM
                    I'm a humanist atheist as well as a Thelemite...but when people ask me about my religious affinities, I say my religion is Thelema. Sometimes when people ask me about Liber Al, I simply say its a beautiful prose poem invented by Crowley to communicate his philosophies, other times I inject allusions to holy guardian angels, discarnate intelligences and other such elements. Paradoxes are wonderfully useful things.


                • Re: God Bless The Child
                  by A. Carper on Thursday October 25, @01:09PM
                  I'm much relieved that somebody got my point, J.A., despite the admirable bluntness of your posting! Thanks for the back-up J.A.--though I don't know you from Atum :)


              • Re: God Bless The Child
                by A. Carper on Thursday October 25, @12:43PM
                Sigh! I did write, "To imagine that it must become a "religion" is to miss the point."
                But as Thelema is NOT a religion (i.e. it is the Law--see AL I, 35 and 39 etc. And by "religion" I am referring to the historical degeneration of the institutions of a Magus), it is specious and misleading to invoke an institution which cannot, given the current planetary population of over six billion, be considered anything other than partial, even when not blinded by its own cultural preconceptions. Given the tragic events unfolding on the world's stage, do you wonder why people such as I prefer the Curses of AL III against the gods of men?
                "What is religion? A lie to die for." Auld Nick ;)
                No hard feelings! But nobody likes having words put in their mouths.


                • Re: God Bless The Child
                  by Mordecai on Thursday October 25, @01:00PM
                  >No hard feelings! But nobody likes having words put in their mouths.

                  Is quoting you putting words in your mouth? I'm hardly to be expected to know that you are "referring to the historical degeneration of the institutions of a Magus" when you use the term religion; it does have a rather established meaning in the English language after all.

                  >the Curses of AL III against the gods of men

                  At first sight this would appear to be one of those interesting & beautiful paradoxes so common in the Book. In what way is the curser (i.e. Ra-Hoor-Khuit) not a god of men? In fact, the reference is to "Do what thou wilt" which is a blasphemy against all gods of men, including RHK (because my will is sovereign, even against the commandments of the Book itself, which Book declares that very sovereignty of will. Talk about beautiful paradoxes!).

                  "Religion or anti-religion, it's all the same lie." -- Young Josh %-)


                  • Re: God Bless The Child
                    by J. A. on Thursday October 25, @01:51PM
                    You should have declared what thelema means to you. Otherwise no one will see your point or be able to reject parts of it. (Didn't you see this coming?)


                    • Re: God Bless The Child
                      by Mordecai on Thursday October 25, @03:12PM
                      I distinguish between Thelema as an individual phenomenon (where I basically agree with your points about its perennial truth and antireligiosity) and Thelema as a social movement (where I detect all the various accoutrements of what is generally called a religion). I personally prefer the former, but I recognize that what society sees is the latter.


                      • Re: God Bless The Child
                        by A. Carper on Thursday October 25, @03:29PM
                        Spot on! If you haven't read it, see Kristofer Schipper's "The Taoist Body". The traditional model of folk Taoism is as close to religion as Thelema should get, IMHO.


                  • Re: God Bless The Child
                    by A. Carper on Thursday October 25, @02:34PM
                    Firstly, my apologies for rattling your cage.
                    Secondly, God forbid that I should comment on the Book!
                    Thirdly, my points still stand, as the rest of the postings show.
                    Fourthly, I can't see the point of indulging in pissing contests.
                    And finally, "Religion or anti-religion, it's all the same lie"? "Too much Nagarjuna rots the brain--like absinthe." Me.


                    • Re: God Bless The Child
                      by Mordecai on Thursday October 25, @02:49PM
                      Rattle away, it don't bother me. If you don't want to participate in the give-and-take of this discussion that's fine, but why the attitude? You may not see the point of "pissing contests", but you're obviously fully engaged nonetheless. Don't you think "my points still stand" is a bit feeble as an argument?


                      • Re: God Bless The Child
                        by A. Carper on Thursday October 25, @03:01PM
                        I wondered how long before this tune started.
                        I am involved with the lively cut and thrust of this witty debate, and I do not take umbrage. Why did you have to immediately jump to personalizing things? Consider this contra hominem returned with interest and a grin. Have you never debated in an Irish pub after closing? Can we not spit on the floor and call the cat a bastard, and still maintain goodwill?


