Thelema Lodge Calendar for July 2003 e.v.

Thelema Lodge Calendar

for July 2003 e.v.

   The viewpoints and opinions expressed herein are the responsibility of the contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of OTO or its officers.

Copyright © O.T.O. and the Individual Authors, 2003 e.v.

Thelema Lodge
Ordo Templi Orientis
P.O.Box 2303
Berkeley, CA 94702 USA

July 2003 e.v. at Thelema Lodge

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Announcements from
Lodge Members and Officers

A Thelemite

    Thelema Lodge will be making a pilgrimage this month to the grave site of Gabriel Montenegro, in observation of the greater feast 34 years ago of this significant California Thelemite. (The date also marks the eighteenth anniversary of the greater feast of the founder of our lodge, Caliph Grady Louis McMurtry.) Meet at the lodge by 11:00 on Saturday morning 12th July to accompany a group riding BART together across the bay. We will be walking (less than a mile) from the Colma station to the Cypress Lawn Memorial Park. Those driving from the peninsula, or otherwise traveling separately, may meet us at the cemetery around noon.

Gabriel Montenegro IX

    Dr Gabriel Montenegro Vargas is an enigmatic figure in O.T.O. history, and many details of his biography remain mysterious. He is the only individual known to have been initiated into the Order during Karl Germer's administration, and after this occurred in 1948 e.v. no other initiations were to be conducted in O.T.O. for over twenty years.
    He was born on 8th January 1907 e.v. in Zapotlán, Mexico. During his youth and early adulthood he traveled back and forth from Mexico to the San Francisco Bay area, where he later trained in the healing arts and qualified to practice as a doctor of chiropractic.
    During this time, he began to take an interest in mystical practices and fraternities. He studied with Toltic Indians, and he was also raised as a freemason, being initiated to the 33 of the F. & A. M. in Mazatlan. When he sought initiation in the O.T.O. during the 1940s e.v. the only group available in Mexico was a non-initiating branch of the Ordo Templi Orientis Antiqua chartered by Arnaldo Krumm-Heller. After coming to the United States for his initiation into Germer's O.T.O. he continued in regular attendance as a devoted member of the Order, in association with Agape Lodge in Los Angeles. He was eventually initiated to the IX and took the name of Fr Zöpirón. Another name, Theophilus, may have been reserved for the A A in his work as a Probationer under Roy Leffingwell.
    Montenegro, or "Monty," as he was often called, is also remembered for his pointed opposition to Grady McMurtry's plan to organize members to pressure Germer into restarting O.T.O. initiations in the late 1950s e.v. (compare Grady's later account of their disagreement in his essay on "Continuity in the Order" reprinted in our "Grady Project" column last May.)
    In 1966 e.v. Montenegro began a correspondence with members of Hermann Metzger's Swiss O.T.O., and the following year he visited Metzger at Stein in Zurich. The reception he received there seemed warm at first, but when Montenegro declined to accept Metzger as the O.H.O. of O.T.O. their relations became increasingly hostile. Montenegro described being awakened during the night by repeated loud noises, and upon emerging from his room to investigate, finding Metzger seated at a table in an advanced state of inebriation. His host was slamming a liquor glass down upon the board and yelling "I am the O.H.O.! I am the O.H.O.!" Montenegro left soon afterwards.
    In 1969 Montenegro voiced his support for re-starting O.T.O. with Grady McMurtry, although he died on 14th July before an organizational meeting could take place. The funeral was overseen by the F. & A. M. Lodge # 434 in Daly City, and he was buried at Cypress Lawn Memorial Park in Colma. He was survived by his wife Marguerite (who died in 1999 e.v.) and a daughter, Sister Marie Angelica, now a Notre Dame nun.
    Gabriel Montenegro's tombstone is inscribed "Gabriel Montenegro V. / A Thelemite / 1907 - 1969." Above the inscription, flanked by two crosses, is a stylized O.T.O. lamen, which contains inscriptions denoting his membership in the O.T.O., the A A, and the Scottish Rite of freemasonry.
-- biographical material and photographs
contributed by Frater Libanus

Practices Make Perfect

    To his own students and to all of us in the Thelemic tradition Aleister Crowley makes quite plain, in De Lege Libellum (Liber CL) and in the Book of Wisdom or Folly (Liber Aleph) and elsewhere, that a regular regimen of daily practice is essential, both in the fields of magick and yoga, in coming to know and to do the True Will, and in performing the Great Work. To this end a group of senior initiates at Thelema Lodge have drafted a suggested curriculum for personal ritual and yogic practices, suitable both for initiates in the M M M grades of O.T.O. and for non-initiate magicians engaged in parallel training along Thelemic lines. The class series on Foundations of Magical Practice meets on the second Thursday evening of each month in the lodge library or in the temple, from 7:30 until 10:00 o'clock. In our explorations of the curriculum we will discuss the theory and practice both of ritual magick and yoga. This month, meeting on Thursday evening 10th July, the group will take a deep look at Liber O, the Book of the Hand and the Arrow, and its outline of the techniques of the Assumption of God Forms and the Vibration of Divine Names. From there, with our basic outline in place, we will go on in the series to examine a variety of basic practices. The facilitators are brother Gregory Peters, sister Leigh Ann Hussey, and brother Samuel Shult, who encourage aspirants at all levels of experience to participate in a spirit of mutual respect and shared understanding. Make electronic inquiries to Leigh Ann's Web mail; or call the lodge for directions and join in.

