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 Anonymous
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11/06/2009 6:59 pm  

It surprises me that these facts about Crowley's views are so little known, if that is the case, and it is of some concern. How can this be, Patriarch156?


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Patriarch156
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11/06/2009 7:26 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
It surprises me that these facts about Crowley's views are so little known, if that is the case, and it is of some concern. How can this be, Patriarch156?

I think the reason is actually merely the fact that Crowley initially organized Thelema during the Equinox era as a sort of insular essence religion, whose main preoccupation was centered on occultism. His acolytes with a few notable exceptions was also mainly interested in this aspect of the work and doesn't seem to have taken kindly to his reorganization of both his Orders post-Magus attainment.

Crowley is mainly known as either a satanist or at best an occultist not the founder of a new religious movement with a definite sociopolitical program. So it stands to reason that since there is very little promulgation along the lines he envisioned (cf. Liber CCC) that most people would come to such Orders of O.T.O. and the A.'.A.'. and seek something that neither were ever supposed to (not even during the Equinox era) give.

So not really the result of a conspiracy, it is more the result of the lack of interest in those aspects of his life, which served as a reinforcing negative cycle for a very long time. Things seems to be changing though, which is I believe a result of mainly that the O.T.O. progressively has become more established, their publication program of Crowley's works and their support of academia who wants to write about Crowley.

We also of course have with the advent of the internet the wonderful service of LAShTAL.COM which is unique online in that it focus on a holisitc view of Crowley and which disseminates news and ideas located in one spot that makes it easy for everyone searching on Crowley to get.

Lately we are also seeing other independent endeavors as well of course such as our own IAO131's Journal of Academic Studies, his wonderful and hitherto only actual academic class in the world that is solely focused on Thelema at the University of California.

With the O.T.O.'s microfilming of their own and other collections and disseminating these to major universities and various local bodies and national sections of the Order, we are additionally seeing an unparalelled access to Crowley's rarer resources and papers.

Things are definitely changing, but gradually.


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Patriarch156
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11/06/2009 8:03 pm  

I have been informed that I misrepresented slightly the class at the university of california. In fact the teacher was not IAO131 but Soror LVXNOX from the last issue of the Journal of Thelemic Studies. Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa 🙂


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IAO131
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11/06/2009 8:05 pm  
"Patriarch156" wrote:
I have been informed that I misrepresented slightly the class at the university of california. In fact the teacher was not IAO131 but Soror LVXNOX from the last issue of the Journal of Thelemic Studies. Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa 🙂

93,

The Secret Chiefs frown impudently on your ignorance, O Patriarch 😉

Back to the topic at hand...

IAO131


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 Anonymous
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11/06/2009 8:07 pm  

Thank you for that, Patriarch156. I would like to take this opportunity to express my personal appreciation to you, the OTO, Paul Feazey, IAO131 and the rest whose endeavors shed a truer light on Crowley and Thelema, countering the ongoing trend of others serving their own personal (and often counter-Crowley or Thelema) agendas by way of imbalanced extrapolation from Crowley's life, legacy and works.


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 Anonymous
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11/06/2009 8:58 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
Thank you for that, Patriarch156. I would like to take this opportunity to express my personal appreciation to you, the OTO, Paul Feazey, IAO131 and the rest whose endeavors shed a truer light on Crowley and Thelema, countering the ongoing trend of others serving their own personal (and often counter-Crowley or Thelema) agendas by way of imbalanced extrapolation from Crowley's life, legacy and works.

I can't think of any counter Thelema agenda's Camlion? What were you thinking/meaning by that? And I think the Book of the Law seems a bit keen in parts on different flavours anyways - the better to attract a diversity of peeps to the fold I suppose. Is this some sort of political thing? I never follow order politics. Too boring.

Enlightenment is Enlightenment... even if it's dressed up in yesterdays purple curtains and dancing round some rocks in southern England. *shrug*


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kidneyhawk
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11/06/2009 9:01 pm  

the ongoing trend of others serving their own personal (and often counter-Crowley or Thelema) agendas by way of imbalanced extrapolation from Crowley's life, legacy and works

Who might these

others

you are referring to be?


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 Anonymous
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11/06/2009 9:12 pm  

"a new religious movement with a definite sociopolitical program"

If Crowley wanted to engage in politics then why did he not go into political office? This is where i see the schism between Crowley's whims and what Aiwass was implying. How would the personal freedom of Thelema thrive in the environment of a" religious movement with a definite sociopolitical program"?

Also this exposes the contradiction of how personal Thelema/will would exist in a restrictive hierachial political environment. In that sense Crowley hadnt thought through the implications of his suggestions for the OTO in The Blue Equinox.


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 Anonymous
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11/06/2009 9:23 pm  
"alrah" wrote:
I can't think of any counter Thelema agenda's Camlion? What were you thinking/meaning by that? And I think the Book of the Law seems a bit keen in parts on different flavours anyways - the better to attract a diversity of peeps to the fold I suppose. Is this some sort of political thing? I never follow order politics. Too boring.

Enlightenment is Enlightenment... even if it's dressed up in yesterdays purple curtains and dancing round some rocks in southern England. *shrug*

Alrah, to focus our minds and be a brief as possible, are you suggesting that Thelema means anything that one wishes it did, anything at all?


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 Anonymous
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11/06/2009 9:26 pm  
"hawthornrussell" wrote:

"a new religious movement with a definite sociopolitical program"

How would the personal freedom of Thelema thrive in the environment of a" religious movement with a definite sociopolitical program"?

Because the sociopolitical program would insure maximum personal freedom and responsibility? Just a thought...


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Azidonis
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11/06/2009 11:15 pm  

Well, I've read the first page, and the sixth page of this thread, so I still have a lot of reading to do. I must say, it's great to be able to read stuff like this again.

Hello again Lashtal! I'll definitely post something on this thread soon. I see some of you old faces are still around... hope all is well.


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 Anonymous
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11/06/2009 11:55 pm  
"Azidonis" wrote:
Well, I've read the first page, and the sixth page of this thread, so I still have a lot of reading to do. I must say, it's great to be able to read stuff like this again.

Hello again Lashtal! I'll definitely post something on this thread soon. I see some of you old faces are still around... hope all is well.

93 Az! Welcome back. You on dry land? 🙂


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Azidonis
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12/06/2009 12:11 am  

93,

Thanks Cam! 🙂 I've been out of the Navy since May of last year, and what a year it has been! There is much to tell at some point in time to some one or another, but it's been good for the most part.

