This is addressed not to just society as a whole, but especially to those who consider themselves Thelemites. Should we really be patting ourselves on the back saying, “Oh, look how far we’ve come”? A small offering of some randomly selected, yet somehow connected thoughts.
“Observe for yourselves the decay of the sense of sin, the growth of innocence and irresponsibility, the strange modifications of the reproductive instinct with a tendency to become bisexual or epicene, the childlike confidence in progress combined with nightmare fear of catastrophe, against which we are yet half unwilling to take precautions.
Consider the outcrop of dictatorships, only possible when moral growth is in its earliest stages, and the prevalence of infantile cults like Communism, Fascism, Pacifism, Health Crazes, Occultism in nearly all its forms, religions sentimentalised to the point of practical extinction.
Consider the popularity of the cinema, the wireless, the football pools and guessing competitions, all devices for soothing fractious infants, no seed of purpose in them.
Consider sport, the babyish enthusiasms and rages which it excites, whole nations disturbed by disputes between boys.
Consider war, the atrocities which occur daily and leave us unmoved and hardly worried.
We are children.”
The above is an excerpt from introductory material in various editions of Liber AL vel Legis, the Book of the Law. It usually appears in a section titled IV The New Aeon. Aleister Crowley penned these words nearly one hundred years ago. Let me say that again, nearly one hundred years ago.
How Far We’ve Come
Now, before anyone feels the desire to simply label me a “naysayer” or “negative Nancy” rise up within them, let me be as clear as I can possibly be. I am neither of those.
There are so many social “wars” raging at the same time. Gender “wars” where we seem to believe we have to constantly invent new labels to make ourselves feel like we fit in. The result being that we create more division.
Women beginning to acknowledge their power, demanding to be seen, to be recognized, and rightly so. Leaving many men in a state of denial, confusion and fear. Both men and women refusing to see the higher nature of this “war”. Ignoring the why and only reacting to the consequences. There is something far bigger than the interactions of these fleshy vessels we call our bodies going on here.
We amuse ourselves with mindless entertainment and petty bickering. Yet, somehow feel that we are are accomplishing something.
“No tears to cry
No feelings left
This species has amused itself to death.” – Roger Waters
Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of innocent men, women and children murdered by bombs being tossed around like they are simply another play thing. We see it, we criticize it and send thoughts and prayers. Are we so inept?
“Magick is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will”. (see Crowley on Magick)
I think we often forget the last phrase in this definition: “in conformity with Will”. If one is not actively pursuing their Will, regurgitating all of the “magick words” known to humanity amounts to just that, regurgitation. It could also prove to be psychologically dangerous.
How much time are we spending making Thelema an intrinsic part of our lives? I am not speaking of rituals and the posing with a tea cup on your head kind of thing. Though it can help, the practice of magick does not make one a Thelemite. I am speaking of employing the teachings of Liber AL vel Legis in our interactions with others. At home. At work or school. And, I dare say, while helping those in need? The Law is for ALL.
I suppose it could be one’s Will to sit around online and argue about whether or not Crowley would like this or that. Which leads only to meaningless conjecture. I would feel sorry for that person.
In regard to sex magick.
Never underestimate the necessity of recognizing, acknowledging and honoring the Divine Feminine. Woman is much, much more than an altar tool. In Her “is all power given“. She IS the magick.
“Now ye shall know that the chosen priest & apostle of infinite space is the prince-priest the Beast; and in his woman called the Scarlet Woman is all power given. They shall gather my children into their fold: they shall bring the glory of the stars into the hearts of men.” – Liber AL vel Legis I:15
Babalon will only mate with the Beast. If one can not be the Beast, for whatever reason, one simply isn’t going to “get any” from Her.
“[S]he guardeth the Abyss. And in her is a perfect purity of that which is above, yet she is sent as the Redeemer to them that are below. For there is no other way into the Supernal mystery but through her and the Beast on which she rideth.” – Crowley, Magick Without Tears Chap. 12
So, especially in regard to magick, sex without the recognition and acknowledgement of the divine feminine, and all the power that She holds, amounts to what Wilhelm Reich called the “rubbing of a cold penis against the walls of a dry vagina“.
Religion & Philosophy
Why is it that those who follow any of the major religions or philosophies seem to adhere to the tenants of those with much more sincerity?
Does it take the murder and/or martyrdom of a major influential personage to win that sort of dedication? After all, I am not aware of anyone who has died for the cause of Thelema. What’s more, Our Lady speaks very plainly to the idea of sacrifice in Liber AL vel Legis I:58:
“I give unimaginable joys on earth: certainty, not faith, while in life, upon death; peace unutterable, rest, ecstasy; nor do I demand aught in sacrifice” (emphasis mine).
No sacrifice required.
So what is it that we are missing?
There is something to take note of here. “…nor do I demand…” Nowhere does She say She does not accept sacrifice, only that She does not demand it. I would hope that the difference is obvious and the implications understood.
It occurs to me how “old aeon” so many Thelemites appear to be in their thinking. Placing so many people on these high pedestals. All but openly worshiping them.
The “Old Man” said this in chapter 66 of his Confessions:
“I admit that my visions can never mean to other men as much as they do to me. I do not regret this. All I ask is that my results should convince seekers after truth that there is beyond doubt something worth while seeking, attainable by methods more or less like mine. I do not want to father a flock, to be the fetish of fools and fanatics, or the founder of a faith whose followers are content to echo my opinions. I want each man to cut his own way through the jungle.”
Certainly we should acknowledge the contributions that others have made, but what effect do they have right here, right now? If we aren’t thinking in this way – right here, right now – I tend to think we’re missing the mark…
(OH BY CROWLEY’S LEFT NOSTRIL, DID HE JUST SAY THELEMITES ARE COMMITTING SIN?)
Yes, he… I did. Quite the bastard, aren’t I?
But wait, certainly “the only sin is Restriction,” is it not? This is true. Think about it…