Archive for the ‘Thelema’ Category

The Will is Supra-Rational

Posted: February 9, 2012 in Thelema, Uncategorized

IAO131 as an author and occult researcher has provided me regularly with a sound and logical approach to the Great Work. One of my goals is not to get carried away into lala land. Here recently I have been pondering the True Will and this post is very insightful.

IAO131

The Will is Supra-rational

“Our own Silent Self, helpless and witless, hidden within us, will spring forth, if we have craft to loose him to the Light, spring lustily forward with his cry of Battle, the Word of our True Wills.”
-Aleister Crowley, The Law is for All, commentary to I:7

The first question one might ask when embarking upon the quest to understand the philosophy of Thelema is “What is my Will?” or “How do I know what my Will is?” The answer to this questions might initially be presumed to be answerable in the form of a sentence such as “my Will is to be a doctor” or “my Will is to eat this sandwich,” but this is not so, for this is to restrict the Will to the trappings of language and reason. The Will is the innermost Motion of one’s being, an individual expression of the Eternal Energy of the…

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Why Thelema?

Posted: January 21, 2012 in Thelema, Uncategorized

For those who don’t know, Thelema is the religion founded by Aleister Crowley.

I started writing this post over 6 months ago and have failed to finish it until now. But it serves the purpose better. I have been a Thelemite now much longer.

My path with Thelema began about 2 years ago, but officially I initiated and was baptized in the ECG. My baptismal certificate sits as a center piece in my living room. I don’t even have my diploma up.

There are many aspects to the religion of Thelema, one could actually spend a lifetime on it. There is the Book of the Law which is considered to be a sacred text revealed to Aleister Crowley by his Angel Aiwass through his wife Rose at an Egyptian museum. This is heavy stuff and I can get myself into arguments if I try to pontificate. But let me just say that this aspect of my religion does not offend me in the slightest. Even as I also herald myself a disciple of Atheism.

I read this book. In particular verse 1:47 of Liber al Vel Legis, also called The Book of the Law.

” …unite by thine art so all disappear.”

When I say these words one should envision atomic bombs, conquest of galaxies, destruction by the goddess Kali (who I consider to be a Hindu reflection of our beloved Babalon, sacred Whore). I breathe these little words like air. The rest of the book is mostly a mystery to me, and I am honored to sit at the feet of the Knight Monks who spend their lifetimes pondering the many words of this little book.

The Law of the Thelema is said as a hail to our brethren:

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

To which a brother or sister will answer : “Love is the Law. Love under Will.”

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

The secret here is to know what you want. Oh that may sound easy, but it is as hard as any holy quest. My will does not exalt me. My will humbles me.

It brings me to tears, it is the glimmer of light in the vast, vast, sea of darkness.

I don’t even know the whole of it. Just tiny, tiny, little details. The kind that hardcore, intense, militant habits are built from.

My will is elusive. It is so far from me, that it makes me rise to climb like staying on the fucking ground is death.

When I look to you deep in your eyes. Into your chakras. Into your holy potential and I say “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. ”

I expect you to break yourself in glory in despair. I expect to see a god-form manifest before me, and I expect to feel your will like the blast of the atomic furnace (Sun) that you are.

For it is also written “Every man, and every woman, is a Star.” In my dreams I say that with a sword in my hand, the armor of the Fakir, and the yearning of Alexander the Great.

And you, in your god-form answer the blessing, the reminder for me to do the same.

“Love is the law. Love under will.”

Love is the law. Love was understood by Crowley to be union, “unite by thine art so all disappear.” I feel the Whore of Babylon’s hot breath on my neck when I read this. If you ever see me read this, envision me as a murder weapon.

Love is the cataclysm of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, which Crowley understood. Crowley made it his priority to be well versed in science. Eventually union will triumph over all. We taste that energy, a magician feels it in his or her will.

Love is under will. Sacred will. Beloved will.

