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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
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23/03/2010 4:27 pm  

Michael,

"MichaelStaley" wrote:
In your rush to spray your customary rounds of abrasive, offensive and insulting remarks you appear to have overlooked the terminating "for me". Alrah was there at the time; you weren't. It's clear that Alrah is not saying "you must take my word for it" but simply that she found it compelling. If you want to live your life solely on the basis of what is demonstrable to a third party, then good for you; others don't.

In your rush to spray your customary rounds of abrasive, offensive, and insulting remarks, you appear to have overlooked what I actually wrote, which is (bold emphasis added):

"It's not a question of whether 'science can prove it' - if you, yourself, do not have reliable and replicable evidence, then you have no grounds for coming to the conclusions you are coming to either, regardless of what 'science' is able to do."

I was, as you can see, specifically not talking about anything "demonstrable to a third party". I know perfectly well that "she found it compelling 'to her'" - the whole point of that post what to explain to her why it isn't compelling. Honestly, pay attention.

You might think it is admirable to encourage people to continue endlessly in their confusion, but I think it's contemptible. And, since that is the case "to me", then you have just apparently just once again failed to take your own advice by criticising me for it.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
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23/03/2010 5:22 pm  
"kidneyhawk" wrote:
I have to add, however: in a previous debate, there was a poster who yelped at Erwin, saying that because he couldn't prove aliens didn't exist that the burden of proof fell on him. I cringed when reading this.

As did I. I find the contributions of less than intelligent or well educated occultists to be just as offensive as those of less than intelligent or well educated people in other fields of endeavor, and this sort of person surely contributes to the defeat of any view that they attempt to support in discussion or debate. Along with psychoanalysis (as per Regardie, et al), I believe that a certain level of general education should be a prerequisite to the study of Crowlean mysticism or Magick. (I recall that this is the case with COT, or that it once was.)

"kidneyhawk" wrote:
In this regard, Aleister Crowley is a truly unique figure to look towards. The mystical "occultist" is going to find justification in Crowley as is the "materialist" and "rationalist." Part of the "Paradox of Crowley" is his own integration of these elements. Faults and foibles aside, Crowley remains (despite being a "product of his times") an extraordinarily exponent of human THOUGHT.

An apparent paradox, indeed, Kyle. Crowley was a "materialist" and "rationalist," as well as a master "occultist" and a deeply "religious" person, all in one man, despite the contradictions inherent to this combination. Anyone seeking to isolate any one of these elements and call it "Aleister Crowley" is in error. His "rationalism" is evident in his recurrent (though not consistent) emphasis on scientific method and empiricism and the critical role of reason in the Ruach; again, this was a case of emphasis rather than strict observance or successful adherence, although he did openly despise ignorance and superstition. His "occultism" is evident in almost everything from his daily practices throughout his life, as further evidenced by his soon to be published private diaries, right on through to his overriding theory of the Magical Universe. One would be very hard pressed to make an argument that Crowley was not an occultist, though some have made the odd attempt. His being a deeply "religious person" is rooted in a childhood steeped in the irrationally strict religion of his parents, and finds its full expression in his sincere belief that he was the Prophet of a new religion at the dawning of a new spiritual age for mankind, a new religion with Sacred Books and all the other requisites of religion other than faith, a role to which he believed he was personally appointed by the powers ruling the Universe, whom he called Secret Chiefs.

Yes, Aleister Crowley was a unique paradox, indeed.


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spike418
(@spike418)
Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 213
23/03/2010 6:25 pm  

One is never going to discern radiation with a canary in a cage, but it still exists. Do the tools for producing evidence exist?
Certainly not if your "experience" of magick etc is practically insignificant.

I read some interesting articles on closed world vs open world assumptions today, but then I am a big fan of e prime and far to busy to enter into dialogue with a view to demonstrating the size of my bookshelves or the amount of time I spend on wikipedia.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
23/03/2010 6:58 pm  
"Erwin" wrote:
"alrah" wrote:
Something tipping over both my sofa and my bed at the same time was evidence enough for me.

Then you are essentially confessing to being sufficiently gullible and guileless as to be willingly prepared to accept enormously crappy evidence.

There was another witness, and his memory of the event agree's with mine.

If, despite the lack of an explanation, you simply arbitrarily elect to choose one particular foolish possibility from a list of billions of other foolish possibilities, and just make a leap of faith to "goblins did it" then you certainly are just "making things up".

If a 'thing' displays both intent and calculation in it's actions then it logically indicates it has a mind.


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 Anonymous
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23/03/2010 7:46 pm  
"alrah" wrote:
There was another witness, and his memory of the event agree's with mine.

I'm as completely unimpressed with by as I am by the thousands of people who mistakenly claimed to have "witnessed the sun variously making 'sudden incredible movements outside all cosmic laws'" in Fatima in 1917, or the thousands of people who claim to have been abducted and anally probed by spacemen. No amount of anecdotal evidence is sufficient to support any kind of bold and absurd claim, whether there are two of you, or thousands of you.

"alrah" wrote:
If a 'thing' displays both intent and calculation in it's actions then it logically indicates it has a mind.

Firstly, you recently came to the "logical" conclusion that my maths was sucky, when what had actually happened was that you had forgotten than 3 + 1 = 4, so you'll forgive me if I lack a little confidence in your ability to reliably detect what anything might be "displaying" or to come to any kind of sensible conclusions based on such a "detection".

Secondly, a radar-guided missile "displays both intent and calculation in its actions". Are you suggesting they have "minds" too?

This just goes to show what kind of colossally fatuous mistakes you can make when you try to poorly reason - with a horrendously feeble intellect, no less - in the absence of any sensible evidence whatsoever, and pretend that it's "logic".

I should find it hard to believe that, in 2010, we have a discussion thread where grown adults are seriously trying to argue that "demons and spirits etc exist", but unfortunately, I don't. It's all very expected, and all very tawdry and pathetic. And people wonder why I criticise occultism!


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 Anonymous
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23/03/2010 7:48 pm  
"spike418" wrote:
One is never going to discern radiation with a canary in a cage, but it still exists. Do the tools for producing evidence exist?

You'd better hope they do, because if they don't, then you've just admitted that neither "magick" nor "spirits" have any observable effects on the universe outside of your own imagination.


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 Anonymous
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23/03/2010 9:09 pm  
"Erwin" wrote:
"TwoEdgedSword" wrote:
I would be an absolute idiot to ignore my experience due to lack of evidence

On the contrary - you've just admitted yourself that your experience has provided you with no evidence. Believing in this stuff is precisely what happens when you do "ignore [your] experience".

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

So you are proposing that under the scenario I outlined, I should just continue consuming milk and suffer excruciating pain, so as to pander to your lacking experience and prejudice?

Perhaps while I'm at it I should follow the dictates of the Pope of Rome?

It's not going to happen.

Love is the law, love under will.


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 Anonymous
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23/03/2010 9:12 pm  
"Erwin" wrote:
"alrah" wrote:
There was another witness, and his memory of the event agree's with mine.

I'm as completely unimpressed with by as I am by the thousands of people who mistakenly claimed to have "witnessed the sun variously making 'sudden incredible movements outside all cosmic laws'" in Fatima in 1917, or the thousands of people who claim to have been abducted and anally probed by spacemen. No amount of anecdotal evidence is sufficient to support any kind of bold and absurd claim, whether there are two of you, or thousands of you.

I'm not familiar with the 'Fatima' event but I get the picture.

I'm simply saying that I'm less inclined to doubt the evidence of my eyes, other senses, and memory since I wasn't the only witness. I'm unconcerned by what third parties make of our experience, and encourage healthy skepticism in people.

I should find it hard to believe that, in 2010, we have a discussion thread where grown adults are seriously trying to argue that "demons and spirits etc exist", but unfortunately, I don't. It's all very expected, and all very tawdry and pathetic. And people wonder why I criticise occultism!

I'm not arguing for the existance of demons or spirits etc. It's enough to call whatever it what that moved the furniture a 'thing'. No labels. No assumptions about it's origin. Straight fortean reporting of a one off event.

There's a difference between that and the kind of people who tell you they see fairies at the bottom of the garden every night.


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 Anonymous
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23/03/2010 10:10 pm  
"TwoEdgedSword" wrote:
So you are proposing that under the scenario I outlined, I should just continue consuming milk and suffer excruciating pain

Firstly, I couldn't care less what you do. Secondly, what on earth are you babbling on about?


