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Thelema is post-Christianity, not anti-Christianity

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Concerns have been expressed regarding the approach of this series, which parallels more general concerns regarding the approach of Thelema to Christianity in general.

It is true that many people come initially to Thelema as something that challenges & goes directly against Christian ideals. After all, our prophet is known as the Beast 666, our Heaven is on Earth, and we live joyously without fear of grace or guilt, having discarded the priestly bogey of sin.

Thelema is not anti-Christian, but post-Christian.

We do not simply reject all things Christian because of their association, but even as Christianity itself absorbed the Pagan elements of past religions so does Thelema absorb and supersede Christianity.

“Every man and every woman is a star, and every one’s will is the will of God” (Blue Equinox)

Further, in the central text of Thelema known as the Book of the Law it is written:

“Aum! All words are sacred and all prophets true; save only that they understand a little…” (AL I:56)

and in another Holy Book it is written:

“To you who yet wander in the Court of the Profane we cannot yet reveal all; but you will easily understand that the religions of the world are but symbols and veils of the Absolute Truth. So also are the philosophies. To the adept, seeing all these things from above, there seems nothing to choose between Buddha and Mohammed, between Atheism and Theism.” (Liber Porta Lucis)

From this it is easy to see we do not indiscriminately reject whatever is Christian but instead penetrate past the outer exoteric dogmas & superstitions and retain the gnosis preserved by each tradition.

Yet that gnosis has also been clouded by each tradition. In the Book of the Law, we also find cursing of the old “slave religions:”

“I am in a secret fourfold word, the blasphemy against all gods of men. Curse them! Curse them! Curse them! With my Hawk’s head I peck at the eyes of Jesus as he hangs upon the cross.” (Liber AL III:49-51)

“The evident interpretation of this is to take the word to be “Do what thou wilt,” which is a secret word, because its meaning for every man is his own inmost secret. And it is the most profound blasphemy possible against all ‘gods of men,’ because it makes every man his own God.”

We not only discard but actively fight against the tyranny, superstition, and dogma that have come through Christians throughout the ages and which is even inherent in Christianity itself. In this way we “curse” and “peck at the eyes of Jesus.”

We also unite all diverse symbols & methods under the banner of the Law of the Aeon of the Crowned and Conquering Child, “Do what thou wilt.” In this way “All words are sacred and all prophets true; save only that they understand a little…” It’s even been said “Thelema is more Christian than Christianity, and more Satanic than Satanism!” (What is Thelema?)

We hope that this post and others that have been written will make it clear that we are not blindly against all things Christian but see the Law of Thelema as that which supersedes the Old Aeon of Suffering. Hopefully readers will look beyond mere appearances and initial impressions to find the True Message of this blog. Not “Thy will be done” but “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law!”

Love is the law, love under will.

  1. January 5, 2010 at 3:01 am

    “Every man and every woman is a star, and every one’s will is the will of God”

    I completely disagree. :(

    1 cor 23-24 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.

    ————————————————————————-

    “Aum! All words are sacred and all prophets true; save only that they understand a little…”

    I completely disagree.

    i john 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

    It says accursed, anathema, devoted to destruction, doomed to eternal punishment.

    Gal 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.

  2. Neal "thePuck" Jansons
    January 5, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    And I completely agree.

    “Abrogate are all rituals, all ordeals, all words and signs. Ra-Hoor-Khuit hath taken his seat in the East at the Equinox of the Gods; and let Asar be with Isa, who also are one. But they are not of me. Let Asar be the adorant, Isa, the sufferer; Hoor is his secret name and splendor is the Lord initiating.” Liber al vel Legis 1:49

    Isn’t quote-mining fun?

  3. societyvs
    January 5, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    I said Huxley in another post – I meant Crowley.

  4. societyvs
    January 5, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    “From this it is easy to see we do not indiscriminately reject whatever is Christian but instead penetrate past the outer exoteric dogmas & superstitions and retain the gnosis preserved by each tradition” (CID)

    I will contend that you do not do this exact thing…in fact Gnostics existed and exist within the framework of Christianity, I will contend what Crowley has written in fact is written to supersede what Christianity wrote.

    ‘Do what thou wilt’ is not the same as ‘treat others how you want to be treated’…in fact ‘do what thou wilt’ seems to mix ideas of ‘we are gods’ and ‘loving ourselves’…neither of these are culminations of the law. What Crowley has written is basically standing against what Christianity does teach at it’s core. To prove this is at Christianity’s core Jesus even says ‘treat other how you want to be treated’ is the whole law and the prophets.

    I contend quite succinctly – one cannot follow Crowley and say they are following the teachings of Jesus which were based on the Torah and Prophets…since Crowley does not know them and in fact changes these ideas.

    • January 5, 2010 at 9:16 pm

      93 societyvs – Thanks for your comments.

      “in fact Gnostics existed and exist within the framework of Christianity”

      Again, we make no claim about being the historical continuation of the historical sect of ‘Gnostics’ that were around during Jesus’ time. Gnostics in the sense of esoteric Christians have certainly existed and exist within the framework of Christianity.

      “‘Do what thou wilt’ is not the same as ‘treat others how you want to be treated’…in fact ‘do what thou wilt’ seems to mix ideas of ‘we are gods’ and ‘loving ourselves’…”

      Indeed! Though ‘ourselves’ includes others when we get beyond the normal bounds of the ego. “Every man and every woman is a star” and each star as a will to be respected in the same way as one’s own; this is a supercession of the idea “Love one’s neighbor as oneself” and not complete anti-Christianity as you appear to make it out to be.

      “I contend quite succinctly – one cannot follow Crowley and say they are following the teachings of Jesus which were based on the Torah and Prophets…”

      Agreed, though we don’t ‘follow Crowley.’ We follow the Law of Thelema. One has to get rid of attachments to such slave religions if one is to do one’s will purely.

      ” since Crowley does not know them and in fact changes these ideas.”

