A Preliminary Vision to a Relationship
with Ordo Templi Orientis



Lamen of the OTO

(By request of the Celestial Masters,
known as the A:.A:.,
completed on the 21st of December 1991
Winter Solstice, Full Moon)

by

Frater Nigris


Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

0. The Identity.

One simultaneously engages experience on each "Degree", though perhaps in different measure. This being the case, one's Inner and Outer appearance varies only to the extent that one comes to know oneself (in the case of the former) and one's kin (in the case of the latter). Ultimately, in an Order such as O.T.O., those two appearances are seen to be one relation and the Work of the Outer becomes identical to that of the Inner in all respects.

Having commented on the nature of the relationship between the body of the Self and the body of the Order, it is perhaps necessary to identify the location from whence these words arise. The Tree of the Order is approached from on high and below at once. One's ascent to Malkuth and one's descent to Kether are, in reality, one approach to the universe of differentiation in simultude. As the Degrees of the Order signify one's relationship to it, the first movement toward engaging this universe, that of "Associate Membership", is identical in essence to the descent from Ain Soph Aur to Ain Soph. "Preconception", or knowledge in its best sense (that of non-knowledge) is what characterizes the first movement, the primal thrust which propels the Seed of the member deeply into the Womb of the Order, penetrating the Ovum of Mystery and initiating the Life of Kinship.

From the vantage of Ain Soph, therefore, do these words arise. Beyond the X* and before the 0*, in perfect Ignorance, unchallenged by the status of form, the form of status, this vision takes shape and makes itself known.


I. The Aeon.

Thelema is the Word of this Aeon. It is the modus operandi of cosmic impulse, the principle upon which is created the foundation of a liberated society of Kinship. Agape, the substance of this principle, breathes a warm security into such a society and provides the nutrient necessary for the aspirant to participate in this Word.

The passage of time can be difficult to comprehend, yet the cycles and sub-cycles of its passing are often punctuated by tremendous changes subtended by periods of careful growth. This transformative marker makes itself known in the disintegration of familiar social systems and one's relationship to them. Such a transformative period, it will be seen, is today's society passing through, with much reference to "New Orders" and "lasting peace".

For O.T.O., the numerological significance of the next few years (l993-l997) is not to be overlooked. Not only does it include the simply numerical, formal reference to the Word in our generation, but it is the completion of a cycle of 93 years since the revelation of the literal manifestation of the Word in our Order, the inception of our current Aeon. Whether this describes the passing of an Aeon itself or constitutes a period in one sentence of its composition is left to the interpretation of scholars of history. Suffice it to say that this is a time of great importance for both the order of Society and for the society of the Order.


II. The Master.

The Father of the Order's current form is surely to be well regarded. One's ancestors and parents are heeded and studied by the wise. In our society the Father is often set apart and praised. It is through this process that the Father may therefore come to be misunderstood and obscured by our dreams and expectations.

O.T.O. may be said to be in its adolescence. Of a Mysterious origin, given body by the Wisdom of its membership, and birthed by the Celestial Masters, it is important to remember and support both an identification with and a clear distinction from the Parents whom we so dearly love.

To this effect it is clear that while Aleister Crowley (666) was a unique and extraordinary individual, whose influence upon the Order is of inestimable value, he was and is one among many stars whose light cascades from the Center of Perfection. Characterizing him with such objectivity, the Order may take important steps of independence, acknowledging its foundation while standing firmly atop it, peering into itself and the culture in which it resides.


III. The Mass.

If any function of the Order can be said to symbolize the Conception of the Word, individually and socially, the Mass is that function. Not only does it unify the ignored aspects of the self with those more familiar, it provides a framework for the social integration of this Work.

The form of the Perfect Mass varies in time and space, is given structure by those whose insight and perception are most keen, and is empowered by those participants who resonate most soundly with its construct. The most cherished goal of the clergy who creates its Ecclesia must be that O.T.O. maintains a direct connection to its community and to the Conception of the Word in its most vibrant form.

The Mass must serve the needs of the People. Its structure and quality are a direct reflection of the health of the Order as a Microcosmic Body. Its popularity, therefore, serves as a meter with which to gauge its success in this regard. Great popularity indicates devolution into exoterica. Small attendance, on the other hand, reveals the degeneration of the Order's ties to esoteric authority.


IV. The Book of the Law.

Living traditions which encourage personal development flourish in response to revelatory experience and the literal manifestation of such experience. Any specific forms adopted as a symbolic and indicative of the tradition at large must meet exceedingly strict standards of meaning and metaphor so as to faithfully preserve the Order's Thelemic character.

The Book of the Law, being the Metaphorical Doctrine of Universal Manifestation, the Logos of the Thelemic Word, the Bible of the Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica, the Book of Shadows of the Current Aeon, is the pure and perfect expression of the Holy Spirit in our world. Its completed form is accepted by the wise, who reveal its deeper meanings to the uninitiated.

O.T.O. must preserve the integrity and promote the completion of the Thelemic Work. The Order blossoms as it renews this Work's expression. The Book of the Law is the bedrock from which this renewal must begin.


V. The Holy Guardian Angel.

The major focus of the Order is to prepare the aspirant for the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. The Angel may assume any guises, depending upon the nature of the aspirant. It is therefore imperative that the Order avoid too much definition with regard to the Angel or to the method of preparation, since it is a personal relation which may only come about on its own terms.

