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wellreadwellbred
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A posting titled Quote of the Moment and posted Tuesday, July 22, 2014 on the blog Thelema and Skepticism - http://thelema-and-skepticism.blogspot.no/2014_07_01_archive.html - contains the following quote from Aleister Crowley:

"I have omitted to say that the whole subject of Magick is an example of Mythopoeia in that particular form called Disease of Language." - Magick in Theory and Practice, chapter 8. (Magick in Theory and Practice was written from 1912-1928, and first published in 1929. My source for this information is the thread - http://www.lashtal.com/forum/http://www.lashtal.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=6 - Writing of Magick in Theory and Practice)).

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"Mythopoeia is [...] the act of making (creating) mythologies. Notable mythopoeic authors include Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, William Blake, H. P. Lovecraft, Lord Dunsany, Mervyn Peake and George MacDonald. While many literary works carry mythic themes, only a few approach the dense self-referentiality and purpose of mythopoeia. It is invented mythology that, rather than arising out of centuries of oral tradition, are penned over a short period of time by a single author or small group of collaborators. [...] Mythopoeia are almost invariably created entirely by an individual, like the world of Middle-earth [created by  J. R. R. Tolkien]." Source read Wednesday, Sepember 3, 2014: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mythopoeia


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belmurru
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"It is of course common knowledge that the A:.A:. and the Equinox and all the rest of it are a stupid joke of Aleister Crowley's. He only wished to see if anyone were fool enough to take him seriously.
"It may be a relief to some to learn that there is no such person as Aleister Crowley. He is probably a sun-myth."

"Editorial", The Equinox, volume I, number X (September, 1913) p. 8.

I think both this and that which you quote are what is known by the phrase "tongue in cheek". Or, perhaps more accurately, what is described in The Book of Lies, chapter 14. Or, perhaps even more accurately, we are all our own myths, informed by other myths, which are the confluence of others, ad infinitum. It's fun to tell stories. The alternative is silence. But then, why are you here? 😉


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wellreadwellbred
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"belmurru" wrote:
I think [...] that which you quote are what is known by the phrase "tongue in cheek".

I beg to differ, in respect of the following information provided on page 542 in the Revised and Expanded edition (1 Sep 2010) of Richard Kaczynski's Crowley biography Perdurabo:

"Ah, you realize that magick is something we do to ourselves. But it is more convenient to assume the objective existence of an angel who gives us new knowledge than to allege that our invocation has awakened a supernormal power in ourselves."

Quote:
"In his diary, Crowley recorded the day, "Most delightful interview, A.C. at his best.""

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newneubergOuch2
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The trouble with Crowley quotes is he wrote so prolifically  and so much of it has contrary viewpoints over his life and changing opinions/discoveries that we can mine his writings to back up any argument we have about Magick or Thelema.

But of course that at the end if the day is all we have to go on.


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Anonymous
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"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
"belmurru" wrote:
I think [...] that which you quote are what is known by the phrase "tongue in cheek".

I beg to differ, in respect of the following information provided on page 542 in the Revised and Expanded edition (1 Sep 2010) of Richard Kaczynski's Crowley biography Perdurabo:

"Ah, you realize that magick is something we do to ourselves. But it is more convenient to assume the objective existence of an angel who gives us new knowledge than to allege that our invocation has awakened a supernormal power in ourselves."

Quote:
"In his diary, Crowley recorded the day, "Most delightful interview, AC at his best.""

Am still waiting for someone to upload their personal movie of a spirit evocation onto youtube.  Not holding my breath though.  There's just no way to distinguish between something imagined and an alleged metaphysical entity.  Yes Crowley knew this and his system embodies it.  I think the problem is that occultists miss this because they tend to think they are hipper, more Dionysian, more sophisticated and more modernistic than the other metaphysical club members (new agers, muslims, Christians,Buddhists and so on).  This superiority complex reinforces the self-delusion.   


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Michael Staley
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"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
I beg to differ...

Beg as much as you like. The fact is that, as newneubergOuch2 points out, Crowley said a lot of things over a great many years, sometimes contradictory, sometimes tongue in cheek. Via selective quotation, you can support a multitude of positions, as the actress said to the bishop.


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Michael Staley
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"david" wrote:
I think the problem is that occultists miss this because they tend to think they are hipper, more Dionysian, more sophisticated and more modernistic than the other metaphysical club members (new agers, muslims, Christians,Buddhists and so on).  This superiority complex reinforces the self-delusion.

Occultists miss this, do they? Well, I'm an occultist, and I don't miss it. Furthermore, I know a number of occultists, some of whom I have worked with for many years in magical rituals; they don't miss the point, either.

Why do you indulge in such generalisations, such clichḗs? I'm embarrassed for you; it's pathetic.


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wellreadwellbred
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Among primary source material written by individuals, diaries and correspondence are commonly understood to be particularly useful, in respect of revealing deeply held personal positions, opinions and beliefs.

I don't know to what degree Crowley is more contradictory or tongue in cheek in his diaries and correspondence, than in his more public or official writings, or if a systematic comparison covering this subject matter has ever been published.


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Los
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"belmurru" wrote:
I think both this and that which you quote are what is known by the phrase "tongue in cheek". Or, perhaps more accurately, what is described in The Book of Lies, chapter 14. Or, perhaps even more accurately, we are all our own myths, informed by other myths, which are the confluence of others, ad infinitum. It's fun to tell stories. The alternative is silence. But then, why are you here?

I'm not quite sure I agree that both statements are examples of "tongue in cheek." Obviously, Crowley's being tongue in cheek when he says that Aleister Crowley might be a solar myth, but his claim about magick makes a rather serious point about what magick is. Consider Crowley's "perfect parable" of magick in chapter 18 of Magick in Theory and Practice: a man explains his plan to use an imaginary mongoose to eat the imaginary snakes that a mentally disturbed relative sees.

The implication, of course, is that the uninitiated person is like that mentally disturbed relative, plagued by all kinds of things that aren't really there (self-image, thoughts about what "should" be, notions of morality, etc.). Magick is like the make-believe mongoose that eats the make-believe snakes: obviously, there aren't *really* invisible oogity-boogities that you actually, really and truly summon up by intoning funny-sounding words in awkward ways. But the magician uses one kind of make believe to combat another kind of make believe.

[See also: "The mind is the great enemy; so, by invoking enthusiastically a person whom we know not to exist, we are rebuking that mind," a quote from chapter 2, immediately after Crowley tells us that he selected the term "Holy Guardian Angel" because "the theory implied in these words is so patently absurd that only simpletons would waste much time in analyzing it. It would be accepted as a convention, and no one would incur the grave danger of building a philosophical system upon it"]

When Crowley calls magick an "example of Mythopoeia in that particular form called Disease of Language," he means it. Magick is a kind of alphabet and symbol set that is comprised of a bunch of conventions (in exactly the way that the term "Holy Guardian Angel" is just a convention, and in exactly the same way that Crowley says it's "more convenient" [i.e. a convention] to think of one's magick as having called up a spirit).

Our language -- really, our consciousness, which employs language -- is a form of dis-ease because consciousness reflects reality to us, and it distorts the image. We don't see our actual inclinations (True Will) because we're distracted by the mental phenomena such as self-image (this mental phenomena corresponds to the snakes that seen by the mentally disturbed man). So we turn to magick and "invoke the HGA" (we pull out a bag containing an imaginary mongoose), using the aid of one kind of make-believe to break through the veil of make believe that our consciousness has used to bind us.

Magick can thus be a potent weapon in the right hands, but it's all too easy to slip into thinking that there's really a mongoose there -- it's easy for people to lose sight of what they're doing and replace their original set of fantasies with another, more opaque set of fantasies.


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Los
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"newneubergOuch2" wrote:
The trouble with Crowley quotes is he wrote so prolifically  and so much of it has contrary viewpoints over his life and changing opinions/discoveries that we can mine his writings to back up any argument we have about Magick or Thelema.

Or we could survey his writings to look at general trends in his thought, and draw conclusions on that basis.

I don't agree with your implied argument that because there are some contradictory quotes in Crowley's writing that therefore any attempt to cite him is an instance of quote mining that's just as valid as any other position someone supports with Crowley quotes.

