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Michael Staley
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MANIO - it's all in the egg
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[Moderator note: This post was originally part of the Andrew Chumbley topic, here.]

Pierce a metal pot with a number of holes, put a live frog into it and seal the top, then bury it at a crossroads under an ants nest for 9 days.

I know it's somewhat off-topic. but I loathe sadistic acts like this, and I think that people who engage in them are psychopaths.


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 Anonymous
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Actually, I've always intended to replicate the rite, as described to George Ewart Evans by people who had undergone it, but for similar reasons have decided only to do so with a toad that is already dead. Never found one yet. One account is of someone who undertook it solo due to lack of local guild members, who claims to have heard the rough band behind him anyway.


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 Anonymous
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MichaelStaley you have to put this in context in regards to the time.. These were folks who probably killed and prepared there own dinner..


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 Anonymous
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Very true, fratersi, but I'm given to understand that it's in one's best interests for the food animal to be killed quickly and cleanly. Apparently the andrenaline rush from pain can make the meat taste bad.

According to the appendix to the article, the cruel method of killing the toad was a key part of the process- the willingness to do something so extreme for the power. The whole 'deal with the Devil' thing.
Doesn't make it any prettier, though- and I'm inclined to agree with MichaelStaley. Anyone who liked the idea of the process is psychopathic- pretty much by definition.


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Michael Staley
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"fratersi" wrote:
MichaelStaley you have to put this in context in regards to the time.. These were folks who probably killed and prepared there own dinner..

I appreciate that, but I wasn't thinking of it as a museum piece. I believe that there are still people who do this sort of thing today, as well as other forms of animal sacrifice.


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 Anonymous
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I back up Michael on this. Any person who thinks that by killing defenceless living animals for a power trip, thinking they are going to get "occult powers" are pathetic. Even if its a historically accurate ritual it doesnt meet the criteria of Do What Thou Wilt. Can you argue that that a ritual of this nature meets the criteria of Do What Thou Wilt?

To put it in context , whats the difference between the muti murder of the boy named Adam found in the Thames and killing a toad for "witchy powers""? Neither meet the criteria for Do What Thou wilt.


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kidneyhawk
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HR-MS,

Agreed. And I'm quite curious then how people would compare this particular rite to AC's crucifixion of an annointed amphibian?


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lashtal
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"kidneyhawk" wrote:
I'm quite curious then how people would compare this particular rite to AC's crucifixion of an annointed amphibian?

Or, for that matter, the sparrows, the pigeons, the goats and that most unfortunate cat that crossed his path?

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 Anonymous
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"hawthornrussell" wrote:
I back up Michael on this. Any person who thinks that by killing defenceless living animals for a power trip, thinking they are going to get "occult powers" are pathetic. Even if its a historically accurate ritual it doesnt meet the criteria of Do What Thou Wilt. Can you argue that that a ritual of this nature meets the criteria of Do What Thou Wilt?

To put it in context , whats the difference between the muti murder of the boy named Adam found in the Thames and killing a toad for "witchy powers""? Neither meet the criteria for Do What Thou wilt.

That does rather beg a question though, as to what meets the criteria in the first place? Which takes us back to the knotty issue of Thelemic morality- which seems to be responsible for the highest number of acrimonious and therefore locked threads.

And in terms of killing animals for "occult powers"- well, look at the Gnostic mass-
"And, forasmuch as meat and drink are transmuted in us daily into spiritual substance, I believe in the Miracle of the Mass."
Which brings us to the vegetarianism and Thelema thread.

Yes, I know there's a difference between the powers promised by the toad bone and those that result from the Great Work, and between a toad and a human. The point, maybe, is how great the difference is.


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Michael Staley
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"Cuvalwen" wrote:
And, forasmuch as meat and drink are transmuted in us daily into spiritual substance, I believe in the Miracle of the Mass.

It is my belief that this line from the Gnostic Mass is referring to nourishment. I don't see how you can extend that to cover animal sacrifice. Although you can see all nourishment as ultimately vampiric, I prefer to draw my own lines.

I half expected someone to come back with the verse from the Book of the Law about sacrificing cattle little and big etc. Although I am a Thelemite, I do not accept the Book of the Law wholesale; fundamentalism does not appeal to me.

To take up Kyle's reference to Crowley's crucifixion of a toad, I found it abhorrent when I first read about it back in the 1960s, and still do. To think that so profound an initiation needed to be facilitated by something so squalid and sadistic is almost laughable.


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 Anonymous
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Of course, but nourishment itself can be seen as a means to a magical end.
Everyone has to draw their own line, of course, but if one eats meat then one is already prepared to accept the death of an animal for their own benefit.

It's like that old joke-
"Will you have sex with me for Β£1,000,000?"
"Yes"
"Will you have sex with me for Β£5?"
"Of course not! What do you think I am!?"
"We've established that, now we're haggling over the price!"

Personally, I like my meat to be ethically raised and slaughtered.


