Thelema Lodge Calendar for July 2003 e.v.
Thelema Lodge Calendar
for July 2003 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, 2003 e.v.
Ordo Templi Orientis
Berkeley, CA 94702 USA
July 2003 e.v. at Thelema Lodge
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Lodge Members and Officers
Thelema Lodge will be making a pilgrimage this month to the grave site of
Gabriel Montenegro, in observation of the greater feast 34 years ago of this
significant California Thelemite. (The date also marks the eighteenth
anniversary of the greater feast of the founder of our lodge, Caliph Grady
Louis McMurtry.) Meet at the lodge by 11:00 on Saturday morning 12th July to
accompany a group riding BART together across the bay. We will be walking
(less than a mile) from the Colma station to the Cypress Lawn Memorial Park.
Those driving from the peninsula, or otherwise traveling separately, may meet
us at the cemetery around noon.
Gabriel Montenegro IX
Dr Gabriel Montenegro Vargas is an enigmatic figure in O.T.O. history, and
many details of his biography remain mysterious. He is the only individual
known to have been initiated into the Order during Karl Germer's
administration, and after this occurred in 1948 e.v. no other initiations were
to be conducted in O.T.O. for over twenty years.
He was born on 8th January 1907 e.v. in Zapotlán, Mexico. During his youth
and early adulthood he traveled back and forth from Mexico to the San
Francisco Bay area, where he later trained in the healing arts and qualified
to practice as a doctor of chiropractic.
During this time, he began to take an interest in mystical practices and
fraternities. He studied with Toltic Indians, and he was also raised as a
freemason, being initiated to the 33 of the F. & A. M. in Mazatlan. When he
sought initiation in the O.T.O. during the 1940s e.v. the only group available
in Mexico was a non-initiating branch of the Ordo Templi Orientis Antiqua
chartered by Arnaldo Krumm-Heller. After coming to the United States for his
initiation into Germer's O.T.O. he continued in regular attendance as a
devoted member of the Order, in association with Agape Lodge in Los Angeles.
He was eventually initiated to the IX and took the name of Fr Zöpirón.
Another name, Theophilus, may have been reserved for the A A in his work as
a Probationer under Roy Leffingwell.
Montenegro, or "Monty," as he was often called, is also remembered for his
pointed opposition to Grady McMurtry's plan to organize members to pressure
Germer into restarting O.T.O. initiations in the late 1950s e.v. (compare Grady's later account of their disagreement in his essay on "Continuity in the Order" reprinted in our "Grady Project" column last May.)
In 1966 e.v. Montenegro began a correspondence with members of Hermann
Metzger's Swiss O.T.O., and the following year he visited Metzger at Stein in
Zurich. The reception he received there seemed warm at first, but when
Montenegro declined to accept Metzger as the O.H.O. of O.T.O. their relations
became increasingly hostile. Montenegro described being awakened during the
night by repeated loud noises, and upon emerging from his room to investigate,
finding Metzger seated at a table in an advanced state of inebriation. His
host was slamming a liquor glass down upon the board and yelling "I am the
O.H.O.! I am the O.H.O.!" Montenegro left soon afterwards.
In 1969 Montenegro voiced his support for re-starting O.T.O. with Grady
McMurtry, although he died on 14th July before an organizational meeting could
take place. The funeral was overseen by the F. & A. M. Lodge # 434 in Daly
City, and he was buried at Cypress Lawn Memorial Park in Colma. He was survived by his wife Marguerite (who died in 1999 e.v.) and a daughter, Sister
Marie Angelica, now a Notre Dame nun.
Gabriel Montenegro's tombstone is inscribed "Gabriel Montenegro V. / A
Thelemite / 1907 - 1969." Above the inscription, flanked by two crosses, is
a stylized O.T.O. lamen, which contains inscriptions denoting his membership
in the O.T.O., the A A, and the Scottish Rite of freemasonry.
|-- ||biographical material and photographs|
contributed by Frater Libanus
Practices Make Perfect
To his own students and to all of us in the Thelemic tradition Aleister
Crowley makes quite plain, in De Lege Libellum (Liber CL) and in the Book of
Wisdom or Folly (Liber Aleph) and elsewhere, that a regular regimen of daily
practice is essential, both in the fields of magick and yoga, in coming to
know and to do the True Will, and in performing the Great Work. To this end a
group of senior initiates at Thelema Lodge have drafted a suggested curriculum
for personal ritual and yogic practices, suitable both for initiates in the M
M M grades of O.T.O. and for non-initiate magicians engaged in parallel
training along Thelemic lines. The class series on Foundations of Magical
Practice meets on the second Thursday evening of each month in the lodge
library or in the temple, from 7:30 until 10:00 o'clock. In our explorations
of the curriculum we will discuss the theory and practice both of ritual
magick and yoga. This month, meeting on Thursday evening 10th July, the group
will take a deep look at Liber O, the Book of the Hand and the Arrow, and its
outline of the techniques of the Assumption of God Forms and the Vibration of
Divine Names. From there, with our basic outline in place, we will go on in
the series to examine a variety of basic practices. The facilitators are
brother Gregory Peters, sister Leigh Ann Hussey, and brother Samuel Shult, who
encourage aspirants at all levels of experience to participate in a spirit of
mutual respect and shared understanding. Make electronic inquiries to
Leigh Ann's Web mail; or call the lodge for directions and join in.
