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 Anonymous
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29/11/2009 11:06 pm  

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

The inherent contradictions of Thelema and Religion in general are not a weakness, but in fact its very strength. Many on the more rational side of the debate see these contradictions as Religion's inherent flaw and cause for its irrelevance.

Far from it.

It takes a tremendous strength and wisdom to balance these 'apparent' discrepancies. To truly give an accurate picture of the universe dichotomies must be reconciled and brought together into love; whether that love manifests as conflict is also irrelevant. Light and Dark are not just at each others throats for dominance, they are perpetually in union and produce the great universe that we find ourselves a part of producing all manner of children.

"For we are divided for love's sake, for the chance of union."

Our heads in the heavens, and our feet in the hells.

Love is the law, love under will.


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 Anonymous
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29/11/2009 11:25 pm  

My point is that Crowley called it a "Law" and hung a load of baggage about prophets and cakes of light on it, but if he were a philosopher he would have put it in a less authoritarian manner. Essentially, I think Thelema is a very authoritarian religion which requires a certain degree of slavish adherence, and which I think a truly freedom-loving person would not accept, even if they did accept a similar philosophical concept of "will".

I agree with this only partially. I consider myself a truly freedom-loving person that has accepted Thelema and the Book of the Law 'precisely' because I am free. The Book of the Law makes it very clear that it matters little if one accepts it or not, it is a Law that stands on its own and practiced regardless of ones awareness of the context. Just as a force of our universe like Light. We are given total freedom to explore or not.

Yet, I am also determined and a slave. The course I have taken is a union of my own choices and that which has changed me. True autonomy does not automatically exclude one from the whole. We are apart yet truly united. Yet we must all strive to be totally ourselves in an autonomous way so that we can discover what our place truly is. The universe is One in being Many. All is relation. True autonomy is a relationship, not a separation.

Is a free person a slave to is own freedom?


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 Anonymous
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30/11/2009 1:09 am  

ALEISTERION; NO; One declares your words, 'confused!'
You talk of Choronzon; 'The Mighty Devil', as identical to the Christan construct.
Choronzon, is The Lord of Illusion; responsible for the glorious realms of illusion,
in which We dwell.
No matter Your Religion; When One attempts acceleration beyond All Planes of form;
Then is there battle; for 'Choronzon' ( Maya? Samsara? ) does hate to lose even one of His fold; those who dwell
in the realms of illusion.
The Xstian devil, is an idealised singularity; to be blamed for ones failings, and more.
The failings of All incarnation: The wrong of The beginning.
To apportion blame, is meaningless; it seems, to One.
One does disagree with Your opinion.


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Aleisterion
(@aleisterion)
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30/11/2009 1:20 am  

Draconuit wrote: "You talk of Choronzon; 'The Mighty Devil', as identical to the Christan construct."

Choronzon is merely a gateway to the Supernals, not an actual objective being. At least that is how I see it. You have every right to disagree...I wouldn't have it any other way . 🙂


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Proteus
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30/11/2009 3:03 am  

It should be noted that followers of many religions generally do not consider themselves as followers of a 'religion' the way we have been using that word on this forum. For example, a Hindu will only identify himself as a 'Hindu' when asked what his 'religion' is by a Westerner. Amongst its followers, Hinduism is referred to as the 'Universal Law'. The same way the the Catholics rightfully show the word 'Catholic' simply means 'Universal' (from the Greek). Both of these factions consider their set of beliefs to be expressions of a universal truth, or natural law, that operates independent of human laws or actions - it is what it is.

Thelema incorporates the Hindu concept that the operative laws of the universe are cyclical. We are currently in the Aeon of Horus and it will pass. We are currently in the Kali Yuga and it will pass. Judaism-Christianity-Islam put a stake in the sand - the law was defined by the prophet(s) centuries ago and will never change.

Thelema is unique as it melds the concept of a dynamic but universal law (Hinduism) with the concept of prophethood (Judaism-Christianity-Islam).

If Thelema is indeed a natural law, it doesn't matter what you, I, or Crowley make of it - it is what it is.

Don't misunderstand. I'm not defending any particular position. "The grass ain't greener, the wine ain't sweeter either side of the hill."

John


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 Anonymous
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30/11/2009 3:03 am  

This thread is buzzing along!

Ian, to respond to your last comment first:

"ianrons" wrote:
This is all a lot of faith-based reasoning, which if anything shows just how much of a religion Thelema is.

Any system making claims about the nature of humanity is prone to become a religion. My point is more an impersonal observation on human nature. All that is required is to think about the information presented (Tree + True Will = Thelema). It resembles the concept of “religion” in that True Will connects each individual to the totality, but no more so than common sense observations that the individual is a part of the whole, that language connects us together, that we are social animals, that we feel a need for meaning etc. Sociologist Emile Durkheim noted the religious instinct lies at the core of society and one of Crowley’s brilliant insights was to recognize the sexual and religious instinct are identical. “Religion” in this sense should be understood as the link to Being and nothing more, corresponding to the etymology of the term (on a sidenote: if Sumerian sacred prostitution was brought back, the temples and churches would be packed on Sundays – or Fridays, as the case may be).

The above implies Thelema is not an anti-social philosophy. That “ye are against the people” and “the few shall rule the many” suggest Thelemites increase in individualism while remaining concerned with their community, state of the world, current issues etc. and that this trait is instinctual, unaffected by the opinions of others - deduced from True Will being grounded in the Supernals. The few ruling the many would therefore come naturally – similar to Plato’s philosopher-kings in The Republic.

To respond to your other comments:

"ianrons" wrote:
I dispute this. Taking each of your examples in turn:

    Obedience to True Will. "Thou hast no right but to do thy will." i.e., like a slave, one is not granted the right to use one's own body except in service to Will.

But no one can tell you what your True Will is or judge whether you are in the right or wrong. So what’s the problem?

"ianrons" wrote:
Obedience to the H.G.A. The concept of the H.G.A. is not terribly coherent in The Book of the Law, but how about "I am the Master; thou art the Holy Chosen One". Master and slave, albeit a "holy" slave. Also see the commentary to Liber LXV, II:35-6 where Crowley is explicit in the use of the term "slave" to describe the relationship.

