"A.J. Rose" (Jonathan) (ajrose93) wrote,
"A.J. Rose" (Jonathan)

"star & star, system & system"


It often strikes me that at least some of the occasional criticism one hears of OTO arises from a misunderstanding of its intended nature and purpose, in AC's hands; in particular, from confusing the distinct purposes he intended for OTO and A.'.A.'. For those who care about such matters, then...

Most Thelemites are at least intellectually aware that he makes a distinction between the two, e.g. in letter 13 in Magick Without Tears (I think it is; anyway, "System of the O.T.O.," reprinted at Equinox III (10) 199). As that letter notes, the nature and purpose of A.'.A.'. are (of course) set out in "One Star in Sight," and he goes on in the letter to sketch some of the distinctive points of OTO initiation. And for a general reference on OTO itself, collecting pretty much all of his major statements on the subject, one can hardly do better than his successors' wonderful Equinox III (10).

So far so good!...but I still think people may tend to forget there is a distinction. Can't fault AC (for once!) for this one -- for example, "Liber LII," one of his most forthcoming statements on the nature of OTO, sets out a bazillion different organizations, historical and otherwise, whose "wisdom and knowledge" are concentrated therein...then specifically excepts A.'.A.'. from that list. For that matter, he prefaced each of the first two times he introduced OTO (Equinox I (9) and I (10)) with the carefully-worded statement: "The Premonstrator of the A.'.A.'. permits it to be known that there is not at present any necessary incompatibility between the A.'.A.'. and the O.T.O. and M.'.M.'.M.'., and allows membership of the same as a valuable preliminary training."*

I'm an OTO Minerval of eleven years' standing (and proud of it!)**, and while I assume everyone can see some places where the order differs from AC's hopes for it, I strongly believe that it's largely doing what he expected it to do; in particular, providing a vehicle for those whose Will it is to establish Thelema through the formula of service. Those who expect it to do something else may tend to be disappointed, I suppose...but I don't think they can say AC didn't take pains to explain this: in advance, and every step along the way.

93 93/93 -- AJ

* I am not, nor do I believe he was, trying to suggest that one is "better" than the other; just to insist that their purposes remain distinct.
** And have never belonged to anything calling itself "A.'.A.'.", come to that. For my views on initiation generally, check out the memories section of this journal, accessible from the userinfo page.
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