Om is Where the Art Is
Brother Jeffrey Sommer continues his Mantra-Yoga series this month at
Thelema Lodge with a meeting on Thursday evening 17th July at 8:00 in Horus
Temple. Special topics to be addressed at this session include composition of
personal mantras and the Hindu worship technique known as doing puga. Those
attending would do well to bring a mala (a rosary of 108 beads) for counting
the repetitions. Come prepared to do some serious chanting!
What for Lust and What for Lore
Join Caitlin and the Section Two reading group in the library at Thelema
Lodge on Monday evening 21st July from 8:00 until 9:30 for a reading and
discussion of another medieval poem presenting an assembly of birds who debate
the nature and meaning of love. The Parliament of Fowls, in the Middle
English verse of Geoffrey Chaucer, is altogether different from the Sufi
devotional anthology we found in last month's Persian bird poem. Chaucer's
version (which was in no perceptible way influenced by Attar's work two
centuries earlier) presents a freewheeling naturalistic romp in the Garden of
Love, with memorable individuation of the aviary characters we meet there, and
lively debate between their differing personal styles and alternate
philosophical perspectives. Chaucer (who lived from about 1342 until 1400)
seems to have written The Parliament of Fowls to read aloud as part of a
celebration at the court of King Richard II on the feast of St Valentine, 14th
February 1383. The poem is composed of precisely one hundred stanzas in the
intricate seven-line pattern known in medieval French as "rime royal," which
Chaucer was the first to adapt for use in English. Befitting the occasion he explores the subject of love in his poem, not only from within the romance
tradition of artificial chivalric devotion, but also much more broadly in the
realms of natural history and moral philosophy. In order to speak freely to
his courtly audience Chaucer adopted the pose of a scholar attempting to
comprehend his subject simply by reading all about it, and in the poem he
recounts a dream he had one night after pondering an august text of ancient
philosophy. This dream narrative allows the poet to conflate a wide variety
of styles, characters, symbols, and situations into a compelling discourse
which jumps from narrative to dialogue to description and back again with
extraordinary freedom and range.
It will be easy for Thelemites to find in Chaucer's bird poem a core
inquiry into the meaning of love under will. The Parliament of Fowls opens by
examining love as a psychological and philosophical concept. Researching into
this subject the poet has been studying an old battered volume entitled
Tullyus of the Drem of Scipioun, and in forty-nine lines he offers a precise
of its cosmology along with the ethical lessons to be drawn from it. It is of
course the dream of Scipio Africanus described by Marcus Tullius Cicero (our
text last spring in the Section Two group), and when he retires from his
reading the weary scholar-poet has his own dream in which the elder Africanus
appears to fetch him from bed for a brisk inspection of the cosmos. Then as a
particular reward for his studious reading the dream-guide conducts Chaucer
into a paradisical private garden where he can make close observations of how
nature and culture have defined the conduct of love. In an elaborate parody
of Dante's Divine Comedy (of which Chaucer was among the very first English
readers) the poet follows his ancient Roman guide up to a gate with dire
warning inscribed above, but when he hesitates to enter old Africanus simply
shoves him through, with the assurance that he will be safe as a tourist in
the other world. As the poet gazes curiously upon the allegorical figure of
Venus, he begins to examine the erotic drive as a force of nature. The
dreamer is allowed to listen in as the wise goddess Nature performs the
intricate administrative duties necessary for love to function as a biological
process. Nature oversees the selection of mates among the birds in
springtime, and in the problems encountered in their coupling the poet
covertly contrasts various human attitudes toward love. After protracted
debate there is a general clamor for partners among the birds, and in their
flutter and cacophony the dreamer is awakened -- to go on with his studies.
Previous Section Two Next Section Two
This essay, which first appeared in volume 35 of The English Review (London: July 1922) on pages 65-70, was a sequel to Crowley's similarly anonymous article in those same pages one month previous, "The Great Drug Delusion" (with the by-line "by a New York Specialist"). That first piece was one of our earliest items in the present column, reprinted in the Thelema Lodge Calendar for September 1991 e.v.
The Drug Panic
by a London Physician
It is a long while since I was at school, and I may have forgotten some
things, but I remember well that I was taught there to beware of a certain
type of fallacy called non distributio medii; and this fallacy is at the base
of all the recent most baneful, most mischievous, most wasteful and most
insolent legislation which we see on all hands, but nowhere more than in the
matter of such follies as the Dangerous Drugs Act.
The present writer agrees entirely with the thesis expounded by a New York
Specialist in the June issue of The English Review. In this matter of the
Dangerous Drugs Act Parliament seems to have been inspired by ignorance made
deeper by the wildest ravings of that class of newspaper which aspires to
thrill its readers -- if reading it can be called -- with blood-curdling
And here is where the fallacy I mentioned comes in. We are all laudably
busy in "cleaning up" Sin in its hydra-headed and Protean forms. Very good:
we hear that a woman abuses morphine, or a man goes mad and destroys his
family with an axe.
We then argue that as the morphine and the axe can injure society, it must
be made as difficult as possible for any one to buy these engines of atrocity.
