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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
31/07/2009 5:31 pm  

...whether he believes it or not!


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Azidonis
(@azidonis)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2964
31/07/2009 7:56 pm  
"Noctifer" wrote:
Belief has nothing to do with it, which is exactly why I insist that existence is impossible. You don't need to believe anything for consciousness to be the container of the universe. I have never mentioned belief at all. It's got nothing to do with my position and I don't know why you're bringing it into the argument. Consciousness is not belief. Consciousness is experience, which is the universe, to you. There isn't anything else.

93,

What a trap...

So what you are saying is that 1) existence is impossible, 2) something exists called consciousness, and consciousness is the container of the universe, 3) this consciousness has nothing to do with belief, 4) consciousness is only experience, which is the universe.

Okay let me rubix cube this a bit... the universe is the container of the consciousness, which is experience in all of its forms only... and well, it really doesn't exist because existence is impossible anyway...

...whether you believe it or not, that's what you seem to have just said.

93 93/93


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
31/07/2009 9:07 pm  
"Azidonis" wrote:
"Noctifer" wrote:
Belief has nothing to do with it, which is exactly why I insist that existence is impossible. You don't need to believe anything for consciousness to be the container of the universe. I have never mentioned belief at all. It's got nothing to do with my position and I don't know why you're bringing it into the argument. Consciousness is not belief. Consciousness is experience, which is the universe, to you. There isn't anything else.

93,

What a trap...

So what you are saying is that 1) existence is impossible, 2) something exists called consciousness, and consciousness is the container of the universe, 3) this consciousness has nothing to do with belief, 4) consciousness is only experience, which is the universe.

Okay let me rubix cube this a bit... the universe is the container of the consciousness, which is experience in all of its forms only... and well, it really doesn't exist because existence is impossible anyway...

...whether you believe it or not, that's what you seem to have just said.

93 93/93

Az, frankly, I am happy to see Noctifer representing this perspective, if only for the sake of Balance overall. 🙂


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Azidonis
(@azidonis)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2964
31/07/2009 11:05 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
"Noctifer" wrote:
Belief has nothing to do with it, which is exactly why I insist that existence is impossible. You don't need to believe anything for consciousness to be the container of the universe. I have never mentioned belief at all. It's got nothing to do with my position and I don't know why you're bringing it into the argument. Consciousness is not belief. Consciousness is experience, which is the universe, to you. There isn't anything else.

93,

What a trap...

So what you are saying is that 1) existence is impossible, 2) something exists called consciousness, and consciousness is the container of the universe, 3) this consciousness has nothing to do with belief, 4) consciousness is only experience, which is the universe.

Okay let me rubix cube this a bit... the universe is the container of the consciousness, which is experience in all of its forms only... and well, it really doesn't exist because existence is impossible anyway...

...whether you believe it or not, that's what you seem to have just said.

93 93/93

Az, frankly, I am happy to see Noctifer representing this perspective, if only for the sake of Balance overall. 🙂

93,

I must admit, I got a nice little circle squared visual while typing the response lol

93 93/93


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gurugeorge
(@gurugeorge)
Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 456
01/08/2009 2:15 pm  
"Noctifer" wrote:
No, it is an assertion. Asserting something doesn't make it real. I can't imagine that you honestly believe this. Maybe you didn't mean to type it.

If I am in fact here, and you say "George is here", then that is a truth, and it is a piece of knowledge, regardless of whether it's a mere assertion, regardless of the fact that it's not "justified", regardless of whether it's something you were inspired to proclaim by the Holy Ghost.

It's "made true" by the world being the way it is, it's not made true by anything to do with the psychological conditions of its utterance (e.g. your belief, the degree of well-foundedness of the belief, etc., etc.)

Likewise, if I make an inference from my present experience to that which is outside my present experience, that inference is true or false depending on whether there is in fact something outside my present experience. The truth or falsity of the inference is not affected in the least by the bland fact that I can have no conclusive, deductive proof in my experience for something outside my experience.

Why? Because knowledge has never worked that way, has never relied on conclusive, deductive proof based on anyone's individual experience, it has always worked by triangulation based on several peoples' experience. That's what the game of "knowing" is all about, that's what the game of science is all about.

As I said a few posts back: simply to have an experience is not yet, in itself, to know anything.

I can't honestly say "George is there" any more than I can say "George isn't there", "George is /isn't [insert attribute here]".

What does honesty have to do with anything? Just say "George is there", and I assure you, you will be speaking the truth. Trust me. Take a punt. That's what we do in life all the time.

What I can say honestly is "I'm reading a forum post which appears to have been posted, it seems, under the auspice of a forum account called "gurugeorge". Anything else in this regard is not real to me, though I might have expectations. But expectations are not reality, as I'm reasonably sure you are aware.

What's this "to me" business? Who cares whether anything is real to Noctifer? Either it's real or not, regardless of Noctifer's state of rhetorical confidence.

If, based on these general-doubt principles of yours, you can't honestly admit that I am real, then how come you are so insouciant about such things as "forum posts", "forum accounts", etc., etc.? The reality of such things as "forums" should surely be in doubt too?

What you can legitimately (i.e. logically, coherently) say is: "it all seems to me to be thus-and-so, based on inferences from present experience, and granted that I've identified the items in my experience correctly; but I cannot be certain that it is thus-and-so".

That's correct, but if you were to use that kind of language, you would be implicitly admitting the existence of an outside world (e.g. as above, you are still forced to conceive of forums as real even while casting doubt on my existence, which would be quite legitimate if you had reasons to doubt - for example, if this writing had the faint whiff of "bot" about it, if I didn't pass the "Turing Test" for you, for example).

The possibility of being certain about something is contingent on there being a world outside your experience. If you deny that there is a world outside your experience, then you cannot ever have any such thing as knowledge, certainty, etc., as those are ordinarily understood. These are all games that already include, inbuilt, the granted truth that there is a world outside Noctifer's experience.

But as I've been saying, if you want to deny those premises, then you have to deny them directly. You can't just deny them by fiat, by claiming that anything outside your experience is not real until you experience it. That's not how the word "experience" normally works, so you have to give me some reason why I should take up your novel meaning for "experience" (i.e. "only what I, Noctifer, experience, is real").

If you start bringing in "to me" and "to you", you've already lost your argument.

Belief has nothing to do with it, which is exactly why I insist that existence is impossible. You don't need to believe anything for consciousness to be the container of the universe. I have never mentioned belief at all. It's got nothing to do with my position and I don't know why you're bringing it into the argument. Consciousness is not belief. Consciousness is experience, which is the universe, to you. There isn't anything else.

You are denying the existence of certain things based on the fact that you, Noctifer, are not currently experiencing them. That's a really bizarre way of looking at the world, and a bizarre way of using "experience", "existence", "consciousness" and "knowledge".

No, all this "to you" and "to me" business that's creeping into your discourse here is quite meaningless if you've already decided that only what Noctifer experiences is real. According to your ideas (which I admit I'm teasing you slightly about, I know perfectly well that some philosophers have argued for similar ideas, and I would argue against them too, if they were here and I were experiencing them 😉 ), there can be no George until you wink me into existence by experiencing me.

IOW, throwing me the sop of "to you" is a bit of an insult if you've already decided that I am only real insofar as you experience me! 😀

Here, again, you are merely redefinining knowledge as the kind of thing only you can have. But the ordinary concept of knowledge that we use in everyday terms, does not mean "something that only Noctifer can have." It means "something anyone can have, in a shared, public world."

No, I never said "only I can have knowledge/experience", I have said "only what I experience is real, for me". They are very different things. The latter is a statement of fact, the former, your interpretation of my position, is not, as you rightly say.

Again, with the introduction of "for you" and "for me" here, and as above, it looks like you are starting to see that you have dug yourself a solipsistic hole, and you are trying to climb out of it. But once you admit a "for you" and "for me" into the universe, you have already conceded the point, that there is something outside your experience, that you have been denying.

What you need to do, which you haven't yet done, is give me a reason why "something only Noctifer experiences/is conscious-of/knows" must be the very definition of "real" 😉

Because it is, to Noctifer, just as gurugeorge's experience is the very definition of "real" to gurugeorge.

There is no "to". In ordinary, everyday language, there is no "real to", there is just "real" full-stop, and if there's real full-stop, then there is the possibility of "real to" in a psychological sense.

And with consciousness, experience, knowledge, etc., etc., these are all terms that in ordinary, everyday language, include in their connotation, presuppose, that there are things outside experience, that consciousness is consciousness of something existing independently of the moment of perception, etc., etc.

OK, now you may want to deny the truth of the presuppositions these terms work with. But if you deny that truth, you are denying that there is inquiry, conversation, mutual understanding, etc., etc. - IOW you are arguing for solipsism, for the position that only you exist. But as I've said, repeatedly, you cannot argue me into a belief in solipsism based on "your" point of view, because from a solipsistic point of view there is no "your point of view", there is only mine, so your argument is incoherent.

OTOH, it might be the case that you are arguing for a sort of Leibnitzian monadic situation, where we are all "points of experience" having experiences in sync, in some sense, or some kind of unitary consciousness that splits itself seemingly into many.

But if you have one of these sorts of metaphysical ideas at the back of your mind, you have to argue positively for it, and against the physical worldview, and you will have to use evidence.

The apriori denial of (e.g.) independent existence to an entity that you logically have to grant independent existence to if you are going to have such a thing as "a conversation" with them, would seem to be a futile exercise.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
01/08/2009 2:45 pm  
"gurugeorge" wrote:
The apriori denial of (e.g.) independent existence to an entity that you logically have to grant independent existence to if you are going to have such a thing as "a conversation" with them, would seem to be a futile exercise.