Perhaps I'll send you a PM and we can play catch-up, lol

I'll be visiting Tennessee again next week, and am going to try and get most of my books and personal effects up here to Washington ASAP as well, so this part of the year is very exciting.

Anyway, this detracts from the thread, ttyl.

93 93/93


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 Anonymous
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12/06/2009 1:13 am  
"Camlion" wrote:
"alrah" wrote:
I can't think of any counter Thelema agenda's Camlion? What were you thinking/meaning by that? And I think the Book of the Law seems a bit keen in parts on different flavours anyways - the better to attract a diversity of peeps to the fold I suppose. Is this some sort of political thing? I never follow order politics. Too boring.

Enlightenment is Enlightenment... even if it's dressed up in yesterdays purple curtains and dancing round some rocks in southern England. *shrug*

Alrah, to focus our minds and be a brief as possible, are you suggesting that Thelema means anything that one wishes it did, anything at all?

For the good of the aeon Camlion, Thelema means exactly as it is, - but I tell you now that I could take the doctrine of almost any true order and show how it is identical to the Law of Thelema - for to all true orders I am a swor/n/d servant..


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Los
 Los
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12/06/2009 7:08 pm  
"IAO131" wrote:
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".

Ok, let's settle this tautology stuff first.

"Real," in the context of this discussion, is my word for "not contingent on a mind." "The Will is real" just means, translated from Los-speak, "The Will is not contingent on a mind." Just like my trusty table.

"Success" is the achievement of a particular goal. Whether something can be called a "success" depends on the goal. So if my goal is to compose a novel but I instead sing a song, it doesn't matter how awesome the song is -- I'd still be a "failure" in relation to the original goal. When we're talking about discovering and accomplishing the will, "success" has to be measured by the degree to which one has discovered and accomplished the will.

Now certainly I can't look at someone else and discover how "successful" he is by this standard. It doesn't "look like" anything in particular to an outside observer. But so what? It's not my job to judge whether other people are doing their wills. In fact, it's impossible for me to do.

Crowley seems to have this idea that if you're doing your true will, you can't fail. I don't have time to dig out the quotes at the moment, but he expresses the point that if two people are fighting over X and one person loses, then it clearly wasn't that person's will to get X.

I tend not to agree with this view. But even if it's true, one could still succeed at achieving the goals of the "fancy picture" one makes of oneself but fail at achieving the goals of the actual self.

Is it simply, what Erwin is probably whispering in your ear, what is left over after the desires of the ego are analyzed away?

I recall that Erwin said somewhere -- and he admitted that this is a simplification -- that the will is whatever you do after you take away all internal resistance (the kinds of restrictions and lust for result we've been discussing). That's a good way to describe it. The same idea is, of course, all over the Tao Teh Ching. From Crowley's translation, chapter VII:

"Thus also the sage, seeking not any goal, attaineth all things; he doth not interfere in the affairs of his body, and so that body acteth without friction. It is because he meddleth not with personal aims that these come to pass with simplicity. [Footnote: See CCXX [I:44] as to 'lust of result.' The general idea of the Way of the Tao is that all evil is interference. It is unnatural action which is error. Non-action is commendable only as a corrective of such; to interfere with one's own true Way is Restriction, the word of Sin.]"


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IAO131
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12/06/2009 8:01 pm  
"Los" wrote:
"IAO131" wrote:
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".

Ok, let's settle this tautology stuff first.

Let's.

"Real," in the context of this discussion, is my word for "not contingent on a mind." "The Will is real" just means, translated from Los-speak, "The Will is not contingent on a mind." Just like my trusty table.

A good definition at first glance but what about the stuff we talked about - that we are more artists (and liars and "poets") than we imagine with reality... 'unconscious inferences' if you want Helmholtz's term. Does that make it not real? What exactly is left over when you take out the mind? Or do you not mean any part of consciousness but a specific part of the 'mind'?

"Success" is the achievement of a particular goal. Whether something can be called a "success" depends on the goal. So if my goal is to compose a novel but I instead sing a song, it doesn't matter how awesome the song is -- I'd still be a "failure" in relation to the original goal. When we're talking about discovering and accomplishing the will, "success" has to be measured by the degree to which one has discovered and accomplished the will.

Thats the tautology, or more accurately a lack-of-information. If success is 'the degree to which one has discovered and accomplished one's will' and doing one's will is measured by success, that is a tautology. There is no information there except that you equate Success with Doing your Will. What does that success look, feel, sound like? Is it intelligible in any way or is it simple "Success is the abstract notion: knowing & doing your will"

Now certainly I can't look at someone else and discover how "successful" he is by this standard. It doesn't "look like" anything in particular to an outside observer. But so what? It's not my job to judge whether other people are doing their wills. In fact, it's impossible for me to do.

What about your own? I never said about others... What does it 'look like' to you the individual or whomever is looking for their own Will (under your notion, that is... as a disclaimer that these aren't just questions of bewilderment but questions aimed to get actual answers from a particular person).

Crowley seems to have this idea that if you're doing your true will, you can't fail.

On what level? If you never fail you never learn in a basic sense. Or do you mean 'you cant fail' in some abstract sense that you arent disclosing where somehow doing your true will identifies you with That-which-can't-fail btu I see nothing of the sort in your explanation.

I don't have time to dig out the quotes at the moment, but he expresses the point that if two people are fighting over X and one person loses, then it clearly wasn't that person's will to get X.

I tend not to agree with this view.

THen why are you trotting out the 'you cant fail if youre doing your will' bit then?

But even if it's true, one could still succeed at achieving the goals of the "fancy picture" one makes of oneself but fail at achieving the goals of the actual self.

What goals are that? I presume you will say 'doing the Will' but what is that? 'Just do it'? Thats a pretty meaningless concept there, then...

Is it simply, what Erwin is probably whispering in your ear, what is left over after the desires of the ego are analyzed away?

I recall that Erwin said somewhere -- and he admitted that this is a simplification -- that the will is whatever you do after you take away all internal resistance (the kinds of restrictions and lust for result we've been discussing). That's a good way to describe it. The same idea is, of course, all over the Tao Teh Ching. From Crowley's translation, chapter VII:

"Thus also the sage, seeking not any goal, attaineth all things; he doth not interfere in the affairs of his body, and so that body acteth without friction. It is because he meddleth not with personal aims that these come to pass with simplicity. [Footnote: See CCXX [I:44] as to 'lust of result.' The general idea of the Way of the Tao is that all evil is interference. It is unnatural action which is error. Non-action is commendable only as a corrective of such; to interfere with one's own true Way is Restriction, the word of Sin.]"