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alysa
(@alysa)
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Posts: 655
23/03/2010 10:21 pm  

Have no problem to back up for what Alrah stated.


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 Anonymous
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23/03/2010 10:28 pm  
"Erwin" wrote:
On the contrary - you've just admitted yourself that your experience has provided you with no evidence. Believing in this stuff is precisely what happens when you do "ignore [your] experience".

Erwin,
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.

Actually, I have done no such thing.

"TwoEdgedSword" wrote:
For the brief time we have met, I can give you no evidence of my experience.

In your vehement prejudice against "occultism" you appear to overlook proposals, as presented, to justify a case for argument with all participants. Similarly so in taking comments out of context.

No one in these discussions has claimed that their experience, opinion or theories should be adopted by all (yourself excluded). No one has extolled the virtue of any dogma. even their own (yourself excluded).

Personal experience can not be debated (though we should all agree the cause may). I believe we can all accept that. We are all entitled to our own theories, regardless of how erroneous (or accurate) they may be.

The point is theories are just that, theories. Until such time as they can be readily discredited, it is incumbent upon each of us individually to explore our own theories. If we choose to pursue in them beyond reason, then it is our own dogma, to which each Man is entitled his own slavery.

I think this thread was proposed simply as an inquiry to personal opinion. It naturally expanded into possible accompanying theories. Unless your are campaigning your superiority for Lord of Reason, and therefor Man, nothing can be accomplished by your demeaning enthusiasm.

Please sir, cast your vote, express your opinion and/or theory, then move on.

Love is the law, love under will.


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 Anonymous
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Posts: 0
23/03/2010 10:37 pm  
"TwoEdgedSword" wrote:
Actually, I have done no such thing.

Yes, you have.

"TwoEdgedSword" wrote:
For the brief time we have met, I can give you no evidence of my experience.

Look at the sentence I quoted for you. You can't argue that you didn't say what you did on the grounds that you said something else, once. Honestly.

"TwoEdgedSword" wrote:
The point is theories are just that, theories. Until such time as they can be readily discredited, it is incumbent upon each of us individually to explore our own theories. If we choose to pursue in them beyond reason, then it is our own dogma, to which each Man is entitled his own slavery.

"pursue [theories] beyond reason"? Do you even know what a "theory" is?


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spike418
(@spike418)
Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 213
23/03/2010 11:00 pm  
"Erwin" wrote:
"spike418" wrote:
One is never going to discern radiation with a canary in a cage, but it still exists. Do the tools for producing evidence exist?

You'd better hope they do, because if they don't, then you've just admitted that neither "magick" nor "spirits" have any observable effects on the universe outside of your own imagination.

I would agree that selective quoting takes the extrapolation out of context.
i would also state that when the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
24/03/2010 12:08 am  
"Erwin" wrote:
"TwoEdgedSword" wrote:
Actually, I have done no such thing.

Yes, you have.

"TwoEdgedSword" wrote:
For the brief time we have met, I can give you no evidence of my experience.

Look at the sentence I quoted for you. You can't argue that you didn't say what you did on the grounds that you said something else, once. Honestly.

And yet you proceed in your negligence; you is YOU! I HAD the experience, upon which I based my theory, in this analogy.

Your arrogance has clearly blinded your vision. I Will not debate with you further. You may continue to consume your steak with a spoon, I however prefer a knife and fork.


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 Anonymous
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Posts: 0
24/03/2010 12:38 am  
"TwoEdgedSword" wrote:
And yet you proceed in your negligence; you is YOU! I HAD the experience, upon which I based my theory, in this analogy.

And, yet again, like I said:

"Look at the sentence I quoted for you. You can't argue that you didn't say what you did on the grounds that you said something else, once."

"TwoEdgedSword" wrote:
Your arrogance has clearly blinded your vision.

Oh, the irony!


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 Anonymous
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24/03/2010 1:03 am  

(sigh)

On a slightly different though related tack, I was chatting with some friends in a philosophy club type of thing a month or so back.

The subject of the discussion was, disappointingly, "God". But amongst the many old and new ideas biffed around the group, an interesting and rather neat idea was put forward by one of the better-dressed members. It's not a new idea by any means, but I'd forgotten it until then.

That idea was that God is a placebo.

The suggestion was made becuase whether or not God "exists" does not matter at all -- in either case he still does have a real, observable and measurable effect upon the world we live in, by operating through the human mind, simply through humans' belief in him. This entity, which can only be pointed to on imaginary levels, has had more effect on history than any physically-provable human being has.

It is a tenuous topic but I maintain with Crowley and others that there are subtler faculties than the intellect and that it is with these that all great advances in human evolution are made. These faculties are antennae (if you will) of a highly sensitive type, and they have their being in a space other than the apparent. People vary in their awareness of this part of themselves. This is why some people get frustrated with others when discussing the topic, it's inherently tricky to wrap language around without sounding absurd and those with poorly developed "antennae" cease to follow the argument to any degree of satisfaction, accusing those with subtler senses of perversion of thought and sense. This is sometimes true but often isn't.

Now, a placebo is simultaneously real and unreal. It does not work, that's why it is called a placebo, but it does work, which is also why it is called a placebo. So it is simultaneously effective and proven to be ineffective at the same time, exactly like magic, like religion, like the daemonic reality described in Patrick Harpur's sublime book The Philosopher's Secret Fire: A History of the Imagination . A placebo only works through the agency of the human imagination , but it does in fact work, to a measurable degree, despite there being no "objective" causal reason for it doing so.

The functional involvement of the human imagination as a necessary vehicle for the earthing of the unmanifest may be safely considered as a legitimate and entirely reasonable explanation, without compromising any notions of validity or experiential observation.

Sir Isaac Newton, a father of modern physics, was discovered recently to have been not just an Alchemist, but the single most thoroughly documented Alchemist in history. There are rooms full of his alchemical notes and records of experiments which were only discovered recently. When it was discovered, and these notes examined for the first time ever, scholars didn't know what to make of it. This was supposed to be a modern, hard-headed man of science, and here he was talking about mystical and religious experiences in occult jargon.


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 Anonymous
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24/03/2010 1:15 am  
"Noctifer" wrote:
The suggestion was made becuase whether or not God "exists" does not matter at all -- in either case he still does have a real, observable and measurable effect upon the world we live in, by operating through the human mind, simply through humans' belief in him. This entity, which can only be pointed to on imaginary levels, has had more effect on history than any physically-provable human being has.

Well, I think the essence of what you're saying is absolutely right, but it would be misusing language to say that "he" has "a real, observable and measurable effect upon the world we live in". The idea of God might have such an effect, but God himself does not, because he doesn't exist. It all becomes clear when you just use the right words.

Does it "matter" if he really exists? Well, it depends. If you're interested in reality it does, and if you intend to live your life on the presumption that you really will go to Hell if you don't do what this idea tells you then it also does. If someone was looking to manipulate a bunch of people with the idea, then it probably wouldn't matter much to them, as long as it "works".

"Noctifer" wrote:
Now, a placebo is simultaneously real and unreal.

Well, no, it's just real. It's been "proven to work", and it's definitely real. The distinction is that while "it works", it just doesn't work in the way that the people taking the placebo think that it does. Or, to put it another way, the placebo doesn't cure the ailment itself, but it triggers some other (presumably mental) process which then does have a noticeable effect. There's really nothing confusing, ambiguous, or contradictory about the idea. It doesn't require "subtler senses" to grasp - it just requires understanding what's actually going on, and - again - just describing it clearly. Like so much else, wrapping it up in mystical and ambiguous language can only serve to obscure what's really happening, which is never a good idea.


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 Anonymous
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24/03/2010 1:16 am  

The 'placebo' model is of course traditionally limited to medical matters dealing with the human body and the explanation is more readily accepted due to the direct effect of the mind(imagination) upon its physical vehicle, but I would be happy extending the suggestion to cover certain types of synchronous effects in the non-body world. The lack of a causal "reason" for doing so is no excuse to dismiss the idea, given the historical record.


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3951
24/03/2010 1:25 am  
"mika" wrote:
Intuition is not evidence.

I doubt, mika, that many would dispute this - indeed, I'm not aware that anyone has advanced their intuition as "evidence". As a matter of interest, do you disregard your own intuition on the grounds that it is not "objective"?

Best wishes,

Michael.


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 Anonymous
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24/03/2010 1:31 am  
"Noctifer" wrote:
I would be happy extending the suggestion to cover certain types of synchronous effects in the non-body world. The lack of a causal "reason" for doing so is no excuse to dismiss the idea, given the historical record.

