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Thelema, Organizations, and Cultural Respect

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.magick.order,alt.thelema,talk.religion.misc,talk.religion.newage,alt.pagan.magick
From: (nigris (333))
Subject: Thelema, Organizations, and Cultural Respect
Date: 24 Jul 1999 01:38:52 -0700

49990204 IIIom 


a correspondent wrote:
#> I am merely advocating responsibility, seeing the big picture. What you
#> do is your business BTW. Unfortunately organizations must to a certain
#> extent conform to the national laws lest they loose their special legal
#> status and hence your protection from a host of evils. Good luck.

each individual sets out their limitations as regards conformity.
to suggest that any set of behavioral standards "must" be accepted
is to play into the organizational disempowerment which culture
continually engages and abandon the Law of Thelema as I understand
it. there are many examples of real and important progress being
made from nonviolent disobedience, for example, and for a refusal
to abide an unjust system. sometimes legal status is not as
important as refusing to follow the herd. we can expect that those
within movements will clamor for greater liberalism and conserva-
tism based on their position with respect to the circumstances.

if you are advocating for responsibility, then this is valuable.
if you are advocating for conformity AS responsibility, the I
question the soundness of your logic when operating in a group of
individuals who ostensibly wish to work toward the betterment (i.e.
change) of the culture in which you live.

another correspondent wrote:
# ...the Law of Thelema supercedes the game-rules of all previous 
# Aonic structures (churches, governments, etc.).  

I suggest that it does this because it UNDERLIES them.  what gave
and continues to give groups power is the lending of a multitude
of INDIVIDUAL WILLs to the cause. when these wills are neglected
or subsumed then they are weakened and destroyed thereby.  these
wills are those of changing, living, learning beings.

compare this with the relationship between Newtonian and Einsteinian
physics.  the former is a special case of the latter; it describes
in general what gives rise to the dynamics described by the latter.
in the same way the Law of Thelema in general describes what gives
rise to the possibility of groups, movements and states.  to ignore
this basis is not only a moral crime, but a scientific error.

# To allow those structures & their laws to seduce an individual 
# or Order into subverting the Law of Thelama for reasons of 
# personal safety is not a stance which I can agree with.  To each 
# his or her own will, but if any institution which is Thelemic in 
# name but acts otherwise & wants its members to go along with them 
# using power-over tactics, it leaves a bad tase in my mouth.    

granted. are you suggesting that any such organization is doing this?
which one?  how?

# If any such Orders make claims of being the one only &/or true 
# Order, it makes me nervous.  

of course, but what if they claim to represent the only organization
of its like *by its name*?  i.e. what if we're talking about some-
thing the Freemasons call 'jurisdictional disputes' involving a
conferment of lineage authority to carry on an initiatic tradition?

this becomes almost religious in its implications, but does this
really constitute more than an expression of OPINION on the matter,
rather than trespassing Thelemic standards?  does to say that I am
the rightful heir to a specific cultural office constitute an act
which is *contrary* to Thelemic standards, or is it merely an
expression which will be proven over time?

# If any such Order makes noises like they are willing to use
# their relationships with the Osirian court structures to 
# personal advantage over other Thelemites, I get still more 
# nervous.   

based on the course of your comments I gather that you are talking
about (c)OTO and our legal wrangling over copyrights. now I have
made quite a bit of noise about this myself, but I'm not sure that
I have gone as far as suggesting that it is necessarily contrary
to Thelemic standards or ideals (I'm still mulling this over).

the issue as I've been able to determine it thusfar is one about
INHERITANCE, particularly of lucrative intellectual and literary
objects (i.e. books and their contents, identifying names like
trademarks) and the mode of their reproduction. 

if it can be established that the AUTHOR of such a thing wished
to designate an inheritor of control over any portion of it,
would you say that contravening that or dismissing his wishes
was a 'Thelemic' thing to do?  that is, why aren't you saying
that the (c)OTO is doing something *Thelemic* by protecting the
designs of a single individual whose property it has been
entrusted to conserve and protect (Crowley's)??

btw, I really do enjoy notions and would love to see them
supported that inheritance is ITSELF not a Thelemic activity.

# Some people have politely told me that they would have far 
# less trouble with me if the Chthonic-Auranian OTO were to 
# change its name so people would not be confused & think it 
# was the "real" OTO.  

it gets really funny when you start to ask some of these same
people why it is that they describe the esoteric activity which 
was stolen or grafted or misrepresented by their forebears in 
the same terms as a mystical tradition or complex in the origin
cultures (e.g. 'yoga' or 'qabalah')!  

suddenly "you can't control the influences you may have" or
"terminological control is an over-reach". I think there is a
great deal of truth here, but YOU CAN'T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS.

those within the (c)OTO who use terms like 'yoga' and 'qabalah'
to do what they are doing should be SUPPORTING organizational
names like yours as reasonable variations on an esoteric theme
in the same way that they are attempting to play on such themes
in their linguistic expressions.

but note the MOTIVATION here. it's "ok" to appropriate the mystical
language of other cultures, but when this is done to oneself, then
it suddenly becomes "problematic".  it is alot like making fun of
others until one becomes the butt of the joke and then protesting.
it doesn't wash.

shit or get off the pot, I say. accept that Hermeticism has for
years (centuries?) been a thief, appropriator, and discards the
concept of intellectual ownership in its disrespectful collage
and charlatanry, or discontinue this activity oneself in all
areas of esoteric involvement.  above all, if you are going to
criticize appropriation in others, first eliminate the practice
in YOUR OWN LEXICON (this latter is something I'm trying to do).

# Let me suggest that perhaps if all references to being a 
# Thelemic organization were removed from those orders who 
# choose obedience to Osirian mundane laws rather than hold 
# high the banner of this Aeon, it might be less confusing 
# for those seeking the company of other Thelemites.

so you are equating DISobedience to mundane laws (are certain
laws 'Osirian' and others 'Horusian'? -- sorry if I have not
kept track of the proper aeonics here, but 'Horus' is an Old
Aeon to me these days :>) with 'holding high the banner of
Thelema'?  you sure you want to do that??  why isn't this as
good as saying 'there is no law' rather than 'there is no law
beyond do what thou wilt'?

can an organization BE 'Thelemic'?  or is this just a
description of its members ideals and preferences?  what could
possibly make a 'thelemic organization'?  would the org have
to abide by certain standards to qualify?  which ones if so?

blessed beast!
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