Yes, but I think you quoted my response to your 'its in the Tao' whatnot... Its not 'lack-of-action' that hte Tao is talking about but 'unnatural action'... Yet that falls into the identical pitfall: "which actions are natural and which unnatural"? Is the mind, then, "unnatural"?

IAO131


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Los
 Los
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12/06/2009 9:49 pm  
"IAO131" wrote:
A good definition at first glance but what about the stuff we talked about [...] What exactly is left over when you take out the mind? Or do you not mean any part of consciousness but a specific part of the 'mind'?

We covered this already. I agree that we impose on reality -- for examle, we impose the idea of 'things" on reality. But that's only a "falsehood" in terms of labeling stuff outside of my head, even if the labeling happens unconsciously. The stuff outside of my head is still stuff, and its "stuffness" doesn't depend on what I think about it or how I label it.

Now, all this talk of "success" -- you're the one who introduced the idea in the discussion when you pointed out that falsehood can lead to good things (like the belief in Christianity leading to nice architecture). I assumed that you were implying that those fancy pictures in the mind (something false) could lead to something good and that since success is our proof, we shouldn't even bother distinguishing "false" from "true" under my framework (as long as those "false" ideas of the self yield good results).

If that was in fact your point, my refutation is that your argument uses the word "success" from a perspective outside of the one that counts in this discussion: discovering and doing the true will.

"Success," in this context, means exactly what we've been discussing in this thread: identifying and eliminating the ways that the mind misleads and restricts the will. Again, the will's not a "thing" to be known...there's no single moment of success, like when you sink a shot in basketball, but you hopefully get better over time.

I can't tell you what it "looks like" because 1) it's a process, not a thing, and 2) it's going to be very different for everybody.


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 Anonymous
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12/06/2009 9:57 pm  

I'm enjoying this. Please do it some more. 😉


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Michael Staley
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MANIO - it's all in the egg
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12/06/2009 11:08 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
I'm enjoying this. Please do it some more. 😉

There are other cures for insomnia, of course . . .


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kidneyhawk
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13/06/2009 12:25 am  

Los, Los...

I truly appreciate the angle from which you are addressing these things, attempting, as I believe you are, to be solid, logical and standing for something of substance rather than a wishy-washy fantasy approach to life. But your approach becomes increasingly self-contradictory and difficult to take seriously.

You write that reality is that which we ascertain to be most likely true. "True" and "Real" seem to be alternate terms for the same idea in your posts. So "Reality," then, is that which WE decide is LIKELY to be real. This exalting of the superiority of "likelihoods" over things "less likely" seems to be the measure of just how close we can get to understanding the "stuff" which is not "contingent on our minds." And yet (here's the clincher), anything you may attest to being "not contingent on a mind" is understood to be such by nothing else BUT the mind!

Unraveling the mind itself seems to me to be more of a step in the direction of understanding than justifying the "fancy picture" that certain things are more "real" than others because that's how we presently experience them to be.

Do you see this problem with your argument? You began with the assumption that there is some baseline "reality" which most people have gotten wrong. This quickly slips into the inability to establish an objective and absolute reality which might support this view. So now we go scrambling to hang onto a quickly crumbling semblence of "objective reality" by grasping at things which others might concur are "likely." This has nothing to do with the Will. The Will is dynamic, electric, burning and ever present. It is NOT "contingent" on whether things are "real" or not...nor does it care. Hence, Liber AL says that when it asks "Why?" it does NOUGHT.

Crowley had a "fancy picture" of Himself being Eliphas Levi in a previous incarnation. Either he was dead on right with this...or it was a "fancy picture." But his explanation of this was in context of his ever present refusal to latch onto the "objectivity" of such things, with caution to the student to do the same. This was part of his awareness, part of his experience and it served the development of his Work, the Going of his Will.

I had asked you about your Will, not to put you in the spotlight and make you state something that I could then be critical of and dissemble to "prove my point." Rather it was to sweep away all of these hypotheticals and get down to brass tacks. A real instance of Thelema clearly expressed is certainly of benefit to those who have resonated with the proclamation of The Law. It doesn't "explain" Thelema...it EMBODIES it.

Crowley is NOT at all above criticism and we may certainly look at the life he extensively recorded as a very HUMAN experience. It will be observed, however, that the man had incredible clarity of thought. Even when under the influence of drugs, sickness and so on, he was remarkably sharp and clear in his thinking. And what he has expressed throughout his lifetime goes far beyond "reasoning" towards the establishment of some "objective facts."

If Crowley was about a sustained poetic presentation of purely rational thought, he was hardly original in the content and superfluous in the method. As it is, he went far beyond this and did so to open the Way of Liberty for the Human Race via a route striking out at all preceding superstition and refusing to be chained by the limits imposed by a half-developed consciousness.

He also honored Blake, as we all know. There is, of course, reason for this. If you look at the role Los plays in the Prophetic Books, you'll see just where Urizen has fallen into error and why redemption comes through the Triumph of Los.

But enough of that "Because..." I must agree with Aiwass now...

May he be "damned for a dog."

93,

Kyle


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Los
 Los
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13/06/2009 2:25 am  
"kidneyhawk" wrote:
You write that reality is that which we ascertain to be most likely true.

Strictly speaking, reality is "that which is not contingent upon a mind." It's claims about reality that are more or less likely to be true, and "true" is a word I mean "in accord with reality." And, of course, there is always an assumed "as far as we know" attached to each of my sentences...I don't type it for each sentence because it would become really tedious [as far as I know...see?].

So "Reality," then, is that which WE decide is LIKELY to be real.

Nope. See above. I don't get to choose that my table is not contingent upon a mind. The best I can do is recognize that it is very, very, very likely to be true that the table is not contingent upon a mind. And the reason for this is not because "most people think it's likely" -- but because the evidence suggests it.

And yet (here's the clincher), anything you may attest to being "not contingent on a mind" is understood to be such by nothing else BUT the mind!

Well, yeah -- what else is going to "understand" it, a rock?