What ails you my brethren? Is it not the massive overbearing decay pushed upon this Earth by those who remain ignorant of their will? They who destroy their sacred mother because they plunder as brain dead gods through the chaos.

No. It can’t be allowed to remain.

The Aeon of Horus is manifest. Crowley declared this, an Egyptian war god, as the herald and master of the New Age. Horus is not a mindless fire breathing war god. This Hawk Headed Lord was worshiped in Egyptian and Greek Mystery cults as the God of Silence: Harpocrates. The Christ Child is a clumsy mirror of this concept. The awakened child reveals to the magician the true secret of silence, that it is riddled with awareness and that speech is a necessary distraction from this bliss. I understand silence as the Neshamah of the Qabalah. This is where the perception of the Ajna chakra occurs, and the Sex Magick of the holy Svadisthana is manifest.

Horus beckons to your will as if Arjuna or Achilles beckoned you to war. It is the spirit of war, known to Friedrich Nietzsche as necessary for human ascension. We are not at our best when we are impotent, it is as simple as that.

The Aeon of Horus is with us now. The Law incarnates in increasing social liberality, in the current of freedom, that beautiful 93 current, manifest in the gematria of the Law, which permeates even the sleeping Pashus who ignore awareness of their wills. It is actually a dangerous power, I believe, which the Thelemite must be present as a sacred Knighthood to shepherd this energy into its perfect incarnation. This is the call of Horus, the silence that penetrates from the mezzanine.

I think at this point in the essay it is fair to say I am converted. And converted I am, as I have had many conversions in my lifetime, 3 or 4 at least. And Thelema swallows them all, and shows me what the intense Silence of Horus was guiding me to.

I love this shit.

I was drawn to it by the people. I started listening to Thelema Now! which has revealed to me the true connection between the 93 current and the counter cultural elements which guided me through the earliest parts of my self awareness, and my personal favorite Speech in the Silence which has been my Thelemic education through this whole process. Especially Living Thelema. I also have an Oasis, though now it is sadly far from me, I still pay my dues and will visit soon. And as soon as possible make it habitual.

I have met the finest, most amazing, beautiful people there, showing me the truth: Humans in the path of their true will are gods, and they inspire the most sincere and religious humanism from me one could ever hope to imagine. I could give you biographies for most of them, and that is because each of them is so fascinating and inspiring as to merit the memory of a personal myth for each of them.

This is humanity at its best.

So, a little late for tradition. And far too late in my own life:

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

To which I pray you answer

Love is the law. Love under will.

David Shoemaker is one of the finest occult thinkers alive today. I basically consider his curriculum to be my main source of guidance. Though I tend to stray from the path, and chase rabbits. Here is the first part of his lecture on Thelemic Sex Magick.

Resh

Posted: September 12, 2011 in Thelema, Uncategorized

So I have taken it upon myself to try to get into the habit of doing Resh (at least thats what it gets called by Thelemites). Resh is basically four prayers done a day to different Egyptian gods in adoration of the sun. One is supposed to be at dawn, one at noon, one in the evening, one at midnight.

It comes from Liber Resh vel Helios by Aleister Crowley.

Resh is a hebrew letter.

In the Qabalah Resh corresponds to the path between Hod and Yesod. These concepts are extremely deep.

I should interject at this point that my Thelemite friends would (and probably do) write a treatise on Resh. They would write in depth meditations that would take one beyond the metaverse on all aspects of the path of Resh and Hod and Yesod. About the impact it had on the surgically precise metamorphosis of the initiate in the Abbey of Thelema. If more than one Thelemite sat in a room they would argue about which grade sign to use or elemental symbol for those not fortunate enough to be in the Abbey of Thelema.

My point in writing this is to share my experience of actually trying to practice this stuff. I reserve the right to be a novice.

By novice I don’t mean retarded. I just mean that I am undergoing an organic process of refining my Will, to accomplish the Great Work (which I believe to be a highly individual, personal, and intimate process).

I was interested in Resh because I have always admired the Islamic habit of the 5 daily prayers.

