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Why I like LAShTAL

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gurugeorge
(@gurugeorge)
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Topic starter  

I was just musing there (after contending a bit with some members), why I like this site, or maybe better to say the gestalt or attitude of the site, and why I came back here, of all the possibly-Thelemic-places, on getting interested in Magick again after a long hiatus and wanting to natter occasionally with others about Magick, Thelema and things related.

I think it's because the attitude here (in a trope) best represents the sense of the Comment. 

For a long time, Thelema, or AC's stuff in general, has suffered from having been taken up by Boomers (poor Boomers! 🙂 ), many of whom (in keeping with the zeitgeist of the 60s, but also in part due to the hangover from olden times, of occultism as something "dark") viewed it as almost a thrill-seeking sort of undertaking. Either one was into it because it seemed terribly edgy and metal, or one thought Crowley was cool in some way and wanted to imitate him, or it was a small pond to be a big fish in, or some arena to preen in, or one wanted acknowledgement for one's grand titles or badges or marks of one's specialness, or things of that nature.  And there was always the idea of a "successor," some big cheese, or aspirations to be the big cheese. Basically various forms of narcissism or seeking validation.  All that seems to be fading now anyway, granted, so much time has passed, with nothing coming of anything.

But that seeking validation, it seems to me, is what the Comment warns us against. (Am I doing that here? A bit, but hopefully only in the mild sense, the sense in which it's just part of being human, and not the heavier sense in which one can't live without it.)

Anyway, through all that, LAShTAL (as I see it) had a different stance from those more typical attitudes, it's held to more of an "open source" sense of things.  Regardless of our personal foibles, likes and dislikes, favourites and hated ones, positions on this and that, the occasional chihuahua fight, there's been a commitment to thrashing things out together in some way, almost a trust that something will emerge of itself. 

I'm reminded of those Magic Eye things - one squints, one tries various ways of squinting or doing something squint-like, one stares a bit, looks away, squints again, and then suddenly the 3-d image pops.  It's like we're all doing something analogous to that, each individual's view being their unique method of squinting. 

We seem to be sincerely feeling for a knob (stop tittering!) in the dark. At the very least, we're not putting straws in our hair and thinking we're Jesus Christ, even if we are a Ship of Fools 🙂

Another thing is that I always got the sense that there are quite a few here who've "been there" in the mystical sense (ego loss or ego death, satori or whatever you might call it - some kind of glimpse of something at total right-angles to the ordinary, everyday view of things), and that gives the forum a kind of common ground, a solidity.

Good on the founder for setting it up (I used to know but can't remember now which one of you it is), and good on you all for participating and flying the flag for some kind of respectful, dignified view of the old fellow and his works.

 


   
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Shiva
(@shiva)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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Posted by: @gurugeorge

... after contending a bit with some members ...

I'd say that you are holding up well in The Geburah Octagon Burning Ground Ordeal in Multiple Randori Phases. Now I need to read all the other April 10 (Ch 3) contentions so as to be able to count the collateral bodies and tally the running score. Hail unto thee from the abodes of night.

Posted by: @gurugeorge

... of occultism as something "dark") viewed it as almost a thrill-seeking sort of undertaking.

Yeah, it's everywhere. This is due to the continuing crumble of the veil 'twixt the hard plain and the astral plane. The kids were not prepared when they plugged in their vid-games; they did not banish - no asana either - just plain old running around on the really low sub-planes of the astral realm (dragons, ray-guns, goetic-monsters ... King of the Hill.

But the solution is simple. One (any of us) must start by differentiating between generic magic and High Magick. You know, the goo and the one-pointed Art card.

Posted by: @gurugeorge

Good on the founder for setting it up (I used to know but can't remember now which one of you it is)

He is always with us, but he rarely chimes in these days - except to warn the wanderers or lock their threads. You will know him by his name - when he appears his name will be Lashtal. With red fonts.

Posted by: @gurugeorge

... some kind of respectful, dignified view ...

This has been the Joke of the Morn (mourn?). Today is Ch3 Day, the tenth of April Sping. RTC is expected to perform his fourth coming any time now. Dignity and Respect will be flung into the mud. Fevers will Fly from the Sky.

However, we all endure moments of temporary insanity. We have had a chat or more among ourselves, all along and in recent times, about what makes this Citadel in Cyberspace a tad "different" from the others. The others are as you describe (dark, thrilly, astral shit). Here, despite the pushing and shoving in the lines threads, each poster has at his/her core, that sense of High Magick which is required in order to resist, repel, or repeal said astral excrement.

