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Yoga : is it meant to be excrutiating?

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ignant666
(@ignant666)
Tangin
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 3488
 

There seems to be as much touching as one would expect in a martial arts demonstration in most of the aikido video; a couple times the attacker does flop down without contact.
Of course, we can currently see repeated demonstrations of this same siddhi on TV; the Netherlands-Mexico game featured a particularly fine example (for future thread-archeologists, or Americans unpersuaded by the unexpectedly good US results so far, this is a reference to the 2014 World Cup).


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

There's a school of thought which says that you are to develop these powers, with intention.

There's another which says that they will come, but are to be ignored; that they're "side-effects"- and as such- are not to be focused on (with exclusivity).

I sit somewhere in the middle: believing they're important, but only to a degree, and yet not the goal of enlightenment. I've met next-to a handful of persons who are capable of performing said "supernatural-phenomena"; some identifying as magicians, others, super-spiritual types that didn't consider themselves "magicians".

Not all persons I've met within this handful, who've demonstrated such powers in my presence personally,  were by any means "Enlightened" in the sense of the word that it implies Masterful Understanding of one's self.

One was a paedophile, a mental and physical abuser/predator. The other three were paranoid-cultists, with no true mastery over themselves, and still with MUCH ego.

The other two were actually VERY in-tune, w/self-mastery and all that this may imply. Truly impressive people, yet with very very very small ego, possessing something next to an infinite respect for other life-forms; as well as Great Understanding in relation to metaphysics and the mechanics thereof.

Siddhis do not, by any means, guarantee one's position or place as "An Enlightened Person"

It came as quite a shock to me when I first realized this.

---

"The Great Work", as its been defined by Crowley, may be understood as Enlightenment arising from the practice of Scientific Illuminism.

This may be a personal opinion: but I believe that siddhis are- Yes- an aspect of the science, though not by any means The Goal. Yet, they will arise naturally.

So then: what of the use of Siddhis?

Practicing a certain power, or practicing for the accumulation of a power may lead one to discover more about the nature of him/herself. As "what makes it work" leads to an understanding concerning the mechanics/nature of things unseen, or as yet before unknown.

Though, to get so fixated on this that to assume its "The Goal" is to miss out on other, important realizations.

For instance. How can the man who uses his siddhi-power of energetic-accumulation (as a show of "superiority") in the presence of others learn that he is in fact not as important as he thinks? How will he do anything but extol his own ego? And thereby, missing out on the other sublime realizations that come without it?

These things (siddhis) can be Blinding.

Fortunately, or Unfortunately, we can't see these kinds of things for ourselves until we've suffered through the various stages of illusion and self-deceit.

Not only is it possible to possess said powers without being Enlightened (in the purest sense of the word) , its falls within the realm of possibility that one who possesses such powers may be playing with illusory aspects, subdued by illusion, merely thinking/believing he is free.

To complicate matters: utilizing this illusory power may be necessary to protect one's self, or others. Whereby one purposely blinds another body/mind in order to fortify or protect one's self from others in threatening situations.

So, "when is it okay to use this power", and "when not to"? I believe its a matter of Intuition.

In my own pursuit of the attainment of siddhi-powers, I've not been very successful. I've utilized telekinesis successfully only 1% of the time whereby it was my intention to do so. A very difficult thing to do indeed (or perhaps just for me)

While I've been most successful with siddhis in situations where they arise more "as a matter of fact", Automatically, and without great effort.

The study of siddhis; the mechanics of their use and development thereof have done very little for me in terms of Enlightenment, or achieving Realizations of Enlightenment.

The most paramount realization I've ever experienced have arisen through practices centered/focused-on the abasement of ego, and living in that manner; as a practice. I believe this is when the real doors begin to open. One may become capable of utilizing illusion to one's advantage, but this is not the goal. The goal is to transcend it.

In essence: to become IT'S Master. Not it, your's; subdued by and dwelling in it.

How to transcend?

there are many ways, and yet all ways are one.

we must learn What Is, and What Is Not.

they must be merged: to IS

What Is?

That Which Is Not.

---

there's more than skillful word-play here employed.

It is The Practice of Tantra, or Union Through Yoga/Meditation, and I state it as a fact.

---

yet this SCIENCE is empirical, and highly-subjective.

Personal-Experience is at the root/heart of Initiation.

my qabala may not be your's, and that's okay.

but if through practice, we find that our qabala's merge?

THAT is when our collected notes begin to become interesting. This is when the practices/beliefs, theories & hypothesis begin to carry even more weight, or become validated.

do you actually SEE what I'm saying when I'm talking to you ...or does this sound like a sci-fi novel?

In my experience: you can't TELL someone "this is like this" or "that is like that". Persons must be encouraged, through study & experience.

So I can't tell you "what is real" or "what's important"

you're going to decide.

I believe we will all inevitably decide many things along the road to enlightenment. That we may not always agree with others about everything.

But when we start to hear/see/believe/think the same things... THAT it when it becomes interesting.

---

This is why we have practices... the struggles, trials and tribulations on the road to Enlightenment. We must become Fit to receive Wisdom.

This is why some have more than others. Or that some are in ways more realized.

this is also why Yoga exists

.
.
.

in essence, what I'm saying: is that YOU must decide 🙂


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

speaking of subjectivity.

if I see/hear it recorded that LAM said "its all in the egg"

I may deduce that there are powers concealed, not just in male-creative sexual power, but in that possessed by the egg of woman. Or I may say/believe that his egg-shaped head is an indicator that "its all in the mind", as well.

where others may be clueless to this phrase, have no thoughts concerning it whatsoever, or may not have ever heard of it's utterance. While others, who have, may in no way be in agreeance with me concerning the matter.

such is the case that if I say/believe that the man in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnLj8DMqaC8

is only capable of levitation, because he has transcended the limitations of certain mental or modal restrictions tied to ways of being, or Being-Hood

while others may say/believe it is a magic trick, or a stunt.

the Great Freedom in this Work is that YOU get to decide 🙂

---

Milarepa was quoted as saying that the difference between Reality and Illusion is as subtle as the thickness of a single hair. Or perhaps, as I believe, in ways even subtler than this.

while others, haven't heard of Milarepa at all, yet may find themselves- independently- in agreeance; or having possessed the capability to fathom the thought, self-arising... or from others, hearing it, recognize.

subject and object are not so different.

we've heard it said that they are one, or that they are none.

but, have we experienced this?

do we WITH INTENTION, practice this?

I believe this is the difference between "asleep" and "Awake"

---

there are schools of thought that believe that this knowledge is to be concealed, for it is like unto a competitive power for those who utilize it.

recognizing the "competitive" applications of this power, I believe that there is both a time to conceal and a time to reveal.

---

LIFE Itself is The Great Initiator. (And such is Death/Regeneration, the "mirror" thereof)

but is Life (this process of change and transformation) always easy?

...neither is Yoga.

---

when we meditate or perform yoga, we may start out- believing that we are engaging in a practice for a certain interval.

when we become more seasoned with our practice, we begin to see that everything is yoga.

that we don't "set out to practice yoga", and then "return" to daily life.

on the contrary, we recognize that it becomes the constant-mindful state of practice.

no "separation". no "division".

This is the accumulation of Union through Practice.

---

the same can be said concerning Scientific-Illuminism/Enlightenment.

I was on a forum for Buddhists, pretty much explaining to everyone present (who wish to be or become enlightened) about how to do so via Tantric Means; and some, though not all, heard me.

It is a curiousity: that one may approach The Path believing, truly believing in their hearts and minds that they wish to become enlightened, yet- even when it is in front of their very face- refuse it, almost consistently, at all times.

This is the ego part of self which struggles to die.

And it arises from Fear.

---

and yet, I know that I'm going to die. That my physical form, as well as my "identity"... everything I think/consider "myself" is A LIE

that all I am, is what has came before, and what will always be.

So there is no longer the fear of "to die"

---

in Yoga... we have all of these little Tantric-Deaths.

some bigger, smaller or more apparently meaningful than others. Or so it APPEARS for some time.

transcending this notion of fixed-time, we begin to engage in/with the process as it is, for what it is... A CONTINUAL UNFOLDMENT of The Divine

and one which precedes who it is we have only mistakenly thought we were in linear-time... (a concept which is a lie)

for all is continuous, ever-changing: As we are.

as souls which have come before, and will come again... though, hopefully, a little less disillusioned with every incarnation (through "time")

---

there's a concept which has awoken a great interest in me called Shaktipat

My wish is for everyone to realize that they are Divine.


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Azidonis
(@azidonis)
Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2964
 

"Sit still. Stop thinking. Shut up. Get out."


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gurugeorge
(@gurugeorge)
Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 456
 
"Leviathan" wrote:
The highest form of Kung Fu (and most secretive) is the one by which advanced practitioners don't even have to touch the opponent to beat them. There are magicians who are capable of doing so, without having studied kung fu, because they have studied this technique.

Thanks for the info. Leviathan, yes I'm aware of Bodhidharma, and the curious fact that as well as legendarily being the first to introduce "tendon changing and marrow washing" (what a delightfully bizarre title 🙂 ) exercises and kickstarting the Shaolin Temple's notororiety as a place where monks practiced martial arts, he was also legendarily, the First Patriarch of Zen.

