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Crowley is not the author of Liber AL

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Los
 Los
(@los)
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Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 2195
 
"Alastrum" wrote:
Outside a legal context, "burden of proof" means that someone suggesting a new theory or stating a claim must provide evidence to support it: X is not proven simply because "not X" cannot be proven."

But the burden of poof is on the person making the claim. Disbelief is the default position until evidence is presented.

"Goblins exist" is a claim that must be justified.

"I don't believe in your goblins because there's no evidence of them" is the default position until evidence is forthcoming.

As Carl Sagan put it, "Claims made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence."


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

No, I disagree. The idea that "goblins" exist, or any other supernatural phenomena, is as old as time. It was here first. If it's wrong, then it's up to science to show us why it's wrong, just as science showed us the earth wasn't flat after all.
The burden of proof is on the person making the claim, I agree. And that's Erwin, because he made the (newer) claim that there's no such thing as magick.
Certainly, less people believe in "goblins" than they once did, but the default position was once one of belief, not disbelief.
Erwin's absolute certainty is just as "irrational" as a belief in "goblins", which is the point I've been trying to make all along, simply because he has absolutely no proof to back up his theory. I would LOVE him to come up with some real proof: it would be great! But I won't hold my breath... In the meantime, I'll quite calmly accept that some people believe in goblins, and presumably have very good reasons for doing so.

In any case, I believe (however irrationally) that one day "magick" will be discovered to be entirely natural and not 'supernatural' at all. Which will make everybody happy 😀


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 
"Alastrum" wrote:
Outside a legal context, "burden of proof" means that someone suggesting a new theory or stating a claim must provide evidence to support it: X is not proven simply because "not X" cannot be proven."

So, according to your own quote, substituting "Magick" for "X":

"'Magick works' is not proven simply because 'Magick doesn't work' cannot be [or has not been] proven."

So the fact that I haven't "proved magick is wrong" is completely irrelevant, even according to your own logic. Even your own quote demonstrates you to be wrong.

Let's also look at the bit you conveniently omitted to include when you copied and pasted from Wikipedia:

"Specifically, when anyone is making a bold claim, either positive or negative, it is not someone else's responsibility to disprove the claim, but is rather the responsibility of the person who is making the bold claim to prove it."

"Goblins exist" - or "magick works as described" to use a term you'd prefer - is a pretty "bold claim" in anybody's book, so again, according to your own selected source, the burden of proof is upon you to prove it.

See? You can't even get your story straight when you selectively quote your sources yourself. I don't know why you bother arguing with me, I really don't.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

No, once again you're refusing to pick up the hot potato. YOU'RE the one making the bold claim: we're all happy here, believing in, and practising, our magick. You came in and started telling us we were "imbecilic buffoons". The burden of proof therefore most definitely lies with you. Now stop being such a coward and either pick it up, or shut up.

Here's a sane viewpoint from someone at Georgia State University: you'll like this 😀
http://etd.gsu.edu/theses/available/etd-04212008-153843/unrestricted/williams_damien_p_200805_masters.pdf

Extract: "In the history of philosophy and religious studies, there are few concepts so interesting, so beguiling, and so often maligned as magic. Magic—as a concept, as a classification of phenomena, and as a system of explanation—is most often ridiculed and used as a foil to show the strengths of those systems which oppose it. In this thesis, I will argue that magical phenomena, descriptions, and concepts are as valid within their rubric as are scientific descriptions, concepts and investigations within theirs. The question, then, is not one of truth or falsity, but of applicability to experience and consistency of description; the question is “if a system of description yields consistent results from consistent inputs, then is that system not a viable tool?” It is my contention that it is a viable tool, and that each system can be said to accurately describe the world within the context to which it belongs."


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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"Alastrum" wrote:
YOU'RE the one making the bold claim:

If you actually do believe this...

"Alastrum" wrote:
You came in and started telling us we were "imbecilic buffoons".

...then you've just proved this right for me. Q.E.D.

"Alastrum" wrote:
The burden of proof therefore most definitely lies with you. Now stop being such a coward

Oh, the irony! I'd stay away from magnets, if I were you.

"Alastrum" wrote:
Here's a sane viewpoint from someone at Georgia State University:

Lots of people talk crap. Many of them are students. You seem to expect me to be surprised by this. That guy doesn't have any more evidence than you do.


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Los
 Los
(@los)
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Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 2195
 
"Alastrum" wrote:
Erwin's absolute certainty is just as "irrational" as a belief in "goblins"

Is it just as irrational not to believe in Bigfoot as it is to believe in Bigfoot?

Is it just as irrational not to believe in sock-stealing leprechauns as it is to believe in sock-stealing lephrechauns?

Is it just as irrational not to believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster as it is to believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

Is it just as irrational not to believe in the Christian god as it is to believe in the Christian god?

Speaking of which, what do you think of the Christian who claims to be able to speak to Jesus? Does he have evidence that Christianity is true?


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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I should like to point out a subtle distinction that appears to have been neglected in the course of this ‘debate’....

Goblins, technically, are of the elemental class of spirit beings (akin to Gnomes) and are thus of a quite different nature - be it real or imaginary - than the ‘Secret Chiefs’ of which Crowley claimed Aiwass. Though it is perhaps noteworthy that his reported contact stemmed from an attempt to summon Sylphs (another type of elemental spirit) for his wife’s amusement.

This distinction will no doubt be lost on anyone who, on principle, refuses to consider whether any such beings - elemental or otherwise - may exist. But, as this thread began with the bold assertion that Aiwass was the true author of Liber AL and Crowley was ‘its’ vessel, we should perhaps avoid placing a Hidden Master within the hall of the mountain king.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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Topic starter  
"Los" wrote:
"Alastrum" wrote:
Erwin's absolute certainty is just as "irrational" as a belief in "goblins"

Is it just as irrational not to believe in Bigfoot as it is to believe in Bigfoot?

Is it just as irrational not to believe in sock-stealing leprechauns as it is to believe in sock-stealing lephrechauns?

Is it just as irrational not to believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster as it is to believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

Is it just as irrational not to believe in the Christian god as it is to believe in the Christian god?

Speaking of which, what do you think of the Christian who claims to be able to speak to Jesus? Does he have evidence that Christianity is true?

This is precisely illustrative of my own thoughts on the silliness of trying to "prove" goblins do or do not exist.

I see the wisdom in your statements (since I agree with it). 😛


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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Topic starter  

Yygdrasilian,

Well, I consider your observation to be a somewhat refreshing change of pace at this point, though just as technical as what we're used to by now. I see the merit thereof. 🙂


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kidneyhawk
(@kidneyhawk)
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Posts: 2005
 

It seems to me that switching the burden of proof to Erwin is a poor argument. "Prove to me that "Goblins" aren't real. Can't do it? You lose!" What kind of argument is that?

The reason I'm reacting to this response, as seen in posts above, is that it doesn't seriously address something which, despite invective and insult, Erwin DOES tackle in a serious fashion. He is making the statement that claims for objective reality of discarnate intelligences and like phenomena is bunkum. He is basing this on his personal experience of reality, how he perceives others perceiving the same world and processes of logic and rationality apllied to available information.

I would do something very similar if I met a crackpot who was truly convinced that he was The Great Beast reincarnate and ready for another go in the Malkuthian realm. I've met plenty of people claiming utterly stupid and ridiculous things. My own process of judgement and assessment dismisses their claims. And it doesn't give a nice disclaimer that in their universe it IS true and so on...

On the flip, I am very interested in the phenomena of discarnate intelligences and would claim to have experience of the same. My own experiences (however one would choose to interpret them) was sufficient to cause much re-examination of "channeled" works such as Liber AL, Liber OKBISh and so on. And what seemed wholly alien (no pun intended) to my experience in the past was suddenly emerging as a part of it.

Now having stated this, Erwin's feather ruffle and he comes along with cynicism and the "show me the proof!" I would prefer NOT to insult him for doing so or come back with some counter along the lines of "well, show me it's NOT true, man!"

