Ordo Templi Orientis
Berkeley, CA 94702 USA
June 1997 e.v. at Thelema Lodge
Lodge Members and Officers
The following perspective upon the minor sacraments of baptism and confirmation within the E.G.C. has been provided by Gnostic Bishop T Oecumene (Michael Sanborn).
A Fragment [by Aleister Crowley]
. . . As I approached the landing-place, continued the explorer, the savagery of the natives manifested itself in a thousand extravagances.
In one canoe was to be seen a medicine man, wearing a saffron rag, who parleyed in some inscrutable jargon; the tenant of another, a gorilla-like creature, boarded my boat, and plied me with idiotic questions as to whether I had been there before, where I was born, who was my father, was I a native of the country (!!!), what were my political opinions and my moral character, in short, everything that an imbecile curiosity could conjure up. He paid not the least attention to my answers. I learnt afterwards that this was part of a religious ritual of these astonishing half-men.
The great point is that the stranger must be made to swear some oath, no matter what, and no matter whether true or false. The fact of attestation guaranteed the favor of their gods. So again on landing I was confronted by another creature with a head resembling that of a sheep, but with the expression of a vulture, who exacted another oath to the effect that I was not intending to trade with the natives. I swore as requested, and he was immediately satisfied; but on subsequent examination I found that he had taken advantage of my distraction to rifle my loads, and sequestrate several articles that took his fancy. When I complained of this through an interpreter, I was told that the articles in question were of necessity "either displeasing to the gods, or pleasing to them, since the gods were never indifferent. In the first case, they must be destroyed; in the second they must be offered to the gods. In neither case have you any right in the matter." They added that I might flatter my fortune that she had brought me off so easily, for had I been a native, all my possessions must infallibly have been seized.
But no sooner had I quitted the landing-stage with my porters than an innumerable company of sordid persons began to jostle me. These were all ragged and dirty; they stank horribly of stale liquor of some kind unfamiliar to me, and also of some filthy aromatic. They began at once to ply me with questions which made those of my former tormentor seem almost reasonable.
For those other questions were at least such as I could answer; the new infliction was absurd. They asked me whether I had ever been in their country before; and on my replying "no," inquired how I liked their country, what I thought of its institutions and customs, which they assured me were the best in the world. They asked if I admired their women, who were the most beautiful in the world, and none of whom, as they well knew, I had yet seen. They wished even to know things which God alone could have known, concerning the future; how long I was going to stay, what I would do, and other matters even more ridiculous. They then became extremely insolent, commenting on my personal appearance and costume, catching at my clothes and asking their price, seeking information as to my most private affairs, and in every way conducting themselves as the sodden and mannerless mongrels that they were.
However, being at last for the first time well rid of these scurvy knaves, I was able to rest to some extent, and to listen while I ate my food to the babble around me. On my journey from the landing-place I had already remarked that no man was able to fix his mind upon his affairs. Every pebble by the roadside on which the sun's rays chanced to fall at the proper angle would catch his eye, and crying "Cowrie! Cowrie!" he would leave his occupation and rush after it. This frequently led to free fights between savages who had observed the pebble at the same moment, and they would continue to fight even after they found it to be only a pebble. Some seemed altogether hypnotized by their desire for cowries, and, picking up pebbles, would maintain angrily that they were cowries, or were better than cowries, or would be cowries one day!
Their conversation was exclusively on this one subject. It was unlucky or irreligious -- I was never able to determine the root-idea in this superstition -- to complete a sentence without mention of cowries, or to refer to any object without giving its equivalent in cowries. It was also usual to prefix to every sentence a brief invocation of the "official" god; and this I found to be the only trace remaining of his worship. The real god is a fabulous bird -- the Aquila Duplex of Mungo Park may be a congener. Fabulous, I say, though the natives assert positively that it exists. Yet some such bird is to be found in the western part of the country. The possession of a specimen is said to confer the highest happiness.
In default of such specimens they have dirty and crumpled oblongs of some substance resembling paper. These are covered with hieroglyphic signs and pictures, and the Big Medicine-Man, a mysterious being in the interior of the country, consecrates them and issues them. Their possession ensures good luck. Some are more sacred than others; this depends on the signs written by the makers. For even one of these every native is ready to perform any service, however degrading; or to steal, rob, and murder.
