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Attracted to Thelema but not sure about Crowley


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#21 Chaotic Occultist

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 09:21 PM

You guys really gave me some food for thought. I'm still a Chaoist at heart so I will probably experiment with Thelemic rituals a bit. I doubt I will become a full fledged Thelemite though. Thanks for everyone's input. Uncle Al is a complex character and it is enlightening to hear peoples opinions about his character and impact on the magical scene.

#22 The Stalking Hyena

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 03:09 PM

Just thought I'd put some info to help put Crowley and Thelema into broader perspective:

http://en.wikipedia....iki/Carpocrates
Precedent for the idea of experiencing every vice to attain salvation.

(sorry it's Wiki - fastest sources)

Did this guy have a Scarlet Woman?
http://en.wikipedia....iki/Simon_Magus

The Abbey of Theleme and inuendo as a spiritual weapon:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabelais

Tip of the ice berg, that's all. Almost a cure...

1+(-1)=0

#23 IAO131

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 06:17 PM

93,

Lots of misconceptions here.

Caliban said:

Yes, he did survive prison, but his health was broken and he never really recovered.

The XI° is included as an ancillary grade of the OTO because it isn't a universally useful or palatable approach. Notice that the numeration reverses the IX° - which employs conventional heterosexual intercourse. XI, 11, is also the number associated with the Qlippoth, and even Crowley, who was bisexual, was somewhat disturbed at times by the resonances inherent in XI° work.

XIº being not part of the formal structure has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with being not 'useful' or 'palatable.' Its because it refers to technical magick involving anal (as opposed to the more traditional vaginal) sex, homosexual OR heterosexual. It does not apply to the normal degree structure of the OTO and is often simply a name for that type of working. IXº is not simply having sex, either.

If you think 11 is simply the number of Qliphoth (and I know you are more knowledgeable than that) you need to read the Book of the Law and 777. It is literally the number of Magick. You later say "Crowley also took 11 as the supreme number of Magick and the Great Work, as it was the union of 5 (microcosm) + 6 (macrocosm), and in this regard he assigned it to the formula ABRAHADABRA, a word of 11 letters, including 5 A's, another name of the pentagram being the pentalpha." so it makes no sense why you would insist it refers primarily to the Qliphoth.

Do you have ANY evidence to back up your claim that AC was 'somewhat disturbed at times' by any of this? I would say quite to the contrary.

Caliban said:

Well, possibly.

Also look at it as numerals: 11, 1 + 1

This denies Unity by opposing two unities, where 1 and even 10 do not.

This is just wrong. 11 is also an expression of 2 (11=1+1=2) as in half of the 'None and Two' formula. This Two is often expressed as 1+(-1) which cancels out to 0. That is not a denying of unity but an expression of it in vibration/duality.

Quote

Yeah - silly, I know...

Pretty much.

To the OP and others, I highly recommend reading Liber ABA/Magick, Book of Lies, and 777 to see his genius be readily apparent.

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#24 Son of the Wave

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 07:23 PM

IAO131 said:

To the OP and others, I highly recommend reading Liber ABA/Magick, Book of Lies, and 777 to see his genius be readily apparent.
Co-signing. And further apparent in The Vision and the Voice, Liber Aleph vel CXI: The Book of Wisdom or Folly, Konx Om Pax, and the collection of essays The Revival of Magick.

As for most of the rest of this thread... ;)

#25 Isaac

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 09:09 PM

Not going to say anything at all but that and this following old beaten phrase

"Ideal over the Idol" (not a perfect fit but close enough XD)
The Spirit of Air shall receive a soul, and the dream shall be a thought. We shall be swept away no more before the tempest, but shall bridle the winged steeds of the morning and guide the course of the evening winds that may flee into Thy presence.

#26 IAO131

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 12:02 AM

Nalyd Khezr Bey said:

Co-signing. And further apparent in The Vision and the Voice, Liber Aleph vel CXI: The Book of Wisdom or Folly, Konx Om Pax, and the collection of essays The Revival of Magick.

