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wulfram
(@wulfram)
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16/11/2007 2:59 pm  

How Aleister Crowley Introduced the Iconic Gray Alien

http://www.ufodigest.com/news/1107/dabbledoo.htm l"> http://www.ufodigest.com/news/1107/dabbledoo.html

An excerpt from the article by Richelle Hawks:

In 1917-1919, the occultist Aleister Crowley was living on the Central Park West area in New York City, with what would be one of his many female companions, Roddie Minor. During a hashish and opium induced trance, Ms. Minor described to Crowley her rich visions. It is important to note here, that many of the narratives and articles which tell of the ensuing experiences, referred to as The Amalantrah Workings, are somewhat quick to dismiss Ms. Minor's visions.

But, in actually reading her documenting text of them, it is clear they are not only archetypal in nature due to the characters and transformations involved, there are many specific details in line with the ancient shamanic visions and UFO experiences Graham outlines extensively and most exhaustively in his book. Notably, Minor describes the descent to a cave, tubes, a disembodied eye in the sky, an eagle, a turtle with human qualities, a platform in the sky (reminiscent both of shamanic descriptions and perhaps a UFO itself,) and a general storyline involving a baby. Anyone reading Graham's book will immediately be struck by these striking features within Minor's trance narratives.

Additionally, much has been made of her trance-received statement "It's all in the egg." The reproductive features of the shamanic visions and perhaps more familiar to us, the UFO abduction narratives, cannot be overemphasized here; the symbol of the egg has become entwined within such aesthetically and culturally.


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IAO131
(@iao131)
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16/11/2007 3:34 pm  
"wulfram" wrote:
How Aleister Crowley Introduced the Iconic Gray Alien

http://www.ufodigest.com/news/1107/dabbledoo.htm l"> http://www.ufodigest.com/news/1107/dabbledoo.html

An excerpt from the article by Richelle Hawks:

In 1917-1919, the occultist Aleister Crowley was living on the Central Park West area in New York City, with what would be one of his many female companions, Roddie Minor. During a hashish and opium induced trance, Ms. Minor described to Crowley her rich visions. It is important to note here, that many of the narratives and articles which tell of the ensuing experiences, referred to as The Amalantrah Workings, are somewhat quick to dismiss Ms. Minor's visions.

But, in actually reading her documenting text of them, it is clear they are not only archetypal in nature due to the characters and transformations involved, there are many specific details in line with the ancient shamanic visions and UFO experiences Graham outlines extensively and most exhaustively in his book. Notably, Minor describes the descent to a cave, tubes, a disembodied eye in the sky, an eagle, a turtle with human qualities, a platform in the sky (reminiscent both of shamanic descriptions and perhaps a UFO itself,) and a general storyline involving a baby. Anyone reading Graham's book will immediately be struck by these striking features within Minor's trance narratives.

Additionally, much has been made of her trance-received statement "It's all in the egg." The reproductive features of the shamanic visions and perhaps more familiar to us, the UFO abduction narratives, cannot be overemphasized here; the symbol of the egg has become entwined within such aesthetically and culturally.

Ugh, this kind of crap makes me literally physically sick. The fact that people cannot distinguish between psychic events and UFOs (the most famous of which supposedly crashed the year Crowley died) makes me wonder what kind of research they do. Its all in the egg? My friend, this has everything to do wth mysticism and nothign to do with aliens.

I can tell you with the fullness of my heart that I believe that Lam is not an extra-terrestrial alien. YES, it very well could be an 'archetype,' but that would mean its a manifestation of his unconscious. Ask yourself: What do you gain by thinking Crowley interacted with aliens? What do you gain by saying that Lam was an alien instead of an astral entity like everything else he supposedly talked to (and wasnt it just a painting of an idealized Lama that spawned all this, and Kenneth Grants overactive imagination?)

Descent into caves? Are you aware of the mystical process? Do you nott see you are describing common psychic experiences? How could one ever come to the conclusion that these experiences or anythign similar are UFOs? Its mind boggling.

65 & 210,
IAO131


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lashtal
(@lashtal)
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16/11/2007 4:17 pm  
"IAO131" wrote:
Ugh, this kind of crap makes me literally physically sick.

"Literally physically sick"? Really? Crikey...

😉

Just for the avoidance of doubt when visitors read this thread in the future, it's worth pointing out that your remarks can't be aimed at our friend Wulfram, but rather at the person from whose article he quotes. That's far from clear from your post.

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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IAO131
(@iao131)
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16/11/2007 4:30 pm  
"lashtal" wrote:
"IAO131" wrote:
Ugh, this kind of crap makes me literally physically sick.

"Literally physically sick"? Really? Crikey...

😉

PHYSICALLY sick, I am completely serious. It could be a vestige from this one person I had many conversations with on Grantian subjects (if so, i am sorry!). Secondly, I thought Wulfram was posting it so I direct it towards whomever actually wrote that. Sorry if I was unclear.

65 & 210,
IAO131


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the_real_simon_iff
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16/11/2007 5:50 pm  
"IAO131" wrote:
What do you gain by thinking Crowley interacted with aliens? What do you gain by saying that Lam was an alien instead of an astral entity like everything else he supposedly talked to (and wasnt it just a painting of an idealized Lama that spawned all this, and Kenneth Grants overactive imagination?)

93!

Besides the fact that the "truth" of anything is not necessarily measured by how much we gain from it, I would say that the post doesn't say: "Look how LAM/Amalantrah appear to be analogical/related to abductions/UFOs!" but quite the opposite: "Look how analogical/related many UFO/abduction reports seem to be with the LAM/Amalantrah experiences!" Both experiences might be triggered by the same age-old archetypes. What's wrong with astral entities being called aliens? They are alien to most of the people. And the U in UFO means unidentified not extra-terrestrial in the first place. Mr. Crowley and his associates introduced a lot to this world, maybe even the Iconic Gray Alien. I think this can be interesting and should not make you physically sick. If so: get well soon!

I read articles that were a lot crappier...

Love=Lam
Lutz


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IAO131
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16/11/2007 6:00 pm  
"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
"IAO131" wrote:
What do you gain by thinking Crowley interacted with aliens? What do you gain by saying that Lam was an alien instead of an astral entity like everything else he supposedly talked to (and wasnt it just a painting of an idealized Lama that spawned all this, and Kenneth Grants overactive imagination?)

93!

Besides the fact that the "truth" of anything is not necessarily measured by how much we gain from it

It has been said that success is your proof. I admit that I lean towards pragmatism.

I would say that the post doesn't say: "Look how LAM/Amalantrah appear to be analogical/related to abductions/UFOs!" but quite the opposite: "Look how analogical/related many UFO/abduction reports seem to be with the LAM/Amalantrah experiences!" Both experiences might be triggered by the same age-old archetypes.

OK - that is a purely psychological view you are espousing and I can agree with it (that both experiences are triggered by archetypes which are part of one's unconscious)

What's wrong with astral entities being called aliens? They are alien to most of the people.

So are Mexicans to Americans. Whats your point? You know that the two meanings of 'alien' you are using are different.

And the U in UFO means unidentified not extra-terrestrial in the first place.

Im well aware, but we are also talking about "Gray Aliens," arent we?

Mr. Crowley and his associates introduced a lot to this world, maybe even the Iconic Gray Alien.

I disagree about that last little part...

I read articles that were a lot crappier...

I admit, this is true.

65 & 210,
IAO131


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empiricus
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16/11/2007 6:01 pm  

93,

Very sorry to hear that such a vestige of mere former conversations makes you physically sick but perhaps there is no need to feel that way on this occasion.

To be fair to Richelle Hawkes, the author of the original article, is only giving an overview of all the various theories about the "grays" phenomena. Having said at the outset that the theories are legion, she starts out with the:

"..so called "nuts and bolts theorists"-those believing in the literal, tangible, straightforward reality of UFOs and aliens..."

and subsequently makes it clear that she is more impressed with another argument altogether:

"in his brilliant and epic book, Supernatural, Graham Hancock makes an almost inarguable (sic) case that the traditional, psychedelic plant-induced shamanic visions and experiences, fairy lore, and now modern abduction/alien scenarios stem from and share the same root, a kind of trance-induced, other channel of reality, in which these same gray-beings have won the starring roles."