Nonsense. I see homeless people having extremely interesting and animated conversations with themselves. In any case we should all feel honored to exist inside the mind of Noctifer. I just hope he doesn't sneeze.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
01/08/2009 4:46 pm  

Hi Gurugeorge,

"gurugeorge" wrote:
"Noctifer" wrote:
No, it is an assertion. Asserting something doesn't make it real. I can't imagine that you honestly believe this. Maybe you didn't mean to type it.

If I am in fact here, and you say "George is here", then that is a truth,

I can take your word for it, but like I said gurugeorge, all I know is some posts on a forum under an account identity with the name 'gurugeorge'. Anyone could have posted them. To say "gurugeorge is here" would not, in fact, be true for me to say. I have to reason to make such an assertion.
All I have reason to assert is a bunch of posts here. You might exist, you might be a bunch of people none of whom is called "george". It doesn't matter.

and it is a piece of knowledge, regardless of whether it's a mere assertion, regardless of the fact that it's not "justified", regardless of whether it's something you were inspired to proclaim by the Holy Ghost.

No, a piece of imagining, not "knowledge" in the sense of experience / proof, no, not until I have the apparance of more substance in your featuring in my consciousness. Until then, it is conjecture. Assertion is not reality. Consciousness is.

Likewise, if I make an inference from my present experience to that which is outside my present experience, that inference is true or false depending on whether there is in fact something outside my present experience.

The inference is always real. What it infers may or may not be, but the inference is real as inference , which is how it appears in consciousness.

You, to me, right now, are real through being inferred by two things only. 1. the name "gurugeorge" as an account on Lashtal, and 2. posts under that name. That is you, to me, right now. Beyond that, you have no "reality", not to me, not in any "real" way. I can say, "oh it must be a fellow called "george"; or I can say what is actual truth to me, as opposed to assumed untruth, and say "I see posts under an account called 'gurugeorge' and leave it there, as that's all I know.

The truth or falsity of the inference is not affected in the least by the bland fact that I can have no conclusive, deductive proof in my experience for something outside my experience.

No of course it isn't - everything is false outside of your experience, by definition. You cannot truthfully say something is true until it is real for you, and then, it's only true to that extent and no more. You can believe, you can have well-informed belief, about the unexperienced or unexperiencable, but it remains belief, not reality (apart from, of course, its reality as belief, which is of course true as an experienced condition, but which does not make that-which-is-believed true in the sense of non-believed in things such as are experienced). What you can, however, truthfully say, is that there is an inference which is true as an inference, as far as it goes, but the rest of it - the inferred "thing", is only true to you to the extent to which it forms part of your experience. Beyond that it is fiction. Actual fiction.

Whether it becomes fact later, through becoming part of your experience, or not, is not a question which bears upon its reality as an inference. The indisputable reality of the inference as inference likewise does not bear upon its reality or otherwise as that-which-is-inferred; this latter is only real as the inference itself, to that extent.

Why? Because knowledge has never worked that way, has never relied on conclusive, deductive proof based on anyone's individual experience, it has always worked by triangulation based on several peoples' experience. That's what the game of "knowing" is all about, that's what the game of science is all about.

So what? science is hardly a fail-proof methodology in itself. Its theories change radically with every passing century. Did reality change with it?

Yes?
No?

and to whom and how?

Science does not simply assert something is real and leave it at that ( like you suggested I do at the beginning of your post). It conducts research and investigation in a methodical manner in order to ascertain whether or not, through demonstration and experience (as experiment) duly observed and recorded, something appears to be "true" or not. It is true, still, to the extent to which it is proven only, through experience. And imaginary (therefore real-as-imaginary) past that.

As I said a few posts back: simply to have an experience is not yet, in itself, to know anything.

As I said a few posts back, "knowledge" is only possible through experience. That's where it comes from. That's what scientists do, they have experiences, (as I mentioned before, the original word used for the first truly scientific experiments in the modern sense in the late 16th century was in fact sperienza (experience).

I can't honestly say "George is there" any more than I can say "George isn't there", "George is /isn't [insert attribute here]".

What does honesty have to do with anything? Just say "George is there", and I assure you, you will be speaking the truth. Trust me. Take a punt. That's what we do in life all the time.

That's what born-again Christians say.

The fact you say "punt" means that it is not a truth.

I just flipped a coin, george. What is it? Heads or tails?

Take a punt.

P.S. Did I really flip a coin?

What's this "to me" business?

1. What is real to you is not identical to what is real to me. This is a pretty basic tenet of instrumental subjectivism which is, in fact, accepted by the "scientific" community in the year in which we find ourselves as a valid ontology. I know this because (take a punt, maybe I'm lying, but I'm not) I have had this conversation before today with people who are tenured scientific researchers of considerable renown, both with academic and practise-based professional status.

Who cares whether anything is real to Noctifer?

Noctifer does. Whoever "Noctifer" might be (today).

Either it's real or not

No, not necessarily.

regardless of Noctifer's state of rhetorical confidence.

Quite right, my state of rhetorical confidence does not, as you say, make something "real" or not - hence my reply to your initial direction quoted at the start of this partilcular post where you want me to falsely assert something which I do not know to be true.

If, based on these general-doubt principles of yours, you can't honestly admit that I am real, then how come you are so insouciant about such things as "forum posts", "forum accounts", etc., etc.? The reality of such things as "forums" should surely be in doubt too?

The concept "forum" is real to me as a concept, and the forum we're talking through is real to me as an experienced reality, and, to the extent to which the two (my conceptual category and the experience of the phenomenon) support eachother, the reality of this experience as having a "internet forum" component can be said to be real - but that does not make either true in an absolute sense. That's why camoflage works.

What you can legitimately (i.e. logically, coherently) say is: "it all seems to me to be thus-and-so, based on inferences from present experience, and granted that I've identified the items in my experience correctly; but I cannot be certain that it is thus-and-so".

Yes.

if you were to use that kind of language, you would be implicitly admitting the existence of an outside world.

No, not at all. All that I am admitting through saying this, explicitly or implicitly, and nothing more, is the reality of the experience. I don't need to talk about "outside worlds" at all. Not outside of experience. I can talk about the implications of experience, and that's called conjecture, speculation. It's all real, of course, as conjecture and speculation, and is very potent as such. But only as such, until experience makes it real.

The possibility of being certain about something is contingent on there being a world outside your experience. If you deny that there is a world outside your experience, then you cannot ever have any such thing as knowledge, certainty, etc., as those are ordinarily understood. These are all games that already include, inbuilt, the granted truth that there is a world outside Noctifer's experience.

No, it isn't. "Granted truth" is oxymoronic. True is real; granted is belief.

Belief is only possible/necessary in the absence of truth or reality. In other words, experience.

But as I've been saying, if you want to deny those premises, then you have to deny them directly.

I have, several times.

You can't just deny them by fiat, by claiming that anything outside your experience is not real until you experience it.

But I can, and do. That's as direct as it gets.

That's not how the word "experience" normally works,

It works for me.

so you have to give me some reason why I should take up your novel meaning for "experience" (i.e. "only what I, Noctifer, experience, is real").

This is a misquote. You're leaving out the full statement, which is "only what I experience is real for me". My experience is my reality, your experience is your reality. Yes, there is just one reality - for you, and it's different from mine.

If you start bringing in "to me" and "to you", you've already lost your argument.

If you keep misquoting me and not actually presenting my argument as I make it in full by deliberately leaving out the essential component of it (which is "to me/to you"), then you haven't even started yours.

You are denying the existence of certain things based on the fact that you, Noctifer, are not currently experiencing them.

No, I am simply not asserting their existence, because to me, they are not part of reality.

It's not the same thing.

If I assert something is definitely not real, that is, in fact, different from simply not asserting that it is real.

That's a really bizarre way of looking at the world, and a bizarre way of using "experience", "existence", "consciousness" and "knowledge".

I'd agree there, which is why I have not said those things. Your re-wording and omissions of the main point of my position keeps making your points irrelevant to my argument, you're addressing an argument I don't make.

No, all this "to you" and "to me" business that's creeping into your discourse here is quite meaningless if you've already decided that only what Noctifer experiences is real.

You don't need to address it to me, the same goes for you.

To gurugeorge, only what he experiences is real, to him. Beyond that is not reality but conjecture and speculation, by definition

According to your ideas . . . there can be no George until you wink me into existence by experiencing me.

No, there you go again, I don't use "existence" at all. You keep trying to make me say this absurd thing in all sorts of ways but it's not what I say.

IOW, throwing me the sop of "to you" is a bit of an insult if you've already decided that I am only real insofar as you experience me!

I don't take it as an insult that I am only real TO YOU insofar as you experience me. As you keep failing to acknowledge, my position works perfectly as a model whether you think of me or you or the armchair or whatever as being the subject.

Here, again, you are merely redefinining knowledge as the kind of thing only you can have.

You keep trying to turn this into an ego thing centred on me at your expense. No, for the hundredth time please stop repeating this - I have never said that "knowledge is something only I can have". What I do say I have said above - and it is nothing like this. I'm not going to say it again.

But the ordinary concept of knowledge that we use in everyday terms, does not mean "something that only Noctifer can have." It means "something anyone can have, in a shared, public world."

vide supra

It means something that one (anyone) has.

But once you admit a "for you" and "for me" into the universe, you have already conceded the point, that there is something outside your experience, that you have been denying.

You're taking a punt there.

There is no "to". In ordinary, everyday language, there is no "real to",

To me there is. I use it all the time. I think a casual glance at a great many posts in this forum will yield the word "to" reasonably frequently, followed by a pronoun, or not. It is, in fact, quite normal. To me. Your reality might be different, so I won't presume to speak for you as I don't have your experiences.