No! we do not do so in the case of the axe, because it is obvious to everybody
that there is a large class of very poor men whose livelihood would be taken
away if they could not get axes.
Then why does not the same argument apply in the case of the morphine?
Because the public is ignorant of the existence of "a large class of very poor
men" who would die or go insane if morphine were withheld from them.
Bronchitis and asthma, in particular, are extremely common among the lower
classes, in consequence of exposure, bad air, and other insanitary conditions.
One of my own patients is a most brilliant exponent of electrical science,
endowed with a creative genius which would have enriched the world in a
thousand ways had he not been hampered all his life by spasmodic asthma. This
man cannot live and work at all unless he has a supply of heroin in case he is
seized by a spasm. His ill-health had prevented him amassing a fortune; he
is, in fact, extremely poor. Now what is the effect of the Dangerous Drugs
Act on him -- and he is only one of probably 100,000 similar cases in these
islands? Only this -- that he must trudge round constantly to his doctor to
obtain a new prescription: this means time and money which he can ill afford.
Also, it might mean danger to his life, if he happened to forget his supply of
the drug, and were seized with an attack; for he could hardly explain -- in
the violence of the paroxysm -- to a chance-summoned doctor that heroin, and
heroin alone, would relieve him.
Nor does the mischief end here. (It is, to begin with, infernally un-
English and unsportsmanlike to spy upon professional men, the pharmacist as
well as the doctor.) All prescriptions for dangerous drugs are retained by
the dispenser. He can obtain drugs as he requires them from the wholesale
houses, and the transfer must be reported to the Central Spy Station.
Detective-inspectors then drop in at all hours on the pharmacist, weigh what
he has in stock, and see if the amount dispensed tallies with the amount prescribed. Woe to the wight who cannot account for the eighth of a grain!
(It is not my business, but it is very much the business of the public, to
inquire into the cost of conducting this elaborate infamy.)
And this microscopical meddling with reputable and responsible druggists,
while the stuff is being sold all over England in wholesale quantities!
But it does not stop here, even. The spies note the quantities prescribed
by each physician, and sherlock him home. The statistics show that Dr Black
had prescribed 2 ounces 3 pennywights 1 scruple and 238 grains of morphia
during the last month, while Dr White has only prescribed 416 grains in the
same period. As Dr White happens to be a kidney, and Dr Black a cancer,
specialist, the anomaly is not so remarkable as it appears to Inspector
Smellemout, who has no knowledge of medicine whatever, and cares for nothing
but the pleasures of bullying and the hopes of promotion. So he goes to Dr
Black, and warns him! The D. D. Act has nothing before its eyes but a
(largely imaginary) class of "addicts." Dr Black is suspected of selling
prescriptions to people who are not in real need of the drug. In America,
traps are laid for doctors. A detective, usually a "lady," goes to the doctor
with a false story of symptoms read up for the purpose from a medical book.
She not improbably adds to the effect by shameless seduction; and if she gets
the prescription, one way of another, the unhappy doctor is "railroaded" to
jail. We have not reached that height of civilization in England as yet; but
we have only to keep on going!
Now what is the effect on Dr Black? He has been, we may suppose,
established as a physician, with perhaps an appointment at a leading hospital,
for the past thirty years. He has found it necessary to prescribe constantly
increasing doses of morphia -- as the only palliative -- in hopeless cases of
cancer. And now an inspector who doesn't know his toe from his tibia is
sitting opposite to him, notebook in hand, browbeating him. "Do you mean to
tell me that after prescribing morphia daily to Miss Grey for nearly eleven
years she has not become an addict?" And so on.1 Of course she is an addict,
as much as we ourselves are addicted to breathing -- stop it for one brief
hour, and death often ensues! Strange! No law about it yet, either --
The upshot of the Inspector's visit is to make Dr Black try to prescribe
less morphia. In other words, the law tries to compel him, under pain of the
possible loss of his reputation or even of his diploma, to violate his oath as
a physician to use his judgment and experience for his patients' benefit.
And meanwhile, Dr White, that good man, who prescribes so little morphia,
has an even better brother, Dr Snow White, who never prescribes it at all,
but, being highly esteemed as a consultant, is often sent for in difficult
cases by Continental physicians, and returns to England with a few pounds of
various "Dangerous Drugs" safely bestowed and sells them discreetly at
enormous prices to his exclusive clientele of "fast" or "ultra-smart" people
My colleague from New York was a thousand times right to insist that the
whole question is one of moral education. And what does the D. D. Act
actually do? It sets at naught the moral education which no self-respecting
physician or even pharmacist can have failed to acquire during his training in
science. The Legislature deliberately determines to distrust the very people
who are legally responsible for the physical well-being of the nation, and
puts them under the thumb of the police, as if they were potential criminals.
It makes a diploma waste paper. It drives the patient into the hands of the
quack and the peddler of drugs.