There is, however, a difference in degree; it is pretended that such crimes are only honorable or even (among the stricter sort of men) excusable when the number or value of the oblongs is great. But each man knows in his heart that even one of the least desirable of these is worth the loss of his soul; for this is their religion.
The food of the country is very varied and delicious. but the cooks are by no means skilful in their art. It is possible, however, after some experience, to avoid actual poisoning; and this the natives themselves are not able to do. For instead of using their noses, tongues, and eyes, they judge wholly by ear, which, a good principle in musical criticism, is unsuited to ripe gastronomy. Their method is as follows: Certain persons are chosen for the loudness of their tones, and appointed to declare the benefits or the reverse of devouring certain substances. One class cries that such a food is poison; his opponent that it is the only true nourishment of life. This shouting goes on continuously, and the other natives catch the enthusiasm of the shouters and join in their sacred war-dances, which often develop into fights. The shouters claim the direct inspiration of the god of truth, or of the god of freedom, or of the god of the people; but in reality they are faithful to the true but unofficial god of this strange people, as is every one. Those who most loudly blaspheme him are in truth often his best servants. The shouters are employed by the merchants, in effect, and their oracles depend upon the commercial interests of their masters. I remarked upon this fact to one of their greatest philosophers, and he replied that it was the greatest proof possible of their bona fides, that the spiritual side of the prophets should be in such perfection of harmony with their material welfare. "What in the Abyss could be better?" (It is the custom to affirm belief in the existence of a place of eternal punishment by introducing its name into every question, since certain heretics doubted it of yore.)
"Should one prophesy against himself, it would show disunion of his being, which is no other than madness."
The test of truth is therefore exclusively its utility. The fact is of wide bearing, and applies directly to their theory of law.
This is as simple in this country as it is complex in others. The first principle is that everything is forbidden. For example, said my interpreter, no man may carry arms. I pointed out that (on the contrary) every man was armed to the teeth. True, said he, therefore if any man displease the ruling power, it is easy to destroy him. If he pay not ample tribute, or if he lend not his wives to the right people, of if he err in thought upon political or social questions, there is no trouble in condemning him. There is always some crime, which all alike commit, of which he may be conveniently accused.
This rule holds good of all laws. None are in force, unless it be to satisfy the greed or spite of one of the ruling class. To this there is however one important exception. There are certain classes of Shouters whose duty it is to call attention constantly to the evil-doer. These wisely concentrate their energies on some one trivial matter -- it is not pleasing to the gods to mention serious affairs at all, in any connection -- and they enforce the laws most drastically for the moment, while the attention of the people can be held. Thus, on my arrival, they had just condemned a medicine man to Ten Years of Imprisonment for "conscientious-advice-giving."
Other points were also most strange, even to me, an old explorer of many of the dark places of the earth. One essential point of law is that a forbidden thing is no longer forbidden, if it be called by another name. Thus, it is the custom of the country to drink arrack from a calabash, coffee from a coconut; and it is forbidden to drink arrack upon holy days. Those therefore who wish to do so drink it from a coconut, and it becomes technically coffee. Similarly, in calling for the arrack, one must say: bring bamboo-shoots. Thus is the law satisfied.
The object of enforcing laws in this sporadic manner is obvious. Suppose a merchant spend years of labor in the building up of a big trade in silk. The Shouters then say: "Behold this villain, the greatest rogue that walketh upon the earth! Lo, he conduceth to luxury and to vanity; and the morals of our women, the purest albeit the fairest that be in all the world, are by him corrupt." The indignation of the people is thus aroused, and they bethink them of the law against silk. The merchant must then pay all that he hath to the Shouters, so that they may not see him.
This is a most salutary custom of this people. The merchant hath for ever the fear of the Law before his eyes. He is taught constantly the instability of human affairs, and so from a merchant he becometh a philosopher.
The greater merchants, however, have found higher truths. They themselves employ armies of Shouters, and none dare offend them. In their hands they have gathered all the images of God of the country, without which none may do aught without blasphemy, and blasphemy is the one crime that is always and in all places punished, usually by death.
