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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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25/07/2013 7:34 pm  

Hey everyone,

Have lurked here for quite a while and finally decided it was time to officially join this great network.

I am still quite new to the field of occultism and possess very little erudition in anything, however I'm fascinated by many diverging fields and am slowly stepping into this strange and mysterious world  😛  I am not officially a thelemite as I need to properly study the great beast and his literature a bit more before my mind is fully made up but I certainly appreciate a lot of thelema's tenets and Crowley's contribution to the modern occult revival.

Originally I was interested in more golden-dawn type magic. However over time, as I've began to learn more about Western Occultism I've found myself slowly drifting down the line of what would be considered the right hand path to the left hand path. It went from an interest in hermeticism to the golden dawn which opened into research on crowley and eventually led to interest in offshoots of thelema and other systems. Of late I've become particularly drawn to the works of Kenneth Grant & Michael Bertiaux, I think it is the creative, innovative element of their magick that appeals to me the most. There seems to be an almost other worldly vibe to it that intrigues me. Another factor may be because their works just so happen to be beautifully published  ;D

So its quite hard to condense my interests, as right now I'm comparable to a kid in a candy store. Other figures of notable appeal to me, if I am to keep this from being a page long essay, are Austin Spare, Andrew Chumbley, Manly Hall and Franz Bardon.

Anyhow, guess I'll wrap it up here. Am glad to be here and have access to such interesting people/discussions.

Much love from Australia!

thegnostic.


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lashtal
(@lashtal)
Owner and Editor Admin
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 5326
25/07/2013 8:12 pm  

Welcome to LAShTAL, Zac.

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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Shiva
(@shiva)
Not a Rajah
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 5048
25/07/2013 9:12 pm  
"Zac" wrote:
... I've found myself slowly drifting down the line of what would be considered the right hand path to the left hand path.

Welcome to lashtal.com.

Crowley considered his "system" to be a mixture of the White & Yellow Schools of Magick (see Magick Without Tears; The 3 schools of Magic.

Lashtal archives contain lots & lots of discussion of the right and left hand paths. To put it bluntly, there is a lot of disagreement over definitions.  😮

Then, to make it more confusing, there is a rumor (rumour) going around (offsite) that "The A.'.A.'. is The Black Lodge!" to that one, eh?  😀

There are even members here who claim to be "Black Brothers of the Left Hand Path." And some claim to live in "the lonely towers of the abyss."

to those,too?  :D[/align:3az5p38e]



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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
25/07/2013 11:18 pm  

Right hand path / Left hand path, there are so many definitions saying what each is and isn't, often at times providing conflicting views. I don't get caught up in it too much.

Will definitely get on to reading Magick Without Tears - I was fortunate enough to procure a copy quite cheaply recently so I'm stoked 😀


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jamie barter
(@jamie-barter)
Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 1688
26/07/2013 10:37 am  

“We accept you, we accept you, one of us, one of us”

Welcome Zac (You are welcome!)

G’day me old cobber, hope the sun is shining out deliciously to you at the world’s bottom!  Yes this site seems the best place to get a general idea of AC-related things at the moment, and there is certainly a mountain of resources available here & elsewhere upon application (“Knock three times”…) 

I’m not sure you can “officially” become a Thelemite (no “card carrying” membership or anyone asking to see your papers as such, although there is always “the company of heaven”, of course) except to your own goodself…

Left hand, right hand, no hands, ambidextrous… I’ve not quite made up my mind either, but then I don’t really like sticky labels myself!

"Zac" wrote:
So its quite hard to condense my interests, as right now I'm comparable to a kid in a candy store.

This store never closes…

Also, if you’re going to engage with studying the 3 Schools of Magick in MWT, I should point out there is also a 4th (the Blue), but will leave it up to your ingenuity to discover further information.

Welcome to the machine
All the beast to you,
Norma N. Joy Conquest.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
26/07/2013 5:57 pm  

Welcome!


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christibrany
(@christibrany)
Yuggothian
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 2618
27/07/2013 8:48 pm  

We ...represent..the lolly-pop guild, the lolly-pop guild, the lolly-pop guild! And in the name of the lolly-pop guild, we wish to welcome you to munchkin- err LAShTAL land 🙂


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Azidonis
(@azidonis)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2964
29/07/2013 1:04 pm  

There is no Path...

Welcome to the site.


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SatansAdvocaat
(@satansadvocaat)
Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 351
29/07/2013 5:07 pm  

Greetings Zac.

