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Azidonis
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08/01/2012 4:07 am  

93,

Hypothesis: Fear is a reaction caused by a misunderstanding of the relationship between one's Self and the feared object.

Discussion is welcome, the floor is open. "How is this relevant to the life and legacy of Aleister Crowley?" How is it not relevant?

Please note also that I have placed this thread into the "Magick" Forum, not the "Thelema" Forum.

93 93/93


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Los
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08/01/2012 6:53 am  
"Azidonis" wrote:
Hypothesis: Fear is a reaction caused by a misunderstanding of the relationship between one's Self and the feared object.

Sometimes it is. A lot of fear is caused by individuals reacting not to the actual feared object but instead to their mistaken idea of it.

A good example of this might be taking a test, going on a job interview, speaking in public, meeting someone for the first time, going on a blind date, getting called into your boss' office, etc. None of those things is even slightly cause for being afraid. Take public speaking, for example: it's no different, in principle, than telling a group of friends about one's recent vacation. That one might be speaking about a more "formal" subject, that one might be speaking to a larger group of almost entirely strangers, that one might practice the speech ahead of time -- those things are accidents, not essence. The point is: public speaking, just like talking to a group of friends, is one person speaking loudly enough so that everyone can hear. That's all it is: it's the fear -- a subjective, internal sense -- that makes one perceive all kinds of things that aren't out there in the world. One starts imagining what members of the audience might be thinking, one begins to fear what will happen if one's voice cracks or if one has a coughing fit, one has nightmares about one's pants falling down, one thinks the throat may go dry quickly, one feels like the audience is bored or laughing.

In short, one invents a host of unreal "problems" that just aren't really there: they're just in the mind. Incidentally, if you look at the other thread ("atheist question"), there's a discussion going on where I'm trying to demonstrate to Kidneyhawk the importance of acknowledging that there's a world outside of one's head. Here's a practical example of the usefulness of such a concept.

However, there are other cases where a fear is quite justified. If one were to be involved in an accident or otherwise wind up in an authentically dangerous situation, one might very well feel an appropriate amount of fear.

There are two things to remember about fear:
1) Fear adds nothing to the situation. If one has to, say, escape a burning building, one's fear doesn't change the actual things that one has to do in that situation -- focusing on the fear is only going to distract.
2) Fear is often perfectly normal and nothing to be ashamed of. The problem with the whole "Fear is failure and the forerunner of failure" stuff...or even the way you've framed it above, Azidonis, (fear as "misunderstanding") carries with it the implication that fear is somehow wrong and that one shouldn't feel fear or just be able to shake it off instantly. These ideas -- which are often unconsciously absorbed by people in our culture -- can lead to people feeling guilt for perfectly natural emotions.

Here's the proper, magical approach to handling fear: acknowledge it and put it in its proper place. If one is afraid, observe the fear -- don't judge it, just observe it -- but also observe its limits and its potential for distracting and producing false perceptions.

For example, if one has to make a big speech before a large audience, one must acknowledge that one feels fear (if one does, that is). However, having recognized it, one must also recognize its limits: fear is something the mind does to itself, that produces phantoms in the mind, not in the Self. While the Self can experience fear, the Self -- in itself -- is not "afraid," any more than my Self is a rainstorm when I perceive rain outside my window.

In truth, there's no reason to be afraid of speaking a bunch of sentences out loud. From the perspective of the universe, one's little speech -- and the attending fear that one may feel -- is comically (and cosmically) trivial and insignificant. And while one has to put up with feeling a little bit of fear, one quickly learns that fear doesn't actually stop one from doing anything (unless, of course, one grants more credit to the emotions than they deserve and conceives of them as having more importance than they actually do).


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kidneyhawk
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08/01/2012 7:06 am  

I'm trying to demonstrate to Kidneyhawk the importance of acknowledging that there's a world outside of one's head.

There is not a "world outside of one's head."

There is a WORLD.

Or if you prefer, a Rhinoceros.


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Los
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08/01/2012 7:17 am  
"kidneyhawk" wrote:
There is not a "world outside of one's head."

So, to use the example of public speaking that I was using above, you would deny that one's fear can cause one to perceive things that are not actually there?


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kidneyhawk
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08/01/2012 7:21 am  

So, to use the example of public speaking that I was using above, you would deny that one's fear can cause one to perceive things that are not actually there?

Fear is clearly "there." The phantoms it calls up are also there. Do we require "evidence?" The shit stain in my boxers should serve nicely. 

The question is WHY is it present and WHAT can be done with it? 


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Los
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08/01/2012 7:29 am  
"kidneyhawk" wrote:
Fear is clearly "there." The phantoms it calls up are also there.

Yes, of course. But the question is whether these phantoms correspond to the world outside of the speaker's head.

I'm saying that the typical fears a public speaker experiences don't really correspond to anything outside of his head, that it's his subjective (and wrong) idea that the speech is somehow more "important" than his chat with his friends that causes him undue stress and that may ultimately lead to problems in the manifestation of his will (assuming that it's his will to make the speech).

In other words, the model I've offered is predicated on one being capable of distinguishing between something that's just in one's head and something that's "out there." It sounds like you're trying to efface the difference, which would render the model I'm proposing totally useless.


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kidneyhawk
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08/01/2012 7:40 am  

It sounds like you're trying to efface the difference, which would render the model I'm proposing totally useless.

Every Number is Infinite, Los. There's NO difference.

Still we differentiate between 2+2 and 2+3.

Why?

Because it works for us.

And what is this "US" but our Will and its energetic movement towards expression? 

That "audience?"

My "fantasy" says they are all sneering at me-and I don't want them to-and this makes me "nervous." And then I rise above this fantasy-and I deliver my speech outside of this idea. My speech is killer. And turns out the fools WERE sneering at me.

Action was determined by Mind-and Mind was moved by Will.

My speech rocked.

Fuck them. At least someone will dig it on the recording.


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Azidonis
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08/01/2012 7:48 am  
"Los" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
Hypothesis: Fear is a reaction caused by a misunderstanding of the relationship between one's Self and the feared object.

Sometimes it is. A lot of fear is caused by individuals reacting not to the actual feared object but instead to their mistaken idea of it.

Pretty much thought that part of it was included in the "misunderstanding of the relationship between [subject] and [object]" part.


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Los
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08/01/2012 7:51 am  
"kidneyhawk" wrote:
Every Number is Infinite, Los. There's NO difference.

That's not what the verse means. It's not saying that everything is identical: it's saying the opposite. Everything is unique, such that comparisons cannot be drawn.

For example, a laptop isn't "better" or "worse" than a thumb tack, objectively speaking. However, if we are given a certain context -- say, a desire to log on to the internet -- then the laptop is better in that context and that context only.

Similarly, our models are each different. Objectively speaking, one's not "better" than the other. However, given a particular context -- say, dealing with the emotion of fear -- one of them might indeed be better than then other.

My "fantasy" says they are all sneering at me-and I don't want them to-and this makes me "nervous." And then I rise above this fantasy-and I deliver my speech outside of this idea. My speech is killer. And turns out the fools WERE sneering at me.

Action was determined by Mind-and Mind was moved by Will.

My speech rocked.

Fuck them. At least someone will dig it on the recording.

And that's the other way of approaching the whole thing: talk yourself into thinking that you're this big-bad speech-maker who will conquer all.

The problem with that method, as I see it, is that it involves deliberately fooling yourself and overlooking actual facts -- including the fact that you're afraid and that the fear isn't justified -- which might work as a short-term strategy for handling problems, but in the long-term isn't conducive to dealing with reality on its own terms. Eventually, keeping up a mirror-show of illusions like that will bite you in the ass.


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kidneyhawk
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08/01/2012 8:23 am  

And that's the other way of approaching the whole thing: talk yourself into thinking that you're this big-bad speech-maker who will conquer all.

No-you're rocking over to a dualistic contrary.

What happens when I eliminate fear by seeing through the illusion I projected? What happens when the vision that cuts through it is born of the Will?

I may still stutter and stumble...I don't know if they'll like me or laugh...I no longer care. I'm here-in a moment-and my delivery of this talk is an expression of what I am. I take joy in it. 

I've liberated myself from fear-but I can't really "see" into the "reality" of what my audience is thinking or feeling. The question is: is this Will expressing Itself through me? And how do I relate and adapt to it?

Again, I'm not in some impractical zone of pretend-land. I can recall giving talks in speech class when I was in high school-and being dead scared. I can also recall many other public speaking engagements down the line where the same fear was kicked out the door and the words delivered. I know the factors which changed in the interim.

These factors exist within the Mind and not the proposed "Objective Reality" conceived of as being outside of oneself. This, too, is within the Mind and being handled thereby-either in harmony or antagonism with the Will.

The Mind not only receives impressions but acts upon those impressions by virtue of an "internal source." This internal power also colors the manner in which impressions are received.

Change in dynamic here indicates something more than automatic response. 

You write;

"... it involves deliberately fooling yourself and overlooking actual facts -- including the fact that you're afraid and that the fear isn't justified -- which might work as a short-term strategy for handling problems, but in the long-term isn't conducive to dealing with reality on its own terms. Eventually, keeping up a mirror-show of illusions like that will bite you in the ass."

Any person who makes progress in overcoming stage fright will not think of it in terms of fooling oneself OR grasping the reality of the audience. They will have risen above both views into a space where their nature is free to flow, unencumbered by such concerns.

Any "fact" is appropriated to the Supremacy of Will (again, beyond Imagination or Reason-but utilizing both). 


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Azidonis
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08/01/2012 8:39 am  

In the case of "instantaneous fear" as in, "that thing scared the shit out of me", a misunderstanding of the relationship between subject and object still exists. If no misunderstanding existed in that relationship, there would be no cause for fear.

An example: You are sitting there reading this and a huge spider comes out of nowhere and begins crawling up your leg. Your reaction could be any number of things, but if that reaction is fear, the argument is that on some level, even a base instinctual one, there is a misunderstanding of the relationship between you and the spider.

Well, the spider is a black widow. You would do right to be afraid! However, it may be lost, or out on an excursion looking for food, and have no intention of hurting you. It may not even be aware you are alive somehow. So to just up and kill it, or to excite it into a rage making it want to attack you is probably not the ideal response. The ideal response would be to help the spider get off of you without harming either yourself or the spider (I know this doesn't happen in all cases, and I would probably just kill the spider to be honest, but that's not what this is about). With that understanding then, one is able to approach the situation in a way that does not include fear.

Please note that none of this is intended as an argument for or against fear. I personally think that fear is a necessary contributor to survival. But I also think that understanding one's fear, and understanding fear itself, is not only a requisite part of the Path, it's beneficial in everyday life.


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Shiva
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08/01/2012 5:18 pm  

Oriental Medicine makes a differentiation between fear and fright. "Fear" is when a person is in a state of apprehension and concern for their well-being. If he or she lives in Balylonia, er Baghdad, the apprehension is legimitate because it's based on car bombs and suiciders rampant in the immediate environment. If one is fearful because of a job interview, then this is more like "nervousness" or "lack of a positive self-image." In both cases (bombs and jobs), the fear can slow down (and even overwhelm) the candidate.

Here, look and see, even Coruscatio speaks of these matters:

Water - The element of Fear
"Fear is Failure and the forerunner of Failure !"
            - Golden Dawn Initiation Rite[/align:3569g23n]

"Of the five emotions, Fear is the most crippling. Fear is the "emotion" of the Water element. This is the Kidney energy that is "inherited" from the parents and the ancestors (including genetic linkages into "racial memory" and the collective unconscious). It is the governor of the nervous system, the source of the reproductive ability, and the repository of "reserve energy."

"Although common sense, caution and skepticism may be admirable in normal consciousness, once a situation stirs up an element of excessive Fear, the kidney will draw upon its "reserve energy" (known as adrenaline) and the entire wheel of life will be accelerated. In particular, the over-acting water element will "flood" the fire element, the Heart, and its "spirit," the Shen, consciousness itself, will be reduced to a smoldering bonfire.

"People in the grip of fear usually fail to perceive the situation accurately. At the same time, the excessive water element will resist the natural control of the earth element, "insulting" or reversing the flow of energy back upon the spleen, the stomach and the pancreas. Fearful people are rarely hungry and they can easily become nauseated.

"Their tone of voice will have a "groaning" quality. In extreme cases, the person will do nothing but moan and groan."

- Corascatio (c)2011 by Desert Star Temple[/align:3569g23n]

On the other hand, "Fright" occurs when the bomb actually goes off, or the boss takes out his baseball bat and starts swinging at you. Eek!

The military used to call it "shell-shocked." Now they call it "Post Traumatic Stress Disorder." General Patton slapped a soldier who was "shell-shocked." He got in trouble for that (did you see the movie?). But Patton (George C. Scott, channel) displayed the attitude of most successfl field commanders [who live]. He walked around as if nothing was happening, even though shrapnel was flying by his ear.

