Thelema Lodge Calendar for June 2000 e.v.

Thelema Lodge Calendar

for June 2000 e.v.

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.

Copyright © O.T.O. and the Individual Authors, 2000 e.v.

Thelema Lodge
Ordo Templi Orientis
P.O.Box 2303
Berkeley, CA 94702 USA

June 2000 e.v. at Thelema Lodge

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

Announcements from
Lodge Members and Officers


Procul este Profani!

Our twenty-first performance of the cycle of planetary Rites of Eleusis, revived annually by members of Thelema Lodge and other local O.T.O. bodies from Crowley's 1910 e.v. production at Caxton Hall in London, opens in the dark of the moon with the Rite of Saturn on Saturday evening 3rd June. Saturn begins at 8:00 and will be held at Grace's Temple of Astrology in Berkeley; for information and directions call ahead to Suzanne at (510) 534-5739, or call the lodge. The Eleusis cycle this year will be performed at twelve day intervals over the course of ten weeks, culminating with the Rite of Luna at the full moon in August. This cycle of the Rites is scheduled at a wide variety of venues, though all are within easy distance of the lodge. We will continue with the Rite of Jupiter on Thursday evening 15th June, to be held also at Grace's in Berkeley, beginning at 8:00. Additional information may be had from Jeff at (510) 537-3212, and Maenad volunteers are also welcome to call. For the Rite of Mars at 7:30 on Tuesday evening 27th June Leigh Ann has arranged quite a special venue, the Julia Morgan Theater on College Avenue in Berkeley. Next month the cycle continues on Sunday afternoon 9th July with the Rite of Sol at Sirius Oasis in Berkeley, beginning at 2:00. Call Liesl for information at (510) 601-9393. Next will be the Rite of Venus on Friday evening 21st July, hosted and presented by Bernadette. Then the Rite of Mercury at 8:00 on Wednesday evening 2nd August at "Arkadia" ritual space in Richmond; call Nathan for directions at (510) 534-5739. The cycle concludes with the Rite of Luna on Monday evening at 8:00 on 14th August, at a venue yet to be arranged. Call Michael and Kat for Luna information at (510) 525-0666.


The Summer Season

Our father the Sun enters the sign of the Crab at 6:48 PM on Tuesday 20th June, and the lodge will gather in Horus Temple that evening at 8:00 for a ritual in celebration of the onset of summer. Our ritual, which is based on passages from Liber LXV, still has some roles available, and interested members are invited to speak with the lodgemaster if they would like to take part.
Summer means vacations and altered schedules for some, and at least one change in the lodge calendar. Liesl's Book Four study group has determined to take the whole season off, and plans to resume discussions of Magick in Theory and Practice in September. Everyone interested in this study group is encouraged to contact Liesl to consult about its resumption in the autumn.
The College of Hard N.O.X. continues its regularly scheduled meetings on the first and final Wednesday evenings of each month -- the 7th and 28th of June -- as an open discussion circle for Thelemic topics. Nathan will be filling in for the Dean of the College while Mordecai and Larissa are honeymooning abroad.