IOW you are arguing for solipsism, for the position that only you exist.

No, there you go yet again, I have never said this, and I don't say "exist" at all. I am not arguing for anything, actually. I am simply answering your questions and telling you how I see it. You're trying to tell me how it "is", but you can't, you can only say how it seems to you. Whatever it is.

But as I've said, repeatedly, you cannot argue me into a belief in solipsism based on "your" point of view,

...I'm not trying to, I'm just saying what my experience is. There is no belief involved. You're the one who is trying to make me believe in things beyond the experienced reality, or truth.

because from a solipsistic point of view there is no "your point of view", there is only mine, so your argument is incoherent.

No, it is utterly coherent actually. My experience is my reality, yours is yours. You are part of my reality to the extent to which I experience you, so your reality becomes part of my reality as "gurugeorge's reality", which is contained within my consciousness as part of my universe, experienced through my experience of you. There is no problem with this at all, actually.

As I have said very clearly several times now, you keep attacking an argument I am not even attempting to make. I do not use "exist".

-OTOH, it might be the case that you are arguing for a sort of Leibnitzian monadic situation, where we are all "points of experience" having experiences in sync, in some sense, or some kind of unitary consciousness that splits itself seemingly into many.

I don't assert anything beyond my observations. Arguing such a case is something I'm not doing at all, I am telling you simply how I see things.

But if you have one of these sorts of metaphysical ideas at the back of your mind,

They're not metaphysical, nor are they "ideas", they are observations, they're actually pretty good descriptions of how I have lived, a default-setting if you like, for a while now. I don't believe it. It's just how it is.

you have to argue positively for it, and against the physical worldview, and you will have to use evidence.

What are you talking about here? The physical worldview? Which one? The Western 16th century physical worldview, or the 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, or 21st? Or 27th? And according to whom?

What, that part of my experience which is of the same class of reality/consciousness as my physical body is a significant part of my experienced reality (in the same way that the other parts of my experience, such as involuntary dreams, etc, are) ? I don't have a problem with that.

You're confusing "physical" with "objective". Physical is experienced (and therefore real), objective isn't, by definition. No-one can verify it as such, as soon as they do it it becomes subjectivised through the perceiving mechanism.

The apriori denial of (e.g.) independent existence to an entity that you logically have to grant independent existence to if you are going to have such a thing as "a conversation" with them, would seem to be a futile exercise.

I deny the entire category you label "existence" as an error of thought, a superstition, a logical fault. I experience this conversation. The existence or otherwise of whoever it is with is, as I've said for the last time above, hardly something which I can verify (or realise) except through experience. All else is conjecture, inference, and is real as such only.

Regards,
N.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
01/08/2009 5:06 pm  

Hi Azidonis,

"Azidonis" wrote:
So what you are saying is that 1) existence is impossible, 2) something exists called consciousness, and consciousness is the container of the universe, 3) this consciousness has nothing to do with belief, 4) consciousness is only experience, which is the universe.

What I'm saying is,

1. yes. 2. no, consciousness doesn't "exist", either, it's just what seems to be the case, or what we experience as reality, which makes it real, to us, -but it doesn't "exist", saying so is an unnecessary extension into the realms of belief; 3. yes, for present argument's sake, 4 precisement.

Okay let me rubix cube this a bit... the universe is the container of the consciousness,

Nope, other way round. For, let's say, you, let's say for argument's sake, "the (your) universe" (including everything - physical or imagined, upon the respective level) is a feature of (your) consciousness.

N.


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Azidonis
(@azidonis)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2964
01/08/2009 8:05 pm  

93,

If gurugeorge doesn't exist, Noctifer is having one helluva debate with himself.

No masturbation on the Forums please.

93 93/93


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gurugeorge
(@gurugeorge)
Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 456
03/08/2009 6:22 pm  
"Noctifer" wrote:
To say "gurugeorge is here" would not, in fact, be true for me to say. I have to reason to make such an assertion.

If you were to say "George is a real person, and not a figment of my imagination", that would be a truth: you would be uttering a truth. Regardless of your state of confidence in uttering it, regardless of whether it's well-founded in your experience, it would still be true. I can guarantee you it's a truth, because I exist. "For you" is irrelevant, because it would be a truth, full stop.

The fact that you have no way of "proving" it, just by staring at your experience (whatever "proof" might mean in such a context), is quite irrelevant to its being a truth. And therefore it's quite irrelevant to it being a piece of knowledge that you now have, that you didn't have before.

And you do have good reason to make that assertion - because having a conversations on a forum (along with some of the other circumstantial evidence you point out), is a decent enough reason to make that assertion.

Likewise, if I make an inference from my present experience to that which is outside my present experience, that inference is true or false depending on whether there is in fact something outside my present experience.

The inference is always real. What it infers may or may not be, but the inference is real as inference , which is how it appears in consciousness.

Now you are saying "may or may not be" real. But I thought nothing was real outside your experience? IF that were so, then a thing outside my experience could not ever be real.

Snipped other points, because they're all circling around the same thing. The long and the short of it is that you are claiming that because of the obvious fact that you can't prove the objective reality (which I think, contra your point, is a synonym for "existence") of anything outside experience from within your experience, then it must be the case that only your experience is real. But it's just a non-sequitur.

OTOH, if you're merely adding "for me", then that's just a ho-hum fact. Certainly, cornflakes aren't "real for me" until I've tasted them. But that sense of "real" isn't the same sense of "real" as is meant in discussions of objectivity. I can know that cornflakes objectively exist outside my experience, and are real in that sense, without ever having experienced them directly, and made them "real for me" in that sense. There's nothing in the fact that I can't prove the existence or reality of anything outside experience from within experience, that makes it the case that therefore there is nothing outside my experience, or that only experience should be considered real.


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Azidonis
(@azidonis)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2964
03/08/2009 10:34 pm  

93,

When you look online or watch Sportscenter or check Box Scores in the paper, do any of you consider that its just some crap your own mind made up to keep it busy? If you do consider it, do you think that it takes away from the actual efforts of all of those people to create those scores?

It's all rhetorical, fire away...

I was driving home one night, listening to the radio. My headlights caught a figure on the road. It was a cat, preening itself in my lane, about where the left tires would have most likely rolled. He preened until I was about 10 feet away from him, and honked my horn. With that event I wondered... was that his ordeal or mine?

If one is to interpret it as a particular dealing... then was the cat there just to test my reflexes and keep me on my toes, did it just happen to be there due to my own consciousness at the time, which was receptive enough to the idea to think about all of this stuff, was it a cat I was supposed to run over, or not... or, was it absolutely nothing about me, going along in my own orbit, and the cat is the one who had the ordeal?

At any rate, I just smiled and enjoyed the simplistic complexity of things, went home, and ate my dinner.

93 93/93


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 Anonymous
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04/08/2009 1:25 am  

gurugeorge,

You didn't answer the coin question. It's the key to my argument regarding your non-existence.

N.


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gurugeorge
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04/08/2009 11:06 am  
"Noctifer" wrote:
gurugeorge,

You didn't answer the coin question. It's the key to my argument regarding your non-existence.

Either you did or didn't flip a coin, of that I am certain. Whether you did or didn't? Well, the point is:-

Were I to say, for whatever reason, "you did flip a coin" and you did flip a coin, then I would be speaking the truth.

Were I to say, for whatever reason, "you didn't flip a coin" and you didn't flip a coin, then I would be speaking the truth.

In either case, depending on the facts of the matter, truth has been attained, a truthful statement has been made. The truth of the statement is independent of the conditions of my utterance of it, or my reasoning process.

Certainly one way of verifying the truth (to my satisfaction), would be to see you doing it/not doing it, or to see a video of you doing it/not doing it, for example. But that doesn't mean that my seeing it happening makes it real, any more than a video recording of it makes it real.

In fact, the status of personal experience as a verifier is itself conditional, and not absolute, in the game of knowledge-gathering (e.g., amongst other things, a healthy observer is a more trustworthy observer than an ill observer).


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 Anonymous
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04/08/2009 12:13 pm  
"gurugeorge" wrote:
Certainly one way of verifying the truth (to my satisfaction), would be to see you doing it/not doing it, or to see a video of you doing it/not doing it, for example. But that doesn't mean that my seeing it happening makes it real, any more than a video recording of it makes it real.

It does "make it real", for you.

But you still haven't answered my (our) first question. Heads or tails?

What if I tell you that I did flip a coin, and it was "heads"?

But it "really was" tails, and I'm lying?

It's the same thing as you, or me. You (and I) know nothing more than our experience, and beyond that nothing is "real", for us.

What if, for example, I made the ground-breaking revelation that I am, in fact, not a person at all, but two slightly perverse people sharing a flat, both using one computer, taking turns at being "Noctifer" (which explains the excessive output and occasional incongruencies)?

Do "I" still exist? Or do you suddenly have to re-think what "Noctifer" "is" - just an account on a web forum, and not a "person" at all?

Or is it a little less simple than that, as in Heisenberg and Schrodinger's experiments, which show that indeterminacy (neither/neither) is part and parcel of "reality" until observation "fixes" it, and that "reality" is entirely dependent upon perception (consciousness) for its ultimate form?


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gurugeorge
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04/08/2009 1:47 pm  
"Noctifer" wrote:
"gurugeorge" wrote:
Certainly one way of verifying the truth (to my satisfaction), would be to see you doing it/not doing it, or to see a video of you doing it/not doing it, for example. But that doesn't mean that my seeing it happening makes it real, any more than a video recording of it makes it real.

It does "make it real", for you.

