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Michael Staley
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MANIO - it's all in the egg
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"david" wrote:
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.

Sure it's them that misunderstands, and not you?


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Anonymous
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"Michael Staley" wrote:
"david" wrote:
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.

Sure it's them that misunderstands, and not you?

Pretty much yes. 


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Tao
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"david" wrote:
"Michael Staley" wrote:
Sure it's them that misunderstands, and not you?

Pretty much yes.

Doubt.
Doubt Thyself.
Doubt even if thou doubtest thyself.
Doubt all
Doubt even if thou doubtest all.

It seems sometimes as if beneath all conscious doubt there lay some deepest certainty.  O kill it! slay the snake!

The horn of the Doubt-Goat be exalted!

Dive deeper, ever deeper, into the Abyss of Mind, until thou unearth that fox THAT.  On, hounds!  Yoicks!  Tally-ho!  Bring THAT to bay!

Then, wind the Mort!

Without the above, one will likely have difficulty in finding the True Zen, the True Will, the Tao not called Tao, and one's Yoga will continue to be excruciating.

With the above, one might finally have some luck in seeing through the fancy pictures one has created of oneself.


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Anonymous
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"Tao" wrote:
"david" wrote:
"Michael Staley" wrote:
Sure it's them that misunderstands, and not you?

Pretty much yes.

Doubt.
Doubt Thyself.
Doubt even if thou doubtest thyself.
Doubt all
Doubt even if thou doubtest all.

etc etc.  You're telling me to doubt?  Here, this is  a link to a brilliant essay on the shortfalls of Zen from a sceptical Thelemic perspective.  I suggest you read it thoroughly and get involved with it

http://thelema-and-skepticism.blogspot.co.uk/2014_01_01_archive.html


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Tao
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Hmmm... I thought this thread was about the excruciating nature of yoga, not the shortfalls of zen. But, if switching your perspective from Hessle critic to Los evangelist over the course of this thread has allowed you to find your path, more power to you brother.


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Anonymous
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"Tao" wrote:
Hmmm... I thought this thread was about the excruciating nature of yoga, not the shortfalls of zen. .

It was.  I asked the question and I have since found my answer.  I thought I explained that clearly enough.


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Shiva
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"david" wrote:
The OP no longer interests me since I learnt/started zazen and hung out with some real zen monks.

And how did Zendo relieve your interest in yoga-pain?

I didn't like ... their religiosity ...

It seems like every philosophy that becomes "organized" develops some sort of "religion," which is subject to great variation, but essentially comes down to "do this!" or "don't do that!" (Imposed yama-niyama or control of the congregation via the fourth [socio-sexual] neurocircuit).

... their vegetarianism

Yah! Those Buddhists and Hindoos and New Age vegans just don't enjoy killing and eating dogs, cats, cows and bats. It's actually a somewhat universal problem and may lead to the lesser animal kingdom supplanting the higher (human) animal kningdom. Then where will we be?

... their attachment to lineage

Holy previous guru!  There is the factor of ancestor worship that comes into play here, and it's going to be hard to stamp it out - especially in Asian societies. Why, just imagine what would happen if there were different "lineages" of Thelema, based on owning copyrights to written docs, or based on claims that some dude is the "real" successor to Crowley the Great - and those other claimants are false prophets ... or at least they are unworthy of power, worship or interpretive ability.

... obligatory shaven heads

This is intolerable and simply goes way too far.

"...  the Buddha cautioned against long hair. He said, 'The hair of the head should not be worn long. Whoever should do so: an offense of wrong doing.' "

F***ing long-haired heretics!!!

[/align:2vy51xht]

... statues of Buddha

This also is intolerable!  Next thing you know there'll be people making copies of steles and posting them upon their superaltars.

... unnecessary Japanification

Oh yeah. This is also sometimes encountered in martial arts, where the sensei insists that you learn various moves by their Japanese names ... as if the technique would not work if named in English (or your own downtown dialect). It is even hinted that there is some mystical power inherent in calling a movement in Japan-lingo.

... reliance on some guru

Well, we all know that this is wrong, and that "Obey my prophet" is just another power play. Also, certain Thelemic cults actually enact an Oath of Obedience ... accompanied by a lecture about a tent-pole that explains why you must surrender your Will to the Will of the G.M. (Grand Master, or Great Moghul).

... misunderstanding of true will.

No way!  Everybody understands this concept!  Even those ignorant Zen guys. 😉

... I have since found my answer.  I thought I explained that clearly enough.

You explained that you seem to have found your answer, but the explanation was merely a diatribal-rant list against Zen guys. Please explain the "anwser" about excuciating yoga.


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Anonymous
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"The answer" was provided in the zazen webpage link.  On the shaven head issue, here is a good interview/discussion about uniformity, prejudice  and individuality according to the Temple Ov Psychick Youth (circa 4m19s)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjssKDFlBZM 

Now whether zendos share similar values is debatable.  Maybe they do. 


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"jamie barter" wrote:

"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.)

I tried it to get it through to you that those concepts are human constructs.  Here, maybe Crowley can convince you (from MAGICK)


11) Science enables us to take advantage of the continuity of Nature by the empirical application of certain principles whose interplay involves different orders of idea connected with each other in a way beyond our present comprehension.

(Illustration: We are able to light cities by rule-of-thumb methods. We do not know what consciousness is, or how it is connected with muscular action; what electricity is or how it is connected with the machines that generate it; and our methods depend on calculations involving mathematical ideas which have no correspondence in the Universe as we know it.)

For instance "irrational", "unreal" and "infinite" expressions.       


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jamie barter
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Oh, so you want to open the silly argument up all over again?  That will make the both of us even more popular, david!  First, though, you would have to answer some of my questions from way back in Reply #136 – but let’s keep it short and sweet and primarily limit it in respect to:

Reply #136 by jamie barter on September 01, 2014, 01:06:34 pm:

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?

Since you remarked in

Reply #130 by david on August 30, 2014, 01:08:44 am:

Such subjective experience doesn't explain anything.  Only reason explains.

I then asked you:

Reply #136 by jamie barter on September 01, 2014, 01:06:34 pm:

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?

And thirdly/ finally:

Reply #136 by jamie barter on September 01, 2014, 01:06:34 pm:

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.]

Then david, all depending on your response – if I find it’s passably intelligent or even amusing - I’ll do my best to think about it…

(Say though, I wonder if this thread isn't in any likelihood of being locked any time soon?!?  😀 )

N-Joy


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Anonymous
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Jamie,

You're not getting it.  I won't be answering those regurgitated questions.  I was simply showing you that I found a quote by Crowley in which he backed up the point I made about infinity and irrational, regressive numbers being mere human constructs.  Simple.

I'm done with the subject. 

Cheers.


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jamie barter
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"david" wrote:
Jamie,

You're not getting it.  I won't be answering those regurgitated questions.  [...] I'm done with the subject.  Cheers.

Phew!

"david" wrote:
I was simply showing you that I found a quote by Crowley in which he backed up the point I made about infinity and irrational, regressive numbers being mere human constructs.
"david" wrote:
[...] Here, maybe Crowley can convince you (from MAGICK) [...]

Why yes I imagine you could always manage to dig out some quote by Crowley somewhere from his extensive writings to back up almost anything – a variation on the old “the devil can quote holy scripture” saying – and particularly when these can sometimes be so self-contradictory (as we have seen), therefore establishing not only the importance but the necessity of his Comment that “All questions of the Law are to be decided only by appeal to my writings, each for him[/her]self.