Can you give some examples of the kind of "synchronous effects in the non-body world" you're thinking of?


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Anonymous
 Anonymous
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24/03/2010 1:46 am  

So, as some of you said (and i hope you can give an "objective" explanation of it) , Aiwass is just to be taken as a lunatic experiment of Rose Kelly…


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kidneyhawk
(@kidneyhawk)
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24/03/2010 2:46 am  

So, as some of you said (and i hope you can give an "objective" explanation of it) , Aiwass is just to be taken as a lunatic experiment of Rose Kelly…

One view of the Reception of the Book of the Law is that Crowley packaged it up in the garb of a "received text" to widen the appeal of his own ideas. I think, if one tends towards this view, that we have an extraordinarily extended "hoax" here. Despite some discrepancies which we've discussed on these forums, Crowley does seem to be very much in earnest on this matter. In fact, whether we are convinced or not, he expresses, in several places, his satisfaction that the proofs he has presented make his claim beyond question.

Of course, we're free to question-and we do. A man of his intellect and poetic powers? He could have sewn the whole thing together with the thread of his genius and trickery. I found his account both compelling and doubtful...we're missing that video tape footage I want to see! That is, until I experienced similar phenomena and that repeatedly: communications through a medium which clearly and repeatedly delivered information which neither one of us could have been privy to.

Now, this sort of experience can be (and was for myself) a "shocker." There's a certain sense of that reality-tunnel caving in and a strange new landscape opening above. But the leap from this to a solid "claim" that thus and such is definitely what happened is not, in my opinion, sound reasoning. Nor do I feel that assessment of this sort of thing need be a choice between "A" and "B" (either a disembodied entity communicated to us or this is just a whacked out fantasy I'm conjuring up). There are more options and it is not necessary to grab any one of them with tenacity. The questions can remain open and lead to further experience and consideration.

Although I think his personal remarks can be off-putting, Erwin does ask critical questions which I believe are worth pondering and providing an answer for, not to win his approval on the matter but to deal squarely with what we've got in front of us.

My own perspective is one that sees a very mysterious universe around us, one which reveals aspects of its mysteries as we push further into it. I see many unseen and physically unveriable intelligences being present in this universe. I do not make and stake this "claim" as a "belief" that I wish to work my rationalizations to defend. Part of getting at the mystery is being willing to suffer the breakdown of previously held views if needed. This includes views such as I have described regarding my own perspective. I've become handicapped as soon as I get attached to a "new discovery" and try to protect it from criticism. Part of the work is our ability to self-criticize, as well.

Still, we must have something at hand to thus evaluate. Sometimes strange or unexplainable events occur without our asking and we're challenged to "figure them out." But the practice of Magic is meant to induce such events, to develop our ability to willfully operate on the edge of our experiential limits. It is an activity, a cause intended to generate an effect which may not be gotten at otherwise. We don't leave reason behind but introduce new elements of experience which give our reasoning process additional material to work with-and this process of acquiring said experience requires more than the work of logic to summon it up.


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 Anonymous
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24/03/2010 4:22 am  
"Erwin" wrote:
Well, I think the essence of what you're saying is absolutely right, but it would be misusing language to say that "god" has "a real, observable and measurable effect upon the world we live in". The idea of God might have such an effect, but God himself does not, because he doesn't exist. It all becomes clear when you just use the right words.

The words I used were the right ones to say what I meant, but it might help if I add the suggestion that our idea (by which I mean what our mind can make of something, not what our prior or pre-existing fantasy is) of something is all we can know about it, by definition. See below.

So God, which is our idea of God to the same extent that a turtle is our idea of a turtle - both practically identical, somewhat more, and somewhat less -, does in fact have an effect through the effect which that idea has on our minds, which in turn makes us do things which directly affect the world.

"Noctifer" wrote:
Now, a placebo is simultaneously real and unreal.
"Erwin" wrote:
Well, no, it's just real. It's been "proven to work", and it's definitely real.

Placebos are simultaneously real and imaginary, then.

Placebos sometimes -not always- work. What you're forgetting is that there is no reason for them to work according to science. They are imaginary, and they sometimes work.

The distinction is that while "it works", it just doesn't work in the way that the people taking the placebo think that it does.

Actually, it doesn't work in the way which anyone thinks it does. And their efficacy fits east of all the materialistic models of the doctors or scientists who prescribe them.

Or, to put it another way, the placebo doesn't cure the ailment itself, but it triggers some other (presumably mental) process which then does have a noticeable effect. There's really nothing confusing, ambiguous, or contradictory about the idea.

Actually there is everything that is ambiguous and contradictory, according to the materialist rationalist paradigm, about the idea that simply believing in something will kill micro-organisms, cure illness, change body functioning, etc.

Belief is not something you study when you study medicine or hard science.

It doesn't require "subtler senses" to grasp - it just requires understanding what's actually going on, and - again - just describing it clearly.

I find it convenient to suggest the idea of 'subtler senses' as being required to clearly grasp and understand "what's going on" in situations where no materialistic, rationally-explicable mechanism is found. (One needn't take the suggestion literally, btw, it's just an idea 😉 )

Like so much else, wrapping it up in mystical and ambiguous language can only serve to obscure what's really happening, which is never a good idea.

I'd replace the word "mystical" with "pretentiously rationalistic". With that replacement, I agree entirely.

"Erwin" wrote:
Can you give some examples of the kind of "synchronous effects in the non-body world" you're thinking of?

Not personal examples, not here. But for the sake of simply indicating what I mean - the usual thing, you know, stuff like performing a "magical operation" to achieve a highly improbable result which then takes effect in reality (hard, observed reality) in a way which fits the bill perfectly and which was not delivered in a manner which could possibly have been forseen, and which involved no conventional involvement on the part of the operator. Generic examples, for the sake of illustrating the point of what I mean for you:

Example 1: Person X performs act to gain money quickly, having exhausted all channels available. One week later, they receive notification to the effect that several thousand dollars have been given to them as a birthday present by someone least expected to do so, someone who had cashed in their holidays at work, didn't need the money, and decided to give it to a worthy cause, and thought of supporting the activities of person X.

Example 2. Person T performs act to bring ready money quickly. They decide to make a talisman involving the sigils of the appropriate entities from Liber 231 for this purpose. They take three times as long in making it as they expected, however, upon applying the final touch the phone rings (bad form- should be off hook) with good news that something they had put on sale months ago with zero interest since listing - a very rare object that hardly anyone would be likely to be interested in in their part of the world - has suddenly been sold and they now have ten thousand dollars waiting to be collected at their earliest convenience.

Example 3: Person W does act to cause harm to person Y. Person W then forgets about it, but receives news a few weeks later from an unexpected source (friend of victim's brother) informing them that Person Y fell asleep at the wheel whilst driving a motor-car to work at four in the morning two weeks ago, and drove off a cliff, dying instantly, presumably oblivious to the entire episode. No physical or other contact between either party during this time.

True stories, all, of which I was made aware gradually by the people involved in such a way which made it impossible for them to have fabricated either the fact of their activity or the results which they had caused.

These are the "synchronous effects" I'm talking about, whereby an "imaginary" procedure appears to be successful. The result is delivered through perfectly normal, earthly, but highly improbable, means. Angels and demons are unnecessary to external observers for explaining the events which occurred, exactly like the placebo has no function as a chemical agent in causing an illness to disappear, but they can perhaps be usefully employed by those involved as the catalyst for the desired result to occur. This is the point I am making.

What cannot be explained away is the relationship of those events to the mind/imagination of the people who performed the "magical acts" whose object was to cause them in the external world, and did so successfully.

It is of course unnecessary to literally believe in angels or demons to explain this sort of thing (knowing the people involved, as I did, they certainly didn't believe in them either) - but it is actually unnecessary except for ego-narrative-satisfaction to explain it, at all. As Crowley said, by doing certain things certain results follow, and it is unnecessary to attribute objective reality to the placebo mechanism used by the mind in order to achieve these effects. You can use a model involving angels and demons, you can use a model involving sigils and Kia and "deep mind" and so forth, you can use the model of sympathetic magic, or better still, use all of the above depending on what seems to be the most convenient explanation.

The question has been turned around, because to me, the very term "existence" is problematic on a linguistic, semantic level.

