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Is spontaneus enlightenment "unthelemic" and impossible within the "new aeon"?

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wellreadwellbred
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(All in brackets added by me.)

"The highest guru, according to him [Abhinavagupta (c. 950 – 1020 AD) one of India's greatest philosophers, mystics and aestheticians], is the one called "spontaneous" (svayambhu) because he is spontaneously and divinely schooled in all the traditional sciences. Such a master is absolutely perfect (samsiddhika), omniscient, and divine; he destroys ignorance and spreads bliss by his mere presence. Illuminated by the light of intuitive knowledge (pratibham jnanam), he is sometimes called pratibhaguru." Source: André Padoux's chapter titled The Tantric Guru, page 45 within the section titled Gurus and Adepts, in the book titled Tantra in Practice, published December 2001 by Motilal Banarsidass, and edited by David Gordon White.

Is spontaneus enlightenment or perfection "unthelemic" and impossible in the "new aeon"?


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wellreadwellbred
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The following quotes, seem to indicate that spontaneous enlightenment or spontaneous absolute perfection, is supported both by what Crowley wrote concerning pure will in chapter 1 of the core holy book of his Thelema, The Book of the Law, and by what he wrote concerning his own understanding of the formula of initiation in chapter 68 of his Autohagiography, The Confessions of Aleister Crowley:

"42. Let it be that state of manyhood bound and loathing. So with thy all; thou hast no right but to do thy will. 43. Do that, and no other shall say nay. 44. For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect." Source: Aleister Crowley, The Book of the Law, chapter 1.

"This story marks a stage in my own understanding of the formula of initiation. I began to see that one might become a Master of the Temple without necessarily knowing any technical Magick or mysticism at all. It is merely a matter of convenience to be able to represent any expression as x + Y = 0. The equation may be solved without words. Many people may go through the ordeals and attain the degrees of the A.'. A.'. without ever hearing that such an Order exists. The universe is, in fact, busy with nothing else, for the relation of the Order to it is that of the man of science to his subject. He writes CaCl2 + H2SO4 = CaSO4 + 2HCl for his own convenience and that of others, but the operation was always in progress independently." Source: Aleister Crowley, Confessions, chapter 68.


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Michael Staley
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Why on earth would anyone consider "spontaneous enlightenment" as "unthelemic"?


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wellreadwellbred
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"Michael Staley" wrote:
Why on earth would anyone consider "spontaneous enlightenment" as "unthelemic"?

I had in mind the following written within the OP of the thread Thelemic Practice - http

"Los" wrote:
I submit that it is impossible to discover the True Will without having a crystal clear understanding of one’s goals, how one’s practices enable one to achieve these goals, why one would think that such practices *would* enable one to achieve these goals, and the criteria by which one judges success in these practices.

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Michael Staley
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"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
"Michael Staley" wrote:
Why on earth would anyone consider "spontaneous enlightenment" as "unthelemic"?

I had in mind the following written within the OP of the thread Thelemic Practice - http

"Los" wrote:
I submit that it is impossible to discover the True Will without having a crystal clear understanding of one’s goals, how one’s practices enable one to achieve these goals, why one would think that such practices *would* enable one to achieve these goals, and the criteria by which one judges success in these practices.

Los appears to be giving his opinion here on implementing practices that might facilitate the discovery of True Will. "Spontaneous enlightment" isn't a practice.


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ignant666
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I think wellread is pointing out that Los' formulation would indeed rule out the possibility of "spontaneous enlightenment", since Los says it is "impossible" to discover True Will without x practices.
Since, as you point out, "spontaneous enlightenment" is not a practice, it follows that it is "impossible" to discover TW spontaneously (since this would not involve x practices), at least if we accept Los' claims.
Some benighted folk have of course disputed whether we should accept these claims.


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William Thirteen
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I've often thought to recommend Spontaneous Human Combustion as a practice for some colleagues.


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wellreadwellbred
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In respect of my point being clarified in ignant666's posting above in this thread, my question is if spontaneous enlightenment (enlightenment is here understood as including discovery of one’s True Will) is impossible within Thelema, as described and understood by Los (or as described and understood by david)


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frater_anubis
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I would agree with Michael Staley on this - spontaneus enlightenment suggests just that, a sudden moment of clarity of thought that confers deeper understanding. No "practices" need to have been undertaken first, save perhaps deep thought or maybe meditation. I dont think that to be in recept of spontaneus elightenment is "unthelemic" at all

I have no idea why the urge recently came to me to return to Lashtal after a long absence, which was due to difficulties with the mundane and doubt as to the true provenance of Liber Al - but its good to observe that the quality of discussions on these august fora has remained excellent.

93 93/93
Johnny


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Anonymous
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"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
Is spontaneus enlightenment or perfection "unthelemic" and impossible in the "new aeon"?

What do you understand "enlightenment" to be?


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wellreadwellbred
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"david" wrote:
"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
Is spontaneus enlightenment or perfection "unthelemic" and impossible in the "new aeon"?

What do you understand "enlightenment" to be?

"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
... spontaneous enlightenment (enlightenment is here understood as including discovery of one’s True Will) ...

david, do you consider it possible to to discover one's True Will spontaneously, without having a crystal clear understanding of one’s goals?


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Anonymous
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Maybe you don't want to define "enlightenment", let alone "spontaneous enlightenment."?

"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
david, do you consider it possible to to discover one's True Will spontaneously, without having a crystal clear understanding of one’s goals?

I'll explain it this way; someone who joins an Order thinking he is some sort of elite entity for it, will be sorely mistaken in time.  If he has any sense that is.

Why?  There are people who are "already there" (where he wanted to go) who never read anything about Crowley or mysticism.  I tried to explain this in "my" "Joe Schmoe is your master" and the "initiation/psychotherapy" threads.  That is what Crowley is saying in that quote from Confessions.  That's crystal clear.  Los was talking about people who (are not necessarily in Orders and who)  "aren't there" and who chose to use the tools of Thelema to "get there" and therefore, within that context, yes, a crystal clear understanding is necessary.   

This is why I find it virtually impossible to have discussion with Tao or Gnosomai.  I did try and the records show it but an impasse was reached.     


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Tao
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"david" wrote:
This is why I find it virtually impossible to have discussion with Tao or Gnosomai.  I did try and the records show it but an impasse was reached.

Why on earth are you dragging me into this? None of our discussions (that is, before you decided to plug your ears to anything I have to say) have ever been about spontaneous enlightenment, nor have I ever given two hoots whether something is "unthelemic". What is the this to which you refer?