Nobody in England -- or America either for that matter -- seems to have the
remotest idea of the enormity of public ignorance. Compulsory education has
made every noodle the peer of the greatest knowers and thinkers -- in his own
estimation. The really educated classes have lost their prestige. The public
imagines itself entitled to pronounce with authority on questions which the
experts hold most debatable. Yet instead of "education" having leveled the
community, knowledge has advanced so rapidly in so many directions that the
specialist has been forced to specialize still further. The gap between (say)
the Professor of Organic Chemistry and the yokel is vastly greater than it was
in 1872. But the specialist is distrusted more and more, even in England. In
America he is not only distrusted, he is hated. There is an epidemic of
witch-finding, one is tempted to say. If democracy is to mean that
intellectual superiority is a police offence, there seems no reason for not
adopting the Bulshevik theories at once. And there is certainly no difficulty
in understanding why democracies have in the past invariably led to the
extinction of the nations which adopted them. The whole essence of Evolution
is to let the best man win: yet our recent theory seems to be that the best
man, the "sport," is necessarily a danger to society. The English
Constitution is based upon a hierarchical principle; men are to be tested in
every respect, and those who succeed are entrusted with power, while the
weakest must go to the wall, as Nature intends and insists that they shall.
But now, apparently with the charitable design of ensuring that none but the
weakest, physically and morally, shall propagate their kind, we send our best
men into a type of warfare where neither courage nor intelligence can be of
the slightest avail; we make politics impossible for men of high principle or
decent feeling; and we end by telling those who have risked their lives time
and again in the pursuit of that knowledge which will enable us to prepare a
stronger and cleaner race of men for the future that they are not to be
trusted to prescribe for their own patients!
We are patient, we physicians, we warriors in an age-long battle against
disease, ninety-five per cent. of which is the direct result of ignorance,
vice, and stupidity; that is perhaps why we remain quiet under the foul and
senseless insult of the Dangerous Drugs Act.
But the inhibition acts in another way. Already, just as the best
representatives of English life refuse to go into politics, we see that the
best qualified men and women refuse to be subjected to the ignominy
inseparable from the profession of teaching.
Those who are already in the mire prefer to stay there, or feel that there
is no way out. But they warn the newcomer against entering.
Similarly, if the prestige of the pharmacist is to go, he will be forced to
earn his living as he does in America by opening ice-cream-soda fountains and
similar undignified methods of compensating himself for the self-respect which
insane legislation has torn from him; and the medical profession will be
filled by men who have no true love of knowledge or pity for humanity, but are
in a hurry to put up a brass plate, and push their way to the front.
A story to end! The reductio ad absurdum -- pray pardon the undemocratic
phrase -- is given by the case of the University of ----, one of our six most
This body ran out of its supply of cocaine; a small quantity was urgently
required for research work. Application was made in due form.
It was refused.
Etc., etc., etc., for all the world like "a jolly chapter of Rabelais."
The matter eventually reached the Privy Council!!!
It was refused. More correspondence.
. . . Etc. as before.
The Scientific Research Society took up the matter on behalf of the
University. More correspondence, etc. -- and there the affair still is. But
think of what might have happened! Imagine all those old professors solemnly
sitting round their board-table sniffing cocaine in the hope of One Last Jag!
And they could have sent a boy to Switzerland and got all they wanted in three
Previous Crowley Classics Next Crowley Classics
1. A really self-respecting doctor would simply call his servants, tell them
"Throw this gentleman out," and fight the matter
in the Courts to the death.
Alas! that so few of us can afford the luxury of self-respect; we have too
spectre of wife and children at our ears, whispering "Compromise!
from the Grady Project:
This previously unpublished poem was found in the author's typescript in the
editorial archives of the Magickal Link. Copyright © O.T.O.
Our Lady Babalon
by Grady L. McMurtry
|What use have I for virgins?|
| A virgin is clumsy and shy.|
| Give me a woman that's lusty,|
| A woman who knows life as I.|
| I, who with Bacchus as father|
| Roamed the Laphystian ridge;|
| I want a woman who judges|
| The strength of the phallic bridge.|
| Cursed is she who is sold|
| A maid on the nuptual marts,|
| I'll take a woman who knows|
| The innermost, erotic arts.|
| A woman may love as the earth|
| That has known the varied caress,|
| Each year a different lover --|
| The rain of the wild wilderness.|
| And yet she remaineth a woman|
| A star that is willful with pride,|
| Her path she may choose as she pleases|
| Her steed is the morning to stride.|
| Her hair is the glory of dawning|
| Her eyes are the rivers of day|
| Her body is full and voluptuous|
| Her will is of life as she may.|
| For this is the secret of woman|
| To Live and to Love and to Be;|
| And this is my quest of the Old Gods,|
| Give me a woman that's free!|
| Free from the taint of corruption|
| Which preaches that sex is a lie!|
| Free in the knowledge that She is|
| A one with Nuit in the sky.|
| A woman that is life, and loves|
| With the pure flame of joy and grace!|
| This is the woman the world needs|
| To mother the super-man race!|
Previous Grady Project Next Grady Project
from the Library Shelf
An Adventure Among the Rosicrucians, by a Student of Occultism (Boston: Occult Publishing Co., 1887), is a novel much along the lines of the many "utopian" stories being published at the time. True to the pattern, a lone narrator makes a fantastic visit to an ideal community and tours the entire facility with a guide who sets forth the virtues of the local (imaginary) life-style. Things have been carefully organized and controlled so that everyone leads an stable, efficient, communal, and intentional life. The sample passage given here comes from the opening of the third chapter, pages 78 through 95.