      Crowley was actually raised by a strict protestant sect known as the Plymouth Brethren. He was well aware of Jesus’ doctrines and was actually well-known for having the Bible nearly memorized. “Chemical Wedding,” a recent horror-action film based loosely on Aleister Crowley, made fun of this very idea. Thanks again for your comments!

    • Matthew
      October 21, 2011 at 7:54 pm

      You are myself in Thelema, humanity as a whole is ourselves in the Aeon of Horus. Love thy enemies, they are yourself too.

  5. revenator
    January 6, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    In the Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, there is a great exchange between Frodo, the ring bearer, and Boromir, one of the nine who have pledged to defend Frodo and the ring as they journey to Mordor to destroy the ring.

    Frodo is wandering alone in the woods when Boromir comes up behind him, gathering wood.

    Boromir says, “None of us should wander alone, you least of all. Frodo? I know you suffer, I see it day by day. Are you sure you do not suffer needlessly? There are other ways Frodo, other paths we might take.”

    Frodo replies, “I know what you would say, and it would seem like wisdom, but for the warning in my heart.”

    Boromir interrupts, “Warning? Against what? We are all afraid Frodo. But to let that fear drive us to destroy what hope we have… don’t you see? That is madness!”

    Frodo stands firm and says, “There is no other way.”

    Boromir, using a tactic to shift the focus, says, “I ask only for the strength to defend my people! If you would but lend me the Ring…”

    Frodo backs away saying. “ No!”

    Boromir responds, “Why do you recoil? I am no thief.”

    Frodo, recognizing the subtle trickery of the evil one’s desire for power, confronts Boromir, saying, “You are not yourself.”

    To which Boromir responds, “What chance do you think you have? They will find you. They will take the Ring. And you will beg for death before the end!”

    The enemy is cunning and plays on his own suggestions.

    Boromir was the voice chosen to be used by the enemy. The enemy laid his ground work by telling Frodo there are many ways and other paths. He then assures Frodo that his fear is warranted. He declares himself to not be the thief he really is and then uses his forked tongue to try and scare Frodo with a declaration of doom and death.

    Jesus faced this same enemy on the mount of temptation. The enemy’s final temptation of Jesus was the sum of all that we have just seen with Frodo and Boromir.

    Matthew 4:8-9

    Next the devil took him (Jesus) to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.”

    Satan tells Jesus there is another way. You don’t have to take the difficult journey. If you will just allow me to take your position (as ring bearer) for a moment, you will see the new way clearly.

    Matthew 4:10

    “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the LORD your God and serve only him.’”

    Here in where we find the truth.

    What ever you believe must have a foundation to hold it up. Without a firm foundation your way or path is only as solid as the air that is holding it up.

    The Scriptures have a solid foundation in the God who delivered them to us. Jesus, although God in the flesh and the true King of the world’s kingdoms, didn’t confront Satan by justifying himself. Jesus quoted the solid, never changing, always true Scriptures given by God Himself.

    Jesus never lost track of the narrow way. He never turned from the true path. He had a mission and even though it was difficult he never strayed from the one and only way to salvation.

    There are many temptations that look good and maybe even sound wise and reasonable on the surface. The one thing the many different paths lack is a solid foundation grounded in God’s Word. Aside from the way of God revealed to us in the Scriptures, all other ways have their foundation firmly planted in the air.

    • February 19, 2011 at 6:36 am

      Who died and made u my god Renevator. Who proved to you with out a doubt you are right, that any one is right or wrong… No one. Do some research and stop quoting the most quoted book in the world. Get an original idea and evolve. Thelema doesn’t condemn you, who gave you the right to condemn anything, be a judge. I’m pretty sure your god said that wasn’t allowed in essence. That he was the only judge. Be quiet and wait for your fire and brimstone while I enjoy heaven now and forever….

    • Matthew
      October 21, 2011 at 7:59 pm

      Set or Satan is a liar revenator, the earth is God’s footstool. Most of us as Thelemites know ‘You must worship the LORD your God and serve only him.’” The fire of the Holy Spirit incarnated in man 5 = 6

      • Matthew
        October 21, 2011 at 8:04 pm

        Do what thou Wilt is the strictest possible bond ever. It is only attaining onto and respecting the Lord Most High and doing His will which is your True will. Any other act or function we do outside our orbit is a fallacy. Sin comes from eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, quit eating the fruit and deliver yourself from good and evil to find the Tree of Life

  6. Achad
    January 6, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    revenator: You are using circular logic. You say the Scriptures have a solid foundation because they are the word of God. We know they are true because God gave them to us, and we know God gave them to us because they say so. Do you see the flaw in your reasoning? It is the same as Muslims who say they know the Quran is true because God gave it to us, and we know God gave it to us because it says so. The same can be argued of any holy text. In my eyes a holy text needs to hold up on its own merits, not merely on circular reasoning and faith.

    In Buddhism, Taoism, Thelema, and others, methods are outlined by their holy texts on ways to live that will reduce suffering or give meaning to one’s life. These texts are falsifiable. If I practice the system of Buddhism and derive no benefits from it, I know that Buddhism is false and fails as a system. If on the other hand, I achieve any of the states of mind outlined in Buddhist texts, I know that there is value to the system. One can apply “the method of science, the aim of religion,” as Thelema calls it. Christianity has no such test. Christianity makes claims about the afterlife, and knowing if one’s conduct is correct or if the system works can only be discovered after you die. Blind faith is all you get, and having faith in Christianity provides just as much certainty as having faith in any other faith-based tradition.

    • Neal "thePuck" Jansons
      January 7, 2010 at 6:46 pm

      Well said, Achad!

      I am the warrior Lord of the Forties: the Eighties cower before me, & are abased. I will bring you to victory & joy: I will be at your arms in battle & ye shall delight to slay. Success is your proof; courage is your armour; go on, go on, in my strength; & ye shall turn not back for any!” Liber Al vel Legis 3:46

      Any religion which puts its goals in an unobservable place (like an afterlife) has given up the very notion of being true. And lo, true Christian, Muslim, and Judaic mysticism does NOT do this…only their not-so-faithful-as-they-think followers claim simply holding certain thoughts in your head is equal to salvation. Christ said to take up the Cross and walk with Him, and yet consistently that is translated to “live in the same manner of my age and class while thinking certain thoughts”.

