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Liber CI, Accepting the Law, and Troglodytes

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.thelema,talk.religion.misc,talk.religion.newage,alt.magick.order,alt.pagan.magick
From: (nigris (333))
Subject: Liber CI, Accepting the Law, and Troglodytes
Date: 13 Jan 1999 03:13:57 -0800

 [wide dispersion, followups set appropriately]

49980426 aa2 Hail Satan!  

do what you please, for that is my Law.

[find the whole text of this Liber ("An Open Letter...") at

 within which the following quotation occurs -- 333]

"Robin"  quotes CI and reviews:
$ "Members of the Order are to regard those without its pale as 
$  possessing no rights of any kind, since they have not accepted 
$  the Law, and are therefore, as it were, troglodytes, survivals 
$  of a past civilisation, and to be treated accordingly. Kindness 
$  should be shown towards them, as towards any other animal, and 
$  every effort should be made to bring them into Freedom. "

granting that "members of the Order" roughly equates to "those who
have accepted the Law, then this makes a great deal of sense.

# the "troglodyte" question refers directly to the Law and its acceptance.

I've not heard anyone attempt to put a more firm finger on what this
phrase means, but I'll try.  in the same document is the passage:

$ "There is an especially sacred duty, which every Brother should
$  fulfil, with regard to all children, those born without the
$  Order included.  This duty is to instruct them in the Law of
$  Thelema, to teach them independence and freedom of thought
$  and character, and to warn them that servility and cowardice
$  are the most deadly diseases of the human soul."

I think it clear that "the Law of Thelema" at least includes, if
it is not encompassed by, the paraphrase following in this text.
granted that, the issue of the troglodyte becomes more clear also.

# I've often heard that to steal someone's property is a violation 
# of their Will, and the act therefore negates the thief's own 
# right to have property.  The thief is saying by hir actions that 
# she does not recognize or accept the right of property.

or certain TYPES of property (e.g. real estate or corporate property).

# By a similar token, to not accept the Law of Thelema implies that 
# one does not accept the freedom of others to live by that same 
# Law, otherwise if you did you would naturally be accepting this 
# privilege for yourself.  Thus one is forfeiting one's own right 
# to the liberty that the Law implies by not accepting it.

and thereby becomes a troglodyte (living a life in the Plato's Cave,
unexamined and self-enslaved by a chosen ignorance or myopia).

# I'm trying to imagine someone genuinely believing that other people are
# entitled to the liberty that the Law of Thelema offers, and yet not
# accepting it in regards to themselves.  

they are not entitled to it unless they accept it. :>

# ...if someone wanted to say that they are not entitled to the Law
# themselves, they'd be pretty much abdicating their Will to someone 
# else anyway, in which case they are basically encouraging the 
# treatment mentioned in the text.

this is the case with all those who do not profess anarchist ideals.
they deserve to be ruled in the manner they see as necessary.

# Of course, this doesn't say anything about the Thelemic "package" 

s/b "cult"

# that I think most people wrestle with more than the Law itself 
# when they ask themselves "do I accept the Law?"

# "Can I 'do what thou wilt?'" the answer is probably "You bet!"

depends on how they interpret this.  alot prefer to substitute
'Ateh' for 'thou' and then cannot make such a claim with certainty.
suddenly one is left wondering if one can do the will of the divine
and deserve the benefits rendered thereunto those who can.  are
these benefits delegated by some authority?

# "Does this mean Aleister Crowley was the Prophet of the New Aeon 
#  and I have to dress up in a funny robe and pray to the Sun four 
#  times a day and attend Gnostic Masses and kiss the Book of the 
#  Law and etc etc etc?"
# You're likely to get "Hmmm, I dunno about that!"

do I have to join and entertain the idiocies of a cult in order to
be a Thelemite?  absolutely not.