My experiences are my experiences...and my experiences tell me that the nature and quality of experience CAN grow beyond what we assume is the be-all end-all. The "brain in a vat" perspective (thank you, Los) I don't see so much as a theory to be backed by "proof" as I do a perspective which allows for a differently angled investigation of phenomena. Buddhism comes at it less sci-fi but from a similar vantage point. The world is an Illusion. It's a virtual reality and it's befuddled us from perceiving the real nature of existence. Or we can see ourselves as Gurdjieffian "Sleepers." Or whatever. It's a proposal that we can open ourselves to experiencing our lives in a different and deeper fashion.

With regards to a specific proposal ie. that such an expanded awareness can allow us to make contact with discarnate intelligences such as Aiwass, we require both a) the experience and b) a way to understand it. Again, I'll refer to Robert Anton Wilson who created his chart of various "models" to see things as objectively as possible. Or at least not to get trapped from understanding by getting enclosed in the pet view he likes the most. This, too, is part of that push to "go beyond." To keep on moving and keep on breaking barriers.

With regards to Intelligences such as Aiwass, I feel strongly that they have their existence in a place where the debate between the objective and subjective cease, being resolved by a type of "Initiation" which restructures the mind. I have heard the term "Imaginal" used and in clear distinction from the derogatory use of "Imagination." It's not a matter of suspending belief or accepting the subjective as objective but entering and working in a place where these categories are transcended. The technologies of magic and mysticism are aids to this process.

When we are speaking of LAM, for example, we are NOT referring to a corporeal "spaceman" who someone could take a picture of. The nature of LAM is Imaginal and is neither objective nor subjective...on some levels of consciousness, LAM will manifest in these seeming categories but this is an extension INTO the categories. The nature of LAM lies on more "interior" level which can only be accessed when the dualism discussed here is pushed through.

I would be truly curious, Erwin, how you feel your assessment of objective and subjective reality relate to the "Ordeal of the Abyss" and the subsequent attainment of Master of the Temple? It would appear that the "Abyssal" Zone evokes the opposite of every idea until all are destroyed. This allows for the Master of the Temple to eventually rise up from the process...he has NOT lost the ability to exist in the world or to differentiate between Objective and Subjective phenomena but it is a different matter for him. He relates to these ever shifting areas of experience as an extension of the transcendental state which has now become active in his consciousness. He is not a madman. He is "super-sane." And thus Crowley will refer to some things only being "true" up a certain point on the Tree.

I will also put forward that it is within this "place" that the "spacemen" of your derision reside. And that "they" stand in a yet unfolding process which, like the Deities of Tibetan Buddhism, take us beyond even them. But at that "Imaginal" level, a level which is different that what we might isolate as pure subjectivity, their existence is no more illusory or real than our own. And they act accordingly.


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 Anonymous
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"kidneyhawk" wrote:
I would be truly curious, Erwin, how you feel your assessment of objective and subjective reality relate to the "Ordeal of the Abyss" and the subsequent attainment of Master of the Temple? It would appear that the "Abyssal" Zone evokes the opposite of every idea until all are destroyed. This allows for the Master of the Temple to eventually rise up from the process...he has NOT lost the ability to exist in the world or to differentiate between Objective and Subjective phenomena but it is a different matter for him.

OK, that's a fair enough question.

The short answer - which, to avoid disappointment, I'll expand on slightly - is that this "assessment of objective and subjective reality" really doesn't relate to the "Ordeal of the Abyss" at all. What the "Ordeal of the Abyss" really relates to is exactly what Crowley said it did:

"the emancipation from thought by putting each idea against its opposite, and refusing to prefer either"

This is not some injunction to indulge in a wishy-washy intellectual stupor where you become the most gullible nutbar in history and becoming willing to accept any old notion as being as "potentially true" as any other. It means, again - there's a theme, here - to do exactly what it says: "refuse to prefer either". This includes, amongst other things, refusing to prefer the idea that "truth is relative" or however else you want to phrase your current position - "each idea", including that one.

It's literally an injunction to not let thought be contaminated by personal preference - exactly what it says again. For instance, some people might look at evidence and come to the conclusion that reincarnation is true, not because the evidence supports it, but because they'd like it to be true. Equally, to avoid accusations of being unfair, neither do you want to "prefer" thoughts simply because they are reasonably supported by evidence, either. That contamination of preference in its entirety needs to go.

"So why all this fuss about evidence?" I hear you cry. Well, why not? There's no reason to prefer it, but there's no reason to prefer something else, either. Refusing to prefer one thought over another doesn't leave you agonising about what basis you're going to use to think one thought instead of another - it frees you from that. Just like this idea of "I will interpret every phenomenon as a particular dealing of God with my soul" doesn't mean that you sit around pondering all day, diligently tracking down every possible implication of every phenomenon that happens to come your way and trying to "figure out" what the importance of it is; you just accept that "every phenomenon is a particular dealing of God with my soul" and that's the only "meaning" each phenomenon has. Again, it's a liberating rather than a constricting injunction, because once you banish preference in thought it simply doesn't matter what a phenomenon might "mean" - you just deal with it as what it is and then happily go on your way.

So, one observes that phenomenon which are "scientifically demonstrable" can be used to reliably determine what's going on and that phenomenon which are not cannot, for example, and when one wants to determine what's going on, that's how one selects which thoughts to go with. You don't start thinking how much more "meaningful" and "rich" life would be if you believed in goblins and start selecting other thoughts on that basis because you are preferring thoughts any more. Similarly, distracting yourself with metaphysical speculations about the actual nature of "truth" is also a symptom of preference in thought, but it's something you (needlessly and incorrectly) feel like you have some kind of obligation to get to grips with. As I said before, you don't need to determine the ontological reality of the universe in order to determine how to set your VCR, and if you're letting that sort of thought distract and confuse you you're doing it because you have some kind of preference for doing that, not because it actually serves any useful purpose or gets you anywhere, and if you didn't have such a preference you wouldn't think things like that all the time. Exactly the same thing with people who feel some sort of need to defend their beliefs, to "stand up for their beliefs" and to "defend occultism", as if those beliefs are actually worth something in and of themselves. Again, preference in thought.

Similarly, there is no conflict if one wishes to "explore the mind" in the way that you're interested in, because in such a case one really isn't interested in "reliably determining what's going on", so you don't need to select those thoughts, or any thoughts at all in some cases. You pay attention to the thoughts which come in handy for whatever your present purpose is and you don't let your pet preferred theories get in the way of that. You use thought as a tool, instead of being a slave to it. And stubbornly insisting that "truth is relative" and "reason is bullshit" to talk yourself into taking a wishy-washy attitude to determining facts is categorically not being the master of your thoughts, it's letting a favoured philosophical attitude dictate what you are or are not going to accept, and letting thoughts rule you.

In a nutshell, what that part of the "Ordeal of the Abyss" is really getting to is just letting the thoughts be whatever they are, and refraining from insisting that they be one thing or another. Personal preference, in thought as much as in anything else, is a quality of the personality, and what you're trying to do there is achieve "the perfect annihilation of that personality which limts and oppresses [the] true self." Notice what the passage a few paragraphs down implies about this - "an annihilation of all the bonds that compose the self". No actual "bits" get destroyed in this process, and the Master of the Temple doesn't turn into some mindless zombie, because it's not these "bits" which constitute the self in the first place - it's the "bonds". One of those bonds is a preference for things being one way rather than another way, and the sum total of these preferences constitutes a significant part of what is recognisable as the "personality". You can see this in everyday life when you meet somebody after a long period of separation and they no longer believe in the same kinds of issues, no longer have the same passions - they seem like completely different people, because those pattens of preferences that constitute the motivating force of the personality - or the "conscious will" - have changed. One very big part of "annihilating the personality" consists of letting those preferences go altogether, and this includes preference in idea and thought. It's generally considered to be a traumatic process because letting go of one's preferences is not particularly pleasant, because - obviously - one prefers to keep them. But, if that's where you want to go, that's what you have to do.