    • Kevin Stevenson
      January 9, 2010 at 7:42 pm

      Achad:

      I find it humorous that you’re are attempting to impose the principles of either logic or science on anything, let alone religion. Have you not read that “Reason is a lie” (AL II:32)? Not only are you acting as a “slave of Because” and a “dog of Reason” (AL II: 54, 27), but are implying everyone should.

      Furthermore, your scathing of circularity betrays that you’ve not thought through the entailments. First, your caricature of the Christian’s argument is a strawman. If, indeed, we argued as you have presented it, then the circle is too tight and so an unsound argument. But that’s not our argument. Secondly, Christians do accept the Bible’s authority on its own Self-attesting authority to be sure. From that starting point, thought , we find nothing that is real that does not evidence its truth and claims of authority. You do not reject the authority of the Bible on intellectual grounds, but because you too have a circle of reason.

      Essentially, your argument is that your reason is the authoritative final court of appeal in judging truth claims. However, if asked to justify your original commitment (i.e., faith in) to the authority of your reason, you are on the horns of a real epistemic dilemma. Either you are going to use your reason to justify your application of reason, which would be as tight of a circular argument as there can be; or, you will have to reach for some other authority, which would usurp the place of primacy that you’ve given to you own reason.

      Therefore, according to you, your first choice—to admit begging the question—is intellectual anathema, so that’s not an option. But, if you accept the latter option, and attempt to justify the sufficiency of your reason by means of some other authority, then you either have to employ reason again, as something greater than your ultimate authority, which is absurd, to authenticate that authority; or confess that the your choice of that authority is arbitrary and based on blind faith, which is also absurd.

      Thirdly, it seems that you believe that applying “the method of science, the aim of religion” is helpful to you. It’s not.

      For one, the rationalism you are assuming in strictly forbidden within the confines of the Thelema you espouse (see AL II:27—33). Rationally speaking, while you want to charge Christians with the informal fallacy of circularity, your methodology rest atop of a formal error in logic: post hoc ergo propter hoc, or the fallacy of affirming the consequent. You brag, “Christianity has no such test.” To that we’re thankful.

      Ironically, that we aren’t required to rest our hopes on fallacious reason, capriciously chosen authority, or blind faith, is one of the very reasons we glory in the Son of God and the holistic redemption he extends to us. By his grace, we’ve turned from these idols to serve the living true God. Without assuming his reality and Lordship, irrationality will always be the resultant of the system you espouse and (hopelessly) defend.

      “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elementary principles of the world, and not according to Christ…In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:8, 3).

      • January 9, 2010 at 7:49 pm

        93 Kevin – Personally I find it ironic that you would selectively quote from the Book of the Law and apply your own misunderstanding of an interpretation of it, while complaining about straw men.

        If you want to have a legitimate discussion about the epistemology of truth claims, you probably have to understand the other person’s position instead of erecting a straw man of it. Your argument essentially seems to be that you’ve found some circularity in arguments for reason (even Hume acknowledged theres no logically sound reasoning behind inductive reasoning except inductive reasoning which is circular – but it still works and we all use it) and therefore jump to faith in some God.

        There is absolutely no point in arguing with you since your beliefs are explicitly non-rational and based on faith which is acceptance of a tenet without any evidence, rational or empirical. Chances are you accept it out of fear of punishment, hope for heaven, and a few other things (sense of security, desire to see your enemies punished, etc.). Either way, you are going to get nowhere by not udnerstanding the other side’s points and yet continuing to argue.

        It’s plain from your other posting that you did not even bother to finish reading this blog post before making a comment – that is lazy bordering on disingenuous and I don’t want to support those kind of conversations on this blog. There are plenty of examples on this blog of people trying to understand each other’s points and going from there, and until you meet this lowest standard requirement of adult conversation, I can’t imagine you have much of anything constructive to contribute. Love is the law, love under will.

    • Kevin Stevenson
      January 9, 2010 at 8:11 pm

      Achad:

      Yeah, about circularity…

      “All questions of the Law are to be decided only by appeal to my writings, each for himself.” The Book of the Law: The Comment

      • January 9, 2010 at 8:14 pm

        93 Kevin – What you call circularity in this case others call ‘internal coherence.’ Why don’t you actually take the time to be an authentic conversationalist and try to understand the other side’s points instead of cherry picking & distorting them, creating the very straw men you complain of. Love is the law, love under will.

  7. January 7, 2010 at 1:25 am

    I did read some of your blog postings. I did some additional research on the subject by following links referenced in the postings.

    I am interested in the law as it pertains to the U.S. Constitution and our national justice system. This is not to be confused with the “Book of Law” as referenced in your blog corresponding with the basis for the founding principles of Thelema. Clearly, I am a Christian. Additionally, my political view standpoint is a Libertarian.

    According to Thelema, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law!” and “Heaven is on Earth, and we live joyously without fear of grace or guilt, having discarded the priestly bogey of sin.”

    What the above statements about Thelema mean is simply:

    1. Individual freedom of choice
    2. Love yourself
    3. Abide by the law

    As a Libertarian, I believe in individual’s freedom of choice and this is supported by our U.S. Constitution too. Libertarians believe in limited Government to control personal liberties which does support Thelema’s statement, “do what you will and that is the law”.

    I’m sure you will agree though that without the justice system individuals who do not exercise attention, knowledge, intelligence, and judgment in consideration for the protection of their own and of others’ interests when making their personal choices, the world would quickly turn to confusion and chaos. That consequences of that would be far from heaven on earth in my opinion. To better demonstrate this point, I would like to refer you to The Heritage Foundation Leadership for America and read their statement about the Rule of Law. http://www.heritage.org/LeadershipForAmerica/rule-of-law.cfm#

    With regard to what the bible says about heaven and earth, in the end of time as we know it Heaven and earth will melt together into one. Heaven and eternity are quite a mystery except to know that we will be in God’s care. All of that is not for us to be concerned about. Our job is to

    1. Live rightly
    2. Love God
    3. Love our neighbors

    That seems pretty similar to Thelema’s statement in combination with the laws of the land to me.