Incidentally, it will do you no good in the future if you typically respond to questions (as you have done) with “it’s irrelevant”.  This is not a proper answer; but if you must give, it, for a start you should always then state exactly why - on what grounds, etc. - you found it to be so.

For instance, you also made your comment about

Reply #145 by david on: September 05, 2014, 07:50:14 pm:

The whys and wherefores of pre existence and other such mystical musings are irrelevant.

without explaining how on earth musings on pre-existence (or the ‘time’ before we are all here at all) should be considered mystical?  Aren’t these questions fundamental to any right thinking person’s whole perception of reality?

You then immediately went on to mention

Reply #145 by david on: September 05, 2014, 07:50:14 pm:

They are particularly irrelevant for discovering your True Will y'know moment to moment in the real world.

Which wasn’t what we happened to be discussing!  Pay attention to relevance, sir!

Also, you’d jumped ahead right at the beginning to assume where you thought I would be going with my argument, without waiting for me to develop it in due course.  I would recommend you might refrain from this in the future.  You also remarked – somewhat fatuously, if I may say so - in Reply #158 that

"david" wrote:
I tried it to get it through to you that those concepts are human constructs.

But then, so isn’t every thing?!

I suppose when you previously answered

Reply #145 by david on: September 05, 2014, 07:50:14 pm:   

Infinite space?  Who knows?  I don't.

you were at least giving an honest reply, but the question wasn’t about “knowing” (in a mental, intellectual way of conceptualizing things, as I pointed out to you right at the beginning) but about feeling (Intuition, etc).  But you missed the point, unfortunately – as seems to be the general trend. 

Three more little gems I noticed, before I go.  You also remarked

Reply #145 by david on: September 05, 2014, 07:50:14 pm:

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.

Would A.C., compiler of 777, have described the quasi-scientific method of the “cabbalah” to be “absurd”?  I rather think not… In fact he would've been much more likely to have called you a bit of a "tool" for doing so... (imho)

Reply #145 by david on: September 05, 2014, 07:50:14 pm:

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.

(Who’s this “meta” when she’s at home?  Where'd she just creep in from?!)

Reply #145 by david on: September 05, 2014, 07:50:14 pm:

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

- No, Reason does not have the end say.  THAT is the [your] rather ludicrous statement…

“End.”

[sup:3misv3pu]'N[/sup:3misv3pu] J[sub:3misv3pu][sup:3misv3pu]O[/sup:3misv3pu]y[/sub:3misv3pu]


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Anonymous
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"jamie barter" wrote:

Why yes I imagine you could always manage to dig out some quote by Crowley somewhere from his extensive writings to back up almost anything – a variation on the old “the devil can quote holy scripture” saying – and particularly when these can sometimes be so self-contradictory (as we have seen), therefore establishing not only the importance but the necessity of his Comment that “All questions of the Law are to be decided only by appeal to my writings, each for him[/her]self.

Infinity is  a human construct.  You don’t get it.  That’s the last time i try to tell you that. 

"jamie barter" wrote:
Incidentally, it will do you no good in the future if you typically respond to questions (as you have done) with “it’s irrelevant”.  This is not a proper answer; but if you must give, it, for a start you should always then state exactly why - on what grounds, etc. - you found it to be so.

irrelevant....... for the purposes of keeping within the confines of this discussion.    Unfortunately you don’t seem to be able to keep up with the discussion therefore i was wrong to give you the benefit  of the doubt.

"jamie barter" wrote:
For instance, you also made your comment about

Reply #145 by david on: September 05, 2014, 07:50:14 pm:

The whys and wherefores of pre existence and other such mystical musings are irrelevant.

without explaining how on earth musings on pre-existence (or the ‘time’ before we are all here at all) should be considered mystical?  Aren’t these questions fundamental to any right thinking person’s whole perception of reality?

no and in fact Crowley says similar in his intro to his little book on astrology he ponders pre existence and states in his own words how it’s irrelevant. 

"jamie barter" wrote:
You then immediately went on to mention

Reply #145 by david on: September 05, 2014, 07:50:14 pm:

They are particularly irrelevant for discovering your True Will y'know moment to moment in the real world.

Which wasn’t what we happened to be discussing!  Pay attention to relevance, sir!

Also, you’d jumped ahead right at the beginning to assume where you thought I would be going with my argument, without waiting for me to develop it in due course.  I would recommend you might refrain from this in the future.  You also remarked – somewhat fatuously, if I may say so - in Reply #158 that

you’re argument?  You mean your flowery, fallacious ramblings.  Yes fallacious.  Your, "proof by assertion" for one (i.e. your propositions repeatedly restated regardless of contradiction.)  Anyway I assume that true will is sort of y’know majorly relevant to a discussion about crowley. 

"jamie barter" wrote:
you were at least giving an honest reply, but the question wasn’t about “knowing” (in a mental, intellectual way of conceptualizing things, as I pointed out to you right at the beginning) but about feeling (Intuition, etc).  But you missed the point, unfortunately – as seems to be the general trend. 
]

No, I didn’t, “miss the point” your point was moot .    I don’t care for your vague notion of, “intuition” or “divine revelation” or any sort of blanket term for subjectively feeling about and deluding yourself that your acquiring real knowledge by mere experience alone.  Experience first then reason it out and conclude second.  This is how we explain things.  Humanity “knew” that the sun orbited the earth for centuries.  They were wrong and reason led them to this conclusion eventually.

"jamie barter" wrote:
Would A.C., compiler of 777, have described the quasi-scientific method of the “cabbalah” to be “absurd”?  I rather think not… In fact he would've been much more likely to have called you a bit of a "tool" for doing so... (imho)

yes he would as (in Magick, see below but err this is probably going to be a fruitless exercise) he berates a Quabalist for mistaking that The  Trree of Life was  a real map of the universe.  Have you actually read any Crowley?


But discussions of the details of purely imaginary qualities are frivolous and may be deadly. For the great danger of this magical theory is that the student may mistake the alphabet for the things which the words represent.
An excellent man of great intelligence, a learned Qabalist, once amazed the Master Therion by stating that the Tree of Life was the framework of the Universe. It was as if some one had seriously maintained that a cat was a creature constructed by placing the letters C. A. T. in that order. It is no wonder that Magick has excited the ridicule of the unintelligent, since even its educated students can be guilty of so gross a violation of the first principles of common sense


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Tao
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"david" wrote:
yes he would as (in Magick, see below but err this is probably going to be a fruitless exercise) he berates a Quabalist for mistaking that The  Trree of Life was  a real map of the universe.  Have you actually read any Crowley?

Well now this is just silly (not that most of this discussion isn't at this point but, really... this takes the cake). Are you honestly citing an instance wherein Crowley critiques someone for misusing the Qabalah as proof that he found the Qabalah itself to be "absurd"? The same Qabalah that he described as:

[The] one science that can aid us, a science that, properly understood by the initiated mind, is as absolute as mathematics, more self-supporting than philosophy, a science of the spirit itself, whose teacher is God, whose method is simple as the divine Light, and subtle as the divine Fire, whose results are limpid as the divine Water, all-embracing as the divine Air, and solid as the divine Earth.  Truth is the source, and Economy the course, of that marvellous stream that pours its living waters into the Ocean of apodeictic certainty, the Truth that is infinite in its infinity as the primal Truth with which it is identical is infinite in its Unity. 

Need we say that we speak of the holy Qabalah?  O science secret, subtle, and  sublime, who shall name thee without veneration, without prostration of soul, spirit, and body before thy divine Author, without exaltation of soul, spirit, and body as by His favour they bathe in His lustral and illimitable Light?
- Liber LVIII

That's like suggesting that I find the practices of yoga to be absurd because I leveled a critique at a certain individual who claimed many hours of success in focused attention and regularized breathing but couldn't manage to sit on a chair for ten minutes without crushing his testicles.