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Michael Staley
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As it happens I'm a vegetarian. But I still think that there is a difference between on the one hand including meat in one's diet, and on the other leaving a frog to die a lingering and painful death at the hands of ants, so that the bones can be used for divination. Whether one chooses to kill animals or vegetables, I accept that there is a food chain, and that we live at the expense of other forms of life. There might well be forms of life which harvest us for all I know; perhaps are.

What we're discussing is not vegetarianism, but whether animal sacrifice has any sort of role to play in magical attainment. You seem to think that it might have, whilst I don't.


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ianrons
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I think most of us would agree that the killing of a tree or of a cow is less heinous than the killing of a human. The degree to which it is unacceptable is clearly not related to the size of the plant/animal, but to its level of intelligence, or "quality of consciousness". We're also concerned about the suffering endured prior to death. I suppose this is because we are intelligent enough to be able to empathise with other intelligent creatures, and can find almost unbearable the thought of an intelligent creature suffering greatly. It seems that what we're doing, therefore, is protecting consciousness. We don't want to consciously suffer pain ourselves, so we nobly oppose it (torture) occuring to others.

Would it be possible, however, that a hypothetical mystic, having transcended conscious suffering, would see it from another perspective? I think the only possible defence of torture, etc., would have to come from the position that "consciousness" is not necessarily worthy of special protection, and hence "suffering" not especially to be guarded against. Actually, since I would consider it magickally wrong for me to try to protect my own consciousness from destruction in samadhi under all circumstances, so also I would not wish to restrict another creature from undergoing pain or any other experience. It's not an argument for torturing animals, of course -- I see no real reason why one should; but then again I see no reason why one shouldn't, and I certainly think you're overstating the case when you say it's "psychotic", Mick.

P.S. It seems that some people are taking some of the above remarks out of context and using them against me. The context is that of a philosophical debate about morals. I take my stand with Augustine and Thomas Aquinas.


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 Anonymous
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I can see where Ian is coming from but i dont totally buy his argument. I dont know if this has been debated on another thread but could it be argued that there are animals in the food chain that have their own will? And if so where does that place the issue of Do what Thou Wilt. With regard to Lashtal's mention of Crowleys actions towards animals, my personal opinion is that those actions werent Thelemic. Maybe misguided taboo breaking but not Thelemic. Back to this toad ritual, has anyone on this forum actually done it? And if so how would you defend such a ritual?


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Michael Staley
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"ianrons" wrote:
Actually, since I would consider it magickally wrong for me to try to protect my own consciousness from destruction in samadhi under all circumstances, so also I would not wish to restrict another creature from undergoing pain or any other experience.

The difference is that you are choosing not to avoid "destruction in samadhi", whereas I doubt that Crowley's toad, or the frog destined to be eaten alive by ants, or the various creatures destined to be sacrificed, have that choice.

"ianrons" wrote:
It's not an argument for torturing animals, of course -- I see no real reason why one should; but then again I see no reason why one shouldn't . . .

You see no reason why one shouldn't torture animals? Would you care to rephrase that?


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 Anonymous
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I once witnessed a bull sacrifice. It was a hilarious event watching these people in black robes and Aegyptian Nemysses assaulting a prime rib brisket with spears with all the fury of a dervish!


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ianrons
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Michael,

The difference is that you are choosing not to avoid "destruction in samadhi", whereas I doubt that Crowley's toad, or the frog destined to be eaten alive by ants, or the various creatures destined to be sacrificed, have that choice.

That's why I said "It's not an argument for torturing animals, of course". Now, it is possible to construct such an argument, but I don't intend to; I'm merely questioning your statements. The problem here, with this discussion, is that we seem to be starting from within the framework of a civil society, where torturing animals is -- with good reason -- frowned upon at the very least; but I would argue that, taking a broader view, there can be no such presumption that animal sacrifice is always in some sense "wrong".

Therefore, what I'm hoping to get from you is an explanation of your rationale for saying that this kind of animal sacrifice is "sadistic" and symptomatic of psychopathy. Apparently it's not the death itself that you find troubling, since you seem to accept that your own life comes at the expense of other creatures; but rather the deliberate infliction of suffering.

You see no reason why one shouldn't torture animals? Would you care to rephrase that?

Sure, why not. I see no universal moral law that shows animal torture is always, under every circumstance, "wrong". In fact I see no universal "wrong" at all (the world is "pure without spot"). Your statement denouncing the infliction of pain on animals, even when in the pursuit of what might be called a "higher" purpose, is far too sweeping for me to accept.

I find that "moral universals" such as "murder is wrong" (or "animal sacrifice is wrong") turn out to be merely subjective, in the end. We are all accustomed to believe in this chimera of the "moral universal", for the simple reason that a degree of "moral universalism" is required for society to function. In other words, the subjectivism is that of society itself. Take the statement "if we allowed one person [in our society] to kill people, we should justify anyone to kill people [in our society, which would cause its collapse]". It is easy to remove the text in the brackets and call it a "moral universal"; but then it ceases to be a testable hypothesis and becomes a mere assertion. One could, perhaps, say that "all suffering is wrong"; but this has no basis except in the subjective experience of personal suffering, hence can have no universal validity. Nevertheless, the argument against murder, for example, is true within the confines of the city walls, where people have to get along.