    1. To live right is to love you because if you do not love you, why would you care what happened to you?

    2. Loving God results in freedom of choice. When loving God, you show this by your faith in Him and walk with Him in your own personal relationship. Choices are made different individual to individual. What is right for me in accordance with my relationship with God may not be right for you in your relationship with God. That is between Him and you and trust me, God has a plan for you that is better than ANY plan you could come up with by yourself!

    3. Christianity includes loving our neighbors…which means learning to accept each other unconditionally and not judge each others walks in life. This is God’s responsibility. All we have to do is love each other and rest in our faith and let Him do all the work!

    Additionally, Thelema says, “We do not simply reject all things Christian because of their association.”

    I believe the reason this is part of Thelema’s statement of beliefs is the similarity to Christian beliefs have already been recognized. Thelema only presents this belief structure to society in a different way combining the Book of Law.

  8. Kevin Stevenson
    January 9, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    The logical inconsistency and inauthentic smack of this post really shines through when we juxtapose your claim that,

    “Thelema is not anti-Christian, but post-Christian”

    with that of Crowley, saying,

    “I am in a secret fourfold word, the blasphemy against all gods of men. Curse them! Curse them! Curse them! With my Hawk’s head I peck at the eyes of Jesus as he hangs upon the cross. I flap my wings in the face of Mohammed & blind him. With my claws I tear out the flesh of the Indian and the Buddhist, Mongol and Din. Bahlasti! Ompehda! I spit on your crapulous creeds.”
    The Book of the Law, III: 49—54

    You say that Thelema is the religion for the new age, but I’m not sure that this level of intolerance and hatred is very helpful or happy.

    That’s another beauty of the cross of Jesus: The salvation offered in Christ redeems our minds, thus saving us from the sin of double-mindedness and irrationality as well as the blasphemy that marks Thelemic delusion. I entreat you to turn from these things and embrace the only source of Joy, the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Kevin

    • January 9, 2010 at 5:54 pm

      93 Kevin – You obviously did not even bother to read the entirety of the blog post, as you claim to have found something that I explicitly mention and explain at the tail end of this post. If you want to have a conversation about being inconsistent and inauthentic, you should authentically read my posts before you make a comment. It will save you from a lot of wasted breath. Thanks for the comment!

  9. January 9, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    Why was Thelema and the the Book of Law established if it is so similar to Christianity? If indeed proclaims Jesus Christ is the Savior than why not just be Christian? Am I missing something too?

    • January 9, 2010 at 10:02 pm

      93 Christina – You are indeed missing something. Check out the latest post on this blog called ‘Jesus Christ is not the Savior, You are!’ … Thanks for dropping by.

  10. Бојан
    January 12, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Why the need to reconcile Thelema with Christianity? Why present Thelema as a new religion? Why attempt an explanation of Thelema for those unfamiliar with it? It reeks of Christian/Scientology practice. The point of belief is that no proof – logical or otherwise – is required. And although that may chafe some Thelemites in a very uncomfortable manner, it is a fact. Even when presented with proof against their belief, people will tend to rearrange their belief to fit the new information (or, more often, completely disregard it).

    I am a Thelemite, a member of the OTO, and a hardcore agnostic. I dislike using the word “Holy” when discussing any book, because IMO it leads to belief and I share Robert Anton Wilson’s view that belief is the death of intelligence. I agree that Thelema incorporates various elements from various religions, however I see that as a very utilitarian move on Crowley’s part.

    Best of luck, though :)

    Bojan

    • January 12, 2010 at 7:58 pm

      93 Bojan – Thanks a lot for your words. I am not ‘reconciling’ Thelema with Christianity but showing that Thelema supercedes it. It is the same as newtonian physics being updated by quantum mechanics while still studying it to understand where we came from.

      I attempt an explanation for people that are unfamiliar with it, because then how else will they become familiar? Many people are ‘waiting’ just to hear about a system such as this. I am not sure how explaining something to someone that is unfamiliar “reeks of Christian/Scientology practice” – it sounds more like what occurs in every classroom everywhere and what goes on beyond friends every day when they teach each other about something they’ve learned.

      Regarding belief/faith, I suggest you check out the later post (than this one) regarding certainty of experience versus blind faith. There are subtle things to discuss but putting ‘faith’ in ‘salvation’ from ‘Jesus’ is way different than the belief/faith you use to navigate your bedroom in darkness, for example.

      Holy does not imply belief in my mind, but rather an attitude of the sacred. Crowley himself used ‘Holy, holy, holy’ ‘Hagios’ ‘Sanctus’ and ‘Qadosh’ which are ‘Holy’ in 4 languages (at least) in many different places. Perhaps we are not as explicit about the division between sacred & profane, though! ;) Thanks again for the comment. Love is the law, love under will.

    • Kevin Stevenson
      January 13, 2010 at 1:11 am

      94Bojan:

      “belief is the death of intelligence.” Do you believe this proposition? If so, you slaughtered you intelligence. Is that what you’re saying?

  11. Бојан
    January 13, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    42 Kevin
    No, I don’t believe it. I agree with it. If, some day, it is proven wrong, I will disagree with it (fully or partially).
    42 42/42

    93
    As for the reconciliation… Dictionary.com defines “reconcile” as:
    1. to cause (a person) to accept or be resigned to something not desired: He was reconciled to his fate.
    2. to win over to friendliness; cause to become amicable: to reconcile hostile persons.
    3. to compose or settle (a quarrel, dispute, etc.).
    4. to bring into agreement or harmony; make compatible or consistent: to reconcile differing statements; to reconcile accounts.