# I think one question we have to ask ourselves is how much of 
# "the package" does anyone need to pick up to accept the Law of 
# Thelema and be called "a Thelemite."  Maybe not all that much!

these days all that is required in the vulgar sense is to pick up
the badge and wear it proudly without changing a damn thing about
oneself aside from perhaps the texts one likes to talk about or
the friends with whom one chooses to spend one's time.

the ideal as I understand it is that the Law is granted to ALL
AROUND ONE at the first opportunity, and, thrust as such an 
respectful gift before them, if they reject it, then they deserve
to be treated for the ignorant slave they have chosen to be.
because ignorant slaves have at times been abused by masters
it is important to point out that within the Law of Thelema
itself and its manifestation is a good deal of respect
(kindness, honor, civility, etc.) for the ignorant slave (with
the possible exception during times of battle :>).

however, having forfeit the responsibilities of independence
and the difficult choices thrust upon one who takes these on,
so also are the privileges afforded to this elite class
withdrawn.  matters of authority wherein the Law must take
precedence are not the province of the troglodyte.  the
preservation of maximized freedom (not merely choice) cannot
fall to the troglodyte as duty, lest we shirk our OWN.

# What about to be in the O.T.O.? 

if my memory serves, formal membership in the (c)OTO may be obtained 
by any of good report and sufficient age who have satisfied the 
(what much be considered very minimal) administrative prerequisites 
(paying of fees, assemblage of rudimentary ritual gear, obtaining 
proper sponsors, etc.).  there is no requirement of which I recall
to adopt any specifically defined behavior in addition to what
one had previously accepted (such as to join a cult, practice
Resh or other rites, or even to read of the Order's Prophet).

I hope to be corrected if I am in error (I do not pay much
attention to the specifics of the secret membership rites these
days aside from what I have already accepted into my life --
the Law was already supremely important to me, so I may have
forgotten such details as academic :>).


# From what I can see so far I don't have to pick up a lot of the 
# extras beyond the Law itself if I happen to chose not to.  

I'd enjoy it if you could provide an example of someone who 'picks
up the Law'.  how would their life change?  any discernable changes
in behavior, appearance, relationships?  compare and contrast one
who does and one who does not "accept the Law of Thelema" for us
(anyone?  anyone?) so as to provide a rudimentary instruction for
those of us who need or want one.

# For me I happen to enjoy a lot of the package, but it doesn't 
# seem to be forced on me, and if someone chose to not wouldn't 
# we grant them the assumption that it was simply their Will not to?

I am granted full exclusion from engaging in ceremonial rites (about
which I am thankfully informed via the Thelema Lodge Calendar) or
the cultus of my Order, even when I have interactions with Order
members.  more often than not it is I who instigate such traditions
as Thelemic Greetings, for example.  I've never been pressured to
conform to the cult, though I do not live in close proximity to an
organized Camp or Oasis, so mine may be a special circumstance.

what does it mean, however, to "offer unto others the Law"?  I feel
it is a type of independence and 'owning of personal boundaries and
experience' which is instructed in some psychospiritual or mystical
seminars or texts, combined with the delegation of the affairs and
elements of another to their domain.  

when an individual seeks to make me responsible for their feelings,
for example, or lot in life, or their choices, then I am likely to
state plainly and with candor, "I do not feel responsible for your
situation or your experiences.  Instead I think that you have made
choices which resulted in their arrangement."  this is the 'orbit',
which I understand the popular Thelemic philosophy to describe, of
the 'star' (or liberated person), and my efforts to keep these 
roles and boundaries clear and distinct, serves all involved.

Paul of the dextrous salad fork Hume :
# ...Sabazius [apparently the King of US (c)OTO].... [at] last year's 
# Order conference in Akron....  somewhere in the first few sentences
# [of his address] dismissed any notions about "troglodytes" by
# noting that we ahve all sworn to accept that "every man and every 
# woman is a star." 

I don't see that this addresses the matter except to place minimum
descriptive power (temporary, having not accepted the Law) upon the 
'troglodyte' characterization.  every man and woman may indeed be
a star, but if they refuse to accept the duties and responsibilities
of such a star then I will not necessarily support their claim to
their rights as such.
the Wizard responds to the report of the Knight of Salad Forks:
# Yes, you'd think that was a contradiction, wouldn't you? Apparently 
# though Crowley didn't have a problem reconciling the two: 
# "troglodytes" are potentially stars but not yet deserving of rights. 

I don't see that this is necessarily the case.  troglodytes, being
those who have not accepted the Law (the membership in (c)OTO is a
side-issue as I see it), deserve the rights one naturally affords
to those who are ignorant and apparently incapable of operating
under full cognizance.  whomever they are choosing as their masters
deserves, as with dogs and cattle, to be saddled with the hassles
and responsibilities of directing their behaviors and products.

of course if they should have a change of mind and accept the Law
instead, then they should be instated to the status of full Kindred.

