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Patriarch156
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07/06/2009 9:15 pm  
"Los" wrote:
This was your only critique of the position I've been advancing on this thread, and it fails to address what I'm actually arguing: that the ideas of Thelema refer to reality, independent of thought, and do not require what religions commonly call "faith" (belief without evidence). If you'd care to dispute that point, feel free to do so.

So you claim as far as your own expression of Thelema goes, of which I pass no judgement, since I do not know you, nor have I read closely your contributions to this forum. However my point did not rest on the specifics, but rather the strategies used when legitimizing Thelema.

Moreover, clearly this was not the case for A.C., whom while he sincerely believed himself that the Book of the Law offered scientific proof for the existence of praeterhuman intelligences, supposedly proven internally as well as externally. In order to overcome what was viewed by both him and others as highly problematic message of the Book of the Law, he deferred to that Aiwaz was telling us, not asking us. I fail to see how this can be the foundation of any real scientific religion in the sense that it has given us noncontroversial proof of the existence of such entities.

In fact the whole point about certainty over faith is made clear in his commentary and elsewhere as being in reference to the personal experience of the oneself as one, individual and eternal, that is and was and is to come. Or as he remarks in the new comment: "The certainty concerning death is conferred by the Magical Memory, and various Experiences without which Life is unintelligible." For a more thorough discussion of the importance of this and how it relates to the powers associated with those who have accepted the Law of Thelema, see On Life in De Lege Libellum.

When launching himself as World-Teacher and Prophet of Thelema he frequently called attention to the existence of these very beings (cf. The Master Therion a biographical note for one such instance) and how they control and direct the affairs of the world.

Don't misunderstand me, I don't deny you the right to interpret this differently than A.C., but that would make it an expression of your own ideology rather than Crowley or even Thelema as such. And even then I don't really think you have solved any real problem with this particular legitimization strategy, one that btw is commonly used among new religious movements (cf. Hammer's book).

In general I think there is a tendency to overlook what Crowley meant with words such as science, scientific, certainty, faith and so on and interpret his usage as if it was the modern usage, which is why a careful and weighted reading of Crowley is necessary if one wants to understand the more subtle parts of his ideology.

Your comments about what religions commonly call faith (belief without evidence) moreover does not really reflect their own view of what constitutes faith, which of course is why all these legitimization strategies are so common among all religions, including that of Thelema.


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Nomad
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07/06/2009 10:28 pm  

In one sense this thread is illustrating one way Thelema could be said to be different from other religions/philosophies. And that is that it encourages diversity.

Whether you are an atheist or a theist, a "left-hand pather" or a "right-hand pather", or whatever you want to label your own peculiar take on reality, you are still a Thelemite. Ultimately, one of the most delightful things about Thelema is that it recognises that each individual star has their own universe, their own means of defining it, their own goals within those defined parameters, and their own methods for achieve those goals.

And we all agree - do we not? - that "There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt."


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Patriarch156
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07/06/2009 10:45 pm  
"Nomad" wrote:
In one sense this thread is illustrating one way Thelema could be said to be different from other religions/philosophies. And that is that it encourages diversity.

I would actually argue that other religions also encourages diversity and in fact has a far more manifestation of diversity (largely because it has a much larger genepool that makes up it's members) than what Thelema has achieved so far.

Whether you are an atheist or a theist, a "left-hand pather" or a "right-hand pather", or whatever you want to label your own peculiar take on reality, you are still a Thelemite. Ultimately, one of the most delightful things about Thelema is that it recognises that each individual star has their own universe, their own means of defining it, their own goals within those defined parameters, and their own methods for achieve those goals.

And we all agree - do we not? - that "There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt."

No I don't agree and I don't really think that this is the view of most people when it comes down to it either, as almost everyone, including A.C., would agree that Thelema does not justify child rape, trafficking, murder, and any number of things that one could conceivably interpret Thelema (as well as any other ideology, religious or otherwise) as. There are of course a few people who would agree with such an view, but they remain few I in my experience. People still differ in how inclusive they are of course, but very few are all inclusive.

Nor do I think your justification proves that. It certainly was not the view of Crowley who remained throughout his life predominantly concerned with rooting out people he considered heresiologists or threats to his own authority within Thelema.

I do however think that this too is common idea among many if not all members of most if not all religions and not really something that would make this particular take on Thelema all that different either.


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IAO131
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07/06/2009 11:00 pm  
"Los" wrote:
"Patriarch156" wrote:
Surely there are less costly not to mention intelligible ways of transmitting the same message?

This was your only critique of the position I've been advancing on this thread, and it fails to address what I'm actually arguing: that the ideas of Thelema refer to reality, independent of thought, and do not require what religions commonly call "faith" (belief without evidence). If you'd care to dispute that point, feel free to do so.

Of course there are different ways of transmitting the same message, some of them more or less intelligible than others. All the basic ideas in Thelema have been advanced before in different ways. If you properly practice Taoism, for example, I think you'll come to a lot of the same conclusions that I am in this thread. What we decide to label ourselves, whether that label has any "cost," and whichever brand of poetry and/or inspirational symbols we like are irrelevant. But Thelema happens to be the topic of this thread.

"IAO131" wrote:
Is it only possible to say what it [the will] is not?

In this thread, I've been simplifying for illustrative purposes when I say things like "it's his will to be a doctor." The will isn't really an object to be "known": "Yet she shall be known & I never."

So what is the will, then? It's what Crowley said: a course of action depending partly on nature and partly on environment. Course of action: it's a process, a doing, a going -- not a static object to be known.

In fact, once you start saying things like, "My will is X," you immediately start crystalizing X into a fantasy that can lead you astray. It might be your will to do X at the time you made that statement, but if you cling to X, even when circumstances change, you can be misled.

How does one distinguish one's 'real nature' beyond saying its 'not fantasy' which is basically the same as saying its 'real' which is another tautology

"Real" is just my label for things that aren't contingent on a mind. I'm not attributing some metaphysical "truth" to things, and I'm not advancing claims of absolute truth or absolute knowledge. I'm just saying that there are things that don't depend on what I think about them. Often, what I think about things is just wrong, and I need to actually look at things to help me correct what I think about them.

What's at issue is correcting false beliefs and judging things as accurately as possible, not knowing the absolute truth of things.

Watch: I can easily distinguish the real table I'm typing on from the image of the table I have in my head when I close my eyes and picture it. The picture in my head, for example, might be all shiny and pristine, but when I actually examine the table, I notice that it has some little marks on it, that it's not so shiny, that it has a wobble I never noticed before. I don't have to perfectly know what the table is in order to figure out that my image of it is flawed in several key ways.

Similarly, I can also distinguish my "real nature" in a situation from the thoughts I have about it. For example, I might tend to think that I'm a people person, and if I allow myself to be charmed by this "fancy picture" (a "picture" that owes its existence to my "fancy," my imagination, my thoughts), I probably will come up with all sorts of reasons to substantiate the picture (that is, I will selectively evaluate evidence, I will make mistakes in coming to conclusions, etc.). But if I actually pay attention to what's going on when I'm at big social functions, I might determine that my idea about myself is completely wrong.

Realizing this might not make the image leave my mind; it might not end my "desire" to be a people person. I may very well still enjoy fantasizing about being a people person. But my realization will show me that my fantasy is in contradiction to the facts, and over a period of time, the hold that the fantasy has over me will gradually lessen.

