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kidneyhawk
(@kidneyhawk)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1827
10/07/2009 2:51 am  

you are indeed claiming that the effective expression of your Will is dependent on particular conditions.

Yes, I am claiming this. In MTP, AC writes that "The first requisite for causing any change is thorough qualitative and quantitative understanding of the conditions." He goes on to observe: "Every man and every woman has a course, depending partly on the self, and partly on the environment. Anyone who is forced from his own course, either through not understanding himself, or through external opposition, comes into conflict with the order of the Universe and suffers accordingly."

So yes, there is clearly a relationship between expressing the Will and the conditions with which it must contend.

Then, just to be clear, you disagree with Alrah's statements on the subject?

Alrah has made many statements. Regarding one emotional state being more desirable than another in and of itself, I do disagree with this. As you observed, "ugly" states like anger and fear can be just as workable and useful as more "pleasant" states. It is the relationship between the emotion at hand with the Will which is key, determining how we understand and operate with regards to the emotion. If it is determined that anger in a given situation is going to lead in a direction which is not in line with the Will, it is important, per AC's postulates above, to be able to understand the factors involved and act upon them accordingly. Let it go, redirect it, give it a suitable outlet, whatever. The course of action decided on is also an expression of Will.

The Will does not color our ability to select one thing over another, that's a function of the mind (and emotions and ego an whatever other constructs the mind creates).

And the Will CAN color and influence and give impetus to how the mind is going to function as it does its thing. You go on to say:

The Will informs us which 'one thing over another' is our essential nature to select.

It does more than "inform." It motivates and moves in that direction. If the mind is not at odds with the Will, it becomes one of the vehicles through which the Will operates.

It's up to the idividual to practice ignoring the constructs of the mind and its imagined preferences so that the preferences of the actual Will can become clear.

So, basically "Know Thyself." Have something of a"thorough qualitative and quantitative understanding of the conditions" arising with the environment of the mind so it may work in line with the Will as opposed to against it.

You did imply it when you said "it may be that conditions evocative of particular emotive states are found to be beneficial to the expression of that Will". As I explained above. If certain conditions are beneficial, others are detrimental, which implies that a person is more or less capable of effectively carrying out his Will depending on the conditions in which he finds himself, thus a Master is only a Master when the conditions are good.

In other words, if you believe a Master lives according to his Will regardless of the situation in which he finds himself, which I think you'd agree with, then your claim that certain conditions are beneficial and others aren't is obviously in error.

The Will is always present and driven in the direction of its Nature. This nature cannot be effected by the circumstances but its expression CAN and IS. An example: if my Will, my "True Nature" is imposed upon and its vehicles of expression impaired, I am at a disadvantage in this regard. I still am a vehicle for the Will and it will respond to the new conditions. The issue is effecting change which maximizes the conditions and the vehicle for the most "full" expression.

Maybe you were talking about that, but not me. I don't presume to know what would be beneficial to my Will, since that kind of speculation is fantasy and thus irrelevant, and in fact detrimental, to discovering and following my Will.

How do you know what changes would be beneficial to your Will? That's not a rhetorical question. Exactly *how* do you figure this out? What is your process, and by what standard do you judge the anticipated change to determine if it will be beneficial?

If YOU can't determine what choices and actions will most benefit the expression of your Will, WHO DOES??? This is one of the basic postulates of MTP. Get the information, get understanding, know what's going on as much as possible and act in accord with the Will's direction within that "space."

Mika, when I first started to study Crowley and encountered "Thelema," I had a "fancy picture" of the True Will and was drawn to it for my own reasons. It was like a shining beacon declaring that each one of us has this "life purpose" buried within and even if we were lost or confused, we could crack the shell and watch our grand destiny unfold. I no longer hold this idea. It's not applicable to my course through life and it was admittedly laden with all sorts of ego-issues that I had yet to detect. One of those issues was identifying with the idea of the Will. It's my Will to be or do (fill in the blank). But when I wasn't engaged in action that supported that notion, I wasn't "Doing My Will." I would even feel guilty for doing something not in accord with my IDEA of what my Will was. The notion of the grand destiny was gratifying enough to take routes of restriction to support it. Obviously, a messy state. But even going this far was leading to the next step in understanding and working with this thing. The labeling had to go. I will concur that THIS could well be described as a "fancy picture" that wasn't helping things at all. I had to break off from attachment to the notion. In doing this, I would consciously observe myself as a given role in shifting situations. Even if I was engaged in one of my life pursuits, such as making art, I would drop the idea that I was an "artist." If I got up to use the bathroom, I was no longer an artist. I became a urinator. But even these roles were all sliced up into "sub-roles." Being a urinator entailed being a hand-washer, a totally different function. This entailed being a "handle turner" and "water temperature tester" and so on. There WAS no substantial or consistent role or act to identify with anymore. What's left after identification collapses? The Will. There remained my "essential self" which simply needed to be attended to. The language used in this thread is simple and concise when one states that we need to "pay attention to the Will." We observe, pay attention, cut through the mind stuff and let it BE ITSELF through us. I don't think we are at odds with this.

I want to add, however, that there is an "us" the Will comes through as its vehicle of expression. We can discuss elsewhere how the idea of an "I" is an illusion, look at the Buddhist Skandhas and so on. But this "illusion" is an environment in which the Will moves. It can be just as oppositional to the Will as the so-called "external environment," if not more so. The mind and all the mind's many components and levels and functions is part of this territory. Either it's going to work with or against the Will. I can't agree that the mind needs to be ignored any more than traffic should be ignored when you're driving. We develop our own "attentive art" as we navigate through the space, be it physical, mental or what have you.

I do NOT perpetually think "Is this my Will? Am I doing my Will?" But there are all sorts of challenges which rise each day in which I DO find myself beset with conditions that evoke states which my experience thus far has revealed to oppose my Will, to clamp down or confuse my going with my "essential nature." In those spaces, I try to stop, be aware and observant of what is going on and locate the option whereby the Will can most freely be itself. This can include altering environmental conditions, practicing meditation in action, introducing new elements at my disposal into the mix to effect the desired change (this can include evoking and manipulating emotive states and mental pictures).

The statement that "I really think and feel I ought to do this," needs to be followed with "but what I think and feel are constructs of the mind, thus illusions, thus not worth my attention right now". After you dismiss all those thoughts and feelings and other mental constructs, your Will is what remains, and *that* is your basis of action. That is how you discover your Will and act accordingly.

I do not disagree with this, Mika. That mental clutter, ego issues and so on fill our heads and need to be sliced through if we want to go beyond them is not in question. Having "gone beyond," however, we "return to the tea ceremony," as it were and engage with things anew. The Path "to the Will" may require cutting through all the layers between it and the conscious mind but its manifestation and expression returns through those routes, gathering up and manipulating its many resources whereby it is "clothed in a body" through which it can now act. With one route we come to "know the Will." With the other, we "do the Will."


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3951
10/07/2009 6:55 am  

Erwin,

Thank you for your latest diatribe, though it wasn't as entertaining as the previous one.

"lashtal" wrote:
In summary, Michael does not "use these forums to spam books" and a retraction by Erwin would be appropriate.

So I'd best not hold my breath, eh?

😉


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lashtal
(@lashtal)
Owner and Editor Admin
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 5304
10/07/2009 1:25 pm  
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
So I'd best not hold my breath, eh?

Who knows? On this occasion Erwin's remark was impolite and inaccurate: I'd like to think he'll recognise this and correct his error.

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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IAO131
(@iao131)
Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 461
10/07/2009 4:02 pm  
"Erwin" wrote:
"IAO131" wrote:
What kind of special information does 'observing the self' give you? How does it help in the least?

There's just no charitable way of responding to this. Maybe you ought to take up knitting instead.

93,

Do you really think this response is worthwhile? Who exactly are you impressing here, Erwin? Its a legitimate question and the fact that you think its self-evident only shows your naivete in terms of philosophy and language. Once again, you can go around saying "Im right and youre wrong" but you arent made correct by force of language. Sorry to inform you and yes I know youll just make some stupid insult about this post as well. Im pretty certain absolutely no one is convinced by your whining.

IAO131


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
10/07/2009 4:51 pm  
"IAO131" wrote:
Do you really think this response is worthwhile?

Who knows? Maybe it actually will encourage you to take up knitting, an activity that you're pretty clearly much more suited to. If so, you can thank me afterwards, I'm in no hurry.

What worthwhile purpose do you think your response just served, since you're bringing it up?

"IAO131" wrote:
Its a legitimate question

It would be a legitimate question for someone who both:

a. Only heard of Thelema this morning; and

b. Hadn't just had the answer repeatedly explained to them over 12 pages of discussion thread.

For someone who doesn't fall into both of those categories, it's a question that shows you need to be doing something else - such as knitting - because you're clearly not cut out for this.

See? That's useful, worthwhile information for you.

"IAO131" wrote:
and the fact that you think its self-evident only shows your naivete in terms of philosophy and language.

And I'm sure it makes you feel better to project your own ignorance onto somebody else. Yet, the plain fact remains that you're the one asking bone-headed day-one questions, here, so I wouldn't be in so much of a hurry to attribute "naivete" to anyone else, if I were you, regardless of whether or not you consider yourself to be "the sole authority on Thelema". It's this kind of attitude that's going to keep you at the beginner's level that you've been stuck at. When you're faced with the complete inability to understand what people are repeatedly telling you as you are here, such that you're driven to asking such very basic questions, then it would behoove you to begin with the assumption that it's you who's missing the boat, not them, because that's certainly what's happening to you right now.

If you actually are serious about learning about Thelema, what you need to be doing right now is forgetting about "philosophy and language" for a while and doing some actual honest work. There's a time and a place for philosophising, but learning how to discover the will isn't that time, and it isn't that place. If you want to know "what kind of special information ... 'observing the self' give you" and repeated clear explanations have not made it already apparent to you, then what you need to be doing is buckling down and observing the self to find out, because if you lack the shared elementary experience to make sense of what people who actually do know what they're talking about are trying to tell you, then no amount of additional explanation or debate is going to do you any good, and you're going to continue to look like everyone's annoying, pimply kid brother by incessantly complaining about it.

If you're not interested in doing this kind of honest work, then as I told you, there'll always be knitting.


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Proteus
(@proteus)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 243
10/07/2009 5:34 pm  

On this occasion Erwin's remark was impolite

Paul,

I know it's your site and you can/will moderate as you wish, but do you really think that Erwin's posts are typically polite? 😯

John


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mika
 mika
(@mika)
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Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 360
10/07/2009 5:35 pm  
"kidneyhawk" wrote:
"mika" wrote:
you are indeed claiming that the effective expression of your Will is dependent on particular conditions.

Yes, I am claiming this. In MTP, AC writes that "The first requisite for causing any change is thorough qualitative and quantitative understanding of the conditions."

Yes, causing change requires that we understand the conditions in which we find ourselves. What I have been critiquing is Alrah's claim that the *effectiveness*, that is, how *successful* one is in expressing Will is somehow dependent on experiencing a particular emotion. Since you said "Regarding one emotional state being more desirable than another in and of itself, I do disagree with this" then perhaps you've simply been overlooking the word "effective" in my statements and thus misunderstanding my point.

"kidneyhawk" wrote:
He goes on to observe: "Every man and every woman has a course, depending partly on the self, and partly on the environment. Anyone who is forced from his own course, either through not understanding himself, or through external opposition, comes into conflict with the order of the Universe and suffers accordingly."

So yes, there is clearly a relationship between expressing the Will and the conditions with which it must contend.

