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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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19/01/2012 4:20 am  

Some Notes on Buddhism

Science and Buddhism from: The Collected Works of Aleister Crowley is certainly worth a read as well as:

Thelema & Buddhism from: The Journal of Thelemic Study:

*Part 3: The Influence of Buddhism on Aleister Crowley
*Part 4: Liber AL’s View of Buddhism

Scribed here:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/57088097/3/Part-3-The-Influence-of-Buddhism-on-Aleister-Crowley


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Azidonis
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Posts: 2964
19/01/2012 5:14 am  
"666tsaeb" wrote:
Some Notes on Buddhism

Science and Buddhism from: The Collected Works of Aleister Crowley is certainly worth a read as well as:

Thelema & Buddhism from: The Journal of Thelemic Study:

*Part 3: The Influence of Buddhism on Aleister Crowley
*Part 4: Liber AL’s View of Buddhism

Scribed here:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/57088097/3/Part-3-The-Influence-of-Buddhism-on-Aleister-Crowley

Wonderful read. Thanks for the link!


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ignant666
(@ignant666)
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19/01/2012 12:30 pm  
"Azidonis" wrote:
"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.

Obviously I have said no such thing, but pointed out that AL says these things.

"Azidonis" wrote:
"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...

How meta- yes, I suppose you are getting my interpretation, backed up with references. Probably most sane people disagree with AC often. What's your point?

"Azidonis" wrote:
"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.

You may recall saying

"Azidonis" wrote:
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.

The presumption that I am not familiar with this rather basic work of AC's is frankly patronizing, or that I have not heard of this somewhat well-known fact about the A∴ A∴, as is the presumption that I would need to look it up online, rather than by picking up a book. Given that you are evidently not all that familiar with the work you urge me to check out, it is doubly so. If you were more familiar with that work, you would know that in fact the "rule" probably never existed in AC's version of the order, or at any rate only until some time prior to 1921.

"Azidonis" wrote:
"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.

"One Star in Sight": "This rule has been relaxed..."- the sentence following the one you cite.

"Azidonis" wrote:
"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.

Well, you have a profile on the site that says you are 31.

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

Engaging in personal attacks while complaining  about ad hominem attacks? Projection much?

"Azidonis" 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.

I will leave it to other readers to determine whether this is a substantive argument that refutes my point about the Star Sponge vision, or an example of a self-proclaimed "initiate" "pulling [occult] rank" and asserting that from his exalted "Vantage Point" with many "Veils" "not in place" I'm simply wrong.

"Azidonis" wrote:
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.

I don't think further participation in this discussion is likely to prove profitable. I've provided several citations backing what I have said.


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Los
 Los
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19/01/2012 1:26 pm  
"ignant666" wrote:
On a site devoted to the legacy of AC, I thought it worth pointing out that he disagreed with these interpretations.

Well, someone such as yourself, who has been studying Crowley for nearly thirty years, ought to have come across the "addendum" to his essay on "Sorrow" in "Little Essays Towards Truth":

"Furthermore, to the normal or dualistic consciousness it is precisely the shadows ‘which pass and are done’ which constitute perceptibly: what man "sees" is in fact just that which obstructs the rays of light. This is the justification for the Buddha saying: "Everything is Sorrow": in that word ‘Everything’ he is most careful to include specifically all those things which men count joyous. And this is not really a paradox; for to him all reactions which produce consciousness are ultimately sorrowful, as being disturbances of the Perfection of Peace, or (if you prefer it) as obstructions to the free flow of Energy.

"Joy and Sorrow are thus to him relative terms; subdivisions of one great sorrow, which is manifestation. We need not trouble to contest this view; indeed, the ‘Shadows’ of which our book speaks are those interferences with Light caused by the partiality of our apprehension.

"The Whole is Infinite Perfection, and so is each Unit thereof. To transcend the Trance of Sorrow it is thus sufficient to cancel the subject of the contemplation by marrying it to its equal and opposite in imagination. We may also pursue the analytical method, and resolve the complex which appears Sorrow into its atoms. Each event of it is a sublime and joyous act of Love; or the synthetical method, proceeding from the part to the Whole, with a similar result."
________________________________

In other words, according to Crowley, Liber AL is most definitely against what we might call an "orthodox" reading of the first noble truth: it is opposed to, for example, any interpretation of Buddhism that requires one to retire from life or give up, as it were. However, one can make Liber AL's perspective align with the first noble truth if one shifts perspective a little bit. Under a different interpretation of the first noble truth, manifestation itself is Sorrow, writ large, and one must realize that "all" of these shadows will pass, leaving THAT which underlies them.


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 Anonymous
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19/01/2012 1:43 pm  
"Azidonis" wrote:

The Spider has its place in Buddhism as it does for the Dogon Tribe (of Dog-Star, Sirius fame), where matter is woven in a spiral web by a spider whose name means mother. Buddhism reconciles these views by purporting that matter is woven in a spiral web by a spider as if on a loom with a shuttle. Perhaps the spider symbolism carries even beyond, as this article suggests:

http://viewonbuddhism.org/fear.html


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ignant666
(@ignant666)
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19/01/2012 2:38 pm  

Oh how easily I am drawn back in.
Los: Little Essays On Truth is indeed one of the works I have encountered in more than 40 years (not nearly 30) of misunderstanding AC. I think the essay you quote rather more supports the point I've been making rather than undercutting it. In it, AC discusses the apparent contradiction between the First Noble Truth and the "all existence is pure joy...." passage, and reconciles this contradiction by concluding that the Trance of Sorrow is true, a necessary step, but ultimately to be transformed into the Trance of Wonder, where the "illusion of Sorrow" is revealed as "the product of a partial and imperfect Vision".
I would agree with what you say, that AL is against an "orthodox" reading of the First Noble Truth; that is in fact the point I have been making- not that it is impossible to reconcile Buddhist & Thelemic worldviews, or that AC never did so, but merely that it takes some doing.
666staeb: Thank you for those links supporting the argument I have made here. Certainly, as the linked essay says, AC was profoundly influenced by Buddhism "in the years immediately preceding the reception of [AL]", enough so to write "Science & Buddhism" in 1903.
I would also agree that after AL, AC slowly & very reluctantly "abandoned his Buddhist principles", because of his "failing faith in Buddhist principles", although he was able to reconcile the two as discussed above.


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Azidonis
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19/01/2012 3:44 pm  
"ignant666" wrote:
Obviously I have said no such thing, but pointed out that AL says these things.

And I have pointed out that I understand the book from a different perspective than Crowley, at times. What's the point?

"ignant666" wrote:
How meta- yes, I suppose you are getting my interpretation, backed up with references. Probably most sane people disagree with AC often. What's your point?

First you badger me for not agreeing with Crowley and forming my own interpretations of the book. Now you wonder what's the point?

"ignant666" wrote:
You may recall saying

"Azidonis" wrote:
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.

The presumption that I am not familiar with this rather basic work of AC's is frankly patronizing, or that I have not heard of this somewhat well-known fact about the A∴ A∴, as is the presumption that I would need to look it up online, rather than by picking up a book. Given that you are evidently not all that familiar with the work you urge me to check out, it is doubly so. If you were more familiar with that work, you would know that in fact the "rule" probably never existed in AC's version of the order, or at any rate only until some time prior to 1921.

My understanding is that Rule is relaxed in the case of an umbrella scenario in which there are more Probationers than there are Neophytes to guide them. I've had first hand experience with both settings (relaxed and non-relaxed), and I'm all for the non-relaxed version.

There was nothing patronizing about it. You seem to be under the assumption that the rule has been relaxed for good, and that it is better that way. I disagree that it has been relaxed for good, for the simple fact that I have experienced both settings first-hand. Perhaps you, with all your hundreds of Probationers, have seen fit to relax such a rule, but chastise others for not doing so? Anyway, I was simply pointing you to the document, and I would have linked it and just been done with it had it not been for the tired U.S. government causing an internet blackout on the day I made my response.

"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.

"One Star in Sight": "This rule has been relaxed..."- the sentence following the one you cite.

This really should be included with the above, and is better off there, for the sake of sanity (and losing lost fragments).

"ignant666" wrote:
Well, you have a profile on the site that says you are 31.

I sure do! Think I added that recently too.

"ignant666" wrote:
Engaging in personal attacks while complaining  about ad hominem attacks? Projection much?

I see you began to work on your sentence structure and even use the quote feature. Looks like the little ad hominem had some effectiveness, fallacy though it was. But if you can poke, I can poke.

"Azidonis" 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.
"ignant666" wrote:
I will leave it to other readers to determine whether this is a substantive argument that refutes my point about the Star Sponge vision, or an example of a self-proclaimed "initiate" "pulling [occult] rank" and asserting that from his exalted "Vantage Point" with many "Veils" "not in place" I'm simply wrong.

You are neither right nor wrong, for you have not presented your views clearly, other than making references to A.C. So far, you have disagreed on second hand assertions of another's viewpoint, made for the sake of example really, a view I myself disagree with. And you have managed to point to a "relaxed rule", and a couple verses from Liber AL as your sources. Its interesting that while neither of us disagree with the viewpoint stated, neither of us agree as to how we arrive at that disagreement.

I haven't pulled "occult rank". That's stupid.

Again, what I said was:

"Azidonis" 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.

So far, you have insufficiently challenged that, only saying that you are "enjoying the twinkles", and that I am young and stupid and trying to pull rank somehow. The whole point of the assertion was that eventually, the lights go out. It has nothing to do with rank, who you are, who I am, or who anyone else is. You can enjoy the twinkles all you want to.

"ignant666" wrote:
I don't think further participation in this discussion is likely to prove profitable. I've provided several citations backing what I have said.

I don't think your participating was fruitful in the first place. You have done more to challenge me, and less to challenge the ideas, and where you have decided not to "enlighten this young idiot who think he's so cool", you have simply tossed in some references to Crowley's work. I'm fine with the Crowleyite act, but what's the point of disagreeing with anti community sentiments only to create discontinuity of your own?

Your supporting statements are lacking. Maybe in the 40+ years you have been "misunderstanding AC" you wrote something of value pertaining to this subject? Maybe you have an original thought, instead of "that's not what AC thought"?


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ignant666
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19/01/2012 3:47 pm  

I hasten to correct an error in my previous post, before I am pilloried for it: yes, I am aware I have mis-cited the title of Little Essays Toward Truth and profoundly apologize for any inconvenience caused thereby.


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Azidonis
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19/01/2012 4:01 pm  

Thank you Los, for providing the citations.