Om is Where the Art Is

    Brother Jeffrey Sommer continues his Mantra-Yoga series this month at Thelema Lodge with a meeting on Thursday evening 17th July at 8:00 in Horus Temple. Special topics to be addressed at this session include composition of personal mantras and the Hindu worship technique known as doing puga. Those attending would do well to bring a mala (a rosary of 108 beads) for counting the repetitions. Come prepared to do some serious chanting!

What for Lust and What for Lore

    Join Caitlin and the Section Two reading group in the library at Thelema Lodge on Monday evening 21st July from 8:00 until 9:30 for a reading and discussion of another medieval poem presenting an assembly of birds who debate the nature and meaning of love. The Parliament of Fowls, in the Middle English verse of Geoffrey Chaucer, is altogether different from the Sufi devotional anthology we found in last month's Persian bird poem. Chaucer's version (which was in no perceptible way influenced by Attar's work two centuries earlier) presents a freewheeling naturalistic romp in the Garden of Love, with memorable individuation of the aviary characters we meet there, and lively debate between their differing personal styles and alternate philosophical perspectives. Chaucer (who lived from about 1342 until 1400) seems to have written The Parliament of Fowls to read aloud as part of a celebration at the court of King Richard II on the feast of St Valentine, 14th February 1383. The poem is composed of precisely one hundred stanzas in the intricate seven-line pattern known in medieval French as "rime royal," which Chaucer was the first to adapt for use in English. Befitting the occasion he explores the subject of love in his poem, not only from within the romance tradition of artificial chivalric devotion, but also much more broadly in the realms of natural history and moral philosophy. In order to speak freely to his courtly audience Chaucer adopted the pose of a scholar attempting to comprehend his subject simply by reading all about it, and in the poem he recounts a dream he had one night after pondering an august text of ancient philosophy. This dream narrative allows the poet to conflate a wide variety of styles, characters, symbols, and situations into a compelling discourse which jumps from narrative to dialogue to description and back again with extraordinary freedom and range.
    It will be easy for Thelemites to find in Chaucer's bird poem a core inquiry into the meaning of love under will. The Parliament of Fowls opens by examining love as a psychological and philosophical concept. Researching into this subject the poet has been studying an old battered volume entitled Tullyus of the Drem of Scipioun, and in forty-nine lines he offers a precise of its cosmology along with the ethical lessons to be drawn from it. It is of course the dream of Scipio Africanus described by Marcus Tullius Cicero (our text last spring in the Section Two group), and when he retires from his reading the weary scholar-poet has his own dream in which the elder Africanus appears to fetch him from bed for a brisk inspection of the cosmos. Then as a particular reward for his studious reading the dream-guide conducts Chaucer into a paradisical private garden where he can make close observations of how nature and culture have defined the conduct of love. In an elaborate parody of Dante's Divine Comedy (of which Chaucer was among the very first English readers) the poet follows his ancient Roman guide up to a gate with dire warning inscribed above, but when he hesitates to enter old Africanus simply shoves him through, with the assurance that he will be safe as a tourist in the other world. As the poet gazes curiously upon the allegorical figure of Venus, he begins to examine the erotic drive as a force of nature. The dreamer is allowed to listen in as the wise goddess Nature performs the intricate administrative duties necessary for love to function as a biological process. Nature oversees the selection of mates among the birds in springtime, and in the problems encountered in their coupling the poet covertly contrasts various human attitudes toward love. After protracted debate there is a general clamor for partners among the birds, and in their flutter and cacophony the dreamer is awakened -- to go on with his studies.

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Crowley Classics

   This essay, which first appeared in volume 35 of The English Review (London: July 1922) on pages 65-70, was a sequel to Crowley's similarly anonymous article in those same pages one month previous, "The Great Drug Delusion" (with the by-line "by a New York Specialist"). That first piece was one of our earliest items in the present column, reprinted in the Thelema Lodge Calendar for September 1991 e.v.