As to that kind of use of "etheric qi", I understand that it does work, but only practitioners who have done a good deal of the physical stuff properly beforehand can really do it, and it only works on people who have also done a similar amount of work, and who also believe in the efficacy of "etheric qi" (IOW your average MMA guy would still go "whu?" 🙂 ), so the real thing of that is even rarer than the real thing re. internal arts generally, and that's as rare as hens' teeth. 

Again, from what I can gather, the extent of its practical use in the old days (when people were more hardcore about practice, and may have occasionally actually used "etheric qi" in a fighting context) was not as a superpowered zap (it's far too weak for that in and of itself) but more as a subtle form of misdirection or jiggering about with the opponent's qi equilibrium (qi flow in the opponent's body).

Most of the demonstrations you see on Youtube are probably just gullible people conning themselves and being conned, although you never know. 

Actually, it's annoyingly complicated, because even with the demonstrations of physical "hidden power", even genuine masters have students who leap back in an alarmingly phoney way at the master's slightest touch - this is actually based on something traditional, and is meant as a sort of "roll with the punch" type of thing, on the principle that the strike or throw, howsoever subtle, is so dangerous that if you resisted it you'd damage yourself.  But it's mostly just a traditional habit combined with hero worship.  However, you can tell whether someone's "got the goods" (in the purely physical sense) by some fairly subtle ("hidden", natch) cues in the way they move anyway, so you just have to ignore the poor students hopping about, and watch the master. 

One of the best online available examples of the real thing, but still with some exaggeration from his students (in this case out of respect for the old dude's age and experience) is the old Bagua master here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZdtM5p6ZkA .  This is absolutely the real thing, and the guy is clearly high level, though obviously very old.  This is "hidden power" - all the action (the clever leverage and use of qi, qua body's fascial web, highly conditioned) is literally hidden inside his body, the result of years of training become instinctive, but it results in extremely high impulse from tiny internal movements (centred in the dantien region, all round the waist and lower back).

The function when these skills were actually used in anger (primarily with weapons) was to conserve energy for long battles.  It takes a good deal of extra effort to refine these skills (which is why external arts have always been more popular, even if they incorporated bits and pieces of internal training, as most Chinese external arts, and some Japanese, do - they're simply quicker to learn and be effective to a decent level in).  It's not a vast difference, but it's an appreciable difference (say, 5 or 6 years to get to a competent fighting level with internal arts, vs. 2 or 3 years with external plus some internal qigongs).  But in the old days, it was worth it to get that extra "edge", as internal arts practiced properly and slowly building up over a long period, are marginally more effective in every way (it's not night and day, but it's an "edge", at a relatively higher cost in time and dedication).


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

Yoga is difficult because LIFE is difficult

and LIFE, including Death and it's transformations, is The Path/Key to THE DIVINE

Life-Experience is The Great Initiation.

Yoga Itself is This Life.

If practiced With Skill and With Intention of Skillful Application... becomes The Road/Path to THE DIVINE; and, *With Intention*, ACCELERATES that Natural Process (to It)

Yoga Itself: Is Divine

and when we can do no longer but see/hear/feel/experience not just ourselves, but EVERYTHING as Divine

we too become.

---

Practice! Practice! Practice!

because even The Practice is Divine.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

gurugeorge,

you have a good eye, coupled with experience/knowledge to detect the genuinity of the video shared. You are also right about the many fakes on youtube. Very few have I seen which were convincing of possessing knowledge of this power.

more commonly seen/talked-about is this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYVdhKVb9WE

---

there was an experience I'd had of a friend who studied shaolin at a monastery. when he approached me (and very slowly did he), looked directly into my eye; as he did this his entire arm was extended to my heart (though my mind didn't process this movement of the arm)... he barely touched the place of my heart, and I felt it stop; as well as a disruptive, kinetic flow of energy surrounding the area... and, due to the lightness of the touch or application of qi... the heart was able to continue beating after "getting through" the disruptive flow of the energy-pattern sent as an overwhelming SHOCK to my chest/heart.

at other times, I've been  "made to fall" forcibly to the floor, by skilled practitioners.

about the first 10 times that any event of this nature had occurred upon my own person, I'd tried, desperately, to reduce the phenomenon as "a trick of the mind"

because these powers are occult, or considered "unreal" by the majority of society; we have a tendency of not believing what we hear/see/experience.... even with our own very eye.

in my experience (according to my personal observational belief), we just accept it as a fact... as something that exists.

me... I understand the skepticism of others, and it is in no way my agenda to "convince"

but I believe that I was meant to know they are real, as I was in a period of life where I began to become Immensely Depressed... because I was spending the majority of my life/time trying so hard to deny.

this may've been a case in which the revelation of the existence of siddhis caused me to re-awaken to the divine.

hence, the difficulty concerning (perhaps) whether they're "good" or "bad"... or if they're part of the divine... and, if so, in what way. how much or how little.

I guess the same can be said to be true with every experience in, or every aspect of Life.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

there's footage in this one that wasn't included in the previous: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3F3ovb2kZ9Q (from 5:18 to 5:58)


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Shiva
(@shiva)
Not a Rajah
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 5739
 
"Leviathan" wrote:
... or if they're part of the divine... and, if so, in what way. how much or how little.

Now we need a definition for "divine," and how it differs from normal or modified "reality."

divine: "1. of or pertaining to a god, especially the Supreme Being. 2. addressed, appropriated, or devoted to God or a god."

Hmm ???  Nothing here that relates to martial arts. Nothing here that relates to yoga (excruciating or pleasant), except maybe someone's subjective interpretation.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

I'd suggest there's a connection, but I have to agree that the poster made a pig's ear of it, however well-intentioned, but that's not surprising when you think that you can experience something without knowing the wherewithall of it.

Even when you have rationalised it more scientifically, it's difficult to talk about in magick as firstly, you don't want to encourage people to learn things for the wrong reasons; secondly, as most people won't have experienced it they are apt to call you a liar; thirdly, when a beginner does the basics, they are indeed highly unlikely to experience anything (just as a soldier in the training ground is unlikely to experience an adrenalin rush of combat just by doing combat exercises.) Yet there is potentially ample probable evidence for it.

Let's have a few thoughts on the martial arts stuff first.
Training for movement is based on stillness. The essence of judo is maintaining one's centre, mentally and physically. In randori (free practice), the practitioner maintains a mental stillness and alertness, observing any weakness of the opponent. Compare (if you will) the sort of physical awareness mentioned in Liber ThIShARB:13 that begins with one's own body.

There's a  sort of mindfulness that is also related to the martial arts term, "mushin" meaning "No mind" or "Empty mind".) Mushin is often combined with breath control (which is a form of what we might broadly term 'pranayama'.) Neurologically it has also been suggested that there are structural differences which develop in the brain of the black belt practitioner (see, for instance http://cercor.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2012/08/08/cercor.bhs219.short) just as it has been suggested by a number of advanced magicians that neurological changes occur at certain stages.

Some of the cases where a person drops an opponent with a sudden sharp disabling blow may be a shuto punch, for instance to a certain area of the carotid in the neck. This is simple physiology, although the advanced martial arts practitioner has developed a different level of speed and control. Yet some of the "no touch" cases (which seem laughable when explained as 'psychic power') appear to be little more than a form of hypnotism (at least ones that are not faked!) Many readers will be familiar with Crowley's demonstration where he walked behind someone, synchronising footsteps with some intensity (no doubt), and when he stopped the person in front fell to the ground. While many of the "no touch" demonstrations in martial arts are real, they are psychological in nature: in one case a confirmed skeptic asked to be stunned by a "no touch" expert and it failed. Similarly, macumba or vodou curses work better on those who are at least nominally open (or made to be open) to belief or fear.

Shaolin monks are said to spend more time in asana than they do in practicing katas. They know it is a way of focussing their "chi." Reserves of strength are acquired as you dominate your own body, Movement then occurs because you will it, not because your body feels an overpowering urge to move. Pranayama is practiced until automatic rigidity is obtained and (if you do all the stipulated exercises) until you pass out or at least almost pass out from holding your breath. Admittedly, the training is almost of a military character and unlikely to appeal to many. No matter how many times Crowley tells people to sit still without the slightest fidget (which he did repeatedly), people still avoid doing it. When the Probationer learns (if he or she learns) that degree of self-control, nothing particularly amazing happens. But it happens later, once that iron self-control, the ability to resist, has become part of the armoury. There are many examples, including Liber HHH as an obvious one connected with kundalini.

If we take a few well-known characters, we know that Motta was very interested in martial arts. We know that McMurtry had a dalliance with kriya ("kundalini") yoga that teaches an almost similar hardcore approach to asana as Liber E (well not quite as hardcore: but you can see a video with the teacher yelling at his pupils not to move in the tiniest tiniest amount for a piffling - by AC standards - I think it is 12 or 18 minutes, and to "stick it out"). People's ideas of 'excruciating' vary. And there's no point in putting yourself through such torture unless you are training very seriously in specific disciplines, whether in martial arts or thelemic magick.