Having given Crowley a justifiable and reasonably accurate place in the story she concludes:

"What is even more intriguing is that within the story of what could be the very first modern, recorded appearance of this same entity, he is clearly described as an interdimensional being, with no pretenses of alien origins. In this story, there are other ideas that fit within Hancock's theory, such as the use of a meditative trance, drug induced, for purposeful contact (as in shamanism) with the otherworld."

Her thoughts would actually appear not to be too far away from your own, not necessarily the same but not a million miles away:

"Nothing may be so poignant in this association though, as the LAM portrait drawn by Crowley in 1918, and given by him to Kenneth Grant, head of Ordo Templis Orientis organization in 1945, after an astral working, and just two years before Crowley's death. Grant has made statements concerning the importance of the LAM entity, whom he describes as a class of entity rather than a single persona. The portrait is to be used as a meditative device by OTO adherents, and is said to represent the dwarf-self, and the inner god."

Perhaps the earlier conversational trauma, triggering strong sensations of nausea at the mere mention of the "nuts and bolts theorists", could have affected your accurate reading of the article and confused you about who posted what. It also seemed to make you use the term 'mysticism' in a rather perjoritive way - many people see it in quite a different and more positive light.

An interesting contemporary view further for discussion was recently posted here in another thread by Michael Staley:

"But of course this begs the question of what is an entity. In all my years of Lam workings, never has an entity with an egg-shaped head appeared to me. I would be disappointed if it did, since I regard Lam as being a state beyond entification."

But if it makes you feel ill - don't go there!

All the best.....
93 93/93


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IAO131
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16/11/2007 6:06 pm  
"empiricus" wrote:
93,

Very sorry to hear that such a vestige of mere former conversations makes you physically sick but perhaps there is no need to feel that way on this occasion.

Quite right - hence my admitting such.

Perhaps the earlier conversational trauma, triggering strong sensations of nausea at the mere mention of the "nuts and bolts theorists", could have affected your accurate reading of the article and confused you about who posted what.

Quite right again! It has, and the fact is that I was replying to the specific quotation in the posting as well.

It also seemed to make you use the term 'mysticism' in a rather perjoritive way - many people see it in quite a different and more positive light.

Oh, I quite like mysticism.

An interesting contemporary view further for discussion was recently posted here in another thread by Michael Staley:

"But of course this begs the question of what is an entity. In all my years of Lam workings, never has an entity with an egg-shaped head appeared to me. I would be disappointed if it did, since I regard Lam as being a state beyond entification."

But if it makes you feel ill - don't go there!

Lam as a "state"... as a "state of consciousness" and not as an entity in itself? Then we are starting to apply the arbitray label Lam, who appears solely in the form as a differentiated entity as far as we know (from the portrait) to states of consciousness.

All the best.....
93 93/93

Thanks for the sanity, my friend.

65 & 210,
IAO131


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
Joined: 16 years ago
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16/11/2007 6:21 pm  

At the risk of precipitating another bilious attack, I wonder if the real problem here is not with your understanding of the nature of UFOs. We're not talking about a spacecraft with little green men from the galaxy 71 billion light years around the corner, but intrusions into terrestrial awareness that are garbed as the UFOs of 1950s lore. There is the old analogy of how phenomena from a higher dimension appears to a denizen inhabiting a world of fewer dimensions - conceptual analogy of course, but suggestive all the same. Looked at in this light, I doubt that there is so hard and fast a line between "greys" and "astral entities" as you seem to suggest. It's not as if calling it an "astral entity" explains anything, after all. To the man on the Clapham omnibus, they are equally fanciful.

Since you weren't around at the time that Crowley drew the portrait, your speculations as to what it depicts, though of interest, don't amount to very much. All we know is that the drawing was executed at around the time of the Amalantrah Working. Features from some of the elements of the visions are echoed in the drawing, suggesting a relationship between the drawing and the Working. The drawing is not mentioned in the extant record of the Working, and neither is the name Lam. On the other hand, the Working seems to have carried on in a somewhat disjointed fashion after Crowley's return from Aesopus Island in the late Summer or early Autumn of 1918, and I've yet to hear of a Record of that latter portion of the Working surfacing. Bill Breeze did tell me in the early 1990s that he was hopeful of tracking it down, but I've heard nothing further.

The only comment by Crowley we have as to the drawing comes from Kenneth Grant. Crowley described it to him as a drawing of an entity that was disrupting the Amalantrah Working, and came close to wrecking it. There is in my view a great deal more to it than that, but that's all that Crowley said.

On a wider level, I admire your depth of insight demonstrated across a wide number of posts in your former incarnation, but think that in this instance you are being a bit too dismissive. I believe that we know very little about the nature of reality, and that the universe is perhaps a much stranger place than we think. That doesn't mean that we embrace all and everything on the grounds that it might be true for all we know. However, it might be that our preconceived notions are wide of the mark.

Best wishes,

Michael.


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Michael Staley
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MANIO - it's all in the egg
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16/11/2007 6:29 pm  
"empiricus" wrote:
"in his brilliant and epic book, Supernatural, Graham Hancock makes an almost inarguable (sic) case that the traditional, psychedelic plant-induced shamanic visions and experiences, fairy lore, and now modern abduction/alien scenarios stem from and share the same root, a kind of trance-induced, other channel of reality, in which these same gray-beings have won the starring roles."

I was at Andy Collins's annual Questing Conference a couple of weeks ago, when Graham Hancock was the main speaker on the Saturday, and made this case very succinctly. Thanks for drawing our attention to it in this thread Empiricus.

It's all very well looking at these things rationally, but perhaps rationality is somewhat lacking.


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empiricus
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16/11/2007 7:14 pm  

93,

Indeed and without a doubt. I share your view about the paucity of our knowledge and understanding of reality - "There are more things in heaven and earth...etc . It is a well used cliche, almost a platitude, that truth is often stranger than fiction but none less true as a remark for that.

Rationality has a lot going for it on the mundane conventional level and as a philosophical approach or scientific methodology but as you suggest, the balance is what is really important, realising that it is just that, another approach to the understanding of reality which has its place, a very significant place but not somehow to the complete exclusion of all other ways of experiencing the world. One would be wise to be more pragmatic.

Forms of direct perception can be very interesting, as can trying to use rationality to undermine our preconceived notions to establish the ultimate truth of a reality beyond all conceptual elaboration.

All the best...
93 93/93


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Tiger
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17/11/2007 10:52 pm  

"Ugh, this kind of crap makes me literally physically sick. - Its mind boggling."

I believe A.C. mentions vertigo or some form of irritation in the presence of a secret chief.
and i believe he too had a hard time accepting that level of reality.

oh pooh banish that back to paying bills.


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IAO131
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18/11/2007 12:38 am  
"Tiger" wrote:
"Ugh, this kind of crap makes me literally physically sick. - Its mind boggling."

I believe A.C. mentions vertigo or some form of irritation in the presence of a secret chief.
and i believe he too had a hard time accepting that level of reality.

oh pooh banish that back to paying bills.

Surely I was in the presence of a secret chief! 🙄


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wulfram
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18/11/2007 7:19 am  

I am so glad I posted this.

A fascinating discussion. Kudos to all.

And it is all in the egg, methinks.


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IAO131
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18/11/2007 5:01 pm  
"wulfram" wrote:
I am so glad I posted this.

A fascinating discussion. Kudos to all.

And it is all in the egg, methinks.

I personally think that the chicken came first.


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
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18/11/2007 6:37 pm  

By golly! There's some razor-sharp wit on here today, lads; must be IAO131's mirthday.

😆


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 Anonymous
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18/11/2007 8:31 pm  

"By golly! There's some razor-sharp wit on here today, lads"

Omelette anyone?


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 Anonymous
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20/11/2007 12:17 am  

This reply is not directed at any special person, but I am using quotes from IAO131's reply since I find them to be of the type you usually hear when you hear criticism against lovecraftiana, UFO-lore etc..

“My friend, this has everything to do wth mysticism and nothign to do with aliens. “

These kind of statements strike me as throughoutly strange. It's like saying: this has everything to do with mysticism, nothing to do with angels, demons / whatever spirit you might want to add.
Since Grant was brought up, I have to state that most of the time I get the feeling that people that ends saying things like this doesn't seem to have read much by Kenneth Grant at all, bur are rather just giggling to what they've heard from others who like to giggle about Grant.
Malkuth corresponds to the Earth, so everything beyond earth is definitely extraterrestrial, right?

