(11/06/1943) Grady McMurtry to Aleister Crowley

NOTE: Here is an unusual letter from Grady McMurtry to Crowley in the early period of their acquaintance. This letter of 11/6/43 e.v. was written following a visit by Grady and a change of military assignment. The latter event apparently disturbed plans to get together with Crowley and continue what must have been a rather long-winded discussion. Grady extended the earlier chat in this letter, thus affording a view into their meetings that would have otherwise been lost. Beginning with thoughts on his pending motto, Grady proceeded into utopian theories blending the Technocratic movement, popular with his circle of Science Fiction friends of the time in southern California, with idealizations of Thelema. This is young Grady talking to elder Crowley, full of beans and dreams. Impractical as it is, some of these projections came near to happening in the hippy culture of the late 1960’s e.v., around the time Grady started trying to bring OTO back from the brink of oblivion. These ideas found their way, transmuted, into Grady’s later thought. Crowley must have been taken a bit by all this enthusiasm. Not a little would have reminded him of his own youth. Crowley probably drew from the start of this letter to come up with “Hymenaeus Alpha” as a magical name for Grady, using the notion of 777 as the path of the lightning bolt on the Tree of Life to reflect the notion of “unification of the universe”.

1684th Ord MM C. (Avn)Q)
APO 635, AAF 473
6 November 1943

“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law”
This will give you my address – you will notice a change a change of unit as well as APO. As I will not be in on Saturday or Sunday I am going to use this medium of presenting an extension of our discussion the other night.

I have been thinking about your suggestion that I determine my motto. As I visualize it – my purpose is the unification of the universe – internal and external. The balancing of the mundane with the spiritual. The Great Work as you have shown it and more – much more. Quite a task. However I shall go ahead just as if I had good sense and allow my force (overdrive) to determine my course. To determine a concise statement of my aim is, however, a something else. I could say “I conquer” – meaning that I will be victorious in this matter – but it doesn’t express the meaning. “I unify” – but what do I unify? “I will balance” – I am the monad – like and unlike are the same – the mundane exists because of the spiritual and the spiritual dwells in the mundane, etc, etc. and etc. Perdurabo means “I will endure unto the end” I believe. I think that I need a word which means “I will be the force that unifies (balances)”. I will not only balance myself, I will “secure the greatest possible freedom of self- expression for the greatest possible number of Points-of- View”, the process of which will evolve an environment of living that will make attainment of balance a natural goal. This “greatest possible number of Points-of-View” is a quotation in the mechanics of social economics. If it was not for this tremendous drive my sole interest in the mundane world would be the external exercise necessary for the Great Work and “A Book of Verses underneath the Bough, A Jug of Wine, a loaf of Bread – and thou –.” But that is fancy. The drive exists and I must satisfy it or “come a cropper of mystical brawn”.

In your teachings and system of initiation such thoughts as “Every man and every woman is a star”, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law”, “Love is the law, love under will”, provide touch tones whereby ambiguous phrases and statements shown in their true light. Just so certain phrases of mine such as “Method is more important than Product” and “Machine Tools are the instruments of social change” are more than mere catch phrases but touchstones whose application to all material partaking to social economics shows it in its true light, i.e., significant or insignificant. Let us have an example. Under a Technate every person every person {sic} is assured an abundance, of the necessities as well as the finger things of life. Applying the touchstone “Method is more important that Product” we find that this apparently irrelevant information yields the following surprising conclusions:

(1) Marriage as an institution would gradually disappear. Surprising? Not at all. For the first time in human history woman would be economically independent of man. A woman, being economically independent, is no longer subject to the degrading necessity of marrying some stupid clerk to have a legitimate father for her children and to provide herself and her children with the necessities of life. A woman who is economically independent can, and often does, damn convention to do as she chooses. A nation of economically independent women and men would be a potent force. This is not to say that marriage would disappear over night – why should it? There are vast numbers of men and women who find their happiness in a life of monogamy. Nor is it to say that marriage would be forbidden or in any way frowned upon. To forbid is to restrict, and “the word of restriction is sin”. Nor have we changed human nature or attempted any such change.

