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LIBER OZ - still relevant after all these years ?

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SatansAdvocaat
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There has been much intense activity on specific aspects of LIBER AL on the website recently, (extreme understatement !, and I have contributed my little bit; probably lost in the general maelstrom, but passionately intended, nevertheless), but what about an equally significant, but it seems to me relatively neglected Thelemic text: LIBER OZ.

When I was a Thelemic neophyte back in the 1970s, all Thelemic mags inevitably incorporated a version of the text; and when I became a candidate for admission to O.T.O. (Typhonian - such designations were not necessary in those libertarian days) it was part of the obligation to not only assert one's acceptance of LIBER AL, but to propogate or pubicise LIBER OZ.  And what a strange and educational experience that was.

Perhaps O.T.O. copyright issues have contributed to recent reticesence of its promulgation, perhaps I just don't search enough websites (May the Gods help me, but there are other things to do).

So , let's hear it. To OZ or not to OZ ?

Love is the law, love under will.

S.A.


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SatansAdvocaat
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I was posting a follow up to this nescient contribution - including a comment to OZ - but the system I am using has let me down and lost my work !!!

Back tomorrow, and some feedback, hopefully.


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 Anonymous
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93, Advocaat

I have a huge poster of Liber Oz which I redrew in photoshop framed in my living room. I don't think those rights
will ever be irrelevant, they are our birthrights. For those in my life who I love and I know understand and respect
my beliefs, I give them a copy of Liber al with a small Laminated Liber Oz inside as a bookmark.

This document, in all of it's monosyllabic glory, is one of the most simple ways to get people to think about who they are
and what they can do. It should be shared as much as possible in my belief.

So in my opinion, Yes!

- 93/93

Ash


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Los
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"Satan'sAdvocaat" wrote:
Perhaps O.T.O. copyright issues have contributed to recent reticesence of its promulgation

Unless I’m very mistaken, part of the OTO initiation system involves (very) publicly endorsing Liber Oz. I’m hesitant to say more, out of a desire to avoid giving out the initiation “spoilers” that I’ve stumbled across over the years, but I figure that if I – who am not well-versed in the OTO – know that information, it must be close to common knowledge.

More generally, I think Liber Oz is indeed relevant, but not, as it’s sometimes used, as a political document or as the basis for righteous indignation (“How dare you violate my Liber Oz rights!”).

I know I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: Liber Oz isn’t a statement of “rights” in the sense of something that can be given to you or something that’s “wrong” for other people to hamper. It works better to read Liber Oz as a statement of fact, with “right” meaning something closer to “ability.”

In other words, Oz isn’t a list of rights that can be violated: it’s a list of abilities that are available for anyone to claim, as long as one is strong enough to take them.

The document does begin by quoting “the law of the strong,” after all. This has a double significance: these abilities can be claimed by anyone who is strong enough – “strong” in its broadest sense, including all forms of power – to physically perform them, but they also can only be claimed by someone who is strong enough to discover and carry out the Will in the first place.

The constant mantra of Oz is “as he will.” The implication of this document is that weak people can be given all the “freedoms” in the world, but they’ll just fritter it away on distractions. Meanwhile, the strong can thrive in virtually any conditions, taking only the rights that they need to accomplish their wills.

As I said, one of the worst perversions of this document is to use it to fuel a sense of moral indignation. One sees it especially on discussion forums: “What! How dare you delete my post! That’s censorship!! You’re violating my Liber Oz rights!!!”

To these people, even sensible website moderation can be denounced as a “violation of Liber Oz rights.” And don't even get me started on the kooks who think that copyright itself is a violation of Liber Oz or is "unthelemic."

Again, no one can “violate your Liber Oz rights.” If some website moderator deletes your post, you have the ability to put it up on your own blog or website, or shout it in the street, or whatever. If some government outlaws something you want to do – say, for example, taking certain substances into your body – then you have the ability to find ways to circumvent those laws [note: this is a purely hypothetical example. Neither Los nor Lasthal.com is endorsing any illegal activity]

By far, the greatest obstacle to claiming these rights/abilities is between one’s own ears: man indeed has the right to kill those who would thwart these rights, and these rights are thwarted primarily by one’s own thoughts.

