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ADDRESS TO THE BUBASTIS STRATEGY SUMMIT
Address to the 2002 Bubastis Strategy Summit Meeting
Peace, Tolerance, Truth: Salutations on All Points of the Triangle; Respect to the Order. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. My Brethren, Brothers and Sisters of the Order, fellow travelers to Heliopolis: We are gathered here to commune together, to discuss the future of Bubastis in relation to the goals and aspirations of our Holy Order, to realize the strengths of our common bonds and fraternal differences. My address to you is one of encouragement in these times of planning and seeking and struggling to rise up from the ashes of a testing fire. Allow me to relate a personal anecdote to start off my thoughts to you. Twelve and one-half years ago, I was initiated into our Order in this very Camp and Oasis. Bubastis was a small flower in a large desert that shined like a Star in the orbit of our Order. This local body would eventually go on to be the first Lodge in Texas and fall from that glory a short time later. I spent two years of enjoyment in the fellowship of this Body. I would like to remember why I had that pleasure and relate that to you as well here today. Bubastis was a group of individuals who were like family in a distant kind of manner. Intimate on some levels, very combative on others. One of my fondest memories was our weekly “meetings” where the only activities planned were to sit and watch Twin Peaks, that bizarre television show of the early 1990’s, and then discuss aspects of it afterwards that appealed to us individually – or to us all. Within the circumference of this Body, the discussion of magick was constant. The exploration of the Mysteries was commonplace. The continual learning of theory and practice was second nature to those of us who lived and breathed the path of our Order. It would be personality and power that led to the karmic repercussions of the future of Bubastis and my departure for almost eight years from all social aspects of the entire Order. But our time now is focused on a new future and a new focus and such reminiscing of that aspect of the past is not fruitful here. In Bubastis it was not uncommon to hear discussions of cabala and other aspects of our magical studies spill over into the mundane, and the purpose of our lives within the Order mingle with those aspects of our lives that were outside Its pale. In fact, one might say that there was little separation between the planes of our fraternal lives and our so-called mundane lives. They were intertwined in a way that seemed natural. The magical and the mundane were so meshed that there was little difference between them. I recall too many an
evening spent on the stairs outside my apartment discussing how the Tree of Life along with the concepts within the Intimation to the Constitution could be utilized, per its own introduction, as a map to other projects and ideas. I once created the internal structure of Eden Salons, an idea that existed in my Mate of the time, based on that which Crowley states is a map of both the Universe and Man as a lesson in relating what I learned within the Order to that which I experienced outside the Order. Such was my early experience within the borders of Bubastis. My time here was to come to an end, and, as I have already mentioned, I will not dwell on this part of my experience except to say here that I watched this Body rise to and then subside from the status of a Lodge in a mire of personality and power. And that wheel keeps turning even in our time. As we gather here for an incredible opportunity to alter the future of Bubastis, we are to remember that we have been here for over a decade with little to show for it except what we have left here, tattered in our hands waiting to be rebuilt on the ashes of what is left. It is my opinion that we burn the rest to the ground and rebuild our vision from a solid foundation rather than the ruins of a past that ultimately did not withstand the tests of time and fire. In this endeavor there are certain principles to which we must be answerable in order to build an Oasis, a resting place of comfort and education within the desert for those who, like ourselves, are traveling to Heliopolis and find themselves seeing the Light of our Camp and mistake it for the journey’s end. The Camp is only one part of the whole of an Oasis. We must build an Oasis in which we can flourish and expand. Setting our goals as a mere Camp will only keep us in the mentality of a Camp. The Camp is only the outer court of the Oasis of the Mysteries, it is that which admits the Minerval and is a resting place of our guests. The Camp is temporary, transient and tangible for the moment. The Oasis is a wellspring of prosperity and provision for those who are on the journey of initiation. Our first priority is in recognizing this adjustment in our perception of who and what we are, the purpose of why we exist. I began my address with a statement: Peace, Tolerance, Truth: Salutation on All Points of the Triangle; Respect to the Order. I believe these are the four primary principles on which we must build this Oasis. I know these are the four, yes four, objectives that must be met on every level in order for this Oasis to succeed. Each of these could gain from a whole essay or discussion in and of themselves, but allow me to give a cursory run through these concepts. Peace is not the antithesis of hostility. It is a fraternal attitude that is pervasive throughout even hostilities. And human interaction inevitably includes hostility on some level no matter how passive. Defined as “conflict, opposition, or resistance in thought or principle,” hostility is part of that who we are as rational human beings with individual Wills, opinions and perspectives. It is
