|A book and a unicursal hexagram|
Adam K Opines on Matters Thelema (continued from Part 1)
This blog post is simply a continuation of Part 1. Part one examines some issues relevant to Thelema novices, such as: some of the faith's core concepts, Qabalah, discovering one's True Will, what an HGA is; it briefly discusses K&C of one's HGA, and also crossing the Abyss. This, Part 2, continues forth from that point, and discusses two sayings associated with Thelema ("Every man and every woman is a star," and "The Khabs is in the Khu, not the Khu in the Khabs"); furthermore it considers Thelema magick, compares Thelema to Christianity, and plenty more. Strap on your party hat, spaceboots, and electric belt. And here we go...
Me: You previously stated that, "Your HGA is more than some metaphysical angelic being from beyond. In my understanding, it is also able to be called your Higher Self, and it is the you that exists beyond the pettiness of your ego and its lesser desires. I would say that if you haven't prepared yourself to be destroyed in the crucible, your Self won't come through the other side." Is it true to say, in your opinion, that there would be Thelemites that dispute this statement? More specifically, I mean the part that one's HGA is also their Higher Self.
A: Oh, certainly. But that's okay. A strong draw for me to Thelema is the very idea that each can believe as they see fit so long as that belief doesn't cause them to interfere with the beliefs of others. However, that is not to say that you should just stand by and allow someone to endanger themselves, if you truly believe that what they are doing will harm or restrict them on some significant level.
Me: Valid points on both counts. Alright.
Me: Is Thelema a religion, or would you call it a faith, or perhaps a philosophy, or what would you call it?
A: Crowley had some... interesting things to say about faith. I wouldn't call Thelema a faith, but that doesn't disqualify it as a religion. Some Thelemites view Thelema as a religion, while others see it as a philosophy and nothing more or less than that. Many back away from the word religion as if it were a pit of alligators, and this is usually due to past experiences with other "faiths." Do I think of it as a religion? For me, yes. But I don't discount others who view it as any other thing. As long as they are following their True Will, and don't interfere with mine, it is none of my business how they see it. And vice versa.
Me: Alright. For the record, I tend to be ultra allergic to the word religion, and call Thelema a branch of philosophy. Just saying--lol.
A: As the saying goes, "to each his own," which is nowhere more true than in Thelema.
Me: We haven't really spoken much on magick yet, and Crowley was the consummate magician's magician! But part of the reason I haven't brought it up is because one can freely read up on Crowley's magick, and it's a deep and wide topic--panoramic even. Thus I fear to get started, as there may be no end in sight. But do you have any basic comments on magick as it pertains to Crowley?
The Book of Lies, A. Crowley
Magick: Liber ABA, Book 4, by A. Crowley, et al.
Magick in Theory and Practice, by A. Crowley.
A: Crowley is sort of the Bruce Lee of Magick. Although I suppose since he came before Bruce, it would be more true to say Bruce was the Crowley of Martial Arts. Lol.
|Not saying we did, but this is how Jude likes to conduct an interview|
A: Basically, Crowley was of the mind that you keep what works from any system, throw out what doesn't, and experiment to find what else works. If it works, it goes in your repertoire. "The method of Science, the aim of Religion." This is true where magick is concerned, as well as where mysticism is concerned. Approach them scientifically, and find which approaches have a repeatability that succeeds each time. Otherwise, your "magick" really is nothing more than random chance.
A: And it is important to note that true magick, like any natural phenomenon, doesn't require your faith in it for it to work.
#ad-Magick Without Tears, A. Crowley
Scientific Approach to Magick, Blazing Star OTO
Me: Please touch upon how you meant for the phrase, "the aim of religion," to apply... Not sure how that would be.
A: What is the aim of religion? What purpose is it supposed to serve? From our perspective, one not dissimilar in many ways to that of Hindus and Buddhists, it's Union. Union with God, Union with The Universe, Union with the Great Marmalade Sandwich In the Sky, whatever. That's the aim of religion. Where Christianity is concerned, the method of religion is typically Faith. But for Thelemites, we prefer a more pragmatic, realistic, reasonable, and reliable method. And that is the scientific method. Make sense?
Me: It certainly does.
Me: If a beginner Thelemite wanted to learn, from some really interesting Thelema related videos, which ones are top on your list of recommendations, and keep in mind that the recommendations are for those new to Thelema, if you will.
A: YouTube has lots of LMD's (Mr. Duquette's) videos, for one. Just put his name in the little box, hit enter, keep hands and feet inside the safety zones at all times, and off you go.
Lon Milo Duquette talks Enochian Magick, Hermetics, & Thelema
A: Blazing Star O.T.O. also has some very informative and educational videos on YouTube. They are really good. And of course Jim Wasserman has videos there as well, including some really good ones about the Gnostic Mass. Be prepared for these videos to be quite a bit longer than what you are used to on YouTube though. I've seen videos about the Qabalah that are over six hours long.
Qabalah for the Rest of Us, L.M. Duquette
Hermetic Qabalah: The Elements, Blazing Star OTO
Psychology of Thelema, Blazing Star OTO: Part 1, Part 2.
Gnostic Mass, J. & N. Wasserman/Swirling Star Lodge
A: Sure, if you watch it in half hour bites. (laughs)
Me: There ya go!
Me: I wonder where you get these sayings--the safety zone thing. (furrows eyebrows, then laughs)
Me: Do we dare compare Thelema, even on a basic level, to Christianity? What do you have to say here, if we can do this and not incite World War 3.
A: Honestly, we never declared war on Christianity, but we knew it was coming. Christianity is a religion from the last Aeon, the Aeon of Osiris. It is a religion of the Dying God, of the Patriarchal God. Thelema is the religion, the philosophy, the method of The Crowned and Conquering Child. It is the religion that marked the beginning of the Aeon of Horus.