By killing thought, one claims one’s rights – true freedom – by pleasantly exercising the natural inclinations.


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Shiva
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"Los" wrote:
Unless I’m very mistaken, part of the OTO initiation system involves (very) publicly endorsing Liber Oz. I’m hesitant to say more, out of a desire to avoid giving out the initiation “spoilers” that I’ve stumbled across over the years ...

Yes. Anyone can look at the II[sup:js6o2idu]o[/sup:js6o2idu] in the publickly distributed The Secret Rituals of the OTO (F King). But OTO claims to have changed  😮 the rites, so we really don't know the current details unless we join up.


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Nomad
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In the O.T.O. scheme of things, I would say that Liber Oz is second only to Liber AL in importance.

It is notable, perhaps, that in his Confessions (Ch 87), Crowley wrote:

"The Book of the Law was given to mankind chiefly in order to provide it with an impeccable principle of practical politics. I regard this as more important for the moment than its function as a guide in its evolution towards conscious godhead."


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newneubergOuch2
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It is best to read Liber Oz from the perspective of when it was written in the context of USA, UK and some European countries- as of now in those countries people are fairly able to follow their Wills if they have enough steam themselves to do so.
For these present times consider Liber Oz in countries such as Libya under Ghaddafi, Syria  and Turkey at the moment, Iran then we see its present relevance.


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Nomad
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Fairly able to follow their wills - perhaps; but no country today has legislature anywhere near representative of Liber Oz.

Drug laws, immigration laws, euthanasia laws - these are all examples of the many restrictions that prevent us from doing our wills.


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Los
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"Nomad" wrote:
Drug laws, immigration laws, euthanasia laws - these are all examples of the many restrictions that prevent us from doing our wills.

No, they're not. Above, I made the exact point that it's a misreading of Oz to interpret the document as listing rights that can be violated in the manner that you suggest.

Case in point: nobody can prevent you from doing your Will. If action X is part of your Will, and then some government comes along and makes X illegal, then either (1) you are strong enough to find some way around the law so that you can do X or (2) your Will is weak enough that the force of the law changes that Will into something else, and it's no longer your Will to do X.

I mean, are you seriously trying to tell us, Nomad, that you are so weak that you are currently prevented from doing your Will by the legislation you named?


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Nomad
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Los, governments can, and do, prevent people from doing their will.

If it is my will to use cocaine I can still be arrested for doing so and put in prison, no matter how "strong" I am.


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newneubergOuch2
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I`ve always found this page useful:
http://www.thelema.ca/156/OTO/Observations%20on%20Liber%20OZ.html
-Especially part 2.
`Liber Oz makes no guarantees. (A) Liber Oz does not grant us the power or the ability to exercise any of the rights it enumerates. A man may have the right "to draw, paint, carve, etch, mould, build as he will," but Liber Oz will not buy him the art supplies. He may, indeed, have the right "to drink what he will," but Liber Oz does not give him the ability to safely drive a car, operate machinery, or perform ritual while drunk. (B) Liber Oz does not provide shelter from the consequences and repercussions of the exercise of our natural rights. A man's right to "to rest as he will," does not safeguard him against losing his livelihood; his right "to eat what he will" does not immunize him against poisoning or obesity; his right to "speak what he will" does not shelter him from criticism, ridicule, lawsuit, or the loss of friendship; his right "to love as he will" does not exempt him from paternity; and his right "to kill those who would thwart these rights" does not protect him from the gas chamber. (C) Liber Oz provides no assurance that the exercise of any natural right will result in success, happiness, fulfillment, satisfaction, or any other "positive" outcome.`

Also people often confuse wants with Will, Crowleys Will is more about: What is the reason that you are incarnated at this point in time?, do that and nothing else basically.

Confusing wants and small time acts of will with the big picture of Will is a common mistake that has sidetracked many a journey maker.


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Los
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"Nomad" wrote:
Los, governments can, and do, prevent people from doing their will.

If it is my will to use cocaine I can still be arrested for doing so and put in prison, no matter how "strong" I am.

Well, in that (hypothetical) example, you indeed still used it, so clearly the government did not prevent anything. They simply punished you after the fact.