It's called "detachment." There is nothing to be fearful for - because the sense of self is lost in the action.


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Los
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08/01/2012 8:56 pm  
"kidneyhawk" wrote:
What happens when I eliminate fear by seeing through the illusion I projected?

While one might temporarily ignore one's feelings by focusing instead on a mental image, one hasn't actually "eliminated" the feeling -- one has temporarily repressed it in a way that I don't consider useful or healthy.

I may still stutter and stumble

Of course you may, especially now that you are -- whether consciously or not -- trying to live up to a new self-image you've invented for yourself. Sure, you'll tell yourself that you "don't care," but since you haven't actually "eliminated" the fear, it's going to be right there underlying everything you do.

If Thelema is the practice of discriminating between what one actually is and what one "fondly imagines [onself] to be," then it would be ridiculous to fondly imagine oneself to be such-and-such instead of listen to what one's Self is actually saying. If one is afraid, one must acknowlede this and put it in its proper perspective, not indulge in Khu-flattering fantasies.

I've liberated myself from fear

Or so you tell yourself.

but I can't really "see" into the "reality" of what my audience is thinking or feeling.

I'm not suggesting that one should be able to see what other people are thinking and feeling. One must simply be able to acknowledge that the speech isn't the be-all and end-all event that the mind wants to make it out to be: it's just a guy talking to other people. The more mental trash one clutters around that fact, the harder it's going to be to just do it.

One eliminates fear by actually doing it and gradually, over time, as one learns that one's fears are unfounded, the fear gradually diminishes (though it might not totally go away, and that's alright, too).


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Azidonis
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08/01/2012 10:08 pm  
"Shiva" wrote:
Oriental Medicine makes a differentiation between fear and fright. "Fear" is when a person is in a state of apprehension and concern for their well-being. If he or she lives in Balylonia, er Baghdad, the apprehension is legimitate because it's based on car bombs and suiciders rampant in the immediate environment. If one is fearful because of a job interview, then this is more like "nervousness" or "lack of a positive self-image." In both cases (bombs and jobs), the fear can slow down (and even overwhelm) the candidate.

Here, look and see, even Coruscatio speaks of these matters:

Water - The element of Fear
"Fear is Failure and the forerunner of Failure !"
            - Golden Dawn Initiation Rite[/align:16myrnb5]

"Of the five emotions, Fear is the most crippling. Fear is the "emotion" of the Water element. This is the Kidney energy that is "inherited" from the parents and the ancestors (including genetic linkages into "racial memory" and the collective unconscious). It is the governor of the nervous system, the source of the reproductive ability, and the repository of "reserve energy."

"Although common sense, caution and skepticism may be admirable in normal consciousness, once a situation stirs up an element of excessive Fear, the kidney will draw upon its "reserve energy" (known as adrenaline) and the entire wheel of life will be accelerated. In particular, the over-acting water element will "flood" the fire element, the Heart, and its "spirit," the Shen, consciousness itself, will be reduced to a smoldering bonfire.

"People in the grip of fear usually fail to perceive the situation accurately. At the same time, the excessive water element will resist the natural control of the earth element, "insulting" or reversing the flow of energy back upon the spleen, the stomach and the pancreas. Fearful people are rarely hungry and they can easily become nauseated.

"Their tone of voice will have a "groaning" quality. In extreme cases, the person will do nothing but moan and groan."

- Corascatio (c)2011 by Desert Star Temple[/align:16myrnb5]

On the other hand, "Fright" occurs when the bomb actually goes off, or the boss takes out his baseball bat and starts swinging at you. Eek!

The military used to call it "shell-shocked." Now they call it "Post Traumatic Stress Disorder." General Patton slapped a soldier who was "shell-shocked." He got in trouble for that (did you see the movie?). But Patton (George C. Scott, channel) displayed the attitude of most successfl field commanders [who live]. He walked around as if nothing was happening, even though shrapnel was flying by his ear.

It's called "detachment." There is nothing to be fearful for - because the sense of self is lost in the action.

Wonderful words, Shiva, as always. Thanks for the input. Do you think that the statement outlined in bold coincides with the original hypothesis of the thread? Do you think either, or both, statement(s) accurately describe the cause of fear within the individual, or do you think it's generally more complicated than that?

Odd as it sounds, and hard as it seems, the attempt was to look into the cause that triggers fear in the individual. I like the distinction you made between fear and fright, the pointing to the kidney as a sort of activator for the fear/fright response, and water being it's element of choice. This makes even more sense considering the natures of Geburah, Chesed and Da'ath, it would seem.

Edit: Soon, I will have my own copy of Coruscatio to ponder over while pondering.


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Shiva
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09/01/2012 2:47 am  

Hypothesis: Fear is a reaction caused by a misunderstanding of the relationship between one's Self and the feared object.

Probably, yes. Fear (Water) douses and overwhelms Clear Consciousness (Fire).

With "one's Self" as part of the equation, we are doomed into a misunderstanding, automatically.


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Azidonis
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09/01/2012 3:12 am  
"Shiva" wrote:
Hypothesis: Fear is a reaction caused by a misunderstanding of the relationship between one's Self and the feared object.

Probably, yes. Fear (Water) douses and overwhelms Clear Consciousness (Fire).

With "one's Self" as part of the equation, we are doomed into a misunderstanding, automatically.

Perhaps the word "Subject" fits better there. Although one would have to consider any subject and any object, and I'm not positive that all subjects are capable of the reaction we call fear.


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Shiva
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09/01/2012 5:06 am  

"When one is one with the Tao, the tiger's claws cannot hurt him, for there is nothing to grasp."

When one is not one with the Tao, one is one's self. That self-aware self is operating in a vehicle that has aeons of genetic programming. Everybody's got a special animal: Snakes, spiders, moray eels, etc. So either that animal appears, or one gets to teetering on a cliff-edge in their car. Then what? No Tao? OK - here's a shot of adrenaline; it comes from the Tao, and it's stored in the Kidney for use in emergencies. With its help, we can do amzing things. But that's "fright," not "fear."

"Overcoming one's fears." Why, that's one definition, one metaphor, for "The Spiritual Path."


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Azidonis
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09/01/2012 5:11 pm  
"Shiva" wrote:
"When one is one with the Tao, the tiger's claws cannot hurt him, for there is nothing to grasp."

When one is not one with the Tao, one is one's self. That self-aware self is operating in a vehicle that has aeons of genetic programming. Everybody's got a special animal: Snakes, spiders, moray eels, etc. So either that animal appears, or one gets to teetering on a cliff-edge in their car. Then what? No Tao? OK - here's a shot of adrenaline; it comes from the Tao, and it's stored in the Kidney for use in emergencies. With its help, we can do amzing things. But that's "fright," not "fear."

"Overcoming one's fears." Why, that's one definition, one metaphor, for "The Spiritual Path."

I agree. But I also think that "when one is with the Tao", then Fear is Not (just as Fear Is). So I think that it helps to understand the concept for those purposes.

What I have been looking for is the actual Seed (if there is one) of Fear.

Some postulates thus far:

1. Fear can only be experienced by a thing capable of self-preservation. Whether or not animals that react with fear have a sense of self is debatable, but they definitely have the instinct of self-preservation, which can be attributed, at least in part, to fear.
2. A misunderstanding in the relationship between this thing capable of self-preservation and another object can create fear.

Any others?

For those who might think this boring or useless, try working backwards, in order to find the Seed.


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mika
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11/01/2012 5:41 pm  
"Azidonis" wrote:
Hypothesis: Fear is a reaction caused by a misunderstanding of the relationship between one's Self and the feared object.

That seems totally accurate, except for when fear is a reaction caused by a perfect understanding of the relationship between one's Self and the feared object.

For example, if you are walking across a rickety old rope bridge that spans a 500 ft deep canyon, fear of falling to your death is based on a clear, rational understanding of the likelihood of the bridge failing and what would happen to your body if it fell that distance.  You might then decide that fear of death itself is based on a misunderstanding of the relationship between the Self and the universe and such, but the initial fear response is still based on an accurate assessment of the "feared object" (the old bridge and chasm below). 

Crowley wasn't a great mountain climber because he was fearless, but because he knew how to manage his fear.  He took some risks, but also chose not to take other risks.  This isn't possible if all fears are considered to be misunderstandings.  The result of accepting your hypothesis as true is to remove all risk aversion - if all fears are invalid then there is no reason to avoid any dangerous actions or behaviors. 

Anyway, that's one angle. 


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Azidonis
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11/01/2012 10:13 pm  
"mika" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
Hypothesis: Fear is a reaction caused by a misunderstanding of the relationship between one's Self and the feared object.

That seems totally accurate, except for when fear is a reaction caused by a perfect understanding of the relationship between one's Self and the feared object.

For example, if you are walking across a rickety old rope bridge that spans a 500 ft deep canyon, fear of falling to your death is based on a clear, rational understanding of the likelihood of the bridge failing and what would happen to your body if it fell that distance.  You might then decide that fear of death itself is based on a misunderstanding of the relationship between the Self and the universe and such, but the initial fear response is still based on an accurate assessment of the "feared object" (the old bridge and chasm below). 

Crowley wasn't a great mountain climber because he was fearless, but because he knew how to manage his fear.  He took some risks, but also chose not to take other risks.  This isn't possible if all fears are considered to be misunderstandings.  The result of accepting your hypothesis as true is to remove all risk aversion - if all fears are invalid then there is no reason to avoid any dangerous actions or behaviors. 

Anyway, that's one angle. 

That's a very good angle, one I admittedly had not thought about.

I'm in no way trying to say "fear is bad". I hope no one comes to that conclusion, and if anyone has I apologize, though it doesn't seem like anyone has so far.

Fear is completely necessary in some cases for survival. I like your analogy, but while fear is indeed expected in such cases, do you think it says more about the fear of death or even attachment to the "mortal coils" than the arising of fear itself? I wouldn't want to get close to falling off a canyon, for fear of my life, for the simple fact that I enjoy being alive, and in that sense I am very much attached to these mortal coils. But there are some who, even when death is imminent, are not afraid. There is also the notion of caution. I understand that if I get too close to that canyon, I could fall off and die. So I take caution to not get close enough to enable that scenario to occur, if at all possible. However, if I somehow manage to begin a 500 foot freefall into the canyon, at some point during those 6(?) seconds, it might behoove me to understand that I have fallen off a cliff, the current situation is irreparable, and that I am going to die. With that understanding, I would be able to accept the fact, and not be afraid.

However, what your example has done is this:

"1. Fear can only be experienced by a thing capable of self-preservation. Whether or not animals that react with fear have a sense of self is debatable, but they definitely have the instinct of self-preservation, which can be attributed, at least in part, to fear.
2. A misunderstanding in the relationship between this thing capable of self-preservation and another object can create fear."

It has at least created a viable reason for altering postulate two.

Do you (or anyone else reading the thread), think it sufficient to revise postulate 2 into something like, "An understanding in the relationship between a thing capable of self-preservation and another object can create fear"? The word "understanding" in such a postulate seems out of place. In this regard, I would ask again, for those interested to work backwards - that is, consider nothing, then fear. We could just say simply that, "Fear is". But during that formulation of fear, out of nothing and before it is actual fear, is a "Seed". Anyway, do you think that postulate 2 should be thrown out the window in favor of a more accurate postulate, or that it should be reworked to include mika's example, or perhaps a 3rd postulate is necessary?


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11/01/2012 10:32 pm  

1. There are actually people that can't feel fear because of a disease. They struggle in daily life.
2. One of the hypothesis presented in the DMA the spirit molecule documentary: fear may trigger near death experiences (The brain might produce higher amounts of DMA).


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Shiva
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11/01/2012 10:47 pm  

"What I have been looking for is the actual Seed (if there is one) of Fear."

Rather than working backward, let us start at the beginning:

1. Any and every life force has a built in survival aspect.
2. That primary function is directed toward survival. The entity (plant, animal, human) automatically (autonomically) moves toward that which is perceived as being nourishing, and away from that which is perceived as being hostile or threatening.
3. Automatically.
4. Apply word combinations like love-hate, light-dark, attractive-repulsive.
5. This is the seed of Fear.

6. Some (most, all ?) poor people have a "childhood trauma" that gets repressed. They were frightened by something. The situation was so troubling that the consciousness automatically (autonomously) routed the memory (and the adrenaline reaction) into the hidden pit of the subconscious. Out of sight - out of mind.

7. Later in life, a similar situation arises (maybe only a tiny bit similar). That triggers the hidden demon in the pit - and fear raises its ugly head.

8. It may be inappropriate, it may be an "over-reaction," it may be irrational. That doesn't matter. The fear is real.

9. Everybody's basic survival circuit is similar and shares its principles with the plant kingdom. Everybody's childhood trauma(s) is different, and thus it is a matter of individual seeds - it is these that the psychologist helps the client to see.

