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wellreadwellbred
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"david" wrote:
I highly recommend this book  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Families-Survive-Them-Cedar-Books/dp/0749314109 it gives a description of how we create our own internal map of the world from babyhood to adulthood.  In times of stress we may regress to lower level functioning.  A baby cannot bear it's own extreme needy screaming for attention so it will project that terror as if the terror is coming from out there in the world.  It's a common distortion of Khu. This is, in effect a psychological safety valve but we retain this in adulthood.  An obvious example is blaming a certain class or race when economies fail.

David, is blaming or crediting the so-called true will for one's behavior, when reason fails to explain it, the product of the "psychological safety valve" you mention in the quote from you above this sentence? 


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Anonymous
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"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
David, is blaming or crediting the so-called true will for one's behavior, when reason fails to explain it, the product of the "psychological safety valve" you mention in the quote from you above this sentence? 

Blaming the true will?  What??  Reason fails to explain it.  What do you mean by it?  I'm confused about what you wrote.


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Anonymous
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"Shiva" wrote:

Self-harm and brutality.  Is this a viable and sensible method ...?

Oh, you mean like Liber III vel Jugorum?
.

Jugorum razor nicks are obsolete even Jim Eshelmen subscribes to that.  Elastic band twangs imo will suffice.  However even Jim would say that that is unnecessary.  Now there's  a difference between little razor nicks and all -out carving the flesh out like some African tribes do to their children.  There was an indigenous American tribe who embedded hooks into their skin and attached it to a maypole type structure.  They would walk around it, presumably until they collapsed.

"Shiva" wrote:
Also, a simple Vision Quest is merely sitting and fasting ... not unlike the ordeals of asana or dharana. No self-harm or brutality. Nothing like those fakir fakers ...

Fair enough.

"Shiva" wrote:
If you're in the A.'.A.'., the answer is "yes," because it's a requirement.

What about if you're not in the A.'.A.'. ?

"Shiva" wrote:
Sometimes people resort to self-imposed ordeals in order to find that "verbal and/or written expression of their Will."

Yes they do don't they?  Have you ever questioned whether this is mere rote religious practice?

"Shiva" wrote:
Do we even need a "civil name?" No.

It helps in terms of social organization.  In fact it's essential.  Chaos would ensue otherwise.

"Shiva" wrote:
We don't "need" anything but air, water, food and sometimes clothing and/or shelter.

Speak for yourself, with all due respect.

"Shiva" wrote:
If we go without any of those for long, it quickly becomes an ordeal.

Not really.  In the Antarctic, yes but not really in the industrial west.  The cases of death by starvation are about as rare as multi-million dollar lottery wins. Google "food relief" or "soup kitchen" or "social security" for your area to see what I mean. 


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Azidonis
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"david" wrote:
"Shiva" wrote:

Self-harm and brutality.  Is this a viable and sensible method ...?

Oh, you mean like Liber III vel Jugorum?
.

Jugorum razor nicks are obsolete even Jim Eshelmen subscribes to that.  Elastic band twangs imo will suffice.  However even Jim would say that that is unnecessary.

The whole point is to create the 'Watcher'. Any means to create will work. That said, the practice of doing Jujorum with a rubberband is quite different than doing it with a razor blade.

"david" wrote:
"Shiva" wrote:
We don't "need" anything but air, water, food and sometimes clothing and/or shelter.

Speak for yourself, with all due respect.

I think it's safe to say he spoke for everyone - food, clothing, shelter, and breathable air are the basic needs for human life. Trying to split hairs over this is really unnecessary.


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jamie barter
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"Kharlatan" wrote:
[...]

Ah, Kharlatan!  You appear amongst us again!  You may have missed it, or forgotten to respond possibly, but I was just wondering - could you say whether your avatar image is a true likeness or not, as I originally enquired in Reply # 67?

(Waving greetings!)
N Joy


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Michael Staley
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"jamie barter" wrote:
"Kharlatan" wrote:
[...]

Ah, Kharlatan!  You appear amongst us again!  You may have missed it, or forgotten to respond possibly, but I was just wondering - could you say whether your avatar image is a true likeness or not, as I originally enquired in Reply # 67?

(Waving greetings!)
N Joy

Do you imagine, Jamie, that people should answer whatever question you choose to throw their way, no matter how trivial?


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Shiva
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"david" wrote:
... even Jim Eshelmen subscribes to that.

So?

... even Jim would say that that is unnecessary.

So?

What about if you're not in the A.'.A.'. ?

Then you are doomed, and you are going to Hell with all those other infidels 😀

Have you ever questioned whether this is mere rote religious practice?

No. There's no need to "question" such practices. It's obviously "rote ..." as you say.

Re: "civil name." In fact it's essential.  Chaos would ensue otherwise.

No, just having a number will suffice.

Re: "air, water, food and sometimes clothing and/or shelter." Speak for yourself, with all due respect.