Hidden in the Being of All

The community of our lodge, extending into a wide variety of rituals, disciplines, studies, and amusements, has at its heart the weekly celebration of the gnostic mass which we share in Horus Temple on Sunday evenings. Guests and visitors are welcome to join us as communicants, gathering in the sanctuary of Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica for this pagan eucharist ceremony, which begins at nightfall. (Call well ahead to the lodgemaster for directions and information if attending for the first time.)
Aleister Crowley devised the liturgy which we use -- designated as Liber XV (the Canon Missae of the E.G.C.) -- using the structure of ancient Christian and pre-Christian communion services, while incorporating symbolism and text from the Book of the Law. In its performance dynamic we tend to think of the gnostic mass as the magical operation of a priestess and priest. In its celebration, however, the mass involves other active participants, whose parts are also essential in the greater operation of the gnostic ritual. Obviously there is the Deacon, mediating between the celebrants and the communicants, the delivery of whose three major speeches (sometimes with the congregation in tow) does so much to establish the pace and tone of each mass in performance. Also there are the People themselves, who have, for one thing, by no means a small role. Besides about 18 lines of "credo" and 24 of "anthem," the People have 15 other spoken response lines ("So mote it be" twelve times, "Love is the law, love under will" twice, and "There is no part of me that is not of the Gods" at the end), as well as six "AUMGN" vibrations and six hand gestures, plus five directions to rise, four to sit, and one to kneel.
The gnostic mass as Crowley conceived it was "prepared for the use of the O.T.O." to function as "the central ceremony of its public and private celebration" (Confessions, chapter 73). This implies that, at least at the public celebrations of the mass, there will be a variety of communicants present, some of whom will not have been trained or initiated in the mysteries of the mass, and may be experiencing their first exposure to Thelema, or at least to the O.T.O. What they gain from the mass is likely to provide the foundation for their future involvement and progress within the Order.
Apart from the other officers, each of those present in the temple will act according to the priest's example in taking communion and uttering the declaration "There is no part of me that is not of the gods!" As the canon missae explicitly directs, at an ordinary mass "none others should be present" among the People but those who "intend to communicate." In our temple there is a convention known as "the bishop's speech," where one of our gnostic bishops offers basic instruction to newcoming communicants as to the fulfillment of their role in the mass. We don't encourage regimentation in the temple anyway, so omission of some of the gestures and speeches on the part of those who don't yet know the ritual will hardly be noticed. Participation by all of us in the temple together is ultimately based upon a carefully cultivated collective trust, which is what allows us to share this ritual. Such a trust defines our temple, giving us the freedom (not enjoyed in what the canon missae refers to as "savage countries") to celebrate without placing shameful restrictions upon our ritual. In working to maintain this trust together, the People's role in the gnostic mass is essential to the work of the officers, and central to the ritual.


Falsity's Foe

The Section Two reading group this month is discussing the early thirteenth-century German epic Parzival, on Monday evening 19th June in the lodge library with Caitlin at 8:00. This work is our primary source for the lives and deeds of two gnostic saints, the grail-knight Parzival himself, and his father Kamuret, and is also the source for the opera Parzival by yet another gnostic saint. We will be examining the emotional and spiritual development of the grail-knight, which is presented with a realism and complexity not previously found in the Arthurian tradition. We will contrast Parzival's devotion to his wife Condwiramurs with the very different approaches adopted in the erotic adventures of his companion Gawain, and also those of Parzival's own father. The Parzival of Wolfram von Eschenbach was probably finished about 1212, and adapted its grail story from the unfinished Perceval or Conte du Graal of Chrétien de Troyes (written in the early 1180s). Several good modern translations of both Wolfram's and Chrétien's poems are available, and participants are encouraged to have a look at the earlier work also, in order to better appreciate the new directions by which the German poet leads the story.
"The music of your lips will part me from my Honor."

Previous Section Two                   Next Section Two


Crowley Classics

This installment of Crowley's climbing adventure on Kangchenjunga in the Himalayas in 1905 e.v. is reprinted from Vanity Fair (London: 27 October 1909), page 536.

On the Kinchin Lay:

Mountains or Metaphysics?
(part one)