“Descent into caves? Are you aware of the mystical process? Do you nott see you are describing common psychic experiences.”

.. This is another striking example. It is breaking open already open doors with dynamite. I don't even see where one is going at. This would be like saying: “Did you meet an spirit that brought you to a special place in Yesod? Are you aware of the mystical process? Do you nott see you are describing common psychic experiences.”


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IAO131
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20/11/2007 3:54 am  
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
By golly! There's some razor-sharp wit on here today, lads; must be IAO131's mirthday.

😆

Good guess.

"rzk" wrote:
This reply is not directed at any special person, but I am using quotes from IAO131's reply since I find them to be of the type you usually hear when you hear criticism against lovecraftiana, UFO-lore etc..

“My friend, this has everything to do wth mysticism and nothign to do with aliens. “

These kind of statements strike me as throughoutly strange. It's like saying: this has everything to do with mysticism, nothing to do with angels, demons / whatever spirit you might want to add.
Since Grant was brought up, I have to state that most of the time I get the feeling that people that ends saying things like this doesn't seem to have read much by Kenneth Grant at all, bur are rather just giggling to what they've heard from others who like to giggle about Grant.
Malkuth corresponds to the Earth, so everything beyond earth is definitely extraterrestrial, right?

“Descent into caves? Are you aware of the mystical process? Do you nott see you are describing common psychic experiences.”

.. This is another striking example. It is breaking open already open doors with dynamite. I don't even see where one is going at. This would be like saying: “Did you meet an spirit that brought you to a special place in Yesod? Are you aware of the mystical process? Do you nott see you are describing common psychic experiences.”

What kind of moron would say those kind of things? Jeez...

65 & 210,
IAO131


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warriormonk93
(@warriormonk93)
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Posts: 82
21/11/2007 5:25 pm  

I thought there could be some interest in these links & if you care to go to the originating url as well...

http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/bb/parsons.htm

http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/bb/zos.htm

http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/bb/crowley.htm

http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/bb/babalon.htm

Just make sure if any of you get invited on the mothership, you buz by me in my backyard! 93's


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 Anonymous
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22/11/2007 1:12 am  
"rzk" wrote:
Malkuth corresponds to the Earth, so everything beyond earth is definitely extraterrestrial, right?

Wrong. Whilst Malkuth corresponds to the Earth, it most definitely is not the Earth itself, so to equate "extraterrestrial" with "extramalkuthian" - if there was such a word - is at best error, and at worst deliberate obfuscation in order to hoodwink people into thinking that certain parties' alien fantasies have some kind of legitimate Qabalistic basis.

"Extraterrestrial", in the way that everybody else in the world apart from you and your friends would understand it, means "outside, or originating outside, the limits of the earth." Whilst Malkuth can correspond with the earth itself, it can - and, in fact, usually does - also correspond to all physical existence (or to the perception of it), anywhere in the universe, on the earth or off it. Liber 777, for instance, corresponds Malkuth with "Sphere of the Elements", and specifically not "Sphere of the Earth."

So, if we apply the almost universally accepted definition of "extraterrestrial" to your usage of the term, then your usage can be seen to be completely inconsistent with the accepted usage of Malkuth (since your usage would, for instance, classify the physical existence of the planet Mars as being "outside of Malkuth," which practically no sensible Qabalist would agree with). Your usage of it is therefore at best confusing, and at worst deliberately misleading, despite your apologies for it.

There are far better terms for what you appear to be wanting to say. I have to surmise, therefore, that the only reason anybody would insist on using the term in this idiosyncratic and obfuscating way is indeed to enable them to feel better about their indulgences in fantasies concerning honest-to-goodness aliens from outer space, and to enable them to continue to pretend that such fantasies have anything whatsoever to do with the Qabalah, magick or Thelema. Which, of course, they don't.

Of course, this deliberate obfuscation is nothing new. Let's take Grant's own words, since there's a growing trend here to attempt to discredit criticisms of his "theories" by claiming the critics have never read him:

"Concerning the Cult of Lam" wrote:
It is Our aim to obtain some insight not only into the nature of Lam, but also into the possibilities of using the Egg as an astral space-capsule for travelling to Lam's domain, or for exploring extra-terrestrial spaces in the sense in which O.T.O. Tantric Time-Travellers are exploring the Tunnels of Set in intra-cosmic and chthonian capsules.

Only a complete and gibbering imbecile would write something like this and then express surprise along the lines of: "why on earth does everybody think we're interested in space aliens, time travel, and space-capsules?" Nobody who writes this kind of garbage can have the slightest interest in genuine communication. "O.T.O. Tantric Time-Travellers are exploring the Tunnels of Set in intra-cosmic and chthonian capsules" - give me a break! Neither can feeling good about reading stories about aliens be sensibly classified as "experiential occultism," unless watching "Close Encounters" can be equally so classed.

From the foreward to the same document (author unspecified, but presumably Staley, since it reeks of him and references his own article):

"Foreword to Concerning the Cult of Lam" wrote:
The idea of extra-terrestrial entities seems to cause difficulties with some people, associating it as they may do with the wilder shores of science-fiction. There is however a wealth of material on this matter to suggest the old cliche that truth is stranger than fiction ... Whether these visitors are regarded as visitors from outer space, or as welling up from the depths of some inner space, is neither here nor there. The dichotomy of 'inner' and 'outer ' is purely conceptual, arising from the dualist notion of an individual being somehow separate from the rest of the universe, which is somehow 'out there'. There is in fact nothing outside consciousness, which is a continuum.

The first two sentences can be more-or-less translated as "many people think this alien nonsense sounds silly, but you never know! They might be out there!! Haven't you seen the X-files?!?" The last three sentence are the purest tripe: "Whether these visitors are regarded as visitors from outer space, or as welling up from the depths of some inner space, is neither here nor there." Only a genuine clown could espouse this sort of idiocy. It's akin to saying "Go jump in front of a bus! Whether this bus is regarded as an actual bus, or an imaginary bus, is neither here nor there." Let's remember, if this was indeed written by Staley, that this is the same person who criticised my essay on ethics as not demonstrating "common sense"! And as for: "There is in fact nothing outside consciousness" - the author of this article is clearly employing either a vastly different definition of "fact" or a vastly different definition of "consciousness" to the ones used by the rest of the English-speaking world, quite apart from the absurdity of the idea itself (for instance, if there is indeed "nothing outside consciousness", then where does and did consciousness come from? It's insubstantial, yet it exists? And, if so, who is he writing those words to?) The distinction between reality (outside of consciousness) and illusion (inside of consciousness) is the very core of the practice of magick, and is the very heart of Thelema. Again, there is either clearly no interest in genuine communication, here, or clearly no understanding of the very basics of the subject at hand.

There can be little doubt that no matter how much people apologise for it, all this talk about aliens - whether literal or metaphorical - is utterly silly and contemptible, and completely at odds with common understanding of both the subject of magick and the terms in question. There is no sensible reason for it, which makes inevitable the conclusion that there can only be nonsensical reasons for it. If you don't mean honest-to-goodness extraterristrial aliens, then don't use those terms; this isn't rocket science.

It really is time people stopped being so ridiculous, and time their attention was drawn to the fact that the apologies in your post are neither sensible nor legitimate. As an approach to magick, this "extraterrestrial" talk can be discounted off-hand as being useless and deliberately misleading. Certainly it has nothing whatsoever to do with Thelema, and the fact that some people seem so keen to promote an association between Crowley and Thelema and this sort of garbage can only raise unpalatable suspicions as to their motives. To peddle this misinformation on a site that claims to be "noncommercial" strikes me as being particularly distasteful.


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 Anonymous
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22/11/2007 3:58 pm  

“So, if we apply the almost universally accepted definition of "extraterrestrial" to your usage of the term, then your usage can be seen to be completely inconsistent with the accepted usage of Malkuth (since your usage would, for instance, classify the physical existence of the planet Mars as being "outside of Malkuth," which practically no sensible Qabalist would agree with). Your usage of it is therefore at best confusing, and at worst deliberately misleading, despite your apologies for it.”

We are discussing in an esoteric context, so the non-esoteric usage of the words are not really interesting here. It is just like with the word Will:
Of course you can have criticism against these expressions of terminology in the western occult movement, but that argument simply won't do if you are not prepared to back away from all words used in a different way than in common discussions.
Actually, as I see it, fusing words with a deeper meaning is one almost basic expression of esoterism.