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Los
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"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
do you consider it possible to to discover one's True Will spontaneously, without having a crystal clear understanding of one’s goals?

If a person did discover his or her True Will spontaneously, how would he or she know it without at least having a crystal clear definition of "True Will"?


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wellreadwellbred
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"david" wrote:
Maybe you don't want to define "enlightenment", let alone "spontaneous enlightenment."?

I do want to define "enlightenment", and "spontaneous enlightenment".

Enlightenment within the context of Crowley's Thelema, is (before the Crossing the Abyss) the process of attaining Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel and learning and accomplishing one's True Will. This process is called The Great Work within the said Thelema ( http://thelemapedia.org/index.php/Great_Work).

Spontaneous enlightenment within the context of Crowley's Thelema, is when the said process happens spontaneously, without the involvement of any practices intended to achieve the said process. 

"david" wrote:
There are people who are "already there" (where he wanted to go) who never read anything about Crowley or mysticism.

Do you consider it possible to go from the state of "not being there", to the state of what you call "already there", spontaneously, without the involvement of any practices intended to lead from the state of "not being there", to the state of what you call "already there"? 

"david" wrote:
Los was talking about people who (are not necessarily in Orders and who) "aren't there" and who chose to use the tools of Thelema to "get there" and therefore, within that context, yes, a crystal clear understanding is necessary.

Does this mean, that you within the said context, consider it impossible for those who "aren't there", to "get there", spontaneously, without having a crystal clear understanding of their goals?


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ignant666
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wellread has apparently uncovered one of the many ways "Los-ianity" differs from AC's Thelema.
david has spotted this and is trying to square the circle on his guru's behalf.
Los, however, steps squarely to the plate and proclaims AC dead wrong on this whole "the universe is busy with nothing else" business. Los is nothing if not consistent.
One cannot, per Los, do one's "True Will" without a "crystal clear" definition of that concept ("at least"), a concept found only within the work of AC, and those who came after him.


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NKB
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"Los" wrote:
"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
do you consider it possible to to discover one's True Will spontaneously, without having a crystal clear understanding of one’s goals?

If a person did discover his or her True Will spontaneously, how would he or she know it without at least having a crystal clear definition of "True Will"?

I'm not necessarily directing this towards you Los. Just using what you said here as a template. Within the context of Crowley's system of Thelemic Magick I can agree with the implication of what you asked there. If one is to put Crowley's various exercises and techniques into practice more than likely this person is going to at least have an idea of what the experiences are supposed to be as a result of those exercises/techniques, even if only hinted at, and hence will know what to look for along the way, True Will included. They would also probably know that a great deal of what Crowley prescribed for practices are meant to undo all of the armor that keeps most of us from being who we are; that keeps us from achieving the Unity of Will.

Outside of that Thelemic context, what is being called here a "spontaneous enlightenment" (I'm not so sure that "enlightenment" is the most accurate term for the discovery of one's True Will but whatever, we'll go with it) would simply take the form of someone just finding their purpose in life and carrying it through; this person would live an authentic life and probably not worry themselves with what that is called. If they call it anything it would probably be some name that resonates with their own inclinations. There are a lot of "Thelemites" out there that have never heard of Crowley let alone have practiced his Magick. One might make the argument that those individuals are better off for that because they are not at risk of falling into the trappings of the occult; replacing one set of hindrances for another as so many who become involved in magick and the occult tend to do. So I would say, in the broader context, a "spontaneous enlightenment", if that is meant as someone discovering their True Will and acting accordingly, is perfectly in line with Thelema. It doesn't matter how one comes to that realization.


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Los
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"NKB" wrote:
Outside of that Thelemic context, what is being called here a "spontaneous enlightenment" (I'm not so sure that "enlightenment" is the most accurate term for the discovery of one's True Will but whatever, we'll go with it) would simply take the form of someone just finding their purpose in life and carrying it through; this person would live an authentic life and probably not worry themselves with what that is called. If they call it anything it would probably be some name that resonates with their own inclinations. There are a lot of "Thelemites" out there that have never heard of Crowley let alone have practiced his Magick. One might make the argument that those individuals are better off for that because they are not at risk of falling into the trappings of the occult; replacing one set of hindrances for another as so many who become involved in magick and the occult tend to do. So I would say, in the broader context, a "spontaneous enlightenment", if that is meant as someone discovering their True Will and acting accordingly, is perfectly in line with Thelema. It doesn't matter how one comes to that realization.

I'm pretty much in agreement with this. After all, it sounds like we would both agree that it would be awfully silly to think that the only people who are doing their True Wills are the tiny handful of people who have heard of Thelema.

But I don't think the question of the thread -- insofar as it's a coherent question at all -- is whether it's possible to discover one's True Will without the specific terminology and practices of Thelema. I think the question is whether the discovery of the True Will -- under any name -- could be a spontaneous event, arising without any formal practice or effort or even "crystal clear understanding" of the goal whatsoever.

As I suggested above, I'm kind of doubtful that this is even a coherent question. Are there people who suddenly, without any apparent effort, just accidentally "snap" into doing their True Will one fine day without deliberately working to learn about themselves and rid themselves of their false ideas about themselves? I don't know. Seems unlikely.

The closest Thelemic equivalent is probably the story of Frank Bennett's attainment. Crowley recounts the following in The Confessions:

"One afternoon we went off bathing with the Ape [i.e. "The Ape of Thoth," Leah Hirsig] I prattled as we walked quite pointlessly and just as we reached the edge of the cliff above the bay I made some casual remark which proved a winning shot. He stopped short and gasped; his eyes starting from his head...I was mildly surprised to see him dash down the path like a young goat, tear off his clothes, and sprint into the sea like an alarmed seal. He never spoke a word till after the swim and the return to the the road. He then said with a pale face and in awed accents, ‘Please tell me again what you said just now?’. . . He asked me to discuss the subject more fully, which I did, after which he relapsed into silence. Directly he reached the abbey, he passed into a state of trance which lasted three whole days without a break. He then came to me looking like an incarnation of pure joy and told me what had happened. . . One minute facet of truth unveiled from the matrix by the wheel of my word had let in the light. In three days he had achieved the critical initiation which had baffled him for nearly thirty years."

So what is it that Crowley said to him? Luckily, Bennett recorded Crowley's words in his diary. Grant and Symonds explain in a footnote:

"We know from Frank Bennett’s diary what Crowley said to him on this occasion. 'Progradior [Bennett's magical motto], I want to explain to you fully, and in a few words, what initiation means, and what is meant when we talk of the Real Self, and what the Real Self is.’ And there and then Crowley told him that it was all a matter of getting the subconscious mind to work; and when this subconscious mind was allowed full sway, without interference from the conscious mind, then illumination could be said to have begun; for the subconscious mind was our Holy Guardian Angel. Crowley illustrated the point thus: everything is experienced in the subconscious mind, and it (the subconscious) is constantly urging its will on consciousness, and when the inner desires are restricted or suppressed, evil of all kinds is the result."