This is important: you can really, really want something that is not your will. You can absolutely *love* to fantasize about something that is not your will. That is the precise reason that achieving some "trance state" and finding your will by "experiencing" nothing more than your own energized enthusiasm will more often than not lead you away from your will and not towards it.

93,

I recognize how simple it sounds in words but put into practice, I feel its quite meaningless. Yes, we might think we are a people person and find, in fact, we arent but this is the exact process most of us go through: we find what works and discard what doesnt. In that sense, following various ideals will lead us to ourselves... but this brings me to another point. Do we even have a 'true nature' or a 'real nature'... let alone a constant one? Suppose you are, by nature, sentimental and let your emotions control you - isnt it feasible to train yourself, become self-disciplined, and not let those emotions out? Or are emotions excluded from 'true nature'? And how would one know whether one is acting out of one's 'real/true nature' anyhow? It seems to simply be a descriptive word for 'whatever is happening between the interaction of human and environment at any moment and therefore cannot be any more real or true than any other combination of human/environment. In other words, cant you become a people person? How do you know its not just unconscious defense mechanisms or phobias which make one avoid people/feel uncomfortable in their presence and you 'really are' a people person beyond the immediate dissatisfaction/suffering of socializing?

Most fantasies dont have 'facts' to contradict them. Someone can chase a fantasy their entire life with society encouraging them and die without any sense of 'well, that was a fantasy.' Most things aren't as concrete as an imagined table vs. a real table... And aren't all ideals that people follow "imagined" in the beginning anyway, and simply made manifest by the person acting in accordance with whatever ideal? And, like I said, if success is your proof, and falsity is successful (see the Gothic churches, inspired by fantasies of a gaseous vertebrate), then why should we even bother to be 'true' or 'real'?

IAO131


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Nomad
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08/06/2009 12:20 am  

I would actually argue that other religions also encourages diversity

I'll have to agree to disagree with you on this point. I cannot think of another religion, with the possible exception of Taoism (though it's a stretch), that does not lay down in some way a "code of conduct", either explicitly or implicitly. Thelema leaves the creation of a code of conduct up to the individual.

This freedom to choose is accentuated by the Class A Comment to Thelema's central Holy Text. I should not interpret Thelema for anyone else, nor should they interpret it for me.

The rise of the individual as the basic unit of society is one of the major prophetic aspects to Liber AL. It is this increasing individualism, and the need for society to adapt to it and find ways of accepting extreme diversity, which is one of the main roots of the "war" that pervades humanity's current phase of spiritual evolution. Learning to get past our many differences and adhere to the universal Law of Love is one of the biggest challenges of the present time.

Or, in other words, why can't we all just get along? 🙂


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Patriarch156
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08/06/2009 12:38 am  
"Nomad" wrote:
I'll have to agree to disagree with you on this point. I cannot think of another religion, with the possible exception of Taoism (though it's a stretch), that does not lay down in some way a "code of conduct", either explicitly or implicitly. Thelema leaves the creation of a code of conduct up to the individual.

And yet we have Duty which gives "the chief rules of practical conduct to be observed by those who accept the Law of Thelema." We have his commentary that the Law of Liberty does not mean individualism run wild and that it's principles is in harmony with that of statecraft in the New Comment and much more from the same sources.

This freedom to choose is accentuated by the Class A Comment to Thelema's central Holy Text. I should not interpret Thelema for anyone else, nor should they interpret it for me.

In actual fact you are interpreting this Class A Comment for me now and in a way that is not congruous with Crowley's own take on it. In Genesis Libri AL he declares, "I lay claim to be the sole authority competent to decide disputed points with regard to the Book of the Law, seeing that its Author, Aiwaz, is none other than mine own Holy Guardian Angel, to Whose Knowledge and Conversation I hace attained, so that I have exclusive access to Him. I have duly referred every difficulty to Him directly, and received His answer; my award is therefore absolute without appeal."

This was a trait we see in all of Crowley's life and function as a leader of his new religious movement, an increasing preoccupation with solidifying his own authority and interpretive power as far as Thelema went and the subsequent banishing and shunning of those that either questioned it or disagreed with his conclusions. Moreover he makes it clear concerning various heresiarchs in Magick Without Tears: "All heresiarchs are smelt in advance for the rats they are; they are seen brewing (their very vile small beer) in the air (the realm of Intellect—Swords) and they are accordingly nipped in the bud." A heresiarch of course is someone who founds or leads a competing doctrine of heresy as seen from those who practice orthodoxy.

It is rather clear from the above and Crowley's own behavior, from the reception of the Tunis Comment (which happened right after his fallout with Norman Mudd who questioned his authority to interpret Thelema) until his death, that the high court that is oneself deals with accepting his doctrines or not. But even here there are limits, Crowley continued to advocate until his death the outlawing of uttering ideologies which is in basic conflict with the Law of Thelema. That is one is allowed freedom of speech and religion provided that one does not utter something or commit an act that he deemed prejudical towards the Law of Thelema (he even gave examples).

Again I am not denying you the right to disagree and interpret this differently, but what you in effect are doing is interpreting this for me, which would violate your own terms for what constitutes Thelema.


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Nomad
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08/06/2009 1:11 am  

Well put. I respect your point-of-view.

As regards Crowley's take on it all, he was the Prophet, and was obliged to act as he saw fit (i.e. in accord with his own will as the Beast) in presenting this message to humanity. We don't have to agree with him. But I think he deserves kudos for acting as he thought was most right, given the difficult job he had to do.


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Patriarch156
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08/06/2009 1:57 am  
"Nomad" wrote:
As regards Crowley's take on it all, he was the Prophet, and was obliged to act as he saw fit (i.e. in accord with his own will as the Beast) in presenting this message to humanity. We don't have to agree with him. But I think he deserves kudos for acting as he thought was most right, given the difficult job he had to do.

Yes there is no reason that we have to agree with him, in fact I disagree with him on several points. There is however also no reason for anyone else to agree with your or for that matter my own ideas on Thelema and consequently your calls for things that we all would agree on is rather unrealistic and by doing so you attempt to interpret the Law of Thelema for others.

Not that I think there is anything wrong with interpreting the Law of Thelema or for that matter criticising others take on it, but then it was not me who launched such a claim.

Consequently to claim that this is unique for Thelema is a bit disingenious, when it doesn't seem to be rooted in any commonality at all, but rather your own personal take on it, particularly since taken to it's logical conclusion I doubt that many at all would agree with it (people may vary on how inclusive they are but very few are all inclusive).

Moreover as I have already pointed out I don't really think that Thelema has achieved much diversity and there exists many movements that are more liberal as far as conduct goes. The latter is not something that we can do much with, unless someone successfully founds a movement that is far more permissive (though the findings of Stark suggests that such movements tends to be very small and consequently such a movement gaining majority over that of A.C. is rather unlikely).

The diversity is not really related to ideology as such as much as the amount of people it has attracted. Smaller groups in general tends to be far more homogenuous than larger groups for reasons that are well known within sociology and though for certain Thelemites tends to obsess over countercultural knowledge and aesthetics, this speaks more about the diversity within the society it exists within than the Thelemic community. In fact since in my experience these interests are very much endemic in Thelemic culture, within the group itself, this indicates actual a low level of diversity, though a culture that is different than the general culture.