Yes, but that is trivial, it has nothing to do with the deeper question of reality/objectivity that we started with. Let me try and take stock of where we've gotten in our discussion:-

You started off with the strong position that reality tout court was only to be found in your experience. (When we started off our conversation, you weren't using such terms as "for you" and "for me".)

i.e. you positively denied reality to anything outside your experience on the basis that you could not prove the reality of anything outside your experience.

I pointed out that, given the ordinary, everyday understanding of such terms as "reality", "experience", etc., the conclusion that there is nothing outside experience simply doesn't follow from the fact that I cannot prove the reality of anything outside my experience from my experience; I also pointed out that, in effect, all you are doing is re-defining the ordinary language terms (or to speak more precisely, you are recommending to us that we take up your usage), and confining the extension of the terms "real", "objective" and whatnot, to apply only to "that which I, Noctifer, experience".

And then you started introducing "for you" and "for me", and saying, well maybe the object is or isn't real, but we can't prove it. But that's all I've been saying all along - maybe there is something outside your (Noctifer's experience), but you cannot prove it.

The difference between us is, you think it's an important philosophical fact that you can't prove, from within your experience, the reality or existence of anything outside it. I say, it's not really a very important fact at all, since it's a mistake to think that "proof" within the circle of solipsism (i.e. confining oneself to only that which one can "verify" from within the circle of one's own experience) actually even means anything.

Wittengstein used the example of buying two copies of the daily newspaper to assure yourself of the date. Were there only you and your experience, there could be no such thing as "proof", "evidence", etc. - all these concepts can only refer to things that exist in a universe in which there is, on the one hand, an objective, public reality (such as rules of evidence, rules of grammar, etc.), and on the other hand, experience of it. OTOH, as I said before, you are free to deny that the world is the way it would have to be for concepts such as "proof", "evidence", etc., to work - but if you do that, you are simply taking solipsism the whole way, as an ontological claim, rather than a methodological claim, or a thought-experiment.

The long and the short of it is: if all you are talking about is "real for me" and "real for you", I have no problem whatsoever with that. But if you are saying "(only that which is)real for me is real", i.e. that "the only kind of real there is, is what's real to me, Noctifer", then I disagree, it's a non-sequitur.


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 Anonymous
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04/08/2009 3:50 pm  

George,

It (the coin flip question) isn't trivial, it is in fact reasonably important to the area we're talking about, which is perhaps why you refuse to answer the question or address the issues I raise thereby. It proves my point perfectly.

All I say is, experience = the reality or "the universe" of the perceiving consciousness. Whoever it is. You, me, whoever. Don't turn it into an ego thing, it isn't (actually it's the best non-ego thing imaginable. Believe it or not.).

"gurugeorge" wrote:
confining oneself to only that which one can "verify" from within the circle of one's own experience) actually even means anything.

It's what scientists do all the time.

I pointed out that the conclusion that there is nothing outside experience simply doesn't follow from the fact that I cannot prove the reality of anything outside my experience from my experience

May I point out here, that neither does it follow that something automatically does, either. Especially as it is, by definition, unprovable.

But you miss my main point, which is that all those indirect forms of knowledge you mention are in themselves direct experiences as inferences, and as such they are experienced reality, but that is the only actual reality in them, to the extent that they are experienced.

And then you started introducing "for you" and "for me", and saying, well maybe the object is or isn't real, but we can't prove it.

No, actually I have never used those words like that - I do not say "objects" at all, because there is no such thing. There is only objectification, not objects. Hence there is no absolute objectivity (which is a scientific fact!), all points of view are, by definition, subjective. There are no objects, only objectification of them, which occurs, like everything else, within consciousness.

This is pretty basic Eastern philosophy by the way. Thelema too. I'm surprised you're taking issue with it. I'm hardly alone saying this stuff. It's also neatly summed up in II. The Universe, in the Introduction to Crowley's 1938 edition of the Book of the Law.

Regarding your last paragraph, yes, I do say "for x", but saying so means tautologically that it is the only kind of real there is for x. But then, no other kind of "real" actually means "real", does it. Only hypothetically.


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gurugeorge
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05/08/2009 12:25 pm  
"Noctifer" wrote:
George,
It (the coin flip question) isn't trivial, it is in fact reasonably important to the area we're talking about, which is perhaps why you refuse to answer the question or address the issues I raise thereby. It proves my point perfectly.

No, I understand your point, but it's really not relevant. I already agreed a while ago, remember, that the coin-toss/absence of coin-toss could only be "real for me" if something, or some trace of it, were experienced by me. No doubt ... but that doesn't have the logically necessary metaphysical implications you think it has (i.e. that there's nothing outside experience, or nothing real that's not experience).

All I say is, experience = the reality or "the universe" of the perceiving consciousness. Whoever it is. You, me, whoever.

Of course: that is a tautology. Experience is certaintly the real experience (or "the universe", as you rightly put in scare quotes) of a perceiving consciousness. But it doesn't touch the question of whether or not there's reality that's not experienced.

Don't turn it into an ego thing, it isn't (actually it's the best non-ego thing imaginable. Believe it or not.).

I'm not "turning it into an ego thing", I'm trying to show you the implications of what you are saying. If what you are saying is true, then it can only be YOUR experience that is reality (or rather, MINE - i.e. if what you were saying is true, then it's like, from my point of view, you are a phenomenon in my consciousness that's trying to persuade me there's nothing outside my consciousness). The silliness isn't in what you overtly mean (I have no doubt you don't think you are being a somewhat inconsistent solipsist), it's in what you are actually saying, even though you don't seem to realise it.

I pointed out that the conclusion that there is nothing outside experience simply doesn't follow from the fact that I cannot prove the reality of anything outside my experience from my experience

May I point out here, that neither does it follow that something automatically does, either. Especially as it is, by definition, unprovable.

Yes, yes, we've been through that. However, your initial claim (and one you try again to sustain below) was that it does disprove it.

Put it this way, if you are totally consistent in taking seriously the unprovability (from within experience) of anything outside experience, then you must, logically, be a solipsist. You can't even help yourself to the notion of "other consciousnesses", because since they are not real for you, and anything that's not real for you cannot be real, then they can't be real (for example, I as "another" conscious being cannot be real).

OTOH, if you shrink back from this, then you are retreating to one of the various inconstent forms of solipsism we call "idealism", or "phenomenalism", or some such - so you have to posit some sort of Consciousness with a big 'C' of which all our individual consciousenesses are aspects (perhaps by analogy to a hologram); or you have to posit a "monadology" in which all the contents of the various points of consciousness' are somehow co-ordinated to give the appearance of being aspects on a single reality that's shared.

However, the problem with these kinds of idealist/phenomenalist stories is that "there is a shared world accessed by our several consciousnesses" is always going to be a simpler explanation than any of them.

But you miss my main point, which is that all those indirect forms of knowledge you mention are in themselves direct experiences as inferences, and as such they are experienced reality, but that is the only actual reality in them, to the extent that they are experienced.

Again, you are just repeating the same thing twice: experience is experience. Well, yes, of course it is, but that doesn't say anything about whether there's reality outside experience, which is the question of objectivity.

And then you started introducing "for you" and "for me", and saying, well maybe the object is or isn't real, but we can't prove it.

No, actually I have never used those words like that - I do not say "objects" at all, because there is no such thing.

Above, I said that we make an inference from within experience to that which is outside experience. Then you said: "What it infers may or may not be real." By "object" I just mean that posited reality that's not experience, call it what you like. The point is, you admitted that it "may or may not be", and that is a reasonable position that anyone would take. However, the basic idea you started off with is that it definitely can't be real, and the reason you gave was because "I can't prove it".

There is only objectification, not objects. Hence there is no absolute objectivity (which is a scientific fact!), all points of view are, by definition, subjective. There are no objects, only objectification of them, which occurs, like everything else, within consciousness.

"There are no objects, only objectification". How do you know that? Do you not see that there is a distinction between "may or may not be" and "there are no"?

This is pretty basic Eastern philosophy by the way. Thelema too. I'm surprised you're taking issue with it. I'm hardly alone saying this stuff. It's also neatly summed up in II. The Universe, in the Introduction to Crowley's 1938 edition of the Book of the Law.

Is it really "Eastern philosophy"? You are aware that not all Eastern philosophy was Idealist? As to AC, well, I wouldn't take AC too seriously as a philosopher. One of his more charming qualities is that he was a great bluffer. Many years ago, I used to swallow everything AC said philosophically, hook, line and sinker. But then I got interested enough in philosophy to see that, really, he doesn't have as good a grasp of it as he would have you believe. Also, philosophy has moved on substantially since the 19th century (which is when AC's interpretations date from - he read a bit of Russell later on, but I doubt he understood any of it, or even the point of it). Amongst other things, Cartesian methodological solipsism (which spawned Berkely, Hume, the German Idealists, etc., although not Kant, and thereby hangs a tale) is no longer viewed as a compelling starting point for philosophy.

Regarding your last paragraph, yes, I do say "for x", but saying so means tautologically that it is the only kind of real there is for x. But then, no other kind of "real" actually means "real", does it. Only hypothetically.

"Real" as used in ordinary language does not mean "real for x", it means objectively real and therefore accessible by any consciousness (and therefore makable "real for me" by that consciousness). Here, again, we see your attempt at persuasive redefinition - but nobody's persuaded 😉

Does the fact that the ordinary language use of "real" implicitly takes for granted reality that is not experience mean that there really is reality not experienced? No. But it is the ordinary meaning, and you have to give a reason for changing that meaning. "I can't prove anything outside my experience, therefore it cannot exist" isn't good enough.