To illustrate this point, the recent debate surrounding CIA waterboarding, from within the city walls of our society, has been circling around the idea that torture is wrong, but that it may nevertheless be permissible under certain limited conditions; whereas the history of the CIA on the battlefield (i.e., outside the city walls) has been blood-soaked in the extreme, with apparently no need for justification (see, e.g., the Milgram experiment, seized on -- if not funded -- by the CIA at the time). Mass murderers, outside the city walls, are generally regarded as heroes, even when they kill indiscriminately (e.g., Lieutenant, later Senator, Robert Kerrey, responsible for the Thanh Phong Massacre, or Dan Mitrione). We also see St. Augustine arguing that the private citizen is without moral defence if he kills someone in self-defence (i.e., selfishly protecting his life, the suggestion being "...against another citizen"), but is quite correct in murdering any number of people if he is a soldier (i.e., if he is doing it to those who belong outside the city walls).

I could expand on this, but simply my point is that I consider the view that animal sacrifice is "wrong" to be rather myopic: based on a very limited notion of right and wrong that exists merely for the benefit of society, and not for the individual; and certainly not universal in scope. I really don't believe the universe works that way! I think the universe does reward the killer (not what we are taught in school, of course); but that is no reason not to play nice ("there are means and means") -- and this is an important point if we wish to live in harmony with each other. In other words, I don't believe that "might is right": "right", it could be argued, is merely "that which is beautiful to us", and the ugly is what we call "wrong"; and whilst "might" wins, it ain't always pretty (but "might" does win, and I believe that comes close to a "universal").

So the question, for me, comes down to whether or not this toad ritual can be "beautiful". I can certainly imagine a hypothetical situation where the agonising death of an animal, as part of the fabric of the magickal growth of a human being (or as lunch for a Venus fly-trap), could be beautiful. I would argue, furthermore, that to say this kind of thing is always "psychopathic" is to assume that everyone else shares your idea of what is beautiful and what is ugly. In fact it sounds like what you're saying is that everyone who doesn't see it your way is mad; which seems itself a little bit mad.

P.S. The term "psychopathy" has, to my knowledge, a fairly precise medical definition, and I think you're misusing the term; but I'll leave that to the psychologists.
P.P.S. For further info on the references to CIA torture, I would recommend the article in the current issue of Lobster, No. 54.


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 Anonymous
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This is the strangest piece of pseudo-intellectual claptrap I've seen in some time.

Your argument, such as it is, is that of a 15 year old school debater and is presented as such. It's amazing that someone would actually posit this stuff with a serious face.

As for the terrorist crimes of the CIA, do you honestly think Lobster magazine is the best place to refer people? Or was that a gag?


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 Anonymous
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Ian,

Surely you cannot be serious?! I expected much more from you...

'Might' or 'Will' for the 'universal' as you put it, however subjective it is, and regardless of whether it is applied within/without an allegorical city wall, does 'not' help the occultist, and especially does not justify any form of animal sacrifice or torture.

When 'Might' or 'Will' runs riot, or reckless for its own sake, the nature of its subjective experience would be composed of a derangement, a disassociation or fragmentation of the psyche, thus generating a psychopathic tendency. For an occultist, it would be a tragic circumstance, and an easy ticket to a confused purgatory i.e. the inverse experience of the benefits that a true passage of the 'dark night of the soul' is for the aspiring adept. Surely, such an application or volition of 'might', for the sake of 'might', must be avoided at all costs. In my opinion, when 'might' is served through the vehicle of the adept, for its own sake, and not 'aligned' or 'weighed', then it does nothing for the 'universal'.

Best Wishes
Charles

P.S. This is my two pence, over 12 years in medical practice, and having an uncle who was in medical practice for 40+ years, this was one of the first things he warned me about when I took interest in the occult. He mentioned to me that psychopathology is rife amongst occultists....and I am not talking about Dr. Taverner! πŸ˜‰


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ianrons
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Loscult,

This is the strangest piece of pseudo-intellectual claptrap I've seen in some time.

Your argument, such as it is, is that of a 15 year old school debater and is presented as such. It's amazing that someone would actually posit this stuff with a serious face.

As for the terrorist crimes of the CIA, do you honestly think Lobster magazine is the best place to refer people? Or was that a gag?

I'm not sure why you've taken such a dislike to me... maybe you heard someone buskin' obscenities on your way to work. People lie. Your last post I let pass, because it might have seemed somewhat self-serving to criticise you at that particular moment, but this time I have to say that the sheer arrogant rudeness of your remarks mean I have to ask you to refrain from posting here in future without sending your post for pre-approval to Paul or myself.

It's easy to make ad hominem remarks, but did you notice the irony in accusing someone of acting like a 15 year old?

Actually, Lobster is a serious magazine. The article in question makes use of several works on the subject, hence seems like a good starting point. I assume you haven't read it.