# ...Liber CI....  is meant to state the contract between the Order 
# and its members by spelling out the members' duties and privileges....

# ...I asked for "an official statement that this is not a 
# duty of membership" (which is what Liber CI says it is). 

I consider it my duty to rightly regard those who refuse to accept
the Law of Thelema as troglodytes.  if they don't like it, I'll be
happy to explain to them that I feel that they live in a cave as
rendered quite well by Plato and are apparently delegating (is it
cognizantly?) the direction and condition of their soul over to
fallacious or malign principles by which they harm themselves and
constitute a danger to others by example.  

of course my proximity and familiarity with an individual will
determine whether it behooves me to undertake this expression.
if they are someone with whom I rarely spend time, then I don't
bother.  if it is someone about whom I care a great deal or I share
a large amount of time with them, then I am likely to go to great
pains to accomplish this duty, subtlely at first through casual
demonstrations and goads, later directly and with as much clarity
as I may muster (whether the slave-god they serve is that of a
substance or object, an institution, an individual or group of 
any sort, etc.).

# ...there seems to be some overwhelming motivation to pretend 
# that the Order's statement of "our best and most comprehensive 
# guidelines for Thelemic social intercourse" somehow is not really 
# the current policy of the Order and doesn't require any action 
# no matter how obviously defective it may be. 

hmm, I like the document alot and would love to hear other reasons
why it fails to inspire.  I feel I have dealt with the issue of
elitism quite well herein but may decide to address cc's to my
emailbox should any have queries or points of debate.  so far what
I have seen in criticism of this text seems picayune and easily
dismissed as not pertaining to the spirit or meaning of the text.

# There is an apparently willful refusal to engage the issues here.

I hope I have engaged the issues to which you refer.

Paul of the dextrous salad fork Hume 
 re Sabazius:
# Had he said potential stars, or they don't deserve rights until we think
# they deserve it, etc. Sabazius' point would not be a useful refutation
# of the "trog" model. As stated (nor was it limited to the single phrase)
# it does suffice, or rather, did for me. How fucking much apologizing for
# Aleister in a pissy mood do we have to do to satisfy the troglodyte
# passage.

I feel that this exascerbates the value of what you have reported was
said.  quoting "every man and every woman is a star" says nothing
about how to treat sociopaths, for example.  those who refuse to
behave by at least the minimum standards of decency necessary to
maintain an integral society are rightly considered 'barbarians'
and either remediated or ostracized.  this is the obvious instruction
of Crowley, LaVey and all manner of modern Thelemic prophets.  given
this, Crowley needs no apologist for his comment since it is 
easily defended and conceptually benign taken in the context of the
greater code of honor expected from the Thelemite to hir inferiors.

# ...we could simply go on in the practice of treating every man and 
# woman as a star, and not worry about it (obviously where my head is at
# tonight, but its been a long day).

so 'treating every man and every woman as a star' (even troglodytes)
is merely to not worry about them?  I don't think this is easily 
supportable, nor practically feasible given the sometimes vampirous
and sociopathic characters any society tends to nurture.

# When I get my railroad car I will consider it in that light. I'll 
# settle for the first accredited OTO university. Until then, it 
# oscillates between a collection of embarrassing statements 
# (troglodytes, etc.) and some good ideas (even soldiers on 
# opposite sides must respect the Peace of the Temple, etc.).

hehe, I didn't see, with a cursory glance, anything about railroad
cars being provided free to membership, though as an ideal I would
ask why the spirit of the suggestion should not be promoted.  if
you would pursue discussion please cc me and quote the text.
# ...I know of no directive to the members or local officers of 
# this Order which instructs us to carry out the provisions of
# that document.

very interesting!  I have never received anything of the sort
either, though I think it is a very worthwhile endeavor and
have set about creating an unauthorized 'Profess House' of
sorts here in the desert of culture.  eventually this may
become a shining beacon of liberty and revolution, though it
may require some time and additional effort.  perhaps it is
not stipulated as a requirement because so many already now
understand its value as a societal plan.

free love right now!  blessed beast!
nigris (333) 
-- (emailed replies may be posted); cc me replies;;

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