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  Thelemic Morality?
General Thelema Posted by Matt on January 31, 2002 @ 01:56 PM
from the AL-is-not-ought dept.

I'm taking a philosophy course in ethics, and it has raised a number of questions in my mind.

What sort of morality does the Thelemic system adhere to? Is the only standard to follow one's Will?

There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt... So, then, the rest of Liber AL is just a clarification thereof? It would seem that literally following some passages would lead a person to become numb to the pain of others.

What would a Thelemite's reaction be towards something like... the beating of a child, or murder? Or towards the poor -- do Thelemites believe in charity?

Does all this depend on one's individual Will?

If we "let them die in their misery," are we just deluding ourselves? Or is there a deep significance that I sense in that passage?

I realize how subjective the answers must be, but a little input is never a bad thing. Thanks.



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    Re: Thelemic Morality?
    by Xnoubis on Thursday January 31, @01:59PM
    What I might describe as "classical" Thelemic morality starts with the tenet that each person has a true will. At first, one is to determine what is moral on the basis of whether it helps or hinders the search for one's will. Once it is known, one should determine what is moral for oneself.

    This raises certain issues:

    One may not know what will help the search for one's will. If so, is nothing immoral so long as it is genuinely believed to help the search?

    One may mistakenly believe that one knows one's will when one does not. If so, are one's actions moral? If they are not moral, how is this determined?

    One answer to this last question is sometimes provided, that if one is not following one's will, one will conflict with others who are following their will, and will be defeated. Is this true? If so, then is "might makes right" a basic Thelemic dictum?

    Re: Thelemic Morality?
    by sid on Thursday January 31, @08:32PM
    I always found all the ethical injunctions in Liber Al annoying after "Do what thou wilt"...does Liber Al really posit radical freedom, or does one have to do x, y and z to really be "doing one's will?"

    • Re: Thelemic Morality?
      by konfused in Kokomo on Tuesday February 05, @05:12PM
      Just eat people


    Re: Thelemic Morality?
    by Azag on Thursday January 31, @10:49PM
    =====
    “What would a Thelemite's reaction be towards something like... the beating of a child, or murder? Or towards the poor -- do Thelemites believe in charity?”
    =====

    > I’ll make the assumption that each Thelemite is allowed private providence to make value judgments alone, and that a persons decisive actions, (or lack) are always exactly correct in proportion to their level of attained, Perfected Will.


    =====
    “One may not know what will help the search for one's will. If so, is nothing immoral so long as it is genuinely believed to help the search?”
    =====

    > I believe your provided answer hints at the inevitability, and futility that the universe lends to those not actualizing their Perfected Will (not attaining their correct alignment), when coming in conflict with those who are. The question of morality is in this sense I think a social classification bearing relevance only when appealing to social standards, of “moral code”, if in-line with said persons Perfected Will. If not, then trying to maintain an exterior “moral” disposition tends to become obfuscation.

    =====
    “then is "might makes right" a basic Thelemic dictum?”
    =====

    > In the sense of collision, it would boil down to a question of which orbit is more stable – and if a more stable orbit (alignment) = “might”, then I would probably agree. A King has choices and the actualization to realize them, a Slave is reactive to exterior Will, or the combined “Will” of their immediate environment – while being blind to hir own.

    93

    Re: Thelemic Morality?
    by Mordecai on Thursday January 31, @10:55PM
    Clearly Thelema tends toward an individual situational ethics over a social code of morality. But then if the highest good is doing your will, how do you know for sure what your will is? I think the only way to know is to let love guide you. Of course, love is not the same as validation; the best way to express one's love for someone or something may be by opposing them. But if you "follow your bliss", as Joseph Campbell suggested, you'll possibly end up doing your will.

    Some people see "let them die in their misery." as the justification for a libertarian safety-net free society, a perfectly reasonable interpretation to make. But what is the reason for treating "the outcast and the unfit" in this way? "For they feel not.", we're told. It's an emotional judgment. Ultimately, such judgments are what underlie all morality, individual and social.

    • Re: Thelemic Morality?
      by Shasu Ma'akheru on Friday February 01, @12:48AM
      how do you know for sure what your will is?

      By attaining to the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel.

      I think the only way to know is to let love guide you.

      Nay, love is the law, love under will. Will guides you to love, and guides love itself. Love alone is unreliable and prone to short-sightedness, doing acts of "kindness" which only weaken their "beneficiary". With Will, it is possible to discern when one must be cruel to be kind, as it were.

      "For they feel not.", we're told. It's an emotional judgment.

      Actually, that's an assertion of fact. (Whether it is indeed a fact is a separate question.) I suspect that the meaning here is painfully obvious, pun intended -- pain, or dissatisfaction generally, is the beginning of real awareness. The blissfully ignorant neither observe the world nor engage in introspection -- prerequisites to rising above the merely animal. Refusing to coddle the weak is an act of kindness, though they like it not. Likewise, we are told not to spare the Kings because we cannot hurt them -- the Kings, in knowing their Will and therefore their role within and as part of the Universe, have transcended merely individual ego awareness and cannot therefore be hurt because the illusion of self has been mastered.

      But see Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet:

      Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.

      Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.


      In any event, Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.


      • Re: Thelemic Morality?
        by Mordecai on Friday February 01, @10:31AM
        >Nay, love is the law, love under will.
        >Will guides you to love, and guides love itself.

        I couldn't disagree more. You seem to think that "under" in this context means less important, subsidiary, actually it means below, beneath, etc.; i.e., love is the foundation upon which will erects itself. We don't will ourselves to love this or that; we love this or that first and then exercise our wills to fulfill our love.


        • Re: Thelemic Morality?
          by nexist on Tuesday February 05, @12:49PM
          I like the imagery of the structure of the Will being built upon the foundations of Love -- & its parallels with Xtian gnosticism (Faith is the foundation for the Temple of the Holy Ghost, ie "Knowledge").

          However, while I will not argue with this image, it is also obvious from Crowley's writings that "Love" is subordinate to "Will". Both need each other to operate properly, as with Chesed & Geburah. The goal, or purpose, is the accomplishment of the Will, thus it takes precedence.

          It is equally important to note that Love & Will are equivilent terms refering to the same thing -- if in balance. In essence, if one is doing one's Will, one is fulfilling their portion of the purpose for existence. The actions may appear cruel, but they are still done out of love. Judas' act of treachery was an act of love for the Human race (in accordance with the myth), even though to the blind it appears to be the antithesis.

          I am starting to ramble, sorry sick child...


          • Re: Thelemic Morality?
            by Mordecai on Tuesday February 05, @01:15PM
            I certainly agree that real love cannot conflict with true will, but if they are "terms refering[sic] to the same thing" how can one be "subordinate" to the other?


            • Re: Thelemic Morality?
              by nexist on Tuesday February 05, @01:35PM
              One is a more accurate term, or rather is meant to be.

              "Love" includes both "proper love" (ie, Will) and "promotion of weakness" (such as Pity).

              "Will" is indicative of the Right Action, the "proper Love".

              However, as can readily be seen people are actively corrupting "Will" so that it too will become as corrput as Love became.

              Jesus' word was "Love" (Agape) and referred to Chesed/Netzach. It was corrupted to reflect the Qliphotic attributions of these spheres: Tyranny, Domination, Ambivilence, Pity, etc.

              Therion's word is "Will" (Thelema) and refers to the Geburah/Hod axis. We already see its corruption into the qliphotic manifestations, Wanton Cruelty (as opposed to necessary cruelty/greater good), argumentativeness (for no other purpose than the promotion of discord), lack of discipline/liscentiousness (equivication of Whim and Will), etc.

              However, until the term "Will" is corrupted, or until "Love" is purified, Will will more accurately show the proper action for a Thelemite.

              Btw, I've caught my son's cold, so my spelling/grammatical errors are probably in excess of my normally atrocious rate -- my apologies, hopefully the logic flow is unimpaired.


              • Re: Thelemic Morality?
                by Mordecai on Tuesday February 05, @02:09PM
                Don't worry, spelling is defunct :-) Hope you and your son feel better; my almost 7 month old daughter and I have been trading our congestion back and forth all this winter.


        • Re: Thelemic Morality?
          by konfused in Kokomo on Tuesday February 05, @05:20PM
          I couldn't disagree more. You seem to think that "under" in this context means less important, subsidiary, actually it means below, beneath, etc.; i.e., love is the foundation upon which will erects itself.

          I don't see this at all. A parent loves a child but it controls its actions until the child can judge effectively for itself. There is no implication that the child is any way less important. I recommend some serious BDSM (or a refresher course in Leah Sublime) to really understand who is in control in a given "under will" situation.


          • Re: Thelemic Morality?
            by Sally Brown on Tuesday February 05, @05:33PM
            By this you mean that will controls love? Does this mean that love is supposed to be under control by will - in a Thelemic context? Does this mean that the self control of a Thelemite is absolute, to the point of it controling affection, love, etc.?


