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From the Master, Winter Solstice Anno IVxxi

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Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

The Motto I chose for my Third Degree Initiation was openly borrowed from Star Trek, "Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations" - IDIC. Skipping the obvious geek alert, the glory of creation is indeed in its infinite diversity and the ways our differences combine to create meaning and beauty. I am constantly reminded of this Motto when dealing with problems of economic viability, sustainability, technology and the overall aesthetic desirability of modern occulture. In my opinion, being an Initiate of the O.T.O. now demands a comprehensive set of skills that combine and manage many diverse fields. Producing information that people want and need has gone way beyond the individual psychological processes. Deeper understanding of the sociological and especially cultural experiences are key to promulgating the Law of Thelema.

There is no artist without an audience, but there would not be much cultural activities without artistic production. In the context of large modern societies, this axis is integrated into a market. Generally speaking, there are 2 radical reactions to this market, exaggerated mass production or entrenched elite-practices. The growth in sheer numbers of the public for occulture pushes towards the commoditization and hyper-communication: the public is both client (to foster profitability), and target for communication (to foster adhesion to values). To escape from commoditization, the artists creates new, ever more esoteric art, striving for distinction in a dialectic process that both fosters artistic renewal and the acculturation of the public. However, the public can refuse an artistic production and drive it into financial and image deficit, as was the case with our Prophet.

Regarding demand: about 10% of the urban population in Macedonia has regular and diversified occultural practices, while at the other end about 50% of them have no personalized spiritual interests, apart from campaign consumption of mass-products supplied by the organized religions (mainly Christianity, and to a lesser extent Islam). This is a rough estimate, since it is hitherto impossible to analyze consumer behavior based on simplified demographical statistics, in spite the outdated marginality hypothesis (1973), which postulates that social marginality is a predictor of belief in paranormal phenomena. Being female and not being married generally correlate as hypothesized with paranormal belief, but age, low education, provincial background and being unemployed do not. The marginality hypothesis has a questionable theoretical foundation and fails to consistently predict a variety of beliefs.

Regarding supply: the pyramid organization of the Order itself is absolutely not relevant to cultural engineering as a method of promulgating the Law. The development of occultural service implies an especially important involvement of the individual and a multiplicity of competences, centered on a new type of behavior around the spirit of project management. Mollard (1987) puts one theorem to the front, that of the eclectic leader: the ideal cultural engineer, according to him, has to be both a quasi-artist and a strategic entrepreneur. In strict concordance with the libertarian laissez-faire concept of capitalism, he is clearly a supporter of more market mechanisms to balance State intervention and views this as an essential mission of cultural engineering, being part of a counter-power to the State in the cultural field.

Egregore is an occult concept representing a "collective group mind", an autonomous psychic entity made up of, and influencing, the thoughts of a group of people. The symbiotic relationship between an egregore and its group has been compared to the more recent, non-occult concepts of the corporation and the meme. A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols, or practices that can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena (Dawkins, 1976). Proponents theorize that memes may evolve by natural selection in a manner analogous to that of biological evolution. Much of the study of memes focuses on groups of memes called meme complexes, or "memeplexes." Like the gene complexes found in biology, memeplexes are groups of memes that are often found present in the same individual. Applying the theory of Universal Darwinism, memeplexes group together because memes will copy themselves more successfully when they are "teamed up".

Memetic engineering is the process of developing memes, through meme-splicing and memetic synthesis, with the intent of altering the behavior of others in society or humanity, creating and developing theories or ideologies based on an analytical study of societies, cultures, their ways of thinking and the evolution of their minds & ultimately modifying human beliefs, thought patterns, &c. When a meme is introduced, those concepts begin to take on their own process of evolution based on the person who adopts the ideology, internalizes it, and reintroduces it into society causing it to spread like a virus. Typical memetic engineers include scientists, engineers, industrial designers, ad-men, artists, publicists, political activists, and religious missionaries. The cultural system transforms their creation into memory. It gives heritage a central place and vests established values through it.

Diffusion of innovations (Rogers, 1962) is a theory that seeks to explain how, why, and at what rate new ideas and technology spread through cultures. This process relies heavily on human capital. The innovation must be widely adopted in order to self-sustain. Within the rate of adoption, there is a point at which an innovation reaches critical mass. Recently, through an elaborate computer model, scientists discovered this tipping point for the spread of ideas. When just 10% of the population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority of the society. (Sreenivasan, 2011).

Since 1904, there is a major paradigm shift at work, and not just in the more subtle realms of reality. Only in the past decade has technology finally caught up and provided us with more than adequate communication channels of promulgating this idea. Now it is up to us to challenge traditional societal values and create an entirely new value system corresponding to our Law of Thelema. At the end, we will eventually create a tradition of our own.

Love is the law, love under will.

Frater SiLVeSTeR

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