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 Anonymous
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"loscult" wrote:
This is the strangest piece of pseudo-intellectual claptrap I've seen in some time.

Your argument, such as it is, is that of a 15 year old school debater and is presented as such. It's amazing that someone would actually posit this stuff with a serious face.

As for the terrorist crimes of the CIA, do you honestly think Lobster magazine is the best place to refer people? Or was that a gag?

Hey ho! Ad hominen attacks either mean that you don't understand the argument or have no plausible reply. Below the belt, loscult.

Is it me, or did the original toady discussion begin with a ritual that included a frog, not a toad? πŸ™„

Where did we get the idea that these rituals have to do with power instead of initiation? The question explored might better be that of whether they need be done in actuality or are they representative of an initiatic process-in other words; are the rituals an explanation or metaphor?


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ianrons
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I can't help but think, Charles, that your post might have been less condescending if loscult hadn't written first.

'Might' or 'Will' for the 'universal' as you put it, however subjective it is, and regardless of whether it is applied within/without an allegorical city wall, does 'not' help the occultist, and especially does not justify any form of animal sacrifice or torture.

Clearly you have misread my argument, and I would urge you to go back and look at it again. I said: I don't believe that "might is right". Clearly I am not using "might" to justify anything.

Your second paragraph, being based on this apparent misreading, I'll pass over.

I'm going to make dinner now, and I hope everyone can play nicely whilst I'm away. πŸ˜†


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OKontrair
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I'm with Ianrons on this.

Sentiment was creeping in disguised as morality. Someone ought to hose it down and Ianrons must have grabbed the nearest bucket.

Good and evil, right and wrong are only fashions. Another time, another place and we'd all take the opposite view.

In the OT Jephthah was 'wrong' to make the vow but 'right' again for killing his daughter.

It all boils down to 'stuff I like' contrasted with 'stuff I don't like.'

'Good' is whatever the current batch of bigger monkeys don't bash you for.

I like toads. I wouldn't harm a hair of their heads - but its only my opinion.

I also like vegetarians - two of my favourites are cows and sheep.

Most sacrifice is exsanguination. The creatures concerned hardly seem to mind at all.

Psychopathology is mental illnesses in general. Psychosis is one such and psychopath is a personality type (according to Prof. Hans Eysenck)

I only dropped in to see who Andrew Chumbly was. I still don't know.

OK


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lashtal
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"magispiegel" wrote:
Surely you cannot be serious?! I expected much more from you...

Charles, I fear you're punching beyond your weight. You're certainly posting beyond your level of knowledge...

When 'Might' or 'Will' runs riot, or reckless for its own sake, the nature of its subjective experience would be composed of a derangement, a disassociation or fragmentation of the psyche, thus generating a psychopathic tendency.

Well, I have to admire the tortuous way in which you've twisted the normal rules of grammar and syntax when all you were really saying was: "Hey, Michael, you're right; you're SO right, sir." And he may well be, but to Michael's absolute credit, he never seems to look for disciples.

over 12 years in medical practice

Your psychological insights being so striking, I wonder what relevant medical practice you have? Perhaps I've just been misinformed about its nature.

having an uncle who was in medical practice for 40+ years

Hah! I have a grandfather who had 60 years of practice of calligraphy but I still can't read my own handwriting! Maybe a knowledge of psychopathology isn't entirely genetic?

And as for Ian's post: it looks perfectly reasonable to me, and was certainly the result of serious research and consideration. But I would say that, wouldn't I?

Disappointing posts, loscult and Charles. Time to move on, though...

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 Anonymous
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Ian,

I did read your post, more than once in fact. It's general overview left an impression within me which resulted in the overall delivery of my last post.

Best Wishes
Charles


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 Anonymous
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Paul,

My apologies for causing any upset and having my words misconstrued. I was under the impression that we were all having a decent discussion?

Best Wishes
Charles


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 Anonymous
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"ianrons" wrote:
whilst "might" wins, it ain't always pretty (but "might" does win, and I believe that comes close to a "universal").

That might wins is a tautology, "might" = "that which secures victory". This is true even when the, so called, powerless eventually triumph since this is normally through some process such as the transvaluation of values, which effectively moves the winning post.

Other than the above note I pretty much agree with what you say Ian on the matters of morality, suffering, and the like.


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ianrons
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That might wins is a tautology, "might" = "that which secures victory".

Only if you have an infinite amount of might; but even then, a suitably frictionless body could escape it (like a really slippery toad); hence not a "universal", in my opinion. However, let's not get bogged down in this -- I only mentioned "might" in order to specifically oppose the suggestion of "might is right", but it seems to have become the focus of debate!


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 Anonymous
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Hmm, I can think of a few such "frictionless" (or to put it another way "oily") characters myself. I would though be tempted to argue that their greasyness is, in itself, a form of 'might'.

But, as you say, this is really a side point.