It is simply that by a change over to an energy evaluate economy we operate to provide an abundance of consumer goods – the result of having this abundance produces an environment congenial to the Law of Thelema, i.e., “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law”., “Love is the law, love under will”. That is not to say that all love would be under will. The sudden realization of freedom and equality may easily cause a swing far in the opposite direction in which excesses of debauchery could do considerable damage. But it is hardly likely that it could do any permanent damage before the realization came, fostered by the Priests of Thelema, that while love is wonderful and “ain’t nature grand?”, true love is under will. Besides the most degrading scars of wholesale debauchery could hardly equal the harm caused by Prohibition, shame, or machine Politics. Each separately and not collectively. I am not one {to?} bow humbly before any manifestation of Woman (except the adoration of Nuit), but I consider the above as being significant.

(2) Education would continue until completed. With financial restriction removed public institutions such as schools and universities would come into their own. Liberal thinking would receive an unequalled impetus because, since each man is free to speak his own mind without fear of economic consequences (i.e., teachers who loose their jobs because the Board of Education must yield to offended respectability, etc.) the maximum possible points of view could be brought into focus. Each student, being economically independent, not only could but would be expected to continue his education until it was completed. Students might not leave school until much later than now – but what magnificently equipped brains they would have! (Brains, not minds. That is something else, again.)

(3) The maximum possible number of points of view would be developed. This was touched on in (2) above. “Every man and every woman is a star”. True enough. And when every man and every woman is economically independent their natural tendency, undistorted by the false values of monetary economics, is to follow their basic Will. With each person following his basic will the maximum possible number of points of view will be attained. Perhaps there are thousands whose basic will, drive, karma, or what have you is so weak as to be almost hidden. We then find —

(4) There must be a Continual program of education for leisure (and living). From earliest history man has had to work for a living. Thus the tendency is that “Man must earn his living by the sweat of his brow”, and “The poor will always be with us” could be taken literally because they applied to everyday life. Now we find that man does not have to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow, neither are the poor any longer with us. Now we find ourselves in an environment where the law of the strong is our law and the joy of the world, where it is meet to “gather goods and store of woman and spices”, etc., and come unto the adoration of Nuit in the uttermost of her voluptuousness. However, even tho this be so, the fact remains that the majority of our people have been conditioned to believe in, and think along the lines of, the teachings that work is good for the soul – they must be educated until they can understand that the work referred to is not manual labor {for} the sake of manual labor – but exercise that will give them bodies truly fit to be the vehicle of the soul. (By “Education” is meant the impartial presentation of facts with full freedom of the individual to determine which is true and does not refer to the European expression “propaganda”. It is to be expected that there will be a few who either cannot or will not face the facts. Every civilized culture has its asylums for these few unfortunates who are not mentally equipped to stand the strain of thinking of accepting the world as it is.) That this education can be given painlessly and without great turmoil can be seen when we consider the tremendous job of reconstruction to be done to design the Continental industry for the most efficient operating techniques. Cities as we know them would not exist.

The speed of modern mass transportation allows the community center to be far removed from districts of heavy industry. Thus people who desire to live in communities (and there are some) could live in great blocks of apartments “designed for living” – but these social units would be set in such surroundings of open air and sunshine that the term “city” could hardly apply. Besides this there is the Continental Road system (great multilaned highways following the curve of the Earth as they span a continent North and south – beside them the Great Wall of China good beginning for an embankment – this is the CONSTRUCTION), the Continental Hydrology (a continental system of interlocking rivers, lakes, and canals on which almost all freight would be handled with the least possible expenditure of energy) and the Continental survey of Potential Resources and Energy that will take at least one and many generations of Engineers. There will be jobs for everyone – and time for adult education (the next generation, growing up in an atmosphere of abundance and freedom, will take care of itself). The change over should not take more than 15 years at the most. Even then there will be those thousands who have to be kept busy with their hands, and while it is true that less than 10% of the population need tend the machines, we can spread the work out, at say 4 hours a day, 4 days a week, to include many additional thousands. And, always remembering that such an expansion is merely to take care of those who find it necessary to work, we come to the additional thousands who want to teach, paint, carve wood, be amateur photographers, amateur astronomers, radio hams, leather workers, researcher workers, and the thousand and one other occupations that the human comedy consists of. The making of fine quality shoes and boots, for instance, would be an industry. The master leather worker, however, has a product which cannot be purchased because you have no money. But he can give it to you as a favor or for a favor, or because you can give him something. Is he interested in Magick? Then teach him, brother, and he will make you the finest pair of boots ever fashioned. To demand that he produce those boots at a price is to impose your will upon his – which is unlawful – but for him to make them for you of his own free will! You see – it always comes back to Thelema! Then there are those thousands who have no character, who have no will, who bend with the wind. They will not work? Good. They will not study? Good. Thy will drink themselves to death and contribute nothing but their gaiety to the social welfare? Splendid! Marvelous! We are not moralists. These people are froth. They do not partake of the work of the Technate therefore they can not have attained administrative power or social position through government. Nor is it likely that they have achieved social power through control of the large groups of people that give allegiance to the leaders of the fields of philosophy, art and science. They affect no one but themselves. As Citizens they are entitled to their share of the abundance. Let them have it. Like flies they live and like flies they die. So mote it be. We want only men of character.