It is they that have destroyed or sequestered all the specimens of Aquila Duplex, which is not fabulous at all, and may still be found in the western districts of the country. But it has been to their interest to persuade the ignorant that the bird is but a fable, and that the oblong squares are the true God.
The evening being now come, I went forth into the market-place to take the air; but no sooner had I come into their main way, which they call broad (though it is narrow enough if one compare it with the main street of any civilized town), and white, although it has hardly a white building in all its length, than I was assailed by the fearsome beast which is justly the dread of the whole country, the terrible man-eating chicken. . .
(The remainder of this account has been deleted by the Censor.)
|Queen of Spheres|
|Monad windowless divining|
|Star alembic role defining|
|Sea storm strident|
|Sea salt teeming|
|Night sky manic|
|Fierce love of Heaven, pull of soul|
|Love joy panic|
|Diana Zagreus, take your toll!|
|Hound dog clowning|
|Salt shape sigil|
|Star spray vigil|
Derived from a lecture series in 1977 e.v. by Bill Heidrick
Copyright © Bill Heidrick
Here's a light run-through of the notion of analyzing day-to-day affairs by the Trees-within-Trees approach. This will only touch on the method, since each individual will tend to use this technique in a personal way.
To try this, start by taking something moderately complex, but not so elaborate that it will become confusing. If you have a project or something that you are doing, that might be the simplest. Start by writing a topic on a sheet of paper with a simple tree diagram. For example, it might be: "My difficulty with transportation". Next, determine the Keter and the Malkut. What is the essence of the thing in its simplest sense? What is the essence of the thing in its developed sense? Transportation: The need for transportation, the success of transportation. Those can be taken as the opposites, the things pulling apart that you want to bring together. Always try to make it a simple set of opposites. This gives a "black and white" picture. How can that two dimensional thing develop color? The colors are those of the Sephirot of the Tree of Life, symbolically; the shades, the primary colors, their mixtures and the final earthly results. For traveling, and most things, the energy is in Chokmah. The over-all, but not precise, conception is in Binah. Next, pause and review: You know you have a need to travel. You have the energy necessary, and you are not sick or blocked in some other obvious way. You have the general idea of what traveling is about. You are ready, you have decided, and you are sitting down to figure it out. Above the Abyss, Keter through Binah, is thinking idly about it. The approach to actual travel begins below the Abyss. Do you feel good about it; is it an over-all good thing, traveling, going back and forth (Chesed)? How can you make yourself do these things when you need to (Geburah)? Carefully consider if there is enough over-all desire to accomplish these things. That doesn't amount to simple tricks to get yourself to do it, but should be an over-all satisfaction and determination, a union of Chesed and Geburah. How will traveling effect in a general way your whole life (Tipheret)? Perhaps won't utterly alter your life, but you might have to be serious about changes and scheduling. This is still not a detailed level; details come in with the lower four Sephirot. Netzach is where you decide whether you can really do it or not. Hod is the place of the functional plans; bus schedules, how long it takes to go from one place to another, bridge tolls, and all other practical details. Yesod is the actual attempt. Malkut is the point of success in the journey. That's one Tree, and it may be enough if all goes well. If there are problems doing this, or regrets after, that's where additional Trees come into play.