On the point about not torturing small animals for fun and profit I do see a danger here of us slipping into the kind of weasley words used by St Paul when he says that he does not do certain things not because they are sinful (he being 'cleansed' of any sin) but because they are not edifying - i.e. not politically expedient. This is the re-entry of ideas of sin by the back door.

Morality is something we choose and then use "might" to impose on our universes. (IMHO) Its content emerges from a mixture of things upbringing, socialization, sentiment, and even (sometimes) Will. And if we believe it, then we seek to impose it on our world. (This is not nice or beautiful, just a realistic assessment of how people act).


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Baxian
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Reading this quote-

Pierce a metal pot with a number of holes, put a live frog into it and seal the top, then bury it at a crossroads under an ants nest for 9 days.

gives me a similar feeling to Michael(it seems), about the likely psychopathic mind set of the performer of such a ritual.
If not pyschopathic, at least very heartless and lacking creativity somewhat.
Simply the idea of stretching out suffering "put a live frog into.." etc. seems unneccessary and nasty.
I am not overly concerned with the the associated point of animal sacrafice, as I feel this one a little off the original point and also a little hard to argue against(at least for me at present).
Its the torture that I think was the original point here.
It seems as though some of the people who posted are getting overly caught up in philosophical play. How could one argue for torture, and why would any one want to in the context of animal sacrafice? I personally dont get it. Do the poster/s lack the ability to be empathic? or is it simply a philosophical game of sorts(not wiht out some merit).

Torture(of animals etc) was the first point (then it moved to animal sacrfice and I feel somehow the original point was missed, and then to complex attempts to show that the universe aint moral)

Then again I do feel I might be being a bit hypocritical, have only just finished slapping a young child(not not my own! dont worry)- having read in a sinister 😈 text that this process extracts various powers if done so while standing in a bruce lee(lets go!) stance while the moon is full after a tasty curry or somesuch.
πŸ˜†
Baxian


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Michael Staley
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"Baxian" wrote:
. . . while the moon is full after a curry or somesuch.

Hence that strange wind which sometimes blows at the full moon . . .

What with that and the green cheese - no wonder the moon is so round.


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 Anonymous
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Ian has raised some interesting issues here. Ian suggested that the killing/torture of animals could be seen has "beautiful". That is Ian's personal perogative but he hasnt successfully argued that the torture of animals is Thelemic or meets the criteria of Do What Thou wilt. To put this in context i will use the Spanish tradition of Bullfighting. Now i find bullfighting a very nasty pointless tradition that doesnt really have a place in the 21st Century, but i digress. Now in bullfighting the intention of the Matador is to inflict a "skilled" 'artful' kill on a baited angry scared bull. Now in this arena the bull does actually demonstrate a form of personal will in that its defending itself and wants to stay alive. The sole purpose and its will is to stay alive. At that moment in the bullfighting ring the bull has as much of a right to live has the matador. And the bull has a narrow chance/percentage to stop the matador. Now in this context the bullfighting is closer to Thelemic action & Do what Thou Wilt than say an animal sacrifice, since the sacrificed animal never had the same choice or chance to express its intention/will has the bull in the bullfighting arena. Now from that stance in my opinion i cant see how sacrificing a scared defenceless animal for personal indulgence can be seen has Thelemic . If other traditions argue for the use of animal sacrifice then thats their perogative,but its not Thelemic in its criteria.


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ianrons
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Baxian,

How could one argue for torture

I've twice said "It's not an argument for torturing animals, of course" and "...it is possible to construct such an argument, but I don't intend to." I'm not saying we all have to go out and kill defenceless creatures, merely that one wouldn't have to be a psychopath to do so. I suspect there's a guilt issue going on behind this somewhere, since no-one seems to be able to engage with the issue seriously on the other side of the debate.

Do the poster/s lack the ability to be empathic?

Quite the opposite, I think -- I can honestly imagine someone extracting hallucinogens from a frog's skin in a way that is painful to the frog, but at the same time not being a raving loony. What about another example: are prison warders all psychopaths? They're pretty cruel to humans. I knew one once who used to froth at the mouth, so maybe...

Torture(of animals etc) was the first point (then it moved to animal sacrfice and I feel somehow the original point was missed, and then to complex attempts to show that the universe aint moral)

I don't think it's really about torture per se, but I've changed the title to reflect what I agree is a central facet of the debate.


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ianrons
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hawthornrussell,

Ian has raised some interesting issues here. Ian suggested that the killing/torture of animals could be seen has "beautiful". That is Ian's personal perogative but he hasnt successfully argued that the torture of animals is Thelemic or meets the criteria of Do What Thou wilt.

Well, I've argued that it's conceivable there might be some circumstances where this kind of tortuous animal sacrifice could be "right". I would argue that "right", "beauty", "truth" are all close synonyms in this context and style of discourse, as is "Will", so really what I'm doing is saying that someone doing this could be acting in accordance with their Will.

Actually, I don't think I need to argue that any given act is "Thelemic" at all, since I think that the term "unthelemic" is absurd. What the word means is "not like Thelema"; but Thelema is an abstract principle -- the terms are incompatible. If I said "Cooking is not like Will" or even "Cooking is not done in accordance with the Will" you would rightly laugh at me. But that's what you are saying when you try to label something as "unthelemic".