So, I suppose we could call this a case of "spontaneous enlightenment" in that it happens in an instant, in conversation with someone. But even in this case, the catalyst appears to be Crowley offering a clearer definition of terms like "initiation" and "Holy Guardian Angel," clarifications that improved Bennett's understanding and made everything *click*. Perhaps he was already on the cusp of this realization on his own -- as a result of his own work of self-examination -- and he just needed this "push" to send him over the edge.


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Los
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"ignant666" wrote:
One cannot, per Los, do one's "True Will" without a "crystal clear" definition of that concept ("at least"), a concept found only within the work of AC, and those who came after him.

What I suggested is that one cannot know that one is doing one's True Will -- under that particular label -- without a definition of "True Will."

Obviously, the thing that the term "True Will" labels is a (natural, psychological) thing that people have been working with throughout human history. As I explained above, the question of the thread isn't whether people who don't use Thelemic terminology are capable of discovering their True Will, which they obviously are. The question is whether the discovery can be spontaneous or whether it always requires effort (which would include an understanding of the goal and a process of working towards it), which is an open question that we're discussing. Pay attention.


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Los
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"Los" wrote:
As I suggested above, I'm kind of doubtful that this is even a coherent question. Are there people who suddenly, without any apparent effort, just accidentally "snap" into doing their True Will one fine day without deliberately working to learn about themselves and rid themselves of their false ideas about themselves? I don't know. Seems unlikely.

A little more on this, since you've got me thinking about it.

When we talk about discovering the True Will, what we're basically talking about is "Know Thyself," and the gaining of self-knowledge is a process that some people are, by nature, more inclined to and/or better at than others. A lot of people gain self-knowledge in informal ways, without, say, going to therapy, or even deliberately sitting down and examining their lives.

A person might grow from having an extremely painful experience in which he learns that he's not the person that he imagined himself to be. Lots of people aren't able to grow from such experiences: they encounter a painful experience and retreat right back into their self-image. But there are certain kinds of people who are able to actually learn, actually see through the mask of the self-image as a result of these experiences. Such people may very well come over time to achieve the same level of growth that we might label as "discovering the True Will." They've simply arrived at it through an informal path; they're working at it, and they're even operating on a rudimentary -- and probably unarticulated -- theory, but they don't use rigorous terminology to articulate their theory to themselves. They're operating almost by instinct.

The thing is that their discovery is not "spontaneous" in the sense of happening in an instant. Rather, their discovery is informal. A good comparison might be to learning musical instruments: someone who naturally has a talent for music might very be able to teach himself how to play piano. He won't be able to read sheet music or understand the technical terminology, but he might very well get to the point where he can "play by ear" so well that he can perform certain songs and seem like he had had formal training.

Both kinds of learning -- formal and informal -- require effort, but they're different sorts of effort. And if the naturally talented player were to study formally, he might be able to go even farther with his skills. That's the whole point of creating an area of study: so that learning an instrument (or gaining self-knowledge) isn't an ability only limited to people lucky enough to be born with a talent and to encounter situations that allow them to unfold these talents. By coming up with labels and articulating a theory fully (you know, labels like "True Will" and practices, such as those found on that other thread), a formal area of study makes it easier for greater numbers of people to learn a skill that comes to some people naturally, and it helps those people who learn it naturally to get even better more quickly.


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NKB
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My answer to the basic question is yes, one can spontaneously realize their True Will. It does not always require deliberate effort. Some individuals just seem to have come to it in ways reminiscent of Austin Spare's "straying that found the path direct". Of course, I might argue that "straying" in that case is the effort kind of like one finds in Zen practices of being deliberately spontaneous.

EDIT: Los, your last post there was actually very well stated. I don't think it was there when I went to post my little contribution above but you've spelled out in greater details what I was getting at here. Informal might even be a better take on it but I do think the result or realization can, at times, to some, seem a bit spontaneous.


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ignant666
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"Los" wrote:
"ignant666" wrote:
One cannot, per Los, do one's "True Will" without a "crystal clear" definition of that concept ("at least"), a concept found only within the work of AC, and those who came after him.

What I suggested is that one cannot know that one is doing one's True Will -- under that particular label -- without a definition of "True Will."

So this is a mere tautology, as the italicized words suggest? It would indeed be difficult to apply a particular label without a definition of what that label refers to.

"Los" wrote:
Obviously, the thing that the term "True Will" labels is a (natural, psychological) thing that people have been working with throughout human history. As I explained above, the question of the thread isn't whether people who don't use Thelemic terminology are capable of discovering their True Will, which they obviously are. The question is whether the discovery can be spontaneous or whether it always requires effort (which would include an understanding of the goal and a process of working towards it), which is an open question that we're discussing. Pay attention.

I'm not at all sure that it is "obvious" that "True Will" is a "natural, psychological thing"- what is your evidence here? Certainly the concept is unique to AC, and nowhere to be found in the psychological literature.
The question is indeed whether one might attain knowledge of TW spontaneously, or perhaps through practices undertaken for some other goal, or if this can happen only through practices undertaken with "a crystal clear understanding of one’s goals, how one’s practices enable one to achieve these goals, why one would think that such practices *would* enable one to achieve these goals, and the criteria by which one judges success in these practices".
Your new "informal attainment" claim would seem to totally contradict the above "crystal clear" claim that this is "impossible", and may represent your recognition that your earlier statement both contradicts AC's claim that wellread quoted above re "the universe is busy with little else", and makes little sense.
It's interesting how things often turn out to be different than one initially might have assumed after one really thinks them through. Will further revisions in "Los-ianity" be forthcoming?


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ignant666
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Of course, in actual science, serendipitous discovery, rather than practice based on "a crystal clear understanding of one’s goals, how one’s practices enable one to achieve these goals, why one would think that such practices *would* enable one to achieve these goals, and the criteria by which one judges success in these practices" has often led to significant results:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_discoveries_influenced_by_chance_circumstances
Los' new fallback position of allowing for "spontaneous [aka "informal"] enlightenment" is clearly more defensible than his previous ex cathedra declaration that this is "impossible".
There are still some issues:
It is not necessarily the case that "informal" achievement is inferior to, or could be improved by, formal training. Results are results- "by their fruits ye shall know them" (or "look at teh frootz", to use a version of the Bible on Los' reading level). Few people, on hearing Jimi Hendrix or Elizabeth Cotten play, think "If only they had used proper left-handed guitars and taken lessons!"
Even if formal practice is desired, this still leaves open the question of what practices to undertake, and the question of whether the "skeptical" regime is superior to the practices Crowley pursued and recommended. As this latter is the topic of a locked thread, i assume we'll avoid re-opening that discussion here, and confine ourselves to the "spontaneous enlightenment" topic.
However, as Los has now backpedaled on the position that prompted wellread's question, I'm not sure how much is left to discuss.