As an obvious example: Crowley saying that magick is something we do to ourselves, something that is convenient to think of as involving spirits. That's not just an isolated quotation. It accords very well with a point that Crowley made repeatedly throughout his career: that it is the *experience* of magick and mysticism that counts, and that the explanations that people attach to their experience are irrelevant at best and dangerous and worst. Crowley indeed recommended skepticism toward the explanations that people were tempted to attach to magical and mystical experience, particularly toward "supernatural" explanations not supported by fact.

Crowley makes these points over and over again, in multiple works, over the course of decades. It's not cherry-picking or quote-mining to point to that trend in his writing, even if one can dig out a few isolated quotations that might appear to contradict that position.


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William Thirteen
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a man explains his plan to use an imaginary mongoose to eat the imaginary snakes that a mentally disturbed relative sees.

perhaps we should cross reference this with the Thelemic Messiah thread 😉


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the_real_simon_iff
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93!

"david" wrote:
This superiority complex reinforces the self-delusion.

Says someone who constantly considers himself superior to those wacky "Occultists".

"Michael Staley" wrote:
Why do you indulge in such generalisations, such clichḗs? I'm embarrassed for you; it's pathetic.

Agreed (apart from being embarrassed). It's probably because of the permanent frustration for an anti-occultist to adhere to the writings and teachings of one of the world's most famous occultists, while constantly forgetting that Thelema has nothing to do about that at all. It is irrelevant if the idea of Thelema has been brought to us by a supernatural being, has been invented by a deranged mind (or a sane mind for that matter) or if it was created by a bunch of super-sceptics.

"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
I don't know to what degree Crowley is more contradictory or tongue in cheek in his diaries and correspondence

I can't remember any instance where Crowley has ever been written tongue-in-cheek about his Aiwass experience. Not once, for more than 40 years.

Love=Law
Lutz


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jamie barter
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"newneubergOuch2" wrote:
The trouble with Crowley quotes is he wrote so prolifically  and so much of it has contrary viewpoints over his life and changing opinions/discoveries that we can mine his writings to back up any argument we have about Magick or Thelema.

But of course that at the end if the day is all we have to go on.

Another way of looking at this tendency of Crowley’s is that it may constitute an extreme form of where elsewhere he explains that beneath the Abyss (or, existing exclusively within the workings of the rational mind) every idea contains the seed of its own opposite, and that it is only above it that all of them can be truly reconciled.  His “tongue in cheek” attitude in this respect is demonstrated throughout The Book of Lies, for example, where it manifests in almost every Chapter and is strikingly evident in the actual title of the book itself.  This is the whole problem of the “disease of language”, and it is left up to each reader/ magician to selectively work out the whole “truth” in the matter for themselves as “there is no law beyond Do what thou wilt.”

"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
[...] I don't know to what degree Crowley is more contradictory or tongue in cheek in his diaries and correspondence, than in his more public or official writings, or if a systematic comparison covering this subject matter has ever been published.

I’m not aware either, but I don’t think it has.  On a certain level this might even be a worthwhile exercise to undertake, if it has not ever previously been published before or even attempted.  Any volunteers who might be up for it, though??

Norma N joy Conquest


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jamie barter
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After worshipping Dionysus, and being appropriately hip, sophisticated and up-to-date (unlike david?) I have the following points to add:

"Los" wrote:
Our language -- really, our consciousness, which employs language -- is a form of dis-ease because consciousness reflects reality to us, and it distorts the image. We don't see our actual inclinations (True Will) because we're distracted by the mental phenomena such as self-image (this mental phenomena corresponds to the snakes that seen by the mentally disturbed man). So we turn to magick and "invoke the HGA" (we pull out a bag containing an imaginary mongoose), using the aid of one kind of make-believe to break through the veil of make believe that our consciousness has used to bind us.

The implication seems to be that everything is a form of “make-believe”; that there is no “true-believe” other than, each for their own, whatever it is that every one of us chooses to believe in.  Where, then, does this “breaking through the veil” fit in – and breaking through into what, ultimately?  Another form of make-believe, apparently, as it is stated:

"Los" wrote:
But the magician uses one kind of make believe to combat another kind of make believe.

So what else can it be that anybody is trying to achieve, Los, and who is to then say any one’s form of make-believe might be “wrong”? 

"Los" wrote:
Crowley makes these points over and over again, in multiple works, over the course of decades. It's not cherry-picking or quote-mining to point to that trend in his writing, even if one can dig out a few isolated quotations that might appear to contradict that position.

Cherry-picking is exactly what you are doing, have been doing, and in all probability will continue to do throughout (however you are by no means alone there.)  As Michael says,

"Michael Staley" wrote:
Via selective quotation, you can support a multitude of positions, as the actress said to the bishop.

Yours in the kama sutra of metaphysics,
N Joy


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Anonymous
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"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
93!

Why do you indulge in such generalisations, such clichḗs? I'm embarrassed for you; it's pathetic.

Are they really generalizations?  I've been listening to the opinions of occultists for years so y'know I have a hell of  a lot of source material to go by.

Anyway re the OP, Crowley himself said in his editorial to The Equinox, Volume III, Number I: “The science of Thelema is orthodox; it has no false theories of Nature, no false fables of the origin of things.”  In other words it's time to attack and call out any kind of supernaturalist statement that can't be demonstrated by evidence.

The OP states that Crowley said that the whole subject of magick is a form of creative fantasy in that particular form called Disease of Language.  I don't have  a problem with that.  It is a typical sceptical statement from someone who was grounded in logic, maths, rhetoric and science and honest self-analysis.

Communing with angels , spirits and gods is all just art, autosuggestion, solo psychotherapy and amateur dramatics.  When a magickian thinks it's time to effect changes in the world using e.g. ceremonial evocation he prepares for it more than he thinks. He has an idea what the entity will do and say beforehand.  This is simply because it's his creation so of course he's going to know or half-know ("the rituals shall be half known and half concealed (concealed from the rational ego or left brain.)"  I'm not denigrating the usefulness of such activity as the whole process is likely to be fun packed as I'm sure it is when a novelist dreams up a scene involving his latest invented character.  I have nothing against amateur dramatics' clubs or aspiring novelists and the like.   

Furthermore I think that humans have a greater awareness of what's on the horizon in their life than they give themselves credit for.  What we deem to be , "magickal/psychical" is really the result of a higher form of reasoning as it were.  A great deal of high speed induction-deduction is underneath consciousness (again, "half concealed").   

Let's take an example from the history of magick.  Ron Hubbard made off with Jack Parson's boat and our wizard, Jack thought it was time for revenge so he went into his temple and evoked Bartzabel to blast Hubbard's scheme of sneaking off on the high sea.      Lo and behold a terrible storm ensued and Hubbard had to come back to the port where the police arrested him.  A successful evocation, right?

Well was it?  Imo,to say yes outright is superstition.  In medieval Europe when there was a thunderstorm the bell ringers would go to work to make the thunder go away.  Ass backward, right?  Talking to a  figment of our imagination in an incense filled room doesn't create storms in the real world.  The evidence for ESP and the like has never been convincing and I think Parsons would've cottoned on that a storm was brewing anyway or he just relieved some anger/tension in his temple and hey, a happy coincidence happened.  He got his boat back.  Hubbard may have desperately took to the high seas in bad weather and his plan could've been doomed from the start.  Storms have always happened on earth and if the human race was wiped out by a virus next year well the storms would just continue to happen. 

"I slept with faith and found a corpse in my arms on awakening; I drank and danced all night with doubt and found her a virgin in the morning" . Aleister Crowley

Hey what do you think he's trying to say there?

Hey by the way remember I asked for some evidence of the existence of metaphysical entities in a video uploaded to youtube?  My prayers were answered as demonologist E.A. Koetting had already got there............

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vU9S-WjED2g

................. not


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arthuremerson
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Surely Crowley's reference to the 'disease of language' was derived from Müller, from whom we get the phrase. An early critic of Müller's, Andrew Lang, demonstrated that Müller himself was a solar myth in an effort to display the absurdity of his theory. The subtlety of your response, Belmurru, is delightful.

I agree that Crowley's remark is likely tongue in cheek. By parodying Müller's method, Crowley seems to be hinting at an originary wand the 'disease of language' made into a branch or a pen; in Liber A vel Armorum, let's not forget, it is called The Baculum.

Crowley does seem to be playing with language's distortion of reality, but not in the manner Los indicates.


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arthuremerson
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Speaking of dramatics, David...


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Los
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"arthuremerson" wrote:
Surely Crowley's reference to the 'disease of language' was derived from Müller, from whom we get the phrase [...] Crowley does seem to be playing with language's distortion of reality, but not in the manner Los indicates.