It's not a contradictory position to say that a mind is capable of determining what is not contingent on a mind. Think about it. I could use my match example again. Or how about electricity? If you go on vacation and leave all the lights on, you'll get a big bill, and it's no use complaining, "Hey! I shouldn't be charged so much [no pun intended --L]! I wasn't thinking about the electricity, so it couldn't have been running!" Or how about books? Have you ever piled up a big stack of books and come back later to find that the whole thing just tumbled over while you were gone? I've actually done that one, so I can definitely attest to it.

The point is: Things happen all the time that do not depend on my mind or upon any mind, as far as I am capable of determining.

Maybe this will help: when I say "reality," I'm just putting a label on that stuff that's not contingent on a mind. I'm not talking about the "nature of reality" or whether reality is "really real" or whether we're in the Matrix. Any of that could be true or false (of course, without compelling evidence, I'm not going to think it's true....).

It [the Will] is NOT "contingent" on whether things are "real" or not...nor does it care.

No, I'm saying that the will itself is real. It's of the same order of things as my table and of a different order of things as the (content of) my imagined dragon. I don't think you actually are arguing that the will is just a fantasy...are you? If you are, you're using a very different definition of will than the one I'm using or the one that Crowley uses in several places.

Crowley had a "fancy picture" of Himself being Eliphas Levi in a previous incarnation. Either he was dead on right with this...or it was a "fancy picture."

It was a fancy picture.

Crowley, of course, also said, "What do I mean when I say that I think I was Eliphaz Lévi? No more than that I possess some of his most essential characteristics, and that some of the incidents in his life are remembered by me as my own." (Letter XXXVII) He elsewhere calls speculations about reincarnation and theories of the afterlife "useless and possibly harmful," (Letter XLVII) and "a device for flattering yourself" (Letter XLI). He further implies that his own "feeling" that reincarnation is true should be cause for more skepticism (XLVII).

If you look at the role Los plays in the Prophetic Books, you'll see just where Urizen has fallen into error and why redemption comes through the Triumph of Los.

Of course, Blake's idiom is a little different than mine, so our terms won't line up precisely. But I would classify mistakes like believing in a "self" or a "soul" -- a permanent entity that can be "reincarnated" in some form -- as part of the tyranny of Urizen, right along with belief in morality and everything else he stands for. Such misapplications of reason occur because one is misled by emotions/passions -- i.e. by the demonic aspects of Vala, whom Urizen has separated from her rightful lord Luvah. I'd place "fancy pictures" that mislead in this category.

What's needed is for Los to redeem Urizen and set him back in his proper place (which happens in night 9 of the Four Zoas, if I'm not mistaken) -- to put it in Thelemic terms, reason must help clear away restrictions so that the will can properly function.

Reason isn't in charge, but neither is the imagination.


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Los
 Los
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13/06/2009 2:52 am  

Hence, Liber AL says that when it asks "Why?" it does NOUGHT.

But enough of that "Because..." [...] May he be "damned for a dog."

Just to underline this point, reason doesn't decide your true will (you don't get to "pick" it), but reason does help you do it. And one way it helps is by enabling you to determine where reason, passion, and imagination (Urizen + Vala, to use Blake's terms) lead you astray by forming a "fancy picture" of yourself or your environment.

It doesn't say anywhere in Liber AL that we should avoid using reason to understand the world around us. In fact, understanding the world around us (to the best of our abilities) seems to me to be vitally necessary if you want to do your will.


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IAO131
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13/06/2009 6:59 am  
"Los" wrote:
"IAO131" wrote:
A good definition at first glance but what about the stuff we talked about [...] What exactly is left over when you take out the mind? Or do you not mean any part of consciousness but a specific part of the 'mind'?

We covered this already. I agree that we impose on reality -- for examle, we impose the idea of 'things" on reality. But that's only a "falsehood" in terms of labeling stuff outside of my head, even if the labeling happens unconsciously. The stuff outside of my head is still stuff, and its "stuffness" doesn't depend on what I think about it or how I label it.

Its more than labels, which is what Nietzsche focuses on. Modern cognitive science knows without a doubt that most of our literal sensory perception is 'top-down' to use their information processing phrase. You can see an example when you look at crescent moon and you 'see' the rest of the moon, you 'see' the edge. But you dont really, your brain is completing the image. It aint really there... Thats the kind of 'artistry' I was talking about and this type of 'imposing things on reality' is very hard to distinguish from 'reality'. The fact that we experience things as three-dimensional, in space and in time are, according to the Transcendental Idealism of Kant along with Fichte and Crowley at times, all functions of the organism trying to understand raw stimuli. Our sense of our body as separate from the world is created by our brain - is that something we should discard as 'unreal' because it is in fact 'contingent on a mind'?

Now, all this talk of "success" -- you're the one who introduced the idea in the discussion when you pointed out that falsehood can lead to good things (like the belief in Christianity leading to nice architecture). I assumed that you were implying that those fancy pictures in the mind (something false) could lead to something good and that since success is our proof, we shouldn't even bother distinguishing "false" from "true" under my framework (as long as those "false" ideas of the self yield good results).

Or rather that the 'true' brings results and 'false' doesnt. Thats pragmatism, even though some don't like it or understand it.

If that was in fact your point, my refutation is that your argument uses the word "success" from a perspective outside of the one that counts in this discussion: discovering and doing the true will.

And then I ask, what is your standard for success in 'discovering and doing the true will'?

"Success," in this context, means exactly what we've been discussing in this thread: identifying and eliminating the ways that the mind misleads and restricts the will.

Isnt that what leads to 'success' i.e. that it leads to discoverign and doing your true will? If 'success in discovering your true will' = 'identifying things that are not true will', that doesnt give much information. Its also 'negative,' as I said before: you can only say what your will is 'not' in these cases... The concept of true will seems to be a check against fantasy in your view and not a 'thing in itself' to use a bad phrase, or a 'process in itself' to adhere to your terminology (and to get over the static vs dynamic notions). Put another way: If you define will as 'that which is not fantasy,' all you have as a definition is firstly, what you consider fantasy, and then taking all that way... the will is what you have left over. I can't shake the feeling that you are, in many cases, talking in circles... The will is what is not fantasy, what is fantasy is not real, what is real is the will, the will is what is real and what is real is not fantasy, success is doing your will and 'success' looks like doing your will... ad infinitum. How could this be a practical idea at all ? I doubt most people would define their religious concepts in terms of 'its a bit of fantasy' or 'it is fantasy'... most would insist that their 'terms' and 'beleifs' are 'not contingent upon a mind' and that they are real, etc... Sorry, this must be frustrating, but Id like to hear an answer that isnt a rewrite of old posts.