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NKB
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"ignant666" wrote:
Certainly the concept is unique to AC, and nowhere to be found in the psychological literature.

You can't be serious. The concept of "true will" is not unique to Crowley at all. All he really did was bring it to the forefront and place specific attention on it as a magical formula. Most of the occult literature that came before him had its equivalents of the basic idea even if it wasn't stated explicitly as such. If you peruse the literature associated with The Hermetic Brotherhood of Light for example, you will find it stated very plainly in terms that sound a lot like it could have come out of Thelemic literature. For example, in The Book of the Triplicate Order it is stated "There is no difficulty to him who truly wills!" and then goes on to talk about the cultivation of one's will which is essentially described as a union or alignment of one's individual will with a greater Will (microcosm and macrocosm). Eliphas Levi also made much of the Will in Transcendental Magic.

As for the psychological angle, I feel that the same idea is probably expressed in various ways there as well but I don't  keep up with all the modern trends in psychology to give examples or to know for sure if it is made explicit or its buried. In Jungian terms we could evoke the idea of "individuation" or even the "transcendent function" which Jung said "arises from the union of conscious and unconscious contents" as his equivalents of the idea. Stanislav Grof's whole book The Journey of Self-Discovery, for all intents and purposes, attempts to map the process of discovering and knowing one's self and one's purpose.


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ignant666
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Yes, I'm quite serious that TW "under that particular label" is unique to, and an innovation by, Crowley. There was a long thread quite recently about AC's coming to use this term.
That there are many precursors, and persons who have used similar terminology, is certainly true.
There is nothing resembling "True Will" in the empirical literature of psychology, as one might expect there would be if this were a "natural, psychological thing".


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ignant666
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Let me expand on my prior statement:
There is nothing resembling TW in the empirical literature of psychology, or of any other behavioral, or natural, science.


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NKB
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The use of the term "true will" is probably avoided in psychological circles either out of ignorance or perhaps because, stated in that fashion, it is far too elusive of a term as far as clarity is concerned. Look how much trouble surrounds just trying to talk about it amongst peers all (allegedly) familiar with what it is supposed to mean within the Thelemic context.


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wellreadwellbred
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"This story marks a stage in my own understanding of the formula of initiation. I began to see that one might become a Master of the Temple without necessarily knowing any technical Magick or mysticism at all. It is merely a matter of convenience to be able to represent any expression as x + Y = 0. The equation may be solved without words. Many people may go through the ordeals and attain the degrees of the A.'. A.'. without ever hearing that such an Order exists. The universe is, in fact, busy with nothing else, for the relation of the Order to it is that of the man of science to his subject. He writes CaCl2 + H2SO4 = CaSO4 + 2HCl for his own convenience and that of others, but the operation was always in progress independently." Source: Aleister Crowley, Confessions, chapter 68.

"9) A Man who is doing his True Will has the inertia of the Universe to assist him." Source: Aleister Crowley, Book 4, Part III: Magick in Theory and Practice - Introduction and Theorems."

From the preceding quotes from Aleister Crowley, the following can be derived: Aleister Crowley understood the universe in which we live, to be busy with nothing else than something akin to letting "Many people may go through the ordeals and attain the degrees of the A.'. A.'.", according to him this "operation was always in progress independently.", (independently of our relationship to it, or of how we refer to it), and he considered True Will to be backed by "the inertia of the Universe".

The likelihood of spontaneously becoming aware of a universal operation always in progress independently, is an obvious possibility. 

From the following quotes below from Los, can be derived the impression of that on one side the universe doesn't care about the concepts of Thelema and True Will related to Aleister Crowley, but that on the other side, "The Law of Thelema can be considered to be a natural law" "akin to gravity", and that "one discovers the True Will because one cannot help but do the True Will".

The likelihood of spontaneously discovering or becoming aware of something which one cannot help but do (= one's True Will), or the likelihood of spontaneously becoming aware of something which is akin to gravity (= The Law of Thelema), are both also obvious possibilities.     

Also, according to the logic expressed in the said quotes from Los, "if you’re not dissatisfied at all with your life, then you’ve got no reason to go looking for your True Will", and "if someone is fully satisfied with their lives, they’ve got no reason to go looking for their True Will, and they can forget all about this Thelema stuff." My two questions in respect of Los' just mentioned logic, are the following:

If one is fully satisfied with one's (spontaneously discovered (or not)) relationship to something which one cannot help but do (= one's True Will), and/or if one is fully satisfied with one's (spontaneously realized (or not)) awareness of something which is akin to gravity (= The Law of Thelema), do one then have any reason to start submitting one's relationship to one's True Will and one's awareness of The Law of Thelema, to certain practices?

Except for the reason of testing if one's said complete satisfactions with one's True Will and The Law of Thelema, does or does not correspond with some kind of standard[-s] independent of one's said complete satisfactions?

"Los" wrote:
The universe appears to be a physical, material world, operating on blind, undirected, purposeless laws.

Why do you think it is important to live without restrictions on the self?

"Los" wrote:
It’s not important. Do it or don’t do it. The universe doesn’t care.

Is the reason someone should want to do this simply to enjoy doing what they like to do?

"Los" wrote:
There’s no “should” about it. The fact is that not following your True Will produces some kind of dissatisfaction. The reason people seek to discover the True Will is that they want to decrease or eliminate that dissatisfaction. There’s no “should,” it’s not “important,” it’s not something “required.” Do it or don’t. The universe doesn't care. And if you’re not dissatisfied at all with your life, then you’ve got no reason to go looking for your True Will.
"Los" wrote:
... if someone is fully satisfied with their lives, they’ve got no reason to go looking for their True Will, and they can forget all about this Thelema stuff.

"Los" wrote:
Is your implication that the theology of the OTO religion is a natural law akin to gravity? If so, I'm afraid that you're mistaken.

The Law of Thelema can be considered to be a natural law, but the theology of the Thelema-based religion practiced by the OTO, on the other hand....