As for most of the rest of this thread... ;)

Revival of Magick is great. Liber Aleph is dense but amazing - definitely one to keep coming back to, especially if you take initiations in OTO. Liber 418 is also dense, almost like Book of Revelation of Thelema with the intensity of visions. Konx Om Pax has some great parts - the quotes preceding Wake World and the essay Thien Tao are my favorites.

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#27 The Stalking Hyena

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 04:39 PM

IAO131 said:

Revival of Magick is great. Liber Aleph is dense but amazing - definitely one to keep coming back to, especially if you take initiations in OTO. Liber 418 is also dense, almost like Book of Revelation of Thelema with the intensity of visions. Konx Om Pax has some great parts - the quotes preceding Wake World and the essay Thien Tao are my favorites.

93 93/93

Given the genius of Crowley and the irrelevancy of his proclivities, do you feel it is possible to separate him from Thelema? Or more to the point, can one be 'Thelemic' and ignore Crowley entirely - that is, put up blinds to all the formulations he invented/discovered that are rife throughout his published rituals. That is what I think was the original issue put forth by Chaotic Occultist. I would like to hear your answer, since you are a Thelemite.;)

#28 IAO131

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 12:37 AM

The Stalking Hyena said:

Given the genius of Crowley and the irrelevancy of his proclivities, do you feel it is possible to separate him from Thelema? Or more to the point, can one be 'Thelemic' and ignore Crowley entirely - that is, put up blinds to all the formulations he invented/discovered that are rife throughout his published rituals. That is what I think was the original issue put forth by Chaotic Occultist. I would like to hear your answer, since you are a Thelemite.:)

93,

No. There are not THAT many blinds. The Book of the Law has none. There are some blinds in the LBRP but they arent really even that huge and the ritual works as written in Liber O, for example.

To be a Thelemite means essentially to accept the Law of Thelema which was written and elucidated by Aleister Crowley. I think people who say anyone who is doing their Will is a Thelemite want to make the term absolutely meaningless. It makes sense to say something is 'Thelemic' in terms of it adhering to its various principles but it makes no sense to me for anyone to claim to be a Thelemite but not even accept most of the Book of the Law or AC as a prophet, etc.

I find the proclivity of separating 'Crowley the man' from 'Crowley the prophet' to be naive and immature. It simply comes down to people saying 'What I agree with must be AC the prophet and what I disagree with or have problems with must be AC the man.' No. Even if you believe something like VVVVV chose AC as a vessel, that was for a reason and we would have no Thelema if his hand did not put the words to the paper in the form of the Holy Books. His personality is, in my opinion, integral to Thelema for multiple reasons - one being his knowledge making common superstitions not possible based on sectarianism or lack of awareness of other traditions and another being that he is a great way to get people to realize that AC is not the 'ideal' of Thelema and to be imitated in the Christian notion of Imitatio Christi.

I am a fundie in that way.

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#29 The Stalking Hyena

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 06:05 PM

IAO131 said:

93,

No. There are not THAT many blinds.

I meant 'blinds' in the sense of the user's (sometimes author's) intentional ignorance, not deception on the part of Crowley. For example: using the Thoth deck while ignoring that it's got Crowley's personal stamp all over it. Or, the frothing THERION! in the Star Ruby while one's diminutive Ruach shrivels: "Ew! Crowley's gross..."
Or reading Schueler's Enochiana - which seems nothing but 418, distilled into a vague 'this is its own thing.' Granted, he speaks much of AC, but I never picked up on the signpost of 'This way to the Abbey.'
You see what I am saying?


IAO131 said:

To be a Thelemite means essentially to accept the Law of Thelema which was written and elucidated by Aleister Crowley... It makes sense to say something is 'Thelemic' in terms of it adhering to its various principles but it makes no sense to me for anyone to claim to be a Thelemite but not even accept most of the Book of the Law or AC as a prophet, etc.

Thanks for the perspective. 'Thelemic' vs. 'Thelema' does smack of something similar to a Dawkins style secular humanist toting Christian values. I mean that in the loosest sense.


IAO131 said:

I find the proclivity of separating 'Crowley the man' from 'Crowley the prophet' to be naive and immature.