It’s possible to ignore the concept of the HGA completely. Take Crowley for example: I am certain his relationship with his HGA was not ideal and he suffered the karmic repercussions. In the end he was abandoned by Aiwass – which seems the worst fate an adept could experience. Again, it is up to each individual to ascertain the significance of the HGA, how it impacts their lives and to act accordingly. The HGA is simply Crowley’s term for a universal concept found under different names in different civilizations. For example the Hopi believed they had to continually migrate to avoid becoming dependent on natural resources found in any particular place. Based on destruction of their previous worlds, they knew that wealth and stagnation leads to decadence and, in turn, this would cause the door in the crown of their heads, connecting them to their Creator Tawa, to close off. The Hopi considered keeping this door open to be more important than living in comfort.

"ianrons" wrote:
Obedience to the claims of the Book of the Law. Again, "Obey my prophet", but there are a lot of other things which one is instructed to do in that book (e.g., "Come unto me in a single robe"), including of course "Do what thou wilt". Some demands require less servility than others, but like other religions, it is not a matter of the giving and receiving of advice or friendly instruction; rather, these are demands, to be ignored at one's peril (and accompanied by threats such as of child murder).

I agree Aiwass makes some pretty harsh demands, but I can only speculate here.

I see an ironic commentary on human nature in the tone of these demands. 2000 years ago, the Teacher of Righteousness preaches a message of love, forgiveness and divinity of mankind, and the critics nail him to a cross in indignation. Commence Christendom. 2000 years later, another messenger arrives on the scene, sterner, less patient, cracking the whip. Crowley desperately fights for the pen, loses. Sit, heel, transcribe. Commence New Aeon.

Now you may object Thelema is authoritarian, but place it in context. If the Great White Brotherhood is tasked with overseeing the evolution of this planet, who knows what time-table and sense of urgency they are working under? Maybe it’s the growing world population, quickly approaching 7 billion, the dwindling energy resources, or any number of scenarios and possibilities. Whatever the case may be, humanity’s relationship to Aiwass, and extent of each individual’s engagement with the Book of the Law, appears to be the global version of a Thelemite’s personal relationship to their HGA (perhaps explaining the logic behind the Tunis Comment). We recognize in the dire warnings of the Book of the Law the ordeals that force us into a relationship with the HGA or threaten should we stray from our relationship to the HGA. But what is equally certain is these dire warnings are nothing compared to the atrocities committed in the two world wars following the Cairo Working.

Regarding the anti-rational message of the Book of the Law, we need only look to history to recognize the rationalism of the Enlightenment terminates in the Holocaust. What renders it incomprehensible is the rational and efficient manner in which trainloads of people were processed through IBM punch card machines, assigned numbers, and disposed of. Genocidal accounting. Kafka’s writing is prophetic in that he recognized the labyrinthine nature of bureaucracy, the rational efficiency of modernity, wherein each person is a cog in the machine, punching numbers and carrying out orders, unaware or responsible for what might be going on. The nightmarish scenario of The Trial is that a person accused of an unspecified crime, being a civilized and rational person, cooperates to the end and executed without struggle - the betrayal from turning Daath into a false Crown.

In contrast the light of the New Aeon comes from the Supernals. This does not mean rationalism should be rejected completely, but that dogs of reason are happy only when commanded with a firm hand. Sit, heel, transcribe. They yearn to find their proper place below the understanding and intuition of master and somewhere above the rest of the pack.


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Los
 Los
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30/11/2009 9:24 am  

Rather than try to respond to every post, I'm going to just respond to ianrons' last post directed at me.

Not to seek contention here, but this is a fairly direct statement that, presumably, means you don't regard yourself as a "Thelemite" in the sense implied in The Book of the Law (which obviously doesn't mean you don't "do your will", but which would imply you don't accept everything in that book)?

I consider myself a Thelemite because I am someone who actively seeks to do his will, who employs the terminology and symbolism of Crowley's system, who performs some of Crowley's Thelemic rituals on a regular basis, and who accepts the Book of the Law as written (I might not *interpret* the Book the way you do, but I accept it).

What I don't think is necessary is believing any supernatural theories behind any of the above.

Now I don't particularly care which label people use to describe me, but if your definition of "Thelemite" would exclude me, then I would argue that you're operating with far too narrow a definition.

it cannot be irrelevant to you (as a member of LAShTAL.com, let's say) whether or not Crowley's claims are valid.

I meant it would be irrelevant to the process of doing my will. I guess it would be significant for humanity, but it would be equally significant if some other supernatural claim turned out to be true. But I don't see any reason to think that any supernatural claims are true.

I don't accept the "natural course" -- you say that to follow "will" is to follow the "natural course" -- but why is nature so helpful?

We can't help but follow our nature, so we had better learn to do it well.

Crowley says that "Do what thou wilt" is a bid for the stars to shine and the grapes to grow. He also calls the will "a course, depending partly on the self, and partly on the environment which is natural and necessary for each."

Crowley is quite clear that following the will is following one's nature. Now arguably everything that we do is "natural," but Crowley is also clear that -- in the Thelemic model of self, anyway -- it is possible for one's mind to form a false idea of the self and cause one to deviate more or less from the natural tendencies of the self that we term the "true will." The practice of Thelema is the practice of "smoothing out the veils" of the mind so that one acts more and more in accordance with one's true nature. (None of the above, by the way, is "metaphysical" -- it's all based on a model of the self adopted for the convenience of being able to talk about the self)

What you seem to be implying -- that the true will is something other than one's natural course -- just doesn't compute.

And there has always been opposition, since change is always tumultuous.

Yes. I don't think that all conflict will magically disappear overnight if everyone did their will. But I'm willing to bet that there would be less. Either way, there's no way to tell if people are following their wills or not, so it's a pointless question.

But again, I don't think one should accept the Law of Thelema because "it'll make the world a better place." I think one should accept it because one can't help but do it, and one ought to do it well than badly.

Show me an example where the whole A.'.A.'./prophet thing isn't in some way stated or implied...

