Over at the NOTOCON VII Blog, Beth posted “An Essay Related to my experience with NOTOCON VI in Salem, 2007e.v.“. In this essay, among other things, she mentions what she sees as the express purpose for attending NOTOCON:
“When one attends NOTOCON it is for the express purpose of gathering within the bonds of our Fraternity; to bask in the company of our brethren. Without the hospitality of our hosts, however, it would be a pale shadow of that which each of us finds in our own Thelemic communities.”
But, I have to say that gathering in the bonds of Fraternity and experiencing Hospitality seem to me to be good enough on one level, as an important experience; but, these seem to me to be the containers, not the contained. I mean that the fraternal experience may be a direct experience of the egregor of the order, but I see this more as the intentional marker that indicates which side of the liminal boundary one is on.
So, then what do I see as the contained? There’s always a lot of work put out for any conference trying to make the value case for people to attend. Much of this stuff also applies to a NOTOCON, I would imagine. Some of this has been going into my thinking about the new design for the root notocon.org site I’ve been working on.
My current draft, about why to attend, for the root NOTOCON site is this:
“There are many reasons to attend a NOTOCON, or any O.T.O. gathering, such as new learning and new nuances about old learning, meet luminaries, to socialize with peers, to meet Grand Lodge, to connect with far-flung members, meet new friends and renew old friendships … & c.
Any time there’s a large number of O.T.O. members together, there’s bound to be new memories made and old memories shared. This is an opportunity that should not be missed, whether you have been a long-time member, just started showing up to your local body events, or anything in between. There will be things that you will experience that inspire and motivate you. There will be things that you experience that will open new paths of your own work, and not just in the order.”
The primary reason, I suspect, to go to NOTOCON VII is To Go [see, also]. There’s certainly a lot of reasons, but it is the urge and motivation to exceed that seems to me to be the best reason and one that is sufficient for anyone. Attending NOTOCON is a chance to be informed by the past and to initiate the future.
NOTOCON VII: the seventh biennial National Ordo Templi Orientis Conference
August 7-9th, 2009 EV ~ Seattle, WA