                        • Re: God Bless The Child
                          by Mordecai on Thursday October 25, @03:06PM
                          Look at the exchanges above and tell me where I personalized anything before you made your personal remark about cage rattling. Come in pot, this is kettle, what shade of black are you talking about, over.


                  • Re: God Bless The Child
                    by A. Carper on Thursday October 25, @02:43PM
                    A finally final point:
                    You say, "Is quoting you putting words in your mouth?"
                    Not so. I was referring to the disingenuous way you dismissed by point on "religion" by appeal to fallacious authority.
                    Again, you said, "I'm hardly to be expected to know that you are "referring to the historical degeneration of the institutions of a Magus" when you use the term religion; it does have a rather established meaning in the English language after all."
                    True, but I was hoping to avoid tedium by utilizing the same flexibility made possible by a shared tongue. My short expatiation was an attenpt to be non-sectarian in the best spirit of our tradition.
                    Your double standards are astounding, and unworthy of any mediator.


                    • Re: God Bless The Child
                      by Xnoubis on Thursday October 25, @02:52PM
                      "Mediator"? Mordecai's been off-duty for weeks! The present moderator is only bewildered by the current dispute.


                      • Re: God Bless The Child
                        by A. Carper on Thursday October 25, @03:05PM
                        Sorry. Really.
                        But if somebody else want's to take up my points, go for it. The more validly critical the better.
                        Beastbay has always seemed to me a good place to beta-test ideas.


                  • Re: God Bless The Child
                    by A. Carper on Thursday October 25, @02:43PM
                    A finally final point:
                    You say, "Is quoting you putting words in your mouth?"
                    Not so. I was referring to the disingenuous way you dismissed by point on "religion" by appeal to fallacious authority.
                    Again, you said, "I'm hardly to be expected to know that you are "referring to the historical degeneration of the institutions of a Magus" when you use the term religion; it does have a rather established meaning in the English language after all."
                    True, but I was hoping to avoid tedium by utilizing the same flexibility as made possible by a shared tongue. My short expatiation was an attenpt to be non-sectarian in the best spirit of our tradition.
                    Your double standards are astounding, and unworthy of any mediator.


                    • Re: God Bless The Child
                      by Mordecai on Thursday October 25, @03:01PM
                      >Your double standards are astounding, and unworthy of any mediator.

                      Huh? I must admit to being completely stumped by this one. What "double standard"? What am I supposed to be mediating?


              • Re: God Bless The Child
                by Fra THA;M on Thursday October 25, @02:12PM
                "Thelema meets all the criteria for a religion as that is generally defined..."

                As well as from an anthropological view. It began with a charismatic leader, it critiques current world-viewes, it has a central book, an apocryphal cannon, purports to have an ahistoric origin from ancient times, and offers transcendance to individuals. These are generally the criteria studied by religious anthropologists when defining world religions.


                • Re: God Bless The Child
                  by A. Carper on Thursday October 25, @02:48PM
                  True enough. But whose opinion bears more weight, the adherent or the investigator? I champion the individuals rights and I'll brook no interference!
                  "Death to all fanatics!" :)


                  • Re: God Bless The Child
                    by Mordecai on Thursday October 25, @02:58PM
                    >But whose opinion bears more weight, the adherent or the investigator?

                    Doesn't it depend entirely on the context? The fact that your own opinion reigns supreme in your spiritual life is incontestably admirable, but to hold up the individual adherent's opinion as the arbiter of academe's opinion as well is merely obstinate fatuity.


                    • Re: God Bless The Child
                      by A. Carper on Thursday October 25, @03:24PM
                      Around the underbrush and back again.
                      Yes, it depends precisely on the "context". That was the point. I said "opinion" to imply this very thing.
                      Personally, I fall into the camp that says that Thelema is a not religion, mainly on the grounds that doubt is simpler until compelling proof is presented.
                      Apart from that I don't think there is much to argue about.


                      • Re: God Bless The Child
                        by Mordecai on Thursday October 25, @06:04PM
                        >Personally, I fall into the camp that says that
                        >Thelema is a not religion, mainly on the grounds
                        >that doubt is simpler until compelling proof is presented.

