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Spiritual Thelema and OTO

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.pagan.magick,alt.magick.order,talk.religion.misc,talk.religion.newage
From: 333 
Subject: Spiritual Thelema and OTO
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2003 06:23:29 GMT

50030719 viii   -- long and worth it. thanks!

#># it wasn't necessary for teh attending "officials who weren't 
#># really that high up anyway except in their minds, to literally 
#># shove me out of the way. 

#> yow, that sounds painful. I have had a few instances where these 
#> kinds of things occurred and, at least in my case, some of the 
#> problems were caused by a lack of clear communication. obviously 
#> it does not always occur to members that transport and movement 
#> can be problematic or costly, and for this reason that planning 
#> with distant individuals requires a greater degree of attention. 
#> that may be a result of OTO being so new in many ways.
# New or not, being ina hierarchy seems to give egotistical individuals 
# the leeway or license, if you will, to treat other people whom they 
# may deem to be "inferior" or such, even more reason to treat them as 
# inferior.  we can find this in lots of places.   No need to be in the 
# OTO for that.    

quite true. I suggest that hierarchical organizations may be 
EXASCERBATING of these kinds of weaknesses in individuals and
therefore may be PERFECT vehicles of demonstration for what
ought to be Thelemic virtues and ethics because they will
easily bring to light the very problems you are describing.
#># Again we have things like this going on taht are just plain rude, 
#># and if the bunch of us had been past IV degree maybe there might 
#># have been a loud complaint lodged. 
#> think so? I know there has been some discussion of exactly how much the
#> administration should be mediating personal conflicts. it becomes more
#> obvious that some intervention is needed when corruption of the system
#> is involved (like people syphoning monies supposedly for the order to
#> their own pockets, or redirecting membership to other organizations in
#> what are otherwise ostensibly OTO functions).
# ...the oaths involved in degres up to the IVth may have kicked in.  

what does their "kicking in" include? i.e. do you get the impression that
what I'm saying above about this being a prime testing ground for these
very oaths is true? if so, were you hoping that the admin of the org
would step in and *enforce* the oaths you're maintaining they'd taken,
or just indicating that the level of spiritual development aligning 
itself *with* those standards were not inevidence in your experience?

# not that mediation was necessary.  that's what I meant by complaint.  
# No question your mentioned activities need attention. 

yes, I gathered it was mostly in situations like the above where there
was a definite need for admin involvement.
#># This is plainly a -forgetting?-of certain degree related fraternity 
#># oaths. but I can see where an observer would wonder if the 
#># fraternity means anything, among other things, as well as just 
#># plain treating other people right. but, look at the immersion models 
#># of this "culture," so to say. 
#> quite true, where oaths are applicable. and yet, is there some kind of
#> requirement on how to interpret those oaths? certainly it is true that
#> with respect to secrecy there is some kind of monitoring involved, but
#> nothing too invasive that I've been able to detect. the question becomes
#> where are "thelemic (i.e. individualistic) standards" operating and 
#> where should the admin step in and facilitate what are otherwise 
#> personal issues or conflicts.
# then what kind of expectations is a person to have, when presented with 
# the materials with the lofty sounding goals and intents, 

that depends entirely on what you think the reliability is for those
lofty sounding goals and intents. if you see them as ideals or 
dreams that ought to motivate those within the organization, and
understand that through the bulk of occult history these types of
results have *NOT* been achieved, even in matricular or advancement
societies like the GD and HBL etc., then you might be more forgiving
of it being apparently absent within a religious initiatic membership
club that is attempting to promulgate the Law of Thelema within a
world that is in many cases antagonistic to its aims and values.

this is why I have suggested that the order IS the ordeal -- that
the gateway rituals which constitute a kind of membership hazing
and trap for those who are of indiscerning mind prone to accepting
dogma and submitting to orders is in fact merely the lead-in to 
a far more difficult ladder: the hierarchy and ecclesia with 
which one must deal in participating in the order itself. once one
considers a 93 Current trying to weave itself through the vehicle
of what might be considered an 'Old Aeon' structure, it becomes
apparent that this activity may be subject to exploitation, the
differentiated authority of quasi-masonica failing to underscore
idealistic notions like 'Every man and woman is a star.'

# the problem is that even people with half a realistic life 
# experience have gotten disappointed, most young people are 
# idealistic just by dint of lack of experience and the stage 
# of their cognitive development.  at least it would be better 
# if they had a mentor (I know it's been mentioned) (good idea) 
# to explain to them that nothing in life is perfect, there are 
# these variations on the original materials, etc.  that sort 
# of thing. 

it is in part in reflection of this capacity for disappointment
that I would warn my kindred within the (c)OTO and any of those
who may seek to join it, that it may prove more valuable to see
it as a discipline rather than a supplemental support to become
part of that body. indeed, the elevation of hoax to the status
of religion and Rosicrucian doctrine and ideal to that of history
may completely undermine anyone who buys into these things rather
sincerely instead of seeing them for the limited mechanisms and
symbolic instruction which they may become. 