Well, of course there is a relationship between Will and the conditions in which you find yourself. However, if you seek particular conditions because you believe they will make it easier to express your Will based on how you feel and what you think should be your proper course, "either through not understanding [your]self, or through external opposition" then you will come into "conflict with the order of the Universe and suffer accordingly"

"kidneyhawk" wrote:
If it is determined that anger in a given situation is going to lead in a direction which is not in line with the Will

How do you, personally, determine what action is going to lead in a direction that is or is not in line with your Will?

"kidneyhawk" wrote:
"mika" wrote:
How do you know what changes would be beneficial to your Will? That's not a rhetorical question. Exactly *how* do you figure this out? What is your process, and by what standard do you judge the anticipated change to determine if it will be beneficial?

If YOU can't determine what choices and actions will most benefit the expression of your Will, WHO DOES??? This is one of the basic postulates of MTP. Get the information, get understanding, know what's going on as much as possible and act in accord with the Will's direction within that "space."

You didn't answer my questions. Exactly *how* do you determine what actions are in 'accordance with your Will's direction'? By what standard do you judge the anticipated action to determine if it will be beneficial? Give me a specific, practical example to demonstrate your personal method.

"kidneyhawk" wrote:
(snip)...What's left after identification collapses? The Will. There remained my "essential self" which simply needed to be attended to. The language used in this thread is simple and concise when one states that we need to "pay attention to the Will." We observe, pay attention, cut through the mind stuff and let it BE ITSELF through us. I don't think we are at odds with this.

No, I don't disagree with your above comments.

"kidneyhawk" wrote:
I do NOT perpetually think "Is this my Will? Am I doing my Will?" But there are all sorts of challenges which rise each day in which I DO find myself beset with conditions that evoke states which my experience thus far has revealed to oppose my Will, to clamp down or confuse my going with my "essential nature." In those spaces, I try to stop, be aware and observant of what is going on and locate the option whereby the Will can most freely be itself.

Well, that seems to be a different approach from the one I was critiquing. You are talking about responding to the conditions in which you find yourself to freely express your Will. This is something you do in the present moment in response to the actual reality (hopefully) in which you exist. Some others here are talking about seeking particular conditions because they believe those conditions would allow them to more freely express their Will. This is an entirely backwards approach, and I've explained why enough in this thread already.


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3951
10/07/2009 5:37 pm  
"IAO131" wrote:
Sorry to inform you and yes I know you'll just make some stupid insult about this post as well.

Good God, IAO131! Are you prescient or what? I mean - Erwin rude, insulting and arrogant: who could possibly have anticipated that???

😯

Best wishes,

Michael.


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IAO131
(@iao131)
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Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 461
10/07/2009 6:14 pm  
"Erwin" wrote:
"IAO131" wrote:
Do you really think this response is worthwhile?

Who knows? Maybe it actually will encourage you to take up knitting, an activity that you're pretty clearly much more suited to. If so, you can thank me afterwards, I'm in no hurry.

First of all, Im not sure what you have against knitting - Ive seen some very cool pieces made. 😛

What worthwhile purpose do you think your response just served, since you're bringing it up?

To point out that your posts are little more than ego-maniacal ranting about your own supposed knowledge about everything that is Right, O Master of the Temple.

"IAO131" wrote:
Its a legitimate question

It would be a legitimate question for someone who both:

a. Only heard of Thelema this morning; and

b. Hadn't just had the answer repeatedly explained to them over 12 pages of discussion thread.

That question hadnt been answered and apparently you cant bother to think about things longer than 2 seconds if they dont immediately concur with your most immediate prejudices. What is the 'self' Erwin? Have we established something that all Thelemites agree upon is the self? Ive seen mika, for example, claim there is no true self... so obviously this isnt so simple. And what does it mean to observe the self? Again - Crowley says self-awareness only comes from dis-ease in quite a few places. I know youll never bother to actually think about these questions but instead insult me but I respond for the benefit of others who actually use their mind for something other than building up and defending a mound of argumentative dirt.

For someone who doesn't fall into both of those categories, it's a question that shows you need to be doing something else - such as knitting - because you're clearly not cut out for this.

See? That's useful, worthwhile information for you.

Oh, thanks Erwin! That really was helpful! In fact, I think I will start tomorrow - thank you for being such a powerful Master of the Temple who knows all things and is never wrong and by god if you are wrong no Master of the Temple would ever admit that! Good show!

IAO131


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Tiger
(@tiger)
Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1503
10/07/2009 6:22 pm  

there might be a method to Erwin's madness we haven't exhausted. He so much wants you to try. When he gets it, we might understand.


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mika
 mika
(@mika)
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10/07/2009 6:47 pm  
"IAO131" wrote:
What is the 'self' Erwin? Have we established something that all Thelemites agree upon is the self? Ive seen mika, for example, claim there is no true self... so obviously this isnt so simple.

In what context did you see me make that statement? I'm sure I never claimed that there's no such thing as the concept of a 'true self', or a mental model that ones calls a 'true self'. Why you are probably referring to is a statement like the 'true self' is not a thing that exists independent of the mind, it is a construct created by the mind'.

"IAO131" wrote:
And what does it mean to observe the self?

The only way you can learn the answer to that question, and fully understand the answer to that question, is if you do practical work such as any of the basic meditation exercises that are recommended by just about every magical system out there.

You are asking "what does an apple taste like?" I can say "sweet, tart, juicy, pulpy", then you can say "but what do you mean by sweet, tart, juicy, pulpy?" and we can go back and forth like that again and again forever. Or, you can go eat an apple. If you truly want to learn what it means to observe the self and why this is necessary and significant, the you have to actually practice doing it. Sitting around demanding that people answer your question and complaining that they still don't make sense is like demanding that people explain the flavor of food without you having to go through the experience of eating. It's futile, and also lazy and childish, this desire to talk about magick without doing any of the necessary associated work.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
10/07/2009 6:59 pm  
"IAO131" wrote:
First of all, Im not sure what you have against knitting

I don't have anything against knitting. As I said, perhaps you ought to try it.

"IAO131" wrote:
That question hadnt been answered

Yes, it had. Many times over in this thread.

"IAO131" wrote:
What is the 'self' Erwin?

The individual, you dimwit. What else do you think it is?

"IAO131" wrote:
Have we established something that all Thelemites agree upon is the self?

Since when does anything have to be "agreed upon by all Thelemites" to be real? Many Thelemites think they talk to aliens, but the fact that many Thelemites might agree that they talk to aliens has no bearing whatsoever on the fact that they don't.

"IAO131" wrote:
Ive seen mika, for example, claim there is no true self... so obviously this isnt so simple.

So what? You can claim that there's no such thing as an apple, merely a collection of subatomic particles that your faculties and mind perceive as an apple, but this does not make observing the fact that apples exist anything other than an extremely simple and utterly trivial task.

As I said, that's your problem. People with relevant practical experience look at a term such as "observe the self" and know what it means, because they have practical experience of doing that to which they can relate the label. People without relevant practical experience - such as yourself - look at a term like that and see nothing but a philosophical conundrum. That's why you make no progress, because you're unable to see past your own puerile mental gibberings.

"IAO131" wrote:
And what does it mean to observe the self?

So not only do you not know what "self" means, but you don't know what "observe" means, either? You know, I'm starting to think even knitting might be too much for you.

"IAO131" wrote:
Again - Crowley says self-awareness only comes from dis-ease in quite a few places.

So?

"IAO131" wrote:
I know youll never bother to actually think about these questions

That's the problem with people like you. You think the fact that you're incapable of addressing questions like this means that nobody else has. As I've already told you, these are trivial day-one questions that you wouldn't be having this much difficultly dealing with if you didn't have your head so far up your own backside.

"IAO131" wrote:
Oh, thanks Erwin! That really was helpful!

Good, that's more like it.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
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10/07/2009 7:01 pm  
"mika" wrote:
You are asking "what does an apple taste like?" I can say "sweet, tart, juicy, pulpy", then you can say "but what do you mean by sweet, tart, juicy, pulpy?" and we can go back and forth like that again and again forever. Or, you can go eat an apple. If you truly want to learn what it means to observe the self and why this is necessary and significant, the you have to actually practice doing it. Sitting around demanding that people answer your question and complaining that they still don't make sense is like demanding that people explain the flavor of food without you having to go through the experience of eating. It's futile, and also lazy and childish, this desire to talk about magick without doing any of the necessary associated work.

Wow. 🙄


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
10/07/2009 7:21 pm  
"Erwin" wrote:
The individual, you dimwit. What else do you think it is?
"Erwin" wrote:
As I've already told you, these are trivial day-one questions that you wouldn't be having this much difficultly dealing with if you didn't have your head so far up your own backside.

Mr. Hessle, you really are unwell, and your posts here over the last 24 hours indicate that your condition is rapidly deteriorating. You should seek psychiatric assistance and refrain from interacting with other people until you feel better.


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kidneyhawk
(@kidneyhawk)
Member
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Posts: 1827
10/07/2009 7:31 pm  

You didn't answer my questions. Exactly *how* do you determine what actions are in 'accordance with your Will's direction'? By what standard do you judge the anticipated action to determine if it will be beneficial? Give me a specific, practical example to demonstrate your personal method.

As has been discussed, this "determination," like everything else, is done in the "now." You can become aware and self-aware in a given moment by practicing mindfulness and this brings a new "light" to bear on the situation, whereby assessments are influenced by the "essential nature." If the essential nature is buried beneath a mound of thoughts, feelings and habits which are not in line with it or condusive to its outflowing, the Will "does nought" and the chatterbox chatters. By stilling the chatterbox-or refusing to be driven by it (not identifying with it's manifestations) the Will can shine through that zone and assemble those functions towards its expression. Now, the mind is no longer a "chatterbox" or cacophony but a song or musical score.

However, mindfulness is a tool or means. I refered to it as bringing a new "light" to bear on the situation. When a situation is "clouded" or "darkened" by confusion, mindfulness can be quickly applied, a "solution" can be found. On the other hand, there are plenty of times where I am NOT engaged in the practice of mindfulness, when I am "lost" or "dissolved" into the action at hand. Subject and Object vanish. An example would be creating a work of art. It's not so simple as thinking that I've identified "art" as my "Will" or a "Willful activity." This may be true in some general sense but there is a relationship between the action and the essential nature. HOW I am doing this thing is also important. "Fancy pictures" of how I ought to or would like to be creating can and do enter the fray. To let that go and allow Will to "drive the vehicle" results in a different sort of creative experience and subsequent creation. We can see this many times in the artisitic development of people like Klee and Miro. The understanding and use of the "machine" (mind and body) lines up with the "True Will" and flows into a highly unique direction. The work is not a "mechanical action" corresponding to a set methodology but a vivid and living "song."

So, I cannot present a tidy little process as to how I always bring myself into perfect relation with my Will. At times, such a process is unnecessary. I don't need to deal with "Because" for the reason that the Will is not deadlocked in its vehicle. It's GOING. But it can and DOES get deadlocked. I would say that all the previous experiences of opening up to and cooperating with it build an inner sense of where the relationship is at. This "sense" can set off "alarms" when things cloud over. Like antibodies gushing into the bloodstream, tools such as mindfulness can be quickly brought to bear on the "invasion" and put it into check.