The Drug Panic

by a London Physician
[Aleister Crowley]

    It is a long while since I was at school, and I may have forgotten some things, but I remember well that I was taught there to beware of a certain type of fallacy called non distributio medii; and this fallacy is at the base of all the recent most baneful, most mischievous, most wasteful and most insolent legislation which we see on all hands, but nowhere more than in the matter of such follies as the Dangerous Drugs Act.
    The present writer agrees entirely with the thesis expounded by a New York Specialist in the June issue of The English Review. In this matter of the Dangerous Drugs Act Parliament seems to have been inspired by ignorance made deeper by the wildest ravings of that class of newspaper which aspires to thrill its readers -- if reading it can be called -- with blood-curdling horrors.
    And here is where the fallacy I mentioned comes in. We are all laudably busy in "cleaning up" Sin in its hydra-headed and Protean forms. Very good: we hear that a woman abuses morphine, or a man goes mad and destroys his family with an axe.
    We then argue that as the morphine and the axe can injure society, it must be made as difficult as possible for any one to buy these engines of atrocity. No! we do not do so in the case of the axe, because it is obvious to everybody that there is a large class of very poor men whose livelihood would be taken away if they could not get axes.
    Then why does not the same argument apply in the case of the morphine? Because the public is ignorant of the existence of "a large class of very poor men" who would die or go insane if morphine were withheld from them.
    Bronchitis and asthma, in particular, are extremely common among the lower classes, in consequence of exposure, bad air, and other insanitary conditions. One of my own patients is a most brilliant exponent of electrical science, endowed with a creative genius which would have enriched the world in a thousand ways had he not been hampered all his life by spasmodic asthma. This man cannot live and work at all unless he has a supply of heroin in case he is seized by a spasm. His ill-health had prevented him amassing a fortune; he is, in fact, extremely poor. Now what is the effect of the Dangerous Drugs Act on him -- and he is only one of probably 100,000 similar cases in these islands? Only this -- that he must trudge round constantly to his doctor to obtain a new prescription: this means time and money which he can ill afford. Also, it might mean danger to his life, if he happened to forget his supply of the drug, and were seized with an attack; for he could hardly explain -- in the violence of the paroxysm -- to a chance-summoned doctor that heroin, and heroin alone, would relieve him.
    Nor does the mischief end here. (It is, to begin with, infernally un- English and unsportsmanlike to spy upon professional men, the pharmacist as well as the doctor.) All prescriptions for dangerous drugs are retained by the dispenser. He can obtain drugs as he requires them from the wholesale houses, and the transfer must be reported to the Central Spy Station. Detective-inspectors then drop in at all hours on the pharmacist, weigh what he has in stock, and see if the amount dispensed tallies with the amount prescribed. Woe to the wight who cannot account for the eighth of a grain! (It is not my business, but it is very much the business of the public, to inquire into the cost of conducting this elaborate infamy.)
    And this microscopical meddling with reputable and responsible druggists, while the stuff is being sold all over England in wholesale quantities!
    But it does not stop here, even. The spies note the quantities prescribed by each physician, and sherlock him home. The statistics show that Dr Black had prescribed 2 ounces 3 pennywights 1 scruple and 238 grains of morphia during the last month, while Dr White has only prescribed 416 grains in the same period. As Dr White happens to be a kidney, and Dr Black a cancer, specialist, the anomaly is not so remarkable as it appears to Inspector Smellemout, who has no knowledge of medicine whatever, and cares for nothing but the pleasures of bullying and the hopes of promotion. So he goes to Dr Black, and warns him! The D. D. Act has nothing before its eyes but a (largely imaginary) class of "addicts." Dr Black is suspected of selling prescriptions to people who are not in real need of the drug. In America, traps are laid for doctors. A detective, usually a "lady," goes to the doctor with a false story of symptoms read up for the purpose from a medical book. She not improbably adds to the effect by shameless seduction; and if she gets the prescription, one way of another, the unhappy doctor is "railroaded" to jail. We have not reached that height of civilization in England as yet; but we have only to keep on going!
    Now what is the effect on Dr Black? He has been, we may suppose, established as a physician, with perhaps an appointment at a leading hospital, for the past thirty years. He has found it necessary to prescribe constantly increasing doses of morphia -- as the only palliative -- in hopeless cases of cancer. And now an inspector who doesn't know his toe from his tibia is sitting opposite to him, notebook in hand, browbeating him. "Do you mean to tell me that after prescribing morphia daily to Miss Grey for nearly eleven years she has not become an addict?" And so on.1 Of course she is an addict, as much as we ourselves are addicted to breathing -- stop it for one brief hour, and death often ensues! Strange! No law about it yet, either -- shameful!
    The upshot of the Inspector's visit is to make Dr Black try to prescribe less morphia. In other words, the law tries to compel him, under pain of the possible loss of his reputation or even of his diploma, to violate his oath as a physician to use his judgment and experience for his patients' benefit.
    And meanwhile, Dr White, that good man, who prescribes so little morphia, has an even better brother, Dr Snow White, who never prescribes it at all, but, being highly esteemed as a consultant, is often sent for in difficult cases by Continental physicians, and returns to England with a few pounds of various "Dangerous Drugs" safely bestowed and sells them discreetly at enormous prices to his exclusive clientele of "fast" or "ultra-smart" people about town.
    My colleague from New York was a thousand times right to insist that the whole question is one of moral education. And what does the D. D. Act actually do? It sets at naught the moral education which no self-respecting physician or even pharmacist can have failed to acquire during his training in science. The Legislature deliberately determines to distrust the very people who are legally responsible for the physical well-being of the nation, and puts them under the thumb of the police, as if they were potential criminals. It makes a diploma waste paper. It drives the patient into the hands of the quack and the peddler of drugs.
    Nobody in England -- or America either for that matter -- seems to have the remotest idea of the enormity of public ignorance. Compulsory education has made every noodle the peer of the greatest knowers and thinkers -- in his own estimation. The really educated classes have lost their prestige. The public imagines itself entitled to pronounce with authority on questions which the experts hold most debatable. Yet instead of "education" having leveled the community, knowledge has advanced so rapidly in so many directions that the specialist has been forced to specialize still further. The gap between (say) the Professor of Organic Chemistry and the yokel is vastly greater than it was in 1872. But the specialist is distrusted more and more, even in England. In America he is not only distrusted, he is hated. There is an epidemic of witch-finding, one is tempted to say. If democracy is to mean that intellectual superiority is a police offence, there seems no reason for not adopting the Bulshevik theories at once. And there is certainly no difficulty in understanding why democracies have in the past invariably led to the extinction of the nations which adopted them. The whole essence of Evolution is to let the best man win: yet our recent theory seems to be that the best man, the "sport," is necessarily a danger to society. The English Constitution is based upon a hierarchical principle; men are to be tested in every respect, and those who succeed are entrusted with power, while the weakest must go to the wall, as Nature intends and insists that they shall. But now, apparently with the charitable design of ensuring that none but the weakest, physically and morally, shall propagate their kind, we send our best men into a type of warfare where neither courage nor intelligence can be of the slightest avail; we make politics impossible for men of high principle or decent feeling; and we end by telling those who have risked their lives time and again in the pursuit of that knowledge which will enable us to prepare a stronger and cleaner race of men for the future that they are not to be trusted to prescribe for their own patients!
    We are patient, we physicians, we warriors in an age-long battle against disease, ninety-five per cent. of which is the direct result of ignorance, vice, and stupidity; that is perhaps why we remain quiet under the foul and senseless insult of the Dangerous Drugs Act.
    But the inhibition acts in another way. Already, just as the best representatives of English life refuse to go into politics, we see that the best qualified men and women refuse to be subjected to the ignominy inseparable from the profession of teaching.
    Those who are already in the mire prefer to stay there, or feel that there is no way out. But they warn the newcomer against entering.
    Similarly, if the prestige of the pharmacist is to go, he will be forced to earn his living as he does in America by opening ice-cream-soda fountains and similar undignified methods of compensating himself for the self-respect which insane legislation has torn from him; and the medical profession will be filled by men who have no true love of knowledge or pity for humanity, but are in a hurry to put up a brass plate, and push their way to the front.
    A story to end! The reductio ad absurdum -- pray pardon the undemocratic phrase -- is given by the case of the University of ----, one of our six most prominent Universities.
    This body ran out of its supply of cocaine; a small quantity was urgently required for research work. Application was made in due form.
    It was refused.
    Etc., etc., etc., for all the world like "a jolly chapter of Rabelais."
    The matter eventually reached the Privy Council!!!
    It was refused. More correspondence.
    . . . Etc. as before.
    The Scientific Research Society took up the matter on behalf of the University. More correspondence, etc. -- and there the affair still is. But think of what might have happened! Imagine all those old professors solemnly sitting round their board-table sniffing cocaine in the hope of One Last Jag! And they could have sent a boy to Switzerland and got all they wanted in three days.

