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Is there a difference between magical initiation and psychotherapy?  

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jamie barter
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05/02/2015 8:36 pm  

Briefly I think what I was trying to say was that it is all is a part of the process needed to ”Know Thyself” and evolve and progress.  While we are incarnated in a physical mind-body it makes sense to make it as efficient as possible as it comes part of the whole package, and which should have nothing at all to do with the pretty and tidy respectable expectations of society.

N Joy


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Anonymous
 Anonymous
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06/02/2015 12:21 am  
"Tao" wrote:
. If david's hammering home of the aversion therapy side of Crowley's system shows us anything, it should be that any and all judgements are relative, should it not? That evil, as he puts it in De Lege Libellum, is a relative and not an absolute term, dependent on our own individual path through life (or true will). .

If the ego is meant to be transcended, is it really necessary to make it pretty and tidy and publicly presentable?

There are zen masters who treat their students like shit, thwacking them on the head with a cane and the like.  Likewise, Gurdjieff once stormed into his student's bedroom in the dead of night and demanded that he go out into the garden and start digging.  I think it was Ouspensky, who said it he was full of utter resentment but soon as he dug in he felt an amazing strength and vitality. 

I mean it's down to our own discernment to work this out.  Where does the line between bully and guru get drawn?  Who cares.  Do the work and see if you yourself turn into a no good shit.


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Azidonis
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06/02/2015 1:56 am  
"david" wrote:
There are zen masters who treat their students like shit, thwacking them on the head with a cane and the like.

Just a note: This is not standard practice.

In the standard practice, the Zen Master (or other meditation attendant) uses a stick called a Keisaku, the Awakening Stick, which could probably be equivalent to the Scourge (you didn't think it was just a Temple ornament, did you?), the Wand, or other symbols. The purpose of the stick is to help the monks stay awake during very long meditation spans (very many hours/days). The monks and nuns even ask for it if they know they are falling asleep. They will raise a hand or make some body motion to let the attendant know if they need to be slapped with the stick.

I should say though, that if a legitimate Zen Master hits someone over the head with a stick, that someone must really deserve it!


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William Thirteen
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06/02/2015 6:59 am  

if a legitimate Zen Master hits someone over the head with a stick, that someone must really deserve it!

No One is Innocent!


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jamie barter
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06/02/2015 12:45 pm  

I was looking over my earlier reply tao, to see if there was anything more I needed to add as I didn’t have very much time when I first wrote it, but I think that it did briefly cover all what I wanted to say except possibly with regard to

"Tao" wrote:
[...] Without necessarily extending this judgment to the Hirsig/Crowley relationship, I have found that women (and, I suppose, men) in this particular position tend to provide the least trustworthy accounts of the true psychology of their magical mates.

It certainly wasn't only Leah who had a negative opinion of A.C.’s mundane personality as other women saw fit to similarly slag him off too, for whatever reason.  And men too, astonishingly enough (as you reluctantly(?) added there, ‘I suppose’ !)  One of the questions I was raising was, could the reason for this have been nothing to do with whatever work A.C. might have done on his personality and subconscious (and although he didn’t do pseudo-modern day psychological practices, it is fair to consider he probably covered much of the same ground in his own practices e.g. deep meditation) – and that he may have carried this out entirely satisfactorily and with great success – the “mask” in which he was “hidden” by Aiwass (according to Liber AL II:53) will have generated an interference-field which prevented anyone, without exceptions, from seeing “the real Aleister” – the fact of it being a mask of sorrow suggests that to onlookers on occasion he would appear sorrowful in the sense of being conscious that he was not in alignment with the Great Work and in effect not following his true will.  I contend also that this perception might also incorporate the sensation of his being a “no good shit” and similar realisations distinct from, but as a phenomenon not unrelated to, the well-known ‘vision of the demon Crowley’ (and while ‘contending’, this is not to say that I necessarily believe in this myself: I am just putting it forward as a possible option for possible debate purposes.)

"Azidonis" wrote:
[...] The purpose of the stick is to help the monks stay awake during very long meditation spans (very many hours/days). The monks and nuns even ask for it if they know they are falling asleep. They will raise a hand or make some body motion to let the attendant know if they need to be slapped with the stick.

How about if they were to gradually keel over?  That would save them having to raise their hand while at the same time being a good sign that they are about to literally fall asleep!  (Though surely the action of raising one’s hand or making “some body motion” would in itself be sufficient to momentarily rouse the monk’s organism)

"WilliamThirteen" wrote:

if a legitimate Zen Master hits someone over the head with a stick, that someone must really deserve it!

