Green Egg Forum, Vol. VII, No. 62, Beltrane AA14
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.
Jefferson Clitlick is not quite precise in writing that "the step from materialism to pantheism is wholly emotional." In my own case (and judging by the literature, in the case of most pantheists) the step was intuitive, in the Jungian (and Sufi) sense of "intuition," or as in mathematical discovery. (Creating a new Gestalt, while not a rational process, is not "emotional," either.)
Rev. Clitlick is more persuasive in challenging Tim Zell's dichotomy of "Pagan religions" and "philosophical religions." Every dichotomy of that sort creates more confusion than light, which is why the Cabalists warn us against "the accursed dyad." Any classification schemata which finds itself compelled to lump Buddhism and Confucianism together with Christianity on one side of a fence and Eleusinian and Hopi systems on the other side is Choronzonian. Christianity is only degenerate Eleusianism: on the occasion when it has come alive it was, briefly, revived Eleusiniasm, e.g. France 1100-1300. As for Tantra, which ends up on the "Pagan" side of Tim's fence, this may very likely be a Buddhism invention and could just as well go on the other side. (I am aware of the evidence that Tantra may also possibly be a Hindu, Gnostic or Egyptian invention.)
If one must build such schemata, it is wise to have at least three categories — four, or more, is better. Such systems might not be more true than dualisms, but they are always less false...
Frankly, I tend toward "philosophical" religions for the same reason I tend toward philosophy in general. We could all use the light of philosophical debate more and the smokey fumes of feud and name-calling less. On the other hand, logic is only one circuit of the human nervous system, as Dr. Leary has shown with such brilliance in his Neurologic, and we need to use the other (lower and higher) circuits also, which is why I am also a Pagan. Buddha, Lao-Tse, Catullus, Rabelais and Adam Weishaupt are among the Pagan philosophers invoked in Crowley's Gnostic Mass and nobody who studies them can fail to become both more Pagan and more philosophical.
I am currently teaching a class on "Scientific and Experimental Magick" for Orpheus Free University. I suppose the miscegenation of those adjectives with that noun will disturb even more people than Clitlick's amalgamation of philosophy and Paganism ... But Paracelsus, Vaughan, Bruno and Crowley (among others) were scientific magicians, just as more recently Carl Jung, Tim Leary and John Lilly are magical scientists. We lose nothing by our inclusions; we lose much by our exclusions.
In fact, the expressions of Christian piety in the writings of Thomas Vaughan are so frequent and eloquent that I find it hard to believe they are just inserted to mislead the Inquisition or the Star Chamber. Vaughan, evidently, was a Pagan (magician-alchemist), a scientist, a philosopher, and a Christian all at once. I see no reason to despite the Christian element in this soup; obviously, if there had been more Christians like Vaughan, there would have been no burning ...
The only trouble with the Self-centered philosophy of Ayn Rand and her disciples is that they haven't taken the trouble to find out what and where the true Self is.
Love is the law, love under will.
Wrong Rev. Mordecai Malignatus
High Priest, head temple
Ancient Illuminated Seers of Bavaria
c/o Wilson, 535 Taylor, Apt. 104
San Francisco CA 94102