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[occulture] Thelemic Society

From: "" 
Subject: [occulture] Re: Thelemic Society
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 1999 06:09:17 -0800 (PST)

49990330 IIIom culminating in a vision of Thelemic society by Bookchin

# 93 - Agape' : Do what you love shall be the whole of the Law.


# As to your offhanded dismissal of Karma, the very nearly 
# plagiaristic Wiccan Rede ...  "Do what thou wilt, that it 
# harm none.", which you briefly mentioned, appears to have 
# distinctly Karma-aware overtones. 

only when paired with the social justification principle that
I call 'the Three-fold Law of Revenge'. :> do what thou wilt
and it harm none is a perfect reform on Rabelais that errs in
conservatism where the former's principle lacked for compassion.

# In my view, Karma is not a construct designed to contain the herd, 
# as you suggest (in contradistinction to the Pauline dogma of 
# vicarious atonement I might add), it is a natural Law.

as a natural law (or principle), I would enjoy your elaboration
on how it functions, what might be its parameters, and how it
comes to be ascertained or known (in another thread, perhaps on
the nature of Agape and its Karmic Law).

# 93 93/93  - Thelema : Will is the law, will under love.


and to remain on topic for this thread, I'd like to quote from
Bookchin in order to provide reference to utopian glimpses into 
the nature and character of the Thelemic society in reflection
of Rabelais and from the perspective of agapic social ecology:

	What marked the great utopians was not their lack of realism
	but their sensuousness, their passion for the concrete, their
	adoration of desire and pleasure. Their utopias were often
	exemplars of a qualitative "social science" written  in seductive
	prose, a new kind of socialism that defied abstract intellectual
	conventions with their pedantry and icy practicality. Perhaps
	even more importantly, they defied the image that human
	beings were, in the last analysis, machines; that their emotions,
	pleasures, appetites, and ideals could be cast in terms of a
	culture that viewed the quantitative as authentic truth. Hence,
	they stood in flat opposition to a machine-oriented mass society.
	Their message of fecundity and reproduction thus rescued the
	image of humanity as an embodiment of the organic that had
	its place in the richly tinted world of nature, not in the 
	workshop and the factory.

	Some of these utopias advance this message with unabashed
	vulgarity, such as Rabelais' outrageous Abbey of Theleme, a
	land of Cokaygne dressed in the Renaissance earthiness and
	sexuality that even the folk utopia lacked. Like nearly all
	Renaissance utopias, the Abbey is a "monastery" and a
	"religion," but one that mocks monastic life and reverence for
	a Deity. It has no walls to contain it, no rules to regulate it.
	It admits both women and men, all comely and attractive,
	and accepts no vows of chastity, poverty, or obedience. Lavish
	dress replaces ecclesiastical black; sumptuous repasts replace
	gruel and hard bread; magnificent furnishings replace the
	cold stone walls of the monastic cell; falconries and pools
	replace somber retreats and work places. The members of the
	new order spend their lives "not in laws, statutes, and rules,
	but according to their own free will and pleasure." They arise
	from bed when it pleases them; dine, drink, labor, and sleep
	when they have a mind to; and disport themselves as and
	when they wish. The clock has been abolished, for what is
	the "greatest loss," in Rabelais' words, than to "count the hours,
	what good comes of it?"

	But what really may have outraged its bourgeois readers were
	the three Graces who surmount the Abbey's fountain, "with
	their cornucopias, or horns of abundance," which spurt out
	water "at their breasts, mouths, ears, eyes, and other open
	passages of the body." Looking uon this provocative symbol
	in their courtyard, the women and men of the Abbey are
	reminded that they must obey one strict rule: "Do as thou
	wilt." We should not allow the typical Renaissance elitism of
	Rabelais' Abbey to conceal the intimate association it
	establishes between pleasure and the total absence of
	domination. That there are servants, custodians, and laborers
	who render the vision credible does not alter the fact that
	it is justifiable as an end in itself. Christian asceticism and
	the bourgeois work ethic did not aim at the equality of
	humanity on earth, but rather the repression of every
	impulse that might remind the body of its sensuous and
	hedonistic claims. Even if Rabelais can depict the realization
	of these claims only among the "well-born" and "rich," at
	least he provides a voice for human individuality, freedom,
	and a sensuous life that vitiates every form of servitude.
	Freed from servitude, people possess a natural instinct that
	"spurs" them to "virtuous actions." If only the few can live
	honorable lives (I am speaking of views formulated in the
	sixteenth century), this does not mean that human nature
	is any the less human or that its virtues cannot be shared
	by all. The rebellion of free will and the right to choose
	against "laws, statutes or rules" is thus identified with the
	claims of earthly pleasure against the life-long penance of
	denial and toil.
	_The Ecology of Freedom_, by Murray Bookchin, Black
	 Rose Books, 1991; pp. 325-6.