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 Anonymous
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09/08/2009 12:42 pm  

Hi George,

No, I understand your point, but it's really not relevant

Ok - well, if you understand it, answer the question. Heads or tails? It's pretty simple. And directly relevant, in fact, to the whole argument. Your reluctance to answer it illustrates perfectly the position I adopt with regard to notions of "objectivity". So thank you, gurugeorge, for living the reality of my point of view so explicitly.

"Eastern philosophy is idealist"

? No, actually, at its core, it isn't - the essential Eastern philosophies which relate to Thelema - Advaita, Bon, Dzogchen, Cha'an, Yoga, Zen, Taoism - all these are quite non-idealist and indeed anti-idealist (supra-idealist, even), they are all directly related through the way in which consciousness is viewed as the anchor for "reality". And your bringing in of all those historic western philosophers doesn't have anything to do with either Thelema, Crowley, or Eastern philosophy, or my ideas. I'm not talking about Crowley's ideas so much as Thelema, and his reflections on the magical ontology which it offers, which I think are nicely put in II. The Universe of his intro to the '38 edition of Liber Al.

"I can't prove anything outside my experience, therefore it cannot exist" isn't good enough.

It also isn't what I said.

But, then, "I can't prove anything outside my experience, therefore it CAN exist", which you say, is even more absurd. That is what you assert. I don't. I simply equate reality/the universe with consciousness. And I don't really bother with taking it much further than that, whether by notions of "I can't prove it" or "I can prove it" or whatever - I simply don't care, and don't need to, either, because what I do know, as experience-and-reality, is, well, it's just better. For me.

I am not changing the meaning of the word "real", either, gurugeorge. I'm simply using it quite normally in outlining a position (in answer to your questions) which makes sense, for me. You don't get it, and that's fine. But it's not an idea which I've had randomly and then have set about trying to construct arguments to support, I'm simply saying how I see things now. I haven't always seen them this way, and am open to the possibility that one day I may see them differently. But it is unlikely that I will see them the way you describe, because that's precisely the type of viewpoint which I started out with, the one we're taught at school. It's limited, and flawed, and entirely fictional. You're the one insisting that extraneous considerations, such as "Objectivity" (which Science has finally accepted to be completely impossible except as fantasy, once again cf. Heisenberg and Schrodinger) are part of the word "real", when they aren't.

Sincerely,
N.


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Los
 Los
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09/08/2009 4:25 pm  

I've been ignoring this thread because it honestly reminds me of the kinds of tiresome discussions one used to hear after intro to philosophy classes. Some people get an idea in their heads -- like, "hey we can't really *prove* anything one hundred percent for sure, can we????" -- and get things totally mixed up.

We don't go around in our lives proving things 100% for certain. We deal in probablities and what is most likely to be true.

Claims are evaluated according to how much evidence there is and what the nature of the claim is. Ordinary claims that don't matter much might be accepted as a matter of convention, even without very much evidence; extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

So, the claim "Noctifer flipped a coin" is such an ordinary claim that I'd have no problem accepting it. Of course Noctifer might be lying, but it doesn't particularly matter much.

Now, the claim "Person X can astrally project and learn things about the world he wouldn't be able to learn otherwise" -- that's an extraordinary claim. It's entirely different than the previous claim; in this case, unlike flipping a coin, it matters a great deal whether it's true or not, and I would not accept it without some convincing evidence (like, say, a series of tests that could very, very easily be conducted on the basis of that claim).

It doesn't matter whether I can prove 100% that Noctifer exists. On the basis of the evidence available to me, it is very, very, very likely that Noctifer exists. That's it.

The rest of the "argument" is Noctifer waving his hand and burying his head in the sand in an attempt to conceal the very simple facts that I've outlined above.


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 Anonymous
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09/08/2009 5:28 pm  

What, like an ostrich? Look, Los, again, there's no need to keep talking about "me" personally. The discussion is much broader than that, it's general, and in fact is so basic to Thelemic ontology that I'm surprised people are surprised by it.

What is "Noctifer", Los? In the present context, it's a name on an account on LaShtal.com. And that is pretty much it. Noctifer exists? Well, no, - you see posts appearing under a forum identity calling itself "Noctifer". Past this experience, the indirect object of any inferences you draw from it is your own fantasy. Not reality.


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Los
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09/08/2009 7:09 pm  

What is "Noctifer", Los?

Well, let's consider:

I suppose it's possible that "Noctifer" is really the identity of an advanced AI that mimics the behavior of a poster and is being tested on this website by a corporation.

I suppose it's possible that "Noctifer" is really an alien intelligence, controlling a computer here on earth by "remote control" in a nefarious attempt to infiltrate the consciousness of humans and that therefore the rest of us had better wear tin foil hats.

I suppose it's also possible that "Noctifer" is really a chimpanzee that we had sent into space and has come back super-intelligent.

However, none of those possibilities -- nor the thousands of others I could dream up -- have any shred of evidence behind them. Thus, I do not accept those possibilities. All evidence that I do have points to the fact that "Noctifer" is a human being who posts on this forum. I could always be wrong, but I accept what evidence suggests because I'm extremely likely to be correct.

Furthermore, since "Noctifer" regularly expresses opinions divergent from my own, employs arguments that I would not, expresses them in language that I would not, and writes in posts that continue to exist regardless of what I think about them -- there is a ton of evidence that "Noctifer" is a separate entity from what I call "myself." Again, I could always be wrong, but I accept what evidence suggests because I'm extremely likely to be correct.

Past this experience, the indirect object of any inferences you draw from it is your own fantasy. Not reality.

You are confusing "fantasy" with "conclusions that rest on evidence."

Acting in accordance with conclusions that rest on evidence -- the best evidence available at the time -- is what we all do and the most that we can do; acting on fantasy will lead you astray.


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 Anonymous
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10/08/2009 12:50 am  

Conclusions that rest on evidence are not facts, Los. They are, as you say, conclusions, hence, mental constructions only. Not reality. They are often wrong, which is why scientists change their models so radically over time. The evidence doesn't change, the way in which it is read does. "Noctifer" is not me, btw. It's the guy (or is it a girl?) whose computer this is, and is shared around between several of us here. But, well, you couldn't know that, could you. The only facts you experience as reality is one Lashtal account, as I(we) said. The rest is, as you say, conclusion based on inference, i.e., fantasy.


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Los
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10/08/2009 5:34 am  

conclusion based on inference, i.e., fantasy.

Well, this explains a big part of your confusion.

There's an enormous difference between conclusions based on evidence and fantasies not based on evidence (or based on partial/faulty evidence or based on faulty reasoning, i.e. the "dogs of reason").

Here's a conclusion: "It's very likely that the sun will rise tomorrow." (Typically, when we have this much evidence, we attach the label "knowledge" to the statement and say "I know the sun will rise tomorrow" -- again, this isn't a claim of absolute knowledge, but a claim of what is so very likely that we call it knowledge)

Here's a fantasy: "I saw an angel; therefore angels exist!" (This is a classic example of the "dogs of reason" at work, leading us astray by faulty logic operating on very poor evidence)

Here's a conclusion: "It's very likely that my car is still parked outside." (While this conclusion is based on less evidence than the conclusion that the sun will rise tomorrow -- and therefore less certain -- it's still more likely than the car having been stolen in the few hours since I've seen it).

Here's a fantasy: "I have a past life memory; therefore, reincarnation happens!" (There are those dogs of reason again)

What you're trying to do is lump together fantasies and conclusions just because they are both mental constructs. But they're different kinds of mental constructs. One of them is based on evidence and thus (very, very likely) reflects reality; the other is either based on no evidence or improperly reasoned out from evidence.

The fact that conclusions can be wrong and that "scientists change their models" over time is no reason to abandon evidence or to think that conclusions are no different than fantasy. To the contrary, it's a reason to 1) think that there is indeed an external world, since the fact that we can be wrong indicates that there is something to be wrong about, and 2) rely all the more on evidence -- the best evidence available at the time -- and correct models when new evidence arises, as a way to respond to those inevitable situations in which we're wrong.

What's the alternative to drawing conclusions from evidence and modifying those conclusions when new evidence arises? Just making up random stuff because it makes us feel good? Just assuming that whatever dreams we have must correspond to the reality outside of our head because that makes reality extra exciting? Wildly guessing? Foolishly trying to appropriate science to lend credibility to paranormal nonsense? (go quantum mechanics!)

I feel compelled to point out that believing in stuff cause it makes us feel good is the polar opposite of Thelema.


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Los
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10/08/2009 5:45 am  

Actually, now that I think about it, I just want to spell out what's so ridiculous about your line of argument. When you say that "conclusions based on inference" are the same as "fantasy," what you're saying is that any fantasy is just as valid as any conclusion grounded in evidence. Think about this for a moment. You're really saying that anything you dream up -- or anything that anyone dreams up, all other religionists included -- is just as valid as conclusions based on evidence.

Anyone who is actually interested in what's true -- and not just what makes them feel comfortable -- should be able to see right through this.

It's abundantly obvious that we are capable of being wrong about the world. Our task is to minimize the instances in which we're wrong and maximize the instances in which we're right. In order to do this, we set standards for evidence and investigation, not "whatever feels good" or "what my inner sense tells me."

If you don't care whether what you believe is true, then go off and have a party and enjoy. But if you do care -- and, if "Do what thou wilt" actually means something other than "do whatever, dude," you kinda have to care -- then you'll want to know whether you really are minimizing those instances in which you are wrong.


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 Anonymous
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10/08/2009 9:14 am  

Please explain, Los, for the benefit of All Mankind, how "whatever feels good" and "what my inner sense tells me" are not "standards of evidence". To you. Because we think you'll find Crowley's notion of bidding stars to shine etc. is not exactly a hundred miles away from it. You seem addicted to the "Protestant" variety of Thelema with all its Neitzchean overtones. That's fine. But it's only part of the picture.

