I'm really slow about these things. Good thing I have friends to give me a heads-up. :/
At least one friend (I gather from an offline conversation) took a message from a recent post that I hadn't intended, so I'd better clarify...despite the fact that I'd REALLY like to avoid debating the underlying point. The topic is O.T.O. and goals (or, maybe better, Grand Designs).
1. I'm a Minerval, a mere "initiated guest" of O.T.O. (even if I did ever actually show up, which despite providing both monthly and annual financial support I don't). I'm entitled to my opinion, and everybody's more than entitled to ignore it.
2. My comments were pointed at the specific notion that O.T.O. is not performing its function, and will not be doing so, until it adds additional goals to its original purpose. I strongly believe this to be untrue. Indeed, I strongly believe that adding additional goals onto O.T.O. -- like adding a specific educational system onto O.T.O. -- threatens to undermine its actual (original, underlying) purpose. I well understand why people disagree with me on this, and doubt anything fruitful will come from debating the issue.
3. None of this has anything to do with local body masters whose Will it is to set goals for their local bodies. For that matter, none of this is meant to interfere in anybody else's Will at any level. It was meant to be an observation about: (a) certain bitter controversies -- emphatically not at the level of local bodies, much less individuals -- which I strongly believe do O.T.O. more harm than good; and (b) the nature of Thelemic attainment, which includes (ahem) a proper sense of the importance of human activity: all-important, that is, to the individual; maybe a little less so to the cosmos as a whole.
It was very likely a dumb thing to put into a public post -- and if I didn't have a "public-posts-only" rule, I prolly wouldn't have.* People do, after all, proceed in their own way, at their own pace:
The prophet cried against the mountain; come thou hither, that I may speak with thee!
The mountain stirred not. Therefore went the prophet unto the mountain, and spake unto it. But the feet of the prophet were weary, and the mountain heard not his voice.
But I have called unto Thee, and I have journeyed unto Thee, and it availed me not.
I waited patiently, and Thou wast with me from the beginning.
This now I know, O my beloved, and we are stretched at our ease among the vines.
But these thy prophets; they must cry aloud and scourge themselves; they must cross trackless wastes and unfathomed oceans; to await Thee is the end, not the beginning. -- "Liber LXV" II:57-62
This sort of thing is, btw, largely the reason I don't hang out with my O.T.O. siblings: we're doing the same thing in different ways, but that can (alas!) often feel like doing very different things. That's why permanent Minerval is ideal for me: the hope that I can be an ally without being an irritant. Thanks to the visibility of public posts on LJ that doesn't always work, and for that I am sorrier than perhaps you know. :(
Funny thing: maybe because I knock myself out being as polite to everybody as I know how to be, the "rules" sometimes seem to be different for me than for other LJ'ers. Folks seem perfectly comfortable coming onto my page and slamming any number of things that I hold sacred, with the (quite correct) understanding that I won't take it personally; if, however, I dare to engage in even mild criticism of the stuff important to them, it seems to leave a sting. I don't know a damn thing I can do about that, other than never disagreeing with anybody, and suppressing my own opinions from my journal.
I don't think that would work, but I'll certainly try to be as cordial as possible. And I really do hold other people's Will sacred, and didn't and don't ever mean to insult it.
Stupid words. :/
Finally, I apologize to anybody who felt personally criticized by my observations. As a general thing, anyone who felt slammed was almost certainly NOT the sort of person I had in mind. The folks I had in mind couldn't conceivably care less what I think, so I thought it was safe to speak. Again, I'm genuinely sorry for any harm done, and will try to avoid it in future.
93 93/93 -- AJ
* I doubt I'll start filtering posts, but maybe a show of hands would be helpful. Anybody who figures they can handle my more idiosyncratic opinions without hurt feelings, please feel free to speak up, and if I ever start an "AJ Rants" filter, you'll be on it.