No One is Innocent!

Wasn’t there some koan somewhere along the Way which involved the guru or master clobbering the chela over the head with a stick – or in the variation I heard, a rock, to prove that everything is an illusion?  (I wonder whether tourists can purchase these keisaku sticks these days from the relevant ashrams and gift shops in the exotic East.)

N Joy


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 Anonymous
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06/02/2015 2:42 pm  

Please excuse me for being very late on this. But I was rather miffed to find that the thread was all of a sudden closed before I could reply to a rather pathetically flippant and meaningless reply to my last comment. I now find the thread is “opened by request”. Seems all a bit wyrd to me, but obviously there is an hierarchy of  requesters, or maybe I was simply stupid enough to believe that the closed means closed.
Anyway. Mr Shiva is still obviously smarting from the comment I made many moons ago about the status of the word Doctor in society. As I see he has been hunting my posts for chances to ridicule ever since. Yes I know, how the truth can burn 🙂
Now he resorts to belittling tactics. Of course he will say he cares nothing at all for all this.
“Is there a difference between magical initiation and psychotherapy”
The more I read this question the more silly it seems. And the more obvious the reply, yes!
If you have a physical pain of some kind where do you go. Well in the western world, as it is, you go to the doctors, not talking about you here Mr Shiva :). But of course you need not do this. You can instead go see the local shaman. If you are lucky, the local shaman at some point in his long heritage will have chanced upon a cure that actually works in the physical, beyond the mythology, ritual and belief structure to which he adheres, and to which you will have to subscribe to gain any psychological benefit from.  Some things work in reality. If I hit you with a baseball bat in the head it will hurt, knock you out, kill you, depending on the force applied. These things are fairly certain. If I go to the local Shaman, sans any kind of belief in his system or rituals, I will only be cured if, like a baseball bat to the head, there is something “real” in the process. Psychotherapy is a mess, and gets messier the more the practitioners get involved in retrograde ideas. But it at least attempts to offer a clean solution devoid of narrow belief systems. In this it is different to magical initiation, which immediately leads one down the path of acceptance of  a whole shed full of the wyrd and wonderful ideas, which may even add to the problems before ever beginning to do any good. Yes there is a huge difference.


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Shiva
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06/02/2015 3:08 pm  
"Baal" wrote:
As I see he [Shiva] has been hunting my posts for chances to ridicule ever since.

It's not paranoia if they're really after you.
On the other hand, if they're not really "hunting my posts" then it must be paranoia.
See a doctor, please, at your earliest opportunity.


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jamie barter
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06/02/2015 5:40 pm  

Baal, following on from your attempted savaging of neuneubergOuch2 in Reply #50 and general crankiness as well, I hereby nominate you as the new Forum “Grouchpot of the Month”.  (Well, for a far longer period than the month, actually!)

Stand by to collect your sash and crown…

N Joy


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Tao
 Tao
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06/02/2015 8:17 pm  
"jamie barter" wrote:
And men too, astonishingly enough (as you reluctantly(?) added there, ‘I suppose’ !)

Not reluctantly. Simply that I have no experience with Lady Leaders of Magical Orders and the Scarlet Hombres Who Adore Them from which to deduce any similarly generalised judgment of their comparative lack of psychoanalytic neutrality.

As for the rest, we appear to have landed ourselves in a fleeting moment of harmony, balanced ever so precariously on a fulcrum of supposition, which seems an excellent place to leave things as I head out for a bit of an extended holiday to ye olde exotick East. I'm sure that, on my return, I will pour over whatever develops in this thread in hopes of discovering any direction toward that elusive Alan Watts biography which appears to have slipped through the cracks (and, tangentially, to see if the opening question ever manages to justify itself).

If I happen upon any tourist-marketed keisaku, be assured that I will think fondly of you all.

TTFN


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Anonymous
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06/02/2015 11:41 pm  
"Tao" wrote:
I'm sure that, on my return, I will pour over whatever develops in this thread in hopes of discovering any direction toward that elusive Alan Watts biography which appears to have slipped through the cracks (and, tangentially, to see if the opening question ever manages to justify itself).