Well, a good one is from Magick Without Tears, chapter 71: "We insist from the beginning on the individual character of the work, and upon the necessity of maintaining the objective and sceptical standpoint. You are explicitly warned against reliance upon "authority," even that of the Order itself.) Consider my own assets, personal, social, educational, experiential and the rest: don't you see that all I had to do was to put out some brightly-coloured and mellifluous lie, and avoid treading on too many toes, to have had hundreds of thousands of idiots worshipping me?"

Those really don't sound like the words of someone who thinks that the work of others is contingent upon his own "authority." They also sound like the words of someone wise enough not to take himself too seriously.

There are other quotes, including the whole "Others say, 'Believe me.' I say don't believe me!" etc. As far as I'm concerned, "Do what thou wilt" and the Book of the Law stand or fall on their own merits, not on the word of some writer who lived a hundred years ago.

Erm, I don't know... the stuff about the stele, the rich man, etc.

*Shrugs* I never interpreted that stuff literally. The bottom line is that "There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt" -- and that's the case even if the literal interpretations of some verses in a cryptic little book don't come to pass.

Like all "prophecies," the ones we find in Liber AL are vague and more or less useless, especially as proofs of "preternatural intelligence" or whatever's being claimed. They're far more effective as poetry or symbolism.


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 Anonymous
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30/11/2009 1:18 pm  

Tai in Post subject: Posted: Nov 30, 2009 - 03:03 AM, write the following about Crowley: "In the end he was abandoned by Aiwass [Crowley's Holy Guardian Angel] – which seems the worst fate an adept could experience."

In many "prophetic" religions there are ordeals for the prophet[-s], is the "ordeal" of A. Crowley mentioned by Tai above, a common belief among Thelemites?

And going on along these lines: Ianrons mention a holy/sacred text of [Crowley's]Thelema containing "demands, to be ignored at one's peril (and accompanied by threats such as of child murder)."

Have the rumours about Crowley experiencing all of his children dying, been claimed as proof of him being cursed for ignoring demands in "The Book of the Law"?


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 Anonymous
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30/11/2009 3:34 pm  

Aleisteron; Hi, One agrees with Your explanation of Choronzon, to disagree, is surely a vital part of forum discussion; learning.
In fact; 'Draco' probably misunderstood Your post; He has 'issues' RE: This subject. A pleasant reply, Dear Fellow; Thank You.
Tai wrote of Crowley losing His HGA; apparently,
which is; One believes, an intrinsic reality of The Phase of Evolution referred to. Perhaps One could relate this to The Nazarene myth;
:-On The Cross; J.C. exclaims-" My God, My God, Why hast Thou forsaken Me?"
However, does Crowley not also write, that, having successfully emerged above The Abyss; That His HGA did return;
to dwell in His Heart; etc.?
These seem to be Universal truths.
There's an abundance of fascinating writing to comment on; But;---
Must go;
Serenity---ONEALL.


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 Anonymous
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30/11/2009 3:40 pm  

Oh, The purple chap, came up by a coincidental combination of a colon etc. Not a willed result; it adds a certain emphasis, however...
Best Wishes, One and All.


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 Anonymous
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30/11/2009 3:59 pm  
"Draconuit" wrote:
Tai wrote of Crowley losing His HGA; apparently, which is; One believes, an intrinsic reality of The Phase of Evolution referred to. Perhaps One could relate this to The Nazarene myth;
On The Cross; J.C. exclaims-" My God, My God, Why hast Thou forsaken Me?"
However, does Crowley not also write, that, having successfully emerged above The Abyss; That His HGA did return; to dwell in His Heart; etc.?

Draconuit - I refer to Sri Dadaji’s account:

I often contemplated the story of Aiwass, the personal Guardian and the inspiration of The Book of the Law. The Magus often visited me in a little flatlet I had on the King's Road front at Brighton. He frequently came down from London and stayed at the Ship Hotel. One afternoon I put to him the question, ``Where is Aiwass now?'' Crowley looked at me and gave his head a minute shake and then spread his arms with upturned palms as if to say, ``Where?'' or even ``God knows!'' Then he spoke, ``I think the fault is mine.''

I was much impressed by these sad moments and the look of dejection I witnessed. Yet it made me realize that the factor which had caused his rise had been neglected in his fall. In spite of all this, Crowley was still able to help me much in my own Work, just as people are being inspired and encouraged by his writings now that he has passed on.

http://www.mahendranath.org/londinium/londinium.html

Crowley crossed the Abyss in 1908 and stabilized in subsequent years. Whereas the exchange with Dadaji took place sometime in the 1930s, after the Nina Hammett/Laughing Torso libel case. This meant Crowley had been abandoned by Aiwass for the last 15 years of his life, possibly longer.


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Palamedes
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30/11/2009 5:35 pm  

93 Tai,

I remember that story by Dadaji. We are in a highly speculative territory here, for ultimately who can know for sure about the other and his or her relationship with HGA or anything comparable. We can not ever know this for sure. Having said that, and as a matter of discussion, I was personally always impressed by the (at least some) Zen Buddhist position on this: the practice is eternal and the practice is enlightenment. A person may lose an enlightened perspective/position/state/understanding. There is a statement to the effect that the Buddha is still practicing and he is still only half-way there! This is at odds with some other schools of thought and practice: in Hindu teachings, for example, once a person has achieved samadhi he or she can commit any 'sin' or crime and it would not matter at all: such a person is beyond the 'wheel of samsara' and nothing can stain or effect him/her anymore. It seems to me that Crowley was an adherent of the latter view. And I myself am skeptical of it, but ultimately, I do not know. I guess we all have to make our own wager on this, as any other, issue.


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Patriarch156
(@patriarch156)
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30/11/2009 6:35 pm  
"tai" wrote:
Draconuit - I refer to Sri Dadaji’s account:

One wonders why he is not mentioned once in Crowley's diaries, despite having according to him visited him often in his little flatlet.

In fact outside of his own claim, there is not a single indication that these many visits ever having occurred.


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 Anonymous
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30/11/2009 8:46 pm  

TAI; Thank You; This is indeed, a puzzle. The link, is very intereting...
Serenity;---ONEALL


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 Anonymous
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30/11/2009 8:59 pm  

Patriarch156 - I don’t have a copy of Crowley’s diary for 1926 – 1947, but Dadaji would have been Lawrence Miles in those meetings with Crowley. It would be useful to pinpoint the date of this alleged exchange. Maybe Alex might have information to confirm Dadaji's story.