Anyway I assume that true will is sort of y’know majorly relevant to a discussion about crowley. 

Huh... the subject line still seems to suggest that this is a discussion about yoga and its excruciating nature. Not really clear on how that ties in to True Will, aside from the fact that it sounds like you've decided that it's not going to be the method you use to discover your own


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Yoga: is it meant to be excruciating
This is such a typical, and IMHO, honest question, that many people who set themselves to sit motionless for an hour or so might ask.
Possibly if one sits in a chair, in the “so called” God asana. As proscribed by Crowley, the pain is negated, I wouldn’t know.
But like many young people back then, or even now, looking for the source of Yoga, I looked east, where chairs are not so common.
So if you sit for any real length of time on the floor in a seemingly relaxed cross-legged pose (heaven forbid that a westerner might attempt the lotus position), even on what might seem like a fluffy comfy pillow, it will in time seem like hell.
And when you finally decide to rise from this unnaturally imposed stasis then you will no doubt experience some degree of pain as your legs attempt to return to their natural state.
There is nothing mystical or clever about this.
This is the physical reality of ignoring your body in favour of your mind.
When I say “Yes” that’s what I personally mean.
Find a wooden pillar and bang your head as hard as you can against it. The result will be pain in some degree according to your ability to absorb pain, or your belief in the efficacious nature of the process.


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jamie barter
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"Tao" wrote:
"david" wrote:
yes he would as (in Magick, see below but err this is probably going to be a fruitless exercise) he berates a Quabalist for mistaking that The  Trree of Life was  a real map of the universe.  Have you actually read any Crowley?

Well now this is just silly (not that most of this discussion isn't at this point but, really... this takes the cake). Are you honestly citing an instance wherein Crowley critiques someone for misusing the Qabalah as proof that he found the Qabalah itself to be "absurd"? The same Qabalah that he described as:

[The] one science that can aid us, a science that, properly understood by the initiated mind, is as absolute as mathematics, more self-supporting than philosophy, a science of the spirit itself, whose teacher is God, whose method is simple as the divine Light, and subtle as the divine Fire, whose results are limpid as the divine Water, all-embracing as the divine Air, and solid as the divine Earth.  Truth is the source, and Economy the course, of that marvellous stream that pours its living waters into the Ocean of apodeictic certainty, the Truth that is infinite in its infinity as the primal Truth with which it is identical is infinite in its Unity. 

Need we say that we speak of the holy Qabalah?  O science secret, subtle, and  sublime, who shall name thee without veneration, without prostration of soul, spirit, and body before thy divine Author, without exaltation of soul, spirit, and body as by His favour they bathe in His lustral and illimitable Light?
- Liber LVIII

That's like suggesting that I find the practices of yoga to be absurd because I leveled a critique at a certain individual who claimed many hours of success in focused attention and regularized breathing but couldn't manage to sit on a chair for ten minutes without crushing his testicles.

Anyway I assume that true will is sort of y’know majorly relevant to a discussion about crowley. 

Huh... the subject line still seems to suggest that this is a discussion about yoga and its excruciating nature. Not really clear on how that ties in to True Will, aside from the fact that it sounds like you've decided that it's not going to be the method you use to discover your own

Thank you Tao.  I would be hard pressed to have come back with a better rejoinder on these 2 points than you have done. 

However unlike david (and possibly shiva) when I say I will not continue the conversation in this thread I mean it, since the candle of light appears to be sputtering in the breeze of intransigence.  Let david have the last word (as well as the first) as it seems so important to him.  I've come to the conclusion he won't easily be persuaded to transcend the limitations of the paradigms he's set up for himself (although it's equally possible he may once more mercurially change his mind, as he did about using/ not using “93” earlier in a different conversation… we’ll just have to see about that now, won’t we?)  And yet, the only direction from here I can see at the moment is downhill, downhill, downhill all the way – with exchanges of increasing unpleasantness and unproductivity on both sides, which I for one wish to avoid.  And ultimately I wish him well - but as I also remarked earlier, mistaken or not, we'll just have to agree to disagree here; at least we can both do that.

Let others pick up the baton I have laid aside if they will.  And the best of luck to them!!

Tatty bye for now, then -

N Joy


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"Baal" wrote:
n.
Find a wooden pillar and bang your head as hard as you can against it. The result will be pain in some degree according to your ability to absorb pain, or your belief in the efficacious nature of the process.

I'm already doing that in this thread in trying to discuss infinity with Jamie and in reading Tao's response on the Quabalah.


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Michael Staley
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Any discussions about infinity are bound to be endless, david. But qabalah for ducks, that's a new one on me.


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"jamie barter" wrote:
Thank you Tao.  I would be hard pressed to have come back with a better rejoinder on these 2 points than you have done. 

However unlike david (and possibly shiva) when I say I will not continue the conversation in this thread I mean it, since the candle of light appears to be sputtering in the breeze of intransigence.  Let david have the last word (as well as the first) as it seems so important to him.  I've come to the conclusion he won't easily be persuaded to transcend the limitations of the paradigms he's set up for himself (although it's equally possible he may once more mercurially change his mind, as he did about using/ not using “93” earlier in a different conversation…

The conclusion was use them if you will but I think it's all a bit high school and not exactly fitting for academic discussions.  Search through my posts , you will find a handful of 93 greetings from me. 


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Anonymous
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This is also for Jamie who is proving to be increasingly exasperating and who seems to talk but not listen. 

"Tao" wrote:
"david" wrote:
yes he would as (in Magick, see below but err this is probably going to be a fruitless exercise) he berates a Quabalist for mistaking that The  Trree of Life was  a real map of the universe.  Have you actually read any Crowley?

Well now this is just silly (not that most of this discussion isn't at this point but, really... this takes the cake). Are you honestly citing an instance wherein Crowley critiques someone for misusing the Qabalah as proof that he found the Qabalah itself to be "absurd"?

Crowley admitted that the concept of HGA was,”absurd” so it’s not a long shot to actually grasp that he would’ve said that the Quabbalah is just as, “absurd”.    My source, to be precise is Magick in Theory and Practice CHAPTER II THE FORMULAE OF THE ELEMENTAL WEAPONS.
In fact the whole passage is worth quoting for purposes of shining the light of Reason upon your ignorance.  Note, Crowley begins by echoing what i said about the absurdity of the HGA then he extends this outlook onto the subject of the Quabbalah. 

"Let me declare this Work under this title: 'The obtaining of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel'", because the theory implied in these words is so patently absurd that only simpletons would waste much time in analysing it. It would be accepted as a convention, and no one would incur the grave danger of building a philosophical system upon it.

With this understanding, we may rehabilitate the Hebrew system of invocations. The mind is the great enemy; so, by invoking enthusiastically a person whom we know not to exist, we are rebuking that mind. Yet we should not refrain altogether from philosophising in the light of the Holy Qabalah. We should accept the Magical Hierarchy as a more or less convenient classification of the facts of the Universe as they are known to us; and as our knowledge and understanding of those facts increase, so should we endeavour to adjust our idea of what we mean by any symbol.

There you have it for christ’s sake.  Clear as day.  You obviously never read Magick or if you did but you missed the message.  Crowley stated that the HGA is an absurdity and he asserts that invocation is merely a tool to trick the mind and furthermore that a convenient classification (the quablah) is employed as an  aid in the work.  A convenient classification to aid in the knowledge and conversation of an absurdity.