    From what I’ve read on the blog and in your comments, I noticed a tendency to view (or explain) Thelema in Judeo-christian terms. To me, it seems like reconciliation. Especially the title of this blog post. I may be wrong, and this may not be your intent, but to me it came off as such. I use terms like “god” and “holy” extremely sparingly simply because they tend to invoke the wrong concepts in westerners. This, of course, is simply my projection :)

    I didn’t find out about Thelema because someone told me about it, nor because I read about it, but because I was always interested in something beyond the norm, something beyond the slave mentality of Judeo-christian religions. So, I sought it out all on my own. And in doing so, ran into the OTO in Macedonia (which, if you knew the state of affairs in Macedonia, is a feat in itself). If I did subscribe to any religion, I don’t think any amount of explanation, no matter how well reasoned it was, would sway me to it. From my experience in the “promulgation of the Law”, I’ve found that subtlety works best. And it attracts those worthy of Thelema, rather than those rebelling against society or their parents :) I am in no hurry to spread Thelema throughout the world – especially not by claiming it supercedes existing religions. That will only cause strife and outright rejection by those that conceive it as a threat (as can be witnessed by certain comments on your blog).
    93 93/93

    • Moe
      January 14, 2010 at 5:35 am

      Perhaps you could elaborate on just what you mean by “subtlety works best”? Would you describe a subtle method of promulgation for me? And show me in what way exactly it is more effective than an active and direct method?

      • Бојан
        January 14, 2010 at 11:10 am

        93
        First of all, let me point out that even though “the Law is for all”, I think that everyone should arrive to Thelema on their own. I see my role in the “promulgation of the Law” more as someone who plants the seed rather than someone who sees the seed grow into a full blown tree. This stems from my opinion that people tend to appreciate more the things they (think they’d) discovered on their own rather than those that were already chewed up and regurgitated back for easier consumption. This does not mean I give folks more credit than they deserve (being able to come to Thelema on their own). It’s simply a reflection on what kind of people I would enjoy calling Brothers/Sisters (both in terms of Thelema and the OTO). Elitist? Of course. I like inquisitive minds and individuals, and severely dislike believers and followers. Once again, it is a personal choice and preference, not something that should be practiced by everyone.

        So… I abstain from preaching and knocking on doors (even cyber-doors), because those actions have an adverse effect on me. It doesn’t mean that preaching and door-knocking isn’t effective (in some cases). I have no desire to “convert”, and every time I run into someone who is interested, I do not mourn if said interest is merely superficial (AL I:44). I abstain from debating/arguing, and respect everyone’s right to live by their own law (Liber OZ). Even if it means objective physical/intellectual/spiritual/emotional slavery for them.

        Instead, I perform Liber Resh and Saying Will in the appropriate occasions. I wear T-shirts sporting “the Five Pointed Star, with a Circle in the Middle” (and yes, the circle is Red :)). I read books by Crowley in public, at certain “strategic” points. I drop hints during conversations, etc.

        I have found that this behaviour attracts more (honest) interest and attention than preaching. Not everyone that is interested turns to Thelema, but the ones that do are not zealots. Not all of them join the OTO, but then again, the OTO is not for all :) (plus there’s enormous stigma associated with membership in any sect/religious group that is not Orthodox Christian (the majority religion in Macedonia)).

        I can understand the merit and the desire to spread the word, enlighten the world and affect change in the world around us. And I wholeheartedly applaud such action. But IMO, social change (both local and global) needs extra special care and work. If one can carry that torch “unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result”, then more power to ya :)
        93 93/93

    • Kevin Stevenson
      January 15, 2010 at 12:43 am

      Bojan:

      You make a distinction between “belief” and “agree.” I don’t see how this distinction is significant, though. For what are you in agreement with, but the creeds of and propositions concerning the tenets of Thelema. This is actually one definition of belief, that one hold an agreeable attitude toward certain propositions about… As such, then I don’t believe the gospel, I agree with it. I agree that God is God and I am not; that I’ve not lived in accordance to God’s standards; that, due to my seeking to assume his place, I’ve continually resisted his will in order to live out my own, as a god, and that I have nothing to reconcile this destructive relationship between God and myself.

      Thus, by grace, God enabled me to believe, or rather, AGREE, that the Word of God took on human flesh, lived perfectly coram deo, before the face of God his Father, suffered under Pilate, died, was buried, and was raised on the third day, all in accordance with the Scriptures, so as to allow God to be both just and the justifier of those who will trust Jesus and his Lordship, and repent of living out “I will do as I wilt,” and so turn to live as Christ like life of submission to the will of God, praying, “Thy will be done.”

      These are a number of things I agree with, and thus believe; I have an agreeable attitude toward the truth revealed in Scripture, just as you have an agreeable attitude toward those things written by Crowley. No difference.

      It’s not belief, therefore, that destroys intelligence, but believing the wrong things. So, I conclude that what you agree with is that which destroys not only intelligence, but the intelligibility of all human experience and knowledge.

      Kevin

      • Бојан
        January 15, 2010 at 8:17 am

        One of the definitions of belief, the one I have in mind, is “confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof“. Belief is, IMO, something not quite susceptible to change simply because it requires no proof. Fundamentalist Christians believe that the world is 6000 years old, and no amount of proof can or will change that belief. They also believe that, according to the New Testament, everyone who turns from their god is stupid, murderous, gay/bisexual/twisted, and, of course, deserving of death (at least that’s what Paul said).

        I can attempt to demonstrate that the aforementioned statement (the one I agree with) is true. When one believes something, one tends not to question this belief (e.g. conspiracy theorists, most religious folk, supporters of either the Republican or the Democrat parties in the US…). People used to be burned at the stake for questioning and challenging beliefs. The belief that the Earth is flat and that the universe revolves around it wasn’t devastating to its residents, and going from one (wrong) belief to something that was proven as a fact did not destroy the world. And yet, those who dared question the norm were ostracized and/or killed.