"Los" wrote:
To paraphrase Crowley, one discovers the True Will because one cannot help but do the True Will, and one therefore ought to figure out how to do it well.

Source: http://www.heruraha.net/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=12106&hilit=essence&start=25 - The Essence of Thelema, by Los » Fri May 10, 2013 8:31 pm

On a side note: According to Philip K. Dick, the universe does not care about what we want: "The universe does not care what you want, and may even be actively trying to thwart your intentions. The ultimate thwarting, of course, is your cessation as a human being, whether in death or through becoming somehow inhuman. In Ubik, he foregrounds and accelerates this idea: the ordinary entropy of the universe, that inexorable force pushing us all closer to death, is visibly working to undo any human progress. More often, though, entropy is simply omnipresent, grinding slowly in the background." Source: http://www.theverge.com/2012/10/1/3424828/philip-k-dick-festival-science-fiction-change-your-life


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Los
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"NKB" wrote:
EDIT: Los, your last post there was actually very well stated. I don't think it was there when I went to post my little contribution above but you've spelled out in greater details what I was getting at here. Informal might even be a better take on it but I do think the result or realization can, at times, to some, seem a bit spontaneous.

Yes, especially to your last sentence. I think that because informal self-discovery happens in a way that the person does not articulate to himself or herself clearly, the person in question can be quite unaware of the substantial work that they are actually doing. I can easily imagine such a person eventually having a powerful "AHA!" moment that they interpret as a "spontaneous" self-discovery, overlooking the work that got them to that point.

Of course, part of the problem with the discussion on this thread is that the terminology is very, very loose. Who knows how many different kinds of experiences there are that people interpret as "spontaneous enlightenment" and label with those words? How many of these instances of "spontaneous enlightenment" actually are an instance of someone actually gaining some self-knowledge? It's difficult to say, including for the people who think they have come to spontaneous self-knowledge.

That's the whole reason that making self-discovery an area of study is useful: it gives us terminology that people can adopt and apply to better discuss their experiences and understand whether what they're talking about aligns with what other people are talking about.


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Los
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"ignant666" wrote:
Your new "informal attainment" claim would seem to totally contradict the above "crystal clear" claim that this is "impossible", and may represent your recognition that your earlier statement both contradicts AC's claim that wellread quoted above re "the universe is busy with little else", and makes little sense.

The operative word here is "seem." It might seem that way to someone who is not paying attention, like you.

On the "Thelemic Practice" thread, I was specifically talking in the context of an individual desiring to practice Thelema, a person actively seeking to discover the True Will. If a person is seeking to "discover his True Will" -- yes, under that specific term -- then the person is not going to be able to do it without having a working definition of the goal, a plan for achieving the goal, criteria for determining whether he's reached the goal, etc.

No fair reading of my OP on that thread would conclude that I was saying that it's impossible for a person to gain any measure of self-knowledge without a rigorous formal practice. And that's the other operative term: "fair reading." Someone who refuses to pay attention when reading and who goes out of his way to read my posts as unfairly as possible will have no problem locating what appears, at superficial glance, to be a contradiction in terms. Such a person isn't interested in an honest conversation.

This thread -- insofar as the point of it is understandable at all, following a confusing OP -- is pursuing a different question than Thelemic practice. It's pursuing the question of whether people can gain self-knowledge without formal practice. And while my answer is yes, I think it's important to qualify that answer to note that any success in gaining self-knowledge that the individual recognizes as success necessarily entails that the person in question has some sort of mental model about how the whole thing works, murky though that model may be. If a person decides one fine day that after years of experience he knows more about himself than he previously did, then in order to draw that conclusion, he necessarily must be operating on some definition of self-knowledge and some model about how it is one measures that self-knowledge. In other words, he has some understanding of the process, even though that understanding might not be very clear. I would submit that the clearer the understanding, the easier it will be to gain more self-knowledge.

It is for this reason that studying the process of gaining self-knowledge and embarking on a formal practice to gain more self-knowledge is beneficial even to people who are naturally inclined to expose their false ideas about themselves on their own: work that might have otherwise taken a lifetime -- and dependent upon random events giving the individual opportunities to learn more about himself -- might be accomplished in only a few years, giving the individual even more time to "take his pleasure among the living," as it were.


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Los
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"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
From the following quotes below from Los, can be derived the impression of that on one side the universe doesn't care about the concepts of Thelema and True Will related to Aleister Crowley, but that on the other side, "The Law of Thelema can be considered to be a natural law" "akin to gravity", and that "one discovers the True Will because one cannot help but do the True Will".

I don't know if you mean to suggest that you think there's a contradiction here, but there's not. The universe does not appear to have a mind, so the universe does not appear to be capable of doing things that minds do, such as caring about stuff. But people *do* have minds, and people *do* care about whether or not they are satisfied with their lives. So people can use those minds to label stuff that they experience, such as natural inclinations (or "True Will") and the idea that they "should" do something other than their natural inclinations (or "false will" or "conscious will").


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As the slightly stilted syntax suggests, this is a quote from wellread, not me.


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Los
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"NKB" wrote:
The concept of "true will" is not unique to Crowley at all. All he really did was bring it to the forefront and place specific attention on it as a magical formula. Most of the occult literature that came before him had its equivalents of the basic idea even if it wasn't stated explicitly as such.

[...]

As for the psychological angle, I feel that the same idea is probably expressed in various ways there as well but I don't keep up with all the modern trends in psychology to give examples or to know for sure if it is made explicit or its buried.

Just a quick comment on this while I have a minute. Given the ways that Crowley presents True Will -- such as the example of the boy discovering that he is happier being a sailor than being a doctor, or vice versa -- it would be absurd to say that the thing Crowley calls "True Will" is some new concept that he was the first to identify. Even Crowley's own writings testify to the influence of Freud on Thelema: remember that bit in Magick in Theory and Practice where Crowley speaks of the goal as enabling the magician to "discriminate between what he actually is, and what he has fondly imagined himself to be"? Crowley's footnote on this sentence reads:

"Professor Sigmund Freud and his school have, in recent years, discovered a part of this body of Truth, which has been taught for many centuries in the Sanctuaries of Initiation. But failure to grasp the fullness of Truth, especially that implied in my Sixth Theorem (above) [i.e.'"Every man and every woman is a star". That is to say, every human being is intrinsically an independent individual with his own proper character and proper motion.'] and its corollaries, has led him and his followers into the error of admitting that the avowedly suicidal "Censor" is the proper arbiter of conduct. Official psycho-analysis is therefore committed to upholding a fraud, although the foundation of the science was the observation of the disastrous effects on the individual of being false to his Unconscious Self, whose "writing on the wall" in dream language is the record of the sum of the essential tendencies of the true nature of the individual. The result has been that psycho-analysts have misinterpreted life, and announced the absurdity that every human being is essentially an anti-social, criminal, and insane animal. It is evident that the errors of the Unconscious of which the psycho-analysts complain are neither more nor less than the"original sin" of the theologians whom they despise so heartily."