All religious movements that are of a significantly large size have a lot of diversity. This is why Vatican 2 took four meetings across the space of 3 years with an additional 2 for preperation. Even after these meetings which redefined Catholic dogma and structure, there continued to be lively and virile debate on such fundamental issues as the Tridentine Mass, which now through the efforts of the traditionalist movement are being allowed under Pope Benedict.

There are several influential Roman Catholic philosophers, that has contributed vastly different point of views, both within the Church as well as outside of it, where is the Thelemic equivalent to either such a council with debates or contribution to diverse thought?

If you mean that each Thelemite are unique, while I agree, I must caution you to realize that so is all people, be they Buddhist, Muslim or Christian. Each have a different take on their religion, with different levels of comitment and agreement. So that is something Thelema has in common with the rest of the world, not something that makes it special.


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Nomad
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08/06/2009 3:24 am  

There are several influential Roman Catholic philosophers, that has contributed vastly different point of views, both within the Church as well as outside of it, where is the Thelemic equivalent to either such a council with debates or contribution to diverse thought?

What would be the need of said councils when the Law is Do what thou wilt?


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Patriarch156
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08/06/2009 5:20 am  
"Nomad" wrote:
What would be the need of said councils when the Law is Do what thou wilt?

My point was not a particular council, my point was a tangible evidence of divsersity producing healthy and virile dialogue to that extent.


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Nomad
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08/06/2009 5:40 am  

Such as lashtal.com?


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Patriarch156
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08/06/2009 5:51 am  
"Nomad" wrote:
Such as lashtal.com?

Yes we have one very well maintained forum (perhaps three at most), other religious movements have hundreds. Same with blogs. We have perhaps a few dozens very good blogs, other religions have several hundreds. Which again doesn't say anything about Thelema except that we are a smaller group and consequently also display less diversity than other larger movements.

All this isn't a criticism of Thelema, but rather to point out that there exists not a single shred of evidence for your assertion that what makes Thelema special is it's diversity.


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 Anonymous
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08/06/2009 5:53 am  
"VictimofChanges" wrote:
Getting a little (a lot) off topic.

Is there anyone interested in showing me where my thinking of Thelema has gone wrong?

Quoting this or that book or this or that Crowley quote makes this look like a Christian debating another Christian with the Bible and quotes from Jesus. You guys are reinforcing my argument!

How so? I hadn't really been keeping up with this thread but the use of the Holy Books & quotes from Crowley are absolutely essential to understanding the system of Thelema and what seperates it from other religions. Its use is no more Christian than it is Jewish or Hindi. How can you show the seperation without referring to the source material of the movement? It no more re-enforces your argument than saying you like chocolate re-enforces your argument.


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IAO131
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08/06/2009 6:05 am  
"uranus" wrote:
"VictimofChanges" wrote:
Getting a little (a lot) off topic.

Is there anyone interested in showing me where my thinking of Thelema has gone wrong?

Quoting this or that book or this or that Crowley quote makes this look like a Christian debating another Christian with the Bible and quotes from Jesus. You guys are reinforcing my argument!

How so? I hadn't really been keeping up with this thread but the use of the Holy Books & quotes from Crowley are absolutely essential to understanding the system of Thelema and what seperates it from other religions. Its use is no more Christian than it is Jewish or Hindi. How can you show the seperation without referring to the source material of the movement? It no more re-enforces your argument than saying you like chocolate re-enforces your argument.

93,

I believe he is referring to the fact of 'referring to the Holy Books' in itself as similar to other traditions... not the fact that what the Holy Books themselves say are different.

IAO131


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 Anonymous
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08/06/2009 6:12 am  

Yes, I got that Iao, it read to me like he was saying that part of the reason Thelema is more of the same is that we use quotes from Crowley similar to how Christian use quotes from Jesus, which isn't entirely accurate as most seem to quote the non-Apostle Paul but that is beside the point. I am not making the argument that Thelema is different, it is my own opinion that Thelema is part a resurgence of the True Gnosis & a homogenization of world religions & philosophy based on what worked and what didn't work. That is what makes it the child.


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Nomad
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08/06/2009 6:20 am  

there exists not a single shred of evidence for your assertion that what makes Thelema special is it's diversity.

Within Thelema there are atheists, monotheists, dualists, trinitarians, polytheists, agnostics, left-wingers, right-wingers, and every other magical/philosophical/social perspective you can name.

How is this not diversity? And in what other spiritual system could all these ideas co-exist without destroying the system itself?

Thelema is unique as it unites and transcends all these varied isms.


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Patriarch156
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08/06/2009 2:07 pm  
"Nomad" wrote:
Within Thelema there are atheists, monotheists, dualists, trinitarians, polytheists, agnostics, left-wingers, right-wingers, and every other magical/philosophical/social perspective you can name. How is this not diversity? And in what other spiritual system could all these ideas co-exist without destroying the system itself?

And the same exists within virtually any other religion as well, without destroying the system itself. Sine I have mostly dealt with organizations, if we deal with the largest Thelemic organization out there the O.T.O.:

O.T.O. certainly is more liberal than say the Catholic Church, but then there exists a lot of groups that are more permissive/inclusive than the O.T.O. as well (Universal Unitarians is one such group). There exists few all-inclusive organized groups, but most vary from strict to permissive, and the O.T.O. is neither unique nor even the most permissive among the various sects. Nearly all groups except very small and insular ones have people from all sorts of points of views.

If you on the other hand go after "spiritual system" then every religion has the ability to contain the above and I would be willing to bet good money on, given that they simply have so much more people, that there are more actual people approaching their spiritual system as so inclusive within other spiritual systems than the O.T.O.

Thelema is unique as it unites and transcends all these varied isms.

This is your own claim and frankly an unsupported one, unless you make for a rather narrow interpretation of these various "isms." It certainly was not Crowley's view.

Again I don't deny you the right to do as you please or in this case interpret as you please, but that holds really no definition power over anybody else's interpretation of Thelema and holds as true for any other Christian, Buddhist etc. out there and that you consider that there also exists people of different religions who approaches their own religions the same way.


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Los
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09/06/2009 12:40 am  

Well, it seems in my 24-hour absence from the forum Erwin has beaten me to the punch, composing a comprehensive reply on his blog to IAO131 (who, for the record, had indicated to me privately that he agreed with me and was engaging in a kind of Socratic dialogue with me only for the sake of getting me to clarify and specify my points).

I don't have much to add, but I'll point out a few things.

"IAO131" wrote:
Yes, we might think we are a people person and find, in fact, we arent but this is the exact process most of us go through: we find what works and discard what doesnt.

I'm not sure that most people actually do this because a great deal of people never even begin to grasp that their ideas about themselves are false. What "works" for them is maintaining their fantasy at any cost.

It is quite true that most people can (and do) go through life without ever noticing that their ideas about themselves and the universe are indeed fantasies. And that is what "works" for them -- within the confines of their fantasy world. It's the linus blanket I mentioned earlier to kidneyhawk.

When we talk about "success," I think it's important that we define what we mean by success. IAO131's post makes it seem like *any* result is "success" and that false beliefs can be useful because believing in false things can sometim help one produce results of some kind. So, as he illustrates, the false belief in the Christian god has given rise to a lot of great art and architecture.