"Azidonis" wrote:
I think it's safe to say he spoke for everyone - food, clothing, shelter, and breathable air are the basic needs for human life. Trying to split hairs over this is really unnecessary.

But some people are more "needy." ::)

"Shiva" wrote:
If we go without any of those for long, it quickly becomes an ordeal.

David replies: Not really.  In the Antarctic, yes but not really in the industrial west.

What? You can go without air and water, even in the "industrial west?" You don't "need" food, regardless of where it comes from?


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jamie barter
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"Michael Staley" wrote:
"jamie barter" wrote:
"Kharlatan" wrote:
[...]

Ah, Kharlatan!  You appear amongst us again!  You may have missed it, or forgotten to respond possibly, but I was just wondering - could you say whether your avatar image is a true likeness or not, as I originally enquired in Reply # 67?

(Waving greetings!)
N Joy

Do you imagine, Jamie, that people should answer whatever question you choose to throw their way, no matter how trivial?

It depends on what sort of an emphasis you put on “should”.  As I’ve stated before, no one can expect anyone to have to answer them, unless maybe they were actually the OP of a thread who was actively inviting feedback and dialogue.  On the other hand, I don’t find there’s anything wrong with asking, or “throwing their way”, as you happen to weight it,  a fellow poster “whatever” sort of question, which they can then decide whether to answer or not.  If they choose not to, and it is a fairly harmless question, one of course will wonder why that might be, but no one can coerce anybody into giving a response. 

Furthermore, it is in the eye of the beholder - or at least the asker - whether a particular question may be trivial or not.  If you look over all the threads, I think you will find quite a few of the questions which are asked here to be of a relatively trivial rather than a serious nature – but then there isn't necessarily anything wrong with that. 

What is exactly so trivial, though, that it requires your drawing special attention to it, about asking a fellow poster about the origin of their avatar name, or signature, or indeed photograph – which, incidentally, I have seen done on Lashtal on several occasions before without undue remark being made?  I don’t know whether you have a lot of time on your hands at the moment to initiate nit-picking on others’ behalf, Michael, but might I ask you – I rephrase that, I will ask you - why you might be singling out my particular enquiry here for special attention, as it isn’t even as if I was asking you the question personally?  Do you think that the gentleman (and all the evidence points towards Kharlatan being a gentleman rather than a lady) may be unable to speak for himself, for some reason?

Gottle o geer,
N Joy


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Anonymous
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"Azidonis" wrote:
The whole point is to create the 'Watcher'. Any means to create will work. That said, the practice of doing Jujorum with a rubberband is quite different than doing it with a razor blade.

Yeah of course that's the holy point.  As for rubberbands are you kiddin'?  Pull one back to almost breaking point and release it on your hand.  It's a real short, sharp shock.


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Shiva
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I found that doing Jugorum with a ball point pen worked just fine. And yes, I used the blade first as specified in the official text ... then, later, at another time, I simply switched to the pen. It was just as effective. The physical pain and mulilation, and the mild mental marking, were equally effective. It's just a "Watcher," for Anubis' sake 8)


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jamie barter
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To return to the title of the thread and its relevance with A.C. etc, there are several other mentions of the phrase in Liber AL, which I would propose a slight fourfold difference is demonstrated between all of them in its various treatments:

The first type of ordeal/s are those in general which are connected with Nuit:

… Follow out the ordeals of my knowledge! seek me only … (1:32)
… Write unto us the ordeals; … (I:33)

Spoken in the words of Nuit and the priest of Nuit in order to “know me”, i.e. herself, possibly as in I:26 “Thou knowest!”

But she said: the ordeals I write not … (I:34)

The use of not may be a reference to the cabbalistic cipher used regularly throughout Liber AL; otherwise it seems like a plain statement of fact relating to there being no written down ordeals within the text.

The second type refers to specific types of magickal ordeals, which are set outside the involvement of the Beast:

… and for the Winners of the Ordeal x. … (III:22)

This appears to relate to a single ordeal of a specific nature, to have been passed by all ‘winners’ in a similar fashion.  The X could either be the common cipher for the unknown, any unknown, or refer to something more specific – perhaps a solar cross, or the cross of the four elements requiring a completion by the fifth.

Let him come through the first ordeal [… through the second, third, fourth] (III:64, 65, 66, 67)

Again, these seem to relate to four specific types of ordeal to be undergone by devotees on the ‘path’.

The third, to those specific types of magickal ordeal with which the Beast is in some way involved:

… he may make severe the ordeals. (1:38)

This appears to relate to 666 directly setting specific ordeals as some form of test – presumably for his magickal devotees, although it is not specific.

The ordeals thou shalt oversee thyself, save only the blind ones. … (III:42)

Again the inference is that 666 is directly involved in the act of “overseeing” which has synonyms in “survey, examine, supervise”.  The blind ones presumably refers to all those outside of his remit or control.