        I, for one, can see the merit in both the official version and several conspiracy theories on 9/11. I live in a region where US foreign policy has had a devastating effect on the lives of the people and has caused years of suffering. And I still don’t dare compare the situation in the Balkans with that in the Middle East. However, the US government, by ways of the CIA, has been known to sow death and destruction on foreign soil to further its cause(s). If one believes that 9/11 was perpetrated by Al Qaeda, because they “hate your freedom”, then one closes oneself off to accepting the truth if it ever comes out. Simply because one will not keep an open mind on the subject, will not question, will accept the most accommodating “truth” and believe in it, said one has surrendered that part of their brain.

        Before you ask, my motto is “Nothing is true, everything is permitted.” I do not accept anything as set in stone.

  12. January 14, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    Бојан :

    93
    First of all, let me point out that even though “the Law is for all”, I think that everyone should arrive to Thelema on their own.

    93 Bojan – Absolutely.

    I see my role in the “promulgation of the Law” more as someone who plants the seed rather than someone who sees the seed grow into a full blown tree. This stems from my opinion that people tend to appreciate more the things they (think they’d) discovered on their own rather than those that were already chewed up and regurgitated back for easier consumption.

    True to an extent, but think of all the people who would have never heard of X if Y did not do Z… Think about advertising: would you want one person to come to your brand of toothpaste on their own and be really attached or have 10,000 learn abotu your toothpaste and most likely get one that becomes that attached anyways?

    This does not mean I give folks more credit than they deserve (being able to come to Thelema on their own). It’s simply a reflection on what kind of people I would enjoy calling Brothers/Sisters (both in terms of Thelema and the OTO). Elitist? Of course. I like inquisitive minds and individuals, and severely dislike believers and followers. Once again, it is a personal choice and preference, not something that should be practiced by everyone.

    Of course, though in practice I would’ve never known if people were into Thelema or anything related if I hadn’t spoken up and been relatively vocal about it. Besides, it’s all interconnected and you never come upon anything completely ‘on your own.’

    So… I abstain from preaching and knocking on doors (even cyber-doors), because those actions have an adverse effect on me.

    That has to be the most honest appraisal I have seen of this.

    It doesn’t mean that preaching and door-knocking isn’t effective (in some cases). I have no desire to “convert”, and every time I run into someone who is interested, I do not mourn if said interest is merely superficial (AL I:44). I abstain from debating/arguing, and respect everyone’s right to live by their own law (Liber OZ). Even if it means objective physical/intellectual/spiritual/emotional slavery for them.

    Hear, hear.

    Instead, I perform Liber Resh and Saying Will in the appropriate occasions. I wear T-shirts sporting “the Five Pointed Star, with a Circle in the Middle” (and yes, the circle is Red :) ).

    Nice… most of us do these things as well!

    I read books by Crowley in public, at certain “strategic” points.

    Wait, what? I thought you said ou weren’t into corner-of-the-street type preaching? Oh well!

    I drop hints during conversations, etc.

    I have found that this behaviour attracts more (honest) interest and attention than preaching.

    Standing at a corner reading word for word from your prophet isn’t preaching? Seems a LOT like those people who stand in front of buildings reading from the Bible… I do not look down on this in the least (if you believe the message truly, you toow ould be out there trying to get everyone else to know!) but still you should be honest with yourself!

    Not everyone that is interested turns to Thelema, but the ones that do are not zealots. Not all of them join the OTO, but then again, the OTO is not for all :) (plus there’s enormous stigma associated with membership in any sect/religious group that is not Orthodox Christian (the majority religion in Macedonia)).

    In other words, There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt.

    I can understand the merit and the desire to spread the word, enlighten the world and affect change in the world around us. And I wholeheartedly applaud such action. But IMO, social change (both local and global) needs extra special care and work. If one can carry that torch “unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result”, then more power to ya :)
    93 93/93

    Thanks for the comments. Love is the law, love under will.

  13. Бојан
    January 15, 2010 at 9:09 am

    93

    True to an extent, but think of all the people who would have never heard of X if Y did not do Z… Think about advertising: would you want one person to come to your brand of toothpaste on their own and be really attached or have 10,000 learn abotu your toothpaste and most likely get one that becomes that attached anyways?

    I can only accept responsibility for my self, my actions, my development, my growth. I cannot, and will not be responsible if X doesn’t hear about Thelema because I didn’t speak loudly enough. Those who wish to hear about it will hear about it, but only after asking. Once again, this is an opinion stemming from my thoughts and projections on the matter. I don’t see Thelema as a brand, nor do I wish to sell it as such to anyone. Like I mentioned earlier, I came to Thelema on my own, always searching and reading. Until I met someone from the OTO, I was the only person I knew that was openly interested in the occult. No one “sold” Thelema to me, so I try to return the favour in kind :)

    Of course, though in practice I would’ve never known if people were into Thelema or anything related if I hadn’t spoken up and been relatively vocal about it. Besides, it’s all interconnected and you never come upon anything completely ‘on your own.’

    That is why I drop hints, and am not as vocal about it :) I prefer to hang out with People. If they are Thelemites as well, that’s one more discussion topic. And I view everything I do and absorb as having done it “on my own”. Even if someone else gave me a book or a nudge in that direction. If I quit smoking because I want to, it’s “on my own”. But not if it’s because of the newly instated ban on smoking in my country.

    Standing at a corner reading word for word from your prophet isn’t preaching? Seems a LOT like those people who stand in front of buildings reading from the Bible… I do not look down on this in the least (if you believe the message truly, you toow ould be out there trying to get everyone else to know!) but still you should be honest with yourself!

    Crowley is not my prophet. I don’t have prophets. (“Prophet” is another one of those words that brings associations with Judeo-christian religions in my mind.) I’m not sure about this, but there may have been a misunderstanding. I do not read the books out loud. I sit on a park bench, or at a cafe and read it for myself. And since reading is not as rare in Macedonia as in most parts of the world, enough people are interested to learn what I’m reading. I do not see how this can be interpreted as preaching.

    I do try to be honest with myself. And more often than not, I think I’m successful. Being an adherent to Jung’s model of the psyche (and a fervent enemy of Restriction), I tend to question all my (dis)likes and at least try to see where they stem from (and, in some cases, eliminate them). However, since it is a self-referential process, I agree that I may be wrong in some cases :)

    93 93/93

  14. Andre Fauth
    January 15, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    93

    Great Art.icle
    It will explain to some what we/themselfs are.

