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Shiva
(@shiva)
Not a Rajah
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 6328
 
"Michael Staley" wrote:
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?

The only "experience" that I would consider significant is the stopping of the mind. This can be "proved" via encephalography. Ken Wiber shows how this is done at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFFMtq5g8N4
This is simply an objective measurement.

Of course Ken is demonstrating this as a temporary phenomenon.

Those who seem to have stopped their minds permanently "prove" their attainment by allowing others into their presence, and then those others (subjectively) note their own response. The folks who sat around Ramana Maharshi and UG Krishnamurti reported a feeling of peace - that's why they sat there for hours or days: to dwell in a peace that they could not attain otherwise.

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?

You don't need to prove it. You can just say "I had a sense of rapture and wonder," and I or anyone else who is sensitive to subtlety will know what you mean.

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?

A lengthy discourse, with examples, would suffice. For example, your posts over the years indicate that you have attained a great deal of insight.

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?

Let's keep in mind that I am currenly dedcated to questioning people's statements about their "results" or the "results" that can theoretically be attained. Who cares if someone did some practice and obtained some "result?" I would hazard a guess and say that 99.9% of readers and posters here on lashtal have had "results," either from yoga or magick or libation or excessive exercise. I imagine that most of the posters here have entered into mystical states where they lose their sense of self and "become" someone else or something else or even have become "everything else." (see dhyana; samadhi).

So what? This is the Aleister Crowley Society and AC indicated that there are states of "enlightenment" and "attainment" (see One Star in Sight), and there are indications that these states are permanent. That is, one can change their point of view and sense of who they are, and that they will become fulfilled or happy or vindicated. That's what Liber AL promises.

But I don't see it happening, and if someone says "it" is so fabulous, or "my result" is so grand," then I'm going to question that statement.

Again:

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?

That's my point. Why bother to even mention it in the first place? And if one needs to "just get on with mystical and magical work," then they've not reached the plateau yet, have they? And so who are they to be proclaiming "results" that are temporay wisps of dust?


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Anonymous
 Anonymous
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"Los" wrote:
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.

Yes, proper scientific enquiry is scepticism and objectivity i.e. a rigorous rooting out of the weeds of confirmation bias and any personalized tendency towards a fudging of the stats.  I think modern New Age guru-crackpots, or the like, are cottoning on to teaching their customers this confidence trickster tool of keeping a, "scientific diary".       

Incidentally Crowley's account of the, "evocation of Buer" as a means to healing Bennett may be a good example of this confirmation bias.  I'm sure you all know the story.  Buer( healing spirit) was summoned to heal Bennet but Bennet did not show any health improvement until that is , Crowley asked another friend for some money and he then used that money to send Bennet to a warmer clime where , yes , indeed his health improved.


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Anonymous
 Anonymous
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By the way, check this youtube link (11m45s is  a good place to watch) of a live evocation of Bael in which our magickian allows the demonic being to speak to him, dropping pearls of wisdom

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mz96pGnWb4o&list=PL896T7QHbcfDgden0Pxy-NzpqFm08XHrw&index=5

...then go here to watch a clip of improv comedian, Ross Noble  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwkuWLqGL1o

Now, compare and contrast these two video clips of improvisational creative spoken word and try and discern which one is the funniest. 


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
Joined: 18 years ago
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I'm sure that neither can hold a candle to you, david.


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Mazus
(@mazus)
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Thanks for the pointer to the Ross Noble sketch.  This is the thread that just keeps giving. 


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gurugeorge
(@gurugeorge)
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"Shiva" wrote:
"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.

I meant just really pushing for the Neophyte Initiation, which I take (on the mystical side of things) to be equivalent to Satori, a "glimpse" or flash of insight, not for full-blown Enlightenment (why does it always have to be "blown"? 🙂 ).

I agree that (by all accounts) that is something that you can't directly push for, try to achieve, etc.

I think the Chinese neatly solved this kind of problem by simply calling the core attitude "cultivation" (which is sort of analogous with our Western sense of "experiment" - i.e. the result or goal is not in mind - hmm, sounds familiar 🙂 - you just do stuff and see what happens).  "Practice" is okay in the neutral sense of "something you do", and in the sense of a musician (practice long enough and mastery will come at some point).

But really, I think the agricultural metaphor is spot on.  (Interestingly, it's also waaaay back in the Western tradition, with Parmenides and Empedocles, if you follow Peter Kingsley's stuff.)

The causation with "working on" attaining a glimpse of Satori for the Neophyte Initiation is straightforward linear, hell-for-leather causation aiming at getting a specific kind of experience.  You do stuff with an aim in mind, and "you" get a result as a result of the stuff you do.  You build up a bubble of tension, you ratchet up the tension, and something is going to pop.  Things come to a head, you can feel them coming to a head, and you have a rough sense of when they will, as the time approaches.  Kind of like a long-form sex act and orgasm.

But for Enlightenment, the attitude you want is "cultivation" - like with a plant, there is causation, but it's a bit mysterious, non-linear (i.e. so complex, chaotic, we just can't figure it out).  You just do things (amongst which a sub-class is occasionally "aiming for things" - not the overall goal, but sub-goals).

And you can call the result "grace" if you like, but I don't think that's necessary.  If you hadn't done stuff (prepared the soil, planted the seed, watered the plant, talked to it, etc.) it wouldn't have happened.  When the plant will flower is "grace", but it will (highly likely) flower if you do the stuff, and it won't (highly unlikely) if you don't.

All those people who talk about "grace" are being disingenuous, or maybe just not noticing.  Even someone like UG did a hell of a lot of "work" on himself.  All the "grace"-mongers did, so far as I can see. 

So for the Neophyte Initiation, you are aiming at an experience, and you very definitely want some "lust of result", otherwise you won't get it (it just takes a lot of well-knit energy to break on through to the other side from the normal, everyday trance). 

But once you've done that, no more lust of result for you, it's cultivation from then on in.  And "attaining Enlightenment" is not a concern.  Why?  Because if you had the glimpse, you had a glimpse of the fact that it's already always the case, and can't be attained, just "gotten used to".

Does that make any kind of sense?


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Shiva
(@shiva)
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"gurugeorge" wrote:
I meant just really pushing for the Neophyte Initiation, which I take (on the mystical side of things) to be equivalent to Satori, a "glimpse" or flash of insight, not for full-blown Enlightenment (why does it always have to be "blown"?

Sure, one can "push" for the Neophyte crisis - which I agree in fact meets the definition of Satori, a first glimpse. Kether in Malkuth, and Malkuth in Kether, and all that. It has been my experience, and my observation of others' experiences, that in this case it merely means engaging in the Task of a Probationer with seriousness. I don't see how one can "really push" for the Neophyte experience, since it comes as a surprise, but on the other hand those who piddle around with their probation don't seem to get the Satorial "preview," and thus fail the Task of the Grade (even if some guru-link grants them Neophyte status).

I suppose "full-blown" has two references: (1) A flower becomes fully expanded, and (2) An engine in a hot-rod with a supercharger ("blower"). I suspect that #(1) is implied in mystical results, although #(2) might be made to apply (but then the tem "full-blown" probably originated befor the invention of superchargers).

I think the Chinese neatly solved this kind of problem by simply calling the core attitude "cultivation" (which is sort of analogous with our Western sense of "experiment" - i.e. the result or goal is not in mind - hmm, sounds familiar 🙂

Agreed.

And you can call the result "grace" if you like, but I don't think that's necessary.  If you hadn't done stuff ... it wouldn't have happened.

Perhaps the "grace" only seems like it is given from somewhere/someone/something.  After all, the place where this takes place is described as ...
"Adeptus (Exemptus) --- Completes in perfection all these matters. He then either (a) becomes a Brother of the Left Hand Path or, (b) is stripped of all his attainments and of himself as well, even of his Holy Guardian Angel, and becomes a babe of the Abyss, who, having transcended the Reason, does nothing but grow in the womb of its mother. It then finds itself a Magister Templi ..."

... someone like UG did a hell of a lot of "work" on himself.  All the "grace"-mongers did, so far as I can see.

Yes. UG says he "did nothing" to cause his "effect," so it appeared as if it just happened to him in an acausal manner. But I agree that he certainly did the groundwork before he gave up ... and then the result (his "calamity") happened.

"On the morning of July the 9th, 1967, his forty-ninth birthday, U.G. went with a friend to hear J. Krishnamurti give a public talk in a large tent on the outskirts of Saanen, the village in which U.G. and Valentine had been living for some time.  U.G. had contracted with a publisher to write his autobiography. While working on the book, U.G. came to the part describing his association with J. Krishnamurti. He did not remember much of what he had felt towards the elderly revered "World Teacher" of the Theosophical Society. He had not had contact with J. Krishnamurti for many years and had no definite opinion about the man. So he decided to go to hear the morning talk by J. Krishnamurti to sort of "refresh my memory," as he put it.
Midway through the talk, U.G., listening to J. Krishnamurti's description of a free man, suddenly realized that it was himself who was being described. "What the hell am I doing listening to someone describe how I am functioning?" Freedom in consciousness became at that moment no longer something "over there", or "out there," but simply the way he was already physiologically functioning at that very instant. This stunned U.G. so strongly that he left the tent in a somewhat dazed state of mind and walked alone towards his chalet on the other side of the valley. As he approached his chalet he stopped to rest on a small bench which overlooked the beautiful rivers and mountains of Saanen Valley.
While sitting on the bench alone, looking at the green valley and rugged peaks of the Oberland, it occurred to him: I have searched everywhere to find an answer to my question, “Is there enlightenment?”, but I have never questioned the search itself. Because I have assumed that goal, enlightenment, exists, I have had to search, and it is the search itself which has been choking me and keeping me out of my natural state. There is no such thing as spiritual or psychological enlightenment because there is no such thing as spirit or psyche at all. I have been a damn fool all my life, searching for something which does not exist. My search is at an end."
At that moment all the questions disappeared and U.G. ceased to act any longer via the separative thought structure."

- Mind is a Myth

After that experience (^) of "giving up" the search, he underwent "the calamity," whch was a physiological transformation.

But once you've done that [had the Satori], no more lust of result for you, it's cultivation from then on in.  And "attaining Enlightenment" is not a concern.  Why?  Because if you had the glimpse, you had a glimpse of the fact that it's already always the case, and can't be attained, just "gotten used to".  Does that make any kind of sense?

Yes.


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 Anonymous
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Going back to the considerastion of permanence, some things are indeed permanent. The Union with the HGA, once made, is permanent: "Now I am with thee; I will never leave thy being. For I am the soft sinuous one entwined about thee, heart of gold!" (LXV i 26-27, & AC's comment). I rather suspect that eventually some brain changes will possibly be detected by neurologists. But it is a Union that has nevertheless been made by repeated, repeated, repeated practice.

