Author Topic: Discussion on Thelema: RHP or LHP?  (Read 967 times)

CodeReaper

Discussion on Thelema: RHP or LHP?
« on: April 05, 2017, 03:31:31 pm »
Many occultists believe that Thelema is inherently LHP, based on a faulty understanding of the Law of Thelema: Do what thou Wilt. This phrase inspires many people to believe that Thelema is advocating that people do whatever they want, which is a misunderstanding of the Law. Do what thou Wilt is generally understood by practicing Thelemites to mean that people should behave according to their True Will, rather than each whim. Various statements by Crowley imply that the True Will was individual, but followed basic rules, such as that it is no one's True Will to kill another. The acting of self in accordance with True Will is similar to the Taoist notion of people acting in accordance with ultimate nature (the Tao), or the Advaita Vedanta notion of discovering that the True Self (Atman) is just a mask for Ultimate Reality (Brahman). Because of the varied interpretations of True Will, I thought it would be productive to discuss whether Thelema is inherently RHP or LHP. I myself am a practicing Thelemite, and based on my own interpretations of my readings of Crowley, Thelema seems to be LHP, because while it frowns upon certain actions which are a part of free will, the individual is ultimately responsible for their own wellbeing, and must seek to alter the world to their productive desires.

93 93/93
Xeper and Remanifest
"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law
Love is the Law, Love under Will" - Liber AL 1:40 & 1:57

"As man now is, God once was:
As God now is, man may be." - Lorenzo Snow

"God only Acts and Is, in existing beings or Men." - William Blake

NPThChU H-ShMYM U-ARAH MRAUTh ALHYM

Setamontet

Re: Discussion on Thelema: RHP or LHP?
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2017, 04:02:31 pm »
The Word of Thelema is the Will which enables each star to chart its own course through the cosmos, hence, from a Setian point of view it is a LHP philosophy.

The picture of a young man whose parents desire him to become a lawyer or medical doctor, but deep in his heart his life passion is in music and musical composition.  If he pursues the will of his parents, he is following the RHP, following the will of others and not his own True Will, his Thelema, and shall never be truly happy and fulfilled in his own being.  If, however, he pursues his own life's passion, his True Will, music and musical composition, he is treading the Path of the Left Hand, the path of most resistance and he shall become truly happy and fulfilled in his own Being.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2017, 09:29:02 am by Setamontet »

"Arise in your glory, behold the genius of your creation, and be prideful of being,
for I am the same - I who am the Highest of Life." - The Word of Set

Sutekh

Re: Discussion on Thelema: RHP or LHP?
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2017, 04:55:57 pm »
While I am a no Thelemite, A while back I tried to study and grasp parts of Crowleys philosophy or Religion based on Thelema. From my own opinion I tend to regard parts of Crowleys views within Thelema to be RHP. Crowley himself viewed the LHP to be the destruction of ones self becoming a black brother. If I am correct doesn't Thelema believe in seeking a Union with the whole of the Universe? I do not know a lot about Thelema in general but I've heard that some Thelemites are different, some tend to regard it as a philosophy and some as a religion, this is just from my own understanding of it.
"Our collective ambition is that the membership of the Order of the Serpent also serves as guardians of the Black Flame and collaborates with the Prince of Darkness in the Infernal Mandate of re-creating the Cosmos in the eternal glory of the Setian Will!"-Setamontet

CodeReaper

Re: Discussion on Thelema: RHP or LHP?
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2017, 06:10:30 pm »
If he pursues the will of his parents, he is following the RHP, following the will of others

This makes the LHP seem like a very Western ideology, which is probably the case anyhow. Many Eastern ideologies, such as Buddhism and Confucianism, seem to place the individual desire below that of the group.
"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law
Love is the Law, Love under Will" - Liber AL 1:40 & 1:57

"As man now is, God once was:
As God now is, man may be." - Lorenzo Snow

"God only Acts and Is, in existing beings or Men." - William Blake

NPThChU H-ShMYM U-ARAH MRAUTh ALHYM

Seeker of Darkness

Re: Discussion on Thelema: RHP or LHP?
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2017, 08:17:09 am »
I'd say it's mostly RHP. The idea of every man and woman is a star, is indeed quite LHP, but Crowley's central philosophy was that each person needed to first gain the knowledge and conversation of his HGA, and then work with that HGA to cross the abyss and annihilate the ego. To me that's as RHP as it gets.