10. Thus the survival circuit aims to guarantee continuity, but it sometimes gets mixed up in individual variations. This is so, because you can look and see: Different people are afraid of different things.


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mika
 mika
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12/01/2012 12:15 am  
"Azidonis" wrote:
"1. Fear can only be experienced by a thing capable of self-preservation. Whether or not animals that react with fear have a sense of self is debatable, but they definitely have the instinct of self-preservation, which can be attributed, at least in part, to fear.
2. A misunderstanding in the relationship between this thing capable of self-preservation and another object can create fear."
...

Do you (or anyone else reading the thread), think it sufficient to revise postulate 2 into something like, "An understanding in the relationship between a thing capable of self-preservation and another object can create fear"? The word "understanding" in such a postulate seems out of place. In this regard, I would ask again, for those interested to work backwards - that is, consider nothing, then fear. We could just say simply that, "Fear is". But during that formulation of fear, out of nothing and before it is actual fear, is a "Seed". Anyway, do you think that postulate 2 should be thrown out the window in favor of a more accurate postulate, or that it should be reworked to include mika's example, or perhaps a 3rd postulate is necessary?

All this seems to be complicating your original, straightforward idea.  Do you need to arrive at an absolute statement?  Something that covers all situations?  If not, how about adding one word to your original statement:

Fear is a reaction often caused by a misunderstanding of the relationship between one's Self and the feared object.

Or you can just reduce it to "Fear is a reaction caused by a misunderstanding of the nature of Self" and leave it at that.  This covers misunderstandings about the feared object as well as fear of death, the unknown, and whatever else that challenges our sense of self-preservation and safety.

You didn't give me the impression that you think fear is "bad".  But, why are you trying to explain the origin of fear?  While interesting, it borders on "it would be really nice to figure this out so I can rationalize away my fears when they arise".  Fear, like any other emotional experience, may not have a good, rational, "valid" trigger.  Does it matter why you experience fear (besides this being an interesting thing to think about)?  It's like that saying - courage isn't the absence of fear, it's choosing to act in spite of it...  the origin isn't as important than what you do with it.


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Azidonis
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12/01/2012 2:34 am  
"Shiva" wrote:
"What I have been looking for is the actual Seed (if there is one) of Fear."

Rather than working backward, let us start at the beginning:

1. Any and every life force has a built in survival aspect.
2. That primary function is directed toward survival. The entity (plant, animal, human) automatically (autonomically) moves toward that which is perceived as being nourishing, and away from that which is perceived as being hostile or threatening.
3. Automatically.
4. Apply word combinations like love-hate, light-dark, attractive-repulsive.
5. This is the seed of Fear.

Word combinations like fear-courage (assuming)?

"Shiva" wrote:
6. Some (most, all ?) poor people have a "childhood trauma" that gets repressed. They were frightened by something. The situation was so troubling that the consciousness automatically (autonomously) routed the memory (and the adrenaline reaction) into the hidden pit of the subconscious. Out of sight - out of mind.

7. Later in life, a similar situation arises (maybe only a tiny bit similar). That triggers the hidden demon in the pit - and fear raises its ugly head.

8. It may be inappropriate, it may be an "over-reaction," it may be irrational. That doesn't matter. The fear is real.

Understood.

"Shiva" wrote:
9. Everybody's basic survival circuit is similar and shares its principles with the plant kingdom. Everybody's childhood trauma(s) is different, and thus it is a matter of individual seeds - it is these that the psychologist helps the client to see.

10. Thus the survival circuit aims to guarantee continuity, but it sometimes gets mixed up in individual variations. This is so, because you can look and see: Different people are afraid of different things.

This is kind of what I was waiting to see. Variation by individuation, in the case of fear, one aimed at the proper functions of the survival mechanism.

"mika" wrote:
All this seems to be complicating your original, straightforward idea.  Do you need to arrive at an absolute statement?  Something that covers all situations?  If not, how about adding one word to your original statement:

Fear is a reaction often caused by a misunderstanding of the relationship between one's Self and the feared object.

Well, I don't need to arrive at an absolute statement, no, but I was wondering if one could be found. Adding that word does add clarity to the definition, but it makes the definition into a "sometimes" thing, which I was trying to avoid, perhaps erroneously.

"mika" wrote:
Or you can just reduce it to "Fear is a reaction caused by a misunderstanding of the nature of Self" and leave it at that.  This covers misunderstandings about the feared object as well as fear of death, the unknown, and whatever else that challenges our sense of self-preservation and safety.

Workable. I like it.

"mika" wrote:
You didn't give me the impression that you think fear is "bad".  But, why are you trying to explain the origin of fear?  While interesting, it borders on "it would be really nice to figure this out so I can rationalize away my fears when they arise". 

Actually, I was enjoying a sort of momentary freedom from fear of insects and arachnids (bugs and spiders) the night I wrote this. I had "taken myself to a place" in which there were nothing except bugs and spiders, and "remained there" until I was able to understand my feelings and reactions to them. The product of that journey is the one line hypothesis. I am in the habit of thinking, "Not that", and generally attempt to allow any such hypotheses or thoughts to develop further without making too many conclusions, but was not far enough removed from the subject in order to challenge my own assertion, so I figured to post it here to see what you all thought. Turns out, there's some very interesting perceptions to be shared on the subject! 🙂

"mika" wrote:
Fear, like any other emotional experience, may not have a good, rational, "valid" trigger.  Does it matter why you experience fear (besides this being an interesting thing to think about)?  It's like that saying - courage isn't the absence of fear, it's choosing to act in spite of it...  the origin isn't as important than what you do with it.

Where it mattered was concerning attachment to fear, in the sense of phobias and other such things. But, it would be amiss, it seems to simply categorize phobia as a "type of fear", and leave it at that. I've always been interested in how things work. That they work is fine, and I can simply sit in ignorance as to how, but it's nice to know, especially when working with the same subject in the future.

It seems to me that Shiva, Kyle, and Mika are essentially saying something similar, all pointing to a trigger.

For Kyle, "The Mind not only receives impressions but acts upon those impressions by virtue of an "internal source." This internal power also colors the manner in which impressions are received." The "internal source" would be the trigger.

Shiva likens it to a "survival aspect".

Mika introduced this through a rational process, with the canyon example, self-preservation (and good common sense) being the main trigger.

All three are equally valid, and all three point to fear being a simple survival mechanism, naturally occurring in species with the capacity for self-preservation, at the least.

In the case of attachment, would you all consider attachment to fear strictly as a case of phobia, or do you think there is a grey area in which one can be attached to a fear without a phobia (in which fear becomes the operating paradigm when confronted with the object of the fear)? It seems that, in any case, even momentary attachment to fear is acceptable, but in the mystic would this remain the case?

With the actual application of fear, we can say we have overcome fear and what-not. I can say until I am blue in the face that, "I have overcome my fear of spiders," but I really wouldn't know that for sure until I confronted an actual spider, and witnessed my reactions to it. And then, let's say I still felt "fear", but was able to remove my attachment to that fear in order to deal with the spider. If I could manage to handle myself properly in that case and in all cases where spiders are concerned, I could consider my fear "conquered". Then of course, if I found myself in a cave full of spiders, I would really have to test whether or not it was just a bragger's wager.

So yes, the attempt to look for a "Seed" was perhaps erroneous. It appears that such a thing might be best left alone, taken as it is, without further examination, as any Pandora's Box. "It's fear. Deal with it." But I find that knowing the origins of something (Seed) and how it works helps to determine the best way to approach it. Of course, in the case of something like spiders, I could just simply go find a spider, I suppose. Then again, the origin of my fear of spiders may or may not be similar to that of another person, and thus the triggers (Seed?) may appear different, though in general it would be a trigger pulled by the survival mechanism of the person in question.

Just for the record, spiders, bugs, and I have our own little relationship. When I see them outside or whatever, I usually leave them alone to go on about their business. When I see them inside, I usually just squish them, which has become a sort of huge deal as of late, with considerations of ahimsa (non-injury), those considerations leading to this thread. I take an, "I don't mess with them, hopefully they don't mess with me," approach. I was in class last quarter and saw a spider crawling up my right arm. I simply let it crawl into my left hand, and put it down on the floor. But don't ask me to do the same thing with, say, a tarantula (just stay away)... or a cockroach (dead on sight).

As for courage and fear, I find it interesting that someone would use one emotion to overcome another, thought it is indeed very effective, and yet another Pandora's Box.


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 Anonymous
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12/01/2012 5:04 am  
"Azidonis" wrote:
As for courage and fear, I find it interesting that someone would use one emotion to overcome another, thought it is indeed very effective, and yet another Pandora's Box.

Instilled upon us in our youth, planted at the very core of our being and lived out via similar life situations, much philosophical and psychiatric investigation has gone into this remarkable five minute scene as relevant to our present topic[/font:1cz6tjw6]:

http://youtu.be/GzD6L8DmE-c


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 Anonymous
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12/01/2012 8:19 am  

"(bugs and spiders)," now I see.

A very interesting thread, Az, especially your own conclusions (finally) drawn therefrom, thus far.

The only thing I might add is Education & Experience. The only way to really get over it is to learn all about them, first, and then to experience them first-hand (without resorting to the swat or the squish reflexes) to such an extent that it becomes as nothing (or as second-nature) to you.

Aversion is quite the Initiatory tool.

Your present flirtation with ahimsa is also telling, as will be the rest of your studies of these corruptions of Eastern religion. A cockroach's true motives are well worthy of suspicion, in truth, but so are your own if you are studying Buddhism before you have studied entomology or finally let bugs and spiders crawl on your skin as you toy with them. 🙂


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mika
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12/01/2012 7:54 pm  
"Azidonis" wrote:
In the case of attachment, would you all consider attachment to fear strictly as a case of phobia, or do you think there is a grey area in which one can be attached to a fear without a phobia (in which fear becomes the operating paradigm when confronted with the object of the fear)?

Absolutely.  It's not even a grey area.  Consider fear of failure, or fear of rejection, or hell even fear of success.  Plenty of people make choices based on those fears without question and can't even conceive of a life without them.  It's their 'operating paradigm', based on some twisted version of self-preservation.  Or more accurately, self-image-preservation, but for many people there is no difference between risks to self image and risks to the physical body.

"Azidonis" wrote:
It seems that, in any case, even momentary attachment to fear is acceptable, but in the mystic would this remain the case?

What do you mean by attachment here?  "Momentary attachment" sounds a lot like simply experiencing something. If it's momentary, can it still be called "attachment"?

I'd argue that even a mystic would experience fear in the face of danger (real or perceived).  Even mystics could have "irrational phobias".  The difference between them and the average person is that mystics (if I understand your use of that word correctly) would be able to experience the fear without it affecting their actions.  Which is non-attachment, but non-attachment to a feeling or thought doesn't mean you don't experience it. 

Some fears may dissipate with time and conditioning, like fear of public speaking or of spiders or whatnot, to the point where they don't have any significant affect on a person when they arise, then maybe they no longer arise at all.  Other fears may never disappear - that's why I brought up Crowley's mountain climbing.  Most climbers don't stop experiencing fear, they just stop being controlled by it.  But it still informs one's choices. 

"Azidonis" wrote:
With the actual application of fear, we can say we have overcome fear and what-not. I can say until I am blue in the face that, "I have overcome my fear of spiders," but I really wouldn't know that for sure until I confronted an actual spider, and witnessed my reactions to it. And then, let's say I still felt "fear", but was able to remove my attachment to that fear in order to deal with the spider. If I could manage to handle myself properly in that case and in all cases where spiders are concerned, I could consider my fear "conquered". Then of course, if I found myself in a cave full of spiders, I would really have to test whether or not it was just a bragger's wager.

That goal of "conquering" your fear is what I was getting at with my questions about why you are asking about the nature of fear.  You say you don't think it's "bad", yet you wish to conquer it?  You may not be making a good/bad judgment of fear in the abstract sense, but you are making a good/bad judgment about your personal experience of being afraid.  It's a pointless path.  Maybe certain fears are just hardwired in your brain and there's nothing you can do to prevent them.  A more practical goal would be to conquer your reaction to your fear.  The less control it has over your actions, the less intense it becomes each new time you experience it.

"Azidonis" wrote:
As for courage and fear, I find it interesting that someone would use one emotion to overcome another, thought it is indeed very effective, and yet another Pandora's Box.

Courage isn't an emotion, it's an ability - acting in the face of fear.  The word "courage" is meaningless if a person isn't afraid. 


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Azidonis
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12/01/2012 8:15 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
"(bugs and spiders)," now I see.

