Thelema

Convictions, morals, other societies and religions.
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Heith
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Thelema

Postby Heith » Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:45 am

I was wondering, how do our members & guests view Thelema?

I've never been a Thelemite, but I had some budding interest towards this at one point- mainly because of the Book of the Law. I particularly enjoy the Book of Nuit and sometimes listen to this as I'm drawing. Another reason for such sympathy might be reading & listening to Lon Milo DuQuette- a thoroughly hilarious chap. I recommend his "My life with the spirits" for light & amusing read.

The character of Crowley is problematic to some and I can understand this- even if I think that much of the sides of uncle Aleister have swollen out of proportion. What can one say, the dead are at the mercy of the living. I admire Crowley's determination to meddle in so many fields- a mountaineer, poet, magician and so forth, as I would respect anyone with so many interests and ambitions regardless of their personality. But, I'm not going to make this a thread about Crowley. So, putting him aside (for now at least).

I confess a great fascination towards Babalon aka, the Scarlet Woman that appears in Thelemic writings from time to time. Not a Thelemic invention, but she holds a esteem there nevertheless. For me, it's somewhat easy to admire and love her, and I do feel a pull towards her. The Scarlet Woman parallels in some ways with my current studies and work, and perhaps this is why I came up with the thread as well.

The "Do What Thou Wilt" - guideline in it's simplicity works well. If every man and woman is a star, we all have our destined rhythm and path in the universe. And as soon as we discover our Will and start to live by it, there will be no more clashes, no more stars our of their track.

I do not know any Thelemites, so my information and impression might not be quite correct. Feel free to correct where I go wrong :)
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Insanus
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Re: Thelema

Postby Insanus » Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:35 pm

I was a member of A.'.A.'. years ago, but the connection with my mentor ended as I started to go immensely proud & mad with astral visions.
Thelema & 93 are probably the most important teachings for me & I too share the fascination towards Babalon. The Book of Lies means more to me than the Book of Law does, though Liber 718 (Book of Law's commentary) is a challenging & very interesting book. I'd recommend it (Liber 718) to everyone interested in the Brotherhood's Red Aspect: there's some (useful & important) challenge finding a good, non-compromising interpretation without accepting physical violence.

Do what thou wilt obviously works in it's simplicity... but there's always the threat of
"Love is the excuse, Will to Power", which seems to never get that much attention.
Myrkky sattuu siihen jolla on haava.
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Heith
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Re: Thelema

Postby Heith » Sun Nov 10, 2013 11:36 am

Insanus wrote:I'd recommend it (Liber 718) to everyone interested in the Brotherhood's Red Aspect: there's some (useful & important) challenge finding a good, non-compromising interpretation without accepting physical violence.
Excellent. I shall take a look. Thank you.
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Nefastos
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Re: Thelema

Postby Nefastos » Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:06 pm

I was just reading R.G. Torrens' book The Inner Teachings of the Golden Dawn, a good and practical guide that isn't shallow. Torrens says it very much like we did with brother Noesis discussing the subject not long time ago:

"Whatever went wrong with [Crowley's] application of magic to his personal ends, there is no doubt that by digging amongst his leg-pulling and pornography can be found many pearls of wisdom." (p.85, Magic)

The both of those "leg-pulling & pornography" I take to mean his wrong hubris which failed to act with uttermost dedication to honesty & love - not as abstractions of something under or over something but as everyday reality.

Thelema would have much to offer to more rigidly Right Hand Path forms of modern occultism - Theosophy or Traditionalism, for example. But it should also be ready to give up some shallowness considering how one's personality & sacred Self are actually to be united. More personal sacrifice than Crowley ever did is a must.
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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Sebomai
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Re: Thelema

Postby Sebomai » Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:16 am

Thanks for the shout out, fra. Nefastos. I agree, Crowley is an example, to me, of what can happen when a brilliant, gifted occultist goes horribly awry. It's something you point out time and again in Fosforos... that there are more and greater dangers for the gifted than the ignorant. Crowley is example Number One of that, for me. I still find a great deal of value in his work, when it is read very carefully. Thelema is something I dearly love, despite its many flaws. I incorporate its principles into my more right hand path moments. Hopefully I do it better than Crowley did!
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Re: Thelema

Postby RaktaZoci » Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:28 am

Insanus wrote: I'd recommend it (Liber 718) to everyone interested in the Brotherhood's Red Aspect: there's some (useful & important) challenge finding a good, non-compromising interpretation without accepting physical violence.
which can be found here, apparently:
http://www.aiwass.com/Liber440.pdf
die Eule der Minerva beginnt erst mit der einbrechenden Dämmerung ihren Flug.
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Jiva
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Re: Thelema

