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Misc. Thelemic Excerpts

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,talk.religion.misc,talk.religion.newage,alt.satanism,alt.magick.tantra
From: (nigris (333))
Subject: Misc. Thelemic Excerpts (on lhp, initiation, gender)
Date: 17 Feb 1997 12:36:06 -0800

49970217 AA1  Hail Satan!  (compiling queries for a single post)


"Alexander Rezanov" :
# What is the difference between a thelemic Path and a left-hand Path?

a left-hand path may be thelemic yet need not be so.  a thelemic path
may be left-handed yet need not be so.  they are not directly related
excepting in some lexicons or personal usages.  'left-hand' typically
relates to the taboo, repressed, sexual, feminine or controversial acts 
or systems.  'thelemic' typically relates to individualism, ACrowley,
various commonly prescribed rites and texts within the social group
that identifies with this name, etc.  the latter comment could also be
made about the originally Indian vamamarg sects -- what is identified
as 'vamamarg' is sometimes variable and dependent upon the content of
the group which is defining these terms.

Chris Weiss:
# What is initiation?

big question, and an over-reaching one.  we might approach it by telling
you how the term 'initiation' is used, what initiation has been for us,
or attempt some absolute answer.  I'll split the three.

initiation is an event or occurence that forms the basis of transition
between two aspects of social or personal life.  it often but does not
always contain a 'death and rebirth' character in its elements.  it
sometimes makes possible access to social or personal information or
activities which were heretofore forbidden.

# Is initiation necessary for magick?

as much as initiation is necessary for conscious living, so it is also
necessary for the practice of magick, yes.  if you refer to formal and
social rituals (often called 'initiations'), then these are not necessary
for all people (some may need it).

# Are they related?  

as above, the latter is dependent upon the former.  as regards social
rites, they need not be, but can be.

# [is] any act of magick initiation?

indeed it can be, a consciously directed or manifested event or occurence
(magick) can be an initiation whether in social or solitary work.  I'm not
sure that it is *necessarily* so, unless we start getting into the details
of what magick is and how it comes about.

# Is the vice versa true?

I don't think so.  initiations are like chemical reactions.  they are not
always undertaken with the intent of the chemical components.  I do think
it CAN be true -- initiations can be magical acts -- but it is not so
necessarily, perhaps not ordinarily.

# Crowley called [initiation] the Way In.  In where?

cite the Crowley reference and I'll be happy to attempt interpretation.

re: LBRP and ritual design:
Marianne Sarkis :
# ...what is the difference between doing a ritual for the purpose it was 
# originally designed, and doing a ritual as part of one's discipline? 

some rites *are* designed to be part of one's discipline.  where they are
not, sometimes they are designed to be intermittent or irregular, unusual
or unique.  'by original design' is usually very difficult to determine
within the Hermetic community on account of the mythos-history fusion.

# is there a value put on rituals which makes them less or more valuable 
# based on why they are done?

there is this value resident within the magical community generally, yes.
this is where we get discernments like that between 'high' and 'low'
magick, often whether someone wishes to change internal (high) or
external (low) targets and their configuration/content.

I don't think that this value *makes* them less or more valuable, but this
isn't likely what you are asking.  if you are asking if there are certain
elements of rite design which ipso facto work 'better' when performed for
certain purposes, I think this is a very important question and one which
is usually overlooked or presumed to be the case (usually along the lines
of the preferred ritual usage ;>).

personally I don't think that human experience is homogenous enough to
warrant this blanket assessment.  it seems to me that there is a great
deal of value in experiment and exploration, and that what was at one
time designed with one intent in mind may at times become quite valuable
when applied toward completely other purposes by the same or other people.

Tim Maroney :
# Is it the primary goal to produce change directly through the conference 
# and publications, or through creation of a longer-term organization?

I'm responding to this as if you were talking to me directly.  my primary
goal is to engage and carry out my true will.  presently I have no idea
whether this will occur through T93-L and pubs, through creation of
something more (I've experimented a long time in group-creation and still
continue this, online and off), or even if I can do much more than stay
attentive to my proper orbit.

# Is it minds or policy one is most hoping to change, or one after the 
# other?

in my political work (which has some degree of commonality with my
esoteric disciplines/work/exchanges), I intend to have both changed,
in whatever order is sufficient and at whatever pace is possible and
likely not merely to quickly return to the status quo.

# How do we imagine change occurring in the Thelemic community, which 
# currently consists of an odd mix of the avant-garde and the hopelessly 
# reactionary when it comes to gender issues? Will the presentation of 
# issues change minds by itself, or will protests by required? What is the 
# most effective way to present issues? What is the most effective way to 
# protest?

given that the thelemic community isn't governed and has no relationship
of which I am aware which approximates employer, utility or ecological 
protests, I think the best presentation is in open forums like this,
occasionally, with direct commentary.  

hopefully the presentation will challenge existing dogmas and lead to 
further inquiry.  I've found that the most effective (leading to the 
quickest understanding and the least followup-work) is to present issues 
in a clear, calm manner, formatted in a way easily read, direct at the 
issues, using language which can be absorbed or referenced, and citing 
supportive authorities fully.  

the most effective way I've found to protest is to intentionally oppose 
and argue cogently with those who are presumed (by some rationale) to be 
an 'authority' in the social milieu despite how this may appear to 
outsiders (e.g. 'nigris' and my role with COTO, which I protest).

# What portion of effort should be dedicated to programs that help 
# individual women, and what portion to those that directly seek to change 
# the system that limits women's opportunities?

I split my time up between these, mostly focussing on assisting women in 
my life directly and changing the system by being outspoken and acting
in my personal life in conformity to these ideals or admitting and
rectifying instances where this has not been the case and it was pointed
out to me.

# Who are the beneficiaries of misogyny and discrimination? How can they be 
# encouraged to reevaluate their position?

'misogyny' is a vague term which makes it difficult to isolate beneficiaries.
I do think that we all benefit from an expression of our deep feelings.  there
are many ways in which these expressions can manifest.  inasmuch as misogyny 
is one of them we all benefit from doing it, though there are more respectful
alternatives available.  

in the case of discrimination, again, this goes on all the time with some 
benefit to the person doing the discriminating.  when it comes to human 
beings and prejudgements, then this can prove troublesome and damaging.  
otherwise we tend to think little of it beyond the limitations which the 
individual sets themselves.

how can we all be encouraged to re-evaluate our approach to our expressions
and assessments?  I've found I tend to re-evaluate when others set an example
for me which is at variance with the norm that conforms to the alternatives.
that is, by putting alternatives into active practice, we can set an example
that may inspire others to change, catalyzing social revolution ("think
globally, act locally").

due to rampant ignorance and lack of real connection, however, this may not
be enough.  it is at these times when organized social revolutions may occur
in order to change attitudes and behaviors which are supported by hir local
governmental and religious authorities -- which tend to support the status quo.  
I feel that it is all in some ways a process of *communication*, and
that some messages or discoveries require certain social events or
organizations or statements or circumstances in order to get across to
a wide audience.  we tend to think of a batch of stationary listeners,
and yet the communication I'm pointing toward is really more like the
'networking' which is done in countless forums like this one.


nigris (333)
see  and  call: 408/2-666-SLUG!!!
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 * * * Asphalta Cementia Metallica Polymera Coyote La Cucaracha Humana * * * 

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