Heh. Truth is, that's just the particular "journey" that led to the thread. Interestingly enough, as I lay in bed last night, the image came to mind that I was lying in the grass in a repose. This spider, about as big as my face, began crawling around in front of me, and crawled up within about a foot of me. Instead of thinking malicious thoughts, the first thing that came to mind was that this spider might be curious about this proportionately huge thing lying in its path of travel. I simply remained where I was as the spider approached. Eventually it was crawling on my face. I paid as close attention to it as I could... every sight, every sound, the smell of the grass, the feel of the spider's legs touching random eight points on my face as it crawled around. I noted that the spider could indeed bite me if it wanted to, and enjoy a swift death while I pursued a hospital waiting room. Needless to say, I fell asleep "with a spider on my face".

But it's really part of a larger work. For the past three months, at least one night a week, I have been meditating on death, causes of death, fear of death, etc. Thus far, the workings have created an understanding of death and impermanence, but also a profound appreciation of life. I've taken this series through all sorts of scenarios and nuances, from spiders and bugs, to walking outside and getting randomly gunned down by a passerby, to simply sitting in my house and watching as the walls of my house, and eventually the known (to me) universe simply caves in on itself, culminating in my own implosion and annihilation. None of these meditations were specifically drug induced, though I cannot deny that Mary Jane and I have had some small fun with the workings while on my winter break from classes.

It began with simply walking outside one night to have a smoke. Looking out into the darkness, I began to think of death as a natural occurrence in the wheel of Samsara. Soon, the darkness revealed a landscape of this world unlike anything I had seen before. Everything alive was dying slowly, changing as little deaths snapped continuously and in continuity as live was slowly extinguished. Every blade of grass, every tree or bush, every person, every being. Soon, I was all alone, staring at what appeared to be the constant additions of new "qualities" to this imagined underworld. In the midst of all of this death, I noticed a path. "Following" the path, I met with the End.

If we watch life develop, it happens oh so slowly sometimes. Things grow and change, each in their season. Sometimes we notice the changes, sometimes we do not. But these changes, this growth, is essential for the continuation of life and reality. As these changes go "forward", an appreciation of life allows one to be "in the moment" and simply attempt to enjoy each moment as it is at that moment, with these many moments appearing to happen simultaneously across all life, and continuously throughout time. The Thelemite may liken this to "the consciousness of the continuity of existence", while the Buddhist may liken this to the "atomic theory of momentary existence", the proper name for which escapes me at the moment.

"As above, so below." If this cane be seen, witnessed, and experienced with life, it can also be done with death, or so I thought. And that's how it began. One thing that I have learned through this is that death gives quite a different change. Like life, death too is an addition and subtraction. Initially it is seen that death takes. It doesn't matter what, it just takes and takes. But if death only took, there would be no new life, no growth, or change. Just as every atom in the universe constantly undergoes a "death" of its current state" and a "rebirth" into a new, yet similar, state, so too do all this follow this paradigm. I surmise that without this constant "death" and "rebirth" we may be simply unable to comprehend death as more than a barbaric 'thing in the garden' with no purpose, no substance, just an occurrence. But, we can work to understand death, and we do so by using what we know of life, but also by comparing death with these continuous experiences that constantly generate fresh life and possibilities.

I saw death. I saw my death. It didn't appear on some timeline, it didn't appear in some vision in which I saw "how I would die" or anything like that. More accurately, I looked at death face to face, and saw that such a change would indeed annihilate the person which some of you call "Azi". But that change too, also has a potential continuation, just as we see in nature, in Nuit. What interests me most about this, is liberation or enlightenment from the wheel of Samsara (R.O.T.A.). We suffer death, just as we suffer life. In either case, attachment to the same creates this suffering. In death then, attachment to one's self, one's body or identity (or whatever) assures reincarnation (which is why I put this in the "Magick Forum", to avoid all the bullshit that has been collecting in other thread about the subject). Nonattachment, true liberation, indicates that when the body and identity die, one's nature does not necessarily follow. Simply, "getting off the wheel", usually noted by the resolution of one's karma culminated by the annihilation of the ego, the release from clinging to a false sense of personal identity, the liberation in which "change is stability".

My first experience with samadhi (here come the stones) taught me that samadhi, as such, is indeed changeless. It is always occurring, and never occurring (tell that to your logic professor!). The practices simply make us aware of that phenomenon... the phenomenon that is not a phenomenon. By continuously releasing ourselves from our attachments, our bonds with the identity of "I exist, I am alive, I am I", we can become aware of the changeless, lying deep within a changing existence.

Life and death then, are the scales on the balance, and as those scales shift, change continually occurs. This is necessary for life, but also necessary for death. In the balance of the scales, the resolution of the karma, the stillness of the chitta, the Eye in the Triangle, the changeless can be experienced - the experience that is not experienced.

Of course, there are many more details, but I digress. The above are just some of the "results" of the workings, such things being actually experienced, as opposed to simple mind play. I cannot count how many times I have approached death in the past few months. I can say that I am much more familiar with the phenomenon than I once was, and my appreciation for life has grown exponentially. I feel life. I live life. As I work to continually "tough & go" into these explorations, and apply them to life and reality, the senses are awarded with an acuteness I had not known until recently. New sounds, new smells, sights, tastes... just kissing my wife has so much more meaning, and if I ever thought I loved her before, how much moreso do I love her now! And don't even get me started about the sex...

"Camlion" wrote:
A very interesting thread, Az, especially your own conclusions (finally) drawn therefrom, thus far.

Thanks. Well, as I said, some of these things were already twirling around "up there", but I have learned that part of the mystic path is finding ways to verify one's experience. I can verify my own experiences by means of my own experiences all day long, but if I am only deluding myself, what good is it? This is the importance of the guru, of the Magickal Record. It allows us the ability to create such checks and balances that assist in not only furthering the field as a valid science (shoot me if you don't like it... I'm not afraid), but also allows us to measure our own growth and experiences in a scientific manner.

One of the first things that ever captivated me concerning magick and mysticism really was the Internet. As I began my practices 15 years ago, I could see parallels to my own Work in that of others. I could discuss my own Work with others who have been able to relate to those experiences. I can talk to someone across the world, someone I have never met, do not know, have never even heard of until that point, and we can share our experiences, tally them up, and see where they coincide. No two experiences are exactly the same, and no two experiences are viewed through the same lens. However, I'm sure most, if not all of you, know what I mean when I mentioned say, Pratyahara earlier in this thread. You may only know the definitions and the concepts (a worthy start!), or you may recall your own experiences with Pratyahara, and see how yours might be similar to mine in their nature. Then of course, you have the opportunity to accept or deny my claims, based on your own experiences with the subject. Is this not what we do, as "spiritual scientists"? Of course, many things can be viewed as subjective, sure. I taught my wife about Raja Yoga one night as we were laying in bed by having her imagine a train station, and eventually a pink unicorn (just for kicks). She understood what I was getting at, even as she mumbled, "You tell such great stories" as she nodded off to sleep.

It is for such reasons that in thread like this (and you all can check my post history), I do try to suspend some of my own thoughts and conclusions about the matter until others have given their input. Sometimes, as in the case of this particular thread on Fear, I am able to gain more clarity through it, as with the mention of the triggers. Other times, like with 666TSEAB's post, I am able to view them in light of my own experiences, and work with such things (I really appreciated the Wizard of Oz link, btw Frater... it was timely).

"Camlion" wrote:
The only thing I might add is Education & Experience. The only way to really get over it is to learn all about them, first, and then to experience them first-hand (without resorting to the swat or the squish reflexes) to such an extent that it becomes as nothing (or as second-nature) to you.

I understand. As I've recounted the story of allowing the spider to crawl on my arm, last night before bed, and have not counted many other journeys into that realm, I agree that eventually, I will be confronted with a nice sized spider that will force me to make some choices. I have prepared myself for those choices. I'll let you all know how it turns out.

"Camlion" wrote:
Aversion is quite the Initiatory tool.

The "death journeys" simply came about all on their own, as a part of work leading up to it. The analysis of fear was born from that set of journeys. One of the "checks and balances" used in the series was being able to recall the 9 Cemetery Contemplations, which helped to remind me that indeed I was on an inner journey concerning these subjects, and not actually experiencing a slow death, a concept which, if one lets it run far enough and fast enough, can indeed get very ugly very quickly (word of warning).


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Azidonis
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12/01/2012 8:15 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
Your present flirtation with ahimsa is also telling, as will be the rest of your studies of these corruptions of Eastern religion. A cockroach's true motives are well worthy of suspicion, in truth, but so are your own if you are studying Buddhism before you have studied entomology or finally let bugs and spiders crawl on your skin as you toy with them. 🙂

As for ahimsa, I really laughed at it internally for quite some time. One of the first teachings I received on Liber AL from my initial Superior in the A:.A:., in late 2000, was that of Liber AL III: 25-26, on the Cakes of Light:

"25. This burn: of this make cakes & eat unto me. This hath also another use; let it be laid before me, and kept thick with perfumes of your orison: it shall become full of beetles as it were and creeping things sacred unto me.
26. These slay, naming your enemies; & they shall fall before you. "

That teaching, of course, was that when this slaying occurs, one is not to name people, but qualities one sees in one's self. So for many years I would kill random little bugs and critters, and they all had various names like sloth, ignorance, doubt. I found this to be a potent practice.

However, late last year, in a course on Sacred Violence, my professor and I got into a conversation about ahimsa. He relayed this story:

A practicing Buddhist left his home to go on a pilgrimage to the top of a sacred mountain. At the base of a mountain was a small town, where he bought supplies, and gained advice from the locals. One of the local bhikhkus (Buddhist priest) told him that halfway up the mountain there is a shack. When he reaches the shack, he is supposed to store all of his provisions there, and continue up the mountain alone. He was not to eat or drink past that point, not until he returned to the shack to gather his provisions for the journey back down. This was the custom to which he agreed. The man began his climb, and soon reached the little wooden shack. He went inside, stored his provisions, and prepared himself a meal to last him through the rest of the climb.

As he was doing this, a large blizzard occurred, trapping the man inside the shack. Days went by, and eventually he ate all his provisions. With no way out, and feeling hunger, he noticed a large disease-ridden rat would show up in the shack, look around a bit, and then leave. Being a practicing Buddhist, he let the rat be free to do its thing of its own accord. As time went by, the man grew even more hungry. Soon, he began contemplating eating the rat. Eventually, he could hold out no longer, and he ate the rat. The blizzard cleared up, and he was able to finish his journey. A month after he had returned home, he received a knock at his door. It was the police.

"You have been charged with murder. Please come with us," they said.
"But, I am no murder! I am a practicing Buddhist, and adhere to ahimsa. I have never murdered anyone!" he replied.
"Well sir, did you visit X town a month ago?" they asked.
"Yes sir. But I didn't kill anyone," the man replied.
"When you visited the town, did you journey up the mountain?"
"Yes I did."
"During that journey, did you stop in the shack?"
"Yes I did, just as instructed."
"Did you find a rat in that shack?"
"Yes."
"Did you eat that rat?"
"Yes I did. There was a blizzard, and... eventually I ate the rat."
"Well sir. That rat lived in the shack, and fed on a certain larva that lived there. When you ate the rat, the larva population grew out of control, and eventually ate the shack and surrounding trees. With the trees gone, there was nothing to help prevent an avalanche. When the avalanche came, it swept through the city, killing everyone. You have been charged with murder."

So... when I heard this story, I wrapped my head around it as much as I could. I even invented scenarios in which the man may have been correct in eating the rat. However, none of those scenarios could justify the man saving his own life at the cost of the hundreds of lives in the village. Since that day, I've taken a new look at ahimsa, and with the recent workings with death, the bugs and spiders and all other things came into play. I was confronted with the fact that I too have killed many insects and spiders, and that I too have caused disruption of life, though perhaps not on such a grand scale as he. But what makes me so different from him? In a sense, I am worse, as I had adopted a sort of "kill on sight" mentality. I recall being outside and stepping on an ant, just to give it some random name. The ant had harmed nothing.

Now I can see both extremes. I'm still working out the kinks in the theory and application of a middle way in my own life and practices. But for some reason, I don't feel completely justified in killing a spider just because it happened to wander into my house anymore. At the same time, I'm positive that if I saw say, a cockroach, I would step on the mother fucker and not think twice (bad blood there, those pests!). With everything, there is a Middle Way. I'm not quite sure yet how I will approach the idea in the future, only time and experience will tell. But first, in order to work with the paradigm, I had to work with what I found to be a fear of some critters, those workings which eventually led to this thread.

