From the Spring of 1990 to the Spring of 1992 I was the Lodge Master of Baphomet Lodge, OTO in Los Angeles. During that time I was faced with with the necessity of working out, mostly for myself, the principles involved in applying the Law of Thelema to the task of leading a fairly active and diverse group of people. The philosophy behind the Law of Thelema had always intrigued me from my introduction to the subject years before and I used my position of responsibility as a means to further explore what it means to be a Thelemite in a social context. I wrote, an article in the Baphomet Breeze entitled Peace, Tolerance, Truth in which I identified Thelemites as the 'New Conservatives'. I figured at the time that I would eventually flesh-out that concept but, as one might expect, other more important obligations got in the way.
Later, sometime in the latter half of 1996, I was introduced to a group that called themselves the Thelemic Republicans. The stated motto of the Thelemic Republicans is: "Sexually Promiscuous but Fiscally Responsible." Well, first I would lose the part about promiscuity since Thelema, to me, is all about each person finding their own way in life. Some of us are simply not all that promiscuous. Sure, we're free from the fear, shame, and guilt that keeps individuals from doing their Will, but not all those who claim to practice Thelema are sexually over-active. So long as this is out of personal choice, what's the problem. Perhaps because there is not enough time in the day for both magical work and a dozen sexual partners, some may prefer to form close inner bonds with those they are intimate with and therefore choose not to do so with just anybody.
All that aside, I realized that there was a chasm between Thelemic philosophy and modern political thought. The principles of individual freedom are slowly creeping out into the general consciousness but nobody seems to be actively developing what should eventually be the political platform that will truely bring our society into the New Aeon. Perhaps this is because, as occultists, we enjoy being 'different' from the faceless masses. Perhaps it is because we feel, deep down, that we are too small in number to have any real effect. But unless we can make Thelema palatable to magician and dentist alike... until we associate Thelema with individual freedom in the minds of the masses... we have no hope of ever becoming a major player in shaping the future.
The point is that Thelemic New Conservatism recognizes the fact that that even though each of us is free to act in whatever manner we see fit, we also realize that our actions, of necessity, affect the entire Universe. Moreover, we acknowledge that there are consequences to every action. We consciously choose not to gun down our neighbor not out of "fear of retribution" or "social guilt" but simply because we do not choose to take on the psychological effects which would follow such a senseless act. Nor do we choose to contribute toward the creation of a destructive society where such actions are openly tolerated. Rather we realize that our actions alone determine the kind of society in which we will have to operate.
We do not advocate arming the public because we realize that not every citizen is enlightened enough to act responsibly with such power. We do not make noise simply because we can. Thelemic New Conservatives choose their forums and their battles carefully because they realize the futility in trying to mold others viewpoints to conform to their own. They concentrate their energies on those issues which directly stand in the way of their Will or the Will of others.
Arbitrary laws which have no basis in personal ethics tend to condition people not to associate 'voluntary restriction' with ultimate freedom. In other words, if the laws under which we live are not directly associated (in the minds of those governed) with some basic principle of individual rights, then collectively we lose the ability to determine right from wrong solely on the basis of fundamental principles. And then we are forced to use even more laws to govern the actions of the people.
We must work not only to restore personal freedom to our legal system but also to
educate and enlighten the general populace as to the principles behind the laws. We
must restore power to the people but first we must be sure that along with that
power comes the sense of responsibility necessary to maintain the social order.
Anarcy has little use in a high-tech society where we rely on one another for nearly
all our daily needs. But legislative and regulatory oppression is not the answer. It
is our job, as Thelemites, to find a better way... and to fight to establish that
better way as the law of the land. Won't you help?
Entire contents: Copright (c) 1997, 1999 by Thelemic New Conservatism
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED and assigned to the individual authors
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