I won't dispute that falsehood might be useful in some way. For example, if I fantasize that my spirit guide Megalomanior tells me that my will is to be a TV producer, that might give me the confidence to succeed at that endeavor. Yet, when we are discussing the true will, it seems to me that "success" consists of doing your will and nothing but. I might be guided by fantasy to be a great TV producer -- and be a "success" in that context -- but in the context in which I'm trying to do my will, I'd actually be getting farther away from that goal by following fantasies that are just in my head.


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kidneyhawk
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09/06/2009 1:18 am  

I might be guided by fantasy to be a great TV producer

But ARE you?

This is where this kind of discussion gets really tedious. Hypothetical examples of fantasies (Napoleon Guy, Megalomanior etc) invented to back one's argument rather than (you'll pardon my use of the word) "real" situations which might illustrate the point. The generalization that

It is quite true that most people can (and do) go through life without ever noticing that their ideas about themselves and the universe are indeed fantasies

is just that: a generalization. Where's the "evidence" for this? How many people exactly are you making reference to with this statement (most people in your town? In the world?)

Instead of knocking down little created characters meant to serve the purpose of backing your points in this thread, why don't we look at how this actually "works."

What's your Will, Los? Not what it "might be" but what IS "True Will" in your own life as you understand it and how do YOU distinguish between this and your own "fantasizing process?" Where have you been victim enough of "fantasy" to conclusively know in retrospect that what seemed true was error? And how do you know you've at last got a grip on this "Will" thing beyond that "linus blanket" you think you're observing in "most people's lives?"


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Proteus
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09/06/2009 1:58 am  

What's your Will, Los? Not what it "might be" but what IS "True Will" in your own life as you understand it

It's comments like this that makes the uninitiated reader think that actually doing the work to identify one's Will and attempting to act in accordance with it is remotely relevant. The Will is nothing more than a interesting topic of conversation over cognac and cigars - is it not? Who would have put such crazy thoughts in your head, Kyle?

Speaking of cognac, I wonder how many hours Crowley et al spent at the Abbey discoursing on the nature of 'Will'...

John 😉


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Los
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09/06/2009 4:27 am  

Hypothetical examples of fantasies

You honestly don't think that there are people like "Napoleon dude" locked up in mental hospitals? There certainly are recorded cases of people who are thoroughly convinced that they are famous historical individuals. Do I actually need to dig out the names of one of these people before I can use the example? That's more than a little silly.

a generalization. Where's the "evidence" for this? How many people exactly are you making reference to with this statement (most people in your town? In the world?)

Ok, good question. That was my point, right? That I could demonstrate this stuff? Actually, strictly speaking, my quote was that people "can" go through life without noticing their fantasies -- that they "do" was a parenthetical remark and should probably be qualified as "likely do." But that doesn't change the actual point.

How can I demonstrate that people have a tendency to perceive reality incorrectly? Well, in the first place, we can look at studies that have been conducted about perception. There have been quite a few studies done to demonstrate the fact that people have a tendency, particularly when engaged in habitual behaviors, to overlook much of their environment (i.e. people tend to see what they think is there and miss what's actually there). Further, there have been studies on "confirmation bias" -- people tend to conclude things that they *want* to be true, often in spite of evidence, because they evaluate the evidence selectively and overlook some evidence or more rational interpretations.

Think of the magic show example I keep using...everything that we've ever learned about people tells us that people have a tendency to perceive what they imagine the case to be, not what actually is [once again, "is" equals "very, very likely to be true"].

That people tend to believe things comforting to them is pretty easy to demonstrate. In fact, when we look at statistics, we see people tending to believe fantasy over reality -- belief in gods, belief in spirits, belief in creationism, belief in pseudoscience, belief in the sentimental values of Disney movies, you name it.

In short, the human mind is a very limited tool that tends to get things wrong unless we work at it. To assume that such a limited tool is perfectly capable of understanding the self without considerable effort seems pretty absurd.

Again, keep in mind that I evaluate claims in terms of what is most likely to be true. Do you think that given what we know about the human mind that it's likely to be true or likely to be false that most people have a false idea of themselves?

Of course, as I said two or three posts ago, the issue isn't to get an "idea" of yourself so much as it is to get rid of the false ideas so that the will can be less inhibited or "restricted." It's not really possible to say, "My will is X" except in a limited sense (that could easily become its own fantasy).
So when you ask

What's your Will, Los?

I can say, "well, I just wrote this post, didn't I?"

Now, I wouldn't run around saying, "It's my Will to be a Lashtal.com poster!" and let that start guiding me, such that I feel compelled to post even when I'm not inclined to do so. I don't consider it my "duty" to post; I don't do it out of obligation, I don't do it while worrying needlessly about the outcome, and I don't do it to satisfy some image I have of myself (hoping that people like what I have to say or hoping they'll think I'm smart or hoping they don't all hate me). At least, as far as I'm reasonably capable of determining, I don't do it for any of those reasons. And if I ever find out differently, I'll adjust accordingly.

And how do you know you've at last got a grip on this "Will" thing beyond that "linus blanket" you think you're observing in "most people's lives?"

Again, the will isn't something to get a "grip" on, per se...it's a going, a doing, a becoming. I can't know to some absolute extent that I'm "beyond that 'linus blanket'" -- the best that I can do in any situation is to examine it carefully and determine whether it's likely that I'm acting out of will and not fantasy.

There's no "at last." This isn't something where you reach a point and say, "here I am...my True Will...guess I'll never have to worry about that ever again." It's a process that you get better at over time. But I think it's pretty healthy to always be on guard against wrapping yourself in a linus blanket. We all have a tendency to do it.

Where have you been victim enough of "fantasy" to conclusively know in retrospect that what seemed true was error?

Well, besides the obvious memories of times in my life when I simply held false beliefs about the universe and my place in it or importance in it (like the semi-theism or pantheism I held onto through most of my teens [incidentally, I think it's Richard Dawkins who calls pantheism "sexed up atheism"]), I can easily recall times in my life when I was mistakenly guided by a sense of sentimentalism. Several times I was guided by a strong desire to spend time with people, only to discover that I didn't actually enjoy spending time with them at all. Several times I had an inflated image of myself or a warped perception of my image in the eyes of others. I can remember that for a long time I was an adherent of political ideology rather than carefully examining facts. I also recall pursuing a course of studies because I evaluated that "I'd be good at it" -- and although I was good at it, I observed that I wasn't particularly inclined to do it when I was in the act of doing it.

Most people, if they think about it, can probably recall times in their lives when they were wrong about themselves. Those are fruitful places to start an inquiry.

Certainly, the nature of this subject is that I can't demonstrate to another person that I'm doing my will in the same sense that I can demonstrate that I'm sitting at a table and not on a camel. But they're different kinds of claims. I *can* demonstrate to myself (and only myself) to a reasonable extent that it is highly likely that I am following my will and not fantasy. It's not something absolute, and it's always something that's open to new evidence -- but in order to do that, I have to keep my attention on what's real, what exists outside of my mind, what is not dependent on what I think.

Speaking of cognac, I wonder how many hours Crowley et al spent at the Abbey discoursing on the nature of 'Will'...

Well, this is a discussion forum. What do you expect people to do on a discussion forum?