Oops, you're right, and I'm incorrect here.

I had forgotten the original context of the footnote in which Crowley's sentence appears. This is the infamous passage where he claims, indeed in a tongue-in-cheek manner, that the terminology surrounding magick derives from a misunderstanding/corruption of the terminology surrounding the technology of writing. The passage ends with that well known joke about the "Papyrus of Ani" originally being toilet paper.

You're also right that Muller is the source of the phrase (as HB notes in the footnotes of his edition).

However, I stand by the claim that what I was saying about magick's ability to treat "make believe" with "make believe" *is* correct, and that it *is* supported by a reading of Crowley's entire body of work...it's just not a particularly relevant reading of the passage in which the title quote of this thread appears.

Thanks for the correction.


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threefold31
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"david" wrote:
Anyway re the OP, Crowley himself said in his editorial to The Equinox, Volume III, Number I: “The science of Thelema is orthodox; it has no false theories of Nature, no false fables of the origin of things.”  In other words it's time to attack and call out any kind of supernaturalist statement that can't be demonstrated by evidence.

Dwtw

By definition, anything 'supernatural' is beyond the bounds of the empirical evidence you are demanding of it.

"david" wrote:
Communing with angels , spirits and gods is all just art, autosuggestion, solo psychotherapy and amateur dramatics. 

It may well be that at times, but if anything 'supernatural' occurs in conjunction with such communing, it is beyond the reach of your empiricism, and your criticism. Suppose you have a migraine and try to convince me of your pain. I don't see any evidence of it through my senses, so perhaps you're just making it up? And that's a 'natural' process we can't share with each other. How much less can we share anything that is possibly/supposedly 'supernatural'?

"david" wrote:
Let's take an example from the history of magick.  Ron Hubbard made off with Jack Parson's boat and our wizard, Jack thought it was time for revenge so he went into his temple and evoked Bartzabel to blast Hubbard's scheme of sneaking off on the high sea.      Lo and behold a terrible storm ensued and Hubbard had to come back to the port where the police arrested him.  A successful evocation, right?

Who's to say, really? He evoked, a storm ensued. Causally related or not, the events happened. How can you say such things cannot happen, when you have evidence that they do? This is how...

"david" wrote:
Talking to a  figment of our imagination in an incense filled room doesn't create storms in the real world. 

You beg the question by presuming the conclusion as part of your premise. The actual question is - can evocation in an 'incense filled room' create a storm? Well, if you want to get scientific, you'd have to examine a case where somebody did such an evocation for the purpose of storm-raising, and then determine if a storm happened in the aftermath. In the case of Parsons, such a thing DID happen. So where is your justification for saying it CANNOT happen? Your only justification is your petitio principii, which is invalid by the rules of logic you apparently want to work with.

I expect you will like to argue that if that is the case, then EVERY storm-raising evocation should create a storm. But this is not true. Since we do not know for sure the actual 'scientific' mechanism which might create a causal connection between evocation and storms, we are unable to say if the procedure was done properly - except in the case when a storm ensues. Success is your proof. "This shall be your only proof".

It's all well and good to rid the world of superstitions, but you can't kill a ghost with a dagger.

Litlluw
RLG


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k4n3
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"threefold31" wrote:
You beg the question by presuming the conclusion as part of your premise. The actual question is - can evocation in an 'incense filled room' create a storm? Well, if you want to get scientific, you'd have to examine a case where somebody did such an evocation for the purpose of storm-raising, and then determine if a storm happened in the aftermath. In the case of Parsons, such a thing DID happen. So where is your justification for saying it CANNOT happen? Your only justification is your petitio principii, which is invalid by the rules of logic you apparently want to work with.

I expect you will like to argue that if that is the case, then EVERY storm-raising evocation should create a storm. But this is not true. Since we do not know for sure the actual 'scientific' mechanism which might create a causal connection between evocation and storms, we are unable to say if the procedure was done properly - except in the case when a storm ensues. Success is your proof. "This shall be your only proof".

It's all well and good to rid the world of superstitions, but you can't kill a ghost with a dagger.

one isolated case of storm evocation is not any proof that your ritual actually influenced the weather conditions.
if you can perform 10 such rituals with similar outcomes, you might be talking about "proof" and a connection between the storm and the ritual itself.
and still, you cannot be 100% sure that your actions caused the storm, only that there is a high probability that a storm is evoked when particular ceremonial activities are performed and certain conditions are met.


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jamie barter
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"david" wrote:
"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
93!
Why do you indulge in such generalisations, such clichḗs? I'm embarrassed for you; it's pathetic.

[...]

You give a misleading impression here (as well as elsewhere) - the actual “Quote” came from Michael, if you’ll check; and Lutz said he wasn’t embarrassed for you…

"david" wrote:
Are they really generalizations?  I've been listening to the opinions of occultists for years so y'know I have a hell of  a lot of source material to go by.

Also, by your omission, the impression you give is that you'd agree that you do indulge in clichés…

These “occultists” whose opinions you’ve been listening to for years – naturally they'd all be impeccably trustworthy sources either one way or the other, y'know?

I might have commented on your blather further, but as you seem to be following Los’ lead in your “Excrutiating” yoga thread by completely ignoring the adequately full response which I gave your posting there, I’m not altogether sure it would be a profitable exercise in bothering to waste more time with you (there's also that old saying about organ grinders and monkeys of course...)  Just except to say, though: what are you supposed to mean by

"david" wrote:
[...] Furthermore I think that humans have a greater awareness of what's on the horizon in their life than they give themselves credit for.  What we deem to be , "magickal/psychical" is really the result of a higher form of reasoning as it were.

Can it be at all possible you meant the Intuitive Mind, or Neschamah, here - as it were?

“Stormy weather”,
'N Joy


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the_real_simon_iff
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david, 93

"david" wrote:
The Equinox, Volume III, Number I: “The science of Thelema is orthodox; it has no false theories of Nature, no false fables of the origin of things.” In other words it's time to attack and call out any kind of supernaturalist statement that can't be demonstrated by evidence.

No, the first thing would be to deliver evidence that "Thelema has no false theories of Nature, no false fables of the origin of things". Good luck with that.

"david" wrote:
The OP states that Crowley said that the whole subject of magick is a form of creative fantasy in that particular form called Disease of Language. I don't have  a problem with that. It is a typical sceptical statement from someone who was grounded in logic, maths, rhetoric and science and honest self-analysis.

No, it was not a typical sceptical statement, as was shown it was a tongue-in-cheek reference to Muller. You seem to forget that Crowley was foremost a poet and wanted to be remembered as one and he loved to deliver memorable lines.

I have absolutely no problem about your or Los' theories about Thelema or magick, they are full of worthy contributions, but you really shouldn't try to sell them as Crowley's, they are your personal interpretations, and nothing more. His earnest belief (based on what he regarded as scientific evidence) in supernatural powers (though he was sure they would eventually be found to be natural) is all over his ouevre* and trying to re-interpret them is quite ridiculous.

Your crusade to correct and convince "those wacky occultists" is nothing more than your personal hobby-horse.

"david" wrote:
I've been listening to the opinions of occultists for years so y'know I have a hell of  a lot of source material to go by.

Oh, I see. Their superiority complex is thus scientifically proven.

Yep.

Love=Law
Lutz

*Just read a nice passage again: "The universe is full of obscure and subtle manifestations of Energy. We are constantly advancing in our knowledge and control of them. Telekinesis is of the same order of Nature as the Hertz rays or the Radium emanations. But what nobody before me has done is to prove the existence of extra-human Intelligence, and my Magical record does this. [...] is is impossible to doubt that there is Somebody there, a Somebody capable of combining events as a Napoleon forms his plans of campaign, and possessed of those powers unthinkably vast, by which to direct the actions of people whom he has cosen to play a part in the execution of his purpose.""


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threefold31
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"k4n3" wrote:
one isolated case of storm evocation is not any proof that your ritual actually influenced the weather conditions.
if you can perform 10 such rituals with similar outcomes, you might be talking about "proof" and a connection between the storm and the ritual itself.
and still, you cannot be 100% sure that your actions caused the storm, only that there is a high probability that a storm is evoked when particular ceremonial activities are performed and certain conditions are met.