You say my point was, “silly”?  You don’t explain why it’s silly.  This is folly on your behalf.  In fact it’s fallacious,  namely argumentum ad hominem.

In addition your whole position here is false attribution  i.e. your digging up of an irrelevant source in support of your argument.  Do you care to attack my position with your own words?  No, instead you copy/paste  paragraphs from Liber VIII most of which is a lot of poetic, mystical gush from Crowley the mystical poet.  Yes, you caught him there in poetic gush mode unlike my source which was practical, straight forward clear thinking.

"Tao" wrote:
That's like suggesting that I find the practices of yoga to be absurd because I leveled a critique at a certain individual who claimed many hours of success in focused attention and regularized breathing but couldn't manage to sit on a chair for ten minutes without crushing his testicles.

Well this is also false (seems to be a habit of yours).  Not only are you yet again committing the fallacy of argumentum ad hominem,  you are also providing faulty sources.    I have done over hour long sessions of paranayama/asana and when I experimented with other asanas I experienced testicle discomfort.    Get your facts right.

Now that we have established that you are playing silly personal attacks (for some reason) without presenting cogent counter points we can hopefully get to the meat of the matter.  Do you honestly think (then again I wouldn’t be surprised if you do) that Ain Soph , just around the time of the big bang (chuckle) decided to, “speak forth “ the 32 letters of the Hebrew alphabet, (which are not actual letters but omnidimensional  principles that bind all of space-time together) and manifest the universe thereby?  Do you also think that, “ the four worlds” of the cabbalah are really there?

I’m laughing.  Laughable means absurd by the way.           

“In this book it is spoken of the Sephiroth and the Paths; of Spirits and Conjurations; of Gods, Spheres, Planes, and many other things which may or may not exist. It is immaterial whether these exist or not. By doing certain things certain results will follow; students are most earnestly warned against attributing objective reality or philosophic validity to any of them.”

― Aleister Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice


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Tao
 Tao
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Silly (adj.) 1. having or showing a lack of common sense or judgment; absurd and foolish.  2. ridiculously trivial or frivolous.  3. used to convey that an activity or process has been engaged in to such a degree that someone is no longer capable of thinking or acting sensibly. {late Middle English (in the sense ‘deserving of pity or sympathy’)}

"david" wrote:
Crowley admitted that the concept of HGA was,”absurd” so it’s not a long shot to actually grasp that he would’ve said that the Quabbalah is just as, “absurd”.

   

Actually, yes, that is an extremely long shot. But let's see what you've got, perhaps your aborted Zen training has made you a passable archer.

"david" wrote:
My source, to be precise is Magick in Theory and Practice CHAPTER II THE FORMULAE OF THE ELEMENTAL WEAPONS.
In fact the whole passage is worth quoting for purposes of shining the light of Reason upon your ignorance.  Note, Crowley begins by echoing what i said about the absurdity of the HGA then he extends this outlook onto the subject of the Quabbalah. 

"Let me declare this Work under this title: 'The obtaining of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel'", because the theory implied in these words is so patently absurd that only simpletons would waste much time in analysing it. It would be accepted as a convention, and no one would incur the grave danger of building a philosophical system upon it.

With this understanding, we may rehabilitate the Hebrew system of invocations. The mind is the great enemy; so, by invoking enthusiastically a person whom we know not to exist, we are rebuking that mind. Yet we should not refrain altogether from philosophising in the light of the Holy Qabalah. We should accept the Magical Hierarchy as a more or less convenient classification of the facts of the Universe as they are known to us; and as our knowledge and understanding of those facts increase, so should we endeavour to adjust our idea of what we mean by any symbol.

There you have it for christ’s sake.  Clear as day.  You obviously never read Magick or if you did but you missed the message.  Crowley stated that the HGA is an absurdity and he asserts that invocation is merely a tool to trick the mind and furthermore that a convenient classification (the quablah) is employed as an  aid in the work.  A convenient classification to aid in the knowledge and conversation of an absurdity.

Yes indeed. Clear as day. Or, at the very least, clear as the day Petruchio described to Kate in celebration of their nuptials. But I digress.

Let's dissect a bit, shall we?

1. Crowley does not, as you claim, "admit that the concept of the HGA was 'absurd'". He very clearly states that the "theory implied in these words [i.e. Knowledge & Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel] is so patently absurd that only simpletons would waste much time in analysing it. It would be accepted as a convention..." Your conflation of the concept of the HGA and the "theory implied in these words" shows "a lack of common sense or judgment." i.e. its silly.  One is a noun, the other is a verb. The HGA may or may not be "real" (however you choose to define that term), but the convention is vitally important, as you yourself point out. Unless of course you are reading it at face value: a flesh-and-blood angel with wings and a halo sitting down for a high tea chat about the whys and wherefores of reality. But only a simpleton would see it that way, right? Attempting to equate the "vitally important" convention with this "absurd" picture is, once again, silly.

2. By writing off the convention as an absurdity, you attempt to roll qabalah in with it as well which is, in itself, absurd. And silly (def.3). Qabalah is here definied as a more or less convenient classification system (more or less depending on our own individual current level of understanding) which "we should not refrain altogether from philosophising in the light of..." To remove the double negative, Qabalah should be used in the work of rebuking our mind through the practice we conventionally call Invocation of the HGA in order to achieve the experience conventionally called Knowledge & Conversation of the HGA.

The tea party image is absurd. Leading people to the experience which that conventional image veils was the cornerstone of Crowley's life. The "next step" of his stated True Will. And he saw qabalah as "[T]he one science that can aid us." To come to any other conclusion about him deserves pity or sympathy... i.e., is silly.

"david" wrote:
You say my point was, “silly”?  You don’t explain why it’s silly.  This is folly on your behalf.  In fact it’s fallacious,  namely argumentum ad hominem.

I believe silly has been adequately explained above. Can you explain to me how any of my post was an attack on you as a person? Calling your argument silly is not, as you so feverishly imagine, in any way an attack on you as a person. Perhaps you might want to bone up on your rudementary Latin before tossing it around willy nilly, boyo.

"david" wrote:
In addition your whole position here is false attribution  i.e. your digging up of an irrelevant source in support of your argument.  Do you care to attack my position with your own words?  No, instead you copy/paste  paragraphs from Liber VIII most of which is a lot of poetic, mystical gush from Crowley the mystical poet.  Yes, you caught him there in poetic gush mode unlike my source which was practical, straight forward clear thinking.

1. Incorrect attribution. My citation is from "Liber LVIII, An Essay on Number", not "Liber VIII, The Eighth Aethyr". In a discussion of Crowley's thoughts on qabalah, there is no more relevant source than the document he specifically wrote to explain qabalah.

2. Unlike the mindless, absurd, silly "gush" you use to attack it, this document is a technical paper distilled from the record of Frater P., originally published as part of "The Temple of Solomon the King" and later in its own right as Liber LVIII. Your position was that Crowley thought qabalah was absurd. My personal opinion on the matter (my own words, as you call it) has no bearing. Crowley's published words do. To think otherwise is silly.

3. Your source is, as you say, "practical, straight forward clear thinking." Your interpretation of it is anything but.

"david" wrote:
"Tao" wrote:
That's like suggesting that I find the practices of yoga to be absurd because I leveled a critique at a certain individual who claimed many hours of success in focused attention and regularized breathing but couldn't manage to sit on a chair for ten minutes without crushing his testicles.

Well this is also false (seems to be a habit of yours).  Not only are you yet again committing the fallacy of argumentum ad hominem,  you are also providing faulty sources.    I have done over hour long sessions of paranayama/asana and when I experimented with other asanas I experienced testicle discomfort.    Get your facts right.