So I'd rephrase it --- not "do angels and demons really exist" but "what do angels and demons observably do"? You would prefer that I said "what does the idea of angels and demons make people do?".

However, our idea of something is (I posit) all we can ever know about it, by definition, knowledge consists of ideas, of thoughts only. Each impression on consciousness through sense is interpreted through the mind and so can be said in a certain special sense to take place within it.

So the idea of an angel or demon is that angel or demon to exactly the same extent that your idea of a turtle is that turtle - hardly at all, depending on your level of familiarity with, study of, and application to the object of which you have been made aware through the presence of that idea in your mind. But enough to be useful, practically useful, perhaps, in some situations.


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 Anonymous
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24/03/2010 4:43 am  

To sum up my response to your first question: yes, God, angels, demons do exist - as placebos. However, the lack of linear causality traceable between these "imagined" objects or beings* and their discernible effects upon the "external" world which can be seen and felt by the lower senses, is a feature of the limitations of the rational, waking mind or ego; and is also a feature of the limitations of the phenomenal world in being able to supply a consistent narrative (which the ego demands for the perpetuation of both its structure and content), where such beings or objects† are concerned.

That's wot I reckon.

*which can only be perceived through subtler senses than the intellect or body, but may be reflected into the mirror of the imagination from Beyond.

† which have their location outside of both the ego and of the phenomenal world where time, and therefore sequence, and therefore causality, and therefore, reason, apply.


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Horemakhet
(@horemakhet)
Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 525
24/03/2010 8:34 am  

I chose option # 1. I have no doubt that there are intelligent beings seperate from our own minds. I think that human evolution is not a product of our planet. For me there is no question that there are greater beings who have been involved in our development. These disincarnate intelligences can be communicated with.


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 Anonymous
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24/03/2010 5:49 pm  

I'm aware, that joining in a heat of pollarised debate is probably the worst occasion for introducing myself to the board. Nevertheless I found the recent discussions extremely fascinating and couldn't resist to step in with few remarks.

If forced to choose one of the three poll options, I would line up with the second option. However I consider the poll ill-posed.
Let me explain. Like any epistemologic question I try to tackle this one from a position of evolutionary epistomology, as conceived by Quine, Popper and Konrad Lorenz and later expanded by the german philosopher Gerhard Vollmer. Evolutionary epistemology states that our cognitive apparatus - the senses by which we perceive the world - are adaptations designed by evolution. As such our cogntion fairly correspondents to the environment in which we happened to evolve. Just like the hoof of the horse is adapted for galloping in a rough terrain and the fin of the fish for swimming in the water, similarly the human perception is adapted for perceiving the environment, in which Homo evolved. Our perception doesn't provide is with a faithfull copy of our environment. It provides us with a representation, which will best enhance our fitness. Thus, it might be advantegeous for evolution to program some illusions into our cognitive apparatus. Just like we misperceive a twig for a snake, we misperceive wind rustling in trees for a ghost. We see movements where there are none, we hear voices in utter silence and we feel a touch when in fact no contact was made. Evolution made these illusions perfectly real to us, because they increased our survival (we did avoid the snakes, animals and our conspecific adversaries hidding in bushes more reliably). However we humans are also equipped with a reflective and inquisitive mind. We are capable to systematically probe our perceptions by looking twice, by changing perspective, by looking closer etc.
Some illusions are more persistent than others. In the worst case the illusions are cognitively closed - that is, we can't subjectively, experientially penetrate them. For instance, pondering the Necker's cube we always see a 3 dimensional object, even though we intellectually appreciate the fact, that it is just an two dimensional image.
In my opinion, magic should consist of rituals and exercises that trigger the cognitively closed illusions. Unfortunatelly, most of occultism is based on belief and as such its phenomena tend to evaporate on closer investigation. However with cognitively closed illusions you might theoretically evoke a demon and converse with it in enochian, while you intellectually appreciate that it doesn't exist - just like seeing the Necker's cube and understanding at the same time, that these are in fact lines drawn on a surface.
Does it work in practice? I doubt that you might meet angels, demons etc. as 'If you and I met in a bar' However in my experience, you can get lot of strange, interesting and most importantly subjectively impenetrable phenomena in this way. I enjoy these very much although I seriously doubt that they would survive any amount of honest scientific scrutiny. These phenomena are just gaps in my imperfect cognitive apparatus. But ultimatively I don't care. I'm not doing rituals to achieve any knowledge, to achieve any higher states or to gain hidden wisdom. I wouldn't consider the epistemic value of my magical experiences at all. I gladly concur, they have no such a value. Still, I enjoy the rituals as recreational measures, for their aesthetic and artistic value. In this way even the cosmic revelations can be a lot of fun. But by ignoring the epistemic interpretation of my experiences I really can't answer the above question. My magical practice isn't interested in such questions and even if I would include this question, I'm ill-equiped to answer it.
In answering I would attemt to transcend all of my illusions - even the cognitively closed ones. I consider scientific inquiry as currently the best method for bypassing/enlarging our cognition and consequently for answering the question. By this standard the demons, angels and spirits do not have independent experience, wherefore I chose the second option.
But since the question is targeted at practicing magicians (or am I wrong in assuming this?) it should really include an option 'My occult practice/experience can't answer this question.' Even choosing option two, because one has in course of his ritual practice never met any angels, demons or spirits, would be, strictly speaking, an invalid conclusion.


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 Anonymous
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24/03/2010 8:08 pm  

Noctifer,

I want to comment on your points related to placebo.

What you're forgetting is that there is no reason for them to work according to science.

Human brain triggers the secretion of various hormons and building of natural antidotes, which combat the illness. Isn't this reason enough?

Actually there is everything that is ambiguous and contradictory, according to the materialist rationalist paradigm, about the idea that simply believing in something will kill micro-organisms, cure illness, change body functioning, etc.

No it isn't. Just like beavers build dams and termites erect monolithic mounds, similarly humans conceive ideas and create culture. These are human artifacts they are part of our phenotype, of our ecology and that our belief or disbelief of them affects our bodies, far from being surprising, it is to be expected!

And their efficacy fits east of all the materialistic models of the doctors or scientists who prescribe them. .

It is always a matter of comparison. Placebo is used as a benchmark in most (if not all) controlled medical studies. So, yes, there are lot of studies showing that placebo is more efficacious. But the interpretation of these results should be that the tested medicine failed to produce the promised results rather than that the placebo performed well.
However in most medical cases placebo makes little difference to no-treatment (eg healing a broken arm) and in almost all cases the state-of-art medical treatment performs better. As far as I know, there are only few indications where placebo is considered the best measure. These are mostly diseases, for which we currently lack any proper treatment like cancer or some cases of schizophrenia.
When speaking about efficacy, it should be also understood, that placebo can have negative effects. If you make too outrageous a claim (eg 'By taking this pill, the headache will stop in three days'), people will figure out the substance doesn't work. They will get less complacent, more suspicious and get more pessimistic outlook of their situation, which negatively affects the progress of their disease.

Belief is not something you study when you study medicine or hard science.

Far from being neglected by scientific community, placebo effect is well established and the details of it's use are being scrutinised. For example, it seems that natural placebos are more beneficial than artificial ones. That is if you tell people that the medicament is made of natural compounds (eg ginkgo) rather than of artificially synthesised chemicals, the placebo works better. Similarly the colour and shape of pill does seem to matter.
Slowly placebos also start to get prescribed. Its advantages are obvious. It is cheap to make and it has no side-effects.

To conclude, I think you unjustly pit the scientists against the placebo effect. Your description might have been appropriate 20 years ago, when the research on placebo started. But the gap between 'orthodox' medical treatment and placebo has been closing since then. Today I would be more concerned about the pressures from insurance companies on doctors to overprescribe placebos. Such development would cause the costs of the insurance companies to sink rapidly.


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 Anonymous
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24/03/2010 8:13 pm  

Welcome to Lashtal, matus.simkovic. 🙂


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 Anonymous
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24/03/2010 8:54 pm  
"matus.simkovic" wrote:
Evolutionary epistemology states that our cognitive apparatus - the senses by which we perceive the world - are adaptations designed by evolution. As such our cogntion fairly correspondents to the environment in which we happened to evolve. Just like the hoof of the horse is adapted for galloping in a rough terrain and the fin of the fish for swimming in the water, similarly the human perception is adapted for perceiving the environment, in which Homo evolved. Our perception doesn't provide is with a faithfull copy of our environment. It provides us with a representation, which will best enhance our fitness. Thus, it might be advantegeous for evolution to program some illusions into our cognitive apparatus. Just like we misperceive a twig for a snake, we misperceive wind rustling in trees for a ghost. We see movements where there are none, we hear voices in utter silence and we feel a touch when in fact no contact was made. Evolution made these illusions perfectly real to us, because they increased our survival (we did avoid the snakes, animals and our conspecific adversaries hidding in bushes more reliably). However we humans are also equipped with a reflective and inquisitive mind. We are capable to systematically probe our perceptions by looking twice, by changing perspective, by looking closer etc.