"ignant666" wrote:
Oh how easily I am drawn back in.
Los: Little Essays On Truth is indeed one of the works I have encountered in more than 40 years (not nearly 30) of misunderstanding AC. I think the essay you quote rather more supports the point I've been making rather than undercutting it. In it, AC discusses the apparent contradiction between the First Noble Truth and the "all existence is pure joy...." passage, and reconciles this contradiction by concluding that the Trance of Sorrow is true, a necessary step, but ultimately to be transformed into the Trance of Wonder, where the "illusion of Sorrow" is revealed as "the product of a partial and imperfect Vision".

Yes, and how is that different from the eightfold path, which also offers cessation from sorrow?

"ignant666" wrote:
I would agree with what you say, that AL is against an "orthodox" reading of the First Noble Truth; that is in fact the point I have been making- not that it is impossible to reconcile Buddhist & Thelemic worldviews, or that AC never did so, but merely that it takes some doing.

This whole line of debate was born from a reconciliation of those views.

"ignant666" wrote:
666staeb: Thank you for those links supporting the argument I have made here. Certainly, as the linked essay says, AC was profoundly influenced by Buddhism "in the years immediately preceding the reception of [AL]", enough so to write "Science & Buddhism" in 1903.
I would also agree that after AL, AC slowly & very reluctantly "abandoned his Buddhist principles", because of his "failing faith in Buddhist principles", although he was able to reconcile the two as discussed above.

/facepalm

So what exactly are you disagreeing about now?

First you say this,

"ignant666" wrote:
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.

Which is clearly false. Never once in my entire life have I denied the first noble truth.

This "plug and chug" method you have of responding to these posts is ineffective in getting your real point across.

You agree on some things, disagree on others. While that is just fine, you have failed to sufficiently explain what it is you disagree with aside from the anti-community example, and saying that you enjoy the twinkles. It would be nice if you stated your view more fully and clearly.


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Azidonis
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19/01/2012 4:02 pm  
"ignant666" wrote:
I hasten to correct an error in my previous post, before I am pilloried for it: yes, I am aware I have mis-cited the title of Little Essays Toward Truth and profoundly apologize for any inconvenience caused thereby.

I care less about the citations and more about your personal views, the one's which you have nurtured in your 40+ years of experience, but that's just me.


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ignant666
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19/01/2012 5:00 pm  

Azidonis: As you are kind enough to ask my views on Buddhism & Thelema, and to more or less refrain from personal invective for two whole posts, I will end my self-imposed period of silence & reply.
I would tend to agree with the view AC expressed in LETT, that the First Noble Truth/"Trance of Sorrow" is itself a veil of illusion based in an error of partial perception, that desire is not a bug but a feature ("For I am divided for love's sake, for the chance of union; This is the creation of the world, that the pain of division is as nothing and the joy of dissolution all") of incarnation.
An interesting point is that in one the commentaries on the AL passage cursing Buddhists et al., AC says that the reason their flesh is torn rather than having their eyes pecked out or blinded by flapping wings is that their metaphysics are right but their practices are corrupt. Note also that it is the adherents of these religions who are cursed, rather than their prophets as with Christianity & Islam.
As to whether or when "the lights go out", well, then I won't be enjoying the twinkles anymore, will I? "...but what twinkles!" in the meantime.
As to the "OSIS" rule you cited incompletely, my point was not about what you may have experienced 50 years after AC's death, but rather what the rule was "in AC's version of the order", at least as of 1921; I also note I did not express any view as to whether the relaxation of the rule was a good or bad idea.
It may be that in argument it is more effective to respond to an interlocutor's actual statements, rather than the various emotional and psychological responses triggered thereby.


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Azidonis
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19/01/2012 6:08 pm  
"ignant666" wrote:
Azidonis: As you are kind enough to ask my views on Buddhism & Thelema

I hoped that you would have presented them first, as this is a debate forum. But enough of that.

"ignant666" wrote:
I would tend to agree with the view AC expressed in LETT, that the First Noble Truth/"Trance of Sorrow" is itself a veil of illusion based in an error of partial perception, that desire is not a bug but a feature ("For I am divided for love's sake, for the chance of union; This is the creation of the world, that the pain of division is as nothing and the joy of dissolution all") of incarnation.

See below.

"ignant666" wrote:
An interesting point is that in one the commentaries on the AL passage cursing Buddhists et al., AC says that the reason their flesh is torn rather than having their eyes pecked out or blinded by flapping wings is that their metaphysics are right but their practices are corrupt. Note also that it is the adherents of these religions who are cursed, rather than their prophets as with Christianity & Islam.

Again, below.

"ignant666" wrote:
As to whether or when "the lights go out", well, then I won't be enjoying the twinkles anymore, will I? "...but what twinkles!" in the meantime.

Wonderful!

"ignant666" wrote:
As to the "OSIS" rule you cited incompletely, my point was not about what you may have experienced 50 years after AC's death, but rather what the rule was "in AC's version of the order", at least as of 1921; I also note I did not express any view as to whether the relaxation of the rule was a good or bad idea.

Your original position was one of objection to statements made against the idea of Thelemic community. Thus, your "default position" was logically from the standpoint of someone who agrees with the relaxation of the rule.

"ignant666" wrote:
It may be that in argument it is more effective to respond to an interlocutor's actual statements, rather than the various emotional and psychological responses triggered thereby.

It may be that you began your with logical fallacies, personal attacks, putting words into my mouth, assuming I agreed with something I expressly stated I did not agree with, ad nauseum. The "psychological responses" you are talking about are not necessarily psychological, but really responses to your claims (or lack thereof). You seem to have started a bunch of mess with nothing to actually say or add to the conversation, except a bunch of "what Crowley said".

You want to be treated with respect, I take it...
___________

"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. "

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...

"Azidonis" wrote:
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.
"Azidonis" wrote:
"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:
I am curious why the poster of this regarded this person as either a Thelemite, or a "Superior", given the views expressed?
"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?
"ignant666" wrote:
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.
"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.
"ignant666" wrote:
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?
"ignant666" wrote:
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.
"ignant666" wrote:
Los: Little Essays On Truth is indeed one of the works I have encountered in more than 40 years (not nearly 30) of misunderstanding AC. I think the essay you quote rather more supports the point I've been making rather than undercutting it. In it, AC discusses the apparent contradiction between the First Noble Truth and the "all existence is pure joy...." passage, and reconciles this contradiction by concluding that the Trance of Sorrow is true, a necessary step, but ultimately to be transformed into the Trance of Wonder, where the "illusion of Sorrow" is revealed as "the product of a partial and imperfect Vision".
I would agree with what you say, that AL is against an "orthodox" reading of the First Noble Truth; that is in fact the point I have been making- not that it is impossible to reconcile Buddhist & Thelemic worldviews, or that AC never did so, but merely that it takes some doing.
"ignant666" wrote:
666staeb: Thank you for those links supporting the argument I have made here. Certainly, as the linked essay says, AC was profoundly influenced by Buddhism "in the years immediately preceding the reception of [AL]", enough so to write "Science & Buddhism" in 1903.
I would also agree that after AL, AC slowly & very reluctantly "abandoned his Buddhist principles", because of his "failing faith in Buddhist principles", although he was able to reconcile the two as discussed above.
"ignant666" wrote:
Azidonis: As you are kind enough to ask my views on Buddhism & Thelema, and to more or less refrain from personal invective for two whole posts, I will end my self-imposed period of silence & reply. It may be that in argument it is more effective to respond to an interlocutor's actual statements, rather than the various emotional and psychological responses triggered thereby.

Condescending much?

"ignant666" wrote:
I would tend to agree with the view AC expressed in LETT, that the First Noble Truth/"Trance of Sorrow" is itself a veil of illusion based in an error of partial perception, that desire is not a bug but a feature ("For I am divided for love's sake, for the chance of union; This is the creation of the world, that the pain of division is as nothing and the joy of dissolution all") of incarnation.
An interesting point is that in one the commentaries on the AL passage cursing Buddhists et al., AC says that the reason their flesh is torn rather than having their eyes pecked out or blinded by flapping wings is that their metaphysics are right but their practices are corrupt. Note also that it is the adherents of these religions who are cursed, rather than their prophets as with Christianity & Islam.

Just for the Record, I have not made any claims to enlightenment, nor do I think such claims are necessary. Once again:

"Azidonis" 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.

I said "different Vantage Point", and referred to "Veils are, or are not, in place". That "different Vantage Point" could verily be of two people standing side by side, or three people standing in a triangle. Each stance gives a different Vantage Point. And each Vantage Point is viewed differently according to the Veils in place of the viewer at the time.

How that even remotely alludes to me making any sort of claim to enlightenment is beyond me. Also, since you seem to enjoy it, I must say that one so well versed in "what twinkles" might be expected to make this connection, instead of hopping out with some bullshit that I have made claims to enlightenment. After all, it's only stated in the fucking intro to Liber AL.

Finally...

"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.

Sigh...

"ignant666" wrote:
I am curious why the poster of this regarded this person as either a Thelemite, or a "Superior", given the views expressed?

I'd rather debate with Los.


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mika
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19/01/2012 7:12 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)

There is no contradiction.  Consider the Crowley quote to be a response to the Buddhist 1st Noble Truth.  The suffering referred to in the Buddhist tradition is overcome or resolved through understanding and remembering the transitory nature of life.  We experience suffering because we have expectations about how the world should be and attachments to how things are.  But our beliefs about how things are and should be are figments of our imaginations, ie shadows; when these shadows are stripped away we are left with "that which remains", the pure joy of existence, corresponding with the Buddhist enlightenment achieved through meditations on the Four Noble Truths.

Regarding your other question and the back and forth that followed:  some people treat Thelema like a religion, some people don't.  Personally it seems to me that treating Thelema as a religion demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of its essential philosophy and the path of magical practice that Crowley put forth.  Other people disagree.  So... when you ask certain questions, some will see it as a challenge to their religious beliefs and will act accordingly (usually responding with defensive personal attacks instead of addressing the actual questions raised).  Others will engage with you in rational discourse.  Lashtal seems to have a much, much higher percentage of participants who are religious believers so be prepared for that type of response.

"ignant666" wrote:
As to community & Thelema: Fair enough, except that the Star Sponge vision suggests that disharmony among stars ought not to occur.

I'm not familiar with "the Star Sponge vision" but the idea that disharmony among stars ought not to occur is ridiculous.  It's based on a moralistic belief that disharmony is inherently "bad", and Thelema does not dictate what one's personal morals or beliefs should be.  But besides that, here's a good breakdown of why it doesn't make sense.


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Los
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19/01/2012 7:41 pm  
"mika" wrote:
I'm not familiar with "the Star Sponge vision"

It's in Crowley's New Comment to AL I:59 ("Nothingness with twinkles...but what twinkles!"). He quoted from it in one of the later chapters of The Confessions, too, demonstrating how important he thought it was.

but the idea that disharmony among stars ought not to occur is ridiculous.