Iskandar - I have no interest in judging Crowley’s relationship with his HGA. Only he would know the truth, which is why his admission seems disturbing.


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mika
 mika
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30/11/2009 9:31 pm  
"ianrons" wrote:
The point is that Crowley didn't *prove* it,

Well of course he didn't. The point is for each person to discover for ourselves, through our own rational experimentation.

Consider what you're complaining is missing - imagine for a moment that Crowley did, indeed, provide proof of his claims. Then what? We're all supposed to just blindly believe him? He proved his statements therefore we don't need to question or think anymore? "The method of science" applies to each one of us in our own work. If you do the work, and engage in rational, scientific, objective observation of the results of your work, then you can verify for yourself whether or not Crowley's words hold up.

People don't believe the work of Newton, or Einstein, or whatever other scientist, simply because they "proved their claims". We accept their claims as valid because we have tested them, over and over again, with consistent results. Crowley's work is no different.

"ianrons" wrote:
I don't accept the "natural course" -- you say that to follow "will" is to follow the "natural course" -- but why is nature so helpful?

It's not a matter of choosing the course that is "most helpful" to you. It's about following the course that is natural to you. You choose to do this because, to put it simply, you're going to do it anyway (or suffer the consequences of attempting to avoid it). Your essential nature is going to manifest regardless of how much you fear or abhor it, regardless of how ashamed or guilty it may make you feel, regardless of what you think you should be doing instead. Eventually you will either learn to accept it and do it, or you will suffer mentally and likely physically due to trying to ignore, suppress or repress your natural tendencies. That's what makes it your "essential nature", that's why people stick the word "true" in front of "will".

"ianrons" wrote:
The more I know my "will", the more I realise I must "take a stand" against the herd. Surely to know one's will is to be "against the people",

No, that's exactly not what it is. You're talking about a belief about yourself, not an understanding of your actual will. If you think you must "take a stand against the herd", then that belief is guiding your actions rather than your will. Perhaps your will happens to coincide with going against the herd, perhaps it doesn't. The point is to discover your actual will and do it regardless of how it relates to the beliefs and actions of the herd.

"ianrons" wrote:
And why "follow" a law -- don't you want to be free? The "Law of Thelema" is a construct: one that has religious underpinnings which are totally unnecessary.

Sure, the "Law of Thelema" is a construct, just as the "Laws of Thermodynamics" are constructs. However, it is not an authoritative law created by humans for other humans to follow under their control. It's a natural law, like the physical laws that guide a stream down a mountain. You, of course, are free to ignore it, at your own peril. Maybe expending the energy and work involved in acting contrary to your nature, and suffering the inevitable consequences, are worth it to you just so you can maintain the appearance of being a "rebel" who "goes against the grain of the herd".


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 Anonymous
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30/11/2009 11:16 pm  

93 Iskandar. My fault for painting with such a broad brush across the old-aeon religions. But, have you been to India or elsewhere in Asia and seen for yourself how religious theory plays into practice?

As for 'which will' is true Will?, I am referring to the innate nature of the individual, regardless of its origin (usually somewhat modified by early environmental influence, very little of which cannot be undone with effort). BTW, a "secular Thelemite," by my reckoning, does not operate from a "secular Will." He merely attributes the origin of true Will more carefully, or, less carelessly.


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Patriarch156
(@patriarch156)
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30/11/2009 11:16 pm  
"tai" wrote:
Patriarch156 - I don’t have a copy of Crowley’s diary for 1926 – 1947, but Dadaji would have been Lawrence Miles in those meetings with Crowley. It would be useful to pinpoint the date of this alleged exchange. Maybe Alex might have information to confirm Dadaji's story.

I know who Dadaji is, ie Lawrence Amos Miles. No such person is ever mentioned either in a diary by Crowley, any of his letters, or by anyone knowing him, which is highly unusual for Crowley if he had so many visits to this individual, particularly if he adviced him and informed him on such important matters as Miles claims to have been done. Supporters of Miles has for some time now tried to advance this particular story and so far absolutely no evidence corroborrating it has come to light. So I repeat there exists absolutely no evidence beyond the tales from Miles himself that Crowley ever was in contact with him, let alone had substantial meetings with him about the matters he has claimed.


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 Anonymous
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01/12/2009 12:04 am  
"mika" wrote:
"ianrons" wrote:
The point is that Crowley didn't *prove* it,

Well of course he didn't. The point is for each person to discover for ourselves, through our own rational experimentation.

Consider what you're complaining is missing - imagine for a moment that Crowley did, indeed, provide proof of his claims. Then what? We're all supposed to just blindly believe him? He proved his statements therefore we don't need to question or think anymore? "The method of science" applies to each one of us in our own work. If you do the work, and engage in rational, scientific, objective observation of the results of your work, then you can verify for yourself whether or not Crowley's words hold up.

People don't believe the work of Newton, or Einstein, or whatever other scientist, simply because they "proved their claims". We accept their claims as valid because we have tested them, over and over again, with consistent results. Crowley's work is no different.

"ianrons" wrote:
I don't accept the "natural course" -- you say that to follow "will" is to follow the "natural course" -- but why is nature so helpful?

It's not a matter of choosing the course that is "most helpful" to you. It's about following the course that is natural to you. You choose to do this because, to put it simply, you're going to do it anyway (or suffer the consequences of attempting to avoid it). Your essential nature is going to manifest regardless of how much you fear or abhor it, regardless of how ashamed or guilty it may make you feel, regardless of what you think you should be doing instead. Eventually you will either learn to accept it and do it, or you will suffer mentally and likely physically due to trying to ignore, suppress or repress your natural tendencies. That's what makes it your "essential nature", that's why people stick the word "true" in front of "will".

"ianrons" wrote:
The more I know my "will", the more I realise I must "take a stand" against the herd. Surely to know one's will is to be "against the people",

No, that's exactly not what it is. You're talking about a belief about yourself, not an understanding of your actual will. If you think you must "take a stand against the herd", then that belief is guiding your actions rather than your will. Perhaps your will happens to coincide with going against the herd, perhaps it doesn't. The point is to discover your actual will and do it regardless of how it relates to the beliefs and actions of the herd.