Is it worth making a big deal over? I don't think so. I'd rather stick with Crowley's system than live my life in a Shaolin Zen monastery, thank you very much. There might be some overlap, but I'm happy to leave it to the psychologists, neurologists and other -ologists whose business it is to contribute valuable studies of these things.


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jamie barter
(@jamie-barter)
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"galangal" wrote:
Yet some of the "no touch" cases (which seem laughable when explained as 'psychic power') appear to be little more than a form of hypnotism (at least ones that are not faked!) Many readers will be familiar with Crowley's demonstration where he walked behind someone, synchronising footsteps with some intensity (no doubt), and when he stopped the person in front fell to the ground. While many of the "no touch" demonstrations in martial arts are real, they are psychological in nature: in one case a confirmed skeptic asked to be stunned by a "no touch" expert and it failed.

I was quite similarly sceptical about these powers of the ki/ qi/ chi at one time, and spoke of this to my one-time martial arts trainer, who was a highly proficient Korean exponent of sul-ki-do for many years and belts.  On one particular special occasion - after voicing my query (which also took in 'the death touch') and his bestowing upon me one of his usual good humoured but "old-fashioned" looks he was wont to do every now and again - he unusually offered to demonstrate (which had me worried for a second), quite casually pointing out his index finger towards my chest area.  Any physical contact – if there was any, I couldn’t swear for certain – would have been extremely minimal: the light brushing glance of a butterfly’s wings if anything & certainly far disproportionate to the effect, which was to send me flying across the room.  Result: I am no longer sceptical regarding the ‘real’ effects of these powers, although since for various reasons I no longer actively practice martial arts would not be in a position to ‘cultivate’ them for myself (however, no doubt in common with some other readers, I have temporarily experienced similar but different siddhis from time to time).

"galangal" wrote:
People's ideas of 'excruciating' vary. And there's no point in putting yourself through such torture unless you are training very seriously in specific disciplines, whether in martial arts or thelemic magick.

What people tend to forget is that all of these practices (asanas, etc) are specific means to an end.  The end was admirably summarised by A.C. in those eight words from Eight Lectures on Yoga, which Azidonis so thoughtfully reminded us of again in Reply #53:

"Azidonis" wrote:
"Sit still. Stop thinking. Shut up. Get out."

If the same end can be achieved by other quicker or more effective means, that is all that is necessary.  No two people’s needs will be exactly the same; each will need to find their own path.  Hence ‘do what thou wilt’.  Other people’s practices – even those of the sainted gurus – should serve as suggested inspirational guidelines only.  And at some point, this will be inescapably so.

'N Joy


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 
"jamie barter" wrote:
I was quite similarly sceptical about these powers of the ki/ qi/ chi at one time. . .

It was interesting to read your reply Jamie, and particularly how experience changed your view somewhat, even if you didn't further your studies in martial arts. (I had a quick check to see if this thread was indeed in a "Magick" section rather than a separate yoga section before venturing to post further.)
Either way, being convinced that something is possible, as you point out, is I think often a necessary stage (which I'll come to in a minute).

"jamie barter" wrote:
What people tend to forget is that all of these practices (asanas, etc) are specific means to an end.  The end was admirably summarised by A.C. in those eight words from Eight Lectures on Yoga, which Azidonis so thoughtfully reminded us of again in Reply #53:

Hehe... They do indeed have a stronger ring to them when you say, "those eight words"[/font:1sh64b7t]!

If the same end can be achieved by other quicker or more effective means, that is all that is necessary.  No two people’s needs will be exactly the same; each will need to find their own path.  Hence ‘do what thou wilt’.  Other people’s practices – even those of the sainted gurus – should serve as suggested inspirational guidelines only.  And at some point, this will be inescapably so.

OK. May I perhaps go so far as to offer a comment on what I believe are some fairly good points you make?
The "eight words" as you succinctly put it, say everything that can be said about yoga: but what of magick?
One does of course first have to accept that there was One who Attained by the methods of the A∴A∴, who sailed over the sky of Nu in the car called Millions-of-Years, and who is to say that your Star is not in fact that of the yogi, of who we have Allan Bennett as an illustrious example? So many people are skeptical about the attainments of AC. Whether this can be countered by reading the Temple of Solomon the King (to follow how he actually did these things, step-by-step, often through trial and error) or through a personal experience, such as might be received from an Instructor or discovered by one's own intense efforts, I expect it is different for everyone . . .

But there is a big leap from simple pratyahara, and from understanding the "eight words" intellectually, to being able to maintain Mahasatipatthana, as I'm sure you know, and from there to be able to visualise a simple shape without it moving or changing colour etc, and that's before even a hope of the more difficult (and completely different) practice of Liber Tvrris.
So why indeed should anyone bother with 'difficult' methods if there are easier ones? And I have to agree with you, there is no "should."

Yet we can maybe hazard at three broad types:
a) someone who wishes to enjoy yoga, probably make some improvement in their life, and find Crowley's practices -- or some of theme -- of sufficient interest to join an Aleister Crowley forum.
b) someone who wants to take their martial arts, yoga, whatever, very seriously, even if means the pain of working through the belts and practicing assiduously, or sitting in a cave or a desert or whatever it takes.
c) (and I hope this is worth alluding to since this is a Crowley board) someone who is interested in the the K&C of the HGA. Clearly (b) and (c) are quite big life decisions.

For yoga, especially from beginner to medium-advanced stage, then as you say, no two people’s needs will be exactly the same; each will need to find their own path. This is precisely true for (c)! Yet the whole of the A∴A∴ corpus is designed very specifically, by One who has Attained, to provide the complete and necessary preparation. The K&C of the HGA (rather than 'yoga' in its multifarious and indistinct meanings) is the formal aim of all A∴A∴ practices, even if they can be used for other things, as the individual wills. Crowley trimmed most of the deadwood from Buddhism, Golden Dawn etc and Students do indeed choose their own syllabus, but are reminded of what is on the syllabus and what is not. (Persons who don't dig, as with a student doing a university degree, are likely to find a new meaning to those eight words, especially the last four, since these things involve a voluntary commitment from the student which is either given or not given!)

But what if someone has discovered a quicker or more effective way than Crowley? I have to admit this is entirely possible, and to each their own since you reap what you sew. But how well is the system then fleshed out? One of the values of Crowley's system is the minute attention to detail, cause-and-effect, structured progress, that makes it very similar to formal peer-reviewed systems in any other field. This gives it a certain durability, and certain strength, much like the scientific approach that can be discerned in Vivekenanda or Bennett.

It can help others achieve the same sort of thing. But more importantly (ardent reincarnation enthusiasts excepted) you only have one life, so much time, even if you have all the time that there is. How many people found a good martial arts system and thought, "Shit! I wish I had started this earlier!" ? (A case of "he who dithers, misses the boat")

(But as I said, I mention this only as the Forum section is caled 'Magick.' Womping on about the K&C of the HGA purely in a yoga context might be seen as little short of impertinent. And to each their own!)


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

"But what if someone has discovered a quicker or more effective way than Crowley?"

Tantra may be quick, or it may take a long time.

By quick I mean that the result may be sudden. However, studying Tantra (all its various manifestations, physical and non) until an understanding of it has been acquired can take an even longer time. Even life-times. The Science, even after being in ways Understood, can lead to even more curious thoughts and experiments concerning the nature of the still subtler processes that lie underneath.

Shaktipat may be in ways "quicker" than Tantra, but only with respect to the latter explanation of Tantra provided in the previous paragraph, and yet not the former; which shares as much Suddenness, or Quickness as Tantric Practice or Initiation.

In the case of these two contexts (Transmission via Shaktipat & Tantra-Yoga), both leading to the same place (Enlightenment); not one is ever "better" than the other, though one may indeed be quicker than the other.

Enlightenment/Initiation implies a "Shock", so to speak... of Awareness and Understanding. In other words... A Charge.

It also implies/requires an Assimilation of the charge brought forth/into/upon the body of the magician/practitioner.

There are individual factors here at play for each, such as subjective-experience (including previous karmic-experience) as well as the ability to adapt to these circumstances/changes brought forth.

If two subjects perform the same ritual, and each receive the same "message", so to speak. Yet one "gets it", and another not... or if both "get it", but one more than another... is this to say that the ritual performed is "less effective" than some other method? or, is the method itself simply Effective, and yet YMMV (your individual, subjective, mileage may vary)?

Look at the rituals of modern freemasonry and the products thereof. So many initiates... though not all "got it"

I think a more appropriate question would be, "How long does it take to... Get IT?"

and, once, getting... GOT

The question still remains: what will he/she do with it?

.
.
.

Yoga is, itself, no different than Magick... or the study of The Qabala.

It appears to possess "a different form", but it's the same goddamn thing.

When you "get this", simple acts such as "checking the mail" are no longer simple acts... but of Divine Proportion & Measure

learning to see the world in this manner, and truly applying it- as a constant practice- can itself lead to It (The Realization)

so then.. what is "ordinary"?

what is... "separate"?

there's nothing of this for them who've done this.

no more speculation about the "what if?"

it just... IS

and it persists... from "the beginning" to "the end", and from "the end" to "the beginning"

through the never, Never, NEVER

the Sacred not, Not, NOT

that is, Is, IZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

.
.
.