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kidneyhawk
(@kidneyhawk)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2005
 

Now, Erwin...

...THAT was a good post.

Obviously, we have some very different perspectives on the Universe and will, no doubt, cross swords over them down the line...which will hopefully be an enjoyable exercise. I think what I was getting at in my post above pertained more directly to the topic of experiencing what might be considered "discarnate intelligences" (a theme of this thread!) and also how we assess that experience. Your own post stands on its own merit whether applied to such consideration or not. The topic is certainly ripe for continuing but I appreciate you taking the time to write the above and I don't find us to be in terrible disagreement on the matter.

Cheers,

Kyle


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 
"IAO131" wrote:
"zardoz" wrote:
Exactly what reliable method would that be? Scientists can not agree whether light behaves more like a wave or like a particle, for instance.

This is a gigantic Non sequitur. First of all, the 'reliable method' changes in accordance with circusmtances. If you want to say a demon manifested visibly, take a video; set up the conditions so they are double-blind in certain circumstances (e.g. have a person who claims they can move things physically through the astral sit in room A and tell them to move the object in room B).

How is that a non sequitur? Erwin mentioned 'reliable method' and I simply asked for an example.

"IAO131" wrote:
As for your second sentence... Suppose scientists didnt agree on whether light behaves more like a wave or particle; would that even have any bearing on what a reliable method might be? Theyre totally disconnected ideas. Also, scientists agree: light behaves as a wave in certain circusmtances and as a particle in others. There is no debate about whether light behaves 'more' like one or the other; there is a complementarity principle (look it up).

Perhaps it was poorly worded. Scientists cannot agree on what light "is"objectively. They can agree that it behaves differently in different circumstances according to the subjective nature of the experiment.

"IAO131" wrote:
"zardoz" wrote:
I didn't say or imply that we live in a mental world. In a subjective world there are many things that can be reliably detected and agreed upon 'as if' objective.

Like what? If they could be agreed upon, they would be objective.

Like this forum. We detect conversation, we agree to talk about certain subjects and agree to certain guidelines but no one has the exact same interpretation of what is being said. We experience this forum subjectively. It's different for everyone. Everyone experiences a different Universe. This does not mean that everything is subjective, though.

How do you know that goblins cannot get detected, you have made attempts to do so?

This is asking for negative proof which is impossible. No one believes Santa Claus exists even though no one has detected him or made attempts etc... goblins and other things are in the same category.

It's impossible to prove because the statement is ridiculous. The nature of most energy in the Universe remains completely unknown. But I was also asking if he'd ever actually tried any kind of work of this kind or just making statements based upon true belief.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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"Erwin" wrote:
It's not that goblins "cannot" get detected, but that they don't get detected - because they don't exist. And I know they don't exist because nobody has ever been able to reliably detect one, which is good enough evidence for me to support the evidence-based claim that they don't.

Radio waves also weren't detected until relatively recently. Does that mean they didn't exist? Can you not consider the possibility that there will be things in the future currently undetectable that will get discovered and reliably measured?

"zardoz" wrote:
Agreed. This argument applies equally to "goblins" also.

Precisely my point. And when you apply this same test to goblins, the conclusion you come to - if you make a reasonable and honest attempt, of course - is that they aren't there.

How do you know that you just don't have the ability to detect them?

That's the important point: if "everything is subjective", then that applies to everything as the phrase suggests, which means that distinction becomes utterly meaningless. Even if "everything is subjective", we can still reliably distinguish between things which do exist - such as televisions - and things which do not - such as goblins. This is what I am trying to get across - claiming that "everything is subjective" or that "personal experience is all there is" in no way, shape, or form gets you away from the fact that goblins don't exist. Even to one's "subjective experience" they don't appear to exist. Right now, in the everyday world, we can distinguish between "real" and "unreal". If someone reads a philosophy book and thinks to themselves that "everything is subjective", we don't suddenly get transported to a world where we can no longer do that. The argument that some people are making to "support" the existence of goblins is flawed, for this reason; that argument just doesn't work.

I didn't say nor do I consider everything to be subjective.


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 Anonymous
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"Erwin" wrote:
"kidneyhawk" wrote:
I would be truly curious, Erwin, how you feel your assessment of objective and subjective reality relate to the "Ordeal of the Abyss" and the subsequent attainment of Master of the Temple? It would appear that the "Abyssal" Zone evokes the opposite of every idea until all are destroyed. This allows for the Master of the Temple to eventually rise up from the process...he has NOT lost the ability to exist in the world or to differentiate between Objective and Subjective phenomena but it is a different matter for him.

OK, that's a fair enough question.

The short answer - which, to avoid disappointment, I'll expand on slightly - is that this "assessment of objective and subjective reality" really doesn't relate to the "Ordeal of the Abyss" at all. What the "Ordeal of the Abyss" really relates to is exactly what Crowley said it did:

"the emancipation from thought by putting each idea against its opposite, and refusing to prefer either"

This is not some injunction to indulge in a wishy-washy intellectual stupor where you become the most gullible nutbar in history and becoming willing to accept any old notion as being as "potentially true" as any other. It means, again - there's a theme, here - to do exactly what it says: "refuse to prefer either". This includes, amongst other things, refusing to prefer the idea that "truth is relative" or however else you want to phrase your current position - "each idea", including that one.

It's literally an injunction to not let thought be contaminated by personal preference - exactly what it says again. For instance, some people might look at evidence and come to the conclusion that reincarnation is true, not because the evidence supports it, but because they'd like it to be true. Equally, to avoid accusations of being unfair, neither do you want to "prefer" thoughts simply because they are reasonably supported by evidence, either. That contamination of preference in its entirety needs to go.

"So why all this fuss about evidence?" I hear you cry. Well, why not? There's no reason to prefer it, but there's no reason to prefer something else, either. Refusing to prefer one thought over another doesn't leave you agonising about what basis you're going to use to think one thought instead of another - it frees you from that. Just like this idea of "I will interpret every phenomenon as a particular dealing of God with my soul" doesn't mean that you sit around pondering all day, diligently tracking down every possible implication of every phenomenon that happens to come your way and trying to "figure out" what the importance of it is; you just accept that "every phenomenon is a particular dealing of God with my soul" and that's the only "meaning" each phenomenon has. Again, it's a liberating rather than a constricting injunction, because once you banish preference in thought it simply doesn't matter what a phenomenon might "mean" - you just deal with it as what it is and then happily go on your way.

So, one observes that phenomenon which are "scientifically demonstrable" can be used to reliably determine what's going on and that phenomenon which are not cannot, for example, and when one wants to determine what's going on, that's how one selects which thoughts to go with. You don't start thinking how much more "meaningful" and "rich" life would be if you believed in goblins and start selecting other thoughts on that basis because you are preferring thoughts any more. Similarly, distracting yourself with metaphysical speculations about the actual nature of "truth" is also a symptom of preference in thought, but it's something you (needlessly and incorrectly) feel like you have some kind of obligation to get to grips with. As I said before, you don't need to determine the ontological reality of the universe in order to determine how to set your VCR, and if you're letting that sort of thought distract and confuse you you're doing it because you have some kind of preference for doing that, not because it actually serves any useful purpose or gets you anywhere, and if you didn't have such a preference you wouldn't think things like that all the time. Exactly the same thing with people who feel some sort of need to defend their beliefs, to "stand up for their beliefs" and to "defend occultism", as if those beliefs are actually worth something in and of themselves. Again, preference in thought.

Similarly, there is no conflict if one wishes to "explore the mind" in the way that you're interested in, because in such a case one really isn't interested in "reliably determining what's going on", so you don't need to select those thoughts, or any thoughts at all in some cases. You pay attention to the thoughts which come in handy for whatever your present purpose is and you don't let your pet preferred theories get in the way of that. You use thought as a tool, instead of being a slave to it. And stubbornly insisting that "truth is relative" and "reason is bullshit" to talk yourself into taking a wishy-washy attitude to determining facts is categorically not being the master of your thoughts, it's letting a favoured philosophical attitude dictate what you are or are not going to accept, and letting thoughts rule you.