Indeed, there's nothing in Thelema or in reality itself that suggests that there should not be conflict between individuals. 


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ignant666
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19/01/2012 10:45 pm  

mika & Los: As to whether conflict among stars ought according to AC to to occur, see Liber II, "The message of the Master Therion" (actually quoted at the link mika provides, though that essayist goes on to say AC changed his mind, providing IMO rather weak evidence):

ΘΕΛΗΜΑ—Thelema—means Will. . .
“Thou hast no right but to do thy will. Do that and no other shall say nay. For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.”
Take this carefully; it seems to imply a theory that if every man and every woman did his and her will—the true will—there would be no clashing. “Every man and every woman is a star,” and each star moves in an appointed path without interference. There is plenty of room for all; it is only disorder that creates confusion.
From these considerations it should be clear that “Do what thou wilt” does not mean “Do what you like.” It is the apotheosis of Freedom; but it is also the strictest possible bond.

That there are innumerable contradictory passages is undoubtedly true, including within a few paragraphs of the above, but it's not correct that there is nothing in Thelema to suggest that conflict ought not to occur.


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Los
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19/01/2012 11:19 pm  
"ignant666" wrote:
That there are innumerable contradictory passages is undoubtedly true, including within a few paragraphs of the above, but it's not correct that there is nothing in Thelema to suggest that conflict ought not to occur.

Well, by "Thelema" I was referring to the system defined by The Book of the Law, not necessarily everything Crowley ever wrote.

And indeed, not only is there nothing in The Book that suggests that conflict ought not to occur, there's very much there that suggests conflit inevitably will occur and that conflict ought to occur when conflict is in line with one's True Will. Doubtlessly, we have to take Crowley's interpretation into consideration, but in those cases where Crowley is at variance with both The Book and with reality -- as he is when he proposes this "non-clashing" stuff -- we are more than justified in disagreeing with him.


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Azidonis
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20/01/2012 12:09 am  
"mika" wrote:
Regarding your other question and the back and forth that followed:  some people treat Thelema like a religion, some people don't.  Personally it seems to me that treating Thelema as a religion demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of its essential philosophy and the path of magical practice that Crowley put forth.  Other people disagree.  So... when you ask certain questions, some will see it as a challenge to their religious beliefs and will act accordingly (usually responding with defensive personal attacks instead of addressing the actual questions raised).  Others will engage with you in rational discourse.  Lashtal seems to have a much, much higher percentage of participants who are religious believers so be prepared for that type of response.

Just for the record, while I do see Thelema as a religion, I also usually don't mind the criticism that comes with the same. Far as I know we went a whole four pages of people challenging the views put forth in this thread, and it wasn't until the ad hominems and red herrings arrived that the tone of the thread changed.

I don't mind people challenging these things. If I did, I wouldn't post them. But I don't appreciate people hiding behind the internet (or their age) while trying to make a pissing contest from a few words taken out of context.


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ignant666
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20/01/2012 12:11 am  

I should clarify: my words were carefully chosen: "disharmony among stars ought not to occur". Consider the context in which I made the point: that a community of Thelemites (those who do their Will) would inevitably devolve into internal conflict, a view I thought distinctly un-Thelemic
I was certainly not making the lunatic & clearly incorrect claim that Thelema rejects conflict between people, or that doing one's Will will never lead to such conflict.
Clearly, AC was a highly combative person who relished and sought conflict (see, eg, "The price of eternal warfare is existence", Book of Lies 80), and the author of AL seems to often support this, especially in ch. III.
The notion espoused in Liber II is, I think,  rather that, given that the Will of each star is an aspect of the one Will of God, all are in harmony; conflict arises from failure to do one's Will, or from others who are not themselves doing their Wills.


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Azidonis
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20/01/2012 12:22 am  
"ignant666" wrote:
I should clarify: my words were carefully chosen: "disharmony among stars ought not to occur". Consider the context in which I made the point: that a community of Thelemites (those who do their Will) would inevitably devolve into internal conflict, a view I thought distinctly un-Thelemic
I was certainly not making the lunatic & clearly incorrect claim that Thelema rejects conflict between people, or that doing one's Will will never lead to such conflict.

No, it wouldn't devolve, not inevitably, not necessarily (I agree with you). It has its chances of success and failure just like every other community. We (the LAShTAL community) have had many debates here on these forums about a "Thelemic utopia" where all 7 billion people on the planet run around doing their Wills. They haven't ended on the best of notes.

The original mention of community at all was to address the overall sense of community and approach to the same that appears to be lacking in some "Thelemic communities" in comparison to the Buddhist view of the Sangha. It was a simple proposition that we focus more on acting like "Brothers". (Recall how it included Cam and I talking about "love" in Thelema).


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ignant666
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20/01/2012 1:08 am  

Flipping through BoL looking for what number  the "price of war" quote was, I came across an amusing example of the post-AL, post-Buddhist AC: Book of the Law 79, where he says in the comment that "The Buddhist analysis may be true, but not for men of courage. The plea that 'love is sorrow', because its ecstasies are only temporary, is contemptible", and in the verse offers to make "debauch-emasculated Buddha" be silent through oral copulation: "I have a trick to make you silent, O ye foamers-at-the mouth!" ("to insist upon his virility"(!)).
See here for the epigram by Catullus:
http://tinyurl.com/7v2d7z6


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Azidonis
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20/01/2012 1:21 am  
"ignant666" wrote:
Flipping through BoL looking for what number  the "price of war" quote was, I came across an amusing example of the post-AL, post-Buddhist AC: Book of the Law 79, where he says in the comment that "The Buddhist analysis may be true, but not for men of courage. The plea that 'love is sorrow', because its ecstasies are only temporary, is contemptible", and in the verse offers to make "debauch-emasculated Buddha" be silent through oral copulation: "I have a trick to make you silent, O ye foamers-at-the mouth!" ("to insist upon his virility"(!)).
See here for the epigram by Catullus:
http://tinyurl.com/7v2d7z6

Sounds like Crowley's personal (anti-Buddhist) opinion. Thanks for providing the information.


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20/01/2012 1:38 am  
"Azidonis" wrote:
"ignant666" wrote:
Flipping through BoL looking for what number  the "price of war" quote was, I came across an amusing example of the post-AL, post-Buddhist AC: Book of the Law 79, where he says in the comment that "The Buddhist analysis may be true, but not for men of courage. The plea that 'love is sorrow', because its ecstasies are only temporary, is contemptible", and in the verse offers to make "debauch-emasculated Buddha" be silent through oral copulation: "I have a trick to make you silent, O ye foamers-at-the mouth!" ("to insist upon his virility"(!)).
See here for the epigram by Catullus:
http://tinyurl.com/7v2d7z6

Sounds like Crowley's personal (anti-Buddhist) opinion. Thanks for providing the information.

I thought it sounded just like mine. (Just kidding, Az!) 🙂


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ignant666
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20/01/2012 1:46 am  

Camlion: You've gotta admit, beats having your eyes pecked out by a hawk, though, right?


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Azidonis
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20/01/2012 6:09 am  
"Camlion" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
"ignant666" wrote:
Flipping through BoL looking for what number  the "price of war" quote was, I came across an amusing example of the post-AL, post-Buddhist AC: Book of the Law 79, where he says in the comment that "The Buddhist analysis may be true, but not for men of courage. The plea that 'love is sorrow', because its ecstasies are only temporary, is contemptible", and in the verse offers to make "debauch-emasculated Buddha" be silent through oral copulation: "I have a trick to make you silent, O ye foamers-at-the mouth!" ("to insist upon his virility"(!)).
See here for the epigram by Catullus:
http://tinyurl.com/7v2d7z6

Sounds like Crowley's personal (anti-Buddhist) opinion. Thanks for providing the information.

I thought it sounded just like mine. (Just kidding, Az!) 🙂

lol, I should hope so. It sounds like Crowley's upset that the Buddhists "didn't let him join their club".


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20/01/2012 6:31 am  
"Azidonis" wrote:
lol, I should hope so. It sounds like Crowley's upset that the Buddhists "didn't let him join their club".

Actually, as legend tells it, AC described himself as just a Buddhist rationalist (or vise verse, or some such) on his honeymoon in Cairo when you-know-what happened. Post-Liber AL, his perspective changed.


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20/01/2012 9:07 am  
"ignant666" wrote:
I should clarify: my words were carefully chosen: "disharmony among stars ought not to occur". Consider the context in which I made the point: that a community of Thelemites (those who do their Will) would inevitably devolve into internal conflict, a view I thought distinctly un-Thelemic.

My attention snagged on the word 'internal' here.  I don't think you can have a true Thelemic Community with some people 'in' and others 'out', internal v external, or insiders and outsiders.  The Law of Thelema is for All, and to have a Thelemic community, individual Thelemites would have to have transcend the limits of how traditional communities operate.  Any community, not just a community of Thelemites, will eventually devolve into both internal and external conflict IF it starts operating on exclusive rather and inclusive lines. 

Tom Schuler once gave a series of lectures on 'The Virtues and Vices of the Sephiroth', which explained the dynamics of this perfectly. He wrote:

"Netzach is the first sephirah in which our principle focus reaches beyond
self-concern. In Hod we discovered the ability to communicate with others
but our focus was still largely internal, concerned with the transformation
of the feelings/sensations of Malkuth and Yesod into abstracted symbols. In
Netzach, our focus goes beyond self and into the feelings evoked by our
interrelationship with others. In Netzach arise relational feelings like
comaraderie, affection, antipathy, and regard.

In Netzach, our image of ourselves is in a context in which we are not the
center of the universe but are, instead, a part of a much greater whole.
That whole becomes the center of the universe, rather than the self. Most
immediately, this manifests as our attachment to a group, whose integrity is
vital to our survival. We become members of a team. We identify with our
family, our friends, our tribe.

There is a new aspect to our perception of reality that manifests in
Netzach. It is the communal reality of shared experience. An event is not
"real" unless it affects others as well as oneself. "Did you see what I
saw?" becomes a major reality-testing strategy. If others do not perceive
what you perceive, it will generate doubts as to whether or not one's
private experience (or at least one's interpretation of that experience) is
"real". As a result, cultural differences in perceived reality vary from
one another and, so convincing is our feeling of communal reality, we
honestly feel that *our* culture expresses a fundamental truth about reality
and any disagreement from that is folly. The power of the church
congregation to define reality for its members is an operation of Netzach,
for example. Another important manifestation of Netzach is the bonding that
comes of shared emotional experience. The more emotionally powerful that
experience is, the deeper is the bond that develops from it. Friendships
formed in foxholes are among the most enduring and profound of all.