The entire picture is a Way of relating to our lives and experiences on every level. There are times when I need to ask how exactly I am knowing something to be so, for the sake of cutting through obstacles. There are other times when it doesn't matter and doesn't apply. I'm not concerned in that moment with the "knowing," let alone the justifying. To ask in such moments how I know I'm not deceiving myself or acting based on how I THINK or FEEL about my True Nature is not, in that place, the activity of useful analysis but the deadlock introduced by "Because." And for all the talk of "doing the work" and "practice," this IS absolutely essential. You've got to figure it out for yourself in action. The action isn't dictated by thoughts. Nor does it just happen without the thought-process being involved, which, as we've discussed above, may be beneficial or not. We figure this out with our whole being involved in the moment and to the degree that we are thus "integrated" we realize the Will in action.

I will also add that this way of going at our moment to moment life is highly intuitive. By practicing attentiveness and mindfulness, we cultivate deeper levels of awareness. This "improved" awareness allows for deeper functions of the mind to communicate, an awareness that thus and such is of value to the situation at hand through an activity of the mind which can bypass logical process.

Thought, reason, intuition, imagination, perception, external events, feelings, the body and so on are all part of the "environment" in which we find ourselves. And the game is always changing. How are we relating to it is the question. The idea of a "True Will" sets the attention to a particular path whereby we employ "intentional action" to reorganize the elements at hand through means at our disposal. The motivation for this is within us. We cut through what has been observed to obscure and confuse to get at, "release" and cooperate with it as the central theme and essence of our self-conscious existence.


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IAO131
(@iao131)
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Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 461
10/07/2009 7:34 pm  
"mika" wrote:
"IAO131" wrote:
What is the 'self' Erwin? Have we established something that all Thelemites agree upon is the self? Ive seen mika, for example, claim there is no true self... so obviously this isnt so simple.

In what context did you see me make that statement?

I'm sure I never claimed that there's no such thing as the concept of a 'true self', or a mental model that ones calls a 'true self'. Why you are probably referring to is a statement like the 'true self' is not a thing that exists independent of the mind, it is a construct created by the mind'.

Right... You claimed that any conceptual model of the true self is a figment of the imagination around page 11, a 'mental model that ones [sic] calls a 'true self'' as you say above...

"IAO131" wrote:
And what does it mean to observe the self?

The only way you can learn the answer to that question, and fully understand the answer to that question, is if you do practical work such as any of the basic meditation exercises that are recommended by just about every magical system out there.

So by self we mean the movements of the mind & body?

You are asking "what does an apple taste like?" I can say "sweet, tart, juicy, pulpy", then you can say "but what do you mean by sweet, tart, juicy, pulpy?" and we can go back and forth like that again and again forever. Or, you can go eat an apple.

Except 'self' isnt a commonly held term for a physical object that everyone has interacted with - Im not sure if you are aware but there is not even a consensus of what the 'self' is in psychology. Most people think Freud's notion of ego is somehow supreme but it aint.

If you truly want to learn what it means to observe the self and why this is necessary and significant, the you have to actually practice doing it.

No offense but this is a complete cop out - if you cant explain why it matters then you have no clue. I know what meditation does.

Sitting around demanding that people answer your question and complaining that they still don't make sense is like demanding that people explain the flavor of food without you having to go through the experience of eating.

Actually, no its not because the flavor of food is a qualitative thing that I would accept I need to eat food for but your ideas are philosophical and practical in tone and intent - you claim and Erwin and such that observing the self is somehow beneficial to the accomplishment of the True Will (is that a fair representation) yet I am asking what oyu mean exactly. Lots of people observe themselves, is that enough? Just because I ask questions doesnt mean I dont have my own answers, by the way, but Im trying to figure out what you (or Los or whomever Im addressing) means by what they say. I can assume they mean exactly what I think or I can ask - I would think the former is a bit naive and the latter is a normal device of understanding each other's positions...

It's futile, and also lazy and childish, this desire to talk about magick without doing any of the necessary associated work.

Your cop out is lazy and childish. You cant possibly explain the benefits of it without saying 'Oh gosh! Thats like asking me to tell you what red looks like! You just have to see it!' The same goes for just about every other legitimization strategy of crystals, talismans, stones, and whatever hocus pocus - you just have to experience it for yourself! If you cant put in a sentence or two your thoughts on a subject I would say you are clueless about it or disingenuous - which is it?

IAO131


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mika
 mika
(@mika)
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10/07/2009 8:01 pm  
"kidneyhawk" wrote:
"mika" wrote:
You didn't answer my questions. Exactly *how* do you determine what actions are in 'accordance with your Will's direction'? By what standard do you judge the anticipated action to determine if it will be beneficial?

As has been discussed, this "determination," like everything else, is done in the "now." You can become aware and self-aware in a given moment by practicing mindfulness and this brings a new "light" to bear on the situation, whereby assessments are influenced by the "essential nature."

I do not disagree with your above statement or much of the rest of your post. However, you are talking about acting in accordance with your Will *right now*, in the moment. You did not address your claims about acting in accordance with your Will's direction. It is this presumption of some future reality that's the problem.

The reality of one's Will is inherently intertwined with the present moment. All we can know about our Will is how it manifests in the present, what actions are in accordance with our Will in this very moment. We can't know what direction it will go in in the future, what direction it needs to go in, what conditions we'll need to create for it to manifest, or anything else that is not directly related to one's experience of the present moment. Based on your post, it seems as though this is something you understand, so maybe it's just that your language has been sloppy in your previous posts.


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 Anonymous
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10/07/2009 8:12 pm  
"IAO131" wrote:
Just because I ask questions doesnt mean I dont have my own answers, by the way

It also conveniently provides you with an avenue for claiming that you knew the answers all along after they've been beaten into your skull, doesn't it?

If you do think you have your own answers, why not provide some of them upfront, and then we can determine whether you're right to think that?

"IAO131" wrote:
Your cop out is lazy and childish. You cant possibly explain the benefits of it without saying 'Oh gosh! Thats like asking me to tell you what red looks like! You just have to see it!' The same goes for just about every other legitimization strategy of crystals, talismans, stones, and whatever hocus pocus - you just have to experience it for yourself! If you cant put in a sentence or two your thoughts on a subject I would say you are clueless about it or disingenuous - which is it?

As you've already been told, you've had 12 pages of explanation now - and that's just in this thread. There are also the volumes of explanations you've been given prior to this thread - many from Los, and many, many more from me. The problem isn't that nobody is explaining it to you - the problem is that you are completely incapable of understanding the copious explanations you've been given. And you never will understand them until you acquire the relevant practical experience to enable you to do so. You can't sensibly explain to someone how carbon fouling of a spark plug will make an engine run rough if they've never seen an engine before and have absolutely no idea how one works or what one even does. You can give them the words, but it will make no sense to them - which is exactly what's been happening with you.

For as long as you approach the will as a philosophical conundrum, it will never make any kind of sense to you, and you'll never get a good idea of what it's about, because you have to look outside of your own mind to find it. Only at that point is this kind of discussion about it going to become productive. As you've been told, you're going to need to do some actual work if you want to make any progress on this question.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
10/07/2009 8:18 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
Mr. Hessle, you really are unwell, and your posts here over the last 24 hours indicate that your condition is rapidly deteriorating. You should seek psychiatric assistance and refrain from interacting with other people until you feel better.

You really need to get out more - that fantasy world of amateur melodramatics you're living in doesn't appear to be treating you very well. If something as trivial as that is so frightening and disturbing to you that you see it as an indicator of being "unwell" then you have an awful lot of serious elementary work to do, as I've told you before. Perhaps you can get together with Mr. 131 and form a study group.


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Los
 Los
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10/07/2009 8:21 pm  

Kyle,

My impression of you is that you are well-intentioned and sincere, but I don't know how you can read all of my posts and then ask:

do you "know" your own Will? Do you feel that you a handle on what you are? Are you acting accordingly?

I don't know how many times I've said in this thread alone that I don't consider the will to be a "thing" that is an object of knowledge. It's a course of action, a going, a doing.

At any rate, doing the will isn't an either/or question. It's not yes/no. It's a gradual process in which one gets better at doing the will, which one is always doing anyway.

I do have a fair amount of experience in working the method I've been discussing. Obviously I think I'm doing it to the best of my abilities. I don't know how I could possibly prove that to anyone else -- other than by how clearly I can talk about the method.

Speaking of talking clearly about methods:

The notion of the grand destiny was gratifying enough to take routes of restriction to support it. Obviously, a messy state. But even going this far was leading to the next step in understanding and working with this thing. The labeling had to go. I will concur that THIS could well be described as a "fancy picture" that wasn't helping things at all. I had to break off from attachment to the notion. In doing this, I would consciously observe myself as a given role in shifting situations. Even if I was engaged in one of my life pursuits, such as making art, I would drop the idea that I was an "artist." If I got up to use the bathroom, I was no longer an artist. I became a urinator. But even these roles were all sliced up into "sub-roles." Being a urinator entailed being a hand-washer, a totally different function. This entailed being a "handle turner" and "water temperature tester" and so on. There WAS no substantial or consistent role or act to identify with anymore. What's left after identification collapses? The Will. There remained my "essential self" which simply needed to be attended to. The language used in this thread is simple and concise when one states that we need to "pay attention to the Will." We observe, pay attention, cut through the mind stuff and let it BE ITSELF through us. I don't think we are at odds with this.

Thank you for being more specific about your method. What you've written above is far more specific than what you wrote here:

We have to start somewhere and we dig in. As we gain more information, experience and awareness of what's going on, we can respond in more effective fashions. [...] What we discover moves with us endlessly. We are continually observing, processing, reacting, not reacting, acting and so on. Are we doing right by ourselves? We decide this.

You do see the difference between these passages, don't you? You do clearly see that the first passage I quoted is more specific than the second, don't you?

Now we can actually talk about your method. You say a lot of good things here. You note that the true will isn't some kind of "destiny" or "life purpose" that makes you a special little snowflake in your mind's eye. You also note that identifying with the roles constructed by the mind is a hindrance on the will.

I assume that you also are including *all* "mind stuff" when you says you "cut through the mind stuff" -- emotions, imaginative interpretations, desires, the "lust of result," sentimental attachments, etc.

If so, then "cutting through the mind stuff" and attending to what's left over is actually a good summary of the method I've been talking about, and I think there's not very much disagreement between us.

If there is disagreement, it comes when you say you "locate the option whereby the Will can most freely be itself" -- which implies consciously selecting a path instead of attending to the will -- and that you do so by "manipulating emotive states and mental pictures."

The above is problematic because, obviously, if we agree that the will is not a fancy picture arising in the mind and that the way to achieve it is to "cut through the mind stuff," then we would also have to agree that we cannot discover the will by "manipulating" that mind stuff or by consciously choosing a path that we think is in line with what we think the will is.

However, based on what you wrote in your most recent post, it sounds to me like you're (still) confusing "how we discover will" and "how we express will." Manipulating stuff in the mind may very well be part of the latter, but it cannot be part of the former.

Now obviously contacting a praeterhuman intelligence and asking him about your true will is an act of manipulating mind stuff and could not work to inform you about your true will. But contacting a praeterhuman intelligence and asking him to show you something cool to draw is an act of manipulating mind stuff that *could* be a part of expressing your true will (if your true will is to be an artist, for example).

Similarly, getting into a trance state and having your true will "revealed" is an act of mind stuff and could not work to inform you about your true will. Any "messages" you receive -- whether from spirits or from experiences -- are rational constructs and could only ever apply to expressing the will, not discovering it.