by Aleister Crowley

At earliest dawn, therefore, and not before, I arose and girded myself and set my tent in order, and got on my claws and hefted up mine axe, and ran at great random down the slopes, like Galahad going for the Grail. (I hope I am justified in asserting a casual connection between the purity of my heart and the decuplation of my strength.) Hardly five minutes from Camp V, I came on the place of the accident; and like the late John Keats, except that they were boots, I stood in my shoes and I wondered, I wondered, I stood in my shoes and I wondered. It was a baby avalanche on a baby slope. Exceptionally timid ski-runner as I am, I had proposed the previous morning to go down on ski. Reymond had glissaded down to the rescue; a fact which speaks volumes, that even Reymond had not discovered a cornice (Reymond, I should explain, "sees cornices" everywhere, just as some other people "see snakes.") I would gladly have started a similar avalanche and sailed down on it -- head first if required -- for the sheer fun of the thing, as I have done many times in the Alps and elsewhere.
There needed no ghost to come from the grave to tell me what had happened. Six men closely roped will set sliding a mass of snow where a solitary man would pass safely. Six men roped sliding down in a whirl of snow -- each man hampers his neighbour, neutralises his efforts to keep on top, drags him deeper, and perhaps jerks the very breath out of his body.
There are undoubtedly uses for ropes -- a lot of people would be better hanged -- and there are, of course, situations in mountaineering when a rope, properly used - properly used -- PROPERLY USED -- conduces to safety.
But most people put on a rope just as an African savage hangs a spent cartridge-case to his waist to ward off fever or the attack of ghosts, and think that, as long as they have got it on, they are immune to all the shocks of Fate. Despite the tragedy -- and a true Greek tragedy it is, seeing how the ultimate catastrophe was involved in, and deducible, even at the first to a truly wise eye, from the characters of the Doctor and Righi -- one experienced, the theory of mountain craft ever next one's heart, a certain sombre joy, such as Cassandra must have felt when she beheld tall Hium1 lapped with flame, and heard the crash of the ruining palaces, and the death-cry of their thousand heroes. The Doctor's last words to me had been "I don't care that for you!" Don't Care was made to care; Don't Care was nearly killed in an avalanche.
Considering the text of the agreement, signed by all of us -- "Aleister Crowley shall be sole and supreme judge of all matters respecting mountain craft, and the others will obey his instructions," on which sole condition I had travelled 8,000 miles and contributed much good gold -- this open defiance was a very flagrant contravention. Even Reymond (that morning) had been very difficult to start; but the counter to his "Tu commences a m'embêter," "Et vous a me tutoyer," had aroused his better self.
Hearing noises on the rocks below Camp IV, I did not descend the avalanche track, where the sight of two bamboos some five feet below the path puzzled me, since I still supposed the "accident" to have occurred on the steep the ice below Camp IV, but approached that camp, calling aloud "Who is there?" No answer; the noises died away. Soon they began again; I could have sworn I heard voices. Again I called, and again dead silence fell. Almost I began to think myself the prey of an hallucination. Passing Camp IV, I went down the snow, and on arriving at steep ice, saw that the snow which should have covered it had fallen away for some twenty feet of width, and only fragments of the regulated track still stuck to the ice. Here, I thought, was the scene of the catastrophe, and I began to suspect that there had been two "accidents" instead of one. Moving slowly across the bad patch, I felt that curious certitude that there was somebody behind -- one which most people will recognise -- a sensation, presumably a relic of some ancient savage aptitude.
Turning, I saw the pallid line of coolies, fifteen or sixteen of them, whom the Doctor had chased from me and the comfortable coolie tents of Camp V, and who had passed the night in a scared condition under the rocks. (It should be well observed that these men, unroped, had passed in safety the place where the combined weight of the roped men and the Doctor's head had caused the death of two-thirds of their number.)
They now stood silent and spectral, prepared to follow me. I warned them that they would probably be killed if they did; and told them to go round over the snow-slopes; but they answered never a word, and by dint of much step- cutting with an axe they had they got over a little before I arrived at Camp III.
At that delightful spot I found my comrades and Righi very sick and sorry for themselves; the Doctor with a back and a knee, but without traumatic injury to the brain; while, on the other hand, the cephalic enlargement from which he had been suffering had practically disappeared; Righi, somewhat sobered by his adventure to the almost complete suppression of the "Three Men in a Boat" atmosphere, with a sore rib, which nobody could persuade him was not rupture of the heart, a twisted knee, and a "partial moan," which ought to have been audible for miles.
The reason for our rear-guard troubles was soon apparent. Bahadur Singh and Salama, being in obvious difficulties with my sleeping valise and dispatch-box, which I had told them to bring, I wished to send off a couple of regular coolies to their aid, so that I could start off home next morning. But Righi whined that no coolies could ever be got to go up, that he wouldn't take the "responsibility of trying to persuade" them, and so on, till, heartily sick, I turned to Nanga Sirdar, and told him that if he wanted a good testimonial from me I had got to have those things P. D. Q. -- a Hindustani expression signifying "at the earliest possible moment."
Without a murmur the thing was done, and well done. Not two, but twelve men went, and brought down not only my things, but the rest of Camp V as well. Just so the Doctor had been trying to bribe men with presents of boots and claws to take up a third of a load. The coolie, it may be explained, is always "trying it on" to see what his master is made of. For instance, one of them came complaining that for food he had "only sattu." "That's all right," I replied; "after next march you'll get only snow."
Even at Falut they had come to say they could go no farther, because there was no water. No water! when one could wring gallons out of one's clothes. But I told them quite solemnly that I had heard about that, and brought champagne for them. It was only their fun. But if you are fool enough to take these complaints seriously, they naturally play it up to the limit. Consequently, a man who spends his time in stupidly moaning over their wickedness, or being stupidly angry at their little jokes, cursing, grovelling, and whining, all without reason, complains constantly of them and never gets good work out of them. They had got a soft thing and they knew it. The relation of the traveller to his coolies should be that of a father to his children. Not the foolish fondness of the American father, who tries to make up in endearment what he lacks in certainty, but the grave authority and wise kindness of the high-caste Hindu father, or the best type of British father, who teaches his sons to love, honour, and obey him. The first great rule is never to lose your temper; the second, always to keep your temper; the third, if you are really obliged to beat a man, let it be within an inch of his life! Otherwise, he will jeer at the light arm of the sahib. But of course I should have sent Righi back at once when I heard of his ridiculous antics with Mr. White's coolies. He took out his kukri and revolver and threatened them. They knew he would not dare to use either, laughed at him, and went off. But let us not leave out the supernatural interpretation of the facts.
It turns out that Righi, like most-class Italians, is intensely superstitious; he attributed his escape to a little image given him by a Lama, and confessed that he rarely took any steps without consulting it. Probably, therefore, the image was in conspiracy with the Demon of Kinchinjanga to starve me out!
It also appears that he was afraid that people in Darjeeling would "say we had treated him as a servant" and so was discontent with being appointed to the second most important duty in the expedition, that of Transport Officer. As if we were not all servants! As if the proudest title yet arrogated to himself by men were not "Servant of the Servants of God!" It is the mongrel dregs of dollar-ridden America, perhaps the only country in the world where not even the shadow of liberty may fall, that say "hired man" for "servant."