"christibrany" wrote:
We ...represent..the lolly-pop guild, the lolly-pop guild, the lolly-pop guild! And in the name of the lolly-pop guild, we wish to welcome you to munchkin- err LAShTAL land 🙂

Well, Chris appears to believe that the Path is the Yellow Brick Road, (been at the old absinthe again, have we ?  ;)) while Azidonis helpfully tells us that "There is no Path..." at all, but then surely, where there's a Will there is a Way.


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Azidonis
(@azidonis)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2964
30/07/2013 3:40 am  
"Satan'sAdvocaat" wrote:
Azidonis helpfully tells us that "There is no Path..." at all, but then surely, where there's a Will there is a Way.
"The Book of Lies" wrote:
WHEEL AND---WHOA!

The Great Wheel of Samsara.

The Wheel of the Law. (Dhamma.)

The Wheel of the Taro.

The Wheel of the Heavens.

The Wheel of Life.

All these Wheels be one; yet of all these the Wheel of the TARO alone avails thee consciously.

Meditate long and broad and deep, O man, up on this Wheel, revolving it in thy mind!

Be this thy task, to see how each card springs necessarily from each other card, even in due order from The Fool unto The Ten of Coins.

Then, when thou know'st the Wheel of Destiny complete, may'st thou perceive THAT Will which moved it first. [There is no first or last.]

And lo! thou art past through the Abyss.

The Book of Lies

ΚΕΦ.ΟΗ.

[Emphasis added.]


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NKB
 NKB
(@nkb)
Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 71
30/07/2013 10:48 am  

Well there is a path but it really should be behind you.;)


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jamie barter
(@jamie-barter)
Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 1688
30/07/2013 12:14 pm  
"Azidonis" wrote:
"Satan'sAdvocaat" wrote:
Azidonis helpfully tells us that "There is no Path..." at all, but then surely, where there's a Will there is a Way.
"The Book of Lies" wrote:
WHEEL AND---WHOA!

The Great Wheel of Samsara.

The Wheel of the Law. (Dhamma.)

The Wheel of the Taro.

The Wheel of the Heavens.

The Wheel of Life.

All these Wheels be one; yet of all these the Wheel of the TARO alone avails thee consciously.

Meditate long and broad and deep, O man, up on this Wheel, revolving it in thy mind!

Be this thy task, to see how each card springs necessarily from each other card, even in due order from The Fool unto The Ten of Coins.

Then, when thou know'st the Wheel of Destiny complete, may'st thou perceive THAT Will which moved it first. [There is no first or last.]

And lo! thou art past through the Abyss.

The Book of Lies

ΚΕΦ.ΟΗ.

[Emphasis added.]

But how would Zac get to the centre of the Wheel as it whirr from where he is at the moment without some kind of a Path en route?

"NKB" wrote:
Well there is a path but it really should be behind you.;)

*Chortle!*  Why yes of course…

“Goodbye yellow brick road”?
N. Joy


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Azidonis
(@azidonis)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2964
30/07/2013 1:35 pm  
"jamie barter" wrote:
But how would Zac get to the centre of the Wheel as it whirr from where he is at the moment without some kind of a Path en route?

The phrase "walking the path" is just a metaphor. There is no actual path that anyone ever walks. None of it is laid out - there's not a yellow brick road that everyone can follow to go see the marvelous wizard.

If anything, there's a huge overgrown field, and it lasts for miles and miles. And the guru hands the aspirant a machette, and tells them to start cutting.

So, the only indications of any sort of path are 'behind' the aspirant - what s/he has already cut. As for what is 'ahead' of the aspirant, it is all fair game, with no clearcut answer.

It is from this very simple type of thing that Crowley gleaned the notion of "True Will", and started telling everyone that out of all of the possible ways to cut the path, there is only one right way for each individual to cut their own path.

And then people get confused.

Why the hell do you want to sit and chop away at the shit with a machette, when you only have to strike that machette on a rock a couple of times, get a fire going, and burn the whole damn field down? When you do this, you will surely learn that - there is no marvelous wizard, no golden city, and there is no such thing as 'home'. Sorry, Dorothy.

And when there is no field, there is no path - neither showing 'before', and never showing 'not yet'. Then, only the present moment matters, and every single present moment is individual and unique, so there will never be any clearcut answer.

At the same time, every single present moment, though we think it may contain the past and the future, it does not. Past is but a memory, and all our current actions are actually reactions from stimuli. But none of those memories or reactions can help us once we realize there is only one particular possible reaction to any given moment - and it is the reaction that occurs. It is not the reaction one is thinking about, but the one that actually occurs. And all reactions are dependent upon the previous stimuli.