Dwtw

I would agree. A storm that occurs after an evocation to create a storm is a necessary but not sufficient condition to show a causal connection. A single storm after a single evocation is not conclusive proof that ALL such evocations will create storms. My point was that an actual storm is evidence that in one instance, a storm accompanied an evocation. And that's the only proof one could expect to have if in fact it was a case of the 'supernatural' effecting a result in the 'natural' world. But I don't think even 10 storms in a row would prove anything to someone already convinced that such things cannot happen.

There aren't any known forces of nature that would allow for an evocation to create a storm, which implies that if such could occur, it is due to a force that is not recognized or understood, in which case showing any causal connection is more or less impossible. But it works both ways. If you evoke, and a storm ensues, you can take credit for it if you like, because there is no way to prove that it wasn't caused by your evocation.

Litlluw
RLG


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Anonymous
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"jamie barter" wrote:
"david" wrote:
[...] Furthermore I think that humans have a greater awareness of what's on the horizon in their life than they give themselves credit for.  What we deem to be , "magickal/psychical" is really the result of a higher form of reasoning as it were.

Can it be at all possible you meant the Intuitive Mind, or Neschamah, here - as it were?

Well Jamie you can call it that if you want to.


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belmurru
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"arthuremerson" wrote:
Surely Crowley's reference to the 'disease of language' was derived from Müller, from whom we get the phrase. An early critic of Müller's, Andrew Lang, demonstrated that Müller himself was a solar myth in an effort to display the absurdity of his theory. The subtlety of your response, Belmurru, is delightful.

Thanks, Arthur. Your insight is pretty subtle itself.

I have to be honest and admit that the subtlety is only half mine, though. I knew of Müller's critic Andrew Lang (as one cannot escape Müller when studying the history of ideas in the field of folklore and mythology, the idea of the mythopoeic mind, as well as the SBE series, standard for Crowley), but I hadn't heard of his making a reductio ad solem of the man himself! (and thereby adding a further layer of reference to Crowley's own claim to being a "sun-myth").

Searching for it, I found that it was not Lang, but the Anglican priest Richard Frederick Littledale (1833-1890). In 1870 he published the parody as "The Oxford Solar Myth. A Contribution to Comparative Mythology. (Dedicated, without permission, to the Rev. G. W. Cox, M.A.)” in Kottabos (a literary magazine of Trinity College, Dublin), vol. 1 no. 5 (Michaelmas 1870), pp. 145-154. This was reprinted as the first volume of Kottabos, containing numbers 1-12 of the periodical, in 1874, pp. 145-154 (so identical in format to the original 1870 publication, I imagine). This can be seen here -
https://archive.org/details/kottabosacollege00tyrr

It was further reprinted in Echoes from Kottabos (1906), pp. 279-290 (also online here - https://archive.org/details/echoesfromkotta00irelgoog )

Finally, it was reprinted in Abram Smythe Palmer, ed., Comparative Mythology: An Essay by Professor Max Müller (New York and London, 1909), pp. xxxi-xlvii. This is here at - https://archive.org/details/comparativemytho00ml
Smythe Palmer's introduction (to which he appends Littledale's essay - who could resist? It had become a classic, it seems) is an attempt at rehabilitating Müller's views.

I imagine that Crowley could well have read it in Smythe Palmer - I even thought he had reviewed the book somewhere, perhaps in the Equinox, but I couldn't see it on a scan through the reviews in any of the volumes.

In any case, Littledale's "squib" is well worth reading - it is a precursor to the "Interlude" in Book 4 pt. 2. An exact parallel, I'd say, except for Crowley's use of Qabalah and Magick in place of the Classical and European mythology of Littledale.

So - thank you very much for pointing this out.

Littledale was a solid and entertaining scholar, btw. His Commentary on the Song of Songs from Ancient and Mediaeval Sources (1869, a year before he wrote on Müller) is delightful; it shows how well acquainted he was with the allegorical mode of thought. 


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"threefold31" wrote:
You beg the question by presuming the conclusion as part of your premise. The actual question is - can evocation in an 'incense filled room' create a storm? Well, if you want to get scientific, you'd have to examine a case where somebody did such an evocation for the purpose of storm-raising, and then determine if a storm happened in the aftermath. In the case of Parsons, such a thing DID happen.

Actually are you correct?.  Parsons sent Bartzabel to go get 'im.  I don't think he specifically said to Bartzabel , "go forth and create a storm so that red headed con- man is forced to return my yacht".  It was a vague martial attack on a perceived enemy.  After the uproar when Hubbard returned to shore, Parsons took the credit for the storm no doubt, as occultists do. 

"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:

Your crusade to correct and convince "those wacky occultists" is nothing more than your personal hobby-horse.
.""

One man's "hobby horse" is another man's solar force as it were.  I recommend you read the intro to Magick in Theory and Practice  http://hermetic.com/crowley/book-4/defs.html it's oozes scientific scepticism.  What can I say?  I respectfully ask you to remove the blinkers before doing so.

"arthuremerson" wrote:
Surely Crowley's reference to the 'disease of language' was derived from Müller, from whom we get the phrase. An early critic of Müller's, Andrew Lang, demonstrated that Müller himself was a solar myth in an effort to display the absurdity of his theory. The subtlety of your response, Belmurru, is delightful.

I agree that Crowley's remark is likely tongue in cheek. By parodying Müller's method, Crowley seems to be hinting at an originary wand the 'disease of language' made into a branch or a pen; in Liber A vel Armorum, let's not forget, it is called The Baculum.

Crowley does seem to be playing with language's distortion of reality, but not in the manner Los indicates.

Are you saying that Crowley is humorously lampooning himself as a teacher of magick?  Mythopoeia is the act of making (creating) mythologies and secondly, as I understand it Muller's "disease of language" was derived from the flaws he saw in Vedic linguistic structures namely the inherent entrapments therein that pervert and anthropomorphize (i.e. make myths out of) perfectly normal forces of nature. 

With that said, in terms of the OP Crowley quote, "I have omitted to say that the whole subject of Magick is an example of  [myth making] in that particular form called Disease of Language."  I guesse it is tongue in cheek as he consistently explains that magick does exactly the opposite.  One of the best examples of this, imo  is in his commentary to Liber Samekh in which he deconstructs what his mythical concept of, "HGA" is, namely nothing more than the,"deep self" of each individual.  He writes therein, "the Adept will be free to concentrate his deepest self, that part of him which unconsciously orders his true Will, upon the realization of Holy Guardian Angel. The absence of his bodily, mental and astral consciousness is indeed cardinal to success, for it is their usurpation of his attention which has made him deaf to his Soul, and his preoccupation with their affairs that has prevented him from perceiving that Soul".


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Los
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"threefold31" wrote:
By definition, anything 'supernatural' is beyond the bounds of the empirical evidence you are demanding of it.

But the effects of supposed supernatural things are not outside those bounds.

If it’s actually *possible* to create storms through rituals, then one could construct a series of tests whereby one creates weather patterns that defy what we would expect statistically. For example, one could go to a very dry climate and, after many months of rituals, record over those months a level of rainfall that vastly exceeds the amount of rainfall we would expect based on history and probability.

If tests like that could consistently produce results like that, it would demonstrate that something about the rituals actually *is* influencing the weather. We wouldn't know *how* -- and maybe that would be beyond our ability to discover or maybe not -- but we would know that the rituals were really doing something in the world that we can detect.

Keep in mind – nobody is suggesting that it would have to work 100% of the time. But it would have to work consistently. I mean, otherwise, what's the claim? "I can make it rain, but my power works in random ways that are totally indistinguishable from what would have happened anyway?" Either it's possible to influence the weather consistently (which again does *not* mean 100% of the time) or nobody (including our would-be cloudmancer) has any good reason to think that there are any such powers.

If magick actually makes things happen, then that’s a detectable, measurable claim that can be verified by evidence.

Suppose you have a migraine and try to convince me of your pain. I don't see any evidence of it through my senses, so perhaps you're just making it up? And that's a 'natural' process we can't share with each other. How much less can we share anything that is possibly/supposedly 'supernatural'?

False equivalence. Nobody claims that their migraine has detectable results on the world outside of their head.

Obviously, someone who says he has a headache might be lying. But who cares? “I have a headache” is an incredibly trivial claim. But someone who says that he can summon rain by doing a dance is making a claim that could revolutionize a lot about human life (as well as our knowledge of the universe).

The rain dance guy can “share” plenty about his experience by conducting a rigorous test that demonstrates that he really can alter weather patterns. I’d dare say he has a nobel prize coming to him if he actually can demonstrate it.