IAO131


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 Anonymous
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13/06/2009 8:56 pm  
"Los" wrote:
Reason isn't in charge, but neither is the imagination.

Unless I'm mistaken, I don't believe that Kyle's position was that imagination is "in charge." I believe that he was calling for balance, balance in the face of calls for imbalance, in the face of calls for reason being indulged to such an extreme that the value of imagination (perhaps a poor word, but that's the word in play) is totally and utterly discounted. I believe that Los' underlying objection is to, well, bullshit being mistaken for fact. I don't believe that Kyle was defending this practice.

The idea that there is a canon to which we can easily refer in order to identify and dismiss bullshit is an interesting notion, and seems to be suggested by Los from time to time in his posts. Kyle will sometimes retort with "ain't necessarily so," or words to that effect. In the ledger of Science the two columns, "Known" and "Unknown," are not static and, fortunately, never have been. Had that been the case, the "Unknown" column would been much longer than it is today, as it used to extend much farther compared to the "Known" column. Were it not for the faculty of imagination, man would never have first questioned such inaccurate superficial sensory perceptions as those pertaining to geography, let alone to astronomy or physics. There is no such canon, but only a process of exploration, investigation and experimentation.

When the object of inquiry is the Self, this work must be performed firsthand and not by proxy, and the inquirer must be armed with both imagination and reason, along with a host of other relevant tools of inquiry, with a mind that is both wide open and well guarded - a difficult but necessary balance.


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Los
 Los
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14/06/2009 6:44 am  
"Camlion" wrote:
In the ledger of Science the two columns, "Known" and "Unknown," are not static

Right. And you know how something becomes "known"? By means of evidence drawn from the world not contingent on a mind. Einstein didn't go into a trance state and come back with the theory of relativity; he didn't engage in automatic writing to obtain the theory from a disembodied spirit; he formulated hypotheses and produced evidence to support them.

It's when people pull stuff out of their imaginations and declare it "known" -- without that evidence -- that we get "bullshit," beliefs like the soul, life after death, telepathy, etc.

To draw one other useful distinction, people here seem to be using "imagination" to mean a whole host of mental activity:

Were it not for the faculty of imagination, man would never have first questioned such inaccurate superficial sensory perceptions as those pertaining to geography, let alone to astronomy or physics.

This is a different use of imagination than the one I've been discussing in this thread. The ability to speculate, to ponder possibilities, to develop hypotheses to subject to tests -- I would hesitate to call these "imagination" in the same sense as the faculty that enables me to picture a monster with a thousand mouths. We might call all those abilities "imagination" for the sake of simplicity, but they remain different abilities (or at least wildly different *applications* of what is arguably the same faculty).

Just because one kind of "imagination" is useful to the scientific method doesn't mean that all things labeled "imagination" are equally useful to that method.


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Los
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14/06/2009 6:49 am  
"IAO131" wrote:
I doubt most people would define their religious concepts in terms of 'its a bit of fantasy' or 'it is fantasy'... most would insist that their 'terms' and 'beleifs' are 'not contingent upon a mind' and that they are real, etc...

Well, of course they would insist that. So we have to evaluate that claim...where's their evidence?

Sorry, this must be frustrating, but Id like to hear an answer that isnt a rewrite of old posts.

I don't think I'm capable of answering without repeating the essential point of all of my posts on this thread.

Maybe you should tell us your understanding of the will and how it differs from mine. That might open up the conversation a bit.


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 Anonymous
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14/06/2009 6:18 pm  
"Los" wrote:

Hence, Liber AL says that when it asks "Why?" it does NOUGHT.

But enough of that "Because..." [...] May he be "damned for a dog."

Just to underline this point, reason doesn't decide your true will (you don't get to "pick" it), but reason does help you do it. And one way it helps is by enabling you to determine where reason, passion, and imagination (Urizen + Vala, to use Blake's terms) lead you astray by forming a "fancy picture" of yourself or your environment.

It doesn't say anywhere in Liber AL that we should avoid using reason to understand the world around us. In fact, understanding the world around us (to the best of our abilities) seems to me to be vitally necessary if you want to do your will.

I concur - but I wouldn't support a picture of things that suggested that we need reason to tell us what our true will is or to do your true will all the time. If we come across a little problem or find ourselves feeling not quite in balance, then it's useful to step back and look at matters, checking to see if there is an old habitual ego response happening, or if attachment or the old fading self image is sneeking back, and if so we can pause, recentre ourself in the love and obedience of the HGA and get on with doing our will according to our actual nature. But this is a practise, and with practise over time then it's unnecessary to be constantly questioning yourself because the ploys of the ego become easily recognisible and familiar and are almost instantly placed aside and rejected if we feel them arise. The centering becomes much more automatic, and eventually the old habitual habits of the ego consciousness (to do with acting according to attachment and self image) start to fade into the background because they're not getting fed. It's a bit like retraining a bad dog actually.


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 Anonymous
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14/06/2009 7:35 pm  

Reagrding this post of mine on page 5:

"alrah" wrote:
... 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...etc

As I've found out today that there is no evidence that supports the freudian psychological theory for homosexuality, then I request readers to disregard this post as irrelevant and badly researched nonesense.

Thank you.


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Patriarch156
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14/06/2009 7:49 pm  
"alrah" wrote:
As I've found out today that there is no evidence that supports the freudian psychological theory for homosexuality, then I request readers to disregard this post as irrelevant and badly researched nonesense.

Add to this fact that there also exists no evidence that Crowley connected the eleventh degree to homosexuality (while he did work it with men, he worked it even more with women as can be seen in his diaries) and you have come full circle.


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Michael Staley
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14/06/2009 8:27 pm  
"Patriarch156" wrote:
Add to this fact that there also exists no evidence that Crowley connected the eleventh degree to homosexuality (while he did work it with men, he worked it even more with women as can be seen in his diaries) and you have come full circle.

I'm happy to stand corrected, but I've always thought that Crowley saw the XIth degree as spcifically homosexual, whilst anal sex with women he still regarded as part of the IXth degree.

Best wishes,

Michael.


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 Anonymous
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14/06/2009 8:30 pm  
"Los" wrote:
"Camlion" wrote:
In the ledger of Science the two columns, "Known" and "Unknown," are not static

Right. And you know how something becomes "known"? By means of evidence drawn from the world not contingent on a mind. Einstein didn't go into a trance state and come back with the theory of relativity; he didn't engage in automatic writing to obtain the theory from a disembodied spirit; he formulated hypotheses and produced evidence to support them.

