a cache of usenet and other text files pertaining
to occult, mystical, and spiritual subjects.


Thelemic Monasticism

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.consciousness.mysticism,talk.religion.misc,alt.magick,alt.thelema,alt.pagan
From: (nigris (333))
Subject: Re: Thelemic Monasticism
Date: 11 Apr 1997 00:46:37 -0700

[Orig-To: private email; return to public of privatized thread]

49970404 AA1  Hail Satan! 


--> 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
--> membership.

shri :
#Only viable if your "House of Chaos" consists exclusively of Masters of 
#the Temple of the A.'.A.'..  

the quality of 'viability' depends upon assessment of either philosophic
and religious character (here described by myself and unobserved I might 
add) or upon the practical results as so obtained (something you cannot 
now perceive).

as far as whether the current residents are MT-AA, I would not rule this
out, but I think that overt labels and human initiations are often 
delusory.  condition is a better litmus, and this can only be seen 
[some bluster snipped]


# From: "D." 

nigris (333):
#> I was attempting to
#> indicate that I consider the religious elements in particular and
#> the forms of discipline (not saying none are required) in general
#> to be VARIABLES.  do you disagree?  I presume ADuncan would, and
#> from what little I have seen of Darkfire, [he] may also.
# the _religious_ element (see below) is a variable to the equation of
# Thelemic Monasticism. However, (again see below) I find it to be
# something of an important part of the equation. Since the concept of
# Monasticism _seems_ to include an element of religious persuation, then
# I see that anything _excluding_ the "religious" element would be nothing
# more than a commune of like-minded people sharing residence without
# purpose beyond financial relief.

this is a valuable comment toward resolution of the parameters of the
discussion at hand.  I think that JSK and I have just agreed that

	* 'monasticism' implies a religious element
	* the religion of Thelema need not be excluded from consideration 

yet, like JSK and myself you have below stated:
# Thelema to me has never been a religion. It has religious elements, but
# in and of itself, Thelema violates the nature of religion. 

[AC support for your position, which I don't feel is really required,
 but was valuable, omitted]

in this you might therefore agree (esp. given your challenge elsewhere 
to the _Liber Aeth_ structure) that the authority-system would also be a
variable (pyramidal, consensus-based, oligarchic, whatever) in the
discussion of Thelemic monasticism.  being antagonistic toward religion,
it would seem that you either don't care what religious element of a
Thelemic monasticism would be included (agreeing to my assertion that
one might have a 'Thelemic Buddhist monastery', for example), or that
you see a means by which to reconcile what would appear, based on this
comment, to be an oxymoron ('monastic' involving religion, 'Thelemic'
implying the destruction of that same).

quite above and beyond this, your comment about what a Thelemic 
'monastery' which excludes (at least overt) religious elements 
might become ("a commune of like-minded people sharing residence 
without purpose beyond financial relief") is VERY important.

it is to what the Haus Kaos has devolved several times, and does
constitute the base-level from which we have several times risen
into rudimentary direction.  I'm unsure that 

	1) communalism need be involved at all
	2) financial relief is to be downplayed
	3) a purpose might not grow naturally, depending upon
	   the characters of the individuals involved.

# ...Thelemic Monasticism should contain the elements of a community 
# which is working towards a common goal or stated purpose. 

I don't know why you call this 'monasticism', then.  as I said elsewhere,
why not call it an 'Intentional Thelemic Community' and avoid the whole
question of religious elements?  in this sense the Haus Kaos is most
accurately called a 'Thelemic Community' as it does not have any stated
purpose beyond abiding the Rule (no rules).

# Calling it a religious (beyond a coherent and consistent set of beliefs) 
# community can lead to all sorts of misunderstandings (though it looks 
# great to the IRS). 

my understanding is that there is quite a body of self-described 'Thelemites'
whose lives include just this kind belief set, albeit somewhat more 
abstracted than conventional religious establishments.  I'm sure that AD
could say more here.

# In basing such a community on the "Holy Books of Thelema" does not 
# necessarily make it a Thelemic _religious_ community any more than 
# basing a community on the works of Peter Carroll makes a Chaotic 
# community. 

I'm not sure I understand this.  are you saying that just because 
we utilize the label of the texts ("Holy Books"), this doesn't mean 
that we must consider them 'holy' in any conventional (religious) sense?  
I agree, if so.