My own 'motives worthy of suspicion', if I read you right, are not suspicious at all. I'm not hiding anything. In truth, I've heavily considered working to become a bhikkhu. I've been considering and re-considering the pros and cons of such an action. For one, I have taken Oaths to the Great White Brotherhood, which I dare not deny, even though at times I admittedly stray. In considering such a major life change, I would not attempt to undo, or revoke, or in any other way turn back on those Oaths. In my opinion, that much (and more) finishes in the Probationary period. In Liber Pyramidos, one accepts that one is flawed, and full of a myriad number of things that are perceived as standing in the way of enlightenment. One admits to, and accepts one's follies, the wisdom within them, and even the follies within the wisdom. One accepts that one's perception is imperfect as long as the perception contains any division, especially the division seen as "self". Even with all of these tortures and torments, bars and weights that one may perceive as the chains that bind one to division and confusion, even such a being with an imperfect perception, is welcome into the arms of Nuit. All that I have and all that I am has been given over to Her, to the Universe, to be a vehicle of "Her Will". That's how I view Pyramidos. It is no surprise to me that Neophytes have taken, at times erroneously, the Oath of the Abyss. It is not surprise that one can view the reflection of the Sun in the Moon, see one's Self in the Sun, and perceive such to be the Center of the Universe. But, it is also no surprise that What Dwells Within is Nameless, and indeed Changeless, and that is what they means when they say, "Malkuth is in Kether, and Kether is in Malkuth". It is the Unity in Division, the Manifestation of That which is Not. It is the combination of the Light and the Darkness, withdrawn into No Thing. That, to me, is the Path of the Neophyte, and it is no surprise to know that when asked, Israel Regardie would simply reply, "I am but a Neophyte."

So for me, I suppose the last few months could be considered Passing through the Tuat, if one wants to call it that. It's the journey on the River Stix that allows us, eventually, to appreciate the wonderful opportunity we have that is life, and the Beauty that is inherent in the nature of all things. With such appreciation, I continue to go forward to the Scales of Truth, and may Thoth have both Mercy and Strength in the Weighing.

No, I would not turn my back on that. That, indeed, is both the Journey and the Goal.

However, just as I see the various things in Buddhism that are perhaps 'abrogate', I see them in Thelema as well. While it's true that Crowley, Bennett, and anyone else who may have had their hands on the cookie jar attempted to separate the 'gold from the dross' when fleshing out that which was to become Thelema, so too do I see that there is both gold and dross within Thelema. However, there is a major difference in the paradigms, in that for Buddhists, many things are required of the aspirant. It is undeniable that these things assist one in achieving enlightenment. It is also undeniable that many of these things are simply not necessary. Crowley, or perhaps Aiwass if that's what one prefers, foresaw this too, in Thelema. As such, while there are many practices, rules and what-not, ultimately, there is but one Guideline: "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law." In all honesty, that one statement has allowed me and many others the freedom to live out of lives in the manner best known to us, without guilt or worry that we are breaking some random rule or another. That freedom, in my opinion, is the most wonderful gift of any religion (yes, I do think of Thelema as a religion... sue me). However, I do see that one can become so entrapped in Liber AL I:37:

"37. Also the mantras and spells; the obeah and the wanga; the work of the wand and the work of the sword; these he shall learn and teach. "

It is most interesting that this verse occurs, for each has in turn his/her own specialty. Such diversity is what makes us human, makes us capable of Free Will, and capable of the Journey in the first place. In the tradition that is the A:.A:., these things are important. There is no one thing, or one set of things, that holds greater importance than another. There is no one path that is more important than another path, no person that is more important than another person. But there is indeed specialization. I've met some Qabalists that are brilliant in their Art. I have met some who are wonderfully capable of the most sublime rituals. I've met others who are great mediators. What interests me about the A:.A:., is that somehow we are expected to be all of those people. One is expected to be a great meditator, qabalist, and ritualist (just to name a few... the list is by no means inclusive, but set out for ease of writing and example purposes). Either that, or some is expected to at least develop the capability to understand each path, and understand that each person has particular aspects that are appropriate to them. If someone came and asked me something about say, the Qabalah, I am either expected to know it, or know where to find it.

It makes sense to me that one will tend to focus on those things which one perceives as beneficial to one's own growth and enlightenment. It also makes sense that eventually, one's enlightenment matters not (as there is no "one"), and one will focus on those things that are beneficial to others in turn. You can't help other unless you can help yourself, but once you can help yourself, you can help others. As it is said in Liber 333, "The Brothers of the A:.A:. are Women. The Aspirants to the A:.A:. are Men." When first asked what that meant, I gave a much different reply...

Anyway, I'll digress from this elongated rant, as it's getting way off topic. But one last thing, and I think it is paramount to the evolution and eventual acceptance of Thelema on a large scale, and that is love. The Book of the Law says, as we are all familiar with, "Love is the law, love under will." One of the elements that has attracted me to Buddhism is the Sangha, the community. The sense of acceptance one feels when around the Sangha, and how one is not judged, but taken as they are. I see this within Thelema. However, I also see the various bouts of "psychic measuring", the "holier than thou", the "my Thelema is better than your Thelema", and all of that nonsense. It is my humble opinion that if Thelema is ever to become a major world religion, or major world anything-you-may-view-it-as (you in the general sense, as "you the reader"), then we should indeed put more emphasis on love. We should put more emphasis on unity, and union. We should put less emphasis on our own specialties and nuances, and realize that we are a very diverse people, a diverse sub-culture, and our diversity is exactly what unites us. To see this not put into practice, to see segregation and separation within Thelema, to see the "my school of thought is better than your school", to see that such divisions exist within practicing Thelemites, severely saddens me. I is my hope that eventually, we can all come to terms with the fact that we are each unique, and by each of us accepting that uniqueness, we have the ability to function as a unity that could eventually have the strength in diversity to overcome any obstacle, whatever it may be.


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Azidonis
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12/01/2012 8:25 pm  
"mika" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
In the case of attachment, would you all consider attachment to fear strictly as a case of phobia, or do you think there is a grey area in which one can be attached to a fear without a phobia (in which fear becomes the operating paradigm when confronted with the object of the fear)?

Absolutely.  It's not even a grey area.  Consider fear of failure, or fear of rejection, or hell even fear of success.  Plenty of people make choices based on those fears without question and can't even conceive of a life without them.  It's their 'operating paradigm', based on some twisted version of self-preservation.  Or more accurately, self-image-preservation, but for many people there is no difference between risks to self image and risks to the physical body.

I see.

"mika" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
It seems that, in any case, even momentary attachment to fear is acceptable, but in the mystic would this remain the case?

What do you mean by attachment here?  "Momentary attachment" sounds a lot like simply experiencing something. If it's momentary, can it still be called "attachment"?

I'd argue that even a mystic would experience fear in the face of danger (real or perceived).  Even mystics could have "irrational phobias".  The difference between them and the average person is that mystics (if I understand your use of that word correctly) would be able to experience the fear without it affecting their actions.  Which is non-attachment, but non-attachment to a feeling or thought doesn't mean you don't experience it. 

Some fears may dissipate with time and conditioning, like fear of public speaking or of spiders or whatnot, to the point where they don't have any significant affect on a person when they arise, then maybe they no longer arise at all.  Other fears may never disappear - that's why I brought up Crowley's mountain climbing.  Most climbers don't stop experiencing fear, they just stop being controlled by it.  But it still informs one's choices.

With the above, you definitely see what I was asking, the bold part in particular, though I admittedly did have have the experience to put it into the right words.

"mika" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
With the actual application of fear, we can say we have overcome fear and what-not. I can say until I am blue in the face that, "I have overcome my fear of spiders," but I really wouldn't know that for sure until I confronted an actual spider, and witnessed my reactions to it. And then, let's say I still felt "fear", but was able to remove my attachment to that fear in order to deal with the spider. If I could manage to handle myself properly in that case and in all cases where spiders are concerned, I could consider my fear "conquered". Then of course, if I found myself in a cave full of spiders, I would really have to test whether or not it was just a bragger's wager.

That goal of "conquering" your fear is what I was getting at with my questions about why you are asking about the nature of fear.  You say you don't think it's "bad", yet you wish to conquer it?  You may not be making a good/bad judgment of fear in the abstract sense, but you are making a good/bad judgment about your personal experience of being afraid.  It's a pointless path.  Maybe certain fears are just hardwired in your brain and there's nothing you can do to prevent them.  A more practical goal would be to conquer your reaction to your fear.  The less control it has over your actions, the less intense it becomes each new time you experience it.

Again, the bold hit the nail on the head, and I apologize for my lack of clarity on the subject.

"mika" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
As for courage and fear, I find it interesting that someone would use one emotion to overcome another, thought it is indeed very effective, and yet another Pandora's Box.

Courage isn't an emotion, it's an ability - acting in the face of fear.  The word "courage" is meaningless if a person isn't afraid. 

I stand corrected.

It's new territory. Thanks for your patience and input. It's greatly appreciated.


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Azidonis
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13/01/2012 1:40 am  

The temperature is low. The Earth and its atmosphere is cold.
The body walks outside. The body reacts to cold. The body shivers. It is a natural reaction to cold, designed to generate warmth within the body.
The mind can choose to not attach itself to the cold, simply allowing the body to run its course while continuing on Its Way.
It's not that the body does not get cold, or that the mind does not perceive the cold, but rather that the mind has simply decided not to react to the cold.
Obviously, one would do well to ascertain the risk of frostbite and other hazards, and react accordingly, which requires the mind to engage in the bodily reaction to cold, yet the mind may continue to remain unattached even in its assistance in self-preservation.

Feel free to substitute "cold" for "fear", being sure to adjust the stated scenario as necessary.

Add water. Stir. Add or subtract ingredients as necessary.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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13/01/2012 3:16 am  

[move:u3rlhhhz][/move:u3rlhhhz]


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Azidonis
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13/01/2012 3:40 am  

ROFLMAO! Good form!

That's great. It's oddly akin to the one I "saw" last night. How'd you know? LOL


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 Anonymous
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14/01/2012 10:53 am  

These recent posts have been very interesting reading, Az. Your personal growth since I first bumped into you on the internet back 'when the world was young' have been remarkable. I cannot really do them justice within the constraints of this time and space, but a few remarks, mostly as they pertain to the central theme of Buddhism:

"Camlion" wrote:
Your present flirtation with ahimsa is also telling, as will be the rest of your studies of these corruptions of Eastern religion. A cockroach's true motives are well worthy of suspicion, in truth, but so are your own if you are studying Buddhism before you have studied entomology or finally let bugs and spiders crawl on your skin as you toy with them. 🙂
"Azidonis" wrote:
However, late last year, in a course on Sacred Violence, my professor and I got into a conversation about ahimsa. He relayed this story:

A practicing Buddhist left his home to go on a pilgrimage to the top of a sacred mountain. At the base of a mountain was a small town, where he bought supplies, and gained advice from the locals. One of the local bhikhkus (Buddhist priest) told him that halfway up the mountain there is a shack. When he reaches the shack, he is supposed to store all of his provisions there, and continue up the mountain alone. He was not to eat or drink past that point, not until he returned to the shack to gather his provisions for the journey back down. This was the custom to which he agreed.

I know a different version of this same story, which is at the root of what I said about ahimsa. It begins just as your telling did but, in this version, upon entering the shack, the climber observes that the entire structure is piled high with the unopened provisions of those who had passed this way before him, because, without their provisions, each one had perished and never returned to the shack. 😉

This is the Thelemic telling, to my way of thinking, or even the Buddhist one in Theory, although not in Practice, which is usually the case where Buddhism is observed today.

"Azidonis" wrote:
In truth, I've heavily considered working to become a bhikkhu. I've been considering and re-considering the pros and cons of such an action. For one, I have taken Oaths to the Great White Brotherhood, which I dare not deny, even though at times I admittedly stray. In considering such a major life change, I would not attempt to undo, or revoke, or in any other way turn back on those Oaths.

 

As I understand it, in Thelema, Samsara is viewed as VOLUNTARY. It is undergone VOLUNTARILY to enable the Absolute, manifest as Self versus Not Self, to experience what it could never realize otherwise, the full extent of its own innate but otherwise seemingly infinite possibilities. We are thus able to experience ourselves serially, event by event, rather than 'all at once,' in a degree of exquisite and excruciating detail that would otherwise be impossible. (See the commentary to Crowley's Reguli and elsewhere.)

In Buddhism, as it is practiced today, this Wheel is regarded a curse, an involuntary cycle which ought to be escaped, not embraced. This is a misunderstanding of the facts. In Thelema, the Self knows it will survive the ordeal which it has VOLUNTARILY undertaken and be bettered thereby, eventually coming to a full realization of the possibilities inherent to Its own true Nature. Only memories are accumulated, much like the calloused abrasions often suffered in the throws of Ecstasy.