Regarding cessation of "excruciating" with simple asana, certainly I don't know about that. There's the normal "three stages" which AC mentions several times, and also "getting easier" eventually (which Crowley mentions in Little Essays..., the chapter on "Wonder.") If the meditation experience is prolonged and intense, one tends not to notice pain in the asana (at least until afterwards!) But straightening one's legs afterwards can still take a long time. As one learns to sit still, the lack of any movement whatsoever also seems to dissociate the body in some way. I'm not sure exactly how that works. Probably the same way that one ceases to feel the body in sleep or in that sort of moment between sleeping and waking. But wiggle an inch and all sensation comes back!

The other analogy that occurred to me was that of other types of intense physical training. The soldier at boot camp feels every ache and pain, but in the midst of battle his mind is so otherwise occupied that he hardly notices until he gets back to camp. The only real measure you have is if you do it without distraction, Liber E style, then if you've gone through the "boot camp experience" and managed to conquer it (at least to the best that you are sincerely capable) then you will worry about it less later. Some people report struggling just with a comfortable 15 minutes: but choosing the practice in the first place was their choice, and the serious ones will find some mental tricks to get them through initial stages if they have to. Against that, age comes into it. Only a few people will be as supple at sixty as they were at sixteen. Yet at least they will have learnt some samadhi by then!


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Shiva
(@shiva)
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Joined: 14 years ago
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"galangal" wrote:
The Union with the HGA, once made, is permanent

Oh, give us a break here!  The Angel leads one to the abyss and there abandons the initiate.

This talk about re-uniting with the angel above the abyss is nonsense, regarless of who wrote what. There is nobody above the abyss to re-unite with that angel that has shown itself to be an illusion.

Only a few people will be as supple at sixty as they were at sixteen. Yet at least they will have learnt some samadhi by then!

Supple is a factor in hatha yoga. Any simple posture will do for Raja Yoga, and suppleness is no longer a factor.

There is no kind of subtle (not supple) change or major change that causes anybody to be any different from what they started out to be. More mature? Yes. More knowledable? Yes. But permanently different in some major way? No way?

"Yea! deem not of change: ye shall be as ye are, & not other. Therefore the kings of the earth shall be Kings for ever: the slaves shall serve. There is none that shall be cast down or lifted up: all is ever as it was."
Remember that one?

There is no escape. You are doomed. You are gonna die someday. just like AC and HPB and UG all the rest of the initials.


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 Anonymous
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"Shiva" wrote:
"galangal" wrote:
The Union with the HGA, once made, is permanent
"Shiva" wrote:
Oh, give us a break here!  The Angel leads one to the abyss and there abandons the initiate.
This talk about re-uniting with the angel above the abyss is nonsense, regarless of who wrote what. There is nobody above the abyss to re-unite with that angel that has shown itself to be an illusion.

Don't worry, I respect your right to your view. I was simply quoting the relevant Class A document plus the personal confirmation by Frater O.M. based on His experience. But I have noticed that you frequently prefer your own interpretation.

"Shiva" wrote:
There is no kind of subtle (not supple) change or major change that causes anybody to be any different from what they started out to be. More mature? Yes. More knowledable? Yes. But permanently different in some major way? No way?

Again, I beg to differ. You clealy don't keep up with recent developments in neuroscience, the hard, peer-reviewed kind, which has already logged physical changes in advanced Zen practitioners.


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gurugeorge
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Just in reference to this recent sub-thread, I should say there was a time when I went a roundabout path and got into the amazingly widely-available non-dual teachings, i.e. the many "neo-Advaita" teachers around, and the many Zen and Dzogchen teachings, etc., that have become available since AC's death.  For a time, I doubted - I wondered if AC was that "advanced", whether he had missed the boat.

Now I think that, while AC very definitely meant the A:.A:. path to be a gradualist path in the traditional manner, he was very much non-dual (or "sudden enlightenment") aware, and I think you can see the hints, like in LXV, e.g., particularly in Chapter ii (which I guess is sort of equivalent to the "semde" teachings in Dzogchen - i.e. it explains it to the intellect):-

17. Also the Holy One came upon me, and I beheld a white swan floating in the blue.

18. Between its wings I sate, and the aeons fled away.

19. Then the swan flew and dived and soared, yet no whither we went.

20. A little crazy boy that rode with me spake unto the swan, and said:

21. Who are thou that dost float and fly and dive and soar in the inane? Behold, these many aeons have passed; whence camest thou? Whither wilt thou go?

22. And laughing I chid him, saying: No whence! No whither!

23. The swan being silent, he answered: THen, if with no goal, why this eternal journey?

24. And I laid my head against the Head of the Swan, and laughed, saying: Is there not joy ineffable in this aimless winging? Is there not weariness and impatience for who would attain to some goal?

[...]

59. But I have called unto Thee, and I have journeyed unto Thee, and it availed me not.

60. I waited patiently, and Thou wast with me from the beginning.

61. This now I know,  O my beloved, and we are stretched at our ease among the vines.

62.  But these thy prophets; they must cry aloud and scourge themselves; they must cross trackless wastes and unfathomed oceans; to await Thee is the end, not the beginning.

I think it's always been a difference of approach (between "gradual" and "sudden") that in the end isn't as great as it seems.  In one approach, theoretically, you build a pyramid and logically lay the capstone at the end, and you keep quiet about the end till the end comes.  You streamline the mass of you, and the insight, when it hits, is permanent.  With the other approach, you bootstrap yourself by a series of "glimpses" and getting used to it.  But both ways partake of each other in practice, and the difference is more something for students and disciples to waste time arguing over.

Shiva, I think your comments apropos the Probationer Task speak to this.  The A:.A:. path is gradualist for those who, despite having taken their Probationer Task seriously, get no Result.  For them, they just need to go on patiently climbing the grades, building their pyramid, and if they persist they will get there eventually (and, one may suppose, they will get what the lucky Probationer got at the Neophyte initiation when they get to Adeptus Minor, only in a fuller way).  For those who get the Result, then it's more of a "sudden" path, where they've had a glimpse of the "goal", and can "finger the old school tie", as it were.  But woe betide them if they don't also continue building their Pyramid just like the other guy; but for them, the building is more of a "getting used to" along the Path.

Side-note 1: when I'm in a deeply reverential and magickal frame of mind, I tend to think that the modern-day profusion of teachings from the deepest heart-essences of the many Asian traditions was partly the fruit of AC's work.  Taking the theory presented in the "Three Schools" essay seriously for a moment, I think AC's intention was to draw the flak of The Establishment, to "take a hit for the team", in other words, enabling the Yellow School to do an end run (or is it "home run"? 😀 ) around it, and make these teachings widely available.  The world is never going to be the same again, in a sense it's "game over" for The Man, only he doesn't know it yet 😉 

As a side-note to that side-note, I think those teachings became over time, in their own cultures, too much the sole provenance of the upper classes.  There's quite a bit of snobbishness attached to the degree of nous required to "get" them, and I think there was a lot of fear that if hoi polloi got a hold of those teachings, it would shake the foundations of society as then constructed.  And they were quite right, and it's time for that to happen.

Side-note 2: I think the Class A writings are meant to be studied with exactly the kind of care and attention to detail to every word and its multiple resonances that the traditional Advaita teachers do when they "unfold" the texts like the Upanishads.  Every single word and sentence is a precise meditation tool, and English is being used as a sacred language much like Sanskrit is in those texts, or in the Dzogchen sutras.  And memorizing (say memorizing your chosen chapter of LXV) is extremely important and mustn't be overlooked.  We should take our example from Karl Germer who memorized (or was it reconstructed-from-memory? can't remember!) LXV while in a concentration camp.

OK, that's enough woo from me for the day, back to my native cynical rationalism!


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 Anonymous
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I have had this experience where I sense intensely  that another being has had the same experience as me. As sad as it may sound, this is often with some drug or other, you just know by the look in the eye of the other person that they have had a similar experience when you attempt to put it into words. As much as you know for sure the feel of those who have no idea about what you are attempting to express badly in words.
I had this same feeling with my own little experience of “Enlightenment” . I highlight it because it is “my” experience. Can I ever really know if my experience has anything at all in common with the most holy of holy Gurus/ Teachers ec.  And what if my experience is more meaningful and closer to the supposed aims of the proscribed path. How would I know this. I will forever have only my own experience as the proof of that experience. Unless I proscribe to the belief that there is some point at which another mind can somehow enter my mind and experience as do I.
And how would I know if this were happening. How would I avoid the huge possibilities for self delusion.
My mother once IMHO made fantastic pastry. She is now over 80 and cannot even stand leave alone kneed dough.
I once watched her try to teach my girlfriend how to make pastry just like her.
She of course failed, because even though she provided the exact recipe and tried to indicate the exact method, there is a subjective element that cannot be conveyed.
And even if my girlfriend had produced even better pastry than my mother, how would she know that my own personal judgement was simply just a personal preference.
Such are the recipes of great mystical and magical teachers. They may well be great cooks. But if you follow their recipes the best you can ever hope for is a duplicate of their pastry.
As to the ultimate test of this product, you will only ever have the subjective judgements of each individual.
But fire is still hot. Get a very hot iron and apply it to the bottom of the feet of anyone who has walked across so called hot coals, and watch them jump.   
BTW. That quote from LXV is just the best, "Is there not joy ineffable in this aimless winging?" Are we not all simply engaged in a never ending song of experience with no need for ultimate names and titles. You tell me you have seen a blissful heaven and you show me the path, but you do not dare to call it the ultimate. 


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jamie barter
(@jamie-barter)
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"Los" wrote:
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. [...]

I am skeptical of your ‘scientific’ reasoning period, Los (You must be reassured to read.)

A man of science is a man who understands the measure of everything, and the meaning of nothing.

– Aleister Crowley, 19 February 1938[/align:zlt1zbil]

"Los" wrote:
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.

Science is not the fairly meek, well-behaved and docile animal it was 110 years ago – now it is more of a literally ‘chaotic’ raging beast, quite impervious to reason.  And what is “the method of science” itself these days, when the whole empirical cause-and-effect basis of Test Hypothesis-Experiment-Observation-Conclusion is blown out of the water by the sacrilegious (for science) understanding that the nature of what is observed becomes changed by the act of observation of the observer.  As The Book of the Law interprets the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle: “There is no certain test.”  (In a similar way, everything which occurs happens in the past rather than the present, due to the 1/30 sec. lag/pause in consciousness whilst the brain receives, digests and interprets its sensory data gained from the ‘outside world’.)

"Los" wrote:
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.

I agree with you here!!  In fact, I go into the matter a lot more in the thread “The Magical Diary – Worthless Or Worthwhile?”  which you (singular and plural) might care to peruse (now locked for further comment, however.)

"Los" wrote:
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.

Can one (i.e., do you) apply skepticism to the act of skepticism itself?  (and so on, in the manner of [the] infinite regress & of “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”)  Or have you never done it?  Is it then somehow exempt from further enquiry?

"Los" wrote:
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. [...]

This is nothing more than a personal statement of opinion, is it?  (Like the whole of the posting, in fact.)

The fallacy repeated here can be partly addressed by a simple question.  Do you have any realization of infinite space?  (I do not refer to an intellectual apprehension of the possibility here, I am talking of a direct experience of the reality of it, the “consciousness of the continuity”…)  The rational Mind has no part in it.  (If it does, please someone explain how.  In ‘fact’, it might help things along a bit Los, if you could state whether you ‘believe’ in infinite space or not. And by corollary, we have also have e.g., 2/3rds expressed as a decimal (i.e., 666 recurring) and the infinite series of Pi (3.141593 etc…)  - do you ‘believe’ in these un/super natural conceptions also?

