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Thelemic Monasticism

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick.order,alt.magick
From: (nigris (333))
Subject: Re: Thelemic Monasticism
Date: 21 Mar 1997 12:49:03 -0800

49970321 AA1  Hail Satan!

this is a subject about which I have great interest.  cc'd to author.

# I followed a link the other day which was suggested by Jake Stratton-Kent 
# and found an interesting "Liber" concerning a "Rule" for a Thelemic Abbey. 

thanks for the URL.  reviewed below.

# researched the monasticism of other religious bodies to find out how
# they worked out various aspects of problems in a monastic existance. 

it would benefit us to discern the natural elements of such a Rule by
determining which problems of monastic existence that Rule is necessary
to address.  what is really important about a Rule?  how specific ought
it be?  how general?  etc.

# I have attempted recently (and failed I might add) to create a Thelemic
# Rule which would allow for the individual freedoms as expressed by Liber
# AL as well as maintain a proper survival of the Abbey and existance of
# the members. 

Liber Al is a complex composition with a variety of mutually-incompatible
statements.  attempting to derive some practical system of structure from
its content strikes me at best as haphazard.  some Rules are literal lists
of community dos and don'ts, and as such perhaps these could in some way
be derived based on the bias of the group, but otherwise I suspect it 
would be better to turn to something like the OTO's Constitution, Crowley's
'Duty', or even Liber Oz to procure such a list.
then again, perhaps it depends on what you mean by "the Abbey".
here is my review of the text of the Rule you mentioned at 