# ...the Thelemic nature of the philosophy allows for the use of 
# traditional monastic discipline with an eclectic Rule of indulgance. 

I'd like to hear more about this "eclectic Rule of [indulgence]", what
you think it includes or need include, and how you would reconcile it
with the traditional rigors and environment of ascetic discipline.

# In short, the Thelemic monastic community would almost have to be 
# resolved to a purpose prior to its manifestation 

this is resolved in the selection of a religion within which it takes
shape.  this is why AD's _Liber Aeth_ is sufficient for the establishment
of a monastic community "without arguing overmuch".  the shared goals of
the religious community within which the monastic is established provide
some common aims and purposes (regardless of how abstract or vague these
may appear).

# and no two communities would be exactly alike (in theory).

unless there was an established structure such as AD's which replicated
itself based on an 11-member cell-system and the Rule incorporated the
particulars of the social framework.  this was my original criticism of
_Liber Aeth_ as a *Thelemic Rule* (not meant religiously, which I do
respect, as on AD's part, but I think we should be clear about our 
meanings so as not to fall into the hopeless quibbling AD has wisely

#> start with the least restrictive it can be (which I've suggested).
#> aside from this address the other concerns which arise with the
#> required adjustments as are necessary and expedient.  the rules
#> of a Thelemic Monastery should be steps of agreed discipline to
#> move BEYOND the basics, not presumed to ACHIEVE them (unless
#> entirely practical).

# I agree with this. Practical rules are to be expected, but beyond that
# discipline is a method not a leash.

given that you agree with this you seem to be steering us (I do picture
you as the facilitator here! ;>) in the direction of a phiosophical,
rather than religious consideration of 'Thelemic' (one which, by the
above commentary of AD I suspect he might not enjoy much). 

presuming then that I am not now out of line, I would suggest focussing
on these particulars as you have done already in previous correspondence
and asking if there might be more that would need addressing, or if
those which you previously specified were overmuch in fact.  to me it
seems that a 'Rule' can be very very general (yet need not be so) and
rules could form based on the people involved, demonstrating what you
have said, that "no two [presumably Thelemic] communities would be 
exactly alike (in theory)."  

some of it would depend on whether there was to be *any* religious (or 
discipline-oriented) element at all, which is why we were placing more
emphasis on defining the term 'monastic' and what it need include.
my preference is to suppose both monastic AND religious but leave them
as variables.  given this, your structure, which I here restate, is a
very helpful startpoint for our discussion (which I hope that we can
now evaluate thoroughly from a *philosophic* perspective as regards
its theoretical necessity in the manifestation of a Thelemic Abbey
not aligned to any particular religious framework (I'll do so in a
separate post):

$	a Rule for a Thelemic Abbey should consist of what is
$	necessary for the allowance of the "monks" to exist 
$	within the spiritual retreat and contain the necessary 
$	elements of discipline which allow for a "religious 
$	vocation." 
$	There should be a separate administrative rule which 
$	allows for the operation of the abbey and its continued
$	sustanance. These do not necessarily conflict in nature. 
$	The allowance of a Rule is for the spiritual nature of 
$	the monks and the rule is for the operation of the abbey 
$	itself.
$	The Rule should contain such elements of:
$	1) personal managment of the spiritual/philosophical pursuits;
$	2) group interaction;
$	3) outside influences and their allowance or control;
$	4) obligations of the individual to the abbey; and
$	5) protection of the group from the egos of the individual.
$	The rule should contain:
$	1) practical and financial necessities of sustaning the abbey;
$	2) admission and dismissal procedures;
$	3) standard operational and routine structures; and
$	4) governmental policies in regards to internal and external conflicts.

as AD states, _Liber Aeth_ contains BOTH, and it is thus, for our purposes
overmuch in the attempted derivation of a kernel Formula, while being a
perfect example of a religious application of what I presume we are now
after (that applied within the context of the religion of Thelema).

#> the reason I say this is that otherwise you'll seize on rules that
#> are fucked up and be resistant to changing them, rather than seeing
#> them as flexible and arbitrary.  then the Rule gets in the way of
#> the monastery.
# Consider this: Could the monastery get in the way of the Rule?

as the Rule defines the monastery or forms its backbone to a great
extent, I think it would depend entirely on how flexible the Rule
is, and this is why I was asking how much such a Rule NEED contain,
and why the Rule exists from the outset.

as you've defined it above (and I think this a good start-point),
the Rule is designed to facilitate the co-existence of members 
and "contain the necessary elements of discipline which allow for 
a 'religious vocation.'"  if the 'monastery' is deemed the membership
itself (ignoring for the moment the Rule about which it congregates),
then the way that it could get in the way of the Rule is through not
utilizing it or abiding it such that the discipline of which you
speak ever comes to pass.