"Azidonis" wrote:
However, just as I see the various things in Buddhism that are perhaps 'abrogate', I see them in Thelema as well. While it's true that Crowley, Bennett, and anyone else who may have had their hands on the cookie jar attempted to separate the 'gold from the dross' when fleshing out that which was to become Thelema, so too do I see that there is both gold and dross within Thelema. However, there is a major difference in the paradigms, in that for Buddhists, many things are required of the aspirant. It is undeniable that these things assist one in achieving enlightenment. It is also undeniable that many of these things are simply not necessary. Crowley, or perhaps Aiwass if that's what one prefers, foresaw this too, in Thelema. As such, while there are many practices, rules and what-not, ultimately, there is but one Guideline: "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law." In all honesty, that one statement has allowed me and many others the freedom to live out of lives in the manner best known to us, without guilt or worry that we are breaking some random rule or another. That freedom, in my opinion, is the most wonderful gift of any religion (yes, I do think of Thelema as a religion... sue me). However, I do see that one can become so entrapped in Liber AL I:37:

"37. Also the mantras and spells; the obeah and the wanga; the work of the wand and the work of the sword; these he shall learn and teach. "

Damn right, which is why Crowley prescribed a course of Mysticism before Magick. We can see the evidence of this Wisdom all around us. In no other Science would we find untrained and undisciplined individuals presuming to practice (and teach!) without qualification, under the guise of 'the freedom and license of art.' True Art, in the sense of Magick, requires a conduit worthy of its contents.

"Azidonis" wrote:
Anyway, I'll digress from this elongated rant, as it's getting way off topic. But one last thing, and I think it is paramount to the evolution and eventual acceptance of Thelema on a large scale, and that is love. The Book of the Law says, as we are all familiar with, "Love is the law, love under will." One of the elements that has attracted me to Buddhism is the Sangha, the community. The sense of acceptance one feels when around the Sangha, and how one is not judged, but taken as they are. I see this within Thelema. However, I also see the various bouts of "psychic measuring", the "holier than thou", the "my Thelema is better than your Thelema", and all of that nonsense. It is my humble opinion that if Thelema is ever to become a major world religion, or major world anything-you-may-view-it-as (you in the general sense, as "you the reader"), then we should indeed put more emphasis on love. We should put more emphasis on unity, and union. We should put less emphasis on our own specialties and nuances, and realize that we are a very diverse people, a diverse sub-culture, and our diversity is exactly what unites us. To see this not put into practice, to see segregation and separation within Thelema, to see the "my school of thought is better than your school", to see that such divisions exist within practicing Thelemites, severely saddens me. I is my hope that eventually, we can all come to terms with the fact that we are each unique, and by each of us accepting that uniqueness, we have the ability to function as a unity that could eventually have the strength in diversity to overcome any obstacle, whatever it may be.

Sangha is another term grossly misunderstood among the Buddhists of today, and is usually deferred to the monastic life. Having lived in two Abbeys of Thelema in the real world in my youth, I can assure you that true Sangha has to be earned, each individual for themselves, as contradictory to the idea of 'community' as that might seem. Without the self-realization of each and every individual in the community, their is no real Community. All the 'love' and tolerance in the world cannot shape a community from those who are not each self-realized and self-fulfilling individuals.

The Thelemic idea of Love is best reserved for a discussion apart from Buddhism, I think. Crowley does justice to it in Little Essays Toward Truth. No doubt, our use of the word Love in our words of greeting and parting has attracted many since Liber AL pronounced itself, but this is somewhat misleading for some. The operative watchword in Thelema is Truth. All ideas must be tested for Truth by fully qualified individuals, each for their own. Our own ideas must be challenged. The ideas of others must be challenged. Each idea must be judged by the results when it is put into practice. If we disagree, so be it, until the differences are resolved and the Truth is self-evident. We cannot cheat our way into true Thelemic Community. In the long run, we each go our own Way.


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Azidonis
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16/01/2012 6:17 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
I know a different version of this same story, which is at the root of what I said about ahimsa. It begins just as your telling did but, in this version, upon entering the shack, the climber observes that the entire structure is piled high with the unopened provisions of those who had passed this way before him, because, without their provisions, each one had perished and never returned to the shack. 😉

Interesting version. I don't see what it has to do with ahimsa though.

"Camlion" wrote:
This is the Thelemic telling, to my way of thinking, or even the Buddhist one in Theory, although not in Practice, which is usually the case where Buddhism is observed today.

Maybe I just don't understand. It seems the lesson in that story (from what I can tell) is not to leave your provisions in the shack.

"Camlion" wrote:
As I understand it, in Thelema, Samsara is viewed as VOLUNTARY. It is undergone VOLUNTARILY to enable the Absolute, manifest as Self versus Not Self, to experience what it could never realize otherwise, the full extent of its own innate but otherwise seemingly infinite possibilities. We are thus able to experience ourselves serially, event by event, rather than 'all at once,' in a degree of exquisite and excruciating detail that would otherwise be impossible. (See the commentary to Crowley's Reguli and elsewhere.)

In Buddhism, as it is practiced today, this Wheel is regarded a curse, an involuntary cycle which ought to be escaped, not embraced. This is a misunderstanding of the facts. In Thelema, the Self knows it will survive the ordeal which it has VOLUNTARILY undertaken and be bettered thereby, eventually coming to a full realization of the possibilities inherent to Its own true Nature. Only memories are accumulated, much like the calloused abrasions often suffered in the throws of Ecstasy.

I think it becomes voluntary for anyone who really understands the difference between the Arhat and Bodhisattva. The Arhat cuts all ties to the wheel, eventually entering parinirvana, while the Bodhisattva works instead to transform the wheel for all beings. I also think these actions are equally noble.

Perhaps that's what you mean by voluntary? That Thelemites do not "have to" become either an Arhat or Bodhisattva - even though they may eventually fit one of those roles. In Thelema it is quite acceptable to simply "cut the cord" and leave humanity to its own blunders, each for himself.

It would be prudent to make sure we are thinking along similar lines before going off on a rant.

"Camlion" wrote:
Damn right, which is why Crowley prescribed a course of Mysticism before Magick. We can see the evidence of this Wisdom all around us. In no other Science would we find untrained and undisciplined individuals presuming to practice (and teach!) without qualification, under the guise of 'the freedom and license of art.' True Art, in the sense of Magick, requires a conduit worthy of its contents.

I believe it was tai who mentioned that magick begins to have the best effects once one has made contact with the HGA. I think that while it may have its best "results" then, such practices might really be better for the Aspirant and not the Adept, though I also do not disagree with tai.

"Camlion" wrote:
Sangha is another term grossly misunderstood among the Buddhists of today, and is usually deferred to the monastic life.

I understand the sangha as anyone who has accepted the three Jewels, whether they be monks or lay people.

"Camlion" wrote:
Having lived in two Abbeys of Thelema in the real world in my youth, I can assure you that true Sangha has to be earned, each individual for themselves, as contradictory to the idea of 'community' as that might seem. Without the self-realization of each and every individual in the community, their is no real Community. All the 'love' and tolerance in the world cannot shape a community from those who are not each self-realized and self-fulfilling individuals.

I'm not sure I understand what you are getting at here, Cam. In my opinion Thelema has four distinct "groups" (not castes) - the Three Grades, and the lay people, who are sometimes stereotyped by the popular label "fan boys". Some would exclude them, arguing (as I have in the past, and I apologize for my ignorance on the subject) that since they do not know their Wills they are not Thelemites. I don't see it that way anymore.

I see there are those who have done, those who do, those who will do, and those who will to be able to do - their Wills. If Thelema is to be inclusive, I don't see how anyone can be excluded. I also think that the Master sees this, and does the work of the Bodhisattva while living, but also has the choice to enter parinirvana upon death. This is echoed in the A:.A:. in that the Master "tends his Garden", while the Ipsissimus is free to withdraw at any time.

"Camlion" wrote:
The Thelemic idea of Love is best reserved for a discussion apart from Buddhism, I think. Crowley does justice to it in Little Essays Toward Truth. No doubt, our use of the word Love in our words of greeting and parting has attracted many since Liber AL pronounced itself, but this is somewhat misleading for some. The operative watchword in Thelema is Truth. All ideas must be tested for Truth by fully qualified individuals, each for their own. Our own ideas must be challenged. The ideas of others must be challenged. Each idea must be judged by the results when it is put into practice. If we disagree, so be it, until the differences are resolved and the Truth is self-evident. We cannot cheat our way into true Thelemic Community. In the long run, we each go our own Way.

I don't see how this is much different from the Buddhist. There are those who believe all beings can attain enlightenment while living, and they are the Bodhisattvas, which we can see in Mahayana and Vajrayana [Tibetan] Buddhism. There are also those who believe that only certain people are ready for enlightenment, and they are expected to withdraw into parinirvana as Arhats in the Theravada system.

In Thelema, we have choices. One can see the promulgation of the Law, or the raising of an Aspirant, as the work of a Bodhisattva, a work accomplished through forging the Link and giving one's self over to become a Beacon on the Lighthouse for the Swimmers approaching the shore in the storm. One can also, at any appointed time, turn the light out, and "vanish" into parinirvana.

Where world views is concerned, I think that Buddhism and Thelema are two sides of a coin. Buddhism ascertains that suffering exists, and there is an end to suffering through the eightfold path. Thelema asserts that freedom from suffering exists, and focuses on that freedom from the very beginning, instead of as a process that one eventually comes to realize. In either case, working with each paradigm does allow one to attain enlightenment.

Thelema also appears to be very selfish. But, I think that selfishness, while it is necessary for the beginner, is really an allegory to assist in one's training once one finally realizes that he or she is veritably alone. This apprehension alone is what allows the Thelemite to eventually "cut the cord" from humanity/reality without grace or guilt, and enter parinirvana. However, I think that until one does so, one's Will still must be done "among the living", and that act is what we call the promulgation of the Law.

It is duly noted that in Thelema, all these states are voluntary, and one could simply be born and enter parinirvana and be done with it. I don't see how this is much different from the Buddha, who's legend states that upon his birth he announced that he would not be reborn again, and lived 80 long years, and spent many of them promulgating until his entrance into parinirvana.

P.S. Thanks for the kind words. I shall forward them to my family, friends, and Superiors in the Order, as even though "I am alone", any progress made was rendered possible with the efforts of many other people, and there is no indication that it could have been made without their support on some level. All the credit goes to them. "I shall not rest until I have dissolved it all."


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Azidonis
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16/01/2012 9:07 pm  

I meant to comment further on this, but since I bracketed, it became a little diatribe on similarities between Thelema and Buddhism. I forgot to address these points that you say they are remarkably different.

(Also, I see this as very relevant to the topic, as particular world-views, heredity, training, etc. can alter or change the way one approaches fear, and the things that result therefrom, either due to the presence or absence of fear.)

"Camlion" wrote:
The Thelemic idea of Love is best reserved for a discussion apart from Buddhism, I think. Crowley does justice to it in Little Essays Toward Truth. No doubt, our use of the word Love in our words of greeting and parting has attracted many since Liber AL pronounced itself, but this is somewhat misleading for some.

I recall a discussion I once had with a Superior about how the idea of a Thelemic community was complete crap, more or less. He argued that if you took a village, or even a house, and filled it full of Thelemites, eventually there would be big trouble.

I don't see it that way. The key to economy is specialization. Specialization helps us to become faster and more efficient, prices are adjusted based on scarcity. In a Thelemic community, people would specialize, and they do specialize. There is nothing in Thelema which says you have to stop being yourself. In fact, it says quite the opposite. The idea is to "be yourself" in the fullest possible manner, until the self is dissolved. When that happens, there is still a choice, I think. That choice is to either continually reincarnate and help promulgate the Law throughout the current Aeon and enter parinirvana then, or to enter parinirvana in the current lifetime.

Fear aside (for instance, one who does not agree with reincarnation might think that if they do not enter parinirvana in this lifetime then they are screwed), those are two options that have been explored countless times by countless Masters.

"Camlion" wrote:
The operative watchword in Thelema is Truth. All ideas must be tested for Truth by fully qualified individuals, each for their own. Our own ideas must be challenged. The ideas of others must be challenged. Each idea must be judged by the results when it is put into practice. If we disagree, so be it, until the differences are resolved and the Truth is self-evident. We cannot cheat our way into true Thelemic Community.

Is the watchword of any other religion not truth? Do the adherents of the other religions in the world not think they know the "Truth"?

You are talking about the Weighing of the Scales. I'm talking about after that. I'm talking about the Link - what ties to the cycle of rebirth. This Link can be cut (Arhat) or not (Bodhisattva). When one's karma is dissolved, I think there is still a choice, is what I'm saying. And that's after everything else is considered, a simple choice of when to enter parinirvana. Those that choose to, well they say they are no longer reborn. Those that do not are reborn in order to help promulgate the Law, whatever it may be.

"Camlion" wrote:
In the long run, we each go our own Way.

Yes. I think that each of us, eventually, reach That Point, but I do not think it is necessarily a given in any System. As I recall, Crowley focused on making Masters, not Ipsissimii. Even after Crowley, there has been at least one claim to Magus in Hymanaeus Alpha, two if you count Achad, and there are others, I'm sure (consider Leah Hirsig, for instance). Yet, only one of them claimed Ipsissimus, and that was Achad. So what about them? Do you just say, "well, they didn't become Ipsissimus" - so maybe they failed? Maybe they didn't complete the Path? Or that it was okay for them not to lay claim to that Grade? What of those who, like Germer, finished at Magister Templi? What do you say, "Good game man. Sucks you were a dud." In my opinion, saying something like that is utterly false, and I think that type of dichotomy is what the failure to recognize the choices alludes to.