It's no longer in my local library.  It was the one which has a photo of him as a little boy sitting on his mother's knee.  He described her as not your typical Victorian wife as she was more drawn to things like Oriental carpets.  He described a friend of his who dabbled with ceremonial magic but awoke one night intimidated by an "evil force" and was so scared he soon converted to Catholicism.  He also describes his first girlfriend how he used to kiss her whilst she sat on his knee every night before he would rush for the last train home.  I'm still trying to figure out the title.  I hope it's not out of print. 


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jamie barter
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07/02/2015 12:24 pm  

I feel I should really have posted some sort of a feedback response to your actual posting as well, Baal.

"Baal" wrote:
Please excuse me for being very late on this. But I was rather miffed to find that the thread was all of a sudden closed before I could reply to a rather pathetically flippant and meaningless reply to my last comment. I now find the thread is “opened by request”. Seems all a bit wyrd to me,

What you’ve never heard of “opened by request” before?

"Baal" wrote:
but obviously there is an hierarchy of  requesters,

Not obvious to me.  But then I have to declare an interest as being one of the two main requesters, and I don’t think the was a hierarchy between us (or if there was, it didn’t get in the way).

You, I believe, with your grouchy and ornery observations, were probably the single most likely main reason why the thread was closed to begin with.  But you were “miffed”!  Sacrebleu, monsieur!

"Baal" wrote:
or maybe I was simply stupid enough to believe that the closed means closed.

There’s closed and there’s closed, dear baal, the same as there’s VIP and VIP.

"Baal" wrote:
Anyway. Mr Shiva is still obviously smarting from the comment I made many moons ago about the status of the word Doctor in society. As I see he has been hunting my posts for chances to ridicule ever since. Yes I know, how the truth can burn
Now he resorts to belittling tactics. Of course he will say he cares nothing at all for all this.

Are you inferring Shiva is or was a practicing MD?  Or just a pseudo-, ersatz western oriental doctor, perhaps.  The former might explain his desire for anonymity perhaps.

But I suppose this would come under his own “personal business”? 😮 ???

"Baal" wrote:
“Is there a difference between magical initiation and psychotherapy”
The more I read this question the more silly it seems. And the more obvious the reply, yes!

I believe that is the universal consensus

"Baal" wrote:
If you have a physical pain of some kind where do you go.

Er, the lavatory?  The medicine cabinet?  Lourdes?

"Baal" wrote:
Well in the western world, as it is, you go to the doctors, not talking about you here Mr Shiva 🙂

Oho!  I think that’s clear by now! (See supra)

"Baal" wrote:
But of course you need not do this. You can instead go see the local shaman. If you are lucky, the local shaman at some point in his long heritage will have chanced upon a cure that actually works in the physical, beyond the mythology, ritual and belief structure to which he adheres, and to which you will have to subscribe to gain any psychological benefit from.  Some things work in reality.

That’s the hard sell!

"Baal" wrote:
If I hit you with a baseball bat in the head it will hurt, knock you out, kill you, depending on the force applied. These things are fairly certain. If I go to the local Shaman, sans any kind of belief in his system or rituals, I will only be cured if, like a baseball bat to the head, there is something “real” in the process.

True!

"Baal" wrote:
Psychotherapy is a mess, and gets messier the more the practitioners get involved in retrograde ideas. But it at least attempts to offer a clean solution devoid of narrow belief systems.

No it doesn’t!  What about the Oedipus Complex, the Elektra complex, the id, the superego, Jung’s of archetypes and the collective unconscious …? These are all psychology-based belief systems.

"Baal" wrote:
In this it is different to magical initiation, which immediately leads one down the path of acceptance of  a whole shed full of the wyrd and wonderful ideas, which may even add to the problems before ever beginning to do any good. Yes there is a huge difference.

Yup!

"Shiva" wrote:
"Baal" wrote:
As I see he [Shiva] has been hunting my posts for chances to ridicule ever since.

It's not paranoia if they're really after you.

And of course just because you are paranoid it doesn’t mean to say they’re not really out to get you at all.

I thought I would add that point of reassurance there, for the benefit of those who might not yet realize it.

Savour the weekend!
N Joy


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 Anonymous
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07/02/2015 1:50 pm  

Its strange really. I suddenly find myself at a time ( my demented father having just recently been committed to a home) with nothing left to entertain me but to go fishing. I always hated fishing. What a pointless endeavour I had always thought, and still do. But at such a time it is interesting to see what bait attracts which fish. It is also interesting to make oneself  into a clown, a fool, a jester, to see those who will follow one’s merry dance. And I have to say, the line by line dissection of a meaningless post must surly highlight the obsessive nature of the poster. Cuts the line and throws rod into the river.