I think as a person Crowley was quite confused, and himself was partially LHP and partially RHP, which I think is reflected in Thelema.

Setamontet

Re: Discussion on Thelema: RHP or LHP?
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2017, 10:04:43 am »
If he pursues the will of his parents, he is following the RHP, following the will of others

This makes the LHP seem like a very Western ideology, which is probably the case anyhow. Many Eastern ideologies, such as Buddhism and Confucianism, seem to place the individual desire below that of the group.

There are those who do consider Setian philosophy and its interpretation of certain Magical principles like Thelema as "Western LHP".  I would tend to agree.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2017, 10:07:18 am by Setamontet »

"Arise in your glory, behold the genius of your creation, and be prideful of being,
for I am the same - I who am the Highest of Life." - The Word of Set

crossfire

Re: Discussion on Thelema: RHP or LHP?
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2017, 02:09:35 pm »
I'd say it's mostly RHP. The idea of every man and woman is a star, is indeed quite LHP, but Crowley's central philosophy was that each person needed to first gain the knowledge and conversation of his HGA, and then work with that HGA to cross the abyss and annihilate the ego. To me that's as RHP as it gets.

I think as a person Crowley was quite confused, and himself was partially LHP and partially RHP, which I think is reflected in Thelema.
Here's a link to Chapter XII of Magick Without Tears to back up what you say.
https://hermetic.com/crowley/magick-without-tears/mwt_12
« Last Edit: April 06, 2017, 02:17:37 pm by crossfire »
"Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you."
~Carl Jung

crossfire

Re: Discussion on Thelema: RHP or LHP?
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2017, 02:16:54 pm »
If he pursues the will of his parents, he is following the RHP, following the will of others

This makes the LHP seem like a very Western ideology, which is probably the case anyhow. Many Eastern ideologies, such as Buddhism and Confucianism, seem to place the individual desire below that of the group.
Confucianism is very RHP, imo, and is very much concerned with groups over individuals.  With Buddhism, you want to be able to resist Maara, which can be likened to a collective egregore that propagates the cultural nomos (wiki link for nomos that can overcome an individual's mind, aka--antinomianism.
"Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you."
~Carl Jung

Xepera maSet

Re: Discussion on Thelema: RHP or LHP?
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2017, 10:44:40 pm »
I think that there are two inherently different yet equally valid forms of Thelema. The most common is more appropriately called Crowleyanism, because it follows Crowley and his interpretation of the Law of Thelema, rather than what AL actually says. This is obvious because Crowley brought about a very solar based religion, yet the Book of the Law goes to great lengths and imagery to show it is stellar based. Crowley, despite his imagery, very much sought do dissolve himself into the All, losing his isolate consciousness in favor of the will of Nature/God. AL, on the other hand, is an elitist text that draws heavily on the symbolism of the Pyramid Texts. The individual is elevated to godhood, the gods bow before them, the focus is on the night sky, and so forth. So while Crowley seems to have interpreted things as RHP, Thelema can equally be seen as LHP.
AKA: Three Scarabs, 1137

"You look up into the night sky - whether as a child or an adult - and if you open yourself honestly, then it is a gateway to mystery, to the unknown."

crossfire

Re: Discussion on Thelema: RHP or LHP?
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2017, 05:20:09 am »
I think that there are two inherently different yet equally valid forms of Thelema. The most common is more appropriately called Crowleyanism, because it follows Crowley and his interpretation of the Law of Thelema, rather than what AL actually says. This is obvious because Crowley brought about a very solar based religion, yet the Book of the Law goes to great lengths and imagery to show it is stellar based. Crowley, despite his imagery, very much sought do dissolve himself into the All, losing his isolate consciousness in favor of the will of Nature/God. AL, on the other hand, is an elitist text that draws heavily on the symbolism of the Pyramid Texts. The individual is elevated to godhood, the gods bow before them, the focus is on the night sky, and so forth. So while Crowley seems to have interpreted things as RHP, Thelema can equally be seen as LHP.
If the gods bow to you, how is that any different than humans bowing to the gods, except that the roles are reversed? (collectivism centered) Isn't elitism just glorifying those who are the best at following and embodying the collective ideal?  (collectivism dependent)
"Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you."
~Carl Jung

Sutekh

Re: Discussion on Thelema: RHP or LHP?
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2017, 10:20:36 am »

If the gods bow to you, how is that any different than humans bowing to the gods, except that the roles are reversed?