"Shiva" wrote:
There is no escape. You are doomed. You are gonna die someday. just like AC and HPB and UG all the rest of the initials.

“And then?” (Edward Crowley [Senior], as recalled by his son)

"gurugeorge" wrote:
And memorizing (say memorizing your chosen chapter of LXV) is extremely important and mustn't be overlooked.  We should take our example from Karl Germer who memorized (or was it reconstructed-from-memory? can't remember!) LXV while in a concentration camp.

I’m not specifically disagreeing or agreeing with you here, Guru - remaining perfectly neutral for the sake of argument – but would you mind explaining why this should be and exactly how important you assess it (i.e. in relation to some other activity on the Path)?

"Baal" wrote:
As to the ultimate test of this product, you will only ever have the subjective judgements of each individual.

And then?!  Although I agree with you here, what does (can) this ultimately go to prove?  Shouldn’t realization of it ultimately cause all discussion/ conversation/ debate on this forum, and any forum like this one, to be struck stone dead in its tracks?

"Baal" wrote:
That quote from LXV is just the best, "Is there not joy ineffable in this aimless winging?" Are we not all simply engaged in a never ending song of experience with no need for ultimate names and titles. You tell me you have seen a blissful heaven and you show me the path, but you do not dare to call it the ultimate. 

Lovely thoughts.  Such a shame there has to be – so it would seem – at some point (pace Shiva’s remarks about impermanence) a “What then?”!

(So) what, then!? ???
N Joy


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Shiva
(@shiva)
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"jamie barter" wrote:
(So) what, then?

Right. And much (if not most or all) of religion revolves around this question and its unkowable "answer." Islam promises paradise for the faithful (and to fall in battle is the "quick fix" for transportation thereto). Christianity promises that Jesus will Judge the dead folks and send good people to heaven and bad people to hell (with purgatory as a possible option, depending on the beliefs of one's sect). Ancient Egypt and ancient China built elaborate tombs filled with goodies for use in the afterlife. Near-death experiences convince people that relatives or angels are waiting for them at the entrance to the promised land (NDEs resulting in hellish visions, which occur in 50% of NDEs, are usually ignored); FDEs [full-death experiences] have no reports.    The list goes on ...

The reason people are so sure that one of these options applies to them is that they have a need and a hope to somehow survive death, either through an afterlife or reincarnation, and holy prophets have always been quick to fill this need with promises - in order to gain control over the folks in their temporal behavior.

Even Liber AL chimes in: "Think not, o king, upon that lie: That Thou Must Die: verily thou shalt not die, but live. Now let it be understood: If the body of the King dissolve, he shall remain in pure ecstasy for ever." Another promise of immortality - or at least of ecstatic longevity. Well, guess what? He died. His body dissolved (burned up) and we are to believe that he is now still existing in an ecstatic state - and there he shall remain forever. And so will you; and so will I; and those other guys too; as long as they be kings.

But the truth of the matter is that all these promises were simply sermons or books written down by dudes who were "inspired." And the other part of that truth is that nobody really knows what then 😮


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Los
 Los
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"Shiva" wrote:
Even Liber AL chimes in: "Think not, o king, upon that lie: That Thou Must Die: verily thou shalt not die, but live. Now let it be understood: If the body of the King dissolve, he shall remain in pure ecstasy for ever." Another promise of immortality - or at least of ecstatic longevity. Well, guess what? He died. His body dissolved (burned up) and we are to believe that he is now still existing in an ecstatic state - and there he shall remain forever. And so will you; and so will I; and those other guys too; as long as they be kings.

That's one interpretation. But one might argue that ecstasy cannot be "pure" so long as there is consciousness around to experience it. The only purely ecstatic state might very well be complete annihilation, in which there is no consciousness around to experience anything at all.

This interpretation has the advantage of squaring with what is most likely: that after death, "you" will simply stop existing.

nobody really knows what then

Sure, nobody knows for sure, but nobody knows 100% for sure that the sun will rise tomorrow, either. All of our knowledge is tentative: it is what we deem to be most likely based on the evidence at our disposal. And the evidence that we have (right now, at least) sure seems to suggest that consciousness emerges from brain activity, and it at least seems likely that once your brain stops working, "you" cease to be.

Asking "what then?" about death is sort of like asking what happens to the flame when you blow it out or where the charge in the battery "goes" when it runs out. When I open my fist, where does the fist "go"? These are nonsense questions, as is asking what "happens" to the individual after death. The mostly likely answer is that, for the dead individual, all "happening" ceases.


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 Anonymous
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"jamie barter" wrote:
Science is not the fairly meek, well-behaved and docile animal it was 110 years ago – now it is more of a literally ‘chaotic’ raging beast, quite impervious to reason.  And what is “the method of science” itself these days, when the whole empirical cause-and-effect basis of Test Hypothesis-Experiment-Observation-Conclusion is blown out of the water by the sacrilegious (for science) understanding that the nature of what is observed becomes changed by the act of observation of the observer.  As The Book of the Law interprets the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle: “There is no certain test.”  (In a similar way, everything which occurs happens in the past rather than the present, due to the 1/30 sec. lag/pause in consciousness whilst the brain receives, digests and interprets its sensory data gained from the ‘outside world’.)

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.

gurugeorge wrote:
    And memorizing (say memorizing your chosen chapter of LXV) is extremely important and mustn't be overlooked.  We should take our example from Karl Germer who memorized (or was it reconstructed-from-memory? can't remember!) LXV while in a concentration camp.

I’m not specifically disagreeing or agreeing with you here, Guru - remaining perfectly neutral for the sake of argument – but would you mind explaining why this should be and exactly how important you assess it (i.e. in relation to some other activity on the Path)?

Hi Jamie

May I please . . . ?

(And I'm not trying to "lay anything on anybody"... if it makes sense to you, great; if not, it was just a friendly intellectual discussion where not everyone took the same view.)

The 'science' thing: you're quite right that the science thing these days can be anything but scientific, and the scientific method (which is a separate idea) not always followed very rigorously. As far as I recall, it was used as a sort of byline, an exhortation, certainly not some "Class A" pronouncement from "on high". We can recognise that some of the things that people aspire to -- and Wiliam James' "Varieties of Religious Experience" is not a bad bencmark -- can be investigated rather better with some scientific discipline than without. By the way, one of the main scientific principles I'd add to those usually quoted as the "scientific method", as well as the points you have indeed correctly noted, is that of Karl Popper, called "falsifiability" -- it distinguishes between things that are theories but can't be proved one way or the other but might still have their uses (such as Freudian psychoanalysis), and those things which can be proved on the basis that one can imagine what would at least prove them false. (It's a bit heavy, but worth a quick read in my opinion.) Next, the scientific attitude is a state of mind. It is appropriate to some things and not others. Like music. Or Liber Astarte.

Memorisation -- Jung on Psychology of the Unconscious, or some reasonable summary of it such as that by Stevens. Some words to the wise on this can also be gleaned in the "tips" in Metteya's Equinox I essay on controlling the mind So of course some people might say, "Why not just spell it out, so everyone understands how it works, and then they'd do it: wouldn't that be better?" and it is not as if it some secret. The problem is simply that if you explain that to the Probationer he will likely soon think, "OK, great! I got the idea, yep!" but as he hasn't experienced how it works yet, he has only an intellectual idea of how it works, and he goes off into an idea of Jungian psychology instead of actually doing it in a way that really benefits him, big time.


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Anonymous
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"jamie barter" wrote:
"Los" wrote:
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. [...]

This is nothing more than a personal statement of opinion, is it?  (Like the whole of the posting, in fact.)

The fallacy repeated here can be partly addressed by a simple question.  Do you have any realization of infinite space?  (I do not refer to an intellectual apprehension of the possibility here, I am talking of a direct experience of the reality of it, the “consciousness of the continuity”…)  The rational Mind has no part in it.

quote]

@ Jamie, What fallacy are you referring to exactly?


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jamie barter
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"galangal" wrote:
"jamie barter" wrote:
Science is not the fairly meek, well-behaved and docile animal it was 110 years ago – now it is more of a literally ‘chaotic’ raging beast, quite impervious to reason.  And what is “the method of science” itself these days, when the whole empirical cause-and-effect basis of Test Hypothesis-Experiment-Observation-Conclusion is blown out of the water by the sacrilegious (for science) understanding that the nature of what is observed becomes changed by the act of observation of the observer.  As The Book of the Law interprets the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle: “There is no certain test.”  (In a similar way, everything which occurs happens in the past rather than the present, due to the 1/30 sec. lag/pause in consciousness whilst the brain receives, digests and interprets its sensory data gained from the ‘outside world’.)

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.

gurugeorge wrote:
    And memorizing (say memorizing your chosen chapter of LXV) is extremely important and mustn't be overlooked.  We should take our example from Karl Germer who memorized (or was it reconstructed-from-memory? can't remember!) LXV while in a concentration camp.

I’m not specifically disagreeing or agreeing with you here, Guru - remaining perfectly neutral for the sake of argument – but would you mind explaining why this should be and exactly how important you assess it (i.e. in relation to some other activity on the Path)?

Hi Jamie

May I please . . . ?

You may indeed, galangal!  And although I agree with most of the sentiments in your further reply I’m not sure you were addressing a particular point or question in my direction here – unlike

"david" wrote:
"jamie barter" wrote:
"Los" wrote:
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. [...]

This is nothing more than a personal statement of opinion, is it?  (Like the whole of the posting, in fact.)

The fallacy repeated here can be partly addressed by a simple question.  Do you have any realization of infinite space?  (I do not refer to an intellectual apprehension of the possibility here, I am talking of a direct experience of the reality of it, the “consciousness of the continuity”…)  The rational Mind has no part in it.

quote]

@ Jamie, What fallacy are you referring to exactly?

The fallacy that "this skeptical attitude causes supernaturalism to crumble", and that “it is impossible to be skeptical and also to accept that supernatural things are real”.

It’s quite funny, but I (and I imagine, many others) manage to do this so-called impossible thing quite regularly and easily – i.e., I can be skeptical (especially towards Los, for example) and also accept that some (at any rate) supernatural things are quite real to me – the specific instance I gave of infinite space is not something that can have a “natural” explanation, in terms of there being no start or finish, no cause & and nothing ‘outside’ of the known universe, etc.

I am still waiting - as ever! - for Los to answer all of my points, which cannot be that difficult to address, surely.  There must be some other reason he doesn’t want to play ball with me & winds up taking it away!