The community matrix of Netzach is the basis for this sephirah's virtue and
vice. Again, here on the Pillar of Mercy, existing in dynamic balance with
its opposite on the Pillar of Severity, we see that the virtue and vice are
expressed as clear opposites. The virtue of Netzach is unselfishness. Its
vice is selfishness.

It's easy to see how unselfishness fits here. As a member of the community,
one's obligation goes beyond immediate gratification of one's desires.
Impulsive desire is trumped by responsibility to the group. One's
willingness to delay personal gratification out of regard for one's loved
ones and fellows is the basis of all politeness and kindness. It is the
first manifestation of nurturance and civility.

The vice is less easily understood because it's not personal. Of course,
personal selfishness leads to unkindness within the group, but that is
powerfully counteracted by the emotional dynamic of the group and is not the
greatest danger here. The most destructive aspect of the vice of Netzach is
the insularity of the in-group. It is xenophobia, intolerance of strangers,
the rejection of other groups by defining them as "bad" as opposed to the
in-group's "good". Racial and religious intolerance are manifestations of
the vice of Netzach. So also is the cult mentality, wherein all worth and
value comes from within the cult and all outside it are the cult's enemies
and are demonized and dehumanized. Those within are "sacred". Those
without are "profane".

The virtue of Netzach must transcend the individual and the local group. It
must be inclusive, not exclusive. Elitism in all forms is an expression of
the vice of Netzach and a clue to the lack of connection of such groups to
the higher levels of consciousness expressed in Tiphareth and beyond.

Again, we see that the key to overcoming the vice of Netzach comes from
applying the virtues of the lower sephiroth, the cutting rationality of Hod,
the independence of mind in Yesod, and the capacity in Malkuth to
discriminate what physically *is* from what *should be*. For example, when
confronted with the assertion that the brains of Africans are smaller than
the brains of European, we physically measure them, employing a rational
method, and discover that this social fiction is untrue. It is important to
acknowledge the social-emotional reality of shared experience but it is
inadvisable to try to use that as one's sole criterion to decide what is
real in other ways. We must be willing and able at all times to challenge
the intolerance of the in-group / out-group polarity. Only by so doing do
we come to truly understand the social reality of Netzach and access its
power in a way that lets us transcend it."

So - you know from this perspective, there aren't people who are 'in' a Thelemic Community and others that are 'out'; the Law is for All, it's just that it's too early in the New Aeon for that many people to have transcended the social reality of Netzach.  Things seem to be changing really quickly though!  I think the new forms of internet led social interactions are causing us all to take a far more sophisticated approach to our social reality than at any other point on history. 

If you took a bunch of people who all self identified as Thelemites, gave them a small self-sustainable village, and said "there - try being a Thelemic Community", it would entirely miss the point.  What you would have is people creating an old aeon type of exclusive group that identified as Thelemic in it's naval gazing, but was actually the opposite, because a Thelemic community is not something you can join up to or leave.

If you're a Thelemite then you are part of the Thelemic community and you're 'in'.

If you don't think you're a Thelemite and want nothing to do with any Thelemic community then you're still 'in', you just haven't realised yet why the Law if for All.  😀 

Sorry if that was a bit long winded. 


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Azidonis
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20/01/2012 4:36 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
lol, I should hope so. It sounds like Crowley's upset that the Buddhists "didn't let him join their club".

Actually, as legend tells it, AC described himself as just a Buddhist rationalist (or vise verse, or some such) on his honeymoon in Cairo when you-know-what happened. Post-Liber AL, his perspective changed.

I know.

The phrasing linked is quite absurd though, Cam. Granted, it's probably Crowley playing with words and poetry as he always liked to do, and I can't read Portuguese, nor do I feel like spending time with Google translator... otherwise, I'd love to do an analysis of such sad writing.

I think it's clear that those long diatribe posts I made trying to further the conversation have turned into many pages of, "ooh you said that", and "but, but Crowley said this", with lackluster attempts to actually discuss the contents of the rants themselves, and the conversation has degenerated into a bunch of pointing at random crap Crowley said or thought about Buddhism. Not one person has touched on the mention of parinirvana, and in fact I'd wager that some of the participants would love to create such a chasm between Buddhism and Thelema as to make Buddhism appear unworthy of study or practice to them.

It seems that some calling themselves "Thelemites" would just assume lock themselves onto an island all by themselves. Is Thelema really all about solitude to some of you? Can you not see how that hampers your Work on a larger scale? I think that some people would just like to lock themselves in their little temples for 80 years of life, never bothering with the world-at-large, claiming to be a "Thelemite" because they can "do their Wills" in their bedrooms.


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Azidonis
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20/01/2012 5:02 pm  
"Dar" wrote:
"ignant666" wrote:
I should clarify: my words were carefully chosen: "disharmony among stars ought not to occur". Consider the context in which I made the point: that a community of Thelemites (those who do their Will) would inevitably devolve into internal conflict, a view I thought distinctly un-Thelemic.

My attention snagged on the word 'internal' here.  I don't think you can have a true Thelemic Community with some people 'in' and others 'out', internal v external, or insiders and outsiders.  The Law of Thelema is for All, and to have a Thelemic community, individual Thelemites would have to have transcend the limits of how traditional communities operate.  Any community, not just a community of Thelemites, will eventually devolve into both internal and external conflict IF it starts operating on exclusive rather and inclusive lines.

Which, given the display here on LAShTAL, and scenarios in other "Thelemic circles", this could happen very easily. Too often have I seen Thelema put on some sort of pedestal. One of the most wonderful things I ever saw on TV:

I watched a documentary on the Kumbh Mela. It was a very telling documentary, but at one point the 14th Dalai Lama made an appearance to give a small speech and show his respect to the Hindu culture. He said his piece on love, compassion, and community, and then he mentioned (paraphrase), "Atman... Anatman... is not the idea in this festival. Atman is your business, Anatman is my business. Peace to all beings," or something like that, pointing to the fact that even though the two religions have different ultimate views, they can still come together and live in harmony on Earth.

Community is inclusive, not exclusive. And I'd wager that many of those in the "Thelemic community" would share an exclusive mentality, and hinge it on those very same hair-raising remarks on Liber AL that caused them to think as so. That people don't see this as a problem, but insist on "Thelemic community", really amazes me.

We all know what happened when Christianity began demonizing everything from other religions and practices. Is Thelema set up to go the same route?

"Dar" wrote:
Tom Schuler once gave a series of lectures on 'The Virtues and Vices of the Sephiroth', which explained the dynamics of this perfectly. He wrote:

[Snip lecture]

This was very wonderful, Alrah. Thanks for posting it here.

"Dar" wrote:
So - you know from this perspective, there aren't people who are 'in' a Thelemic Community and others that are 'out'; the Law is for All, it's just that it's too early in the New Aeon for that many people to have transcended the social reality of Netzach.  Things seem to be changing really quickly though!  I think the new forms of internet led social interactions are causing us all to take a far more sophisticated approach to our social reality than at any other point on history. 

If you took a bunch of people who all self identified as Thelemites, gave them a small self-sustainable village, and said "there - try being a Thelemic Community", it would entirely miss the point.  What you would have is people creating an old aeon type of exclusive group that identified as Thelemic in it's naval gazing, but was actually the opposite, because a Thelemic community is not something you can join up to or leave.

If you're a Thelemite then you are part of the Thelemic community and you're 'in'.

If you don't think you're a Thelemite and want nothing to do with any Thelemic community then you're still 'in', you just haven't realised yet why the Law if for All.  😀 

Sorry if that was a bit long winded. 

That's what I was saying, too. Point being, if you take it to the 'extreme', wherein a Thelemite is only a Thelemite when one is doing one's Will, then you exclude a very large portion of humanity, and cater to those Adepts and Masters who have already accomplished such goals. You might as well hang a sign on the door that says, "No infidels allowed", much like the Muslims have done with Mecca. I do not see this as constructive, and in fact it is quite destructive. One might as well delete all the preparation Grades! If there is to be a global Thelemic community, then it must include everyone - even the Christians, the Buddhists, everyone. What that means is there are very many "lay people" in the Thelemic community. Only instead of asking them to serve us alms, we ask them to "get up and accomplish your Will". I rather like the second approach better, but the point stands. And so, unless/until you have a world full of "Thelemic converts", it behooves us to learn how to accept the fact that there will most likely always be varying religions and practices, philosophies and approaches to life (at least in all of our lifetimes, for certain), as we are not one human super-soul. We are many independent people, who live together, work together, etc., and hopefully we find ways to do that in harmony without pointing fingers of shame, discontent, and maliciousness towards anyone who may not have accepted Liber AL at all.

The Star Sponge vision... "what twinkles", he said. Everything twinkles. To sit and make distinctions between one twinkle and another is the rise of Ego, and the victory of Choronzon.


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20/01/2012 5:45 pm  

All the major systems have to be studied as part of the work to receive the 5=6 grade, and then they all have to be reviewed again once the magician has attained to Tiphareth for the 6=5 grade.  Or at least - that's how it was when I last checked... that hasn't changed has it?

If it's still the case then anyone that has a problem with the study of other systems than Thelema has a real problem... and also - without studying all the other major systems I don't think anyone can really appreciate how Thelema "reconciles all existing schools of philosophy" or how Liber Al "explains the Universe", to quote Crowley.

The thorough study of other systems should protect against religious xenophobia and the distortion of the Thelemic community into it's antithesis.  Hopefully the Masters of Thelema (themselves educated in all systems) will continue to be watchful guardians of their garden's, weeding them from time to time, and will take the appropriate educational steps if this 'Vice of Netzach' takes a too virulent hold. 

A certain amount of it is expected from young people though Az.  It's an important life 'stage' people go through when they're trying to find out who they are, but it's expected that they will grow out of it and develop some social maturity.  If they don't, they become the slaves of Thelema, the noisy beggers in the courtyard, etc. 

   

 


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Azidonis
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20/01/2012 7:48 pm  
"Dar" wrote:
All the major systems have to be studied as part of the work to receive the 5=6 grade, and then they all have to be reviewed again once the magician has attained to Tiphareth for the 6=5 grade.  Or at least - that's how it was when I last checked... that hasn't changed has it?

That may be the over-reaching idea, but sure, and it hasn't changed that I know of. But I have hardly met many people who are well-versed enough in all the major systems to actually claim that Grade, if you want to hold people to that standard. Some simply take the "comparative religion" approach, and never actually become the thing they are studying, not even for an instant... and get away with it too.

"Dar" wrote:
If it's still the case then anyone that has a problem with the study of other systems than Thelema has a real problem... and also - without studying all the other major systems I don't think anyone can really appreciate how Thelema "reconciles all existing schools of philosophy" or how Liber Al "explains the Universe", to quote Crowley.

