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Conceptual barriers in thelema


 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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93
Maybe it's my emotional state this days but I've been overwhelmed with anxiety over a hard topic about Thelema. I was discussing Thelema with a friend and was left with a big whole in my heart, a void filled with words, the curse of Because perhaps? But let me start from the beginning.

I can explain Thelema to a "profane", anyone with medium education and half a brain could understan Thelema as a philosophy or religion, but there seems to be a huge, and I mean, HUGE, drop off between explaining Thelema as the simple "Do what thou wilt..." and "love is the law..." and explaining the attainment, which I usually explain in terms of Yoga and enlightment. Then the unthinkable happens, if the way to attain the HGA is yoga and meditation, what's the difference between Thelema and Buddhism?

Being overwhelmed by anxiety and grief maybe I can't explain what I mean and feel properly, but I'll try my best: There is the casual language, the cultural bagage of common speech, we can explain christianity, Islam and even hinduism in such conceptual framwork, but the explaining thelema is another thing altogether.

What is causing my anxiety is the gigantic net of intrincated correspondences between qabalah, grimoires, ancient magical traditions, etc., it's like you need a Phd in qabalah and all sorts of subjects in order to be a thelemite (or better yet, in order to trascend the mere "yes I accept the Law and profethood of the Beast" and actually start seeking the HGA), and that, I feel, is wrong. Spirituallity should not be SO complex, specially so intelectually complex, I study philosophy, I like complex and boring stuff, I love analyzing concepts, I adore studying religions and hermeneutics, but I feel as if every other manifestation of spirituality is far more simple and can be better understood by anyone than Thelema.

Like I said, there is a huge drop off, like a cliff, one moment you're explaining thelema in normal concepts, the next you're in a three-hour discussion over Magick as the metaphysics of action, the qabalah as a gigantic conceptual framework, and a series of riddles that not even catholic mystics could possibly comprehend (and boy they're complex!).

"Spread the Law" I know, but it's almost impossible to talk to a person with no background in the occult about Thelema, without turning it into a form of buddhism, stripping away all forms of mysticism regarding Nuit, Hadit and Ra-Hoor-Khuit, or, on the other side, turning Thelema into a form of incomprehensible network of obscure refferences. I thought, or would like to think, that Crowley was very pragmatic and wanted Thelema to be simple enough for anyone, so that the Law could be for everyone, and yet is rare to find an individual with enough spare time in his hand to spend a couple of years studying like 20 books on different matters like qabalah, Magick, rituals, etc.

The ways of attainment or "accomplishment" can be very hard to undergo, this is natural in any form of spirituality, but with Thelema it's not only hard, is downright impossible to translate from qabalistic language to common language, and therefore is nearly impossible to expand the thelemic communities to areas or people without the spare time to devote their lifes to studying.

Like I said, maybe it's just me and my depression talking, maybe the demons that dwell inside me are keeping me blind, maybe choronzon writes through me, but the feelings of frustration, in trying to understand in normal concepts all the thelemic jargon, are increasing. I think I need help.

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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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OK here we go ... If you think you need help maybe you do ! πŸ˜‰

This is just IMHO I must point out ... Thelema is about Individual Will, about the sanctity of that.

All the rituals, all the knocks and signs and greetings and degrees and (ad infinitum) are just tools, props and metaphors. Powerful Thelemites and Kabbalists and Ceremonial Magicians and Co. are all imposing their Will on reality. When you have identified and embraced your Will you no longer need any of those props. A bit like the old tale of the Alchemists - when you have learnt how to change lead into gold you no longer have any need of it !

Buddhism is all about philosophical debate (IMHO) to make you question that reality (Maya), where a Vajranaist might go round up some protector dieties the Magician will enlist any of a whole plethora of thought-forms/angels/demons. But again its all illusion, all our limited consciousness responding to patterns we think we see. In the Bardo it is only the quality of the Light that gives any clue to reality. Here in Malkuth few even sense that there is Light !

Translating Kabbalah shouldn't be that hard - its used in the magickal sense to help categorise both the seen and unseen worlds. But again, that's all it is .. Your Map is not My Map! But if we are both using the Tree as a central reference point we can start to understand the terrain. Time and time again Crowley used that and Gemetria to unlock revelation. But that revelation came from him doing his Will.

Where I question any method is where blind acceptance is required. OK if something is fundamentally true you're wasting time to try and reason out of it but to elevate mere human beings to Master/Sensei/Guru/Prophet status is (IMHO) inviting disaster - why is their Will any more important than your own ? Why are their words/commands/actions/etc any more important than your own ?