Probably ending up clucking & playing solitaire though:
N Joy 


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 Anonymous
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I don’t mind the seeming chaos of “what then”. Could it not be true that all the superlatives that appear to be attempting to nail down an ultimate, are just place holders for the myriad subjective experiences that any one star or point of consciousness might experience at the time of their own little enlightenment,  (another place holder). Not even attempting to assume there is only one enlightement. Like science keeps on discovering, and in many cases disproving, previous facts, maybe magick mysticism etc, are also just evolving sciences, not just in their methods and practice, but in their attainments. The bane of humanity is “The one true god, the one true path” etc, etc. Which much of the world proscribes to, as if the goal is fixed. So there is always a “what next”.
"Is there not joy ineffable in this aimless winging?". What could better describe this perpetual state of evolving superlatives.


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jamie barter
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Further to my posting above, galangal, you did address a more direct message to me back in Reply #61 which I thought I’d given an answer to, but it appears that I didn’t.  Some times I am slower at getting back than at others so apologies wherever that happens to be relevant, and for what it’s worth I make up for that now & also thank your for your germane remarks.

Reply #61 by galangal on July 04, 2014, 0446 pm:

Quote from: jamie barter on July 02, 2014, 1226 pm:
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.

There were two main reasons why I didn’t “further my studies”: firstly, and what acted as the catalyst, I broke my ankle when I landed awkwardly following a parachute jump which then caused an absence of a few months and upset the practice routine I’d built up.

But I had, by this time, also realized (as I had previously in connection with cross country running) that I needed to make a choice whether to spend, relatively, a lot more time & effort into advancing further (or “taking it seriously”), or being able to continue at the same time with more sensual indulgences which would interfere with a regimented practice: for instance much to the disapproval of Master Kim, my sadly departed martial arts instructor, I quite enjoy(ed) smoking and going for the occasional drink or bender – nothing too rockschoolish & extreme, but enough to upset a delicately built up fitness programme at the time, as anyone who has visited a gym with a hangover will only too clearly recognize (and by ‘visited’ I do of course mean availing oneself of the facilities there rather than just gawping at the exercisers on the machines going about their business, etc!). 

These days, I am a bit more of a lazy sod as far as that’s concerned.

(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.)

There isn’t a separate Yoga section, slightly surprisingly given there are ones on Magick and indeed Qabalah.  Does it make a difference, though?  It could be argued that both Magick and Yoga are aspects or subsets of the same main larger idea, which notion A.C. tipped his hat to when he included both in his schema for the original Book Four.

Quote from: jamie barter on July 02, 2014, 1226 pm:
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:  Sit still.  Stop thinking.  Shut up.  Get out.

Hehe... They do indeed have a stronger ring to them when you say, “those eight words”!

Quote:
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?

Yes, the whole of Magick in its entire Theory and Practice can also usefully be summarized in:

“Any required Change may be effected by the application of the proper kind and degree of Force in the proper manner through the proper medium to the proper object.” (Crowley - II: Postulate. Introduction.) 

That’s twenty-nine words in toto, but that ‘proper’ is the pig in the poke though!  (Would you like to have anything else summarized?  How about the meaning of life, the universe and everything?! ;D )

One does of course first have to accept that there was One who Attained

Though “of course” one doesn’t have to accept anything, including this statement (of course!!)

by the methods of the A∴A∴, who sailed over the sky of Nu in the car called Millions-of-Years,

The AA is, of course, in the service of your car (- or is that the other way around?!)

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 . . .

Yes, who is to say nay in each individual’s instance?

But there is a big leap from simple pratyahara, and from understanding the "eight words" intellectually,

Yes indeed, one can only understand things intellectually up to a certain point – and then any meaning(s) “drop off”, as it were…

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.

This comes under and is a part of “sitting still”, I think, the purpose of which being to monitor and then to eliminate or to minimize as far as possible all of the breaks.

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.

They must be cautious however: as this is not an occult site.

But this goes back to the thread title and the main question of debate – is pain to be construed as a sign that one is on the right or the wrong track?

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.

Or being in a flat with a neighbor with a noisy tv set (maybe even watching “Neighbors”).  Etc.

c) (and I hope this is worth alluding to since this is a Crowley board) someone who is interested in the K&C of the HGA. Clearly (b) and (c) are quite big life decisions.

Can’t think of any reason why anyone would say it’s not worth alluding to!

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.

I would say the converse here, i.e. that needs would tend to be more similar at the start (broadly speaking), and then individualise the further advanced each’s path then proceeds.  For example, one-pointed concentration exercises would have to be a fairly early, and universal, application!

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.

Yes!

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?

Not only possible but inevitable sooner or later, and especially with the emergence of ‘new’ paradigms.  The cabbalistic model of the “Tree of Life” is overdue for an update, for example.  Though there will always be some who allege “there is nothing that is new under the sun.”

There are a couple of ‘Chaos Magic’ approaches which can be quite useful in terms of streamlining – but again one would have to be very selective here and employ one’s powers of discrimination (that prime malkuthian virtue!) to the utmost.

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.

This is true, up to a point.  However as I have just recently pointed out, the quantum revolution means there is no longer any ‘certain test’ for science, or the methodology of it, to fall back on.

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")

Then whomsoever would profit by examining exactly why they appeared to have ‘missed the boat’, what learning experience was involved, and what advantages may have apparently been lost by not starting earlier.

The paragraph in general seems suggestively part of the broad panoply of Regrets (♪ I’ve had a few, too few to mention…) and those rather annoying people one sometimes meets who go around saying things like “You’ve only got the one life” and “This is not a rehearsal”!

(But as I said, I mention this only as the Forum section is called '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!)

But the yoga context of joining (= re-ligare, the root of religion) can also be said to pertain to the KCHGA or, the Bride communing with the Bridegroom (cf. Adonai in Liber LXV etc.)

Beast wishes,
N Joy


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gurugeorge
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"jamie barter" wrote:
"gurugeorge" wrote:
And memorizing (say memorizing your chosen chapter of LXV) is extremely important and mustn't be overlooked.  We should take our example from Karl Germer who memorized (or was it reconstructed-from-memory? can't remember!) LXV while in a concentration camp.

I’m not specifically disagreeing or agreeing with you here, Guru - remaining perfectly neutral for the sake of argument – but would you mind explaining why this should be and exactly how important you assess it (i.e. in relation to some other activity on the Path)?

Streamlines the mind to "think on these things" in a set way that helps attainment.  It's part of Niyama, the cultivation of virtuous habits.

With those texts, if you treat them reverentially, expecting each word to have multiple layers of meaning, and each passage to have several meanings layered on top of one another (e.g. referring at one and the same time to practice and also making a metaphysical point, for example), and you memorize the texts, they ... well, I guess you could say they "sink into the unconscious", they discipline your mind to work more efficiently (as a matter of habit) towards Attainment, thus forming a better mental basis for meditation, less scatter-brained, more focussed on what's important and essential in life.

(It's something to do, as an experiment.)

Another way of thinking about it: the Holy Books are literally extended magical spells worked on you, the Aspirant, by V.V.V.V.V., to help you get your arse into gear.


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Anonymous
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"jamie barter" wrote:
"david" wrote:
@ Jamie, What fallacy are you referring to exactly?

The fallacy that "this skeptical attitude causes supernaturalism to crumble", and that “it is impossible to be skeptical and also to accept that supernatural things are real”.

Scepticism does cause supernaturalism to crumble.  It's 2014 and we're still waiting for evidence for confirmed existence of  ESP, magickal powers, demons and ghosts.  No one cannot prove that such things are something other than the products of human imagination.  Noone can prove that a,"powerful demon" we evoked  , lol, made things happen in the physical world.

"jamie barter" wrote:
It’s quite funny, but I (and I imagine, many others) manage to do this so-called impossible thing quite regularly and easily – i.e., I can be skeptical (especially towards Los, for example) and also accept that some (at any rate) supernatural things are quite real to me – the specific instance I gave of infinite space is not something that can have a “natural” explanation, in terms of there being no start or finish, no cause & and nothing ‘outside’ of the known universe, etc.

Oh right, so because scientists use a paradigm that space is, "infinite" then that opens up a loophole whereby everything is all mysticism and fairies?

Thankyou for that, I needed a laugh tonight.

By the way I don't think you fully grasp what a fallacy really is and in fact  your statement about infinite space commits the fallacy of the faulty generalization i.e. reaching conclusions from faulty premises. 


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Michael Staley
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"david" wrote:
By the way I don't think you fully grasp what a fallacy really is.

I think he does. It's a common enough word, and there are plenty of dictionaries around


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Anonymous
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"Michael Staley" wrote:
"david" wrote:
By the way I don't think you fully grasp what a fallacy really is.

I think he does. It's a common enough word, and there are plenty of dictionaries around

as I just said to him, "By the way I don't think you fully grasp what a fallacy really is and in fact  your statement about infinite space commits the fallacy of the faulty generalization i.e. reaching conclusions from faulty premises" so err, you're wrong.  Why not join in the discussion as oppose to petty attacks?


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Los
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"david" wrote:
Scepticism does cause supernaturalism to crumble.

Yep. Of course, there are plenty of people who *think of* themselves as skeptics and also believe in supernatural stuff. But these folks are wrong in thinking that they are skeptics. A proper application of skepticism means that one does not accept claims for which there is insufficient evidence, and there is insufficient evidence for supernatural claims.

If anyone disagrees, they can feel free to make the case.

scientists use a paradigm that space is, "infinite"

Do they? I'm pretty sure the evidence suggests that the universe is expanding -- which is to say that it's not infinite.


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 Anonymous
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Thank you for the welcome, Jamie.

That was quite a long reply! I was going to go into more detail I think yet now I find I am pressed for time. I thought I'd comment quickly on the interest several people have noted in the LXV ii 24, the "aimless winging." This beautiful phrase is taken from the chapter of Liber LXV that is concerned with Air, our intellectual apprehension and reasoning. We see at the beginning of that chapter the identifiction with a seated hawk, balanced and stable, having mastered a certain stage where no distractions arise. Then, enjoying the ecstacy, the samadhi, comments on the Swan and its aimless winging. AUMGN. Next comes the eagle, another, yet different symbol of air, until in vs.41 we read, "Then the bird desired exceedingly this bliss, and laying down its wings became a faun of the forest."

One can acheive samadhi and in some practices, or for some people, it will be the goal itself: in others, a danger, or barrier to further progress. Yet the whole Chapter here deals with a particular approach to becoming ready for initiation, and the various stages of that approach (there is a different approach explained for each of the other elements, each chapter relating to one element). The candidate is to become proficient in each, to be sufficiently balanced in each of the corresponding aspects of his make-up. (This is not necessarily specific to the A∴A∴). The integration of these elements is to result in the most perfect essence of them that is achievable below the abyss as an offering to the influence which is communicated through gimel.

The fact that all this is verifiable from the text (and the Commentaries of Frater O.M., Aleister Crowley) is one of the remarkable achievements of Liber LXV in my opinion. It is one thing to soar to heights beyond the imagination of one's fellow man but another thing entirely to be able to actually explain it, so that it "makes sense" and can be fully rationalised.

As a visitor to this forum, I am not attempting to engage in the banter that I would if I were more of a 'fixture' - - some people will get very firm ideas about things and might take offence when none is intended. The forum clearly has a convivial place, such as where one might exchange small bits of info (such as your question a while back on hymns to the sun, for which I could at least refer an excellent sourcebook, and without knowing if it might satisfy your curiosity or not; and I think there was some similarly some trivial thing I was going to ask about). It is pleasant that sometimes there is also a more serious discourse and without people getting too hot under the collar if a correction is pointed out on a minor point.