[a further attempt at Shaktipat, which is in no way "different" than Tantric Initiation... the practice of Yoga... study of The Qabala, or simply... "checking the mail"]


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Shiva
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"Leviathan" wrote:
In the case of these two contexts (Transmission via Shaktipat & Tantra-Yoga), both leading to the same place (Enlightenment); not one is ever "better" than the other, though one may indeed be quicker than the other.

How can one be "quicker" than the other, or "quicker" than any other method, when no method whatsoever has been demonstrated to repeatedly lead to "enlightenment" ?  - Except, perhaps, on a temporary basis - in which case one could get the result even quicker through the use of a magickal libation.


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 Anonymous
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What Leviathan has just said could true, at least as far as I can discern through the rather disparate terminology.
They may well be the same. Yet the point is well expressed in Liber Astarte, "Let the devotee consider well that although Christ and Osiris be one, yet the former is to be worshipped with Christian, and the latter with Egyptian rites. And this although the rites themselves are ceremonially equivalent. There should, however, be one symbol declaring the transcending of such limitations; and with regard to the Deity also, there should be some one affirmation of his identity both with all other similar gods of other nations, and with the Supreme of whom all are but partial reflections."

Perhaps the K&C of the HGA is corresponds in some way to Vishwarupa-darshana in the Eastern System (B.Gita Chapter 11), although I suspect it is not. The Neophyte has a vision of the HGA -- spiritually, it is what confirms his progress from Probationer -- yet if he thinks he has attained the K&C he bars himself from further progress. His soul has not yet been "eaten up by Apep."

So no-one can deny that there are 'probably other systems,' some 'may' indeed be 'quicker.' Though looking at the evidence so far, I don't see it, as classical examples don't seem 'quick' and beyond that there is little but self-assertion. There is a process that the individual has to undergo. It involves effort, long and sustained, even on a psychological level.

Before Crowley's reformulation of the central paths to Initiation, spiritual attainment was neither studied not recorded scientifically. Most adepts maybe destroyed the history leading to their attainment. Do what thou wilt. On the one hand, "Let there be no difference made among you between any one thing & any other thing" and yet: There is division hither homeward; the K&C of the HGA is not a 'realisation', mystical or otherwise, but a very specific experience. Perhaps Arjuna had the beginning of this on the battle-field - I am not a sufficiently knowledgeable scholar of  those systems to say with any certainty.Good luck, whatever path you choose and I hope it works for you!


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Azidonis
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"Shiva" wrote:
How can one be "quicker" than the other, or "quicker" than any other method, when no method whatsoever has been demonstrated to repeatedly lead to "enlightenment"?

Yep, not one.


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Shiva
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"Azidonis" wrote:
"Shiva" wrote:
How can one be "quicker" than the other, or "quicker" than any other method, when no method whatsoever has been demonstrated to repeatedly lead to "enlightenment"?

Yep, not one.

Oh, c'mon! With all these grand traditions going back for centuries and millenia, there surely must be one (on more!) of these traditions, including Thelema, that is a sure-fire means for attaining enlightenment, or liberation, or attainment, or whatever the aspirants need of fulfillment.

Right?

I mean, thousands of adherents, everywhere, who practice these traditions/methods, and who pay tithes and dues and fees, can't be wrong! Right?


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 Anonymous
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I'm pretty sure it's just a matter of time before science and esoterica bridges closer. What's the connection between the atomic and quantum universe in spiritual matters for instance?

http://ankhafnakhonsu.net/2014/06/30/evaluating-divinity-in-the-aeon-of-horus/

This article was posted a couple of days ago in a thread on this forum. It stated, among several things, that the goal in earlier aeons was to unite micro- and macro cosmos, while in thelema it's not. We all know Duquette's words, which goes something like this: "It's all in our heads, but we don't know how big our heads are". If psychic phenomena is real, then I'm pretty sure it's a phenomena of the quantum universe. Duquette is of course right, because the quantum physics is the basis, the material of everything - ourselves, thoughts, everything. One might argue that if we can't bridge the two universes in spiritual matters, then we're still separated from it.

What Aleister Crowley did was scientific, but science hasn't yet reached it's limit. Science has just started to explore the brain, and although quantum computing is on it's way scientists doesn't have much understanding of the quantum universe. Esoterically speaking, there's much speculation based on shaky foundation. But there are also foundation both mysticism and science can agree on. The axiom of mysticism for instance: "everything vibrates" is an axiom both science and esoterica agrees on. If there's a phenomena, it's scientific matters. 


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Azidonis
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"Shiva" wrote:
I mean, thousands of adherents, everywhere, who practice these traditions/methods, and who pay tithes and dues and fees, can't be wrong! Right?

They are wrong.


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 Anonymous
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Regarding results of spiritual experiments: "an observation or the presence of an observer in quantum physics experiments will influence the result" (which is pretty close to Aos notion of belief as a force, how other forces may interfere). How much does our environment influence esoteric experiments? A philosopher once said that the souls in the urban city doesn't feel as clean as the ones in the country side.


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 Anonymous
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A little bit of logic here perhaps guys, yes . . . ?

We have, “All words are sacred and all prophets true, save only that they understand a little;” and learly if it were just dependent on things like thousands of adherents paying dues and so on, then the Pope would be the earthly representative of God in trumps and Ronald Reagan the best president the unfortunates of America have ever had! (fallacy of argumentum ad populum.)

Why ceremonial magic? Crowley maybe gives a good clarification, I think, in that section of The Temple of Solomon the King beginning The Sorcerer. (Eq.1.III)

"Then all roads lead to the same goal? Certainly. Then, say you, 'All roads are equally good?' Our answer is, 'Certainly not!' For it does not follow that because all roads lead to Rome, all are of the same length, the same perfection, or equally safe. The traveller who would walk to Rome must use his own legs his WILL to arrive there; but should he discard as useless the advice of such as know the way and have been there, and the maps of the countries he has to journey through, he is but a fool, only to be exceeded in his folly by such as try all roads in turn and arrive by none. As with the traveller, so also with the Aspirant; he must commence his journey with the cry, 'I will attain!' and leave nothing undone that may help him to accomplish this attainment. "

Then there’s the question with the above of one "knowing" who they are that “know the way and have been there” . . . but one might assume a passing acquaintance, on an Aleister Crowley forum, with the idea that Crowley had indeed been there, done that (however trendy it seems to be to accept him on one hand and put him down with the other!) As to those that went before or came after, each must decide, and how to do that is of course another matter.

It’s a good point about the observer’s ego getting in the way. Without suggesting any universal remedy, I find the regularity and commitment to the practices - whatever practices - helpful. Days when you really want to be doing anything other than what you have promised yourself you will do forces the primacy of the practice upon you.  As with any type of experiment, if you only perform it under favourable conditions, on 'good' days, then that becomes a limitation (in scientific papers, usually listed at the end by way of disclaimer). Ego bias can be positive or negative but both are bias towards a particular result. One needs, “Pure will, unassuaged of purpose…” and so on and, in the early stages, there is very little to guide one except unswerving devotion to what you have set out to do (whether it be a daily Liber E practice of your choosing for a year or more, testing DNA samples, or crossing a desert).

There’s some illustrative recent psychological studies on choice that suggest how too much choice results in dispersion of ability to act or paralysis of will. (Someone might have some references to hand.) The same thing was expressed ahead of its time in the Book of the Law: “If Will stops and cries Why, invoking Because, then Will stops & does nought.”

The explosion of the Internet and mass media has increased choice exponentially. You can ‘find’ most things on the “Net”, and an abundance of ideas, but I’m sure everyone is familiar with how fast time seeps away if one just goes on to ‘browse.’ From the point-of-view of the individual, such things as forums, chat-rooms and social networking, microcosmically, often have very similar benefits and shortcomings. With trembling hand I dare to post on one.


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gurugeorge
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Yeah, basically, the reason these things "don't work" is because people don't practice them hard enough.  I know that sounds like a cop-out, but I think it's true.

From experience, I think I know how much effort it would take to "do the trick", but I also know it's more than I'm prepared to put in.  I'm pretty sure 3 months of practice, starting easy and ramping up intensity, till you're doing about 8 hours of meditation a day, would do it.  But who among us puts in that amount of practice?

It's funny, people think nothing of wasting 8 hours a day of their lives in some shitty job, working for someone else's money-making project, to keep their miserable lives going, but baulk at the thought of spending 8 hours a day working on the salvation of their eternal soul.  Or again, an artist or musician will think nothing of spending 8 hours a day practicing an instrument or sweating over a sculpture, but mystics and magicians?  Oh no, there are always more fun things to do ...  😉


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Shiva
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"Expansion of consciousness is nothing, but you give so much importance to that. Drugs will make it a lot easier than all these meditations and yogas. I know lots of people who have taken LSD. (Please don't misunderstand me -- I am not advocating it.)

"You may be in a blissful state -- even after that 'calamity' you have blissful states, ecstatic states, a sudden melting away of everything that is there -- it doesn't mean anything. You experience, I experience -- what is the difference? In India holy people experience some petty little thing called a 'blissful state' or the 'absence of body consciousness' and they think something marvelous is happening. All those things are limitations, they are limiting consciousness, they are not in any way helping; but to you probably they are of great interest, because man is functioning all the time in that limited consciousness.