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mika
 mika
(@mika)
Member
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10/07/2009 8:25 pm  
"IAO131" wrote:
"mika" wrote:
You are asking "what does an apple taste like?" I can say "sweet, tart, juicy, pulpy", then you can say "but what do you mean by sweet, tart, juicy, pulpy?" and we can go back and forth like that again and again forever. Or, you can go eat an apple.

Except 'self' isnt a commonly held term for a physical object that everyone has interacted with

Right. it's a commonly held term for a mental construct that everyone has interacted with. My statement still applies.

"IAO131" wrote:
"mika" wrote:
f you truly want to learn what it means to observe the self and why this is necessary and significant, the you have to actually practice doing it.

No offense but this is a complete cop out - if you cant explain why it matters then you have no clue.

Like I said, you want people to explain what an apple tastes like without having to go actually eat one. That, my dear, is the complete cop out.

The reason why it can't be explained, by me or anyone else, why it matters is because understanding of the answer must come from direct experience, by the very nature of the question being asked. It is precisely the same situation as asking someone to explain what an apple tastes like. The same.

"IAO131" wrote:
you claim that observing the self is somehow beneficial to the accomplishment of the True Will (is that a fair representation) yet I am asking what oyu mean exactly.

Not just beneficial, but necessary. Why? Because when you practice observing the self, simply observing the thoughts and emotions and other phenomena you are experiencing, you can learn to distinguish between your direct experience of reality and the stories you tell yourself about those experiences. In other words, this is how you learn to distinguish between reality and fantasy, which is the tool you need for discovering and acting in accordance with your will.

"IAO131" wrote:
Lots of people observe themselves, is that enough?

No. There also must be an objective nature to the observation. You can observe yourself experiencing anger, but if at the same time you believe "I am angry", you're missing the point. This can be clearly understood through any of those beginning meditation exercises - "observe your thoughts like passing clouds" or the 'this is my arm, I am not my arm. this is my leg, I am not my leg.' of Liber Yod. These questions of yours are why it is so apparent that you haven't sincerely done any of this basic practical work.


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Los
 Los
(@los)
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10/07/2009 8:26 pm  
"tai" wrote:
The uniqueness I refer to is a latent difference within the personality and not necessarily desirable to others. In fact it can make the person feel neurotic and uncomfortable. Or completely alienated. It's the part of the personality that resists conforming to social situations and does not "fit in".

It can be that, but not necessarily. Do you think the part of an individual that doesn't fit into society is always an expression of the True Will? I mean, I think we all agree that one's actions should not be determind by the values of what Nietzsche called the herd (and it is in this sense that we are "against the people"). But is one's true will always necessarily *antithetical* to "herd" values? I do not think so.

Could it not be someone's true will, for example, to work a pleasant nine to five job that he enjoys, raise a few kids, and then die? Such a person might very well not *want* that to be his will. He'd much prefer that his will were to be a James Bondian hero. But, of course, what we will and what we *want* are two separate things.

One way we detect its presence is by noting what our thoughts, words and actions tend to keep recurring around over the years

So you're proposing that the True Will is something akin to the Lacanian Real that fissures through the cracks of our "symbolic order"?

If that's what you're proposing, then I would think that paying attention to recurring thoughts -- which are part of that symbolic order -- would be the wrong way to go about discovering it. The best way would be to thrust oneself into a perception of the Real by abandoning the Symbolic all together (as much as is possible).

[Actually, if the Real is nothing more than the fissures in the Symbolic, which I recall Zizek saying once or twice, then I don't think Lacan's system would map onto the model of self we've been describing here at all. See, this goes back to Freud's system vs. Crowley's system vs. whoever's system...they're different ways of labeling experience that don't always coincide perfectly. Let's not mix up the planes]

If the will is beyond the thoughts -- and it is -- then you won't find it by paying attention to the thoughts. As I explained earlier, recurring thoughts could just as easily be an obsession of your mind and not an expression of the will.

Yes, Person A should conclude the intentions embodied in those series of failed magickal workings are not in accordance with True Will. Or rather they are not primary to their evolution at that particular point in time, being more on the level of wishing thinking.

There's a buried premise here -- something along the lines of "the true will does not consist of actions that magical operations cannot currently achieve."

And actually, if "magical operations" means "any action to accomplish change," then I would agree that things that are impossible to do cannot be someone's true will.

Obviously, it can't be your true will to fly under your own power because that's utterly impossible. It might be your true will to design an invention that simulates the ability to fly under your own power. But if you try to design such a device and find that it's utterly impossible to do, given our current technology -- i.e. if your "magical operation" fails -- then it can't be your will to design such a device.

But just because a magical operation succeeds doesn't mean that it's necessarily your true will. If I engage in a "magical oepration" to earn a degree in accounting, for example, I might find the operation a success, but still not be doing my will.

So, in short, I think using the success or failure of magical operations to determine the will is not terribly practical and could even potentially lead someone astray.

"IAO131" wrote:
Although I find some of your ambiguous statements frustrating, I have to say I extremely appreciate your tone and patience...

Thanks. I appreciate your tone and patience as well.

I'll note that I've asked you quite a few times in this thread already to give your definition of will and your ideas about it. I'm now asking again, and I will hold off responding to your questions until then.

I think I've answered enough questions over the course of this thread for the time being.


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lashtal
(@lashtal)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 5304
10/07/2009 8:34 pm  

This thread is locked while I investigate complaints by two members about the behaviour of another.

Normal service will be resumed shortly...

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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lashtal
(@lashtal)
Owner and Editor Admin
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 5304
11/07/2009 6:01 pm  

The thread is now, as promised, unlocked.

All members are reminded of the requirement to comply with the Guidelines, especially in the context of "politeness". It would help us all if members note that compliance is a prerequisite of participation. I'd much prefer not having to jump in after the event to deliver punishments in the playground!

One member has been temporarily barred from participation in the Forums for repeated abuses of the Private Messaging system.

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
11/07/2009 9:49 pm  
"Erwin" wrote:
I know exactly what you said. I even went to the trouble of quoting it for you.

You know what I said but do not grasp what I meant. You latch on to a particular statement and ignore the context as a whole in which it was made. This tendency causes you to misread information and the point you think you're making is thus groundless. Like Don Quixote chasing windmills. Other Lashtal members have noted you misquote their comments, but I am now certain your behaviour is symptomatic rather than malicious... Observance of self is a fine activity, but I suspect your insistence on it is tied to a particular condition you have...

Nuff said.


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 Anonymous
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11/07/2009 9:54 pm  

Indeed tai - he will not understand it, nor my recent revokation of his 8=3 grade which was a hope and a mistake on my part while I was adjusting to the post abyss period.


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 Anonymous
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11/07/2009 10:11 pm  
"Los" wrote:
Do you think the part of an individual that doesn't fit into society is always an expression of the True Will?

Of course not. Its non-conformity can equally reflect the fact the person does not understand this part of himself, does not know what is "wrong" with himself, why events turn out a certain way against conscious intent, why people react to him a certain way, etc.

"Los" wrote:
I mean, I think we all agree that one's actions should not be determind by the values of what Nietzsche called the herd (and it is in this sense that we are "against the people"). But is one's true will always necessarily *antithetical* to "herd" values? I do not think so.

Could it not be someone's true will, for example, to work a pleasant nine to five job that he enjoys, raise a few kids, and then die? Such a person might very well not *want* that to be his will. He'd much prefer that his will were to be a James Bondian hero. But, of course, what we will and what we *want* are two separate things.

Yes its possible but what you're describing is the mindset of an average office drone - fulfilling necessary obligations while dreaming of another life. If that lifestyle were his True Will, he would not be fantasizing about being a James Bond hero.

"Los" wrote:
If that's what you're proposing, then I would think that paying attention to recurring thoughts -- which are part of that symbolic order -- would be the wrong way to go about discovering it. The best way would be to thrust oneself into a perception of the Real by abandoning the Symbolic all together (as much as is possible).

One does not "thrust oneself" into a perception of the Real. The person's symbolic subjectivity is structured around the kernel of the Real, but the Real can be approached only at the price of completely distorting the symbolic field. The famous example Lacan uses to illustrate the relation between the Symbolic and Real is Holbein's painting of the Ambassadors:

http://employees.oneonta.edu/farberas/arth/arth214/ambassadors_hot_spots.htm

The painting depicts two men standing next to a desk with all the symbols of worldly power. At the bottom left corner you can see what looks like a white streak. The painting was originally designed to be placed on a wall above a stair case, with the stairs going up the left side of the wall in the same direction as the white streak. When a person walks up the staircase and looks at the painting from that angle, the white streak changes into a skull staring straight back at the viewer. The skull = the kernel of the Real; the rest of the painting = the Symbolic. The kernel of the Real structures the Symbolic and can only be seen by sacrificing the rest of the visual field. In other words, you cannot approach the Real and still hold onto the Symbolic. This example is useful as a loose analogy to grasping True Will. The mutually exclusive relation between the Symbolic and Real is one way of considering the "gap" between what we think and say versus what actually happens.

"Los" wrote:
[Actually, if the Real is nothing more than the fissures in the Symbolic, which I recall Zizek saying once or twice, then I don't think Lacan's system would map onto the model of self we've been describing here at all. See, this goes back to Freud's system vs. Crowley's system vs. whoever's system...they're different ways of labeling experience that don't always coincide perfectly. Let's not mix up the planes]

I presume what Zizek meant by "fissures" is the Real eludes identification and categorization within the Symbolic field. Why? The Real structures the Symbolic, it is the knot around which subjectivity is centered, but itself remains "outside" of the Symbolic.

Btw, not mixing up the planes does not mean do not mix different systems - (Crowley was notorious for doing that himself, the most famous example being his version of the I Ching) - but do not mix the internal planes (subjectivity) with the external plane (objective world) - i.e. do not project onto the world.

"Los" wrote:
If the will is beyond the thoughts -- and it is -- then you won't find it by paying attention to the thoughts. As I explained earlier, recurring thoughts could just as easily be an obsession of your mind and not an expression of the will.

Yes, True Will is beyond thoughts but its presence may be sensed through recurrence - in the same way the presence of the Real may be detected by the fissure or knot in one's subjectivity. I'm not speaking about a daily, monthly, or six month obsession, but something that continues over the years. Btw, your comment that recurring thoughts are not an "expression of the will" is a misunderstanding. For one, we need to distinguish between will and True Will - I presume you were referring to True Will when writing "will". Second, I never said recurrence is an expression of [True] Will. Rather, I meant recurrence is a symptom of its presence. Whether one explores their symptom and eventually discovers their True Will is entirely up to their particular make-up, but once True Will is activated, believe me, you will know it. There will be no doubt in your mind. It will temporarily disrupt your Symbolic field.

This leads to my view that a person's True Will may be dormant their entire life, influencing and governing them at the subconscious/unconscious levels. For those people who have consciously or accidentally activated their True Will, there is more power but the karmic repercussion are much higher. If they do not act in harmony with their True Will, it can seriously fcuk with them. If you see someone who is having a string of heavy bad luck, that is someone on bad terms with their True Will. Crowley drops hints of this in Confessions.

"Los" wrote:
There's a buried premise here -- something along the lines of "the true will does not consist of actions that magical operations cannot currently achieve."

It would be more to the point to leave aside magick and simply note True Will is marked by real change - not a hesitant sense of "oh, was XYZ an expression of my True Will?" It's a certainty uninfluenced by what others think. You know because you experienced it directly. This brings up another paradox: when True Will does activate, its hard to discuss it with others and explain it in terms of clear cause/effect and inside/outside. This may be linked with the fact the Real lies "outside" of the Symbolic field and why Crowley was reticent on details of his own True Will.