            • Re: Thelemic Morality?
              by konfused in Kokomo on Tuesday February 05, @05:43PM
              It isn't a simple duality of course. The engine in a car is under the hood, without the engine running the car "don't go no place." But nonetheless the the driver is in control, turning it off and on, turning the steering wheel (which ultimately tells puts the engine where the driver wants it to be). Love is a blind force, necessary to the functioning of will, else it be sterile. But without will love has no direction other than its blind procreative force. A welfare mom with 13 kids has plenty of love with very little will.


      • Re: Thelemic Morality?
        by sidney on Saturday February 02, @03:54PM
        You changed the style of a letter, dude!


    • Re: Thelemic Morality?
      by sidney on Saturday February 02, @03:51PM
      I like Mordecai's interpretation...but....it is possible to ill out of love. But is it really possible to torture out of love? I don't see how...yet the book tells us to torture. Also, if they "feel not," where did their "misery" come from?


      • Re: Thelemic Morality?
        by Mordecai on Saturday February 02, @04:50PM
        SHUNNER'S ALERT!!! SHUNNER'S ALERT!!!

        The Book says "Kill and torture; spare not; be upon them!" If it means it literally then one must decide who "them" is and go after them mercilessly. If it's meant metaphorically then one must decide in what way. Also, perhaps dying in misery is the best remedy for feeling not.


        • Re: Thelemic Morality?
          by nexist on Tuesday February 05, @12:57PM
          "Them" is our opponents, whomever they might be. I see it as an injunction to get it over with, to commit totally and rectify whatever is wrong, to put all energies to the task.

          No spiritual Veitnam's


    • Re: Thelemic Morality?
      by Fra THA;M on Saturday February 02, @05:44PM
      "Clearly Thelema tends toward an individual situational ethics over a social code of morality."

      perhaps the important thing to do is make sure you apply your personal ethical code in all situations, regardless of the possible consequences. A fixed ray of light instead of a flickering candle.


    Re: Thelemic Morality?
    by Azag on Thursday January 31, @11:32PM
    Based on The Law of “Love”:

    Each action or motion is an act of love

    > At the risk of being shunned like the plague, I will posit:

    Would this include mental/spiritual action & motion? Or would one have to physically move the flesh to constitute “action or motion”?

    • Re: Thelemic Morality?
      by jcat on Friday February 01, @03:47AM
      ...ya know i have been reading the B of TL
      for around twenty five years now,

      and i still read it like a great epic poem,

      having said that;

      it still sorta of is a downer for me reading people
      talk about what it means...

      sorta, is the key word here;
      i mean like, am i dreaming that a timetraveler
      egyptian priest warrior; ( taoist monk?)
      is speaking to me personaly through the words
      of the Book; or is it dreaming me?

      just a passing whimsy..!

      oh the mumbeling mummery of it all, for me it is
      this nagging feeling that the more i see people tring to take themselves seriously; the less i want to...

      have you ever noticed how just putting two words together; can make all the difference in the world?...where as a moment before nothing had changed!


      • Re: Thelemic Morality?
        by Azag on Friday February 01, @09:50AM
        ===========
        "have you ever noticed how just putting two words together; can make all the difference in the world?..."
        ===========

        > oh yes, like "a downer"? and/or "too seriously"

        Maybe you're taking your preconceptions too seriously? (:])...as projecting down-ness seems a sort of critical proposition, “sort of” being the key words again. At least it seems maybe you're letting an exterior propositions bring ya down bro - I understand that that may be your Perfected Will, but maybe not.

        Just a thought.

        Like Parsifal, we are each the Fool. Even wounds needed happen. Questions not asked, or limitations + fear, will destroy the King.

        Now wouldn’t that be a downer?

        “The sorrows of pain and regret,
        Are left to the dead and the dying”

        Like a wallflower at the school dance, one needs to approach the object of bliss sooner or later, by any and all means necessary.

        ~93~


        • Re: Thelemic Morality?
          by jcat on Friday February 01, @08:24PM
          i appreciate your response...such as it is


          however i do not think you understood
          my drift

          and to explain that to you would be
          just another turn of phrase

          how many do you want turned?

          i merely was making the effort
          to show that the knowledge in the BOOK
          communicates...effortlessly
          to the core of the being
          to the one whom opens to its magick

          my only intent...but i like to mix it up
          a bit to see how people react

          or act...gust a whim...93/ so mote it be


    • Re: Thelemic Morality?
      by Killashondra on Friday February 01, @12:44PM
      I would say that the action of love would be spiritual/mental action & motion, or, action or motion. It depends on your own will in my own opinion.

      In the Holy books of Thelema, Liber XC is written:

      "Light, life, Love; Force, Fantasy, Fire; these do I bring you, mine hands are full of these."


      Light, life, love would be spiritual motion, Force, Fantasy, Fire would be the meaning of action.

      This is my own opinion.


    Re: Thelemic Morality?
    by Sarah Collins on Friday February 01, @01:23PM
    The Scientologists have an interesting take on the difference between morality and ethics. Morality, they think, is a set of codes or rules you have to follow. If you obey them, you are a moral person. If you disobey them, you are not moral. It's a simple issue and there isn't a lot of thinking involved.

    Ethics presupposes that you have the power to make certain decisions. You can consider choices and make up your own mind. Powerless people have to follow certain rules, ethical people make choices and this presupposes a certain amount of power.

    I find this useful. I think Thelema challenges us by destroying any idea of a "morality" and calling (or forcing us) to be ethical. This frightens a lot of people (those used to following rules), but I think it is natural and empowering.

    Many people see the rules AC was fighting against as being rooted in his time and place. We have the same sorts of rules and morality codes being pushed on us. We are no more liberated - in a certain sense - we just have a new set of jailors.

    A good place to look at how one might view some of these questions is in AC's "Magical and Philosophical Commentaries on The Book of the Law" - imo it is superior (in any number of ways) to the burchered IR version "The Law is for All."

    Systems that place a great deal of emphasis on "caring for others" and "compassion" have not worked so well. In the long run, we may be better off with a system that emphasizes other things. I think this will result in an a more positive enviornment for all, but I understand why that is a tough leap to make.

    • Re: Thelemic Morality?
      by Linda Tarte Ramey on Friday February 01, @02:23PM
      There will never be a human society, Thelemic or otherwise, without codes of behavior, and the consequences incumbent upon violating those codes. To think otherwise is pointless utopian fantasizing. The best that can be hoped for is a social code that at least tries to make allowance for the operation of individuals' ethics.


      • Re: Thelemic Morality?
        by Dr. Julia Hoffman on Friday February 01, @03:41PM
        "There will never be a human society, Thelemic or otherwise, without codes of behavior, and the consequences incumbent upon violating those codes. "

        Interesting point. I do not see why being Thelemic implies an end to the social contract. I think, however, the aim is to make that contract explicit. All societies will TRY to impose codes of morality. How, and how effectively they can be challenged, and to what extent they can intrude into intimate spheres, what obligations they can insist on (or deny), etc. is the issue.

        I think that many modern Occultists do not observe that people in power have usually been those who have a large amount of will-power and determination. Success in almost any field requires these characteristics (whould one be amiss in calling them "virtues"?). This is as true now as it ever was.

        The tricky part is looking at the level of "social Darwinism" this implies. People hessitate to view this clearly, but an investigation into evolutionary psychology will reward the investment in time and study.


        • Re: Thelemic Morality?
          by jcat on Friday February 01, @08:40PM
          ...i think..people in power are the biggest bullies around; they have no conscience
          to speak of; and they step on anyone that gets in thier way; and the state of affairs is always tilted to thier favor; if you are born with a base
          ball bat with spikes in one hand and a shit load of money in the other; you usualy are the one in power..


          the only will is the will to destroy any opposition...to your absolute tyrany

          this is the reality of the world today
          and it was yesterday

          will it be tomorrow?

          there are some that are powerful and have a
          conscience; but they are in the minority

          consider Tomas Jefferson or Ben Franklin

          and then consider the advice of Machiavelli
          to the princes of Europe...no brutality was
          too much; in the name of absolute power
          control; and the pleasure of the privilaged.


          • Re: Thelemic Morality?
            by Victoria Winters on Sunday February 03, @01:02PM
            If you have no power in society, there is a way to get it. Make up a morality and seek to inflict it on those IN power. This is detailed in FN's book "The Genealogy of Morals" - it is a very interesting look into where morals come from and who creates them - and why.

            AC made FN a saint. Why do you think that was?


            • Re: Thelemic Morality?
              by Julie Fritter Harradan on Monday February 04, @05:04PM
              >AC made FN a saint. Why do you think that was?

              The same reason he made hack writer and ill-humored crank Hargrave Jennings a saint?


          • Re: Thelemic Morality?
            by Quentin Collins on Sunday February 03, @01:55PM
            Whosever reflects upon the way in which the type man can be raised to his greatest splendor and power will grasp first of all that he must place himself outside morality; for morality has been essentially directed to the opposite end: to obstruct or destroy that splended evolution wherever it has been going on. For such an evolution does indeed consume so great a quality of men in service that a reverse movement is only too natural: the weaker, more delicate , intermediate existences need to take sides *against* that gloriousness of life and strength; and to that end they have to acquire a new valuation of themselves by virtue of which they can condemn life in this highest plenitude, and where possible destroy it. A tendency hostile to life is therefore characteristic of morality, in so far as it wants to overpower these types of life.