"You start with the assumption that LSD is something terrible. Why, I wonder? I'm not supporting or recommending it. Drugs only produce experiences, and what I am talking about is not an experience. But all the young people in the West have tried it -- little girls and boys, everybody -- that is why they are suddenly interested in this kind of stuff, the Indian stuff; not because they are dissatisfied with their wealth or their values. They have tried LSD, and it has given them some kind of a feeling that there must be something more to consciousness. But they are ordinary experiences.

"All those religious experiences are no different from the experiences people have when they take drugs. I know a boy who had never heard of the Tibetan literature, but when he was 'on a trip' (as they put it), he experienced all kinds of mandalas (mystical designs). He started talking about them, and he met one Tibetan chap who described them to him. How is that kind of thing possible? You don't have to be in Tibet; no matter where you are, you see, all that is part of consciousness. Even Donald Duck has become part of the human consciousness."

(^)UG Krishnamurti. Taken from the 4th section of this site: http://www.well.com/user/jct/mystiq.htm


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 Anonymous
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"gurugeorge" wrote:
From experience, I think I know how much effort it would take to "do the trick", but I also know it's more than I'm prepared to put in.  I'm pretty sure 3 months of practice, starting easy and ramping up intensity, till you're doing about 8 hours of meditation a day, would do it.  But who among us puts in that amount of practice?

you know it well.

there is a basis behind this "quickening", touched upon by Vivekenanda in "Raja Yoga", as well as other Yogis who have been known to say (with a knowing laughter), "when you begin to meditate, loved ones will die around you"

It's a form of figurative speech, indicating that the inner and outer world of the aspirant will change together- simultaneously.

back to Vivekenanda... in Raja Yoga, he touches upon this idea of Concentration/Focus being The Key to Enlightenment.

I believe the time-quotient (the aspect of time you touched upon to do X or Y) differs from subject to subject.

For it is not only a matter of acquiring the energy, but knowing how or in what manner to direct it, as well.

It can take much time to get to it, but once it has been acquired, it can be recalled- as if instantly- by one who is immediately familiar with it. And, even this is more than "technique", yet has more to do with assimilating the transformative basis behind it all, which is Initiation... and that is: Attunement to The Principles Thereof.

What exactly are these? we do not know, unless through practice. And yet this practice must be Constant.

like a light bulb that has been turnt off. it's own darkness so vast, even it- the lightbulb- fails to see itself. And yet, when the lightulb is turnt on, it realizes it is itself a lightbulb; but, more than this, that it capable of turning itself to on. And, worth even more... staying on.

concentration and focus... Awareness.


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gurugeorge
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Yeah, anecdotally and FWIW, I stumbled on "it" when I was a child.  It was a little "practice" I developed accidentally (which I later found out was identical to the Zen practice of "Hua Tou"), and from about 5 till about 12 or so, I did "it" maybe 4 or 5 times out of many more tries (maybe a couple of dozen or so). 

At a young age, I think it's relatively easy to attain a laser-like concentration, but even then it was quite difficult to "ride" the concentration through to the "result". Sometimes fear would stop me - even though I knew the "result", and knew it was wonderful beyond imagining, still there was always a moment of a peculiar kind of inner vertigo and fear of losing one's mind that was a sort of barrier that I could either stop at or push through, and I stopped more times than I pushed.  But more often, it was simply tiredness that stopped me, or some other distraction.

And then, roundabout 12 or so, I just couldn't do "it" any more at all.  My mind had become too unstable somehow.  I could get tantalizingly close, but the "fluttering" as I approached the "vertigo"-point was just too difficult to overcome, the laser-like quality, the ability to "ride" the concentration through for a sustained period of time (I think a few minutes of absolute concentration are necessary), had gone.

Having had that experience was what got me into all this (and all the other stuff I've read about that's related).  But even though being able to "finger the old school tie" is quite cool in a way, still it's always been frustrating, and almost more of a curse, because, having attained "it", knowing with absolute certainty that "it" is possible, in a sense that's removed any seeker's urgency from me.  I can't muster the sense the Tibetans talk about that my "hair is on fire".  It's like, I'm happy that "knowledge comes with death's release" (as Bowie sang).

But still, I sometimes hanker for "it", and judging from the way it got more difficult, I'm pretty sure that, as I said, it would only take about 3 or 4 months of constant practice to get there. 

And if my life has any value for others in this area, it would simply be to encourage others that it's real, and it's attainable, it really is, and it's wonderful beyond imagining, it answers all questions, completely satisfies the human heart, and  it's at total right-angles to anything any human being could possibly experience in life, even the most sublime orgasm or drug experience are mere gossamer in comparison (believe me I've tried both 🙂 ).

But it's not easy, that's for sure - I guess one could be lucky, but I doubt it.  I think for most people it probably does take a bit of work.

But when you look at it in life's perspective, it's hard, but it's not like some infinite, unclimbable mountain.  It's hard like doing anything else in life well is hard - like playing an instrument well, or starting your own business and making it a success, like discovering things in science.  Hard but by no means impossible; attainable.


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 Anonymous
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"gurugeorge" wrote:
Yeah, basically, the reason these things "don't work" is because people don't practice them hard enough.  I know that sounds like a cop-out, but I think it's true.

From experience, I think I know how much effort it would take to "do the trick", but I also know it's more than I'm prepared to put in.  I'm pretty sure 3 months of practice, starting easy and ramping up intensity, till you're doing about 8 hours of meditation a day, would do it.  But who among us puts in that amount of practice?

It's funny, people think nothing of wasting 8 hours a day of their lives in some shitty job, working for someone else's money-making project, to keep their miserable lives going, but baulk at the thought of spending 8 hours a day working on the salvation of their eternal soul.  Or again, an artist or musician will think nothing of spending 8 hours a day practicing an instrument or sweating over a sculpture, but mystics and magicians?  Oh no, there are always more fun things to do ...  😉

You have indeed "hit the nail on the head" so to speak here; . . . and so should we hit it in further and examine "solutions" -- or trust that those who really want to know will find out anyway? It's a hard one, whether to say anything at all: but it's an "Aleister" forum so maybe we can look at how the A∴A∴ tackles the problem and presents its own "solution", which, as some might already guess, turns out to be quite systematic. From being stuck in the mud of "I kinda know what I think I should be doing, but can't really get the motivation," to actually getting enough motivation, how does one honestly proceed?

If I may, I'll perhaps try to break down that point that gurugeorge made bit. For me, it comes down to repetition and intensity. The former, one can say, trains the Unconscious (see Metteyya's stuff in The Equinox for a psychological explanation); the second, sees what we are capable of doing, and roughly increasing it by stages (at the start we probably would be amazed to realise what we are capable of doing). And it is important to break it down (as with anything in life) to smaller achievable steps that work towards the goal.

So first: habit, or repetition. Once the magician has some experience of the power of this then the deliberate execution of habit-formation becomes less daunting. The Probationer starts off with a simple task to be repeated for a year, and/or the four adorations to the Sun. When you first attempt it daily, even the simplest thing, a banishing that just takes a few moments even, will in the course of time usually present almost "insurmountable" problems: this is to be expected. It's the mind kicking up a fuss and finding/arranging circumstances to "prove" to you that it is "totally impractical." Yet we know that a simple daily habit is not, it is in fact far from impossible, and so if you are keen you will stick it out and tame your horse.

Speaking of horses, we should add that all this mysticism and magick stuff is very much "horses for courses" and the the A∴A∴ methods are maybe not for everyone! No-one is refused, but we've all heard it often said that the purpose of the A∴A∴ is to fortify the fit and eliminate the unfit (and so produce adepts). So no point in tackling it if you feel likely to fluff it.

Although it is a pretty strict course, it is certainly not an impossible one, and each step is laid out carefully, so before taking any Oath (another very valuable aid to determination in finishing a course) anyone can experiment with the practices and see what suits them and whether they feel a strong affinity for such Method or prefer to "mix and match" as some folk say, or join a zen school or retreat into the Tao for the rest of one's earthly tenure. Some like to just get an academic understanding, for instance and... Do what thou wilt!

So, back to habit, once the Aspirant reaches the stage of performing, say, Liber Samekh, the idea of doing something at regular intervals and building up to four times a day will, from the experience of doing the adorations and so on, be the simplest of things. Why four times a day? (Not straight away, start with once, or sunrise and sunset...) but four times a day covers the different phases we go through in twenty four hours and that determine the character of the Dhyana attained at any given period of the day (this is commonly known in various sorts of Hindu systems, Brahma Muharthas, and the Sol-Luna-Agni triplicity that Crowley speaks of, see LXV,v.9 comment). It helps us to unite our practices so it's not a case of how we naturally feel at one or another time of day (these may also to an extent be individual, for instance, night workers may be at their "peak" at different hours to the rest of us). This, by the way, is an altogether different phenomenon to the almost automatic desire to sleep that occurs at a much more advanced stage and is overcome in a more mysterious manner.