#># again, if 
#># no one had time, why not just say so, instead of silence. why not 
#># just let people help out who want to help out? 
#> my guess (not being involved in those matters) is that those who are
#> part of the upper echelon who might have responded were busy with other
#> things and would prefer to let order members sort out the sordid details
#> of their mutual offense and interactive rudeness, but I may be in error.
# this would seem to be problematic, especially where new people are 
# concerned, may not have more experienced people to guide them, and 
# initaitions, supposing they have their effect, can render a person 
# more vulnerable than they were before.  

well said!! now if you were expecting that this would *not* be the
case, then I suggest that you may have been misled by the ignorant
into thinking that the (c)OTO is other than it truly is -- a cult of
Crowleyanity which may be used by Thelemites for their ascension in
the realm of societal interaction. we're talking about a CAUSTIC tool
that is dangerous in a way that most religions tend to be, but which
incorporates within its structure liberational philosophy that in
some measure runs *counter* to the most negative aspects in structure
and content of this organization. cognizance of this weird dichotomy
(Old Aeon structure, New Aeon testing ground) enables the intrepid
to establish contacts with other Thelemites that might be otherwise

# I never hear anything said about initiation effects.  yet there are
# plenty that have nothing to do with attaining status. the ideas in
# the initiations alone, without all the other material, inserted into
# a previously rigidly conditoned matrix of a psyche, even if the
# person wants to be changed, can have effects which can be beneficial
# or detrimental, or both.

agreed. and yet my impression is that the catalyzing membership 
rites are as much puzzles and obstacles as they are enhancements.
typically, from what little I have seen, candidates expect that
the ceremonies will do the job entire, somehow making them better
or more advanced or deepening their development, rather than what
*I* tend to identify as adding additional chains and shackles in
a grandiose hauling of the Grand Vehicle that is the Law into the
center of the operational arena. usually those who engage the OTO
do not appear to have had sufficient grounding and study to engage
the Great Work in a manner which is conducive to protecting their
liberties -- and this is something I suggest is paramount, though
societies in general elevate social ideals WAY above individual's.

I suggest that one reason initiation effects are not discussed is
that the initiations themselves are shrouded in the Veil of Secrecy
-- something completely CONTRARY to Thelemic virtues and values as
I understand them. finding ways around or through this kind of 
twisted societal mechanism is as much a test for the candidate as
any portion of the rites themselves that may require solutions.

status is *entirely* what these ceremonies are about, I say (and
this is most assuredly true in what are called the 'Man of Earth'
degrees; namely 0 -> IVpi). that is because we are not talking 
about necessary participation in the order proper until after that
point, where responsibility truly begins to heavily constrain the
member to very particular requirements of duty and virtue. having
successfully navigated the societal structure sufficient to have
gained the confidence of comrades assenting to initiation, one is
*awarded* the status which the community-maze-running and hoop-
jumping serves to make possible (importantly, complete with all
its attendant hazing and trap-dangling in which one may easily
become entangled and therefore disempowered to the community).

few have the wherewithall to succeed in this navigation WITHOUT
suffering the negative effects of these initiations, though some
rationalize their ostensible restrictive results as something
that for some reason they *owe* to the community due to having
been awarded this status. the Master knows that this is NOT true,
and participates to the extent that reflects hir true will.

#> I have similarly at times received silence where I would have 
#> preferred to receive some kind of response, but at others I 
#> would prefer to have received no response at all and lamented 
#> the inadequate manner in which I was being addressed.
# so either way the issue was not addressed, correct?

oh no at times the issue was addressed in a manner that I did
NOT identify as something reflective of Thelemic virtue. in a
manner similar to how you were lamenting above, I was seeing
distinction between my own ideals I had for the members of
the organization and that which was presented to me. on the
other hand, I was pointing out commonality with you above,
whereas I have *also* had very inspired interactions, even
with the (c)OTO Officials, and especially when I and my kin
held our ground in sincere resistance to what seemed very
clearly an intent to influence and take on parental roles.
that we were *accepted as Thelemites* gave me hope and some
good faith in the order as a whole, and I look back on those
incidents as continuing to justify my trust until I can see
without exception a clear and deep corruption of the Current
within the order (I haven't confirmed that as yet, but I've
watched for it continually :>).

re spirituality and (c)OTO:
#> I've had mixed results on that score. I never came to
#> OTO for spirituality, but at times I've made it a part
#> of my spiritual path, regardless of what its membership 
#> thought I was there to achieve. ;> to some extend it 
#> can be said that any social ground is a kind of 
#> laboratory for the testing of spiritual ideals, and 
#> that success isn't always a part of the result, 
#> but failure can be importantly informative.
# No argument there, I didn't come tothe cOTO for
# just spirituality, it was mostly the EGC, and
# the Mass admittedly. There were a mixed bag of
# interests and reasons. 

one might argue that the method of religion is really
*doomed to failure*, and this was a kind of set-up.