Ironic, considering that he sometimes described himself in this way!

IAO131 said:

It simply comes down to people saying 'What I agree with must be AC the prophet and what I disagree with or have problems with must be AC the man.'

But if we step aside from the viewpoint of sanctity, and wander into the realm of appreciation, can we not divide the two, and get on with our day?
Or, to really put Crowley to the question, what 'unifies' the 'raving perv who did not care about anyone but himself' and the 'prophet' who only wished to 'help humanity'?
Most people I talk to see one and not the other, or are in the habit of ignoring AC entirely (as I tried to illustrate above). But, using Crowley's 'Hegelian' style of reasoning, there must be a third aspect to unite the two, and soothe all the moral discomfort.

IAO131 said:

His personality is, in my opinion, integral to Thelema for multiple reasons - one being his knowledge making common superstitions not possible based on sectarianism or lack of awareness of other traditions and another being that he is a great way to get people to realize that AC is not the 'ideal' of Thelema and to be imitated in the Christian notion of Imitatio Christi.

I think the problem that many have who approach Crowley is that he was so multifaceted that it makes it difficult to figure who he really was. Most people want to chock a man up to good or bad - focused mainly on the bad, because the stain sticks out against the white, so to speak. Crowley knew this, and exploited/expounded on it, but he didn't help himself in terms of general PR. But if we look at his life as an honest to goodness magical operation, then all of it fits into place. In any event, his life seems more focused than, say, a Rasputin or Cagliostro. I dunno...I'm trailing off at this point...

#30 IAO131

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 05:44 AM

The Stalking Hyena said:

I meant 'blinds' in the sense of the user's (sometimes author's) intentional ignorance, not deception on the part of Crowley. For example: using the Thoth deck while ignoring that it's got Crowley's personal stamp all over it. Or, the frothing THERION! in the Star Ruby while one's diminutive Ruach shrivels: "Ew! Crowley's gross..."
Or reading Schueler's Enochiana - which seems nothing but 418, distilled into a vague 'this is its own thing.' Granted, he speaks much of AC, but I never picked up on the signpost of 'This way to the Abbey.'
You see what I am saying?

No. Therion in Star Ruby refers to Chokmah and not AC the dude.



Quote

Thanks for the perspective. 'Thelemic' vs. 'Thelema' does smack of something similar to a Dawkins style secular humanist toting Christian values. I mean that in the loosest sense.

To be fair, you can have values similar to Christians but not justify them by saying they are the Word of God. Then again I think its ridiculous they (Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris) basically are covert Christians when they talk about morals (violence is evil!)


Quote

Ironic, considering that he sometimes described himself in this way!

[source needed]



Quote

But if we step aside from the viewpoint of sanctity, and wander into the realm of appreciation, can we not divide the two, and get on with our day?
Or, to really put Crowley to the question, what 'unifies' the 'raving perv who did not care about anyone but himself' and the 'prophet' who only wished to 'help humanity'?

The same thing that unifies your different actions into one coherent identity.

Quote

Most people I talk to see one and not the other, or are in the habit of ignoring AC entirely (as I tried to illustrate above). But, using Crowley's 'Hegelian' style of reasoning, there must be a third aspect to unite the two, and soothe all the moral discomfort.

The problem is with names and the difficulty of talking about the subject of identity. How is it someone can say "I am clothed with the body of flesh; I am one with the Eternal and Omnipotent God" (Liber LXV) ?? Its a difficult subject.



Quote

I think the problem that many have who approach Crowley is that he was so multifaceted that it makes it difficult to figure who he really was. Most people want to chock a man up to good or bad - focused mainly on the bad, because the stain sticks out against the white, so to speak. Crowley knew this, and exploited/expounded on it, but he didn't help himself in terms of general PR. But if we look at his life as an honest to goodness magical operation, then all of it fits into place. In any event, his life seems more focused than, say, a Rasputin or Cagliostro. I dunno...I'm trailing off at this point...

Most peoples problems involve selective perception & cherry picking - both people who hate and love AC/Thelema.