In a nutshell, what that part of the "Ordeal of the Abyss" is really getting to is just letting the thoughts be whatever they are, and refraining from insisting that they be one thing or another. Personal preference, in thought as much as in anything else, is a quality of the personality, and what you're trying to do there is achieve "the perfect annihilation of that personality which limts and oppresses [the] true self." Notice what the passage a few paragraphs down implies about this - "an annihilation of all the bonds that compose the self". No actual "bits" get destroyed in this process, and the Master of the Temple doesn't turn into some mindless zombie, because it's not these "bits" which constitute the self in the first place - it's the "bonds". One of those bonds is a preference for things being one way rather than another way, and the sum total of these preferences constitutes a significant part of what is recognisable as the "personality". You can see this in everyday life when you meet somebody after a long period of separation and they no longer believe in the same kinds of issues, no longer have the same passions - they seem like completely different people, because those pattens of preferences that constitute the motivating force of the personality - or the "conscious will" - have changed. One very big part of "annihilating the personality" consists of letting those preferences go altogether, and this includes preference in idea and thought. It's generally considered to be a traumatic process because letting go of one's preferences is not particularly pleasant, because - obviously - one prefers to keep them. But, if that's where you want to go, that's what you have to do.

Excellent post, and it is on points like this that Crowley came closest to approximating the goals of Zen Buddhism on his own.


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Palamedes
(@palamedes)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 450
 

Erwin, that was an excellent post.


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Palamedes
(@palamedes)
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Posts: 450
 

Kidneyhawk, your post was equally admirable. This thread turned out much more interesting than I initially suspected. Several people dug rather deep in these waters, I'd say.


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sonofthestar
(@sonofthestar)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 375
 

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

“With regards to Intelligences such as Aiwass, I feel strongly that they have their existence in a place where the debate between the objective and subjective cease, being resolved by a type of "Initiation" which restructures the mind. I have heard the term "Imaginal" used and in clear distinction from the derogatory use of "Imagination." It's not a matter of suspending belief or accepting the subjective as objective but entering and working in a place where these categories are transcended. The technologies of magic and mysticism are aids to this process.”

Brilliant! Kidneyhawk…
I liken it unto a place outside the circle, nor in the triangle either---where the pentagrams traced by the Magus are considered “Averse” due to the void from which they are made manifest---and not at all drawn in any other fashion than the regular way.
For the place from which I speak of, transcends and is beyond the circle and the triangle;
beyond subjective and objective as you said.
From a realm beyond division---where No Man Wills past daring!
Some, not being adept---have experienced glimpses of what is neither true or false, neither illusion or real----and it is the glimpse---and only the glimpse---that has touched them.
Whereas the Adept as Magician, being ”the pillar stabilized in the void”


knows and can touch---
the very soul of things.

Love is the law, love under will.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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"Los" wrote:
Is it just as irrational not to believe in Bigfoot as it is to believe in Bigfoot?

Yes, of course it is. It's irrational to blindly believe in ANYTHING, whether it be ridiculous or not, without some sort of proof. But irrationality is just as valuable a viewpoint as rationality, as long as one is aware one is merely adopting it for convenience, and not blindly allowing it to 'take-over' to the exclusion of other patterns of thought.

I have absolutely no idea how "magick" works, and I don't pretend to know. All I know is, I've done some particular actions and some particular results have followed, results that I'm fairly sure, all things considered, would not have occurred had I not done those actions. I suspect the same is true for all those who continue doing magick: "success is your proof".

Of course, the specific actions themselves were not important: what was important was the belief invested in those actions. This is why, for Erwin, magick REALLY IS bunkum, because he doesn't believe. And it will never work for Erwin, or any other scientist, because their starting point is a lack of belief, the very ingredient that seems necessary to make it work. For Erwin to change his mind, he will need to adopt the irrational (to him) belief that magick really works. It's Erwin's loss really, that he can't (or won't) do this. My world is far more interesting, and fun, than his.

Like it or not, there are a significant proportion of members here who are practising occultists, by the very nature of the site. It's a community of people who share broadly similar beliefs, ideals etc.

Now, if I were to barge into another community, say a community of scientists, as a self-confessed "outsider" who declares upfront that he doesn't share their beliefs, start insulting them, and assert that the very thing that brought them together as a community is absolute rubbish, I think they'd be entirely justified in asking "Where's your proof?" The burden of proof is on the complainer, not the community, the "new boy" not the "elders". It's just common sense.

But I really do think that a genuine scientist, an enquiring mind, a really intelligent person, wouldn't be so dogmatic and would actually reserve judgement until all the results are in, until proper experiments were conducted on the right terms (and not terms that favoured one set of beliefs over the other), in other words, until PROOF exists. Of course Erwin can't show us proof: there is none, either for or against, (YET!) and instead of being a man and admitting it he prefers to insult again, and keep banging the same old drum, thus demonstrating that he's no more "rational" than anyone who blindly believes in goblins.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 
"kidneyhawk" wrote:
It seems to me that switching the burden of proof to Erwin is a poor argument. "Prove to me that "Goblins" aren't real. Can't do it? You lose!" What kind of argument is that?

It's exactly the same kind of argument Erwin uses. "Prove to me that 'goblins' exist. Can't do it? You lose!" I agree that it is a poor argument

"kidneyhawk" wrote:
The reason I'm reacting to this response, as seen in posts above, is that it doesn't seriously address something which, despite invective and insult, Erwin DOES tackle in a serious fashion. He is making the statement that claims for objective reality of discarnate intelligences and like phenomena is bunkum. He is basing this on his personal experience of reality, how he perceives others perceiving the same world and processes of logic and rationality apllied to available information.

So why shouldn't he give evidence and prove his claim? He is asking the same for those whose personal experience indicate that like phenomena is not bunkum.

"kidneyhawk" wrote:
I would do something very similar if I met a crackpot who was truly convinced that he was The Great Beast reincarnate and ready for another go in the Malkuthian realm. I've met plenty of people claiming utterly stupid and ridiculous things. My own process of judgement and assessment dismisses their claims. And it doesn't give a nice disclaimer that in their universe it IS true and so on...

He isn't addressing crackpots but anyone who practices magick.

"kidneyhawk" wrote:
Now having stated this, Erwin's feather ruffle and he comes along with cynicism and the "show me the proof!" I would prefer NOT to insult him for doing so or come back with some counter along the lines of "well, show me it's NOT true, man!"

I was asking him to prove that his statements were true and to back up his claims. I don't recall insulting him or anyone, if I did so inadvertently, I apologize.

"kidneyhawk" wrote:
My experiences are my experiences...and my experiences tell me that the nature and quality of experience CAN grow beyond what we assume is the be-all end-all. The "brain in a vat" perspective (thank you, Los) I don't see so much as a theory to be backed by "proof" as I do a perspective which allows for a differently angled investigation of phenomena. Buddhism comes at it less sci-fi but from a similar vantage point. The world is an Illusion. It's a virtual reality and it's befuddled us from perceiving the real nature of existence. Or we can see ourselves as Gurdjieffian "Sleepers." Or whatever. It's a proposal that we can open ourselves to experiencing our lives in a different and deeper fashion.

With regards to a specific proposal ie. that such an expanded awareness can allow us to make contact with discarnate intelligences such as Aiwass, we require both a) the experience and b) a way to understand it. Again, I'll refer to Robert Anton Wilson who created his chart of various "models" to see things as objectively as possible. Or at least not to get trapped from understanding by getting enclosed in the pet view he likes the most. This, too, is part of that push to "go beyond." To keep on moving and keep on breaking barriers.

Agreed! Very nice way of putting it.