And, you say something about confusion as though I am confused. I'm not, though reading my posts here might be confusing if you're looking at the viewpoint from a dialectic viewpoint. It might be challenging for me to articulate gnosis in terms satisfactory to card-carrying members of the Rationalist Press Association, but then, I'd hardly expect to be the first to ever succeed in doing so.


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Los
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10/08/2009 5:12 pm  

Please explain, Los, for the benefit of All Mankind, how "whatever feels good" and "what my inner sense tells me" are not "standards of evidence".

We set standards of evidence because we have a goal, i.e. to believe in as many true things as possible and as few false things as possible.

Any person who cares about what is actually going on -- and certainly anyone who thinks "Do what thou wilt" means something more than "do whatever" needs to care about what is actually going on -- needs to set standards of evidence high enough to make sure that he accepts as many true things as possible and as few false things as possible.

If that is our goal, it simply will not do to accept "whatever feels good" as truth because there are plenty of things that make people feel good that are nonetheless false. For example, I will bet you anything that white supremacists feel very good about their racial beliefs. But that feeling does not demonstrate that their beliefs are true. I will also bet that Hindus feel good about their prayers to Shiva and that their "inner senses" tell them that he is real. But those feelings do not demonstrate that he is real.

Simply put, if your standard of evidence is "I'll believe in whatever makes me feel good," you open yourself up to believe in all kinds of falsehoods. And that's fine if you don't care about what's actually going on and just want to wrap yourself in a nice, warm linus blanket.

But we're talking about Thelema, here.

Because we think you'll find Crowley's notion of bidding stars to shine etc. is not exactly a hundred miles away from it.

No. Stars do not shine because it makes them feel good; stars shine because it is their nature to shine. Similarly, stars do not travel in an orbit because they think that their particular orbit is oh so cool and neat-o; they travel in an orbit because they are obeying the laws of nature at any given moment.

For the avoidance of confusion: following your will very often "feels good," but not everything that feels good is your will, not by a long shot.

[Please keep in mind that I am using "will" in the more standard, restricted meaning, not the broader meaning that you usually use; though I agree with your broader definition in principle, the definition I'm using here is more useful in this context]


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gurugeorge
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11/08/2009 1:59 am  
"Noctifer" wrote:
So thank you, gurugeorge, for living the reality of my point of view so explicitly.

Well, I've explained twice why I think that's not so, I guess we will have to agree to disagree. I think we've wrung the juice out of this now anyway.

"Eastern philosophy is idealist"

? No, actually, at its core, it isn't - the essential Eastern philosophies which relate to Thelema - Advaita, Bon, Dzogchen, Cha'an, Yoga, Zen, Taoism - all these are quite non-idealist and indeed anti-idealist (supra-idealist, even), they are all directly related through the way in which consciousness is viewed as the anchor for "reality".

You might say that they're not idealist, and that might be true up to a point; but actually it's not so clear cut as all that, all those systems have historically been prone to idealism. (Ch'an is connected with Yogacara, Dzogchen and Mahamudra are similar, but Mahamudra is definitely more idealist, and even Dzogchennies sometimes sound idealist. Again, generally speaking Daoism isn't idealist - but are you sure there aren't some idealist voices in the Zhuangzi?)

And "consciousness as anchor for reality" is idealism. "To be is to be perceived" is a core phrase of idealism, and that's really all you are saying. But ultimately, "to be is to perceived", held consistently, is just a solipsism without the courage of its convictions. Maybe the "supra-idealism" is also just Dzogchennies failing to have the courage of their convictions too, in another way, and their idealist buddies are being more consistent?

"I can't prove anything outside my experience, therefore it cannot exist" isn't good enough.

It also isn't what I said.

Well, I suppose we'll just have to agree to disagree, because it very much looks to me like that's what you have said.

But, then, "I can't prove anything outside my experience, therefore it CAN exist", which you say, is even more absurd.

There's no "therefore" in what I am saying. Provability is irrelevant to whether a thing exists or not, is real or not. If a thing is real, certainly it ought to be provable, but you have to remember that "proof", in ordinary language, doesn't rely on the lucubrations of one mind, but of many. Proving things isn't that game of solitaire (staring at your own experience) that you think it is.

I am not changing the meaning of the word "real", either, gurugeorge. I'm simply using it quite normally in outlining a position (in answer to your questions) which makes sense, for me. You don't get it, and that's fine.

No, I get it, but I disagree with it. It's not such a big, fantastic idea. We've all had it at one time or another. I just reject it, that's all. Because it does surreptitiously attempt to alter the meaning of the ordinary language word "real". Normally "real" does imply intersubjective verifiability.

But it's not an idea which I've had randomly and then have set about trying to construct arguments to support, I'm simply saying how I see things now.

Oh, I'm not saying that you've had it randomly and now are constructing arguments in support. I think you've come across the arguments in support and they lead you to believe the idea.

I haven't always seen them this way, and am open to the possibility that one day I may see them differently.

Good, well me too, for my position 🙂

But it is unlikely that I will see them the way you describe, because that's precisely the type of viewpoint which I started out with, the one we're taught at school.

Is that supposed to be a "boo" fact?


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 Anonymous
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11/08/2009 2:34 pm  

Los,

"Do" and "believe in" are two different things, and if you read what I said you'll find that I was referring to the "do" - as part of addressing your own phrase, "do what makes me feel good", which is not my phrase.

Do what thou wilt is, in the English language, just a posh version of Do what you want. It just is. People harping on about "oh no it's this big formal thing and you have to be stressed about it and worry that you're not Doing it" simply bores any right-thinking individual into ignoring it. Thinking of "Do what thou wilt" as anything other than "do what you want" is an addiction to the idea of Sin which quite simply has no place in Thelema. It's a hangover from the age of Fish. Your will is what you want. At least, it's what I want (my will, that is).

Getting all hot and bothered over whether you want something other than your will seems a bit idiotic, I have to say.

But then idiotic things tend to catch on rather successfully, don't they.

- - -

George,

"Fallen for the arguments"? What arguments? I can't say I know any, as you can see. As I said, it's hardly something which can be argued dialectically. It can be described, perhaps conveyed or presented, and is experienced. Argued, perhaps not. Which begs the question - why bother saying so at all? Hm. Perhaps to simply indicate its reality as an experience. Perhaps for the sheer pleasure of expressing one's point of view.

N.


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lashtal
(@lashtal)
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11/08/2009 2:40 pm  
"Noctifer" wrote:
Do what thou wilt is, in the English language, just a posh version of Do what you want. It just is. People harping on about "oh no it's this big formal thing and you have to be stressed about it and worry that you're not Doing it" simply bores any right-thinking individual into ignoring it. Thinking of "Do what thou wilt" as anything other than "do what you want" is an addiction to the idea of Sin which quite simply has no place in Thelema. It's a hangover from the age of Fish. Your will is what you want. At least, it's what I want (my will, that is).

I've rarely seen a post on this site so poorly informed and so completely at odds with source texts. This may be your interpretation of Thelema, but it's totally at variance with pretty much everything Crowley wrote on the subject.

"Just a posh version"? Ridiculous.

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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Los
 Los
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11/08/2009 3:41 pm  

"Do" and "believe in" are two different things, and if you read what I said you'll find that I was referring to the "do" - as part of addressing your own phrase, "do what makes me feel good", which is not my phrase.

Well, we were talking about assessing reality versus fantasy, which is integral if we're actually going to be doing our will -- defined by Crowley as something other than the "fancy pictures" generated by the mind to flatter oneself.

Lumping together conclusions based on evidence with fantasy is not only not useful, it will positively interfere with the task at hand. Beliefs about reality inform actions, so you will want your actions to rest on beliefs about reality that are as true as we can know (based on current evidence).

You can't do that if your idea of epistemology involves believing that anything is true as long as it feels good to you or is "meaningful" to you or whatever. That's the recipe for chasing flattering fantasies; a person who thinks that will very likely end up doing zero work, but telling himself that he's "attained" all kinds of spiritual ends because he pictures stuff in his head all day long.

You specifically asked me how "whatever feels good" is not a "standard of evidence," and I explained it -- I thought very clearly.

Do what thou wilt is, in the English language, just a posh version of Do what you want.

I share Paul's reaction to this statement and to the rest of your post.

If the word "Thelema" is going to mean anything at all, we all have to use the word to refer to at least somewhat similar things. It's fine to have some variation as to your practice, your prefered mode of expression, and places in which you disagree with Crowley -- but when it comes to the central idea of Thelema (the will, the titular concept), it won't do to invent a totally new concept of will, at odds with literally everything Crowley wrote on the subject, and expect other people to recognize what you're doing as "Thelema."

People harping on about "oh no it's this big formal thing and you have to be stressed about it and worry that you're not Doing it" simply bores any right-thinking individual into ignoring it.

Well, there we have it. By your own admission, you find doing work "boring," you find the idea of effort to be off-putting, and you instead valorize play and fantasy.

There's little else to say other than to observe that what you're describing bears no relation to anything even remotely resembling Thelema.