Postby Jiva » Tue Aug 26, 2014 1:06 am

Heith wrote:The "Do What Thou Wilt" - guideline in it's simplicity works well. If every man and woman is a star, we all have our destined rhythm and path in the universe. And as soon as we discover our Will and start to live by it, there will be no more clashes, no more stars our of their track.
"Do What Thou Wilt" gets thrown around a lot and is probably one of the major aspects of esotericism/occultism that people new to the subject will be familiar with. I suppose many will be familiar with this quote via Crowley, but despite buying a few of his books I still haven't read through any so I don't really know anything about his interpretation. I'm mostly familiar with the quote due to Rabelais' Gargantua and Pantagruel where it is the motto of the Abbey of Thélème, a place where there are no masters or rules. Here's the major quote taken from Wikipedia:
All their life was spent not in laws, statutes, or rules, but according to their own free will and pleasure. They rose out of their beds when they thought good; they did eat, drink, labour, sleep, when they had a mind to it and were disposed for it. None did awake them, none did offer to constrain them to eat, drink, nor to do any other thing; for so had Gargantua established it. In all their rule and strictest tie of their order there was but this one clause to be observed, Do What Thou Wilt; because men that are free, well-born, well-bred, and conversant in honest companies, have naturally an instinct and spur that prompteth them unto virtuous actions, and withdraws them from vice, which is called honour. Those same men, when by base subjection and constraint they are brought under and kept down, turn aside from that noble disposition by which they formerly were inclined to virtue, to shake off and break that bond of servitude wherein they are so tyrannously enslaved; for it is agreeable with the nature of man to long after things forbidden and to desire what is denied us.
There always seem to be Nietzschean associations with “Do What Thou Wilt” as it does posit an existence 'beyond good and evil' as well as highlighting the supposed importance of being “well-born and well-bred” which is reminiscent of Nietzsche's conception of the aristocracy. Naturally this could be extended to the dichotomy of the master and slave relationship. I think these associations complete with a misunderstanding of Nietzsche and the general perception of Crowley have resulted with “Do What Thou Wilt” being affiliated with simplistic, egotistical hedonism. However it could just as easily refer to a brotherhood/kaula/whatever such as the SoA is, it simply depends on the interpretation.

Although it's commonly agreed that Rabelais was a Catholic, albeit a controversial one with a Christian Humanist disposition, I can't help but this of that passage by Rabelais in conjunction with a quote Nefastos posted a few months ago by Emperor Julian:
Is it not extremely odd, for example, that God refused to the beings he created the power to tell the difference between good and evil? Can anyone imagine anything more absurd than such a being, one unable to tell what is acceptable from what is wicked? It should have been evident that left to himself man would not avoid the latter, I mean evil things, nor pursue the former, I mean good things. The heart of matter is that God refused to let man taste of wisdom, even though nothing could be more important to mankind.

Even the fool recognizes that wisdom includes the power to tell the difference between the good and what is less good, and so considered it emerges that the serpent was really acting as benefactor of the human race. Moreover: their God is to be called malignant...
Perhaps it's the discovery of this quote that has caused me to view "Do What Thou Wilt" in a wider context rather than in relation to an exclusive group of nobility locked away from the world in an abbey.
'Oh Krishna, restless and overpowering, this mind is overwhelmingly strong; I think we might as easily gain control over the wind as over this.'
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Heith
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Re: Thelema

Postby Heith » Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:48 am

Very interesting. Thank you, Jiva.
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Jiva
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Re: Thelema

Postby Jiva » Tue Sep 02, 2014 12:33 am

Actually, I was wondering if anyone had any views on either the “Do what thou wilt” quote or especially Crowley's other mantra “Love is the law, love under will”? I'm really interested in the latter as, according to Wikipedia (which is always dangerous, I know :P), both Thelema (Will) and Agape (Love) calculate in Greek isopsephy to 93. Basically I'm curious why Love is subservient to Will especially as they have the same numeric value, or if this is even a correct assertion. After all, it's only a brief sentence which could be interpreted in any number of ways...
'Oh Krishna, restless and overpowering, this mind is overwhelmingly strong; I think we might as easily gain control over the wind as over this.'
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Insanus
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Re: Thelema

Postby Insanus » Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:53 am

Jiva wrote:Actually, I was wondering if anyone had any views on either the “Do what thou wilt” quote or especially Crowley's other mantra “Love is the law, love under will”? I'm really interested in the latter as, according to Wikipedia (which is always dangerous, I know :P), both Thelema (Will) and Agape (Love) calculate in Greek isopsephy to 93. Basically I'm curious why Love is subservient to Will especially as they have the same numeric value, or if this is even a correct assertion. After all, it's only a brief sentence which could be interpreted in any number of ways...
My favorite topic.

IMO the idea is that as long as your motivation for acting is anything else than Love, you're not actually acting yourself proactively, but mostly react & repeat things you've learned and/or let astral impulses/beings act through you. Love is the highest value (and the key to freeing one's will from bondage), but love is love only "under will", because otherwise it'd be passive dreaming and astral stuff again. That's why, even though in the end Love=Will, from an unenlightened perspective it's better to say love under will.
Myrkky sattuu siihen jolla on haava.

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