the manner in which we deal with this hostility that separates us from the troglodytes around us. The definition of Peace that I want to focus on here is this: “harmony in personal relations.” As part of a fraternal Order, this is one of the more adequate definitions that we can utilize given the magio-religious philosophy under which we exist that propagates ideals usually interpreted in a so-called individualistic manner. How is it then that we are capable of conflict in thought if we are to be at harmony in personal relations at the same time? Yes, I believe it can be done. One of the things that we are taught early on in our initiatory path is that freedom involves discipline. This means discipline in mind, body and emotions and certainly, for some of us, discipline in our words to the Brethren. I am the first to admit that I am one of the worst at the discipline of the mouth. Our second priority in working through our own individual parts of this construction process is our need to recognize our individual Wills, the singular Will of this Oasis and the necessary Peace that is required for the interaction of the Brethren to achieve this end. One of the most effective means of burning down the Oasis is the conflict of thought between the Brethren concerning the whole of the purpose of the Oasis. There must be a singular purpose to the gathering of the Brethren. This is not to suggest that there is a suppression of the individual Wills that make up any group. In fact, it is through the proper understanding and communication of these Wills that the whole can be made stronger. This is where Peace enters into the equation. But let me stop here and submit that Pax Templi is not enough. Peace in the Temple is not enough to justify our resolve to build this Oasis. It must be more than this. Our Pax Templi is for extreme situations, for situations that allow others to observe our rites and rituals and it is the law of interaction in those times where we entertain those whose civil government is in open aggression with our own. To continue: there will always be those who are hostile (remember our definition of hostility?) to any given action, function or direction in which others might take within the Oasis. But here is where we must find a difference in our interactions. Peace. It is this “harmony in personal relations” that comes into play and must dictate our fraternal manner in dealing with each other. We must be able to separate the friction, the “conflict, opposition, or resistance in thought or principle” from the “harmony in personal relations.” We must be able to relate to our Brethren without allowing our own personal opinions to interfere with our judgment of their Wills. This kind of objectivity is difficult but achievable. As an illustration, the twelve pillars of the Oasis of the Mysteries stand in a circle around the perimeter, independent and firm. None of these pillars interfere with another, but they stand in harmony, dictating the boundaries of
the Oasis. Each of us is like a pillar of this Oasis. We define that circumference by our abilities, attitudes and actions. Each individual here has a place to stand within our Oasis. It is up to us as a whole to decide where each individual stands best for the determination and success of this goal. Think on this. Our third priority is that of Tolerance. Tolerance, like freedom, is a two-edged sword. It is a subtle principle that must be used with a delicate hand within a group of individuals who have such diverse tastes, opinions, personal goals and levels of education and knowledge. On the other hand tolerance is a cruel principle. One definition says that this is “the allowable deviation from a standard.” In this Oasis, as within our Holy Order, there is a standard that must be upheld by the Brethren. We are to be tolerant of the personal predilections of others while maintaining the highest standards of fraternity and social justice. Once again we are faced with a dilemma of proportions that may seem supernatural from a limited perspective, but we must take into consideration, again, that which we learned in our Minerval. Freedom is ultimately an exercise in discipline. The apparent restrictions that we would fight against are in place solely to assist us in doing our Will. Likewise, we must take this to heart in the governance of ourselves in relation to our Brethren within this Oasis and in relation to the vision and mission of this Oasis itself. It is no easy task, but again it is achievable. We must set the standards by which we operate, by which we seem and are seen to operate. Perception is the responsibility of the perceived, not the perceiver. Whether one likes it or not, our Holy Order is one of elitism. We are the elite of the existing Occulture. It is time we acted like it, set the standards by which all else is measured and maintain the reality of the image we wish others to perceive. This is no arrogant attitude of perceived elitism. This is no vain posturing of defiance to other traditions, organizations or even individuals. It is the struggle to achieve results and produce quality in those results. Success is our only proof. And that proof must be objective in nature to be valid. Tolerance, however, works from the personal to the impersonal, from the local to the global. We must first understand our own tolerance levels before we can resolve to dictate the tolerance levels of our Oasis. Is one willing to tolerate those who use the aftermath of group ritual as a means for the distribution of illegal substances in the face of those who are under civil constraints? Is one willing to tolerate the presence of those who are under such civil constraints in the first place? Is one willing to tolerate the “know-it-all” and the “newbie” in the same room? Is one willing to tolerate the individual struggles that occur when relationships fall apart or are strained when they are brought into the midst of the Oasis? Where do we as individuals draw the line between drama and sincerity?