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
09/06/2009 7:13 am  

If you mean that each Thelemite are unique, while I agree, I must caution you to realize that so is all people, be they Buddhist, Muslim or Christian. Each have a different take on their religion, with different levels of comitment and agreement. So that is something Thelema has in common with the rest of the world, not something that makes it special.

I wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment. I am also quickly agreeing with Patriarch156 on his points and am astounded at the level of responses he has presented here. He didn't have to go out of his way to tickle anyone's fancy here, especially my own.

I appreciate your sources and discussion and agree with you. While Thelema may be very much like all other religions in the aspect he has presented nowhere in his posts has he said Thelema is not unique in its own synthesis.

I am curious, Patriarch156, are you a Thelemite?

As far as your comments on academics goes, it is fine that you would not place your reliance on their conclusions, but one would at least hope that you would be able to offer some legitimate addressing of the criticism of this now debunked view of religion (I am not arguing against solar-phallic religion btw, or even that it might legitimately serve as the foundation for a universal brotherhood of Man, I am arguing against the historical and anthropological revisionism that goes on in this) or at the very least offer some proof that has not been debunked or can be explained by simpler theories for your ideas.

This is something that I am working on actually. I don't have any proof, I simply do not trust. Forgive my lack of work in this area, I wish I could give you something to go on. History and Anthropology themselves are problematic at the least and to me are no final indication of the irrelevance of a solar-phallic religion. I suppose in this regard I am more of a romantic than I aught to be.

But even if it were true: I remain unconvinced of AC's claim that since Roman Catholicism is really a pagan cult, that it's adherents, let alone it's leaders, as he believed would fall in line once this was revealed to them, embracing their true "solar-phallic" heritage. The same holds true for any other religion as well. As far as I know Protestantism only grew in popularity when it focused on debunking the Pagan fertility aspects of Roman Catholicism.

I will have to look again, but I think I am familiar with Crowley's remarks about Catholicism being more Pagan than most Catholics would admit. However I believe he also retracted this statement later and confirmed that Catholics are indeed not at all Pagan and would not accept Thelema. I will have to look for the source and if I find it I will post it here.

I am not sure why and how bringing in the Cathars would fundamentally alter or change the gist of my argument. As far as I know this does not really change the fact that old and modern Christianity as seen through it's established and organized forms in general (with the exception of a brief and now largely abandoned as I showed stint within Protestantism) place a great deal of reliance and emphasis on the personal experience with God.

I agree. My remarks were off the cuff.


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Patriarch156
(@patriarch156)
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09/06/2009 1:20 pm  
"KCh" wrote:
I wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment. I am also quickly agreeing with Patriarch156 on his points and am astounded at the level of responses he has presented here. He didn't have to go out of his way to tickle anyone's fancy here, especially my own.

Not sure I follow you, but glad that you are agreeing with me.

I appreciate your sources and discussion and agree with you. While Thelema may be very much like all other religions in the aspect he has presented nowhere in his posts has he said Thelema is not unique in its own synthesis.

Yes no doubt, that has been my point as well. In fact I made this very point in my first post in this thread: "In fact as far as there is anything new under the Sun it is the particular synthesis of Thelema as manifested in the writings and teachings of Aleister Crowley, which while like any other religious movement relies heavily on the cultural flux that birthed it in general, as manifested in particular in the synthetic genius of Crowley in particular, is still like any other recognizable movement unique in the sense that it's particular synthesis is unique."

I am curious, Patriarch156, are you a Thelemite?

Yes, and by that I mean the orthodox interpretation of it as offered by Crowley, one who accepts the Book of the Law as the Letter and Word of Truth and the Supreme Rule of Life. In fact I have taken oaths to the effect.

I readily concede that Thelema has a special role in the sense that it was the overturning of an old Aeon by forces as testified in the biographical note on Master Therion that rules over the destiny of this world and that Crowley was specifically consecrated as the Word of the Aeon.

At the same time however I recognize that any such statement is a religious statement (even if it includes as does many religions attempts to transcend faith into certainty by dint of personal experience) and that Crowley's claim to have scientifically proven the existence of praeterhuman intelligences kind of falls short of meeting any real demand. In fact his main contribution to the study of these phenomenas in a true scientific sense is his naturalistic approach to it in the Outer College of the A.'.A.'. and even that would fall kind of short by today's standards.

That being said I readily concede that if you replace scientific with terms such as rigorous and focused (he signed after all one time one of his letters with "Scientific Essayist" which should tell you that his concept of Science is not what most people would think of it), Crowley was a shining beacon of light. But it would be a science of Thelema, in the sense that it is the science of the theurgy and thaumaturgy of our religion by which we initiate, attain and accomplish things.

But any special sense accorded to our teachings and place in history would be the result of my particular point of view and I can readily see that most religions engage in similar legitimizing strategies, so thinking that this would make Thelema different in an objective or at the very least noncontroversial sense is giving in to naivety too much I think.

This is something that I am working on actually. I don't have any proof, I simply do not trust. Forgive my lack of work in this area, I wish I could give you something to go on. History and Anthropology themselves are problematic at the least and to me are no final indication of the irrelevance of a solar-phallic religion. I suppose in this regard I am more of a romantic than I aught to be.

Don't misunderstand me, I don't think that solar-phallic religion is irrelevant, after all I adore and sing hymns to the Image of the Lord every day, both externally and internally. What I however think is that the claim that it might serve as a foundation of the Brotherhood of Man in the sense that it would be noncontroversial for members of all religions to recognize this as it's fundamental and original truth is a bit overstating it's case for supremacy. I readily however concede that Solar-Phallic religion at least in my view is vastly superior to any other manifestations of the religious instinct.

I will have to look again, but I think I am familiar with Crowley's remarks about Catholicism being more Pagan than most Catholics would admit. However I believe he also retracted this statement later and confirmed that Catholics are indeed not at all Pagan and would not accept Thelema. I will have to look for the source and if I find it I will post it here.

You are I believe thinking of his New Comment on AL. He didn't say that Catholicism isn't pagan, he merely recognized that they would not embrace Thelema. Evola went through a similar enchantment with the Roman Catholic Church and believed that they would accept their "pagan" origins, but quickly found out that this was not likely to occur.

In short the likelyhood that this might actually be the foundation of the Brotherhood of Man in any original way other than that of Christianity, Islam or any other religion that is expansive through promulgation of it's teachings is unlikely to say the least.


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 Anonymous
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09/06/2009 2:48 pm  

What i find curious about the issue of "religion" in this debate is that from some of the posts its seems to paint a picture of Crowley being frightened by the implications of the Book of the Law. In hindsight it could be argued that Crowley poured all his energy into creating a quasi masonic structure that might contain and control the ideas of Thelema & its implications in the vehicle of the OTO. And failing.

Its also debatable if Crowley's intention for the OTO outlined in The Blue Equinox is even Thelemic in spirit and act. The idea that the OTO would be an imposed spiritual "elite" on the physical world, contradicts the personal spiritual freedom that Aiwass was implying in the Book of the Law. In that context i find it difficult to see how a "religious" organsiation would represent Thelema effectively.


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 Anonymous
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09/06/2009 8:05 pm  
"VictimofChanges" wrote:
If we put the actual beliefs of Thelema aside, how is it not exactly the same as (insert any religion here)?