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#31 buudhaluv

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 12:41 PM

If this is redundant very sorry. I haven't read every post.

There are quite a few Thelemic orders out there that are not practitioners of "Crowleyanity". Some orders use his works and writings as important lessons but not necessarily all of it and certainly not wanting to emulate his life. Of course you cannot have Thelema 100% without Crowley but you don't have to delve into madness as much as he did(perhaps he was doing us a favor by going that far off). Thelema is a personal journey and we draw from many sources and certainly from modern thelemites. Crowley himself believed in a healthy skepticism, we do practice a science after all(by "we" I mean those who practice magick, mysticism etc..).

Our Wills are not all the same and certainly through your practice (if you choose to continue down this wonderful path or any one of your choosing any mysticism has pretty much the same goal) your Will will NEVER be the same as Crowley's. You will not turn into him and he is no God to emulate and it's ok to disagree with him. He came up with a knew twist on a very old way of thinking that really melds well with some people.

In the words of Crowley himself: "I admit that my visions can never mean to other men as much as they do to me. I do not regret this. All I ask is that my results should convince seekers after truth that there is beyond doubt something worth while seeking, attainable by methods more or less like mine. I do not want to father a flock, to be the fetish of fools and fanatics, or the founder of a faith whose followers are content to echo my opinions. I want each man to cut his own way through the jungle." The Confessions of Aliester Crowley

You can shop around for an order. Most are pretty receptive to new members and you can have a nice chat with someone you can ask about their view of The Master Therion.

Love is the Law, Love under Will

#32 IAO131

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 05:26 PM

buudhaluv said:

If this is redundant very sorry. I haven't read every post.

There are quite a few Thelemic orders out there that are not practitioners of "Crowleyanity". Some orders use his works and writings as important lessons but not necessarily all of it and certainly not wanting to emulate his life. Of course you cannot have Thelema 100% without Crowley but you don't have to delve into madness as much as he did(perhaps he was doing us a favor by going that far off). Thelema is a personal journey and we draw from many sources and certainly from modern thelemites. Crowley himself believed in a healthy skepticism, we do practice a science after all(by "we" I mean those who practice magick, mysticism etc..).

This implies some Orders are practitioners of Crowleyanity - care to name names? Just wondering, since it seems that is always a jab used towards groups/people while they actually dont worship AC like people claim.

Quote

Our Wills are not all the same and certainly through your practice (if you choose to continue down this wonderful path or any one of your choosing any mysticism has pretty much the same goal) your Will will NEVER be the same as Crowley's. You will not turn into him and he is no God to emulate and it's ok to disagree with him. He came up with a knew twist on a very old way of thinking that really melds well with some people.

Agreed.

Quote

In the words of Crowley himself: "I admit that my visions can never mean to other men as much as they do to me. I do not regret this. All I ask is that my results should convince seekers after truth that there is beyond doubt something worth while seeking, attainable by methods more or less like mine. I do not want to father a flock, to be the fetish of fools and fanatics, or the founder of a faith whose followers are content to echo my opinions. I want each man to cut his own way through the jungle." The Confessions of Aliester Crowley

Agreed but there are also quotes showing he is the Logos of the Aeon, prophet of Thelema, and such - that doesnt mean we have to be faith-ridden fanatics echoing his opinions but it does mean he is the source of the Law of Thelema, along with the genius encompassed in the 10 volumes of the Equinox, his A.'.A.'. & OTO systems, etc.

Quote

You can shop around for an order. Most are pretty receptive to new members and you can have a nice chat with someone you can ask about their view of The Master Therion.

Love is the Law, Love under Will

I dont think 'shopping around' is really the right answer since there are a lot of crappy or defunct ones out there, but Do what thou wilt.

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#33 The Stalking Hyena

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 07:40 PM

IAO131 said:

No. Therion in Star Ruby refers to Chokmah and not AC the dude.

Ah. Very good. A gap of ignorance filled.

IAO131 said:

To be fair, you can have values similar to Christians but not justify them by saying they are the Word of God. Then again I think its ridiculous they (Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris) basically are covert Christians when they talk about morals (violence is evil!)