                        It's a definitional question. Depending on how one defines Thelema, religion, and proof, one can come up with a multitude of correct answers. As I see it Thelema is a religion for sociological or anthropological purposes, but may or may not be for individual or spiritual purposes. The argument of my article is that Thelema will probably never become a "world religion" in the anthropological sense without some "second Prophet"'s appearance, as a kind of 'Paul' to Thelema's 'Jesus H. Crowley'. Personally, I would probably stop identifying as a Thelemite if such a person came on the scene, though my personal relationship to the revelation won't have changed. In fact, one problem with the Thelemic movement is that there are far too many trappings of religion left to be found in the Holy Books if one is looking for them. How do we resist the tendency for most people to focus on the God/Adorer religion instead of the Hierophant/Initiate science? Should we resist at all, or rather as some here have suggested, just accept the fact that the popularization of Thelema is an ugly social process and concentrate upon our own personal development as the best way to exert our social influence?


                        • Re: God Bless The Child
                          by A. Carper on Friday October 26, @09:48AM
                          I basically agree, but the solutions to the problems you cite are plainly stated there in the Book. To discuss them though means we have to risk the severities of the Comment. This, as I see it, is unavoidable. Suppose those who risk and fail are "religious" and those who succeed are "initiated". I suggest leaving the "religious" to their trials (we can always egg them on!) and trust that the latter, like birds, can remember how to flock.
                          Definitionally though, I still stick to my guns about Thelema. "Proof" and "Thelema" do occur in the book, "religion" doesn't. In my posting try glossing "not religion" as "the absence of the word religion in AL":)
                          Let us concern ourselves with being law-abiding and lobby on those grounds; otherwise, let the dogs bark at the virgin and pigeon.


                          • Re: God Bless The Child
                            by Mordecai on Friday October 26, @01:43PM
                            >To discuss them though means we have to risk the severities of the Comment

                            Discussers are not at risk; they are to be shunned by "all". It is those who study the Book who do so at risk and peril most dire. This applies even if you never say a word about your studies. That said, the fact that the word "religion" does not appear in the Book doesn't seem particularly important to me. "Babalon", "Therion", "LASHTAL", and many other key Thelemic concepts are likewise missing. Does that somehow invalidate them?


    Re: God Bless The Child
    by A. Carper on Wednesday October 24, @10:06AM
    But there are loons about who are not so reasonable as yourself. Consider the lunacy illustrated by "777" at www.aiwass.com and take heed! Do we need another Great Sorcery?
    PS: the password is "Abrahadabra".

    • Re: God Bless The Child
      by Mordecai on Wednesday October 24, @12:40PM
      Great! 777's stuff reads like a cut-up of the Book. Considering all the work this probably involved it certainly must be keeping him/her out of trouble.
      P.S. the password has been removed.


    • Re: God Bless The Child
      by Fra THA;M on Wednesday October 24, @03:12PM
      Aiwass.com...geezzus Kriist. It never ceases to amaze me how uninteresting I find other people's 'magickal' insights. I don't expect people to be interested in my personal intuitive and 'magickal' perceptions regarding the world, so why do people deign to assume anyone is interested in theirs? If i see one more 'received' text (which are generally bad pastiches of Crowley), I'm going to puke.


    Re: God Bless The Child
    by Peter Grey on Wednesday October 24, @12:56PM
    93,
    Well, we get Amado popping up in England now and again and whether he is the heir or not, he certainly has mastered the art of talking out of his eye of Horus...

    93 93 93

    Re: God Bless The Child
    by J. A. on Thursday October 25, @10:40AM
    There's a saying that goes: If you have to ask, then you'll never know. This says it all as to the why, how, and wheres.

    Re: God Bless The Child
    by J. A. on Thursday October 25, @04:41PM
    >But without some sort of fulfillment of Crowley's expectations of a "Magical Heir," Thelema seems to me unlikely to ever achieve much social importance.

    Taking this statement alone, that "heir" has to do with the AA and the OTO. As far as I'm concerned both organizations are not a favorable route. (I'm sure there are people who, if they took over either of the former organizations could fix that problem!)

    Rather if you mean a magical heir disregarding Thelema then you wouldn't know who or what that "heir" was, so the question, in this regard, is rather useless.

    I don't know where you got "child" from however? I think this reference actually ruined your whole point. Come to think of it, you should have tried to make your point (or ask your question) without placing any one reference to Thelema. It would be interesting to see what you would come up with if you were to try this and post it to the Beastbay--just a thought.