1. Again with the armchair logcal fallacy policing. And again with the misattribution. I am citing occurrences from the historical record (from this thread, in fact, back when it was still loosely connected to excruciating yoga) and using them to fill out an analogy. If I had said your argument holds no water because your testicles are over-sensitive, that would be an ad hominem. This is not. Stop making silly statements.

2. A summary of the record: Fra.D asked if yoga should be excruciating and if maybe this bodily discomfort was just a holdover from the evil black former aeon; a bunch of fellow fratres et sorores weighed in, some embracing the discomfort, some avoiding it at all costs; Fra.D further inquired whether Bad Man Crowley's God asana wasn't ill-advised due to its testicle crushing hurtiness; much more discussion ensued; Fra.D pulled a 180 and jumped on board the S.S. Los-Hessle; captain Los assured the good frater that none of the old-aeon bodily discipline was necessary in finding one's True Will, it was all simply a matter of turning off the mind; Fra.D visited a Zendo, found some stuff he liked, discarded the stuff he didn't, and convinced himself that the stuff he liked was the essential, the stuff he didn't was inessential; Fra. D. announced in the public square that he no longer cared about any of the problems of his initial query because he had found the true pseudo-zen path toward inner peace on the S.S. Los-Hessle; the good people of LashTalia waited with baited breath for the ship to one day set sail...

"david" wrote:
Now that we have established that you are playing silly personal attacks (for some reason)...

Well, yes... that last did contain a bit of a silly personal attack. I guess I'm just getting wrapped up in all of the silliness being launched at me.

"david" wrote:
...without presenting cogent counter points we can hopefully get to the meat of the matter.  Do you honestly think (then again I wouldn’t be surprised if you do) that Ain Soph , just around the time of the big bang (chuckle) decided to, “speak forth “ the 32 letters of the Hebrew alphabet, (which are not actual letters but omnidimensional  principles that bind all of space-time together) and manifest the universe thereby?  Do you also think that, “ the four worlds” of the cabbalah are really there?

No.

It that what you think qabalah is? 'Cause that's just downright silly. That's like asking me if I think that an electron is both a particle and a wave.

"david" wrote:
I’m laughing.  Laughable means absurd by the way.

No doubt. It seems the maniacal edge of that laughter is leaking into your writing. Perhaps its time you step away from the keyboard for a bit, get some fresh air... maybe even sit in an asana for an hour or so to find some grounding. Or would that just be silly?


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Azidonis
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"Tao" wrote:
No doubt. It seems the maniacal edge of that laughter is leaking into your writing. Perhaps its time you step away from the keyboard for a bit, get some fresh air... maybe even sit in an asana for an hour or so to find some grounding. Or would that just be silly?

Reads like "practical, straight forward clear thinking" to me.


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jamie barter
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I am not continuing the conversation [about infinity, etc.], as stated before.  However I will just respond to some of david’s further remarks which are at least tangentially focused in my particular direction.

"david" wrote:
The conclusion was use ["93"] if you will but I think it's all a bit high school and not exactly fitting for academic discussions.   

And clumsy, inexcusably elementary spelling mistakes all over the place are fitting, I suppose?  Even of the same basic word?!!  For instance:

"david" wrote:
reading Tao's response on the Quabalah.
"david" wrote:
the subject of the Quabbalah.  [...] furthermore that a convenient classification (the quablah) [...] you also think that, “ the four worlds” of the cabbalah are really there?

(“I know spelling is meant to be defunct but this is ridiculous!”)

Not to mention lazy inattention to detail, e.g. mistaking Liber LVIII for Liber VIII, etc. (possibly a typo in that particular case I know, but…)  As I said before, I hope you pay more attention to detail and take greater care in your own magickal work, david, if only for your own sake/ benefit…

"david" wrote:
Search through my posts , you will find a handful of 93 greetings from me.

Which goes to prove what then, exactly?  Surely not that you’re an A1 hypocrite, there?!

"david" wrote:
This is also for Jamie who is proving to be increasingly exasperating and who seems to talk but not listen.

This, after 3 consecutive posts from yourself following my last one (barring Michael’s brief pithy interjection in Reply #167) when I’d added nothing new & decided to contribute nothing further at all. 
Surely then in that case you would have meant “who has proved to be”, there? 
“Increasingly exasperating” (!) – is this more of the same then, d’you reckon?!  Do tell!  But then again, like I said/predicted:

"jamie barter" wrote:
And yet, the only direction from here I can see at the moment is downhill, downhill, downhill all the way – with exchanges of increasing unpleasantness and unproductivity on both sides, which I for one wish to avoid.

I also magnanimously proposed:

"jamie barter" wrote:
Let david have the last word (as well as the first) as it seems so important to him.

Go on ahead, then, david – make my day!  I’m simply agog to see what you’ll write next.  But let me first just add a couple of selective quotes of my own culled from A.C.’s vast range of writings:

“Those who are under the dominion of reason are called blind” – from the commentary to Chapter 24, “The Hawk and The Blindworm” from The Book Of Lies.

Also, from the commentary to Chapter 10, “Windlestraws”, from the same source:

The universe is insane, the law of cause and effect is an illusion, or so it appears in the Abyss, which is thus identified with consciousness, the many, and both; but within this is a secret unity which rejoices; this unity being far beyond any conception.

"Tao" wrote:
Fra.D pulled a 180 and jumped on board the S.S. Los-Hessle [...]; Fra. D. announced in the public square that he no longer cared about any of the problems of his initial query because he had found the true pseudo-zen path toward inner peace on the S.S. Los-Hessle; the good people of LashTalia waited with baited breath for the ship to one day set sail...

The good ship “S.S. Los-Hessle”! *Lol!*  I like the analogy! 😀 (Isn’t that the leaky unseaworthy vessel with a notorious reputation for taking in water above the plimsoll line, though?!)

"Azidonis" wrote:
"Tao" wrote:
No doubt. It seems the maniacal edge of that laughter is leaking into your writing. Perhaps its time you step away from the keyboard for a bit, get some fresh air... maybe even sit in an asana for an hour or so to find some grounding. Or would that just be silly?

Reads like "practical, straight forward clear thinking" to me.

I second your observation here, Azidonis.

"Tao" wrote:
Silly (adj.) 1. having or showing a lack of common sense or judgment; absurd and foolish.  2. ridiculously trivial or frivolous.  3. used to convey that an activity or process has been engaged in to such a degree that someone is no longer capable of thinking or acting sensibly. {late Middle English (in the sense ‘deserving of pity or sympathy’)}
[...] Stop making silly statements.

“Calling Graham Chapman” (The Monty Python Major)
N Joy


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Anonymous
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Maybe you saw the word, “absurdity” and it pushed some kind of button?

"Tao" wrote:
Actually, yes, that is an extremely long shot. But let's see what you've got, perhaps your aborted Zen training has made you a passable archer.

The HGA is a concept borrowed from the Hebrew mystics.  In fact The term Holy Guardian Angel was possibly coined by Abraham of Worms, a German Cabalist who wrote a book on ceremonial magick during the 15th century

Funny long shot that isn’t it?

"Tao" wrote:
2. By writing off the convention as an absurdity, you attempt to roll qabalah in with it as well which is, in itself, absurd. And silly (def.3). Qabalah is here definied as a more or less convenient classification system (more or less depending on our own individual current level of understanding) which "we should not refrain altogether from philosophising in the light of..." To remove the double negative, Qabalah should be used in the work of rebuking our mind through the practice we conventionally call Invocation of the HGA in order to achieve the experience conventionally called Knowledge & Conversation of the HGA.