And the fourth, to whether ordeals need to exist at all in their previously understood sense:

Abrogate are all rituals, all ordeals, all words and signs. … (I:49)

This whole sentence is regarded as referring to the “old time”, or previous Aeon. However if there are intended to be replacements, these were not indicated and there is always the slimmer possibility that none were intended & there are no longer meant to be any ordeals (or rituals, words and signs).

… tribulation of ordeal, which is bliss. (III:62)

This suggests the solution or ‘way out’ to the specific ‘problem’ of ordeal.  Any ordeal?

This is one way of looking at the various classes of ordeal, for those who may be interested in pursuing such an angle (or arguing, if not.  Or ignoring it altogether, as a third option.)

NoyJ'


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Anonymous
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"Shiva" wrote:
"david" wrote:
... even Jim Eshelmen subscribes to that.

So?

So it proves that dogmatic "Thelemites" who just follow ritual practice without questioning their practical validity can adapt Thelemic practice. 


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Anonymous
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"Shiva" wrote:
I found that doing Jugorum with a ball point pen worked just fine. And yes, I used the blade first as specified in the official text ... then, later, at another time, I simply switched to the pen. It was just as effective. The physical pain and mulilation, and the mild mental marking, were equally effective. It's just a "Watcher," for Anubis' sake 8)

I'm not a doctor but ink pens embedded in skin is probably not advisable.


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Azidonis
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"david" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
The whole point is to create the 'Watcher'. Any means to create will work. That said, the practice of doing Jujorum with a rubberband is quite different than doing it with a razor blade.

Yeah of course that's the holy point.  As for rubberbands are you kiddin'?  Pull one back to almost breaking point and release it on your hand.  It's a real short, sharp shock.

Do them both, 6 months each, then let us know.


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William Thirteen
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rubber bands? ball point pens? both pale before the ordeal of "the comfy chair"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSe38dzJYkY&t=1m47s


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 Anonymous
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Before you start the ordeals it would be wise to self-hypnotize your self, so you and the other play on the same team.


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jamie barter
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"Kharlatan" wrote:
Before you start the ordeals it would be wise to self-hypnotize your self, so you and the other play on the same team.

“?”

N Joy


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Shiva
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"Kharlatan" wrote:
Before you start the ordeals it would be wise to self-hypnotize your self, so you and the other play on the same team.

But what's the point of an "ordeal" if everyone's on the same team? After all, without an antagonist, the ordeal would be so mild as to fail in it's purpose.


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Tao
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In re: the important ponderings of this thread...

"jamie barter" wrote:
Ah, Kharlatan!  You appear amongst us again!  You may have missed it, or forgotten to respond possibly, but I was just wondering - could you say whether your avatar image is a true likeness or not, as I originally enquired in Reply # 67?

The following may provide some insight:

http://freethinker.co.uk/2010/02/03/eight-thousand-sign-%E2%80%98make-the-pope-pay%E2%80%99-petition-%E2%80%93-please-add-your-name-now/

And now, back to your regularly scheduled ordeal...


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jamie barter
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"Tao" wrote:
In re: the important ponderings of this thread...

"jamie barter" wrote:
Ah, Kharlatan!  You appear amongst us again!  You may have missed it, or forgotten to respond possibly, but I was just wondering - could you say whether your avatar image is a true likeness or not, as I originally enquired in Reply # 67?

The following may provide some insight:
http://freethinker.co.uk/2010/02/03/eight-thousand-sign-%E2%80%98make-the-pope-pay%E2%80%99-petition-%E2%80%93-please-add-your-name-now/

Ah, wonderful, Tao!  You have cleared up the matter at a stroke - I can now go to bed of a night & rest easy.  I wonder why K seemed to be so bashful about explaining, himself.  So obviously he doesn't resemble the old Pope at all.  I wonder who he does look like!  (well not reely ;D)

"Tao" wrote:
And now, back to your regularly scheduled ordeal...

Back to the “ordeals” – which seem to have reduced to arguing about Jugorum and whether a razor blade, elastic band or ballpoint pen is the ideal weapon of choice to deal with the problem.  Regardie favoured a battery dispensing a mild electric shock, as I recall.  It would be a damned sight more effective if one was connected up to a 240volt AC current coming straight from the mains – that would do the job of concentrating the mind marvellously well, I would have thought...

Toodlepip for the neow & shockingly yours,
N Joy


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Anonymous
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"Shiva" wrote:
I found that doing Jugorum with a ball point pen worked just fine. And yes, I used the blade first as specified in the official text ... then, later, at another time, I simply switched to the pen. It was just as effective. The physical pain and mulilation, and the mild mental marking, were equally effective. It's just a "Watcher," for Anubis' sake 8)

http://blog.tigerpens.co.uk/can-you-get-ink-poisoning-from-a-pen/

The pen method seems fine after all.


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Shiva
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"david" wrote:
The pen method seems fine after all.

Note: "My" method involved making a mark, a "counter," with no stabbing, injection or trauma. The ink washed off each night (after recording the "breaks"), and one was ready to go the next morning. No poisoning was reported.