Alobar summed it up best I think when he said we're all Kings of the Sanctuary of the Gnosis ! Its a a revolutionary concept, individual freedom !

I know this will invite a lot of criticism but I hope in some small way it might help/provoke thought.

BTW the best way out of depression is action ! Don't get caught in the downward spiral of mental thought ... hit the tarmac, walk round the house, smile at strangers (well maybe not) do anything to get the body out of the depressed shape its making.

Sorry for that if you're not serious about the depression πŸ˜‰


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

Jargon is just jargon. You have to break through a lot of the professional Thelemites (and there are a lot of those around) and their lingo. The fact that it's so hard to comprehend, is only a personal illusion/delusion. Don't become a Black Brother, but follow your own True Will, as uncomplicated and without the lust of result as possible.
-R.Pike-


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

Blimey, calm down , old chap !
How can you have a 'whole in your heart' ?
How can a void be filled with words ?
Can't be, so stop it.
You don't have to explain or discuss, if you don;t want to.
To know, to dare to will, to be silent, is enough.
Read Al again, it always makes me feel better.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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maybe it's just me and my depression talking,

It isn't depression, it's frustration, because you're using a model other people aren't familiar with.

The difference, I think, between Buddhism and other methods of enlighenment and Thelema is method, not philosophy. All mystics are striving for the same goal. The fundamental difference is how one perceives obstacles: are they barriers or are they fuel for the Fire to burn down barriers? Matter is not evil, and no experience bad. Love under Will is using All to get There, whatever it is you consider There to be.

It really comes down to symbol systems and semantics: terminology. You are trying to explain things to people via symbol systems they don't understand. Try tailoring your explanation to something they can relate to.

nick, who should practice what he preaches!


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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"asclepio" wrote:
93 Being overwhelmed by anxiety and grief maybe I can't explain what I mean and feel properly, but I'll try my best: There is the casual language, the cultural bagage of common speech, we can explain christianity, Islam and even hinduism in such conceptual framwork, but the explaining thelema is another thing altogether.

93 93/93

I hope all is well...

Aleister Crowley was a very high initiate of the mysteries, and the mysteries are for 'initiates' only.

...This is why it is so hard for anyone to explain the mysteries.

Keep up the Great Work!

Best Wishes

Charles


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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"Spread the Law" I know".....

Maybe you shouldn't attempt this. It ain't evangelism don'tchaknow. People who are not interested in "spiritual things" can't wrap their brain around atonement and the life of Jesus, never mind something that is say..historically accurate and true such as the receiving of the book of the law! My advice, (and OH HOW WONDERFUL it iS!) is, quit feeding the pigs caviar and your mind will be much more at ease. It's enough to figure it all out yourself, never mind trying to convince others of ANYTHING.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

93 all

Well, yes we all have our own reality tunnels, but we must always change...Strive ever higher. We all do have a common duty to promulgate the law. Anyways, I've been peering into my "Magick Mirror" 😯 and I must GO. More later.

93 93/93


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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"We all do have a common duty to promulgate the law."

What does that MEAN? An Aiwaz tent meeting perhaps? Not only could we HANDLE SNAKES..but we could all learn to prompt the serpents to speak, and tell the non-believers of their true nature! 😈

"Can I go with Scott to Sunday School?"
😯


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 
"N.O.X" wrote:
93 all

Well, yes we all have our own reality tunnels, but we must always change...Strive ever higher. We all do have a common duty to promulgate the law. Anyways, I've been peering into my "Magick Mirror" 😯 and I must GO. More later.

93 93/93

Tell me more about this MAGICKAL MIRROR...
I want to know...


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

93,

I want to echo a few other people's excellet advice and say, first, get out and do something! Don't let yourself stagnate. Even if it's just walking around your city/town/countryside.

I also want to say that I agree that the core difference between Buddhism and Thelemaism lies in the ways of attainment, uniting with all experience, not all is suffering, but all is indescribable joy. Maybe you will find these sentiments in other religions, but the colors will be off for you. There's a reason you're drawn to Thelema, and it's because the pallette suits you, something clicks that doesn't click with other systems.

That being said, if all the magick is getting you down, try something simpler for awhile. I'm a huge fan of Zen meditation. It doesn't make me a zen buddhist, just a thelemite who has found that it works for him.

You're in charge, you're a star, go, go, and don't turn back for anything!