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 Anonymous
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"lashtal" wrote:
Charles, I fear you're punching beyond your weight. You're certainly posting beyond your level of knowledge...

πŸ™„

Happy Days
Charles


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 Anonymous
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Thanks for the reply Ian.

I am not arguing persay that animal sacrifice is "unthelemic" but more along the lines of whether or not Do what Thou Wilt is applicable to other living creatures beyond humanity. To me there is an underlying issue of consent here. Being Thelemic allows other people to make their own choices (for better or worse). And they have the ability to give consent to Thelemic actions. I cant see how that could apply to an animal that cant communicate its will. It cant give consent. So to me its not meeting the criteria of Do what Thou Wilt. If other traditions believe that torturing/"sacrificing" animals to gain/carry favour on a magickal level then fair enough, but my personal opinion is that , such an act labelled Thelemic would be open to debate. Thelema gives us the choice in our actions and how we learn from them. If killing/torturing animals is your personal choice then you have to live with that and the consequences it would have on your own Will and magickal direction.

Secondly if Thelema/Agape are aligned then where is the unconditional love in such an act of torture of a defenseless animal? How can the premeditated torture to death of an animal be an act of unconditonal love aligned with will? Do some animals deserve more love/agape than others? Surely if the "Law is for All" then animals are just has subject to Thelema/Agape has we are?

Best Regards.


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 Anonymous
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93

I have always regarded taking Liber Al literally to be dangerous and stupid. I do accept it totally, but there are tests within it. Sacrificing cattle, little and big - well, I don't think I'm the first person to point out that "cattle" was originally a term for all possessions of value, not just cows. To work out how much how much of your cattle you have sacrificed, start by working out how much you've paid for your Thelemic books.

That much, huh? Consider the verse well attended to πŸ™‚

93 93/93

Steve W


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 Anonymous
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It must be noted in the margin that I think that most people would agree (if they knew about how it worked) that the meat-industry is more gruesome than the animal sacrifice discussed, both in the way animals are killed and in the way the animals live before they are killed - assuming the frog has been living in free in the wild nature before being captured.

If one argues against this kind of practice one really has to think about what one is doing oneself - if one is interested in not being a hypocrite.


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Baxian
(@baxian)
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Hawthornrussell
you say-

Ian suggested that the killing/torture of animals could be seen has "beautiful".

For me the point is a personal thing I guese. I dont mistake what Ianrons says, for a promotion of killing animals or what ever. Its more an exercise maybe it seems.
Not my cuppa.
I am sure with a little practice I could see the beauty in gory scenes and nasty screems- a kind of paranoic critical aproach. Its a matter of focus.

I think we could attempt, with suitable cleverness, to make a good arguments for why torture might be beautiful to some in someways,
Gud knows why though πŸ˜• .
I would suggest that anyone who chose's to see killing with torture as beautiful, had missed something vital, wouldn't you say Ianrons?
Maybe I have missed your point?

Hence that strange wind which sometimes blows at the full moon . . .

tis a foul wind that blows no minds.

Cheers
Baxian.


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 Anonymous
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a foul wind that bloweth indeed...

Keep up The Great Work
Charles


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 Anonymous
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My apologies for punching above my weight, maybe it is due to the collection of books in my possession..should they be conviscated? πŸ˜†

For example;

In 'The Secret Rituals of the O.T.O.', edited and introduced by Francis King. 1973. C.W. Daniel Company Limited. In 'De Nuptiis Secretis Deorum cum Hominibus'. Part III, 'Of Certain Rites Secretly Practised in Russia', Page. 191, where it states in the last paragraph:

"If by favour and indwelling of the Holy Ghost the Priestess (that is unto this Rite espoused, and else virgin) do conceive and bring forth, then is the child baptized by its father the Priest for the Purification by water, and for the Consecration by fire is roast and divided among the worshippers for use as a sacrament, as a talisman and as a medicine against all diseases. This also is said of the Knights of our Holy Order of the Temple, that the offspring of any one of them by a virgin was roast and an unguent made of its fat wherewith to anoint the Magian and Ineffable figure of BAPHOMET. [Consider of this]".

My Italics.

Best Wishes
Keep up The Great Work
Charles


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Patriarch156
(@patriarch156)
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"Baxian" wrote:
I would suggest that anyone who chose's to see killing with torture as beautiful, had missed something vital, wouldn't you say Ianrons?

Why? As it is merely a representation of a particular point of view (i.e. something is beautiful), it rather seems that you have missed something vital in Thelemic discourse: you are insisting that your own particular Point of View should be shared with everyone.

That being said, for there to be social order, there are certain commonly guides for conduct, rules and protections that were intended from the point of view of the Law of Thelema to be accepted.