Franz Hartmann, a IX member of O.T.O. prior to the Order's reformation under Theordore Reuss and Aleister Crowley, was born in the Bavarian village of Donauwerth on 22nd November 1838. After completing medical studies at the University of Munich in 1865 he left for Paris, and ended up taking a position as ship's physician on a steamliner bound for New York. For eighteen years he practiced medicine and traveled throughout the United States and Mexico, living at various times in New Orleans, Vera Cruz, Mexico City, Clear Creek, Colorado (where he was elected county coroner), Salt Lake City, and the San Francisco bay area. He studied the religions of American Indian tribes, spending time with Seneca, Shawnee, and Choctaw communities. He closely observed a number of spiritualistic mediums and attempted to measure various psychic phenomena. Reading The Theosphist magazine, he began corresponding with Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott. Late in 1883 he sailed from San Francisco to join them in India, where he soon came to have mixed feelings about the spiritual politics in the Adyar headquarters of the Theosphical Society. During a minor crisis when a few of Blavatsky's many tricks were exposed by the Society for Psychical Research, Hartmann escorted her out of India for a secluded vacation in Italy, and afterwards made his way back to his native Bavarian Alps. His last decades were spent in the mountains outside Salzburg, and he died nearby on 7th August 1912 e.v.
an excerpt from
Among the Rosicrucians
by Franz Hartmann
We stepped out into the corridor and entered the garden. The palm-trees
and exotic plants, by which we were surrounded, formed a strong contrast to
the weird and desolate scenery, with its fields of ice and scrub-pines, which
I had seen before entering this enchanted valley. High bushes of fuchsias
changed with rose-bushes, and all were covered with the most beautiful
flowers; the air was perfumed from the odor of many varieties of hyacinths,
heliotropes, and other plants whose names I do not remember. Nevertheless,
the place was not a hot-house; for there was no other roof over it than the
clear blue sky. I wondered whether perhaps the garden was heated from below
the surface, and the thought came into my mind that so much luxury seemed not
to agree with the views, expressed by the Adept, that those who live within
the paradise of their own souls do not care for external sensual gratification. But
the Imperator seemed to known my thought even before it had taken definite
form in my mind, and said:
"We have created these illusions to make your visit to this place an
agreeable one in every respect. All these trees and plants which you see,
require no gardeners, and are inexpensive; they cost us nothing but an effort
of our imagination."
I went up to one of the rose-bushes and broke one of the roses. It was a
real rose, as real as I had ever seen one before; its odor was sweet, and it
had just unfolded its leaves in the rays of the mid-day sun.
"Surely," I said, "this rose which I hold in my hand cannot be an illusion,
or an effect of my imagination?"
"No," answered the Adept, "it is not produced by your own imagination, but
it is a product of the imagination of nature, whose processes can be guided by
the spiritual will of the Adept. The whole world, with its solid planets, its
mountains of granite, its oceans and rivers, the whole earth with all its
multifarious forms, is nothing else but a world of the imagination of the
Universal Mind, which is the creator of forms. Forms are nothing real, they
are merely illusions or shapes of substance; a form without substance is
unthinkable and cannot exist. But the only substance of which we know is the
universal primordial element of matter, constituting the substance of
Universal Mind, the A'kâsa. This element of matter is invisibly present
everywhere; but only when it assumes a certain state of density, sufficient to
resist the penetrating influence of the terrestrial light, does it come
within the reach of your sensual perception, and assume for you an objective
shape. The universal power of will penetrates all things. Guided by the
spiritual intelligence of the Adept, whose consciousness pervades all his
surroundings, it creates in the Universal Mind those shapes which the Adept
imagines; for the sphere of the Universal Mind, where he lives, is his own
mind, and there is no difference between the latter and the former, as far as
the sphere of the latter extends. By an occult process, which cannot be at
present explained to you, but which exists principally in an effort of will,
the shapes thus created in the mind-substance of the Adept are rendered dense,
and thereby become objective and real to you."
"I acknowledge," I said, "that this is still incomprehensible to me. Can
an image formed in your head come out of your head and assume a material
The Adept seemed to be amused at my ignorance, and smilingly answered: "Do
you believe that the sphere of the mind in which man lives exists only within
the circumference of his skull? I should be sorry for such a man; for he
would not be able to see or perceive anything whatever, except the processes
going on in that part of his mind contained within his skull. The whole world
would be to him nothing but impenetrable and incomprehensible darkness. He
would not be able to see the sun or any external object; for man can perceive
nothing except that which exists within his own mind. But fortunately for
man, the sphere of the mind of each individual man reaches as far as the
stars. It reaches as far as his power of perception reaches. His mind comes
in contact with all things, however distant they may be from his physical
body. Thus his mind -- not his brain -- receives the impressions; but these
impressions come to his consciousness within his physical brain, which is
merely the centre in which the messages of the mind are received."