I agree.

"Dar" wrote:
The thorough study of other systems should protect against religious xenophobia and the distortion of the Thelemic community into it's antithesis.

Agreed again.

"Dar" wrote:
Hopefully the Masters of Thelema (themselves educated in all systems) will continue to be watchful guardians of their garden's, weeding them from time to time, and will take the appropriate educational steps if this 'Vice of Netzach' takes a too virulent hold. 

I agree with that you said, except for the "hopefully the Masters of Thelema"... hrm, there is a way to phrase this...

Some of the supposed "Masters" don't do their damned jobs right. Too harsh?
Some "Masters of Thelema" seem focused only on those who have sworn oaths to their tutelage, and express nary a concern about the rest of humanity. Still too harsh?

How about... I don't think we should wait on "Masters of Thelema" to do this type of thing. With all due respect to them, I'm sure they have their hands full... with whatever it is they have their hands full of. Thelema, in my opinion, is not about waiting on the "Masters of Thelema" to show up and set things straight for everyone. We have to set our own selves straight, and once we do that we can help others do the same. I don't think one has to be a "Master of Thelema" to do that.

"Dar" wrote:
A certain amount of it is expected from young people though Az.  It's an important life 'stage' people go through when they're trying to find out who they are, but it's expected that they will grow out of it and develop some social maturity.  If they don't, they become the slaves of Thelema, the noisy beggers in the courtyard, etc. 

I agree. But I don't think the lay people are to be cast away, and I don't think that those who are in a position to know better should act like it's okay to cast them away or to try and force "Thelema" upon them. It's fine to recognize them as growing pains, or whatever you want to call them, but not to segregate those people completely, creating an elitist mentality.

The Book of the Law mentions that "every man and every woman is a star", but it also says that "the slaves shall serve". Well... which is it? Either we are all stars, or some of us are stars, and the rest of us are just slaves. I believe that we are all stars, and that some measure of teaching has to evolve either from Crowley's teachings or in spite of them, which stresses that fact.

How many people run around wondering if they are slaves or not just because "they don't know their Wills yet", or whatever the case is. There are those who make such divisions, and it can serve to hamper not only their own growth, but the growth of those around them.


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Azidonis
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20/01/2012 9:36 pm  

I just want to be clear before there's another three pages of hate...

"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law."

Please do not infer that I am saying everyone should take such an approach, only that such an approach is valid. I think of someone like Kenneth Grant who, though he was a Thelemite, was able to progress Thelema further in some (many, all?) respects, and devoted his life to doing so. That's the kind of thing I mean. He could have kept it all to himself, but decided to share to the world. So far I don't think anyone has faulted him for that, have they?

At any rate, the argument is that such an approach appears lacking in Thelema, correct me if I'm wrong.


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 Anonymous
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20/01/2012 9:47 pm  
"Azidonis" wrote:
"Dar" wrote:
Hopefully the Masters of Thelema (themselves educated in all systems) will continue to be watchful guardians of their garden's, weeding them from time to time, and will take the appropriate educational steps if this 'Vice of Netzach' takes a too virulent hold. 

I agree with that you said, except for the "hopefully the Masters of Thelema"... hrm, there is a way to phrase this...

Some of the supposed "Masters" don't do their damned jobs right. Too harsh?
Some "Masters of Thelema" seem focused only on those who have sworn oaths to their tutelage, and express nary a concern about the rest of humanity. Still too harsh?

How about... I don't think we should wait on "Masters of Thelema" to do this type of thing. With all due respect to them, I'm sure they have their hands full... with whatever it is they have their hands full of. Thelema, in my opinion, is not about waiting on the "Masters of Thelema" to show up and set things straight for everyone. We have to set our own selves straight, and once we do that we can help others do the same. I don't think one has to be a "Master of Thelema" to do that.

Crowley called us 'children'.  So did Aiwass.

War amongst social groupings and nations is a sign of our immaturity.  What are we now, 100 years hence?  As a species, are we teenagers yet?  Are we ready to stop squabbling?  How many of us are capable of true maturity at this point in our evolution?  You're just about to start playing 'the wise parent' again.  Maturity is about dropping the role-play too, and that's not being condescending, although according to the social norms and mores of our adolescent culture you're supposed to stomp your foot at the slightest suggestion that you are not fully mature and completely responsible, and it's expected that your friends will group together behind you and....  do you see where this is going?  🙂  You don't combat the Vice of Netzach by waving your finger in people's faces and telling them off for not being more responsible and grown up.

I'm not about to get angry and indignant at anyone about this - not the slaves, not the masters, and not anyone in between.  Been there.  Done that.  That was my immaturity showing itself!  It doesn't help if you yell at teenagers.  They just turn sulky on you and stick their fingers in their ears.  Or they walk out on you and pull that cute trick of slamming the door behind them - [which personally drives me absolutely up the wall when pulled by so called mature men, but that's another story].  All they hear is the anger or the righteous indignation, and they don't hear the message.  And these days, given that we'e talking about teenagers, a few sweeties aren't enough temptation anymore like in the Buddha's day.  You have to wave a bloody Nintendo outside of the burning building... 

A star can be a slave.  There is nothing in Liber Al that says slaves should be disrespected.  We are encouraged not to mourn those that die slaves for "There is none that shall be cast down or lifted up: all is ever as it was." 

A slave is merely a child, as the orbit of the child is always to some degree or another bound to the course of the parent.  It's a good policy to treat our children with respect and with an eye to the mature person they will become.  However - if a man or a woman, despite their starry heritage, dies a slave, there is no redemption for that, and none is necessary.  No star should worry about that - neither master nor slave.  The Atman Consciousness of the Universe rests in the primary bliss.  Even the meanest beggarly abomination of existence is of pure joy, even when never realised by the vessel of divine consciousness during their lifetime.

How many people run around wondering if they are slaves or not just because "they don't know their Wills yet", or whatever the case is. There are those who make such divisions, and it can serve to hamper not only their own growth, but the growth of those around them.

Have you ever read 'Lord of the Flies', by William Golding?
Or 'Animal Farm'? 
Or perhaps the studies of Zimbardo or Milgram? 

I want you to really think about it - how much study and life experience has went into your present understanding of the vice of Netzach?  How much preparation by your teacher just to get you here?  How many years?  How much patience - by dead folks and masters that understood and wrote for you amongst others, as well as your living guides? 

Are you quite sure mate, that the masters have their heads up their arses?  *raises an eyebrow*  😀   


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lashtal
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20/01/2012 10:28 pm  

Good post, Dar.

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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 Anonymous
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20/01/2012 10:53 pm  

Cheers Paul.  🙂


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Azidonis
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20/01/2012 11:01 pm  
"Dar" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
"Dar" wrote:
Hopefully the Masters of Thelema (themselves educated in all systems) will continue to be watchful guardians of their garden's, weeding them from time to time, and will take the appropriate educational steps if this 'Vice of Netzach' takes a too virulent hold. 

I agree with that you said, except for the "hopefully the Masters of Thelema"... hrm, there is a way to phrase this...

Some of the supposed "Masters" don't do their damned jobs right. Too harsh?
Some "Masters of Thelema" seem focused only on those who have sworn oaths to their tutelage, and express nary a concern about the rest of humanity. Still too harsh?

How about... I don't think we should wait on "Masters of Thelema" to do this type of thing. With all due respect to them, I'm sure they have their hands full... with whatever it is they have their hands full of. Thelema, in my opinion, is not about waiting on the "Masters of Thelema" to show up and set things straight for everyone. We have to set our own selves straight, and once we do that we can help others do the same. I don't think one has to be a "Master of Thelema" to do that.

Crowley called us 'children'.  So did Aiwass.

War amongst social groupings and nations is a sign of our immaturity.  What are we now, 100 years hence?

Who's to say.

"Dar" wrote:
As a species, are we teenagers yet?  Are we ready to stop squabbling?

Are you implying that teenagers, adolescents, adults, and the elderly don't squabble?

"Dar" wrote:
How many of us are capable of true maturity at this point in our evolution?

How do you define "true maturity"?

"Dar" wrote:
You're just about to start playing 'the wise parent' again. Maturity is about dropping the role-play too, and that's not being condescending, although according to the social norms and mores of our adolescent culture you're supposed to stomp your foot at the slightest suggestion that you are not fully mature and completely responsible, and it's expected that your friends will group together behind you and....  do you see where this is going?  🙂

I'm just talking (typing), expressing my opinions. That is all. You don't agree with them, and that is okay.

"Dar" wrote:
You don't combat the Vice of Netzach by waving your finger in people's faces and telling them off for not being more responsible and grown up.

I knew it was too harsh. Thanks for the affirmation.

"Dar" wrote:
I'm not about to get angry and indignant at anyone about this - not the slaves, not the masters, and not anyone in between.  Been there.  Done that.  That was my immaturity showing itself!

About... me being too harsh? I appreciate you not being angry at me, but if that's not the "this" you are talking about, what "this" are you talking about?

"Dar" wrote:
It doesn't help if you yell at teenagers.

I think it can be statistically proven it can and sometimes does help to yell at teenagers. Not constantly or abusively, of course. But every once in a while... And you are now equating these "Masters of Thelema" to teenagers, by the way.

"Dar" wrote:
They just turn sulky on you and stick their fingers in their ears.  Or they walk out on you and pull that cute trick of slamming the door behind them - [which personally drives me absolutely up the wall when pulled by so called mature men, but that's another story].  All they hear is the anger or the righteous indignation, and they don't hear the message.  And these days, given that we'e talking about teenagers, a few sweeties aren't enough temptation anymore like in the Buddha's day.  You have to wave a bloody Nintendo outside of the burning building...

I've had that experience with some teenagers, but I've had quite the opposite ones as well. This is all the more interesting in that you are basically saying "role-playing a wise parent yelling at teenagers". I do not see that to be the case. The case I see is the one I have brought up before, that the masses are widely ignorant of Thelema. And it appears that some, with the "elitist" view that we were talking about, have decided that is perfectly okay, and then some who could do something about it end up not doing so.

"Dar" wrote:
A star can be a slave.  There is nothing in Liber Al that says slaves should be disrespected.  We are encouraged not to mourn those that die slaves for "There is none that shall be cast down or lifted up: all is ever as it was."

Surely, stars can be slaves. They can be slaves that do not know they are stars. Logically, one cannot be both. One either perceives one's self as a slave, or as a star, and acts accordingly. In either case one is a star. Those with an "elitist" view, might rather leave those who perceive themselves to be slaves where they are. This whole thing started because I said that Thelemites do not "have to" be that way.

"Dar" wrote:
A slave is merely a child, as the orbit of the child is always to some degree or another bound to the course of the parent.