    • Re: God Bless The Child
      by Mordecai on Thursday October 25, @06:21PM
      >just a thought

      Actually, a number of excellent thoughts. You are of course correct that my conjuring of I:56, II:39, II:76, and III:47 throws the whole thing back into the centre of pestilence, but since it's unavoidable why try to avoid it?

      >Taking this statement alone, that "heir" has to do
      >with the AA and the OTO. As far as I'm concerned
      >both organizations are not a favorable route. (I'm
      >sure there are people who, if they took over
      >either of the former organizations could fix that problem!)

      This conjures up orders, stars & stars, systems & systems. Maybe that would be a better as an article for Red Flame. :-)


    Re: God Bless The Child
    by adrian dobbie on Friday October 26, @05:32AM
    93

    Do we really need to look any further than ourselves to find the magical heirs to Crowley? I personally find the 'search for a Thelemic messiah' a rather outdated, outmoded, irrelevant thread to follow. As Thelemites we are ALL magical heirs of Crowley (or at least heirs to his work). To take any other stance is to relinquish our responsibility to take Thelema past this early, underground phase. Scuttling towards Liber Al and hanging on every word of Crowleys' in much the same way as a Jehova's Witness scuttles towards a Bible will get us nowhere fast!

    In my view, Thelema is no religion - why do we need any more prophets - other than ourselves?

    93 93/93

    • Re: God Bless The Child
      by Mordecai on Friday October 26, @09:20AM
      >In my view, Thelema is no religion - why do we need any more
      >prophets - other than ourselves?

      A perfectly valid position for you to take, but is it the only valid position for everyone?


      • Re: God Bless The Child
        by Fra THA;M on Friday October 26, @10:41PM
        If they want to label themselves thelemites, it is the valid position. How can one have respect for themsleves or others if they are so weak as to need their spirituality and mode of life dictated by some neo-prophet or guru; that's a slave mentality.


        • Re: God Bless The Child
          by Mordecai on Saturday October 27, @05:40PM
          I once knew a Thelemite who was the bottom in an SM relationship. He wore a ring through his nasal septum and a collar for his leash, called his lover "Master" and proudly admitted to being his master's slave. When the 'Becausers' questioned his committment to Thelema he looked them straight in the eye and said, "You don't know my will, do you know you're own?" It was obviously his will to be his lover's slave (cuz the Government no longer enforces it, you see) and he questioned whether any real Thelemite would presume to judge him for it. Some people are Crowleyans, they revere the man Aleister Crowley and devote themselves to carrying out what they think was his will for humanity. I'm not one of those people, but I don't presume to say they can't be Thelemites. Do you?


          • Re: God Bless The Child
            by Fra THA;M on Saturday October 27, @11:33PM
            If one wants their morality, ethics, spirituality, dictated; if they are too weak to define who they are on their own terms and require someone to tell them who they are...such is the manifestation of the slave spirit in man. If thats the case, you'v traded in one slave religion for another.

            "Some people are Crowleyans, they revere the man Aleister Crowley and devote themselves to carrying out what they think was his will for humanity"
            He also constantly warns about blindly accepting what he says without testing its veracity for oneself. He smugly states that if your truths don't synch with his, just don't accept them. He warns of the dangers of trying too hard to emulate his life and magicks, and the dire consequences that will ensue.

            I'm a 'becauser'. I'm an iconoclast and make no distinctions. If the Xtians tell me I'm going to be sunbathing on the shores of the Lake of Fire, I'm happy enough to be damned like a dog by fundamentalists from the other extreme as well.


            • Re: God Bless The Child
              by Mordecai on Monday October 29, @09:07AM
              You seem to be missing my point, or maybe not. You have your interpretation of what Crowley "meant" (though of course that changed throughout his lifetime and wasn't always consistent at any given time -- just like most of us) and you seem to think you can use that interpretation to judge other people's wills. One can't of course, but one sure can delude oneself into being an intolerant "fundamentalist" that way.


              • Re: God Bless The Child
                by Fra THA;M on Monday October 29, @01:27PM
                Philosophy with a hammer. Tapping on the idols people construct to see which ones are hollow, then smashing them to bits. How is the cause of individual liberty, freedom and autonomy served by accepting the spiritual mandates served up by self-styled gurus? The idea that one can be serving their true Will by handing over control of it to another individual is patently absurd. I have my ideas of what Crowley meant, what's implicit in his writings. As well I have what he explicitly states time and time again. Don't make yourself subserviant to institutions and social constructs; whether cultural or sub-cultural. These ideas are generally only bemoaned by individuals who recognize and hunger for this, but lack the courage to reach out and grab it. I pity not the fallen who should know better, Mordecai.