In other words, Crowley is saying that Freud and others have understood part of the idea of the True Will but that they've got it backwards: rather than helping the individual to express his Unconscious Self (the thing that Crowley called the "Holy Guardian Angel" in conversation with Bennett...see my post above), psychoanalysis affirms the need to contain and restrict that Will.

But the field of psychology has moved on a lot from Freud. I'm not up on all of the developments, but there are some models of psychology that at least sound like they support the idea of helping clients locate and express their True Self. The "Internal Family Systems Model" of psychology explicitly has a concept called "True Self," which is a whole that exists "underneath" the "parts" of the psyche that threaten to obscure it:

From Wikipedia:

"IFS also sees people as being whole, underneath this collection of parts. Everyone has a true self or spiritual center, known as the Self to distinguish it from the parts. Even people whose experience is dominated by parts have access to this Self and its healing qualities of curiosity, connectedness, compassion, and calmness. IFS sees the therapist's job as helping the client to disentangle themselves from their parts and access the Self, which can then connect with each part and heal it, so that the parts can let go of their destructive roles and enter into a harmonious collaboration, led by the Self."

It's not necessarily a perfect match with Thelema -- a lot depends on exactly how these terms are defined -- but it sounds awfully close, and it's definitely the kind of system that could be made consistent with Thelema. The above description actually sounds a lot like the theory behind goetic evocation, which itself can serve as a metaphor for Thelemic practice.


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Los
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"ignant666" wrote:
As the slightly stilted syntax suggests, this is a quote from wellread, not me.

Right. I fixed it.


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"Tao" wrote:
"david" wrote:
This is why I find it virtually impossible to have discussion with Tao or Gnosomai.  I did try and the records show it but an impasse was reached.

Why on earth are you dragging me into this? None of our discussions (that is, before you decided to plug your ears to anything I have to say) have ever been about spontaneous enlightenment, nor have I ever given two hoots whether something is "unthelemic". What is the this to which you refer?

I was making a point about Orders.  I had a debate with you about Orders which seems to be one of your favourite subjects.

From this thread,  Being a faithful Student

"Tao" wrote:
😉

Further, as I'm coming to understand the lay of the Thelemic land better, I'm realising that Crowley did both a great service and disservice to the movement to phrase things the way he did. By pushing the democratised baseline of "the law is for all", he set a simple metric to which all of mankind can aspire over the course of the next 2000 years or so: discover thy True Will and then just do it. Nike couldn't put it better. However, as has always been the case, there is a small percentage of mankind that pushes the bounds. The Avant Garde. The innovators. It is for these that he designed the A.'.A.'. as a reformulation of the same threads of initiation that have woven their way throughout the entirety of human history. It's a way to assist the front lines in setting the new high water marks in their mission to evolve mankind along spiritual lines.

What Los is doing, by constantly trying to bring this conversation back to a question of the efficacy of an order like A.'.A.'. to help one discover one's True Will, is mistaking the purpose of the order itself. Discovering and doing one's True Will, if the Law is, indeed, for all, should definitely be doable outside the bounds of oath. The work of the A.'.A.'., and other similar orders, is aimed at something else.

anyway............I disagreed with you there and I disagree with Gnosomai on his insinuations that Resh was only written for Order members only.

From his Thelemic Practice-Intro thread;

   

"Gnosomai Emauton" wrote:
I've been prepping a new thread on the Solar Adorations but, each time I get ready to post it, the first line of the instructions in Liber Resh jumps out at me: "These are the adorations to be performed by aspirants to the A.'. A.'."

While I recognize that the practice has been picked up and used throughout the greater magical community in the hundred or so years since it was published, that line keeps reminding me that this isn't a "Thelemic Practice", per se. As I ponder that conundrum further, I come to the conclusion that, aside from saying Will, the only "Thelemic Practice" Crowley actually left for the lay community was regular attendance of the Gnostic Mass.

Am I looking at this too narrowly? Or is this perhaps the tension underlying so many of these head-banging-against-a-wall discussions about what is "proper" or "effective" in discovering one's own "True Will" and what is not? Practices that were designed for specific initiatory processes have been generalized to uses for which they may not be fit.

Anyway, as you were.


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ignant666
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"Los" wrote:
"ignant666" wrote:
Your new "informal attainment" claim would seem to totally contradict the above "crystal clear" claim that this is "impossible", and may represent your recognition that your earlier statement both contradicts AC's claim that wellread quoted above re "the universe is busy with little else", and makes little sense.

The operative word here is "seem." It might seem that way to someone who is not paying attention, like you.

On the "Thelemic Practice" thread, I was specifically talking in the context of an individual desiring to practice Thelema, a person actively seeking to discover the True Will. If a person is seeking to "discover his True Will" -- yes, under that specific term -- then the person is not going to be able to do it without having a working definition of the goal, a plan for achieving the goal, criteria for determining whether he's reached the goal, etc.

No fair reading of my OP on that thread would conclude that I was saying that it's impossible for a person to gain any measure of self-knowledge [emphasis added] without a rigorous formal practice. And that's the other operative term: "fair reading." Someone who refuses to pay attention when reading and who goes out of his way to read my posts as unfairly as possible will have no problem locating what appears, at superficial glance, to be a contradiction in terms. Such a person isn't interested in an honest conversation.

The claim under dispute was not whether it is "impossible for a person to gain any measure of self-knowledge [emphasis added] without a rigorous formal practice", but rather whether it is "impossible to discover the True Will [emphasis added]" without such practices, plans, and a priori criteria for success. Crowley says "the universe is busy with little else", you say this is "impossible", or maybe that it is possible to discover TW spontaneously, or through non-Thelemic practices, but Thelemic practices will only "work" if undertaken "with lust of result", and a clear prior plan of what the results of those practices ought to be, and ought to prove.

This habit of pretending your views are self-evident, and that the only reason one might dispute them is that one is not "paying attention", etc. is tedious, and makes me suspect you might not be interested in an honest "conversation".
.


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"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
Does this mean, that you within the said context, consider it impossible for those who "aren't there", to "get there", spontaneously, without having a crystal clear understanding of their goals?