It's when people pull stuff out of their imaginations and declare it "known" -- without that evidence -- that we get "bullshit," beliefs like the soul, life after death, telepathy, etc.

To draw one other useful distinction, people here seem to be using "imagination" to mean a whole host of mental activity:

Were it not for the faculty of imagination, man would never have first questioned such inaccurate superficial sensory perceptions as those pertaining to geography, let alone to astronomy or physics.

This is a different use of imagination than the one I've been discussing in this thread. The ability to speculate, to ponder possibilities, to develop hypotheses to subject to tests -- I would hesitate to call these "imagination" in the same sense as the faculty that enables me to picture a monster with a thousand mouths. We might call all those abilities "imagination" for the sake of simplicity, but they remain different abilities (or at least wildly different *applications* of what is arguably the same faculty).

Just because one kind of "imagination" is useful to the scientific method doesn't mean that all things labeled "imagination" are equally useful to that method.

As I noted above, "imagination" is perhaps not a good word. It is, however, the word in play in this thread, and I did not put it into play.

It will do, however, to make this point: The fact that imagination produces as much bullshit as it does brilliance does not justify the wholesale condemnation of imagination, it merely necessitates the application of the method of science to the process. Were we to fail to do this, we would be guilty of practicing the method of religion - that of many religions of old, at least. That some self-identifying Thelemites are guilty of this is undeniable, but many are not. I have limited patience with the former category, myself, but let us not forget that the full motto of the process of Attainment as Crowley formulated it is "the method of science - the aim of religion." Some would prefer to see these two divorced, that the "the method of science" stand alone on their banner. Others would like to see "the aim of religion" stand alone. Either of these is fine for those who will have them, but neither is the way that Crowley formulated the mission statement of this process.

Again, there is a rather unique and delicate degree of balance required here. That many are unwilling or unable to embrace each element of the above equation together may be an indication that they are unsuited by nature to do so. That being the case, they ought to seek out or invent another way, IMO, rather than trying to twist Crowley's ideas or the principals of Liber AL itself into some distorted vision of their own preference.

As with my remarks elsewhere today, I am certainly not denying that there is a great deal of latitude here, there are many, many, perfectly reasonable variations on the theme of Liber AL, but this latitude is not infinite. If it were, then the value of Thelema and the works of Aleister Crowley would be rendered meaningless. If one wishes to champion the method of science devoid of any relation to the aim of religion, for example, that is fine, but it bears little if any relationship to the inward journey that is the process of Attainment put forth by Aleister Crowley based upon the principles of Liber AL.


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 Anonymous
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14/06/2009 9:20 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
As with my remarks elsewhere today, I am certainly not denying that there is a great deal of latitude here, there are many, many, perfectly reasonable variations on the theme of Liber AL, but this latitude is not infinite. If it were, then the value of Thelema and the works of Aleister Crowley would be rendered meaningless. If one wishes to champion the method of science devoid of any relation to the aim of religion, for example, that is fine, but it bears little if any relationship to the inward journey that is the process of Attainment put forth by Aleister Crowley based upon the principles of Liber AL.

I understand your example Camlion, but are there other clear guides or ways we could recognise when we've stepped over the line and stand outside the latitude zone?

I know that when I read of other peoples understanding of Liber Al then I compare it to my own understanding of it and judge how close to my understanding (which I habitually assume is correct) to it they've gotten.

If I were to take the position that my understanding my not be entirely or at least mostly correct then I have no way of judging the stance or writings of others. Relativism strikes again it would seem, until you circle the problem and observe that people's direct experience of 'the aim of religion' is remarkably similar - nay, identical across the board. In that case then, the 'latitude' is merely a tolerance of people trying to convey personal experience using Liber Al as a descriptive framework and having a certain amount of stylistic or literary variance, but no actual variance at all. They either understand it or they do not.


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Patriarch156
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14/06/2009 9:22 pm  
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
"Patriarch156" wrote:
Add to this fact that there also exists no evidence that Crowley connected the eleventh degree to homosexuality (while he did work it with men, he worked it even more with women as can be seen in his diaries) and you have come full circle.

I'm happy to stand corrected, but I've always thought that Crowley saw the XIth degree as spcifically homosexual, whilst anal sex with women he still regarded as part of the IXth degree.

Then stand corrected, several years ago I went and actually counted this, and found that out of a majority of operations that were specifically denoted as the eleventh degree, it was done with women, including the one where he remarks ""I am inclined to believe that the XIth degree is better than the IXth degree" on August 26. 1916 e.v. which was done with Anna K. Miller, dubbed "The Dog" using IXth degree but then later the same day noting at having remedied this with per vas nefandum with the same assistant.

Between 3. september 1914 e.v. to 2. september 1918 e.v. Crowley denoted 8 "works" as specifically XIth degree. Out of these 8 only two were with men, while 2 were with unrecorded partners and 4 with women.

If you however open up to other collorful denotions commonly associated with the eleventh degree you get the following picture. For "works" denoted as Tau, noted by Crowley himself that details prohibited by "Section XI" we find 9 workings, which of which five are recorded as being with men and four with women. This still gives 8 eleventh degree workings with women as opposed to 7 with men.

The fact remains that Crowley performed with more women than men when it came to denote something the XIth degree, this holds true also for the other published diary as well as in the unpublished ones. Obviously this means that there was something else going on than sexual orientation. This is corroborated with the fact that not once did Crowley in writing connect the eleventh degree specifically with homosexuality.


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Aleisterion
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14/06/2009 10:04 pm  

Camlion wrote: "That many are unwilling or unable to embrace each element of the above equation together may be an indication that they are unsuited by nature to do so. That being the case, they ought to seek out or invent another way, IMO, rather than trying to twist Crowley's ideas or the principals of Liber AL itself into some distorted vision of their own preference."

Who is doing this in your opinion? Before you seemed to imply that there are Thelemic heretics out there, and Kidneyhawk asked you to whom you were referring but you never answered. So let me ask again: Just who are these "many" who are "unwilling or unable to embrace each element of the above equation together"?


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phthah
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14/06/2009 10:32 pm  

93,

"Patriarch156" wrote:
This is corroborated with the fact that not once did Crowley in writing connect the eleventh degree specifically with homosexuality.