And so, it continues that way, and that is the wheel of samsara. There's no way out of it, no matter what Crowley said. If all actions are really reactions, there is no way to have a single independent action. And if this is so, there is no free will, there is no "True Will", and all would-be 'Thelemites' are chasing a pipedream of self-aggrandizement and self-bolstering - completely failing to realize that there is no self to begin with, and allowing their little Da'ath centers to run them wild with thought, as they think themselves to be some sort of "magickal people". Of course, looking at that from a certain angle, it is easy to see the truth inherent in Shiva's comment, that, "The A:.A:. is the Black Lodge".

But, whatever. People are still going to do, think, and say whatever it is they will do, think, and say.

It's just my point to say that, there is no path.


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jamie barter
(@jamie-barter)
Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 1688
30/07/2013 2:59 pm  

Yes, azidonis, all very well’n’true (apart from perhaps your last paragraph), but you are throwing the dear boy in at the deep end a bit, as he has clearly declared in virtually his first sentence introducing himself as a newie -

"Zac" wrote:
... I am still quite new to the field of occultism and possess very little erudition in anything, however

So it is a bit much expecting him to immediately grasp the finer points of – whatever you want to name it!  For a relative absolute beginner (although apparently not quite, if Zac is "into" Messrs. Grant and Bertiaux) it is probably best to set them off along the A.’.A.’. Path (not the Black Lodge version, I should add!) about which there is much information in e.g. Gems From The Equinox (if Zac doesn’t possess all eleven volumes); Magick Without Tears (which he already has it would seem); the big blue brick book four; etc., etc., et {uncle} al.

"Azidonis" wrote:
... At the same time, every single present moment, though we think it may contain the past and the future, it does not. Past is but a memory, and all our current actions are actually reactions from stimuli. But none of those memories or reactions can help us once we realize there is only one particular possible reaction to any given moment - and it is the reaction that occurs. It is not the reaction one is thinking about, but the one that actually occurs. And all reactions are dependent upon the previous stimuli.

And so, it continues that way, and that is the wheel of samsara. There's no way out of it, no matter what Crowley said.  ...

This is quite ‘wrong’: as “you’ve got to get in to get out” (as I believe Peter Gabriel put it melodiously),
N. Joy


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Los
 Los
(@los)
Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 2195
30/07/2013 3:04 pm  
"Azidonis" wrote:
At the same time, every single present moment, though we think it may contain the past and the future, it does not. Past is but a memory, and all our current actions are actually reactions from stimuli. But none of those memories or reactions can help us once we realize there is only one particular possible reaction to any given moment - and it is the reaction that occurs. It is not the reaction one is thinking about, but the one that actually occurs. And all reactions are dependent upon the previous stimuli.

What you're describing here is hard determinism, a philosophical position that most students will likely be familiar with before studying Thelema (or, at least, a position that they should learn about within the first few weeks of their training).

It's, of course, difficult to argue against the position that since everything is the result of the blind, purposeless laws of the universe, there is not (nor can be) "free will" in the sense that you mean. This position can be metaphorized as a "cosmic plan" or "destiny" or "the will of god," but really what we're talking about is the simple claim that at each and every moment there can be one and only one arrangement of stuff.

But on the other hand, while that position might be true, it's not exactly what anyone would call a useful position. It at least feels as if I have free will, and it's certainly practically useful to discuss choices that we make, so if our philosophical speculations lead us to conclude that there's "no free will," then the problem appears to be with our philosophy, not the other way around.

Crowley was sensitive to the dangers of philosophy, as some of his comments demonstrate. For example:

"Aleister Crowley" wrote:
Philosophy is the enemy of Magick. Philosophy assures us that after all nothing matters, and that "che sara sara."

In practical life, and Magick is the most practical of the Arts of life, this difficulty does not occur. It is useless to argue with a man who is running to catch a train that he may be destined not to catch it; he just runs, and if he could spare breath would say "Blow destiny!"

The problem, then, may lie entirely with the position of hard determinism (or, rather, with our quickness to accept this position). It may well be, for example, that the definition of "free will" employed by hard determinism is just incorrect. It should be obvious that a will that is entirely free doesn't exist. Quite obviously, I'm not "free" to fly under my own power or breathe underwater unaided. Will necessarily comes with restrictions. Will itself is a kind of restriction, since it is a drive toward certain kinds of objects and not others. It necessarily excludes and limits.

And yet some kind of will clearly exists or we wouldn't be experiencing it.