# even though failure can be informative, it shouldn't 
# be a goal, or even an expectation,  

indeed. this was in part what I was getting at above
when speaking of sights to which one might set one's
eyes in aim. disappointment is arguably the reward
of those who do not comprehend the religious method,
misunderstanding it as panacea or utopia when in fact
one is more likely to find the worst aspects of that
which one is attempting to reform within the crucible,
and grappling with failure in the glow of success's 
promise predisposes one to the kind of depression 
to which you refer. 

what is by some Thelemists described as 'Osirian
religion' contains a good bit of counter-acting 
formulae designed to support an expectation of the
greater challenge being the *engagement of the
religious community*. this includes things such as
that the greatest 'sinners' come to the Dying God
for forgiveness, that the historic God is said to have
walked amongst thieves, whores, and other criminals
specifically for the purpose of having a levelling
effect on the deepest and most corrupt aspects of
society. one might find this is also true of the
Horusian religious in like capacity (those who are
involved may been the most in need of the effects
which are said to be included in its Official Rite).

# this can lead to a partially depressed mindset in a
# group of people in a shared psychosocial environment,
# where things that could be done to improve it
# would be overlooked, or not even tried, because no
# one expects anything to work.

plus, it is easy to give up hope when the Light
seems so near to hand and yet appears blocked by
the slowest and most foolish of our kindred who may
have risen through societal conformism to positions
of influence and religious authority. you say as
much below. :>

# An exceptional person in this environment
# might not even get a chance to shine, since those
# "in charge" would not be thinking aperson like
# that exists in the ranks because all they've seen
# (hypothetically) is people behaving badly.  This
# can be so  unconscious even the best most
# experienced people can fall prey to it. Constant
# vigilance is theprice of freedom, unfortunately,
# but it has its down side as well.

I hear ya, sister. what I identify as the method of
religion is subject to PRECISELY these weaknesses.
as a religious order, we should expect no less than
that these weaknesses will be exploited and extant
within the (c)OTO, which has chosen to utilize said
method for some of its purposes (as examples? :>).

# Again with the mindset, I find the "laboratory"
# simile to be dehumanizing and lacking even
# originality.  This would put the individual person
# in the role of merely a test case, would be
# tantamount to setting them up for failure from the
# get-go because they weren't informed of the "game"
# going on. We can find this going on in life as it
# is all the time, no need to join an organization
# for it.  You can just go down the local  meat-market
# bar to find something like that going on.

ah, but in the meat-market bar you will not find the
ABJECT HYPOCRISY which must come into being when the
virtues of Thelemic liberty and kinship are lauded
*simulaneously* to the exact exploitation of these
Old Aeonic societal venues! what the Law of Thelema,
when actively promulgated, makes possible is the
hefty influence of those who understand this Law in
dealing with these social mazes, traps, and quagmires.
the health of the order therefore may be discerned
by its reactions to precisely those who understand
said Law and use it to their advantage.

at best the (c)OTO should be seen as a domain in which
the ideals are possible but not to be expected, given
the usual preparations provided to those who are likely
to have risen to prominence within it (those who exhibit
a penchance for society-service, ladder-climbing, and
the method of religion).

# In my more "advanced" studies in OTO material,
# compassion and tolerance was a requirement of
# "advancement"; doesn't seem to figure in to
# that setup.

maturity required is maturity despoiled. each of us has
a valuable lesson to learn in separating completely the
notions we might have of spiritual advancement from that
of societal involvement and status. this is one of the
main issues that occupies those struggling between Old
Aeonic structural conditions and New Aeon virtues: they
focus on the 'Top of the (sometimes 'Mc') OTO Pyramid'
and seek to denigrate the performance of the Frater
Superior, when in fact every member from the 'bottom'
of this societal pyramid to the 'top' is responsible
for maintaining the integrity and health of the Law in
their own orbit and by virtue of their own power. those
looking 'upward' for the security and freedom which they
have come to associate with the Current are assuredly
headed for a rude awakening when encountering the eddies
and turmoil of the inevitable backward bureaucrats that
dwell in the shelter of faux authority edifices (such as 
in orders and churches where such mighty mistakes are 
made and may be countered by skilled magicians).


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