The Understandings of the Thelemic Order
Many denominations have a "statement of faith" that goes beyond the general beliefs of their wider religion but identifies their special focus. TTO is a socially progressive element of Thelema, and we've chosen to put forward a set of "Understandings," which are more or less a shared vision statement.
What are the Understandings?
We will never all agree on everything.
What does it mean to be:
“In Principal Sympathy with the Understandings?”
It is a paradox of intellect that the more completely and coherently a set of beliefs or understandings is expressed the less likely it is to gain adherence, as there will always be some small thing which rankles and keeps each individual from completely accepting it.
At no point do we ask for that anyone embrace the understandings as a matter of blind faith, or be completely in agreement with every word of them.
After all, the understandings themselves may be changed by Members through a variety of mechanisms.
- By “principal” we mean “first” or “of the highest order.”
- By “sympathy” we mean “understanding between people” or “commonality of feeling.”
So by “Principal Sympathy” we mean “Primarily having a feeling of support for and comprehension of the ideas behind the understandings and for the greatest or most part.”
Are the Understandings definitions of Thelema?
No, they are understandings of our shared Thelemic Community, a basis for establishing a shared space for us to learn together.
Throughout history the One Gnostic Catholic Church has been manifest in various forms in times and places. We believe that in order to bring about a more perfect understanding of Thelema suitable to the New Aeon, and to promulgate that understanding among the people, new manifestations of this Church must be accomplished.
The State of Thelema
There has been in the past half century an unfortunate state within the body of Thelema. While most of the adherents of the largest of Thelemic bodies are sincere and decent people, there are Thelemites with wide ranging international reputations, both within and without various organized bodies, who have indulged, and at times embraced, ideals which conflict with the basic precepts of Thelema, most notably white supremacy, misogyny, homophobia and transphobia. This has resulted in Thelema, the doctrine of tolerance, being associated with ignorance and intolerance. At the same time some of these same individuals have worked pro-actively to marginalize others who do not conform to their model of Thelema.
The result is that Wicca, and Satanism, and numerous other fruits of the ideological explosion after the Second World War and in the 1960s, are more widely admired in the world today than Thelema. While we are glad for this, and see nothing wrong with it, we believe Thelema has a great deal to offer if it can be moved to take its place at the table.
The Thelemic Order is a Thelemic body organized along principles of the New Aeon, discarding vestiges of the old. It aims to provide an unparalleled ground for the expression of individual interpretation and the practice of magick, while refusing to indulge intolerance in the name of tolerance.