Note:
1. Sic for "Illium" -- ed./TLC

Previous Crowley Classic (part III)                   (to be continued ---Part V and conclusion)


from the Grady Project:

This passage has been selected from Grady's 1954 thesis The Millennial Glow: Myth and Magic in the Marxist Ethic. The editorial elisions in the quotations are Grady's own.

Another Extract from the section on "Magic"
in "The Universe of the New Tribalism"

by Grady Louis McMurtry

Bergson, who gave the modern era its clearest and most precise enunciation of this universe of discourse, says:
Intellect . . . instinctively selects in a given situation whatever is
like something already known; it seeks this out, in order that it may apply
its principle that "like produces like."1
With this before us I feel that we are in a position to appreciate Cornford's analysis of known and knowing among the early tribal Greeks.
In reviewing the psychological doctrines of the earlier schools,
Aristotle remarks: "There are two points especially wherein that which is
animate is held to differ from that which is inanimate, namely motion and
the act of sensation (or perception): and these are, speaking in general,
the two characteristics of soul handed down to us by our predecessors"
(de anim. a,2,2).
The two vital functions of moving and knowing were much less clearly
distinguished by the early philosophers than by Aristotle. With regard to
the first of them -- motion -- the primitive assumption is that whatever is
capable of moving itself or anything else, is alive -- that the only moving
force in the world is Life, or rather soul-substance. The existence of
motion in the universe is thus immediate proof of Thales' doctrine: "The
All has soul in it." Aetius describes the doctrine as follows: "There
extends throughout the elemental moisture (Thales' physis) a divine power
capable of moving it." This divine or magical power is the same as that
"soul" which Thales ascribed to the loadstone, because it moves iron.
Aetius, a late writer, distinguishes more clearly than Thales could have
done, between the "elemental moisture" and the divine power pervading it.
For Thales the moving soul was the same as the ultimate element, recognised
in water, which pervades all things. The same holds of the "ever-living
fire" of Heraclitus.
At first . . . mechanical motion was not distinguished from vital
activity. . . . The second function of Soul -- knowing -- was not at first
distinguished from motion. . . . Sense-perception, not distinguished from
thought, was taken as the type of all cognition, and this is a form of
action at a distance. All such action, moreover, was held to require a
continuous vehicle or medium, uniting the soul which knows to the object
which is known. Further, the soul and its object must not only be thus
linked in physical contact, but they must be alike or akin.2
Understanding of this is of the utmost importance to us because criticism of this primeval tribal mind was to result in Greek philosophy, from which so much of our own rational universe of discourse was ultimately to derive, as schools of thought developed around the critical distinctions that were used to separate the matter of physis into animate and inanimate and the motion of physis into mechanical and vital, vital and divine.
But how does the magican control this universe? Ogden and Richards are very explicit.
The ingenuity of the modern logician tends to conceal the verbal
foundations of his structure, but in Greek philosophy these foundations are
clearly revealed. The earlier writers are full of the relics of primitive
word-magic. To classify things is to name them, and for magic the name of
a thing or group of things is its soul; to know their names is to have
power over their souls. Language itself is a duplicate, a shadow-soul, of
the whole structure of reality. Hence the doctrine of the Logos, variously
conceived as the supreme reality, the divine soul-substance, as the
"Meaning" or reason of everything, and as the "Meaning" or essence of a
name.3
Or as Bergson says, "matter is determined by intelligence."4