After giving this explanation, the Adept, evidently still seeing some
doubts in my mind, directed me to look at a magnolia-tree which stood at a
short distance. It was a tree of perhaps sixty feet in height, and covered with
great, white, beautiful flowers. While I looked, the tree began to appear
less and less dense. The green foliage faded into gray, so that the white
blossoms could hardly be distinguished from the leaves; it became more and
more shadowy and transparent; it seemed to be merely the ghost of a tree, and
finally it disappeared entirely from view.
"Thus," continued the Adept, "you see that tree stood in the sphere of my
mind as it stood in yours. We are all living within the sphere of each
other's mind, and he in whom the power of spiritual perception has been
developed may at all times see the images created in the mind of another. The
Adept creates his own images; the ordinary mortal lives in the products of the
imagination of others, either in those of the imagination of nature, or in
those which have been created by other minds. We live in the paradise of our
own soul, and the objects which you behold exist in the realm of our soul; but
the spheres of our souls are not narrow. They have expanded far beyond the
limits of the visible bodies, and will continue to expand until they become
one with the Universal Soul and as large as the latter.
"The power of the imagination is yet too little known to mankind, else they
would better beware of what they think. If a man thinks a good or an evil
thought, that thought calls into existence a corresponding form or power
within the sphere of the mind, which may assume density and become living, and
which may continue to live long after the physical body of the man who created
it had died. It will accompany his soul after death, because the creations
are attracted to their creator."
"Does, then," I asked, "every evil thought or the imagination of something
evil create that evil and cause it to exist as a living entity?"
"Not so," answered the Imperator. "Every thought calls into existence the
form or power of which we think; but these things have no life until life is
infused into them by the Will. If they do not receive life from the Will,
they are like shadows and fade soon away. If this were not the case, men
could never read of a crime without mentally committing it, and thereby
creating most vicious Elementals. You may imagine evil deeds of all kinds,
but unless you have a desire to perform them, the creations of your
imagination obtain no life. But if you desire to perform them, if your will
is so evil that you would be willing to perform them if you had the external
means to do so, then it may perhaps be as bad for you as if you had actually
committed them, and you create thereby a living although invisible power of
evil. It is the Will which endows the creations of imagination with life,
because Will and Life are fundamentally identical."
Seeing a doubt arise in my mind, he continued: "If I speak of the Will as a
life-giving power, I am speaking of the spiritual will power which resides in
the heart. A will power merely exercised by the brain is like the cold light
of the moon, which has no power to warm the forms upon which it falls. The
life-giving will power comes from the heart, and acts like the rays of the sun
which call life into action in minerals, plants, and animals. It is that
which man desires with his heart, not that which he merely imagines with his
brain, which has real power. Fortunately for mankind in general, this
spiritual will power which calls the creations of the imagination into
objective visible existence is in the possession of very few, else the world
would be filled with living materialized monsters, which would devour mankind;
for there are in our present state of civilization more people who harbor evil
desires than such as desire the good. But their will is not spiritual enough
to be powerful; it comes more from the brain than from the heart; it is
usually only strong enough to harm him who created the evil thought, and to
leave others unaffected. Thus you see how important it is that men should not
come into possession of spiritual powers until they become virtuous and good.
These are mysteries which in former times were kept very secret, and which
ought not to be revealed to the vulgar. If you make use of them, be careful
to discriminate between the good and the evil disposed."
We entered through a Gothic portal into a hall. The light fell through
four high windows into the room, which was of an octagonal form. In the midst
of this room stood a round table surrounded by chairs, and the corners formed
by the sides of the octagon were provided with furniture of various kinds.
There were quite a number of the Brothers assembled, some of whom I recognized
from having seen their pictures in historical representations; but what
astonished me above all was that there were two ladies present -- one
appearing very tall and dignified, the other one of smaller stature and of a
more delicate, but not less noble, appearance, and exceedingly beautiful. To
find ladies in the monastery of the Brothers of the Golden and Rosy Cross was
a fact which surprised and staggered me, and my confusion was evidently
observed by all present; but after having been introduced to all the persons
present -- or, to express it more correctly, after having had them all
introduced to me, for they all seemed to know me and not to need my
introduction -- the tall lady took my hand and led me to the table, while she
smilingly spoke the following words:
"Why should you be so surprised, my friend, to see Adepts inhabiting female
forms in company of those whose forms appear to be of a male character? What has intelligence to do with the sex of the body? Where the sexual instincts
end, there ends the influence of sex. Come, now, and take this chair by my
side, and have some of this delicious fruit."
The table was covered with a variety of excellent fruits, some of which I
had never seen before, and which do not grow in this country. The illustrious
company took their seats, and a conversation ensued in which all took part. I
only too deeply felt my own inferiority while in this place, but everyone
seemed to assert his powers to reassure me and to make me imagine that I was
their equal. The Brothers and Sisters hardly tasted the food, but they seemed
to be pleased to see me enjoy it, and in fact my morning walk and the pure air
of the mountain had given me a very good appetite. The noble lady next to
whom I was seated soon succeeded in making my embarrassment vanish, answered
my questions in regard to the causes of certain occult phenomena, and made a
few practical experiments to illustrate her doctrines. The following may
serve as an example of the powers she possessed to create illusions:
We came to speak of the intrepidity and undaunted courage which he must
possess who desires to enter the realm of occult research: "For" she said,
"the whole elemental world, with all its monstrosities and animal elements, is
opposed to man's spiritual progress. The animals (Elementals) living in the
animal principle of man's constitution, live on his life and on the substance
of his animal elements. If the divine spirit awakens within the heart of man
and sends his light into those animal elements, the substance on which these
parasites live becomes destroyed, and they begin to rage like other famished
beasts. They fight for their lives and for their food, and they are therefore
the greatest impediments and opponents to the spiritual progress of man. They
live in the soul of man, and are, under normal conditions, invisible to the
external senses, although under certain conditions they may even become
visible and objective. They live in families, and reproduce their species
like our terrestrial animals; they fight with each other and eat each other
up. If a man's selfish desires, such as are of a minor type, are all
swallowed up by some great master-passion, it merely shows that a monster elemental has grown in his soul and devoured all the minor elementals."