A: I cannot say that they have nothing in common. They both have ritual, for example. But Christianity teaches that man is separate from God, that the two are incompatible, that true Union is not possible. Thelema teaches exactly the counter to that. Christianity insists upon proselytizing as a part of its central doctrine. Thelema, though? "Argue not. Convert not." Big differences.
Me: Yes, peace, even if only one way between Thelema & Christianity, is at least peace on some level.
Me: What is that about, argue not. What have I missed, how does that fit in?
A: It's in 3:42. It says "Success is thy proof: argue not; convert not; talk not overmuch! Them that seek to entrap thee, to overthrow thee, them attack without pity or quarter; & destroy them utterly." I believe it basically tells ME, at least, not to start anything with anyone, not to force my opinions or beliefs on anyone. But if they try to force anything on me, make a war the likes of which they have never seen of it
Me: I feel compelled to ask--do you have anything insightful to say about James Wasserman?
A: James is just a really nice guy who catches a lot of flack from today's Thelemites for being something of a conservative politically. As I'm sure you have noticed, a vast majority of Pagans, Heathens, and other non-Abrahamic religious types are left wing liberals almost by default because hardcore Christians occupy the right wing. That tends to put Jim on the outs with a lot of them. But he reaches his conclusions rationally, and without arguing like a lunatic against the other side of the political fence.
A: And the problem is that a great many Thelemites nowadays are falling into the left wing camp for those same reasons. I truly think many of them are claiming Thelema simply because it isn't Christianity, and because Thelemites have historically pissed Christians off! Lol
Me: You mean, primarily for the one reason alone, as it appears.
Aleister Crowley And the Practice of the Magical Diary (J. Wasserman)
The Weiser Concise Guide to Aleister Crowley (J. Wasserman)
777 and Other Qabalistic Writings, A. Crowley
A: I don't really care where you fall politically, as long as you don't try to force your views on me. If you discuss reasonably, so will I. If you behave like a child who isn't getting his way, well, see 3:42.
A: And I mean people in general, not you specifically.
Me: We cross posted again.
Me: What does it mean that Crowley says "Every man and every woman is a star"? Does this tie in conceptually and directly, with "The Khabs is in the Khu, not the Khu in the Khabs"?
A: They are related, yes.
Me: Would you care to elaborate?
Me: Let me begin, if I may...
I take the Khabs in the Khu concept to mean that the truest of what we are resides in the soul, not in a meatsuit, and we are in that sense as like stars in the sky.
A: Well, in psychological terms, the khu is sort of your ego self, while the khabs is the real you. Khabs is true nature, khu is demeanor as shown to the world. Khabs actually means star. The khu is the mask we wear over our true face, the khabs. This concept basically comes down to the notion that God is is not outside of us, but is inside us, each of us individually.
A: Once again I feel like I'm leaving stuff out. Like the fact that the vast nothingness of space is Nuit and the stars within are Hadit. Microcosmically, every man and every woman are thus Hadit. [See sidenote a few rows down, to understand what the Union of Nuit and Hadit represents.]
Me: And yet somehow I get that we are both right... agree?
A: We are basically saying the same thing. "Every man and every woman is a star" sort of means that, though we all originate from the same finite point of a beginning, we are individual in our experiences and perceptions. When we ultimately achieve Union again, those experiences and perceptions are part of that great unity.
A: 1:29 says "For I am divided for love's sake, for the chance of union." This too is part of what we are talking about.
Me: "Divided for love's sake, for the chance of union"--all of us to one day become part of the great nothingness? It all comes down to that?
A: While I don't really want to tell people what Liber AL is saying (it's another "to each his own," sort of thing) I believe that, yes, it all comes down to that.
Me: Thank you.
Sidenote: I wish to add in here, that the Union spoken of is that between Nuit and Hadit. Nuit representing nothingness and potentiality, Hadit representing concepts relative to Yetzirah... initial steps towards converting nothingness to something. Their union obviously is a creative one, and moving up the tree it reverses, and thus converts material world concepts back to no-thing.
A: But also, we are divided so that each of us will have individual love experiences necessary to learn completely different life lessons from one another. When we are all One again, all of that accumulated experience will be in one place, and ultimately will teach the lesson that none of us could ever know individually.
Me: Even when you've been exposed to it before, it's a mind blowing concept really. Especially so when realizing that we even transcend Oneness to become of absolutely nothing... you know...? It raises so many questions--one being, "Why?"
A: It is. It is literally too much for any individual to deal with! Lol
Me: By the way--what caused you to become interested in Thelema?
A: My dad started teaching me about it when I was very young, after my mother died.
Me: So your father was a Thelemite then? A dabbler, or more committed to the path?
A: He was quite committed to it before I was born, but less active after my mother died. Being a single dad in the 1970s was rough.
Me: I suppose single parenting is difficult in most any times, sadly enough. And as much as I hate to say it, we are fresh out of time, so that's a wrap. Your insight has been pleasurable and you've responded to some points that are sure to resonate strongly with Thelemite novices. Thanks so much for visiting, and please come back again soon. 93s to you, Adam.
A: 93s right back at you. Thanks for having me.
In future there are bound to be more articles on Thelema, with initial ones being more aimed towards beginners; so feel free to check back from time to time.
Crowley, the Legend and the Lies :: Myths Exposed
On Crowley and the Writing of Liber Al vel Legis
Aleister Crowley, Things you May Want to Know
To Mega Therion
The Virgin & the Whore
The Serpent Gate: To Meta Ohpion (a tarot resource)