Notes:
1. Henri Bergson, Creative Evolution (New York: Henry Holt, 1911), p. 29.
2. Francis M. Cornford, From Religion to Philosophy (London: Arnold, 1912), pp. 131-2.
3. C. K. Ogden and I. A. Richards, The Meaning of Meaning (New York: Harcort, Brace, 1949), p. 31.
4. Bergson, op. cit., p. 199.

Previous Grady Project                   (to be continued)


Primary Sources

Dear Mr. Crowley:
Here is the first letter Grady McMurtry wrote to Crowley, in self introduction. He managed to date it to the wrong year, as many do in January; but otherwise fared well. Crowley was pleased to answer and another letter was sent by Grady not long after. Not much later, Grady was posted to Europe himself, in military service. The two met, and another chapter of history began for the OTO.

1803rd  Ord  MM  Co  (Avn)  (Q)
68th Service Group
Pendleton Field, Ore.
January 4, 1942
{Date is a typo for 1943}

Edward Alexander Crowley, Esq.
93 Jermyn St., S. W. 1
London, England

Dear Sir & Brother,

As one of the lesser children of light I come to you. Almost three years ago I came into contact with the group in Southern California. Since that time I have read, been amazed at, ridiculed, half believed and seriously studied your works. Having spent the last two of those three years in the Army, first as a draftee and gradually working up until I now command a Company, I have not had the requisite time to give a wholehearted study to either your books or those of others on that esoteric principle of mysticism that you have called Magick. I have, however, had time to think. Perhaps the best expression of my thoughts is to be found in my poetry, which seems an outpouring from a deep well of subconsciousness. Never having had the opportunity to study verse forms and styles, most of my efforts have been gropings into the unknown. My conclusion to date might be summed up as follows: Grammar is an attempt to form a logical continuity of thought in words. Poetry may very easily scorn grammar as a mode of expression when visualizing thought as thought in itself may be competent {sic} the illogical. The abandoning of grammatical forms in the expression of emotion may be compared to the unfettering of art in the realm of surrealism. How describe a nightmare logically? Can the true glory of natural phenomena be perceived if viewed through the small end of telescoping words? The mind perceives the substance as unit, sing of it thus if you wish. Verse forms are moulds into which a poetical thought may be poured and cast. Some of these are very beautiful casting and they serve their purpose well as such, however be not deceived that all thought may be expresses as so. As examples of ornamental bric-a-brac I suggest "Dance of the Gargoyle" and "Cyclops". As symbols of untrammeled expression I give you "Spirit of Earth", which might have been called "Creed of the Commando", and "Godhead". As a sample of my overpowering revulsion at your ego-mania I humbly offer "Perturbations". A paradox? Maybe. You are a freak. No normal man could have made such giant strides in the realm of the overdrive (translation: Wakeworld). Therefore you have information which I desire and I see no reason for personal likes or dislikes interfering with the transfer of that knowledge. Your decision as to what I should know, or am capable of knowing, will rest on your decision as to my capacity for learning and for the application of said learning. Before this you must realize my existence and so this communication is for the purpose of introducing myself.

Perhaps some of my perplexity may be explained thus: You "Proclaim the Law of Light, Life, Love and Liberty". You say that "The word of Sin is restriction". Yet my observation of your devotees, those people who are prone to lean back with closed eyes, inhale deeply and exclaim "Ah, Crowley, that ineffable genius", has been that they are more prone to practice a philosophy of death rather than of life. They have given every appearance of being children demanding all the benefits of life, and yet being unwilling to assume the responsibility of perpetuating same. In one particular instance the birth of two children to the order was looked upon with such disfavor that the mother became a veritable outcast. They give every indication of preferring abortion to birth. I am not exactly the parternal {sic} type. Nor have I a great yearning to stroll the midnight floor packing a screaming brat. But while it may be all very well to be "a bornless babe in the womb of the universe" it is also very true that life, and a way of life, can only be carried on by strong men who are willing to accept responsibility. Thus my dilemma. Is this which I see what you actually preach or have our interpreters bungled the job?

