☉︎ in 13° Gemini : ☽︎ in 12° Scorpio : Anno Vvi
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
To my Unknown Friend: Greeting and health.
It is a tough time in America at the moment. With each new murder of a minority by the establishment of the majority, we move closer and closer to a national meltdown. We’re not there yet. If that’s scary, then think about where we are right now: riots, destruction, unbridled retribution toward communities by those who claim authority, the threat of organized violence by our own President, and so much more. And I’ll say it again: we’re not quite to the point of a national meltdown yet. It’s coming, though, should we not find our way through all this with resolve.
What I see in my own community, however, is a conflict of emotions between anxiety and apathy. There are those who are unable to cope with the demands of civil awareness, soak in the shifting distress of the moment, and wallow in fear. Conversely, there are those who stoke the fires of hatred and intolerance with a certain amount of glee—or at least a great deal of apathy for the human situation.
It is not without a small smirk of my own that I recognize, in our holiest of texts, every mention of war, defeat, subjugation, and terror is concentrated on those who are infiltrators, betrayers, and agitators. At no point does the Book of the Law attempt to denigrate the innocent or those “less fortunate.” Those who like to prooftext the verse about “stamping down the weak” should probably take a look around and see how not weak these communities rising up really are in the end. It takes strength to endure generations of oppression, rejection, and systematic butchery at the hands of a governing authority.
When we explore the concepts of the various “worlds,” this Malkuthian (or mundane) world is rife with injustice and exploitation. This is the world in which we live and function on a daily basis. This is the world in which we can affect change by the will of decision alone. This is the world that needs change.
The fundamentalists of Thelema would have us believe that radical individualism is the key, that “mind your own business” (a mere interpretation by the Prophet, one should add) eliminates any involvement with social justice. While accepting that social justice today takes many forms, some of which are absolutely pathological, actual social justice comes from the recognition of the individual as a Star among the community of stars, but without diminishing the community itself. That community is so very important in Thelema. Social justice comes from a participation in both personal accountability (ethics) and social responsibility (politics).
Let me be clear: vandalism and property destruction have no place in Thelemic ethics or politics for the simple reason that it violates both accountability of the individual and responsibility to the community. Before I am misunderstood, let me be equally clear on another point: civil protesting, as a community or as an individual, is the strongest force toward social change there is and should be encouraged when all else has failed. There is no conflict in these two statements.
Allow me to go one step further: despite my insistence that destruction is not an answer, we need to also recognize there are times when the oppression of a people needs to be addressed in a more direct manner. This may include insurrection and change that cannot be done without violence. It absolutely should be the avenue of last resort, but aiming for peace does not mean—eventually—revolution is not necessary. There may come a time when social responsibility demands a change in leadership by any means necessary to protect both the individual and the community from tyranny.
We must be vigilant to the needs of the few that are drowned out by the wants of the many. We must be vigilant to the parts in relation to the whole. We must be vigilant to the health of the whole, however, to ensure that the few do not become malignant and destructive merely for the sake of destruction without change. We must stop and listen to those who have grievances, see how they can be addressed, and continue to move our community, our society, into a better place for each Star.
We could give in to the anxiety of what it outside our control. We could give in to the fear. We could remain apathetic to the needs of the few who have been oppressed by the many. We could continue to side with tyranny and authoritarianism under the guise of safety and security. Both extremes are illogical and dispassionate in their grasp of the situation on the ground. Our approach doesn’t have to be either of these. It can be to pick up the sword of personal accountability and the shield of social responsibility and defend those in need. Victory is assured, success is our proof, and harmony between the individual and the community is the avenue to prosperity.
Love is the law, love under will.