Very informative blog on ancient Egyptian religion!
Today 13 September 2012 according to the Religious Calendar of Ancient Egypt is the XXVIII day of Tekhy, the first month of the year sacred to the great God Thoth.
Very favorable day, the Gods are happy when They see the children of Nut [Horus and Seth]: if you see anything on this day, it will be good.:
Just as you might look into the eyes of a lover, the Romanticist doesent long back to a lost time, nor see´s beauty and life in the noice of man made pride. He is not “green” or in that sense radical. He is simply to busy experiencing it, nature, life without man made laws. He doesent have to create glory, it unfolds itself before him on his own accord. If there is divinity, it is not an eternal God, nor a created one or a stuck pantheon, but what presents itself to him there and now. In the middle of the great artwork of experience.
Music: Massenet´s “Meditation” performed by Yo Yo Ma.
“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law”
In an answer on Tumblr it was stated that “Thelema is atheistic”.
I do not think this is entirely correct.
First of all we have to distinguish between atheism, nontheism, apatheism and so on. Atheism is a statement that one does not belive in the existence of Deity.
Several religions dont have a central God but this leaves them either nontheistic or transtheistic Crowley mentions that we dont know wether God(s) exist or not (and it is not relevant to the great work any more than faith is ).
Buddhism and Taoism are fundamentally and originally nontheistic, or in short, religions without a central or creating Deity.
Later versions ,syncretized with local polytheistic cults have made them rather transtheistic. Meaning that there is no ultimate God. Ultimate truth is not a sentient being or “God” but a “state” (actually not even that term suffices….since no term does). Their Gods are in a sense like man (though on a “higher” level), on the way to the same goal, the same union or henotheosis with the ultimate.monadic truth.
Similar thoughts could be found in ancient Greece among several philosophers.
Terms like Kether (Kabbalah), Bythos (Gnosticism), Monad (Neoplatonism) and in the east Moksha, Nirvana and so on being this first emanation without duality (and thus obviously without a “personality” too).
To categorally say that all Thelemites are atheists is simply wrong ( i am not an atheist and i have been a “devout” Thelemite for over 20 years ).
Among fellow Thelemites there are differing ideas on Deity, cosmology, objective reality and even wether Thelema is a religion or not (Crowley makes statements to both ).
Defining Deity is a problem within comparative religion and philosophy of religion that one encounters rather soon.
Anthropologuists have the same problems with “Religion, Magic, Good, Evil” and many other “Christocentric” concepts that doesent nessecarly apply to another culture or philosophy.
Besides, the argument is made that the only “Divinity” in Thelema is “the universe”. That would make it Pantheistic, not Atheistic.
In some cases there is not only cultural or philosophical differences to the concept of “Gods” but also demi Gods, daemones, angels, lwas / orixas and other supernatural beings to wich there are different opinions to wether they are “Gods” or not.
Clear is that Crowley did think of supernatural beings influencing the lives of man (in one way or another). I´m thinking of (some of ) “The Secret Chiefs” that seems to be more than human.
If Awass, why not Michael? If Michael, why not Thor?
There is also a statement that Satanists do not generally worship Satan or think of him a a literal Deity.
This is correct for LaVeyan Satanism (wich actually states that it is,literally, atheistic) and other “philosophical Satanism”.
There are however several (and quite diverse ) forms of Theistic Satanisms.
Both Gnostic such, “inverted Christianity” and others.
Just like entire ontologies, cosmologies and epistemologies of different religions differ, so does their concepts of “God(s)”.
The Greek “Theoi”, Roman “Dei”, Norse “Aesir” and Egyptian “Netjeru” are not understood exactly the same, even if Christian ethnocentrics call them all by the Germanic term “God”.
God is not even viewed the same way throughout Christendom (with rather big differences like unitarian, trinitarian and even monolatric views of him as a physical being ).
Complex philosophical systems focused on the individual such as Thelema will obviously render diverse thoughts on the concept too.
One Liber Al quote that is supose to disprove the existence of anything supernatural is: “Infinite Space, and the Infinite Stars thereof.” And, the text states that “there is no other God than me.” .
To ME it clearly says “there is no OTHER God than me”
If you now look at “Every man and every woman is a star”
“The Khabs is in the Khu, not the Khu in the Khabs.”
Hadit being a point of view (a center, a “star” or “khab”), Nuit being the starry sky, the circumference / sum of all possabilities, each star being a Hadit from it´s own point of view that statement makes perfect sense (and in a sense also proves your own divinity ).
In short, if Jehova literally exists, his “center” would also be Hadit and he to a “star”.
This would be equally true for Santa Claus though.
Liber Al II: 23 says : “I am alone: there is no God where I am.”