A child is bound to the parent because of its innocence. Slaves are bound by the whip and scourge.

"Dar" wrote:
It's a good policy to treat our children with respect and with an eye to the mature person they will become.

Just a confirmation of terminology. I have been using "lay people", which in Thelema has been translated as "slave", right? (Slave of Because, etc.)

I agree with what you are saying, but ignorance isn't always bliss.

"Dar" wrote:
However - if a man or a woman, despite their starry heritage, dies a slave, there is no redemption for that, and none is necessary.  No star should worry about that - neither master nor slave.

I would be more interested in how the lived than how they died. Live first, death will take care of itself, in my opinion.

"Dar" wrote:
The Atman Consciousness of the Universe rests in the primary bliss.  Even the meanest beggarly abomination of existence is of pure joy, even when never realised by the vessel of divine consciousness during their lifetime.

Pretty little abominations.

"Dar" wrote:

How many people run around wondering if they are slaves or not just because "they don't know their Wills yet", or whatever the case is. There are those who make such divisions, and it can serve to hamper not only their own growth, but the growth of those around them.

Have you ever read 'Lord of the Flies', by William Golding?
Or 'Animal Farm'? 
Or perhaps the studies of Zimbardo or Milgram?

I suppose these are books noting examples of those who made "elitist" divisions?

"Dar" wrote:
I want you to really think about it - how much study and life experience has went into your present understanding of the vice of Netzach?  How much preparation by your teacher just to get you here?  How many years?  How much patience - by dead folks and masters that understood and wrote for you amongst others, as well as your living guides? 

Are you quite sure mate, that the masters have their heads up their arses?  *raises an eyebrow*  😀   


You may have wrote this as/after I wrote the disclaimer.

And of course, there's this:

"Azidonis" wrote:
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."

Again:
1. No one has to follow the path of another(duh).
2. There are some people who take an "elitist view" of Thelema.
3. There are those "who be Hermits" who do not necessarily take an "elitist view" of Thelema.
4. Those who take an "elitist view" of Thelema could use a dose of compassion.
5. Those in a position to further "promulgate" the Law of Thelema are encouraged to do so.

I find it ill-fated that when my philosophy professor for "Philosophy of Religion" has a book of all the world's mainstream religions, and Thelema is not there. I also find it ill-fated that talk of philosophers, religious scholars, scientists, and so forth, have put Crowley away onto the "occultist" shelf. What you end up with is people studying philosophers that couldn't hold a candle to Crowley, or even going off of something Crowley said, getting praise that Crowley would get if credit was due. You get professors in colleges teaching the Baha'i Faith as the religion of the Aquarian Age, and relying on writers such as Joseph Campbell and Rene' Gerard (both great writers), when they could be using Crowley as a source and get a lot further in their teachings.

Maybe Crowley didn't mind being just behind the limelight, didn't mind that veil. How many religions lasted for thousands of years without its time in the limelight? Do you think that is necessary for Thelema? If so, why? If not, why not? If not, what do you think will best help Thelema survive for 2,000 years?


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Los
 Los
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20/01/2012 11:31 pm  
"Azidonis" wrote:
the masses are widely ignorant of Thelema.

You appear to think that curing "the masses" of their ignorance of Thelema will somehow usher in a "global Thelemic community," instead of -- what's far more likely -- turn Thelema into the biggest joke since Scientology.

And it appears that some, with the "elitist" view that we were talking about, have decided that is perfectly okay, and then some who could do something about it end up not doing so.

The only reason one would educate others about Thelema is if it's part of one's True Will. Obviously, it's "okay" if few people know about Thelema or if Thelema dies out. Equally obviously, it's just as "okay" if everybody knows about Thelema. None of that matters. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.


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Azidonis
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20/01/2012 11:55 pm  
"Los" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
the masses are widely ignorant of Thelema.

You appear to think that curing "the masses" of their ignorance of Thelema will somehow usher in a "global Thelemic community," instead of -- what's far more likely -- turn Thelema into the biggest joke since Scientology.

Taking it too far. I didn't say we should all put on our "go help the masses" dresses and run out going door to door. Just saying that it should be considered okay to help people, to show compassion, and to help them understand, whatever their predisposition may be. Note, I'm not saying "help people by forcing Thelema down their throats". I'm talking about helping them by understanding them, and helping them to understand themselves, no matter what the lens is that they see the world through. That's part of the point to learning all the systems in the first place, to be able to help others, in my opinion.

"Los" wrote:

And it appears that some, with the "elitist" view that we were talking about, have decided that is perfectly okay, and then some who could do something about it end up not doing so.

The only reason one would educate others about Thelema is if it's part of one's True Will. Obviously, it's "okay" if few people know about Thelema or if Thelema dies out. Equally obviously, it's just as "okay" if everybody knows about Thelema. None of that matters. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

I agree, Los, in one way.

In another, I think that if Thelema were to "die out", many questions would be raised as to its validity. I think that working to advance Thelema, whether through helping people discover their Wills (those that want help), or through using Thelema to make scientific breakthroughs, psychological ones, getting Thelema into the classrooms, etc. are all efforts working to "advance" Thelema. Without such things, Thelema would indeed "die out".

I'm not saying what people should or should not do (keep having to state that). I'm merely trying to discuss the concepts - the various approaches to the lay people (or "slaves", or "children" or whatever you want to call them) that have coursed through Thelema throughout the years. Some of those approaches have been that of an "elitist", as though a "slave" would barely be useful for cleaning one's boot. I do not think such an extreme view is valid in Thelema.


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Los
 Los
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21/01/2012 3:37 am  
"Azidonis" wrote:
I'm talking about helping [people] by understanding them, and helping them to understand themselves, no matter what the lens is that they see the world through.

And hey, I'll be the first to say that if you're inclined to do that, knock yourself out. But I think it's worth remembering that there's no inherent worth or nobility to compassion, any more than there's any any inherent worth or nobility to cruelty. We all get so caught up in our own little pet ideas that we sometimes run the risk of forgetting that there's nothing truly, inherently worthy or good about the stuff that we just happen to enjoy.

Most people need a reminder, and that, of course, is one of the functions of practices that serve as reminders (like, for example, the greetings or a punctual performance of Resh).

In another, I think that if Thelema were to "die out", many questions would be raised as to its validity.

How so? Movements die out all the time, and it wouldn't be terribly surprising if Thelema did. Its "death" wouldn't invalidate any of the insights people currently gain from the system, and since -- as you know, from studying other systems -- attainment can be achieved through lots of different means, it's not like the world would really be losing anything all that significant if Thelema went the way of the dodo. It's just that something that we happen to like would be gone. Oh well.

the various approaches to the lay people (or "slaves", or "children" or whatever you want to call them) that have coursed through Thelema throughout the years.

Well, here's a novel idea: maybe Thelemites should stop referring to non-Thelemites as "slaves" or "lay people" or "troglodytes" or "children" or various other, similar terms that make Thelemites sound like raving loonies in a cult.


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 Anonymous
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21/01/2012 4:28 pm  
"Azidonis" wrote:
"Dar" wrote:
As a species, are we teenagers yet?  Are we ready to stop squabbling?

Are you implying that teenagers, adolescents, adults, and the elderly don't squabble?
How do you define "true maturity"?  And you are now equating these "Masters of Thelema" to teenagers, by the way.

I'm saying that our species in this new aeon has entered into a phase of growth akin to the life stage of human teenagers.  I'm not calling lay people 'children' or calling masters 'teenagers'.  With greater maturity there tends to come greater conflict resolution skills.  Our world is teetering towards a worldwide resource war (the superpowers have been manoeuvring for years) - hardly a very mature response, is it?

The Buddha had maturity.  He said he had no enemies (even while people were running around trying to kill him!).  Did A.C. develop maturity do you think?  Greater age doesn't always mean greater maturity.  You have to work for maturity, while life ticks on by for everyone.  The attitude of the master (the man or woman that has succeeded in reaching their full potential) is one that seeks to unite themselves with all elements in the universe.  That's a mature response.

The case I see is the one I have brought up before, that the masses are widely ignorant of Thelema. And it appears that some, with the "elitist" view that we were talking about, have decided that is perfectly okay, and then some who could do something about it end up not doing so.  Those with an "elitist" view, might rather leave those who perceive themselves to be slaves where they are. This whole thing started because I said that Thelemites do not "have to" be that way.

There maybe a few elitist souls in Thelema, maybe quite a few, but I don't think they are the greatest obstacle in overcoming the danger of the vice of Netzach.  The problem does not originate with them; their elitist views are a symptom - not the cause.  The views of the Nazi's only flourished because of the dark shadow in the unconscious German psyche. 

The problem originates with the perversion of behaviours that are instinctual and natural to the species.  For a Thelemic community to overcome the vice of Netzach then it needs to be really well educated - far beyond what is the standard in the wider general community - so that it's individual members are not acting unconsciously. 

That's the real difficulty Az - that and overcoming the denial reaction that stops them from examining things like:  their instinctive obedience to authority figures; factors that influence conformity behaviour in groups;  how we unconsciously select our partners and our friends because they share the things we're repressing in our subconscious (family taboos); how we react to a wide range of different people that may not look, act or behave like us, may have different norms, mores and cultural values?  And how but the common 'bystander reaction'?  That works to keep the Vice of Netzach operational as well.           

If it were simply a matter of denouncing elitist types of people for a lack of compassion then problems like Racism, Bullying, Social Rejection of NeuroAtypicals, Religious Intolerance, and Intolerance towards Homosexuals; all these could be cured once and for all in the classroom.  Instead - they are actually exacerbated in our formal school environments because there is an emphasis on group conformity and the unquestioning obedience to authority figures in school - creating society wide unconscious taboo's against questioning one's own relationship to the social group.  The fear of some people of being rejected by their social group... - ah it's heartbreaking to watch sometimes!  And the quest for acceptance you see by those who are routinely rejected, have insecure attachments, that's also heart wrenching to watch.  It often affect's their mental and physical health too:  depression and suicide is a very common result of social rejection.           

I really recommend that you look into the work of Zimbardo and Milgram.  Zimbardo has recently been known for his work explaining the dynamics of what went on in the Abu Graive atrocities in Iraq - i.e. how the group dynamics led these soldiers to be so brutal.

"Dar" wrote:
A slave is merely a child, as the orbit of the child is always to some degree or another bound to the course of the parent.

A child is bound to the parent because of its innocence. Slaves are bound by the whip and scourge.

Slaves are as innocent/ignorant as children.  Children require discipline and suffer greatly from it's absence in their development.  I don't see any distinction.  From my perspective - we are born into slavery, and we mature towards liberty and freedom.   