I have to admit I felt like laughing about this subject that you brought up, :D for me I have trouble believing if a God may exist or not outside of this universe in general. For me it is unknown in which I am trying to tackle down on the existence of an entity. But when you mention on the roles being reversed it would of course sound interesting and amusing if any God in which he has mentored you to your path suddenly bows down to you. Yes, their are plenty of  paths that would differ greatly especially the paths on the RHP in general, but comparing it within the LHP on an entity choosing to submit himself to a certain individual sounds a bit amusing. ::)
"Our collective ambition is that the membership of the Order of the Serpent also serves as guardians of the Black Flame and collaborates with the Prince of Darkness in the Infernal Mandate of re-creating the Cosmos in the eternal glory of the Setian Will!"-Setamontet

Xepera maSet

Re: Discussion on Thelema: RHP or LHP?
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2017, 06:56:31 pm »
If the gods bow to you, how is that any different than humans bowing to the gods, except that the roles are reversed? (collectivism centered) Isn't elitism just glorifying those who are the best at following and embodying the collective ideal?  (collectivism dependent)

I guess gods bowing before man is a poor illustration. I'd say the LHP is more about gods accepting a man or woman as one of their own.
AKA: Three Scarabs, 1137

"You look up into the night sky - whether as a child or an adult - and if you open yourself honestly, then it is a gateway to mystery, to the unknown."

CodeReaper

Re: Discussion on Thelema: RHP or LHP?
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2017, 10:40:50 am »
I think that there are two inherently different yet equally valid forms of Thelema. The most common is more appropriately called Crowleyanism, because it follows Crowley and his interpretation of the Law of Thelema, rather than what AL actually says. This is obvious because Crowley brought about a very solar based religion, yet the Book of the Law goes to great lengths and imagery to show it is stellar based. Crowley, despite his imagery, very much sought do dissolve himself into the All, losing his isolate consciousness in favor of the will of Nature/God. AL, on the other hand, is an elitist text that draws heavily on the symbolism of the Pyramid Texts. The individual is elevated to godhood, the gods bow before them, the focus is on the night sky, and so forth. So while Crowley seems to have interpreted things as RHP, Thelema can equally be seen as LHP.

My issue with this analysis is that Crowley says "Every man and every woman is a star" means that every person is the center of their own universe, just as a star is the local center of orbit in the vast majority of cases. He says this in his commentary on the AL. I think this reflects that Thelema was indeed LHP, especially when the role of the Sun comes into play as the main God. If worship of the Sun is proper, and every person is their own Sun, than Thelema is very LHP.
"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law
Love is the Law, Love under Will" - Liber AL 1:40 & 1:57

"As man now is, God once was:
As God now is, man may be." - Lorenzo Snow

"God only Acts and Is, in existing beings or Men." - William Blake

NPThChU H-ShMYM U-ARAH MRAUTh ALHYM

Xepera maSet

Re: Discussion on Thelema: RHP or LHP?
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2017, 06:58:18 pm »
My issue with this analysis is that Crowley says "Every man and every woman is a star" means that every person is the center of their own universe, just as a star is the local center of orbit in the vast majority of cases. He says this in his commentary on the AL. I think this reflects that Thelema was indeed LHP, especially when the role of the Sun comes into play as the main God. If worship of the Sun is proper, and every person is their own Sun, than Thelema is very LHP.

The way I understand that verse of AL is Nuit speaking about the present state of things. Humans are like stars, mindless in their orbit, enslaved to mechanistic nature, lacking any Free Will. Crowley goes on to interpret this in a positive light, he wanted to exist unthinkingly and in line with Nature/God, which to me is clearly RHP.
AKA: Three Scarabs, 1137

"You look up into the night sky - whether as a child or an adult - and if you open yourself honestly, then it is a gateway to mystery, to the unknown."

Hammerheart

Re: Discussion on Thelema: RHP or LHP?
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2017, 11:18:35 pm »
Definitely LHP. I can see the argument there, that it is RHP, but in my opinion, a religion or philosophy does not have to strive to destroy social barriers via transgressive acts to qualify as Left Hand Path. The path isn't really about transgression as much as it is a quest for self improvement and a more self-centric form of Enlightenment.