Next is intensity. One of the most accessible examples is in Liber E, the pranayama section. Here, almost anyone can a) discover how far he or she personally is able to "push it" and b) probably get some sort of results that form an encouragement to persevere in the practices generally (and if you so will, you can go on to experiment using Liber RV). Whatever your capabilities are, and you want of course to know your "best" ones, once these are ascertained, they become a tool, an ability that you can later call on when faced with an ordeal (some Ordeals of course are "blind" but the principle I believe still holds: you are prepared, as best you can be prepared, and if you do not immediately succeed you can employ the LVX formula, or whichever one comes most naturally to you, to take stock, gird your loins and proceed again!!)

Whatever we say or don't say, genes and environment will play a part, especially before the Will has been developed consciously. One person who has been desperate to find something like the system of the A∴A∴ may throw himself into it with more vigour than one for whom it has become 'commonplace' -- or the reverse! Every Star is different.

(Hope it helps!)


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 Anonymous
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Imagine a man who in all his life just lived it as it manifested itself to him. He just got up each day and did his work and in the evening he returned home and slept and repeated the formula. Another man, similar to the above, at some point in his life reads of a prescribed set of actions that might produce astounding effects if followed. He decides to follow this course, and just as predicted, in time he has the afore mentioned astounding effects.
The original author of the of the proscribed set of actions claims that the effects are proof of higher states of consciousness, and links them to some set of beliefs.
Are they not in reality simply examples of the infinite possibilities of the ways in which consciousness  can be manipulated to produce astounding effects. And these techniques are nothing more than the hard path to “highs” that drugs can far easily attain. I mean, are not mystics and Magicians just drug addicts with a bit more control, but addicts none the less. And are not their “higher states of mind” simply “other states of mind” with no more or less importance than any other drug induced state, which the average man can take or leave, without either profit or detriment to his existence and final demise.


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Shiva
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"Baal" wrote:
Are they not in reality simply examples of the infinite possibilities of the ways in which consciousness can be manipulated to produce astounding effects. And these techniques are nothing more than the hard path to “highs” that drugs can far easily attain. I mean, are not mystics and Magicians just drug addicts with a bit more control, but addicts none the less.

I would say that you are making a lot of sense here, where others are hinting at some big-deal "result" that is only temporary. I don't know that mystics and magicians are necessarily addicts, unless they suffer when they don't do their practices, for "addiction" is defined as "having physiological symptoms when a substance (action?) is suddenly stopped." The part about "a bit more control" is valid as it can (in many situations) allow for an easier life. Also, those who take drugs to attain to the so-called mystical states are probably not "addicts" as psychedelics  seem to NOT work after 2 or 3 days of use. Of course, if we're talking about opioids or stimulants, then regular use leads to "addiction," and what's the benefit of that?

I agree with your post and am not arguing with your points. I'm just hair-splitting about word definitions.


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Azidonis
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No matter which boats come and go, the river continues to flow.


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gurugeorge
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"Baal" wrote:
And these techniques are nothing more than the hard path to “highs” that drugs can far easily attain.

I have a bit of a beef with that. 

I certainly think drugs can be useful for the Man on the Clapham Omnibus, to give a glimpse of the possiblity of states of consciousness different from ordinary consciousness. 

I also think spliff (as per AC's wonderful essay) can mimic certain aspects of introspective "insight" meditation, and sometimes induce ego-loss, and I think LSD can certainly induce ego-loss, which is absolutely a component of Satori, or Awakening (the temporary version of a state of consciousness that's possible 24/7, that's properly called "Enlightenment", I guess - though I can only vouch for the temporary version). 

IOW, I think both these drugs can give a sort of foreshadowing of the real thing cognitively, and give a seeker confidence in the possibility of something more, something different in life.

I also think that of all the drugs that have a passing resemblance in some respect, to enlightenment, MDMA mimics the feeling-component far, far better than LSD, or any other drug, mimics the cognitive component.  If you want to know what it feels like emotionally to be awakened or enlightened (i.e. the "perfect peace", the "peace that passeth understanding", the "Shanti, Shanti, Shanti") you can do worse than take MDMA.  No hope, no fear, perfect equanimity, and unbounded, unconditional love that can bring you to weep tears of joy, all at the drop of a hat?  Oh yes.

But trust me, apart from this almost-perfect (bar the nervous, sort of fibrillating aspect due to the drug being akin to speed) mirroring of the feeling-tone of enlightenment by MDMA, in terms of the cognitive aspect, the "real thing" is waaaaaay beyond anything you can get from drugs.  And you're talking to someone who took 5 tabs of acid at Glastonbury, saw the world pixellated like Doom, thought at one point he'd teleported outside the grounds and was talking to a Gandalf-like magus with a magic staff, and very nearly was that shit-smeared, mud-caked man dancing naked in the sun without a care in the world.  I know from drugs, believe me.

But "it"?  At total right-angles to anything else one can possibly experience in life either with a normal sense of self or with depersonalization from drugs.  It really is "it".  Full stop. 

So I'd encourage people to take heart, really push for it, develop it and settle it; it really, really is the "pearl beyond price".

And having this experience is what makes you a Neophyte in the A:.A:.  Just a Neophyte, mind you 🙂  So get cracking you 'orrible lot! 😉


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William Thirteen
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If you want to know what it feels like emotionally to be awakened or enlightened (i.e. the "perfect peace", the "peace that passeth understanding", the "Shanti, Shanti, Shanti") you can do worse than take MDMA.

oh dear - i hated that feeling. of course, my 'libation' may have been of questionable derivation as it was quite gritty & speedy. And i spent most of the time roaming a cemetery on a too hot summer day, pursued by mosquitoes. In addition, my lifestyle at the time was not conducive to much other than gloom and anxiety. oh the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune of the twenty something death rocker.


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gurugeorge
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"WilliamThirteen" wrote:

If you want to know what it feels like emotionally to be awakened or enlightened (i.e. the "perfect peace", the "peace that passeth understanding", the "Shanti, Shanti, Shanti") you can do worse than take MDMA.

oh dear - i hated that feeling. of course, my 'libation' may have been of questionable derivation as it was quite gritty & speedy. And i spent most of the time roaming a cemetery on a too hot summer day, pursued by mosquitoes. In addition, my lifestyle at the time was not conducive to much other than gloom and anxiety. oh the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune of the twenty something death rocker.

Sounds more like MDA, a drug that has some similar aspects but is "trippier" and much easier to make.  It passes for Ecstasy in many commercial tablets (or at least did, the last time I looked at one of those surveys). 

But yeah, mosquitoes, enough to disturb the equanimity and test the unconditional love of the holiest Bodhisattva 🙂


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Shiva
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"gurugeorge" wrote:
... Satori, or Awakening (the temporary version of a state of consciousness that's possible 24/7, that's properly called "Enlightenment", I guess - though I can only vouch for the temporary version).

And there's the point that some of us are often trying to make. I guess the key word is "possible." Yes, it's possible, but not attainable via any known technique or practice. Those who seem to have "attained" to that possibility indicate that it was "done to them," and not brought about by any effort(s) on their part. Thanks for being honest and saying "I can only vouch for the temporary version."

But "it"?  At total right-angles to anything else one can possibly experience in life either with a normal sense of self or with depersonalization from drugs.  It really is "it".  Full stop.

"Full stop" implies permanence. Anything short of a permanent transmutation is simply a "partial stop."

So I'd encourage people to take heart, really push for it, develop it and settle it; it really, really is the "pearl beyond price"

"Really pushing for it" is the factor that moves one farther away from the goal. When you encourage folks to aim for a goal that you admit you only have experienced temporarily, then you are adding to the "spiritual con." Your insights and admonitions are, and always have been, extraordinarily clear and deep. But we're looking at "Enlightenment" now, and those who seem to have become enlightened have not expoinded any method or madness that allows others to join them in that state.

And having this experience is what makes you a Neophyte in the A:.A:.  Just a Neophyte, mind you 🙂

Yea, I'll agree with that definition.


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Los
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"Baal" wrote:
And these techniques are nothing more than the hard path to “highs” that drugs can far easily attain. I mean, are not mystics and Magicians just drug addicts with a bit more control, but addicts none the less. And are not their “higher states of mind” simply “other states of mind” with no more or less importance than any other drug induced state, which the average man can take or leave, without either profit or detriment to his existence and final demise.

Let’s not lose sight of this point.

When gurugeorge insists that all of this stuff “works” if only people would practice “hard enough” (where “hard enough” equals building up to eight hours of meditation per day, over the period of many months), we shouldn’t forget that it “works” insofar as it generates certain experiences.

Certain experiences. Not necessarily “better,” not necessarily “higher,” just different.

Similarly, having too many drinks generates certain kinds of experiences. So does taking drugs, doing really intense exercise, undergoing various forms of trauma, and seeing a breathtakingly beautiful sight. Or even studying to be a master trapeze artist – maybe even gradually building up until you’re practicing the trapeze for eight hours a day.

But if you’re really looking for some *wild* experiences? Try fasting and praying to Jesus for twelve hours a day straight. Or Allah. Or Jehovah. If you don’t start hallucinating after a few weeks, you might not be human.