I have to agree with Patriarch on this. It seems pretty clear (to me anyway) that A.C. considered the XI degree working as anal whether with a man or women and not specifically homosexual. There are examples in A.C.'s Record of XI degree workings with women. Also, there was one time when he noted, regarding having anal sex with a female prostitute, that "she discovered that I was a member of the Junior grade of XI degree without any suggestion from me. I think you get the picture.

93 93/93
phthah


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Michael Staley
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MANIO - it's all in the egg
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14/06/2009 10:32 pm  
"Patriarch156" wrote:
Then stand corrected, several years ago I went and actually counted this, and found that out of a majority of operations that were specifically denoted as the eleventh degree, it was done with women, including the one where he remarks ""I am inclined to believe that the XIth degree is better than the IXth degree" on August 26. 1916 e.v. which was done with Anna K. Miller, dubbed "The Dog" using IXth degree but then later the same day noting at having remedied this with per vas nefandum with the same assistant.

I've just located the entry you referred to, and am happy to stand corrected. In fact I noticed whilst browsing through the diary entries that the Operations are rarely referred to as IXth or XIth degree in themselves.

Best wishes,

Michael.


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Patriarch156
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14/06/2009 10:40 pm  
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
I've just located the entry you referred to, and am happy to stand corrected. In fact I noticed whilst browsing through the diary entries that the Operations are rarely referred to as IXth or XIth degree in themselves.

Yes and as I noted of those few that were most of them were with women. Crowley did however of course use several different references that fits the formula since he connects them to this himself, this being per vas nefandum (a majority of which was done with women), tau (a majority of which were done with men) and peh.


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 Anonymous
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14/06/2009 11:02 pm  
"Aleisterion" wrote:
Camlion wrote: "That many are unwilling or unable to embrace each element of the above equation together may be an indication that they are unsuited by nature to do so. That being the case, they ought to seek out or invent another way, IMO, rather than trying to twist Crowley's ideas or the principals of Liber AL itself into some distorted vision of their own preference."

Who is doing this in your opinion? Before you seemed to imply that there are Thelemic heretics out there, and Kidneyhawk asked you to whom you were referring but you never answered. So let me ask again: Just who are these "many" who are "unwilling or unable to embrace each element of the above equation together"?

93 Aleisterion. I did reply privately to Kyle shortly thereafter, but pardon my apparent rudeness, anyway. I will say to you openly that in general I was referring to many little feet that I have observed marching about over the years, for each of whom the particular shoe I described fits, IMO. An attempt at a complete list would be unproductively self-limiting. In the specific instance to which you refer, however, I was addressing Los, as I believe he is well aware.


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 Anonymous
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14/06/2009 11:08 pm  

PS to my last, Aleisterion, "Thelemic heretics" are your words, not mine. My own words describe what I meant adequately, I think.


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Los
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14/06/2009 11:15 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
Again, there is a rather unique and delicate degree of balance required here.

Agreed (assuming you are speaking of reason and imagination). And achieving that "balance" necessitates that we put things in their proper place and apply them correctly. It won't do to reason out conclusions about the world on the basis of things in the imagination; it also won't do to insist that creations of the imagination (say, in literature or painting, for example) conform to what we rationally know about the world.

Nowhere on this thread, or anywhere else, I believe, have I ever advocated the "wholesale condemnation of imagination," as you put it. This claim appears to come entirely from your imagination, though I welcome you to quote anything I've said in which I do advocate that position.

Now, we've been talking about imagination, and now all of a sudden, you're bringing up the "aim of religion." Ok, I'll bite. What is the "aim of religion," as you understand it? How does this "aim" relate to the imagination? How do the imagination and the aim of religion help an individual discover and carry out the true will? And is it your contention that anyone not pursuing this "aim" -- as you define it -- is not a Thelemite?


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 Anonymous
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14/06/2009 11:22 pm  

As long as we are on the subject, (of the terms other than the numerical used to refer to his sex magick workings) I don't have his Record and I was wondering what term(s) he most used to refer to 8th degree workings.


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Patriarch156
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14/06/2009 11:37 pm  
"N.O.X" wrote:
As long as we are on the subject, (of the terms other than the numerical used to refer to his sex magick workings) I don't have his Record and I was wondering what term(s) he most used to refer to 8th degree workings.

There is none in Rex de Arte Regia as far as I can see, all the references to the VIIIth degree are inferred by Grant & Symonds.


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Aleisterion
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15/06/2009 12:01 am  

Camlion wrote: "PS to my last, Aleisterion, "Thelemic heretics" are your words, not mine. My own words describe what I meant adequately, I think."

You suggested previously that there is "a truer light on Crowley and Thelema, countering the ongoing trend of others serving their own personal (and often counter-Crowley or Thelema) agendas by way of imbalanced extrapolation from Crowley's life, legacy and works"...i.e. heretical. I was simply wondering to whom you were referring.


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 Anonymous
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15/06/2009 4:43 pm  
"Los" wrote:
"Camlion" wrote:
Now, we've been talking about imagination, and now all of a sudden, you're bringing up the "aim of religion." Ok, I'll bite. What is the "aim of religion," as you understand it? How does this "aim" relate to the imagination? How do the imagination and the aim of religion help an individual discover and carry out the true will?

It is, at least at first, by way of a function of imagination, Los, that we look beyond the artificial horizon of the self, the ego, as you have been calling it. This imagination precedes the inward journey itself, inspires it, fuels its aspiration to know and then do the true Will and aids in accomplishing this task. As I said before, imagination is perhaps a poor choice of words, selected in these recent posts for its negative connotations, no doubt, as in 'flights of fancy' or some such. Intuition is probably a better word, functionally speaking, but its correct usage is rather rare - the correct usage of the word as well as the deliberate usage of the faculty itself. Whichever word one chooses, I am referring to the faculty, probably unique to our kind, that sets into motion all great seekers, that impels them to go beyond the apparent in search of the facts, the truth regarding themselves and the universe, which is the Great Work.


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 Anonymous
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16/06/2009 1:33 am  

People think of love from the ego consciousness. They *think* it. There is nothing left within me that seeks to 'think' it with you.


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Los
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16/06/2009 4:34 am  
"Camlion" wrote:
It is, at least at first, by way of a function of imagination, Los, that we look beyond the artificial horizon of the self, the ego, as you have been calling it. This imagination precedes the inward journey itself, inspires it, fuels its aspiration to know and then do the true Will and aids in accomplishing this task. As I said before, imagination is perhaps a poor choice of words, selected in these recent posts for its negative connotations, no doubt, as in 'flights of fancy' or some such. Intuition is probably a better word, functionally speaking, but its correct usage is rather rare - the correct usage of the word as well as the deliberate usage of the faculty itself. Whichever word one chooses, I am referring to the faculty, probably unique to our kind, that sets into motion all great seekers, that impels them to go beyond the apparent in search of the facts, the truth regarding themselves and the universe, which is the Great Work.