Another example of foggy thinking may be seen in the matter of the "Great Chipmunk Experiment". Time and again I have listened to learned discussions comparing "stocking up that place in the country for purposes of weathering the storm of inevitable economic chaos to follow this war". I have yet to hear a discussion comprehending the fact that such an experiment would be worse than futile. They can't seem to realize the fact that America, 1942 version, or '43, sustains a dynamic economy. I would appear to be beyond their comprehension that should such a tidal wave of industrial collapse ensue as they so glibly speak of that a full ninety per cent of the population of this continent would perish in one gigantic orgasm of anarchy. That when this black run of Nihilism had run its course there would not even be a fragment of the body politic upon which to build a civilization. Is this also a part of your philosophy or are these followers of yours just naturally sleep walkers.

As I have previously stated my time has been limited for the actual practice of Magick. Perhaps my greatest handicap was that of not having a counselor, some one to whom I could turn when those myriads of minor points confused the neophyte. Of course a person was appointed for this function, but I was not in a position to appreciate those months of silence. Thus my few attempts at simple trances, I achieved the Lotus Seat as a comfortable position until my duties called me away from even this, ended in defeat. My closest approximation to a true experiment was an exercise of my own devising, the principle action of which was, while in the Lotus asana, to throw my arms sharply out and up while roaring something about "in the form of the Striking Falcon". Maybe it was a manifestation of Thoth but results were indecisive.

I will greatly appreciate your answer to the questions I have asked as well as any sign you may wish to give me concerning the course that I should follow in the archiving the full mesh of my own "overdrive".




Fraternally,

GRADY L. McMURTRY,
2nd Lt., Ordnance.

Incls: Spirit of Earth, Ballet Sol, Dance of the Gargoyle, Cyclops, AMUCK!, Zeus, Godhead, Perturbations.

--oOo--

Here's Crowley's first letter to Grady McMurtry, in response to the above. The probable typo of 1942 for 1943 in Grady's earlier letter may be responsible for Crowley's suggestion to contact Germer instead. On the other hand, Crowley might simply have intended it as a helpful suggestion.

-oOo-

Mark of the Beast letterhead
93  Jermyn  Street,
     London, W. 1.
            England

2nd March, 1943

Dear Sir and Brother,

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

I was very pleased to have your letter of January 4th, and most interested in its contents. With regard to your poetry, I am very favourably impressed. You possess that vigour and virility which is absent from practically all modern verse. The presence of these qualities in my own work is perhaps the principal cause of the fear and hatred with which I am everywhere regarded. I hope these remarks will encourage you to persevere. I have one criticism to make, which if you take in the proper spirit, should be of considerable use to you, especially as you are evidently still quite a young man; that is, that you can improve your mastery of the language and put a somewhat higher polish on your work. This is usually the fruit of experience; if you keep a poem by you for a few months and then pick it up again more or less by accident, you will see what I mean, and be in a position to add the final touches.

I was enlightened and horrified by what you say about the California crowd. What you tell me is truly abominable. The official paper -- Liber C.I. on the duties and privileges of Members is absolutely specific on the subject that you mention. Note, in particular, Clauses 34 and 37 - 39. I hope you have a copy of this document. It is published in Volume III of the Equinox No. 1, pages 211 s.q.q. (what is usually called for short the Blue Equinox). I am sending a copy of the relevant paragraph in your letter to my representative in New York, with whom you should get into immediate touch.

I may say that I am extremely dissatisfied with the whole position at Pasadena. Ever since I met Smith in Vancouver I have heard practically nothing of him except sordid squabbles. Strong measures are now being taken to clean up the whole mess. You should please reflect that Smith has constantly refused to report to me what, if anything, is going on in his part of the world. Every fresh piece of information that I get is accordingly disconnected with every other piece. I cannot begin to form a mental picture of the -- am I to call it a community?