"ianrons" wrote:
And why "follow" a law -- don't you want to be free? The "Law of Thelema" is a construct: one that has religious underpinnings which are totally unnecessary.

Sure, the "Law of Thelema" is a construct, just as the "Laws of Thermodynamics" are constructs. However, it is not an authoritative law created by humans for other humans to follow under their control. It's a natural law, like the physical laws that guide a stream down a mountain. You, of course, are free to ignore it, at your own peril. Maybe expending the energy and work involved in acting contrary to your nature, and suffering the inevitable consequences, are worth it to you just so you can maintain the appearance of being a "rebel" who "goes against the grain of the herd".

Nice post, Mika.

To make myself clear, I observe certain categories of Thelemite, today, each of whom are really Thelemites, by my reckoning. There are the religious Thelemites, as Ian was (sort of) representing most recently. There are the secular Thelemites, such as Mika or Los, perhaps. There are the magicians and mystics of Thelema, such as Kyle, and yes, most the posters to this forum.

Each of these categories are, by my reckoning, really Thelemites, regardless of their differences.

What baffles me, though, in my old age ;), is why we engage in these skirmishes between one another, to the neglect of identifying common enemies of Thelema upon whom we might better spend our time and energy.

We are a rather chicken-sh*t lot, it seems.


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gurugeorge
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01/12/2009 1:25 am  
"Camlion" wrote:
We are a rather chicken-sh*t lot, it seems.

The whole affair has been somewhat embarrassing, to say the least 🙂

However, if you look at the history of religions in general, it's no different - all you see is squabbling between presumptive "heirs" of one sort or another, and their fans.

But that's ok - all the squabbling marks off where not to look for Thelema. "Centres of pestilence" are self-advertising.

Oh well, at least, with this religion, we do have, spread out all over the world, electronic and paper copies of the very manuscript on which the religion is based - I think this is absolutely unique in the history of all religions, in that we have the founder's text in his own words, even in his own hand. That will count for a lot in the future, I think - with or without impending apocalypse.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
01/12/2009 1:27 am  

Camilion,
These skirmishes are only natural between groups of similiar thinking people. To use as an example there are numerous denominations inside every religion/system which
fundamentally call themselves Christian (Church of England, Catholic, Evangelists etc.), Muslim (Sunni or Shia) Judaism (Humanistic, Orthodox) or any of the others. They all
believe in a specific "God" but vary in the processes required to understand "God".

I believe it's only natural and how lucky are we to be able to hold these discussions openly without fear of any reprisals which in our very recent history would have been
impossible due to Established Laws/Morals/Standards and the lack of technology.

Thanks to Lashtal, the internet and a few thousand years of progress we are able to talk, argue, fight, understand and agree with people all over the planet within
minutes...f@#king love it!


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
01/12/2009 1:39 am  
"Patriarch156" wrote:
I know who Dadaji is, ie Lawrence Amos Miles. No such person is ever mentioned either in a diary by Crowley, any of his letters, or by anyone knowing him, which is highly unusual for Crowley if he had so many visits to this individual, particularly if he adviced him and informed him on such important matters as Miles claims to have been done. Supporters of Miles has for some time now tried to advance this particular story and so far absolutely no evidence corroborrating it has come to light. So I repeat there exists absolutely no evidence beyond the tales from Miles himself that Crowley ever was in contact with him, let alone had substantial meetings with him about the matters he has claimed.

Thanks for that comment. Just a few points to consider:

If Dadaji’s alleged conversation with Crowley is dated at 1932, he would have been 21 years old and Crowley would have been 57 years old. His Londonium article depicts an impressionable young man and an aging Crowley, offering advice to a young man he happened to encounter in London while dealing with the libel case. Dadaji probably hardly registered in Crowley’s mind, who had other, more pressing matters on his mind (bankruptcy), and therefore his recollection of him would have been one-sided. That might explain why there is no archival evidence on the side of Crowley.

Otherwise it raises the question why Dadaji would fabricate such an encounter, going so far to state in a 1990 letter that he last heard from Crowley in 1937/38. As I see it, Crowley probably wrote a follow-up letter to that “young man” he happened to meet and talk with in 1932.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
01/12/2009 2:19 am  
"gurugeorge" wrote:
"Camlion" wrote:
We are a rather chicken-sh*t lot, it seems.

The whole affair has been somewhat embarrassing, to say the least 🙂

However, if you look at the history of religions in general, it's no different - all you see is squabbling between presumptive "heirs" of one sort or another, and their fans.

But that's ok - all the squabbling marks off where not to look for Thelema. "Centres of pestilence" are self-advertising.

Oh well, at least, with this religion, we do have, spread out all over the world, electronic and paper copies of the very manuscript on which the religion is based - I think this is absolutely unique in the history of all religions, in that we have the founder's text in his own words, even in his own hand. That will count for a lot in the future, I think - with or without impending apocalypse.

Good post, George. Were it not for all of us being such cowards at heart, reclining in the relative comfort of our infighting, there might be hope of us actually promulgating the Law of Thelema.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
01/12/2009 2:28 am  
"miles_vera" wrote:
Camilion,
These skirmishes are only natural between groups of similiar thinking people. To use as an example there are numerous denominations inside every religion/system which
fundamentally call themselves Christian (Church of England, Catholic, Evangelists etc.), Muslim (Sunni or Shia) Judaism (Humanistic, Orthodox) or any of the others. They all
believe in a specific "God" but vary in the processes required to understand "God".

I believe it's only natural and how lucky are we to be able to hold these discussions openly without fear of any reprisals which in our very recent history would have been
impossible due to Established Laws/Morals/Standards and the lack of technology.

Thanks to Lashtal, the internet and a few thousand years of progress we are able to talk, argue, fight, understand and agree with people all over the planet within
minutes...f@#king love it!

Yes, miles_vera, I certainly acknowledge the freedom of interaction that the technology of the new aoen has bestowed upon us. But, our cowardice concerns me. We tend to sit back and bang on our keyboards.