At the end of the day, all of these kinds of intense religious practices – whether chanting to Jebus in a monastery or doing a rigorous set of daft rituals every day – amount to gradual self-hypnosis, where you talk yourself over long periods of time into thinking that something “amazing” is happening to you.

Nothing amazing is happening. Your brain is somewhat fragile, and with a little effort you can really knock it out of whack. You shouldn’t have to meditate eight hours a day to be able to figure that out.


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Los
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Now, insofar as the “magical” path is useful, what you’re trying to do is gradually excite yourself more and more until something like a “spasm” occurs and you become capable of transcending the mind (i.e. you become capable of looking past the mind and perceiving your Will…you don’t actually “transcend” anything. For example, all of the laws of logic still apply to the evaluation of all factual claims).

In order to do this, it does take some significant work, but it also takes some creativity and aptitude. I’m more or less convinced that just repeating rituals out of a book isn’t going to do much for 99% or more of magical practitioners, and there’s no real benefit to extending meditation to last for a third of the day or more (other than, of course, the benefit of existing with your mind shut off…depends on how we’re defining “benefit,” though).

Really, the task of the magician is to figure out those things that exalt him or her. There are people for which Western ceremonial magick is the ideal vehicle. But that’s not the case for most people, just like the vast majority of people aren’t cut out to be trapeze artists. There’s no virtue to practicing ceremonial magick, any more than there is in being an acrobat.

The idea is to discover those things that “enflame” you and to saturate your mind with them. This is the process of invoking the Holy Guardian Angel, and the advice is to “invoke often.” What this actually looks like is going to differ tremendously from person to person. Maybe one person paints, maybe another person reads poetry, maybe another person goes rock climbing. Maybe another person practices ceremonial magick, maybe another person tends a literal garden and grows grapes and makes wine out of them, maybe another person builds websites for fun.

Any and all of the above can be invocations of the Holy Guardian Angel.

If you do it right, you’ll probably be “invoking” well over eight hours a day. And eventually, you will get a kind of spasm or break that will trigger the vision of beauty associated with Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “But Los,” you ask, “didn’t you just say above that all of this stuff is self-hypnosis? And aren’t you just describing self-hypnosis?”

And the answer is yes, of course. The trance that you generate by this method is just one particular state of mind. It’s not some kind of “truth” or anything. It’s your brain acting in an unusual way.

But what’s valuable about this state of mind is not the state itself, pleasurable though it may be. What’s valuable about it is what it allows you to *do*, which is to follow your True Will:

"”Crowley”" wrote:
the Attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel […] is the essential work of every man; none other ranks with it either for personal progress or for power to help one's fellows. This unachieved, man is no more than the unhappiest and blindest of animals. He is conscious of his own incomprehensible calamity, and clumsily incapable of repairing it. Achieved, he is no less than the co-heir of gods, a Lord of Light. He is conscious of his own consecrated course, and confidently ready to run it.

The trances themselves are nothing. They’re toys for the Khu, and to confuse trancing out for attainment is to be led astray.

“There may come a time when Samadhi itself is no part of the business of the mystic. But the character developed by the original training remains an asset.” -- Crowley


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Anonymous
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"Los" wrote:

The trances themselves are nothing. They’re toys for the Khu, and to confuse trancing out for attainment is to be led astray.

“There may come a time when Samadhi itself is no part of the business of the mystic. But the character developed by the original training remains an asset.” -- Crowley

Yes these trances or highs always fade and what are we left with?.  True Will is the most important factor.

"Baal" wrote:
I mean, are not mystics and Magicians just drug addicts with a bit more control, but addicts none the less?.

Obviously you're  speaking metaphorically when you say that.  I mean , "natural highs" like a jogger's high can only be good right?  Being a junkie isn't good as it messes up immune systems and compromises normal fucntionality.  Are magicians/mystics tuning on natural bio-chemical thrills that others don't?  Maybe, but is it realistic to categorize this process as, "drug addiction"?  Well let’s allow Crowley to answer as he defines magick as follows

(Illustration: A man may think it his duty to act in a certain way, through having made a fancy picture of himself, instead of investigating his actual nature.............. a boy's instinct may tell him to go to sea, while his parents insist on his becoming a doctor. In such a case, he will be both unsuccessful and unhappy in medicine........(with that said).............."The sincere student will discover, behind the symbolic technicalities of his book, a practical method of making himself a Magician. The processes described will enable him to discriminate between what he actually is, and what he has fondly imagined himself to be. “

and interestingly enough on the use of drugs as a means to avoid becoming a magician

Crowley writes, "[The sincere student] must behold his soul in all its awful nakedness, he must not fear to look on that appalling actuality. He must discard the gaudy garments with which his shame has screened him; he must accept the fact that nothing can make him anything but what he is. He may lie to himself, drug himself, hide himself; but he is always there. Magick will teach him that his mind is playing him traitor.".. so to answer your question I would say , no, magicians/mystics are not, "drug addicts" as that's a flawed metaphor even though maybe pumping up our own inner endorphine- factory is the next step of evolution.


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Michael Staley
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"david" wrote:
and interestingly enough on the use of drugs as a means to avoid becoming a magician

Crowley writes, "[The sincere student] must behold his soul in all its awful nakedness, he must not fear to look on that appalling actuality. He must discard the gaudy garments with which his shame has screened him; he must accept the fact that nothing can make him anything but what he is. He may lie to himself, drug himself, hide himself; but he is always there. Magick will teach him that his mind is playing him traitor.".. so to answer your question I would say , no, magicians/mystics are not, "drug addicts" as that's a flawed metaphor even though maybe pumping up our own inner endorphine- factory is the next step of evolution.

Always railing against the usse of drugs, that geezer Crowley . . .


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Anonymous
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"Michael Staley" wrote:
Always railing against the usse of drugs, that geezer Crowley . . .

I'm not anti- trance (whether it be induced by magickal ceremonial/pungent incenses etc or whether it be through communion with strange Angels or Tantric sex)  nor am I anti- drugs per se or anti Maslovian peak experience.  DWTWSBTWOTL and ............... But ecstasy be thine and joy of earth: ever To me! To me!
and we are all aware the amount of references to , "ecstacy", "joy" and, "rapture" there are in Liber Al.  It's all good however as I said in response to Los;

 

"Los" wrote:

The trances themselves are nothing. They’re toys for the Khu, and to confuse trancing out for attainment is to be led astray.

“There may come a time when Samadhi itself is no part of the business of the mystic. But the character developed by the original training remains an asset.” -- Crowley

Yes these trances or highs always fade and then what are we left with?.  True Will is the most important factor.  Do you disagree with that Michael?

In fact There is help & hope in other spells. Wisdom says: be strong! Then canst thou bear more joy.   To me the be strong! is just that.  How many idiots do you know who just want to get high?  Idiots; all fools despise


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Michael Staley
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"david" wrote:
Yes these trances or highs always fade and then what are we left with?.  True Will is the most important factor.  Do you disagree with that Michael?

Sort of, yes. I think that if someone wants to rank magical and mystical work as just another means of getting high then they're clearly welcome to their opinion. It's not been my experience over the decades, and in retrospect I'd choose ritual and meditation over drink or drugs any time. I'm not fastidious about the matter; like many, I've taken a variety of drugs in the past, but I just don't think that they amount to much.


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Azidonis
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[flash=250,250:3nbxec79] https://www.youtube.com/v/bMTeNfOd45I[/flash:3nbxec79]


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Anonymous
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"Azidonis" wrote:

Any chance you could sum up your point for us in a sentence or two?


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Azidonis
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"david" wrote:
Any chance you could sum up your point for us in a sentence or two?

I don't presume to speak for U.G., or anyone else. If you want to know what he has to say about the matter, watch the video.

As for me, I'm just enjoying the show.

[flash=200,200:2igqp0fl] https://www.youtube.com/v/XoS-MCnTPtQ[/flash:2igqp0fl]


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More random thought’s, most likely not relevant
I remember mid 1980’s I was in the middle of an intense period of Teacher/ Guru inspired experience.
I was in my mid twenties and had up till then not had a great deal to do with drugs.
I had been keeping a magical diary for quite a few years.
For some reason life threw up the possibility for me to take LSD.
I had had my own little “enlightenment” shortly before this.
Briefly it consisted of seeing everything as being alive, wood, stone, all staring back at me saying we are one, we love you too. Bit like the little blue aliens in toy story.
When I took the LSD I was aware enough to quickly realise that it was a fast track to what had taken me years to attain and understand. Of course, anyone who took this fast track minus any preparation, although arriving at the same destination, would in no way understand or be prepared for what they found. A cheap fast trip like a fairground ride.
I remember my teacher being very upset that I had resorted to this to discover the same truth.
But really all I was saying was “hey, now I understand that this “other world” is just a heart beat away, not a life time of hard core dedication or meaningless subordination to any religion or cult.
In a way drugs allow access to a mystical world without the need for the trappings of belief.
But I fully admit that without some structure you will gain nothing but a cheap high.
You should just make sure that the structure you choose is free of the trappings of long outdated beliefs.
I am not sure if even Crowley really understood how important his “ Our method is Science, our aim is Religion” statement was as a basic rule for the exploration of experience


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Shiva
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"Baal" wrote:
“Our method is Science, our aim is Religion”

"The Method of Science - The Aim of Religion."