When I eventually go online to reply, it seems that people are now debating skepticism again (another aspect of Ruach). It is good to sharpen one's skills in these things before going on to the goal I think. Hence Popper, but also Berkeley!


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jamie barter
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"gurugeorge" wrote:
Streamlines the mind to "think on these things" in a set way that helps attainment.  It's part of Niyama, the cultivation of virtuous habits.

With those texts, if you treat them reverentially, expecting each word to have multiple layers of meaning, and each passage to have several meanings layered on top of one another (e.g. referring at one and the same time to practice and also making a metaphysical point, for example), and you memorize the texts, they ... well, I guess you could say they "sink into the unconscious", they discipline your mind to work more efficiently (as a matter of habit) towards Attainment, thus forming a better mental basis for meditation, less scatter-brained, more focussed on what's important and essential in life.

(It's something to do, as an experiment.)

Another way of thinking about it: the Holy Books are literally extended magical spells worked on you, the Aspirant, by V.V.V.V.V., to help you get your arse into gear.

Thanks for your answering my query with your elucidation GuruGeorge. 

I'm not against memorization of the Holy Books as such for fairly similar motivations that you have expressed, and have even done so myself in a modest fashion.  However I don’t think people with poor memory recall skills would necessarily “miss out” or be unable to get their arses into gear if they are unable to compete mnemonically.  There is a further danger in people just doing it “parrot fashion” for appearance’s sake - but even with this there would still be a percolation into the subconscious also, as you rightly say.

"Michael Staley" wrote:
"david" wrote:
By the way I don't think you fully grasp what a fallacy really is.

I think he does. It's a common enough word, and there are plenty of dictionaries around

Thank you there Michael.

"david" wrote:
By the way I don't think you fully grasp what a fallacy really is and in fact  your statement about infinite space commits the fallacy of the faulty generalization i.e. reaching conclusions from faulty premises. 

David, david, david! It appears you are choosing to be in truculent mode again, or agitating as you may recall from our discussion of The Graduate – but so be it, if that’s your desire! Firstly, I am quite aware of what a fallacy is; secondly, I had not yet gone on to express my “[faulty] conclusions”

"david" wrote:
Scepticism does cause supernaturalism to crumble.  It's 2014 and we're still waiting for evidence for confirmed existence of  ESP, magickal powers, demons and ghosts.

Perhaps I should have clarified – scepticism does not cause supernaturalism to crumble absolutely, but I will give you that it may be able to whittle away pieces at a time, like pieces of a chalky cliff falling into the sea.  (Or perhaps you won’t you like my picturesque analogy here, either?!) 

"david" wrote:
No one cannot prove that such things are something other than the products of human imagination.  Noone can prove that a,"powerful demon" we evoked, lol, made things happen in the physical world.

Pardon me for schoolmagisterially pointing out that "No one cannot" is incorrect use of English; "Noone [sic] can" is correct.  But yes, I quite agree, no one can “prove anything”, if it comes down to it, and that all comes back to my contention that the uncertainty principle now makes the scientific method redundant in its widest application.

"david" wrote:
Oh right, so because scientists use a paradigm that space is, "infinite" then that opens up a loophole whereby everything is all mysticism and fairies?

Los is correct in his correction to you that scientists believe in an expanding finite universe.  (It then begs the question of what is outside that, of course.) If you want me to develop my “infinite space” argument further, I can do but you’re jumping ahead; I was originally waiting for Los himself to take a drink from my poison chalice, but you’ll do just as well. *Laugh*  So – why don't you reload, modify your question a little & let loose 'n' fire away at your target again?!

"david" wrote:
Thankyou for that, I needed a laugh tonight.

So glad to have been of service!  There’s nothing like a good laugh is there?

"galangal" wrote:
Thank you for the welcome, Jamie.

That was quite a long reply! I was going to go into more detail I think yet now I find I am pressed for time.

I try to be quite thorough, although when I do some other people sometimes bellyache at my occasional wordiness.  It would be a different matter if it was irrelevant, but I don’t think it is (obviously, or I wouldn’t have written it down!)  But everyone is entitled to their opinion and who is to say they might not occasionally be right and me in the wrong also, since I am delighted to learn & be correctly corrected.

"galangal" wrote:
That was quite a long reply! I was going to go into more detail I think yet now I find I am pressed for time. I thought I'd comment quickly on the interest several people have noted in the LXV ii 24, the "aimless winging." This beautiful phrase is taken from the chapter of Liber LXV that is concerned with Air, our intellectual apprehension and reasoning. We see at the beginning of that chapter the identifiction with a seated hawk, balanced and stable, having mastered a certain stage where no distractions arise. Then, enjoying the ecstacy, the samadhi, comments on the Swan and its aimless winging. AUMGN. Next comes the eagle, another, yet different symbol of air, until in vs.41 we read, "Then the bird desired exceedingly this bliss, and laying down its wings became a faun of the forest." [...]

Yes, there's quite a lot of "bird" stuff in this Airy Chapter of the sublime Book 65.  (A.C. mentions even more of them in The Heart of The Master, if anyone's interested.)

"galangal" wrote:
As a visitor to this forum, I am not attempting to engage in the banter that I would if I were more of a 'fixture' - - some people will get very firm ideas about things and might take offence when none is intended.

The only person you have to worry about taking offence is Paul, who I’m sure would soon advise if anything was out of line and whom I have found to be very reasonable & allowing of people a fair degree of slack on the whole.

"galangal" wrote:
As a visitor to this forum, I am not attempting to engage in the banter that I would if I were more of a 'fixture' - - some people will get very firm ideas about things and might take offence when none is intended. The forum clearly has a convivial place, such as where one might exchange small bits of info (such as your question a while back on hymns to the sun, for which I could at least refer an excellent sourcebook, and without knowing if it might satisfy your curiosity or not;

Yes, many thanks for that, I found it very interesting.

"galangal" wrote:
When I eventually go online to reply, it seems that people are now debating skepticism again (another aspect of Ruach).

Yes, I’ve noticed that too.  It seems all some people want to ever talk about!  You’d think they’d tire of it?  But some folk just will not accept that everything is subjective and relative and that nothing at all is entirely objective and absolute.

yoJ N


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"jamie barter" wrote:
"gurugeorge" wrote:
Streamlines the mind to "think on these things" in a set way that helps attainment.

However I don’t think people with poor memory recall skills would necessarily “miss out”

I thought he was just expanding on the point I was trying to make less obviously actually. The Class A books are formulas, and for the large part written in the sort of language the Unconscious understands. Jung analysed how archetypes shape complexes, good ones or bad ones. The archetypes form tendencies. You get rid of some unhealthy ones just through regular banishings and so on, but the creation of helpful archetypes is more important if you are on track and doing your will. It's part of the process whereby the Unconscious starts using thelemic archetypes automatically and is very powerful. At a later stage they help to shape your life in accordance with your will, being based on universal truth (rather than the ones floating around already). They mean little at the time they are learnt, but come back years later (the same way Freud would trace complexes back to childhood memories).

Memorising stuff is a pain. But the common sense view is that if a person is convinced they totally have to do it they not only will but find ways of getting better at it. (Psychological evidence for the former is starting to catch up; ways of improving memory, such as exercise, are now well established in mainstream science.) We have the cause-and-effect on the memorisation process, though it is too early to say whether people who don't memorise make up for it in other ways somehow and so don't "miss out" as you say, or vice versa. The story mnemonics of Libers such as Liber LXV certainly make it easier.  (If someone finds Liber LXV difficult, what about Invocations, Enochian or Barbarous Names?) But there are so many different ways of getting it done that it's probably better to let people work out their own or in their own time; and if someone thinks they don't need to learn such things, well, . . . that's their business I guess. Success is your proof.

The tips from Metteya are about habit formation, but by using the Unconscious in that quite simple way one gets an insight into the relationship. (Apparently he was rather good at memorising things as well, and doubtless an inspiration for those non-theistic Buddhist aspirants! )

Yes, there's quite a lot of "bird" stuff in this Airy Chapter of the sublime Book 65.  (A.C. mentions even more of them in The Heart of The Master, if anyone's interested.)

Yes - practically a list of archetypes!

"galangal" wrote:
hymns to the sun . . .

Yes, many thanks for that, I found it very interesting.

Quite a remarkable work of scholarship and over so many years of work . . .  .


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Shiva
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"Los" wrote:
... one might argue that ecstasy cannot be "pure" so long as there is consciousness around to experience it. The only purely ecstatic state might very well be complete annihilation, in which there is no consciousness around to experience anything at all.

That (annihilation) certainly is the theory implied in the OTO Outer Order series of rites:

The plan of the grades is this:
0º Attraction to the Solar System
Iº Birth
IIº Life
IIIº Death
IVº "Exaltation"
P.I, "Annihilation"
- Magick w/o Tears

... nobody knows 100% for sure that the sun will rise tomorrow, either.

That's right. However this truth might be a bit out of context with "knowing what then" (after death). At least the sun rising prediction is based on repeated "risings" over a really long period of time. Thus the probability of it happening is in the 99.999999+ (to the 93rd power) percentage range. But truly, this is less than 100%. The sun may move, or go out, or blow up. The earth may move, or blow up. You or I may go out or blow up. In fact, if it fails to rise, then we (including this thread) will probably go out. But we assume that the sun will rise, because it always has, and we rarely (if ever) even think about it.

But the probability of what happens after death is not based on long-term experience. All concepts of post-mortem existence are based on beliefs. The only part that is known, is that we will die (physically) - and sure there's also taxes -; but then the Christians introduce a concept that maybe it's possible to cheat death, so even there your "less than 100% certainty" applies.

Anyway, it is probable that the sun will "rise" tomorrow, and it is improbable that there is an afterlife consciousness. You are correct in thinking that annihilation is probably the key word.

Oh darn 😮  We even have to consider that the sun does not rise at all, and never has. The truth is that the sun appears to rise, but really the earth rotates.  Alas!  Illusion. illusion everywhere.

All of our knowledge is tentative: it is what we deem to be most likely based on the evidence at our disposal. And the evidence that we have (right now, at least) sure seems to suggest that consciousness emerges from brain activity, and it at least seems likely that once your brain stops working, "you" cease to be.

I accept this concept, and admit that maybe something might survive, but I doubt it, and this is all subjective, and I'll just have to wait and see (like everyone else).

A proper application of skepticism means that one does not accept claims for which there is insufficient evidence, and there is insufficient evidence for supernatural claims. If anyone disagrees, they can feel free to make the case.

My only case involves the word "supernatural," in which case I agree with you. There are only "natural" phenomena." That is, there is a "natural" cause-and-effect principle involved in happenings. Sometimes we can't trace the principle. Of course, the mind may attribute impossible or incorrect causes to some effects, in which case there is illusion, more illusion, until a religion is formed. As a matter of fact (fact?), all religions seem to include some sort of supernatural BS; Taoism may be free of that taint, but then a lotta folks claim Taoism is a philosophy, and not a religion; The religious Taoists are seen to be mistaken cranks.