	In essence Fourier rehabilitates Rabelais' Abbey of Theleme
	with his concept of the phalanstery, but his community is to
	be the shared destiny of humanity rather than of a well-
	bred elite. Unlike the land of Cokaygne, however, Fourier
	did not rely on nature alone to provide this material
	bounty. Abundance, indeed luxury, will be availabel to all
	to enjoy because technological development will have
	removed the economic basis for scarcity and coercion. Work
	will be rotated, eliminating monotony and one-sidedness
	in productive activity, because technology will have
	simplified many physical tasks. Competition, in turn, will
	be curtailed because the scramble for scarce goods will
	become meaningless in an affluent society. The phalanstery
	will be neither a rural village nor a congested city, but
	rather a balanced community combining the virtues of
	both. At its full complement, it will contain 1,700 to 1,800
	people -- which, to Fourier, not only allows for human
	scale but brings people together in precisely the correct
	number of "passionate combinations" that are necessary
	to satisfy each individual's desires.

	Fourier, however, stood on a much more advanced and
	complex social level than Rabelais and de Sade. The monk
	and the marquis essentially cloistered their views in
	specific environments. But Fourier boldly stepped up on
	the social stage for all to see. He furnished it not only
	with his own presence and his imaginative "license" but
	also with a fully equipped phalanstery and its luxurious
	bedrooms, arcades, greenhouses, and work places. His
	vehicle was not the picaresque novel of the Renaissance
	or the exotic dialogue of the Enlightenment, but the
	newspaper article, the treatise, the oral as well as written
	attack upon injustice, and the compelling pleas for freedom.
	He was an activist as well as a theorist, a practitioner as
	well as a visionary.

	Fourier's notion of freedom is the most expansive we have
	yet encountered in the history of liberatory ideals. Even
	Suso, the Free Spirit, and the Adamites seem lesser in
	scope, for theirs is still the elitist utopia of Rabelais. They
	are more like Christian orders than a society, an association
	of the elect rather than a community for all. Far more than
	Marx, Fourier linked the destiny of social freedom inextric-
	ably with personal freedom: the removal of repression in
	society must take place concurrently with the removal of
	repression in the human psyche. Accordingly, there can be
	no hope of liberating society without self-liberation in the
	fullest meaning of selfhood, of the ego and all its claims.

	Finally, Fourier is in many ways the earliest social ecologist
	to surface in radical thought. I refer not only to his views of
	nature but also to his vision of society. His phalanstery can
	rightly be regarded as a social ecosystem in its explicit
	endeavor to promote unity in diversity. Fourier painstakingly
	itemized and analyzed all the possible passions that must
	find expression within its walls. Although this has been
	grossly misread as such, it was no pedantic exercise on
	Fourier's part, however much one may disagree with his
	conclusions. Fourier seems to have had his own notion of
	the equality of unequals; the phalanstery must try to
	compensate in psychic wealth and variety for any inequalities
	of material wealth existing among its members. Whether
	its members are well-to-do or not, they all share in the best
	of wines, the greatest of culinary, sexual, and scholarly
	pleasures, and the widest conceivable diversity of stimuli.
	Hence, quantitative variations of income within the
	community become irrelevant ina feast of diversified,
	qualitatively superb delights.
	Ibid., pp. 330-1.


blessed beast! 

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