Always a hidden motive, even an unconscious one, as Nietszche would have it. Think I picked that up in Beyond Good and Evil...
Something about Kant.

IAO131 said:

[source needed]

Apologies - the Confessions - at least three places that impressed me - but I don't have an exact quote at this time. Gimme time, I'll hunt them down and re-post. K?

IAO131 said:

The problem is with names and the difficulty of talking about the subject of identity. How is it someone can say "I am clothed with the body of flesh; I am one with the Eternal and Omnipotent God" (Liber LXV) ?? Its a difficult subject.

And a fascinating one.

#34 The Stalking Hyena

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 07:49 PM

IAO131 said:

I dont think 'shopping around' is really the right answer since there are a lot of crappy or defunct ones out there, but Do what thou wilt.

I keep running into 'satanists' who somehow could afford Nightside of Eden, but know nothing about Grant or the TOTO, much less Crowley. I heard the Typhonians lost a court case for the rights to the name of the order - would you consider them defunct?

#35 IAO131

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 08:20 PM

The Stalking Hyena said:

Ah. Very good. A gap of ignorance filled.

Word. Therion-Babalon is a good way to look at it (Chokmah-Binah). I recommend studying Atu XI: Lust in this regard. Interestingly, Chaos is also attributed to Chokmah (in its Greek sense, not the normal sense) and it equals 156 in isopsephy.

Quote

Always a hidden motive, even an unconscious one, as Nietszche would have it. Think I picked that up in Beyond Good and Evil...
Something about Kant.

I think they fall into the same trap as CHristians sometimes e.g. that we NEED some absolute sense of morals or it WILL BE CHAAAOOOOSSS! They obviously are not familiar with the Law which is the supreme ethic, being infinitely elastic yet ultimately rigid.

Quote

Apologies - the Confessions - at least three places that impressed me - but I don't have an exact quote at this time. Gimme time, I'll hunt them down and re-post. K?

Sure... Ill be interested to see what you find.

Quote

And a fascinating one.

Cant say I disagree :P

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#36 The Stalking Hyena

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 06:02 PM

IAO131 said:

Sure... Ill be interested to see what you find.

EEGAD (fuming with self irritation) - I'll have to give it up for now. I just don't have the time. I skimmed back through the Confessions and found a great deal I had intended to get back to, but not the portions I could have sworn where he refers to his innate 'naivety'. I'm embarrassed, to say the least - but Al has often played tricks on me.:)
I know I will find it when I am not looking. It's probably in Magick Without Tears (which sidetracked me into reading the Confessions in the first place!)
All I can say was that in reading these I was impressed by what I percieved was an attempt to demonstrate his humility (even an essential innocence - not to challenge his wisdom, just a description of his inner self). The inital comment I made was meant to be humorous, loosely connected with other perceptions of his work where his 'scholarship' is biased and his perceptions are 'immature'. Those references are a little easier to provide, and have oft been the source of criticisms by other authors both in and outside the occult.
So, in holding to my own principles, I make the admission that I am no scholar. As I have just done with my cat who pissed in the corner, I will go and rub my nose into my Plato and Hermetica until I can come back full circle to the modern occultists.
MANTRA FOR THE DAY:
Quit getting side tracked.
Om. Peace...peace...
Admissions of ignorance aside, this was a pleasant conversation.;)

#37 IAO131

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 10:48 PM

The Stalking Hyena said:

EEGAD (fuming with self irritation) - I'll have to give it up for now. I just don't have the time. I skimmed back through the Confessions and found a great deal I had intended to get back to, but not the portions I could have sworn where he refers to his innate 'naivety'. I'm embarrassed, to say the least - but Al has often played tricks on me.:)
I know I will find it when I am not looking. It's probably in Magick Without Tears (which sidetracked me into reading the Confessions in the first place!)
All I can say was that in reading these I was impressed by what I percieved was an attempt to demonstrate his humility (even an essential innocence - not to challenge his wisdom, just a description of his inner self). The inital comment I made was meant to be humorous, loosely connected with other perceptions of his work where his 'scholarship' is biased and his perceptions are 'immature'. Those references are a little easier to provide, and have oft been the source of criticisms by other authors both in and outside the occult.
So, in holding to my own principles, I make the admission that I am no scholar. As I have just done with my cat who pissed in the corner, I will go and rub my nose into my Plato and Hermetica until I can come back full circle to the modern occultists.
MANTRA FOR THE DAY:
Quit getting side tracked.
Om. Peace...peace...
Admissions of ignorance aside, this was a pleasant conversation.;)