So while I agree with you Cam, I think that what you are saying only represents one aspect of the whole. Unless, of course, you are talking about the time when we each undergo parinirvana, in which I agree, love means something completely different at that time.

Liber AL I:61:

"61. But to love me is better than all things: if under the night stars in the desert thou presently burnest mine incense before me, invoking me with a pure heart, and the Serpent flame therein, thou shalt come a little to lie in my bosom. For one kiss wilt thou then be willing to give all; but whoso gives one particle of dust shall lose all in that hour. Ye shall gather goods and store of women and spices; ye shall wear rich jewels; ye shall exceed the nations of the earth in spendour & pride; but always in the love of me, and so shall ye come to my joy. I charge you earnestly to come before me in a single robe, and covered with a rich headdress. I love you! I yearn to you! Pale or purple, veiled or voluptuous, I who am all pleasure and purple, and drunkenness of the innermost sense, desire you. Put on the wings, and arouse the coiled splendour within you: come unto me!"

This seems adequate. Usually, this verse is probably taken to speak of the Abyss. But, if we are talking about parinirvana, it describes the process of abolishing the Link.

If this were not so, then there simply would be no Grades past 8=3, which is the realization of Nirvana. Not only are there two Grades past it, those Grades are consistent with teachings in other doctrines, such as that of parinirvana, or the final nirvana, the one that one can enter upon death, and assures there will be no rebirth.

Buddhism has the Four Aryan (Noble) Truths:

"1. Life means suffering. [Not only is this a reflection of the State of the World at the time of Siddartha, it is an affirmation of the success of the preceding Aeon.]
2. The origin of suffering is attachment.
3. The cessation of suffering is attainable.
4. The path to the cessation of suffering." [Eightfold Path]

I propose this:

1. Love exists.
2. The Origin of Love is in the dissolution of the Link.
3. Dissolution of the Link is attainable.
4. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

I also think that the true meaning of the "Three Grades" is the following:

Hermit - Will enter parinirvana
Lover - In the process of severing the Link, preparing to enter parinirvana
Man of Earth - Not yet ready to sever the Link.

This affirms that yes, eventually each of us must sever the Link, but that we may be in different stages in that process. Some may choose not to sever the Link, instead taking the Bodhisattva route. "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law." I do not think that if one were faced with such a decision, one would be at fault for making this decision. Otherwise, one might want to call up the Dalai Lama and tell him that his pursuits are foolish.


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mika
 mika
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18/01/2012 12:53 am  
"Azidonis" wrote:
The mind can choose to not attach itself to the cold, simply allowing the body to run its course while continuing on Its Way.
It's not that the body does not get cold, or that the mind does not perceive the cold, but rather that the mind has simply decided not to react to the cold.
Obviously, one would do well to ascertain the risk of frostbite and other hazards, and react accordingly, which requires the mind to engage in the bodily reaction to cold, yet the mind may continue to remain unattached even in its assistance in self-preservation.

Just remember, there's a difference between non-attachment and non-action.  Not being attached to the experience of feeling cold (or fear or whatever) is different from not reacting to it.  In other words, you can practice non-attachment and still put on a sweater.  Or, choosing to put on a sweater does not mean you failed at non-attachment.  It just means you decided to put on a sweater, for whatever reasons.  Non-attachment is observing what we experience "impersonally" and then choosing how to respond, rather than unconsciously reacting to our experiences. 

"Camlion" wrote:
In Thelema, the Self knows it will survive the ordeal

Ha!  Try telling that to Choronzon.

"The Self knows it will survive": the perfect motto for the Black Brethren. 

Not only is that a statement of personal religious belief rather than Thelemic "fact", it directly contradicts the Thelemic and/or Qabalistic challenge of the aspirant on the precipice of the (or any) Abyss.  "Anguished self-preservation"[1] indeed.

[1] Magick Without Tears, Ch XII


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Azidonis
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18/01/2012 1:30 am  
"mika" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
The mind can choose to not attach itself to the cold, simply allowing the body to run its course while continuing on Its Way.
It's not that the body does not get cold, or that the mind does not perceive the cold, but rather that the mind has simply decided not to react to the cold.
Obviously, one would do well to ascertain the risk of frostbite and other hazards, and react accordingly, which requires the mind to engage in the bodily reaction to cold, yet the mind may continue to remain unattached even in its assistance in self-preservation.

Just remember, there's a difference between non-attachment and non-action.  Not being attached to the experience of feeling cold (or fear or whatever) is different from not reacting to it.  In other words, you can practice non-attachment and still put on a sweater.  Or, choosing to put on a sweater does not mean you failed at non-attachment.  It just means you decided to put on a sweater, for whatever reasons.  Non-attachment is observing what we experience "impersonally" and then choosing how to respond, rather than unconsciously reacting to our experiences. 

I agree. It was first introduced to me in 2,000 as "indifference", which is similar but not necessarily the same. I had to go from there and work my way into an understanding of non-attachment. The cold analogy came after walking outside and perceiving what I eventually wrote, then thinking "Well duh. I do that all the time."

On the "Seed" thing, I was well... being naive, I suppose. It was also part of another subject concerning Karmic Seeds, a personal "hot topic" as of late... I won't start peeling back all the layers of that onion right now though.

Again, thanks for the input, Mika. You've been a tremendous help. 🙂


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 Anonymous
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18/01/2012 3:07 am  
"mika" wrote:
"Camlion" wrote:
In Thelema, the Self knows it will survive the ordeal

Ha!  Try telling that to Choronzon.

"The Self knows it will survive": the perfect motto for the Black Brethren. 

You are thinking of self, not of Self. There are two Veils, one is the mind and other is life itself. "Black Brethren," indeed.


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 Anonymous
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18/01/2012 4:10 am  
"mika" wrote:
Not only is that a statement of personal religious belief rather than Thelemic "fact"

Sorry, I missed this part.

Yes, obviously, as Az I were discussing Buddhism, I was contrasting Thelema to Buddhism in that religious context. For those Thelemites who Will use Thelema in that context, Thelema is a religion. I realize that it isn't for you, and I can certainly respect that, but I think that it was a religion for its founder, Crowley, who accepted it a 'religion of the Book,' (while occasionally objecting to the word "religion") and accepted his role as its Prophet. One could also argue that Buddhism is not a religion, because they Will have it as something else, but that argument won't go far in persuading anyone that Buddhism is not widely practiced as a religion.


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ignant666
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18/01/2012 5:10 am  

Sorry if I'm missing something, but is there perhaps some contradiction (perhaps resolved above the abyss?) between
Life [more often rendered "existence"]means suffering. (1st Noble Truth of Buddhism)
and
Remember all ye that existence is pure joy; that all the sorrows are but as shadows; they pass & are done; but there is that which remains. )AL, II, 9)
Secondly, it has been mentioned that
I recall a discussion I once had with a Superior about how the idea of a Thelemic community was complete crap, more or less. He argued that if you took a village, or even a house, and filled it full of Thelemites, eventually there would be big trouble.
I am curious why the poster of this regarded this person as either a Thelemite, or a "Superior", given the views expressed?


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 Anonymous
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18/01/2012 7:27 am  
"ignant666" wrote:
Sorry if I'm missing something, but is there perhaps some contradiction (perhaps resolved above the abyss?) between
Life [more often rendered "existence"]means suffering. (1st Noble Truth of Buddhism)
and
Remember all ye that existence is pure joy; that all the sorrows are but as shadows; they pass & are done; but there is that which remains. )AL, II, 9)

I'm not sure who you're addressing, ignant666, but I wouldn't necessarily equate "life," as in "Unto them from whose eyes the veil of life hath fallen may there be granted the accomplishment of their true Wills" (to quote myself in the Babble-Box earlier today quoting Liber XV), with "existence" as intended in AL: II, 9.

I would, however, equate the sorrows that are but shadows (or folds in the Veil) with life as it is commonly perceived. 

Just sayin'.


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Azidonis
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18/01/2012 3:08 pm  
"ignant666" wrote:
Sorry if I'm missing something, but is there perhaps some contradiction (perhaps resolved above the abyss?) between
Life [more often rendered "existence"]means suffering. (1st Noble Truth of Buddhism)
and
Remember all ye that existence is pure joy; that all the sorrows are but as shadows; they pass & are done; but there is that which remains. )AL, II, 9)

As I said before, there is no contradiction. They are two approaches to the same show. The Buddhist learns that "suffering exists" and "attachment causes suffering". The Thelemite learns that "sorrows are shadows", which in a nutshell is the same thing. If there were no cessation of suffering in Buddhism (ie. no eightfold path), then one could say there is a focus on suffering. But there is a cessation of suffering in Buddhism, and Thelema has its own approach to that same cessation.

"ignant666" wrote:
Secondly, it has been mentioned that
I recall a discussion I once had with a Superior about how the idea of a Thelemic community was complete crap, more or less. He argued that if you took a village, or even a house, and filled it full of Thelemites, eventually there would be big trouble.
I am curious why the poster of this regarded this person as either a Thelemite, or a "Superior", given the views expressed?

I am curious why you refer to me as "the poster" instead of talking to me instead of about me. Gossip much?

His statement was sound, and it holds water for the most part. As I said above, there are really four groups, or classes of "Thelemite" (or people calling themselves Thelemite), those being the Masters, Adepts, Aspirants, and lay people. There are some who will Work all their lives and not attain. There are some who just jump on the tour bus for a fun ride. People seem to have this idea that the HGA, or True Will is some sort of personal possession that, when captured, allows them to do amazing things. This gives the outer impression that Thelema is indeed selfish, when in fact, it is quite the opposite.

In each of those four stages, the Operator is working with a slightly different (at the least) paradigm. In at least three of those stages (three Grades), I would argue that it is paramount for one to have the opportunity to work in solitude, though not completely. It's also readily apparent that mixing all four groups at once has proven hazardous in the past, and there is a verifiable reason why the A:.A:. is structured as it is, where one knows one's Superior and Inferior in the Order, and scarcely any others. This is intentional, to avoid the group mentality taking over. Thelema is not about community on the outset, but people see it as so. People try to create a "Thelemic community", when really, what is there to be communal about?

You are born. You have a unique DNA sequence, are raised in a unique environment, and develop a unique outlook and approach to life. These tools are all one really needs in order to attain. One discovers the self, the non-self, and dissolution in the interaction between the two. As the same Superior you are doubting once said, "It is a lonely desolate path". We are all, each of us, alone. That is, no one can do the Work for you. I would imagine that many might agree and even see it that way, but there are also many who do not, and would rather ride the curtails of those that Do. Plus, as Cam rightly said, "In the long run, we each go our own Way."

There is no need for say, a bunch of Masters to sit cluttered into a single house with all types of people at differing stages. They can if they so choose, but they are also completely free to do their Wills, which may not include living with a bunch of fan boys trying to work the Crowleyite out of them. It is also not beneficial for the Adept, who is extremely busy with his/her own Work, and hardly needs to be bothered with such Crowleyites during such a crucial stage of development. Sure, the Aspirants and lay people can learn something valuable from them, and vice versa, but it's not necessary, and further it creates sectarianism and dogma. Look at the current A:.A:. groups. Each of them have their own approaches to the Work, and have discovered viable methods for accomplishing the same. However, if you look at the Masters of those lines, you can see they are teaching similar things in different language. This allows for diversity within Thelema. What would destroy that diversity, is forcing all of them to get together and come up with some common orthodoxy - one that Thelemites wouldn't agree with anyway because there is to be no orthodoxy! Each star must be free to go in its own orbit, and that cannot happen when one is bound to a communal program.

Take a look at the Abbey in Cefalu'. Sure, it ran okay (or so one might believe), but it was due to three facts that 1) Crowley was king shit around those parts, and His Word was Law, 2) Many people would simply show up and visit for a short time, probably for bouts of personal instruction with the guru (Crowley), but other than that had no part in the dealings there, and 3) The times where people became so distracted with the goings on in the house, Crowley actually sent them on "magickal retreats", basically telling them to get the hell out of the house, and get the house the hell out of them. All this occured, plus there were love affairs and jealousies, kids caught up in the mix - are you living in a dreamworld, or can you really see that the conditions at the Abbey were far less than ideal, and the only reason it lasted half as long as it did was because of Crowley, and those willing to help him - again, because it was Crowley.

I'm not saying Thelema cannot be applied to government, and I'm not saying that all pockets of Thelemic communities are doomed. What I'm saying is that it is not necessarily the goal of any Thelemite to lead a group environment, nor is it required. In fact, I think it is best to leave an Aspirant to his/her own devices, and simply follow the Program as laid out by the Beast, which includes learning how to "mind your own business".