Love=Law

- Shangren


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Anonymous
 Anonymous
(@Anonymous)
Joined: 1 second ago
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93

Of course Thelema is going to be difficult for most people at this early stage in the New Aeon. Thelema is a completely new way at viewing and living life, compared to past Aeons, and it will take time for these new concepts to be integrated by the evolutionary steps that wo/men shall inevitably take. I find certain aspects difficult to grasp, but through hard work and determination and LOVE for The Great Work it is possible to "hack your own way through the jungle".

Keep up your Great Work!

93 93/93


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empiricus
(@empiricus)
Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 122
 

From a Buddhist perspective, all is suffering in the experience of the 'ignorant' - 'avidya', not so much as not knowing something as misperceiving and misconceiving it; not seeing reality for what it is, projecting fantasised ways of existing onto a mistake. Not experiencing things as they really are because, identifying with an illusory ego, we grasp at something that is not really there. Coventionally, suffering of suffering, suffering of change and pervasive suffering. From an ultimate or enlightened point of view, it is no more or less than the magical play of appearances out of primordial awareness and everlasting bliss and joy. Nirvana is Samsara and vice versa. Buddhist text: "May I free all beings from torment and place them in everlasting bliss". Fundamental Thelemic text: II.9 "Remember all ye that existence is pure joy;that all the sorrows are but as shadows; they pass & are done;but there is that which remains."

This should not really be confusing. Perhaps the confusion does stem from an overly intellectual, over anxious approach. Olympas: "How should I call him? How beseach?" Marsyas: "Silence is lovlier than Speech, Only on a windless tree, Falls the dew, Felicity! One ripple on the water mars, The magic mirror of the Stars" (AHA!; Aleister Crowley). Of course the intellect is useful but not the be all and end all. The Chinese Fifth Patriarch of the Dhyana/Chan/Zen school or lineage of Buddhism, Hui Neng was completely illiterate. Others had to read him the poem that he challenged to gain the realisation of Enlightenment and the Transmission of Mind from the Fourth Patriarch.

The stanza he challenged read: "Our body is the Bodhi-tree, And our mind a mirror bright. Carefully we wipe them hour by hour, And let no dust alight." He wrote in response: "There is no Bodhi-tree, Nor stand of a mirror bright. Since all is void, Where can the dust alight?" Milarepa was illiterate but indicated that there was a strange market in solitude, in the mountains - "up there" - where the hurly-burly of everyday life could be exchanged for a consciouness of bliss and ecstasy. Many others, from many different traditions besides.....

If you like that sort of thing, and have a disposition for it, the intellect can lead to non-conceptuality- gematria, for example can be a glorious liberating tool. But if you don't, there are other ways, possibly as many as there are people to find them. No need to see it as a dilemma.

Relaxed consciousness is very profound but not something easy. Non-conceptuality is for sure the goal- though from the ultimate standpoint there is no 'goal' - but there is no need to regard conceptuality or thoughts as a problem, there is even no need to seek non-conceptuality. All is an aid. Whatever the appearances of mundane concerns, do not regard them as a problem but relate to them as aids.

All the best....


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

go there Empiricus!

Magnum Opus!

Sublime


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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Topic starter  

93
Thanks for the response, I'd like to clear a few things though. First off I never meant to take an approach of converting people like christians do, but I'm about to start my thesis about thelema from a philosophical point of view so it is imperative for me to "translate" all the "thelemic concepts" into normal philosophical concepts, it's not nuclear science, it's a matter of using different languages to say the same thing, in the end all is hermeneutics!

But, at the same time, or running in parallel there is another reason why this translation is so vital to me. My approach to thelema never was from a passion for magick, I was drawn to the occult like a moth to the flame in a very philosophical way, just like Faust I realized knowledge is not complete if it only rational, it also must be spiritual, and my quest ended in Thelema, which I embraced BECAUSE of reason, I never had some supernatural phenomenon that simply anounced me the new aeon, like Paul in the road to damascus, it was a simple rational deduction that proved to me the inherent truth in thelema and liber AL.

But my rationality is not my only handicap, unfortunely I'm mentally sick, it's a severe depressive syndrome that comes and goes like the flu, only each time it twists my mind with more and more violence until one day I finally snap and do something terrible. I guess it's a bit ironic, driven from my childhood traumas I embraced reason to prove others that I was not a retard nor stupid, just emotionally unstable, I succeeded but now reason becomes, while I'm sick, my worst enemy (namely because it knows my weaknesses).