"kidneyhawk" wrote:
With regards to Intelligences such as Aiwass, I feel strongly that they have their existence in a place where the debate between the objective and subjective cease, being resolved by a type of "Initiation" which restructures the mind. I have heard the term "Imaginal" used and in clear distinction from the derogatory use of "Imagination." It's not a matter of suspending belief or accepting the subjective as objective but entering and working in a place where these categories are transcended. The technologies of magic and mysticism are aids to this process.

When we are speaking of LAM, for example, we are NOT referring to a corporeal "spaceman" who someone could take a picture of. The nature of LAM is Imaginal and is neither objective nor subjective...on some levels of consciousness, LAM will manifest in these seeming categories but this is an extension INTO the categories. The nature of LAM lies on more "interior" level which can only be accessed when the dualism discussed here is pushed through.

I would be truly curious, Erwin, how you feel your assessment of objective and subjective reality relate to the "Ordeal of the Abyss" and the subsequent attainment of Master of the Temple? It would appear that the "Abyssal" Zone evokes the opposite of every idea until all are destroyed. This allows for the Master of the Temple to eventually rise up from the process...he has NOT lost the ability to exist in the world or to differentiate between Objective and Subjective phenomena but it is a different matter for him. He relates to these ever shifting areas of experience as an extension of the transcendental state which has now become active in his consciousness. He is not a madman. He is "super-sane." And thus Crowley will refer to some things only being "true" up a certain point on the Tree.

I will also put forward that it is within this "place" that the "spacemen" of your derision reside. And that "they" stand in a yet unfolding process which, like the Deities of Tibetan Buddhism, take us beyond even them. But at that "Imaginal" level, a level which is different that what we might isolate as pure subjectivity, their existence is no more illusory or real than our own. And they act accordingly.

I would say that it's subjectivity that one is trying to transcend, that the Imaginal level could be objective, but it doesn't really matter how we label things when we put our maps aside and venture out into the territories.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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"zardoz" wrote:
Radio waves also weren't detected until relatively recently. Does that mean they didn't exist? Can you not consider the possibility that there will be things in the future currently undetectable that will get discovered and reliably measured?

Unimportant. The question is not whether they exist, but whether it is rational to accept the evidence-based claim that they exist, whether it is rational to accept that they might, or whether it is rational to assert that they don't.

Goblins, if they existed in the manner people describe, would have all kinds of observable effects on the world. People who claim that they ask goblins for personal favours which are granted should, if they have any sensible basis for those claims, be able to demonstrate it. They can't. Therefore it is rational to assert that goblins don't exist, at least not the kind of goblins that these people are talking about.

If there was some effect caused by radio waves that was observable before radio waves were detected, it would be rational to assert that something might be there, we just don't know what it is. Some form of "we don't know" statement would be the rational response. This is categorically not the case with goblins. People here are asserting that goblins exist and that goblins go around having all sorts of observable effects on the world, and this is demonstrably false.

That's what you have to understand. The question is not about whether never having seen a goblin means they might exist - it's about showing that the observable effects of goblins that people assert to have observed are not there.

Really, this shouldn't be a difficult distinction to grasp.

"zardoz" wrote:
How do you know that you just don't have the ability to detect them?

Because if anybody else had the ability to detect them, they'd be able to show them.

"zardoz" wrote:
I didn't say nor do I consider everything to be subjective.

Doesn't matter. Plenty of other people in this thread do, so you can consider those comments to be for their benefit, if you prefer.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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"Erwin" wrote:
If there was some effect caused by radio waves that was observable before radio waves were detected, it would be rational to assert that something might be there, we just don't know what it is.

In other words, nobody was claiming to be able to send radio messages before radio waves were discovered. Anybody who did start to claim to be able to send radio messages would be able to demonstrate the existence of something very easily, for the very good reason that if they couldn't, they'd have no grounds for claiming to be able to send radio messages. They'd be able to say, "look, I press this button, and a noise comes out over there, and it does it every single time I press this button". Anybody would be able to confirm that.

If people, as they are claiming, really were talking to goblins and getting them to perform personal favours, anybody would be able to confirm that account, because if they couldn't, the individuals themselves would have no observable effects of their own upon which to base their claims. The fact that they cannot means that at a minimum they are making groundless claims. This doesn't by itself mean that goblins don't exist. It's the fact that no observable effects from goblins are ever observed which means that.


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scarobminor
(@scarobminor)
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Posts: 10
 

Ok how about the story of meteorites? A few hundred years ago everyone who had a scientific education knew for a fact that they didn't exist.
There were no rocks in the sky so how could any possibly become dislodged and fall to the ground?
Those who had witnessed such events were obviously superstitious peasants. Any meteorites they may have seen fall which they had then collected to show to a man of science had nothing special about them compared to any other rock.
But the people who had seen meteorites fall still knew what they had seen and witnessed even if it took several hundred years for science to prove they were correct.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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"scarobminor" wrote:
Ok how about the story of meteorites?

How about it? Again, we're not talking about people who claim to have seen a goblin once, here - we're talking about people who claim to be able to talk to goblins and reliably obtain personal favours from them on an almost daily basis.

You can't just search throughout history for examples of things which we know exist now but which were once thought not to and then say "see? It can happen!" This "magickal theory" makes definite - albeit imprecise - predictions about actual observable events which ought to be easily detectable by anybody right now if that "theory" were true. Such predictions have never, ever, come even close to being demonstrated. That's the key. If these fantasists are to be believed, then it should be easy to verify their claims, because these "magical effects" would be going on all the time and all over the place. But nobody has ever been able to do so.

And again, if these effects cannot be detected, not only does it mean that these claims are not true, but it also means that the individuals who make those claims have absolutely no good reason to be making them. It is simply nonsense to on the one hand assert that supernatural claims which have concrete and observable effects are true because "it works for you" and then on the other hand to turn around and say that you cannot demonstrate them. If you can't demonstrate them, then your claim that it "works for you" is at best a completely wild guess, because you yourself have no reliable observations on which to base such a claim. In such a case, a claim that it "works for you" is nothing but rampant self-suggestion.


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 Anonymous
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It is amazing to me that just because a few scattered ideas once thought nuts were subsequently confirmed by science, that some think every far-fetched idea in circulation is a scientific fact waiting to happen.


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 4139
 
"Poelzig" wrote:
It is amazing to me that just because a few scattered ideas once thought nuts were subsequently confirmed by science, that some think every far-fetched idea in circulation is a scientific fact waiting to happen.

They don't.


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 Anonymous
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And it's equally amazing that just because a few "nutty" ideas were subsequently UNconfirmed by science, that some think every idea that is too "far-fetched" for them is automatically relegated to the dustbin along with them.

Like I said, absolute certainty without proof is irrational. Until proof is demonstrated, the wisest course of action would be to remain undecided. 😀


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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"Alastrum" wrote:
Like I said, absolute certainty without proof is irrational. Until proof is demonstrated, the wisest course of action would be to remain undecided. 😀

Claiming that you can obtain - or even "may be able to obtain" - personal favours from demons when you demonstrably cannot do that is certainly not "the wisest course of action". Anyone, at any time, can prove people cannot obtain personal favours from demons by asking them to try and observing that they can't. Believing in supernatural claims which fly in the face of evidence is juvenile and foolish. Mistaking egregious gullibility and flakiness for "wisdom" is equally so.


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 Anonymous
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"Poelzig" wrote:
It is amazing to me that just because a few scattered ideas once thought nuts were subsequently confirmed by science, that some think every far-fetched idea in circulation is a scientific fact waiting to happen.

Well, those are the lengths that people have to go to these days in order to maintain a tenuous grasp on their ridiculous beliefs in the face of overwhelming evidence. Every tiny little smidgeon of hope can be pressed into service, most perniciously of all: "nothing is certain!"


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the_real_simon_iff
(@the_real_simon_iff)
Member
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Posts: 1908
 

93!

