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BHeidrick: Ordo Templi Orientis

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick.order,alt.consciousness
From: (mordred)
Subject: BHeidrick: Re: Ordo Templi Orientis
Date: 19 May 1995 17:25:02 -0700

[from alt.magick: (Bill Heidrick)]

Mogg Morgan ( writes:

>IMHO one joins a magical order not for it supposed legal 
>status but for the magical work it has developed.

Neither reason would be sufficient for me.  Isn't it the point that one
joins such things for enhancement of one's own abilities?  Typically
that would include access to information and/or education, colleagues,
a venue for one's own work, and similar things.  I suppose there are
still many who have motives akin to those of a moth toward a light bulb,
but that's really rather stupid.  Joining a magical order should not
be confused with joining a fan club, following a particular individual
or laying one's soul flat and saying "do it to me, daddy!"  Above all,
surrender or narrowing of free will should not be allowed to proceed
beyond the norms of giving attention to any task --- it's necessary
to limit and focus a bit to do anything, but never advisable to become
an unthinking follower or wearer of blinders beyond the theatrical moment.
Every major voluntary or "involuntary" (lower will, that is) choice in life
limits and defines the life that comes after.  Theoretically, that's even
true of the act of incarnation (I often use the example of the soul who
picked a life based on the brief: "All wants cared for, able servants,
medical coverage, loving home, no money worries, life-time stability: --
only to wake to the world as a cat!).  Initiatory orders use rites
of passage, which usually are characterized as leaving indelible marks
on future life.  That's equally true of signing a contract, marriage,
baptism, graduation from a school, joining the military, taking a job &c.
Caution is appropriate.  Neurotic avoidance is irresponsible.  Non-
initiatory orders usually have some more subtle restraint on future choice,
less warning because sans-ceremonial occasion, often a matter of prejudice
or narrow interpretation of some subject based on the mores of the group.
You take your pick and take your own risk.  In general, groups that offer
association or other forms of trial membership provide an opportunity
to test the waters a bit.  All action is risk.  Without risk, there is
no freedom.
   As to the originality of an approach with a particular order, I have
found that study of origins is useful but no promise of "best".  An example
would be music recording tape.  The company that first marketed iron oxide
recording tape still sells it --- but that's close to the worst quality
recording tape I've ever tried.

>you lose your level of 
>initiation if you stope paying.

This refers to OTO, and I will mostly concur with
(Walter Five) on this one:

>Once a degree has been conferred, it's yours. If you stop paying 
>dues, (which are largely nominal after initiation in the Man of Earth 
>Triad) you do eventually become categorized as Inactive, but that's 
>hardly the same thing! It's not as if you get Stripped of your Degree for 
>not sending a cheque to Grand Lodge!

It is possible to be expelled or to resign, in which case one is no longer
a member of the particular degree.  Inactive standing means the degree is
inactive as well --- by going inactive, being expelled or having resigned,
one can no longer say "I am a member of the XYZ degree of O.T.O."  However,
the qualities, changes and knowledge of the degree remain otherwise intact.
The level of initiation is unaffected.  If the individual returns to O.T.O.,
and resumes initiated membership; there is no repeat of formerly held degrees.
One simply continues on as before the interruption.  Degree membership
means two things: 1. present standing as an active member of O.T.O.
2. passage through the corresponding rite(s) of initiation.  The former
is subject to change in accord with the momentary relation of the individual
to O.T.O.  The latter is a done deed, neither cancelable nor repeatable.
Thus, to be expelled from the IXth degree means that one is no longer a
IXth degree member, but it does not mean that one cannot know and use the
secret of that degree.  Neither does it mean that one is no longer of those
who have passed into the IXth degree.  You can loose a membership, but you
don't thereby loose history or skills.  You can loose the right to say
you are a IXth degree member, but your ability to be a worker of the IXth
degree mysteries is unaffected.   A retired General of the Army is still
called "General", just not "active-list".  An expelled IXth degree (or
any other degree) should not be called "a IXth degree" simply, since that
implies continuing membership.  It would be equally false to deny that
such a person ever had the degree or is incapable of standing as an initiate
to the IXth degree, emeritus or demeritus.

93 93/93
Bill Heidrick

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