No one esoterist has any serious criticism against words as “Heaven”, so why “extraterrestrial”? We don't mean the physical clouds when we talk of Heaven and no one using the terminology “extraterrestrials” in the occult movement, in a practical context, has the bizarre idea of little physical green men in aluminium-vehicles.

I don't think we should treat accounts of experiences of Aliens or Angels, Trolls or Demons differently. We must look at what they are actually saying.

If someone had a vision working with Hod, seeing Mercury, you would not point out:
AHA! But Mercury is a physical planet belonging in Malkuth, it has nothing to do with Hod.
Let's get away from this rubbish.

“Of course, this deliberate obfuscation is nothing new. Let's take Grant's own words, since there's a growing trend here to attempt to discredit criticisms of his "theories" by claiming the critics have never read him”

Well you simply seems to have either completely misunderstood him, which is not strange since this is an esoteric tradition, or, you have not read enough. Anyone reading with both eyes what he writes will find pages and pages where he states open and in full that he talks not about physical aliens.
People who have not read will probably continue to hear that they have not read until they have read.

“Nobody who writes this kind of garbage can have the slightest interest in genuine communication. "O.T.O. Tantric Time-Travellers are exploring the Tunnels of Set in intra-cosmic and chthonian capsules" - give me a break! Neither can feeling good about reading stories about aliens be sensibly classified as "experiential occultism," unless watching "Close Encounters" can be equally so classed. “

There are simply no arguments in what you are saying. Initiation is not about reading about these alien beings, what is interesting is experiencing them! This is not about watching X-Files and then: there they are! Until you have had a close encounter, you have nothing to say.
Nothing in what you quoted by Grant supports the bizarre theory of physical little green men. But then again, after a while. You realize that what Grant says is that there is no difference. This does not mean that for instance the fictional characters we find in Grants litterature is just as real as us. But that we are just as unreal as them.
One of the major points of Kenneth Grant is a frontline attack on our whole idea of reality.
This however, does not make Kenneth Grant a relativist, which has been explained in other threads.

Actually, the only senseful argument I can find against the whole UFO-lore thing in my view is simply that one simply does not feel inclined to work with it or has had no experience or way of relating to it – just like other “religious systems”.

“And, if so, who is he writing those words to?) The distinction between reality (outside of consciousness) and illusion (inside of consciousness) is the very core of the practice of magick, and is the very heart of Thelema.”

I would really like to see some kind of argumentation on why Thelema is anti-advaita.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
22/11/2007 5:30 pm  
"rzk" wrote:
We are discussing in an esoteric context, so the non-esoteric usage of the words are not really interesting here. It is just like with the word Will:

No, it isn't like the world "Will" at all. See below.

"rzk" wrote:
No one esoterist has any serious criticism against words as “Heaven”, so why “extraterrestrial”?

Because words like "Heaven" (as opposed to "the heavens," for instance) have no widely-accepted "non-esoteric" meaning, so there is only limited potential for confusion. The same could be said for words like "demons" and "angels". "Will" does, but that's why it's usually capitalised, or attached to the qualifier "true," to make the distinction clear. "Extraterrestrial" has a well-defined "non-esoteric" meaning, and it had that meaning for a long time before you people tried to give it a new one.

Moreover, your usage of the term "extraterrestrial" does not have the accepted esoteric meaning that you try to impute to it. Nobody except Grant and his followers use it in this way. The only reasonable conclusion - as I have said - is that you aren't interested in genuine communication.

"rzk" wrote:
Let's get away from this rubbish.

You have correctly assessed the gist of my post. Please do start doing this when convenient for you.

"rzk" wrote:
Well you simply seems to have either completely misunderstood him

Once more, people who deliberately obfuscate attempts at communication have no grounds for complaint when people "misunderstand" them.

Besides which, I've not misunderstood him; my post was an accurate critique of that passage. Far more likely is that he doesn't really understand what he's saying.

"rzk" wrote:
Nothing in what you quoted by Grant supports the bizarre theory of physical little green men. But then again, after a while. You realize that what Grant says is that there is no difference.

Exactly what you people always say. "There are no little green men ... but only in the sense that there isn't anything else, either! So, for all practical purposes, there are little green men!"

More disingenuous excuses for fantasy, I'm afraid.

"rzk" wrote:
This does not mean that for instance the fictional characters we find in Grants litterature is just as real as us. But that we are just as unreal as them.

But this is utter nonsense. You might not be able to distinguish the difference between fantasy and reality, but that doesn't mean the difference is not there. Once again, perceiving this difference is at the heart of magick, and the fact that you are actively supporting a view which recommends abandoning any attempt at achieving this perception shows just how backwards Grant has it. He is a storyteller with an overactive imagination, and I am forced to surmise that he invents this nonsense about "unreality" in order to give some credence to his bizarre views, since if they don't have to be backed by reality, then they can be considered as true as anything else, and he can quite happily go ahead and call himself a master without needing evidence to support his claims. It's fantasy-mongering, pure and simple.

"rzk" wrote:
Actually, the only senseful argument I can find against the whole UFO-lore thing in my view is simply that one simply does not feel inclined to work with it or has had no experience or way of relating to it – just like other “religious systems”.

OK, well that's the only argument you can find. However, I've just given you another one - twice now - being that it's not only pointless, but completely backwards and pretty much guaranteed to mislead. There is no sensible basis for employing such language at all, and confusion is bound to be the result. I think that your post demonstrates this nicely.

"rzk" wrote:
I would really like to see some kind of argumentation on why Thelema is anti-advaita.

Read any of the essays on my website, then. If they aren't good enough for you, refer to AL I, 29, or pretty much anything by Crowley, for that matter, particularly the first chapter of Magick in Theory and Practice and Chapter V of Magick Without Tears, paying particular attention to the following quote:

"But even beyond Atmadarshana comes the experience called Sivadarshana,§ in which this Atman (or Brahman), this limit-destroying Universe, is itself abolished and annihilated. (And, with its occurrence, smash goes the whole of the Advaitist theory!)"

So, Crowley clearly doesn't agree with you. Do you therefore still think that your views have anything to do with Thelema?


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IAO131
(@iao131)
Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 461
22/11/2007 6:43 pm  
"Erwin" wrote:
"But even beyond Atmadarshana comes the experience called Sivadarshana,§ in which this Atman (or Brahman), this limit-destroying Universe, is itself abolished and annihilated. (And, with its occurrence, smash goes the whole of the Advaitist theory!)"

I never understood how the whoel Advaitist theory goes out the window with this, as some Advaitists are the ones who talked about Atmadarshana & Sivadarshana. Oh well...


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
22/11/2007 7:05 pm  
"Erwin" wrote:
"rzk" wrote:
I would really like to see some kind of argumentation on why Thelema is anti-advaita.

Read any of the essays on my website, then.

No thanks... 😉

"Erwin" wrote:
If they aren't good enough for you, refer to AL I, 29

As you have obviously never read AL I, 29 I'll quote it here for you :

For I am divided for loveʼs sake, for the chance of union.

Which is about as fine a description of Advaita Vedanta as you can get. 💡


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IAO131
(@iao131)
Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 461
22/11/2007 7:30 pm  
"nashimiron" wrote:
"Erwin" wrote:
"rzk" wrote:
I would really like to see some kind of argumentation on why Thelema is anti-advaita.

Read any of the essays on my website, then.

No thanks... 😉

"Erwin" wrote:
If they aren't good enough for you, refer to AL I, 29

As you have obviously never read AL I, 29 I'll quote it here for you :

For I am divided for loveʼs sake, for the chance of union.

Which is about as fine a description of Advaita Vedanta as you can get. 💡

I think the point is that Advaita Vedanta makes sense up to the point of the vision of Sivadarshana where the Brahman/Atman ('limit-destroying universe' that is perceived in atmadarshana) that is 'real' to this is itself destroyed. This is the only way I can conceive of Crowley's statement being true. One conception I had: We are one (Atmadarshana/K&C of HGA)! We are none (Sivadarshana/Master of the Temple)!

65 & 210,
IAO131


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3951
22/11/2007 7:31 pm  
"IAO131" wrote:
I never understood how the whole Advaitist theory goes out the window with this, as some Advaitists are the ones who talked about Atmadarshana & Sivadarshana. Oh well...