I think it is dangerous to discuss the authorship of the Book of the Law on this do-goblins-exist-level. So far goblins or angels have not been observed in the "real world" by standards that are accepted as "scientifically" or "objective" from rationalists and realists. However, what rationalists and realists alike probably do not deny is the existence of a mind (or mental states generally), which so far cannot be located, explained, observed, imitated and so on. It is unclear how the mind operates, if it is solely dependent of the brain, if it is located at all in space or time, and so forth; and as long as we rely on the narrow standards of objectivity these questions will not be answered. In short, there is no concept of how the mind or mental states function, yet we "know" they exist.

Concerning the authorship of Liber AL, I think it is not "total bunkum" to assert, that there is a probability that AC's mind has been contacted by a discarnate mind. This is not stranger in theory than the assumption of the text coming from "his subconscious" - since both instances can not be logically explained to date. Yet nobody has a problem speaking of the mind or the subconscious. So it could have been some other mind than AC's which even "sent" him a visual impression of Aiwass behind him, or he rationalized in his "own mind" all the other attributes he gave Aiwass. Anyway, in this case there is nothing that has or even could be proved. We simply don't know the limits of the mind.

I am pretty sure I am made out of pretty much the same atoms as Erwin, and I am pretty sure that a single atom is really nothing more than a purely physical object. Yet I am pretty sure that these atoms that build our brains (which also is a purely physical object) are NOT the constituent parts of my and Erwin's mind respectively, and I am also pretty sure that Erwin cannot explain or prove the functions and origins of the mind or mental states better than science so unsuccessfully tries to for hundreds of years now.

To summarize: I am stupid enough to "believe" the story AC told us, I am informed enough that this does not contradict scientific research to date, I am self-conscious enough to know that no purely physical description is able to describe or explain my mind or mental state (or Erwin's for that matter). That's why I think at this point in time that AC is not the author of Liber AL, but just the scribe. Maybe someday it will be explained that it really was all inside his head but as we all agree, this would not change a yota of the impact of the text. And: if I ever see a goblin (so far I haven't), I know that it is not out there in the "objective reality" like a stone or Erwin, but I don't know if it is only inside my mind and not coming from some other mind, which I would regard as pretty magical.

Don't know if my English is sufficient to express what I want to say, or my expression skills at all.

I have to agree (who won't?) that there are a lot of occultist, new-age, spiritualist and whatever psychos out there, whose behaviours and pretences are brilliantly explained by Erwin, but to deduct that all occultist, new-agers or spiritualists are self-delusioned psychos, is ignorant and probably pretty un-scientific.

Love=Law
Lutz


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 4139
 

Dear Los,

93

"Los" wrote:
I'm curious: what other basis than evidence is there for accepting claims?

We had a lengthy discussion about this in another thread many moons ago. I'm more interested in magical and mystical experience than I am in rational reflection on said experience. My "model of reality", for want of a better term, is increasing derived from Spare, as I find increasing affinities between, say, Zos-Kia on the one hand and the Taoist/Advaita outlook on the other, in tandem with many years of contemplating his artwork. I can't find any objective proof that this is correct, but my intuition suggests to me that it is, and I pay more attention to my intuition than I do to the opinions of such as yourself or Erwin. I might be wrong, of course, but I'm happy to accept that possibility.

As someone who has worked for many years in computing, I am able to use logic as a tool when required - otherwise, of course, none of my programs would work. However, I do not find it an appropriate tool in all situations. On the other hand, when it comes to the assessment of my magical and mystical experiences then logic for me plays little part. That's the way I choose to work.

I've been interested in Lam for many years now, and work with a group of other people regularly. I have no proof that Lam exists; on the other hand, I'm more interested in the experience behind the mask.

I'm not trying to convince you of anything at all. I have always thought of Thelema as a "broad church"; some view Thelema as a system of philosophy and ethics; others are interested primarily in its religious connotations; still others (like myself) are interested primarily in its magical and mystical associations. I accept that many such as yourself regard magic and mysticism as delusion; it doesn't bother me. What I would like to know is why it bothers you so much that I don't share your view, because it clearly does.

It's all too easy for us to think that not only are we right, but that we have a duty to bring others into line. It's a tempation to be resisted in my opinion.

93 93 / 93

Best wishes,

Michael.


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the_real_simon_iff
(@the_real_simon_iff)
Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1908
 
"Erwin" wrote:
Well, those are the lengths that people have to go to these days in order to maintain a tenuous grasp on their ridiculous beliefs in the face of overwhelming evidence.

93!

It seems to me that so far you were only able to show "overwhelming evidence" that goblins do not exist like wood or metal does. That's a lot, but that's not very surprising, and I think you don't have to congratulate yourself constantly on your lonely crusade against all those ridiculous occultists/new-agers/magicians.

I liked your discourse on the famous "every phenomenon is a particular dealing of God with my soul".

Love=Law
Lutz


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 
"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
It seems to me that so far you were only able to show "overwhelming evidence" that goblins do not exist like wood or metal does.

Yes, overwhelming evidence that they do not exist in an "actually existing" sense. If you want to argue that they exist in a different, "purely imaginary" sense, then that's fine, but I think you're obstructing communication if you're using the word "exist" in that sense.

"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
That's a lot, but that's not very surprising, and I think you don't have to congratulate yourself constantly on your lonely crusade against all those ridiculous occultists/new-agers/magicians.

Yeah, it sure is lonely, what with just me and the other six billion or so people who don't believe in goblins either.


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 Anonymous
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"Erwin" wrote:
Well, those are the lengths that people have to go to these days in order to maintain a tenuous grasp on their ridiculous beliefs in the face of overwhelming evidence. Every tiny little smidgeon of hope can be pressed into service, most perniciously of all: "nothing is certain!"

I'm also not convinced that it is "belief" in most cases. Based on direct experience of actual breathing humans making these kind of assertions and corroborating it with the rest of their demonstrated personality traits it is more often than not posturing or an ad hoc identity prop rather than really doing anything or exploring anything of any real consequence.

Another weird cultural byproduct is the commonly encountered need to assert "I am into ________ (Crowley, TM, Spare, Islam, Christianity, QBL, etc.)" as some kind of substitute for wearing a "Hi! I'm BOB" button or wearing a t-shirt devoted to their favorite rock band or consumer product. Only instead of a bunch of CDs or model race cars they have a collection of bad ideas poorly understood.

One point Carl Sagan makes, specifically in reference to Chanelling etc. that applies equally to basically all of these magicians claiming commerce with "praeterhuman intelligence" is: Why don't they ever communicate anything of real scientific or philosophical consequence?

One would think a bodyless mind able to transcend time and space would be at least able of sharing some substantial or useful information that would at least lend some weight to the claim. Instead we get a load of banal fortune cookie platitudes, bad Egyptology, and a bunch of easily debunked self-referential numerological garbage.

Sorry kids, not impressed.

If someone claims they are exploring their inner world for the sake of self-knowledge or creative inspiration, that is fine.

When someone claims acess to "transhuman" intelligence or some special knowledge, or a messianic message for the rest of the human race, then they shouldn't cry when they get called on their bullshit.

The RAW-style kooky mix and match perspective schtick was silly and weak before the ink dried. Thirty years later it is only stale in addition.

The discipline of logic and critical thinking is an instrument for vetting bullshit and weeding out patent nonsense, not an "alternative belief system" akin to UFOlogy or Scientology. It is painfully obvious that those who regard it as such do so to avoid confronting their own incompetence with it.


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kidneyhawk
(@kidneyhawk)
Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2005
 

Poelzig-

Fair enough criticism. Returning to the topic of this thread, however, am I to assume that your assessment of Liber Al itself is, in fact:

a load of banal fortune cookie platitudes, bad Egyptology, and a bunch of easily debunked self-referential numerological garbage.

Or were you referring to the general glut of new-agey "communications" from Ascended Masters and the like?

And have there been any such documents which you feel DID offer something if value as a "communication from Beyond?"


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kidneyhawk
(@kidneyhawk)
Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2005
 

if value

OF value...sorry.