As with anything, an individual has to weigh potential consequences before acting, but I might add -- still speaking hypothetically, of course -- if you know what you're doing (i.e. have the kind of power [or strength] that comes from that knowledge), you might very well be able to circumvent such a law and continue to indulge in that aspect of your Will indefinitely.

Honestly, if someone (thinks that he) really and truly authentically wants to do X but doesn't do it because he's scared of some half-heartedly enforced law, then I question how authentically he actually wants to do it.


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Los
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"newneubergOuch2" wrote:
Also people often confuse wants with Will, Crowleys Will is more about: What is the reason that you are incarnated at this point in time?, do that and nothing else basically.

I would characterize the difference more in terms of what an individual thinks he wants versus that individual's actual preferences.

That's how Crowley puts it in his clearest examples of the application of Thelemic philosophy:

"Crowley" wrote:
A man may think it is his duty to act in a certain way, through having made a fancy picture of himself, instead of investigating his actual nature. For example, a woman may make herself miserable for life by thinking that she prefers love to social consideration, or vice versa. One woman may stay with an unsympathetic husband when she would really be happy in an attic with a lover, while another may fool herself into a romantic elopement when her only pleasures are those of presiding over fashionable functions. Again, a boy's instinct may tell him to go to sea, while his parents insist on his becoming a doctor. In such a case he will be both unsuccessful and unhappy in medicine.

We might think of True Will as "authentic inclinations," defined in contrast to the imaginary preferences of the mind. So, to use Crowley's example, a boy might be authentically inclined to go out to sea, but he (falsely) imagines that he should be a doctor, or vice versa.

The kooky stuff about "incarnations" doesn't come into it. More than likely, people who spend their time indulging in fantasies about who  they "were" in some make-believe past life are only going to wrap themselves more deeply in those imaginary preferences, rather than piercing the veil and perceiving the True Self.


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Nomad
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Los, you are missing the point.

If it is my will to do cocaine, and I get imprisoned for doing it, then I cannot do cocaine again, even if it is my will to do so. In such a case the state has (a) taken away my liberty for simply doing my will, and (b) thwarted my will from being carried out in the future. Neither of these things are in keeping with Liber Oz.

It is not a question of being "scared" of the state; I use illegal drugs occassionally. But I could get imprisoned for doing so: there are many people who do get imprisoned for doing so. And as a Thelemite that deeply offends me.


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William Thirteen
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i believe Oz to be both the acknowledgement of 'rights as abilities', as Los has noted above, but also a political document, at least insofar as we would have our governments enshrine & ensure these basic human rights (hence the mention of tyrannicide). need there be a contradiction between these?

as to its relevance, one need only cast a short glance to the east or the west to find individuals and organizations promoting the idea that those rights noted in Oz must be denied for the accomplishment of some social or political goal or at the behest of some gaseous invertebrate. 

as to the idea that other individuals might be "violating my Liber Oz rights" - i think we all recognize shrill idiocy when we see it, or?


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SatansAdvocaat
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Back again and I'm glad to see some good input.  In part response to my own question, I am going to indulge myself by reproducing the short comment on OZ that I wrote in the mid-1980s:

"Liber OZ, The Book of Strength, is the basic statement of the Law of Thelema.  Its quotations are taken from Liber AL, The Book of the Law, the magical document which teaches the sovereignity of the True Will - which is the meaning of the Greek Word Thelema.

Liber OZ was first published by Aleister Crowley in 1942, and philosophical fashions change; the simple, emphatic style of OZ does not appeal to everyone, but its relevance endures in a world where gross interference with the rights of the individual continues to be so prevalent.

But the significance of OZ goes even deeper than this, for note well that "Every man and every woman is a star" unique beings with their own unique course to follow: the way of their own True Wills.  And OZ, a Hebrew word meaning Strength, has the numerical value of 77, which signifies the stellar aspect of magical power in its mature manifestation.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, "Do what thou wilt !" invoke the light of the Stars and celebrate the radiant diversity of Infinite Space."

Much has changed in the world since then and very much has not !  Vitally relevant, but much more than a mere bill of rights as I hoped to indicate in my comment.

93, 93/93. 
S.A.


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Los
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"Nomad" wrote:
Los, you are missing the point.