I think your last point here is very important. It is certainly true that "our perception doesn't provide is with a faithfull copy of our environment" but we have become able to look beyond that perception. The perception that evolution has provided us with does not enable us, for instance, to perceive ultra-violet or infra-red light, or bacteria, or electrons, or black holes, yet we have developed ways of detected all of these things despite the inability of our perceptive faculties to do so. While bats, for instance, have a type of sonar that we must assume provides them with much the same kind of representation of their environment as our eyes do, we can't possibly "experience" the same thing as they do, yet we have no difficulty at all accepting that their alternate mode of perception exists and no difficulty drawing some conclusions about it.

I think the case that our knowledge of the universe is limited because our perceptive faculties have evolved to detect only what might be described as directly useful to us is, therefore, greatly overstated - as I read you as recognising - because we've been able to go far, far beyond what those perceptive faculties are capable of, regardless of what they might have been "designed" by natural selection for.

"matus.simkovic" wrote:
However in my experience, you can get lot of strange, interesting and most importantly subjectively impenetrable phenomena in this way. I enjoy these very much although I seriously doubt that they would survive any amount of honest scientific scrutiny. These phenomena are just gaps in my imperfect cognitive apparatus. But ultimatively I don't care. I'm not doing rituals to achieve any knowledge, to achieve any higher states or to gain hidden wisdom. I wouldn't consider the epistemic value of my magical experiences at all. I gladly concur, they have no such a value. Still, I enjoy the rituals as recreational measures, for their aesthetic and artistic value.

This is the most refreshingly truthful and honest account I have heard a practising "magician" give of his own practice, ever. I sincerely applaud you.

"matus.simkovic" wrote:
In answering I would attemt to transcend all of my illusions - even the cognitively closed ones. I consider scientific inquiry as currently the best method for bypassing/enlarging our cognition and consequently for answering the question. By this standard the demons, angels and spirits do not have independent experience, wherefore I chose the second option.
But since the question is targeted at practicing magicians (or am I wrong in assuming this?) it should really include an option 'My occult practice/experience can't answer this question.' Even choosing option two, because one has in course of his ritual practice never met any angels, demons or spirits, would be, strictly speaking, an invalid conclusion.

What a great answer. Welcome to the forums, here.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
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24/03/2010 9:40 pm  
"Noctifer" wrote:
So God, which is our idea of God to the same extent that a turtle is our idea of a turtle - both practically identical, somewhat more, and somewhat less -, does in fact have an effect through the effect which that idea has on our minds, which in turn makes us do things which directly affect the world.

Well, a turtle is not "our idea of a turtle". A turtle is a turtle. Turtles are real. God is not real. That's the difference, and it's an enormously significant one.

"Noctifer" wrote:
Placebos are simultaneously real and imaginary, then.

Again, no it isn't - it's just real. The fact that the placebo effect relies partly on the workings of the imagination no more makes it "imaginary" than the fact that Beethoven used his imagination to create his music makes his fifth symphony "imaginary".

"Noctifer" wrote:
Placebos sometimes -not always- work. What you're forgetting is that there is no reason for them to work according to science.

This is absolute nonsense. "Science" has a perfectly good reason why the placebo effect works, and it's called "the power of positive thinking". And as matus.simkovic pointed out, they only work in those circumstances where the power of positive thinking might be expected to have an effect, and not in cases like broken limbs where it wouldn't.

This is a good example of why your suggestion that "whether or not God 'exists' does not matter at all" is false. It's precisely because doctors do know how the placebo effect works that enables them to appropriately prescribe or not prescribe such a treatment. If doctors really thought it "does not matter", then you'd end up getting prescribed a sugar pill when you go into hospital with brain damage. Is that really how you'd like doctors to behave?

"Noctifer" wrote:
Actually, it doesn't work in the way which anyone thinks it does.

Actually, it works in exactly the way everyone thinks it does. When you prescribe a placebo for a missing arm, the arm never, ever grows back. For a mild ailment where suffering can be increased by people being negative and feeling sorry for themselves, the placebo effect alleviates that in a significant proportion of people due to the power of positive thinking. For minor discomforts and injuries, it appears that the mind can have a small but noticeable effect on the body's own natural healing processes.

"Noctifer" wrote:
Actually there is everything that is ambiguous and contradictory, according to the materialist rationalist paradigm, about the idea that simply believing in something will kill micro-organisms, cure illness, change body functioning, etc.

Who are these mythical scientists with "materialist rationalist paradigms" of which you speak? I'd wager you wouldn't find a doctor or scientist in the world who'd argue against the power of positive thinking.

"Noctifer" wrote:
Example 1: Person X performs act to gain money quickly, having exhausted all channels available. One week later, they receive notification to the effect that several thousand dollars have been given to them as a birthday present by someone least expected to do so, someone who had cashed in their holidays at work, didn't need the money, and decided to give it to a worthy cause, and thought of supporting the activities of person X.

This has nothing at all to do with the placebo effect. What's almost certainly going on here is pure chance. The "act", which is presumably "magical", would not have caused the purported result in question.

"Noctifer" wrote:
Example 2. Person T performs act to bring ready money quickly. They decide to make a talisman involving the sigils of the appropriate entities from Liber 231 for this purpose. They take three times as long in making it as they expected, however, upon applying the final touch the phone rings (bad form- should be off hook) with good news that something they had put on sale months ago with zero interest since listing - a very rare object that hardly anyone would be likely to be interested in in their part of the world - has suddenly been sold and they now have ten thousand dollars waiting to be collected at their earliest convenience.

Same response - this has nothing to do with the placebo effect, or its principles.

"Noctifer" wrote:
Example 3: Person W does act to cause harm to person Y. Person W then forgets about it, but receives news a few weeks later from an unexpected source (friend of victim's brother) informing them that Person Y fell asleep at the wheel whilst driving a motor-car to work at four in the morning two weeks ago, and drove off a cliff, dying instantly, presumably oblivious to the entire episode. No physical or other contact between either party during this time.

Same response.

"Noctifer" wrote:
True stories, all, of which I was made aware gradually by the people involved in such a way which made it impossible for them to have fabricated either the fact of their activity or the results which they had caused.

All these instances are easily dismissible as coincidence or the application of the "post hoc ergo propter hoc" fallacy. There is no suggestion at all that the act in question caused the purported results, either through the effects of the act on the imagination or through any other mechanism. There appears to be no applicability to the placebo effect in any of the examples you list.

"Noctifer" wrote:
These are the "synchronous effects" I'm talking about, whereby an "imaginary" procedure appears to be successful.

Well, the significant difference is appears to be successful. The placebo effect is a process involving the imagination which has actually been rigorously demonstrated to be successful, at least in particular instances. The types of act you mention are also processes involving the imagination, but none of them have been demonstrated in this way, and unlike the placebo effect we are aware of no legitimate mechanism whatsoever through which they could be expected to achieve their purported effects.

"Noctifer" wrote:
The result is delivered through perfectly normal, earthly, but highly improbable, means. Angels and demons are unnecessary to external observers for explaining the events which occurred, exactly like the placebo has no function as a chemical agent in causing an illness to disappear, but they can perhaps be usefully employed by those involved as the catalyst for the desired result to occur. This is the point I am making.

It sounds like you're just trying to find an alternate way to avoid having to come up with a real explanation. I thought you were trying to imply that the placebo effect, or something analagous to it, was an actual mechanism whereby certain types of "magical effect" can be produced, but that's clearly not what you're saying.

"Noctifer" wrote:
What cannot be explained away is the relationship of those events to the mind/imagination of the people who performed the "magical acts" whose object was to cause them in the external world, and did so successfully.

You are merely asserting that they did indeed do so "successfully", and until you actually demonstrate this instead of merely asserting it then there is absolutely nothing at all that even needs "explaining away".

"Noctifer" wrote:
It is of course unnecessary to literally believe in angels or demons to explain this sort of thing (knowing the people involved, as I did, they certainly didn't believe in them either) - but it is actually unnecessary except for ego-narrative-satisfaction to explain it, at all.