I agree. I wonder if Crowley was not here confusing Advaita with Monism.

Erwin, I have never read your essay on ethics or whatever, let alone dismissed it as not common sense. Although I downloaded that issue of the Journal for the excellent article on Crowley and Buddhism, your various perorations on this board do not exactly wet my appetite to hunt out your writings.

Your exercises in rhetoric are utterly beside the point. Magical and mystical experience is not amenable to rationalist dissection. Lam has been the focus of my magical and mystical work for many years now, and not surprisingly I place more store by my own experiences than by would-be rationalist debunkers, especially when they have so palpably little to bring to the table.

Your characteristic of Kenneth Grant as a "gibbering imbecile", or words to that effect, does you little credit, to say the least. I have known Grant for thirty years now, have had many hours of profound discussions with him, and can assure you that he is a highly intelligent and insightful person. Perhaps when you come up with a comparable body of work, I'll take you a bit more seriously; for the present, though, laughter seems more appropriate . . .


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IAO131
(@iao131)
Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 461
22/11/2007 7:37 pm  
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
"IAO131" wrote:
I never understood how the whole Advaitist theory goes out the window with this, as some Advaitists are the ones who talked about Atmadarshana & Sivadarshana. Oh well...

I agree. I wonder if Crowley was not here confusing Advaita with Monism.

Advaita is a form of Monism, but yea...


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
22/11/2007 7:52 pm  
"IAO131" wrote:
I think the point is that Advaita Vedanta makes sense up to the point of the vision of Sivadarshana where the Brahman/Atman ('limit-destroying universe' that is perceived in atmadarshana) that is 'real' to this is itself destroyed. This is the only way I can conceive of Crowley's statement being true.

That's exactly what he's saying. The gist of what he's saying in that letter is that "religious experience" tends to support the Advaitist theory, and that this is its main support, but that further "religious experience" undermines and ultimately removes that support, and invalidates it.


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IAO131
(@iao131)
Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 461
22/11/2007 8:16 pm  
"Erwin" wrote:
"IAO131" wrote:
I think the point is that Advaita Vedanta makes sense up to the point of the vision of Sivadarshana where the Brahman/Atman ('limit-destroying universe' that is perceived in atmadarshana) that is 'real' to this is itself destroyed. This is the only way I can conceive of Crowley's statement being true.

That's exactly what he's saying. The gist of what he's saying in that letter is that "religious experience" tends to support the Advaitist theory, and that this is its main support, but that further "religious experience" undermines and ultimately removes that support, and invalidates it.

Right. I find it hard to accept it though since hes using a Hindu term to describe the state beyond Advaita in the first place (Sivadarshana). I also find it hard to believe that ALL Advaitists (including Vivekananda, Ramakrishna, all the way back to Adi Shankara) did not experience this. And if they did (and labeled it 'Sivadarsha/Shivadarshana'), how come they did not give up their Advaitist interpretation?

65 & 210,
IAO131


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
22/11/2007 8:49 pm  
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
I agree. I wonder if Crowley was not here confusing Advaita with Monism.

He's not "confusing" it with monism, he's correctly identifying it as such. Monism is the theory that there is only one kind of substance in the universe. You postulate - and identify Advaita with - the idea that there is "nothing beyond consciousness," and that consciousness is all there is. This is a monistic view, palpably so. Or do you also define "monism" in a uniquely idiosyncratic way, also?

You really need to work on your communication skills, Michael.

"MichaelStaley" wrote:
Your exercises in rhetoric are utterly beside the point. Magical and mystical experience is not amenable to rationalist dissection.

"Magical and mystical experience" is not the issue at hand, here - the theory behind such experience, and the practical approaches to such experience, are what is being discussed, so this is yet another non-sequitur from you.

"MichaelStaley" wrote:
Lam has been the focus of my magical and mystical work for many years now, and not surprisingly I place more store by my own experiences than by would-be rationalist debunkers,

You don't even realise that you're telling an untruth, here.

The thing is that experience, by itself, has no explanatory power. All experience can tell you is that you've had an experience, and possibly something about the strength of that experience. That's it. If you want to go further, and develop a practical system that is aimed towards generating such experiences, you have to begin employing reason.

You say that you "place ... store by [your] own experiences," but the fact is that you don't. No matter what you do in this world, magical, mystical or otherwise, you have to have a theory, whether you like it or not. Fundamental to your discussions is the underlying idea that when you do certain things, other things follow. Even if this wasn't the case, you appear to want to debunk the role of reason, and then try to reason that your experiences are more reliable. You're all over the place, here. What you are actually placing store on are your rational interpretations of your experiences.

"MichaelStaley" wrote:
especially when they have so palpably little to bring to the table.

The irony!

"MichaelStaley" wrote:
Your characteristic of Kenneth Grant as a "gibbering imbecile", or words to that effect, does you little credit, to say the least. I have known Grant for thirty years now, have had many hours of profound discussions with him, and can assure you that he is a highly intelligent and insightful person.

I place absolutely zero store on your assurances, firstly since my interactions with you have not given the impression they are worth much by themselves, and secondly because I consider them to be contaminated by what I presume to be a direct financial interest in promoting this view and attempting to suppress legitimate criticisms of Grant and his "works". As I have said, I personally find the fact that you are promoting Grant's works on these forums to be rather distasteful in itself.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
22/11/2007 9:04 pm  
"IAO131" wrote:
I also find it hard to believe that ALL Advaitists (including Vivekananda, Ramakrishna, all the way back to Adi Shankara) did not experience this. And if they did (and labeled it 'Sivadarsha/Shivadarshana'), how come they did not give up their Advaitist interpretation?

I have no idea, but like so many others throughout history, they probably just moulded their theory slightly to take account of it, or redefined a terms for themselves. Not even Crowley can sensibly tar every single Advaitist throughout history with the same brush. He's criticising the fundamental theory, not the people, and the vast majority of adherents are likely to have a markedly different view of that theory than the few people who achieved significant attainment with it have.

You can't really refute the criticism by observing that a handful of adherents to that overall theory took a different view of certain aspects of it, just like you can't refute criticism of the theory behind Christianity by remarking that not all those who describe themselves as "Christian" actually believe in the existence of an honest-to-goodness personal saviour god. In the same way, it's not particularly sensible to refute criticisms of the extraterrestrial theory by remarking that a small minority of people claim (on very shaky grounds, incidentally) to not actually mean "extraterrestrial" at all. The theory is what it is; if some Advaitists disagree, then either Crowley misunderstood the theory, or those individuals don't actually adhere to what is commonly understood as "Advaitism".

It doesn't make a lot of sense for people to describe their personal theories as belonging to a particular tradition when they diverge significantly from what is generally understood about that tradition. It just generates confusion; this thread is a good example of that, as I've been saying. When people disagree so markedly as to the very fundamentals of a tradition, one is led to suspect that the only reason they try to identify with it is because they think it sounds rather cool. This'll always happen when people insist on using obscure labels to describe things for which perfectly adequate meaningful terms already exist. That's occultists, for you.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
22/11/2007 9:06 pm  

Because words like "Heaven" (as opposed to "the heavens," for instance) have no widely-accepted "non-esoteric" meaning, so there is only limited potential for confusion. The same could be said for words like "demons" and "angels". "Will" does, but that's why it's usually capitalised, or attached to the qualifier "true," to make the distinction clear. "Extraterrestrial" has a well-defined "non-esoteric" meaning, and it had that meaning for a long time before you people tried to give it a new one.

Moreover, your usage of the term "extraterrestrial" does not have the accepted esoteric meaning that you try to impute to it. Nobody except Grant and his followers use it in this way. The only reasonable conclusion - as I have said - is that you aren't interested in genuine communication.

You just have to check your dictionary to find some widely accepted non-esoteric definitions of the word Heaven and Will. Moreover, at the time Crowley began using the word this was very marginal in the occult movement. So if you want to criticise Grant you have to have historical criticism on Crowley aswell.

"Grant and his followers.." Maybe you should ponder why you even wrote this in comparison to yourselfself as following someone.
Personally, I am not a "follower" of Grant at all. I am inspired by him as one of the best writers on the left hand path - which I see myself as initiate in, but my biggest inspirations are not from his subtradition(s), but the subtraditition I am part of.
Further, Grant is not alone in this terminology, we also have Bertiaux. And now we are only discussing high profile thelemic authors. We find many more people using this terminology, or at least understanding it, just that you might have a limited view on the occult milieu.