So far as I can follow what you say, I cannot help thinking that the present system is certain to collapse completely. Suppose you draw a parallel between the present time and that of the Caesars. The Pax Romana made travel and commerce between all parts of the known world comparatively easy. It was necessary to unify local systems and the combination of Judaism and paganism which was subsequently called Christianity effected this, but the new magical formula of the Aeon of Osiris was not thoroughly understood; and, in fact, previous systems were bound to perish in order to make way for it. The external result was the collapse of the Roman Empire and the Dark Ages. Today we see the same conditions; steamships, railways, telegraphs, telephones, wireless, airtravel and transport have almost abolished distance. The result is that this letter will, with any luck, reach you about as quickly as it would have done in the days of sailing ships!

The corruption of mankind is due to the overwhelming of the noble by the base, of the individual (and remember that "Every man and every woman is a star") by the herd. Mass production has almost destroyed craftsmanship; but it may quite soon become impossible for mass production to be continued at a profit. It doesn't matter whether we consider this desirable or no; it is a question of actual possibility.

You seem to regard with apprehension the annihilation of 90% of the malignant and stupid insects which you describe. Personally, I cannot see that it matters two hoots. What we want is the establishment of a principle; in the same way, the Commander-in-Chief unhesitatingly flings men by the hundred thousand into the jaws of destruction -- that his cause may triumph. I cannot see much point in pretending to be sorry about it.

I don't know whether these remarks help you at all, even so far as the explanation of my own position goes; in fact, the question arises whether I have a position. I am the servant of those who sent forth the Book of the Law. I can really do little more than refer every enquirer to that Book.

With regard to what you say about your own practice, of course I am completely in the dark. I am very surprised to hear that anyone attempted to instruct you in any way; I certainly know of nobody who is in the least competent to do so. I do hope you will communicate at once with Mr. Karl J. Germer, 133 West 71, N.Y.C. With him you will be able to exchange letters without the lapse of such long periods of time as if you write to me. Of course, if you should be drafted to this country, it would give me the greatest pleasure to meet you, and to do everything that I can personally to help you.

I will not detain your further; to do so would be more likely to confuse you than otherwise. But kindly acknowledge this, and give me such further information as you can.

Love is the law, love under will.

              Yours fraternally,

                                                                      Edwd Aleas Crowley

-oOo-

We conclude this set with a Grady's second letter to Crowley. Note the error in the opening Thelemic salutation -- quick to learn but not yet right. This set of letters is timeless, in a sense. Over the last 20 years of responding to OTO correspondence, I've seen variations on this scenario many times. The approach and the experiences change from person to person, but many will recognize the present in the past here in many ways. -- Bill Heidrick

-oOo-

1803rd  Ord  MM  Co.  (Avn)(Q)
68th Service Group
APO 411, UNIT #1
% Postmaster
Los Angeles, California
May 11, 1943

Dear Sir and Brother,

"Do what thou will shall be the whole of the law" {sic}

I hope you will pardon my delay in answering your letter. My duties are rather strenuous.

Inclosed find a copy of a letter from a member of the Group in So. Calif., also a copy of my reply. Make of it what you will. I hope that it will give you some aid in clearing up this affair. In perusing the inclosed letter you may come to the conclusion that I am bewailing a great loss in the person of the oft mentioned Claire. Such is not the case but perhaps a bit of explanation which I did not need to give Jack, as he is aware of the situation, might help. We met and fell into what is commonly known as "love" while still going to school. I was 21, she was 18. I discovered the Order first and we both took to it like duck to water. We were instinctively "at home". It never occurred to us to doubt the personal integrity of our benefactors so obvious were the great truths they had in their possession. At first, that is. In fact we didn't catch on for some time. But the experience was worth it. I can truthfully say, and with the courage of conviction, that had I not been in the army but had been free to choose my own locale and associates that Claire and I would not have been married. She did not want to be. I did not "want" to be. But when one is not longer the captain of one's fate certain expedients are in order. So we made as much of a farce of it as possible. One of our witnesses, a friend of mine, was prevailed upon to loan me his DeMolay ring, which I slipped on bottoms-up so fast that the J.P. was caught off base. Somewhere in Frisco I found a bronze statuette of "The Sprit of the Flame" (as is pictured on the back of "Balthazar, the Magus", I believe). This we kept above the fire place with long black candles on each side. We probably had some idea that we were playing with the Goetia. You know -- "Ebon candles I have burned -- Cabalistic circles twined -- by the moons occulted light -- In the waning of the night -- etc." Maybe we were. But we were happy. For awhile. But what had seemed a makeshift, temporary expedient grew into a wall of darkness. We had known from the first that to follow our Karma, or whatever, we would have to go our separate ways. But it was so easy to keep on the way we were. The rift came at the appropriate time. I had been promised my first furlough so Claire preceded me to L.A. I arrived in Los Angeles on the morning of December 7, 1941. The first thing I saw as I stepped off the bus was "Pearl Harbor Attached, all military personal are ordered to their posts". That was a quick trip. As I was on 24 hour duty for some months thereafter Claire stayed in L.A. with the mob and found the guts to go through with what she felt was necessary. Besides, as I said before, it was much fun. Naturally I found out. To say that I was hurt rather terribly is an understatement. Even now I can hardly conceive of that blind, flaming blast of pure rage that grabbed my ego and burned it clean over a roaring tornado of primeval fury. That which I had held holy had been thrown to the dogs, and I was young enough, and Fool enough, and Child enough, to know hurt in its deepest sense. And I was man enough to control and rise above it. I was poet enough to exalt it. And perhaps I was sadist enough to even enjoy it. So which? I had advanced, I believe, one step on the road to the Great Work. No longer will emotional ties be allowed to hinder my thought processes.