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Patriarch156
(@patriarch156)
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01/12/2009 6:39 am  
"tai" wrote:
If Dadaji’s alleged conversation with Crowley is dated at 1932, he would have been 21 years old and Crowley would have been 57 years old. His Londonium article depicts an impressionable young man and an aging Crowley, offering advice to a young man he happened to encounter in London while dealing with the libel case. Dadaji probably hardly registered in Crowley’s mind, who had other, more pressing matters on his mind (bankruptcy), and therefore his recollection of him would have been one-sided. That might explain why there is no archival evidence on the side of Crowley.

Crowley's diaries from the 1930s records various meetings with largely unimportant people and one would think that if he deliberately visited as Dadaji claims he did that he would have made a note about this, particularly if he discussed at length these doctrines that Dadaji claims he did, including giving him advice to as to his future work.

Otherwise it raises the question why Dadaji would fabricate such an encounter, going so far to state in a 1990 letter that he last heard from Crowley in 1937/38.

And yet there is no such letter existing or being produced, let alone any mention of Crowley writing it anywhere in his diaries, which tended to record most of his activities. There is also no mention of this character in Crowley's address books.

As I see it, Crowley probably wrote a follow-up letter to that “young man” he happened to meet and talk with in 1932.

I will believe it when I see this letter produced. This should be a remarkably easy task for Dadaji in light of his claims being so disputed.

As far as why he would lie about such a thing, there are many people who similarly have fraudulently claimed contact with Crowley in order to bolster their own claims.


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
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01/12/2009 9:05 am  
"Patriarch156" wrote:
I will believe it when I see this letter produced. This should be a remarkably easy task for Dadaji in light of his claims being so disputed.

Hardly a "remarkably easy task for Dadaji", I would have thought, given that he died a few years ago. After emigrating to India in the early 1950s, he was a wandering sadhu for many years, so it's questionable whether anything of this nature would have survived.

Best wishes,

Michael.


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ianrons
(@ianrons)
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01/12/2009 9:16 am  

(I don't have time to address all the responses to my previous posts, so I'm just going to give a quick consolidated reply.)

To put it bluntly, I haven't seen anything posted to lead me to modify my position vis-a-vis Thelema as religion and pseudo-science, but it's clear that Thelemites don't like to think of themselves as being part of a religion, perhaps because there is such an anti-religious slant to Thelema. The attitude "We're better than those other guys" is, however, a common feature of religion 😉

I'm particularly unmoved by the appeal to science with regard to the "Law of Thelema", since it doesn't possess any of the features of a scientific theory, and in particular it lacks falsifiability, mainly because the terms are so vague, but also because it seems pretty difficult to conceive of any possible experiment to test it. However, if the universe really is expanding, according to the "Law of Thelema" its constituent parts must surely hate each other...

Seriously, though, the dictum of "Do what thou wilt" (which has come up as a backstop a few times) doesn't appear to have any validity as a "categorical imperative" -- why should anyone pay particular attention to the local phenomenon of "self" rather than any other, perhaps random, phenomena? It also seems to reinforce the dichotomy between phenomenal and noumenal in which the 19th century concept of "will" is rooted. Perhaps someone would like to assay the task of demonstrating its scientific and/or philosophical validity?

---
P.S. The point I was making about Choronzon being equivalent in some senses with the Christian Devil is based on the Dee & Kelley originals where "Coronzom" is identified as the serpent in Eden.


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Patriarch156
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01/12/2009 11:37 am  
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
After emigrating to India in the early 1950s, he was a wandering sadhu for many years, so it's questionable whether anything of this nature would have survived.

So in summary, it is unlikely that any such evidence have survived. My point however is this, until any such independent evidence survives it is highly unlikely that he ever met Crowley to the extent that he claims to have.


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 Anonymous
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01/12/2009 12:47 pm  

Ok, but I doubt any of us care about Dadaji’s actual relationship to Crowley. The only thing that matters is Crowley’s admission about Aiwass – which has pretty heavy implications. If Dadaji’s motive in lying or exaggerating his contact with Crowley was to build a narrative of his own spiritual evolution (i.e. meeting the Magus as a young man in London, which set him on the path to India), why would he include that information about Aiwass?


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the_real_simon_iff
(@the_real_simon_iff)
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01/12/2009 1:11 pm  
"tai" wrote:
why would he include that information about Aiwass?

"Look, AC was wrong, and he even knew it. But I am right!"

That's just one possible good reason for his assertion.

Love=LAw
Lutz


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ianrons
(@ianrons)
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01/12/2009 1:30 pm  

LOL.

I've been irritated by that part of the Wikipedia article for some time now. Perhaps it deserves an edit?


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lashtal
(@lashtal)
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01/12/2009 1:34 pm  

Don't get me started on Wikipedia again! 🙁

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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ianrons
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01/12/2009 2:33 pm  

Yeah, we really got pussy-whipped last time, didn't we 😛 But actually the bit about Dadaji seems to have disappeared now.


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lashtal
(@lashtal)
Owner and Editor Admin
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01/12/2009 3:16 pm  

We did [hangs head in shame]…

😉

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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Patriarch156
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01/12/2009 5:11 pm  
"tai" wrote:
Ok, but I doubt any of us care about Dadaji’s actual relationship to Crowley. The only thing that matters is Crowley’s admission about Aiwass – which has pretty heavy implications. If Dadaji’s motive in lying or exaggerating his contact with Crowley was to build a narrative of his own spiritual evolution (i.e. meeting the Magus as a young man in London, which set him on the path to India), why would he include that information about Aiwass?

i. The reason that the actual relationship is relevant is because it casts everything else into doubt. To name but one example, the admission concerning Aiwaz. Considering that this flies in the face of absolutely everything else Crowley wrote concerning this, don't you think it is highly peculiar that he would admit this to someone he hardly had any relationship with. Moreover

ii. As far as why he would include that information about Aiwaz, there could be any number of reasons for this, including that he wanted to de-emphasize the importance of AL. There are many people who are inspired by Crowley's magical and mystical ideas who could care less for AL after all.


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Patriarch156
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01/12/2009 5:20 pm  
"Patriarch156" wrote:
Moreover [...]

Why would he not note such a monumental admission in his diaries.