The idea that its "not necessary" to explain how things happen is exactly the type of "obnoxious and contemptible attitude" I was condemning over in the other thread. What you're really doing is praising and positively encouraging willful ignorance. Once again, it's a good job that (actual medical) doctors, engineers and scientists don't share your opinion on this matter.

"Noctifer" wrote:
As Crowley said, by doing certain things certain results follow, and it is unnecessary to attribute objective reality to the placebo mechanism used by the mind in order to achieve these effects. You can use a model involving angels and demons, you can use a model involving sigils and Kia and "deep mind" and so forth, you can use the model of sympathetic magic, or better still, use all of the above depending on what seems to be the most convenient explanation.

Scientists use "convenient explanation" to denote explanations which do a good and concise job of adequately explaining things. You're using the word "convenient" here to denote those types of explanations which result in the least amount of effort or intelligence to arrive at. That's a very significant difference.

"Noctifer" wrote:
So I'd rephrase it --- not "do angels and demons really exist" but "what do angels and demons observably do"? You would prefer that I said "what does the idea of angels and demons make people do?".

I have no preference at all for what you do. I think your third question would certainly be a far, far more sensible one than your first two, certainly.

"Noctifer" wrote:
However, our idea of something is (I posit) all we can ever know about it, by definition, knowledge consists of ideas, of thoughts only. Each impression on consciousness through sense is interpreted through the mind and so can be said in a certain special sense to take place within it.

Again, this is a mere evasive linguistic device. Even if our idea of something is all we can ever know about it, we can easily distinguish that our idea of an invisible pink unicorn doesn't seem to correspond to anything real, but that our idea of that cardboard box over there does. You seem to be implying that if our idea of something is all we can ever know about it, then that makes the reality of the thing in question irrelevant, which is absolute nonsense. It's just playing with words.

Our "intepretation" in the mind - i.e. the exact same "subjective experience" that occultists like to continually tell us about - tell us that turtles exist but that demons do not. You can't use subjective experience or "everything is ideas" to argue for the irrelevance of the existence of angels, because it is those exact same things which tell us that angels don't exist but that turtles do, if only we don't take the advice of occultists and abandon all pretense at sincere observation of what we subjectively perceive.

"Noctifer" wrote:
So the idea of an angel or demon is that angel or demon to exactly the same extent that your idea of a turtle is that turtle

Again, no, because the enormous difference is that that turtle exists, whereas neither that angel nor that demon do. This line of thinking is merely a device to encourage people to avoid thinking critically about things. It all boils down to "don't actually think about what you're doing in case you end up having to question your precious beliefs". This is not a meritworthy attitude.


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mika
 mika
(@mika)
Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 360
24/03/2010 10:26 pm  
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
"mika" wrote:
Intuition is not evidence.

I doubt, mika, that many would dispute this - indeed, I'm not aware that anyone has advanced their intuition as "evidence".

AEternitas did when he wrote:
"One can experience for instance a spirit or some such entity in dream or vision, yet know that it is in some way a product of their imagination, leading one to the belief that sprirts are all just constructs of the mind and imagination faculty. Yet this belief may eventually be shattered when one experiences an entity or spirit that puts off such an aire of "otherness" that one can intuitively know without a doubt the independent existence of that entity. "

Scroll back to the top of page 2 and you can see his post for yourself. "intuitively know without a doubt" is advancing intuition as evidence.

"MichaelStaley" wrote:
As a matter of interest, do you disregard your own intuition on the grounds that it is not "objective"?

No. But I don't presume that my intuition accurately reflects actual reality.


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 Anonymous
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25/03/2010 12:13 am  

don't put your spin on me. knowing something intuitively if almost like the complete opposite of knowing something based on evidence. its like two completely different ways of knowing something. One can know something intuitively without having the slightest bit of physical eveidence, otherwise it wouldn't be intuition. Give me a damn break.


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 Anonymous
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25/03/2010 12:15 am  

Does anything really ‘exist’ independently?

Surely, adjusting the frame of reference serves certain practical functions, but the frame is always relative nonetheless. Within its’ scope definitions may be applied which allow for identification of points and paths of connectedness; but this survey posits specific categories - existence, mind, demons, spirits, angels, etc. - as if these were shared concepts understood a priori. Clearly, the posts within this topic demonstrate that they are not.

It has already been observed that our limited voting options do not reflect the range of subtleties or opinions regarding this subject; and, for this reason, I refrain from casting my ballot. However, in the ‘spirit’ which I suspect this survey was offered, I propose that the ontological status of any Daimon (δαίμων) is relative to the scope of One’s frame of reference.

2π / 3


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
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25/03/2010 12:46 am  

Greetings!

"Noctifer" wrote:
That idea was that God is a placebo.

The suggestion was made becuase whether or not God "exists" does not matter at all -- in either case he still does have a real, observable and measurable effect upon the world we live in, by operating through the human mind, simply through humans' belief in him. This entity, which can only be pointed to on imaginary levels, has had more effect on history than any physically-provable human being has.

Now, a placebo is simultaneously real and unreal. It does not work, that's why it is called a placebo, but it does work, which is also why it is called a placebo. So it is simultaneously effective and proven to be ineffective at the same time, exactly like magic, like religion, like the daemonic reality described in Patrick Harpur's sublime book The Philosopher's Secret Fire: A History of the Imagination . A placebo only works through the agency of the human imagination , but it does in fact work, to a measurable degree, despite there being no "objective" causal reason for it doing so.

The functional involvement of the human imagination as a necessary vehicle for the earthing of the unmanifest may be safely considered as a legitimate and entirely reasonable explanation, without compromising any notions of validity or experiential observation.

"Noctifer" wrote:
To sum up my response to your first question: yes, God, angels, demons do exist - as placebos.

A very interesting point of view… please let me share some thoughts on it:

I was just thinking that, the effort to keep rationalizing everything is important in order to have something understood by the deductive mind, and even implemented in one’s everyday life. However, there is also the need for some balance so that one would not end in depriving one’s life from the benefit of the use of symbolization which makes one able to make conscious use of the psychic energy and express one’s higher potential (true self/higher self, etc) as well.

So, I wonder if one could take these thoughts about placebo further by saying that, in the case of Magick, the ‘placebo effect’ finds its analogy in the effect of the symbols on the human subconscious. One could easily see that everything around in this 3D world not only is ‘real’ but it carries a certain symbolic meaning as well and, as I see it, the aim of Magick is to use this symbolic meaning behind everything ‘real’, in order to work with one’s aspects, to achieve the inner balance which is so much needed, and also keep one connected to one’s quantum nature.

When I look at my inner experiences, I realize that all of them are about energy currents which are translated by my mind in a way compatible with the one used by my sensatory apparatus. It is much like having some burs of iron on a paper sheet and moving a magnet beneath it at the same time. Every time the magnet moves, the burs keep rearranging themselves along the magnetic lines, thus giving (I think) a nice example of the way our mind and astral substance takes form under the influence of the forementioned energy currents.

So, I am not my senses and I am not my mind either; however, the fact that I dwell in this 3D world makes the 3D experience a necessary threshold to the path of self-awareness. Therefore, I perceive of Spirits and Angels etc in terms similar to my earthy experience.

Does that mean that those spirits and/or “aspects of the broader Self” share a similar form indeed? I came to the conclusion that they don’t have to, but it’s me who perceives them like that. Does that make them fake and unreal? I wouldn’t call them unreal. I would merely say that they are the closest thing I can perceive from my (earthy) point of view and, if I wish to achieve any kind of understanding, I have to use the 3D world in its symbolic form.

I guess then that the symbols mentioned above are not far from the symbols used by the scientists when they work out their complicated equations. But who is the one (except Aleister Crowley) who would find one’s way through this and manage to decode the 3D word’s symbols in terms of Magick and inner (quantum?) reality?

Regards
Hecate


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 Anonymous
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25/03/2010 1:07 am  

did someone mention ontology?


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 Anonymous
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25/03/2010 5:10 am  
"AEternitas" wrote:
don't put your spin on me. knowing something intuitively if almost like the complete opposite of knowing something based on evidence. its like two completely different ways of knowing something. One can know something intuitively without having the slightest bit of physical eveidence, otherwise it wouldn't be intuition. Give me a damn break.