I really am. I have always had a deep psychological connection with this image, and the practice which I engaged during a 4 month or so experiment with contemporary Islam at the Islamic center in my home town.

When I was in my early 20s I experimented with Islam, mostly due to a romanticizing of the religion on the Malcom X book and film. I am also ardently pro-palestine and was engaged in some pro-palestinian political activism and was hanging out regularly with friends from Palestine, Kurdistan, Kuwait, and other middle eastern countries.

Unfortunately, outside of eccentric circles, my conclusions and interpretations of Islamic scripture would meet with more rejection among mainstream American muslims than their Christian counterparts.

Though I have since discovered a wonderful scene of Islamic Based occultists called the Moorish Orthodox Church. At some point I will have to write them their own article. Just think Assasins, Sufis, and middle eastern mysticism and you probably have the vibe right.

Resh is an act of habit. It is a training of the Will. For me it is about becoming intimately aware of the flow of time.

I learned about Resh from David Shoemaker :

But mostly I want to be the mage who finds his mind in lock step with the Sun. Who prays like a muslim to strange egyptian gods.

For an atheist I am a total idolater.

In the dawn I greet Ra. I do it in the sign of Osiris Slain

Ra is the ultimate alpha male bad ass god. One can feel quite fired up on this one.

Ra’s energy for me is primarily sexual. I have found that my practice of morning Resh, at least for me and what my imagination does when I try to have an astral experience (usually on my morning run) after doing Dawn Resh. I like to visualize, it gives me energy, it connects me to the music. I think of Ra, and then all kinds of Sexual fantasies and emotions come into play. I am 100% sex positive so I go with it. And it does seem to do a lot to get me going.

I also may be primed a little in this by my participation in the Gnostic Mass. Since Egyptology is transformed into a performance art act regarding the mystical nature of sex. I always think the Priest looks like  a Pharoah, and the wonderful Priestesses at Bubastis Oasis have permanently made me a worshipper of Nuit.

Next is Ahathoor. She is a cow headed goddess, associated with Venus and Aphrodite.

Ahathoor, or as I prefer to call her: Hathor has become one of my favorite Resh deities. She councils me. She guides me in acts of gentle grazing (I am trying to diet). She makes me aware of my ability to connect with others. She is the Mother of Mothers but she is also a sex goddess. She also becomes Sekhmet in her wrath and kills enemies of wisdom.

Next is Tum. Another incarnation of Ra.

Tum is a Solar Deity of the City of Heliopolis. This city was known as a center of wisdom and advancement. Tum is Ra at work in this form. So I think that the proper attitude for this God Form, and this quadrant of Resh is to do your fucking work. I work a 9-5. But all the things that I do that truly matter happen after work. This God is who I need to connect with to do this. Or rather, to manifest. To hail him and his phase of the Solar Song, which transmits the energy all life on earth springs from. Don’t forget your biology, photosynthesis really makes this true.

 

Finally is Kephra.

He is my favorite with the scarab mask. I adore Kephra. I found him before Resh. Already worshipped him in my strange Chaos Magick breaks from my atheism. I am reading the Song of Fire and Ice the fantasy novels from which was adapted the HBO show The Game of Thrones, all books written by George R. R. Martin. In these books there is a religion with 7 gods. All aspects of one. A very catholic religion, per Martin himself . One of the Seven is the Stranger who is faceless. He reminds me of Kephra. The Stranger is the God of Death.

I believe in Death. I believe Death is coming, much like the Starks in the Game of Thrones say Winter is Coming.

 

We must have a good Death Story. A good Death Song. We must live a life of Will so we can say we have had our fill for when we step out into what is most likely oblivion for our fragile consciousness.

I believe Death is life affirming.

I ponder this most deeply when I reach towards my HGA. I have a house adorned in honor of Kali, and Santa Muerte. I also worship Nuit, the Whore of Babylon, Sekhmet, and I believe in a dark Venus which all men  and women yearn to penetrate in her pandrogynous omnipotence. She is eventually queen of us all.