Who's to say, really? He evoked, a storm ensued. Causally related or not, the events happened. How can you say such things cannot happen, when you have evidence that they do?

The default position is not to accept wild, far-flung claims unless there’s sufficient evidence. A couple of cute coincidences don’t rise anywhere near the level of evidence.

if you want to get scientific, you'd have to examine a case where somebody did such an evocation for the purpose of storm-raising, and then determine if a storm happened in the aftermath.

No. There is *nothing* scientific about myopically examining one or even a handful of cases.

A “scientific” approach would be to measure the efficacy of many tests performed over a long period of time against the results that we would expect if no magick at all were performed. Let’s say that a guy does rituals for a whole year, and in all that time, the amount of rain measured in an area is well within the bounds of what we would expect without any magick being done whatsoever.

In a case like that, what’s the justification for saying that the magick did anything?

If “doing magick” is totally and completely indistinguishable from doing absolutely nothing, then nobody has any reason to think that magick does anything – including the guy who is subjectively impressed by a cute coincidence or two.

So where is your justification for saying it CANNOT happen?

I don’t presume to speak for David, but I’ll speak for myself here. I don’t start from the assumption that magick can’t cause storms, but I can survey the available evidence and draw conclusions from that. So what do we know?

-We know how storms arise naturally. This is very well understood.
-We know of no mechanisms whereby a human might create a storm by doing a ritual.
-Despite people claiming to do miraculous things throughout history, not one single person has ever demonstrated that they can actually do miraculous feats.
-Supposed magical powers mysteriously appear to do absolutely nothing when we test them with controls in place.

So what’s the conclusion from all of that? I’d be willing to say that it sure looks like magick doesn’t cause storms, but I’ll be glad to be proven wrong.


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Los
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"threefold31" wrote:
My point was that an actual storm is evidence that in one instance, a storm accompanied an evocation. And that's the only proof one could expect to have if in fact it was a case of the 'supernatural' effecting a result in the 'natural' world.

As I pointed out above, that's not "proof," and it's definitely not "the only proof one could expect."

If it's really possible to *cause storms,* then go to a dry climate, do a rain ritual once a week for several months, and measure the amount of rainfall against the range of expected rain.

But I don't think even 10 storms in a row would prove anything to someone already convinced that such things cannot happen.

You could have stopped this sentence after the words "prove anything." It's irrelevant how many cute coincidences happen to someone. If magick actually causes results, then that's a detectable claim. The results themselves can be demonstrated to be occurring. We can only demonstrate that these results are actually happening by distinguishing them from nothing. I've given you above one example of a way to distinguish a rain ritual that actually works from one that just seems to work but actually does not.

But it works both ways. If you evoke, and a storm ensues, you can take credit for it if you like, because there is no way to prove that it wasn't caused by your evocation.

No, it doesn't work that way at all. I mean, someone *can* take credit for it in the sense of being physically able to do that, but they *can't* take credit for it in the sense of having a valid reason to take credit.

Sorry, but the "you can't prove it wrong!" argument is dumb. I can't prove that there aren't leprechauns who live under my house and steal my socks from time to time. But I also can't prove that there are. So does that mean the whole thing is a wash and that it's just as valid for me to think that there *are* leprechauns as it is for me *not* to think that there are leprechauns?

The answer is no, it's not a wash. Without evidence for a claim, the rational position is not to accept it as true until such time as evidence is available.


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Los
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"david" wrote:
Are you saying that Crowley is humorously lampooning himself as a teacher of magick?

No, he's goofing on the idea of myths originating as a corruption (really a personification) of earlier concepts. Except he's applying it to magick: he suggests that magical terminology is a corruption of the terminology surrounding writing (on the grounds that writing appeared mysterious and magical to the illiterate). Go back and read the footnote, particularly the last sentence. 


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gurugeorge
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"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
"belmurru" wrote:
I think [...] that which you quote are what is known by the phrase "tongue in cheek".

I beg to differ, in respect of the following information provided on page 542 in the Revised and Expanded edition (1 Sep 2010) of Richard Kaczynski's Crowley biography Perdurabo:

"Ah, you realize that magick is something we do to ourselves. But it is more convenient to assume the objective existence of an angel who gives us new knowledge than to allege that our invocation has awakened a supernormal power in ourselves."

Quote:
"In his diary, Crowley recorded the day, "Most delightful interview, A.C. at his best.""

I wonder if the alleged "supernormal power" is on a level with assumed-objective oogity-boogities? 🙂

Egads!  It's snakes and mongooses all the way down!

(Incidentally, why do some people assume that there isn't a mongoose in the basket in that parable?)


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threefold31
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"Los" wrote:
If it’s actually *possible* to create storms through rituals, then one could construct a series of tests whereby one creates weather patterns that defy what we would expect statistically. For example, one could go to a very dry climate and, after many months of rituals, record over those months a level of rainfall that vastly exceeds the amount of rainfall we would expect based on history and probability.

Dwtw

Los, I'm not going to bother rebutting all of your comments. I'll stand by what I said and agree to disagree with you. Essentially my stance is that you can't prove a negative, and so you can't disprove that supernatural entities/events/things exist. And if you demand that there be evidence that 'spirits' caused a rainstorm, then what more do you want than an evocation followed by an actual rainstorm? That is proof that something happened. That's the only proof there could possibly be. It's in the explanation that all the trouble lies. Causality is the bugbear, and Hume put an axe to that a long time ago, a sentiment echoed in Liber AL.

But anyway, at the risk of going too far off topic,  since you mentioned causing rainfall in a dry area….

According to this chart, the lowest average rainfall for White Sands National Monument is in the month of March, with an average of 1/4" of rain.

http://www.weather.com/weather/wxclimatology/monthly/graph/NMWHSA:13

According to this chart, White Sands  got .73" of precipitation in March 1990, two-thirds of it coming in one rainfall of .50"  That's about three times the average monthly rainfall, and most of it came in one storm.

http://weather-warehouse.com/WeatherHistory/PastWeatherData_WhiteSandsNatlMon_Alamogordo_NM_March.html

White Sands is a desert. Great place for a test of rainmaking.

I was outside of White Sands in March 1990, and preparatory to visiting the monument I wrote out and rehearsed an Enochian evocation in the Air of Air quadrant of the Watchtowers. This is related to Aquarius, which Crowley describes in the Book of Thoth as: "Clouds - steady conveyors of water". The result of this evocation was a huge storm that rained so much, so quickly, that White Sands was closed the next morning when we went to visit. It was flooded out and they weren't letting the public in. So we changed plans and went to Lincoln Nat'l Forest, where the fallen timber was so wet we couldn't start a fire - even with gasoline poured on the woodpile!

You will surely write this off as a coincidence, but I have no doubt that my evocation was involved in bringing about that storm - in the middle of the driest month, in a desert area, causing three times the normal rainfall for the month in a single day. Could I (or someone else) do it again? I have no idea, I never tried it. Therefore my 'evidence' is simply anecdotal. But there is no way to prove that my evocation did NOT cause the rainfall. And this was my main point. There was a synchronicity between my intent and the occurrence of rain. That's all we can say about it.

Talk all you want about lack of evidence of the supernatural, controlled experiments and repeatability. The fact is that in the Popperian sense, the supernatural is not 'falsifiable', and is thus not scientific, and therefore when you demand it adhere to scientific rigor you are chasing a ghost with a dagger. If in fact there are supernatural entities that can create rainstorms, who's to say if they are even controllable to the extent that their activity will be repeated on demand? If we can't explain how these things happen, and can't define the necessary parameters, then we can't be expected to be able to repeat them at will. What if it depends on the position of the moon, or a conjunction of planets, or any number of other factors whose convergence repeats in cycles too complex to replicate on demand?

Nobody has a good explanation for how these things happen. And from the logical positivist standpoint, metaphysical questions are meaningless anyway. So I remain agnostic as to whether or not 'supernatural' entities exist, because i don't think it's a matter of epistemology, and I don't expect such entities to conform to what occurs in the consensual reality of the physical world.  But if you ever tried Enochian magic out in the desert, you might think twice about dismissing these 'imaginary entities' so easily.

Litlluw
RLG


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belmurru
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"gurugeorge" wrote:
(Incidentally, why do some people assume that there isn't a mongoose in the basket in that parable?)

I believe it's made explicit in the story (quoting from memory):

Stranger on train to passenger next to him: "What's in the basket?"
Passenger with basket "Mongoose".
"What for?"
"My brother, he sees snakes."
"But them snakes ain't real."
"This mongoose ain't real either."