Imagine that you have just come to a class on Qabalah, perhaps like the one from which this series of articles derived. You've gotten through going from where you live to here, or you wouldn't be here. You've been successful at this Tree. Suppose next that this was a little difficult and has disrupted your schedule, the way you relate to things during the day. That sort of difficulty with common patterns of the day means trouble in Tipheret. Take another sheet of paper and examine the Tree inside Tipheret. The Keter of that Tree comes from the Geburah of the original Tree, while the Malkut of that second Tree comes from the Netzach of the original. Somewhere in the middle there was a problem. If it's in Netzach of the Tree within Tipheret, that isn't too bad. Often this will be a sort of energy drain, a lack of enough stamina to make it easily through the day. Examine that. Open up another, third Tree within that Netzach of the second Tree within the Tipheret of the original Tree. Perhaps you were strong enough in the beginning and knew what you were going to do otherwise during that day. If that was the case, everything was ok down to Da'at and the Abyss between conception and the beginning of action. Check further. If the strength and vitality was still good through the beginning of travel and you felt basically good about doing things, that works down a little further inside this third, nested Tree. Perhaps you didn't get all the things done that you wanted to do. Afterwards, you may have felt poorly about this, but at the time of traveling nothing seemed to be going wrong. That shows no major problem with this innermost Tree in going down through Tipheret and Netzach. Perhaps you simply didn't have enough time to tend to usual things and had to replan other activities normally done in any given day. That would be the point of the flaw, not taking those changes fully into consideration, an issue of Hod on the innermost of these three Trees. The Tree of getting from your home to the class had some trouble with its Tipheret, the day was a little disorganized. A study of the Trees inside that Tipheret disclosed that it was the routine schedule of the day that was messed up a bit. You could take a fourth Tree and begin to analyze inside Hod, within Netzach, within Tipheret of the Tree of Traveling to Class. Here's getting up in the morning, Keter. Here's going to bed at night, Malkut. Now concentrate on where the sequence of daily routine needs to be analyzed. Find out just what needs to be changed to make adjustments for traveling. Theoretically this can go on forever. Stop when it suits you. If this does not give a solution, presume that there's trouble with at least one other Sephira in the original Tree. If looking at daily routine does not clarify the matter, go back up that original Tree of getting from your home to the class and see if there is something else giving trouble. Perhaps there was a misjudgment as to how much you could do. Perhaps something unusual, just for the day, was overlooked. There may have been a mistake in travel directions. Those matters impact on other Sephirot, both of the larger and of the intermediate Trees.
Don't become discouraged. This approach does work, but requires some practice as well as familiarity with the basic Tree of Life diagram. There are variations which may make it easier.
by KARL GERMER
The record of the author's seven months imprisonment in Nazi Concentration Camps, "COLUMBIA HOUSE", and "ESTERWEGEN" (the latter in the "Moor" at the Dutch frontier.)
This book is the first to be written by a man who not only is a genuine "Nordic" in the Nazi sense, but who never had anything to do with politics. If anything, the author was inclined to favor Hitler's ascendancy to power as a salvation from the stagnation of internal German politics. The book forms a scathing indictment of the Nazi, and particularly Hitler's mentality and its danger to civilization.
Personality of author: 51 years old; good education; University studies at
Grenoble and Sorbonne. Has lived and traveled for 20 years in most
European countries, North America, North Africa. 4 years' war
record as adjutant and machine gun officer: Belgium, France, Russia,
Serbia. Highest war decorations.
Introduction: General political situation in Germany.
Police Prisons: After return from England, author was arrested Feb. 2, 1935
in Leipzig while visiting relative without any reason given.
Handcuffed and transferred to station. For 10 days in Berlin pol
prison in same cell with lowest criminals. Conditions there,
experiences with, and stories of, criminals.
Gestapa (Secret State Police) Feb. 11 first hearing. 5 hours' cross
questioning, yet no definite charge made. Reason for arrest given
Feb. 18 at last: for being in touch with high grade Freemasons
abroad. Gestapa methods. Brutalities. Thence taken to:
"Columbia House" the Berlin Concentration Camp. Atmosphere of terror.
Atrocious treatment. Methods. Solitary confinement. Life in cell.
No reading permit for 4 1/2 months! S.S. guards and their
mentality. Once for six weeks not let out into the open air.
The "Seven Breslauers". Description of case of seven Nazi S.A. officers from
Breslau, adjutants etc. of the staff of the former Governor of
Silesia, Bruckner, who, after the Rohm Putsch was arrested for
sodomy. The "7 Breslauers" had been merely held as witnesses.
Bruckner was released in February and given high post by Goring,
while the poor witnesses were held in Conc. Camp. Story of dramatic
flight of two of them to Czechoslovakia.
Murders by Nazi Guards. Stories of several cold-blooded murders. Several
Flogging in Public. Flogging method. Detailed descriptions of the case of
public flogging of 5 protective prisoners.