Yes, Aeternitas, you are absolutely right. Intuition is a faculty that can be developed and strengthened with use and application. Already 'knowing' what 'actual reality' "is," doesn't help the process.


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 Anonymous
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25/03/2010 6:10 am  

I doubt anyone could show any hard evidence that they actually "know" what "actual reality" "is" anyway.
Someone commented earlier that harboring beliefs in things like spirits, gods and rhetorical turtles based off of experiences and intuition was just going to obscure ones ability to find their "true will." Unfortunately, I have seen just as much evidence for the existence and reality of spirits as I have for a true will. If anyone can show me some evidence for the existence of a true will (just one) please, let me know. Oh and, as established by the professors and physicists earlier, intuition doesn't count as knowledge, and amounts to nothing in this realm of mystical and magical experience, so don't go there.


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 Anonymous
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25/03/2010 12:47 pm  

Hi Erwin,

thanks for the warm welcome.

I think it is an open question as to how far we can go in transcendenging our intuitions programmed by the evolution. With the advent of computers, capable for example of automatic search for mathematical proofs, it seems we did finally left the confounds of our reasoning capabilities behind. However in some cases our intuitions might still get in the way, even in the way of scientific progress. I think this is for example the case in the research on consciousness, where people like Chalmers or Penrose are unwilling to accept that most of the phenomena our consciousness creates are illusions. Even many researchers are unable to generate the proper hypothesis, because these are so contraintuitive. Subsequently the research runs in a circle with lot of (superficially) contradictory results. So the inherited intuitions are part of the problem of consciousness and scientists should earnestly ask themselves how to overcome them.
Similarly in the case of demons and angels and their independent existence, the unwillingness to give up the intuitions is part of the problem, in fact it seems to be the crucial part of the problem. If someone is unable to accomplish this first step, any amount of argumentation is doomed to remain ineffective and misunderstood.

Aeternitas,

you and Noctifer seem to have very peculiar ideas as to what scientists ('the professors and physicists') say and think.

I can't imagine any scientist saying, that

intuition doesn't count as knowledge

In fact, in most situations our intuitions are perfectly valid. If I want to figure out when it is time to eat, it would be silly of me to start scientific investigation. I might sample my stomach, or I might note the amount of food eaten in the course of, say, the last week and compute a target value for the next meal. Just paying attention to the feeling of hunger will do fine and will provide you with squarely the same result. Even thinking and reflecting your eating habits too much, would be just a plain waste of time.

Curiosly, there are situations where scientists have to defend our intuitions. Counseling young mothers is a case in point. Mothers are extremely anxious about the wellbeing of their babies. Even up to the point where they read scientific literature or ask for a counsel at the local faculty. 20-30 years ago there has been tradition among psychologists in recommending certain parenting measures. This had been a relict from the behaviourist era, when Watson famously stated he would be able make a lawyer, beggar or thug of any baby under proper conditions. But today, as far as I know, the standard is to tell mothers not to be anxious and to rely on their own intuitions. It has been shown that the hunches and intuitions of the biological mother is the best upbringing a child can receive. Mothers instinctively know, what is best for their children. Recommending parenting styles or some measure above another, does only cause trouble.
Thus intutions work and they are the best way to organise our social life, and to cope with most of our life's problems. Yet, they fail in some cases. Our intuition that sweets taste good, was valid at times when people lived in african savannah, where sugar was a scarce and precious nutrient. Today, sugar meals are ubiquitous, at least in the developed countries and our intuition harms us by making us to overeat.

[Intuition] amounts to nothing in this realm of mystical and magical experience, so don't go there.

I wouldn't say it amounts to nothing. I think it is important to realise that at certain occasions our intuitions utterly fails. If you realise this, then you are well-equipped to get on with the sorting process.


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 Anonymous
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25/03/2010 2:03 pm  
"matus.simkovic" wrote:
I think it is an open question as to how far we can go in transcendenging our intuitions programmed by the evolution.

In terms of "how far we can go" being an open question, I'd agree. The substance of my point is that we know we can at least "a long way beyond".

"matus.simkovic" wrote:
However in some cases our intuitions might still get in the way, even in the way of scientific progress. I think this is for example the case in the research on consciousness, where people like Chalmers or Penrose are unwilling to accept that most of the phenomena our consciousness creates are illusions. Even many researchers are unable to generate the proper hypothesis, because these are so contraintuitive.

I don't dispute that "our intuitions" can sometimes be a practical hindrance in the way you describe, I just think the case for them being some kind of fundamental limitation is greatly overstated. It may take a lot of thinking and dealing with counterintuitive ideas to get past that limitation in some circumstances, certainly.

"matus.simkovic" wrote:
Similarly in the case of demons and angels and their independent existence, the unwillingness to give up the intuitions is part of the problem, in fact it seems to be the crucial part of the problem. If someone is unable to accomplish this first step, any amount of argumentation is doomed to remain ineffective and misunderstood.

I agree completely.


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ZIN
 ZIN
(@zin)
Member
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26/03/2010 11:16 pm  

In a new book by Frater U.'.D.'. entitled "Where Do Demons Live?" written in the manner of Crowley's "Magick Without Tears" this very question is asked.

He writes : "Neither group ( those who feel demons and spirits have an independent existence OR those that feel they are a product of your mind ) can scientifically prove its position, nor can either group disprove the position of the other. So, again, it is merely a question of how one views his or her own universe from an objective standpoint. Since a true magician is continuously training his or her ability to smoothly shift from one paradigm to another, it doesn't matter much how things "really" are, especially considering the fact the word REAL does not hold much value."

An interesting book from the author of the hard-to-get : "Practical Sigil Magic".


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 Anonymous
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27/03/2010 12:35 am  

I've always found it fascinating, how various authors deal with the question of this topic.
Crowley wrote in his preface to Goetia that the spirits are the portions of human brain (option 2 in the poll). Nevertheless, he did evoke them.
DuQuette amplified Crowley's idea in his motto: It's all in your head -- you just have no idea how big your head is.
Karlsson in his book on Goetia, as far as I remember, ignores the whole issue. He retells Crowley's anecdote about getting Allan Bennet money for his trip to asia. He then goes on to tell some more anecdotes of his own.

Phil Hine together with his colleague did some Goetia with a help of vortex ritual and two days of sleep deprivation. They both saw the demon manifest. Unfortunately it didn't manifest in its proper form, as given by Goetia. Also it manifested only partially and not fully, which even further complicates their interpretation.

The most interesting account I've read, was Joseph Lisiewski's book Ceremonial Magick. Lisiewski went on to argue for option one: demons and spirits are all real. He vigorously criticised Crowley for his position. In his account the spirits manifest in clear shape producing unmistakeable poltergeist phenomena. According to him, the success of evocation doesn't depend on the operator's degree of belief. Rather a vast amount of paraphrenalia is needed. The ritual has to be reproduced by precisely following the instructions given in the grimoire (he prefers Heptameron over Goetia). Though I remain sceptical, I find his position interesting, because it seems testable.

Frater UD's position squarely follows his chaos magical leanings, rather than any evidence or experience. Chaos magicians inspired by postmodern and constructivist philosophy simply disregard the notion of objective reality. Hence evidence and experience alike reflect the implicitly assumed paradigm under which the research/ritual is being conducted.


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3951
27/03/2010 1:47 am  
"matus.simkovic" wrote:
I think it is an open question as to how far we can go in transcending our intuitions programmed by the evolution.

Matus, could you give me some examples of what you mean by "our intuitions programmed by the evolution", which you refer to elsewhere as "inherited intuitions"?

Best wishes,

Michael.


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 Anonymous
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27/03/2010 6:09 am  
"matus.simkovic" wrote:
Similarly in the case of demons and angels and their independent existence, the unwillingness to give up the intuitions is part of the problem, in fact it seems to be the crucial part of the problem. If someone is unable to accomplish this first step, any amount of argumentation is doomed to remain ineffective and misunderstood.

What problem? The problem of not sharing the same beliefs about demons and spirits? Why is that a problem?

"matus.simkovic" wrote:
I can't imagine any scientist saying, that

intuition doesn't count as knowledge

In fact, in most situations our intuitions are perfectly valid. If I want to figure out when it is time to eat, it would be silly of me to start scientific investigation. I might sample my stomach, or I might note the amount of food eaten in the course of, say, the last week and compute a target value for the next meal. Just paying attention to the feeling of hunger will do fine and will provide you with squarely the same result. Even thinking and reflecting your eating habits too much, would be just a plain waste of time.