I answered that it was impossible for me to believe that man was such a
living and walking menagerie, and said I wished I could see one of these
elementals, so as to realize what it is.
"Would you not be afraid," she asked, "if such a vicious thing would appear
I began to boast of my bravery, and said that I was never afraid of
anything which I could see with my eyes and reach with my hands; that fear was
the outcome of ignorance, and that knowledge dispelled all fear.
"You are right," she answered; "but will you be so kind as to hand me that
basket with pears."
I stretched forth my hand after the basket with pears, which stood in the
midst of the table, and as I was about to grasp it, a horrible rattlesnake
rose up between the fruit; rearing its head and making a noise with its
rattles as if in great anger. Horror-struck, I withdrew my hand, barely
escaping its venomous bite; but while I stared at it, the serpent coiled
itself again up among the pears, its glistening scales disappeared in the
basket, and the snake was gone.
"If you had dared to grasp the snake," said one of the Brothers, who had
witnessed the scene, "you would have found it to be merely an illusion."
"The Will," remarked the Imperator, "is not merely a life-giving power; it
is also a destroyer. It causes the atoms of primordial matter to collect
around a center; it holds them together, or it may disperse them again into
space. It is Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva in one; the creator, maintainer, and
destroyer of form."
"These Elementals," said the beautiful lady, "master us if we do not master
them. If we attack them without fear, they can do us no harm; our will is
destructive to them."
The conversation during our breakfast turned about Occultism and kindred
subjects. "Occultism and Alchemy," said one of the Brothers, "are at once the
most difficult and the easiest things to grasp. They are indeed easy to
comprehend, if we only remain natural and look at the mysteries of nature by
the light of reason, with which each human being, except an idiot, has been
endowed by nature at the time of his birth. But if in the place of reason,
the artificial candle-light of false logic, sophistry, and speculation is
placed by an irrational education, man steps out of his natural state and
becomes unnatural. The images of the eternal truths, which were mirrored in
his mind while he was a child and innocent, and not sufficiently
intellectually developed to understand them, become by the time that his
intellect is developed, so distorted and perverted by the prejudices and
misconceptions by which his mind is fed, that their original forms are no more
recognizable, and instead of seeing the truth, man only sees the
hallucinations which his fancy had created."
"Do you mean to say," I asked, "that man can possibly know anything about
the nature of things, except that which is taught to him by others?"
"Does the child," asked the Adept, in answer to my question, "need an
instructor to explain to it the use of its mother's breasts? Do the cattle
require books on botany to know which herbs are poisonous and which are
wholesome? Those artificial systems which have been created by man, and which
are therefore unnatural, cannot be read in the book of nature; to know the
name of a thing which has been invented for it by man, the child needs man's
instructions; but the essential attributes of a thing are independent of the
name given to it. Shakespeare says that a rose would have an agreeable odor,
even if it were called by some other name. At the present state of education,
natural philosophers know all about the artificial names and classifications
of things, but very little about their interior qualities. What does a modern
botanist know about the signatures of plants, by which the Occultist
recognizes the medicinal and occult properties of plants as soon as he sees
them? The animals have remained natural, while man became unnatural. The
sheep does not need to be instructed by a zoologist to seek to escape if a
tiger approaches; it knows by his signature, and without argumentation, that
he is its enemy. It is not much more important for the sheep to know the
ferocious character of the tiger, than to be informed that the latter belongs
to genus Felis. If by some miracle a sheep should become intellectual, it
might learn so much about the external form, anatomy, physiology, and
genealogy of the tiger, that it would lose sight of its internal character and
be devoured by it. Absurd as this example may appear, it is nevertheless a
true representation of what is done in your schools every day. There the
rising generation receive what they call a scientific education. They are
taught all about the external form of man, and how that form may be
comfortably fed, lodged, and housed, but the sight of the real man who
occupies that form is entirely lost, his needs are neglected, he is starved,
ill-treated, and tortured, and some of your 'great lights of science' have
become so short-sighted that they even deny that he exists."
"But," I objected, "is it not a great prerogative which intellectual man
enjoys over the animal creation, that he possesses an intellect by which he is
able to understand the attributes of things which the animals merely
"True," said the Brother; "but man should use his intellect in accordance
with reason, and not oppose his intellect to the latter. Instinct in animals
is the activity in the animal organism of the same principle whose action in
human beings is called reason. It is the faculty of the soul to feel the
truth; while the function of the intellect is to understand that which is
instinctively or intuitively felt by the soul, or perceived by the exterior
senses. If the intellect were to act only in harmony with reason, all
intellectual human beings would not only be intellectual, but would also be
wise; but we know from our daily experience that intellectuality is not necessarily accompanied by wisdom, that often whose who are most cunning are
also most viscous, and the most learned often the most unreasonable."