Food. Absolutely insufficient: one slice of bread in morning and evening; one
plate of soup at noon. Some were privileged to buy additional food
in canteen, run by S.S. guards, who made immense profits by charging
50 - 100% higher prices.
"Sport", the S.S. "disciplinary" method of torture.
I meet Salomon (Berthold Jacob) who was drugged and kidnapped at the Swiss
border. True story of his arrest as told by himself. His special
treatment. His cell was opposite mine.
Work in Architect's office. For 6 weeks I had permit to work there; this gave
me exceptional freedom and chance to see the run of the prison, get
into personal contact with all the prisoners and S.S. guards and
officers. Permitted me to get deeper insight. Contact with many
prominent people who were imprisoned. Amongst them high S.S. and
S.A. officers. Story of high S.S. officer, 4 1/2 months in Conc.
Camp. Reason: for having an affair with his secretary, though he
was married! Real reason: to supplant him.
In Strict Solitary Confinement. From April 10 to July 7. Cruelty of the
treatment. Punishment, because my wife had sent me a cable from New
York with reply prepaid, and I had filled out the blank and sent it
to Gestapa for censure. (I was forbidden to attempt to communicate
with anybody outside Germany.)
Rigorous Arrest. 8 days on water and bread on hard boards, because I had
dared to complain about S.S. guard.
April 30; I am accused of having secret net of agents all over Germany. To
have factory for false passports. Etc. etc. Sodomites and Transvestites at
Columbia House, arrested wholesale after the Rohm Putsch. Story of Frankfurt
boy, arrested for sodomy, who had to be told what the crime meant.
JULY 7th, INTERVENTION OF AMERICAN CONSUL, thereafter transferred to
Esterwegen Camp in the "Moor", the bogs near the Dutch frontier. One of the
worst of the worst Camps in Nazi Germany. Transportation there in
prison vans. Handcuffed; three days' journey. Reception at
Esterwagen. Unbelievable terror. 1200 prisoners there.
"Shack 5" Description of life, routine, etc.
"The Training Ground". Horrible slave work. Cold inhumanity of S.S. guards
as slave drivers and torturers!
The "Scheiss-Kuhle," work there the worst in the whole Camp. I am detailed
to it with a gang of 5 (amongst them Dr. Leber, the Socialist member
of the Reichstag, a wealthy "race pollutor", and a "witness of
Jehovah". I was included for "obstinately refusing to tell the
truth, i.e. for denying that I was a Mason (which I am not!).
Perfectly incredible conditions of work. Details. "Special Sport".
Men had to roll through the manure; case when Dr. Leber on such an
occasion tried to lift his face during "rolling" in order to prevent
it being soiled, and S.S. guard dug pole into manure and smeared it
over his face and through his mouth.
Medieval torture. Arrest House: prisoners were put in irons and closed in
circle, sometimes for 24 hours. Horrible condition of men coming
out. One man's nerves of hand and fingers had been killed, thus
invaliding use of this hand. Many details of cases and personal
Several cases of "Shot while attempting to escape:, provoked as
entertainment for S.S. guards.
Treatment of Jews, Race polluters, "Witnesses of Jehovah", of Catholic and Protestant priests and other religious sects. Nazi attitude towards them.
Week-End Entertainment. Story of particular piece of mass torture of
practically the whole of the 1200 prisoners, on a Saturday
The "Wheel-Barrow", the scourge of Esterwegen.
Free. Discharge. I meet peasants of vicinity of Esterwegen. Their attitude
towards Esterwegen, whose condition is unknown to them.
Impossibility for me to speak as I had to sign a pledge never to
reveal a word of my experience to anyone.
Epilogue. I see the American Consul in Berlin. His side of the story. Proof
that Mr. Himmler, the head of the S.S. and all Concentration Camps,
does not shrink from deliberately lying to the official
representative of a foreign power.
My Escape from Germany into Belgium.
Conclusions. Summing up of judgment, based on observation of S.S. officers
and guards, experiences and conversations with other prominent
prisoners and especially with higher Nazi officers who were fellow
prisoners with me. Some of them are free again and have been re-
instated in their rank.
The book has 60-65,000 words and is written in English.