Midnight and the darkness it brings should return us to the sexual energy, at least thats my spin. I encourage you as the friend of man Aleister Crowley put it: ” Do What Thou Wilt Shall be the Whole of the Law. Love is the Law. Love under Will.”

For me, these interpretations and meditations on Resh allow me to get the most bang for my buck in the Solar Song within my cells.

I meat IAO 131 on the website reddit on r/occult.

When I started looking around the site I considered myself a pretty hardcore atheist with a morbid fascination with the occult. When I found IAO 131 I started to think that I may actually be able to make it among other occultists, in spite of my own leanings on religion and the supernatural.  IAO 131 presents a naturalistic world view on the occult, and naturalism is the philosophical framework of the militant atheists. I will only say this once, philosophical naturalism is not the same as tree hugging or nature worship which people occasionally misname “naturalism.”

All of the four horsemen, as they have been called in popular media: Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Daniel Dennet have proclaimed themselves naturalists. In case you don’t know who these guys are, these 4 are the most popular current atheist writers, so naturalism is not just a meaningless trivial phrase. It establishes naturalism as a kind of co-joining metaphysical framework for atheism.

Naturalism as a philosophy essentially states nature is all there is, hence no supernature. Naturalism is a big tent in my eyes because it also includes weirdness like string theory (which at times proclaims countless parallel universes and unknown dimensions), but it does fuel the militant fight against religion.

Most of my militant atheist friends would be very surprised to know that there is a book that argues for a lifestyle of occult practice from the same metaphysical framework of the so called militant atheist.

IAO 131 knows his current research on interesting neuroscience, philosophy of the mind, and has a bibliography of well respected skeptical books that I recognized. I have a humble bachelors in neuroscience, not enough to get a fancy job, but I hope enough to say that I can judge someone’s understanding of the brain.

I am also well traveled in skeptical circles and am a published member of the North Texas Skeptics and was once a card carrying member of the atheist think tank the Center for Inquiry. (a group I still respect and support). I hope this grants me the right to judge someone’s skepticism at least from a philosophical point of view.

The book opens with a very fascinating quote from Aleister Crowley:

“In this book it is spoken of the Sephiroth and the Paths; of Spirits and Conjurations; of Gods, Spheres, Planes, and many other things which may or may not exist. It is immaterial whether these exist or not. By doing certain things certain results will follow; students are most earnestly warned against attributing objective reality or philosophic validity to any of them.” 

This is taken as the prominent bridge between the magical tradition of Thelema and the strictest of scientific thought. It tells the magician to not over attribute specific causalities in his work, to remain in a kind of utilitarian agnosticism and focus on results.

 

Indeed.

Thats only the beginning.

Some interesting ideas that stood out to me and my own practice are as follows:

Initiation is the overcoming of various mental habits and the reconditioning of the nervous system in accordance with the will of the operator. 

Conditioning and deconditioning. Like Pavlov’s dog. Like Skinner and his rats and pigeons. You can use basic behaviorism as a way to create an internalized system of reward which will allow you greater strength as you mold yourself.

This is essentially my own personal end game for magick. Through my study of positive psychology I have learned that a certain amount of mental self-manipulation is required to overcome the human predispositions to negativity. I found myself in the grip of anxiety and despair in a bad job and overcoming many errors of bad luck and a bad economy.

I found that my youthful attraction to the occult provided an answer to a question I kept asking myself as an atheist of 5 or so years, “How do I regain the energy levels I once experienced in my religious days.”

I was devoutly religious. Heretical no doubt. But in my practice of religion, which were always of a mystical bent including mainstream charismatic christianity which teaches the speaking of tongues and the miraculous workings of not only its preachers but also its laity. For some reason this kind of magical thinking gave me an enthusiasm for life that usually escapes me.

I know many who have never suffered from the appeal of religion, but I fear the evidence of majorities suggests most people do.