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 Anonymous
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11/07/2009 10:15 pm  
"alrah" wrote:
Indeed tai - he will not understand it, nor my recent revokation of his 8=3 grade which was a hope and a mistake on my part while I was adjusting to the post abyss period.

Well, I suppose even a Master of Temple needs love and acceptance.. it so lonely at the top.


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 Anonymous
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11/07/2009 10:32 pm  

Tai... Not at all, or maybe the Irish 'at all at all!' There is always the enduring love of the true self or HGA. It takes up residence and there are no petty issues of aloneness then. But you do look around for others to relate to in the post abyss period, when everything is still in a state of flux, - ultimately everything conforms to the absolute truth that you've learned. And Erwin was/is quite close to that, in a way I could relate to, but ultimately beyond, and now he cuts me off faster than a closet gay cuts off silk toilet paper:-))) And I know that he is far more alone than I would ever be allowed now that I am a servant to my true self. Lonely is a relative conceptions that is only applicable to those who do not know the love and acceptance of the higher self... and maybe that's where we go wrong in the telling - we do not tell (that much) of how we are accepted with love...


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 Anonymous
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11/07/2009 11:17 pm  
"tai" wrote:
You know what I said but do not grasp what I meant.

Anything to weasel out of admitting your error. Now apparently it's somehow my fault that you say things you don't mean. Priceless.

"tai" wrote:
You latch on to a particular statement and ignore the context as a whole in which it was made.

Just like your continual "straw man" claims, you just use "context" as a substitute for "you copped me talking nonsense but now I don't want to admit to it, so I'll weasel out of it by pretending I meant something other than what I did". There is no "context" which can make "there is no difference between direct experience of something real and direct experience of something imaginary" mean anything other than exactly what it says, however much you wish there was.


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 Anonymous
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11/07/2009 11:41 pm  

Except when what you would call imaginary (having never wanted the experience perhaps?) - real Erwin. You come across the spheres and shine with gold but never as much hint to your peeps and if we so much as acknowledge you in that aspect you shoot us down in flames. All 5=6 peeps return with warts and all ego consciousness. You're no different Erwin. You're just running away again. You do ron ron ron....;-)


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 Anonymous
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12/07/2009 3:11 am  
"Erwin" wrote:
Anything to weasel out of admitting your error. Now apparently it's somehow my fault that you say things you don't mean. Priceless.

Erwin, let's make this simple and easy to understand. I contend that I meant there is no difference between "direct perception" of an object on the astral (A) and "direct perception" of an object on the table (B) whereas you have latched onto, and misread my quote to contend that I said there is no difference between A or B and thus unable to distinguish imaginary from reality. I am not trying to weasel out of anything because I have no problem admitting when I am wrong. The question is whether you do and whether you have difficulty distinguishing between your subjectivity and objective reality - in this case meaning the ability to understand other people and recognize the intent behind their words. I think you have a specific condition where you have difficulty reading others and social situations. That's why others regard you as a disruptive (or amusing) presence and why you are continually banned from the forum. I do not believe in pity so I'm telling you exactly how I see things.

That noted, I'll explain once more. I entered this thread to rebut your claims about "direct perception" versus the "stories" we tell ourselves about our experiences. You stated direct perception of a thing is irrelevant of the objective properties of a thing (i.e. it does not matter that the redness of an apple is not actually "out there", the fact we perceive an apple as red is simply "how" perception works) and that sensory experience is not the same thing as the stories we tell ourselves. So you're saying one can directly perceive a thing through regardless of whether it has those objective qualitiesand that this is somehow more valid than the stories we tell ourselves about our experiences. All my comments have been directed at critiquing your definition of "direct perception". Given your definition that direct perception of a thing is irrelevant of the fact whether the perceived qualities of the thing objectively exist, I fail to see any difference between direct perception of an astral creature and direct perception of an apple on a table. This does not mean I have a problem distinguishing between the astral realm and objective reality, but that your point of direct perception is null.

Here are my comments once more (pay attention to highlighted responses):

----

Tai wrote:
Erwin you're talking nonsense. Or rather, you're arguing against yourself.

The question is not the misuse of reason to arrive at false conclusions and confuse fantasy for reality, but questioning the difference between direct experience of a pink unicorn on the astral plane and direct experience of an apple on a table. Following your comments ("direct experiences are real, and they are real regardless of whether or not they accurately reflect some kind of external universe, and regardless of whether or not an external universe exists at all") the direct experience of both the pink unicorn and apple are real...

Again, the question here is not the categorical difference between fantasy/imagination/stories versus reality, but the difference between a direct perception of a pink unicorn on the astral plane and a direct perception of a red apple on the table. There is no difference. Unless, of course, you want to shift the focus of argument from "direct experience" to defining what is "real"...

Note I never said that I was unable to distinguish between fantasy and reality. Rather, I used your argumentation and resulting straw man to note your point on "direct perception" was null. Of course, when your "point" is shown as meaningless, you ignore my assertion of being unable to define "reality" and proceed to make more claims about fantasy versus reality.

To make my point clear, direct perception is a meaningless concept because it apprehends both subjective and objective things.
.....

Did you note what I highlighted above? I never claimed there is no difference between the astral realm and objective reality. Twice I said the question is not about imaginary versus real. What I said over and over is that direct perception of A and direct perception of B is meaningless. Why? Because you claim it does not matter whether the qualities of a directly perceived thing objectively exist "out there". That's why I said you're talking nonsense. Moreover direct perception is a bogus concept because 1) you never have to justify it in terms of the objective world and 2) it provides a false sense of superiority.

On consideration, I will retract my first statement in this thread that you're talking "nonsense". In fact, you're making a lot of sense about yourself. If in the past you had problems adjusting to social situations and reading others and mislead yourself through stories about what is "really" happening, only to discover later you were wrong, I can see why you place such importance on the idea of direct perception without resorting to subjective fantasizing and observance of self.

Take for example Person A with bad eyesight: their direct perception (via their senses) tells them there is a blurry apple on the table. When someone else says the apple is not blurry, but smooth and Person A refuses to listen their story about the apple's "smoothness", you can see in this instance Person A's insistence on direct perception is a reflection of his or her handicap. And close-mindedness.

................

Erwin wrote:
And you're wrong, again. There is a very clear distinction between direct experience of perceiving real things, and direct experience of perceiving imaginary things. As an elementary example, imaginary things are not perceived through your senses, on account of them being imaginary, and all. It is very easy for anyone who is not an idiot to distinguish between perceptions of real things and perceptions of imaginary things, because they are qualitatively different to an enormous degree. If you have not acquired this ability, then what you need to do in to go down to your local loony bin and volunteer yourself for indefinite incarceration, because you're not capable of functioning in the world. If you have acquired this ability, then you're just rattling off a pack of lies because you think it sounds good. Which way do you want it?
..............................

I could not help but note you modified your position in the above from "direct perception" to "direct experience of perceiving".

Your criteria of reality as what is perceivable through the senses is easily disproved. Scientists have carried out experiments in which neural connections in a subject's brain has been disconnected. They blindfolded him and told him to move his arm. The arm lay inert due to the neural disconnection but the subject was convinced he was "moving" his arm. The subject's sense of touch is telling him his arm is really moving, when it is not. There are many more examples of this, not to mention the question of what percentage of our cognition and functioning is based in direct sensory input versus spatial mapping arising from memory imprinting in the hippocampus.

Speaking of functioning, there is a department at Stanford University that investigates lucid dreaming. You can learn to wake up in a lucid dream, function and do all kinds of things. Or put on a virtual reality suit and enter a virtual world. They have even developed brain-computer interfaces for machines that respond to human thoughts. All of this is real and not dependent on sensory input.

Now let's agree to stop boring other Lashtal members with these windy and pointless discussions.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
12/07/2009 3:55 am  
"tai" wrote:
Erwin, let's make this simple and easy to understand.

I've already done that. You just haven't twigged it, yet.

"tai" wrote:
I contend that I meant there is no difference between "direct perception" of an object on the astral (A) and "direct perception" of an object on the table (B) whereas you have latched onto, and misread my quote to contend that I said there is no difference between A or B and thus unable to distinguish imaginary from reality.

No, I haven't. All my arguments to you have been concerned precisely in the question of the differences between the "direct perceptions" of those things. This latest idea of yours that I've been arguing about the differences between those things being perceived is just demonstrably false. There is a world of difference between those two "direct perceptions". I have been saying this since you first introduced the idea, so there really is no mileage in you trying to claim that I've been saying something else.

"tai" wrote:
You stated direct perception of a thing is irrelevant of the objective properties of a thing (i.e. it does not matter that the redness of an apple is not actually "out there", the fact we perceive an apple as red is simply "how" perception works) and that sensory experience is not the same thing as the stories we tell ourselves. So you're saying one can directly perceive a thing through regardless of whether it has those objective qualitiesand that this is somehow more valid than the stories we tell ourselves about our experiences. All my comments have been directed at critiquing your definition of "direct perception". Given your definition that direct perception of a thing is irrelevant of the fact whether the perceived qualities of the thing objectively exist, I fail to see any difference between direct perception of an astral creature and direct perception of an apple on a table.

You "fail to see any difference" because you're falling into the same trap as IAO131, insisting that because you are incapable of thinking of any difference, there must not be any. Despite all of your complaining and reasoning, the fact remains that it is easy to distinguish between a perception of something real and a perception of something "on the astral", and that means there is a world of difference between them. No amount of you "failing to see" the difference changes this. Insisting that there is no difference between these two types of perception when a single moment's experiment will reveal an absolutely enormous difference between them is extremely foolish. You are insisting that the universe must conform to your understanding of it, and it just doesn't. You'd be far better off observing how things actually do work instead of sitting around ruminating how they "must" work.

The fact that "direct perception of a thing is irrelevant of the fact whether the perceived qualities of the thing objectively exist" in no way implies that direct perception of a thing is irrelevant of whether any qualities of the thing objectively exist. Even if the redness doesn't "exist", there are some qualities of the object in question that give rise to the perception of redness which do exist, and this is not true for things "on the astral". This is an absolutely enormous difference between the two types of perception in question. Another enormous difference is that one of those perceptions comes through the sensory mechanism, and the other arises solely in the imagination. The differences between them are simply vast, despite your inept and incorrect reasoning that they must be the same, and the briefest examination of the actual observable facts will confirm this to you. This is another good example of where doing some actual work beats sitting around thinking about it, every time.

"tai" wrote:
This does not mean I have a problem distinguishing between the astral realm and objective reality, but that your point of direct perception is null.

That's exactly what it means. If you claim that there is "no difference" between those two types of perception then you are claiming that it is impossible for you to tell whether you're perceiving something real or whether you're perceiving something "on the astral". And if you are claiming that it is impossible for you to do this, then you are claiming that you cannot distinguish between the "astral realm" and objective reality. Once again, insisting that you can distinguish the two but also insisting that there is "no difference" in the perceptions of the two is extremely foolish.

"tai" wrote:
Your criteria of reality as what is perceivable through the senses is easily disproved.