            -FN

            Isn't this attitude we seem among PC creeps and whiney New Age liberals?

            Insight that "free spirits" lack: the identical discipline that makes a strong naute even stronger and capable of great understandings, shatters and withers the mediocre: - doubt, {the largeness of heart}- experiment- independence.

            -FN

            Read it and weep.


            • Re: Thelemic Morality?
              by jcat on Sunday February 03, @11:53PM
              ...whats a naute?

              i know what a bully is
              and boy are those guys moral
              or unmoral as the case may be

              i use to not like pretzels


              • Re: Thelemic Morality?
                by Hoke Mosely on Monday February 04, @09:22AM
                I like the term meant was "nature" - and you should really read a little FN, jcat.


                • Re: Thelemic Morality?
                  by jcat on Monday February 04, @06:33PM
                  ...i have read more FN;then you can shake a stick
                  at

                  ....one mans FN is anothers NF


    Re: Thelemic Morality?
    by Philadelphos Magdelenos on Saturday February 02, @01:49AM
    93,
    I believe the two terms to be mutually exclusive. "Thelemic morality" would imply that Thelema promotes a particular moral code. It does not. "Do what thou wilt..." does not mean "do whatever you want", as we all know. I do not think to do your Will has much to do with your morals.


    For example, I personally find child abuse repugnant and can name all sorts of vile retributions I would visit on a person who I knew was doing it. And, honestly, I would not trouble myself overmuch wondering if I was obstructing their will or not. Beating kids is bad. Period. But of course that's just my opinion.


    Now, if we want to talk pure "morals" (child abuse is not exclusively a moral question after all)... how about homosexuality? That's a big moral question. I'm a homo so of course I think it's just dandy. But what about you? Or you? Or my next door neighbor? And is it any of their business? Well- maybe it is. However, I think this sheds a little more light on just what "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law" really means: my next door neighbor can hate my homo-ness all he wants. And I can be a homo all I want. (And believe me I want to be one really frequently...) Morals are a non-issue.


    I'm not saying there is no such thing as a moral code. But I don't think Thelema has anything to do with it.


    Fra. Philadelphos!


    • Re: Thelemic Morality?
      by Mordecai on Saturday February 02, @04:04PM
      >I'm not saying there is no such thing as a moral code.
      >But I don't think Thelema has anything to do with it.

      In fact Thelema clearly has a lot to do with moral codes. It's here to demolish them all. In his "impression of the ideas implied" in Liber Reguli Crowley praises modern science for having "torn the spider-snare of superstition to shreds and broken in pieces the monstrous idol of Morality, the murderous Moloch which has made mankind its meat throughout history."


      • Re: Thelemic Morality?
        by jcat on Saturday February 02, @09:02PM
        ...and with that fervid flurish morsel of Mordecai
        witz...

        i bid you happy..2/2/02

        oh the valgur era of it all...forsooth

        and triple forsooth...

        but hey at least we got the book of the law

        to keep us looking for the key of it all

        cuz otherwise i am cursed to hunt for my car keys
        on a daily basis...die daily...oh die!

        93 by and by....{sigh}...where I am these are not

        not....not...i trot away around another bend

        somewhere between...71. but exceed! and exceed!

        oops i added three letters...

        well like Ram Das said: "what's another three thousand life times...?"( did he say dat?)

        or is our time nigh at hand?...!(*)(*)! ..um

        i hope so...geeze...i mean if it was..like...well

        AT an END


    • Re: Thelemic Morality?
      by Padre Gal McLoud on Sunday February 03, @02:17PM
      93,

      I believe the two terms to be mutually exclusive. "Thelemic morality" would imply that Thelema promotes a particular moral code. It does not. "Do what thou wilt..." does not mean "do whatever you want", as we all know. I do not think to do your Will has much to do with your morals.

      But you just contradicted yourself in one paragraph. By saying that "Do what thou wilt..." does not mean "do whatever you want" you have promoted a moral code. Not that I disagree with what you said: I think you are right, but I believe your assumption that Thelema does not promote a morality is incorrect.

      "Thou hast no right but to do thy Will." This also implies a moral. Once a Thelemite dicovers ones Will they are ethically and morally bound to do it. To go against it would be unnatural and immoral.

      Sometimes I wonder if people *really* want to know what their True Will is.

      PGM


      • Re: Thelemic Morality?
        by Fra THA;M on Monday February 04, @12:43AM
        Perhaps some degree of codification can occur. It seems very unThelemic to visit physical harm on another individual unless they have transgressed your basic human rights to free movement, speech assembly, etc.

        It also seems very unThelemic to commit uninvited physical transgression against another individual for pleasure or material aims.

        This is a moral code, which synchs very well with the aims of the aeon.


    Re: Thelemic Morality?
    by Fra THA;M on Saturday February 02, @09:04PM
    This leads me to voice a dilemma which has been bothering me. My adherance to Thelema has, by extension, has led to certain personal observations on justice and its excecution in our society. In order to contest the inherent possibility of abuse by the legal institution, I have proclaimed an ideological aversion to capital punishment. When I voice this platform to those of conflicting perceptions, they always inform me that criticism is impotent without suggesting alternatives.

    To this I explain Crowleys idea of outlawing criminals. When you break the law, you are no longer afforded the protection of the law. This generally receives a positive reaction. But this is the root of my puzzlement.

    I reflect upon the incident (and coutless other similar horrors) of a group of men in South Africa that raped a 9 month old baby to death. Every fibre of my animal being screams for those individuals to reveive a retribution which entails an extended period of intense agony. Yet intellectually, I am given pause to wonder who would make determinations on who deserves death, and the possible dangers of abuse when terms of absolutism get thrown about. Therefore I say that the state should sanction that no one be put to death, even those villains.

    Thyere is the crux of my digression. If individuals like these where outlawed, and no longer received the protection of the law, where outside of it, would it then be justifiable for the family of the victim to seek retribution? They wouldn't be held accountable in a strict legal sense, but how would this fit into ideas of thelemic morality? Would it be a natural way for justice to be met? I am stumped, but am curious to hear other reactions.

    • Re: Thelemic Morality?
      by Padre Gal McLoud on Sunday February 03, @02:42PM
      93,

      A nine month old child in incapable of behaving in a sexual manner. I think this is obvious since the child in question died. This means that those 9 men killed the child by trying to make it behave or operate in a manner in which he or she was not designed. Some people believe everything they do is their "will." I have met some Thelemites that might read this story and go as far as to say that since the child died due to the actions of the nine men, that it must have been the nine men's will to kill the child, and the child's will to die.

      This is what happens when you are given piles of inspired texts that people are prohibited from discussing.

      It is against the law to do what those men did. Magicians have always been adviced against breaking Secular Law because to do so is to draw unnecessary attention to yourself and others.

      These guys broke the law, and it can be argued that it may have been their will to do so: but their will to do something is inseperable from the consequences of their actions. If the penalty is death, then they die.


      • Re: Thelemic Morality?
        by fra ThA;M on Sunday February 03, @03:51PM
        "I have met some Thelemites that might read this story and go as far as to say that since the child died due to the actions of the nine men, that it must have been the nine men's will to kill the child, and the child's will to die."

        Then I would label them less Thelemites, and more hedonists masquerading under the cloak and cowl of Will.

        "If the penalty is death, then they die."

        It is a difficult and dangerous task to say that an institution should have the power to make determinations regarding execution. By extension, was it justifiable for heretics to be put to death under the inquisition, or jews under the state sanctioned laws of the reich? Doubtful. Secular law shouldn't necessarily demand our adherance, its open to too many abuses. That is why the Great Wild Rockin and Rollin Beast's idea on justice seems like an improvement.


        • Re: Thelemic Morality?
          by Padre Gal McLoud on Tuesday February 05, @07:46PM
          Greetings:

          It is a difficult and dangerous task to say that an institution should have the power to make determinations regarding execution. By extension, was it justifiable for heretics to be put to death
          under the inquisition, or jews under the state sanctioned laws of the reich? Doubtful. Secular law shouldn't necessarily demand our adherance, its open to too many abuses. That is why the Great
          Wild Rockin and Rollin Beast's idea ofjustice seems like an improvement.


          I can't really disagree with this. But I just want to make my point clear: if the secular law dictates that killing some one is punishable by death, then the killer indulges in his vice knowing full well his or her consequences. They should not be surprised should the be handed the death penalty.


      • Re: Thelemic Morality?
        by Kate Jackson on Monday February 04, @09:39AM
        The "term" absolute freedom by Thelemites is a funny thing. At no point did AC ever suggest a universe free of consequences. People may have the right to do whatever they want, but this doesn't mean they won't suffer for what they do. Usually, the people advancing the line of "liberation-morality" have the same agenda the folks advancing the "morality-line" in any circumstance do: they want the power. Is it "Thelemic" to let anyone push you around, leech off you, behave badly? Why? Yet, when one challenges people for behaving this way (or prevent them), they invoke the spectre of some sort of "Thelemic" morality to try to get everyone's approval for whatever they are doing.