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the_real_simon_iff
(@the_real_simon_iff)
Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1908
 
"Poelzig" wrote:
Another weird cultural byproduct is the commonly encountered need to assert "I am into ________ (Crowley, TM, Spare, Islam, Christianity, QBL, etc.)" as some kind of substitute for wearing a "Hi! I'm BOB" button or wearing a t-shirt devoted to their favorite rock band or consumer product. Only instead of a bunch of CDs or model race cars they have a collection of bad ideas poorly understood.

93!

You must be joking. If you mean "commonly encountered" in the "real" and everyday world, it is hard to imagine that people do this, I never met one so far (ah, maybe one or two). If you mean "people" in this forum (dedicated to their "hobby" entirely), what it is so wrong about introducing shortly one's interests and moreover, what is so much better with your "Hi, I'm Poelzig, and I think Thelema sucks!"? Thank Goddess I'm no psychiatrist else I would find myself speculating about the origin's of your and Erwin's loathing of occultists.

"Poelzig" wrote:
One would think a bodyless mind able to transcend time and space would be at least able of sharing some substantial or useful information that would at least lend some weight to the claim.

Why would one think so? To convince you?

"Poelzig" wrote:
Sorry kids, not impressed.

What a bummer, Pop. Thanks for the hint.

I agree with your first and third-to-last paragraph. And your RAW comments were predictible before they appeared on my screen and also pretty stale by now.

Love=Law
Lutz


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the_real_simon_iff
(@the_real_simon_iff)
Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1908
 
"Erwin" wrote:
Yes, overwhelming evidence that they do not exist in an "actually existing" sense. If you want to argue that they exist in a different, "purely imaginary" sense, then that's fine, but I think you're obstructing communication if you're using the word "exist" in that sense.

93!

I don't think that "purely imaginary" is the only alternative to your materialist view of "actually". And moreover, I don't think it is important if AC was able to take Aiwass out to lunch or just communicate with him. Since when is this the only definition of the existence of "discarnate entities"?

"Erwin" wrote:
Yeah, it sure is lonely, what with just me and the other six billion or so people who don't believe in goblins either.

FYI, the following percentage of US citizens believe in these "paranormal" occurences. The number in brackets are not sure:
psychic/spiritual healing: 56 (26)
ESP: 28 (39)
haunted houses: 40 (25)
demonic possession: 40 (27)
ghosts/spirits of the dead: 39 (27)
telepathy: 24 (34 )
extraterrestrials visited Earth in the past: 17 (34)
clairvoyance and prophecy: 24 (33)
communication with the dead: 16 (29)
astrology: 17 (26)
witches: 26 (19 )
reincarnation: 14 (27)
channeling: 10 (29)
This list is only to point out, that you don't have to deal with all those stupid occultist alone. There might be some really wise men hidden in the numbers. Funnily channeling comes it last.

Love=Law
Lutz

P.S. I had to change the numbers in brackets twice from 28 to 27 or else I we would have seen cool smileys...


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
Topic starter  
"Alastrum" wrote:
"Los" wrote:
Is it just as irrational not to believe in Bigfoot as it is to believe in Bigfoot?

Yes, of course it is. It's irrational to blindly believe in ANYTHING, whether it be ridiculous or not, without some sort of proof. But irrationality is just as valuable a viewpoint as rationality, as long as one is aware one is merely adopting it for convenience, and not blindly allowing it to 'take-over' to the exclusion of other patterns of thought.

I have absolutely no idea how "magick" works, and I don't pretend to know. All I know is, I've done some particular actions and some particular results have followed, results that I'm fairly sure, all things considered, would not have occurred had I not done those actions. I suspect the same is true for all those who continue doing magick: "success is your proof".

Of course, the specific actions themselves were not important: what was important was the belief invested in those actions. This is why, for Erwin, magick REALLY IS bunkum, because he doesn't believe. And it will never work for Erwin, or any other scientist, because their starting point is a lack of belief, the very ingredient that seems necessary to make it work. For Erwin to change his mind, he will need to adopt the irrational (to him) belief that magick really works. It's Erwin's loss really, that he can't (or won't) do this. My world is far more interesting, and fun, than his.

Like it or not, there are a significant proportion of members here who are practising occultists, by the very nature of the site. It's a community of people who share broadly similar beliefs, ideals etc.

Now, if I were to barge into another community, say a community of scientists, as a self-confessed "outsider" who declares upfront that he doesn't share their beliefs, start insulting them, and assert that the very thing that brought them together as a community is absolute rubbish, I think they'd be entirely justified in asking "Where's your proof?" The burden of proof is on the complainer, not the community, the "new boy" not the "elders". It's just common sense.

But I really do think that a genuine scientist, an enquiring mind, a really intelligent person, wouldn't be so dogmatic and would actually reserve judgement until all the results are in, until proper experiments were conducted on the right terms (and not terms that favoured one set of beliefs over the other), in other words, until PROOF exists. Of course Erwin can't show us proof: there is none, either for or against, (YET!) and instead of being a man and admitting it he prefers to insult again, and keep banging the same old drum, thus demonstrating that he's no more "rational" than anyone who blindly believes in goblins.

93 Alastrum,

I find your post reflects nearly exactly my own thoughts... and I must say, being new here to this forum (though I've stumbled across it and used it as a research tool several times in the past, without participating), I would not have expected to find primarily adherents of Kenneth Grant vocalizing my own thoughts on this issue. I'm not sure if that is a reflection of my own possible biases on Grant's work or misunderstandings or what, but it has come as a bit of a surprise to me, that the lines were drawn where they were with this debate.

It may be silly, but I can't help but feel a sense of solidarity that I would never have anticipated a week ago.

93 93/93


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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Topic starter  
"scarobminor" wrote:
Ok how about the story of meteorites? A few hundred years ago everyone who had a scientific education knew for a fact that they didn't exist.
There were no rocks in the sky so how could any possibly become dislodged and fall to the ground?
Those who had witnessed such events were obviously superstitious peasants. Any meteorites they may have seen fall which they had then collected to show to a man of science had nothing special about them compared to any other rock.
But the people who had seen meteorites fall still knew what they had seen and witnessed even if it took several hundred years for science to prove they were correct.

I think your example is a good one, and certainly that which is "science" today, had it's basis in that which was "occult" in the past. I sincerely believe at some point, science will advance to a level that there will be a rational explanation for these things, beyond simply "imagination".

Erwin's points are not lost on me by way of evidence, and I do find myself having a new appreciation for the wisdom of keeping sound and accurate journals of magical operations, though I am a bit ashamed that it's taken this discussion to show me the necessity of doing so. I confess my laziness has left me with very little except my own memory of successful work, when I should indeed have been keeping proper records. I don't doubt that my own biases may affect my perceptions, but still believe, I have proven to myself, at least, that such things have value and do have practical applications, whether or not I have the resources to tabulate failure and success to the degree that I should have been. I can't calculate a percentage, but the work I have done, seems to have been successful to a degree far beyond coincidence.


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 Anonymous
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As I wrote yesterday, my interpretation of the Cairo Working does not include "goblins" and such, but this latest series of posts have been more interesting, particularly the selection from Crowley's thoughts on the 'Ordeal of the Abyss.'


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 4139
 
"Yathaniel" wrote:
and I do find myself having a new appreciation for the wisdom of keeping sound and accurate journals of magical operations, though I am a bit ashamed that it's taken this discussion to show me the necessity of doing so. I confess my laziness has left me with very little except my own memory of successful work, when I should indeed have been keeping proper records.

We all have to learn this the hard way, Yathaniel. A lot of impressions dissipate very quickly, whether it's recording dreams, the course of a magical working, or a business meeting. We think that we'll remember, but a lot of the detail is lost. Sometimes, in retrospect, it's the apparently incidental detail which is the more important.

Best wishes,

Michael.


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 Anonymous
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"MichaelStaley" wrote:
Sometimes, in retrospect, it's the apparently incidental detail which is the more important.