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Anonymous
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"Shiva" wrote:
"david" wrote:
The pen method seems fine after all.

Note: "My" method involved making a mark, a "counter," with no stabbing, injection or trauma. The ink washed off each night (after recording the "breaks"), and one was ready to go the next morning. No poisoning was reported.

Oh, I see.  No pain? 


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Shiva
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"david" wrote:
Oh, I see.  No pain?

Correct. No Masochism. Just counting breaks.


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jamie barter
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"Kharlatan" wrote:
Before you start the ordeals

This “Before you start the ordeals” doesn’t ring clearly: as if one can control true ordeals!  The element of the unknown is surely at the foreground.  There seems to be a bit of a mix-up between ordeals and regular practice as is recommended in Liber Jugorum, which can’t really accurately be called ordeals as such (unless one also labels the whole A.’. A.’. programme likewise), as much as it might feel like one to someone participating!

"Kharlatan" wrote:
it would be wise to self-hypnotize your self,

Amongst other things, this also raises the question of the ability to effectively hypnotise yourself – presumably here consisting of a part of the lower self hypnotising another part of the lower self, in order to facilitate and make communication with the higher self more easy?

"Kharlatan" wrote:
so you and the other play on the same team.
"Shiva" wrote:
But what's the point of an "ordeal" if everyone's on the same team?

What team of fractured perception might this be then?  Schizophrenics United?  Or MultiPersonality Wander(er)s perhaps?!

“.. Cowdenbeath 1, Motherwell 2; Strantraer 3, Queen of the South 4 …”,
N Joy


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Anonymous
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"Shiva" wrote:
"david" wrote:
Oh, I see.  No pain?

Correct. No Masochism. Just counting breaks.

In other words this becomes an extended form of day to day meditation where we just count breaks.  Some think the pain element is useful though e.g. RAWilson would bite his thumb hard. 


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Shiva
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"david" wrote:
Some think the pain element is useful though ...

"Man is free to think what he Will."
"Man (woman) is free to bite his/her thumb as he/she Will."
Who cares what some other person thinks?


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Anonymous
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"Shiva" wrote:
"david" wrote:
Some think the pain element is useful though ...

"Man is free to think what he Will."
"Man (woman) is free to bite his/her thumb as he/she Will."
Who cares what some other person thinks?

Eh?  Where did that come from?  I was just adding that there are different views. 


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Shiva
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"david" wrote:
Eh?  Where did that come from?

Oh, I suppose it evolved out of the fact that you've been addressing the minor Jugorum "ordeal" by quoting or citing the views of Jim Eshelmen [sic] and R.A. Wilson, but we've not heard about your own personal experience. Azidonis suggested that you do the practice two different ways for 6 months and then report back. I won't be that hard on you but, really, how about commenting about things from your own experience ... that is, have you actually done Jugorum in any fashion? If so, let's hear your version.


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jamie barter
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"Shiva" wrote:
... we've not heard about your own personal experience. ... I won't be that hard on you but, really, how about commenting about things from your own experience ... that is, have you actually done Jugorum in any fashion? If so, let's hear your version.

Whoa, hold on there, Shiva!  Don’t you recall what happened when newneubergOuch2 and I suggested he "share” his initiation experiences - david will think you are trying to vampirise him! 😮

N Joy


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Anonymous
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"Shiva" wrote:
Oh, I suppose it evolved out of the fact that you've been addressing the minor Jugorum "ordeal" by quoting or citing the views of Jim Eshelmen [sic] and R.A. Wilson, but we've not heard about your own personal experience. Azidonis suggested that you do the practice two different ways for 6 months and then report back. I won't be that hard on you but, really, how about commenting about things from your own experience ... that is, have you actually done Jugorum in any fashion? If so, let's hear your version.

I have experience with Jugorum using a razor a long time ago and since then using an elastic band-twang. DWTWSBTWOTL,  This idea of replacing pain with positive reward-reinforcement sounds good. 


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jamie barter
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"david" wrote:
[...] replacing pain with positive reward-reinforcement sounds good.

However, recall:

For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.  (Liber AL I:44)

And then, even with such “reward-reinforcement”, whither the disincentive to act in a certain way?  Your spontaneous and instinctive automatic inclination would be to impulsively do the thing not desired just in order for you to obtain the desired reward!

Why has your thread now seemingly turned into an obsession about Jugorum?  There are plenty of other threads which discuss the practice, and even one whole one devoted exclusively to it called “Liber III vel Jugorum” just on its own! (see Page 23 on the Magick board): would it not be better and more appropriate to resurrect one of these instead?  And as I have argued before on this thread, it is debatable whether Jugorum would really count for an ordeal anyway, unless one is to treat the whole A.’. A.’. syllabus of practice similarly.

So, quo vadis davidus?

‘иJ
oY


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Shiva
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Okay, David. We see that you have experience in these matters and may none accuse you of being an "armchair magician." (What is that anyway? I suppose it's like AC's definition of a Theosophist: "One who talks about Magick but does no work").

