Questioning my faith

Questioning my faith March 4, 2019

As a Thelemite use the word faith differently than most people do. I don’t mean a belief that isn’t backed by science. That kind of faith doesn’t work for me because I’m a scientific illuminist. Aleister Crowley described scientific Illuminism as “the method of science, the aim of religion”. I incorporate scientific knowledge into my practice and test what I plan to do before I put my weight on it. So when I say “faith” I am using the term closer to how the ancient theurgists used the word. They were guided by three principles: eros, aletheia, and pistis, or love, truth, and faith. In this case pistis, faith, means something closer to “trust”. When I say I am questioning my faith, I am saying, what do I trust?

questioning

As a Thelemite I trust myself. Specifically, I trust my Holy Guardian Angel, also called the Higher Self. Each Thelemite is a solitary sovereign answering only to our own HGA. This makes us very hard to manage! Just about the only way you could attempt to control people like me is to convince us that you had control of their HGAs. I’ve heard rumors that people try to make that claim (“only I can give you your HGA!”) and everyone who tells me that laughs. No one has ever said this to me first hand. (I would laugh).

Thelemites do voluntarily associate with each other. I am a member of Ordo Templi Orientis and an ordained priestess in Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica. As such I have (voluntarily) sworn to uphold O.T.O. and E.G.C. policies. These policies have to do with my behavior when I represent the organizations, they don’t generally govern my own spiritual path, except to confirm my committment to my own freedom.

When I say I question my faith I don’t mean that I question my trust in myself. As a scientific illuminist I question what I know to be true. I understand this as a sacred duty of every Thelemite. We question ourselves first to identify the structures imposed on us from outside, including religious beliefs, cultural identity and family obligations. This isn’t a one-and-done effort though. We are constantly formed and re-formed by our cultural matrix. It is a lifelong effort to confront internalized structures which oppress freedom, like racism and sexism. We have to face these in ourselves before we can begin to confront them in the world.

The nature of the spiritual path I am on is to have individual experiences. Magickians interact with angels and demons, gods and spirits. How do we know whether the entity we interact with means us well or deludes us? Learning to distinguish a true transmission from a false one is a survival skill. This is a case when questioning what we believe and experience is essential.

Just as I question myself I question the people around me and the organizations I belong to. Are we supporting each other on the path with love? Love is the law, love under will. I understand my duty as a Thelemite to support every other human being’s right to act freely. This is the love I bring to the work, the love I offer to my fellow Thelemites (defined as all who call themselves Thelemites) and to every person in the world: do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law, and I will back you up on that.

This habit of questioning can be disconcerting. Even people who have known me for a long time are thrown sometimes by the depth of my commitment to inquiry. This is especially alarming if I am challenging what seems to be bedrock truth (like gender) or if my questioning calls the beliefs of others into question. I do try to question not with anger but gently and with love. As a Thelemite and a scientific illuminist proving out what I can trust keeps me moving on the path.

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Questioning my faith

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