Does the mere fact that it's not absolutely limitless mean that we don't have a will at all? That seems a rather extreme claim. Think of it this way: a computer program can make choices and decisions, and even though that machine is just following its programming, blindly, when it does this, it's still making choices, choices that we can detect and whose ramifications we can understand. It's the same with us: sure, maybe we're just following our genetic programming, and maybe everything that we do is, in some ultimate sense, necessary and unavoidable. But we still make choices and we still feel as if we can choose from lots of different options.

It's within the realm of that feeling that our discussions about True Will take place. To put this in Thelemic terms, we might say that within the sense of individuality created by the Khu, we feel as if we have free will because that's part of the construct of individuality (created so that Nuit can experience something new by creating entities that dream themselves separate from her so as to generate experience...this is all a metaphor, remember. "Nuit" isn't actually a conscious, thinking being).

In short, no matter how interesting the speculation might be that we're all "destined" to act in certain ways, the fact of the matter is that these speculations are virtually useless in everyday matters. We're still left with the feeling of free will, and we're still left with the same thoughts and desires that were with us in the beginning. "True Will" is a term found in a model adopted by Thelema to enable individuals to act in ways most satisfactory to them, and it's useful.

Students are encouraged to read up on the compatibilist position (which was Crowley's), which holds that determinism and free will can both be true at once. They're also encouraged to consult Erwin Hessle's excellent essay on three definitions of "True Will" that can be drawn from Crowley's writings, the first of which is "whatever happens" (or destiny), the second of which is "action without internal resistance," and the third of which corresponds to some sort of "life path" or "career." It's no surprise that these three definitions correspond to the three "grades" given in The Book of the Law ( http://www.erwinhessle.com/blog/?p=24 ).

Interested students can also read Daniel Dennett's work on free will and determinism, in which he argues persuasively for a compatibilist position. His book Freedom Evolves is a classic in this field.


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 4059
30/07/2013 3:18 pm  

Welcome to LAShTAL, Zac.


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jamie barter
(@jamie-barter)
Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 1688
30/07/2013 3:34 pm  
"Los" wrote:
...this is all a metaphor, remember. "Nuit" isn't actually a conscious, thinking being).

In short,

Everything else you’ve said “rings true” to a point, Los, but why then should these two “have” to be mutually exclusive & not "both be true at once" (- a compatibilist solution)?

"Los" wrote:
... definitions of "True Will" that can be drawn from Crowley's writings, the first of which is "whatever happens" (or destiny),

As in, Liber AL III.17: “Fear not at all; fear neither men nor Fates, nor gods, nor anything…” perhaps??!

N. Joy...


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Los
 Los
(@los)
Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 2195
30/07/2013 4:00 pm  
"jamie barter" wrote:
why then should these two “have” to be mutually exclusive & not "both be true at once"?

Because saying "Nuit is an honest-to-goodness Goddess, complete with consciousness" and "Nuit is not an honest-to-goodness Goddess, complete with consciousness" are mutually exclusive options. Only one of those statements can be true in the same way and at the same time.

On the "destiny" vs "true will" question, those two concepts are only mutually exclusive for one particular (and peculiar) definition of "free will." As I was trying to suggest above, if we understand "free will" not to be "absolutely limitless" but rather bounded in particular ways (ways that actually constitute will), then we can adopt a compatibilist position.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
30/07/2013 4:40 pm  

Thanks for the warm welcome everyone  😀

Its much appreciated

"jamie barter" wrote:
I’m not sure you can “officially” become a Thelemite (no “card carrying” membership or anyone asking to see your papers as such, although there is always “the company of heaven”, of course) except to your own goodself…

True! I guess I regarded an *official* thelemite as one who had  made it their will to propagate the Law of Thelema, and who also belong to OTO/A.:.A.:. . But you are correct.

"jamie barter" wrote:
Left hand, right hand, no hands, ambidextrous… I’ve not quite made up my mind either, but then I don’t really like sticky labels myself!

In that case I'll pursue the path of the front foot, as it is far more mystical and exotic than the hands  😛

"jamie barter" wrote:
Also, if you’re going to engage with studying the 3 Schools of Magick in MWT, I should point out there is also a 4th (the Blue), but will leave it up to your ingenuity to discover further information.

Hmm. My first thought was smurf magick, but I have a feeling it isnt so...lol. Trans-yuggothian maybe? I shall investigate!

"christibrany" wrote:
We ...represent..the lolly-pop guild, the lolly-pop guild, the lolly-pop guild! And in the name of the lolly-pop guild, we wish to welcome you to munchkin- err LAShTAL land 🙂

Are you the Wizard of Liber OZ?