"The first and most important step," continued the Brother, "which man must
make, if he desires to obtain spiritual power, is to become natural. Only
when he has thrown off all his unnatural qualities can he hope to become
spiritually strong. If he were to become spiritual before he becomes natural,
he would be an unnatural spiritual monster. Such monsters have existed and
still exist. They are the spiritual powers of evil acting through human
forms; they are the Adepts of Black Magic, sorcerers and villains of various
"Then," I said, "I presume that great criminals are to a certain extent
"Not necessarily so," answered the Brother. "The majority of evil-doers do
evil, not for the love of evil, but for the purpose of attaining some selfish
purpose. The villains who are on the road to black magic act evil because they love
it, in the same sense as those who are on the road to true adeptship perform
good merely because they love good. But whether man performs good or evil
acts, a constant or frequent repetition of such acts causes him finally to
perform them instinctively, and thus his own nature becomes gradually either
identified with good or with evil. He who merely tortures a fly for the sake
of torturing it, and because he is pleased to do so, is farther progressed to
the road to villainy and absolute evil with consequent destruction, than he
who murders a man because he imagines it to be necessary for his own
protection that he should murder him."
Here the conversation began to turn about White Magic and the wonderful
powers of certain Tibetan Adepts. The Imperator, who had recently visited
them, gave a detailed account of his visit. But, strange as it may appear,
while all the details of the other part of our conversation remained deeply
engraven in my memory, the account given by the Imperator about that visit is
entirely effaced from my mind, and I cannot remember anything whatever about
it. It is as if its recollection had been purposely eradicated from my mind.
After our breakfast was over, the Imperator recommended me to the two Lady-
Adepts, and told me that he would soon rejoin us to show me his alchemical
laboratory. I then accompanied my two protectors into the beautiful garden.
We passed through an alley formed by oleander bushes in full bloom, and
arrived at a little round pavilion standing upon a little eminence, which
afforded a beautiful view of the country and the tall mountain tops in the
distance. The roof of the pavilion was supported by marble columns and
surrounded by ivy, which grew around the pillars and nearly covered the roof,
hanging down at intervals in the open spaces. We seated ourselves, and after
a short pause, my friend, whom I will call Leila, said: "I owe you an
explanation in regard to the remarks which I made when I saw your astonishment
to see the female sex represented among the Brothers of the Rosy Cross. Your
intuition told you right. It indeed not very often happens that an individual
attains adeptship while inhabiting a female organism, because such an organism
is not as well adapted as a male one to develop energy and strength, and it
is, therefore, frequently the cause that those women who have far advanced on
the road to adeptship must reincarnate in a male organism, before they can
achieve the final result. Nevertheless, exceptions are found. You know that
the organism of a man is not fundamentally different from that of a woman, and
in each human being are male and female elements combined. In women usually
the female elements predominate, and in men the male ones are usually most
active, although we meet with women of a masculine character, and with men who
are of a womanish nature. In a perfect human being the male and female
elements are nearly equally strong, with a slight preponderance to the male
element, which represents the productive power in nature, while the female
element represents the formative principle. This occult law, which to explain
at present would lead us deep into the mysteries of nature, will become
comprehensible to you if you will study the laws of harmony. You will then
find that the Mall-accord is the harmonious counterpart of the Dur-accord, but that the greatest beauty finds its expression in Dur. Other and numerous
analogies may be found, and we shall leave it to your own ingenuity to find
Previous from the Library Shelf Next from the Library Shelf
Thelema Lodge Events Calendar for July 2003 e.v.
|7/7/03||Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple||(510) 652-3171||Thelema Ldg.|
|7/10/03||Magical Practice, 8PM Library||(510) 652-3171||Thelema Ldg.|
|7/12/03||Pilgrimage to the grave site of|
Dr. Gabriel Montenegro.
meet at 11 AM at the lodge
|(510) 652-3171||Thelema Ldg.|
|7/13/03||Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple||(510) 652-3171||Thelema Ldg.|
|7/13/03||Full Moon in Capricornus 12/21 PM|
|7/14/03||Anniversary of the greater feast of|
Gabriel Montenegro, IXth Degree
|7/16/03||Sirius Encampment meets in Berkeley|
at 7:30 PM. Call for directions
|(510) 527-2855||Sirius Camp|
|7/17/03||Mantra Yoga Class with Jeff Sommer|
8 PM in Horus Temple
|(510) 652-3171||Thelema Ldg.|
|7/20/03||Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple||(510) 652-3171||Thelema Ldg.|
|7/21/03||Section II reading group with|
Caitlin: Chaucer's Parliament of
Fowls 8PM in the library
|(510) 652-3171||Thelema Ldg.|
|7/27/03||Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple||(510) 652-3171||Thelema Ldg.|
|7/28/03||New Moon in Leo 11:53 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
Ordo Templi Orientis
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Berkeley, CA 94702 USA
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