As I said before. One probably basic feature of esoterism is that it takes widely used words and give them a (or several) deeper meaning(s)

"Once more, people who deliberately obfuscate attempts at communication have no grounds for complaint when people "misunderstand" them."

Well, that is because you haven't. Do you need quotations from where he says that he never meant little green men in fancy aliminium blip-blop vehicles?

Further. As you must simply have missed:
Grant's criticism of reality is not relativism.
You can take that criciticm with chaosmagick - but not Grant.

On Advaita, I'll pass on that part of the discussion until i have read what I deem necessary to continue that part, but one thing must be made clear first of all:
Crowley is not Thelema.


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warriormonk93
(@warriormonk93)
Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 82
22/11/2007 9:12 pm  

Again for those curious about Jack Parsons:

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/jplhistory/videos/rocketmen.php

93's


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3951
22/11/2007 9:16 pm  
"Erwin" wrote:
As I have said, I personally find the fact that you are promoting Grant's works on these forums to be rather distasteful in itself.

I assume that you find it equally distasteful that Paul allows me to promote Grant's works on this website, therefore being complicit in spreading this contamination.

Paul, clearly you should be ashamed of yourself.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
22/11/2007 9:43 pm  
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
I assume that you find it equally distasteful that Paul allows me to promote Grant's works on this website, therefore being complicit in spreading this contamination.

As usual, you assume incorrectly. As I have said many times, this is Paul's website, and he can do what he likes with it. I might possibly attribute inconsistency to him, since he goes out of his way to make the point that this is a noncommercial and nonpartisan site, but if he wants to promote anything he likes on his own website, that's entirely his own business, and wholly outside the scope of my concern.


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 Anonymous
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22/11/2007 9:58 pm  
"rzk" wrote:
You just have to check your dictionary to find some widely accepted non-esoteric definitions of the word Heaven

I did, and didn't find any.

"rzk" wrote:
and Will.

I believe I told you that there were non-esoteric uses of this word. That's why I went out of my way to point out to you the practices of capitalisation and qualification.

"rzk" wrote:
Moreover, at the time Crowley began using the word this was very marginal in the occult movement. So if you want to criticise Grant you have to have historical criticism on Crowley aswell.

This is incomprehensible to me. I'll respond to it if you restate it in a meaningful way.

"rzk" wrote:
"Grant and his followers.." Maybe you should ponder why you even wrote this in comparison to yourselfself as following someone.

Again, this is incomprehensible. The comparison was to people who are not followers of Grant. In that sense, it includes me, but I don't know where you are getting this "as following someone" stuff from, or even what you're trying to say with it.

"rzk" wrote:
Personally, I am not a "follower" of Grant at all.

I note that you don't consider yourself to be a follower of Grant.

"rzk" wrote:
Further, Grant is not alone in this terminology, we also have Bertiaux. And now we are only discussing high profile thelemic authors.

Well, the usage of "thelemic" here is certainly a matter of debate.

"rzk" wrote:
We find many more people using this terminology, or at least understanding it, just that you might have a limited view on the occult milieu.

Since that's the perspective the discussion is proceeding from, that's an entirely legitimate approach.

"rzk" wrote:
As I said before. One probably basic feature of esoterism is that it takes widely used words and give them a (or several) deeper meaning(s)

Yes, one basic feature of deliberate obscurantism and occultism is ondeed to mask the fact that you don't understand your subjects by using words in idiosyncratic ways so that nobody can understand what you are talking about, and you can claim immunity from criticism on that basis because you are "just misunderstood", and can later claim to have meant any number of widely differing things. This is indeed a basic feature of modern esotericism and occultism, but you appear to think that this is a good thing. There we differ.

"rzk" wrote:
Do you need quotations from where he says that he never meant little green men in fancy aliminium blip-blop vehicles?

No, since such quotes are irrelevant to the topic at hand, which is his alien rants and their detrimental effects. Besides which, as we've already seen, most of the times such quotes are followed up with "...but it makes no difference, so we can say they exist anyway!" It's at least mainly a smokescreen - the fact that he might have occasionally admitted that he was talking crap doesn't excuse those occasions, so let's stick to the point, shall we?

"rzk" wrote:
Crowley is not Thelema.

Indeed not, but Thelema without Crowley is like Christianity without Jesus. The Book of the Law defines Thelema, but only in a relatively loose and sometimes obscure way. Thelema, as a philosophy, was substantially invented by Crowley. So, whilst Thelema and Crowley are not equivalent, if you express views on Thelema significant different to Crowley's, then it's going to be pretty easy to demonstrate you to be incorrect, unless you want to claim that you have authority to both redesign Thelema along your own personal lines and to insist that everybody else accepts your new revelations.


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empiricus
(@empiricus)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 121
23/11/2007 12:32 am  

93,

I wouldn't be the first to suggest that we may not be able to achieve anything much, neither by views, traditions, morality or conventions, nor, importantly, without them, except by using them for abandonment rather than as positions to hold on to- to cling to for illusory, naked self-aggrandisement, out of desperate insecurity in pursuit of a hopeless and unachievable absolute dogmatic certainty - we might get where we want to be without the need to be anything, without 'lust of result' perhaps or at least less of it.

To say that Crowley is not Thelema is just not the same as Thelema without Crowley. If Thelema is not equivalent to Crowley, then the rest of the last sentence in the last post must fall - that claim can only hold if the author of it believes that Crowley is indeed the final arbiter and it also appears to suggest that any departure from that particular author's interpretation of Crowley's views about Thelema have to be regarded solely as someone else's easily refutable personal departures and new revelations. They don't necessarily have to be at all. The logic does not appear to quite stack up. It seems a bit too quick by half. I am far from convinced!

All the best...
93 93/93


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IAO131
(@iao131)
Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 461
23/11/2007 12:52 am  
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
"Erwin" wrote:
As I have said, I personally find the fact that you are promoting Grant's works on these forums to be rather distasteful in itself.

I assume that you find it equally distasteful that Paul allows me to promote Grant's works on this website, therefore being complicit in spreading this contamination.

Paul, clearly you should be ashamed of yourself.

This seems to clearly be an attempt to passively try to get Paul into the situation...

"empiricus" wrote:
To say that Crowley is not Thelema is just not the same as Thelema without Crowley. If Thelema is not equivalent to Crowley, then the rest of the last sentence in the last post must fall - that claim can only hold if the author of it believes that Crowley is indeed the final arbiter and it also appears to suggest that any departure from that particular author's interpretation of Crowley's views about Thelema have to be regarded solely as someone else's easily refutable personal departures and new revelations. They don't necessarily have to be at all. The logic does not appear to quite stack up. It seems a bit too quick by half. I am far from convinced!

I believe the point is that if you dismiss Crowley from Thelema, you dismiss Thelema nearly entirely, especially as a philosophical system which was espoused by him in commentaries and Liber Aleph, etc. Crowley exists without Thelema; Thelema as we know it does not exist without Crowley. What of Thelema would exist without Crowley?

If Jesus wrote a commentary to the Gospel, woudl you hold his opinion higher than another scholar's? Especially if he had written the Gospel himself?

65 & 210,
IAO131


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 Anonymous
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Posts: 0
23/11/2007 1:10 am  
"empiricus" wrote:
If Thelema is not equivalent to Crowley, then the rest of the last sentence in the last post must fall

This is just a misapplication of logic. Thelema can never be "equivalent to Crowley," since Thelema is a system, and Crowley was a person. This phrase as a whole contains no meaning.

"empiricus" wrote:
that claim can only hold if the author of it believes that Crowley is indeed the final arbiter and it also appears to suggest that any departure from that particular author's interpretation of Crowley's views about Thelema have to be regarded solely as someone else's easily refutable personal departures and new revelations. They don't necessarily have to be at all.

This is certainly a valid remark, on the other hand. If we discard any "non-Crowleyan" versions of Thelema, we are indeed still left with the problem of varying interpretations of Crowley's works themselves. This is, however, not an insuperable obstacle. I assert that a study of the entire Crowley corpus can demonstrate and consistent and relatively unambiguous view of Thelema, that a study of The Book of the Law itself reinforces this, and that the study of reality ties the final knot. Of course, anybody is at liberty to challenge any such view, and if they did this would be great, but nobody does it. It almost always comes down to "I believe in my interpretation, and if you disagree, you're just incorrectly not giving validity to my random opinions," "reason can't inform such matters," or "my naked experiences are better at explaining reality than your logic," all of which are utterly puerile and risible notions. Very few people appear to have the capacity to support their interpretations with anything other than empty belief. If they could, then disagreements as to substance would be no barrier to productive advances in understanding Thelema. One appears forced to conclude that, in the vast majority of cases, there is nothing but empty belief behind most of what passes for "Thelema" these days, which is an aberration.