93,

He was indeed quite humble at times. For example take this quote from Liber CL: De Lege Libellum:

[INDENT]"Here then let me make open confession, and say thus: though I pledged myself almost in boyhood to the Great Work, though to my aid came the most puissant forces in the whole Universe to hold me to it, though habit itself now constraineth me in the right direction, yet I have not fulfilled my Will: I turn aside daily from the appointed task. I waver. I falter. I lag.

Let this then be of great comfort to you all, that if I be so imperfect— and for very shame I have not emphasized that imperfection— if I, the chosen one, still fail, then how easy for yourselves to surpass me! Or, should you only equal me, then even so how great attainment should be yours!

Be of good cheer, therefore, since both my failure and my success are arguments of courage for yourselves."[/INDENT]


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#38 buudhaluv

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 11:33 AM

"This implies some Orders are practitioners of Crowleyanity - care to name names? Just wondering, since it seems that is always a jab used towards groups/people while they actually dont worship AC like people claim."

You are correct that that is a jab at groups that some would consider "Crowleyites" and I'm not being very fair to them by making a claim when I do not know the insides and outs of other orders except my own. I have heard of other orders/groups/people that some would consider "Crowleyites" but perhaps they would not consider themselves as such. I suppose I should have also take into consideration what is defined as a "Crowleyite". I do not care to name names.



"Agreed but there are also quotes showing he is the Logos of the Aeon, prophet of Thelema, and such - that doesnt mean we have to be faith-ridden fanatics echoing his opinions but it does mean he is the source of the Law of Thelema, along with the genius encompassed in the 10 volumes of the Equinox, his A.'.A.'. & OTO systems, etc."

I do believe I said that there can be no Thelema without Crowley. I do not think that one can truly be a Thelemite without studying some of his works and certainly not without the Book of the Law. However there are a number of works that are not written by Crowley that are completely relevant to the Great Work. And personally, and I don't mean to start a war on this forum and perhaps that can be up for discussion later or it already has been, but I do not believe that A.'.A.'. or OTO are necessarily genius systems. That is opinion and not fact and it is completely relative to the magician and his/her work within Thelema and their Will.


I dont think 'shopping around' is really the right answer since there are a lot of crappy or defunct ones out there, but Do what thou wilt.

Anyone seeking Thelema will probably have to look for an order/group that calls to them. And the best place to do that will be the internet for now. I suppose 'shopping around' was a very casual statement for a process that should probably be life changing. And if he/she runs into defunct or crappy ones they'll just have to keep 'shopping'.


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#39 Nefilim777

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 12:16 PM

Crowley, although he had his more devious moments, never asked for disciples, he never asked to be worship. People flocked to him, he had this incredible draw over men and women who became enamored by his charms.

Anyway, it shouldn't matter if you have a problem with Crowley. You are practicing Thelema, not Crowley worship. Follow your will and let no man say nay.
Sing the rapturous love-song unto me! Burn to me perfumes! Wear to me jewels! Drink to me, for I love you! I love you!

#40 Kuroyagi

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 05:30 PM

Like Nietzsches' some of the genius of Crowley was that he could apply large portions of our (well, my, for example) European tradition* of Christianity, Greek Philosophy and Humanism to the modern world and thereby give us something to work with. The fact that both those authors had to strictly negate xtianity by trying to incorporate its essence in themselves favours this observation (they as God, man-as-god), they both tried to suspend that dichotomy of the modern man who is caught relentlessly between tradition and inhuman progression via their very being and thereby, according to their means and abilities, sacrificed themselves on the altar of the world. They will not have been the only ones.

*Crowley was quite ignorant of Eastern teachings.





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