I find it interesting that the nine-degree grade system is outlined in AL: "Behold! there are three ordeals in one, and it may be given in three ways. The gross must pass through fire; let the fine be tried in intellect, and the lofty chosen ones in the highest."


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jamie barter
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"Shiva" wrote:
Okay, David. We see that you have experience in these matters and may none accuse you of being an "armchair magician." (What is that anyway? I suppose it's like AC's definition of a Theosophist: "One who talks about Magick but does no work").

There was something earlier about being a pushchair magician.  That could fit the bill, for someone who might be said to be pushing the limits! (not referring to you directly there, david: no need to get anxgsty! :D)

"Shiva" wrote:
I find it interesting that the nine-degree grade system is outlined in AL: "Behold! there are three ordeals in one, and it may be given in three ways. The gross must pass through fire; let the fine be tried in intellect, and the lofty chosen ones in the highest."

Yes, that is an interesting point.  But are there in fact nine degrees outlined?  AL certainly states there are three ordeals in one, but appears to go back to where it started from again by saying that from that one ordeal, it may be given out (or in) in three ways.

I suppose an element would revolve around how one might interpret the ‘given’, and whether the ‘ways’ might relate to each of the three, but the three ordeals as mentioned in the verse appear to specifically relate to those undergone by the gross, the fine and the lofty.  I don’t think A.C. defined the differences between those categories as part of the one particularly clearly in the Commentaries, or how each particular ordeal is meant to be undertaken and passed, which might be fruit for further speculation.  But a 9-fold degree system would imply each of the 3 mentioned is tripartite as well, and there is no further evidence or indication of that, or so it would seem.

J‘и
oY


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Shiva
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"jamie barter" wrote:
But a 9-fold degree system would imply each of the 3 mentioned is tripartite as well, and there is no further evidence or indication of that, or so it would seem.

The only "proof" that there are nine degrees (with an appended tenth, or honorary, or "secret" degree that always seeming to creep in) is that there are nine degrees in OTO (let's ignore Minerval, and tenth, and [oh no!] an eleventh], and there are nine degrees in A.'.A.'. (let's ignore Probationer, and the "links", and the mysterious Ipsissimus), and that there are nine dan (black belt degrees) in traditional Japanese martial arts (with an honorary tenth, wherein the 10th dan (in some schools) takes off his black belt and ties on a white belt ... again.

So, yes, there are nine degrees, often spread out through many traditions. But, as noted in another thread, these are human constructs 😉

But what does "nature" do when arranging stages of progress? I am in total agreement that "there are therein Three Grades, the Hermit, and the Lover, and the man of Earth," which obviously are the outer order, the inner order, and the supernal order. This would correspond with "three ordeals in one, and it may be given in three ways. The gross must pass through fire; let the fine be tried in intellect, and the lofty chosen ones in the highest."

I mean, there may be other ways of looking at it but (at first glance, and even after multiple viewings), the correlation is adequate for my feeble ability to count to three. I would suggest that the "three ways" are a triparite way of stabilizing the three major grades.

But then there's another viewpoint:
"64. Let him come through the first ordeal, & it will be to him as silver.
65. Through the second, gold.
66. Through the third, stones of precious water.
67. Through the fourth, ultimate sparks of the intimate fire."

Oh, okay, so now there's four ordeals to consider. Not that these are directly attributed to grades, but maybe that's so.

I have nothing to really go on but my own experience and the observation of others' "ordeals." These meager insights tell me that:

1. The first ordeal is that of the one true first degree that is common to all systems. After (usually) undergoing a preliminary training (Probationer, Minerval, the kyu ["class'] grades of martial arts), one comes to a "crisis" in experience.

Christians call this being "born again," although I wonder how many "second births" into Jesus' fold actually involve "seeing the (real) light."

In OTO this may not be noticeable, what with the Minerval, first, second and third degrees being given all in the same afternoon by AC (and that without even any formal tent, turban, well and other fancy trappings), and what with the Minerval and first being given in one evening by Agape Lodge and also in the earliest days of Solar Lodge, and what with there really being no Work required in order to pass from Minerval to first, etc.

But in A.'.A.'., being perhaps the best reflection of the various grades and ordeals mentioned in Liber AL, we find that aspirants who indeed sign up for a year's probation, and who actually do the work, there comes a time when the first ordeal, in fact, comes into play. It starts anywhere from 30 to 15 days before the year is up. It is as if a shadow is cast by the veil of the outer order (first degree) and the candidate enters that shadow as he or she approaches the veil. Their enthusiasm and optimism seems to be dampened and they don't feel well (a mild or severe depression may set in). If they persevere and pass the veil, a "crisis" in experience ensues. This is usually not coincidental with a first degree ceremony, although it can be if a proper libation is served. This "crisis" involves the classical "Kether is in Malkuth" experience, wherein the person comes face to face with their Star ... and is absorbed into it, or merges with it, or is overwhelmed by it. After that, when the "new initiate" comes back to himself or herself in mundane reality, he or she is forever reinforced by that encounter, and they "know" that there is "something," and although they may not be able to summon or communicate with it at will, their "faith" (a "knowing faith," not a belief-faith) is unshakable ... even though family and friends are quick to attempt to disillusion them of their folly. After all, they have seen the elephant.