1. A really self-respecting doctor would simply call his servants, tell them "Throw this gentleman out," and fight the matter
    in the Courts to the death. Alas! that so few of us can afford the luxury of self-respect; we have too often the
    spectre of wife and children at our ears, whispering "Compromise! Lie low!"

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from the Grady Project:

   This previously unpublished poem was found in the author's typescript in the editorial archives of the Magickal Link. Copyright © O.T.O.

Our Lady Babalon

by Grady L. McMurtry

What use have I for virgins?
A virgin is clumsy and shy.
Give me a woman that's lusty,
A woman who knows life as I.

I, who with Bacchus as father
Roamed the Laphystian ridge;
I want a woman who judges
The strength of the phallic bridge.

Cursed is she who is sold
A maid on the nuptual marts,
I'll take a woman who knows
The innermost, erotic arts.

A woman may love as the earth
That has known the varied caress,
Each year a different lover --
The rain of the wild wilderness.

And yet she remaineth a woman
A star that is willful with pride,
Her path she may choose as she pleases
Her steed is the morning to stride.

Her hair is the glory of dawning
Her eyes are the rivers of day
Her body is full and voluptuous
Her will is of life as she may.

For this is the secret of woman
To Live and to Love and to Be;
And this is my quest of the Old Gods,
Give me a woman that's free!

Free from the taint of corruption
Which preaches that sex is a lie!
Free in the knowledge that She is
A one with Nuit in the sky.

A woman that is life, and loves
With the pure flame of joy and grace!
This is the woman the world needs
To mother the super-man race!