G. and D. remarked of a view they had heard, to the effect that the Secret Chiefs are beyond Keter and Ipsissimus.
This seems impossible by definition, to me. Nothing plural can exist at Keter, let alone beyond it. The Secret Chiefs of the G D were beings, real or imaginary, who fulfilled the roles of sponsors in Mathers' claims. When questioned, all he had to do was refer to the directives of these critters, whom nobody else could find. For all apparent purposes, they were characterized as ordinary living people, directing and authorizing an organization formed with their distant oversight and approval. They were said to occasionally communicate by astral means, sometimes in the flesh. There was speculation as to whether all or some of them were incarnated human beings, but nothing definite was said one way or the other.
There are elements of Theosophical "Masters" and similar qualities about these "Secret Chiefs", but nothing out of the ordinary for readers of Bulwar Lytton's Zanoni. Brother Monty, who joined OTO just after Crowley's Greater Feast, once remarked that only Blavatsky and Perdurabo ever had contact with the "true" Secret Chiefs.
Striking parallels can be found in the Hassidic movement, with the Tzadikim or Lamed-Vavniks -- human but like the angels, never known for certain and never fully understandable by ordinary mortals. Thirty six of them were said to wander the world incognito, working like shepherds of all living things.
R. Asked how anyone would know if the Beast arose ?
It is a question of belief, since there are different religious notions concerning "The Beast". Many people think they are that Beast or know what it may be in material fact. The common use of the term is mostly Christian, and Thelema has an entirely different perspective on this word. In Thelema, the "Beast" is usually a metaphor for the intelligence of the physical world, sometimes personified in a human being like Crowley. Even with that, there are many different views. Some people think they are Crowley re-born and call themselves "Beast". Some think that they are the "next one", to carry on Crowley's work. Some people don't have a clear idea about this and use the word anyway. I think it is not very important. One can use the "Beast" as a "god form", something to personify in ritual or meditation. One can use it as an allegory in various ways, some historical and some mystical.
M.K. Expressed interest in the problem of fitting the Chakras on the Tree of Life.
The allocation of the Chakras to the Tree in Liber 777 is early, mostly derived from Theosophy and highly questionable. One popular alternative is to assign them to horizontals on the Tree, since there are exactly seven of those. By that method, the Manipura corresponds to Hod and Netzach. Almost all attempts to place the seven major Chakras on the Tree either assign the Anahata to Tipheret or include Tipheret in the correspondence to the Anahata. This necessarily follows from the fact of the 200 odd chakras, including six of the seven major ones, being physiological in nature. The Anahata in the system that includes the heart in the physical body. Tipheret is strongly associated with the heart in Qabalah.
|6/1/97||Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple||Thelema Ldg.|
|6/2/97||Astrology Seminar with Grace|
in Berkeley, 7:00 PM
|6/8/97||Lodge Luncheon Meeting 12:30||Thelema Ldg.|
|6/8/97||Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple||Thelema Ldg.|
|6/9/97||Astrology Seminar with Grace|
in Berkeley, 7:00 PM
|6/11/97||Rites of Eleusis coordinating|
meeting 8:00 PM in the library
|6/12/97||Thelema Lodge Library night 8PM|
(call to attend)
|6/14/97||Thelema Lodge OTO initiations|
(call to attend)
|6/15/97||Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple||Thelema Ldg.|
|6/16/97||Astrology Seminar with Grace|
in Berkeley, 7:00 PM
|6/18/97||Tarot with Bill Heidrick, 7:30 PM|
in San Anselmo at 5 Suffield Ave.
|6/21/97||Summer Solstice beach picnic and|
ritual, leaving at 10 AM
|6/22/97||Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple||Thelema Ldg.|
|6/23/97||Astrology Seminar with Grace|
in Berkeley, 7:00 PM
|6/25/97||"College of Hard NOX" with Mordecai|
8:00 PM in the library
|6/26/97||Thelema Lodge Library night 8PM|
(call to attend)
|6/29/97||Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple||Thelema Ldg.|
|6/30/97||Sirius Oasis meeting 8:00 PM|
The viewpoints and opinions expressed herein are the responsibility of the contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of OTO or its officers.
Ordo Templi Orientis
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