By the way, some folks have this experience even without formal participation in an order or a lineage, simply by being bold enough to consume a libation ... a legal one, of course ;D  But, it's more-or-less common that they usually have a guru, or a mentor, or an inspirational friend who is somehow involved.

It's an ordeal simply because it causes them to be stretched and strained until the initial barrier(s) to "seeing the light of their Star" is broken down. There is usually pain, or at leat discomfort, involved.

Now, depending on the person's upbringing and imprinting, one may claim they have "seen God," or have "beheld Jesus," or have been visited by "Allah," an "Angel," or whatever classification comes to their mind.

Then, the threefold (or fourfold, it can be argued) division of progressing through the outer order, wherein the physical, emotional and mental aspects of their persona are disciplined, can be assigned to assorted "degrees," but there is not necessarily any definitive crisis or ordeal. But, surely, any kind of ordeal might pop up at any time.

2. The second ordeal is that of the one true "second" degree, which is common to all systems. That is, the candidate, having more or less mastered the elements of his or her persona, comes into a new relationship with his or her "higher self." An actual, repeatable dialogue is established with something called the HGA, or the Solar Angel. My god! The adept, who has seen the Star, but has been wandering about in the outer order in darkness, comes to the point where he or she has a focal point where he or she can "go" to get actual inner guidance, directly, without having to ask a guru or a "link," or whatever the "superior" is called.

The "crisis" revolves around switching one's "source" of guidance from an external person to an inner voice. In Coruscatio, this communication is defined in the most specific terminology:

"... a meaningful dialog takes place between the Clear Light along with the appreciation that this ecstatic perception is occurring to oneself. This secondary experience involves a certain state of conceptual lucidity. This dialog has been called The knowledge and conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. It can take many forms. In this second stage ... both the mystical non-self and the mystical self are experienced - simultaneously."[/align:11ewdql8]

The crisis is often accompanied by a major break or schism in one's outer relations. For example, see AC's battles within the Golden Dawn. We can also cite many similar upheavals that can occur when a person gets in touch with their own inner guidance.

The "three ways" of dividing the inner order into Tamas-Sajas-Sattvas, or Adeptus Minor-Major-Exemptus, again can be seen as convenient constructs.

3. The third ordeal is that of the one true "third" degree, which is more-or-less common to all systems. It is, of course, the ordeal of the abyss and the resultant attainment of "mastery," in which it is doubtful that the Hermit is in a state of constant "illumination" or "enlightenment," but (theoretically) that he or she can enter samadhi at will - and thus gain a more expanded viewpoint to examine any subject or problem.

4. The fourth ordeal is that of the "final" degree, which is more-or-less common to all systems. The initiate and the path are annihlated. (The OTO degrees cover this entire range of four ordeals in the four degrees of the Man of Earth series, but of course a P.I. of OTO can hardly be viewed as having walked the entire path - but it's all there in a holographically-reduced symbolism).

The appendages of silver, gold, stones of precious water, and ultimate sparks of the intimate fire, can be seen as mere poetic metaphors. But then there are correlations:

The first ordeal is silver because the initiate come face to face with a silver star. Well, that's the way I saw it, and a lot of folks have also described it as such. It's not blue or red or green ... is it?

The second is gold because the adept actually encounters a (golden) sun-like radiance, and his or her aura is often described by others as having a golden glow.

The third, stones of precious water, remind us of the watery nature of the abyss, and I'll not draw any further analogies, except to say that samadhi has been described as a flowing experience..

The fourth, ultimate sparks of the intimate fire, is way out there (or way in there), and perhaps we can be reminded of Hadit.

Nine man-made degrees, three well-defined grades, four ordeals, and one overall ordeal that we call "the Path" that ends up in negation of the way and the path and any conception of divisions.

Anyway, that's how I see it, and I'm stuck with that perception. 🙂


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jamie barter
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"Shiva" wrote:
[...] Anyway, that's how I see it, and I'm stuck with that perception. 🙂

This seems all quite a clear perception to me, anyway.

I have a minor correction from earlier:

"jamie barter" wrote:
I don’t think A.C. defined the differences between those categories as part of the one particularly clearly in the Commentaries, or how each particular ordeal is meant to be undertaken and passed, which might be fruit for further speculation.

A.C. didn’t clarify it at all.

In fact the minimalism and extent of the obscurity of his commentary is quite astonishing and bears repetition in its entirety (incidentally, none of this appears in the so-called “Popular” edition of the Commentaries, “The Law is for All” at all):

It would be improper to make extended commentary on this verse, since the nature of the ordeals is not to be written.  It is only necessary to say that these ordeals are singularly thorough in all ways, and cannot be dodged.  They are real, not formal, tests of the candidate.  Persons accustomed to the schoolboy jokes of Freemasonry please take note.