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"Los" wrote:
[

Do they? I'm pretty sure the evidence suggests that the universe is expanding -- which is to say that it's not infinite.

I assumed they did.  It's one of those debatable issues but yes Hubble's theory is widely accepted.


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

This is nothing more than a personal statement of opinion, is it?  (Like the whole of the posting, in fact.)

The fallacy repeated here can be partly addressed by a simple question.  Do you have any realization of infinite space?  (I do not refer to an intellectual apprehension of the possibility here, I am talking of a direct experience of the reality of it, the “consciousness of the continuity”…)  The rational Mind has no part in it.  (If it does, please someone explain how.  In ‘fact’, it might help things along a bit Los, if you could state whether you ‘believe’ in infinite space or not. And by corollary, we have also have e.g., 2/3rds expressed as a decimal (i.e., 666 recurring) and the infinite series of Pi (3.141593 etc…)  - do you ‘believe’ in these un/super natural conceptions also?

The fallacy repeated here?  That's wrong.  There were no fallacies in Los’s statements.  I think that your statement is a red-herring fallacy.  You espouse, "Realizations of infinite space" (?) What , like subjective euphoric, intuitive flashes of insight sort of thing?  Such subjective experience doesn't explain anything.  Only reason explains.

You then tried to challenge that non existent (alleged) fallacy of Los's with another fallacy when you insinuated that the following phenomena are evidence for ,“supernaturalism” ; (1) space may be infinite (2) the value of Pi is infinitely regressive as is  the value of 2/3.    I would say that this is a fallacy namely the fallacy of False Attribution i.e.  appealing to an irrelevant source in support of an argument.  In terms of the mathematical language invented, the quantitative value of space (infinite or finite whatever that's irrelevant) or of 2/3 or 22/7 does not bolster the argument for supernaturalism does it?.  Maths is a language, a symbol system we invented to try and describe things.  The fact that this language involves infinite regression is neither here nor there for this argument about supernaturalism.

You say, "I am talking of a direct experience of the reality of it (infinite space), the consciousness of the continuity…)  The rational Mind has no part in it" but the rational Mind is the only tool we have for understanding which propositions are likely to be true and which are likely to be false.

This is a common pit that a lot of supernaturalist Thelemites have fallen into and I suspect that it stems from the following parts of Liber Al which they wrongly interpret as an admonition against scepticism and as a championing of a metaphysical, supernaturalist  outlook;

"27. There is great danger in me; for who doth not understand these runes shall make a great miss. He shall fall down into the pit called Because, and there he shall perish with the dogs of Reason
32. Also reason is a lie; for there is a factor infinite & unknown; & all their words are skew-wise.
33. Enough of Because! Be he damned for a dog!"

I can see how someone would fall into that pit but Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law does not inherently contain any supernaturalist position.


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Los
 Los
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"david" wrote:
I can see how someone would fall into that pit but Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law does not inherently contain any supernaturalist position.

Bravo. I agree with pretty much everything in your post.


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I thought Michael was going to reply to Shiva’s remarks from Reply #100 but as nearly a week has gone by (and I will be away for 2 or 3 days more) and he hasn’t availed himself of the opportunity, I am sure he won’t mind if I jump in and do so by proxy, as it were. (I hope he doesn’t; but can also always add his own comments afterwards, if he so wishes.)

Reply #100 by Shiva on August 24, 2014, 0918 pm:
Quote from: Michael Staley on August 24, 2014, 0646 pm
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?

The only "experience" that I would consider significant is the stopping of the mind. This can be "proved" via encephalography. Ken Wiber shows how this is done at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFFMtq5g8N4
This is simply an objective measurement.

Objective should surely come with question marks around, as you [anyone] would be subjectively watching and measuring it subjectively by their own criteria right or wrong.

Reply #100 by Shiva on August 24, 2014, 0918 pm:
Of course Ken is demonstrating this as a temporary phenomenon.

As you consistently appear to be saying, though, simply everything is temporary, even the lifetime experience of the universe itself (13.7 billion years and counting).

Reply #100 by Shiva on August 24, 2014, 0918 pm:
Those who seem to have stopped their minds permanently "prove" their attainment by allowing others into their presence, and then those others (subjectively) note their own response. The folks who sat around Ramana Maharshi and UG Krishnamurti reported a feeling of peace - that's why they sat there for hours or days: to dwell in a peace that they could not attain otherwise.

Couldn’t the lazy buggers have generated the peaceful force-field themselves instead?

Reply #100 by Shiva on August 24, 2014, 0918 pm:
Quote
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?

You don't need to prove it. You can just say "I had a sense of rapture and wonder," and I or anyone else who is sensitive to subtlety will know what you mean.

All a bit vague.  A bit ‘unscientific’?

Reply #100 by Shiva on August 24, 2014, 0918 pm:
Quote
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?

A lengthy discourse, with examples, would suffice. For example, your posts over the years indicate that you have attained a great deal of insight.

Not so – if the writer had e.g. plagiarized someone else’s work and was not therefore the true author.  By this sleight-of-hand, it would not in this instance indicate that (s)he had attained “a great deal of insight”.

Reply #100 by Shiva on August 24, 2014, 0918 pm:
Quote
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?

Let's keep in mind that I am currently dedicated to questioning people's statements about their "results" or the "results" that can theoretically be attained. Who cares if someone did some practice and obtained some "result?" I would hazard a guess and say that 99.9% of readers and posters here on lashtal have had "results," either from yoga or magick or libation or excessive exercise. I imagine that most of the posters here have entered into mystical states where they lose their sense of self and "become" someone else or something else or even have become "everything else." (see dhyana; samadhi).

Seems self-contradictory here: it’s not sufficiently clear what you do care about then!

Reply #100 by Shiva on August 24, 2014, 0918 pm:
So what? This is the Aleister Crowley Society and AC indicated that there are states of "enlightenment" and "attainment" (see One Star in Sight),

You could say OSIS has a lot to answer for!

Reply #100 by Shiva on August 24, 2014, 0918 pm:
and there are indications that these states are permanent. That is, one can change their point of view and sense of who they are, and that they will become fulfilled or happy or vindicated.

This is a contradiction, i.e., permanent ≠ change[d].

Reply #100 by Shiva on August 24, 2014, 0918 pm:
That's what Liber AL promises.

- And what does Liber AL say about promises? (III:16)

Reply #100 by Shiva on August 24, 2014, 0918 pm:
But I don't see it happening, and if someone says "it" is so fabulous, or "my result" is so grand," then I'm going to question that statement.

So the only difference between this and the example given six sections above seems to be this one is saying “I had a sense of ‘it’ giving me a ‘fabulous and grand result’ and the other one says “I had a sense of ‘it’ giving me 'rapture and wonder'?”  In other words, it all comes down to English stylee?!?

Reply #100 by Shiva on August 24, 2014, 0918 pm:
Again:
Quote
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?

That's my point. Why bother to even mention it in the first place? And if one needs to "just get on with mystical and magical work," then they've not reached the plateau yet, have they? And so who are they to be proclaiming "results" that are temporay wisps of dust?

But in that case why then should anyone bother to “proclaim” anything, since everything (including all experiences and results) is temporary and subjective?

Reply #113 by Shiva on August 27, 2014, 0818 pm:
Quote from: jamie barter on August 27, 2014, 1207 pm
(So) what, then?

Even Liber AL chimes in: "Think not, o king, upon that lie: That Thou Must Die: verily thou shalt not die, but live. Now let it be understood: If the body of the King dissolve, he shall remain in pure ecstasy for ever." Another promise of immortality - or at least of ecstatic longevity. Well, guess what? He died. His body dissolved (burned up) and we are to believe that he is now still existing in an ecstatic state - and there he shall remain forever. And so will you; and so will I; and those other guys too; as long as they be kings.

But the truth of the matter is that all these promises were simply sermons or books written down by dudes who were "inspired." And the other part of that truth is that nobody really knows what then

Does this mean that you do not accept the proposition that Liber AL was dictated by a praetor-human intelligence but that A.C. was ‘merely’ inspired to write it?  Just asking! (for the record – you may well have stated it before in one of your early posts on the Lash but I (at least) have not read all of those.)

Reply #114 by Los on August 27, 2014, 0932 pm:
Quote
nobody really knows what then

Sure, nobody knows for sure, but nobody knows 100% for sure that the sun will rise tomorrow, either. All of our knowledge is tentative: it is what we deem to be most likely based on the evidence at our disposal. And the evidence that we have (right now, at least) sure seems to suggest that consciousness emerges from brain activity, and it at least seems likely that once your brain stops working, "you" cease to be.

You mean relative instead of tentative here, surely.  And ‘right now’ is relative to ‘right then’ (i.e., at some point in the future.)

Reply #119 by jamie barter on: August 28, 2014, 0551 pm:
Quote:
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.
This comes under and is a part of “sitting still”, I think, the purpose of which being to monitor and then to eliminate or to minimize as far as possible all of the breaks.

I was hoping someone might have taken me to task and made out a case for saying this could come under “Shutting up” as well…

NJ
yo


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I thought I would personally have a go at an answer to the original question
Yoga : is it meant to be excruciating?
Yes it is.


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Michael Staley
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MANIO - it's all in the egg
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Me too.
No, it's not.


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Shiva
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"jamie barter" wrote:
Does this mean that you do not accept the proposition that Liber AL was dictated by a praetor-human intelligence ... ?

Praetor  Etymology
From the Anglo-Norman pretour, pretore, the Middle French preteur (from the Old French pretor; compare the Modern French préteur), and their etymon, the Classical Latin praetor (“leader”, “commander”, “magistrate”); the Latin praetor being contracted from *praeitor (“one who goes before”) ???

Human "commander" or "leader?" No.
"One who goes before" [a] human, [the] human(s)? No.
"Higher," "better," "above," "beyond," "super," "other than" human? No.

No, sorry, I cannot accept that Liber AL was written/dictated by anyone/anything other than Edward Alexander Crowley, a human being, or that the Koran was dictated by Gabriel, or that the bible was written by human guys who were listening to Him (IHVH, etc). Granted, these scribes may have been listening to some part of their minds that was not "normally" audible; they may have even been seeing some coincidental visions; some people think they all had imbibed some sort of cactus or mushroom.

I, myself, have heard such voices and seen such visions. And I even wrote some of it down. Please send money to support my holy work - PayPal accepted. It even seemed like the words were coming from some source/entity other than myself. But time has passed and shown me the error or my ways. So I understand the concept of so-called "external dictation and rapid scribbling," sometimes known as channeling. All of Crowley's "proofs" and "internal confirmations" of Liber AL being dictated by a separate being of superhuman intelligence are Qabalistic word-letter games and simple syncronicities that can be explained by other means.


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"Shiva" wrote:
"jamie barter" wrote:
Does this mean that you do not accept the proposition that Liber AL was dictated by a praetor-human intelligence ... ?