Curiosly, there are situations where scientists have to defend our intuitions. Counseling young mothers is a case in point. Mothers are extremely anxious about the wellbeing of their babies.

You are confusing intuition with instinct, they are not the same. It is instinct and the perception of hunger that tells us when, and sometimes what, to eat. Most, maybe all, healthy mammalian mothers care extremely for the well being of their babies. That's instinct. Instinct is respondent to ordinary perceptions like getting hungry, or seeing a newborn infant needing nurturing after carrying them inside your body for nine months or so. Intuition appears a form of extra-sensory, non-ordinary perception, when it does appear.


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 Anonymous
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27/03/2010 6:21 am  

haha look at the number of votes 13-9-31. cool...


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 Anonymous
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27/03/2010 1:16 pm  

Michael and Zardoz,
I realise my use of the term intuition might be more colloqual than the way other posters on this board use it.
By intuition I simply mean some inference for which we don't have cause or justification. We speak of 'sixth sense' or 'gut feeling'.
Instincts are obvious instances of intution. It is difficult to give some reason why we like sweets, or why we find babies cute.

But intuitions don't have to be just instincts. Any implicit knowledge - a knowledge where we don't remember the source event - I consider as intuition. If I burnt my fingers as a small kid and I don't remember the event anymore I still have a strong intuition, that sticking my fingers into the fire might be bad idea.

I then distinguish the explicit knowledge, which is the kind of stuff we learn via our five senses and we still remember the events. So you might conclude that sticking fingers into fire is bad idea, because you yesterday observed Jimmy recoiling from fire and expressing pain. This is not intuition anymore, although the content is squarely the same.

Finally I would distinguish the reflective knowledge, that is conclusions we arrive at by reasoning about our knowledge - mostly about our intuitions and perceptions. Thus we might come to conclusion that our hunger for sweets was programmed by evolution, if we scientifically investigate the possible origins. Or my mother might tell me that I burnt myself when I was 3 years old, which might help me explain my fear of fire.

This is a very rough account, because mostly our experience is a sort of mix of all three categories, but for illustration it should suffice.
Just one more example. When artist creates some artwork, he uses his implicit knowledge to lead his hand. Just like driving a bicycle, he doesn't reflect his immediate dashes. He doesn't compute the exact trajectories, nor does he exactly copy some previous experience. Inherited intuitions take also part in this process. They tell us what is beautiful - eg symmetrical shapes, high contrasts etc. Most important feature of this process is that the artist does not immediately reflect his actions - indeed, this would be contraproductive. That makes up intuition for me.
I may give some more examples if you like, just let me know. I think extending this framework to occultism should be also straightforward.

What problem? The problem of not sharing the same beliefs about demons and spirits? Why is that a problem?

I would say the problem is to find a single position which would satisfy everyone including hard-core practitioners and sceptical scientists. As I already stated, I think this can be done if magicians give up their epistemic claims. And I wouldn't consider this a concession on the part of magicians. To me the realisation that clowning around in a robe, shouting barbarous names can be on its own an inspiring, fullfilling and worthwhile activity was a liberating revelation. In the end it did even improve my practice, in the sense that I can consciously look for and set up illusions. Previously I would consider this kind of strategy as worthless, because, obviously, ilusions weren't 'true' or 'real' or didn't mediate any wisdom or higher knowledge.
I think that it is a problem, because magicians and indeed everyone would profit from the resolution of the issue.


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 Anonymous
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27/03/2010 3:21 pm  

Greetings!

I'd like to share something. Five years ago, when I started channeling (after I worked on it via meditations etc), I had to deal with certain people’s doubts about the truth of a) my (or anyone's) ability to channel and b) angels’ existence. What made this harder was that I still had serious doubts too, so how could I ever argue about it? I didn’t care so much to prove it to the others, but I had to find some answers for me.

I asked Elijah, my guide, to help me understand. His answer was “They are your soul’s angels” and it rather confused me even more. I considered personality, including astral and mind body of course, as part of the soul, so I thought that he meant that all this ‘angelic channeling’ stuff was an illusion – and yet, it was funny to have a spirit telling you that other spirits are illusions….

So, I thought to play the role of my self’s ‘guinea-pig’ in order to gain some closure to this experience in order to examine it, and I kept channeling, while at the same time watching carefully the motifs of this “illusion” that were developed through this process, and whishing that I would be able to get rid of the illusions at some point and move on to a clearer perception. After a few months I got a flu and the fever kept me in bed for a couple of days. One evening I thought “agghh, it would be nice to ask the angels to help me if they only weren’t plain illusions… but they are. I better take my old good febrifuge instead”. The next thing that happened was seeing three entities coming to me (I had my eyes closed). I thought again “yeah, all right… it’s only me”. One of them touched my right shoulder for a couple of seconds and I could see its hand radiating a green-yellow light; then they all left. I thought “ha! You look pretty real for ones who do not exist”. Ten minutes later the fever had gone and it was as if I had never had the flu… and I laughed a lot.

I didn’t get any specific answer about them being “my soul’s angels” at the time, but I decided to trust and wait to see. What I found necessary to do though was to let people know that the guidance I had been receiving was not any sort of “ultimate truth”, but it was all that I needed on my own inner journey. Now, if anyone else would find it inspiring on their own journey, then fine! There was no reason to try to convince anyone for anything.

A couple of years later, I had my answer in a peculiar way. I was shown that soul itself is a bunch of energy lines, something like an energy node, created by several energy currents which in their turn are parts of the Archangelic energies. It seemed to me that the magnetic field around this node is what we experience as personality and this is where we project our reality. The ‘angels of my soul’ then, were merely my “inner family” as it is manifested through this specific node of energy which is my soul. There is such a vast potential for everyone to draw from there and manifest!

Anyways, all this was probably what I personally needed to see on my path at the given time… However, I do wonder if AC mentions any similar point of view –I haven’t found anything in his writings yet.
I also wonder how this idea could be connected to the magical act of identification with a godform, as I think AC has used it in his work…

Regards
Hecate


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 Anonymous
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27/03/2010 3:27 pm  
"matus.simkovic" wrote:
I would say the problem is to find a single position which would satisfy everyone including hard-core practitioners and sceptical scientists. As I already stated, I think this can be done if magicians give up their epistemic claims. And I wouldn't consider this a concession on the part of magicians. To me the realisation that clowning around in a robe, shouting barbarous names can be on its own an inspiring, fullfilling and worthwhile activity was a liberating revelation. In the end it did even improve my practice, in the sense that I can consciously look for and set up illusions. Previously I would consider this kind of strategy as worthless, because, obviously, ilusions weren't 'true' or 'real' or didn't mediate any wisdom or higher knowledge.
I think that it is a problem, because magicians and indeed everyone would profit from the resolution of the issue.

A single position that would satisfy everybody? I really don't think that could actually ever transpire, and how boring would that be anyway?


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 Anonymous
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27/03/2010 4:57 pm  

Aeternatis,

I agree it is a quite ambitious goal and I seriously doubt that even approximate consensus would be possible, but still I think a small step in that direction would make an improvement.
As to whether a resolution would be boring. You should understand that every resolution begets new questions, new problems. Taking the resolution which I proposed above, we wouldn't ask anymore questions like whether Baal is attributed to mercury, which hour and day is proper for operation, whether one should first accomplish the Abramelin operation before calling out the Kings of Goetia or indeed whether the spirits have independent existence.
But one would ask different questions like, how to stage the most impressive ritual? What is the best weather, the best wind direction? What lighting to use, in what state of mind one should enter the temple and what were the feelings and impressions triggered by the ritual.
Would that be boring? I don't think so.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
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27/03/2010 5:06 pm  
"matus.simkovic" wrote:
Would that be boring? I don't think so.

There's plenty of venues for spiritual tourists to hang out at.


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 Anonymous
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27/03/2010 7:13 pm  
"AEternitas" wrote:
A single position that would satisfy everybody? I really don't think that could actually ever transpire, and how boring would that be anyway?

I would suggest 'Do what thou wilt' as "the single position that would satisfy everybody." True Will would (and does) indicate the perspective and methodology most appropriate to each individual. No need for consensus beyond that, no need to 'sell' one's preference to another, no need to 'buy' that of another. 'Science' in this application is a matter of emphasis only, and a very important one that should be vigilantly maintained to keep self-delusion in check to the extent possible, but where 'Art' is equally involved there can be no consensus beyond 'Do what thou wilt.'


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