(New Comment to I:50)[/align:m8j69no6]

Our system of initiation is triune.  For the outer, tests of labour, pain, etc.  For the inner, intellectual tests.  For the elect of the A.’. A.’., spiritual tests. 

(Old Comment to I:50)[/align:m8j69no6]

As for the gross, the fine and the lofty (for some reason I am put in mind of the long, the short and the tall!), the only other place in Liber AL where any of these words are mentioned are “dress ye all in fine apparel” (in the verse immediately afterwards, I:51, although irrelevant and confusing in this context) and III:58 (“the keen and the proud, the royal and the lofty”), where ‘lofty’ is described by A.C. as meaning “high-hearted, enduring not any baseness.”

From this the three types also appear to correspond to the purification processes in the body, the mind and the spirit: there is the body, analogous to the man of Earth grade, of which the processes of alchemical purification by fire there would tend to slot in most satisfyingly; the spirit, analogous to The Hermit grade with the “lofty”, where one could also slot in the reference of the “ones” with the supernal holy one of The Fool; and the mind, left by process of elimination, and analogous to The Lovers a little less obviously by analogy with an Gemini – Air – intellect correspondence.

oY
Jи'


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Anonymous
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"Shiva" wrote:
But then there's another viewpoint:
"64. Let him come through the first ordeal, & it will be to him as silver.
65. Through the second, gold.
66. Through the third, stones of precious water.
67. Through the fourth, ultimate sparks of the intimate fire."

Oh, okay, so now there's four ordeals to consider. Not that these are directly attributed to grades, but maybe that's so.

Silver, gold, precious water then intimate fire.  Yesod, Tipareth, water of Mem and then the intimate fire of the Star that burns within?


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Shiva
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"david" wrote:
Silver, gold, precious water then intimate fire.  Yesod, Tipareth, water of Mem and then the intimate fire of the Star that burns within?

Sounds good to me - except for the Mem part, which I can't place in a straight line 😀


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herupakraath
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"david" wrote:

Silver, gold, precious water then intimate fire. 

You've modified the conditions of the test: that's an automatic disqualification, but please feel free to try again.


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Anonymous
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"Shiva" wrote:
"david" wrote:
Silver, gold, precious water then intimate fire.  Yesod, Tipareth, water of Mem and then the intimate fire of the Star that burns within?

Sounds good to me - except for the Mem part, which I can't place in a straight line 😀

You want a linear straight line?  Fair enough. 


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herupakraath
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"Shiva" wrote:
But then there's another viewpoint:
"64. Let him come through the first ordeal, & it will be to him as silver.
65. Through the second, gold.
66. Through the third, stones of precious water.
67. Through the fourth, ultimate sparks of the intimate fire."

The appendages of silver, gold, stones of precious water, and ultimate sparks of the intimate fire, can be seen as mere poetic metaphors. But then there are correlations.

The four descriptions of the ordeals are indeed metaphors, and they correlate to a well-known concept, but it has nothing to do with Qabalah.

The first ordeal is silver because the initiate come face to face with a silver star. Well, that's the way I saw it, and a lot of folks have also described it as such. It's not blue or red or green ... is it?

The second is gold because the adept actually encounters a (golden) sun-like radiance, and his or her aura is often described by others as having a golden glow.

The third, stones of precious water, remind us of the watery nature of the abyss, and I'll not draw any further analogies, except to say that samadhi has been described as a flowing experience.

Your analysis of the third ordeal has misled David into adopting your misreading of the symbolism: you have both ignored the critical symbolism of stones.

The fourth, ultimate sparks of the intimate fire, is way out there (or way in there), and perhaps we can be reminded of Hadit.

Anyway, that's how I see it, and I'm stuck with that perception. 🙂

I'm surprised that you do not see the symbolism for what it is, but as stated, you are stuck with your perceptions, meaning your training in the Qabalah.

The key to understanding the four ordeals is the expression stones of precious water; there is only one stone that is considered precious and that has the appearance of water: a diamond. Looking at the symbolism from that perspective, all of the symbolism consists of metaphors for precious metals and gemstones. Ultimate sparks of the intimate fire is a cryptic reference to the most valuable gemstones, those that produce a reddish orange light, such as fire opal or a red sapphire.

Having explained the meaning of the four metaphors, the process involved should be obvious: obtaining the philosopher's stone through alchemical transmutation. Unfortunately, the qabalistic training Crowley provides has nothing to do with the process.


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Shiva
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"david" wrote:
You want a linear straight line?  Fair enough.

Straight lines do not occur in nature. They are another "human construct." In this case, it's called "linear thinking." I am guilty of this sin 😉    I will accept "precious water" as the abyss. By the way, what are stones of precious water? How can water be a stone (ice?). Seems like a paradox (which is acceptably abyssmal).