I find it ill-fated that when my philosophy professor for "Philosophy of Religion" has a book of all the world's mainstream religions, and Thelema is not there. I also find it ill-fated that talk of philosophers, religious scholars, scientists, and so forth, have put Crowley away onto the "occultist" shelf. What you end up with is people studying philosophers that couldn't hold a candle to Crowley, or even going off of something Crowley said, getting praise that Crowley would get if credit was due. You get professors in colleges teaching the Baha'i Faith as the religion of the Aquarian Age, and relying on writers such as Joseph Campbell and Rene' Gerard (both great writers), when they could be using Crowley as a source and get a lot further in their teachings.

I agree that it's very frustrating but Thelema is only 100 years old!  🙂  Let's see what we can do with these new face-book social plugins.  The potential to use them to propagate Thelema is simply enormous and I'm sure going to be pulling every trick in my little back spin doctors book to make the most of them.  😀  Chin up Az - this is a really  exciting time to be a part of Thelema!  Thelemites are podcasting, people are moving about and joining orders and temples, sites are going up everywhere!  Right now is the very best time to be a Thelemite infact!  Things are moving on!  😀   

Now if only people in the O.T.O. would get over this recent really weird thing they have for choir music that sounds like it belongs in a 16th Century European R.C. Church...  I really distrust that man!  It gives me the willies!


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 Anonymous
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21/01/2012 4:46 pm  

4

"Dar" wrote:
"ignant666" wrote:
"There is a new aspect to our perception of reality that manifests in Netzach. It is the communal reality of shared experience. An event is not
"real" unless it affects others as well as oneself. "Did you see what I saw?" becomes a major reality-testing strategy. If others do not perceive
what you perceive, it will generate doubts as to whether or not one's private experience (or at least one's interpretation of that experience) is
"real". As a result, cultural differences in perceived reality vary from one another and, so convincing is our feeling of communal reality, we
honestly feel that *our* culture expresses a fundamental truth about reality and any disagreement from that is folly..."


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Azidonis
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21/01/2012 6:41 pm  
"Los" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
I'm talking about helping [people] by understanding them, and helping them to understand themselves, no matter what the lens is that they see the world through.

And hey, I'll be the first to say that if you're inclined to do that, knock yourself out. But I think it's worth remembering that there's no inherent worth or nobility to compassion, any more than there's any any inherent worth or nobility to cruelty. We all get so caught up in our own little pet ideas that we sometimes run the risk of forgetting that there's nothing truly, inherently worthy or good about the stuff that we just happen to enjoy.

Most people need a reminder, and that, of course, is one of the functions of practices that serve as reminders (like, for example, the greetings or a punctual performance of Resh).

I agree with what you are saying here. Of course merit was never a consideration to this approach. I wanted to see what you all thought of the Bodhisattva path as related to Thelema (re: the earlier pages of this thread).

"Los" wrote:

In another, I think that if Thelema were to "die out", many questions would be raised as to its validity.

How so? Movements die out all the time, and it wouldn't be terribly surprising if Thelema did. Its "death" wouldn't invalidate any of the insights people currently gain from the system, and since -- as you know, from studying other systems -- attainment can be achieved through lots of different means, it's not like the world would really be losing anything all that significant if Thelema went the way of the dodo. It's just that something that we happen to like would be gone. Oh well.

I was thinking along the lines of the Beast as the prophet for the next two thousand years, etc.

"Los" wrote:

the various approaches to the lay people (or "slaves", or "children" or whatever you want to call them) that have coursed through Thelema throughout the years.

Well, here's a novel idea: maybe Thelemites should stop referring to non-Thelemites as "slaves" or "lay people" or "troglodytes" or "children" or various other, similar terms that make Thelemites sound like raving loonies in a cult.

This is one of the things I've been trying to push out lol. I agree with you on this one too...

(wtf has happened, simple threads have become complex, apparently I don't know how to speak proper understandable English anymore, Los and I agree one more than one thing in the same thread... /satire)


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Azidonis
(@azidonis)
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21/01/2012 7:28 pm  
"Dar" wrote:
I'm saying that our species in this new aeon has entered into a phase of growth akin to the life stage of human teenagers.  I'm not calling lay people 'children' or calling masters 'teenagers'.  With greater maturity there tends to come greater conflict resolution skills.  Our world is teetering towards a worldwide resource war (the superpowers have been manoeuvring for years) - hardly a very mature response, is it?

I agree with the assertion. But I do not think such actions are doomed to recur cyclically for the next couple thousand years. Eventually, the "child", or "teenager" or whatever has to grow up, especially if we plan to greet Ma'at with open arms, for those who take an "Aeonic" viewpoint.

"Dar" wrote:
The Buddha had maturity.  He said he had no enemies (even while people were running around trying to kill him!).  Did A.C. develop maturity do you think?  Greater age doesn't always mean greater maturity.  You have to work for maturity, while life ticks on by for everyone.  The attitude of the master (the man or woman that has succeeded in reaching their full potential) is one that seeks to unite themselves with all elements in the universe.  That's a mature response.

I think that A.C. lacked maturity in a few ways, but I also think that if I were being pushed and pulled around by the mainstream media calling me a charlatan, the wickedest man in the world, murderer, etc. I might get pretty pissed off at humanity too. I empathize with him in some ways, but I think that some of his responses were extreme (as in, unbalanced). I don't think that's necessarily a flaw in Crowley, perhaps more of a response or even a character trait.

"Dar" wrote:
There maybe a few elitist souls in Thelema, maybe quite a few, but I don't think they are the greatest obstacle in overcoming the danger of the vice of Netzach.  The problem does not originate with them; their elitist views are a symptom - not the cause.  The views of the Nazi's only flourished because of the dark shadow in the unconscious German psyche.

I don't think they are the greatest obstacle either. I'm just saying they exist, and have questioned their methods or reasoning. 

"Dar" wrote:
The problem originates with the perversion of behaviours that are instinctual and natural to the species.  For a Thelemic community to overcome the vice of Netzach then it needs to be really well educated - far beyond what is the standard in the wider general community - so that it's individual members are not acting unconsciously.

This is one of the reasons I've badgered the idea of Thelema in the "academy" multiple times. Maybe Thelema doesn't have to become a "mainstream religion" (or philosophy, or whatever), but I think it would help the world if Thelema were brought into the academy more.

"Dar" wrote:
That's the real difficulty Az - that and overcoming the denial reaction that stops them from examining things like:  their instinctive obedience to authority figures; factors that influence conformity behaviour in groups;  how we unconsciously select our partners and our friends because they share the things we're repressing in our subconscious (family taboos); how we react to a wide range of different people that may not look, act or behave like us, may have different norms, mores and cultural values?  And how but the common 'bystander reaction'?  That works to keep the Vice of Netzach operational as well.

All these things you mentioned are great tools for someone with an "elitist condition". That is, if we are assuming the condition wholly is "wrong" or at the least "undesirable". It brings us back to the concept of ethics in Thelema, something else we've been debating for years on the site, as you know.

I had a friend, a Thelemite, who's response to say homeless people begging for change or what-not, was to push them away, or down, tell them to "get a job", and walk on.

Is it necessarily "un-ethical" or "immoral" to act this way? Would answering the question presume a moral judgement about such behavior? If such behavior is taken to an extreme, and such viewpoints are accepted as commonplace without caution of the extreme, then I think there is a failure somewhere. I know, "tramp down the wretched and the weak", but I don't see that passage literally. Maybe it is to be taken literally? Maybe the Book, or Crowley/Aiwass wants us to run around playing whack-a-mole with those perceived as "wretched and weak"? I don't buy it.

"Dar" wrote:
If it were simply a matter of denouncing elitist types of people for a lack of compassion then problems like Racism, Bullying, Social Rejection of NeuroAtypicals, Religious Intolerance, and Intolerance towards Homosexuals; all these could be cured once and for all in the classroom.  Instead - they are actually exacerbated in our formal school environments because there is an emphasis on group conformity and the unquestioning obedience to authority figures in school - creating society wide unconscious taboo's against questioning one's own relationship to the social group.  The fear of some people of being rejected by their social group... - ah it's heartbreaking to watch sometimes!  And the quest for acceptance you see by those who are routinely rejected, have insecure attachments, that's also heart wrenching to watch.  It often affect's their mental and physical health too:  depression and suicide is a very common result of social rejection.

Do you think further education on Thelema could assist in those scenarios? Do you think that not accepting or at the least downplaying or asserting the extreme of an "elitist view" assists in helping stop (or at least control) such behavior? Do you think an "elitist view" is even warranted in Thelema at all?           

"Dar" wrote:
Slaves are as innocent/ignorant as children.  Children require discipline and suffer greatly from it's absence in their development.  I don't see any distinction.  From my perspective - we are born into slavery, and we mature towards liberty and freedom.

The distinction is in treatment. If you are changing a baby boy, and he pisses in your face, you wipe your face off, finish changing him, and go on your way. "He doesn't know any better." With a child, their consciousness and awareness unfolds slowly like a flower. Parents nourish it, tend to it, and groom it well to help it grow into full bloom. A child is encouraged to grow, learn, etc.

If a slave walked up and pissed in your face, we'd probably find a dead slave somewhere. A slave (a real slave) is not allowed to unfold his/her flower into full bloom, as they are forced into captivity and against their will. Slaves are forced. There may be some slaves in history that weren't forced (?!?!?), but I think for the most part we can agree that slavery is forced. A slave is discouraged from growing, learning, etc., because the more they know, the chances of their eventual escape increases.

"Dar" wrote:
I agree that it's very frustrating but Thelema is only 100 years old!  🙂  Let's see what we can do with these new face-book social plugins.  The potential to use them to propagate Thelema is simply enormous and I'm sure going to be pulling every trick in my little back spin doctors book to make the most of them.  😀  Chin up Az - this is a really  exciting time to be a part of Thelema!  Thelemites are podcasting, people are moving about and joining orders and temples, sites are going up everywhere!  Right now is the very best time to be a Thelemite infact!  Things are moving on!  😀

Slowly but surely. As Thelema reaches more people, and more people accept it, there is perhaps a danger in one with an "elitist view" working to soil the efforts of the group. Part of my agenda is to help Thelema into the academies, daunting a task as it may be. I don't see that happening if people see these "elitists" and think Thelema is exclusive rather than inclusive... it hurts the cause. I understand that Thelema doesn't have an over-arching focus on compassion like Buddhism, but I think that some compassion is necessary, and the "elitist" works to sever that bond of compassion between men and women alike.

"Dar" wrote:
Now if only people in the O.T.O. would get over this recent really weird thing they have for choir music that sounds like it belongs in a 16th Century European R.C. Church...  I really distrust that man!  It gives me the willies!