The differences, if any, are to be expected to be demonstrated by practical application of the given principles in both the lives of the adherents and to their environment. The latter will be much easier to judge, obviously, as observation will be less subjective.


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Walterfive
(@walterfive)
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09/06/2009 9:55 pm  
"hawthornrussell" wrote:
What i find curious about the issue of "religion" in this debate is that from some of the posts its seems to paint a picture of Crowley being frightened by the implications of the Book of the Law. In hindsight it could be argued that Crowley poured all his energy into creating a quasi masonic structure that might contain and control the ideas of Thelema & its implications in the vehicle of the OTO. And failing.

Hmmm... do let us know when you have such resounding and long-lived failures?

For the record, Crowley wasn't about "creating a quasi masonic (sic) structure." That would have been fellows like Karl Kellner and Theodore Reuss.


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
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Posts: 3951
09/06/2009 10:08 pm  
"Walterfive" wrote:
For the record, Crowley wasn't about "creating a quasi masonic (sic) structure." That would have been fellows like Karl Kellner and Theodore Reuss.

Fair enough, Walter, he didn't create it. But didn't he perpetuate it through his Blue Equinox period reworkings? More to the point, perhaps, did he revise it to any significant extent between 1923 and 1947?

Best wishes,

Michael.


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 Anonymous
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10/06/2009 1:34 am  

[quote=""MichaelStaley More to the point, perhaps, did he revise it to any significant extent between 1923 and 1947?

Best wishes,

Michael.

He may not have revised it personally, but no doubt realised that the need was apparent. For on 14 March 1942 e.v. AC writes to Germer: "I shall appoint you my successor as O.H.O. but on special terms. It is quite clear to me that a complete change in the structure of the Order and in its methods is necessary. The Secret is the basis, and you must select the proper people." Crowley would also say of Kenneth Grant "a definite gift from the Gods" and within his March 1946 e.v. diary entry would write: "Value of Grant: if I die or go to U.S.A., there must be a trained man to take care of the English O.T.O." Further data here:

http://user.cyberlink.ch/~koenig/dplanet/staley/staley2.htm


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
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10/06/2009 1:50 am  
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
"Walterfive" wrote:
For the record, Crowley wasn't about "creating a quasi masonic (sic) structure." That would have been fellows like Karl Kellner and Theodore Reuss.

Fair enough, Walter, he didn't create it. But didn't he perpetuate it through his Blue Equinox period reworkings? More to the point, perhaps, did he revise it to any significant extent between 1923 and 1947?

Best wishes,

Michael.

LOL Good point, Michael, perhaps he did not intend for it to be revised? At least not prior to it being tried over time with sufficient membership and degree development as required for it to fully function as intended, etc., etc., etc.?

Sorry, couldn't resist.... 😉


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Patriarch156
(@patriarch156)
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10/06/2009 2:01 am  
"666TSAEB" wrote:
He may not have revised it personally, but no doubt realised that the need was apparent. For on 14 March 1942 e.v. AC writes to Germer: "I shall appoint you my successor as O.H.O. but on special terms. It is quite clear to me that a complete change in the structure of the Order and in its methods is necessary. The Secret is the basis, and you must select the proper people."

Why not instead go to the following link on the very forums of LAShTAL.COM: http://www.lashtal.com/nuke/Downloads-req-getit-lid-21.phtml and find the original letter which describes just what kind of revision A.C. envisioned? I will give you a fun excerpt which continues from where your quote left off:

"You can take outsiders; but everyone who has anything to do with us at all must make a formal renunciation of ideas denounced in AL 49-56. Cap III. Then comes the New Social Order, on the lines laid down in the books
LII, CI, CLXI and CXCIV (See Equinox III.1. pp 195-246) and same
in Eqx III.2.—this volume is not under my hand at the moment.
The broad base of public association is the Gnostic Mass."

If however it is enlightened commentary you seek, why not go to a commentary that actually address the letter in toto instead of merely an out of context small excerpt of it: http://lib.oto-usa.org/agape/agape.9.3-4.pdf

From the looks of it, going by Crowley's letters to Germer, McMurtry and W.B. Crow he seems to the extent that he envisioned an abandonment of the "quasimasonic" as you all like to call it aspects of the O.T.O., it was to abandon the rituals of the middle triad. He continued to insist on the usage of particularly the Minerval ritual to the end of his life, a ritual he decided also to incorporate into the Order of Thelemites which never got off the ground when he quarelled with Reuss.

To the extent that he wanted a change of focus it was to drop the occult aspects of the Order and leave that to the A.'.A.'. and rather focus on the Order teaching a Way of Life or Karma Yoga as he would write to McMurtry and others, leaving the occult aspects to those with the aptitude and interest for it to be tested and trained elsewhere.

In short he seems to have imagined a very conventional religious organization whose central public interface would be the Gnostic Mass with it's appendant sacraments (he also envisioned a scoutlike organization that would train young children in the Law of Thelema).

From this general populace was recruited members who wanted to learn Thelema as a way of Life who would govern and administrate these sacraments. Additionally these would engage in political activism and promulgation through normal proselytizing activities as given in Liber CCC (A.C. himself during this period asked his members to go out and hand out Liber Oz cards, pritning of lavish pamphlets and tracts that he wanted to circulate the same way earlier having become too costly for him to produce) and establishment of the Law of Thelema (in accordance with the social Order given in the Blue Equinox).

Finally those with the aptitude for Magick would be trained and tested in the A.'.A.'.


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Patriarch156
(@patriarch156)
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10/06/2009 2:06 am  
"Patriarch156" wrote:
Finally those with the aptitude for Magick would be trained and tested in the A.'.A.'.

This should of course continue as follows:

"which would also presumably train those who did reach the upper degrees where the secret was taught in the techniques and doctrines necessary to make it work."


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
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10/06/2009 6:01 am  

In short the likelyhood that this might actually be the foundation of the Brotherhood of Man in any original way other than that of Christianity, Islam or any other religion that is expansive through promulgation of it's teachings is unlikely to say the least.

I have to concede to this point.

Realistically Thelema can only establish itself by dint of force both externally and internally. The likelyhood that other religions will subsume themselves into Thelema should be considered realistically and surely the only obvious result is to either convert or stay with their particualar religion.

This brings up other obvious points(that are off-topic so I won't elaborate) about the possible conflicts that are sure to arise and how to address them appropriately.


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Walterfive
(@walterfive)
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10/06/2009 4:45 pm  
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
"Walterfive" wrote:
For the record, Crowley wasn't about "creating a quasi masonic (sic) structure." That would have been fellows like Karl Kellner and Theodore Reuss.

Fair enough, Walter, he didn't create it. But didn't he perpetuate it through his Blue Equinox period reworkings? More to the point, perhaps, did he revise it to any significant extent between 1923 and 1947?

93's Micheal,

Ah, rhetorical questions.

Speaking of revisions, where is the Typhonian Order on that part about "broad base of public association is the Gnostic Mass"?

I'm suprised you bring this up, although I ought not be; as your countryman Viv Stanshall said, "There are no coincidences, but sometimes the pattern is more obvious." I went to the Koenig website refer on the post immediately following yours, and there I find you saying:
"In essence, it seems a waste of time to have to argue about the past, when what really matters is the present task of developing Thelema and radiating the 93 Current."