If it is my will to do cocaine, and I get imprisoned for doing it, then I cannot do cocaine again, even if it is my will to do so. In such a case the state has (a) taken away my liberty for simply doing my will, and (b) thwarted my will from being carried out in the future. Neither of these things are in keeping with Liber Oz.

I understand what you're literally saying, and I get where you're coming from, but what I'm suggesting is that the way you're choosing to view True Will isn't terribly practically useful, and it mainly only serves to encourage self-righteous indignation.

The way you're regarding True Will is as a specific action that can thus be thwarted by circumstances. To use a silly example, let's say that it's my Will to go to the beach today, but all of a sudden it starts raining. Under this model of looking at True Will, the rain "thwarted" my Will, just as the laws "thwart" people's Will to use drugs in your example.

But there's another way of looking at the Will: not as something that can be thwarted by environmental factors, but as something that is the product of inclination meeting environment. In my silly example, then, the rain doesn't "thwart" my Will at all: my Will just becomes something else. I'm all set to go to the beach, but when I see it's raining, perhaps my Will becomes going to the movies instead (of course, it may be that my Will is still to go down to the beach...maybe I'm even more excited to see what the water looks like during a storm...one cannot know what the Will is going to be until one is in the situation).

To draw out the analogy, then, laws don't "thwart" Will: they are just part of the conditions that give rise to the Will. In terms of serving as conditions for Will, there's no a priori difference between a drug law and a thunderstorm: both have to be taken into consideration by the person doing his or her Will.

So, in other words, the posted speed limit doesn't thwart my Will to drive at certain speeds: it (in most cases) modifies my Will because the hassle of getting a ticket (which could possibly happen) outweighs the strength of my Will to drive at high speeds. Or, to put it another way, my Will not to receive a ticket is strong enough that I no longer want to violate the law in a way that would get me one.  However, if I ever had a strong enough Will to drive a hundred miles an hour (say, if I had a sick family member in the car, and I desperately needed to get them to a hospital), then I would have no problem disregarding the speed limit.

In other words, rather than sitting around cursing the thunderstorm, saying, "It's all the thunderstorm's fault! It's thwarting my Will! I had a Will and now I can't do it! Woe is me! Let's all sign petitions against the thunderstorm or write to our congressman and get them to change the thunderstorm!" .....rather than do any of that, the best approach is to focus on how the Will is interacting with the new environmental conditions created by that storm.

Now -- to jump back to the other side of the analogy -- maybe it is your Will to fight the drug laws. But maybe it's not. Either way, you can't discover that from paying attention to your "offense" and outrage.

It is not a question of being "scared" of the state; I use illegal drugs occassionally. But I could get imprisoned for doing so: there are many people who do get imprisoned for doing so. And as a Thelemite that deeply offends me.

So then you acknowledge that the law has not prevented you from carrying out your Will. That being the case, it seems to me a waste of your time and energy to protest such laws (assuming that you actively do anything to fight those laws, aside from complaining in an abstract way). I mean, sure, if it's your True Will to fight these laws, go for it, but don't mistake your own indignation for the True Will.

For what it's worth, you and I probably agree that society would be healthier and overall more positive without drug laws. I just don't usually feel any particular need to do or say anything about it, especially since I'm aware of the factors that make these laws extremely unlikely to go away any time soon (if ever).


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Los
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"WilliamThirteen" wrote:
i believe Oz to be both the acknowledgement of 'rights as abilities', as Los has noted above, but also a political document, at least insofar as we would have our governments enshrine & ensure these basic human rights (hence the mention of tyrannicide). need there be a contradiction between these?

I think the political side of the document -- as you've framed it here -- is an extension of the "rights as abilities" I was talking about.

In other words, the document is a statement of bare fact: the strong have certain abilities. This was true in the state of nature that preceded society, and it remains true in a society run by a government. The establishment of governments is one example of how the strong harness power for themselves and their descendants (and, more broadly, the people with whom they cooperate).

Certainly, I have no problem with a government helping an individual enforce these rights. In fact, I'm actively in favor of it. But Oz  doesn't necessitate the establishment of such a government, nor does it necessitate political action to transform current governments into more "ideal" forms of governments.

