What if Thelema Were True?

Originally posted February 27, 2010

What if Thelema Were True?

What would that mean?

I don’t mean: what would it mean for Bill Breeze?

I mean: what would it mean for you?

That you can feel good about wilting your do?




"Satan Smiting Job With The Plague Of Boils", by William Blake. The key issue in Thelema is understanding the individual will as a product of and an instrument of the Divine Will. So long as one is ruled by the false veils of selves, produced in the factory of temporal culture, one experiences the calling of the True Self and the True Will as being tortured by a terrible demon, such as Satan. However, when this experience is properly understood, Satan transmutes to Lucifer, the bringer of Light.
The thing is, Christianity makes no distinction between the pope and the pauper, not spiritually. And it is easy for the pauper to understand this, because he knows that all he has to do to be saved is to express his faith in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. He might live like a rat in his human time, but this is merely a sign to others of the essential rathood underlying any presumption of righteous value in even the most virtuous or materially prosperous human existence. In the end, all the rats are redeemed in the Body of Christ, where they will once again be individually extinct, but fully alive in the Unity of Divine Light.

The Thelemite, on the other hand, does not have an easy time of things. First off, he is told that faith is a corpse, and that he had better rely upon something more tangible, like himself, to get saved.

And the best way to do that?

“Do what thou wilt”.

But, nobody can say, with authority or certainty, what that means exactly. Or what it means to anybody generally, since it could mean one thing to a person at one stage of his life and something else entirely to that person at another stage of his life. And then there is the question of whether doing what “thou” wilt means doing what YOU want, or something else? And why is there really a difference? We are told there is this “higher” self that wants to be in charge of directing traffic, but it requires the lower self to submit in order to have any power and authority.

What a strange way to get any Great Work done in the world!

Of course, people make careers, such as they are, addressing these questions, but the point is that Thelema introduces a whole list of quandaries for any believers, or knowers, and these are not intended to be easy to understand or to follow consistently. The ethics of Thelema, the moral guidelines that would shape behavior are in fact extremely problematic. Unlike the fictional Thelemites, whose nobility both qualified them to belong to the exclusive Abbey of Thelema, and disinclined them from vice, Crowleyan or Aiwazan Thelema is supposed, somehow, to be the natural law affecting everybody. Yet, Thelema argues, just as does Christianity, for a hierarchical social arrangement, with the vast majority of people doing their Will by being the slaves of the Thelemites.

The very essence of a Thelemic community and government is demonstrated in OTO (Ordo Templi Orientis), which is a dictatorship of an elite (not necessarily enlightened) handful of people over the mass of its (presumably unenlightened, and certainly uninformed) members. The argument is made that if people allow themselves to be dictated to, or to be treated as slaves, that is what they deserve. In essence, it is their Will and their destiny to be ordered around by their Thelemic masters.

And you might, reasonably, ask, and many have asked this—so what exactly is the difference between the Thelemic dictatorship and any other brand? Supposedly, the Thelemic dictatorship is largely free of any bigotry in its treatment of others. It is, in other words, an equal opportunity dictator. If one who is born to poor economic circumstances rises up on his own mettle, he shall not be prevented from doing so merely because of his impoverished origin, his skin color or ethnicity, or any other irrelevant consideration. Of course that is a self-fulfilling prophecy, since by definition only the Thelemically deserving would “rise up” or be allowed to rule in the system. The ones who are defeated in their Will to rule, by bigotry or whatever obstacle, were simply too weak to obtain the goal.

As with bugs, Nature or the Way or Nuit makes plenty of copies of a type, and most may in fact fail to achieve their personal attempt at the portion of the Great Work assigned to them.

But again, what is the difference between that and what we see here and now, in the collapsing edifices of the Old Aeon? One might say the difference cannot be apparent to current or any near-future generation.

For, if Thelema is true, and true in the sense Crowley believed, then for many centuries to come the strains of a crumbling world and the struggles of the rising world will make the Earth a bubbling cauldron of war, destruction, and all the other good, old-fashioned, human values. These latter expressions are not subject to extinction merely because some Aeon or the other has passed away or taken up residence and control. And even if that were the case, no cauldron of war and destruction is likely to pass away, but instead will be lifted up, as the main temple of the gods in the administration of Horus and Mars.

When warriors have conquered—everything—they are left to ponder rule and order and even the dreaded notion, peace. Crowley felt a kind of decay would inevitably set in at that point, as the challenges become more complex, political, and “victory” fades into a discursive ambiguity. But again, that is a problem for Thelemites a long time from now to confront, and no doubt a big part of the answer they will seek at that time will be an exploration of the need that will still exist for an inner conquest. If and when Thelema has been transformed into the dominant doctrine, the point of the establishment of that new regime would be to engender and to encourage a society of introspective extroverts—meaning those whose Work is directed first to the rectification of self, to the honing and tempering of self as a weapon of will, then to the exploitation of time and place (i.e., one’s circumstances) to complete the Great Work of the rectified self.

One again can challenge this achievement and opportunity, to ask what is particularly unique about this desirable outcome? What sets its aside, as a peculiar expression of Thelemic Law, contrasted to the usual occult challenge to seekers to reform within and without?

The main difference I think is one of mode of conduct, and the nature of the energy, which is going to be martial in its essence, and ruthless in its application. If Thelema does take hold, and does inspire a movement of political and social revolution, it is likely to be something which even current, enlightened, adherents, will find extremely troubling, and alien to their nature.

But this, again, is what we should expect, given the prediction for the scheme of development of the Aeon.

I asked this question—What if Thelema were true?—because I see so much idle debate about “defining” Thelema, as if Thelemites themselves had some collective responsibility or power to define the current. If Thelema is true, that notion (of the need for definition) is an absurdity, as if a planet or a star requires a human name or permission to keep moving upon its natural course. The thing is, if Thelema is true, no Thelemites are required to make it so. But, if Thelema is true, all humans who move in accord with the current of the Way of the Aeon of Horus, are Thelemites.

What needs to be defined is one’s understanding and personal conviction.

Fewer words need to flow at this time. Much more mindful action.

What wilt thou do?

jk—Adjustment Avatar of Glenn F. Wright

Comments

  1. Thought provoking polished brilliance from the mind of Glenn Wright.

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