DO WHAT THOU WILT
The first question to be addressed is: Why another church? It is quite unlike any other church of which I know, as an organization with such a serious mission. One thing that ours is not is a mere social club for devil-may-care dabblers. It is true, however, that the longest-lived institutions in this world, as well as some of the wealthiest and (in some places much more so than in others) still by far the most powerful and influential (unfortunately or not, as the case may be and as ideological perspectives vary), tend to be religious institutions. Why is this so? Why indeed are the writers that engender in the greatest number of devoted readers not the poets or musicians so much as the prophets and saints of some or other religion? (Musicians and other celebrities engender as many, if not more, to such heights of ecstasy through their own respective aspects of the Genius of expression, it is admitted, yet they usually — but not always! — tend to do so for a relatively brief span of time, whereas certain prophets continue to inspire many others to extraordinary pinnacles of passion for thousands of years or longer.) Ours is a mission of such importance to humanity in the long run that we can only serve it best by doing all that we can do in order to preserve its vital body of doctrine intact for the duration of the New Age of Man and beyond.
The fact remains, beyond this mundane practical benefit to our mission of freedom, that there is an unbelievably immense praeternatural Intelligence (i.e. not limited to any mundane apparatus of apprehension restricted to a particular point in time and space), “out there” or “deep down within” — or both — and that harmonization of our own base awareness with its own, through Gnosis — Knowledge — and Communion — Conversation, or Congress — can ideally lead to the achievement of far greater heights of genius, awareness, self-confidence, and self-empowerment, than could ever be realized otherwise. One can also go to dangerous places of confusion and delusion, to the lowly abodes of the sorrowful and the unfulfilled. Ordeals vary, both in severity and in kind — it is not for any to decide for another. We must either rise or fall on our own, without interference from those who would control, restrict, and oppress. But those who falter or outright fail, falling into this pitfall or that of misfortune and pain, have always to know that tomorrow is not always as today, and that a better day shall one day come, but only if we are determined to make it so. There can be, logic insists, no end to the cycles of existence as we know it, just changes in the ways in which it is known. At its core, at its very heart and soul, is the ultimate Genius, the full potential of Greatness, within every man and every woman. And while it is well beyond our initial understanding and knowledge, low as it is, limited to the degree that it is, to the great extent that we come to perceive it ultimately as our own — at least on some level — it is nevertheless true that this Gnosis is within our reach, if that is we progress adequately along the rails of sanity and self-improvement through its unique pathway to the Summum Bonum itself, True Wisdom and Perfect Happiness of such exalted Supernal Genius — a Genius that is divine indeed, being as it is at all points in time, ad infinitum.
This is not simply a church of the Supernal Genius of Man, at any rate. It is, after all, referred to as the Holy Thelemic Church. It is Thelemic in that, per its corpus of dogma, Thelema, which is considered in our doctrine to be an overarching religious and ideological law, as given in Liber L vel Legis, The Book of the Law, is in our era the supreme religious rule — namely, “Do what thou wilt” — by which one might — with sufficient dedication, diligence, discipline, devotion to duty, and deference of respect for refinement, subtlety, and understanding — achieve the Gnosis and Communion of one’s own unique Epiphany of Augoeides, guide of all to the throne of Heaven.
This, our atheological doctrine of impersonal divinity at the root of all sentient beings, achieving its height of power in its Genius, with memory spanning eternity, is the true Abomination of Desolation that shall someday supplant the altar of every temple. The Stele of Revealing that we uphold transmits this sublime message: that man is not apart from God but one therewith; that he has simply to reach out, with sufficient force of passionate will and definite action, to that Genius, in just the right ways, burning his own way through the web of profane misunderstanding and folly, in order to arrive thereat; and that it is, as we behold it, clearly possessed of the mind (i.e. head) not of a mere man, with his own petty ideals and ideas delivered not of Genius but of mundane personal concern, but of a beast, with perception both primal and impersonal, abiding as it does in the lowest as in the highest, the base and the Most High. The beast in question, to further examine the symbolism, is a hawk, which resides very often so far aloft in the firmament and scans the horizons with keener perception than most. It is, of course, a symbol of mastery and excellence, soaring as it does to the heights.
