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Thelemic Monasticism

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.consciousness.mysticism,talk.religion.misc,alt.thelema,alt.pagan
From: (nigris (333))
Subject: Re: Thelemic Monasticism
Date: 11 Apr 1997 00:49:59 -0700

49970407 AA1  Hail Satan!  


#> # ...Thelemic Monasticism should contain the elements of a community
#> # which is working towards a common goal or stated purpose.

#> I don't know why you call this 'monasticism', then.  as I said elsewhere,
#> why not call it an 'Intentional Thelemic Community' and avoid the whole
#> question of religious elements?  in this sense the Haus Kaos is most
#> accurately called a 'Thelemic Community' as it does not have any stated
#> purpose beyond abiding the Rule (no rules).

#Please notice that I said "should contain" and "elements of a
#community." Thelemic Monasticism would imply (and here we redefine again
#our terminology) that the structure goes beyond mere communal survival
#through the implementation of a Thelemic code of ethics.

'implementation of a Thelemic code of ethics' is the crucial phrase.
can a Thelemic code of ethics be implemented?  by an autocracy?  oligarchy?
or does it grow naturally within certain anarchic environments when nurtured
through exposure to demonstrated Thelemic behavior?  is this the function of
instruction and the proper place of the Holy Books?

#> my understanding is that there is quite a body of self-described 'Thelemites'
#> whose lives include just this kind belief set, albeit somewhat more
#> abstracted than conventional religious establishments.  I'm sure that AD
#> could say more here.

#I have no first hand knowledge, but I believe there is the "Oz House" in
#California? I have only heard of such a place through others.

I have visited Oz House many times.  it had previously been Thelema Lodge
of the COTO.  I don't know of its present condition, though I have heard
some severe horror stories.  additional reference desired.

#...just utilizing the Thelemic _Holy Books_ does not make a
#community Thelemic unless the principles within those texts are found
#within the actions (or more properly attitudes?) of the participants. 

how would these books be "utilized"?  social instruction?  are they
sufficiently succinct and clear as to be used for this purpose?  how
will you know when the principles are found in the actions of the
participants?  how might this be regulated?

#more extreme example is this: Running a whore house with the Bible on a
#pedestal in the front hall and calling it a Convent....

there are countless means by which any establishment could be run "by the
book" when the book says almost nothing about conflict resolution and
the practical details of organized efficiency and purpose.  in the case
of _The Bible_ there is at least a manner of conflict resolution in Luke.
I don't understand how you propose to go about using _The Holy Books of

#> I'd like to hear more about this "eclectic Rule of [indulgence]", what
#> you think it includes or need include, and how you would reconcile it
#> with the traditional rigors and environment of ascetic discipline.
#Give me some time on this one. 


#> unless there was an established structure such as AD's which replicated
#> itself based on an 11-member cell-system and the Rule incorporated the
#> particulars of the social framework.  
#The problem with replication is that it either breeds satiety or conformity. 

I don't follow your logic.  replication does not require either.  stability
does not necessitate either satiety or conformity, though conformity of
*some* sort is necessary in the establishment of a community, no?

#[Satiety] produces nothing more than the destruction of discipline. 
#[Conformity] produces nothing more than mindless (religious?) robots.

perhaps at their extremes, though I am unsure why Aeth's cellular 
propagation need necessarily emphasize either result.  could you say more?

#> the direction of a phiosophical, rather than religious consideration of 

#I would say this is the beginning of the conversation. Without the
#understanding of the basic philosophical foundation of such an endeavor,
#any religious consideration would be mindless association with a cult
#and produce slavery under the guise of discipline.

then let us get this philosophical understanding under our belts.  can
you in a paragraph elaborate the qualities of what would make any organized
body 'Thelemic' given your understanding of the Law?  AD challenged me to 
do this and I think it was a valuable exercise.  we need to be working on
this if we truly want to have something to contrast against the more visible
religious structure.  from there we can begin examining what kind of a Rule
would emphasize or encourage these qualities.

#> evaluate thoroughly from a *philosophic* perspective as regards
#> its theoretical necessity in the manifestation of a Thelemic Abbey
#> not aligned to any particular religious framework....


$       The Rule should contain such elements of:

I presume for the moment that we are here setting about evaluating a
Rule for an *extensive* organization which would require severe
definition in order to survive.  I will mention small groups also.