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kidneyhawk
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11/08/2009 5:04 pm  

I've rarely seen a post on this site so poorly informed and so completely at odds with source texts

I share Paul's reaction to this statement

I would have to join Paul and Los in reacting against this statement (Will=Want) but I think I MAY see where Noctifer is coming from, even if it isn't worded the best. We all know that our lives have been characterized, at various times, between what we "think we want" and what we "really want." This has been looked at in hypothetical ways all throughout this thread. To simply go with the flow and "do what we want" may be keep us on a superficial level of thought and feeling and ultimately lead to places where we're stuck in the "suffering" phase of Buddhism. On the other hand, if we are introspective, honest and apply some simple methods to our awareness, we can uncover a deeper "self-knowledge" and begin to "see through the machinery" of our minds and behold the "central sun." What follows is acting in accord with THAT instead of the ever-changing weather of the "surface psyche." We still WANT things but our wants begin to be colored by our "deeper self." Thus, there is a deeper fulfillment in our actions...we can embrace things that are not so pleasant and enjoy things that are, finding a deeper "satisfaction" in either, as they both feed the fulfillment of Will.

I think Noctifer may have been reacting against the idea that some veer towards: you must do your Will AS OPPOSED TO WHAT YOU "WANT." In this case, the declaration of liberty can become a burden and an enslaving idea, a constant evaluation of organic action (including desire) against a IDEA that such organic action must be restricted by the "code."

In the end (or beginning), I see the declaration as a powerful pointer towards and expression of the State described as "Pure Will." That State, however, is freed of measuring itself and simply moves on its own Path.


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Los
 Los
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11/08/2009 6:00 pm  
"kidneyhawk" wrote:
We all know that our lives have been characterized, at various times, between what we "think we want" and what we "really want."

Right. When you get rid of restriction, what's left over is your will, what you "really want." So you can say, in a sense, that Do what thou wilt can be interpreted as do what you want if and only if you have gotten rid of restriction.

But 1) just saying "do what you want" without specifying the distinction between "think you want" and "really want" is needlessly confusing, and 2) what you're saying is not what Noctifer was saying at all.

He denied that Do what thou wilt means anything more than "do what you want" and denied that one has to care at all whether one is actually doing one's will. That's just not Thelema.

We still WANT things but our wants begin to be colored by our "deeper self."

I'd be careful with that phrasing. Doing your will doesn't mean that you still do the same old things, except now your desires have been "colored" by some sense of "deeper fulfillment."

It means you start seeing through the false desires of the mind as false. There's no "coloring" going on here. There's an actual change: you gradually stop acting in accordance with the false desires and start acting in accordance with your true desires. This is the work that Noctifer finds so off-putting.

In other words, Thelema doesn't mean "do what you always do, but do it with a renewed sense of purpose."

Of course, you may not have actually meant that, Kidneyhawk. I'm not saying you did -- I just wanted to address one possible meaning of your words.


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 Anonymous
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11/08/2009 7:06 pm  
"kidneyhawk" wrote:

I've rarely seen a post on this site so poorly informed and so completely at odds with source texts

I share Paul's reaction to this statement

I would have to join Paul and Los in reacting against this statement (Will=Want) but I think I MAY see where Noctifer is coming from, even if it isn't worded the best.

Yeah, I see where Noctifer is coming from, too. He has tripped over his own simplistic solipsistic reverie and is now in midair. 🙂 I agree with Paul and Los, of course, but the Path is fraught with such transitory little 'trips.' Better to watch and wait until one has a somewhat of a firm foothold, even briefly, than to ramble on while still stumbling about out of balance.


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 Anonymous
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11/08/2009 7:25 pm  
"Los" wrote:
If the word "Thelema" is going to mean anything at all, we all have to use the word to refer to at least somewhat similar things. It's fine to have some variation as to your practice, your prefered mode of expression, and places in which you disagree with Crowley -- but when it comes to the central idea of Thelema (the will, the titular concept), it won't do to invent a totally new concept of will, at odds with literally everything Crowley wrote on the subject, and expect other people to recognize what you're doing as "Thelema."

Always good advise, Los. I would add to this that one ought not exclude too very much of what Crowley thought and said, and continue to call the result 'Thelema.' For example, there are some few who, like Crowley, venture farther on the Path than most of others have need to. This is where we sometimes find what you are prone to identify as 'fantasy' occasionally really being a pioneering glance at a rare new reality mistaken for a 'fantasy' by those without similar experience. This is where you and I differ now and then, of course. 😉


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Aleisterion
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11/08/2009 7:37 pm  

If "do what thou wilt" meant simply "do what you want" then it would make no sense to have injunctions such as "Be not animal" (and many others besides).


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 Anonymous
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11/08/2009 8:06 pm  
"Aleisterion" wrote:
If "do what thou wilt" meant simply "do what you want" then it would make no sense to have injunctions such as "Be not animal" (and many others besides).

Hey, Aleisterion, 93. There is no question that this is not the meaning of the 'Thelema' of Crowley or Liber AL. There are those, however, who take it as meaning exactly that and no more, including the owner a long standing yahoo group using the name "Thelema." You really can't tell the 'Thelemites' without a scorecard these days. 🙂


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Azidonis
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11/08/2009 11:29 pm  

93,

This has to be one of the most long, drawn-out, and insane thread I've ever seen here. The actual topic of the thread about Thelema being different than other religions, the subjectivity-objectivity debate, the relative existence debate, etc ad nauseum, all the way down to... "Thelema means do what you want".

Want is often grouped with desire. Anyone who walks the Path knows that want and desire are both secretions of the Ego. I mean, you can try and strip the actual language of the verses down, but eventually you just have to read the Comment and figure it out for yourself.

"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law" most certainly does NOT mean "do what you want", as most often what one wants to do and what one should do are at odds. Ugh, I haven't seen anyone who claimed to be an actual "Thelemite" say something like this, ever. It's almost like you scratched a hundred nails down the chalkboard, Noc.

Methinks this thread should be renamed to, "The Insane Ramblings of Self-Confessed Masters and Sunny Day Thelemites... and the way they never seem to shut up."

(Okay maybe that last was a little harsh, but does anyone ever observe the Laws of Sphinx anymore?)

93 93/93


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mika
 mika
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12/08/2009 12:59 am  
"Azidonis" wrote:
This has to be one of the most long, drawn-out, and insane thread I've ever seen here.

Apparently, the answer to the thread topic is No, Thelema is not so different.

"Azidonis" wrote:
(Okay maybe that last was a little harsh, but does anyone ever observe the Laws of Sphinx anymore?)

You tell us, Mr. 379 posts.

There may have been lots of "insane" comments on this thread, but that's usually what happens when the nitty-gritty aspects of one's religion get critiqued. If people didn't feel so strongly about their beliefs they wouldn't get so defensive and irrational. Hence my comment above - no, Thelema is not so different. The only caveat is for those who don't consider it a religion, but a philosophy or method of personal practice. Once it becomes a belief system, it becomes like every other religion that exists, dogma that must not be questioned or criticized.


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 Anonymous
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12/08/2009 2:26 am  
"mika" wrote:
There may have been lots of "insane" comments on this thread, but that's usually what happens when the nitty-gritty aspects of one's religion get critiqued. If people didn't feel so strongly about their beliefs they wouldn't get so defensive and irrational. Hence my comment above - no, Thelema is not so different. The only caveat is for those who don't consider it a religion, but a philosophy or method of personal practice. Once it becomes a belief system, it becomes like every other religion that exists, dogma that must not be questioned or criticized.

This is an oversimplification often voiced by people with strong feelings against religion. Personally, I have no strong feelings about religion either way. Actually, though, even as a philosophy or method of personal practice, there is plenty of contention, it seems. Also, if seen as a religion wherein there is no god but man, Thelema would be a religion unlike most others.


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Los
 Los
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12/08/2009 3:22 am  
"Azidonis" wrote:
does anyone ever observe the Laws of Sphinx anymore?

One could argue that to "be silent" does not mean to never talk about Thelema, but instead to silence the chatter of the mind -- with all of its fantasies and imaginings about how the world *should* be -- and instead pay attention to the self as it actually is.

That's what Crowley says, anyway: "For until we become innocent, we are certain to try to judge our Will by some Canon of what seems `right' or `wrong'; in other words, we are apt to criticise our Will from the outside, whereas True Will should spring, a fountain of Light, from within, and flow unchecked, seething with Love, into the Ocean of Life.

"This is the true idea of Silence; it is our Will which issues, perfectly elastic, sublimely Protean, to fill every interstice of the Universe of Manifestation which it meets in its course." (emphasis added)

The enemy of silence is, naturally, those criticisms from the outside -- our fantasies, false ideas about the self, false ideas about how the universe works, etc. I gave several good examples of such restrictions earlier in this thread, including the belief in a god and the belief in reincarnation or a "cosmic plan."

Conversation about the practice of Thelema can help others identify and uproot such restrictions on the will. Far from being the opposite of silence, conversation about the will can help individuals attain this silence.


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 Anonymous
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12/08/2009 5:46 am  

Good post, Los.

Everyone gets the Thelema they deserve.


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 Anonymous
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12/08/2009 6:53 am  

Right - so the point of a web forum, which is supposedly for discussion of a particular general category, is for Silence ?!!

I thought it was for discussion. I admit things are a bit slower than one would have expected. Why is everyone so uptight ?? Is there a shortage on hosting space or something? Each kilobyte of text posted must be treated as though for print media and Taken as Seriously as Possible? Christ.

No, Thelema isn't different from other religions, because clearly it suffers from the same situation of calcification into false orthodoxy and even falser heirarchy, vilification of heretics who dare to express their sincere and well-meant veiwpoints if these happen to appear on the surface to be different from someone's hypothetical noodlings of over a hundred years ago? Hilarious! Thelema! Wow. How far we've come. Clearly, for some, Thelema still = Crowleyanity. Well not me.

Paul, "Do what thou wilt" is, in fact, very clearly, "do what you want" just in slightly archaic prose. Look at it. "Do" is "do". "What" is "what". "Thou" is an archaic form of "you". "wilt" is in this case "will", i.e. intend, want. It's not complicated! I know what Crowley wrote about it. I've spent a huge amount of time soaked in all of his works for nearly twenty years. I've just moved on.