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"threefold31" wrote:
You will surely write this off as a coincidence, but I have no doubt that my evocation was involved in bringing about that storm - in the middle of the driest month, in a desert area, causing three times the normal rainfall for the month in a single day.

Let's break this down in simple terms, " Enochian angels" visualized and strange, "intonations" bellowed, you claim you made it rain with your thoughts.

We're back to the what I call," Yoda and Skywalker at the swamp "syndrome.  "Use the force Luke the force" i.e. you're not lifting the heavy craft out of the swamp with your intent because you lost your faith so sit back and watch me do it. A Baptist goes to his preacher and says he prayed and prayed for a winning lottery ticket but never got it.  The preacher can tell him that he either wasn't praying hard enough or god has his reason not to grant him success and by the way see you in church next sunday , right?.  I'd say it really looks like mind over matter isn't a viable explanation for anything simply because mind IS matter.    There is strong evidence for that.

If I throw an apple into the air it will fall back to earth I'd say every time.  I could do it 200 times.  That is a proper scientific experiment with proper conditions.  I apply enough force to throw the apple up and then we watch what it does.  Praying (include enochian magick in this) for rain once in a desert or for a few times and seeing what happens is not a proper scientific experiment in any way, shape or form.  Like I said earlier (and was predictably crucified for it) occultists wrongly try to divorce themselves from ignorant Christians who say jesus answers their prayers or ignorant medieval witchfinders who say they could prove women, "were in league with the {???}"  because modern occultists are more sophisticated, academic, open minded  and, "tuned in"............... but err, they're  not.  Not if they think they make rain with their minds. 

To recap, you claim you made it rain with your thoughts.  it's 2014 but this sort of thinking, imo  is medievalism.  She drowns she can do mind over matter work; she  floats then that metaphysical entity helped her.  No, it's not medievaism it's primitivism.  The Aztec, "priest" (politician) who carves out the hearts of prisoners  and holds it towards the sun so that the crops grow and so on.  C'mon it's a new aeon, as it were,"Abrogate are all rituals."  Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. I think it's an interesting word, "abrogate";

repeal or do away with (a law, right, or formal agreement).

"a proposal to abrogate temporarily the right to strike"

synonyms: repudiate, revoke, repeal, rescind, overturn, overrule, override, do away with, annul, cancel, break off, invalidate, nullify, void, negate, dissolve, countermand, veto, declare null and void, discontinue


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By the way bringing Popper's falsifiability into this argument is just a pie in the sky meandering and null and void.  We all know what a reasonable, common sense observation and test is.  "I don't know-ness" is not a good enough reason to back up a claim.  You make a claim, especially an extraordinary one then you have to back it up or you're being fallacious. 


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gurugeorge
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"belmurru" wrote:
"gurugeorge" wrote:
(Incidentally, why do some people assume that there isn't a mongoose in the basket in that parable?)

I believe it's made explicit in the story (quoting from memory):

Stranger on train to passenger next to him: "What's in the basket?"
Passenger with basket "Mongoose".
"What for?"
"My brother, he sees snakes."
"But them snakes ain't real."
"This mongoose ain't real either."

Yeah, but that's not to say there isn't a mongoose in the basket, it's just to say that it ain't any "more real" than the snakes his brother sees. 

Note the paragraphs before and after the joke's quote in MiTaP:-

"It [the "astral body"] is of course not real, but then no more is the other body"; 

"There is no such thing as truth in the perceptible universe; every idea when analysed is found to contain a contradiction. It is quite useless (except as a temporary expedient) to set up one class of ideas against another as being "more real". The advance of man towards God is not necessarily an advance towards truth. "


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"threefold31" wrote:
You will surely write this off as a coincidence, but I have no doubt that my evocation was involved in bringing about that storm - in the middle of the driest month, in a desert area, causing three times the normal rainfall for the month in a single day

Ever since this desert was formed millions of years ago I'd say it's fair enough to assume that such a weird, unusual  occurrence probably happened there many,many times before but there was nobody around doing Enochian rituals (or any metaphysical ritual) preceding such events.  Such occurrences have probably happened there even before humanity was around. Who knows? I have asked a relevant learned scientist for information on how unusual such occurrence are in that area.  Hopefully he will get back to me soon. 


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Los
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"threefold31" wrote:
Los, I'm not going to bother rebutting all of your comments.

Surprise, surprise.

Essentially my stance is that you can't prove a negative, and so you can't disprove that supernatural entities/events/things exist.

Just like I can’t disprove Christ, Allah, the Easter Bunny, and the leprechauns that might be stealing my socks. The question isn’t whether a wild claim can be absolutely disproven. No claim can be absolutely disproven. The question is whether there is sufficient evidence to accept a claim as true.

There’s not sufficient evidence for your wild claims, as I’ve been demonstrating.

And if you demand that there be evidence that 'spirits' caused a rainstorm, then what more do you want than an evocation followed by an actual rainstorm?

I told you already: stop looking myopically at single instances and perform a proper study, with proper controls, over a period of time, a study that measures your magick against what we would expect to happen if no magick at all were performed.

Again, before you can claim that rituals cause something, you need a mechanism to distinguish between rituals that work and rituals that just appear to work. If you can’t do that, then nobody – including you – has any reason to think that your rituals work.

White Sands is a desert. Great place for a test of rainmaking.

Sure thing. Go there for a year and perform spells for rain every week. Record the rainfall, and show that your spells correspond with an increase in rainfall that’s well outside what we would expect to happen if you had done nothing.

If you get positive results, I’m sure you can get funding to repeat the experiment in other dry areas.

If you can demonstrate that you have a consistently reliable method of increasing rainfall, that’s going to revolutionize a lot about human life. But I predict – pretty confidently – that you won’t demonstrate anything of the sort. In fact, I predict that you’d never even venture to try anything like this because I suspect that you know, in your heart of hearts, that this is all make believe.

But as long as you don’t analyze it too rigorously, and as long as you keep spouting off stupid platitudes (like “You can’t prove it wrong!”) you’re free to continue to believe that you can “make it rain,” and probably your unsupported beliefs in your supposed powers prop up your unsupported beliefs about other things, like the Book of the Law being dictated by a spook that for some reason decided to encode into it messages that give us no new knowledge, or Tibetan Buddhists having discovered the secret to locating reincarnated lamas (a point you were suggesting but backpedeled from very quickly the other week).

Personally, I think you’re doing yourself a great disservice by accepting these claims for really flimsy reasons. But at least you have a rich fantasy life.


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Los
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"threefold31" wrote:
You will surely write this off as a coincidence, but I have no doubt that my evocation was involved in bringing about that storm

No doubt, eh? Crowley had a few things to say about doubt, if I recall correctly....

But there is no way to prove that my evocation did NOT cause the rainfall. And this was my main point. There was a synchronicity between my intent and the occurrence of rain. That's all we can say about it.

You're contradicting yourself. Above you said you have "no doubt" that your ritual caused the storm. Now you're trying to present this soft front of "all we can say" is that you had an intent to make rain and then it rained.

This is one of those techniques that people like you use to hold onto unjustified beliefs: when you're challenged, you protest that all you're doing is impartially noting the proximity of your intent and a certain event. And then once the challenger goes away, you go right back to believing that you have magick powers that can summon up storms. Way to go, Prospero.

Talk all you want about lack of evidence of the supernatural, controlled experiments and repeatability. The fact is that in the Popperian sense, the supernatural is not 'falsifiable', and is thus not scientific

We've been over this. The supernatural itself might not be falsifiable, but the *effects* are.

If you can *actually* make it rain, then we can test and demonstrate that. *How* you do it is a different story, and if it truly is supernatural we might not be able to investigate sufficiently the *cause,* but can definitely demonstrate whether or not you can do it.

The mere fact that you repeat your point over and over again doesn't make it true.

If in fact there are supernatural entities that can create rainstorms, who's to say if they are even controllable to the extent that their activity will be repeated on demand? If we can't explain how these things happen, and can't define the necessary parameters, then we can't be expected to be able to repeat them at will.

What's the difference between (1) having a magick power that operates sometimes, in unpredictable ways, in ways indistinguishable from chance coincidence and from not doing any magick, and (2) not having magick powers at all?

Unless you have a way to distinguish your magick from nothing at all, nobody -- including you -- has any reason to think that your magick is real.