        In practical terms this usually manifests itself in a community whose social contract boils down "I won't challenge you if you don't challenge me." The prevalent "liberation-morality" in the Thelemic community fosters a near-totality of co-dependence and lack of any sort of discipline (individual or group) and consequently little to nothing in the way of achievement.


        • Re: Thelemic Morality?
          by Mordecai on Monday February 04, @10:18AM
          Yet, when one challenges people for behaving this way (or prevent them), they invoke the spectre of some sort of "Thelemic" morality to try to get everyone's approval for whatever they are doing.

          If you challenge people directly who are actually doing something that interferes with you, great! Go get 'em! If you challenge a straw man of your own creation, implying that your characterization applies to people you don't even know and have even less cause to abuse, then you are just apllying your own sickeningly unThelemic vision of morality.


          • Re: Thelemic Morality?
            by Nancy Barrett on Monday February 04, @12:41PM
            I think that this only applies when the shoe fits. If it doesn't, you have nothing to worry about do you?


            • Re: Thelemic Morality?
              by Mordecai on Monday February 04, @01:24PM
              Worry, in any event, is a waste of energy, but how do you know if the shoe fits or not when you're too frightened to even try it on?


          • Re: Thelemic Morality?
            by Fra THA;M on Monday February 04, @02:28PM
            "If you challenge people directly who are actually doing something that interferes with you, great!"

            Exactly. It seems quite implicit to thelema that individuals have the choice to aid other individuals, or not. It is never an option to harm others who are not directly interfering in your basic human rights.

            Its ethical enough to not help someone in need (or to, depending upon your persuasion), but its clearly immoral to in anyway cause harm.


        • Re: Thelemic Morality?
          by Fra THA;M on Monday February 04, @02:20PM
          "...near-totality of co-dependence and lack of any sort of discipline (individual or group) and consequently little to nothing in the way of achievement."

          Substitute the phrase inter-dependence for co-dependence and you have a hint of something grand. A group of interdependent individuals who abscribe to no hierarchical social structure seems very thelemic. Discipline should be an individual endevour, not something demanded by an authority. If you are saying you require someone to make demands upon you to formulate self-discipline, I'm sorry...


          • Re: Thelemic Morality?
            by Lucy Van Pelt on Tuesday February 05, @02:24PM
            Why are hierarchies unThelemic?


        • Re: Thelemic Morality?
          by Padre Gal McLoud on Tuesday February 05, @07:55PM
          Seems to me that people who take this stand have no problem using or invoking Thelema when some one offends, or takes advantage of, or isn't as cool as they are. In these cases, it appear that people think it is "Thelemic" to criticize, of tell people to bugger off.

          I postulate, that it may also be Thelemic to be compassionate, take a political stane against injustic perpetuated in other people, and to care about others in general. But very few seem to take this view of Thelema.

          This shows opportunism and agendas on both sides of the issue, doesn't it?


    • Re: Thelemic Morality?
      by Ataniell Rising on Sunday March 17, @07:26PM
      Oh, I definitely think someone like that should be outside the protection of "law". They are like mad dogs, rabid animals. Shoot them.

      Indeed, if I saw people raping a small child, I would be in violation of my own Will not to do whatever I could do to stop them!

      And I also think that people need to get it thru their thick skulls that one's True Will does not equal any fool thing that comes into one's head!


    Re: Thelemic Morality?
    by Xnoubis on Sunday February 03, @07:58AM
    What meaning, if any, does the term "oppression" have in Thelema?

    • Re: Thelemic Morality?
      by Padre Gal McLoud on Sunday February 03, @02:29PM
      What meaning, if any, does the term "oppression" have in Thelema?

      My 2 pesos worth is that oppression from Thelemic sense is anything which prevents the natural unfolding or development of people, events and things. I know this is over simplified, but I forget where Crowley insinuates that to cause anything to act against its natural design is to oppress.

      But on a more philosophical point: I think that many Thelemites believe in the idea of "absolute freedom" - I am not sure that it is attainable. If it is, then trying to get there is a waste of energy, much like a magicians trying to turn a man into a frog. It isn't possible.

      Having said that, I think that we are left with the task of determining what is meant by "freedom" and how we can get it 100% of the time: 24/7 - The only way to do that, at least in my mind, is to create our own social paradigms to fascilitate the best that Thelema has to offer, but before we can do that we will have to define the rules, and they better jive with Thelemic Ethics.


    • Re: Thelemic Morality?
      by bzfgt on Sunday February 03, @02:31PM
      Oppression: two thoughts.
      The word of sin is restriction.
      And:
      One Law for the Lion and the Ox is Oppression.


    • Re: Thelemic Morality?
      by fra ThA;M on Sunday February 03, @04:02PM
      perhaps the greatest oppression, the one whose elimination would go far in eradicating other oppressions, is the necessity of folowing the dictates of an institution, rather than the dictates of ones concience. An autonomous state of non-intereference would create a paradise. The polemics of Liber OZ as a rule of life.

      ...but wait. All those individuals who deperately need to be controlled and told what to do would be sorely oppressed by their liberty. I'm stumped. Oh well, I guess the slaves (and most likely the majority of us) will serve in some respect.


    Re: Thelemic Morality?
    by Nancy Barrett on Monday February 04, @04:14PM
    When one usually brings up Thelema with someone who has never heard of it before, the usual response is one of shock. "What if it was someone's will to be a bank robber?" was one memorable question I got.

    The answer I usually give to this is two-fold. Few criminals are raised in an enviornment in which they are taught to do their will (and nothing else). Either they get a morality roughly imposed on them by others, or they never are exposed to a firm sense (or expectation) of self-discipline. Were people to really live in a more Thelemic society, I think there would be less crime since people would be encouraged to do what they really loved and willed the most to do (which I betting isn't going to be crime), and they would be expected to be disciplined enough and strong enough to make their will a reality.

    Otoh, perhaps there are some people whose will is it to be bank robbers. In the larger scheme of things, there also might be people whose will it was to catch and prevent them. Without one the other would not be able to perform their will. Perhaps the cops and criminals form a Taoistic unity the universe needs? In any event, people knowing exactly what their will is and who do it - and nothing else - are going to make it a better and more interesting universe to be a part of.

    Either way works for me, so I'm going to support Thelema in any event.

    The real issue comes down to what it really means to be a willful person. Freedom to do what you want demands a certain amount of self-discipline that most of the Thelemic community forgets about. Look at the terrible physical condition most of them are in. They are unable to quit smoking or go on a diet or get excercise, and the drug problem? Same deal. These are taboo topics - of course - but the more one looks at them, the clearer the situation gets.

    If the Thelemic community hasn't achieved too much - by even their own standards - why is this? It's really because the entire community isn't up to the self-discipline part of the puzzle. Do they know their will? How well can they formulate and state it? How exact is their self-knowledge? While most have tried (and usually failed) to cast off a morality imposed by others, they have had yet to replace those governing laws and moral codes with the self-governing systems they proclaim to be in possession of. Look at the world and ask yourself, who knows their will and can change the universe to conform with it? It's not usually a Thelemite.

    • Re: Thelemic Morality?
      by Mordecai on Monday February 04, @05:21PM
      Freedom to do what you want demands a certain amount of self-discipline that most of the Thelemic community forgets about. Look at the terrible physical condition most of them are in. They are unable to quit smoking or go on a diet or get excercise, and the drug problem? Same deal. These are taboo topics - of course - but the more one looks at them, the clearer the situation gets.

      And this sweeping generalization about the Thelemic community is based on what? Any actual social study with the scientific standards that AC would have called for? Or is it just your own limited personal anecdotal judgment? If the latter I would suggest that perhaps the problem isn't the Thelemic community, maybe it's the people you are hanging around with who call themselves Thelemites. If you are seeing so many vile degenerate weaklings around you then it's definitely a good time to take a look at yourself.


      • Re: Thelemic Morality?
        by konfused in Kokomo on Monday February 04, @05:36PM
        Seems like you are making the sweeping generalizations in response to what are fairly specific complaints. Curious that. Are you saying these complaints aren't apt, they seem to have a high % of accuracy to me


      • Re: Thelemic Morality?
        by Sarah Collins on Monday February 04, @05:39PM
        Taboo subjects draw this sort of reaction. In any group there are those who can look at the group and examine its flaws and problems. The Jews of the Old Testament period called them "Prophets" - didn't they?

        Strong people can look at their flaws fearlessly and frankly. Weak people cannot. Strong groups can engage in introspection and examination. Weak groups cannot.

        "If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear."
        -George Orwell


        • Re: Thelemic Morality?
          by Mordecai on Monday February 04, @07:19PM

          Is this meant as a joke? In what way is what you say a "Taboo subject"? Have you suffered any social or other sanctions by bringing it up repeatedly? Have you been fined or ostracized, for instance? If you think that a subject is taboo just because it provokes strong disagreement, you're incorrect. Taboo topics are far likelier to be ignored than engaged in discussion.