Oh, yeah, and there's this: The Operative Rule here is if one makes a "claim" (about almost anything), they will be asked to demonstrate some sort of "proof."

Waiting for RTC, the Hair, -who surely will bring proof this cycle.

?


   
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(@david-lemieux)
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Posted by: @gurugeorge

 

For a long time, Thelema, or AC's stuff in general, has suffered from having been taken up by Boomers (poor Boomers! 🙂 ), many of whom (in keeping with the zeitgeist of the 60s, but also in part due to the hangover from olden times, of occultism as something "dark") viewed it as almost a thrill-seeking sort of undertaking. Either one was into it because it seemed terribly edgy and metal, or one thought Crowley was cool in some way and wanted to imitate him, or it was a small pond to be a big fish in, or some arena to preen in, or one wanted acknowledgement for one's grand titles or badges or marks of one's specialness, or things of that nature.  And there was always the idea of a "successor," some big cheese, or aspirations to be the big cheese. Basically various forms of narcissism or seeking validation.  All that seems to be fading now anyway, granted, so much time has passed, with nothing coming of anything.

 

So why did adolescent Crowley first get 'into it' (i.e. occultism)?

https://www.lashtal.com/wiki/Aleister_Crowley_Timeline


   
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fraterihsan
(@fraterihsan)
Ex-Thelemite Muslim, and retired Crowley Scholar
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 102
 
Posted by: @david-dom-lemieux
Posted by: @gurugeorge

 

For a long time, Thelema, or AC's stuff in general, has suffered from having been taken up by Boomers (poor Boomers! 🙂 ), many of whom (in keeping with the zeitgeist of the 60s, but also in part due to the hangover from olden times, of occultism as something "dark") viewed it as almost a thrill-seeking sort of undertaking. Either one was into it because it seemed terribly edgy and metal, or one thought Crowley was cool in some way and wanted to imitate him, or it was a small pond to be a big fish in, or some arena to preen in, or one wanted acknowledgement for one's grand titles or badges or marks of one's specialness, or things of that nature.  And there was always the idea of a "successor," some big cheese, or aspirations to be the big cheese. Basically various forms of narcissism or seeking validation.  All that seems to be fading now anyway, granted, so much time has passed, with nothing coming of anything.

 

So why did adolescent Crowley first get 'into it' (i.e. occultism)?

He was attracted to the notion of the Interior Church (aka Invisible College) mentioned in The Cloud Upon The Sanctury by Karl von Eckartshausen and wanted divine knowledge.

"There is none that shall be cast down or lifted up: all is ever as it was." - Liber Legis 2:58
"To Me do ye reverence! to me come ye through tribulation of ordeal, which is bliss." - Liber Legis 3:62


   
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ignant666
(@ignant666)
Elderly American druggie
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Posted by: @fraterihsan

He was attracted to the notion of the Interior Church (aka Invisible College) mentioned in The Cloud Upon The Sanctury by Karl von Eckartshausen and wanted divine knowledge.

david should know this, having read The Hag (where he says exactly this, at some length) literally hundreds of times.


   
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(@david-lemieux)
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Posted by: @fraterihsanSo why did adolescent Crowley first get 'into it' (i.e. occultism)?

He was attracted to the notion of the Interior Church (aka Invisible College) mentioned in The Cloud Upon The Sanctury by Karl von Eckartshausen and wanted divine knowledge.

Would that impulse be of the same bent as those outlined in the OP i.e. 

occultism as something "dark") viewed it as almost a thrill-seeking sort of undertaking. .... because it seemed terribly edgy and metal,  ...the urge to imitate a past Occultist....., or it was a small pond to be a big fish in, or some arena to preen in, or one wanted acknowledgement for one's grand titles or badges or marks of one's specialness, or things of that nature. 

 

https://www.lashtal.com/wiki/Aleister_Crowley_Timeline


   
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Shiva
(@shiva)
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Posted by: @david-dom-lemieux

Would that impulse be of the same bent ... [?]

Bent? I am note sure. But plane? Yes. The difference, please? They are found on two different subplanes of the same plane, which is not a plain, but a graded series of sub-planes (like notes from the keyboard or strings.