along with my response:
#       -Ad Salutem Thelema-

ARTICLE ONE -- concerns biology and sexual preference (membership)
ARTICLE TWO -- ritual form, initiatory, magical names (ritual/membership)
ARTICLE THREE -- non-discriminatory clause.  no immediate description on 
	         how this clause is to be maintained.
ARTICLE FOUR -- restrictions on discussion (against _The Book of the Law_).
	       (the first restriction)
ARTICLE FIVE -- defines scriptures as "The Holy Books of Thelema".  
	        unchangeable, paninterpretable.
ARTICLE SIX -- possibly a conventional element of a monastic Rule, 
	       defining the Head of the Abbey, the Abbot or Abbess, 
	       as the authority and representative of the Abbey.
ARTICLE SEVEN -- includes "a Vow of Holy Obedience to the Abbot or 
		 Abbess", without defining this.
ARTICLE EIGHT -- restricts the community to a number of 11 (membership).
ARTICLE NINE -- describes succession of Abbot/bess.
ARTICLE TEN -- describes method of succession (Regent temporary agent).
ARTICLE ELEVEN -- describes removal of Abbot/bess.
ARTICLE TWELVE -- describes an ordeal for the Abbot/bess to confirm
ARTICLE THIRTEEN -- describes the manner by which the Abbot/bess is to
		    be housed by the Abbey and hir responsibilities
		    (administrative, "tasks of the A.'.A.'.", undefined).
ARTICLE FOURTEEN -- allowance for administrative underlings to the Abbot/bess.
ARTICLE FIFTEEN -- begins discernments of religious observation (disposition
		   of scripture, celebration of Gnostic Catholic Mass, etc.)
		   in the maintenance of a Temple by the Abbot/bess.
ARTICLE SIXTEEN -- another conventional element of Rule, inclusive of the
		   vestments of the Abbey members and of the Abbot/bess.
ARTICLE SEVENTEEN -- another, giving adornments of the male members.
ARTICLE EIGHTEEN -- another, giving adornments of the female members.
ARTICLE NINETEEN -- another, giving lack of vestments for children.
ARTICLE TWENTY -- details initiation standard (puberty) for children.
ARTICLE TWENTY-ONE -- restatement of ARTICLE SEVEN ("a Vow of Holy
		      Obedience to the Abbot or Abbess"), plus "a Vow
		      of Simplicity", neither defined.  makes mention 
		      of a "Vow of Chastity" without defining its 
		      relation to the Abbey or its content.
ARTICLE TWENTY-TWO -- another conventional Rule element in the observation
		      of solar adorations (6/noon/6/midnight).
ARTICLE TWENTY-THREE -- details mealtimes (7/7) and method of restitution.
ARTICLE TWENTY-FOUR -- breakdown of the day's activities in general terms,
                       the afternoon dependent upon grade.  religious
		       observances/celebrations/etc. in evenings.
ARTICLE TWENTY-FIVE -- details grade structure of the Abbey and what each
ARTICLE TWENTY-SIX -- prescribes a fast for each Wednesday for all members.
ARTICLE TWENTY-SEVEN -- prescribes Wednesday night preaching of Abbot/bess.
ARTICLE TWENTY-EIGHT -- prescribes manner of address amongst membership.
ARTICLE TWENTY-NINE -- prohibits corporal punishment of children.
ARTICLE THIRTY -- forbids mass-media within the Abbey.
ARTICLE THIRTY-ONE -- prohibits use of the first person pronoun save to
		      to masters and the Abbot/bess.
ARTICLE THIRTY-TWO -- describes manner of greetings amongst membership.
ARTICLE THIRTY-THREE -- details method of resolving discord/disagreements.
ARTICLE THIRTY-FOUR -- prescribes celebratory occasions and readings.
ARTICLE THIRTY-FIVE -- prescribes Gnostic Catholic Mass at noon on Sunday,
		       following the Adoration of the Sun.
ARTICLE THIRTY-SIX -- prohibits the trespass upon the "consecrated grounds"
		      of the Abbey by "those who do not accept the Law of
		      Thelema" without defining this precisely.  prescribes 
		      demarking "DO WHAT THOU WILT" above all entrances to 
		      the Abbey.  prescribes member's guests should sign a
		      a pledge form, stating: "I do solemnly declare that 
		      I accept the Law of Thelema, that I will devote 
		      myself to discover my True Will, and to do it", with
		      those refusing to sign being expelled, and no specific
		      definition as to what these words mean.
ARTICLE THIRTY-SEVEN -- allows members to be especially dispensed to work
			in the world on behalf of the Abbey, forgiving them
			their duties.
ARTICLE THIRTY-EIGHT -- provides Abbot/bess with the power to admit, expel, 
			advance, and assign penances to members of the Abbey,
			excluding corporal punishment.  directs the responsi-
			bility of the education of the Abbey's children to
			the Abbot/bess.
ARTICLE THIRTY-NINE -- provides for departure by those members who inform the
		       the Abbot/bess "of his will", provided she is not under
		       any penance or shunning at the time.
ARTICLE FORTY -- directs that members who fail to observe the Rule of the
		 Abbey should be shunned according the direction of the
		 Abbot/bess in a manner consonant to the infraction.
ARTICLE FORTY-ONE -- allows for the establishment of an Abbey in accordance
		     with this Rule.  directs that the Abbey should 
		     incorporate as a religious Order within the law, setting
		     about establishing a sound fiscal and real foundation,
		     extending hospitality amongst Abbeys.
ARTICLE FORTY-TWO -- some mumbo-jumbo about "the twenty-one tests" and
		     the A.'.A.'.
ARTICLE FORTY-THREE -- preserving the right to claim "the grade of Master
		       of the Temple by taking the oath of the grade,
		       blah blah blah (more Rosicrucian claptrap :>).
ARTICLE FORTY-FOUR -- indicates the means of determining location and name
		      of the Abbey.

I deem that the following numbers are truly relevant:

1-3; 8; 16-19; 23-24; 28; 32-33; 41

these being administratively expedient without entering into a necessary
hierarchy or religious cultism.  many of the rest concern the power-
structure of the Abbot/bess and are thoroughly omissable.  some of the
others include Thelemic religious or A.'.A.'. particulars which only
really apply if these are to be integrated into the community (not all
Thelemites would want or need them).

the brief Rule by which the Haus of Kaos operates is "Do what thou wilt"
(note: no bit about "love") and contains the extent of its carriage 
herein, allowing resolution as per the dictates of the wills of the
participants, considering rote rules to be unnecessary constants given
naturally-derivable means of coordination with new configurations of

 3 3 3
see  and  call: 408/2-666-SLUG!!!
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