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from the Library Shelf

   An Adventure Among the Rosicrucians, by a Student of Occultism (Boston: Occult Publishing Co., 1887), is a novel much along the lines of the many "utopian" stories being published at the time. True to the pattern, a lone narrator makes a fantastic visit to an ideal community and tours the entire facility with a guide who sets forth the virtues of the local (imaginary) life-style. Things have been carefully organized and controlled so that everyone leads an stable, efficient, communal, and intentional life. The sample passage given here comes from the opening of the third chapter, pages 78 through 95.
    Franz Hartmann, a IX member of O.T.O. prior to the Order's reformation under Theordore Reuss and Aleister Crowley, was born in the Bavarian village of Donauwerth on 22nd November 1838. After completing medical studies at the University of Munich in 1865 he left for Paris, and ended up taking a position as ship's physician on a steamliner bound for New York. For eighteen years he practiced medicine and traveled throughout the United States and Mexico, living at various times in New Orleans, Vera Cruz, Mexico City, Clear Creek, Colorado (where he was elected county coroner), Salt Lake City, and the San Francisco bay area. He studied the religions of American Indian tribes, spending time with Seneca, Shawnee, and Choctaw communities. He closely observed a number of spiritualistic mediums and attempted to measure various psychic phenomena. Reading The Theosphist magazine, he began corresponding with Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott. Late in 1883 he sailed from San Francisco to join them in India, where he soon came to have mixed feelings about the spiritual politics in the Adyar headquarters of the Theosphical Society. During a minor crisis when a few of Blavatsky's many tricks were exposed by the Society for Psychical Research, Hartmann escorted her out of India for a secluded vacation in Italy, and afterwards made his way back to his native Bavarian Alps. His last decades were spent in the mountains outside Salzburg, and he died nearby on 7th August 1912 e.v.