    93 93/93

    • January 15, 2010 at 8:21 pm

      93 Andre – Thanks, much appreciated. Love is the law, love under will.

  15. Kevin Stevenson
    January 16, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    Бојан :One of the definitions of belief, the one I have in mind, is “confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof“. Belief is, IMO, something not quite susceptible to change simply because it requires no proof. Fundamentalist Christians believe that the world is 6000 years old, and no amount of proof can or will change that belief. They also believe that, according to the New Testament, everyone who turns from their god is stupid, murderous, gay/bisexual/twisted, and, of course, deserving of death (at least that’s what Paul said).
    I can attempt to demonstrate that the aforementioned statement (the one I agree with) is true. When one believes something, one tends not to question this belief (e.g. conspiracy theorists, most religious folk, supporters of either the Republican or the Democrat parties in the US…). People used to be burned at the stake for questioning and challenging beliefs. The belief that the Earth is flat and that the universe revolves around it wasn’t devastating to its residents, and going from one (wrong) belief to something that was proven as a fact did not destroy the world. And yet, those who dared question the norm were ostracized and/or killed.
    I, for one, can see the merit in both the official version and several conspiracy theories on 9/11. I live in a region where US foreign policy has had a devastating effect on the lives of the people and has caused years of suffering. And I still don’t dare compare the situation in the Balkans with that in the Middle East. However, the US government, by ways of the CIA, has been known to sow death and destruction on foreign soil to further its cause(s). If one believes that 9/11 was perpetrated by Al Qaeda, because they “hate your freedom”, then one closes oneself off to accepting the truth if it ever comes out. Simply because one will not keep an open mind on the subject, will not question, will accept the most accommodating “truth” and believe in it, said one has surrendered that part of their brain.
    Before you ask, my motto is “Nothing is true, everything is permitted.” I do not accept anything as set in stone.

    Bojah:

    You opened your last post with, “One of the definitions of belief, the one I have in mind, is ‘confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof.’”

    First, you encase your definition in quotations. Does this mean that you are citing it from a reputable source? If so, what is that source? Secondly, why are you imposing it on Christianity, while (seemingly) assuming that Thelematism does not fall under the same rubric? To intimate that Christianity is fideism is to betray your lack of understanding of it.

    Third, your definition is still ambiguous since you don’t clarify what you mean by “rigorous proof.” Keeping in mind that the concept of proof is subject to a wide range of meanings. For instance, one wishing to “prove” the date of a particular rock would not, of course, employ the same means of proof as would, e.g., a logician, linguist, astrophysicist, actuary, or a mechanical engineer. This to say, the method of proof must correspond to the metaphysical status of the object of investigation, however “rigorous” that proof may be.

    Forth, that “People used to be burned at the stake for questioning and challenging beliefs” is a fact. In fact, one of my most central beliefs is that One was crucified on a stake for questioning and challenging beliefs. And of those who follow that One, 200,000 of them suffer and die annually around the world at the hands of either secular Humanists or Islamics. (BTW: We have Aristotle to thanks for the popularization of the geocentric cosmology. If Roman Catholic Scholastics were being irrationally tenacious in their efforts to maintain that model, it was due to their fawning compromise with the philosophies of the world. Which are not unlike your own.)

    You say that you “do not accept anything as set in stone.” However, you seem quite comfortable accepting as a proven “fact” that the sun rather then the earth in the center of the universe, and that the other historical referents listed are objects of knowledge, which according to your writing are facts set in stone, so to speak. If they aren’t thus, then why even mention them? Especially, since your motto is “Nothing is true.”

    Fifth, if you think that you’ve found in me someone who is interested in defending the official spin on 9/11, you’ve missed the mark by a mile. Nevertheless, your mention of it provides us a good illustration for two points that I’d make, both of which move towards showing that your Thelema doesn’t “work for you” as well as you think.

    (1) You write as though you believe that the US’s policies which have “caused years of suffering” and has sown “death and destruction” by means of superior military might in regions of lesser power is morally wrong. How, then, would you react if they were to take up your own philosophy as a means of justifying their brutal force and imperialism saying, “Hey, Bojah, suck it up; since ‘nothing is true, everything is permitted,’ including torture and anything else we wish to do, whether in the Balkans or the Middle East. It all ‘furthers our cause(s)’ and thus ‘works for us.’ We’re simply operating as though what you say is true!”

    This is one reason I bow before Christ in thanks, that with him there is solid ground to stand and condemn those who commit atrocities as absolutely morally wrong and impermissible, be they individuals or nations (like the US, for instance); and that there are people who, though they theoretically deny absolute ethical norms as given by the absolute-personal God of the Scriptures, they practically live out life as though what they say is not true, thus vindicating Christianity in spite of themselves and their philosophy.

    (2) You rightly observe that we humans have a general propensity to accept “truths” that accommodate and fit our own biased, fore-drawn assumptions. But your remarks wrongly assume that you possess some favored place of cultural/philosophical neutrality and objectivity, by means of which you would have us to believe that your observations about these things are more than just autobiographical commentary. That is, you seem to think that your thoughts correspond and are applicable to a reality that exists independent of your own mind and making. If your position is correct, though, I can’t for the life of me understand how you could believe this.

    Finally, I’d argue that you know that you are not god, but a creature of the living true God, who created you and to whom you owe your submission and reverence. But, instead, as we all have, you’ve chosen to rebel against him and his Christ. You have adopted Thelema as a particular and acute title that expresses that rebellion, not due to its intellectual respectability or the like, but because its doctrine (i.e., Do what thou wilt) are more than accommodating and fitting to your predisposition to strive against your Maker, making yourself to be a god.

    You have an axe to grind against Christ Jesus, and Thelema is a convenient whetstone. From his cross, Jesus prayed for his enemies, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.” You have announced here that, granting your position, we can’t know anything; “Nothing is true.” By his grace, there is forgiveness for you, my friend. Turn to Christ.