Well, that's pretty vague. A few questions restated and a few more as follow-up:

1) What is your definition of the "aim of religion"? Is it just another term for getting beyond ego-consciousness? For going beyond the "apparent"? For seeking out "the facts"? If the "aim of religion" is just another term for one (or all) of those ideas, who wouldn't agree with that?

2) Is anyone who doesn't pursue the "aim of religion" as you define it not a Thelemite? Can you give an example (hypothetical, if you like) of a self-proclaimed Thelemite failing to pursue this "aim of religion"?

3) How does this faculty that you're describing -- we'll stop calling it "imagination" -- actually help a person a) achieve the "aim of religion" as you define it and b) accomplish the true will? It just impels them? That's it? How does it actually, practically "aid" that process?

What you're describing -- something that "sets into motion all great seekers" -- sounds sort of like enthusiasm or a kind of idealistic dream, but I doubt that "all great seekers" are set into motion by the exact same cause. Some are set into motion by their desire to escape sorrow, others by intellectual curiosity, others by this starry-eyed idealism, others by a love of the mysterious, others out of boredom with life, etc, etc. There are probably as many things that set seekers into motion as there are seekers.


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 Anonymous
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20/06/2009 8:05 pm  

Los, in the interest of time, I will summarize my position for you:

As I see it, your philosophy, which you call 'Thelema,' is really just strict rationalism and lacks the overall equilibrium of the Thelema of Liber AL and of Aleister Crowley, which contains a vital element of rationalism but is not limited to that alone. It also contains components which are seemingly contradictory to rationalism but are actually complimentary once all of the relevant elements are assimilated in balanced proportion by the individual via personal experience over time.

The ongoing conflict that we see in these forums and elsewhere between the advocates of the strictly rational vs those of the strictly 'irrational,' those who would take intuition over intellect every time, for example, is symptomatic of imbalances which, as I see it, represent the antithesis of Thelema in the case of either extreme.

So, as for who I am likely to identify as a Thelemite and who I am unlikely to so identify, since you asked, the above described criteria would be my secondary points of reference, with the primary point being that the individual in question is dedicated to knowing and doing their true Will.


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Los
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20/06/2009 9:12 pm  

I appreciate that you're at least trying to answer my questions, but there's a lot that you've not made clear.

Are you using "the aim of religion" to signify the "irrational elements" that you speak of in your post? That's what I think I'm supposed to infer, but I'm not sure. What do you mean by "irrational elements"? Can you give a concrete example? Do you just mean the experience of so-called "transcendental" states of consciousness?

Is the "aim of religion" to achieve these trance states?

If this is in fact what you mean by the "aim of religion," then (I'll ask it again) what is the connection between this "aim," the "faculty" that you were speaking of earlier, and discovering and doing one's true will?


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IAO131
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21/06/2009 4:42 pm  
"Los" wrote:
I appreciate that you're at least trying to answer my questions, but there's a lot that you've not made clear.

Are you using "the aim of religion" to signify the "irrational elements" that you speak of in your post? That's what I think I'm supposed to infer, but I'm not sure. What do you mean by "irrational elements"? Can you give a concrete example? Do you just mean the experience of so-called "transcendental" states of consciousness?

Is the "aim of religion" to achieve these trance states?

If this is in fact what you mean by the "aim of religion," then (I'll ask it again) what is the connection between this "aim," the "faculty" that you were speaking of earlier, and discovering and doing one's true will?

93,

What exactly does this have to do with the OP? Have you found something that makes Thelema somehow different or not?

You also ask for definitions of phrases but gave, yourself, many non-answers that ended in an end-of-conversation because you talked in circles. Dare I say the ideas "contingent on a mind" and "reality" are not as Samuel-Johnson-simple as you say they are? As Patriarch mentioned, finding some measure for objective reality not contingent on a mind is something worthy of a Nobel prize, not a casual presupposition.

Do you really not see the worth of imagination? Einstein's gedanken experiments were just that: gedanken (thinking) in imagery which most would call visualization or imagination. The trick is knowing when to apply those imaginations to the world... Someone found the molecular structure of benzene from a dream.... In that sense it is part of the 'primary process creativity' (the initial idea/thought/creativity) if you like Maslow and reason is mostly 'secondary process' (the 'fixing it up to look nice' stage). In a very basic sense, imagination is the faculty that lets us try out possibilities without suffering their physical consequences, and it lets us see things in different ways.

IAO131


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 Anonymous
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21/06/2009 6:40 pm  
"IAO131" wrote:
"Los" wrote:
I appreciate that you're at least trying to answer my questions, but there's a lot that you've not made clear.

Are you using "the aim of religion" to signify the "irrational elements" that you speak of in your post? That's what I think I'm supposed to infer, but I'm not sure. What do you mean by "irrational elements"? Can you give a concrete example? Do you just mean the experience of so-called "transcendental" states of consciousness?

Is the "aim of religion" to achieve these trance states?

If this is in fact what you mean by the "aim of religion," then (I'll ask it again) what is the connection between this "aim," the "faculty" that you were speaking of earlier, and discovering and doing one's true will?

93,

What exactly does this have to do with the OP? Have you found something that makes Thelema somehow different or not?

You also ask for definitions of phrases but gave, yourself, many non-answers that ended in an end-of-conversation because you talked in circles. Dare I say the ideas "contingent on a mind" and "reality" are not as Samuel-Johnson-simple as you say they are? As Patriarch mentioned, finding some measure for objective reality not contingent on a mind is something worthy of a Nobel prize, not a casual presupposition.

Do you really not see the worth of imagination? Einstein's gedanken experiments were just that: gedanken (thinking) in imagery which most would call visualization or imagination. The trick is knowing when to apply those imaginations to the world... Someone found the molecular structure of benzene from a dream.... In that sense it is part of the 'primary process creativity' (the initial idea/thought/creativity) if you like Maslow and reason is mostly 'secondary process' (the 'fixing it up to look nice' stage). In a very basic sense, imagination is the faculty that lets us try out possibilities without suffering their physical consequences, and it lets us see things in different ways.

IAO131

Very well put, IAO131.


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