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OKontrair
(@okontrair)
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01/12/2009 6:04 pm  

I see no such admission anyway, monumental or otherwise.

A look, a shrug, a 'my fault I suppose'; all to a young man years before and recalled much later.

And the inference 'as if to say'. That's what I would call monumental.

Even if the recollection was perfect and the retelling unembellished this is weak.

And what exactly does everyone seem to think is wrong with the pill scheme? Looks like a good wheeze to me. Back then doctoring was not such an uptight monopoly and advertising rules less fussy. The plan does seem to be genuine. There is a prescription for these at the Warburg signed Dr.M.D.Balt (our hero) and Alan Burnett-Rae reports AC as 'having all the literature about it printed'.

OK


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
01/12/2009 7:35 pm  

Los Post subject: Posted: Nov 30, 2009 - 09:24 AM

"I don't think that all conflict will magically disappear overnight if everyone did their will. But I'm willing to

bet that there would be less. Either way, there's no way to tell if people are following their wills or not, so

it's a pointless question.[my emphasis].

But again, I don't think one should accept the Law of Thelema because "it'll make the world a better place." I

think one should accept it because one can't help but do it,..."

Thelema is a system with claims about the nature of humanity, and with each individual doing its "true will" as a goal.

But if "there's no way to tell if people are following their wills or not", how can one know if Thelema's is succeeding on a general basis?

"Success is thy proof: argue not; convert not; talk not over much!", it is written in verse 42[]of 75] in the third and final chapter of Thelema's most sacred text.

Does Thelema in addition to this "proof" for the individual of doing its "true will", describe what that will be the "proof"/the signs of a society where most people are doing their "true will"?

Is there general agreement among Thelemites about that "there's no way to tell if people are following their wills or not"?


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gurugeorge
(@gurugeorge)
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01/12/2009 8:01 pm  
"ianrons" wrote:
why should anyone pay particular attention to the local phenomenon of "self"

What makes you think the self is a local phenomenon? 😉

I think it's pretty clear that Crowley was attempting to attain religious ends by scientific means, or at the very least, introduce a modicum of scientific method into the religious enterprise. That's one of the main themes of his life's work, and even when he took on the role of Prophet of the Aeon, he still believed that there was an element of scientific method in what he was doing.

He claimed to have given untutored people symbols and taught them to astral travel, and they had visions in harmony with the symbols - that, if it's replicable, is scientific, is it not? Well, have any of us tried to replicate his results?

Now, one may say that his idea of what science is is a bit behind the times. Since Popper, we understand the supreme importance of falsifiability in science, for example; we also understand a bit more about how science is a social enterprise (cultural influence on concepts, peer review, etc.). But he's not all that far off with the notion of replicability, keeping records, etc.: he's not wrong that these are also fundamental aspects of the scientific method. His heart is in the right place, so to speak - so instead of carping at him, shouldn't we be trying to improve on him?

But, at the end of the day, it's still a religious end he's after, a religious (mystico-magickal) end. (i.e., on the one hand, he wants to help people attain unio mystica, on the other hand to enter into communication with discarnate entities of a higher intelligence and wisdom, to help mankind along - again, whether such entities exist ought to be scientifically verifiable, eventually, when enough people have pursued these matters along the lines he laid out).


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Los
 Los
(@los)
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Posts: 2195
01/12/2009 8:05 pm  
"ianrons" wrote:
it's clear that Thelemites don't like to think of themselves as being part of a religion

Well, whether or not some people "like" it is irrelevant to the argument of whether one needs to believe in the supernatural to be a Thelemite. Obviously, a Thelemite does not need such beliefs. Even if we didn't have examples of "secular Thelemites" who *don't* believe in the supernatural, we have Crowley's writings that treat the will as something natural (a bid for the stars to shine and the grapes to grow, for water to seek its own level, etc.).

Your claim that the Law of Thelema is "unjustified" without belief in the supernatural is simply incorrect. Stars shine, grapes grow, and people do their wills, regardless of whether or not there are a bunch of spirits floating around on some other dimension.

why should anyone pay particular attention to the local phenomenon of "self" rather than any other, perhaps random, phenomena?

Because we can't help but pay attention to it since it's there. Aside from any speculations as to whether there's "ultimately" any such thing as a self that's separate from the universe, the fact of the matter is that in the day-to-day, practical world, all of us have natural tendencies that are going to manifest, whether we like it or not. Thelema makes the claim that one's mind can lead one more or less astray from those natural inclinations.

There's no "should" here. The Law of Thelema isn't a "categorical imperative" -- it's not something you "should" do because some scary spirit is gonna getcha if you don't or because it will allow you to achieve parasupranibbana or something like that. It's something that, by definition, all of us are doing all the time. Those who want to do it better should study Thelema. Those who don't want to do that don't have to.

I really don't think that discussions like this are a bunch of cowardly "keyboard banging" -- they're vital to understanding exactly what Thelema is. It's not a trivial question whether The Law of Thelema is something completely natural or something that necessarily entails the belief in the supernatural.

"Patriarch156" wrote:
Why would he not note such a monumental admission in his diaries.

Just out of curiosity, when was the last time that Crowley claimed to have made contact with Aiwass?

It makes no difference to me whether or not Aiwass even exists, but since it's been claimed that Crowley lost contact with him, it might be useful to know when Crowley last claimed to have heard from him.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
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01/12/2009 8:07 pm  

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law

Camlion: "Good post, George. Were it not for all of us being such cowards at heart, reclining in the relative comfort of our infighting, there might be hope of us actually promulgating the Law of Thelema."

Due to that above observation is why I don't post a lot on here (not addressing cowardice in any way, shape or form, but rather how that behavior sends energy in a different direction than another direction), but I read all that I can. I appreciate and value the different perspectives that are on here, but one of my main foci is living the law in order to promulgate it to the many. Thank you for eloquently stating that astute observation!

love is the law, love under will.


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Aleisterion
(@aleisterion)
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01/12/2009 8:14 pm  

Gurugeorge wrote: "I really don't think that discussions like this are a bunch of cowardly "keyboard banging" -- they're vital to understanding exactly what Thelema is."