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Los
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"gurugeorge" wrote:
Yeah, but that's not to say there isn't a mongoose in the basket, it's just to say that it ain't any "more real" than the snakes his brother sees.

You're confusing the content of the parable with what the parable is being used to mean.

Within the world of the parable, the guy clearly does not have a mongoose.


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arthuremerson
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"belmurru" wrote:
Searching for it, I found that it was not Lang, but the Anglican priest Richard Frederick Littledale (1833-1890).

Quite right, Belmurru. Great work.

I did some searching myself and found that Lang did write a parody of Müller's method. Not the one I attributed to him, however. It can be found in Lang's work In the Wrong Paradise, here, under the title The Great Gladstone Myth. It is really quite a humorous parody. Curious that Lang's and Littledale's parodies have become confused: I've come across a few sources that take this confused attribution for granted (no citation or source is given), hence my own confusion. It seems that somewhere along the line it was taken for granted the Lang's parody was Littledale's.

Thank you for clearing this up.

"belmurru" wrote:
Littledale was a solid and entertaining scholar, btw. His Commentary on the Song of Songs from Ancient and Mediaeval Sources (1869, a year before he wrote on Müller) is delightful; it shows how well acquainted he was with the allegorical mode of thought.

I'll need to have a look at that. Merci beaucoup.


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threefold31
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Posts: 462
 
"david" wrote:
"threefold31" wrote:
You will surely write this off as a coincidence, but I have no doubt that my evocation was involved in bringing about that storm - in the middle of the driest month, in a desert area, causing three times the normal rainfall for the month in a single day.

Let's break this down in simple terms, " Enochian angels" visualized and strange, "intonations" bellowed, you claim you made it rain with your thoughts.

Dwtw

Actually, no, I wasn't the one who made it rain. I should have been more explicit, since you didn't pick up on the fact that it was the result of evocation, therefore an Enochian 'entity' caused the rain.

"david" wrote:
Praying (include enochian magick in this) for rain once in a desert or for a few times and seeing what happens is not a proper scientific experiment in any way, shape or form.

I certainly didn't say it was scientific in the least bit. In fact, my position is that anything 'supernatural' is by definition not scientific.

"david" wrote:
To recap, you claim you made it rain with your thoughts. 

No, that's not my claim at all. Whatever role I had was simply to put energy and intention in motion. The very spirits you don't believe in did the rest. I am personally incapable of levitating into the clouds and creating conditions for a storm.

Litlluw
RLG


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threefold31
(@threefold31)
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Posts: 462
 
"threefold31" wrote:
Los, I'm not going to bother rebutting all of your comments.
"Los" wrote:
Surprise, surprise.

Dwtw

Not really, given the way you talk to people.

Essentially my stance is that you can't prove a negative, and so you can't disprove that supernatural entities/events/things exist.

"Los" wrote:
Just like I can’t disprove Christ, Allah, the Easter Bunny, and the leprechauns that might be stealing my socks. The question isn’t whether a wild claim can be absolutely disproven. No claim can be absolutely disproven. The question is whether there is sufficient evidence to accept a claim as true.

There’s not sufficient evidence for your wild claims, as I’ve been demonstrating.

Fine by me - I'm not asking you to believe it. I'm telling you what I believe. Unlike you, I don't feel that my personal preferences are universal  truth. Nor was I discussing accepting claims, only refuting them. It's your decision to turn that to the converse. So, to repeat, I'm not making a claim that I expect you to accept.

And if you demand that there be evidence that 'spirits' caused a rainstorm, then what more do you want than an evocation followed by an actual rainstorm?

"Los" wrote:
I told you already: stop looking myopically at single instances and perform a proper study, with proper controls, over a period of time, a study that measures your magick against what we would expect to happen if no magick at all were performed.

And I told you that I don't think anything supernatural is scientific, so it's useless to keep demanding that spirits - if they exist - live up to your lab conditions.

"Los" wrote:
Again, before you can claim that rituals cause something, you need a mechanism to distinguish between rituals that work and rituals that just appear to work. If you can’t do that, then nobody – including you – has any reason to think that your rituals work.

Ibid.

White Sands is a desert. Great place for a test of rainmaking.

"Los" wrote:
Sure thing. Go there for a year and perform spells for rain every week. Record the rainfall, and show that your spells correspond with an increase in rainfall that’s well outside what we would expect to happen if you had done nothing.

No need to. See above. But since you suggested it - why don't YOU go to the desert and do an Enochian evocation. Have you ever done one in your life?

"Los" wrote:
If you can demonstrate that you have a consistently reliable method of increasing rainfall, that’s going to revolutionize a lot about human life. But I predict – pretty confidently – that you won’t demonstrate anything of the sort. In fact, I predict that you’d never even venture to try anything like this because I suspect that you know, in your heart of hearts, that this is all make believe.

You really just keep repeating the same position that is not applicable to the supernatural. It's not the realm of science.

"Los" wrote:
But as long as you don’t analyze it too rigorously, and as long as you keep spouting off stupid platitudes (like “You can’t prove it wrong!”) you’re free to continue to believe that you can “make it rain,”

I have no idea if I could ever 'make it rain' again, since I never tried. And I never claimed that I could do it at will. Why don't you confine yourself to what was actually said? You don't like to, because you're too busy spouting off the same old rigmarole about science.

"Los" wrote:
and probably your unsupported beliefs in your supposed powers prop up your unsupported beliefs about other things, like the Book of the Law being dictated by a spook that for some reason decided to encode into it messages that give us no new knowledge, or Tibetan Buddhists having discovered the secret to locating reincarnated lamas (a point you were suggesting but backpedeled from very quickly the other week).

I have no idea whether lamas actually reincarnate - I merely brought up the irony of the subject, since they're famous for supposedly doing so. And I don't know if Aiwass existed or not. That's part of the 'agnostic' attitude i have, which you've conveniently ignored.

"Los" wrote:
Personally, I think you’re doing yourself a great disservice by accepting these claims for really flimsy reasons. But at least you have a rich fantasy life.

Again, I was there, you were not. Go do an actual Enochian evocation with an open mind and see what happens. Or stay in your armchair and keep up your pedantry that accomplishes nothing but repeating what any college-educated person already knows.

"Los" wrote:
"threefold31" wrote:
You will surely write this off as a coincidence, but I have no doubt that my evocation was involved in bringing about that storm

No doubt, eh? Crowley had a few things to say about doubt, if I recall correctly....

But there is no way to prove that my evocation did NOT cause the rainfall. And this was my main point. There was a synchronicity between my intent and the occurrence of rain. That's all we can say about it.

You're contradicting yourself. Above you said you have "no doubt" that your ritual caused the storm. Now you're trying to present this soft front of "all we can say" is that you had an intent to make rain and then it rained.

No, I'm not contradicting myself. This is your typical inability to read English. I have no doubt in my mind about what happened in the desert. But at the same time I realize that objectively, all one can say is that these events happened. You apparently are unable to see that one can switch between subjective and objective statements. You misinterpret what people say so, which is what makes it so tiresome to try having any dialogue with you.

The above examples are precisely why I refused to rebut your last bunch of points, (to a post that wasn't addressed to you in the first place). You make way too many assumptions about what's being communicated. So I'll let you have the last word here - refute everything I said above, (as is your won't) and rest assured you're right about it all. I'm too busy to respond again to the same old stuff you've posted a hundred times. I get it - you don't believe in 'spooks'. And if you think I'm trying to convince you otherwise, then you're not reading the post correctly.

Litlluw
RLG


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Los
 Los
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"threefold31" wrote:
I'm not asking you to believe it. I'm telling you what I believe.

Right, and I’m responding to what you say. That’s how a conversation works.

My response is that, based on the evidence you've mentioned, *nobody* has any reason to think that your ritual caused a storm, *including* you.

Now, there are a few ways you could respond. You could try to show why you think the evidence you mention *is* sufficient evidence for someone to think the ritual caused the storm, you could make a case for why you think it’s okay for someone to accept claims without sufficient evidence, or you could cease the conversation.

You want to cease the conversation, and I suspect it’s because you have no adequate response.

And I told you that I don't think anything supernatural is scientific

Yes, you told me that. And I responded to you by showing that while the “supernatural” itself might not be testable, the supposed *effects* of the supernatural actually *would* be testable, if they actually exist and are not just a product of your overactive imagination.

Rather than responding to my challenge to your point, you’ve elected to just keep repeating your point and hope that nobody notices.

