The rise and fall of Thelema, dogma and fundamentalism in the Law of Freedom and the Supreme Individual.
Si Vales, Valeo
I know. It sounds like an oxymoron. Like it should not exist because it should be impossible, but alas… here we are discussing this phenomenon.
There are many Thelemites who try to achieve the same results as Crowley, which is what we should all be doing. Not, however, at the expense of accepting the results of our own work. Scientific bias comes to mind. Some Thelemites attempt to validate their own work only by accepting the results Crowley experienced doing the same work.
For Thelemic fundamentalists (I can’t believe I just wrote that), arguments are always self-referential: No results of the work that contradicts Crowley is even considered. Note how quick Thelemites are to cast stones at Christians while doing the same exact thing when there is nothing to support their arguments but the Bible. People have adopted, and proudly proclaimed the following mantra: “Crowley said it, I believe it, that settles it.” They act that way even when you quote Crowley to contradict them. Only their opinions count. Everyone else is wrong, stupid, doesn’t get it, or isn’t committed enough.
Any source material opposing Crowley’s position is disdained, and writers contradicting Crowley (or the huge list of writers and saints Crowley used to justify his position) are considered morons.
Attempts to challenge Crowley’s ideas are treated as antagonistic and followed by ad hominem attacks and huge assumptions to make you look bad in the face of their peers: “you think you know more than Crowley,” “you can’t accept his position due to your Christian values,” etc… even when those ideas are outdated and no longer applicable to our Work.
This is a great disservice to Thelema, since ignoring facts, whether natural, scientific, or psychological, can only serve to turn Thelema into a personality cult or superstitious mumbo-jumbo.
There is a lot of talk about free will and True Will, but apparently man is doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over again, and this is nonnegotiable because, well, Crowley said so. This is disappointing for people who are more interested in using Thelema, its Magick, and the Holy Books of Thelema as a tool of discovery, rather than a history lesson on Crowley’s life.
To quote David Hume: “If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance; let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames: for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.”
Perhaps those people should have destroyed The Book of the Law after reading, for we are told by the Master himself:
“The study of this Book is forbidden. It is wise to destroy this copy after the first reading. Whosoever disregards this does so at his own risk and peril. These are most dire. Those who discuss the contents of this Book are to be shunned by all, as centres of pestilence. All questions of the Law are to be decided only by appeal to my writings, each for himself.”