"jamie barter" wrote:
So it is a bit much expecting him to immediately grasp the finer points of – whatever you want to name it!  For a relative absolute beginner (although apparently not quite, if Zac is "into" Messrs. Grant and Bertiaux) it is probably best to set them off along the A.’.A.’. Path (not the Black Lodge version, I should add!) about which there is much information in e.g. Gems From The Equinox (if Zac doesn’t possess all eleven volumes); Magick Without Tears (which he already has it would seem); the big blue brick book four; etc., etc., et {uncle} al.

Yes I am truly a beginner still. At this moment though I wish to study Grant & Bertiaux because I find a real vibrancy in their ideas, it may happen that upon further investigation I decide that their ideas and ways are not for me. But even if that ends up the case I would at least like to have a thorough understanding of these fascinating characters and their influence in modern occultism.

"MichaelStaley" wrote:
Welcome to LAShTAL, Zac.

Thanks Michael! I am a big fan of Starfire, at the moment my three grant books are among the most prized possessions in my library. Can't wait till Cults of the Shadow is released! Also love the artwork of Kyle Fite that is on there, very evocative stuff especially the LAM material.


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jamie barter
(@jamie-barter)
Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 1688
31/07/2013 1:13 pm  
"Zac" wrote:
"jamie barter" wrote:
I’m not sure you can “officially” become a Thelemite (no “card carrying” membership or anyone asking to see your papers as such, although there is always “the company of heaven”, of course) except to your own goodself…

True! I guess I regarded an *official* thelemite as one who had  made it their will to propagate the Law of Thelema, and who also belong to OTO/A.:.A.:. . But you are correct.

You are also correct in that one would (presumably) have to at least accept the Law of Thelema to affiliate with either of those Orders.  In fact the Caliphornian OTO obliges one to not only accept The Book of the Law but not make any changes in it – a condition which the current leader appears to want to personally disregard, therefore more or less self-abdicating himself, I would have thought!  Still, an Introductory piece is perhaps not the best place for “politics”.  As for “the company of heaven”, it’s the most simplistic form of an Order or federation I can think of which makes the minimal obligations of its members (in fact, it is only to accept the Law and to formally document it as such) and neither does it attempt to interfere in their private lives or savoir vivre.

"Zac" wrote:
"jamie barter" wrote:
Left hand, right hand, no hands, ambidextrous… I’ve not quite made up my mind either, but then I don’t really like sticky labels myself!

In that case I'll pursue the path of the front foot, as it is far more mystical and exotic than the hands  😛

And also rhythmically jivetastic, if taken in the sense of getting on “the good foot” à la James Brown!…

"Zac" wrote:
"jamie barter" wrote:
Also, if you’re going to engage with studying the 3 Schools of Magick in MWT, I should point out there is also a 4th (the Blue), but will leave it up to your ingenuity to discover further information.

Hmm. My first thought was smurf magick, but I have a feeling it isnt so...lol.

Ha ha!  That’s really rather funny, Zac – I hadn’t thought of that one but have heard cracks about blue being to do with some porno connection stuff – sigh!  I’m also informed that there is a hair product, some sort of shampoo and conditioner, on sale in the North of England called “Blue Magic”.

Trans-yuggothian maybe?

Maybe!  I suppose it would all depend on your definition of the term, same as everything else.  But perhaps then again, “maybe not”…

I shall investigate!

Good hunting!

"Zac" wrote:
Yes I am truly a beginner still. At this moment though I wish to study Grant & Bertiaux because I find a real vibrancy in their ideas, it may happen that upon further investigation I decide that their ideas and ways are not for me. But even if that ends up the case I would at least like to have a thorough understanding of these fascinating characters and their influence in modern occultism.

It is refreshing to come across such candour, Zac.  And fundamentally we are all of us still beginners, in a way.

"Los" wrote:
"jamie barter" wrote:
why then should these two “have” to be mutually exclusive & not "both be true at once"?

Because saying "Nuit is an honest-to-goodness Goddess, complete with consciousness" and "Nuit is not an honest-to-goodness Goddess, complete with consciousness" are mutually exclusive options. Only one of those statements can be true in the same way and at the same time.