That's part of the 'agnostic' attitude i have, which you've conveniently ignored.

You’re not an agnostic when it comes to the supernatural. You’re on record as saying that you have “no doubt” that your ritual was involved in making it rain.

Claiming that you’re an “agnostic” is a silly device that you’re using to guard your unsubstantiated beliefs from scrutiny. As if saying “I’m an agnostic!” means that nobody is allowed to call you on your flimsy beliefs.

Go do an actual Enochian evocation with an open mind and see what happens.

What makes you think I haven’t? Look who's making assumptions now.

No, I'm not contradicting myself. This is your typical inability to read English. I have no doubt in my mind about what happened in the desert.

That’s not what you said. You said you have no doubt that your ritual was involved in making it rain. Now you’re desperately trying to backpedal and make it sound like what you were saying was “I have no doubt that I did the ritual and then shortly thereafter it rained, which it might have done because of my ritual but which it might have also done anyway even if I didn’t do a ritual because rain is a thing that sometimes happens.”

Now maybe you *meant* something like that and you misspoke, but that’s hardly my fault.

So I'll let you have the last word here - refute everything I said above, (as is your won't) and rest assured you're right about it all.

Thanks, I will. 


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belmurru
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"arthuremerson" wrote:
I did some searching myself and found that Lang did write a parody of Müller's method. Not the one I attributed to him, however. It can be found in Lang's work In the Wrong Paradise, here, under the title The Great Gladstone Myth. It is really quite a humorous parody. Curious that Lang's and Littledale's parodies have become confused: I've come across a few sources that take this confused attribution for granted (no citation or source is given), hence my own confusion. It seems that somewhere along the line it was taken for granted the Lang's parody was Littledale's.

Thanks. I see that Lang's parody was published in 1886, so right on the heels, more or less, of Littledale's. I can see how confusion could have arisen, given that the method is a pardoy of Müller's Comparative Mythology in both cases, and Lang is famously associated with Müller's name.

I like how it is included in the Science Fiction genre in some search results. It is set in the "post-Christian" era, and mentions the "ruins of London", etc. It was Gladstone's third term as Prime Minister (he would even go on to serve a fourth), so I'll guess it was topical - "What - him again?", and it seemed like he had been there forever (he had), so he did, from that perspective, seem likely to become one of the best-known names in the distant future. Perhaps there is a further jab, but I have no idea of Lang's politics.

One thing that came to mind reading it was the factoid that two of the plaques left by the six lunar missions that landed bear the name and signature of "Richard Nixon / President, United States of America" (Apollos XI and XVII (first and last, 1969-1972); the other plaques bear the names of the three astronauts in the Command and Landing modules as well, with the title "Astronaut"). On some show I was watching it was pointed out that, since those plaques will probably remain undisturbed for hundreds of thousands if not millions of years, should humans never again set foot on the Moon, and we one day go extinct, a future race of space explorers (they could still be terrestrial, I guess), coming across these plaques, will have good reason to assume that Richard Nixon was one of the most important people who ever lived. The astronauts change, but the "President" remains the same (assuming they could decipher the symbols on the plaques and the language, etc.).

"belmurru" wrote:
Littledale was a solid and entertaining scholar, btw. His Commentary on the Song of Songs from Ancient and Mediaeval Sources (1869, a year before he wrote on Müller) is delightful; it shows how well acquainted he was with the allegorical mode of thought.

I'll need to have a look at that. Merci beaucoup.

If you like the Shir HaShirim as much as I do, you'll really like it. Marvin Pope, in his excellent commentary (I would say essential) on the Song (Anchor Bible series, 1977; it has its idiosyncracies, but students of Crowley have no problem with that, and in the case of Pope's Song, his emphasis on explicit sex is something he would have appreciated), cites Littledale a lot, as well as other sources normally neglected by commentators.  Of course the best translation/edition remains, in my view, that of Ariel and Channah Bloch, The Song of Songs (1995), which includes a facing page Hebrew-English edition (with pointed Hebrew, large enough for even my eyes), along with commentary and notes that are very valuable.


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the_real_simon_iff
(@the_real_simon_iff)
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Posts: 1955
 

david, 93

"david" wrote:
I recommend you read the intro to Magick in Theory and Practice  http://hermetic.com/crowley/book-4/defs.html it's oozes scientific scepticism. What can I say? I respectfully ask you to remove the blinkers before doing so.

What can you say? What can you say? That's easy. The man who wrote stuff "that oozes scientific scepticism" repeatedly stated his belief in supernatural powers. And why not? His concern was the true will and not the evidence or absence of evidence for anything supernatural. Take YOUR blinkers off and recognize Crowley the occultist, the life-long believer in supernatural powers. And then? Nothing has changed! Thelema is about following your true will and not about scientifically accepted proof of supernatural powers. If it was, the "inventor" of Thelema was a moron and it would be quite foolish to quote that moron again and again.

I ask you repectfully to read all of Crowley not just the stuff you like and think you interpret correctly. Maybe you are right about the supernatural, maybe Crowley was right, it doesn't matter. The true will is what matters.

If you think otherwise I think you are wrong.

Love=Law
Lutz


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arthuremerson
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It seems self-evident that David has read very little of Crowley, not without viewing it through the lens of Hessle and Los anyway.


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Anonymous
 Anonymous
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"arthuremerson" wrote:
It seems self-evident that David has read very little of Crowley, not without viewing it through the lens of Hessle and Los anyway.

argumentum ad hominem


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arthuremerson
(@arthuremerson)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 157
 
"belmurru" wrote:
Thanks. I see that Lang's parody was published in 1886, so right on the heels, more or less, of Littledale's. I can see how confusion could have arisen, given that the method is a pardoy of Müller's Comparative Mythology in both cases, and Lang is famously associated with Müller's name.

Indeed. Insightful as always.

"belmurru" wrote:
If you like the Shir HaShirim as much as I do, you'll really like it. Marvin Pope, in his excellent commentary (I would say essential) on the Song (Anchor Bible series, 1977; it has its idiosyncracies, but students of Crowley have no problem with that, and in the case of Pope's Song, his emphasis on explicit sex is something he would have appreciated), cites Littledale a lot, as well as other sources normally neglected by commentators.  Of course the best translation/edition remains, in my view, that of Ariel and Channah Bloch, The Song of Songs (1995), which includes a facing page Hebrew-English edition (with pointed Hebrew, large enough for even my eyes), along with commentary and notes that are very valuable.

I've put these on order, and am keen to have a look. Much appreciated.


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arthuremerson
(@arthuremerson)
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Posts: 157
 
"david" wrote:
"arthuremerson" wrote:
It seems self-evident that David has read very little of Crowley, not without viewing it through the lens of Hessle and Los anyway.

argumentum ad hominem

Dear me, what an absolute fool I've made of myself.


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Anonymous
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"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
david, 93

"david" wrote:
I recommend you read the intro to Magick in Theory and Practice  http://hermetic.com/crowley/book-4/defs.html it's oozes scientific scepticism. What can I say? I respectfully ask you to remove the blinkers before doing so.

What can you say? What can you say? That's easy. The man who wrote stuff "that oozes scientific scepticism" repeatedly stated his belief in supernatural powers. And why not? His concern was the true will and not the evidence or absence of evidence for anything supernatural.

For sure, the true will was the crux of it I think you and I agree on that. In the commentary to Liber Al for example it's mainly about conduct and environment. 

I, unlike you, view a lot of Crowley's supernaturalist statements as part of his contradictory, controversial egoism y'know the way e.g. the Jagger character says in the movie, "Performance", "I don't like music!!".  It's absurd it's anarchic and most of all it's downright silly.  Anyone who took the wacky statements seriously was being laughed at, by Crowley  imo.  Then again maybe he genuinely lapsed for purposes of suspension of disbelief now and again we don't know.  Like I said I recommend you read the intro to Magick in Theory and Practice  http://hermetic.com/crowley/book-4/defs.html it oozes scientific scepticism for me apart from the wacko bit about ecstatically identifying with the Beast 666 as a child.    Then again, "identifying with" it is not the same as, "actually being" it as any actor will tell you.

Let me explain in a few words how it came about that I blazoned the word MAGICK  upon the Banner that I have borne before me all my life.  Before I touched my teens, I was already aware that I was THE BEAST whose number is 666. I did not understand in the least {XI} what that implied; it was a passionately ecstatic sense of identity


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