          Seems like you are making the sweeping generalizations in response to what are fairly specific complaints. Curious that. Are you saying these complaints aren't apt, they seem to have a high % of accuracy to me


          No, your complaints are only specific when applied to individuals. Applied to the "Thelemic community" they are just generalizations. If the issue is really the improvement of our community then here's what I think: lead by example, be the best person you possibly can be, engage people honestly and appropriately. If a member of my community is having problems with drug addiction, personal intervention, to aid or exclude them as appropriate, might help; complaining about the drug-abusing scumbag probably won't. You ask me if I think your complaints are apt? No, not in my experience. When I go to a mass at Thelema Lodge on a Sunday evening I rarely if ever meet with the drug-abusing, Crowley-hating weaklings you seem to run into in whatever Thelemic community you're a part of. I do, however, run into a number of sincere, persistent, productive, and worthwhile people. Is our community as good as it should be? Absolutely not, we can and should be doing much better than we are. But I still think that inspiring leadership by active example is the only effective way to do anything about it. Moralistic pontifications by anonymous and unsubstantiatable internet denizens are unlikely to have any positive effect whatsoever.


          What I am asking of you is to ask yourself these two questions, "Is the Thelemic community better served by me being a positive role model, as student/teacher, active worker, and all-around good dude or by me setting about to publicly and unfairly tar my own community?" and "Are there any unresolved issues that I have with my own laziness and inadequacy that might, at least partially, underlie my undue concern about them in others?"




          • Re: Thelemic Morality?
            by Grayson Hall on Tuesday February 05, @09:57AM
            Just so the rules are clear: sweeping "positive" comments about the community are okay, sweeping "negative" comments are not.

            LOL


            • Re: Thelemic Morality?
              by Mordecai on Tuesday February 05, @10:04AM
              Flippant evasions are so typical of ethical cowards and emotional weaklings.


              • Re: Thelemic Morality?
                by Grayson Hall on Tuesday February 05, @10:08AM
                Boy!, someone is very hot on this. If the critique is bogus, why get so outraged? Maybe you're so upset because you know the critique has merit?

                Worth considering...


                • Re: Thelemic Morality?
                  by Mordecai on Tuesday February 05, @10:50AM
                  Who's hot, "Grayson"? I'm laughing at you!


                  • Re: Thelemic Morality?
                    by Julia Hoffamn on Tuesday February 05, @11:08AM
                    See the terrific thing about this sort of debate is that people can make up their own minds, based on their own experiences, as to who is right.


                    • Re: Thelemic Morality?
                      by Mordecai on Tuesday February 05, @11:22AM
                      Finally, we've reached some agreement :-)


                      • Re: Thelemic Morality?
                        by Virgil Tracey on Tuesday February 05, @01:03PM
                        Dude. I have to hand it to ya, bro. Thanks for taking it on yourself as the spokesperson on behalf of overweight drug users and thieves. You really know how to fight for a prissy New Age fussbucket's right to partay!!!


                        • Re: Thelemic Morality?
                          by Mordecai on Tuesday February 05, @01:32PM
                          Unsurprisingly, I think this is a ludicrously distorted appraisal of my position, but at least anyone who knows me (or meets me in future) can judge me as living up to my ideals or not. In your anonymity we have no way of telling whether you are the elite master of the Crowleyan way which you imply that you are, or nothing but an embittered, jealous, lazy fraud. All in all, you appear to be a rather fine example of the weakling Thelemites you love to decry. Once again I ask, "Is the Thelemic community better served by one being a positive role model, as student/teacher, active worker, and all-around good dude or by one setting about to publicly and unfairly tar one's own community?" How about shocking me with an honest answer rather than the sort of sneering evasion I've come to expect from you?


                          • Re: Thelemic Morality?
                            by Lucy Van Pelt on Tuesday February 05, @02:27PM
                            ""Is the Thelemic community better served by one being a positive role model, "

                            What is being a "positive role model"? This seems like a line reeking with "morality"... One might see someone who challenges the Thelemic community and confronts its many problems as being just that sort of "role model."


                            • Re: Thelemic Morality?
                              by Mordecai on Tuesday February 05, @03:05PM
                              >What is being a "positive role model"? This seems like a line reeking with "morality"

                              When coming from someone whose discourse consists largely of complaints that other people aren't living up his standards this just seems like a line reeking with hypocrisy.

                              >One might see someone who challenges the Thelemic community and confronts
                              >its many problems as being just that sort of "role model.

                              I would certainly see someone who challenges and confronts specific individuals and/or organizations and/or themselves over their problems, and offers them correction and/or alternatives, as playing a positive role. Anonymous internet sophists who play at being members of an "elite" while shunning any real engagement with their community certainly don't fit into that category.


                              • Re: Thelemic Morality?
                                by Sally Brown on Tuesday February 05, @03:15PM
                                This seems like a highly "moral" counter argument. It seems as though Thelema is counter to morality until one's own back is against the wall. Then we are entreated to be "good role models" - lol...

                                Why isn't this forum considered a "real engagement"? You seem to be "engaged enough" to see fit to keep responding...


                                • Re: Thelemic Morality?
                                  by Mordecai on Tuesday February 05, @03:42PM
                                  >Why isn't this forum considered a "real engagement"?

                                  Where are all the feeble drug abusing New Agers here for you to confront? Certainly you can't say anyone here is or isn't on the basis of their posts. I bet if you took a look around in whatever Thelemic community you are actually in personal contact with, you would find plenty of smug self-deluded drunkards who preserve their inflated egos by unfairly putting down others. Why don't you confront them?

                                  >You seem to be "engaged enough" to see fit to keep responding...

                                  Sorry if you find my refusal to acquiesce in your canards not to your liking. But fear not! You can always keep pretending to miss the point :-)


                                  • Re: Thelemic Morality?
                                    by Sally Brown on Tuesday February 05, @04:14PM
                                    I would never ask you to "acquiesce" to anything. We each have our own rules of ethics and to try to insist on any "objective" standard seems silly - at least in this context.

                                    I would argue that the "canards" upset you enough to keep you engaged because - deep down - you recognize them for sagacity you have to struggle to deny.

                                    As for being "meaningfully engaged" - how could anyone make critiques true enought to upset you to this extent if they weren't "engaged"?

                                    To the extent that you rile to the defense merely proves that the critiques are accurate...


                                    • Re: Thelemic Morality?
                                      by Mordecai on Tuesday February 05, @06:31PM
                                      >To the extent that you rile to the defense merely proves that the critiques are accurate...

                                      Hmmm, this is one of G.M. Kelly's favorite logical fallacies, could that be an indication of your true identity? Can't you see how silly it is to posit that opposition to a 'critique' in some way "proves" it to be accurate? It could just as easily be opposed because, as in this instance, it is in fact wrong (not entirely wrong by the way, there are indeed problems of both drug abuse and lack of discipline in the "Thelemic community". I'm just saying that a) you are exaggerating them, and b) your unsupported anonymous complaints about them in this forum are very unlikely to have any actual effect in ameliorating them).


                                      • Re: Thelemic Morality?
                                        by Dr. David Woodard on Wednesday February 06, @12:30PM
                                        I think the virtue of this forum is that it is very difficult to engage in "ad hominem" attacks - the contents of the post can be judged on their own merit (or lack thereof).

                                        By the way, I think your admission of self-discipline and drug problems in the "Thelemic Community" shows great bravery. Way to go!


                                  • Re: Thelemic Morality?
                                    by Gordon Tracey on Tuesday February 05, @04:18PM
                                    >I bet if you took a look around in whatever Thelemic community you are actually in personal contact with, you would find plenty of smug self-deluded drunkards who preserve their inflated egos by unfairly putting down others. Why don't you confront them?

                                    Have looked around not only locally but a few others as well. The same lack of conscience & ethics exists in many cases & places. It is symptomatic of a bigger problem than local drunkards or drug addicts. But it also begins by allowing this climate to develop if by nothing more than ignoring the problems and trying to 'wish them away'. It won't work. You cannot have a strong 'community' without self-discipline and a work ethic.


                                  • Re: Thelemic Morality?
                                    by Fra THA;M on Wednesday February 06, @01:59PM
                                    Why does the issue of drug abuse, or drunkeness(both wonderful states in moderation) get taken up as a critique at all? I wonder at the egoism and inauthenticity of these individuals who profess an amazing self-discipline and moral fortitude as the platform for their criticisms. It must have its root in an elitist a priori assumption that when you exclaim Thelema, you suddenly don the mantle of godhood. What a bunch of crap. Thelemites are merely human beings, not super-humans. They are fallable, and prey to addiction as much as any larger demographic with the same problems. The utter humanity of Thelema is its attraction, not some promise of mystical superpowers. Sure, as brothers fight ye, engage in insightful semantic jousts, but when the day is done, help your brothers and sisters, don't condemn them for ones own self-aggrandisment. Never met you Mordecai, doubt I ever will, but I appreciate what seems your common sense.

                                    93.


                                    • Re: Thelemic Morality?
                                      by Mordecai on Wednesday February 06, @06:41PM
                                      Thelemites are merely human beings, not super-humans. They are fallable, and prey to addiction as much as any larger demographic with the same problems.

                                      I agree with your point here, but I do think that the "Thelemic community" does select for a somewhat higher incidence of "substance abuse" than in the total population. It stands to reason that a culture where "To worship me take wine and
                                      strange drugs whereof I will tell my prophet, & be drunk thereof!" is considered a divine injunction is more likely to attract hedonists than ascetics (though which you would call our lovely sadomasochists I leave to you).