The Oasis needs the widest possible tolerance while maintaining those standards necessary to productive goals and quality relations. We must promote tolerance through the ideals of our Order. One of the foremost ideals is that of freedom of the individual. It is through discipline that freedom is recognized. In our relations with each other, personal discipline should be one of the foremost ideals to which we adhere. Think on this. I want to skip Truth and come back to it last. I think that it is too important, too personal of an issue for me to place here at this point. This next point is a brief one. So I ask that you tolerate my minor diversion here. Our next priority is Respect to the Order. Without this fundamental principle, we are wandering in the desert. Without this understanding, we are a floundering fish in the hot sand, missing the light that shines from Heliopolis. We must operate as if we were the last representative of the Order on Earth in the continuity of the Mysteries and ideals that we have been entrusted. We must focus on the policies, whether we like them or not, that have been dictated for the operation of this Oasis. We cannot alter these policies. We cannot trace around what we like and what we don’t like in order to serve the predilections of a few – or the many. Our Order is founded on a fraternal principle that reaches back through the centuries and lies at the feet of a noble tradition. We are the inheritors of this principle and as such, by our very oaths, are bound to uphold it, to adhere to it, to promote it. Our very actions reflect on our Holy Order itself. Every action that you take has a direct relation to the perception others have of our Order. Whether they come or leave, whether they explore their potential among us or distance themselves from our membership is all about how each one of us acts, talks and walks these principles of fraternity. I personally think that this is one of the simplest priorities and yet one of the hardest to realize. It is not a principle that exists only within the bounds of our Oasis. It exists outside of it as well. At work, at play, at school. In all places, we are representing this body of individuals and our Order as a whole. Think on this. Truth. John the Apostle of the Christ said, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” This is such a powerful statement in so few words and with such wide application for my purpose. Truth is a very touchy issue with many people. Truth has many different levels and many different meanings. For the purposes of my intent with you, I am going to intentionally overlook the majority of these definitions and diverse meanings. I want to focus on one aspect of Truth that I think makes or breaks that which is necessary for the success of this Oasis that we are planning here today.
Some of us have come here today looking for the truth: the truth about where we have been, the truth about where we are, the truth about where we are going. Truth never changes. Only the perception of truth changes over time and experience. The perception of truth during Crowley’s time was not the same perception of truth of a century before. The perception of truth today is not the same as in Crowley’s. The perception of truth in the future will be different still again. But the truth within each of us remains immutable. We are in the process of discovering and refining that truth, each on a path that requires dedication, discipline and desire. We must be true to ourselves and that truth we find within ourselves. Still, we must be able to exist in harmony with our Brethren in this Oasis that we are building. We must be able to explore that truth within ourselves and find those around us willing to commune and examine the mysteries of our Order that are capable of assisting our journey in the desert. This is the ultimate purpose of the Oasis. We must be able to find that truth is not hidden in the light of our Oasis. Yes, sometimes even our own light can blind the truth from those that would seek our company of freemen. We must constantly be diligent to be weary of corruption and deception. We must constantly be on guard against that around us which would impede the will of the Oasis as a whole. This requires an unwavering dedication to the truth, the simple truth no less. Truth requires that we examine all in the objective light of the Sun. Truth requires that we use good judgment about our peers and our acquaintances. Truth requires that we are open and honest about all our relations with our Order, our Oasis and our Brethren. Think on this. I respectfully submit that the journey ahead of us is on a tough path. But the principles of our Order are firm and a map of success for this Oasis of the Mysteries. I have no easy solutions or quick answers for anything we face, only that I have sworn my life and my sword to our Order and I will maintain that oath. As we traverse this path, we must keep our minds steadfast on these principles. Peace. Tolerance. Truth. Respect to the Order. The final point that I wish to share is that in my opening, these principles were used as a Salutation, a greeting between freemen. These are the principles that I think should be in the forefront of our comings and goings between us, both in and away from our Oasis, mindful ever that we are Brethren and these are bonds that connect us in every way on this journey to the City of the Sun. Love is the law, love under will.