#> religious -> the structure of interaction
#> philosophy -> the quality of interaction
# I like your definitions here. I think they are appropriate as part of a
# basis of building a "Rule" of a community from the conversations we four
# have had.

AD's comments in reflection of his preference for a community of 
those adhering to the religion of Thelema are well-taken, however.
the 'building' of a Rule need not incorporate anything beyond what
is required to establish the foundation of the social system
envisioned by the religious who set it up (focussing on structure).

if you wish to discuss a more abstract 'Thelemic Rule' which doesn't
equate 'Thelemic' with the religion of Thelema (which you can by now
see that I simultaneously admire, challenge, and avoid ;>), then I
suggest you begin to describe WHAT quality of interaction you think
any Rule so constructed should promote.  you have done this slightly
as regards descriptions such as being 'individualistic' and possibly
'anti-religion', but we may wish more elaboration if we're to evaluate
the various practical skeletons we've thusfar described, especially
as regards the 'discipline' you mention above.

why I place this burden upon *you* is that you seem to require a
larger Rule that 'do what thou wilt', which I find sufficient.  if
you want, I could get into more details about how the Haus Kaos
operates on a functional level (thus beginning the description of
an elaborated Rule which I'd consider particular to it), yet this
strikes me as only an example, not the Formula itself.
#> the Haus Kaos has identity based on having a name.  it has Thelemic
#> quality based on how it operates.
# Though I am unsure _I_ could be part of such a community as you have
# described in your posts, I think I would love to see it in action
# someday.

I don't understand why you think of yourself as excluded here.  seeing
it in operation is a rather tedious affair, I would think, and its
action varies *considerably* dependent upon the membership configuration,
which is what I tried to get across in the 'wordy' statement I made which
JSK didn't like. ;>

#   Well, if there were any takers at this point to jump in, I
# think they would have a coupla weeks worth of catch-up. 

I have begun cc'ing some of my own compositions within this thread to
the Thelema93-L Elist.  I have *not* been saving the email of you other
three, but may well post one or two of my own email compositions to 
Usenet and/or archive them for future reference (inclusive of this one).

 3 3 3 nigris (

The Arcane Archive is copyright by the authors cited.
Send comments to the Arcane Archivist:

Did you like what you read here? Find it useful?
Then please click on the Paypal Secure Server logo and make a small
donation to the site maintainer for the creation and upkeep of this site.

The ARCANE ARCHIVE is a large domain,
organized into a number of sub-directories,
each dealing with a different branch of
religion, mysticism, occultism, or esoteric knowledge.
Here are the major ARCANE ARCHIVE directories you can visit:
interdisciplinary: geometry, natural proportion, ratio, archaeoastronomy
mysticism: enlightenment, self-realization, trance, meditation, consciousness
occultism: divination, hermeticism, amulets, sigils, magick, witchcraft, spells
religion: buddhism, christianity, hinduism, islam, judaism, taoism, wicca, voodoo
societies and fraternal orders: freemasonry, golden dawn, rosicrucians, etc.


There are thousands of web pages at the ARCANE ARCHIVE. You can use ATOMZ.COM
to search for a single word (like witchcraft, hoodoo, pagan, or magic) or an
exact phrase (like Kwan Yin, golden ratio, or book of shadows):

Search For:
Match:  Any word All words Exact phrase


Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Sacred Landscape: essays and articles on archaeoastronomy, sacred architecture, and sacred geometry
Lucky Mojo Forum: practitioners answer queries on conjure; sponsored by the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
Herb Magic: illustrated descriptions of magic herbs with free spells, recipes, and an ordering option
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: ethical diviners and hoodoo spell-casters
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: spirit-led, inter-faith, the Smallest Church in the World
Satan Service Org: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive: FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century ceremonial occultist
Spiritual Spells: lessons in folk magic and spell casting from an eclectic Wiccan perspective
The Mystic Tea Room: divination by reading tea-leaves, with a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, etc.
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races