[/align:d8dqu4fs]

The Method of Science is easy enough to understand. It's the application of the scientific method, including experimentation, controls, validation of results - and not including belief, hope, wiahful thinking, etc.

But what of this Aim of Religion stuff? 

re·li·gion noun : the belief in a god or in a group of gods
: an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods
: an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group
-Online Dictionary

"There are numerous definitions of religion ... The typical dictionary definition of religion refers to a "belief in, or the worship of, a god or gods" or the "service and worship of God or the supernatural". However, writers and scholars have expanded upon the "belief in god" definitions as insufficient to capture the diversity of religious thought and experience."
-Wikipedia

Well, that's all very clear - and pretty vague 😮

It seems like we are supposed to use scientific methods to proove the reality of a god or gods 😉

Since, by definition, the goal is supra-rational (beyond the abyss and above the mind), then how can science aid us in matters of religion?  Many a person can go mad within this dilemma, and let's not kid ourselves that "enlightenment" lies beyond the madness.

"Therefore it is neither nature nor an imaginary Deity that has to be blamed, but human nature made vile by selfishness. Think well over these few words; work out every cause of evil you can think of and trace it to its origin and you will have solved one-third of the problem of evil. And now, after making due allowance for evils that are natural and cannot be avoided, -- and so few are they that I challenge the whole host of Western metaphysicians to call them evils or to trace them directly to an independent cause -- I will point out the greatest, the chief cause of nearly two thirds of the evils that pursue humanity ever since that cause became a power. It is religion under whatever form and in whatsoever nation. It is the sacerdotal caste, the priesthood and the churches; it is in those illusions that man looks upon as sacred, that he has to search out the source of that multitude of evils which is the great curse of humanity and that almost overwhelms mankind."
- Morya in The Mahatma Letters


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Tao
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Etymology: Middle English (originally in the sense ‘life under monastic vows’): from Old French, or from Latin religio(n-) ‘obligation, bond, reverence,’ perhaps based on Latin religare ‘to bind.’

From this perspective, the aim of binding oneself by vow does not necessitate one to prove the reality of gods. It is the result of the act of devotion, the bhakti yoga, that is aimed at.

The path to that end may be excruciating. The result is anything but.


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Shiva
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"Tao" wrote:
The path to that end may be excruciating. The result is anything but.

Aside from the fact that various yoga practices may give one a certain control over aspects of one's life/consciousness, we have no proof of anyone "attaining" to any permanent "result" that can be duplicated or that is the opposite of "excruciating." Say, you aren't hinting at that concept of becoming blissful and ecstatic and happy, are you? Those joyful states are encountered in the process of ego loss (that is, as the ego is being lost) - but after it's gone there is nothing left to perceive anything.

So please define this non-excruciative "result." Then we'll know what you're talking about, or if you know about what you're saying.


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Tao
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To clarify, I never suggested a permanent result. Merely a result.

If, etymologically, "religion" means the yoking of oneself to a vow, then I take the "aim" of that yoking to be some sort of result of the practice.

I have no "proof" to offer you, simply a description of my own experience of a result attained through yoking myself by the practice of bhakti yoga. One that was most definitely not excruciating. Take it for what it's worth.


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Shiva
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"Tao" wrote:
Take it for what it's worth.

You have not identified the "result," but have merely alluded to it, much as others have called it "it." To identify it's worth, the bidding is now open.


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Los
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"Shiva" wrote:
Since, by definition, the goal is supra-rational (beyond the abyss and above the mind), then how can science aid us in matters of religion?

Well, I’m not sure that science itself – the formal body of rigorous experimentation and peer-reviewed publication – is of any help at all in achieving attainment. But the method of science – that is, attempting to be as objective as possible in one’s work – is of enormous help. Arguably, without approaching the task of attainment in the spirit of skepticism, it is possible to attain only by the rough equivalent of dumb luck.

Shiva describes the method of science above as the “application of the scientific method, including experimentation, controls, validation of results - and not including belief, hope, wiahful thinking, etc.,” but that description is at least misleading.

There’s a concept called “cargo cult science.” It comes from an old story of traditional tribal societies who interacted with technology from other cultures and desired the material benefits (“cargo”) but didn’t understand the mechanism of achieving those benefits. For example, a pre-scientific tribe might witness another culture operate flying machines that bring in goods, and they wish to acquire similar goods, but they don’t understand how the flying machines work. They just understand the form or appearance. So they might assemble mock airports, build things that look like runways and control panels, appoint high priests…er, air traffic controllers who speak invocations into a coconut, etc., etc. hoping to call down the flying machines with their precious cargo.

In other words, a cargo cult apes the *appearance* of  X, but it’s really very far from X.

Cargo cult science, then, is that which tries mightily to look like science, to wrap itself in the appearance of science, while actually being nothing like science at all.

It seems to me that this “scientific illuminism” stuff – and the vast majority of what would-be Thelemites call “the method of science” – is in fact cargo cult science. Some of these people actually describe their daft attempts to make themselves find money in the street or to induce visions as “experiments,” where they think that “recording the results” in a pseudo-scientific manner – carefully and dutifully transcribing the date and time and astrological occurrences and temperature and their mood and the weather etc. – actually demonstrates anything at all.

In a very real sense, they’re trying to use coconuts to summon an aircraft carrier. And when an aircraft carrier does happen to pass by, they’ll excitedly consult their “lab notes” to figure out which configuration of coconuts “caused” it to come.

In point of fact, little could be further from science than keeping a diary of your goofy “workings” and punctuating it with “records” of coincidences and a handful of objective metrics like the temperature that day.

Mixing your religious practices with elements that superficially resemble science do not make your practices cease being religion, nor do they make your practices remotely scientific. Rather, doing so just makes the superficial trappings you adopt from science a part of the religious practice.

Many people who practice a supernatural religion that they insist on calling “Thelema” seem to think that they are superior to or more advanced than other religionists because while those other religionists pray and perform ceremonies, our supernaturalist Thelemite prays and performs ceremonies and records the results. This last step, he foolishly believes, elevates him from a religious practitioner to some kind of “scientician.”

It does not. The “scientific illuminist” is just as much a religious believer putting his blind faith in practices as the Christian or Muslim. It is merely that the scientific illuminist’s religious practices include some religious practices that ape the scientific method.

So while science is not of help in attaining enlightenment – and especially not the cargo cult science practiced by many religionists who don’t like thinking of themselves as religionists – the method of science actually is helpful. What is the method of science? Quite simply, it is the attempt to see the world, one’s practices, and especially one’s self as objectively as possible, without the influence of one’s desire (often emotionally driven desire) for the world or the self to be any particular way.

In practice, the method of science is an attitude of skepticism, a refusal to accept claims about the universe or about the self that are not sufficiently supported by evidence.

Interestingly, this skeptical attitude actually causes supernaturalism itself to crumble, as it is impossible to be skeptical and also to accept that supernatural things are real, for there is insufficient evidence for supernatural claims. [Note: here “supernatural” denotes those things commonly referred to as “supernatural,” including preternatural intelligences, ESP, psychic powers, spirits, acausal magick, etc. If any of those things actually does exist, then it would be “natural,” but until such time as any of them can be demonstrated to exist, I’m comfortable with using the label “supernatural” as a blanket term for those extraordinary claims for which insufficient evidence exists]

Sometimes, religious believers will claim that religion and science are “non-overlapping magisteria,” to borrow a phrase used by Stephen Jay Gould. This is the claim that science and religion address two different subjects: science addresses how things happen and religion addresses why things happen. One deals with fact, the other deals with meaning, and never the twain shall meet.

This idea is, however, rather silly. To the extent that religion makes factual claims about the world, these claims are capable of being investigated by rational inquiry (science is, after all, only the formal codification of the process of rational inquiry that we all use in our daily lives). The claim that chanting in Hebrew makes someone more likely to find money in the street, the claim that there are preternatural intelligences, the claim that one can summon up demons to do one’s bidding…these are factual claims about the universe that can be investigated impartially, and in each of these cases, we find not only insufficient evidence to accept these claims as true, we find – I would argue – a great deal of evidence that suggests these claims are false.

All of the above is a longish way of saying that the “method of science” doesn’t mean what a lot of people think it means and that the actual “method of science” kicks the legs out from under the beliefs of many supernaturalists who mistakenly think of themselves as being proponents of (or even practitioners of!) science.


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Michael Staley
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"Shiva" wrote:
... we have no proof of anyone "attaining" to any permanent "result" that can be duplicated or that is the opposite of "excruciating."

How is someone to "prove", to the satisfaction of you or anyone else, that they've had mystical or magical experience as a result of work undertaken?

When the sight of a beautiful landscape or a glorious sunset, or the reading of an exquisite piece or poetry or prose triggers a sense of rapture and wonder in me, how am I to "prove" to you or anyone else that I experienced what I said I experienced? How might I "prove" to your satisfaction that I have attained a great deal of insight from magical and mystical workings undertaken over the years?

More to the point, why would I go to the bother of attempting to prove it to you rather than, say, just getting on with mystical and magical work?


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