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To: alt.magick
From: (B Heidrick)
Subject: Re: OTO & EGC
Date: 49940928

Quoting: | (Fra. Doubt-Goat) 

|if the Creed of the Gnostic Mass is the official dogma of the EGC, is 
|there an _official_ interpetation of it's meaning as explicated by the 
|"Fathers of the Church"?

No.  But there is a lot of discussion of the details in Crowley's
writings, notably in _Magick Without Tears_, _Liber Aleph_, _The Gospel
According to St. Bernard Shaw_ and other works.  O.T.O. functions by
providing the means to understanding, not dictating the details on matters
of this sort.  --- In other words, rote learning of correspondences,
essays and the rest by the discovery method so that each individual may
not only adapt and explore in their own way according to their own unique
nature but also so that the new insights keep coming.  Other O.T.O.
members write ocassionally on the Creed.  Jack Parsons wrote a new one,
but he didn't even use the Credo format.

|that which the layman, so to speak, is expected to 
|understand and accept.

Being Gnostic, this is a very tricky subject.  Details of dogma are
primarily social rules and injunctions to study particular things while
keeping the mind open.  The whole orientation of teaching here is to
provide the means for the individual to have a break-through into sacred
space on his or her own terms.  Mysteries are described and exhibited ---
those mysteries have potential for complete understanding and/or
participation by the individual, but it is necessary that the individual
acquire the wisdom and the understanding without it being narrowly
dictated by knowledge in empty words.  This has to do with the difficulty
many people experience in trying to pin down O.T.O. on exact wording. 
There is exact meaning, but exact wording is avoided like the plague! 
Symbols and multi-level meanings in instruction are used to induce the
meaning in the student, not stamp it in as a mental photocopy of somebody
else's way of thinking.  The IXth degree secret, for example, can be
expressed in simple words --- but it cannot be understood from that
expression by someone who doesn't already know it.  The secret derived
from such an expression is hollow, mere form without the mental and
emotional structures necessary to use it beyond "going through the
motions".  Those structures can only be induced by indirect means through
symbol and sequence, i.e. "initiation" --- the intent of O.T.O. ceremonial
initiations and (more importantly) the Gnostic Mass with Liber Reguli and
the Star Saphire.  To acquire only the simple explanation of the secret is
usually to be blocked from the understanding of it.  --- that sounds
strange, but it's the nature of the thing.  A picture held in the mind
cannot become a photograph on paper unless the skill of the artist is also
present to interpret that mental picture and find a way of translating
something of it to film by whatever means.  The skill must come before the
secret, else the secret becomes overshadowed by a preconception or a joke.

|what _exactly_ is meant by "the EGC is but one aspect of the 
|religious expression of the OTO"? 

The EGC is that part of the religious expression of O.T.O. that is derived
from Papus' (Gerard Encasse) contribution while he was head of O.T.O. in
France.  Papus brought it in, Reuss shared it, Crowley encoded it to
Thelema in the Gnostic Mass and other dependent rites (mainly some of
those of passage and holy orders).  It was elaborated by Krum Heller (Fr.
Hurachocha) in the O.T.O.A (only the chartered form under O.T.O., not
other forms using this name) in South & Central America as well as in some
southern parts of the U.S.A., and further developed from 1979 to the
present (details of the rites of passage and holy orders + details of
service of the mass).
   The rest of the religious expression of O.T.O. is first and formost the
acceptance of _Liber AL_ --- not in a manner dictated, but by the
individual and according to the individual.  After that comes the detail
of the rites of O.T.O. degree initiation, mostly Masonic in form and
content, but modified by Crowley to Thelemic religious ceremonies (hence,
no longer Masonic, by the removal of that landmark, if for no other
reason).  EGC is involved in the Initiations, but minimally (mostly as a
source of explanation for some of the less important aspects of the rites)
until VIIth degree.  There are other details of the religious expression,
but most of that gets into the usual things one finds in any church ---
marriage, council, blessings, help in time of need, funerals &c. --- some
of these are found in fraternal organizations also, but not in this form
and not all of these.

93 93/93
Bill Heidrick

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