However the only Thelemic (if we are going to argue by authority of the Law of Thelema we should refer to the core writings of the Law of Thelema rather than ourselves, otherwise you are basically invoking your own authority as that of the Law of Thelema in the sense that it is relevant for me, which it most decidedly is not) protection animals have is that we not adulterate them as per Duty D.1, where it is stated that it is a violation of the Law to "abuse the natural qualities" of animals.

This might of course be construed as being a foundation for protection against unnecessary or cruel ut even here it is noted that "[a]pparent, and sometimes even real, conflict between interests will frequently arise. Such cases are to be decided by the general value of the contending parties in the scale of Nature." I clearly can see that sacrifice for magical purpose, be it to replenish ones own energies by turning meat and drink into spiritual substance by subordinating it the Great Work, or some other more particular part of the Great Work, could obviate this protection and justify sacrifice of animals from the point of view of the Law of Thelema.

I think speculating about the Will of animals is useless and given that it is not even possible to ascertain the same with reference to human beings, it is akin to arguing how many angels may dance on the tip of a pin.


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 Anonymous
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Patriach156, in your opinion then, animals in general are not subject to the principles of Thelema? And if so where does that leave the principle of the Law Is for All?

This goes back to my earlier point over the right of choice and consent given in Do What Thou Wilt. If you decided to ritually kill an animal, your not giving it any choice or consent. Therefore corrupting the principle behind Do What Thou wilt. Just so that i understand you clearly here Patriach156, you would have no problem torturing an animal to death for you own "magickal" purposes? Because that is what you seem to be defending here.


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 Anonymous
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Well, Liber Al doesn't state that ever man and every woman is a star, and so are toads.....

However, the Law is for All, and even if that doesn't include animals it does include all human interactions, including with animals.

Steve W


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 Anonymous
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I've noticed a strange thing: when the name of Andrew Chumbley is mentioned in "mixed company", jostling sometimes escalting to fisticuffs will shortly ensue - even if the conversation has (ostensibly) moved on to something else. He's like a bad-luck charm, that lad. He'd be so proud.

For the record, regarding animal sacrifice, Chumbley, and ethics, it's worth noting that his account of the operation in The Grimoire of the Golden Toad asserts that "Naught but the sacrificer be slain."

Now, play nicely you boys or we shall send you home without a goodie bag.

o


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 Anonymous
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I read this whole thread, and I'm still stuck back on ian's first post, which I find daring and insightful. But also the kind of thing that even the most highly enlightened, would never bother to try to argue or teach to anyone out loud other than a direct student at a high level. And I think tones this thread have gone through are very good reason.

It's excellent to see compassion and 'ahimsa' so well respected on this site, where so many misinterpret Crowley and Thelema to be about cruelty somehow.

HOWEVER, at the highest levels of practice, almost every tradition realizes at some point that even compassion is exceeded. And this is because there are not two of anything. There is only One Thing. As duality is successively resolved up the tree, the necessity of human temperace values simply disappears, being moot. It is not that the universe does not demand compassion, but that this is only an appearance from the bottom of the well; just as causality is just an appearance from the point of view of linear time.

Suffering is necessarily part of the whole. Thus suffering is necessary, to this incarnation. It can be thought of as a 'rule' in this system. When operating from a high level, the mystic uses greater tools, in the sense of scope. At a very high point in working, he can use general rules like gravity, time, and even suffering. Whether his own or that of others is moot - they are all sentient beings (and are all the same consciousness). A mystic at this level has transcended ego and desire, thus is not 'taking' anything for himself, but 'making' something, out of what is already there.

Causality is entirely another issue. Is a mystic operating at this level actually causing anything, even his own breathing? Would he need to, in a universe with so much suffering already? Given the use of time and space, and meditation, there's plenty to work with.

Now, I have to add - Burying a frog in a box to be eaten by ants will give a mystic results roughly on a par with the level of sophistication of the method. It's just simply ridiculous. Cruel yes, in a petty and pathetic way. Mostly ridiculous though. Even the ants must laugh.

Ian - kudos for offering something of that level. But some teachings just can't be given in the town square, no matter the altitude of the town center.


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 Anonymous
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And I also have to add, in the greatest sense of humor and friendliness, that these arguments about Thelema and what is the meaning of 'Do what Thou Wilt'.... strike me in the same way as the endless arguments among fundaMentalist Christians in the States here about when does life begin, or should we reject evolution because it means we live in a godless universe.

Remember, everyone, this is occultism. Mysticism. You are arguing over the meaning of an esoteric, meditational text. It is written in the form of teachings given by 3 deities or god-forms. To argue over whether Thelema applies to a frog is much like calling for a 'War on Terror'. It makes no sense.

These things are terribly important, yes. But they are so important that they are best left to within one's practice and rituals. In exoteric religions, worshippers can talk amongst themselves with people of the same denomination, about theological issues. But in esoteric practices/schools/lineages, ... even discussion among members of the same tradition about 'dogma' is often .... unworkable.

Laurie Anderson said it best "Language is a virus from outer space."

We are all quite literally bound with a strap called 'language', which is a crutch that must be out-evolved.


