Sunday, January 16, 2005

43 Skidoo & Gnostic Mass

In the immediate wake of my Minerval, my mind went blank - at least for writing in my journal. Then, starting a few nights ago, the thought started coming again. Fast, though not furious. I should have captured more of them, but life was just moving too fast and I never took the time. Nevertheless, here is a bit of what I remember.

An expected friend wasn’t at the Minerval, for all of her expressed excitement beforehand. It was a disappointment, but then my expectations wee misplaced.

Just after my Minerval, Mark Anthony announced the Thelemic Magick and Mysticism class to be taught weekly, every Thursday night at 7:00. So I rearranged my workout and work schedules and have been attending. So far so good. It has been a growing crowd, and only one loose wheel in the bunch (but a congenial and harmless loose wheel). Actually, I have given the loose wheel a ride home a few times and he’s a fit flaky, but then even as he acts the flake he’ll babble about a topic and have the most amazing information, both in quality and sheer quantity, roll out his mouth.

Once again, my initial impulse is to write something like ‘no big moments or revelations yet’, but then I have to stop and correct myself. It is true the heavens have not opened and, with the singing of the seraphic hosts, imparted to us secret wisdom in the voice of Metatron. But there have been some small things that, in thinking of them, may not really be that small.

First among these small things is writing an essay after the first week on “What is my Will”. It was good to have a formal writing assignment and clean the cobwebs from that part of my psyche. But this is also the first time I have taken on the task of formally defining my Will. For a supposed Thelemite, this is a profound indictment of The Wombat. Only after finishing the essay did I realize how vexing this omission was for me and how refreshing it is to have it corrected, even if the end result was the following:

I do not know what my True Will is

It is my will to find my True Will

It is my will to use the teachings, practices and brotherhood of the O.T.O. to find and realize my True Will

After the first class I had an interesting conversation about the situation with Kathleen and not having a lover, etc. It produced an interesting nudge in my outlook, albeit in a direction I was heading anyway. One of the things she ran by me was the “If you really had to” notion. “If you either had to get laid tonight or die (literally), you would be able to get laid, even if it was with Kathleen.” The point being, none of really needs the things we pine for. We get along just fine without them and obviously have some reason for choosing not to take the have to route and doing without instead.

Another good thing about the class is that we are all being encouraged (forced kicking and screaming) to begin a simple daily practice of Yoga. It has been educational and refreshing to get back into a daily practice. We have also been encouraged to record the results of our practices in a Magickal Journal, so that is where the details of my practice will be found (not cluttering up this narrative).

I attended Gnostic Mass last night at the shop above Jack’s Drum and Guitar. This was the second Mass I have attended with J.P. being the priest. The first time was over a year ago, and the man intimidated the hell out of me, as have others associated with the O.T.O. and The Mass. But this was totally different. As I helped set up for Mass, and as the ritual progressed, I felt myself the equal of each and every person there. I had no illusions that I was equal to them in knowledge or practice or accomplishment, but on the root level I felt no lower and no higher. We are all Men among Men (Women among Women). Since then, I have retained this feeling. I have also come to realize that my knowledge of Thelema and related ideas is on par with most of the people in the Oasis. I also have some small capital in experience, but not near so much as the others. But I have potential and I am working to realize this potential. It feels good to feel equal.

It was also interesting to watch Jeffery perform the Star Ruby in preparing for the ritual. Somewhat dramatic, but not the way I would have done it. I’ve seen other people do the ritual, and have made similar observations. This got me to thinking about rituals, and variations, and what it “right” or “wrong” in doing a common ritual. I have concluded that such variations are of little or no consequence - each mage does what resonates within the self. This doesn’t mean that you can depart wildly from the script without raising an eyebrow or two, or even having a short talk with the person in charge of an event (in the case of public ritual). But it does mean that, so long as there is a basic understanding of the core of the ritual, and so long as variations are reasonable, there is no right, no wrong, and no need to criticize. For example, at the beginning of the Star Ruby, is it said “So-Eeee” (the way I do it), or “So-Eye” (the way I’ve heard everyone else do it). I suppose I am “wrong” on this point, but it works for me, so I do it.

After that first class with Mark, I had an interesting conversation with Amber where we poked at the idea of desperation for companionship as opposed to dumping the desperation but placing the self in the path of possible companionship. In other words, just go do the things you love and don’t be surprised when you bump into that special someone. This isn’t a new idea for me, but I never seem to get off my ass and actually play the script to its logical ending. This was another nudge in the direction that I have been heading, and am mostly arrived at, that I just need to stop jonesing for sex. I’ve lived long enough without it, I’ll continue to live, so get over it. The more concrete result is that I’ve stopped obsessing on the young attractive wenches I encounter (A few members of the local O.T.O. and a fw more in the Provo pagan scene). Besides, as related, with at least Andrea there are plenty of reasons why anything with her could be real bad news.

On larger issues, I’ve been trying to find a balance between the two common extremes (at least for me) in my new association with the O.T.O.. On the one side I am resisting the urge to overdo the whole thing and spend every waking moment obsessing on it, surrounding myself in piles of books and grand numbered lists (after which I will collapse under the weight of it all and end up doing little or nothing). On the other side I need to overcome inertia, laziness and distractions. The deal is to find the sweet middle ground of a steady reasonable effort.

As a short random note, I’ve mentioned that the number 43 haunted my up to my Minerval. But 48 has also screwed with me - so what happens in 5 years?

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