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empiricus
(@empiricus)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 121
23/11/2007 9:48 am  

93,

With regards to the point about Thelema and Crowley being equivalent, forgive me and allow me to clarify the issue - perhaps I was this time "going a bit too quick": rzk made a point - "Crowley is not Thelema" - which you quoted and gave a qualified assent to - "Indeed not, but Thelema without Crowley is like Christianity without Jesus."- and then further took on the assumption for the purposes of the argument - "So, whilst Crowley and Thelema are not equivalent,...."

I then took it up as an hypothesis, writing: " If Thelema is not equivalent to Crowley.." - a point on which, I think, we can all agree and suggested that if this were indeed the case the subsequent point you were making fell because it seemed to claim far too much, a bit like like having your cake and eating it.

I think the original point rzk was making was that whatever our respective views about the relationship between Crowley and Thelema, whatever the origins of it, as a 'system' or a 'current', however we want to describe it, it is now not merely just a matter of what Crowley had to say about it, not just somehow crudely reducible to that. That being said, I agree entirely that it is not really conceivable, credible or desirable to somehow entirely dismiss Crowley from Thelema. Although I do not currently wholly agree with the description that Crowley "invented" Thelema, I do agree, as IAO131 has put it most succinctly, that: "Thelema as we know it does not exist without Crowley."

To move on, while I very much appreciate and support your desire for more rigorous and solid argument, backed up where appropriate by evidence and textual quotation, I am a little concerned about the somewhat lofty generalisations that "nobody" challenges, that "It almost always..." comes down to a mere assertion of "empty belief", "in the vast majority of cases....", "most of what passes for 'Thelema' these days..." Could this not come across as a tad arrogant perhaps and put people off from even bothering to challenge? It could sound a little like you think you are the only person, or at least one of the few people, who has got it right. I sometimes share your frustration on particular occasions when "empty belief" is emotively asserted without reason or evidence but just don't think these generalisations are necessarily true of all or most.

It is all too easy to come across sounding like the the classic angry young man - "get a teenager while they still know it all" - or the sad old geezer taking his pint alone in the pub having run out of people to talk to because he is convinced that he is the only one who knows anything and the rest of the world is full of idiots who have got it wrong.

On the question of reason, while wanting to champion its wider and better use -humans are animals that have the capacity to be rational but often fail to exercise it when they ought - I would want to argue that it does indeed have its limitations. The really interesting issue or arguments might be about exactly where and what those limitations are - contexts where it might be both appropriate and legitimate to challenge by suggesting and arguing that that dictates of reason might be found wanting.

All the best...
93 93/93


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spike418
(@spike418)
Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 213
23/11/2007 9:58 am  

"It almost always comes down to "I believe in my interpretation, and if you disagree, you're just incorrectly not giving validity to my random opinions," "reason can't inform such matters," or "my naked experiences are better at explaining reality than your logic," all of which are utterly puerile and risible notions. Very few people appear to have the capacity to support their interpretations with anything other than empty belief. ."

That has to be the funniest thing I have read this year!


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
23/11/2007 3:19 pm  
"empiricus" wrote:
I think the original point rzk was making was that whatever our respective views about the relationship between Crowley and Thelema, whatever the origins of it, as a 'system' or a 'current', however we want to describe it, it is now not merely just a matter of what Crowley had to say about it, not just somehow crudely reducible to that.

Indeed, but the point is if we want to answer questions along this lines of "what is Thelema?" or "what are the elements of Thelema?" then we have three sources:

1. The Book of the Law
2. Crowley
3. Everything else

The vast majority of what we know about Thelema comes from (2). It is certainly conceivable, if we accept that Thelema is ultimately defined by The Book of the Law, that Crowley didn't have it all right, and if we were able to identify something Crowley said that is relatively unambiguously inconsistent with The Book of the Lawn then we could demonstrate this.

However, the main principles of Thelema were laid down fairly completely by Crowley. Whilst it can always be developed, if people want to disagree with Crowley and say "Thelema is actually something else," then they need a damn good reason for doing it, and reference to The Book of the Law is pretty much the only avenue they have. It's pretty easy to do this on minor points, and I've done so myself, but to suggest that the fundamental principles of Thelema can be separated from Crowley is error, since he laid them down.

I don't hold with this view that Thelema is some sort of "current" that Crowley merely brought into attention. This is like saying that Judaism is part of the "Christian current" just because there are similarities between them, and because Jesus was a Jew.

"empiricus" wrote:
That being said, I agree entirely that it is not really conceivable, credible or desirable to somehow entirely dismiss Crowley from Thelema. Although I do not currently wholly agree with the description that Crowley "invented" Thelema,

"substantially invented" was the term I used, which I certainly consider to be true.

"empiricus" wrote:
I do agree, as IAO131 has put it most succinctly, that: "Thelema as we know it does not exist without Crowley."

Indeed.

"empiricus" wrote:
To move on, while I very much appreciate and support your desire for more rigorous and solid argument, backed up where appropriate by evidence and textual quotation, I am a little concerned about the somewhat lofty generalisations that "nobody" challenges, that "It almost always..." comes down to a mere assertion of "empty belief", "in the vast majority of cases....", "most of what passes for 'Thelema' these days..." Could this not come across as a tad arrogant perhaps and put people off from even bothering to challenge?

Sure it could. But so what? For the largest part, they aren't "bothering to challenge" now, so there's little difference. Moreover, if people are so shallow as to be "put off" by that kind of thing then they are unlikely to have anything of much worth to contribute anyway.

"empiricus" wrote:
It could sound a little like you think you are the only person, or at least one of the few people, who has got it right.

Well, I think this is basically accurate, except I'd reword it as "at least one of the few people who has got it right and writes about it from a recognisably Thelemic context." I'm perfectly happy to accept the idea that there are plenty of other people who have it right who keep quiet about it, or who don't link their ideas specifically with Thelema. This latter point shouldn't be surprising; there is very little in Thelema that is actually "new," its just the manner of presentation which is original. All the key elements had been expressed before, just not brought together in the way that The Book of the Law brings them together.

Moreover, the concepts themselves are not particularly complex, but the terminology and the associations with the Victorian occult movement obscures them horribly. A large part of the process of elucidating Thelema is simply lifting these concepts out of the whirling mass of crap that engulfs them. Since this is the context in which most of what passes for discussion occurs, I still consider my comments to be entirely justified.

As for "having it right" ... anybody who has been studying this or any other subject for twenty-plus years and doesn't think they have a pretty good idea of what it is - even if not necessarily in every possible detail - should probably have begun a different course of study a long time ago. As the previous paragraph should show, anybody who holds the popular opinion that it is just not possible to know anything worthwhile about this subject is mistaken; if this were true, there'd be no point studying or discussing it. The idea that everyone's random opinions are equally valid is simply incorrect, and an emphasis on a "softly-softly" approach serves only to exacerbate this problem. If someone were to suggest that the earth is in fact the centre of the solar system, few people would see any problem in quickly correcting them, and not many people would argue that their opinion is as "valid" as the correct one. This subject should be no different; the main practical distinction is that we are not starting from a position of widespread consensus to being with, but a start needs to be made somewhere, and that means that people have to start saying "no, you're simply wrong." The people who say that may indeed be wrong themselves (or simply misunderstanding), but determining that is the whole point of engaging in analysis. To continually give conscious credence to the idea that everybody may be right is not a productive way of proceeding.

"empiricus" wrote:
I sometimes share your frustration on particular occasions when "empty belief" is emotively asserted without reason or evidence but just don't think these generalisations are necessarily true of all or most.

Well, there we differ. I think that generalisation is true of most.

"empiricus" wrote:
It is all too easy to come across sounding like the the classic angry young man - "get a teenager while they still know it all" - or the sad old geezer taking his pint alone in the pub having run out of people to talk to because he is convinced that he is the only one who knows anything and the rest of the world is full of idiots who have got it wrong.

