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Introductions to Thelema

To: alt.magick,alt.magick.chaos
From: (William Behun)
Subject: Re: Introductions to Thelema
Date: 12 Dec 1995 16:44:08 GMT

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

Ave Fratres et Sorores:

I think that it is perfectly appropriate for "introductory" Thelemic texts for
mass consumption to rely heavily on restatements of Crowley.  Crowley's work
form the foundation of much of the current Thelemic culture, and his import
cannot be understated.  While I agree that it is important for Thelemites to
not stop with Crowley, neither should we forget the important place that he
holds in Thelemic literature and praxis.  It seems that the certain elements
of the Thelemic community are very much in danger of loosing sight of their
roots.  While a composer should be expected to "move beyond" simple harmonies
and counter-point, she should never loose sight of those fundamental theories
and practices which form the foundation of her art.  Similarly, while we
should not allow the Thelemic Culture to be a Crowley cult of personality,
neither should we neglect to give beginning students exposure to that material
on which we cut our teeth.

On this basis, I think it is rash to dismiss even Del Campo's text, and we
should certainly not be disparaging introductory texts for their reliance on
Crowley.  We should not be holding primers and texts for more sophisticated
readers up to the same standards of judgment.

Rodney Orpheus' text comes close, in my opinion, to the appropriate balance
between restating Crowley's work which beginning students may otherwise not
have immediate access to, and showing applications of the work by an
experienced and intelligent practitioner.  I do think, however, that such
lacunae in the text such as the text of the Star Ruby (which is omitted in
favour of the "Nu-Sphere Ritual," which is a simplified Pentagram Ritual)
present a serious problem, not for the student who is already familiar with
Crowley's text, but for students who are just setting out on the path.

Best regards:

William Behun
Fra. Ad Dexteram

Love is the Law, Love under Will.

"I'm willing to break laws, but I won't commit a crime"
                                       -Stephen Brust & Adam Stemple

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