Shock, horror, oh my god we can do what we want, and don't have to feel self-loathing anymore! Outrage!

Some Thelemites take Crowley's writings (even the non-Class-A ones, --- whether he got the classifications right for this is another story) as a starting point, others as the final word. Well, he's dead, isn't he.

It's hardly Thelema to be addicted to someone else's point of view.


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
Joined: 16 years ago
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12/08/2009 11:21 am  
"Los" wrote:
One could argue that to "be silent" does not mean to never talk about Thelema, but instead to silence the chatter of the mind -- with all of its fantasies and imaginings about how the world *should* be -- and instead pay attention to the self as it actually is.

That's what Crowley says, anyway: "For until we become innocent, we are certain to try to judge our Will by some Canon of what seems `right' or `wrong'; in other words, we are apt to criticise our Will from the outside, whereas True Will should spring, a fountain of Light, from within, and flow unchecked, seething with Love, into the Ocean of Life.

"This is the true idea of Silence; it is our Will which issues, perfectly elastic, sublimely Protean, to fill every interstice of the Universe of Manifestation which it meets in its course." (emphasis added)

These passages by Crowley which you quote are profound and lovely. However, you quoted them in support of your opening paragraph, and I fail to see a connection.

"Los" wrote:
The enemy of silence is, naturally, those criticisms from the outside -- our fantasies, false ideas about the self, false ideas about how the universe works, etc. I gave several good examples of such restrictions earlier in this thread, including the belief in a god and the belief in reincarnation or a "cosmic plan."

I'd have thought, offhand, that the "enemy of silence" is the inability to maintain silence. Instead, I learn from you that on the contrary it's anything deemed not rational.

What Crowley had to say about silence - in particular its identification with Hoor-paar-kraat, the Silent Self - is particularly profound and inspiring. I see precious little connection with the triteness which you peddle in this post and elsewhere.

Best wishes,

Michael.


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 Anonymous
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12/08/2009 12:06 pm  

Headbrain chatter seems an enemy of silence. This relates to what Crowley says in Liber 333: 'Dirt is matter in the wrong place. 'Thought is mind in the wrong place...'

One can maintain inner silence and still hold a conversation, as irrational as that may sound.


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Los
 Los
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12/08/2009 3:18 pm  

Hi Michael,

"MichaelStaley" wrote:
I fail to see a connection.

Oh, well I'll be happy to explain.

I'd have thought, offhand, that the "enemy of silence" is the inability to maintain silence. Instead, I learn from you that on the contrary it's anything deemed not rational.

No, no. Crowley says that the enemy of silence is "to judge our Will by some Canon of what seems `right' or `wrong'; in other words, we are apt to criticise our Will from the outside"

The "enemy" here is the criticizing of the will from the outside, i.e. imposing on it ideas created in the mind, which is "outside" of the will (engaging in "headbrain chatter," as zardoz puts it). The example Crowley gives is the use of rational constructs like "this is right" or "this is wrong" to judge the will. "I should do X because X is the right thing to do" -- such a restriction clearly arises from the reason ("because"), or more correctly, an improper application of reason.

What I was doing in my post was pointing out that this imposition of rational ideas from the "outside" includes imposing on the will all kinds of false ideas that are created by a misapplication of reason.

For example, I indicated a page or two ago on this thread that the Christian's false belief "There is a Jesus Christ" arises from a false application of reason, just as the New Ager's false belief "There is reincarnation" arises from a false application of reason [If you go back and read that post, you'll see that they arise from invalid syllogisms]. As a result, these restrictions are rational mistakes, the very essence of the "dogs of reason" that we are warned against.

Here's the thing. You say, "I'd have thought, offhand, that the "enemy of silence" is the inability to maintain silence." But it's not so simple as saying "just stop using reason!" because most people will convince themselves that they're not using reason when in fact they continue to use it, incorrectly. That's what's going on in my two examples: doubtless, the Christian thinks he has "silenced" his reason, along with the New Ager -- but both are continuing to use reason (incorrectly!) to draw conclusions.

The task before us involves gradually shedding those false beliefs that the mind prefers to maintain (and it enlists reason, with or without our perception of that fact, to support its beliefs). Naturally, it's not usually pleasant to shed those beliefs precisely because the mind prefers to maintain them. That's why it's work. That's why I object so vehemently to Noctifer's characterization of The Great Work as a kind of solipsistic play in which it's impossible to know anything -- such an idea is nothing more than a transparent excuse not to do any work at all, or to accept any kind of claim because it flatters the mind.

Unfortunately, I won't be available for the rest of today, but I'll hopefully be around to discuss things tonight. Have a good day, everyone!


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Los
 Los
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12/08/2009 3:19 pm  

Hi Michael,

"MichaelStaley" wrote:
I fail to see a connection.

Oh, well I'll be happy to explain.

I'd have thought, offhand, that the "enemy of silence" is the inability to maintain silence. Instead, I learn from you that on the contrary it's anything deemed not rational.

No, no. Crowley says that the enemy of silence is "to judge our Will by some Canon of what seems `right' or `wrong'; in other words, we are apt to criticise our Will from the outside"

The "enemy" here is the criticizing of the will from the outside, i.e. imposing on it ideas created in the mind, which is "outside" of the will (engaging in "headbrain chatter," as zardoz puts it). The example Crowley gives is the use of rational constructs like "this is right" or "this is wrong" to judge the will. "I should do X because X is the right thing to do" -- such a restriction clearly arises from the reason ("because"), or more correctly, an improper application of reason.

What I was doing in my post was pointing out that this imposition of rational ideas from the "outside" includes imposing on the will all kinds of false ideas that are created by a misapplication of reason.

For example, I indicated a page or two ago on this thread that the Christian's false belief "There is a Jesus Christ" arises from a false application of reason, just as the New Ager's false belief "There is reincarnation" arises from a false application of reason [If you go back and read that post, you'll see that they arise from invalid syllogisms]. As a result, these restrictions are rational mistakes, the very essence of the "dogs of reason" that we are warned against.

Here's the thing. You say, "I'd have thought, offhand, that the "enemy of silence" is the inability to maintain silence." But it's not so simple as saying "just stop using reason!" because most people will convince themselves that they're not using reason when in fact they continue to use it, incorrectly. That's what's going on in my two examples: doubtless, the Christian thinks he has "silenced" his reason, along with the New Ager -- but both are continuing to use reason (incorrectly!) to draw conclusions.

The task before us involves gradually shedding those false beliefs that the mind prefers to maintain (and it enlists reason, with or without our perception of that fact, to support its beliefs). Naturally, it's not usually pleasant to shed those beliefs precisely because the mind prefers to maintain them. That's why it's work. That's why I object so vehemently to Noctifer's characterization of The Great Work as a kind of solipsistic play in which it's impossible to know anything -- such an idea is nothing more than a transparent excuse not to do any work at all, or to accept any kind of claim because it flatters the mind.

Unfortunately, I won't be available for the rest of today, but I'll hopefully be around to discuss things tonight. Have a good day, everyone!


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Los
 Los
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12/08/2009 3:25 pm  

Oops, sorry for the double post. Just a note: I checked my other post, and the syllogism was actually valid but unsound. Oops again.


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 Anonymous
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12/08/2009 7:49 pm  
"zardoz" wrote:
Headbrain chatter seems an enemy of silence. This relates to what Crowley says in Liber 333: 'Dirt is matter in the wrong place. 'Thought is mind in the wrong place...'

One can maintain inner silence and still hold a conversation, as irrational as that may sound.

Headbrain chatter... wouldn't that depend upon the quality of the chatter though? If you maintain silence of your own internal voice and those of any subroutines that occasionally break off, assume a partial identity of thier own and have to be re-integrated, then I can *hear* a constant sort of mumbling in the background...

It's almost as if complete silence sucks in background noise like a vacuum.

But yes - it's perfectly possible to maintain inner silence and hold a perfectly good conversation. I do it all the time. 🙂


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 Anonymous
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12/08/2009 8:13 pm  
"Noctifer" wrote:
Why is everyone so uptight ??

I don't think they are being uptight Noctifer. I think you're just reacting to criticism of your position. Take a step back old man! 😀

No, Thelema isn't different from other religions, because clearly it suffers from the same situation of calcification into false orthodoxy and even falser heirarchy, vilification of heretics who dare to express their sincere and well-meant veiwpoints if these happen to appear on the surface to be different from someone's hypothetical noodlings of over a hundred years ago? Hilarious! Thelema! Wow. How far we've come. Clearly, for some, Thelema still = Crowleyanity. Well not me.

It's clear that few people here can see a value in interpreting 'Do what thou Wilt' as 'Do what you want', but be fair - you've hardly been persuasive on the matter. Even a monkey can follow the law of 'do what you want'.

The Abbot Munindo tells a story about giving a monkey in a zoo a banana. The monkey reached his hand through the bars and grasped the banana but then he couldn't get his whole fist back through the bars. He would have had to drop the banana to do that. So he just kept on 'doing what he wanted' and holding a banana he couldn't eat and suffering for it....

If you only do what you want according to your desires and attachments - how are you in any better a situation than that Monkey?


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
12/08/2009 8:27 pm  

Thelema is completely different from other religions. For a start - it can be practised without the attendent religious trappings and god/goddess arse kissing. Secondly - it's not rule bound. It has One Law, unlike old aeon religions and other new additions on the block.

I recently had the misfortune to come across a site by one 'Lady Galadrial' *shudder* that outlines 88 rules for Wiccan, and I was told that they take these rules seriously! I thought they were winding me up! Sadly - this wasn't the case.


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