True, but Camlion is right in one sense: that all the reading and thinking and arguing in the world cannot lead one to real understanding. For that one needs to actually do the work --- drink of the Current by committing to the routine of practice, soak it in, allow it to inform one gradually over time.


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Aleisterion
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01/12/2009 8:15 pm  

Sorry, my mistake: it was Los' comment I was addressing not Gurugeorge's.


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Palamedes
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01/12/2009 8:44 pm  

Ian, I think that when people talk about the 'Law of Thelema' they do not imply by this a physical law and for that reason the lack of falsifiability is not an issue. I assume people talk about moral law. Now, you are right that there is no inherent reason why to prefer this 'law' to any other ideal or categorical imperative. I suppose that on the one hand it is an issue of personal conviction, and on the other hand there is 'success is thy proof.' But I am curious, do you then not consider yourself a Thelemite, since you seem to be critical of both scientific/philosophical and religious aspects of Thelema (I hope I am not misconstruing your position).

Los, with all due respect but to argue that people have the Will in the same manner that stars shine and grapes grow is to argue a metaphysical position. It is to imply the meaning and/or purpose behind natural phenomena and to argue the correlation between the psychological and material and biological manifestations. I don't have a problem with that, I hold a similar view, but I am quite clear on the fact that this is a metaphysical presupposition. To phrase it differently, I can believe that I have the 'True Will' in the same manner that 'stars shine and grapes grow' but, as Ian would say, I cannot prove it nor make the notion falsifiable.


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Tiger
(@tiger)
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02/12/2009 5:04 pm  

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law
is freedom to seek on your own
not Thou Shalt follow this law or be excommunicated.

Magdalen Free with hair unbound, passionate,shameless,kissed and perfumed anointing the Teacher of Peter.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
02/12/2009 11:11 pm  

Some religions condone violence/killing directed against its enemies.

Is Liber OZ's verse 5: "Man has the right to kill those who would
thwart these rights [to do one's "True Will"]", a Thelemic version of such condonence?


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Tiger
(@tiger)
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02/12/2009 11:31 pm  

Is Liber OZ's verse 5: "Man has the right to kill those who would
thwart these rights [to do one's "True Will"]", a Thelemic version of such condonence?

For me it's not about overlooking, forgiving or disregarding some rule not to kill. People should become aware of energy and what can happen with it.


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Patriarch156
(@patriarch156)
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Posts: 486
03/12/2009 12:45 pm  
"OKontrair" wrote:
I see no such admission anyway, monumental or otherwise.

A look, a shrug, a 'my fault I suppose'; all to a young man years before and recalled much later.

And the inference 'as if to say'. That's what I would call monumental.

Even if the recollection was perfect and the retelling unembellished this is weak.

You do not find it monumental that Crowley would admit that he no longer was in touch with the guiding force behind the Book of the Law, to someone that if he met him, the only argument for his not being listed in any of his address books let alone mentioned in any of his letters, diaries or by any of his friends and disciplies, is that he was practically an non-entity to Crowley? This despite the fact that Crowley during this decade rested his argument of his authority on his contact with Aiwaz? It is no accident that people in this thread thinks the admission has "heavy implications" when Crowley writes in the Equinox of the Gods:

"I lay claim to be the sole authority competent to decide disputed points with regard to the Book of the Law, seeing that its Author, Aiwaz, is none other than mine own Holy Guardian Angel, to Whose Knowledge and Conversation I hace attained, so that I have exclusive access to Him. I have duly referred every difficulty to Him directly, and received His answer; my award is therefore absolute without appeal."

To me, given the dearth of evidence, the most likely explenation given that he first made contact with english occultists through the Thelemic journal Sothis, that Miles were trying to build up his own spiritual narrative as having been sanctioned by Crowley himself, while at the same time undercut any obligation to be in line with Crowley's ideas.

And what exactly does everyone seem to think is wrong with the pill scheme? Looks like a good wheeze to me. Back then doctoring was not such an uptight monopoly and advertising rules less fussy. The plan does seem to be genuine.

Bringing in points from another discussion I see, very well. I certainly do not think there is anything problematic with selling elixir of life pills and no doubt it was a genuine idea. I only took objection to the idea that Crowley were somehow above creating a business out of his ideas.

Presenting himself fraudulently as a doctor (even if it was a rosicrucian one) is however far more problematic, not in the least because he admonished William B. Crow and his friends for running around with obviously bogus titles.


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Patriarch156
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03/12/2009 1:11 pm  
"Los" wrote:
Just out of curiosity, when was the last time that Crowley claimed to have made contact with Aiwass?

It makes no difference to me whether or not Aiwass even exists, but since it's been claimed that Crowley lost contact with him, it might be useful to know when Crowley last claimed to have heard from him.

As I noted Crowley claimed exclusive contact with Aiwaz in print as late as 1937 e.v. in his publication of The Equinox of the Gods, which was several years after Miles claimed to have been told this

Moreover the whole notion of loosing contact with him would also make mockery of Liber LXV's points in I:30, a book on which much of Crowley's theology about the Holy Guardian Angel rests.


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
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Posts: 3951
03/12/2009 2:17 pm  
"Patriarch156" wrote:
To me, given the dearth of evidence, the most likely explenation given that he first made contact with english occultists through the Thelemic journal Sothis, that Miles were trying to build up his own spiritual narrative as having been sanctioned by Crowley himself, while at the same time undercut any obligation to be in line with Crowley's ideas.

The connection with Sothis is not one which Dadaji sought. It came about simply because Mike Magee - one of the founders and editors of Sothis, and perhaps the principle driving force behind it - sought out Dadaji and asked Dadaji to contribute to Sothis.

By that time Dadaji had been a wandering sadhu for many years, and had finally settled as the resident guru in a village in the state of Gujurat where he was very highly regarded indeed. He had for many years been pursuing Kaula Tantra, and did not need to buttress his authority or his ego with a Crowley connection.

Incidnts such as, for instance, beating up Bertha Busche do suggest the possibility that Crowley from time to time lost his connection with Aiwass, or thought he did. I don't ragard such loss from time to time as anything to be wondered at, let alone something that shakes the very foundations of Crowleyanity.

Best wishes,

Michael.


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