                • Re: God Bless The Child
                  by Mordecai on Monday October 29, @02:04PM
                  How is the cause of individual liberty, freedom and autonomy served by denying others the right to relate as they see fit? You ought to go back and reread what Crowley wrote about the efficacy of the Vow of Holy Obedience as a tool of spiritual instruction.


                  • Re: God Bless The Child
                    by Fra THA;M on Monday October 29, @02:45PM
                    Whoa! who said anything about restricting or denying them? I am but communicating my disgust with such individuals...would you seek to deny ME that? Would you cut away those who critique, those who chafe your sensitive and tentative perceptions? Scary.

                    I stand by my assertion that individuals who pass the reigns of their developement into the hands of self-styled gurus are completely bereft of the smallest iota of common sense, or (wo)manly independance. May as well be a Xtian.

                    I would deny no one the right to choose to be a slave, without them who would serve...heheheheh.
                    I'm not completely serious.


                    • Re: God Bless The Child
                      by Mordecai on Monday October 29, @06:01PM
                      I guess I misunderstood your statement "If they want to label themselves thelemites, it is the valid position." as meaning that you were denying those taking a differing position the right to label themselves as they will. If you only meant something like "I don't think a real Thelemite could have that opinion" then I must apologize. I have no idea who's a Thelemite and who isn't, so I tend to accept people's self-labelling in the matter. "Who calls us Thelemites will do no wrong" isn't quite the same as "We are Thelemites", is it? Maybe that's a clue that the whole issue of labelling is beside the point.


                    • Re: God Bless The Child
                      by Mordecai on Monday October 29, @06:23PM
                      I'm also still asking to see your response to the concept of the Vow of Holy Obedience (as expressed in Chapter 6 of Part 2 of Book 4) if you will.


                      • Re: God Bless The Child
                        by Fra THA;M on Monday October 29, @11:10PM
                        Absolute Bunk. A Paradox. To receive a Vow of Holy Obedience from a superior, one would be forced to bestow the mantle of perfection onto that individual. Perfection is an impossible feat to attain. If one were to deign to assume they were perfect and capable of bestowing a vow of obedience, that would be evidence of the magnitude of their imperfection and prove they were unworthy of such authority. If one were stupid enough to take such a vow from such a person, the consequences would be a just reward for their lack of common sense.


                        • Re: God Bless The Child
                          by Mordecai on Monday October 29, @11:56PM
                          I take it you also think of military discipline as a form of slave mentality. Is anyone who dedicates themselves to the service of another disqualifying themselves from Thelemitehood in your eyes? Not that I'm touting the Vow of H.O. as particularly workable for the American Thelemites I know. It's entirely too amenable to games of escalating egomania, or else it's not serious to begin with. I once had someone take such a vow to me. He signally failed to perform any of the few simple tasks I asked of him, but once when I offhandedly remarked to him as I was leaving, "Enjoy yourself", he later told me he had taken it as an order and had been having a great time! It does make sense to me in the context of strong personal commitments and established institutions, but if the former are not entirely absent from the Thelemic community the latter are exceedingly rare indeed.


                          • Re: God Bless The Child
                            by Fra THA;M on Tuesday October 30, @02:23PM
                            "I take it you also think of military discipline as a form of slave mentality."

                            Only if an person is following the dictates of another individual when not compatible with his own ideologies.

                            "Is anyone who dedicates themselves to the service of another disqualifying themselves from Thelemitehood in your eyes?"

                            Many many years ago, the Frater who oversaw my probation and grades in the Outer was looked upon as a superior. If he had asked me to take a HVO I probably would have. But later in retrospect I learned he was a dangerous and unbalanced individual. To have followed his dictates would have been a great detriment to my physical, mental and spiritual well-being.

                            Service to another is different than blind obedience. I try in whatever capacity I'm able to serve the well-being of my fellow man where I can. But I'll never willingly be thrall to another individual.

                            Bind Nothing.