I wasn’t denigrating the possible functional uses of the Qabalah at all.  I initially said to that Jamie guy that  it was a tool.  Something absurd can be  a useful tool.  You don’t seem to be able to equate absurdity with usefulness.    By the way, just to make it clear, the HGA is a concept borrowed from the Hebrew mystics.  In fact The term Holy Guardian Angel was possibly coined by Abraham of Worms, a German Cabalist who wrote a book on ceremonial magick during the 15th century.

"Tao" wrote:
1. Incorrect attribution. My citation is from "Liber LVIII, An Essay on Number", not "Liber VIII, The Eighth Aethyr". In a discussion of Crowley's thoughts on qabalah, there is no more relevant source than the document he specifically wrote to explain qabalah.

Whatever source it’s from those particular passages cited by you lean towards poetic, mystic gush whereas mine aren’t.  Any idiot could see that.

 
Anyway to I shall let Crowley have the last say on the matter of Qabalistic gods, planes, sephira and the 32 paths; 

“In this book it is spoken of the Sephiroth and the Paths; of Spirits and Conjurations; of Gods, Spheres, Planes, and many other things which may or may not exist. It is immaterial whether these exist or not. By doing certain things certain results will follow; students are most earnestly warned against attributing objective reality or philosophic validity to any of them.”

― Aleister Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice


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the_real_simon_iff
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93!

"david" wrote:
“In this book it is spoken of the Sephiroth and the Paths; of Spirits and Conjurations; of Gods, Spheres, Planes, and many other things which may or may not exist. It is immaterial whether these exist or not. By doing certain things certain results will follow; students are most earnestly warned against attributing objective reality or philosophic validity to any of them.”

This quote really is Crowley the Joker at his best. Everyone can use it to back up everything.

Just love it!

Love=Law
Lutz


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Tao
 Tao
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Agreed. And yet, for all its many applications, the only thing it really defends is utter and complete agnosticism: "...things which may or may not exist."

Oh, if only...


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Tao
 Tao
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"david" wrote:
The HGA is a concept borrowed from the Hebrew mystics.  In fact The term Holy Guardian Angel was possibly coined by Abraham of Worms, a German Cabalist who wrote a book on ceremonial magick during the 15th century

Funny long shot that isn’t it?

Silly, actually. That's like saying that Objectivism is a term coined by a Russian emigree, so by calling Objectivism absurd I also likely find the Russian language to be an absurd set of symbols.

"david" wrote:
I wasn’t denigrating the possible functional uses of the Qabalah at all.  I initially said to that Jamie guy that  it was a tool.  Something absurd can be  a useful tool.  You don’t seem to be able to equate absurdity with usefulness.

Absurd (adj.) 1. (of an idea or suggestion) wildly unreasonable, illogical, or inappropriate.  2. (of a person or a person's behavior or actions) foolish; unreasonable.  3. (of an object or situation) arousing amusement or derision; ridiculous. {mid 16th century: from Latin absurdus ‘out of tune,’ hence ‘irrational’; related to surdus ‘deaf, dull.’}

So, yes. I suppose you're right. Something absurd can be used as a tool. A wildly unreasonable, illogical, or inappropriate tool, possibly irrational, and definitely deaf and dull. Given your obsession with logic and reason as the end-all be-all of human thought ("Reason has the end say.  End."), you'll forgive me for taking you at your word when I read this as you dismissing the qaballah's potential as a "useful" tool.

Would you like to amend?

"david" wrote:
By the way, just to make it clear, the HGA is a concept borrowed from the Hebrew mystics.  In fact The term Holy Guardian Angel was possibly coined by Abraham of Worms, a German Cabalist who wrote a book on ceremonial magick during the 15th century.

Obv. It was also "possibly" passed down to him from his teacher Abramelin. It was also "possibly" relayed to him by his HGA. It was also "possibly" an idea that had been in general use for centuries prior. It was also "possibly"...

This reiteration says nothing.

"david" wrote:
Whatever source it’s from those particular passages cited by you lean towards poetic, mystic gush whereas mine aren’t.  Any idiot could see that.

Wow, you truly believe that? You're farther gone than I thought.

"[The] one science that can aid us, a science that, properly understood by the initiated mind, is as absolute as mathematics, more self-supporting than philosophy, a science of the spirit itself..."

vs.

"In this book it is spoken of the Sephiroth and the Paths; of Spirits and Conjurations; of Gods, Spheres, Planes, and many other things which may or may not exist..."

Liber LVIII is mystic gush whereas Liber O is not? Seriously, brother. Step away from the keyboard. Zazen, asana, deep breathing, or just stopping to smell the roses... doesn't matter at this point. You need a break.


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Anonymous
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On your argument about the HGA not necessarily being of the Quabalah , look, any metaphysics is absurd and that was Crowley's overall point.

"Tao" wrote:
"[The] one science that can aid us, a science that, properly understood by the initiated mind, is as absolute as mathematics, more self-supporting than philosophy, a science of the spirit itself..."

vs.

"spirit itself"?  "Spirit"?    Oh, I get it you're a Creationist school teacher.

Let's look at your silly argument and return to that earlier Liber LVIII citation of yours. 

"Tao" wrote:
Well now this is just silly  Are you honestly citing an instance wherein Crowley critiques someone for misusing the Qabalah as proof that he found the Qabalah itself to be "absurd"? The same Qabalah that he described as:

[philosophy, a science of the spirit itself, whose teacher is God, 

yeah I guesse that’s materialist and scientific

"Tao" wrote:
whose method is simple as the divine Light,

ah yes my physics and chemistry teachers did some great lectures on this so called, “divine light”

"Tao" wrote:
, and subtle as the divine Fire,

jesus it gets worse  (you’re point about this not being mystic gush that is)

"Tao" wrote:
, whose results are limpid as the divine Water,

and worse

"Tao" wrote:
all-embracing as the divine Air, and solid as the divine Earth.

well if this isn’t mystical gush I don’t know what is

"Tao" wrote:
Truth is the source,

it’s great poetry but it’s not scientific instruction is it?  Why?  Well, it wasn’t intended to be.  Unfortunately you’re blinkers won’t let you see that. 

"Tao" wrote:
, and Economy the course, of that marvellous stream that pours its living waters into the Ocean of apodeictic certainty, the Truth that is infinite in its infinity as the primal Truth with which it is identical is infinite in its Unity. 

infinite truth well I never

"Tao" wrote:
Need we say that we speak of the holy Qabalah?  O science secret, subtle, and  sublime,

ah yes my chemistry lessons are coming back to me now

"Tao" wrote:
, who shall name thee without veneration, without prostration of soul, spirit, and

Chapter One of 2014 high school Physics text book as follows;  “Soul, spirit and body”.
No. I don’t think so.  In a good American Creationist school yes but not on planet earth.

"Tao" wrote:
before thy divine Author,

Ahem.  This bit isn’t even worth commenting on.  Scientific?  If you’re Saint Thomas Aquinas sure but not if you’re a proper scientist NO !!.

"Tao" wrote:
without exaltation of soul, spirit, and body as by His favour they bathe in His lustral and illimitable Light?
- Liber LVIII

etc etc

There you have it.  Any idiot can see that you’re arguments were built on shaky ground.

Done here.


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Tao
 Tao
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"david" wrote:
Done here.

Thank goddess.


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Azidonis
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"david" wrote:
Done here.


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Anonymous
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"Azidonis" wrote:
[
]

Another personal attack as an avoidance of facing my points.  Tut tut tut how primitive.  This technique is also known as  argumentum ad hominem.  These cartoon images I find so teenage but you're getting there eh?


