The atheism of " The Book of the Law" is evident first in vs.20-23 of ch.1. It is in v.20 that we are told that the key of the whole ritual -- in other words, the key to our new form of religion -- is to be found in "a secret word" given to the prophet. I go over all of this, albeit briefly, in "The AQBL Key": see pages 10-18. But an excellent example of the subtlety of the book can be found right here in this verse. What I didn't write in that segment of "The AQBL Key", is the following important insight into the full intended meaning of the word "secret" here (in "The Key" I really only examine its AQBL meaning), though I do note the atheistic basis of the following verses. I'll get back to this in just a moment.
As for those who dispense with the whole notion of religion outright, I tend to see this as throwing out the baby with the bathwater. It is primitive religion that is outmoded, not religion itself. Religion "sans" God, centered instead on the mystery of consciousness, i.e. on Self-Gnosis and the acceleration of the evolution of the temporal mind, bringing it to a measure of apprehension of the underlying reality of the praeternatural Mind, is the nature of our atheistic theological system. Crowley is in agreement with this: there is not only that line in "Liber Oz", "There is no god but man", but we have other examples of his position on this matter.
E.g., the very first line of the "Blue Equinox" reads as follows:
"THE WORLD NEEDS RELIGION. Religion must represent Truth, and celebrate it. This truth is of two orders: one, concerning Nature external to Man; two, concerning Nature internal to Man. Existing religions, especially Christianity, are based on primitive ignorance of the facts, particularly of external Nature."
Again, it is primitive religious theory that must be discarded in the interest of science, not a liturgical theory wherein the objective is to uncover and attain the unknown potential of the mind. Then there is p.395 of "The Confessions of Aleister Crowley", with this line: "The importance of religion to humanity is paramount. Paramount".
It is only superstitious religion that is beneath us. Back to the "secret". The key to the riddle of the "secret word" that is itself the key to our unique system of religion, is this: that it is "secret" in the sense that it is actually" secreted" into the very first line of the very next verse. The word is "nothing": "With the God but note also the number of the verse, as it is the same as the Gematric value of "I am". Now jump ahead a bit to 1:27-28: "O Nuit, continuous one of Heaven, let it be ever thus; that men speak not of Thee as One but as None; and let them speak not of thee at all, since thou art continuous! None, breathed the light, faint and "two", the reality of division in which we experience infinite possibilities, is all. Look next at verse 46: "Nothing is a secret key of this law." There we have it, as plain as day.
But the atheism of Thelema is unique as well, not your garden-variety materialism, but much different, though it acknowledges the sanctity of materialistic indulgence, as is healthy. In Thelema we see consciousness itself, independent of the brain but utilizing it as a vehicle, as a form of energy that is not only ultimately independent of its limitation but in fact unlimited in intelligence and linked to every other point of consciousness ad infinitum. What one encounters in Samadhi -- an experience that very few have truly known, and yet one that many more have either disengenuously or mistakenly laid claim to -- that total manifestation of the underlying source of all awareness across all of the cycles of time and space, "that" is essentially what God is, and from the limited, temporal perspective in which we initially find ourselves, this being" seems" objectively real -- it is even in the possession of greater knowledge than we ourselves, in our temporary blindness, think that we are capable of. What we do not realize until we progress beyond this limited perspective, by opening up our realization through the routine of sacerdotal work that accesses this infinite underlying reality, is that we are not merely in the moment: we are at once in the past and the future as in the present; and this greater mind of God that is at the heart of the phenomenon called Atmadarshana, that underlies and indwells us, is really our own, on a level not ordinarily known but which we peer into at odd moments, in dreams and in visions.
That we see multiple Gods expressed in "Liber Legis" should not lead to the primitive-minded conclusion that Thelemic religion is polytheistic; again, it is not theistic at all, for the indwelling deity that it proposes is not objectively real nor is it personally-limited, but simply the essence of our own (and all) awareness. It is our contention that the kind of spiritual self-awakening that we undertake actually leads to our "achieving Hadit", or shifting our perspective to the broader one without sacrificing or diminishing our place. These "gods" are facets of a single reality that, as it is unconstrained to any limitation but in every point continually, is really nothing "in particular". They are, moreover, formulae that convey a doctrine. For instance, having three in one (or none) is vital to us now, as we have advanced first out of the Aeon of Isis, the Mother, and matriarchal cults, through the patriarchal formula of the old Aeon, that of Osiris, the Father, finally to an ideology that embraces neither female nor male as superior, but both equally: i.e., the Child, who is really Baphomet, the two-in-one Androgynous Hoor-pa-kraat and Ra-Hoor-Khuit, passive and active, feminine and masculine.
The key thing to understand is that our form of religion does not postulate a God apart from oneself, and consequently, there is no need for petition, as there is in fact no God to get personally interested in your petition, and also no need for the silly yet psychologically damaging notion of sin, which is dangerous not only for the effect that the consequent guilt-complex poses to the mind exposed thereto, but to a healthy social interaction as well.
Isis, Osiris, Horus: these might be said to be Nuit, Hadit, Ra-Hoor-Khuit; but they are also Babalon, Beast, Baphomet (Babalon and Beast conjoined); and too, H KOKKINE GYNE, TO MEGA THERION, and AIWASS. These are all names not of actual entities that are in some celestial cafe right now, but names chosen for their symbolic significance.
Suggested ebooks:Margaret Alice Murray - The God Of The Witches
Anonymous - The Prayers Of The Elementals
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