Thelema has helped me a lot to deal with this disease but I'm not cured (I doubt that to be possible) so sometimes it comes and twists me insides for a month or two until I'm reduced to ashes and in the brinck of madness (the very thing I despised since a child!). This is why sometimes I know and feel existence for what it is, joy, but depression lays the veil of ilusion and turns it into pain and suffering. Everybody keeps telling me that it's just that, an ilusion and that everything will be OK, etc., etc., the usual "mood lifter" but that doesn't help when you're screaming in the inside as if tortured. I always hated being handicapped, and to this day I can't stand children and mentally challenged people (I don't hate them, I just can't be with them for long before I start looking at them as a mirror, yes I'm twisted I know πŸ‘Ώ ), weakness repulses me since I was a child, so, naturally, a dualistic vision of existence (like that of the abrahamic faiths) disgusted me always, only in thelema do I find clean water to wash myself, and at the same time despise myself for being weak and ill.

I guess what I'm trying to say are two main things, 1) Thelema is very unfair for sick people who have to deal with severe mental problems that prevent the full expierence of joy for an extended period of time, and 2) I need some serious help to overcome my weaknesses.

I'm sorry if I don't participate as much (when sick I can't engage in anything that might tire my mind, that includes writing in forums like this), but most time I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about, it's like your speaking in another language, I understand english but can't seem to grasp most of the conversations, perhaps it's due to the fact that I'm new (for instance I can have discuss christian theology for hours and understand most of the most complex concepts and ideas in philosophy, while most people can't, on the other side I have no idea what "love" or "mental health" means so I guess that makes me even), and most of the times I'm to embarrased to ask just what the hell does X or Y means, I'll try and be more proactive about it. As you can see the mere idea of not understanding something makes me ill, nothing makes me angrier than being in the position of the child who can't have an interesting conversation with an adult (yes, I know, Freud and childhood traumas, but even knowing that the feeling doesn't go away).

93 93/93


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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93 all!

HA! Magispiegel, what I meant by "Magick Mirror" was I was at a party when I
posted that, and we were *sniff*, gettin' down on the mirror. A few friends, who are pagan had never heard of AC or Thelema, so I showed them this site while we were getting high. Sorry for the rambling posts but I didn't mean preaching or anything like that when I meant "spreading the law". But this goes back to another post about "giving the law" which I think a copy of Liber AL and a little explanation would do because the joy is in the seeking. Well, thats enough for now.

93 93/93


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 
"asclepio" wrote:
93
Thanks for the response, I'd like to clear a few things though. First off I never meant to take an approach of converting people like christians do, but I'm about to start my thesis about thelema from a philosophical point of view so it is imperative for me to "translate" all the "thelemic concepts" into normal philosophical concepts, it's not nuclear science, it's a matter of using different languages to say the same thing, in the end all is hermeneutics!

But, at the same time, or running in parallel there is another reason why this translation is so vital to me. My approach to thelema never was from a passion for magick, I was drawn to the occult like a moth to the flame in a very philosophical way, just like Faust I realized knowledge is not complete if it only rational, it also must be spiritual, and my quest ended in Thelema, which I embraced BECAUSE of reason, I never had some supernatural phenomenon that simply anounced me the new aeon, like Paul in the road to damascus, it was a simple rational deduction that proved to me the inherent truth in thelema and liber AL.

But my rationality is not my only handicap, unfortunely I'm mentally sick, it's a severe depressive syndrome that comes and goes like the flu, only each time it twists my mind with more and more violence until one day I finally snap and do something terrible. I guess it's a bit ironic, driven from my childhood traumas I embraced reason to prove others that I was not a retard nor stupid, just emotionally unstable, I succeeded but now reason becomes, while I'm sick, my worst enemy (namely because it knows my weaknesses).

Thelema has helped me a lot to deal with this disease but I'm not cured (I doubt that to be possible) so sometimes it comes and twists me insides for a month or two until I'm reduced to ashes and in the brinck of madness (the very thing I despised since a child!). This is why sometimes I know and feel existence for what it is, joy, but depression lays the veil of ilusion and turns it into pain and suffering. Everybody keeps telling me that it's just that, an ilusion and that everything will be OK, etc., etc., the usual "mood lifter" but that doesn't help when you're screaming in the inside as if tortured. I always hated being handicapped, and to this day I can't stand children and mentally challenged people (I don't hate them, I just can't be with them for long before I start looking at them as a mirror, yes I'm twisted I know πŸ‘Ώ ), weakness repulses me since I was a child, so, naturally, a dualistic vision of existence (like that of the abrahamic faiths) disgusted me always, only in thelema do I find clean water to wash myself, and at the same time despise myself for being weak and ill.