To begin with Los, I didn’t say those words about Nuit; you are mis-quoting me (if that was your intention) and as you word it, semantically they can of course be mutually exclusive options in that example.  What I was saying, though, was that there’s no ‘reason’ ‘she’ can’t simultaneously be both a metaphor & a sentient entity.  In anthropomorphising infinite space, the Egyptians saw fit to portray it/ ‘her’ as a sky G/goddess.  It is also in effect what Aiwass is doing when ‘he’ puts words into ‘her’ mouth as happens in Liber AL, Chapter One.  In this way, Nuit may be said to be a metaphor for expressing the universe as a creative matrix whose nature is beyond normal human conception even though “she shall be known and I [Hadit] never.”  However, in the sense that everything (and particularly Light) is in some way “alive” and part of a continuous holistic whole (or none, to be all mystical about it) it also fits in quite nicely to my way of thinking and is not incompatible with the metaphor (at least the way I perceive it).

"Los" wrote:
On the "destiny" vs "true will" question, those two concepts are only mutually exclusive for one particular (and peculiar) definition of "free will." As I was trying to suggest above, if we understand "free will" not to be "absolutely limitless" but rather bounded in particular ways (ways that actually constitute will), then we can adopt a compatibilist position.

I think I know what you were trying to say here and previously, but it seemed to lack your customary tautness and it has you going back and if not contradicting, then at least qualifying your previous fairly unequivocal statement - backed up by the weighted credential of being A.C.’s testimony - when you wrote:

"Los" wrote:
Students are encouraged to read up on the compatibilist position (which was Crowley's), which holds that determinism and free will can both be true at once.

But you now say it only applies in “one particular (and peculiar)” case.  Why should it be that you are apparently only prepared to take a selectively compatibilist outlook when it is convenient for your personal argument to do so, since such revisionist pick-and-choosing is not evidentially-based, objective or scientific? 

In the absence of a précis I suppose (- that becomingly bashful sibling of Maybe, Assuming & Perhaps!) in the circumstances I will have to put to one side your “one particular (and peculiar [– which must be your own subjective value judgement and spin on it, I take it?]) definition/ position of ‘determinism and free will’ and not take it on board as I have not yet had the pleasure of reading Sven Hassel – I mean, Erwin Hessle (is he your doppelgänger or pseudonym?  He does not seem to contribute directly on this forum) on the matter.

"Los" wrote:
They're also encouraged to consult Erwin Hessle's excellent essay on three definitions of "True Will" that can be drawn from Crowley's writings, the first of which is "whatever happens" (or destiny), the second of which is "action without internal resistance," and the third of which corresponds to some sort of "life path" or "career."

Also in addition to the above, there is the curious inter-relationship of those three definitions given with the three grades mentioned in The Book of the Law:

"Los" wrote:
It's no surprise that these three definitions correspond to the three "grades" given in The Book of the Law.

the correspondence of which was, in fact, a, not “no”, surprise to me!... 

George had a hat but it wasn't where it wasn't at (- Pere Ubu),
N. Joy


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Azidonis
(@azidonis)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2964
31/07/2013 1:24 pm  
"Los" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
At the same time, every single present moment, though we think it may contain the past and the future, it does not. Past is but a memory, and all our current actions are actually reactions from stimuli. But none of those memories or reactions can help us once we realize there is only one particular possible reaction to any given moment - and it is the reaction that occurs. It is not the reaction one is thinking about, but the one that actually occurs. And all reactions are dependent upon the previous stimuli.

What you're describing here is hard determinism, a philosophical position that most students will likely be familiar with before studying Thelema (or, at least, a position that they should learn about within the first few weeks of their training).

Determinism has a dead element to it. That is, that everything can only play out in one way, so everything must already be predetermined, and there's nothing we can do about it.

That's not what I am saying. I am saying that this entire universe is wonderfully alive, every atom of it, and thus it is in constant flux, constantly changing (ie. chaos). So nothing is predetermined, everything is fair game. But, as each moment arises, it is its own independent moment.

Another way to say it is to say, out of all of the possible things you could be doing right now, you are reading this. Therefore, the only thing that you could be doing right now is reading this - because that's exactly what you are doing. If you were able to do anything else, you would be doing that instead.

"Los" wrote:
It's, of course, difficult to argue against the position that since everything is the result of the blind, purposeless laws of the universe, there is not (nor can be) "free will" in the sense that you mean. This position can be metaphorized as a "cosmic plan" or "destiny" or "the will of god," but really what we're talking about is the simple claim that at each and every moment there can be one and only one arrangement of stuff.

Right. I am not talking about cosmic plans and destiny, or god...

I'm just looking at it. What else could you be doing right now? Hundreds of things probably. Thought can produce so many things that you could be doing right now. But, the fact is that you are not doing them, in this moment, and therefore what good are all of those thoughts telling you what you could be doing instead? They only serve to distract you from this moment, and each moment is an independent moment.