    • Бојан
      January 17, 2010 at 11:42 pm

      First, you encase your definition in quotations. Does this mean that you are citing it from a reputable source? If so, what is that source? Secondly, why are you imposing it on Christianity, while (seemingly) assuming that Thelematism does not fall under the same rubric? To intimate that Christianity is fideism is to betray your lack of understanding of it.

      It is one of the definitions offered in the Random House Dictionary. And Thelema does not require belief. “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law”. I happen to agree with that statement. Thelema, much like buddhism, is experiential. Christianity is not. In Christianity any experience is either attributed to the god or to his adversary (even its only to the god, it is still attributed to a supernatural being).

      This to say, the method of proof must correspond to the metaphysical status of the object of investigation, however “rigorous” that proof may be.

      Which was exactly my point. Christianity is supernatural (metaphysical), Thelema is not (at least not in my view). The tenets of Thelema can and are proven daily, through practice, while Christianity is exclusively self-referential (if you claim this is not so, I would appreciate it if you explain why not instead of saying how my claim “betray[s my] lack of understanding of it” – if I am in error, I would like to know why).

      The Sun is hardly the center of the universe, but the Earth does revolve around it. However, if someone claims otherwise and can prove their claim – awesome.

      How, then, would you react if they were to take up your own philosophy as a means of justifying their brutal force and imperialism…

      You assume I condemn their actions. I don’t. I don’t condone them either. However, if you bothered to read Liber OZ, you might see that Thelema has ethical norms. By imposing their will (through brutal force/imperialism) upon others, they have broken every single right Man has.

      …you seem to think that your thoughts correspond and are applicable to a reality that exists independent of your own mind and making…

      I don’t, and they most assuredly don’t. My motto was mentioned in this context, so that you won’t try to divine what I think and concentrate on what I’m saying. I am quite aware that I have accepted Thelema as the most convenient truth, and it is a truth that has served me quite well in all of my pursuits. Without fail.

      And finally, I equate the god of the Bible with all other gods and goddesses. Equally cruel, petty and altogether quite human. I think that Jesus was nothing more than a hippie, who made some pretty good points (like a lot of hippies throughout history). And I don’t see myself as created by anyone. Up until the day I discovered Thelema and Magick, one could have said that I was created by my parents and by society. But through Thelema I have accepted the responsibility of being my own creation, and through Magick (and Will) I continually update and improve my creation – as I see fit.

      Oh, and my name is Bojan. It is written in Cyrillic letters.

  16. February 8, 2010 at 6:55 am

    Goodness, reading through some of these responses is certainly an interesting experience. Lots of ideas and would-be messengers, but a lack of “currency” between communicants often makes it difficult to have a meaningful discussion.

    As I see it, authentic Christianity is extremely thelemic in its core but Thelema is itself independent of Christianity. It is for this reason that Christians – as sons of the Son – are to unite their wills with that of the Son’s by embracing the Way of the Cross -as ambassadors of Christ – by reconciling all unto the Father. As an independent tradition or body of knowledge, Thelema seems to offer – as I am not yet an actual initiate – an opportunity to explore one’s own will in a manner that may or may not be in agreement with that of the Triune God revealed in the canonical New Testament scriptures; indeed, it’s much more of a Hermetic flavor than a Mosaic one. That few people even attempt to reconcile these divergent approaches to the spiritual life is – in itself – not a justifiable reason for rejecting the underlying premise that each can be likened to two sides of one coin looking outwardly in opposite directions. The different vistas or inverted symbols are what they are, but let us not lose sight of the fact that they remain as two sides of the same coin – or at least to the degree to which I have defined it in this illustration.

    Generally, we live in a day and age when the vast majority of us can successfully live out our lives without ‘giving in’ to some sort of impulse to rape, murder, and pillage our neighbors. The ‘inward law’ is already written on our hearts, but the ‘outward’ or ‘external’ laws continue to serve a legitimate function in the lives of many others. Few people will genuinely give themselves to a devotional or spiritual life apart from some sort of external compulsion and/or the fearmongering profits of doom guiding their steps, so even much of the fundamentalist clergymen serve a legitimate purpose. Yet, it is quite observable that our human nature is usually attracted to those things which are said to be taboo, off-limits, forbidden, and so forth. Tell someone not to do something, and often they’ll do it in order to assert their own boundary lines rather than accepting those which are imposed upon them by another.

    Oddly enough, remove the restrictions while making all things permissible and suddenly the attractive gravitation towards the forbidden loosens its grip only to give way to greater sense of individual freedom, self-knowledge, self-restraint, and self-control. No longer does one have a justifiable reason to judge or condemn others for their actions, but a higher law begins to grip both the heart and the mind as one seeks to further surrender to the ever-growing awareness of Light within oneself. Sometimes, it’s good to have the training wheels removed from the child’s bicycle; after all, the shallow end of a pool can only satisfy someone to the degree that they fear the deep end. In all things, growing unto maturity requires a ‘live and let live’ attitude towards others and a strong sense of inner accountability within ourselves. So, from my perspective, authentic Christianity is strongly thelemic but Thelema is deliberately formulated in such a way as to remain independent of other religious traditions.

    Blessings and Peace,

    Chad

  17. Luke
    March 18, 2010 at 3:58 am

    93
    It sure is taking alot of blahblahblah to get thru this guy’s head the distinction between agreement (belief based on experience) and faith (belief based on…belief?). I hate epistemology. So much talking and squawking to try and grasp the ungraspable and try to cage it with weak words.

    We peck at Jesus’ eyes, okay? That’s all you need to know. Peck! Peck! Peck!

    93 93/93

  18. Luke
    March 18, 2010 at 4:08 am

    LOL Many excellent points, though.

  19. Jude Grey
    June 11, 2012 at 2:28 am

    “Do what thou wilt is the highest attainment of liberty and also the strictest possible bond.”

  1. January 7, 2010 at 6:42 am

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