Categorising Thelemites as a dubious business, since we fit very few moulds beyond a shared respect for aspects of the primary Thelemic texts and Aleister Crowley’s philosophies. However, there are two possible broad groupings, which I’ve long thought of as ‘philosophical’ and ‘mystical’ Thelemites.
My own leanings are toward the mystical side, which means I’ve long been at odds with materialistic or politically oriented Thelemites. I have no problem with anyone taking from Crowley or the Book of the Law what they need, but reforming society is not one of my personal interests. I’m not a dogmatic atheist or libertarian/anarchist, and I don’t need to be converted to these perspectives. I like a clear separation between church and state, and I’m forever wary of supposed Thelemic politics. I find Thelemic ‘atheism’ slips very easily into religious ardour, and then comes the call for conformity in the name of saving the future.
But like many people with a mystical side, I need to stay grounded and connected to the world, so the materialist/political faction sometimes shows up to draw me back. And its advocates force me to keep on considering my position.
The difficulty I find with politically oriented Thelema in the world as it’s now constituted is that it requires consistency. Politics requires quick answers, yet long attention spans. But Thelemic magick involves constant upending of perspective and points of understanding, and the process only intensifies with time. Moreover, it’s this continuous development and expansion of Light that produces the subtle changes in the outer world. “Let my servants be few & secret: they shall rule the many & the known,” is not a blueprint for a small magical conspiracy dominating the world economy like some Qabalistic Bilderberg conference. It’s a literal statement to the effect that human thought and aims are governed by deep, subtle rhythms brought through into global consciousness by the community of Masters and senior Adepts.
It seems that anyone who adheres strictly to just one side of this division falls away at some point. You can only argue about the best way to run the world for so long before noticing beyond escape that you’re nowhere near being able to do so. And you can’t engage the mystical side without being drawn into progressively deeper involvement in the human and social realities that the awakening illumination is revealing.