Gee, I don't know what David thinks, but we have already discussed this subject in prior threads. A case was cited where a lady, who had no spiritual aspirations - and did no practices, and had no "crystal clear understanding of her [spiritual or Will] goals," was suddenly struck with a loss of her sense of Self. She attracted much attention from psychologists, who term the condition Depersonalization disorder (DPD).

"She thought she had gone mad, but she was enlightened and didn't know it! Some people spend years in caves trying to experience what suddenly happened to Suzanne Segal. This is the incredible story of a young woman who irrevocably lost all sense of personal self, or an "I"."

So it seems like it can happen to anyone at any time without practices, aspirations, goals, or intent.


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Tao
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"david" wrote:
I was making a point about Orders.  I had a debate with you about Orders which seems to be one of your favourite subjects.

That's an interesting way to read me, I'll give you that. However, to aid you on the path towards actually understanding my writing, might I point you toward the first line of the post you quote. It was in response to your previous post:

"david" wrote:
Tao, Los seems to be disputing the idea that "gowns and orders" per se help somneone advance spiritually ie they could do it all alone.  What if I found someone who knows nothing about orders, gowns and the A A elemental work but they can hold a mental image consistently without inteference from Crowley's 6 breaks of dharana.  In other words they are a "master of dharana" and are therefore straight in there at the 5=6 grade without preliminary "initiations"?  Surely these folk exist. No?

To which I replied:

"Tao" wrote:
I'm certain that they do. However, just because people like that exist in the world doesn't make that the only path up the mountain.

I don't see how this is a disagreement with you, unless you somehow believe that the mere existence of magical orders interferes with the universe's ability to forward evolution. Is that what you believe?

There are Mozarts in the world, happily composing symphonies at age 5 (spontaneous enlightenment). Is your contention that this negates the justification for music schools (guided enlightenment)?


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"NKB" wrote:
Outside of that Thelemic context, what is being called here a "spontaneous enlightenment" ... would simply take the form of someone just finding their purpose in life and carrying it through; this person would live an authentic life and probably not worry themselves with what that is called.

This seems totally correct to me.

(I'm not so sure that "enlightenment" is the most accurate term for the discovery of one's True Will but whatever, we'll go with it)

There's no need to "go with it." Enlightenment is being purposely mixed up with True Will by some folks.

Enlightenment means:

En = inside, inner, interior
lighten = to produce or be "light," obviously
ment = a suffix "ment," meaning "action, process, result"

So the word means to "produce an inner light" or a "resulting in an interior light."

[/align:39njv005]

Adepts are often said to radiate that inner light.

Enlightenment is also compared or equated with Liberation (the process of "freeing"), and what is a person "liberated" from? Why, they're freed up from the sense of a separate self ... Thus, they are said to be in a state of samadhi (or at least dhyana). This can be temporary (common) or permanent (not so common).

U.G. Krishamurti discusses this (permanent) state in great detail. He "attained" it only after giving up the search.


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wellreadwellbred
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"Los" wrote:
"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
From the following quotes below from Los, can be derived the impression of that on one side the universe doesn't care about the concepts of Thelema and True Will related to Aleister Crowley, but that on the other side, "The Law of Thelema can be considered to be a natural law" "akin to gravity", and that "one discovers the True Will because one cannot help but do the True Will".

I don't know if you mean to suggest that you think there's a contradiction here, but there's not. The universe does not appear to have a mind, so the universe does not appear to be capable of doing things that minds do, such as caring about stuff. ...

The contradiction is in your quasi-religious reasoning when you state that "The Law of Thelema can be considered to be a natural law" akin to gravity. Contradicting the just quoted statement, you have also stated that, "if someone is fully satisfied with their lives, they’ve got no reason to go looking for their True Will, and they can forget all about this Thelema stuff." It is obvious that Thelema can not be considered to be a natural law" akin to gravity, if one can forget all about it, just because one is fully satisfied with one's life.


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"Tao" wrote:
There are Mozarts in the world, happily composing symphonies at age 5 (spontaneous enlightenment). Is your contention that this negates the justification for music schools (guided enlightenment)?

That's a big subject.  I'd rather not get bogged down on it in this thread.  The Order thing is for some other thread. 


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Tao
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"david" wrote:
That's a big subject.  I'd rather not get bogged down on it in this thread.  The Order thing is for some other thread.

Then perhaps you shouldn't have brought it up:

"david" wrote:
I'll explain it this way; someone who joins an Order [music school] thinking he is some sort of elite entity for it, will be sorely mistaken in time.  If he has any sense that is.

Why?  There are people who are "already there" [Mozart] (where he wanted to go) who never read anything about Crowley or mysticism [drilled scales or learned music theory].

But, of course, that was yesterday so I suppose you've learned from your mistakes in the intervening 25 hours as reflected by your new stance. I can only hope that david2.0 will take this reminder under advisement the next time you decide to bring "the order thing" up as an argument in order to pull a discussion from another thread as thin justification to besmirch me (and Gno) as "impossible". At least, if you are intent on critiquing my argumentation, choose an example where I actually disagree with you rather than one of the few examples where we see eye to eye. It will help your position immensely.  ::)


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"NKB" wrote:
They would also probably know that a great deal of what Crowley prescribed for practices are meant to undo all of the armor that keeps most of us from being who we are; that keeps us from achieving the Unity of Will.

Do Crowley's practices dissolve "armour"?  He mentions that the repressions against the self are overcome when we understand the technicalities of the Samekh ritual. 

This armour is harder in some than it is in others due, mainly, to parental conditioning/pressures.  Crowley makes allusions to this parental pressure, on the subject of True Will, in  Magick, as follws;

. ......., a boy's instinct may tell him to go to sea, while his parents insist on his becoming a doctor. In such a case he will be both unsuccessful and unhappy in medicine.

Now, presumably the "boy" described above is an adolescent but it ties in with the way that the True Will can be discouraged or veiled with the help of external influence on impressionable young minds. 


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Its difficult to discuss what someone who isn't interested in magick wants in terms of true will (because he doesn't need that concept) hence my confusion with this thread.  I suppose, yeah someone outside of Thelema, who does his true will, knows how he represses himself and knows when to challenge his own repression. With that said, yes he does have a crystal clear understanding of what he is trying to do "in terms of true will".


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Los
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"ignant666" wrote:
The claim under dispute was not whether it is "impossible for a person to gain any measure of self-knowledge [emphasis added] without a rigorous formal practice", but rather whether it is "impossible to discover the True Will [emphasis added]" without such practices, plans, and a priori criteria for success. Crowley says "the universe is busy with little else", you say this is "impossible", or maybe that it is possible to discover TW spontaneously, or through non-Thelemic practices, but Thelemic practices will only "work" if undertaken "with lust of result", and a clear prior plan of what the results of those practices ought to be, and ought to prove.

