do the Gnostic Twist baby!

It’s difficult to keep up journal entries anywhere for me these days. It’s rather a struggle, like swimming through molasses. I really feel the need to rest more than I do, which of course if I was going to do that why am I staying up so late, yes? Makes no sense, does it. Nor do other things in this particular cycle. So this is partly why I went back into therapy after a very long time without it. So long that one of my therapists has died since the last time I went to therapy. That is weird, to say the least.

I still feel the need to explain this whole Thelema thing. I don’t know why. It’s my business, really, and I knew it was coming since July of 2010, before any of the ruckus in my other tradition. Well, I didn’ t know that it was coming, but I knew that I was fascinated by the Gnostic Mass and by the Book of the Law. Now it has developed into this. It’s at the point where my wife asked me the other day, out of the blue, “Are you doing Feri any more?” I was taken aback because my wife isn’t usually that interested in my spiritual work. (As she says, “That’s your thing.”)

As I said, I was kind of taken aback. My response was something like, “Yes, but right now I’m exploring Thelema. I haven’t given up on Feri, but Feri people are far away, and the Thelema people are right here and they’re doing something that I want to be a part of.” And as I said it I realized yes, that’s part of it. The Feri people are far away, on the West Coast. The closest group, to amend that statement, is in a nearby state, but it is still a considerable travel to where they are, and due to the recent unpleasantness I think it would be awkward to try to hang with them. Very, very awkward. I don’t even know where they’re coming from or where they’re at, or what style of Feri they practice. There’s another small group  in Texas that I think I could be un-awkward with, but they are diversely scattered all over Texas themselves.

The Oasis down here offers a kind of hospitality, a refuge in a sense, as I have said before. I don’t feel judged, nor do I have the feeling that someone is waiting to pass judgment on me, nor do I feel that they already have and they’re not letting me know. I also feel that there is a good deal more organization in Thelema than there is in Feri, and a good way to measure progress, which, again, does not necessarily exist in Feri. There is a structure in Thelema that is lacking in Feri.

Of course there is a part of me that says that if I took ALL the Feri material that I have and put it in a big pile and looked at it, I could organize it into some kind of form and work out what rituals go where and what exercises go to which, and really build a sort of structure out of the tremendous pile of material that is there. It’s disorganized, contradictory and internally inconsistent, but there is enough material there to build something with. The problem is that I don’t know what to build with all that, nor do I know that anyone in the Homeowners’ Association would approve of the house that I would build with all that material. So in a sense, I think, my experience with Thelema is learning how to work inside a given structure, a degreed system like that of Masonry or the Golden Dawn (from which Thelema takes some of its structure).

I still don’t feel that the two paths are incompatible or that one is better than the other or greater than the other. I do know, however, that I am committed to exploring the 93 Current. It doesn’t rule out participation and working in Feri, because I think that once you’re an initiate into Feri, you’re always an initiate. That’s the way it works. But I do think that there is something in Thelema that is good for me, needful for me, at this time. It maybe Art or Craft or Knowledge, but whatever it is, it calls to me through the Gnostic Mass, and through the writings of Crowley and the people who are working with the 93 Current.

I think that the person I need to reassure most that I am not deserting Feri is myself. That’s why I keep returning to the subject over and over. It confuses me too, going from 2009 being initiated into Feri, through the dark days of 2010, and now to 2011 and Thelema (two thousand and ELEVEN, hm, significant?). But I am trusting that there is a reason in it and for it all. It’s difficult for me to have that faith, but I am investing in that belief, because underneath it all I think that something is happening. I am evolving and moving forward. But the reason I am led in this direction, or the reason I am going, is not clear to me. All I know is that it feels right. Which is a dangerous proposition at the best of times.  But that is all I have to go on right now, just faith.

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6 responses to “do the Gnostic Twist baby!

  1. diana

    I admit, I WAS kinda wondering who you were doing all this explaining to!
    Though I like hearing about neat things you discover should you choose to share them. But you don’t have to ‘splain.
    You’re a man. Spelled M-A-N. Way past 21. 😉

  2. Having a solid, proven structure – one you don’t have to make up yourself, one you can compare/discuss with other co-practitioners – can make a huge difference in one’s private practice. I like Thelema, wish I were more “drawn” to it, as there’s some kickass practitioners who are also Feri here in Texas. Alas and alack, the g*ds seem insistent on keeping me in retreat until Spring 2012, and distilling a (small “b”) Buddhist practice into my life.

    • I definitely hear you re: structure & discussion. As far as being drawn to Thelema, it happened after I saw the Mass. That seemed to ignite, or engage, or however it should be put, several things at once in my mind and heart. I have as little explanation for it as I did for my attraction to Feri.

  3. When you write, ” a degreed system like that of Masonry or the Golden Dawn (from which Thelema takes some of its structure” you may – perhaps deliberately – be blurring the lines between Liber AL, the broader corpus of Crowley’s work. the writings of later thelemites, and the system of the OTO. In my view, someone can read Liber AL and call themselves a thelemite without reference to any of those other things. I do agree that it’s common to speak of “Thelema” as an amalgam of Liber AL and some, variable selection of Crowley’s and others’ writings. Still, the “degreed system” is surely that of the OTO… Liber AL mentions only the hermit, the lover, and the man of earth, and leaves it at that.

    93/s, Δ

    • Somebody absolutely can read Liber AL and call themselves a Thelemite without any further to-do. “The Law is for all,” as it says, not just the OTO.

      And it is agreed that the degree system is something that was added later. OTO is not the same as Thelema. As far as I can determine, one becomes a Thelemite by simply acknowledging “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law,” and “Love is the Law, Love under Will.”

      An amalgam? Yes, indeed. Crowley left his affairs in a muddle and there were others who ran through it splashing. If it wasn’t for the work of Grady McMurtry (and others) there wouldn’t be an OTO. However, does that mean there wouldn’t have been a Thelema? No, not at all, I think.

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