The aspiration toward divine knowlege would rate pretty high (on the plains), while this creepy dark power stuff is way down their. Both are desires or aspirations (unless they are a real persona mask act). 

Then comes the fun part. The aspirant to divine knowledge finds out he/she is going to need to make a tour of Dante's Inferno - just like in the book. The low-level aspirant is lost in delusion - unless the cosmic trigger jolts him/her out of the trace. I believe Crowley wrote somewhere that sorcerers usually discover the errors of their ways and convert to higher matters.

 


   
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fraterihsan
(@fraterihsan)
Ex-Thelemite Muslim, and retired Crowley Scholar
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 102
 
Posted by: @david-dom-lemieux
Posted by: @fraterihsanSo why did adolescent Crowley first get 'into it' (i.e. occultism)?

He was attracted to the notion of the Interior Church (aka Invisible College) mentioned in The Cloud Upon The Sanctury by Karl von Eckartshausen and wanted divine knowledge.

Would that impulse be of the same bent as those outlined in the OP i.e. 

occultism as something "dark") viewed it as almost a thrill-seeking sort of undertaking. .... because it seemed terribly edgy and metal,  ...the urge to imitate a past Occultist....., or it was a small pond to be a big fish in, or some arena to preen in, or one wanted acknowledgement for one's grand titles or badges or marks of one's specialness, or things of that nature. 

 

Except this is long before his later infamous image. And still demons, Goetia, LHP and other things were either strongly rejected by him or of merely passing interest. He was transgressive in various ways (some also later on) but I haven't really sensed in any of Crowley's accounts of his early occult life, as having really sought that in Occultism specifically. Prior to (and first off within) the HOOTGD, he was still quite the pious one. From what Crowley has himself said, and what other biographers have noted, he was looking to reignite his connection with God in spite of his prior disenchantment with Christianity and period of Atheism. 

"There is none that shall be cast down or lifted up: all is ever as it was." - Liber Legis 2:58
"To Me do ye reverence! to me come ye through tribulation of ordeal, which is bliss." - Liber Legis 3:62


   
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(@david-lemieux)
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Posted by: @fraterihsan
 

Except this is long before his later infamous image. And still demons, Goetia, LHP and other things were either strongly rejected by him or of merely passing interest. He was transgressive in various ways (some also later on) but I haven't really sensed in any of Crowley's accounts of his early occult life, as having really sought that in Occultism specifically. Prior to (and first off within) the HOOTGD, he was still quite the pious one. From what Crowley has himself said, and what other biographers have noted, he was looking to reignite his connection with God in spite of his prior disenchantment with Christianity and period of Atheism. 

I disagree with that,  for Crowley it wasn't either/or.  His initial impulse following his Stockholm trance of sorrow was demonic which is totally in line with gurugeorge's documentation of the modern  'metal head'.  Yes Crowley the powerful  logical thinker figured that he'd shun God because that would be identifying with his bigoted family and school Masters.  It was a 'bad boy' act of rebellion so he sought out Waite's book on Black Magic.   Later on he said he was 'God intoxicated' for sure but he also said he agreed with Blake that 'the lust of the goat is the glory of God', something like that.  In that he had something in common with say a touring rock band or e.g. JFK.

https://www.lashtal.com/wiki/Aleister_Crowley_Timeline


   
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gurugeorge
(@gurugeorge)
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Topic starter  

Sure there was an element of transgressive "bad boy" in Crowley, but that doesn't mean we should emulate him 🙂


   
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(@katrice)
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Posted by: @gurugeorge

For a long time, Thelema, or AC's stuff in general, has suffered from having been taken up by Boomers (poor Boomers! 🙂 ), many of whom (in keeping with the zeitgeist of the 60s, but also in part due to the hangover from olden times, of occultism as something "dark") viewed it as almost a thrill-seeking sort of undertaking. Either one was into it because it seemed terribly edgy and metal,

Not just Boomers, I say while cringing at the thought of my teenage self.  🙄 


   
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(@michael-staley)
The Funambulatory Way - it's All in the Egg
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As one of the accurséd Boomers, I was attracted to Crowley in the mid 1960s not because he was "dark", "cool", or "edgy" – perhaps I was an overly serious young man – but because his work struck me as profound; it still does. Decades later, I have become more immersed in the work of others – notably Kenneth Grant and Austin Osman Spare – but I have still a solid Crowley background from my years of immersion in his work, and it stands me in good stead. My first love was Eastern Mysticism, and it remains the case, especially so Advaita Vedanta.