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Shiva
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07/02/2015 2:37 pm  
"Baal" wrote:
... the line by line dissection of a meaningless post must surly highlight the obsessive nature of the poster.

Warning. Meaningless posts may lead to premoderation.

Let's stop making meaningless posts and return to the initiation vs psychotherapy subject without being surly >:(


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jamie barter
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08/02/2015 2:55 pm  
"Shiva" wrote:
Let's stop making meaningless posts and return to the initiation vs psychotherapy subject without being surly >:(

This is shirley so: ;D

Casting angling rods and fishing devices aside and therefore returning to the meat which may lie behind the original thread, no one seems to have come back to the issue of whether one can be a master, or at least an adept, not having addressed one’s subconscious fears, phobias, nervous tics and all sorts that would affect the magician’s total consciousness, which I argued far from being unimportant would come under the heading of “not holding back one particle of dust” (in the sense of such psychological issues not having been dealt with). It seems we are somehow not meant to take this into account with regard to A.C. himself –whether it was because he was meant to be such a great master, the Logos of the Aeon, and the holy chosen Prophet & all that I don’t know.  Can a master be someone who although having experienced exalted states such as samdhi etc still be subject to the drives of some of their baser emotions as A.C. sometimes appeared to have been, for example?  Or jump a mile in reaction if they see a spider, maybe?
 
There is also the aspect which could also be brought out concerning around  the “farfetched notion” related to Liber AL II:53 (“[…] But I will hide thee in a mask of sorrow: they that see thee shall fear thou art fallen: but I lift thee up.”) – that nobody was able to see (the personality of) "the real A.C." in any case since it was apparently deliberately obscured through the active agency of Aiwass (however we choose to interpret that).

Similarly not having been discussed that much is the aspect of the need to be balanced in terms of the (psychological work of the) 5 Elements or Tattvas first before being capable of carrying out the KCHGA and presenting oneself as a fit vessel, as a “Virgin” to Adonai the Bridegroom (as Liber LXV avers, for example.)

N Joy


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Anonymous
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16/02/2015 11:40 pm  
"jamie barter" wrote:
Similarly not having been discussed that much is the aspect of the need to be balanced in terms of the (psychological work of the) 5 Elements or Tattvas first before being capable of carrying out the KCHGA and presenting oneself as a fit vessel, as a “Virgin” to Adonai the Bridegroom (as Liber LXV avers, for example.)

Yes that was interesting.  Either a yawning disinterest from people yearning for more loftier discourse or some sort of subconscious censoring.  In short a tabu.


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Michael Staley
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16/02/2015 11:50 pm  

How is a "yawning disinterest" a "tabu"?


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Anonymous
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17/02/2015 12:07 am  
"Michael Staley" wrote:
How is a "yawning disinterest" a "tabu"?

It isn't.  Subconscious censoring is. 


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Azidonis
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17/02/2015 12:45 am  
"david" wrote:
"Michael Staley" wrote:
How is a "yawning disinterest" a "tabu"?

It isn't.  Subconscious censoring is. 

Now he can see into your 'subconscious'! ::)


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 Anonymous
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17/02/2015 4:08 pm  

After a magical initiation the adept could get access to a so called egregore belonging to the tradition initiated, some claim.

While psychiatrists adress matters to the subconscious (monotheistic), cults often adress matters to a self pantheon of daimons or gods (polytheistic).

It would be interesting to know how these approaches differs psychologically (effectively) and what's most beneficial for general psychological health. Psychics have greater association radius than a ordinary persons, and as we know sigils are used as a means, as a method to associate with. I suppose they could be used to get access to parts of a cult's egregore for instance also, which of course goes beyond psychology (hypnotism also plays a part of many Goetia practitioners, concepts like egregores on the other hand are absent). For the ordinary person I would suppose that ordinary self-hypnotism adressed to the sub-conscious: "I like to read", "I want to read every day" would be as beneficial as the method of adressing sigilised daimons (thoughtforms)?  What's your experiences?

Today it should be possible to measure what method activates the subconscious mind strongest, at least the activity in the sub-conscious part of the brain.


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 Anonymous
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17/02/2015 4:43 pm  

Correction: DELETE "...concepts like egregores on the other hand are absent"


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