This book spells out in plain English how one may consciously use this kind of thinking as a form of manicured metamorphosis. A form of radical self growth, to push for a an optimum level of personal functioning. Christ, I am beginning to sound like a self-help tape over here.

As within so without. 

As opposed to, “so above, so below.” The mystical mantra of alchemists and kabbalists. My dad taught me this philosophy when I first started reading occult books at the age of 14. It is almost a dogma of occultism.

But IAO131 suggests we turn it inside-out, so to speak. To see that really our brains are not very precise measures of the environment, we see a limited spectrum, we hear the mechanical movement of molecules, our perceptions are at a base fundamentally metaphorical illusions. At least thats what I thought of while reading IAO 131 on this idea. So that we can understand that if we can affect our perception we can optimize how we interact with the environment. I am afraid of butchering this idea with what may be my own failures at perceiving its meaning. I suggest it as a totally worthy magical meditation.

Rorshach tests are projective tests. 

Perhaps the following idea will shed some light on the former. Projective tests are tests used in psychology to see what the patient has going on in his/her head. The most famous of witch is a rorshach test. In case you have forgotten I will insert the following stimulus:

If you think that the human mind is projecting meaning at baseline, its probably a good idea to get your hand on the motherfucking wheel. At least thats my ethical conclusion.

I am a walking Projective Test generator. I foretell the mysteries of my inner gods by seeing signs in all I do and adorn my house with Kali, Santa Muerte, Durga, Shiva, Krishna, and I read Tarot Cards and I follow the ley lines in synchronicity as my favorite comic book character John Constantine does in the pages of his book Hellblazer. But I know that I am doing essentially no different from the author of Hellblazer and making a work of my imagination.

One cannot deny that by definition these manner of practices are guaranteed to increase the meaning in one’s life. Some have noted that life with abundant meaning is a healthy pro-social state worth pursuing.

Invocation is the invocation of the Psyche

Invocation is often compared to prayer. Another familiar initiation from my religious days. I have observed prayer used as a psi-ops machine of mass hypnosis at Benny Hinn rallies. I have seen this in person and it holds a candle to any weird experience I have ever had:

When I say that I experienced the surreal as a Charismatic Christian, please understand that I am dead fucking serious. I went to retreats where men prophesied in what I would describe as sweaty trantric trances as they turned on the parts of their brains that they consider the “feel of the holy spirit.” I have been present at exorcisms.  I have experienced this hypnosis personally, and have used it at times when I attempted preaching. Though I fully believed that what I was doing was true and I was sincere in my actions.

Now some of you may fail to see the “prayer” in my example. But at a Benny Hinn rally all one does is pray, over and over and over again. Usually in tongues, which the speaker usually interprets as the spirit of God speaking through them in the tongues of angels. I urge you to check it out. Benny Hinn crusades are free, they just try to sell you a ton of crap once you are inside, and its more crowded than Disney World on a holiday.

This is a powerful psychological furnace. I don’t particularly like the Jehovah god anymore. I am torn between bouts of massive polytheism, and strange monotheistic worship of my HGA. For those who are not in the know Thelemites (generally speaking) believe they have a Holy Guardian Angel, definitions vary but for me its a projective idea of all the things that I revere most in life, my ethically highest form simultaneously. I will have to write more about it later. In most contemporary writings on Thelema knowledge and conversation with this being/projection is considered to be a very advanced initiation reserved for those who’s mastery of the Great Work is already well refined.

But coming from a background of talking to Jesus in my head, I kind of gravitated towards it naturally.

These days I pray to Odin, and Krishna, to the Green Lantern Guardians, whatever strikes my fancy.

I don’t mean to degrade the prayers of the true believer. I am at this point finding that a kind of conscious agnosticism is ideal. I don’t buy the metaphysical models of contemporary religions for the most part, but I think words like “being” are tricky words who’s true meaning we have yet to truly behold. I speak now as a transhumanist who believes one day computers may wield emotions and demand rights.