Absolutely, in business and every other endeavor faithfully recorded, it is upon reflection that the points of greatest value are realized -otherwise likely to be overlooked or forgotten.


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 Anonymous
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"kidneyhawk" wrote:
Poelzig-

Fair enough criticism. Returning to the topic of this thread, however, am I to assume that your assessment of Liber Al itself is, in fact:

a load of banal fortune cookie platitudes, bad Egyptology, and a bunch of easily debunked self-referential numerological garbage.

Or were you referring to the general glut of new-agey "communications" from Ascended Masters and the like?

And have there been any such documents which you feel DID offer something if value as a "communication from Beyond?"

Liber AL has its moments but overall I include it in that same category. As I've said before, I don't consider myself a Thelemite - I think that aspect of Crowley is his most embarrassing and least interesting. Most of the Holy Books are more interesting and substantial than AL, as are most of his other writings. Book IV part II, Liber Aleph, The Heart of the Master, Book of Thoth, and a cluster of others I would include among his high-water marks.

No, I have never seen anything alleged to be a "communication from beyond" that offered more of value than could be brainstormed without a communication from beyond. Most of it is tripe wrapped in pretentiousness.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
You must be joking. If you mean "commonly encountered" in the "real" and everyday world, it is hard to imagine that people do this, I never met one so far (ah, maybe one or two). If you mean "people" in this forum (dedicated to their "hobby" entirely), what it is so wrong about introducing shortly one's interests and moreover, what is so much better with your "Hi, I'm Poelzig, and I think Thelema sucks!"? Thank Goddess I'm no psychiatrist else I would find myself speculating about the origin's of your and Erwin's loathing of occultists.

No, that is from years of involvement with several organizations, businesses, events, etc. that attract people into "alternative belief systems." Familiarity breeds contempt.

"Poelzig" wrote:
One would think a bodyless mind able to transcend time and space would be at least able of sharing some substantial or useful information that would at least lend some weight to the claim.

Why would one think so? To convince you?

No: To convince just about ANYONE worth convincing.


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 Anonymous
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Correction: I meant to say Book IV, Part III.


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Los
 Los
(@los)
Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 2195
 

Hi Michael,

93

There have been a number of really interesting posts on this thread lately. It's unfortunate that I don't have the time right now to address all the points that I want to. For now, I will just concentrate on one point:

"MichaelStaley" wrote:
What I would like to know is why it bothers you so much that I don't share your view, because it clearly does.

An excellent question, one that I could answer in a few ways -- but after giving it a little thought, I'll answer as follows:

I'm convinced that magical thinking, in general, is a dangerous thing. Now I'm not condemning anyone's specific beliefs here. I understand that most people here just have unorthodox beliefs and aren't hurting anybody with those beliefs.

But I live in the US, where every day, magical thinking interferes with public policy and discussions about things that matter. When I have conversations with people about various important topics -- gay marriage, abortion, prayer in schools -- I'm invariably met with people who hold positions for supernatural reasons, often because they've been convinced by various "spiritual experiences" (actually, I'm rather fortunate that I personally encounter such individuals rarely...but nationally, they are a powerful force, and I run across them online all the time).

Take stem cell research, for example. For the past eight years, my country has had a ban on stem cell research -- not for any rational reason, but because of the faith-based belief that stem cells have some kind of magic power and are "sacred" or some other nonsense. Now that we have a rational administration that is taking the radical step of acknowledging reality, things are going to change. But imagine what kinds of progress we could have been making over the past eight years if it weren't for the influence of superstitious nonsense.

I'll give you a sadder, and more isolated, example. Over the past few years there have been a handful of items in the news about families that chose -- deliberately chose -- not to obtain medical aid for their sick children...and instead prayed that the children would recover. Of course, since we all know how well prayer works, these children died.

Don't even get me started about the "talk to the dead" film-flam artists who swindle grief-stricken people.

The point is: there are plenty of examples of tangible harm that result from people refusing to acknowledge reality. And refusing to acknowledge reality is a symptom of magical thinking that pervades our culture.

Why do such dangerous beliefs persist? Because there are plenty of moderate religious folk who think it's ok to talk to invisible men; because that astrology section in Borders makes people think, "Oh, there must be something to this magic stuff"; because people think that praying for a parking spot (and getting it) proves that magic happens.

Again, I'm not accusing anyone here of directly hurting anyone else. But the belief in supernatural things, in general, creates a climate in which those problems I've listed above are more likely to occur, in which "God told me so" becomes a legitimate argument (that has to be "respected"), rather than a sad delusion (that should be denounced).

I'm not out to convince most people here that the supernatural isn't real. I'm under no illusion that I will actually convince a true believer. I'm writing this -- as I think Erwin said earlier in the thread -- for those "on the fence." I want people new to Thelema to know that it's ok to be rational and not accept supernatural beliefs.

It's meme-building. The more often skepticism and atheism are introduced into culture, the more they will take root (because, being based in reality, they are the superior ideas). Things won't change much this generation or the next generation, most likely. But maybe by the end of my life, we'll have more people than ever who accept reality.

Anyway, I have to run now -- I'll try to get back online later to contribute a few more thoughts. Be well, everyone.

93, 93/93


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 Anonymous
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One of the things of value that I think should be taken from Crowley is how easily "spiritual" experiences are to achieve (re: his technical instructions) and that one should refrain from attributing exaggerating significance to them. Unfortunately he himself fell into this error.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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"Poelzig" wrote:
"kidneyhawk" wrote:
Poelzig-

Fair enough criticism. Returning to the topic of this thread, however, am I to assume that your assessment of Liber Al itself is, in fact:

a load of banal fortune cookie platitudes, bad Egyptology, and a bunch of easily debunked self-referential numerological garbage.

Or were you referring to the general glut of new-agey "communications" from Ascended Masters and the like?

And have there been any such documents which you feel DID offer something if value as a "communication from Beyond?"

Liber AL has its moments but overall I include it in that same category. As I've said before, I don't consider myself a Thelemite - I think that aspect of Crowley is his most embarrassing and least interesting. Most of the Holy Books are more interesting and substantial than AL, as are most of his other writings. Book IV part II, Liber Aleph, The Heart of the Master, Book of Thoth, and a cluster of others I would include among his high-water marks.

No, I have never seen anything alleged to be a "communication from beyond" that offered more of value than could be brainstormed without a communication from beyond. Most of it is tripe wrapped in pretentiousness.

That is interesting, Poelzig, as Crowley, in his later years, had relegated Magick in priority behind the promulgation of the message of Liber AL. You and he do not seem to agree on the evaluation of his work.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 
"Camlion" wrote:
"Poelzig" wrote:
"kidneyhawk" wrote:
Poelzig-

Fair enough criticism. Returning to the topic of this thread, however, am I to assume that your assessment of Liber Al itself is, in fact:

a load of banal fortune cookie platitudes, bad Egyptology, and a bunch of easily debunked self-referential numerological garbage.

Or were you referring to the general glut of new-agey "communications" from Ascended Masters and the like?

And have there been any such documents which you feel DID offer something if value as a "communication from Beyond?"

Liber AL has its moments but overall I include it in that same category. As I've said before, I don't consider myself a Thelemite - I think that aspect of Crowley is his most embarrassing and least interesting. Most of the Holy Books are more interesting and substantial than AL, as are most of his other writings. Book IV part II, Liber Aleph, The Heart of the Master, Book of Thoth, and a cluster of others I would include among his high-water marks.

No, I have never seen anything alleged to be a "communication from beyond" that offered more of value than could be brainstormed without a communication from beyond. Most of it is tripe wrapped in pretentiousness.

That is interesting, Poelzig, as Crowley, in his later years, had relegated Magick in priority behind the promulgation of the message of Liber AL. You and he do not seem to agree on the evaluation of his work.

Apparently not.

Also, I believe Crowley's most sincere wish was to be remembered. He knew he would more likely be remembered as the founder of a religious cult than he would be as a poet or writer on magic.


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