This being Hadit, too makes sense. Like the Thelemic Hermit (who is not alone at all in the traditional sense ) he says that he is “alone”. Being the center of the center of the center ad infinitum, ofcourse he is alone. Hence “center”. There can only be one absolute middle.
The quote “There is no God but man” is also presented in the answer, given with a clear “only truth” interpretation despite the fact that this can be seen in a number of philosophical ways, including Gnostic ones, solipsistic ones and a bunch of others (and some of them combinable ).
The question is not “Is Thelema Theistic in any sense of the word”, but “Is this Thelemite Theistic in any sense of the word?”.
“Love is the law, love under will”
Religion, like a few other terms (love,tribe,ethnicity,intelligence....and oh....pagan)
have no good defenition that everybody agrees on.
When western culture encounters a new culture they divide up what they see
as "religion, magic,witchdoctor, Gods,spirits" despite the fact that what they see
has developed within a culture other than their own.
Everything has meanings to that culture that they dont necessarily comprehend.
Catholic Priests claim to transform wine into blood but would never agree to having it called magic,
alchemy or anything similar.
If a wiccan or ju ju man sticks a needle in a doll in order to heal who it represents,
it is called magic, why not prayer?
Is Voudoun religion or magic. Many would say (and thats the easiest to a westerner)
religion that incorporates magic.
The truth is that it is neither since both "magic" and "religion" are words used by another culture
Than the one meeting in the Hounfour. Voudoun is Voudoun.
"Prayer", yet another word without defenition.
By the most narrow enterpretations, only Protestants and a few others really pray.
By a lighter one, lithanies, sacrifices, meditations and chantings could be counted as versions of prayer.
Take it one step further, and watching the sun rise with awe would be prayer
(perhaps the most original one).
And what is the point with "prayer"? That too would differ.
"Forn Sed" one of many names for a nameless custom, the indiginous religion of Scandinavia.
Religion in my (as in many others ) case has nothing to do with "faith",
is totally ingrained with culture as such and the actions we take.
It is not seen a a separate "thing", and neither are the Gods we worship.
Behaving the right way and doing my job is just as much part of the cult as sacrifices and mythology.
Acts, not belief.
When i raise the cup saying "Til ars ok frithar" (roughly "To a good year and peace)
in the presence of the mights i do so as an act of kinship.
"Frith", in modern Swedish transformed into two words, "Fred" and "Frid"
(peace as in "not war" and peace as in "calm,balance, peace of mind)
once incorporated both meanings and more.
In a sense "frith" could be seen as harmony with an extention.
Somebody started this place. It is his, so i must behave with a certain amount of respect towards him
as his guest or i will breake the "frith" (create turmoil, unbalance, conflict).
Since the Gods and the Ancestors are counted as my kin (and even more so by drinking together),
thus part of my "tribe" or society if you will, i will have to keep "frith" with existance as a whole.
A bit like the Roman "Pax Deorum" i guess.
Now.....exactly how the hell do you break that, to me simple, concept down to Christendom?
A person who predominatly eats porridge would call Sushi "a Japanese form of porridge"
God, peace,ale, society, tribe....it all means something else to them (not "worse", just "else").
Modern magic (and Pagan religion) has on an going in-house discussion about the nature of the Gods and Spirits, and of spiritual existence itself. Some folks assert that the mythic description of the spirits is essentially correct. There is a paralel world - the Astral Plane, or the Otherworld - in which spirits exist as independent personal beings. Others assert that spiritual phenomena - gods, spirits, ‘energies’ etc - are purely mental constructs in the individual, connected through cultural linguistic contact pur existing only as ‘complexes’ in the mind. The Jungians go their further step with old Carl’s “collective unconscious”, itself pretty similar to the astral plane.
In working with a public pagan group that deals with the spirits on a straight-up mythic basis this discussion comes up often enough that I’ve developed a little model for how the two positions can be reconciled while doing damage to neither. I systematized that nicely in a post to a list today, so I thought I’d post it here as well.
1: The Cosmos is holographic - the whole is repeated within the parts. Especially, the human microcosm reflects the macrocosm.
2: The Gods exist in the macrocosm.
3: Therefor, their reflections exist in each individual human microcosm. These reflections are what Jung perceived as the ‘archetypes’.
4: Thus, when we invoke the Gods, and they draw near to us, their reflection draws near to our conscious awareness. Often it is only these internal daemons of the Gods that we actually perceive in our invocations, and that can be sufficient. The Gods act as and in those reflections just as they do as and through an idol of gold. Sometimes we are able to expand our awareness outside of our microcosmic bubble, and perceive the God more directly… Those are the big events…
So, while I dislike psychological reductionism in magic and religion, preferring a directly mythic approach, my model has a nice organized place for Jung’s archetypes. Remember, it’s only a model…
Ancient Egyptian reliefs