$       1) personal managment of the spiritual/philosophical pursuits;

presumably these being in consort.  if there were few or none in common
then the only requirement would be how to *coordinate* these such that
they did not clash (zazen/guitar example).  in other words, the method
of conflict resolution might be included here (do you have suggestions?).
small groups wouldn't need this.
$       2) group interaction;

authority structures, conflict resolution as above, based on 4.  in fact
I would renumber, switching 4 to this spot and shifting the rest down.
small groups wouldn't necessarily need this defined either.

$       3) outside influences and their allowance or control;

from social to civil.  I think it might also go other way: Abbey intents
as regards influencing and control of outside influences.  small group
will need this at least in rule.

$       4) obligations of the individual to the abbey; and

levels of responsibility (obligations of ind to abb) and corresponding 
influence based on this (obligations of abb to ind).  small group will
need this also.

$       5) protection of the group from the egos of the individual.

and protection of the individual from the group ego (the real danger).
small groups should patrol themselves.  I'm unsure how a large group 
would go about this protection.  could you say more?

$       The rule should contain:
$       1) practical and financial necessities of sustaning the abbey;

I have yet to hear how any Abbey would work in these details.  AD said
he mentioned elsewhere but apparently didn't cc to the rest of us as
regards the $ of Aeth.  his commentary on the breakdown of modern
society is indicative of his reasoning for the Kaaba.  how insular
should the Abbey be?  where does it start being a club or cost relief
instead of a spiritual environment?  small groups would need this.

$       2) admission and dismissal procedures;

this is essential to any size group, even if informal.

$       3) standard operational and routine structures; and

important to large body, small can get away with very few and variable.

$       4) governmental policies in regards to internal and external conflicts.

this last is where I see the basis of the structure coming into play.  the
means by which conflicts of various sorts are to be resolved is intimately
determined by the authority-structure of the body.  it is for this reason
that an autocratic or oligarchic structure functions 'efficiently' as
regards energies expended toward such resolution.  balancing this against
a *Thelemic* character, I would ask what options satisfy.

#let us find a common functional Rule that is philosophical in nature
#conforming to the Law of Thelema and yet (at first) disregarding the
#religious nature of the cult tendancy. Yes, I would say that for
#something of a large scale effort to create an Abbey would require more
#than just the statement of "do what thou wilt." 

Haus Kaos
'do what thou wilt' is sufficient for the Rule.  the meaning of this Rule
has been discussed quite a few times.  it has come to mean a variety of
things to its participants, but in general I would say the over-riding
majority understand it to require:

	* a suspension of conventional monetary and proprietary rights
	  or conditions as indicators of decision-making authority

	* a willingness to be sensitive to the needs of participants

	* a willingness to make known limitations, inform of boundary
	  transgressions, confront directly or in Haus Meetings,
	  or accept the current condition as satisfactory

	* a commitment to communicate with participants openly, 
	  negotiate on conflicts of interest, consider alternate 
	  perspectives and work toward some resolution which will 
	  serve the group's integrity

beyond this, the 'rule' is unspecified, defaulting to operational
standards and routine structures which are flexible and molded to
fit around the configuration of participants.

Larger Body
'do what thou wilt' would work if the participants were very well-acquainted.
otherwise, I would add 'love is the law', and specify the following that its 
content requires:

	* a presumption that everyone involved is working toward the
	  clearly stated purpose of the group (if there is one) and the 
	  benefit of each individual, and that if it should be brought 
	  to light that this is not the case, then all will work to 
	  rectify this

	* a presumption that courtesy is the responsibility of those 
	  who live in proximity, that variation of lifestyle (if such
	  exists) and perspective make necessary a restriction of
	  privilege, and that inability to negotiate on this point
	  will eventually lead to expulsion

	* an understanding that limited resources make crucial the
	  focus on functional accessibility, and that aesthetic
	  considerations, while important, are secondary 

more?  we would not need to add religious elements to the Rule until the 
initial 'Thelemic' elements were concisely included, and the 
operational/functional particulars would be included in the rule, subject 
to the scrutiny of the Rule's carriage.  I will not at this time 
attempt to elaborate on a rule, since it would depend in some measure on
the conditions (environmental, structural, financial) of the Abbey and
the content of the Rule.

#It might well be that we can explore the relgious nature of such a Rule
#after the foundation for the Rule has been laid....


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