I am delighted to be in a position to deliver the glad tidings of the reformation of the Holy Thelemic Church along somewhat more traditional lines, with a simplified system. Guidance is given in the form of freely-given writings, both here in this forum, via articles, and in book-form PDFs, but nothing is ever expected in the form of payment. It is possible, with a great deal of work and exceptional enthusiasm, sustained with assiduous devotion to duty, to get far along this path of self-betterment, but no road that leads to the palace of wisdom is easy to traverse, and there are road blocks as well as so many hazards littering the way. The only question, to this point, has been which road to take this church down — that is to say, what approach to take. There are certainly more traditional options, if one chooses to think that the person of Aleister Crowley held the ultimate knowledge of Thelemic Mystery, and that his alone was the final Authority in all matters Thelemic. Aside from the fact that it is in the Scarlet Woman, not the Prince-Priest, in whom is “all power given” (vide Liber Legis), there is the matter of others coming after the prophet of Man to elucidate the glad word — fleshing it out without at all changing it — to end the bondage of superstition surrounding matters of God, and to establish a more enlightened society. At worst we can be charged with corrupting the vision of Crowley, at any point at which we diverge from him in our approach or interpretation of sacred doctrine. In truth, after all is said and well understood on all sides, our church corrupts nothing, but in fact, its supreme merit is in its message of freedom from all the former laws of gods and men that restrict and oppress mankind; but the proofs and signs are there for the seeing to see. We are the guardians of the Graal of the Scarlet Tradition, pioneers of the prairies of the new country of divine men and women, of all races and beliefs, of any gender or sexual orientation, unharmed in the face of the folly of ridicule or superficial puerile attack at the hands of the petty and the profane — or, at the mercy of religious extremists that would put the falsely-perceived ideal of God above the best interests of mankind. We sacrifice not our will on the altar of any god: all personal gods are of man: there is no god but the Genius of man. All else is a self-defeating curse of superstition that threatens in various ways to obliterate the planet, or at best the civilization we know.
Our tradition, of course, stems not from the superficial notion of lineage transferring in some fashion by laying-on of hands. This Scarlet Tradition of Thelemic Law derives in a mystical way, in a rather subtle manner, from no mundane transference of benediction through flesh. We believe that none requires another to be admitted to the Temple of Genius. Our attainments are within reach of all that aspire unto them.
Our Matron Saint is Soror Alostrael, known in the mundane world as Leah Hirsig, who died in 1975 C.E., as we ourselves were the first to actually announce online. Her ultimate renunciation of the Office of Scarlet Woman — one of many renunciations preceding it — is without consequence. The personal will of man is not at all times or in all ways equivalent to the elect will of his veiled Self. And the House of God is neither divided nor torn down by the ill-order of its residents: for there is harmony following the discord, with revelation to come thereby.
Let us strive not to forget, as we regard the celebrations and traditions of the Holy Law of the Age of Man, that the spiritual formula thereof is not only Leonine but also Aquarian, i.e. of the Beast and of the Beloved. It is probably best, therefore, if we utilize celebrations and traditions in light of this, with as much of an eye to woman as to man, but also respectful of gays and lesbians as well, making them comfortable in the Sanctuary of Sacred Love & Holy Will, by granting them a seat, if you will, at its bed.
Our tradition of honoring Thelemic Saints, too, has undergone some slight revision. Perhaps an Atheological Society or some such institution to celebrate the genius of others should be established at some point in the future, but the list of Saints of the Holy Thelemic Church is officially trimmed to honor Thelemic disciples, oracles and prophets whose achievements were clearly and indisputably ingenious and critically important to the Thelemic Mission. That is to say, Initiates only, and only those whose Genius was undeniable and whose contribution to the Sacred Tradition was enormous. Not to say that there are no lights of Genius outside the walls of the Thelemic Church, for there are many who are of us that tread afar from our fold, and these are no less for it. There are, of course, “means and means”; let none judge another, except by his fruits (or fruitcakes, as is so often the case).
More on this reformation is forthcoming, with new PDF releases to come, including vital revisions of some of our previous works. The key is that this church is to serve as a fellowship for the celebration and promulgation of our holy tradition of Thelemic Law, to the betterment of all men and women everywhere, a liberating Law for a not-so-liberated world. Ours is, obviously, a community of the few and the secret, being as we are high atop the Tower of the Gnosis of the Master Will, on the third floor of the House of God — but let it neither dissuade nor deter us, for ours is all the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, to come, not for ourselves, or for our petty personal delight, but for the Mission of Love to free men from the chains of superstition and servility to whatever end of so-called sanctity. This is the importance of our great Mission: to lift men up, that they arise from out of ignorance and misery, unto Self-Love, Self-Worship, and at last, unto the greatness of Genius to which it invariably leads, given only time and effort and diehard loyalty to, and perfect understanding of, this glad word:
LOVE IS THE LAW