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ignant666
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18/01/2012 4:28 pm  

Azidonis: i do apologize for having referred to you indirectly; no discourtesy was intended.
I'm not sure you've explained away the apparent contradiction; as I'm sure you're aware, I'm not alone in this perception, as AC mentioned the verse I quoted as having "knocked [his] Buddhism completely on the head" (Ch. 50, Confessions).
How would you explain the rather explicit curse/threat to the "Buddhist" in AL III, 53? Would you regard "crapulous" as positive?
As to community & Thelema: Fair enough, except that the Star Sponge vision suggests that disharmony among stars ought not to occur. Further, the very extensive efforts by Crowley to create Thelemic communities suggest that he certainly disagreed with your "Superior".


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Azidonis
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18/01/2012 5:14 pm  
"ignant666" wrote:
I'm not sure you've explained away the apparent contradiction; as I'm sure you're aware, I'm not alone in this perception, as AC mentioned the verse I quoted as having "knocked [his] Buddhism completely on the head" (Ch. 50, Confessions).
How would you explain the rather explicit curse/threat to the "Buddhist" in AL III, 53? Would you regard "crapulous" as positive?

Yep, and as I stated above, religions throughout history are full of various "truth claims" that put them on a pedestal. If that's how you choose to see the verse, that's your business. I do not see it that way.

I don't throw out the baby with the bath water. To say all the former religions and creeds no longer initiate is to me a falsity. What makes it false is that they were never expressly needed to begin with. One can take any System, any religion, any doctrine, and attain. Hell, one could make a religion form Dr. Suess books and still attain. The attainment isn't in the words, spells, rituals, and all that other stuff. Attainment occurs as part of the ongoing process of Initiation that occurs within the mind of the Aspirant, and is then reflected and manifested onto the physical plane. There are very many solid practices in Buddhism that aid this process. There are others which simply aren't necessary, as Crowley was so apt in pointing out.

Consider Judaism, with its 600+ commandments, and consider Buddhism, in which male monks follow 10 Precepts, but female monks have hundreds of various rules, including but not limited to the inability to criticize a male monk. It's practices such as these that are 'abrogate', and arguably "crapulous". The Buddhist path to enlightenment remains as effective now as it did during the time of Gotama Buddha. Consider that there are some Hindus who believe that mutilation of the physical body aids enlightenment. They have believed so, and practiced such, for thousands of years, and continue to do so to this day. They also continue to attain to this day. Just because I don't think it's necessary to pierce my nipples with coat hangers to attain enlightenment, does not mean that someone else won't think so, let alone take that route. To condemn them for such practices not only shows unfounded arrogance, but profound ignorance as well. Remember, "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law."

A man once told me it was possible to attain using only the LBRP. He was right. It also has nothing whatsoever to do with the "power of the LBRP to initiate", but the power of the Initiate to be initiated by use of the LBRP.

Concerning dukkha, I apparently haven't explained it enough. Dukkha, roughly "dis-ease, sorrow, suffering" exists. This statement came, as it were, due to three of the four sights that Siddartha saw on his initial visits from the palace, namely Aging, Disease, and Death. The Buddha taught that attachment to these three things causes dukkha, and that there is a way to cease the perception of dukkha. Essentially, there is a way to Life, Light, Liberty and Love. Crowley taught that dukkha (or sorrows), are "shadows", simply a set of perceptions caused due to - you guessed it - attachment with an object, or the nature of an object. Crowley too taught that there is a way to cease such activity, that way being the A:.A:. So you have two systems, the eightfold path and that of the A:.A:., who take different approaches, but arrive at the same level. Two roads diverged in a wood. Take either one of them, and eventually learn they both lead to the same place.

"ignant666" wrote:
As to community & Thelema: Fair enough, except that the Star Sponge vision suggests that disharmony among stars ought not to occur. Further, the very extensive efforts by Crowley to create Thelemic communities suggest that he certainly disagreed with your "Superior".

When you get a chance, not today because of the Anti-SOPA deal, but maybe tomorrow, look up One Star in Sight. Pay close attention to the fact that in the A:.A:. one is to know his Superior who introduced him, and the Inferior that he himself introduced. Take note also that the terms "Superior" and "Inferior" are mere labels, and have nothing to do with actual social statuses as one may normally apply them. Consider what Crowley must have thought, or saw, when creating this rule.

Crowley may have disagreed with him, but the copyright battles after Crowley's death would disagree with Crowley. Even during his own life, when the head of the snake wasn't around, the body wriggled quite freely. Hell, I disagree with him! If you paid attention,

"Azidonis" wrote:
I recall a discussion I once had with a Superior about how the idea of a Thelemic community was complete crap, more or less. He argued that if you took a village, or even a house, and filled it full of Thelemites, eventually there would be big trouble.

I don't see it that way. The key to economy is specialization. Specialization helps us to become faster and more efficient, prices are adjusted based on scarcity. In a Thelemic community, people would specialize, and they do specialize. There is nothing in Thelema which says you have to stop being yourself. In fact, it says quite the opposite. The idea is to "be yourself" in the fullest possible manner, until the self is dissolved. When that happens, there is still a choice, I think. That choice is to either continually reincarnate and help promulgate the Law throughout the current Aeon and enter parinirvana then, or to enter parinirvana in the current lifetime.

That entire diatribe was on the topic of the choice, after already crossing the Abyss, of whether or not to act among humanity, or apart from them. The argument states that one has a choice, and "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law" is the guideline. It is impossible to force a Master into going any which way s/he does not choose to go. True Masters are not bound by dogmas, or trite little letters shared between the deceased. True Masters are completely free, and as such, to try and force any Master into one set of dogmas or practices over another is laughable. Some have more social dispositions, while some have more solitary ones. Some may view their Wills as that of a teachers, while some may take the path of renunciation. There is no Right Way where that is concerned.

However, even a Master has certain limitations, and may have to work in one or another facet of perceived reality before the ultimate attainment of parinirvana is accomplished. This is when you start reading about Crowley, as a Magus, getting "tossed into the sphere of Juppiter". Enlightenment, Nirvana, the City of the Pyramids, the Grade of Magister Templi, is a beginning, not an end. Where it concerns what happens after that, Crowley had much to say. But how many other Thelemites had much to say about it? Only two, far as I know: Achad and McMurtry. Correct me if there are more. Regardless, when one has exhausted such information, one may reliably turn to the immense compilations of Hindu and Buddhist texts for further explanations and outlooks on the subject. Look up Nagarjuna when you get the chance, or consider that the Heart Sutra can veritably be applied by the Adeptus Minor as well as the Magister Templi, and the Magister may have more success in actually comprehending the material.

As for the Star Sponge vision, it looks much different depending on the Vantage Point. But that too, is a matter of perception, depending on which Veils are, or are not, in place.


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ignant666
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18/01/2012 6:37 pm  

Again, fair enough. You have developed an understanding whereby the various verses of AL that very clearly deny the first Noble Truth, explicitly curse the Buddhist, and state that the old religions and creeds no longer initiate don't mean what they appear to mean. On a site devoted to the legacy of AC, I thought it worth pointing out that he disagreed with these interpretations. The only truth claim being made is what AC thought and said.
As to your not-at-all-patronizing second portion re community: I have heard of a work by that name & recall that the rule you mention has been "abrogate" (as the kids say) for at least 91 years- see the sentence following the one to which you refer.
As to the duties or lack thereof of Masters, and the ethical/practical implications for society of the Star Sponge vision: given my evident lack of spiritual development, I defer to your apparently more informed perspective.
Or, to bring us back to "do", you appear to aspire to the nothingness; I'm enjoying the twinkles.


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Michael Staley
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18/01/2012 11:34 pm  

ignant666 (obviously a few letters missing from that username), I find your attitude incredible. You appear to think that because there are some sentiments in The Book of the Law that are antagonistic to Buddhism, therefore Buddhism is a pile of doo-dah. Thus you appear quite cheerfully to dismiss a religion that is astonishingly diverse, and has such depths, on the grounds that The Book of the Law tells you to.

There are many strains within Buddhism, quite apart from the Hinayana/Mahayana divide. The prajnaparamita texts, for instance, have something in common with Crowley's rhapsodic texts such as The Book of the Heart Girt with the Serpent. Again, Cha'an Buddhism often espouses a joyful, playful, life-affirming outlook. Tibetan Buddhism has strong elements of the pre-Buddhist Bon tradition. I'm not a religious person, but if I were forced at gunpoint to choose a religion, then it would be Buddhism, because I love the profundity of insight. Buddhism, Taoism, Thelema - these are labels; we should be penetrating beyond such superficialities.

Presumably, on the basis that the "old creeds and religions no longer initiate", perhaps you can explain to me why Crowley had so much respect for Taoism. If you doubt this, read Liber Aleph; read Crowley's reworking of Legge's translation of the Tao Teh Ching. A perusal of Magick without Tears will demonstrate that this respect continued, irrespective of whether Taoism was to be counted amongst the "old creeds and religions that no longer initiate".

It brings a joy to my heart that you "defer" to Azidonis's "apparently more informed perspective". I suspect that it's a damned sight more informed than yours.


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ignant666
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19/01/2012 12:48 am  

Michael Staley: I'm not sure where I've expressed _any view at all_ on Buddhism, other than to point out that AC's writings rather clearly distinguish Buddhism from Thelema in ways that seem to elude our friend Azidonis? You might want to consider reading a bit more carefully before joining the fray? For the record, I'd tend to agree with your views.
Again, _I_ didn't say that "Abrogate are all rituals , all ordeals, all words and signs", but merely alluded to the fact that AL says it. That this contradicts what AC says about the Yellow School in MWT is true; anyone with a more than superficial acquaintance with AC's work has surely noticed that he contradicted himself rather a lot.
As to your effort at ad hominem wit: oooh, touché! Though my ignorance remains vast, I do at least have the benefit of having studied AC's works for rather longer than Azidonis has been alive, though I make no claim to the enlightenment he rather pompously proclaims in the last line of his last post.


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Azidonis
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19/01/2012 4:05 am  
"ignant666" wrote:
Again, fair enough. You have developed an understanding whereby the various verses of AL that very clearly deny the first Noble Truth, explicitly curse the Buddhist, and state that the old religions and creeds no longer initiate don't mean what they appear to mean.

How crude. Are you going to try and tell me now that Thelema has a monopoly on enlightenment? Say it. I dare you. If the system continues to enlighten, then it is not abrogate, no matter how much you want it to be. I don't see any sign of it stopping to do so either, so if you are privy to such information, feel free to share it.

"ignant666" wrote:
On a site devoted to the legacy of AC, I thought it worth pointing out that he disagreed with these interpretations. The only truth claim being made is what AC thought and said.

Is that what you did? I must have missed it. For a minute, I thought that we were getting your interpretation of what you think Crowley meant, or Liber AL meant. In either case, I disagree with Crowley often. Apparently he liked cigars, and I can't stand the things. If only I were more like him...

"ignant666" wrote:
As to your not-at-all-patronizing second portion re community:

Who's patronizing? Hey, if you can't debate the content, at least have the decency to not debate the poster. I'm pretty sure that much of what I wrote included underpinnings of "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law", and in case you haven't noticed this thread has been anything but patronizing, and more about sharing ideas and brainstorming. That you have added nothing to that says more about you than me.

"ignant666" wrote:
I have heard of a work by that name & recall that the rule you mention has been "abrogate" (as the kids say) for at least 91 years- see the sentence following the one to which you refer.

A work by what name? This sentence is somewhat unintelligible.

"ignant666" wrote:
As to the duties or lack thereof of Masters, and the ethical/practical implications for society of the Star Sponge vision: given my evident lack of spiritual development, I defer to your apparently more informed perspective.
Or, to bring us back to "do", you appear to aspire to the nothingness; I'm enjoying the twinkles.

So now a thread that began as inquisitive and thought-provoking has turned into a pissing match with someone who:

"ignant666" wrote:
"I do at least have the benefit of having studied AC's works for rather longer than Azidonis has been alive, though I make no claim to the enlightenment he rather pompously proclaims in the last line of his last post."

Glad you know how long I've been alive.

And I think you are referring to this (I know, using technology gets harder as you get older, it's okay):

"ignant666" wrote:
As for the Star Sponge vision, it looks much different depending on the Vantage Point. But that too, is a matter of perception, depending on which Veils are, or are not, in place.

Once again, instead of actually debating this statement, actually challenging it, you have resorted to putting words into my mouth and calling me names. Not only are you full of unintelligible sentences, you have displayed at least two logical fallacies.

You can continue to pick at me if you want, but "debate the post, not the poster". Just standing up and saying, "I object", or "That's not what Crowley thought", especially without even telling us what Crowley thought in his own words, is also not very logical.


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Azidonis
(@azidonis)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2964
19/01/2012 4:19 am  

On a more related note: Mentos Rainbow Commercial - The Spider


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