"Los" wrote:
But on the other hand, while that position might be true, it's not exactly what anyone would call a useful position. It at least feels as if I have free will, and it's certainly practically useful to discuss choices that we make, so if our philosophical speculations lead us to conclude that there's "no free will," then the problem appears to be with our philosophy, not the other way around.

You don't have free will. You want to think you do. The body is not interested in concepts of free will. It functions by responding to stimuli. And if thought happens to toss some stimuli its way, then it will respond to them as well. It's part of the Western idolatry to place the thinker on a pedestal saying it rules over the body, but this is far from true. The thinker is the problem here, not the body.


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christibrany
(@christibrany)
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31/07/2013 10:01 pm  
"Satan'sAdvocaat" wrote:
Greetings Zac.

"christibrany" wrote:
We ...represent..the lolly-pop guild, the lolly-pop guild, the lolly-pop guild! And in the name of the lolly-pop guild, we wish to welcome you to munchkin- err LAShTAL land 🙂

Well, Chris appears to believe that the Path is the Yellow Brick Road, (been at the old absinthe again, have we ?  ;)) while Azidonis helpfully tells us that "There is no Path..." at all, but then surely, where there's a Will there is a Way.

No absinthe sir! I am just naturally into midgets. 😉  I think the yellow brick road is not only pretty, but a nice metaphor too.  Not a fan of ruby slippers though.


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christibrany
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31/07/2013 10:05 pm  

Los said '
Students are encouraged to read up on the compatibilist position (which was Crowley's), which holds that determinism and free will can both be true at once. ' for once we are in agreement but probably for different reasons.
If I try to put it simply I think I can say that (since I believe in reincarnation, and that my theory of such involves multiple selves in different time lines 'simultaneously/outside of time') we believe we are making choices (thus our free will) but unbeknownst to us, the results of our choices, even the very choice we have just taken, was predetermined to be chosen and occur. 


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Los
 Los
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31/07/2013 11:07 pm  
"christibrany" wrote:
Los said '
Students are encouraged to read up on the compatibilist position (which was Crowley's), which holds that determinism and free will can both be true at once. ' for once we are in agreement but probably for different reasons.
If I try to put it simply I think I can say that (since I believe in reincarnation, and that my theory of such involves multiple selves in different time lines 'simultaneously/outside of time') we believe we are making choices (thus our free will) but unbeknownst to us, the results of our choices, even the very choice we have just taken, was predetermined to be chosen and occur. 

Eh, sort of, but not really.

First of all, you can't confuse determinism with the idea that everything was predeterminded. Determinism does not (at all) necessarily hold that some entity was -- far in the past or on some other plane -- sitting around thinking up all of the stuff that was going to happen to you today (which is pretty damn silly, if you think about). Determinism is nothing more than the position that at any given moment, there could only be one possible configuration of stuff. This is because each moment is the effect of the moment before that one, the result of entirely blind physical causes, stretching all the way back to the Big Bang, presumably. That position certainly makes sense, but we don't really have enough information to confirm whether it's actually the case.

Then there are two subcategories of determinism. There's "hard determinism," which claims that since there's only one possible arrangement of stuff at any given moment, there cannot be free will. And there's the "compatibilist" position, which holds that free will can exist in a determinist universe.

The compatibilist position is generally argued for along the lines that I did above: that "free will" isn't some sort of magic metaphysical thing that cannot exist if it's the product of natural laws. Instead, the compatibilist usually holds that free will is one of the products of natural laws.

The computer analogy I gave above is a good way to wrap your head around it: when a computer executes operations, it's just blindly obeying its programming, but it can still make decisions, and we're capable of studying those decisions. It's pretty much the same with humans. Maybe we're just blindly following our genetic codes and the completely deterministic laws of nature, but we're still making decisions, and it still feels like we have free will, and that's all that counts for practical purposes.

Read Dennett if you're curious about this, because he can explain it a lot better than I can.

Anyway, I'm really not sure of the relationship you see between these ideas and reincarnation.


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OKontrair
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31/07/2013 11:29 pm  

Welcome to LAShTAL, Zac

"Los" wrote:
The computer analogy I gave above is a good way to wrap your head around it: when a computer executes operations, it's just blindly obeying its programming, but it can still make decisions, and we're capable of studying those decisions.

I think you may have changed the meaning of 'decisions' here. Surely it just presents outputs and even if the outputs have been contrived to vary that's just an another aspect of the blind obedience.