                          • Re: Thelemic Morality?
                            by Scott Tracey on Tuesday February 05, @04:02PM
                            >Unsurprisingly, I think this is a ludicrously distorted appraisal of my position, but at least anyone who knows me (or meets me in future) can judge me as living up to my ideals or not.

                            Well, okay why take everything on the defensive then? You seem to defend the very 'moral values' you attack. In other words, dealing with people as you meet them is one thing, but fostering a climate where un-Thelemic characters can flourish seems less than in line with promoting a strong 'community', as you keep referring to it.

                            Wouldn't it be more desirable to have a 'community' which actually encourages self-discipline and surgically removes the problem? Since we're talking about ethics, what about a Thelemic Work Ethic?


    • Re: Thelemic Morality?
      by Libanus on Monday February 04, @07:07PM
      When one usually brings up Thelema with someone who has never heard of it before, the usual response is one of shock. "What if it was someone's will to be a bank robber?" was one memorable question I got.

      The answer I usually give to this is two-fold. Few criminals are raised in an enviornment in which they are taught to do their will (and nothing else). Either they get a morality roughly imposed on them by others, or they never are exposed to a firm sense (or expectation) of self-discipline. Were people to really live in a more Thelemic society, I think there would be less crime since people would be encouraged to do what they really loved and willed the most to do (which I betting isn't going to be crime), and they would be expected to be disciplined enough and strong enough to make their will a reality.


      In addition, it's also how you apply the doctrine of Thelema. If you think that being a Thelemite means that you do your Will at the expense of others, then you may very well think that that it's your Will to be a bank robber or a murderer. On the other hand, if you believe that Thelema belongs to everyone, then you recognize that robbing a bank infringes upon the Wills of the people who run the bank and all of the people whose Will it is to store their money there.


      Also, I do not believe that if people were raised in a more Thelemic society that there would be less crime. We live today is a largely Christian society where stealing and killing is not in short supply. "Thou shalt not kill" and "Thou shalt not steal" and the threat of Hell are obviously not influencing the people who commit these crimes. Why should we think that life in Thelemic society would be any different? Throughout history, people have constantly believed that if we only had X that life would be better. But whatever X has been, we still have the same human problems, which always brings rise to the next generation of X that is just as faulty as the last. The Aeon of Horus is the current aeon, but is not necessarily the best and certainly not the last.


      If the Thelemic community hasn't achieved too much - by even their own standards - why is this? It's really because the entire community isn't up to the self-discipline part of the puzzle. Do they know their will? How well can they formulate and state it? How exact is their self-knowledge? While most have tried (and usually failed) to cast off a morality imposed by others, they have had yet to replace those governing laws and moral codes with the self-governing systems they proclaim to be in possession of. Look at the world and ask yourself, who knows their will and can change the universe to conform with it? It's not usually a Thelemite.


      I think it's far more likely that if the Thelemic community hasn't acheived very much that it is because the number of proclaimed Thelemites in the world is still vanishingly small. There have also been those people who DO have good self-discipline and follow
      what could be called a Thelemic philosophy who have never heard of Thelema and might even regard Crowley as some quack swindler. There are humanists and atheists who do fall under this category among others. How about someone like Ida Craddock? I would also call Margaret Sanger a Thelemite in a sense, even though Crowley would have looked upon her with horror. Thelema is an Aeon, not a community. It's where we are. Even without Crowley Thelemites, I see Thelema having a large influence on the world that is still being felt.


    • Re: Thelemic Morality?
      by Fra THA;M on Monday February 04, @09:50PM
      "Were people to really live in a more Thelemic
      society, I think there would be less crime since people would be encouraged to do what they really loved and willed the most to do (which I betting isn't going to be crime), and they would be expected to be disciplined enough and strong enough to make their will a reality."

      The major catalyst for crime is material poverty, a lack of basic material needs, and the accompanying social problems with which it is bedmate. A blanket generalization about any deficit of discipline is fallacious. Addressing the social problems in a society where a persons worth is determined by what they have presents the only solution, and the elimination of desperateness and hopelessness that are its result will solve crime. Whether this is Thelemic or not I don't know, but I'm disciplined enough to follow only the sanctions of my concience. If it conflicts with the Beast, I say fuck him (though usually we synch pretty good).


    • Re: Thelemic Morality?
      by Padre Gal McLoud on Tuesday February 05, @08:04PM
      If the Thelemic community hasn't achieved too much - by even their own standards - why is this?
      It's really because the entire community isn't up to the self-discipline part of the puzzle. Do they
      know their will? How well can they formulate and state it? How exact is their self-knowledge? While most have tried (and usually failed) to cast off a morality imposed by others, they have had yet to replace those governing laws and moral codes with the self-governing systems they proclaim to be in possession of. Look at the world and ask yourself, who knows their will and can change the universe to conform with it? It's not usually a Thelemite.


      The only failure I see is in trying to define the standards for Thelemic community. People enjoy a good joust much more than the actual work of defining and crating. It is easier to accuse people of being undisciplined and not knowing their Will than it is to pick up a shove and start building a foundation for a working Thelemic community. And it also has the added benefit of instant ego gratifications.


      • Re: Thelemic Morality?
        by Sally Brown on Wednesday February 06, @11:52AM
        Why shouldn't one challenge and provoke the Thelemic Community? Do you raise the same concerns when one critiques any OTHER community, like your nation, race, ethnic group, or association? I'm afraid that some of the objections to those questioning the walking of the talk of the Thelemic Community do not show the same "love it or leave" 'tude in other circumstances.

        One of my heroes is the Holocaust survivor and professor Israel Shahak. He really went after Zionist racism and Jewish chauvinism and its effects. He had the guts to critique his own community. Do you think he got the same responses people who look critically at the 'Thelemic Comnmunity" get? Sure. But that didn't stop him.

        I find it hilarious when people who adopt scathing critiques of the US turn around and denounce people who question and critique their little group. What's the difference?


        • Re: Thelemic Morality?
          by Fra THA;M on Wednesday February 06, @01:42PM
          Perhaps the greatest obligation of Thelema is iconoclasm,
          image breaking,
          idol smashing,
          philosophy with a hammer.
          Questioning and critiquing all institutions, even those which we ourselves profess to beleive. Such is a noble calling, and one which must be performed by the enemies of absolutisms. We should feel obliged to question the tenets of Thelema as much as we question the Christ, the Left or the Right. Force and fire!


        • Re: Thelemic Morality?
          by Padre Gal McLoud on Wednesday February 06, @02:24PM
          Perhaps you have never heard of the kind of criticism that inspires and movites?


          • Re: Thelemic Morality?
            by Linus van Pelt on Wednesday February 06, @02:51PM
            Frankly, I have been inspired by people like Shahak. If people don't fing a critique inspiring or interesting, they are free to ignore it. If you were a White person living in the American South in the 1960's would you be telling the Civil Rights community that they needed to be more "positive" with their message, or make it more "inspiring" to you?

            Some truths about the Thelemic Community are not easy to face. Is our response to switch into denial and ad homenim? Or is it to embrace the sheer challenge it will take to face these issues and deal with them in a brave and forthright way?

            Many Thelemic groups gas on and on about their so-called "enemies" - be it those they are sueing, competing organizations, or ex-members making critiques on the Internet. Well, to quote walk Kelly I think it's high time we realize "that we have met the enemy and he is us." The Thelemic communities are their own worst enemies. I think the truth of this is self-evident.


            • Re: Thelemic Morality?
              by Mordecai on Thursday February 07, @10:58AM
              If you were a White person living in the American South in the 1960's would you be telling the Civil Rights community that they needed to be more "positive" with their message, or make it more "inspiring" to you?

              Good question. Who are more effective in promoting Civil Rights, inclusive, reasonably conciliatory organizers of positive action like Dr. King, Thurgood Marshall, and Kweisi Mfume, or angry macho confrontationalists like Stokely Carmichael, Huey Newton, and Louis Farrakhan? or alternatively, "Catch any flies yet, sourpuss?" :-)


              • Re: Thelemic Morality?
                by Malcolm X on Thursday February 07, @11:12AM
                No one, of course, would ever suggest that anyone ever profited from a good-cop, bad-cop routine.

                Once one has the guts to start questioning any status quo, the good people who are also frustrated come out of the woodwork. One can see that in all the Israeli soldiers who are starting to refuse to defend isarael's incursions and settlements in the West Bank.