I concur to your wisdom. It is a waste of time to argue about the past.
I wasn't arguing about such things. I was merely correcting the fellow's misconception about Crowley "creating a quasi-Masonic structure", although if David Allen Hulse is correct, Crowley may have actually had a hand in it as early as 1906...

With all respect,

Walter


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 Anonymous
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10/06/2009 4:53 pm  
"KCh" wrote:
The likelyhood that other religions will subsume themselves into Thelema should be considered realistically and surely the only obvious result is to either convert or stay with their particualar religion.

I see this as wishful thinking on Crowley's part, a marvelously convenient way to jump-start a mass-movement. I don't really see how he foresaw slaves being imported en masse into individual freedom, as a practical matter, but it would have been a time-saver, generations of time saved. Anyway, we are each prone to wishful thinking now and then.


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Aleisterion
(@aleisterion)
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10/06/2009 6:26 pm  

I really fail to see why so many take Crowley as the final arbiter of Thelema anyway...The Book of the Law very plainly says that he had extraordinary ill will (which was evident his entire life), and that he would fail to behold all the mysteries of Thelema. As if that weren't enough, he himself admitted that he was at fault for having one foot in the Old Aeon, and this too was manifest in some of his ideas and practices. Finally, there were all the times that he deviated from his path, pursuing ludicrous money-making schemes that never had a chance of panning out. We are ourselves regents of no less status than any prophet, and we are free to do as we will...all of us, even those (I suppose) that choose to be enslaved to Crowley's every word.


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kidneyhawk
(@kidneyhawk)
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10/06/2009 8:12 pm  

We are ourselves regents of no less status than any prophet, and we are free to do as we will

Will put, Aleisterion! 😉


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 Anonymous
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10/06/2009 8:25 pm  

93,
I interpret Thelema as a transcendance of Old Aeon religions--"The Crowned and Conquering Child"..

"Aleisterion" wrote:
pursuing ludicrous money-making schemes that never had a chance of panning out.

(off topic) Out of curiosity, what money-making schemes are you alluding to? "Not for profit"(pun intended) seems to have been his middle name.

I agree with you about the "enslavement".

93 93/93
10BEARS


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 Anonymous
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10/06/2009 9:00 pm  
"Patriarch156" wrote:
"Patriarch156" wrote:
Finally those with the aptitude for Magick would be trained and tested in the A.'.A.'.

This should of course continue as follows:

"which would also presumably train those who did reach the upper degrees where the secret was taught in the techniques and doctrines necessary to make it work."

I think there might be some misunderstanding here. Someone who is aiding you in the work doesn't teach you anything you can't find out for yourself. They simply study where you are at and try to assist you finding out your own 'secret' - help you make a shortcut, or encourage a cascade reaction that results in one of the initiations.

As a very basic example - if I ask you 'who are you' - it's not something I can teach you. It's not a secret I keep - it's your secret for you to discover and I'll do my best to help you discover it using whatever is at hand and appropriate to where you are at, right now.


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Aleisterion
(@aleisterion)
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Posts: 319
10/06/2009 9:57 pm  

"(off topic) Out of curiosity, what money-making schemes are you alluding to?"

There was the pill-making venture, complete with the Beast's "special recipe"...as if that stood a chance of ever succeeding.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
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10/06/2009 10:15 pm  
"Aleisterion" wrote:
"(off topic) Out of curiosity, what money-making schemes are you alluding to?"

There was the pill-making venture, complete with the Beast's "special recipe"...as if that stood a chance of ever succeeding.

So... the beast was a bit of a spin doctor? 😀


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Patriarch156
(@patriarch156)
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11/06/2009 12:13 am  
"alrah" wrote:
I think there might be some misunderstanding here.

No misunderstanding. Since I was explaining the change in Crowley's thought and what this constituted I was referencing his ideas not yours. Sorry if I had you confused in thinking I was talking abotu you for a minute there.


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IAO131
(@iao131)
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Posts: 461
11/06/2009 4:08 am  
"Los" wrote:
Well, it seems in my 24-hour absence from the forum Erwin has beaten me to the punch, composing a comprehensive reply on his blog to IAO131 (who, for the record, had indicated to me privately that he agreed with me and was engaging in a kind of Socratic dialogue with me only for the sake of getting me to clarify and specify my points).

I don't have much to add, but I'll point out a few things.

"IAO131" wrote:
Yes, we might think we are a people person and find, in fact, we arent but this is the exact process most of us go through: we find what works and discard what doesnt.

I'm not sure that most people actually do this because a great deal of people never even begin to grasp that their ideas about themselves are false. What "works" for them is maintaining their fantasy at any cost.

It is quite true that most people can (and do) go through life without ever noticing that their ideas about themselves and the universe are indeed fantasies. And that is what "works" for them -- within the confines of their fantasy world. It's the linus blanket I mentioned earlier to kidneyhawk.

When we talk about "success," I think it's important that we define what we mean by success. IAO131's post makes it seem like *any* result is "success" and that false beliefs can be useful because believing in false things can sometim help one produce results of some kind. So, as he illustrates, the false belief in the Christian god has given rise to a lot of great art and architecture.

I won't dispute that falsehood might be useful in some way. For example, if I fantasize that my spirit guide Megalomanior tells me that my will is to be a TV producer, that might give me the confidence to succeed at that endeavor. Yet, when we are discussing the true will, it seems to me that "success" consists of doing your will and nothing but. I might be guided by fantasy to be a great TV producer -- and be a "success" in that context -- but in the context in which I'm trying to do my will, I'd actually be getting farther away from that goal by following fantasies that are just in my head.

93,

My point was a syllogism starting from the idea 'if success is your proof' and including 'and falsity can bring success' does that prove it? Its more of a hypothetical...

Besides, when you simply say 'success' = 'doing your true will' you aren't saying much. How is simply doing your will your 'proof'? What does it look like? If you have to set up a standard of success for something to be judged successful, what is that standard (and please dont say 'doing your true will' that brings no new information to the table).

Crowley takes that view, by the way, when he says "Our Canon of Truth is Maximum Convenience" along with his use of "Success is your proof" in multiple contexts. ...And Crowley writes of the 'Sodom-Apple' etc... Its not like these ideas are coming out of nowhere.

You're 'getting farther away from the goal' by following your fantasy of being a TV producer but what exactly is that 'goal'? How is it distinguished from other 'goals,' especially if the 'false' goals are the ones that produce tangible 'results'? As I said in the beginning, a lot of these questions are just me being Devil's Advocate because honestly, you tend to revert to tautologies that "The Will is real" and "what is real is the Will" and "what is not the Will is not real"; "success is doing your will" and "doing your will is what constitutes success". Is it simply, what Erwin is probably whispering in your ear, what is left over after the desires of the ego are analyzed away?

IAO131


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 Anonymous
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11/06/2009 7:31 am  
"Patriarch156" wrote:
"alrah" wrote:
I think there might be some misunderstanding here.

No misunderstanding. Since I was explaining the change in Crowley's thought and what this constituted I was referencing his ideas not yours. Sorry if I had you confused in thinking I was talking abotu you for a minute there.

Well - actually you were explaining your own understanding of Crowleys thought and what you think this constituted. Can you provide a direct reference from Crowleys work that justifies your interpretation? I can't see any evidence that he pranced around singing 'I've got a secret', or that he encouraged the A.:A.: to behave in that manner. Thanks.