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 Anonymous
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"ianrons" wrote:
To illustrate this point, the recent debate surrounding CIA waterboarding, from within the city walls of our society, has been circling around the idea that torture is wrong, but that it may nevertheless be permissible under certain limited conditions; whereas the history of the CIA on the battlefield (i.e., outside the city walls) has been blood-soaked in the extreme, with apparently no need for justification (see, e.g., the Milgram experiment, seized on -- if not funded -- by the CIA at the time).

Well, there is an argument that can be made (and is made by, among others, Peter Levenda in his "Sinister Forces" trilogy) that at least some of those CIA types were and are working some very dark magicks by the use of torture, involuntary drug dosing, etc.

I hear the moral relativism argument all the time, not only in Thelemic circles, and as a much younger "baby Thelemite" I even bought into the rationale to some degree. But the older I get (don't ask) and the more experience I have accrued in various magickal practices and paradigms, the more I have come to ascertain that there are certain moral absolutes - well, lets call them responsibilities - once one has attained to a certain level of discernment.

Or to put it another way, we can all agree that certain practices exist, and may even be highly efficacious in terms of results. But the goals that seem desirable at one level of consciousness or understanding are seen as "traps for the unwary" from a different perspective. It all depends how "black" one believes that they "need" to operate, I suppose. And no, making that observation doesn't make me a "moral relativist" - just a realist who shakes his head sadly at some of entities he shares the planet with. πŸ™„


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 Anonymous
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93
Interesting thread, but I think we're debating two different things here, first the ethical implications of killing or torturing a frog, and secondly the whole matter of wether or not "good" and "evil" are subjective and what that implies.

I know the two issues seem very similar, but it leads to two different points:
1.- The torturing of a frog, should lead to question "what for?", "what is there to gain or learn from such an act?" This would be an objective question, the fact the some of us find that horrible doesn't mean that the entire universe should find that horrible as well. Again, the only objective reasonable question I can think of, regarding this ritual would be "why would anyone do that?"

I agree with Michael it seems sick and disgusting, BUT, just because I (or anyone else) finds something to be disgusting, doesn't mean much, if the ritual is not done unto Nuit is wrong (that's as close as I can get to an objective morality), but if the ritual is done unto Nuit anything goes (within the laws of the country). I still can't see how animal sacrifice can be done "unto Nuit".

2.- Morality is subjective... Is morality subjective and what does that mean exactly? I guess morality is and is not subjective, there is no such thing as the "thing in itself", no such thing as objective a-temporal values, but at the same time morality does exist, and it exists more than just a subjective feeling. Nietzsche's idea that that which makes the Will strong is good, does not say "murder is bad", but at the same time seems to be not entirely relativistic. I suspect the same thing happens in Thelema, if the ritual is not done unto Nuit is wrong, if it is not your Will, then it's wrong, not so much because there exists something like "supreme evil" or anything like that, or because certain particular acts are wrong, but because some acts, under certain conditions, are contrary to thelemic teaching (I may have sounded more fanatic that I intended lol, but I think it's a good argument).

Having said that, and I hope I'm not off-topic, I wouldn't sacrifice that toad because of my context, but if I was a roman I would probably sacrifice a few dozen christians and jews to the lions to satisfy the gods, hell I would probably burn Jerusalem to ashes just for the fun of it ( πŸ˜† remind me never to engage in politics!).

But that's because times changes, we can never stay dogmatic on some point and go "we, the civilized ones, have reached a universal truth, that we must not do this or that", because that implies, firstly, that we are better than previous generations (I doubt that), secondly, that there is a teleological flow to one certain point (and that's metaphysics), or in other words that evolution has one particular and rational goal.

I know it's controversial but I'm sure we're all adults and can handle this kinds of difficult matters like responsible and reasonable educated civilized individuals.

93 93/93


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 Anonymous
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I don't have any strong feelings either way about this, but I'd like to point out one or two things:
Firstly, it was stated in an earlier post that the adrenaline rush experienced by animals in pain makes the meat taste bad. I've read just the opposite. I can't personally verify this, as I've never eaten an animal that has been tortured, but apparently the endorphins and adrenaline released by the brain tenderise the meat and improve the taste. This is the original rationale behind hunting deer etc. for sport, as well as bull-baiting, and other long-since discontinued practices. I've read a modern account by someone who ate meat that had been prepared in this way (sorry, I've long forgotten the author), and he stated it was the best meat he'd ever eaten in his whole life.

Secondly, I fail to see how sticking a toad in a pot for 9 days is cruel. Frogs and toads are recorded as surviving for a long time without sustenance, and in confined spaces. They bury themselves in the earth for several months every winter when they hibernate, for example, so 9 days would be a doddle. Add to that a plentiful supply of ants for them to eat, and I think you'd be giving them a real treat!

Having said that, I think most people find the idea of being cruel to an animal abhorrent. But the power of such rituals is precisely in that abhorrence. Thus, Michael, who's against it, would probaly gain something from such a ritual, whilst Ian, who seems to have no objections, would find it next to useless.


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