                • Malcolm X
                  by Peter Johnson on Thursday February 07, @06:29PM
                  "White America is doomed!" Finally, a statement we agree with.
                  "If I were black, I know I'd be angry." "You're always angry, anyway," you say. And I am. I am the angriest white man in America. I shoot people the finger for adjusting their rearview mirrors, I curse into the ears of telemarketers ... Mid-twentieth century, Malcolm's eighth grade teacher patronizing him: "You've got to be realistic about being a nigger, Malcolm." And Malcolm thinks: By any means necessary! ... Two blocks down, our resident skinhead rearranges his collection of human skulls, says he can prove white superiority by measuring the distance between his navel and penis. "I am the reincarnation of Hitler," he announces. "I come from the planet Zeno." And Malcolm says, By any means necessary! And: When people are angry, they are not interested in logic, they are not interested in odds, they are not interested in consequences. Jimmy Reed was angry, just back from Nam with pink pills, blue pills, white pills, all wrapped in a ball of tinfoil. One night two tons of steel rods dropped from his overhead crane. "Maybe he wasn't angry," you say, "maybe just tired." And now, ladies and gentlemen, time for a few white liberal anecdotes--about your one black friend who took you to your first rap concert ("dog, it was phat"); about your one black friend who dated your sister ("he was a gentleman"); about your one black friend you got drunk with under a midnight sky brightened by sparks from the steel plant ("he called me Brother"). "White, blue-eyed devil." "Two-legged snake." "White ape and beast." We are all of these--even you, my tow-headed, green-eyed gangsta boy, with a black, silk bandanna around your head, lip-syncing lyrics of a Wu-Tang song predicting your doom.
                  When Malcolm was shot, some cops were sleeping, others playing three-card monte in the men's room. By any means necessary! Malcolm would have shouted.


                  • Re: Malcolm X
                    by Mordecai on Monday February 11, @05:06PM
                    Nice poetry. I wonder what jcat makes of it :-)


              • Re: Thelemic Morality?
                by Malcolm X on Thursday February 07, @11:12AM
                No one, of course, would ever suggest that anyone ever profited from a good-cop, bad-cop routine.

                Once one has the guts to start questioning any status quo, the good people who are also frustrated come out of the woodwork. One can see that in all the Israeli soldiers who are starting to refuse to defend Israel's incursions and settlements in the West Bank.


    Re: Thelemic Morality?
    by Matt on Monday February 04, @09:33PM
    "let them die in their misery. For they feel not."
    Could it be that there is a hidden Qabbalistic meaning here that is really the point? "For THEY feel NOT"
    I won't interpret any more. Anyone care to do Gemetria on "misery"?
    --Matt

    • Re: Thelemic Morality?
      by jcat on Tuesday February 05, @12:24AM
      ...i think misery..is another word for; history

      ya...let them die in thier history...more like it

      ...cuz misery is such a subjective; vague word

      don't ya know...people that have too much of history;

      do not feel NUIT


      • Re: Thelemic Morality?
        by Matt on Wednesday February 06, @08:09AM
        This is a confusing part of the Book (relatively speaking): Is "dying" something good or bad? (yeah, I know, that's relative, too...)
        Are we supposed to feel not (NUIT)?


    Spleen and Ideal
    by Peppermint Patty on Tuesday February 05, @10:46AM
    I think one could break down this question into two parts. The first would be what is "Thelemic Morality"? The second is, What is the morality of Thelemites? is there a difference?

    Part of the reason it makes sense for AC to have taught both yoga and magick is that each are about gaining control. In magick, one works to create change in conformity to will. In yoga, one works to exert total control over the self. As the mirco becomes the macro, and the marco becomes the miacro these two paths merge.

    Most Thelemites have gotten the message that control cannot come from without. But they haven't mastered the control coming from within (since it takes work and self-discipline). Part of this contradiction became evident in the so-called "Chaos magick" which groped towards some kind of nihilistic attack on all "control" and has fallen off in popularity as that "solution" proved unworkable.

    If one doesn't control the self, other forces (human or otherwise) will control it. Total self control - as it really is - scares people for any number of reasons. One of the implications is a measure of accountability few are ready to accept.

    Re: Thelemic Morality?
    by nexist on Tuesday February 05, @01:06PM
    Thelema posits no absolute system of Morality or Ethics in any obvious manner.

    However, Crowley's writings -- including "Duty" and "OZ" give indications of proper morality based upon certain presumptions. An incomplete list would be (append "It is a part of your Will" for each item in the list):

    1) To live.
    2) To enjoy the fruits of your labor, or dispose of them as you will.
    3) To interact favorably with the communal unit upon which you depend for your existence.

    From these we can extend basic moral action which are vital to any fucntional society, i.e. don't steal, kill, rape, & treat each other with politeness, etc.

    I do recommend Duty as a basis for investigations into Thelemic Morality and one's relationships with others.
    Duty

    • Re: Thelemic Morality?
      by hey joe on Wednesday February 06, @04:37PM
      Didn't AC's father preach more or less solely about "getting right with God?"

      To add to this, I was about 5 and playing with a large mound of sand when I came to troubling realisations I couldn't vocalise, this later solidified into bouts of the "Trance of Sorrow" as an adult.

      To do my will, I must be virtuous, consciousness of the ultimate "pointlessness" of action held by Thelemites, can be overcome by synthesis or Love.

      Joy comes about by the breaking of fear barriers, willfull rule-breaking or willfull hard-work.

      Discordant Choronzon and restriction of the natural will to love is sorrowfull. I observe nature to be bountifull and infinitely diverse, despite it's ultimate continuity. Glad tidings.
      A desire for death or cessation as manifested in drug habits is understandable by Thelemites or men and women of earth, and forgiveable, pride in such activity, I suppose is not.

      I too blame my mother :) and aim to be more of the Man.

      Having said that some virtuous habits are forming.
      I woke up v. early this morning, and was ready to hunt.

      Woe to creatures that fall below my right to sustenance!
      An announcement to those "making money!" and other foxes carousing in wilfull slaughter. A trumpet peel as clear as I can manage.

      I'm coming after you, and I can't help it :)

      I joyously await the dogs myself one day, and hope and expect that I will be torn to shreds quickly in beautiful sunlight after a long, cunning, but virtuous run. God knows that dogs want me badly enough. The dozy, cozy ungracefull clots.


    Re: Thelemic Morality?
    by J. A. on Thursday February 07, @12:00PM
    Hello once again.

    Morality, as you say, requires foremost that of absolute intelligence, thus general and personal, intimate and detached...is one-pointed.

    I would think then morality could only serve one's own foundation or agenda, if it were true n solid.

    Is it not written in the Thelemic Book of Rules: 1. I'm being nice to u by being wrong. 2. A world of unity is bloody boring. 3. Honesty is not trying to be something you're not. (That is, leave poetry to the poetically talented.) 4. ....(Now you try.)

    Re: Thelemic Morality?
    by Martin Hettland on Friday February 15, @05:31AM
    Sally Brown wrote:

    By this you mean that will controls love? Does this mean that love is supposed to be under control by will - in a Thelemic context? Does this mean that the self control of a Thelemite is absolute, to the point of it controling affection, love, etc.?

    In Christianity Love has as much to do with will as it has to do with emotion, Saint Augustin did for example define sin as missguided will.
    Crowley's Christian upbringing makes it understandable for him to connect will and love with eachother.

    I will not discuss the Book of the Law.

    Connecting Will and Love has been done by many in the history of Christianity, examples are Kant anf Hegel.
    Such a strict connection(=unity of love and law)is certainly envisaged in the gnostic application of the pleroma-concept(god as the absolute and union of everything), which for its part represent an allegorizing reinterpretation of both the gospel concept of pleroma and the cabbalistic concept of ha-Male.*

    *Gerschom Scholem, Ursprung and Anfänge der kabbala("Origin and the beginning of the Kabbala" [Berlin: 1962, 60 ff.])

    Re: Thelemic Morality?
    by Martin Hettland on Monday February 18, @10:46AM
    In Christianity there is a long tradition for connecting love with both emmotion and will, and this goes well together with what I find of truth in Crowley's stuff.

    This is in his famouse "Do what...etc. and "Love is the Law...etc.

    Crowley interprets Love as the union of opposites, and I would say that a pluralistic and open system where opposing oppinions and valuesystems can live together in the union of a society like for example the the USA untill now, fulfills Crowley's words on love, and to a lesser extent such a system of society allso fullfils Crowley's famouse words on will.

    What I am saying is that Love as interpreted by Crowley as the union of opposites is a public responsibility, whereas the fulfillment of your will is a privat responsibility.
    But the fulfillment of your individual will is easier to do when the public takes care of its responsibiltiy for the fulfillment of love.

    Crowley warned against discussing the content of his Book of the Law, and I do not find any truth of importance in this book.
    I do find some in Crowley's translation of the the Tao, and in his Magick without Tears, but the most important truth I find in his famous words on Law, Love and Will.
    Together with the Catholic church and Crowley, I allso hold the humanist view that a good and just world can be formed by human beings according to their good will.
    I hold this view in opposition to the view of the Protestant Martin Luther, who claimed that we were all hopelessly fallen in sin.

    Martin.

    • Re: Thelemic Morality?
      by Mordecai on Monday February 18, @03:19PM
      >what I find of truth in Crowley's stuff.
      >This is in his famouse "Do what...etc. and "Love is the Law...etc.

      >Crowley warned against discussing the content of
      >his Book of the Law, and I do not find any truth of importance in this book.

      Isn't this a bit of a contradiction? Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law and Love is the law, love under will. are, after all, quotes from the Book.


      • Re: Thelemic Morality?
        by Martin on Tuesday February 19, @05:22PM
        Is that so?...did Crowley never use those words before the socalled revelation of "The Book of The Law"?