Praetor  Etymology
From the Anglo-Norman pretour, pretore, the Middle French preteur (from the Old French pretor; compare the Modern French préteur), and their etymon, the Classical Latin praetor (“leader”, “commander”, “magistrate”); the Latin praetor being contracted from *praeitor (“one who goes before”) ???

Human "commander" or "leader?" No.

As I’m sure you probably guessed you naughty man, I meant “praeter” but somehow it got changed over to “praetor”.  Bit mean of you to berate me over a typo, when my typing on the whole is pretty accurate but like with everyone the odd one or two errors slip through...!

"david" wrote:
The fallacy repeated here?  That's wrong.  There were no fallacies in Los’s statements.  I think that your statement is a red-herring fallacy.

You are entitled to your opinion here david, for all that it is worth and which is what this expression of yours in the end comes down to: the fact that you “think” it though does not make it so.

"david" wrote:
You espouse, "Realizations of infinite space" (?) What , like subjective euphoric, intuitive flashes of insight sort of thing?  Such subjective experience doesn't explain anything.  Only reason explains.

No, I wasn’t (just) espousing “euphoric flashes of insight sort of thing” here in the context of this discussion, although I don’t think it should necessarily be discounted either from being a part of it except for the fact that you seem to be seeking to capitalize on confusing the matter by choosing to include the implied emotionalism of ‘euphoric’.
I gave the example of ‘infinite space’, and asked whether Los (or you, or any other ‘skeptic’) would accept the omnipresent “reality” of the concept – i.e., would it be as normal and instantaneous to your perception as your realization that space (= the sky) is blue, for example?

"david" wrote:
You then tried to challenge that non existent (alleged) fallacy of Los's with another fallacy when you insinuated that the following phenomena are evidence for ,“supernaturalism” ; (1) space may be infinite (2) the value of Pi is infinitely regressive as is  the value of 2/3.

If not (i.e., you don't or cannot accept this realization of infinite space), I would suggest the problem (if that is the right word) lies with the “infinite”/”infinity” aspect of it rather than the “space” part.  I then gave examples of how the reality of infinity does fit in with everyday ‘normal’ shared experience: the point 666 recurring and π ongoing for ever, specifically (I could go on to give further examples of “unnatural” “unreasonable” “illogical” mathematical behavior – for example √-1, but I would hope these two on those terms would prove sufficient for purpose, but if not please state why and I will try to adapt my response further to you better.)

"david" wrote:
I would say that this is a fallacy namely the fallacy of False Attribution i.e.  appealing to an irrelevant source in support of an argument.

Obviously I would take the counter position here and say: no, it isn’t! (bit like a pantomime)

"david" wrote:
In terms of the mathematical language invented, the quantitative value of space (infinite or finite whatever that's irrelevant) or of 2/3 or 22/7 does not bolster the argument for supernaturalism does it?.  Maths is a language, a symbol system we invented to try and describe things.

When you wrote above “Only reason explains [anything]” you were off the mark – it only explains anything so far.  And there are always exceptions.  And, as you quote, “reason is a lie”. I’d chosen to look at a ‘reasonable’ explanation in mathematical or number terms, since maths is regarded by some as the ‘purest’ science.  (It is also the basis on which some Thelemites believe the universe exists – e.g. in cabbalistic terms its unity (1) comes from nothing (0) and develops onwards into 2, 3, 4 etc…. which eventually gives rise to shared, common everyday reality in the Kingdom of Malkuth on the plane of Assiah.)
But please could you explain how does Reason explain the following though: if space is finite but expanding, what caused it to originate from a given point and where does it end; what is it expanding into?

"david" wrote:
The fact that this language involves infinite regression is neither here nor there for this argument about supernaturalism.

Why is it neither here nor there, beyond just because you say it so? 

Again it’s an individual subjective viewpoint rather than an objective universal circumstance.  Neither is it exactly clear whether your problem is with using maths as a language of communication, or positing an infinite regress within it.  Again: who says (=arbitrates) this particular argument has to be excluded (=restricted), and upon what grounds?

Let us try to define our terms in the English language as well, though, since we are all trading in its common currency, and for the following reason if no other: it satisfies the purposes of communication by being both the language of magick and also that of ‘reasonable’ commonplace discourse.  This is also at least one thing – probably the only?! – that proponents of both the ‘school’ of skepticism and the ‘school’ of supernaturalism will have in common together.  These are difficult matters to put into words though but I will try my best & ask you to bear with me if I come up short.

You do not define what you understand by supernaturalism (Los has done so; I take it you duplicate his point-of-view therefore?  If not, please state where yours and his might diverge.)  Myself, I tend to rather incline towards Shiva’s stated point-of-view in Reply #128 that there’s nothing really “super” about it (the Latin root super meaning ‘above’ or ‘beyond’) and that it simply concerns aspects of nature which haven’t been discovered yet, and that although it specifically involves a ‘cause-and-effect’ principle there’s no reason why apparently Acausal phenomena can’t be included as well, for the same explanation (i.e., a cause is yet to be discovered.*) 18th century theatregoers would attribute a contemporary 3D film, if they could view it, to supernatural causes and yet to us now it is a completely natural (if complicated) component of our present-day society.
(*Shiva then spoils his case a bit by then attributing ‘supernatural BS’ to all religion: either “there are only natural phenomena” or there are not.)

"david" wrote:
You say, "I am talking of a direct experience of the reality of it (infinite space), the consciousness of the continuity…)  The rational Mind has no part in it" but the rational Mind is the only tool we have for understanding which propositions are likely to be true and which are likely to be false.

Understanding, in a cabalistic sense, is related to the sephiroth of Binah which lies beyond Reason/ the Ruach on the Tree of Life.  The Rational Mind is not the tool we have need of to understand – for there is also the Intuitive Mind, which relates to the Neschamah.
Again, this is cabbalistically speaking – or please tell me david if you have no truck with the Qabalah either? (It’s sometimes hard to tell with you where you may be coming from, from post to post.)  Neither you nor Los have so far explained how the Rational Mind beneath the Supernals has a part to play in all of this.  Or whether you accept/believe in/realize infinite space yourselves.

“Likely to be true” and “Likely to be false”: Yes, quite so –likely.  Not definitely.  Not certainly.  Not absolutely.  But the very best you can arrive at is “in all possibility/ likelihood”.

"david" wrote:
This is a common pit that a lot of supernaturalist Thelemites have fallen into and I suspect that it stems from the following parts of Liber Al which they wrongly interpret as an admonition against scepticism and as a championing of a metaphysical, supernaturalist  outlook;

Your last 2 paragraphs (3 including the quotes from Liber AL, of which the above was the first) do not follow on although I don’t completely disagree with what you’ve written here: some Thelemites may indeed not apply sufficient skepticism themselves.  But you and Los go overboard,, and like I suggested to him in Reply #112 I venture that if you have not done so already, you might apply the art of skepticism to the act of skepticism itself, and then be skeptical about that, etc., etc., for as long as may be necessary (you can choose those bits for yourselves…! 😀 )

"david" wrote:
I can see how someone would fall into that pit but Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law does not inherently contain any supernaturalist position.

Did I make any remark in this thread to suggest Do what thou wilt contains any inherent supernaturalist position?  I'm not sure that I did; but I can’t see where that came from nor quite see its relevance here to the matter under discussion.  (Talk about red herrings!)

"david" wrote:
Oh right, so because scientists use a paradigm that space is, "infinite" then that opens up a loophole whereby everything is all mysticism and fairies?

Not everything of course.  But it’s a first step.  Mysticism and faeries might come a little bit later on in the argument: if I could just ask, though, what aren’t people allowed to believe in - in your viewpoint - because you perceive it to be not true?  (But precedent having been set, infinite space is the thin end of the wedge, yes.  Softly softly, catchee monkey.)

"Los" wrote:
"david" wrote:
I can see how someone would fall into that pit but Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law does not inherently contain any supernaturalist position.

Bravo. I agree with pretty much everything in your post.

Long may the honeymoon continue - although I have my skepticism about that! - but meanwhile send lots of kisses to the lovely couple...
XX N Joy


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Azidonis
(@azidonis)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2967
 

10 pages focused on the dukkha (pain, suffering) of yoga...

...can we get 10 pages focused on the relief of dukkha by use of yoga?

That is what moksha is, after-all...


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Shiva
(@shiva)
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Joined: 14 years ago
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"jamie barter" wrote:
I meant “praeter” but somehow it got changed over to “praetor”.  Bit mean of you to berate me over a typo ...

No way, José. I just ran a search of your spelling and found "before." When I ran a search of praeter, I found no Google suggestion. I admit being confused. But "Beyond" was cited in my reply and will do well enough for my denial. No beratal was intended - in this case. Let's look at praeter ...

praeter Adv. "beyond, past; beside, contrary to, beyond; more than; except; in addition to."

Merriam-Webster.com sez: "This word doesn't usually appear in our free dictionary, but the definition from our premium Unabridged Dictionary is offered here on a limited basis. Note that some information is displayed differently in the Unabridged."

Same thing (praetor/praeter), more or less.

I cited: ""Higher," "better," "above," "beyond," "super," "other than" human? No."

Same thing, almost exactly.

So let's forget the spelling and get back to English, instead of Latin. "Beyond human" ::)

Bottom line, regardless of spelling: No, I do not accept the proposition.

I now beg to be excused from the discussion, except to say, "No (also), Yoga was not meant to be excruciating."


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jamie barter
(@jamie-barter)
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Posts: 1688
 
"Shiva" wrote:
"jamie barter" wrote:
I meant “praeter” but somehow it got changed over to “praetor”.  Bit mean of you to berate me over a typo ...

No way, José. I just ran a search of your spelling and found "before." When I ran a search of praeter, I found no Google suggestion. I admit being confused. But "Beyond" was cited in my reply and will do well enough for my denial.

And I thought you were going on about “commanders” and magistrates"!?!

"Shiva" wrote:
No beratal was intended - in this case.

That’s nice, then!

"Shiva" wrote:
Bottom line, regardless of spelling: No, I do not accept the proposition.

I now beg to be excused from the discussion, except to say, "No (also), Yoga was not meant to be excruciating."

"Do what thou wilt”!

… shall be the whole of the Law
N Joy


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Anonymous
 Anonymous
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"Los" wrote:
"david" wrote:
I can see how someone would fall into that pit but Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law does not inherently contain any supernaturalist position.

Bravo. I agree with pretty much everything in your post.

Thankyou.


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jamie barter
(@jamie-barter)
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Posts: 1688
 
"david" wrote:
"Los" wrote:
"david" wrote:
I can see how someone would fall into that pit but Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law does not inherently contain any supernaturalist position.

Bravo. I agree with pretty much everything in your post.

Thankyou.

“Pretty much” everything - wonder which bit Los didn't agree with?

And thankyou, david, for managing to ignore my post.  You appear to be learning well (incidentally I’m employing sarcasm here - translation: picking up bad habits) from your new master.  I’ll draw the conclusion (as I’m sure will others) & take it that you (as Los has done similarly previously) found my argument(s) to be so amazingly watertight & splendid in every respect that you were unable to respond in kind.