I'll try again to explain the point to you. The problem you're having is that you're conflating a number of different ideas and not drawing clear enough distinctions. [This is, incidentally, the exact problem you're having when you conflate Thelema with occult practices]

Crowley's claim that "the universe is busy with little else" than attainment means that what we call "attainment" -- achievements that we label with terms like "True Will," "5=6," "8=3," etc. -- are natural things that happen all the time and would be happening all the time whether or not someone were around to label them (in the same way that water is really composed of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom held together by a covalent bond, and this would still be the case whether or not there were someone to label the atoms "hydrogen" and "oxygen," the bond "covalent," and the resulting union "H2O).

If you're wondering how attainment happens naturally, I explained in an earlier post how people learn about themselves through informal practice (which is, arguably, undergirded by an informal, unarticulated mental model the person has about how the whole process works).

So what's the purpose of labeling this stuff and developing practices? The purpose is to try to do it better and faster than it would occur naturally. After all, we develop scientific nomenclature for labeling and describing natural processes in part so that we can gain control over them and use them to our advantage. Coming up with nomenclature for attainments (such as "5=6") and practices to help in reaching those attainments (such as "The LBRP" or "meditation") are ways of helping ourselves speed up and refine the process so that we don't have to bumble through an entire lifetime, slowly and informally learning about ourselves. By making a formal study of the self, using specific terminology and practice, we can turn the work of a lifetime into a manageable task that might be mostly accomplished in the span of a few years.

It's in the context of a desire for formal study of the self and how to conduct the self that we have a concept like "Thelema" (which Crowley presented as a philosophy of individual action) and an idea of an order like the A.'.A.'. (which Crowley presented as a system of self-development in the service of Thelema).

It's in the context of such formal study that we have terms like "True Will" and people aspiring to discover said "True Will." And if you're a person who's looking to discover his True Will -- that is, if you're looking to greatly expedite the natural process of attainment in the way that I've been describing -- then you're not going to be able to do it without a clear definition, a clear plan for practice, and clear criteria for judging that you've been successful. It will indeed be impossible for you.

And incidentally, it is not -- at all -- "lust of result" for a person to have a goal and a clear plan of action. Try making a cup of coffee without a goal and a plan, and see what happens.

None of what I've said above is remotely difficult to grasp, nor should any of it even be controversial.


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Los
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"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
"Los" wrote:
"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
From the following quotes below from Los, can be derived the impression of that on one side the universe doesn't care about the concepts of Thelema and True Will related to Aleister Crowley, but that on the other side, "The Law of Thelema can be considered to be a natural law" "akin to gravity", and that "one discovers the True Will because one cannot help but do the True Will".

I don't know if you mean to suggest that you think there's a contradiction here, but there's not. The universe does not appear to have a mind, so the universe does not appear to be capable of doing things that minds do, such as caring about stuff. ...

The contradiction is in your quasi-religious reasoning when you state that "The Law of Thelema can be considered to be a natural law" akin to gravity. Contradicting the just quoted statement, you have also stated that, "if someone is fully satisfied with their lives, they’ve got no reason to go looking for their True Will, and they can forget all about this Thelema stuff." It is obvious that Thelema can not be considered to be a natural law" akin to gravity, if one can forget all about it, just because one is fully satisfied with one's life.

There's no contradiction there.

You're mixing up "The Law of Thelema" -- a description of what actually happens in the universe -- with a person "looking for the True Will" -- a deliberate attempt on the part of an individual to learn about himself.

Remember, there are at least three definitions of True Will:
1) Everything an individual does
2) Everything an individual does in the absence of internal restrictions
3) Everything an individual does in the absence of internal and external restrictions

In the sense that "The Law of Thelema" is a natural law, we mean definition (1). Literally everything that happens is your True Will (definition 1).

In the sense that one consciously tries to "discover the True Will," we mean definitions (2) and (3): an individual experiences dissatisfaction with life in some way and wants to correct this dissatisfaction by learning about himself and implementing that knowledge. He thus sets out to locate those restrictions (inner and outer) and ameliorate their influence, as described in the "Thelemic Practice" thread. If he's going to succeed at this -- that is, if he's going to speed up and refine the process of learning about himself -- he needs to have an understanding of what the goal is, how to achieve the goal, and how to determine that he has achieved the goal.

Since the desire to discover the True Will (definitions 2 and 3) is born out of a sense of dissatisfaction, a person who does not feel a sense of dissatisfaction has no reason to go looking for his True Will (definitions 2 and 3).

At every step of the way, everything the individual does is True Will (definition 1), including the actions he takes to try to discover his True Will (definitions 2 and 3).


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Tao
 Tao
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"Los" wrote:
.
None of what I've said above is remotely difficult to grasp, nor should any of it even be controversial.

Indeed. Very well put, actually.


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NKB
 NKB
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"Tao" wrote:
"Los" wrote:
.
None of what I've said above is remotely difficult to grasp, nor should any of it even be controversial.

Indeed. Very well put, actually.

I'll second that.


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Anonymous
 Anonymous
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"Los" wrote:
So, I suppose we could call this a case of "spontaneous enlightenment" in that it happens in an instant, in conversation with someone. But even in this case, the catalyst appears to be Crowley offering a clearer definition of terms like "initiation" and "Holy Guardian Angel," clarifications that improved Bennett's understanding and made everything *click*. Perhaps he was already on the cusp of this realization on his own -- as a result of his own work of self-examination -- and he just needed this "push" to send him over the edge.

If I'm not mistaken he had been involved with Theosophy but this left him unsatisfied.


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wellreadwellbred
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Topic starter  
"Los" wrote:
"The Law of Thelema" -- a description of what actually happens in the universe [...] there are at least three definitions of True Will:
1) Everything an individual does
2) Everything an individual does in the absence of internal restrictions
3) Everything an individual does in the absence of internal and external restrictions

In the sense that "The Law of Thelema" is a natural law, we mean definition (1). Literally everything that happens is your True Will (definition 1).

[...]

Since the desire to discover the True Will (definitions 2 and 3) is born out of a sense of dissatisfaction, a person who does not feel a sense of dissatisfaction has no reason to go looking for his True Will (definitions 2 and 3).

At every step of the way, everything the individual does is True Will (definition 1), including the actions he takes to try to discover his True Will (definitions 2 and 3).

So a person whose life is fully satisfied in practicing Christianity, is actually manifesting The Law of Thelema, through the said person's True Will (according to definition 1)?   


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