an excerpt from
An Adventure
Among the Rosicrucians

by Franz Hartmann


    We stepped out into the corridor and entered the garden. The palm-trees and exotic plants, by which we were surrounded, formed a strong contrast to the weird and desolate scenery, with its fields of ice and scrub-pines, which I had seen before entering this enchanted valley. High bushes of fuchsias changed with rose-bushes, and all were covered with the most beautiful flowers; the air was perfumed from the odor of many varieties of hyacinths, heliotropes, and other plants whose names I do not remember. Nevertheless, the place was not a hot-house; for there was no other roof over it than the clear blue sky. I wondered whether perhaps the garden was heated from below the surface, and the thought came into my mind that so much luxury seemed not to agree with the views, expressed by the Adept, that those who live within the paradise of their own souls do not care for external sensual gratification. But the Imperator seemed to known my thought even before it had taken definite form in my mind, and said:
    "We have created these illusions to make your visit to this place an agreeable one in every respect. All these trees and plants which you see, require no gardeners, and are inexpensive; they cost us nothing but an effort of our imagination."
    I went up to one of the rose-bushes and broke one of the roses. It was a real rose, as real as I had ever seen one before; its odor was sweet, and it had just unfolded its leaves in the rays of the mid-day sun.
    "Surely," I said, "this rose which I hold in my hand cannot be an illusion, or an effect of my imagination?"
    "No," answered the Adept, "it is not produced by your own imagination, but it is a product of the imagination of nature, whose processes can be guided by the spiritual will of the Adept. The whole world, with its solid planets, its mountains of granite, its oceans and rivers, the whole earth with all its multifarious forms, is nothing else but a world of the imagination of the Universal Mind, which is the creator of forms. Forms are nothing real, they are merely illusions or shapes of substance; a form without substance is unthinkable and cannot exist. But the only substance of which we know is the universal primordial element of matter, constituting the substance of Universal Mind, the A'kâsa. This element of matter is invisibly present everywhere; but only when it assumes a certain state of density, sufficient to resist the penetrating influence of the terrestrial light, does it come within the reach of your sensual perception, and assume for you an objective shape. The universal power of will penetrates all things. Guided by the spiritual intelligence of the Adept, whose consciousness pervades all his surroundings, it creates in the Universal Mind those shapes which the Adept imagines; for the sphere of the Universal Mind, where he lives, is his own mind, and there is no difference between the latter and the former, as far as the sphere of the latter extends. By an occult process, which cannot be at present explained to you, but which exists principally in an effort of will, the shapes thus created in the mind-substance of the Adept are rendered dense, and thereby become objective and real to you."
    "I acknowledge," I said, "that this is still incomprehensible to me. Can an image formed in your head come out of your head and assume a material form?"
    The Adept seemed to be amused at my ignorance, and smilingly answered: "Do you believe that the sphere of the mind in which man lives exists only within the circumference of his skull? I should be sorry for such a man; for he would not be able to see or perceive anything whatever, except the processes going on in that part of his mind contained within his skull. The whole world would be to him nothing but impenetrable and incomprehensible darkness. He would not be able to see the sun or any external object; for man can perceive nothing except that which exists within his own mind. But fortunately for man, the sphere of the mind of each individual man reaches as far as the stars. It reaches as far as his power of perception reaches. His mind comes in contact with all things, however distant they may be from his physical body. Thus his mind -- not his brain -- receives the impressions; but these impressions come to his consciousness within his physical brain, which is merely the centre in which the messages of the mind are received."
    After giving this explanation, the Adept, evidently still seeing some doubts in my mind, directed me to look at a magnolia-tree which stood at a short distance. It was a tree of perhaps sixty feet in height, and covered with great, white, beautiful flowers. While I looked, the tree began to appear less and less dense. The green foliage faded into gray, so that the white blossoms could hardly be distinguished from the leaves; it became more and more shadowy and transparent; it seemed to be merely the ghost of a tree, and finally it disappeared entirely from view.
    "Thus," continued the Adept, "you see that tree stood in the sphere of my mind as it stood in yours. We are all living within the sphere of each other's mind, and he in whom the power of spiritual perception has been developed may at all times see the images created in the mind of another. The Adept creates his own images; the ordinary mortal lives in the products of the imagination of others, either in those of the imagination of nature, or in those which have been created by other minds. We live in the paradise of our own soul, and the objects which you behold exist in the realm of our soul; but the spheres of our souls are not narrow. They have expanded far beyond the limits of the visible bodies, and will continue to expand until they become one with the Universal Soul and as large as the latter.
    "The power of the imagination is yet too little known to mankind, else they would better beware of what they think. If a man thinks a good or an evil thought, that thought calls into existence a corresponding form or power within the sphere of the mind, which may assume density and become living, and which may continue to live long after the physical body of the man who created it had died. It will accompany his soul after death, because the creations are attracted to their creator."
    "Does, then," I asked, "every evil thought or the imagination of something evil create that evil and cause it to exist as a living entity?"
    "Not so," answered the Imperator. "Every thought calls into existence the form or power of which we think; but these things have no life until life is infused into them by the Will. If they do not receive life from the Will, they are like shadows and fade soon away. If this were not the case, men could never read of a crime without mentally committing it, and thereby creating most vicious Elementals. You may imagine evil deeds of all kinds, but unless you have a desire to perform them, the creations of your imagination obtain no life. But if you desire to perform them, if your will is so evil that you would be willing to perform them if you had the external means to do so, then it may perhaps be as bad for you as if you had actually committed them, and you create thereby a living although invisible power of evil. It is the Will which endows the creations of imagination with life, because Will and Life are fundamentally identical."
    Seeing a doubt arise in my mind, he continued: "If I speak of the Will as a life-giving power, I am speaking of the spiritual will power which resides in the heart. A will power merely exercised by the brain is like the cold light of the moon, which has no power to warm the forms upon which it falls. The life-giving will power comes from the heart, and acts like the rays of the sun which call life into action in minerals, plants, and animals. It is that which man desires with his heart, not that which he merely imagines with his brain, which has real power. Fortunately for mankind in general, this spiritual will power which calls the creations of the imagination into objective visible existence is in the possession of very few, else the world would be filled with living materialized monsters, which would devour mankind; for there are in our present state of civilization more people who harbor evil desires than such as desire the good. But their will is not spiritual enough to be powerful; it comes more from the brain than from the heart; it is usually only strong enough to harm him who created the evil thought, and to leave others unaffected. Thus you see how important it is that men should not come into possession of spiritual powers until they become virtuous and good. These are mysteries which in former times were kept very secret, and which ought not to be revealed to the vulgar. If you make use of them, be careful to discriminate between the good and the evil disposed."