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Shiva
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"herupakraath" wrote:
Having explained the meaning of the four metaphors, the process involved should be obvious ...

Thank you for explaining your interpretation of the ordeals ... and you're stuck with it.

Everybody must get stoned.


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Azidonis
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Oh, and the Initiator!


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threefold31
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"Shiva" wrote:
By the way, what are stones of precious water? How can water be a stone (ice?). Seems like a paradox (which is acceptably abyssmal).

Dwtw

This phrase is frequently misunderstood. The term "water" is a measure of a precious gem's clarity. Diamonds "of the first water" are quite clear, nearly flawless. cf. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_water

So a 'stone of precious water' can be translated as a 'precious gem of great clarity'. Or perhaps " a (gem)stone whose quality is like that of the best precious gems."

There are only four gems considered "precious", and of these, the diamond is the only one to be close to transparent like water, unlike rubies, sapphires and emeralds which are translucent. But 'first water' may also apply to them.

Litlluw
RLG


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threefold31
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"herupakraath" wrote:
The key to understanding the four ordeals is the expression stones of precious water; there is only one stone that is considered precious and that has the appearance of water: a diamond. Looking at the symbolism from that perspective, all of the symbolism consists of metaphors for precious metals and gemstones. Ultimate sparks of the intimate fire is a cryptic reference to the most valuable gemstones, those that produce a reddish orange light, such as fire opal or a red sapphire.

Having explained the meaning of the four metaphors, the process involved should be obvious: obtaining the philosopher's stone through alchemical transmutation. Unfortunately, the qabalistic training Crowley provides has nothing to do with the process.

Dwtw

This analysis is cogent, and has much to recommend it. I do not feel it necessarily excludes the qabalistic Middle Pillar explanation; they may exist in tandem. But the third ordeal is not about water, that much is clear from the verbiage. It is about gemstones as a metaphor.

Now considering that the Ordeals in these verses are supposed to change a person's perception of the Law itself, (which will be the natural result of changing the perceiving apparatus of the person), one has to recognize that the 'meaning' of the Law will change through four stages.  And that includes these verses too. It's recursive.

So the Law may be seen in different guises, such as Qabalistic, Alchemical, Transpersonal, Tantric, etc. In the Qabalisitc scenario, one may rise through the Four Worlds; in the Alchemical, one may go through Solve et Coagula; in the Transpersonal perhaps four major Archetypes are experienced, in the Tantric the chakras are opened and the Kundalini awakened, and so on. These are just suggestions, not a definitive analysis. The point is that the Alchemical interpretation is a very interesting one that could well be interpenetrated by three other motifs.

Litlluw
RLG


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herupakraath
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"threefold31" wrote:
This analysis is cogent, and has much to recommend it. I do not feel it necessarily excludes the qabalistic Middle Pillar explanation; they may exist in tandem. But the third ordeal is not about water, that much is clear from the verbiage. It is about gemstones as a metaphor.

Now considering that the Ordeals in these verses are supposed to change a person's perception of the Law itself, (which will be the natural result of changing the perceiving apparatus of the person), one has to recognize that the 'meaning' of the Law will change through four stages.  And that includes these verses too. It's recursive.

I have given little thought to the idea of changes in perception of the Law, but it's certainly true, given that our perceptions change as we change. Looking back on where I was at when I started, where I am now, and what I have learned, the truth in your observations is evident.

So the Law may be seen in different guises, such as Qabalistic, Alchemical, Transpersonal, Tantric, etc. In the Qabalisitc scenario, one may rise through the Four Worlds; in the Alchemical, one may go through Solve et Coagula; in the Transpersonal perhaps four major Archetypes are experienced, in the Tantric the chakras are opened and the Kundalini awakened, and so on. These are just suggestions, not a definitive analysis. The point is that the Alchemical interpretation is a very interesting one that could well be interpenetrated by three other motifs.

Your suggestions are useful for those interested in a syncretic overview of the available methods and systems; my objective is to narrow down the available approaches in favor of a finely-tuned minimalist system.

There are alphanumeric qualities of verses II:64 - 67 that resonate with the alchemical symbolism of verses; given your interest in such things, you might appreciate them.

Other than the poetic value of the metaphors used by Aiwass to describe the four ordeals, and the distinct possibility he simply enjoys confounding his readers, I am inclined to ask why he chose 'stones of precious water' as a metaphor for diamonds. Using the concept of notariqon to extract the first letter in each word from the metaphoric descriptions and enumerating them with gematria, a clear purpose behind the choice of words used in the metaphors is revealed.

Silver
Gold
Stones Of Precious Water
Ultimate Sparks Of The Intimate Fire

The combined letters highlighted in bold print are SGSOPWUSOTIF: the enumeration of the letters is 113, a key number seen in the riddle of verse II: 76 of TBOTL, and the enumeration of Philosopher's Stone.

The gematria system used is derived from the counts of letters in TBOTL.


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