Although LAShTAL remains of course the Aleister Crowley Society, it has become more eclectic over the years since I first joined, in 2004. So although my interest in Crowley is no longer as passionate as it once was, there is always plenty of interest to me in these forums.


   
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(@david-lemieux)
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Posted by: @gurugeorge

Sure there was an element of transgressive "bad boy" in Crowley, but that doesn't mean we should emulate him 🙂

By 'Him' you mean Satan, right?

https://www.lashtal.com/wiki/Aleister_Crowley_Timeline


   
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(@kidneyhawk)
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Posted by: @michael-staley

I was attracted to Crowley in the mid 1960s not because he was "dark", "cool", or "edgy"

I WAS intrigued by the dark allure of Crowley. Not so much as something cool and edgy to align with but rather as something sinister and scary which also held a certain fascination. Kind of like hearing about the Manson Family. It's dark, weird and disturbing but intriguing and interesting at the same time. However, when I decided to read some of the books written by the “Wickedest Man in the World” (allegedly while sharpening his fangs and worshiping Satan), I was struck by how erudite he was. These were not the mad ravings I had expected. No, this Crowley character was clever, witty, a master of prose and extraordinarily level-headed and intelligent. I was taken in with his rousing call to Thelema while being utterly baffled by other allusions in his work. Baffled and intrigued further. Like Crowley, I, too, had been introduced to the idea of a Secret and Invisible Brotherhood of Illuminates. In Crowley's writings, this idea (and its accompanying yearning within myself) was given further form. The O.T.O. and A.A. seemed to be twin engines powering the vehicle lifting into that Mystic “Cloud” (and I was never a member of either, only encountering them as suggestive and mythic in AC's work).

 

Over the years, I would be hot and cold toward Crowley as I am still. Either way, from AC I would go on to discover Grant's remarkable work and this would strongly resonate with a series of strange and remarkable experiences drawing me further on down the Path. My online research led me to Lashtal and the hotbed of contention between Orders, factions and points of view. And it has been Lashtal which has introduced me to so many things from that point on. New music, publishers, writers, long-lasting friendships. Lots changed over the years here but I still check in on a daily basis.

 

Crowley can be a very polarizing figure. When I'm around those idealizing him, I find myself critical. When around those dismissing him, I defend his genius. But when alone with his books (which is the real gift he left us), we can enjoy him without conflict or confusion. He still speaks and he still has important things to say. And that's why we are all here, I would think. We find SOMETHING of value in AC for our lives. Even RTC (and I have been assured that my review copy of the new work is in the post) sees Crowley as the right guy at the right place at the right time, the first to look through some Gateway into what was coming from beyond. Cole's contention is that he couldn't hope to process it but did his best through his neurosis. This isn't too far from the Typhonian view of Lovecraft.

 

Our webmaster, Paul, as ever, deserves a toast for keeping this site going strong. Also tech support from eol and others. It's easy for anyone to jump onto the forums and start blathering. It's made possible by THEM.

 

As this is fairly “casual” thread, I'll also toss in: I miss the BABBLE ON box and I miss private messaging. I know there were problems but in my experience, they were two very cool features of the site.


   
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Shiva
(@shiva)
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Posted by: @kidneyhawk

I miss the BABBLE ON box and I miss private messaging.

Other folks have been bewailing the Loss of the Box and the Secret Telephone System since the Box got lost and the Phoneline got cut. I would offer consolation (in the form of money, fame, or power), but there is none of that to go around these days.

 


   
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(@kidneyhawk)
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Posted by: @shiva

Other folks have been bewailing the Loss of the Box and the Secret Telephone System since the Box got lost and the Phoneline got cut. I would offer consolation (in the form of money, fame, or power), but there is none of that to go around these days.

Well, it means that if we really want to say something, it's going into the forums. And with the downgrade in traffic these days, I suppose that's just fine. I was only throwing in my two cents. Or is that two bits? I don't know how to adjust this for inflation (with the American "Dollar Tree" jacking all items up to $1.25). 


   
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Shiva
(@shiva)
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Posted by: @kidneyhawk

Or is that two bits?

Make it two ponds. With ducks and swans, please.