    We entered through a Gothic portal into a hall. The light fell through four high windows into the room, which was of an octagonal form. In the midst of this room stood a round table surrounded by chairs, and the corners formed by the sides of the octagon were provided with furniture of various kinds. There were quite a number of the Brothers assembled, some of whom I recognized from having seen their pictures in historical representations; but what astonished me above all was that there were two ladies present -- one appearing very tall and dignified, the other one of smaller stature and of a more delicate, but not less noble, appearance, and exceedingly beautiful. To find ladies in the monastery of the Brothers of the Golden and Rosy Cross was a fact which surprised and staggered me, and my confusion was evidently observed by all present; but after having been introduced to all the persons present -- or, to express it more correctly, after having had them all introduced to me, for they all seemed to know me and not to need my introduction -- the tall lady took my hand and led me to the table, while she smilingly spoke the following words:
    "Why should you be so surprised, my friend, to see Adepts inhabiting female forms in company of those whose forms appear to be of a male character? What has intelligence to do with the sex of the body? Where the sexual instincts end, there ends the influence of sex. Come, now, and take this chair by my side, and have some of this delicious fruit."
    The table was covered with a variety of excellent fruits, some of which I had never seen before, and which do not grow in this country. The illustrious company took their seats, and a conversation ensued in which all took part. I only too deeply felt my own inferiority while in this place, but everyone seemed to assert his powers to reassure me and to make me imagine that I was their equal. The Brothers and Sisters hardly tasted the food, but they seemed to be pleased to see me enjoy it, and in fact my morning walk and the pure air of the mountain had given me a very good appetite. The noble lady next to whom I was seated soon succeeded in making my embarrassment vanish, answered my questions in regard to the causes of certain occult phenomena, and made a few practical experiments to illustrate her doctrines. The following may serve as an example of the powers she possessed to create illusions:
    We came to speak of the intrepidity and undaunted courage which he must possess who desires to enter the realm of occult research: "For" she said, "the whole elemental world, with all its monstrosities and animal elements, is opposed to man's spiritual progress. The animals (Elementals) living in the animal principle of man's constitution, live on his life and on the substance of his animal elements. If the divine spirit awakens within the heart of man and sends his light into those animal elements, the substance on which these parasites live becomes destroyed, and they begin to rage like other famished beasts. They fight for their lives and for their food, and they are therefore the greatest impediments and opponents to the spiritual progress of man. They live in the soul of man, and are, under normal conditions, invisible to the external senses, although under certain conditions they may even become visible and objective. They live in families, and reproduce their species like our terrestrial animals; they fight with each other and eat each other up. If a man's selfish desires, such as are of a minor type, are all swallowed up by some great master-passion, it merely shows that a monster elemental has grown in his soul and devoured all the minor elementals."
    I answered that it was impossible for me to believe that man was such a living and walking menagerie, and said I wished I could see one of these elementals, so as to realize what it is.
    "Would you not be afraid," she asked, "if such a vicious thing would appear before you?"
    I began to boast of my bravery, and said that I was never afraid of anything which I could see with my eyes and reach with my hands; that fear was the outcome of ignorance, and that knowledge dispelled all fear.
    "You are right," she answered; "but will you be so kind as to hand me that basket with pears."
    I stretched forth my hand after the basket with pears, which stood in the midst of the table, and as I was about to grasp it, a horrible rattlesnake rose up between the fruit; rearing its head and making a noise with its rattles as if in great anger. Horror-struck, I withdrew my hand, barely escaping its venomous bite; but while I stared at it, the serpent coiled itself again up among the pears, its glistening scales disappeared in the basket, and the snake was gone.
    "If you had dared to grasp the snake," said one of the Brothers, who had witnessed the scene, "you would have found it to be merely an illusion."
    "The Will," remarked the Imperator, "is not merely a life-giving power; it is also a destroyer. It causes the atoms of primordial matter to collect around a center; it holds them together, or it may disperse them again into space. It is Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva in one; the creator, maintainer, and destroyer of form."
    "These Elementals," said the beautiful lady, "master us if we do not master them. If we attack them without fear, they can do us no harm; our will is destructive to them."
    The conversation during our breakfast turned about Occultism and kindred subjects. "Occultism and Alchemy," said one of the Brothers, "are at once the most difficult and the easiest things to grasp. They are indeed easy to comprehend, if we only remain natural and look at the mysteries of nature by the light of reason, with which each human being, except an idiot, has been endowed by nature at the time of his birth. But if in the place of reason, the artificial candle-light of false logic, sophistry, and speculation is placed by an irrational education, man steps out of his natural state and becomes unnatural. The images of the eternal truths, which were mirrored in his mind while he was a child and innocent, and not sufficiently intellectually developed to understand them, become by the time that his intellect is developed, so distorted and perverted by the prejudices and misconceptions by which his mind is fed, that their original forms are no more recognizable, and instead of seeing the truth, man only sees the hallucinations which his fancy had created."
    "Do you mean to say," I asked, "that man can possibly know anything about the nature of things, except that which is taught to him by others?"