As I said, I don't really care. The manner of presentation has more than just the obvious purpose, here, but even if that were not so, you appear to be suggesting that an alternate manner of presentation would be more effective in generating quality analysis. If this is indeed so, I'd like to see an example of where you think this has happened in this context.

I've been posting to internet forums for many years, and it is not my experience that a "why can't we all just get along nicely?" attitude is conducive to quality debate; on the contrary, it tends to stifle it. In controversial areas, at least, it's the vigorous debates which bring out the best points. You may have to sift through some crap to get to them, but that's better than not having them at all, which appears to be the alternative. If people are afraid to challenge because they don't want to be seen as "know-it-alls" or they are overly concerned about giving validity to random opinions, then points do not get challenged, criticised or analysed, and those non-existent challenges naturally go unanswered, and the subjects are never explored in sufficient depth.

Furthermore, I think you're being overly dramatic. While my method of dialogue is relatively aggressive and frank, it's hardly threatening or intimidating to anybody who actually is able to back up their position with proper analysis, and the fact that my posts tend to generate that kind of dialogue demonstrates this. Some people are glad to have the opportunity to thrash ideas out in this manner. Anybody is who not able to back up their position with proper analysis has little to add to such discussions in the first place, and they are free to refrain from participating in them if they so desire.

"empiricus" wrote:
On the question of reason, while wanting to champion its wider and better use -humans are animals that have the capacity to be rational but often fail to exercise it when they ought - I would want to argue that it does indeed have its limitations. The really interesting issue or arguments might be about exactly where and what those limitations are - contexts where it might be both appropriate and legitimate to challenge by suggesting and arguing that that dictates of reason might be found wanting.

This may indeed by an "interesting issue" but it is not the issue at hand. If we are to discuss and analyse Thelema then we have to do it with reason, and accept all of its imperfections. If the use of reason is so fundamentally flawed that there is no point even beginning to discuss such things (which it isn't) then it is equally impossible to discuss its limitations in such a way, and, incidentally, impossible to sensibly raise the limitations of reason as an argument against such discussion, since to argue such a point is in itself a reliance upon reason. If people are so opposed to the idea of gleaning anything valuable for reason, then I'd like to hear when they are going to be burning all their Crowley books. It's highly amusing to watch people reason at length about how inadequate reason is. Reason does indeed have limitations, but most of the time in such forums people invoke this idea as a justification for not having to explain themselves, probably with the unconscious knowledge that such a course of action would likely prove unsuccessful.

Furthermore, a discussion or debate is something that takes place within the domain of reason, and is contained by it, so those limitations are ultimately of little concern here, much as the limitations of mathematics are not a hindrance to mathematical proof. This is a misconception that many people make, supposing that if "mystical experience is not conducive to rational dissection," then nothing useful in the field of magick is. This just isn't the case. Very rarely in such discussions are we actually even attempting to dissect the experiences themselves, but their causes and qualities, and the methods and benefits of generating them, and these latter things not only certainly are conducive to analysis, but are in fact constantly subjected to such analysis by the very people who claim they don't do it. Like I said, it's inevitable; like it or not, you have to have a theory, and if your theory of what's what is accurate, then you'll do it well. If it isn't, you probably won't. Reason may have its limitations, but that's what we inevitably have to work with, whether people like it or not.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
23/11/2007 7:33 pm  

Thanks to the originator of this thread for posting a link to my article. Although I knew my speculations and assertions would stir up some thoughtful debate, which is of course welcome, and perhaps even the point in writing it, one of the most frustrating things has been the reductive idea that I propose that LAM is an ET, or that a portal to the et dimension was opened with the Amalantrah Working, blah blah. I do point to these ideas within the article, but also state that I am rehashing the developing narrative/legend. I thank the poster who suggested my article actually be read, and made arguments quoting it. My main point was to propose my observations and questions about the aesthetic features of the gray alien.

Richelle Hawks


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
23/11/2007 7:33 pm  

"Those that forget the past are condemned to repeat it"...

Erwin i dont think its the level of "debate" that is the issue. Its that you ( and your pseudonyms) are presenting a skewed disturbed view of Thelema and attempting (unsuccessfully) to push this on to posters here who actually know what they are doing . Secondly you have a tendency to hijack threads ( like this one,again) and take them off course/off topic reducing the quality of debate you allegedly seek. In the martial arts there is a saying that goes along the lines of "leave the ego at the door". Maybe we could all learn something from that.......


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3951
24/11/2007 1:44 am  

Spot on, zain.


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IAO131
(@iao131)
Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 461
24/11/2007 2:14 am  
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
Spot on, zain.

Of course you would agree with anyone who remotely disagrees with Erwin's approach. What I find highly ironic is that zain's post and Staley's does just as much to divert the attention away from the subject at hand as Erwin supposedly does. The difference is that Erwin is arguing abotu the subject at hand. Seeing as how zain has called me Erwin/Aum418 in the past, I can see that this theme is cropping up again with his ridiculous assertion that Erwin has multiple pseudonyms that he posts under - Paul could easily settle this and show your assumption is wrong. I know it may be hard to believe that multiple people agree on things that you disagree with, but the sooner you come to terms with this the better, I think. You may think its 'skewed' but I could easily say the same for your unfounded assertions in other threads, and for example in this thread where you assert Erwin has pseudonyms. All Staley decided to post about was to affirm that he doesnt agree with Erwin as he has professed quite enough previously to know... If you look back, theres a theme of MichaelStaley coming into a thread with Erwin and complaining about him, often appealing to Paul passively or not, and not offering anything of substance himself. This isnt 'bad,' I just find it completley silly that both zain and staley criticize Erwin for bringing the thread off-topic when Erwin is at least debating the topic at hand when zain & staley simply complain and derail the thread further.

One person cannot 'hijack' a thread unless everyone else is in complicity. The fact that Erwin often brings a controversial viewpoint to the table doesnt mean he is hijacking the thread, it means he is injecting new life and debate into it. If you dont want to participate in conversation and debate but hypocritically assert that others are derailing the topic while mentioning NOTHING related to the thread in your own post, feel free to NOT post and propagate this 'hijacking of the thread.'

So... how bout them Lams?

65 & 210,
IAO131


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lashtal
(@lashtal)
Owner and Editor Admin
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 5304
24/11/2007 2:22 am  

Richelle,

"weedymedusa" wrote:
My main point was to propose my observations and questions about the aesthetic features of the gray alien.

Thanks for taking the trouble to post on this thread: your appearance here hopefully provides some of the participants the opportunity to discuss an article with its author, rather than making assumptions about what you "really mean".

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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empiricus
(@empiricus)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 121
24/11/2007 3:27 am  

93.

Spot on zain indeed! Perhaps the best contribution so far has come from spike418. It is extremely funny - a prime example of the very thing complained about. I tried to deal with it with a straight face, but clearly failed. The resulting rambling, near incoherent verbiage is more than enough to prove the point for anyone who cares to read it. Levity is for sure often the very soul of wisdom! The subsequent apologia, quite sad.

This link might prove interesting evidence for anyone who can be bothered to read it:

http://www.erwinhessle.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=16

But these aspects are are now way off topic and I want to echo Paul's thanks to Richelle for taking the trouble to post. I hope that, if we continue, we can get back to the substance of the excellent thread posted by wulfram in the first place.

All the best...
93 93/93


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IAO131
(@iao131)
Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 461
24/11/2007 3:55 am  
"empiricus" wrote:
93.

Spot on zain indeed! Perhaps the best contribution so far has come from spike418. It is extremely funny - a prime example of the very thing complained about. I tried to deal with it with a straight face, but clearly failed. The resulting rambling, near incoherent verbiage is more than enough to prove the point for anyone who cares to read it. Levity is for sure often the very soul of wisdom! The subsequent apologia, quite sad.

This link might prove interesting evidence for anyone who can be bothered to read it:

http://www.erwinhessle.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=16

But these aspects are are now way off topic and I want to echo Paul's thanks to Richelle for taking the trouble to post. I hope that, if we continue, we can get back to the substance of the excellent thread posted by wulfram in the first place.

All the best...
93 93/93

Im glad someone believes we are separate people. While we're at this site, why dont we read his essays and such? Thanks for the link, empiricus!

I too agree that hte best contribution to this thread was spike418's comment that he thought another's post was funny... (not)

Once again, how about them Lams?


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