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Los
 Los
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"david" wrote:
Another personal attack as an avoidance of facing my points.  Tut tut tut how primitive.  This technique is also known as  argumentum ad hominem.

Technically, an argumentum ad hominem is when someone treats a personal attack as if it were a critique of your argument. For example, it would be an argumentum ad hominem to say something like, "How can anyone trust your arguments about the police? Your brother's a cop!" It would also be an argumentum ad hominem to say "Your argument's wrong because you're ugly!"

But it's not an argumentum ad hominem at all for someone to ignore your argument and just insult you. That's called an insult, and it's not a fallacy in the slightest.


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Anonymous
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Yes fallacies are comitted within the context of an argument and this is supposed to be a discussion board where adults control the ebb and flow of proper conversation.  Strictly speaking you are correct however any silly insult is an attempt to denigrate my position, intellctually or otherwise and therefore aims to attack my rhetorical competence and divert the flow of my argument.


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Azidonis
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"david" wrote:
Another personal attack as an avoidance of facing my points.  Tut tut tut how primitive.  This technique is also known as  argumentum ad hominem.  These cartoon images I find so teenage but you're getting there eh?

It's not a personal attack to be cheerful that you are (supposedly) done babbling.

The universe is not out to get you. You aren't that important. Get over yourself.


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 Anonymous
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As extremely interesting as all the posts on this thread are, would it not be pertinent to venture the possibility that they may have drifted somewhat from the original question. Could it not be fairly rounded off by the main contributors once again attempting to answer the original question.
Re reading it I realize that there seems to be an error from the outset as to which asana is referred to.
"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 cannot see how this refers to the “God Asana” as this is patently simply sitting in a chair, and was devised for those less able to knot themselves physically into painful poses.  Whereas the dragon pose was clearly one of Crowley’s amusing sadistic fancies aimed at the unwary fool who might imagine that prophets are not immune to the occasional in joke.
Pain is a way of learning. Some people will suffer terrible pain because they believe that it will give them ultimately what they seek. Others are not prepared to except any pain at all  to attain anything
Unfortunately no one can tell you ultimately what you need to gain that which you desire. But suffering self inflicted pain needlessly is in fact a great lesson to be learned. I don’t think you can learn much from the occult or anything until you have learned how dumb you are, how stupid you were to slavishly follow the path of another being to the point of excruciating pain. Everything you do offers you the opportunity to learn and progress. Some people never do. They just never learn or understand. They suffer pain to the extent that they can not go on. But they do not look to their inner voice, but continue to hear only the words of others. If you learn anything you should learn to trust yourself, trust the simple reactions of your body to the unreasonable demands of someone else’s “trip”


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"Baal" wrote:
As extremely interesting as all the posts on this thread are, would it not be pertinent to venture the possibility that they may have drifted somewhat from the original question. Could it not be fairly rounded off by the main contributors once again attempting to answer the original question.
Re reading it I realize that there seems to be an error from the outset as to which asana is referred to.
"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 cannot see how this refers to the “God Asana” as this is patently simply sitting in a chair, and was devised for those less able to knot themselves physically into painful poses.  Whereas the dragon pose was clearly one of Crowley’s amusing sadistic fancies aimed at the unwary fool who might imagine that prophets are not immune to the occasional in joke.
Pain is a way of learning. Some people will suffer terrible pain because they believe that it will give them ultimately what they seek. Others are not prepared to except any pain at all  to attain anything
Unfortunately no one can tell you ultimately what you need to gain that which you desire. But suffering self inflicted pain needlessly is in fact a great lesson to be learned. I don’t think you can learn much from the occult or anything until you have learned how dumb you are, how stupid you were to slavishly follow the path of another being to the point of excruciating pain. Everything you do offers you the opportunity to learn and progress. Some people never do. They just never learn or understand. They suffer pain to the extent that they can not go on. But they do not look to their inner voice, but continue to hear only the words of others. If you learn anything you should learn to trust yourself, trust the simple reactions of your body to the unreasonable demands of someone else’s “trip”

good points.


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jamie barter
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"Baal" wrote:
As extremely interesting as all the posts on this thread are, would it not be pertinent to venture the possibility that they may have drifted somewhat from the original question. Could it not be fairly rounded off by the main contributors once again attempting to answer the original question. [...]

Baal, I agree, you made some good points but tell me you are joking here?!

Can we now take it that this – ahem, excruciating – thread is now well & truly over ?!??!! (Christ let’s hope so)

"Azidonis" wrote:
"david" wrote:
Done here.

“Hip hip!” x 3
N Joy


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jamie barter
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Chewing it over, I may have been a little hasty in semi-jocularly/ joshfully seeming to put the kybosh on your proposition there, Baal – which on the face of it was acceptable, sensible, reasonable, and in order: I therefore apologise to you (but not to david though, here – he’d only start at me for no good reason!...) Providing everyone involved (“the main contributors”) – or anyone else minded to who feels like jumping in at the last minute (– and why not?!) - limits themselves, in terms of a summary rather than riding totally fresh ground, to say a brief couple of paragraphs or so and not exceeding say again what, thirty (one) lines (? to pluck a figure out of the air, I don’t make the rules!…)  But it seems reasonable & will prevent people getting bored by any repetition inherent & also have the benefit of focussing the contributor’s concentration.  It could work if we all stick to the point and allow no distractions and no ‘point scoring’.  I’ll start the ball rolling then by way of making up for my seeming to nix what was a not-bad-at-all suggestion and by token of recompense.

I think as the term “excruciating” relates to the concept of pain more than anything else, the question could be as validly and most simply & directly looked at as: “Yoga… is it meant to be painful?”  The Book of the Law, although it categorically states that Existence is Pure Joy (II:9), does not deny the reality or even the necessity, of pain in the everyday world.  In I:30 it says “the creation of the world” involves “the pain of division”- and that this can apparently only be redeemed or resolved by the individual’s either dissolution or by employing the correct and proper approach, by which it may become 'transubstantiated’ into “as nothing”.  Similarly, Nuit declares in I:32 that “the joys” of her love “will redeem ye from all pain”: there is the statement again that not only Pain exists, but is seemingly a necessary function of existence (And again to take another example in II:17: “the sorrows of pain…” are left to the “dead and the dying” and those who are unaware of the nature of the inmost core of their Star, Hadit.  They are “not of” this most inner, divine nature and intimate spark.  In the Third Chapter, Ra Hoor Khuit declares “… to me come ye through tribulation of ordeal, which is bliss”.  The implication is that ordeal too by its make-up is painful – but although these ordeals can vary from individual to individual again they can be resolved by the correct approach towards them (which is basically the dissolving [= solve, rubbing away or tribulation] of the complexes or “veils” of or to one’s inner Star.)

To sum up in the context of this particular thread then: Yoga is meant to contain a modicum of pain, or existential discomfort or dis-ease – by its nature, it cannot avoid this and especially in its early stages at the beginning before practice establishes a hold.  This pain is avoidable, however, by cultivating the right approach, as mentioned above.  As has been remarked previously, zazen or wu-wei would be one acceptable practice, although almost more than anything else full of the pitfalls of illusion and self-delusion to which the unwary may be prone.  Arguably (self-) hypnosis to ‘forget’ or ignore the pain could be another, although some might regard this short-cut as ‘cheating’.  However, I think there may be a karmic element also: the individual in some way might need to experience their ration of pain, in order to conquer and overcome it as part of their growth and involution.