                          • Re: God Bless The Child
                            by Fra THA;M on Tuesday October 30, @02:30PM
                            ...and I make the distinction between individuals who, lacking in some deficiency, crawl to Thelema to find someone to sate their need for domination and those who desperately seek to Understand. Between those for whom Thelema is a mask behind which to hide their repressions and use the symbols as an excuse to play out an insincere game of fetishism, and those Individuals of integrity and autonomy. Fuck the 'community'.


      • Re: God Bless The Child
        by adrian dobbie on Monday October 29, @02:27AM
        93

        My point being that to look for a new prophet is just continuing the mentality of not taking control of one's own Will. The object of Thelema is not to ape Crowley in every way, but rather to devote one's life to one's own true purpose. If someone Wills to be an S&M slave then that is hardly the same as supplicating oneself infront of another another fallible human in matters 'spiritual'. Personalities can be villified - a free-form system of personal liberty is a little harder for our detractors to condemn. In my view (and it is purely mine), Crowley pretty much shafted any chance of Thelema being recognised on a wide scale by acting like an asshole for much of his life. Do we relly need another circus freak to make our dreams come true?? I think not.

        93 93/93


        • Re: God Bless The Child
          by Mordecai on Monday October 29, @09:18AM
          >Do we relly need another circus freak to make our dreams come true??

          It may not be clear from my article, but the establishment of Thelema as a "World religion" is not my personal dream; however, since it is the dream of many Thelemites I know, I thought I would delve into the topic of what it would take to make it happen. We don't need another Prophet, but I contend that the goal of mass acceptance does (and one who wouldn't be just another Crowley because clearly that approach didn't get Thelema "over the hump").


    Re: God Bless The Child
    by steve on Monday October 29, @08:22AM
    i tend to think that crowleys "magikal heir" would be someone quite unlike what you expect. every day the truth is realised, from quantum theory to philological study of much more ancient texts. most of you seem to have lost and misread the spirit of this path. i reminds me quite a bit of jesus and the liberties his disciples took in application of his law. every great movement sinks when the dogmatists and two minute heroes get it in their vicey deathgrips.

    and thats all i have to say about that.

    • Re: God Bless The Child
      by Mordecai on Monday October 29, @09:22AM
      >most of you seem to have lost and misread the spirit of this path.

      Whereas you of course have got it right. How boringly typical of so-called Thelemites.


      • Re: God Bless The Child
        by J. A. on Monday October 29, @12:05PM
        No, I agree w/ Steve. After all, Mordecai, you were wrong about Babalon being the HGA...now weren't you? Still you claimed 'it' (a place) was without provided any info to back up your claim. What Thelema doesn't need is comments like this: "How boringly typical of so-called Thelemites." -That doesn't get one or another anywhere. Yet reminds me of Capitol Hill arguing over the budget.


        • Re: God Bless The Child
          by Mordecai on Monday October 29, @12:25PM
          How very surprising that you would agree with Steve (though I'd love to see you two go at each other when you disagree as would inevitably be the case at some time). I mean it's not like you aren't incredibly tolerant and willing to admit the possibility that another point of view than your own could be valid :-)

          >you were wrong about Babalon being the HGA...now weren't you?

          No, but then I also see no reason to try to convince you. By the way, I didn't say that Babalon is only your HGA. In fact, all contact with any divinity of any kind is a form of dialogue with one's HGA. You may disagree if you'd like, but of course that doesn't change the facts (as I see them).


          • Re: God Bless The Child
            by J. A. on Monday October 29, @02:05PM
            >In fact, all contact with any divinity of any kind is a form of dialogue with one's HGA.

            (Roll's eyes) Not if one is ignorant of technical aspects of specific forms of Philosophy. I've never came across any writing by any author that said what you stated above. Furthermore, all this philosophy of the cosmos and divinity is child's play to me. As being far beyond it, to lower myself to discuss it with hardnosed players is gutwrenching--and reminds me of talking with religious fanatics who are better received on Oprah, or familiar tv talkshows.

            >I mean it's not like you aren't incredibly tolerant and willing to admit the possibility that another point of view than your own could be valid :-)

            I hardly judge the world by point of view; the only way I'd be justified as such is if I created it (the world).


            • Re: God Bless The Child
              by Mordecai on Monday October 29, @02:26PM
              >to lower myself to discuss it with hardnosed players is gutwrenching

              Sorry to cause intestinal pain, but I do appreciate you lowering yourself. I'm often amazed at how you so easily combine sublime insights and juvenile drivel all in the same posting.