Now you're following in the footsteps of Kidneyhawk by insisting on a myopic definition of "reality". The sensations received through the senses are real sensations, regardless of how well they correlate with some kind of "external reality". The sensations that you imagine on the "astral plane" are not real sensations, because you've imagined them. The fact that one type of sensation is real, but the other is imaginary, is precisely what makes it so easy to distinguish between the direct perceptions of them. Sensations are themselves part of reality regardless of how accurately they represent certain other parts of reality. In the one case, you have real sensations that are perceived; in the other case, you have a real imagination of sensations that is "perceived". These difference between these two perceptions is absolutely enormous. Just because some guy with a broken brain really thinks he's moving his arm in no way implies that it's not trivially easy to perceive that the demons in your imagination aren't really talking to you. False sensations are a million miles away from imaginary ones; the former are presented to you by your sensory apparatus, and the latter are figments of your imagination. Pretending that this type of study in any way justifies your "astral plane" silliness as being "real" is simply an extreme form of wishful thinking.

It's therefore your criteria of reality that is "easily disproved", not mine, because you're trying to disprove some criteria that I'm simply not using. Again, the irony of your continual "straw man" complaints is staggering.

"tai" wrote:
Now let's agree to stop boring other Lashtal members with these windy and pointless discussions.

You can feel free to stop boring people whenever you like - you need neither my permission nor my agreement to do that.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
12/07/2009 8:48 am  
"Erwin" wrote:
No, I haven't. All my arguments to you have been concerned precisely in the question of the differences between the "direct perceptions" of those things. This latest idea of yours that I've been arguing about the differences between those things being perceived is just demonstrably false. There is a world of difference between those two "direct perceptions". I have been saying this since you first introduced the idea, so there really is no mileage in you trying to claim that I've been saying something else.

Erwin - I do see your point now and agree with you. It would be far less confusing if you didn't stick the adjective "direct" in front of perception and just said "perception" and, rather than wondering why everyone else is so deluded, you make the effort to clarify your position while taking into account the medium of language. I seriously doubt anyone on this forum would disagree with you if you had simply noted that 1) most people recognize qualitative differences between what they see with their eyes, what they might see on the astral and what they might see in a dream and that 2) these recognized differences are inherent in the perception itself of these 3 scenarios. Your point is blindingly obvious, but the manner in which you assert it is idiotic.


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kidneyhawk
(@kidneyhawk)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1827
12/07/2009 9:00 am  

You "fail to see any difference" because you're falling into the same trap as IAO131, insisting that because you are incapable of thinking of any difference, there must not be any.

Has Tai "fallen into a trap?"

What a load of malarkey. Tai simply used the english language to express an angle of understanding in context of what has now become a very convoluted dialogue. As I read his words, I saw his emphasis on the phenomena of perception itself and not the issue of qualitative differences one may determine between the various things being perceived. It's Erwin who is hauling his understanding of those differences into the fore for the sake of making his own "qualitative judgements" as to their nature and worth, conveniently sidestepping Tai's point altogether.

I have, in the past, found Erwin's ideas to be of interest and insightful in some regards, albeit abrasive and acidic in delivery. His recent participation in these forums has altered that view and any elements of "insight" I've observed seem to be 1) unoriginal, easily located in the work of previous thinkers and 2) eclipsed by the "acidity" which has spoken more to a need (or desire) to be "correct" through linguistic demonstration of others existing as a defining contrast.

The extended pursuit of this agenda HAS become horribly dull and tedious. Erwin changes his game as it suits him. It's OK to make statements about books he's never read to back accusations regarding the publisher which have no basis beyond Erwin's assumptive view of "reality" and then shift gears to pick apart the wording of others for the sake of making blanket statements as to their level and degree of value and worth.

All in all, I find Erwin's participation here to consistently derail the main theme of whatever thread he enters for the sake of expressing his disdain for the value of others, by contrast with his own ideas, often mingled with a projection of unfounded assumptions and prejudices.

This is why I've previously stated that I saw Erwin using the site as his online mental masturbation machine. He is not interested in the solid exchange of ideas except when it suits the bolstering of his own viewpoints, the "polishing of the self-image," if you will.

At the end of the day, it's neither a challenge nor an invigorating push towards expanding our own present levels of Thelemic Work. It's dull, annoying and, from my vantage point, a distraction to considerations which speak to the Initiatory Quest.

Kenneth Grant opens his book "Remembering Aleister Crowley" with a quote in which Crowley says that his business is to work on Gold. But in doing so, he must use acid. By contrast, Erwin seems wholly uninterested in any "Gold" present in those with whom he engages here, save that it might agree with his perspective. The use of "acid," then, is indiscriminately applied. It cannot hope to cleanse and reveal the "Gold" and may well burn into the helpful as well as the harmful. Not the sort of surgeon I'd trust with any ailment.

I'm allright with being "wrong." My experience has shown me that whenever I've been in error and have recognized the error, THAT is an "Initiatory" Doorway into new understanding. It can be painful but it can also be welcomed and enjoyed. Any of us who have set ourselves on the Path can know, at least in anticipation, that we are opening ourselves to transformative realms that will crush out and kill certain aspects of where we presently are.

I may be mistaken in approaching the situation as such, but I have always read "fight ye as brothers" as akin to the Biblical "Iron sharpens Iron, so one man sharpeneth another." I don't regard the active "Lashtalians" here as people I despise, as enemies. Regardless of differences, we are interested in the work of Aleister Crowley and it has spoken to us in enough of a degree to treat as relevant to our vital and passing lives.

When Blake wrote that "Opposition is True Friendship," he had a point. But there is opposition to the self-deception in our lives and opposition to the True Will. I suspect Erwin thinks he is some Bodhisaatva of the former. Unfortunately, this, too, is a self-deception.

I'm venturing to guess that most of us are stirred by and driven to an engagement with what Crowley called the "True Will." We ask what it is, how we get at it and we deal with the many details of actually doing it. I don't think Erwin is about seeing the latter. Rather, things can get hung up endlessly on rationalizing and accepting the "proper" understanding.

We don't need screen name "Erwin Hessle" to perpetually chide, judge and invite further engagement, especially when it comes loaded with his own personal hang ups.

"We're here to go" and those who contribute to the real, passionate process are worth the "brotherly fight."

The alternative is Choronzon. Submit to and be consumed by the "demon" or circle endlessly in his lair.

Or "get OUT," as a certain poet once wrote.


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spike418
(@spike418)
Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 213
12/07/2009 9:56 am  
"kidneyhawk" wrote:
"We're here to go" and those who contribute to the real, passionate process are worth the "brotherly fight."

Well said!

Quite a few years ago I visited Speakers Corner in Hyde Park. I watched with interest as a guy arrived, stood on his box with arms folded in silence. He waited until a small crowd had gathered and then proceeded to berate the crowd loudly for having expectations of a speech, asking why a man couldn't just stand on a soap box (in speakers corner 🙄 ) and be left alone!

He expanded this argument and went on at great length. I just realised who he reminded me of.........................


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Los
 Los
(@los)
Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 2195
12/07/2009 10:44 am  
"tai" wrote:
what you're describing is the mindset of an average office drone - fulfilling necessary obligations while dreaming of another life. If that lifestyle were his True Will, he would not be fantasizing about being a James Bond hero.

In some cases that would be correct -- in other cases, a person might very well be fulfilled by working in an office, and his wild fantasies might serve as a hindrance. Or do you think that doing your true will makes all fantasies vanish?

I've explained my opinion earlier on the thread: that following the true will doesn't dispel fantasies but rather makes them easier to see through over time.

I think we agree that it can't be your will to do something impossible, so daydreaming about something that's virtually impossible -- like becoming 007 or transforming into a fire-breathing dragon -- is just a silly fantasy, not the will.

One does not "thrust oneself" into a perception of the Real.

Okay. It's quite possible that my grasp on Lacan isn't that good, having not read him in some time. So let's drop the psychology/theory lingo and just use terms everyone can comprehend easily.

Yes, True Will is beyond thoughts but its presence may be sensed through recurrence

Right, and as I said, that could be a clue for you -- it could point you towards a path, but you'd still have to observe yourself while on that path, i.e. find the will in the moment, apart from conscious thought, whether that thought is driven by the will or not.

Whether one explores their symptom and eventually discovers their True Will is entirely up to their particular make-up, but once True Will is activated, believe me, you will know it. There will be no doubt in your mind. It will temporarily disrupt your Symbolic field.

So your method is to "explore" one's symptom (how, exactly?) until one "activates" the true will (is this a synonym for "discovers"?) and confirms this by means of a "disruption" in the Symbolic field (can you give a hypothetical example?).

For those people who have consciously or accidentally activated their True Will, there is more power but the karmic repercussion are much higher.

Karmic whuzzuh?

If you see someone who is having a string of heavy bad luck, that is someone on bad terms with their True Will.

I don't see how this follows at all. Your claim is that someone doing his true will will never (or rarely) encounter bad luck?

"Luck" refers to various factors outside of one's control, part of the "environment" that partially determines will. It's possible to do your will in any environment, including an environment that you deem to be "bad luck."

"kidneyhawk" wrote:
At the end of the day, it's neither a challenge nor an invigorating push towards expanding our own present levels of Thelemic Work. It's dull, annoying and, from my vantage point, a distraction to considerations which speak to the Initiatory Quest.

This might potentially be a problem. You seem to reject things that don't strike your mind as "invigorating." You've set up this pre-conceived idea of "expanding our own present levels of Thelemic Work," and whatever doesn't conform to that picture, you deem to be "dull."

What might in fact be a real "challenge" for you would be to perceive that something doesn't have to strike your mind as "invigorating" to be right; and, on the other hand, that not all things that strike your mind as "invigorating" are necessarily right.

You're quite correct when you say that discovering that you're wrong can be an initiation in itself. To quote James Joyce, the man of genius does not make errors; his errors are his portals of discovery.

But in order for that to work, you do have to draw a distinction between being right and being wrong. And all the "we can't know anything about reality" stuff just makes it so that you can never be wrong about anything (or only wrong when it's convenient for your mind to think so).

What did Nietzsche say? The true intellectual conscience requires the courage to attack our convictions.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
12/07/2009 1:08 pm  
"tai" wrote:
Erwin - I do see your point now and agree with you....Your point is blindingly obvious, but the manner in which you assert it is idiotic.

Well, that's one of the more half-hearted and begrudging capitulations I've seen in a while, but at least we got there in the end.

"tai" wrote:
It would be far less confusing if you didn't stick the adjective "direct" in front of perception and just said "perception"

There's nothing unclear about qualifying "perception" with "direct". What "indirect perception" would be supposed to mean, I have no idea.

"tai" wrote:
I seriously doubt anyone on this forum would disagree with you if you had simply noted that...

I seriously doubt that many people on this forum would disagree with me if they simply paid attention to what I was saying in the first place, instead of getting all excited about defending their ideas and their buddies from some kind of perceived enemies and insisting they're reading something that they're not just so they can have the pleasure of disagreeing and fighting the good fight. Since we are on the subject of "direct perception", there's a lesson in there for some.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
12/07/2009 4:26 pm  
"kidneyhawk" wrote:
Erwin... Erwin's... Erwin... Erwin's... Erwin's... Erwin... Erwin... Erwin... Erwin Hessle

Frankly, I think you may have some issues you need to deal with.

"kidneyhawk" wrote:
things can get hung up endlessly... personal hang ups... consumed by the "demon" or circle endlessly in his lair.

Funny you should say that.


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IAO131
(@iao131)
Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 461
12/07/2009 4:39 pm  
"mika" wrote:
"IAO131" wrote:
"mika" wrote:
You are asking "what does an apple taste like?" I can say "sweet, tart, juicy, pulpy", then you can say "but what do you mean by sweet, tart, juicy, pulpy?" and we can go back and forth like that again and again forever. Or, you can go eat an apple.

Except 'self' isnt a commonly held term for a physical object that everyone has interacted with

Right. it's a commonly held term for a mental construct that everyone has interacted with. My statement still applies.

