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From: Cavalorn 
Subject: Fwd: AGRARIAN and CORINTHIAN Thelema
Date: Sat, 28 Aug 1999 18:21:38 +0100

  ------- Forwarded message follows -------

[original author attr.?]

Practitioners of Thelema divide into two main camps. This division is
not a matter of conscious selection. The categorization has been made
after the event, following observation of as many of these individuals
as possible.

The crux of the difference lies in the interpretation of 'Do what thou
wilt shall be the whole of the Law.' Simply put, Agrarians use that
sentence as the basis for the construction of artificial law, while
Corinthians see it as indicative of an abolition of artificial law in
favour of individual prediliction as the determinant of conduct.

The terms Agrarian and Corinthian are no more than my personal whimsy
but there is some logic to their use. Agrarian behaviour is that which
makes a field and then works within it: Corinthian behaviour originates
in the flesh. Agrarians introduce an artificial overlay to the world,
modulating their behaviour so as to accumulate resources. Corinthians
take the world as they find it, and organise only on a transient basis.

Both groups accept the notion of a primordial Liberty mandated in the
text called the Book of the Law. The Agrarian holds that it is inherent
in human nature to invest this liberty in a carefully chosen system of
regulations, so that the scope for fulfilment of this liberty might
increase. For example, an Agrarian may be quite happy to enlist in the
military, work under another person, or submit to the laws of the nation
in which she resides, all in the name of increasing the quality of the
life which she is living in accordance with Will. The Agrarian is
capable of living on equal terms with the rest of humanity.

The Corinthian, however, does not necessarily submit to anything save
the concrete limitations of physical life, and this he will gladly
overcome with whatever technology is available. His relationship with
society is parasitic. To the Corinthian, who is intelligent and strong
enough to exploit the systems created by others, his living off the back
of the system is an example of the natural order at work. 

Agrarian: The Law is for All.
Corinthian: Ye are against the people, O my chosen.

This is not to say that the Corinthian does not recognise the use and
value of organization; but organization in his case is spontaneous and
expedient, lasting until the job is done. The Pirate Captain is a
Corinthian par excellence.

Agrarian: Compassion is the vice of Kings.
Corinthian: The law of the strong: this is our law.

Agrarians recognise that man is a tool-using creature, adding only that
a Law is a tool created in the imagination, and thus appropriate.
Extreme Agrarians take the stance that 'the absolute rule of the State
shall be a function of the absolute liberty of each individual Will'. 

The Agrarian holds up the utilitarian function of 'principle', not
claiming any moral saction for it. He is dependent upon it for his
system to work. Agrarian Thelema requires the prior contractural
agreement of the participants to hold to given principles. Corinthians
are creatures of expedience and have no use for man-made 'principles',
preferring the simple loyalties and impulses of instinct. A Corinthian
answers the dictates of her body and woe betide any who try to interfere
with that.

The Corinthian way offers no securities. The only criterion of being a
Corinthian is the ability to survive as one. Agrarians band together for
the security of the social unit, pointing out the obvious universality
of the Will-to-Survive. 

Agrarians have no problem with the free expression of Will. They require
only that it is expressed in such a fashion that its future exercise is
safeguarded. Freedom has a price, says the Agrarian: that price is your
responsibility. The Corinthian holds that the price of freedom is the
ability to fight for it.

Agrarians tend to have far more resources than Corinthians, but less
time to use them in. Corinthians have greater apparent freedom, but
fewer options to choose from.

It is entirely likely that a Corinthian will resist, evade or ingore any
attempt to compel her to comply with any system which does not offer
immediate and practical benefit. It is pointless to explain the long-
term benefits derived from collective action. These are words, and the
Corinthian is far more interested in things.

An Agrarian, on the other hand, is extraordinarily versatile: she is
always capable of planning the next move and the move after that. Not
for her the hand-to-mouth opportunism of the Corinthian. She makes it
her business to learn all about the world as it is, and will happily
undergo seeming hardship in the private knowledge that the plans she has
laid will soon be coming to fruition.

Corinthians do not like to plan, as a rule: they know that the world is
in the habit of upsetting plans. They prefer to live in a world of
synchronicity and serendipity. The confined cultivations of the Agrarian
are anathema to them. The Corinthian always finds the world exciting and

The great limitation of Agrarian Thelema is that it is exploitable and
vulnerable to internal corruption. It can only work so long as all
participants consider it their Will to invest in the system instead of
taking from it. One can use contract to invoke a penalty for the
premature withdrawal of Will (EXACTLY as is done in high-interest
accounts, or in some Orders) but given that these contracts are
guaranteed against the honour of the individual, there is no way of
ascertaining whether any person is honestly keeping to the contract or
not. (Other than Magick, which is the starting point for another
discussion altogether.)

The great limitation of Corinthian Thelema is that it does not evolve.
It is not a corpus, and its participant members do not necessarily
identify each other as such, still less share resources in such a way as
to provide a platform for research.

Sutentus Po
'There are thousands living now in our unpleasant era who have been 
forced into an ungratifying independence, who would like it well if they
might lose their useless freedom and live in intimate attachment to a 
great Mistress-Master.'                 
                                Terence Sellers, _Dungeon Evidence_


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