One may identify the Holy Guardian Angel with a particular form of the Catholic Holy Spirit, Jung's "shadow", Socrates' "daimon", a Taoist Celestial Master, or a Master of the "Great White Brotherhood" (the A:. A:.). The phenomenon can be seen as a psycho-spiritual contact with one's High Self or the preternatural relationship with a Prophet or one's Savior.

It is to the credit of O.T.O. that it realizes its limitations in facilitating this phenomenon. Over-extension would certainly prevent some of its members from being prepared for it, and restriction of terms of characterization would diffuse the Order's support for its experience.


VI. The Secret.

The Silent Word, Unified Opposition, the Mated Pair are expressions of the Secret Goal of all true mystical and magical bodies. The Immortality of the Celestial Masters, the Alchemist's Gold, the Elven Summerlands, Christian Heaven, Buddhist Nirvana, Hindu Moksha and Taoist Way are one in essence if not in character.

Through Love (Agape) and its Law are we enabled to engage the Infinite. Under Will (Thelema) do we transform, through the Sexual Magick of the Great Work, our bodies of light and shadow into one Adamantine Body of Absolute Presence.

O.T.O. supports the "Love under Will" that compliments its Law of which the whole is to "Do what thou wilt". These existentialist, liberating declarations serve the needs of the individual while its secret initiatory rites, Mass, and instruction of Sex Magick promote social development.


VII. The Organization.

The nature of the Order's organization is as important as the substance of which it is made. It must be flexible so as to allow for growth and variation, yet durable to prevent fragmentation and decay. Its possible forms are endless, yet the health of O.T.O. depends upon it taking the proper form at the proper time, maintaining a Chaos of Kinship, Love.

The Order's structure determines the quality of support and incentive the members receive from each other. An overemphasis on status or reputation could become an obstacle to harmony, while encouragement to achieve, to participate, is surely of great importance. Focus on service and on substance is paramount, yet this must be balanced by the support of experimentation, play and challenge to tradition, so that the Order remains a lively body.


VIII. The Individual.

The organization, the society, must at root support the personal empowerment of the individual who gives it life if it is to retain its legitimacy. The individual member is the originator of the genius that makes the Order what it is. Those who innovate, who reflect deeply and create new symbols of what they see, become the character, the personality of O.T.O. as it appears to the local culture.

The quality of the individual member is what preserves the integrity of the Order. It is their privilege and responsibility to test the limits of the Order's authority, challenge it when suspect, and dissolve it when required. The member also has the duty to enforce those regulations that the Order puts in place which are, in truth, necessary and just.

Loyalty to the Order may be required, yet it need only extend to the intent of the member. It is as difficult to determine such intent as it is to predict the result of discordant activity. Therefore, those within the Order must proceed with caution where judgment is concerned. While such evaluation is at times required, it remains the most injurious to social and cosmic harmony when applied without wisdom.


IX. The Hermit.

The role that O.T.O. plays in society is as model and inspiration. Where social organization often polarize around issues of order, restriction and indoctrination, the Order must maintain a "Middle Way", fusing opposing energies as diverse as Eastern and Western culture, anarchic and monarchic politics, containment and dissemination of information, and social and personal power.

The purity of such fusion cannot be overdeveloped. Our world is increasingly one of interdependence, integration and unified diversity. As a beacon which lights the way along difficult paths, the Order must at once explore new territory of social coordination and return the fruit of its exploration to society. It must not only illuminate a way for aspirants but continue the voyage into its own nature, analyzing and transcending its weaknesses.

The Order must be able to accommodate a multitude of views and practices. Some will no doubt follow paths of isolation, retreat and denial. Others will congregate, indulge and focus on excess. Both may be extremes of ignorance, yet the path to freedom is sometimes lined with barbed wire and what does not endanger the spontaneous and natural learning process of its members will strengthen the Order immeasurably.


X. The Tao.

Ultimately the Supreme and Vulgar Secrets of initiatory experience are incommunicable in any but the most crude and awkward of terms. Due to this limitation it is best for the Order to refrain from undue definition of terms, specification of meaning, or direction of practice. Accepting no doctrine of Truth to measure inner development, O.T.O. preserves its spirit of freedom, its Thelemic nature.

Recognizing the identity of opposites is one thing, experiencing it is quite another. The Order, as a social structure, must never dictate the personal experience of its membership, for to do so would be to compromise its authority and display its disease.

The Art of Silence is the magick of the Order's upper echelon. Dictation and requirement show both illegitimacy and immaturity on the part of those who exhibit these qualities. As Lao Tzu suggests, the perfect leader is one who remains unseen, who releases power so that those who follow perform their Will without direction.

Love is the law, love under will.

333

(C) nagasiva yronwode, (Frater I) Nigris (666) 333. All rights reserved.


Over time it has become obvious that elements of this Vision were at variance with common understanding. Such specifics as the "Word of the Aeon" and a miscellaneous term or two were seen in an occluded fashion and yet remain as a monument to my ignorance. I only ask that the reader forgive these eyesores in favor of the Vision's meat, which yields a tasty chew to this day, even if a bit spicy.

Yours, presently in the Bonds of the Order,

Frater Nigris July l5, 1992 EV


Permission to reprint this material is subject to negotiation with the author. It previously appeared in 'The Fenris Wolf', Volume 3 (1993), edited by Carl Abrahamsson. I have negotiated the re-release of this essay with the editor and installed it into this HTML Page on 8/28/17, August 28th of the 5017th year of the Kali Yuga. 333