So you are saying a physical object like an apple is identical to a 'self' which is also a physical object? A self is not as easily accepted - it was denied by Hume and called a bundle of impressions, it was also denied by Buddha, but I am surprised you dont know this. To them the self doesnt exist...

"IAO131" wrote:
"mika" wrote:
f you truly want to learn what it means to observe the self and why this is necessary and significant, the you have to actually practice doing it.

No offense but this is a complete cop out - if you cant explain why it matters then you have no clue.

Like I said, you want people to explain what an apple tastes like without having to go actually eat one. That, my dear, is the complete cop out.

And like I said, your inability to explain yourself is a cop out.

The reason why it can't be explained, by me or anyone else, why it matters is because understanding of the answer must come from direct experience, by the very nature of the question being asked. It is precisely the same situation as asking someone to explain what an apple tastes like. The same.

Im not talking about the direct experience of the true nature of an apple here, zen master, I am talking about the practicality of it - how do you know its effective in helping accomplish your Will? "You just know once you do it" isnt a very good answer. You could easily say something like 'it helps concentration with helps one-pointedness, it reduces emotional reactiveness to keep equilibrium, etc.' but instead you retreat to the defense of ineffability.

"IAO131" wrote:
you claim that observing the self is somehow beneficial to the accomplishment of the True Will (is that a fair representation) yet I am asking what oyu mean exactly.

Not just beneficial, but necessary. Why? Because when you practice observing the self, simply observing the thoughts and emotions and other phenomena you are experiencing, you can learn to distinguish between your direct experience of reality and the stories you tell yourself about those experiences. In other words, this is how you learn to distinguish between reality and fantasy, which is the tool you need for discovering and acting in accordance with your will.

So, by 'observing the self' by which you seem to mean simple mindfulness meditation, somehow we gain a reality vs fantasy ability that we dont have otherwise? How about the thoughts that arent strictly fantasy vs reality like 'I should stand up and move over there'... Its not true, it COULD be true, if you make it that way. Or by distinguish fantasy and reality do you mean something deeper like Gnana Yoga where reality is the non dual truth and fantasy is maya? Or do you mean somehow all the thoughts which arent related to True Will seem silly or drop away somehow during mindfulness? Do you see how this is a bit more complicated than you make it seem?

"IAO131" wrote:
Lots of people observe themselves, is that enough?

No. There also must be an objective nature to the observation. You can observe yourself experiencing anger, but if at the same time you believe "I am angry", you're missing the point. This can be clearly understood through any of those beginning meditation exercises - "observe your thoughts like passing clouds" or the 'this is my arm, I am not my arm. this is my leg, I am not my leg.' of Liber Yod. These questions of yours are why it is so apparent that you haven't sincerely done any of this basic practical work.

I see, youre referring to Mahasattipatthana! Why didnt you say so? All you are saying is that detachment from mind and body and emotions helps one perform true will. Is that so hard to say? "Observing the self" is not the same as "Observing the impressions that arise and noting the occurences with detachment and not identifying with any perception whatosever". Ill have you know that you never watch 'the self' in these practices... you watch various body parts or thoughts. Ive done this practice for years which shows your utter ignorance about my praxis and other projections about other people. Besides, its debatable whether this practice inherently brings one to the true will or not. Why exactly do you think it does so apparently & obviously? Theres no reason to call me names just because I am interested in your opinion, by the way.

IAO131


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
12/07/2009 6:20 pm  

[This post was written in reply to that of IAO131 in this thread and deposited elsewhere while the thread was under quarantine, so I'm replacing it here.]

Mica wrote:
Sitting around demanding that people answer your question and complaining that they still don't make sense is like demanding that people explain the flavor of food without you having to go through the experience of eating.

IAO131 replied:
Actually, no its not because the flavor of food is a qualitative thing that I would accept I need to eat food for but your ideas are philosophical and practical in tone and intent - you claim and Erwin and such that observing the self is somehow beneficial to the accomplishment of the True Will (is that a fair representation) yet I am asking what oyu mean exactly. Lots of people observe themselves, is that enough? Just because I ask questions doesnt mean I dont have my own answers, by the way, but Im trying to figure out what you (or Los or whomever Im addressing) means by what they say. I can assume they mean exactly what I think or I can ask - I would think the former is a bit naive and the latter is a normal device of understanding each other's positions...

Mika wrote:
It's futile, and also lazy and childish, this desire to talk about magick without doing any of the necessary associated work.

IAO131 replied:
Your cop out is lazy and childish. You cant possibly explain the benefits of it without saying 'Oh gosh! Thats like asking me to tell you what red looks like! You just have to see it!' The same goes for just about every other legitimization strategy of crystals, talismans, stones, and whatever hocus pocus - you just have to experience it for yourself! If you cant put in a sentence or two your thoughts on a subject I would say you are clueless about it or disingenuous - which is it?

IAO131, your point regarding this sort of "cop out" is not always valid, although it often is. For example, and despite the fact that this is not a position that Mica might actually take - she would probably call this contrary to 'reality,' one could make the following statement:

"There are certain very rare 'states of conscious' from which the beholder reissues into normal consciousness with a newly acquired, hitherto unrealized perspective; a newly acquired insight into him or herself."

Now, this statement conveys no real explanation of the experience being referred to, except to those with similar rare experience. Nevertheless, the statement is true, and is understood as such by those with such experience. Nor would further elaboration, even ten thousand pages of it, convey the validity of this method of Working to those without the experience of it. Further, any direct tangible proof of the efficacy of such a method would come only by testing the method in real life applications, in the real life of the beholder of the experience, that is. Even with years of written record of such observations, however, no tangible proof could be provided to those for whom such rare experience is unknown.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
12/07/2009 7:22 pm  
"kidneyhawk" wrote:
I have, in the past, found Erwin's ideas to be of interest and insightful in some regards, albeit abrasive and acidic in delivery. His recent participation in these forums has altered that view and any elements of "insight" I've observed seem to be 1) unoriginal, easily located in the work of previous thinkers and 2) eclipsed by the "acidity" which has spoken more to a need (or desire) to be "correct" through linguistic demonstration of others existing as a defining contrast.

Yes, when someone's behavior is consistently self-defeating to their intended purpose, they have a serious personal problem. There is no other logical explanation.


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Tiger
(@tiger)
Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1503
12/07/2009 7:43 pm  

Sniggers oops ok lets get serious

i'm revoking Erwin's 8=3 to trying
because he seems to subserve his selfish interests where independent thought and unbiased investigation are discouraged and seeks to teach by heaped superlatives extolled as the infallible means of finding and doing will.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
13/07/2009 1:27 am  

Los - I will respond to your comments later.

"Erwin" wrote:
Well, that's one of the more half-hearted and begrudging capitulations I've seen in a while, but at least we got there in the end

No, you are absolutely correct and I retract all my criticism of your "direct perception". This is not a half-hearted and begrudging capitulation of your point. Am I persuaded about your claims about the astral? No.

"Erwin" wrote:
There's nothing unclear about qualifying "perception" with "direct". What "indirect perception" would be supposed to mean, I have no idea.

If indirect perception is a meaningless, qualifying "perception" with "direct" is equally meaningless. Perception is perception.

So we agree perception itself is real regardless of whether the perceived object is real or not. As you wrote: "direct experiences are real, and they are real regardless of whether or not they accurately reflect some kind of external universe, and regardless of whether or not an external universe exists at all". So a person can perceive an astral creature and an apple on a table and both cases are definitely real perceptions regardless of whether the objects actually have any ontological basis, and the recognition that one is as an astral object and the other as a visually-perceived object is inherent within the qualitative differences of the perceptions themselves.

Now I presume one reason for focusing on the reality of perception itself is to avoid philosophical debates about objective reality and the ontological nature of things. What does not make sense is for you to equate only what is perceived through sensory input as "reality" and what is perceived by non-sensory input as "imaginary". "Reality" is a loaded term and carries many implications - one of which pertains to the question of objectivity. The astral realm is fraught with deception but Crowley left many instructions on how to verify the reality of astral visions. Further, his experiments with Soror Fidelis were precisely to observe the objectivity of their astral communications.

So either Crowley was lying or you are very being close-minded.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
13/07/2009 3:05 am  
"tai" wrote:
If indirect perception is a meaningless, qualifying "perception" with "direct" is equally meaningless. Perception is perception.

For the sake of completeness, I looked back through the thread and discovered that the term "direct perception" was introduced by you.

My original comment was: "direct experiences are real, and they are real regardless of whether or not they accurately reflect some kind of external universe, and regardless of whether or not an external universe exists at all" in response to Kidneyhawks's suggestion that perception (unqualified) is merely a description, and not something real.

Then, in your first response to me, you brought "direct perception" into the equation: "the question here is not the categorical difference between fantasy/imagination/stories versus reality, but the difference between a direct perception of a pink unicorn on the astral plane and a direct perception of a red apple on the table. There is no difference." Until this point, I don't appear to have ever used the term "direct perception" in this thread.

Thus, my use of the term "direct experience of perceiving" which you classified as some kind of change of position was actually a return to my original usage after adopting your language for a while to make things easier. The use of the term "direct" in the first place was not to modify what followed it, but to make clear that there was nothing else going on, to distinguish between "direct experience", and "experience with other stuff going on as well", such as rational consideration of that experience. "Pure experience" would have been a reasonable alternative term, I suppose. Either way, the "direct perception" term to which you now object would appear to be of your own making.

Incidentally, it's debatable whether "perception" of imaginary things really qualifies as perception at all, but since we've arrived at a stage where we both seem to agree on what the thing being discussed actually is, the labels we attach to it are relatively unimportant, so long as they are consistently applied, so there is little mileage to be gained quibbling over terminology at this point.

"tai" wrote:
What does not make sense is for you to equate only what is perceived through sensory input as "reality" and what is perceived by non-sensory input as "imaginary". "Reality" is a loaded term and carries many implications - one of which pertains to the question of objectivity.

Not in this case. "Reality" here means precisely "that which is not imaginary", or "those things that actually exist as opposed to those things which are only imagined to exist" - specifically, perception of real sensations as opposed to "perception" of imagined ones. Moreover, those real sensations do indeed exhibit a high degree of objectivity, even if their objectivity is apparent only to the perceiver himself - you would find it inordinately difficult to transform the actual sensation of having your index finger sliced off into the actual sensation of the taste of chocolate mousse, for instance, but you could do this with imagined sensations very easily.

The fact that the term might "carry many implications" is unimportant - just don't pay attention to any of those implications for the purposes of this discussion. As I constantly stress, don't let a preoccupation with philosophy confuse you into mistaking the label for the thing actually under discussion.

"tai" wrote:
The astral realm is fraught with deception but Crowley left many instructions on how to verify the reality of astral visions. Further, his experiments with Soror Fidelis were precisely to observe the objectivity of their astral communications.

So either Crowley was lying or you are very being close-minded.

Well, fortunately we're now entering happier territory. If Crowley did indeed leave "many instructions on how to verify the reality of astral visions", and if his experiments actually did "observe the objectivity of their astral communications", then the question of whether or not he was lying is academic, because if both those things are true then such experiments will be replicable under controlled conditions and almost anybody with a little application could establish the "objectivity of astral communications" very, very easily indeed, and we needn't rely on blind faith in dubious anecdotes of this nature from a man whose reputation for scrupulous honesty and transparent presentation of facts is not entirely spotless.

