Pardon my delay in replying to your post. I was unavoidably distracted.
In a message dated 2/23/2008 8:05:01 PM Pacific Standard Time,
> 93 Cam,
> camlion@... wrote:
> >Thelemic organizational experiments have always fascinated me, both the
> >successes and the failures will provide valuable insight for future
> >How does such a Thelemic 'dis'-organization work, and in what ways is it
> >preferable to, say, the A.'.A.'. and OTO models?
> Well obviously. there would probably be no general approach to such an org.
> It would be worth exploring the various alternatives. For our purposes I will
> discuss my experience with the QBLH and its applied format.
My own experience has included involvement in the early 70s with two 'Abbeys
of Thelema' in the Los Angeles area. These started on a very small scale, in a
three bedroom house, but grew to occupy an eight bedroom house. I mention
these because they were so non-org oriented that they never even considered
themselves an org at all.
> The basic premise of such an org is 'initiation b y Ordeal' meaning, that
> ritual initiation has a secondary, ancillary function to the greater process of
> magickal ordeal. Therefore, a 'ritual hierarchy' with its attendant admins
> and officers, is largely superfluous. Such a group has little or no
> organizational policy whatsoever, other than the propensity for its members to convene
> and work together in various ways. The focus of an org like QBLH is magickal
> work of all kinds. In Thelemic terms, that focus is sex magick. In QBLH,
> similar formula for the OTO's upper degree rites are given, again without oaths
> or vows of fealty to the order itself or its leaders. These are not rendered
> upon entry, but are given to those members who can 'ask the right question'.
> Therefore the process of initiation becomes a process of individually
> motivated deductive inquiry limited not by the constraints of org policy and the
> arbitrary, exclusionary judgment of leadership who may not be
> qualified to make such judgment. In this format, the only limitation is the
> volitional boundaries of each individual practitioner. therefore rituals are
> applied by dint of individual will and each member may openly experiment with
> any and all materials at hand at their whim. Thus there are no set rituals
> in such an org. Ritualism's secondary function in such orgs renders such
> centralism unnecessary. In fact, a central rite or rites would be
> counterproductive to the experimental basis and inquiry that is part and parcel of a group
> like QBLH or NOT.
Certainly, true 'initiation by Ordeal' cannot very well be staged by design,
and oaths or vows of fealty are to be regarded with the utmost caution, and
judged in relation to the individual's fealty to his or her own Will. Also, the
interests of the group need not include magick, or and other common subject at
all. The like-mindedness of a group can be limited to as little as the
furtherance of the Wills of the individuals involved. Of course, Wills of a feather
do tend to flock together, and group working sometimes has advantages that
outweigh its disadvantages. When this is the case, it is commendable.
> Also, such an open inquiry will inevitably lead to further innovation and
> new data being incorporated into what is already a very loose set of precepts,
> beliefs and practices. Things like ALW and other 'new systems' are not
> criticized or defamed as a matter of militant competition. Unlike the OTO we are
> not in business. Such an open format for an org provides a much more level
> playing field in which occult arts can be reviewed in a far more empirical
Not to poo-poo business in general, of course. Such groups certainly benefit
by generating an income but, yes, I follow you.
> Although such groups never try to create a formal orthodoxy, it is
> inevitable that
> some practitioners will achieve similar results and begin working together
> on a similar precept. Such has been the case in the QBLH with the use of
> 'astrologically timed sex magick'. The application of IX* sex magick in congress
> with the conjunction of the Sun and Venus and other planetary aspects has been
> a powerful tool of initiatory ordeal for many of us. Therefore the practice
> of this type of ritual has become something like an orthodoxy for QBLH
> members by virtue of their agreement and mutual use. However, other ideologies or
> applications are never knee-jerk rejected, they are seriously examined and
> possibly incorporated. Every orthodox precept is examined and for a time
> discarded. What you get is a 'crisis and observation' situation. Thus it seems
> inevitable that more and more structure will be enacted the longer the org endures
> as an institution.
Yes, in the cases of the 'Abbeys' that I mentioned above, developments in
areas of common practice evolved as you say. There were what I would consider
monumental breakthroughs in sex magick, to be sure.
> The downside of these orgs is that they almost never are able to build
> momentum beyond a small membership. Persons seeking to build the profile of such
> an anarchistic org into something like the OTO might find themselves
> frustrated. The lack of organization itself is a barrier to greater coverage and
> promotion of one's ideas. Plus, such orgs do not have recruitment as an intended
> goal, so as a non-priority, it is very difficult for the org to have a shelf
> life beyond the lifetimes of the original founders. The best the members of
> such orgs can hope for is that their deconstructive influence will shine light
> on the more orthodox, entrenched institutions.
> We may be a 'living laboratory' of sorts, from which the 'regulars' can draw
> data and incorporate in small amounts. Any constructive innovations that we
> devise may be assimilated into the collective at large. This too would serve
> Damon's agenda of '4th Way Transmission' in the QBLH. Orders like QBLH and
> NOT surely are not intended to survive as religious institutions, therefore
> they may not be in active existence for more than a few decades. However, others
> of like mind may take up this format in their own expressions of a similar
> organizational ideal. Hopefully, the ongoing process of 'cross-pollination' of
> things like QBLH with OTO and A*A* will continue.
I consider both OTO and A.'.A.'. to be experimental. The results of the
latter system are very encouraging to me, on an individual level, while with the
former seems not yet to be fully developed along the lines of its model. Too
early to tell, in other words. OTO is a long range project, I think.
If there are 'cross-pollinations' of things like QBLH with things like OTO,
that would be natural and very interesting.
> As long as we have some semblance of a true free speech system, folks will
> be able to express themselves in this manner. A neo-fascistic future could
> prevent this type of inquiry, with a government similar to the 'secret society'
> oligarchical format holding the gag.
> Revolutio Aldo Neccessitudo,
I'm afraid that there is very little for us to argue about at the moment. ;)
Ideas to please picky eaters. Watch video on AOL Living.
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