Jack may have attached some importance to our divorce. The truth of the matter is, to paraphrase you, that tho we may attain a state of consciousness that considers such act as communion with one's Adonai -- and that in the light of this the scars of syphilis are as holy wafers -- yet to actually contract this disease is to hinder the progress to one's Karma. Just as jumping off a cliff would be. If she had kept herself within the order I would not have insisted -- but when she started taking on the herd -- I quit.

I hope I have not bored you to much. I know it is rather childish -- but it was a great drama -- while it lasted.

At the moment I am marking time so far as study goes. Conditions do not encourage prolonged meditation or much reading. I am, however, keeping one part of my mind on detached service always attempting to maintain a state of consciousness such as is implied by the following quotations from the Kybalion -- "Under, and back of, the Universe of Time, Space, Change, is ever to be found The Substantial Reality -- the Fundamental Truth" -- "The half-wise, recognizing the comparative unreality of the Universe imagine that they may defy its laws -- such are vain and presumptuous fools, and they are broken against the rocks and torn asunder by the elements for reason of their folly. The truly wise, knowing the nature of the Universe, use law against laws; the higher against the lower; and by the Art of Alchemy transmute that which is undesirable into that which is worthy, and thus triumph. Mastery consists not in abnormal dress, visions and fantastic imaginings or living, but in using the higher forces against the lower -- escaping the pains of the lower by vibrating on the higher. Transmutation, not presumptuous denial, is the weapon of the Master" -- "To THE ALL the Universe is mental -- to the finite the Universe is very real indeed."

I haven't time to go into detail about the "Great Chipmunk Experiment" at the moment. I have to enlarge on this at the first opportunity. In fact I will need to do so to bring out certain points on which I do not agree -- in a constructive sense -- with the policies of the Order as I understand them.

"Love is the law, love under will"

2 Incls: #1 Ltr fr Jack
     #2 Ltr to Jack

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Events Calendar for June 2000 e.v.

6/3/00The Rite of Saturn at Grace's
in Berkeley. 8:00 PM
(510) 537-3212Thelema Ldg.
6/4/00Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
6/7/00College of Hard NOX 8 PM
with Mordecai in the library
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
6/11/00Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
6/15/00The Rite of Jupiter at Grace's
in Berkeley. 8:00 PM
(510) 537-3212Thelema Ldg.
6/18/00Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
6/19/00Section II reading group with
Caitlin: Wolfram von Eschenbach's
"Parzival". 8PM Library
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
6/20/00Summer Solstice Ritual 8:00 PM
in Horus Temple.
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
6/25/00Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
6/26/00Sirius Oasis meets in Berkeley 8PM(510) 527-2855Sirius Oasis
6/27/00The Rite of Mars at Julia Morgan
Theater in Berkeley. 8:00 PM
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
6/28/00College of Hard NOX 8 PM
with Mordecai in the library
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.

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.

Thelema Lodge
Ordo Templi Orientis
P.O. Box 2303
Berkeley, CA 94702 USA

Phone: (510) 652-3171 (for events info and contact to Lodge)

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