So - are you aware of any such successful, rigorous, documented and replicable experiments which establish the objectivity of astral communications to a standard which would be accepted by any reasonable and impartial observer? Because if you are, they would be a leading candidate for the most earth-shattering and astounding experiments ever conducted on the face of the planet, and I would happily concede your point. If you are not, then you're going to have to explain how the fact that despite hundreds of years of a large number of occultists claiming to be engaging in bona-fide "astral communications" not a single one of them has ever even once been able to reliably demonstrate that there's anything going on other than their own pure and unadulterated fantasy makes skepticism - and, in fact, outright rejection - of their fanciful claims "close-minded". And, for the avoidance of doubt, I don't want to hear any complaints about "proving negatives", either - absence of evidence may not be evidence of absence in and of itself, but absence of evidence when a theory suggests evidence should be present in greatly abundant quantities most definitely is.


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mika
 mika
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13/07/2009 3:16 am  
"Camlion" wrote:
IAO131, your point regarding this sort of "cop out" is not always valid, although it often is. For example, and despite the fact that this is not a position that Mica might actually take - she would probably call this contrary to 'reality,' one could make the following statement:

"There are certain very rare 'states of conscious' from which the beholder reissues into normal consciousness with a newly acquired, hitherto unrealized perspective; a newly acquired insight into him or herself."

Why would I disagree with that statement? That is essentially the point. And actually, I would remove the words "certain very rare", it could be a 'state of consciousness' that arises from *any* new experience. Such as my example of eating an apple. The experience provides a 'newly acquired, hitherto unrealized perspective' that can only be understood by other people who have eaten apples. Our insights that result from the experience my differ, but as far as the experience itself goes, you've either actually had it, or you haven't.

Another reason why my statement was not a cop out, is because there is a way a person can find out if what I'm saying is accurate - do the meditation exercises, practice being the observer, whatever meditation style a person chooses will probably be similar enough in its effect. It's not like I'm saying 'I know something is true but I can't explain it, you just have to *believe me*'. This stuff is basic, it can be easily grasped, if a person just does the practical work. Which is why meditation is one of the first skills taught to (and disciplines expected from) students of magick and similar paths.


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kidneyhawk
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13/07/2009 5:37 am  

in response to Kidneyhawks's suggestion that perception (unqualified) is merely a description, and not something real.

Just to be clear, I DID make this statement but it was to indicate that perception provides a description. I am not trying to set up the argument that perception is not "real" but that it is a function whereby we arrive at our experience of any given thing, with the qualities we perceive and accept it as having. This is relative to the faculties of the perceiver. Obviously, there is "something" being perceived for this to occur. It's no big surprise that we can speak a common language and agree regarding similarities in our experience of an apple. Our sensory apparatus is similar enough, our language mutual enough. When you state that the thing is red or withered or big or small, there is no need for debate and the communication is effective. However, the thing being experienced as it, itself, IS, before a specific perceiving entity processes it, is NOT identical to the perception of said entity. We can draw this conclusion from observation of how similar enough perceivers develop a perception with variations and how multiple factors can impinge on and alter the perception.

In a very practical and useful sense, when you say the apple is really red and not green, there is no point in argument. But to assume an inherent and absolute quality of "redness" outside of the relativity of our perceptive experience is to establish one's present perceptive experience as the basis for absolute understanding. Whether the accepted impressions are relative to me alone, to a group or the species as a whole, is not the issue. The impression received remains relative.

This is what I was driving at some time ago with the statement that we can't "know" what is "real" outside of perception of it, something that is not absolute but extremely relative to its nature and limitations. Los draws the conclusion that I am establishing a worldview whereby we are unable to determine between "right" and "wrong" (or "correct" and "incorrect"). We make these valuations all the time and they are relative valuations. Sometimes the relativity relates to us alone and at other times there is a larger application of the conclusion drawn, where a good number of people can accept and agree on something towards a mutually beneficial end.

When you define "reality" as that which is not imaginary and the imaginary as "that which is not real," we are essentially arriving at a definition of reality being that which is not unreal. Or "reality is reality." This does not define anything nor does it tell us anything. It is in this context, that I stated that EVERYTHING is "REAL." The large spectrum of "reality," the perceiving of it, the perceptions of it, with all their variations. However, just because something is real or has an existence does not determine the nature of that existence. We can observe that people can and do mistake one category for another. An Angel emerges in my room and I think it was a phenomena which belongs to that in which I categorize my child entering the room. It may well be that the experience corresponded with all kinds of qualities I use to determine whether or not something fits into that cateogry of phenomena. I might squint and rub my eyes and seem to "see" this thing with my physical vision, touch it, process the touch as if it were no different than any other physical touch and so on. And I then draw the conclusion that it was totally real (in the colloquial sense), that I now KNOW "Angels exist" and run off with the assumption that I properly know the nature of what I just experienced.

There ARE, of course, MANY factors I'm not taking into consideration here. That chaotic chemical blip in the brain of which I have no knowedge which never the less contributed to and created the experience and so on. I may very well be drawing a a quite incorrect conclusion about what just went down. A very valid question then is HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU'RE "RIGHT?" But right in what? The experience itself or the assessment and any subsequent action taken in response to it? The experience is what it is, a real experience of a real thing. If it were otherwise, there would be nothing to experience in the first place. The question is one of assessment, valuation and response. We can yoke this to any number of models or standards we hold but this opens up inquiry into the nature of those standards and what they represent for us as creatures who embody something deeper than the confusion, self-defeat and perpetual change of mental conceptions. DWTW leads us through the clutter and chatter into that "something deeper" from which we "re-enter" the environment surrounding it and our personal "standard" is established "downward," as it were, into the world of action. Instead of riding on a concept to eventually "get there" we develop concepts as we "come back here." The result is not a dogma we would foist onto everyone else but our unique way of operating in the realms of choice and activity, a way which is expressing the outflowing of our "True Will," as opposed to our lives being dominated by the encrustation of behavior patterns which are ignorant of and at odds with the Will.

The True Will and "heart" of our Being is a different consideration than the issue of how we assess what we experience, including the nature of the experience. They are, however, certainly related as we employ what we know, in its relativistic sense, to choice and action, which will either express the Will or not.

Your definition of "reality" here does not seem particularly helpful for inquiry and understanding of many of our subjective experiences in which the Will is always moving. It dismisses what it doesn't know, experience, understand and so on as "imaginary" or "unreal," which is to say non-existant. If we can define qualities and characteristics of "imaginary phenomena," we might be able to better determine what is "imaginary." But to observe that something is imaginary is to observe a TYPE of existence. To say it is "not real" is to say it doesn't exist. The conclusion this approach brings is: something which exists doesn't exist. You acknowledge and then deny its existence based on characteristics which remain undefined-and then make value judgements outside of contexts.

Again, that is why I made the statement that Everything is Real. "Reality" here implies existence without characteristics, which are relatively determined under a different context.


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Los
 Los
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13/07/2009 7:39 am  
"kidneyhawk" wrote:
When you define "reality" as that which is not imaginary and the imaginary as "that which is not real," we are essentially arriving at a definition of reality being that which is not unreal. Or "reality is reality."

Reality -- in the sense of evaluating whether the content of your perceptions likely belongs to reality -- is defined as "that which is not contingent on a mind." Are you seriously going to make me go through the first half of this thread again?

A very valid question then is HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU'RE "RIGHT?" But right in what?

Right about whether angels exist, to use your example.

You had an experience of seeing an angel. The experience itself is real -- as you noted, you wouldn't have had the experience if the experience weren't real.

Now, I want to go a step further and ask whether the content of the experience belongs to reality. Was the angel you saw a part of the reality outside of your mind? Or, more broadly, do angels exist (outside of people's minds)?

Well, we see what evidence there is for the existence of angels outside of people's minds. And, of course, we find none. In fact, we find a lot of evidence to the contrary, like the fact that every mind we've ever observed has arisen out of a brain.

On the basis of this evidence we conclude that -- to the best of our possible understanding at this point in time -- it is extremely likely that there is no such a thing as an angel.

Where were you for the first half of this thread? Did you miss all of this?

Your definition of "reality" here does not seem particularly helpful for inquiry and understanding of many of our subjective experiences in which the Will is always moving.

Knowing that angels aren't real is something that is quite practical.

For instance, Crowley writes in Magick Without Tears, Letter LXXI:

"Aleister Crowley" wrote:
And you set up against That this spectre of grim fear, of shame, of qualms and doubts, of inward quakings lest — — you are too stricken with panic to see clearly what the horror is. You say "the elemental spirits and the Archangels are watching." (!) My dear, dear, sister, did you invent these beings for no better purpose than to spy on you? They are there to serve you; they are parts of your being whose func- tion is to enable you to reach further in one particular direction or another without interference from the other parts, so long as you happen to need them for some service or other in the Great Work. [Emphasis mine]

It's fine to imagine stuff, fine to use your imagination as a help in accomplishing your "Great Work" (for instance, if you want to imagine stuff to draw it); but when you start thinking that the things you're creating with your mind are real, are "watching" you, or are giving you "messages" about reality, you're greatly increasing your self-delusion. To some extent, such self-delusion is going to color your other judgments and prove to be a hindrance.

What benefit could you possibly gain by labeling "angels" as "real"?

If anything, it would give you more control over your mind to perceive correctly that this imaginative phenomena is entirely your creation and that it is entirely distinct from the world outside of your head.


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Michael Staley
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MANIO - it's all in the egg
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13/07/2009 10:03 am  
"Los" wrote:
Reality -- in the sense of evaluating whether the content of your perceptions likely belongs to reality -- is defined as "that which is not contingent on a mind."

Although you've used this definition several times, I've not come across it before. Could you supply a source for it please?

Best wishes,

Michael.


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 Anonymous
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13/07/2009 10:11 am  

Los - for the most part what we call our imagination is the facility of our minds to create mental representations of sensory data. However - the idea that the content of these imaginings is all a product of the mind - formed from idea's or knowledge that we already possess, comes undone when you find your imaginings (which I assume you think any astral workings come under the catagory of) are of a specific and unlikely sort and have been catalogued by other see'ers, and were also previously unknown to you.

I was once asked to do some work on a diagram that showed a path from Babalon to Nuit, and I was tasked with finding out what God or Goddess was attributable to that path. I had a completely open mind about what I might see. And the most remarkable lady walked out from the sea, and everywhere she stepped upon the sand flowers grew in her wake. On closer inspection she had the strangest lank white blonde hair that hung in strips and her face was black. She was also most reluctant to give me her egyptian name, and she was one of the most unfriendy of ladies as she was extremely busy in her acts of creation and unwilling to give me the time of day.

Now - I don't generally tend to visit the gods. We all come from the same infinate source, so why bother? Thus when I reviewed the session I had to do some reaserch to find the lady had all the characteristics of Nephthys, and she's a goddess that - quite frankly I hadn't paid much attention to beyond noting her place in the pantheon and myths, and wasn't familiar with her characteristics at all. So it was only with research that her lank hair, unfriendly attitude, and reluctance to give her name (Nephthys is just a title - her sacred name is secret, though I eventually was given it) was explained to me.

Now I suppose the objection to a working of this sort having any sort of external veracity would be that I must have read about her at some time in the past and forgotten her characteristics - the information lying dormant in my subconscious mind. But it's not clear to me whether this is the case or not, because what should have been associated with Imhotep (which I saw in another blind target working), as I'm such an appauling scholar when it comes to egyptology should have been some fairly horrendous images from the Mummy films 1,2 & 3, and not the lovely friendly boy God born from a flower.


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