what is the religion known as Thelema about?

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are there any practitioners of it here that can explain to me what it is about?
also, is it compatible with christianity?

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Warrior of Ceiling Cat

It is an occult path that Aleister Crowley started. It is about living by your own true will or something.

Feathered Serpent!

Its the tool Crowley used to change the world without anyone even noticing.
I know plenty of people still follow the dogma of it rigidly but In reading Crowley’s work I get the feeling that was never his real Intention , not taken as religion it is more a weapon of mass mind opening that can be applied in countless different ways.
You really have to read his work to understand cause there are a lot of different opinions flying round about it.
It can be summed up in “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. … Love is the law, love under will,”
But even that is deceptively simple.
Robert Anton Wilson once described Crowley as ” The man who gave us relativity in spirituality”

Keith

I am not a practitioner of Thelema or am I. I would not really call it a religion more an individual path to spiritual enlightenment. Promulgated by Crowley it has taken on the bad press of association, people tend to knock what they do not understand, and Crowley was difficult to understand in his day, he is perhaps easier to understand in today’s society that his, I guess that put him a head of his time, if only we could lift the veil of fear and prejudice. The Thelema premise is to know yourself, the good and the bad, to view your self honestly. Bringing to the surface all those suppressed ideas and feelings which the majority of us are quite happy to remain hidden and festering is actually quite a good thing and a recognized psychotherapudic technique. Is it compatible with christianity? That’s for them to answer.

Wood Uncut

Maybe one of my contacts can help.
For me, all I understand is that it’s about something Cowley called ‘will’. Not as in ‘free will’/ do as you please, but the soul’s ‘purpose’ or ‘calling’. In this Thelema is not alone. Taoism calls us to be true to our ‘nature’, Buddhism tells us to ‘awaken’ to our true self. In fact I suspect at heart, most faiths are based on Man’s finding understanding of his nature and place in the Universe.
As for compatible with Christianity, well, that depends. My view is that if you are prepared to accept that at heart mysticism of any flavour deals with the same ideas, despite the differing terminology and ‘definitions’ of God, then it is. If on the other hand you are unable to reconcile Thelemic cosmology with the Christian God, I guess not.
.

Kuve

Strictly speaking Thelema is a philosophy rather than a religion, and whether or not it’s compatible with Christianity would be a matter of interpretation, although a Fundamentalist would tell you absolutely not. The System was founded by Aleister Crowley starting in 1904 and it’s principles were first expressed in his book “The Book of Law”. The basic idea, expressed in a quote from Rabelais, is “Do what you will shall be the whole of the Law”, but, despite most people interpreting this irresponsible hedonism, it must be understood that when Crowley spoke of “will” he wasn’t referring to our personal impulses or whims but to a spiritual path seeking what he called one’s “True Will”, which would be guided by the needs of the soul rather than of the ego or body.
The word itself, “thelema” is Greek for “will” in the sense of what one wishes or determines shall be done, in the New Testament it was used to refer to what God wishes to be done by us or to God’s wishes to bless mankind through Christ. It can also be used to refer to human will, and Crowley was certainly not a Christian by any means, but by interpreting “will” in the Christian sense the Thelemic Path could be adapted to a Christian Lifestyle, you could put it as: “Do your own thing by doing God’s will”. Either way, it’s entirely up to you what spiritual path you ultimately choose, just whatever you choose to be, be a good one. Bail o na Deith ort.

Ƀoɳɛs

Wait for Squishy to wake up and answer this…. He’ can explain better than anyone I know as he actually is a Thelemite.

Convert Ruth Aravah

answer: more of a philosophy than a religion, as others have said. Until Squishy hits the questions, here’s a link to some reading:
http://www.sacred-texts.com/oto/index.htm

Squishy

93,
First of all it is a religion in the same sense Buddhism is- many would consider it a philosophy, but as I consider Buddhism a religion with very wide parameters, I consider Thelema a religion with very wide parameters.
Thelema is all about Life, Light, Love and Liberty. Basically every person should be able and free to live and grow as they themselves see fit. People are not required to change into an ideal; but rather learn who they are [As opposed to Osirian religions where you must “Die,” and be reborn as an idealized man].
Our most important concept is The True Will. This is what Thelemites discuss almost every day; because we aren’t always sure what is and isn’t True Will. Most of us have found a definition that suits us, and run with that in all cases; rigidly holding onto it. For the most part, it can be defined as a purpose for each moment; irregardless of what you as a person may feel. There is a fiction book by Aleister Crowley [The prophet of Thelema. He did not create the religion; the material was already there in the form of Rabelais, Kant, and others] called Diary of a Drug Fiend; where the main character goes through a series of drug addictions, but at the end finds his True Will was to make a new kind of helicopter. It is debated whether or not those drug addictions were a part of his True Will [I for one think the were]
In order to be a Thelemite there is only one thing a person has to do: accept the Book of the Law. That is all there is; you will not get the same interpretation as anyone else [Most of us will actually refuse to tell you what meaning we drew from the Book, as it is your life, not ours.] Here is a copy: http://www.hermetic.com/crowley/engccxx.html
If you were wondering about theism in Thelema, you can get some very wild answers. I my self am an atheist, as I view Nuit and Hadit as principles. Some of us our hard polytheists, others monotheists, and so forth. there is no iron clad stance, as it is up to the Thelemite to determine for themselves.
You’ll no doubt find a lot of occult information leading to Thelema. The reason for this is because Crowley was an occultist, but Thelema it’s self is not occult. The Law is for all. While many of us are not occultists there is a growing movement within Thelema to find a way to separate that from our religion, to better promulgate.
Is it compatible with Christianity? Well, a Thelemite is free to be a Christian, if that is what you are asking. Those of us who are occultists read Thelema into the Bible [The Will of God, etc.], and I’ve heard of some groups of Thelemites who feel their Will is to serve the Christian God. I guess it all just comes down to the individual Thelemite. Bearing that, there are several moral differences between Thelema and Christianity- in Christianity there are set standards; in Thelema morality can change by the second if it needs to to fulfill Will.
You can feel free to E-mail me if you have anymore questions, as I do not know if I covered everything to your liking.
93 93/93

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