   
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(@david-lemieux)
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Posted by: @fraterihsan

Except this is long before his later infamous image. And still demons, Goetia, LHP and other things were either strongly rejected by him or of merely passing interest. 

What evidence is there for those things being a passing interest?

https://www.lashtal.com/wiki/Aleister_Crowley_Timeline


   
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Shiva
(@shiva)
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Posted by: @david-dom-lemieux

What evidence is there for those things being a passing interest?

The statement was an "either/or" presentation. No stable point or hypothesis was offered. If there was "evidence," then the "either/or" would be eliminated in favor of the "proven" point. It's all so subjective. It reminds me of "What would Crowley do if ..."

This thread is about LAShTAL and how cool it is. It allows people to present "either/or" scenarios, make claims about anything, and even to drink alc while typing.

 


   
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(@tiger)
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I had heard of the Beast of Revelation and the campaign to rid the earth of attachment to the Mashiah Sheker and liberate those trapped in the vision of Atmadarshan.
I saw that Aleister Crowley left Jesus out of the Saints of Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica and had ushered in the New Aeon of Horus.
So there i was and here i am in this wonderful open minded site.
Thanks Paul, eol, everybody !


   
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(@david-lemieux)
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Posted by: @shiva
Posted by: @david-dom-lemieux

What evidence is there for those things being a passing interest?

The statement was an "either/or" presentation. No stable point or hypothesis was offered. If there was "evidence," then the "either/or" would be eliminated in favor of the "proven" point. It's all so subjective. It reminds me of "What would Crowley do if ..."

This thread is about LAShTAL and how cool it is. It allows people to present "either/or" scenarios, make claims about anything, and even to drink alc while typing.

 

What?

Goetic evocation and Crowley and was it a lifelong practice?

https://www.lashtal.com/wiki/Aleister_Crowley_Timeline


   
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(@christibrany)
Yuggothian
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*peeks head in*

I miss the Babble-On Box too!

I don't really miss the Russian Bride box much though.

Thanks indeed to Paul and EOL for their work through the years.

Initially one feels the magick and mystique around Crowley and is drawn in easily, but as one gets to know Thelema more and AC more, one needs to create the magick for themselves, which is of course far more difficult. 


   
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the_real_simon_iff
(@the_real_simon_iff)
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When I found LAShTAL in 2003 it was such a relief. Knowing noone personally with an interest in AC (and honestly I wasn't looking) I had to endure the first online years with all these yahoo groups and such, where every topic of discussion usually pretty quickly ended in "this is not the real OTO or AA", very much like many of today's Facebook groups on Thelema (though today it's mostly politics that ends the discussions). A real downer. The people here seemed much more civilized, earnest, knowlegable, friendly and witty. Also a lot of collectors were present. And most of the folk here were people with years and decades of experience and scholarship in all things AC and Thelema. Perdurabo had just been released and there was still so much unknown about the man to discuss. With many contributors I feel I have become real friends though mostly still online) over the years. I check in daily.

Thought it is not as crowded as it was some years ago it is still the most diverse minded and interesting company to find online about AC. Over the years it has also become a lot more humourous.

I for one do not miss the babble-on box. It was fun of course but you were so quickly sucked into this cyber world and the whole realtime aspect felt like you had to answer immediately and essentially there was a lot of time wasted.

I miss the Bibliograhia Thelemica, that was a great online project.

Many many thanks to Paul and eol and Ian and all who kept and keep the site working. LAShTAL indeed is more than a small part of my life.

If you are interested here are many interesting introductions from lots of members (many now Anonymous, joined 52 years ago):

How it all began

Love=LAw

Lutz


   
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ignant666
(@ignant666)
Elderly American druggie
Joined: 17 years ago
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This site has been important to me for many years, and i am profoundly grateful to Paul and eol for keeping it going. And thank you to all who post here. It is the only place still going that i know of where AC and his work are discussed by intelligent and knowledgeable people (and a few idiots from time to time, but at least they are a small minority here).

I was just thinking about why it was that Crowley's work so appealed to me when i first found it as a kid, and why i've stuck with it for more than 50 years now. When i first discovered him in the early '70s, i was devouring all sorts of occult, mystical and religious literature, everything i could get my hands on.

But AC was the only one i found who had a sense of humor, and made jokes. Also, his work was practical, with a strong "how to" bent, unlike most vague and wishy-washy authors on such topics. And that's what kept me at it, i suppose.

 


   
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