OK


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Los
 Los
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31/07/2013 11:45 pm  
"OKontrair" wrote:
Welcome to LAShTAL, Zac

"Los" wrote:
The computer analogy I gave above is a good way to wrap your head around it: when a computer executes operations, it's just blindly obeying its programming, but it can still make decisions, and we're capable of studying those decisions.

I think you may have changed the meaning of 'decisions' here. Surely it just presents outputs and even if the outputs have been contrived to vary that's just an another aspect of the blind obedience.

OK

Hm, maybe "decisions" isn't the right word. I just meant that a computer can select one option over another (and can be given criteria for selecting one over another).

Similarly, I make selections all the time (such as, for example, selecting coffee as my after dinner beverage, which I'm about to do). Now maybe, ultimately, I'm just blindly obeying my genetic programming in this particular set of circumstances, conforming to the inexorable laws of the universe. It's quite possible. But there's still a selection happening. It still at least feels for all the world as if I have a choice, and I know that I'm capable of evaluating that selection, the criteria for it, discussing the method of my evaluation, etc.

Regardless of whether we live in a determinist universe -- and I'm not sure we have enough information to settle the matter conclusively -- we at least experience something that we call free will, and we can develop models (such as the Thelemic model of the True Self and mind) that are practically useful in guiding the selection process.


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Shiva
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01/08/2013 3:09 am  
"christibrany" wrote:
... but unbeknownst to us, the results of our choices, even the very choice we have just taken, was predetermined to be chosen and occur.

This is an "extremist" concept, way out on the end of a branch. I would agree with you but only to a certain extent. In Chinese Medicine, our kidney energy consists of three major functions: Will (Zhi), Destiny (Ming) and Reproduction (Jing). Well, we know all about Will, right?  8)

Now Destiny is what we are genetically "destined" for; it is iherited from the parents, and essentially is a blueprint for life; if we don't fiddle with it (with excessive drugs, alcohol, bad eating habits, emotional obsession or turmoil), the Ming will lay out our life path with minimal distortion and, in a way, can be perceived as predestination. This is, more or less, the "natural state" as described by that eminent Ipsissimus  😮  U.G. Krinshamurti.

But most of us get enough interaction with that Zhi, Will, to sometimes aspire to things that are really not part of our Ming, destiny, and then ... it doesn't work out, or we fall ill.

The sexual function (Jing) was cited by Crowley as being "the same as" or at least "the face of" the Will, and all three of these (Will-Destiny-Sex) are merely different "faces" (facets) of the original Source (Yuan Qi). Now, as soon as we recognize sex in this triage with destiny vs (free) will, we get a rather unstable situation: people may not always totally conform to their DNA destined attributes because of sexual vampires, who cause the candidate to experience wild mood swings and promote emotional disturbance, thus f***kung up the preordained destiny.

There is no "free will" in that any exercise of that function will cause a slight, or moderate, or explosive reaction. Doctors of Oriental Medicine deal with this level of thinking when they (properly) make a diagnosis and establish a treatment plan.

Now, if every detail of our life and consciousness is pre-destined, without any recognition or respect to any heretical Oriental Medical Practioner's thought as outlined above, then the video game is fixed, isn't it? We are just digital agents in a computerized game that has been pre-programmed down to the last pixel and byte of sound. This is the viewpoint of the dangerous "inorganic beings" as so quaintly presented to us by Carlos Castaneda. Forget Carlos! Think: Silicon Consciousness / CPU / Quasicrystal.

Since we all seem to possess a certain amount of free will (that is we perceive, believe and affirm that it is so), and we seem to be able to prove this to ourselves, I prefer to go along with the idea of destiny being a preferred, "natural" state - one which can be molded, twisted, bent - or which can be aligned, efficient, pure. Everybody seems to get their fair share of all these states from time to time.

Now this is an introduction thread, and here we are discussing abstract topics. Let this be a lesson or two to you, Zac. (1) There are always different ways of looking at various subjects, and (2) these forum threads will turn into absolutely anything after just a few posts, if folks don't remember the title of the thread, which usually translates into its purpose. In this case, just think of this deviation as part of your welcome.


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NKB
 NKB
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01/08/2013 4:24 am  

Welcome to LAShTAL Zac.:)


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Thoki
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02/08/2013 11:54 pm  

Tao called Tao is not Tao

01010 / Bee boop bee boop 010101


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Michael Staley
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MANIO - it's all in the egg
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 4059
02/08/2013 11:58 pm  

If not that, what zen?


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Thoki
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03/08/2013 12:02 am  


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