              >I hardly judge the world by point of view; the only way I'd be justified
              >as such is if I created it (the world).

              Which is the exact point of Advaita Vedanta, you do create the world. After all, how do you know the world existed before you did? It's only hearsay.


              • Re: God Bless The Child
                by J. A. on Monday October 29, @06:09PM
                >Which is the exact point of Advaita Vedanta

                Sorry, never heard of him...don't follow him.

                >you do create the world

                No, I really didn't. I mean...I can't take that much credit! (Blushes)

                >After all, how do you know the world existed before you did?

                Now you're really being silly.

                >It's only hearsay.

                It's an oath...child's play, really. But if you'd like to describe how you came to the conclusion as to why you think Babalon, a.k.a., Scarlet Woman, is the HGA then I'm all ears...

                But you ought to start out by stating if you think there is or is not a higher power than the HGA itself, and if you think that any or all of the various degrees of manifestions of the HGA are of the same meaning and worth, which would obviously clear up much confusion. I myself don't place the HGA, Adonai at the top. You? And if it is Adonai how could it be Babalon as well, or are those the same, too?


                • Re: God Bless The Child
                  by Mordecai on Thursday November 01, @06:55PM
                  But you ought to start out by stating if you think there is or is not a higher power than the HGA itself, and if you think that any or all of the various degrees of manifestions of the HGA are of the same meaning and worth, which would obviously clear up much confusion. I myself don't place the HGA, Adonai at the top. You? And if it is Adonai how could it be Babalon as well, or are those the same, too?

                  Great questions. I doubt that my answers will be anywhere near as good, but I'll try. First off, do I consider the HGA the "highest power" or not? Yes and no. I certainly think it is the highest power that we can know or experience, but then I also expect there is possibly some unknowable "Absolute" back of everything. As to meaning and worth, the view from "below the Abyss" is that they are highly variable depending upon the degrees of manifestations. In that sense I would have to say that neither Babalon nor Adonai is exactly the HGA though I do see each of them as displaying aspects of it. Like 6=5 and 7=4 display aspects of Adepthood. Once one, through long knowledge of and conversation with Adonai, becomes identified with Adonai, the diverse faces of Adonai see one Babalon. Or some other poem writes itself. ADNI=65=13x5 BABALON=156=13x12 The commonality of the thirteen ("the unity resulting from love") is easily observed and often commented upon, but I'm curious about the relationship of the five ("Will") to the twelve ("a title of Kether"). It's also interesting that the difference between the these names (i.e., 13x7=91) is the word Amn. [the quotes are from AC's "An Essay Upon Number"]


                  • Re: God Bless The Child
                    by J. A. on Friday November 02, @09:02AM
                    Hmm. Let me see if I understand you correctly. You are saying that Babalon is not the HGA however is in certain ways connected?

                    Of this I would tend to agree.


    Re: God Bless The Child
    by nexist on Monday October 29, @02:08PM
    It is my opinion that we are the prophesied heirs of Crowley. We deal with Shit (bowels) and are pretty "strange" ;). But seriously, we are the heirs of Crowley, & Thelema is in our care. We are (imo) charged with the care and nurturing of the multiheaded, multishaped and multiplicitous facet of the 93rd Current known as Thelema.

    • Re: God Bless The Child
      by adrian dobbie on Tuesday October 30, @05:17AM
      93

      It would appear that a great number of 'Thelemites' are (to borrow from the Buddhist canon) "Looking at the finger, rather than at the moon." Thelema is prime material for the formation of a religion, but to call it that alone is (imo) to miss the point. Thelema comes alive when lived daily - as a personal philosophy of life and liberty. It matters not that there are no public figureheads of Thelema, in fact, it is probably better that there are none.

      "My servants shall be few and secret."

      I feel that there is more strength in covert subversion of the current religious and moral status quo by Thelemites living in accord with their true Wills within the existing social structure. By remaining 'invisible' as far as the media is concerned is possibly the best way for Thelema to gain a foothold on the Masses. By our actions will we be judged by others; any intelligent human being will be able to tell if a particular personal philosophy is working for someone, and would be far more open to learning more about it if it wasn't seeming to be forcibly stuffed down their throats by ranting extremists.

      Slowly slowly catchee monkey!!