I guess what I'm trying to say are two main things, 1) Thelema is very unfair for sick people who have to deal with severe mental problems that prevent the full expierence of joy for an extended period of time, and 2) I need some serious help to overcome my weaknesses.

I'm sorry if I don't participate as much (when sick I can't engage in anything that might tire my mind, that includes writing in forums like this), but most time I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about, it's like your speaking in another language, I understand english but can't seem to grasp most of the conversations, perhaps it's due to the fact that I'm new (for instance I can have discuss christian theology for hours and understand most of the most complex concepts and ideas in philosophy, while most people can't, on the other side I have no idea what "love" or "mental health" means so I guess that makes me even), and most of the times I'm to embarrased to ask just what the hell does X or Y means, I'll try and be more proactive about it. As you can see the mere idea of not understanding something makes me ill, nothing makes me angrier than being in the position of the child who can't have an interesting conversation with an adult (yes, I know, Freud and childhood traumas, but even knowing that the feeling doesn't go away).

93 93/93

II:20 Beauty and strength, leaping laughter and delicious languor, force and fire, are of us.
II:21 We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not. Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world. Think not, o king, upon that lie: That Thou Must Die: verily thou shalt not die, but live. Now let it be understood: If the body of the King dissolve, he shall remain in pure ecstasy for ever. Nuit! Hadit! Ra-Hoor-Khuit! The Sun, Strength & Sight, Light; these are for the servants of the Star & the Snake.

Of what use is it to perpetuate the misery of Tuberculosis, and such diseases, as we now do? Nature's way is to weed out the weak. This is the most merciful way, too. At present all the strong are being damaged, and their progress hindered by the dead weight of the weak limbs and the missing limbs, the diseased limbs and the atrophied limbs. The Christians to the Lions!

Our humanitarianism, which is the syphilis of the mind, acts on the basis of the lie that the King must die. The King is beyond death; it is merely a pool where he dips for refreshment. We must therefore go back to Spartan ideas of education; and the worst enemies of humanity are those who wish, under the pretext of compassion, to continue its ills through the generations. The Christians to the Lions!

Let weak and wry productions go back into the melting-pot, as is done with flawed steel castings. Death will purge, reincarnation make whole, these errors and abortions. Nature herself may be trusted to do this, if only we will leave her alone. But what of those who, physically fitted to live, are tainted with rottenness of soul, cancerous with the sin-complex? For the third time I answer: The Christians to the Lions!


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lashtal
(@lashtal)
Owner and Editor Admin
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5331
 

Aum418: You missed out the first sentence: "There is a good deal of the Nietzschean standpoint in this verse. It is the evolutionary and natural view."

And it's worth pointing out that the entire text of your post was taken verbatim and unacknowledged from Crowley's "New Comment".

Such quotes without attribution are bad form and are presumably intended to impress the unwary.

Whether the sentiment is reasonable or not is not for me to judge, although I'd say that you've managed to find an example of Crowley's rhetoric at its most extreme. Its context should be considered.

Paul

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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ianrons
(@ianrons)
Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1126
 

93,

I do hope this isn't going to turn into general ramblings on the topics of Thelema/mentality/life, with occasionally interjected quotes from Liber AL. Personally, I'm quite glad that a forum such as this wasn't around when I was starting out in magick – or else some innocent parties might have been subjected to a torrent of inconsequential ruminations on the topic of the week. Doing something positive, such as the recommended practices, as well as joining an order such as O.T.O. or A.'.A.'., might be really beneficial.

In essence, I don't think this forum and its volunteers should exist as a support group for angst-ridden magicians. Sometimes it seems as if these pages are used as a surrogate for a proper magickal diary, and that instead of the individual coming to his own conclusions, he or she is casting about for props for their own question marks.

I've seen this sort of thing happen before on internet forums, and it's been happening here, slowly, over a period of a few months now – due mainly to the fact that Paul and myself have lives to live and other things in hand. Quite a few topics have been good, but there is the odd self-indulgent one that, if left untouched, might release spores that could infect the entire site. This is one of them. I have no option but to lock this topic, and to remind those who may not have it in mind of the Four Powers of the Sphinx.

93 93/93
Ian


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