Personally, I prefer the music of India to choir music any day of the week.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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21/01/2012 11:50 pm  
"Azidonis" wrote:
"Dar" wrote:
The problem originates with the perversion of behaviours that are instinctual and natural to the species.  For a Thelemic community to overcome the vice of Netzach then it needs to be really well educated - far beyond what is the standard in the wider general community - so that it's individual members are not acting unconsciously.

This is one of the reasons I've badgered the idea of Thelema in the "academy" multiple times. Maybe Thelema doesn't have to become a "mainstream religion" (or philosophy, or whatever), but I think it would help the world if Thelema were brought into the academy more.

I agree with the above and strongly agree with this.  I would like to see 'Thelemic studies' on the list of university degree's a student can take, and also a specialist academy to train Doctors of Thelema.  In both cases I would prefer home schooled kids on the course in preference to those solely educated in an institution.     

What would a Thelema University degree cover?  That has the potential to be a thread by itself! 

Well... I'd first have an element of the sciences. Quantum physics and the Big Bang of course, but probably only to the degree of a science media graduate.  Crowley says of Liber Al 'This Book explains the Universe' and I find a hell of a lot that corresponds to the modern theories of quantum consciousness and the big bang too.  Maybe even the big wow theory.

I think next in line would be the things we've been talking about on this thread.  I'd want to train students up to go out there with a set of techniques that were academically recognised to help communities who are being divided by unconscious social/community dynamics.  There are techniques that sociologists and psychologists have developed to open people up to learning about these things in a far more experiential way, and I think this is a highly valuable and effective approach.  For instance- to combat racism there is a role play exercise that was developed revolving around giving people experience in how to felt to be on the other side of the fence, and it was simply done with dividing the group by eye colour.  You've probably seen it on TV?  I would take the best of all of these kinds of exercises and put them in one course for students, and it think that would work to the benefit of any and every community they ended up.

I like a lot of Jim Eshelman's Aeonic idea's.  In the last aeon we grew the Solar Ego.  In this one we develop a Stella awareness, and I feel that encouraging more awareness and consciousness of group dynamics might be important to the next phase of our evolution.  It also fits in with the idea of information entropy of course...  Whatever - I think it would help and be a practical response to where we find ourselves at today.

Other stuff to go in a Thelema degree?  Hmmmm.  What do you think Az?  What 'modules' of philosophy or psychology would you include on a Thelema degree (if any)? 

"Dar" wrote:
That's the real difficulty Az - that and overcoming the denial reaction that stops them from examining things like:  their instinctive obedience to authority figures; factors that influence conformity behaviour in groups;  how we unconsciously select our partners and our friends because they share the things we're repressing in our subconscious (family taboos); how we react to a wide range of different people that may not look, act or behave like us, may have different norms, mores and cultural values?  And how but the common 'bystander reaction'?  That works to keep the Vice of Netzach operational as well.

All these things you mentioned are great tools for someone with an "elitist condition". That is, if we are assuming the condition wholly is "wrong" or at the least "undesirable". It brings us back to the concept of ethics in Thelema, something else we've been debating for years on the site, as you know.

Not wrong... just not the end goal it is portrayed to be sometimes in the western media.  Going back to my point about waving a Nintendo to the kids in the burning building... if they leave the burning building but then obsess over the Nintendo to the exclusion of all else, then it would have been kinder to leave them in the burning building.  It is sometimes over easy to delay another's progress with comforting platitudes that have no meat and biscuits behind them, and this is how I perceive the elitist's view to be.  Usually there is a marked disconnection with the heartbeat and rhythm of essential life in such individuals.  The universe doesn't speak to them anymore... or that is their perception anyway.  That's probably a poetic and fuzzy way to put it, but I hope it's enough.

I had a friend, a Thelemite, who's response to say homeless people begging for change or what-not, was to push them away, or down, tell them to "get a job", and walk on.

Is it necessarily "un-ethical" or "immoral" to act this way? Would answering the question presume a moral judgement about such behavior? If such behavior is taken to an extreme, and such viewpoints are accepted as commonplace without caution of the extreme, then I think there is a failure somewhere. I know, "tramp down the wretched and the weak", but I don't see that passage literally. Maybe it is to be taken literally? Maybe the Book, or Crowley/Aiwass wants us to run around playing whack-a-mole with those perceived as "wretched and weak"? I don't buy it.

Well - I note that you say you "had" a friend who did that.  I think your friend was a dick, and his actions had little or nothing to do with Thelema, and everything to do with finding an excuse to be abusive towards those he thought were weaker or more vulnerable than himself, most probably because he felt a lack of empowerment in his social group, and more specifically a lack of empowerment when dealing with women.

I would never trust such a man around my children,  or my grandparents.  Such men are not elitists.  They are dogs.    The abusive of one's personal and divine sovereign power when it comes to others is always a choice, and it is your  friend that is a weakling here. 

"Dar" wrote:
If it were simply a matter of denouncing elitist types of people for a lack of compassion then problems like Racism, Bullying, Social Rejection of NeuroAtypicals, Religious Intolerance, and Intolerance towards Homosexuals; all these could be cured once and for all in the classroom.  Instead - they are actually exacerbated in our formal school environments because there is an emphasis on group conformity and the unquestioning obedience to authority figures in school - creating society wide unconscious taboo's against questioning one's own relationship to the social group.  The fear of some people of being rejected by their social group... - ah it's heartbreaking to watch sometimes!  And the quest for acceptance you see by those who are routinely rejected, have insecure attachments, that's also heart wrenching to watch.  It often affect's their mental and physical health too:  depression and suicide is a very common result of social rejection.

Do you think further education on Thelema could assist in those scenarios? Do you think that not accepting or at the least downplaying or asserting the extreme of an "elitist view" assists in helping stop (or at least control) such behavior? Do you think an "elitist view" is even warranted in Thelema at all?

I think it needs to be included and debunked as part of a comprehensive strategy of educational reform.  There are things about Thelema that are indeed 'better' for people in this aeon.  It's 'better' that people base their understanding of the universe on scientific illumination (which Thelema does), and resolves the divide between philosophies of consciousness and physics (which Thelema does).  It is better that Thelemites grow in understanding of the social forces and group dynamics that can affect the exercise of their will.  I don't think Thelema licenses people to be dicks in their local community however.  I think that needs to be properly recognised so we don't have mad dogs running through the play area and biting the kids..   

"Dar" wrote:
Slaves are as innocent/ignorant as children.  Children require discipline and suffer greatly from it's absence in their development.  I don't see any distinction.  From my perspective - we are born into slavery, and we mature towards liberty and freedom.

The distinction is in treatment. If you are changing a baby boy, and he pisses in your face, you wipe your face off, finish changing him, and go on your way. "He doesn't know any better." With a child, their consciousness and awareness unfolds slowly like a flower. Parents nourish it, tend to it, and groom it well to help it grow into full bloom. A child is encouraged to grow, learn, etc.

That's the ideal anyway.  It's what any right minded and mature person would expect and want to see... but it doesn't always happen like that.  I have memories (16 yrs ) of getting hit across the room after defending my baby brother after he'd been struck on the bum and was screaming wildly for innocently pissing on one of my parents.  Regrettably - it's been my experience that more families than not have nasty little secrets of this sort. 

I've learned to educate and arm myself against it, but it feels lonely. It feels taboo to discuss these things openly, even though I know for sure that they are not rare, isolated examples.

If a slave walked up and pissed in your face, we'd probably find a dead slave somewhere. A slave (a real slave) is not allowed to unfold his/her flower into full bloom, as they are forced into captivity and against their will. Slaves are forced. There may be some slaves in history that weren't forced (?!?!?), but I think for the most part we can agree that slavery is forced. A slave is discouraged from growing, learning, etc., because the more they know, the chances of their eventual escape increases.

There are no actual slaves these days.  There are metaphorical slaves that don't accept their own true nature.  You cannot make a king into a slave no matter how hard you force the issue or whatever terrible torments you subject them to.  Not even when you start in their early years. A King can be crippled, yet their kingship will remain untarnished.  Just as the abuser always chooses to commit the final act - to take the drink, to persuade himself, to blame and to rape...  so does the slave choose to go with the situation they know and suffer the abuse for the satisfaction of the known and the predictable. 

So I guess I'm agreeing with you here.  Only I see a thread running through our debates.  I think you must have had a pretty good upbringing Az, with pretty mentally sound or well adjusted parents.  You make certain assumptions about parents and slaves, etc.  that I don't.  As a healthy and well adjusted young man, you assume that if shown the keys to liberty, the slaves would hearken to the call of freedom as if Spartacus had appeared at the gates of the Colosseum! 

A slave may become a king!

A good and hopeful message to carry you forward!  And certainly one that is highly relevant to Thelema...  🙂       

Hmmmm.  Some wouldn't.  Or if given liberty would become the enslaver of others to replace what they think they have lost.  You cannot make another into a king.  You can prepare the temple.  You can see the stream gushes water, but you cannot make the horse drink nor the man walk through the door until they are ready. 

As a rule: the more abused?  The more stubborn.

"Dar" wrote:
I agree that it's very frustrating but Thelema is only 100 years old!  🙂  Let's see what we can do with these new face-book social plugins.  The potential to use them to propagate Thelema is simply enormous and I'm sure going to be pulling every trick in my little back spin doctors book to make the most of them.  😀  Chin up Az - this is a really  exciting time to be a part of Thelema!  Thelemites are podcasting, people are moving about and joining orders and temples, sites are going up everywhere!  Right now is the very best time to be a Thelemite infact!  Things are moving on!  😀

Slowly but surely. As Thelema reaches more people, and more people accept it, there is perhaps a danger in one with an "elitist view" working to soil the efforts of the group. Part of my agenda is to help Thelema into the academies, daunting a task as it may be. I don't see that happening if people see these "elitists" and think Thelema is exclusive rather than inclusive... it hurts the cause. I understand that Thelema doesn't have an over-arching focus on compassion like Buddhism, but I think that some compassion is necessary, and the "elitist" works to sever that bond of compassion between men and women alike.

I see that.

But dammit Az - you're perfectly capable of speaking over the fools these days and doing the Q.E.D thing - reaching out and taking things forwards.  You aren't elitist by electing yourself as an ambassador and taking the sort of inspired and sovereign led action of the true will.  I'd like to see it a bit more actually, so lead by example!  There is no greater leveller, no greater balance in the entire universe than that which you go forth upon.

"Dar" wrote:
Now if only people in the O.T.O. would get over this recent really weird thing they have for choir music that sounds like it belongs in a 16th Century European R.C. Church...  I really distrust that man!  It gives me the willies!

Personally, I prefer the music of India to choir music any day of the week.