      93 93/93


      • Re: God Bless The Child
        by nexist on Tuesday October 30, @03:15PM
        "Let there be no difference made among you between any one thing & any other thing; for thereby there cometh hurt." AL I:22

        "The word of Sin is Restriction." AL I:41

        Thelema is religion & philosophy. Religion is also a way of life. One's relationship to the divine is personal, & incommunicable (in it's entirity). Religion is the communicable parts shared among the members of the social unit. Without religion, none of what we consider ceremonial magick would exist, its lines of transmission were via religion, religious thought and religious philosophy. Any system in use today can be traced back to a religious system which gave it birth (in some cases two or three, especially with supposedly new Thelemic or Chaos systems). Why should we restrict the potential of Thelema by denying it one of the stronger methods of community building, and one of the most basic methods of sharing symbol sets?

        As for the few and secret, that is only the half of any social revolution. There is the covert influencing of social mores and thought, and the overt system which allows identification for the disaffected. To illustrate, various artistic and intellectual elements have adopted portions of Thelemic thought, sometimes consciousl;y, ofttimes not. These permeate the social strata causing discontent with the current system. Humans, being pack animals, begin to look about for a pack which will ease this discontent.

        In a nutshell, there needs to be both a covert and an overt side to suceed in any revolution or evolution of society.


        • Re: God Bless The Child
          by adrian dobbie on Wednesday October 31, @02:15AM
          93

          I agree with you, nexist.

          I just think that a high profile public figurehead expounding a Law founded by a personality that it is very easy for the media to attack just isn't going to have the desired effect of major social change - that's all.

          Just because I have a axe to grind when it comes to organised religion, that doesn't mean I would stop anyone using Thelema as such, or recognising that of course, Thelema has religious elements within it.

          93 93/93


          • Re: God Bless The Child
            by nexist on Wednesday October 31, @09:30AM
            I agree with the high profile being an easy source to attack -- which explains why the OTO, as it becomes more & more visible, is implementing policies which it believes will mitigate these attacks. A far more disturbing danger to the figurehead model is the risk of it degenerating into a cult of personality. Both of these reasons confirm the need for the covert prong of social reformation.

            A parallel to the 60's seems appropriate. Mainstream confronted by the radical. Step One, attempt to crush. Step Two, assimilate remaining elements (this is what the remaining Radical elements refer to as "selling out"). Step Three, resulting Hybrid becomes Mainstream. Step Four, Repeat. The hard part is surviving Step One, and coming to terms with Step Three (e.g. Old-Timers grousing about how these new "posuers" are ruining the scene).


            • Re: God Bless The Child
              by adrian dobbie on Friday November 02, @02:55AM
              93

              Yeah, I'm with you. 'Movements' like Thelema are predominantly underground but that does not mean that their effects cannot filter into the mainstream. Being English, I suppose I have a natural inclination towards the underdog - I personally find nothing exciting about diluting Thelema to make it palatable to those who would otherwise find it distasteful. Quality not quantity is the point I would make.

              93 93/93


              • Re: God Bless The Child
                by nexist on Friday November 02, @07:32AM
                Inevitably, they will. All things are interconnected. Our thoughts & ideas (memes if you will) will influence our actions as we interact with society. This will cause conflict/resolution or acceptance -- thus the influence grows.

                The main problem I see with the "dilute to taste" approach is the difficulty in determining what is integral & what is affectation. Many an accusation of "watering down" Thelema has actually been in response to removing some affectation that was adopted as a prop for Thelema, or to enhance its "outsider" or "rebel" posturing.


    Re: God Bless The Child
    by Mordecai on Thursday January 10, @11:01PM
    Enter the child of Aleister Crowley, his "Magical Heir," to succeed where he failed, in effectively evangelizing this gospel (if you'll forgive the phrase) of Thelema to all of Humankind.

    "But remember, o chosen one, to be me; to follow the love of Nu in the star-lit heaven; to look forth upon men, to tell them this glad word." Liber CCXX, II:76.

    • Re: God Bless The Child
      by Photon on Monday April 15, @04:54AM
      Perhaps the Magickal Child has nothing to do with Thelema... in a literral sense. Maybe the Magickal Child will show the world the there is no Law beyond Do What Thou Wilt. But if the will is to be a Christian, or a Wiccan, to do it. So perhaps this Child will just give the world Crowley's philosophy in a metaphorical way. And pehaps, the people wont even know it came from Crowley because they cant know... because of the social stigma surrounding him.

      -Photon



     
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