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From: (nigris (333))
Subject: Orders and Individuals (was Originality, was woopee!, was Letter to...)
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 1996 12:41:42 -0800 (PST)

49961113 AA1  Hail Satan!


my Ministress (the Minerval):
# Just a Little Minerval here sticking my nose in:

'Minerval' relates to the COTO, yes.  in my experience it bears little
or no necessary relation to your experience or knowledge of that Order.

[uncited; and I got the last one wrong so I'm not guessing :>]
#>...I don't care who has what lineage with what papers to back it up... 
#>the bottom line is DOES THE SYSTEM WORK?

#I didn't take my Minerval so that I could share my incredible power and
#gnosis with the egrigore (sp?) of the OTO. 

my impression (despite the fact that he hasn't responded to my queries)
was that the egregore of the COTO was a kind of 'interior spirit' which
seizes and inhabits those who venture into the path of its current.  in
this way (especially if you take a First Degree within that Order), you
would have no choice but to share your power and soul with said egregore.

#I took my Minerval because I had determined that the OTO had a system 
#that worked. 

what system is this?  how did you assess this system?  when you say
'worked', what do you mean by this?  how wide a sampling did you take?
did you get any negative indicators?  what were these like?

#While I do, at some point, hope to be of service to the order, 
#I *voluntarily* underwent the *order's* system of initiation for 
#my own benefit.

aha, self-service.  admirable.  I find that most Orders (at present
COTO *not* excepted) tend to offer members DISservice and tend to
prove detrimental to the development of magicians on the whole,
especially if these members aren't prepared to fight tooth and nail
to retain their independence and free-thinking or go through a
massive personal overhaul, integrating political skills into their
array of social tools.

#I can't understand why someone would join an order if they didn't 
#want to work with the system of the order, 

in order to 'benefit' from undergoing/enduring the ordeal of the
initiation rites, for one.  I don't know if this is included in
what you mean by 'system of the order', but typically the rites
of initiation are seen as gates into some sort of special
condition (which includes slavery, though not necessarily so).

#or if all they were/are going to do in the order is challenge it. 

'all they are going to do' is somewhat strong, and so I'd agree,
but I do see the value of someone's entering into an Order as a
type of personal discipline.  this was my intent (as well to do 
what my goddess called 'engaging society' in order to make love
with Her -- I'm still trying to figure that one out), and I see
it as comparable to the analogy of the astronautical 'fly-by'.

I used to intentionally get involved with cult-organizations like
Scientology and Hare Krishnas in order not only to see what they
were about but to test my mettle (ego-strength) against their
invasive onslaught.  it came as a natural act for me, but as time
went on I realized that what it did was help me to see the facets
of *all organizations* which are coercive and disruptive of 
personal integrity.  

the byproduct of (respectfully) encountering these orgs was that
I developed a sense of myself, my boundaries, my values, and isolated 
those areas in which to become sensitive when I began entering into
social situations of a more subtle atmosphere.  it caused me to
be *very* wary about making formal commitments to organized groups
(since I value my word greatly and wish to maintain it) and to be
hesitant to join said groups when I saw that they did not conform
to what I (in my Crowley-loving fashion) determined was 'the Law
of Thelema'.

in seeking beyond mere solitary work in part as inspired by my 
HGA/goddess, I came upon the COTO and both loved its members
to which I was exposed (in part because of how frightening they
appeared to me :> -- this being older Oakland/OZhaus) and found
its initiatory schema (requiring _Liber MCLI_ at the time) to be
repulsive.  setting off to an evaluation of the local Neopagans
(and finding less there attractive) my time of waiting yielded
the MCLI-dethronement.  discovering this I initiated in various
awkward ways with various individuals whom I continue to respect.

all the while my aim was self-discipline, having hated orgs from
the outset, liking some of the people who involved themselves
with them (in a clean, honest manner).  I directed to myself the
question and challenge which you level above, and Kali responded
that my involvement would benefit the Order on account of who I
was, the sincerety and integrity of my being, and that my 
challenge to its membership and repulsion of some of its
particulars would prove a tempering effect (this is what happens
when Thelemites get involved with organizations which are beginning
to ossify; -- note: above was my paraphrase of Kali).

given this I would say that it benefits the Order by having persons
whose intent is to challenge it as long as they somehow conform
to ideals of honor and respect and have some element of creativity
and originality (as was the germ of this thread) within their work.

the COTO doesn't have a required system whereby (at least Outer Order)
members must endure the instruction or effacement of personal elements, 
though this is certainly available to those who feel they need it.  
for this reason it matters not at all whether an individual hates the 
Order or is devoted to all its members.  the important prerequisites are 
that they be of sufficient age and good report and have fulfilled the
meager administrative procedure requirements.  beyond this, all is
left to the true wills of the participants, some going off into their
solitary pursuits and some diving headlong into the morass of the
Order's political and instructional edifice.


nigris (333)
----- End of forwarded message from nigris (333) -----

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