Of course, if individuals want to fight for such change, they have every "right" to do so.


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William Thirteen
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i wouldn't presume to prescribe which actions others should take, but i would find it curious if a Thelemite lent support to a political entity which, as part of its program, sought to deny individuals those rights noted in Oz.


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Los
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"WilliamThirteen" wrote:
i would find it curious if a Thelemite lent support to a political entity which, as part of its program, sought to deny individuals those rights noted in Oz.

Well, I hate to pull this thread too far off course, but I'll remind you that Crowley's political beliefs were not exactly brimming with individual liberty. His descriptions of his Thelemic utopia sound like an absolute nightmare that's only a half-step away from the worst kinds of tyranny.

And don't get me started on the "fascist" Thelemites kicking around these days still, along with the "fiscally conservative" folks.

I could very easily see a self-professed Thelemite supporting some conservative political candidate as the "lesser of two evils."


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William Thirteen
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well, we know that the Old Goat's reach all too often exceeded its grasp. you yourself have noted such on other topics.

but that shouldn't dissuade us from considering which forms of governance might interfere least with the exercise of the rights noted in Oz, while still performing basic functions. that being said, i share your exasperation with the simplistic notions offered up by some of our more "freedom loving" colleagues.

but that's probably just the flouride in the water talking 😉


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Nomad
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"Los" wrote:
I understand what you're literally saying, and I get where you're coming from, but what I'm suggesting is that the way you're choosing to view True Will isn't terribly practically useful, and it mainly only serves to encourage self-righteous indignation.

The way you're regarding True Will is as a specific action that can thus be thwarted by circumstances. To use a silly example, let's say that it's my Will to go to the beach today, but all of a sudden it starts raining. Under this model of looking at True Will, the rain "thwarted" my Will, just as the laws "thwart" people's Will to use drugs in your example.

But there's another way of looking at the Will: not as something that can be thwarted by environmental factors, but as something that is the product of inclination meeting environment.

My perspective on what will is may well turn out to be very similar to yours, I think, if we hammered this out long enough. But then it doesn't matter if we agree or not - it is not for either of us to define one's will for another. If a person deems it to be their will, at any point in time, to take cocaine, they should be be able to do so, without any interference from busy-bodies.

Liber Oz makes clear that each of us is allowed to do what we will as long as we do not prevent others from doing what they will. Until this principle is enshrined in the laws of our governments we will never attain what we are capable of as a species.

"Los" wrote:
Well, I hate to pull this thread too far off course, but I'll remind you that Crowley's political beliefs were not exactly brimming with individual liberty. His descriptions of his Thelemic utopia sound like an absolute nightmare that's only a half-step away from the worst kinds of tyranny.

Out of interest, what Crowleyan descriptions of utopia are you referring to here? 'The Lost Continent' is the only one that springs to mind, but Crowley wrote of this work:

"At times it is a fantastic rhapsody describing my ideals of Utopian society; but some passages are a satire on the conditions of our existing civilization, while others convey hints of certain profound magical secrets, or anticipations of discoveries in science."

Hardly a piece to be taken literally then.


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Los
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"Nomad" wrote:
My perspective on what will is may well turn out to be very similar to yours, I think, if we hammered this out long enough. But then it doesn't matter if we agree or not - it is not for either of us to define one's will for another.

Well, obviously, one person can’t “define” another person’s specific will – since only each person can ever know what his own will is – but we certainly can define what the word “will” means and whether it’s most useful to think of True Will as a set of specific actions that can be thwarted or as a combination of inclination and environment that is dynamically changing.

Since we can define what the term “Will” means, in general, then it matters a great deal if we agree or not. If one of us has a correct understanding of will and the other has an incorrect understanding, coming to some kind of agreement is vital.

If a person deems it to be their will, at any point in time, to take cocaine, they should be be able to do so, without any interference from busy-bodies.

Look, on the level of the kind of society I personally prefer, sure, I agree with you. But there’s nothing specifically Thelemic about what you’re suggesting. As I'll show you below, Thelema can be used to justify all sorts of oppressive governments as well.

Liber Oz makes clear that each of us is allowed to do what we will as long as we do not prevent others from doing what they will.