    "Does the child," asked the Adept, in answer to my question, "need an instructor to explain to it the use of its mother's breasts? Do the cattle require books on botany to know which herbs are poisonous and which are wholesome? Those artificial systems which have been created by man, and which are therefore unnatural, cannot be read in the book of nature; to know the name of a thing which has been invented for it by man, the child needs man's instructions; but the essential attributes of a thing are independent of the name given to it. Shakespeare says that a rose would have an agreeable odor, even if it were called by some other name. At the present state of education, natural philosophers know all about the artificial names and classifications of things, but very little about their interior qualities. What does a modern botanist know about the signatures of plants, by which the Occultist recognizes the medicinal and occult properties of plants as soon as he sees them? The animals have remained natural, while man became unnatural. The sheep does not need to be instructed by a zoologist to seek to escape if a tiger approaches; it knows by his signature, and without argumentation, that he is its enemy. It is not much more important for the sheep to know the ferocious character of the tiger, than to be informed that the latter belongs to genus Felis. If by some miracle a sheep should become intellectual, it might learn so much about the external form, anatomy, physiology, and genealogy of the tiger, that it would lose sight of its internal character and be devoured by it. Absurd as this example may appear, it is nevertheless a true representation of what is done in your schools every day. There the rising generation receive what they call a scientific education. They are taught all about the external form of man, and how that form may be comfortably fed, lodged, and housed, but the sight of the real man who occupies that form is entirely lost, his needs are neglected, he is starved, ill-treated, and tortured, and some of your 'great lights of science' have become so short-sighted that they even deny that he exists."
    "But," I objected, "is it not a great prerogative which intellectual man enjoys over the animal creation, that he possesses an intellect by which he is able to understand the attributes of things which the animals merely instinctively feels?"
    "True," said the Brother; "but man should use his intellect in accordance with reason, and not oppose his intellect to the latter. Instinct in animals is the activity in the animal organism of the same principle whose action in human beings is called reason. It is the faculty of the soul to feel the truth; while the function of the intellect is to understand that which is instinctively or intuitively felt by the soul, or perceived by the exterior senses. If the intellect were to act only in harmony with reason, all intellectual human beings would not only be intellectual, but would also be wise; but we know from our daily experience that intellectuality is not necessarily accompanied by wisdom, that often whose who are most cunning are also most viscous, and the most learned often the most unreasonable."
    "The first and most important step," continued the Brother, "which man must make, if he desires to obtain spiritual power, is to become natural. Only when he has thrown off all his unnatural qualities can he hope to become spiritually strong. If he were to become spiritual before he becomes natural, he would be an unnatural spiritual monster. Such monsters have existed and still exist. They are the spiritual powers of evil acting through human forms; they are the Adepts of Black Magic, sorcerers and villains of various grades."
    "Then," I said, "I presume that great criminals are to a certain extent black magicians."
    "Not necessarily so," answered the Brother. "The majority of evil-doers do evil, not for the love of evil, but for the purpose of attaining some selfish purpose. The villains who are on the road to black magic act evil because they love it, in the same sense as those who are on the road to true adeptship perform good merely because they love good. But whether man performs good or evil acts, a constant or frequent repetition of such acts causes him finally to perform them instinctively, and thus his own nature becomes gradually either identified with good or with evil. He who merely tortures a fly for the sake of torturing it, and because he is pleased to do so, is farther progressed to the road to villainy and absolute evil with consequent destruction, than he who murders a man because he imagines it to be necessary for his own protection that he should murder him."
    Here the conversation began to turn about White Magic and the wonderful powers of certain Tibetan Adepts. The Imperator, who had recently visited them, gave a detailed account of his visit. But, strange as it may appear, while all the details of the other part of our conversation remained deeply engraven in my memory, the account given by the Imperator about that visit is entirely effaced from my mind, and I cannot remember anything whatever about it. It is as if its recollection had been purposely eradicated from my mind.
    After our breakfast was over, the Imperator recommended me to the two Lady- Adepts, and told me that he would soon rejoin us to show me his alchemical laboratory. I then accompanied my two protectors into the beautiful garden.
    We passed through an alley formed by oleander bushes in full bloom, and arrived at a little round pavilion standing upon a little eminence, which afforded a beautiful view of the country and the tall mountain tops in the distance. The roof of the pavilion was supported by marble columns and surrounded by ivy, which grew around the pillars and nearly covered the roof, hanging down at intervals in the open spaces. We seated ourselves, and after a short pause, my friend, whom I will call Leila, said: "I owe you an explanation in regard to the remarks which I made when I saw your astonishment to see the female sex represented among the Brothers of the Rosy Cross. Your intuition told you right. It indeed not very often happens that an individual attains adeptship while inhabiting a female organism, because such an organism is not as well adapted as a male one to develop energy and strength, and it is, therefore, frequently the cause that those women who have far advanced on the road to adeptship must reincarnate in a male organism, before they can achieve the final result. Nevertheless, exceptions are found. You know that the organism of a man is not fundamentally different from that of a woman, and in each human being are male and female elements combined. In women usually the female elements predominate, and in men the male ones are usually most active, although we meet with women of a masculine character, and with men who are of a womanish nature. In a perfect human being the male and female elements are nearly equally strong, with a slight preponderance to the male element, which represents the productive power in nature, while the female element represents the formative principle. This occult law, which to explain at present would lead us deep into the mysteries of nature, will become comprehensible to you if you will study the laws of harmony. You will then find that the Mall-accord is the harmonious counterpart of the Dur-accord, but that the greatest beauty finds its expression in Dur. Other and numerous analogies may be found, and we shall leave it to your own ingenuity to find them out.

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Thelema Lodge Events Calendar for July 2003 e.v.

7/7/03Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
7/10/03Magical Practice, 8PM Library(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
7/12/03Pilgrimage to the grave site of
Dr. Gabriel Montenegro.
meet at 11 AM at the lodge
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
7/13/03Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
7/13/03Full Moon in Capricornus 12/21 PM
7/14/03Anniversary of the greater feast of
Gabriel Montenegro, IXth Degree
7/16/03Sirius Encampment meets in Berkeley
at 7:30 PM. Call for directions
(510) 527-2855Sirius Camp
7/17/03Mantra Yoga Class with Jeff Sommer
8 PM in Horus Temple
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
7/20/03Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
7/21/03Section II reading group with
Caitlin: Chaucer's Parliament of
8PM in the library
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
7/27/03Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
7/28/03New Moon in Leo 11:53 PM

    The viewpoints and opinions expressed herein are the responsibility of the contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of OTO or its officers.

Thelema Lodge
Ordo Templi Orientis
P.O. Box 2303
Berkeley, CA 94702 USA

Phone: (510) 652-3171 (for events info and contact to Lodge)

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