♫  "... Thankyou very much (for the Aintree iron), thankyou very much, thankyou very very very much"  ♫
N Joy


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Anonymous
 Anonymous
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"jamie barter" wrote:

And thankyou, david, for managing to ignore my post.  You appear to be learning well (incidentally I’m employing sarcasm here - translation: picking up bad habits) from your new master.  I’ll draw the conclusion (as I’m sure will others) & take it that you (as Los has done similarly previously) found my argument(s) to be so amazingly watertight & splendid in every respect that you were unable to respond in kind.

♫  "... Thankyou very much (for the Aintree iron), thankyou very much, thankyou very very very much"  ♫
N Joy

Actually Jamiie I did have my fingertips on the keuyboard ready to reply to your response but I didn't want to get bogged down with it.  The main reason being that I feel you have not added anything new to your original response and I felt that my succint answer covered everything I needed to say on the matter.  I recommend that you reread it.  Oh,  and learn not to let your ego gnash away when someone appears to ignore you.  See through your ego distortions it'll be great magickal practice.


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Shiva
(@shiva)
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And so (^) the thread degenerates further and further ...

[move:1ymm1jx7]Is/was Yoga meant to be excruciating?[/move:1ymm1jx7]

No ... but differents folks react differently. Early on, I found very little excruciation in my selected position (the dragon - same as observed in many martial arts), but after 45 minutes or so, when I "came out" of the position, I found that my legs would not work properly, and there was this (somewhat) painful tingling as sensation returned to "normal." If one is bent on practicing the pretzel-shapes of hatha yoga, then there is a greater chance of excusciation being encountered during the attempts to "hold" the poses in a stationary manner.


Hold this for 20 minutes while performing dharana, please
- be sure to count all breaks accurately -[/align:1ymm1jx7]


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jamie barter
(@jamie-barter)
Member
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Posts: 1688
 

A Shame that with your “Edit” you still nevertheless didn’t manage to amend your three rather conspicuous spelling mistakes in, what, the space of two lines?  Strictly for your own benefit, I hope you succeed in managing to pay more attention to detail in your own magickal work!

"david" wrote:
Actually Jamiie I did have my fingertips on the keuyboard ready to reply to your response but I didn't want to get bogged down with it.  The main reason being that I feel you have not added anything new to your original response and I felt that my succinct answer covered everything I needed to say on the matter.

Then I beg to differ, as the saying goes!

"david" wrote:
I recommend that you reread it.

Been there, done that; but learned nothing new!

"david" wrote:
Oh,  and learn not to let your ego gnash away when someone appears to ignore you.

If you have read Lashtal at all regularly over the last eighteen months or so you would realize that this is nothing new either – I am rather good at asking people questions people they don’t like answering back, for one reason or another (if I say so myself) – and to which my reaction is like water off the proverbial duck’s back...

"david" wrote:
See through your ego distortions it'll be great magickal practice.

I’ll try to, master! (or should that syntactically be, “I’ll try to master [it]”?!)

Thankyou again very very very very much for all your leanèd [sic] wisdom!
'N Joy


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Anonymous
 Anonymous
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"jamie barter" wrote:

I gave the example of ‘infinite space’, and asked whether Los (or you, or any other ‘skeptic’) would accept the omnipresent “reality” of the concept – i.e., would it be as normal and instantaneous to your perception as your realization that space (= the sky) is blue, for example?

As I said originally it's irrelevant.

"jamie barter" wrote:
When you wrote above “Only reason explains [anything]” you were off the mark – it only explains anything so far

y'see this is a ludicrous statement.  What?  Reason has the end say.  End.

 

"jamie barter" wrote:
But please could you explain how does Reason explain the following though: if space is finite but expanding, what caused it to originate from a given point and where does it end; what is it expanding into?

[

As I said originally, (I don't know if you  read it properly, which is why I asked you to reread it) humans use maths and concepts such as infinity as part of a symbol- set to try and explain nature don't they?.  The whys and wherefores of pre existence and other such mystical musings are irrelevant.  They are particularly irrelevant for discovering your True Will y'know moment to moment in the real world.

"jamie barter" wrote:
?
The fact that this language involves infinite regression is neither here nor there for this argument about supernaturalism
Why is it neither here nor there, beyond just because you say it so? 

Again it’s an individual subjective viewpoint rather than an objective universal circumstance.  Neither is it exactly clear whether your problem is with using maths as a language of communication, or positing an infinite regress within it.  Again: who says (=arbitrates) this particular argument has to be excluded (=restricted), and upon what grounds?

Let us try to define our terms in the English language as well, though, since we are all trading in its common currency, and for the following reason if no other: it satisfies the purposes of communication by being both the language of magick and also that of ‘reasonable’ commonplace discourse.  This is also at least one thing – probably the only?! – that proponents of both the ‘school’ of skepticism and the ‘school’ of supernaturalism will have in common together.  These are difficult matters to put into words though but I will try my best & ask you to bear with me if I come up short.

You do not define what you understand by supernaturalism (Los has done so; I take it you duplicate his point-of-view therefore?  If not, please state where yours and his might diverge.)  Myself, I tend to rather incline towards Shiva’s stated point-of-view in Reply #128 that there’s nothing really “super” about it (the Latin root super meaning ‘above’ or ‘beyond’) and that it simply concerns aspects of nature which haven’t been discovered yet, and that although it specifically involves a ‘cause-and-effect’ principle there’s no reason why apparently Acausal phenomena can’t be included as well, for the same explanation (i.e., a cause is yet to be discovered.*) 18th century theatregoers would attribute a contemporary 3D film, if they could view it, to supernatural causes and yet to us now it is a completely natural (if complicated) component of our present-day society.
(*Shiva then spoils his case a bit by then attributing ‘supernatural BS’ to all religion: either “there are only natural phenomena” or there are not.)

You seem to want to introduce or sneak in  some sort of meta-naturalistic, "reality" just because we use the symbol and construct known as , "infinity".  Nature is that which is observed by the senses and the tools of the senses.  Anything else is an absurdity.

"jamie barter" wrote:
Understanding, in a cabalistic sense, is related to the sephiroth of Binah which lies beyond Reason/ the Ruach on the Tree of Life.  The Rational Mind is not the tool we have need of to understand – for there is also the Intuitive Mind, which relates to the Neschamah.
Again, this is cabbalistically speaking – or please tell me david if you have no truck with the Qabalah either? (It’s sometimes hard to tell with you where you may be coming from, from post to post.)  Neither you nor Los have so far explained how the Rational Mind beneath the Supernals has a part to play in all of this.  Or whether you accept/believe in/realize infinite space yourselves.

[

You want to know what I think of the cabbalah?  It's a philosophy that uses absurd tools that may or may not lead us to knowing our true inclinations but it's nothing  more than a tool. 
   
Infinite space?  Who knows?  I don't. 

Now that I've posted this, hopefully you feel more loved for it.


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Tao
 Tao
(@tao)
Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 316
 
"david" wrote:
I am no stranger to yoga.  I have done an hour of motionless sitting and e.g. 20 10 pranayama sat on a stool for an hour (hello Space)...

Infinite or finite? 😉

"david" wrote:
...but I am slowly recovering from a weekend of hobbling around and I couldn't walk properly early this week.  I thought I had done damage to my feet and ankles as I was doing vrajrasana every night the week prior, I got it up to a 15 minutes session.  It hurt so bad in the final session/sitting that my whole body was shaking.  Not shaking with tremors but pain- induced shaking. 

Anyway is all this pain right?  I pride myself on not being a masochist.

Pride goeth before the fall. And, if the direction of this thread is any indication, you have fallen deep into the clutches of masochism.
Alternately... what do you mean by right? What sort of value do you place on the practice that would allow us to judge the "rightness" of this particular result. As laid out by De Lege Libellum:

{B}y Evil we mean that which is in opposition to our own wills: it is therefore a relative, and not an absolute, term. For everything which is the greatest evil of some one is the greatest good of some other, just as the hardness of the wood which wearieth the axeman is the safety of him that ventureth himself upon the sea in a ship built of that wood. And this is a truth easy to apprehend, being superficial, and intelligible to the common mind.

"david" wrote:
Surely yoga should be  about discovering our own personal limitations without forcing or straining, slowly working sensitively, feeling our way and gradually building up a greater physical self awareness, thereby avoiding over exertion or injury?.

That depends entirely on what type of yoga one is practicing. And don't call me Shirley.

"david" wrote:
No pain no gain is for the hair-shirted saints of the old blackened aeon, surely?

Ditto. And ditto.
Also, you seem to once again be misunderstanding or misusing the symbolic "black".

"david" wrote:
Whilst we're on the subject, this Crowleyan god-asana, it's crushing my testicles and the ache from the inner thighs is like some sort of hernia.  I have to tuck my testicles up as my inner thighs squeeze in and when I push my diaphragm down it drags my testicles up, stretching them.    I mean 10 minutes of this can't be healthy, right?  Let alone an hour.

As my drag-queen friends have reminded me on many occasions, it takes a real man to withstand the pain of a tucked sack. Try dancing that way for a night and see if 10 minutes of sitting continues to bother you.  ;D


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newneubergOuch2
(@newneubergouch2)
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Yoga doesn't have to be excruciating or painful, ...but it  can be.

This thread:is it meant to be excruciating?


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jamie barter
(@jamie-barter)
Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 1688
 
"david" wrote:
[...] Now that I've posted this, hopefully you feel more loved for it.

Almost for the first time, your replies have got me flummoxed & perplexed for an answer, david.  I honestly don't know whether it would be worth it - I could try, but I hesitate about putting our fellow Lashtalians through the ongoing ordeal: I think they have probably suffered enough already in this thread, and I can't completely work out yet whether your intransigence is because you're genuinely obstinate and/or stupid, or you just want to come over as appearing that way.

It looks like we will have to agree to disagree on this one, then...

'til the next time:
N Joy


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Anonymous
 Anonymous
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Posts: 0
 
"Tao" wrote:

Pride goeth before the fall. And, if the direction of this thread is any indication, you have fallen deep into the clutches of masochism.
Alternately... what do you mean by right? What sort of value do you place on the practice that would allow us to judge the "rightness" of this particular result. As laid out by De Lege Libellum:
]

"david" wrote:
Whilst we're on the subject, this Crowleyan god-asana, it's crushing my testicles and the ache from the inner thighs is like some sort of hernia.  I have to tuck my testicles up as my inner thighs squeeze in and when I push my diaphragm down it drags my testicles up, stretching them.    I mean 10 minutes of this can't be healthy, right?  Let alone an hour.

As my drag-queen friends have reminded me on many occasions, it takes a real man to withstand the pain of a tucked sack. Try dancing that way for a night and see if 10 minutes of sitting continues to bother you.  ;D

The OP no longer interests me since I learnt/started zazen and hung out with some real zen monks.  I doubt I'll ever revisit their zendo but I liked their practicality.  OTOH there were aspects I didn't like namely their religiosity, their vegetarianism, their attachment to lineage, obligatory shaven heads, statues of Buddha, unnecessary Japanification,  reliance on some guru and the misunderstanding of true will.

Thankyou. 

http://zmm.mro.org/teachings/meditation-instructions/


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