        If he did not, others had before him, like Francis Rabelais(1495-1553) and the Hellfire Club in England during the 18th Century.

        Crowley used these words daily, and always when writing after he became convinced that he was a prophet, so you do not have to have read the 'Book'(I have not)or know that they are used in the 'Book([="The Book of The Law"]I did not know this), to discuss them.

        So I am not discussing the content of the 'Book', as I do not know the content of it.
        What I am 'discussing' is the words "Do what you will shall be the whole of the law. Love is the law, love under will."

        On the other hand, are you Mordecai stating that Crowley himself - or anyone else including yourself for that sake - discussing these words, are breaking Crowley's warning against discussing the content of the "Book of The Law", because these words are quotes from this book?
        And if it is the case that we are thus contradicting ourselves, what implication does this have, does it mean that we shall not discuss these words that Croweley used all the time, and that it was his will that others should use all the time also?
        Crowley's reason for warning against discussing the content of the "Book of the Law", might be to avoid words based on the 'Book' getting in the way of actions based on the 'Book'.
        I have found something similar on page 6 in the Handbook(titled "Ich Kãmpfe"[="I fight"]) for New Enrollers in the Nazi party 1943:
        "The Führer says: ...I want to ask the young to look to their predecessors in the Movement as examples so that they will realize that there is nothing superficial in being a National Socialist. It is not a matter of clothes, meetings and stars... but it is the heart that matters! ...For them it is not enough to simply confess "I believe" but to take the oath: "I fight"

        Crowley's famouse words on Will, Love and Law do fit Aleister's well grounded understanding of the Bible, where equating love with law is done repeatedly--examples:Matthew 7:12 and Romans 13:9-10.

        They also fits well with Crowley's Christian interpretation of Thelema:

        "It is the Law that Jesus Christ, or rather the Gnostic tradition of which the Christian-legend is a degredation, attempted to teach; but nearly every word he said was misinterpreted and garbled by his enemies, particularly by those who called themselves his disciples.
        In any case the Aeon was not ready for a Law of Freedom. Of all his followers only St. Augustine appears to have got even a glimmer of what he meant.
        A further attempt to teach this law was made through Sir Edward Kelly at the end of the sixteenth century. The bondage of orthodoxy prevented his words from being heard, or understood.
        (Chapter VIII - Genesis Libris Al - Equinox of the Gods - 1991, 93 Publishing


      • Re: Thelemic Morality?
        by Martin Hettland on Tuesday February 19, @05:29PM
        Is that so?...did Crowley never use those words before the socalled revelation of "The Book of The Law"?

        If he did not, others had before him, like Francis Rabelais(1495-1553) and the Hellfire Club in England during the 18th Century.

        Crowley used these words daily, and always when writing after he became convinced that he was a prophet, so you do not have to have read the 'Book'(I have not)or know that they are used in the 'Book([="The Book of The Law"]I did not know this), to discuss them.

        So I am not discussing the content of the 'Book', as I do not know the content of it.
        What I am 'discussing' is the words "Do what you will shall be the whole of the law. Love is the law, love under will."

        On the other hand, are you Mordecai stating that Crowley himself - or anyone else including yourself for that sake - discussing these words, are breaking Crowley's warning against discussing the content of the "Book of The Law", because these words are quotes from this book?
        And if it is the case that we are thus contradicting ourselves, what implication does this have, does it mean that we shall not discuss these words that Croweley used all the time, and that it was his will that others should use all the time also?
        Crowley's reason for warning against discussing the content of the "Book of the Law", might be to avoid words based on the 'Book' getting in the way of actions based on the 'Book'.
        I have found something similar on page 6 in the Handbook(titled "Ich Kãmpfe"[="I fight"]) for New Enrollers in the Nazi party 1943:
        "The Führer says: ...I want to ask the young to look to their predecessors in the Movement as examples so that they will realize that there is nothing superficial in being a National Socialist. It is not a matter of clothes, meetings and stars... but it is the heart that matters! ...For them it is not enough to simply confess "I believe" but to take the oath: "I fight"

        Crowley's famouse words on Will, Love and Law do fit Aleister's well grounded understanding of the Bible, where equating love with law is done repeatedly--examples:Matthew 7:12 and Romans 13:9-10.

        They also fits well with Crowley's Christian interpretation of Thelema:

        "It is the Law that Jesus Christ, or rather the Gnostic tradition of which the Christian-legend is a degredation, attempted to teach; but nearly every word he said was misinterpreted and garbled by his enemies, particularly by those who called themselves his disciples.
        In any case the Aeon was not ready for a Law of Freedom. Of all his followers only St. Augustine appears to have got even a glimmer of what he meant.
        A further attempt to teach this law was made through Sir Edward Kelly at the end of the sixteenth century. The bondage of orthodoxy prevented his words from being heard, or understood.
        (Chapter VIII - Genesis Libris Al - Equinox of the Gods - 1991, 93 Publishing


        • Re: Thelemic Morality?
          by Martin Hettland on Wednesday February 20, @07:07AM
          I claim in the thread above that I do not find any truth of importance in the "Book of the Law", and at the same time I say that I do not know the content of the book.

          This might seem like a contradiction, but what I know from the book is only tidbits that I have gathered from various sources like for example Xnobious' posting "The Key of it All" in the thread above.

          I find gemetria("number magic") a dead end and a waste of time, as far as gemetria is a part of kabbalah I also find kabbalah a dead end, but my main argument against kabbalah is that it involves to much work getting a good understanding of this subject as there are to many longwinded texts written on the subject.
          --The Qabalah was Crowley'd continual study from 1898 untill his death in 1947, and Crowley felt the need to go through many lifetimes to get a deep enough understanding of the Qabalah.

          The kind of Tao that was Crowley's continual study from 1908 to 1918 when he left the U.S.A., is on he other hand based on a basic text consisting of less then 5500 characters, the Tao Teh Ching which was "translated" by Crowley as Liber CLVII.

          Martin.


          • Re: Thelemic Morality?
            by Mordecai on Wednesday February 20, @09:50AM
            >the Tao Teh Ching which was "translated" by Crowley

            I'm glad you put translated in quotes. What Crowley actually did was to paraphrase Legge's English translation; he didn't work from the original Chinese. Though the Liber is an accurate representation of Crowley's thinking about Daoism it has almost nothing to do with an accurate representation of the actual text.


            • Re: Thelemic Morality?
              by Martin Hettland on Friday February 22, @05:47AM
              Thankyou for pointing this out Mordecai.

              Earlier in this thread you pointed out that discussing the meaning of Crowley's Thelemic use of the words will, love and law contradicts Crowley's warning against discussing the content of the "Book of the Law, because these words are quotes from this book.

              I guess this thread titled "Thelemic Morality?" is such a discussion.

              As to the questions raised by Matt at the start of this thread: "What sort of morality does the Thelemic system adhere to? Is the only standard to follow one's will?"

              My answer to the first: Thelema is not a permanent system which adheres to only one sort of morality.
              Thelema referes to the divine(the The- as in theology[the study of the divine/God])-will in any individual person, this divine will is to be found and acted out by the individual person.
              My answer to the second question:
              Yes, this is the only standard, as explained by Crowley in "Magick Without Tears", where he also writes that comitting a crime means giving up ones own right to protection againt that sort of crime. Thus the criminal becomes some sort of outlaw among the people adhering to this view on crime.

              You can also find Crowley's stand on charity in "Magick Without Tears", where Crowley recommends that you treat the person(-s) receiving something from you with the same courtesy - and in a way similar to - as if you were making an invitation to dinner and/or a conversation.

              Your quotes from "The Book of the Law" I leave it up to you to meditate over if you will search your own divine will.

              Personally I am convinced that it is not necessary to know the "The Book of the Law" to find your own divine will.

              Martin.


              • Re: Thelemic Morality?
                by Mordecai on Friday February 22, @09:40AM
                >Personally I am convinced that it is not necessary to know
                >the "The Book of the Law" to find your own divine will.

                I agree completely, as I believe would Crowley. In Christianity theologians have struggled with what to do with all the righteous people who have never heard of Jesus, since belief in Jesus is so integral to their primitive religion. In Thelema we have no such problem. Doing one's will is in no way related to mouthing the proper slogans.


                • Re: Thelemic Morality?
                  by star_phoenix on Thursday March 28, @07:34PM
                  In all of this discussion about Thelemic morality I see a danger of falling into the trap succinctly described by Gurdjieff as 'pouring from the empty into the void'.

                  The dynamic application of will in the life cannot be conceived of or acted upon through philosophical reflection. The apprehension of will is less cerebral than instinctual. It's a knowledge of blood, not grey matter - and sadly many who rap on interminably about the meaning of will don't have a blind bat's chance in hell of ever seeing the light. Crowley after all climbed, fucked and played chess with great gusto and in these endevours he was 'enabling will', because the activities were never merely an end in themselves, but a means to an end. Life was Crowley's gymnasium.

                  Love likewise, understood as agape, can only be grasped in action and not in the abstract.

                  Those who want to 'think their way' to being Thelemic should consider joining the Theosophists because Thelema if nothing else - is the path of action.



     
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