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 Anonymous
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11/06/2009 9:38 am  

Addendum:

From Liber LXI vel Causae:

"2. In all systems of religion is to be found a system of Initiation, which may be defined as the process by which a man comes to learn that unknown Crown.

3. Though none can communicate either the knowledge or the power to achieve this, which we may call the Great Work, it is yet possible for initiates to guide others.

4. Every man must overcome his own obstacles, expose his own illusions. Yet others may assist him to do both, and they may enable him altogether to avoid many of the false paths, leading no whither, which tempt the weary feet of the uninitiated pilgrim. "


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3951
11/06/2009 11:57 am  
"Los" wrote:
Well, it seems in my 24-hour absence from the forum Erwin has beaten me to the punch, composing a comprehensive reply on his blog to IAO131 (who, for the record, had indicated to me privately that he agreed with me and was engaging in a kind of Socratic dialogue with me only for the sake of getting me to clarify and specify my points).

My apologies for being a little off-topic here, but I would have thought that a Private Message to you from IAO131 - or anyone else, for that matter - was . . . err . . . a private matter, as distinct from something for public consumption.

I coudn't care less whether something has received a "comprehensive reply" on Erwin Hessle's blog. Though I appreciate that you do take every opportunity to refer us to that citadel of enlightenment, I'm unlikely to rush there myself.

Best wishes,

Michael.


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Patriarch156
(@patriarch156)
Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 486
11/06/2009 12:46 pm  
"alrah" wrote:
Well - actually you were explaining your own understanding of Crowleys thought and what you think this constituted. Can you provide a direct reference from Crowleys work that justifies your interpretation? I can't see any evidence that he pranced around singing 'I've got a secret', or that he encouraged the A.:A.: to behave in that manner. Thanks.

Let's look at my statement, which went if completed: "Finally those with the aptitude for Magick would be trained and tested in the A.'.A.'. which would also presumably train those who did reach the upper degrees where the secret was taught in the techniques and doctrines necessary to make it work."

The secret being a reference to the one taught in the O.T.O.'s Sovereign Sanctuary of the Gnosis, we can find the following statements concerning it from the introduction of Magick Without Tears, letter A:

"I should consequently, in the case of your deciding to affiliate, go with you though the script of the Rituals and explain the meaning of the whole thing; communicating, in addition, the real secret and significant knowledge of which ordinary Masonry is not possessed."

and

"To return for a moment to that question of Secrecy: there is no rule to prohibit you from quoting against me such of my brighter remarks as "Mystery is the enemy of Truth;" but, for one thing, I am, and always have been, the leader of the Extreme Left in the Council-Chamber of the City of the Pyramids, so that if I acquiesce at all in the system of the O.T.O. so far as the "secret of secrets" of the IX° is concerned, it is really on a point of personal honour. My pledge given to the late Frater Superior and O.H.O., Dr. Theodor Reuss. For all that, in this particular instance it is beyond question a point of common prudence, both because the abuse of the Secret is, at least on the surface, so easy and so tempting, and because, if it became a matter of general knowledge the Order itself might be in danger of calumny and persecution; for the secret is even easier to misinterpret that to profane."

After A.C. revised the O.T.O. he also started to change the focus as it was to be organized under him, as he remarks in a letter to Frank Bennett from october, 1916 e.v.:

"The O.T.O. should be put forward as a complete solution of the social problem not merely as an occult society. That is as far as the general public is concerned; keep the occult side of it for people who are already interested in the subject."

That this was still in effect late in his life can be seen in his volumnious correspondence where in large part his concern was about people not doing the work (Promulgation and Establishment of the Law) that they were supposed to engage in, leading him to remark to W.B. Crow when the latter innocucously remarked about the Book of Thoth in a letter on 21. june 1944 e.v.:

"Your riposte about [the] Eq[uino]x + Book of Thoth does not touch me, because these are technical works for the learned. What I put out as doctrine is the simple slogan."

This is also of course in evidence in Magick Without Tears where he remarks in chapter LXI, where he discusses as I noted the necessity of knowing these matters but that these were not taught in the O.T.O.:

"The O.T.O. is a training of the Masonic type; there is no "astral" work in it at all, nor any Yoga. There is a certain amount of Qabalah, and that of great doctrinal value. But the really vital matter is the gradual progress towards disclosure of the Secret of the Ninth Degree. To use that secret to advantage involves mastery both of Yoga and of Magick; but neither is taught in the Order. "

I noted that the A.'.A.'. would be the one that "presumably would train" those who knew the Secret, since it was to the A.'.A.'. that Crowley continued to refer people concerning these matters and is an actual teaching Order that trains them in these very matters. The actual curricullum is clearly outlined in Liber XIII and elsewhere.


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Walterfive
(@walterfive)
Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 856
11/06/2009 3:04 pm  
"Patriarch156" wrote:
After A.C. revised the O.T.O. he also started to change the focus as it was to be organized under him, as he remarks in a letter to Frank Bennett from october, 1916 e.v.:

"The O.T.O. should be put forward as a complete solution of the social problem not merely as an occult society. That is as far as the general public is concerned; keep the occult side of it for people who are already interested in the subject."

NICE... In what collection or publication might that letter be found? There seems to be a lot of important commentary in A.C.'s correspondence that doesn't get dissmeninated...


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
11/06/2009 3:52 pm  

Ah! Thanks for the well written and researched reply Patriarch156. 🙂 I wonder if there was ever a time when IX degree was a properly kept secret - but I'm thankful that we live in a more accepting and less intolerant society now.

I find the IXth psychologically fascinating when undertaken by hetrosexual men in particular. Supposedly, the underlying psychological motivation behind male homosexuality is the idea that there was a missing element of warm, physical manly horse play in the father and son relationship, and the son has trouble identfying with the father or accepting his authority (thereby cultivating his own) because the father is absent, distant, ineffectual or harsh and unloving. However - through warm and loving homosexual relationship a man can feel that authority and strength has been taken in and possessed in some fashion and a deep emotional bond gives them something they didn't get from the father. I'd be fascinated to learn if hetrosexual men also benefit from loving homosexual sex, and if it's possible that it actually increases their satisfaction and acceptance of their own masculinity. In theory it could awaken the true masculine self as opposed to the self image learned from the more superficial childhood relationship with the father - where such matters as competiveness and drive for power and status (look at me dad!) are emphasized while the father is a role model. Added to an identification with the All Father, adoption of god forms during the sex, general ritual prep designed to facilitate the psychological shift of the psyche... I could see how that might be very beneficial in the work... but I don't know. I've like to know, but I don't. If anyone would like to tell me....? 😉

Well - I'm probably thoroughly off topic now, but thanks for explaining what you meant by 'secret' and 'training' Patriarch 🙂


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
11/06/2009 4:16 pm  

Apologies everyone. Patriarch was talking about the IX and I had a dyslexic moment and replied assuming (what an appropriate word...) it was the XI he was talking about. I'll just go dunk my head now. *splash*


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Patriarch156
(@patriarch156)
Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 486
11/06/2009 6:32 pm  
"Walterfive" wrote:
NICE... In what collection or publication might that letter be found? There seems to be a lot of important commentary in A.C.'s correspondence that doesn't get dissmeninated...

It is in the Yorke Collection at Warburg as transcribed by Gerald Yorke.


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