Lastly, having established that pain is “meant” to be, the question now remaining is: ”how much?” and “how much is too much?”, which obviously varies from person to person.  '‘Excruciating’ certainly implies too much, more than acceptable at any rate.  Yoga arguably is of no real benefit if one gets a hernia or testicular tantrums or a coronary thrombosis from lack of circulation.  Likewise, people who spend more of their waking time in asanas or meditation than doing anything more productively active (or actively productive) are possibly open to the charge of self-indulgent narcissism, a bit like lazy sods who decide to go off and become monks, for instance – as I said earlier and wish to underline again, the royal art of Yoga is a means to an end and should not become the end in itself: and whilst not disputing the value of (longish) periods spent in asanas and meditation they can also be ‘short-circuited’ in a way to/by a far more instantaneous realisation of A.C.’s “Eight Words” (- look them up if you’ve forgotten them! they’re of vital importance) by the immediacy of this particular wuwei/ zazen-type approach.

Written to you from the House of Pain?

Norma N Joy Conquest


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Do your research.  Ask experienced yoga teachers about any possible long term damage that may result from you as an individual performing particular asanas for long periods on a regular basis.  Like I said Japanese and Asian people have different pelvic structures I am told.  Unless trained as a child it's unlikely that Caucasian adults who come to yoga late will ever be able to e.g. touch their nose with their feet or in fact achieve other certain contortions without doing long term damage but hey I'm not a doctor.  I recommend medical advice if you are concerned about any  pain level you experience.  This is a useful debate I feel as it is about questioning Crowley's authority.  If you're an idiot and he says put your hand in the fire then hey, be my guest.   


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Shiva
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"david" wrote:
Unless trained as a child it's unlikely that Caucasian adults who come to yoga late will ever be able to e.g. touch their nose with their feet or in fact achieve other certain contortions without doing long term damage but hey I'm not a doctor.

But I am a doctor, and I heartily concur with your observation. In my early 20s, I was able to maintain the "dragon" position due to my martial arts training, and when I started using that position in yoga I could easily sit for 45 minutes (with numbness and lack of function when getting up). Today, five decades later, the position is quite painful ... but then I've not been using that position for four decades ::)

Listen up. Even some Orientals agree with you. My teacher, Hidetaka Nishiyama, head of the Education Dept of the Japan Karate Assn (JKA), was once one of the fastest and most flexible kickers in the world. In his later years, when referring to the "low stance" that was adopted by the JKA, said, "That was my generation's mistake." He said this in reference to the high number of hip replacement surgeries that were being undtaken by his contemporaries.

For a look at what stressing the joints, combined with age, looks like, first see him here in his late twenties (1955) - Nishiyama starts at 2:55:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOp_OfSv40s

Then see him here in his late seventies (2008) - note his stance and movement, beginning at 0.30:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGSlhlz4IV4

Anything that stresses the joints ... buyer beware!


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Anonymous
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Exactly and in fact  Crowley seemed to study/practice asanas intensely in his 20s but then I'm assuming that following his high trances he just did it now and again, here and there.


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Shiva
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On the other hand, Book 4 tells us:

"The extreme of Asana is practised by those Yogis who remain in one position without moving, except in the case of absolute necessity, during their whole lives."

Well, that's another way to look at it ... or to do it.

[/align:1ugfwqs5]


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newneubergOuch2
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'Likes'. I myself noticed a few physical results from sitting cross legged on the floor playing video games for hours per day - in a past life.


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Candide
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I used to use the dragon for daily practice but like shiva I now only use it in martial arts context. I find a half lotus posture can be held easily for long periods of time with little discomfort or disturbance, so long as you get the posture perpendicular so you are not stressing muscles just staying upright.

Short answer to the posters question: no, no it's not meant to be excruciating.


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"Shiva" wrote:
But I am a doctor, and I heartily concur with your observation.

Are you a GP or a consultant or..?  What sort of Dr are you by the way? 


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Shiva
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"david" wrote:
Are you a GP or a consultant or..?  What sort of Dr are you by the way?

Doctor of Oriental Medicine, which is a primary care physician in most of the United States. I have been retired for a decade, but still retain my license. Note: "Primary Care" means licensed to treat any patient for any condition without prior referral.


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In Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson Gurdjiieff says that when Beelzebub came back to earth he chose to call himself a Doctor. Because this was the best title a man could have to gain access into all areas of social, physical and mental human activity almost without question.


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Shiva
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"Baal" wrote:
... this [Doctor title] was the best title a man could have to gain access into all areas of social, physical and mental human activity almost without question.

I'd say "rockstar" or "movie idol" would work better, but then the person would probably have to be famous. The question is, was Beelzebub actually licensed?  Back in those days, docs didn't need licenses - in fact, they were considered to be among the "lower-class" of professionals. Today, Beelzebub would/could be arrested for misrepresentation - unless he never practiced medicine, which he probably didn't.

Anyway, the subject is ridiculous and off topic. The point is (was) that a doctor (me - a real one, not a demonic imposter) agreed with David that some yoga postures can damage joints. So if your practice is excruciating, then you better see if it's just muscles acting up, or joints being bent out of shape - because the latter can end up in severe medical trauma.


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jamie barter
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"Shiva" wrote:
On the other hand, Book 4 tells us:
"The extreme of Asana is practised by those Yogis who remain in one position without moving, except in the case of absolute necessity, during their whole lives."

A bit like those stylites - and these individuals were far and away masculine for some reason - for example San Simeon who spent 37 years atop various tall pillars and columns including 20 consecutively on his last.  (I wonder, who was the last one to do that, and why did the practice die out?  No, I don’t count David Blaine’s “Vertigo” here!)

“Except in the course of absolute necessity.”  What – arranging food and going to the lavvy, for instance?  I don’t know about anyone else, but am always a bit suspicious of these “all of their lifetime” type statements, even when they come from the master Therion himselves :o.  There must have been the occasional “break”, and to my mind the statement would be more impressive if it had incorporated and made some allowance for these very human exceptions to the rule.  And it also goes back to the idea of intrinsic value which I mentioned before:

"jamie barter" wrote:
Likewise, people who spend more of their waking time in asanas or meditation than doing anything more productively active (or actively productive) are possibly open to the charge of self-indulgent narcissism, a bit like lazy sods who decide to go off and become monks, for instance

Therefore I remain slightly suspicious of people (‘Yogis’) who spend an inordinate amount of time in asanas or mantra meditation (“Shiva…Shiva…Shiva” – I am put in mind of Bhikku Ananda Matteyya [Allan Bennett] here.) 

Don’t they get the feeling that they may be missing out?  That their “True Will” should be pointing in the direction of something a bit more – well, dynamic?  Did they really come into incarnation for the specific purpose of effectively “sitting still” for almost the entirety thereof?  Apart from anything else, it seems a negation of the whole Crowleian philosophy behind “The Smoking Dog” (see "Au Chien Qui Fume" in The Book Of Lies).

Yours a bit suspiciously,
N Joy


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Tao
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"jamie barter" wrote:
Don’t they get the feeling that they may be missing out?  That their “True Will” should be pointing in the direction of something a bit more – well, dynamic?  Did they really come into incarnation for the specific purpose of effectively “sitting still” for almost the entirety thereof?  Apart from anything else, it seems a negation of the whole Crowleian philosophy behind “The Smoking Dog” (see "Au Chien Qui Fume" in The Book Of Lies).

Depends on one's perspective, I suppose. If one follows the Buddhist mindset, karma from prior incarnations is already in motion and must needs play itself out. The only way to attain the stillness of the axle is to burn through all that karma without creating any new. Sitting still and repeating a mantra for an entire incarnation has been taught to be one way to accomplish that. If it is one's True Will to stop the wheel and get off... this may be an effective method.

Perhaps.  ???


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