I also know from my Social Psychology coursework that the human personality is in perpetual flux and can be transformed by external stimuli. Perhaps Invocation is some strange form of a positive multiple personality disorder? Who knows. I fear for the lonely magician who has no brethren to share these thoughts at the brink of insanity.

There is a whole lot more in this book that I got out of it. I actually wrote my notes for this blog on a drawing I did of a tree growing through a coffin so I would have these thoughts written in a meaningful place and to remember to contemplate them.

I look forward to seeing more work from IAO 131. I believe he has been published in Thelemite journals and he has an excellent blog.

He is also my go-to guy for resolving my atheistic questions about things in the Great Work. Which brings me to the immortal words of  comic book Demiurge Stan Lee: Nuff Said!

(post hoc correction: Soror Luz actually made Frater Al-Laylah’s rosary, based on his design. )

I went to a yoga class at Bubastis Oasis. Not quite knowing what to expect. I had been to a few yoga classes at the 24 Hour Fitness gym club, but that was about it. I was not looking for an aerobic work out in yoga, I wanted the deeper more philosophical yoga. But even with that in mind all I expected was to be doing a lot of pranayama (breathing yoga), some guided meditation on the chakras, you know… your typical new agey stuff.

I attended a Yoga class at Bubastis Oasis in Dallas, Texas which was taught by Frater Nur-i-Siyah.

The class in attendance consisted of my wife and I, both of us very novice to Thelema, but also both very enthusiastic students. We like Thelema!

We began with Frater Nur-i-Siyah doing a banishing ritual, which he did with a focus and performance that definitely helped us get into the mindset. It was my first time to see this ritual performed, it was a specific one and I don’t remember its name. First clue that I was not in for a typical new agey pseudo-Hindu ride.

This was followed by some Hatha Yoga, this was about as close as it gets to the gym class setting.

Then we Frater Nur-i-Siyah gave us a brief discussion on the power of words in magic (something which deserves a lot of thought… a magicians words should be manifestations of his/her will), the roots of mantra practice, the purpose of it in magic, and then he showed the mantra we would be saying:

A ka dua
Tuf ur biu
Bi aa chefu
Dude ner af an nuteru.

In case you didn’t notice, this is not a Hindu mantra.

I think its fair to say Thelema is a syncretic religion, much like Santeria. It is a working together of many memes, many cultures, many religions. At least thats my opinion. So this Thelemic mantra is Egyptian.

He showed it to us on the stele of revealing. 

Frater Nur-i-Siyah had us do the mantra yoga in this way, he would say it while we inhaled, and then as he inhaled we would say the mantra.

Frater Nur-i-Siyah had his own rosary made which he had made with 93 beads, one of which was the unicursal hexegram. There were more significant numerical divisions in this custom made rosary, but I do not remember them accurately. I do remember that I was impressed, and that I want one.

We said the mantra 93 times. It was hardcore. I have done some mindfulness meditation and zen before, but this was more intense, and when your mind wanders everyone will know because you screw up the words.

The breathing added to the intensity, I was very focused on trying to keep the breathing disciplined. More than I have ever been in my prior meditation practices.

Breathe in while the teacher says:

A ka dua
Tuf ur biu
Bi aa chefu
Dudu ner af an nuteru

Then you say it as you exhale.

The meaning of this mantra according to Crowley is :

Unity of the uttermost showed!
I adore the might of Thy breath,
Supreme and terrible God,
Who makest the Gods and Death
To tremble before Thee:–
I, I adore Thee.

According to the Cairo Museum catalog, the translation is:

O sublime one!
I adore the greatness of your spirits,
O formidable soul,
Who inspires terror of himself among the gods.

I mostly thought of it as an invocation of power. And I felt it, with an intense discipline.

When we arrived at Bubastis Oasis I was exhausted. Work had drained me dry, I had to drag my ass to get there in the first place.

Now I am up way past my bed time, super charged and super thrilled.

I plan to continue to experiment with this mantra in more personal practice.

Good stuff. Definitely a recharging experience.