(5) We do not take human nature into consideration? True. Neither do we take religion into consideration. A man’s religion is his own. To attempt to change it, or to “take it into consideration” as though you were going to render a verdict and impose your will on him is not lawful. To attempt to change a man’s nature is just as unlawful. The thing to remember here, as always, is that “an energy survey had disclosed certain trends and produced an engineer’s report as to the consequence if those trends continue.” Here is no room for neurotic opinion making. Here are certain facts and trends – by following these trends and evaluating these facts we can predict (not prophesy) certain future developments, such as the establishment of an energy evaluated economy. These speculations on the effect that an economy of abundance will have upon a people are part of an entirely different problem and have nothing whatsoever to do with the original energy survey. If this distinction is not made and kept clear in the mind there will always be a tendency to confuse the factual engineers report of energy trends and their effect upon a monetary evaluated economy and the purely philosophical gymnastics (which is what they are, no matter how logical) that one can indulge in concerning the life of a people in an economy of abundance. Thus neither Technocracy or the theoretical Technate would “take human nature into consideration”. That is something which is none of their business. To truly understand that, of course, one must realize that the question simply does not apply.

(6) There would be no prostitution (as an industry). Prostitution as we know it exists to make money. No money, no prostitution Period

(7) Abortion would almost totally disappear. An expectant mother who is economically independent need have no fear of (a) illegitimacy, (b) lack of financial support, (c) social censure. With these removed or – more properly – as these would not exist, the only real reason for abortion would be the health of the expectant mother. Secondary reasons would be dealt with by the prevailing attitude of the populace, and if, as may be supposed, that is one in which maternity is considered as being about the best contribution a woman can make – well – it’s logical anyway – but then women are so illogical.

(8) 90% of crime would disappear. No money, no crime.

(9) Fashions would become elastic. Being no longer bound to wear “respectable” or “conservative” business clothing in order to present a front of uniform mediocrity the nature tendency would be to wear that which is most comfortable, most showy, most individual. Conservative fashions in men’s clothing contribute to conservative thinking. Variety in clothing tends to stimulate the mind. This is a small point but it indicates an important trend … Individualism.

(10) Disease could be brought under control. How soon is difficult to say. It is perhaps impossible to stamp our disease entirely but it shouldn’t take many years to bring it under control.

(11) Natural selection will “improve the human race in every conceivable way, so as to have available for service the greatest possible variety of the best Instruments imaginable”. When women, as well as men, can afford to be choosy, we find the process of natural selection automatically in operation to the fullest extent. From a standpoint of Law, forced eugenics is an imposition upon the will of the Individual. Natural selection will sift the race through a progressively finer screen once each generation which is probably about as fast as it is advisable to go forward anyway. After all, nothing like having a few “Herrenvolk” around to gum up the works! Anyway – once again we find that when the environment of Man is brought into harmony with the energy laws of the universe, unmolested by the false values of monetary economics, the result is Thelema.

(12) etc.

As I have access to V mail which is supposed to reach the States in a matter of days instead of weeks I might be able to act as a message center, to a limited extent, between Prime Base and the outposts. This mail is subject to military censorship, of course, and would have to be written in the form of personal correspondence.

I note with considerable interest your mania for being absolutely certain that each word was capable of standing the test of being referred to a standard dictionary. Apparently we will eventually have to compile our own dictionary of standard terms – although the children of 4100 are probably already too doomed to plod painfully through that terrible language of the Ancients – English! People have more fun that anybody. Except horses. They sleep with their shoes on.

Love is the law, love under will.

I, Rebel; The Intruder (I put these in my pocket to give to Jack. And have been carrying them ever since.)

Note: Originally published in Thelema Lodge Calendar, March 2000.