It doesn’t say that. For example, man has the right to eat as he will, but if it is your Will and my Will to eat the last apple, then one of us fulfilling our Liber Oz “right” will necessarily prevent the other from fulfilling his Liber Oz “right.” People get in the way of each other’s wills all the time. It’s just another obstacle you have to deal with.

Until this principle is enshrined in the laws of our governments we will never attain what we are capable of as a species.

Meaningless sound byte.

Out of interest, what Crowleyan descriptions of utopia are you referring to here [as a “nightmare”]?

I specifically had in mind the one from The Confessions (emphasis added):

"”Crowley”" wrote:
"... the slaves shall serve. ..." The bulk of humanity, having no true will, will find themselves powerless. It will be for us to rule them wisely. We must secure their happiness and train them for ultimate freedom by setting them tasks for which their nature fits them. In the past, the mob without will or mind have been treated without sense or scruple; a mistake socially, economically and politically, no less than from the humanitarian point of view. We must remember that each man and woman is a star, it is our duty to maintain the order of nature by seeing to it that his orbit is correctly calculated. The revolutions and catastrophes with which history is crammed are invariably due to the rulers having failed to find fitting functions for the people. The obvious result has been social discontent ending in the refusal of the cells to perform their work in the organism.

[…]

In the New Aeon, each man will be a king, and his relation to the state will be determined solely by considerations of what is most to his advantage. The worker will support a strong government as his best protection from foreign aggression and seditious disturbance instead of thinking it tyrannical.

And from The Scientific Solution to the Problem of Government (emphasis added):

Experts will immediately be appointed to work out, when need arises, the details of the True Will of every individual, and even that of every corporate body whether social or commercial, while a judiciary will arise to determine the equity in the case of apparently conflicting claims. (Such cases will become progressively more rare as adjustment is attained.) All appeal to precedent and authority, the deadwood of the Tree of Life, will be abolished, and strictly scientific standards will be the sole measure by which the executive power shall order the people. The absolute rule of the state shall be a function of the absolute liberty of each individual will.

If stuff like the above doesn’t make your skin crawl, then you’re probably not grasping what Crowley is saying.

In the above extracts, Crowley is explicitly saying that his idea for implementing Thelema as a system of government is to rule the bulk of mankind by setting up a bunch of “experts” to assign people tasks/work based on (what these experts think is) the true nature of each person. In fact, these experts will work out the exact details of each person’s True Will so that they can “fairly” adjudicate disputes. In times past, people might have called such a government “tyrannical,” but no, Crowley points out, in the New Aeon, people won’t think of strong government as tyrannical – people will favor such a strong government since it protects the nation (and, incidentally, keeps those common folk from having to think too much, since, as Crowley is on record saying in other places, not all people can be educated, so it’s foolish to insist on education for everybody).

That’s what he means when he says “freedom”: the freedom of each individual to shut up and do what the Thelemic government tells him his True Will is.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the so-called “utopia” Crowley is describing is a creepy, hellish, totalitarian regime, run on the basis of absolutely insane principles, like the idea that “experts” can figure out what someone else’s True Will might be.

It’s an example of the kinds of oppression that can be justified in the name of “freedom,” and more specifically in the name of Thelema.

That’s why people who sit around pining for some Thelemic utopia had better be real careful what they wish for.


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Nomad
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I read those quotes of Crowley differently to you. I see them in a positive light.

But then I might be missing something. Or you might be.


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SatansAdvocaat
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The Los-Nomad Dialogue is one of the very things I was expecting to emerge from this thread: goes to show how contoversial a text it still is, even among Thelemites.  Probably because most non-Thelemites are totally unaware of it's existence.

"I understand what you're literally saying, and I get where you're coming from, but what I'm suggesting is that the way you're choosing to view True Will isn't terribly practically useful, and it mainly only serves to encourage self-righteous indignation."
Los, yesterday at 0323 pm.

Reminds me that for the bulk of the members of a 'healthy Thelemic society', AC's conception of doing one's True Will was realising what particular happy cog you might be in the grand machine, knowing that you were born to be a pilot, a carpenter, a doctor, etc. and performing it to the full.  There do seem to be many individuals who fit that pattern and in many respects you can only admire that.


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Azidonis
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"Nomad" wrote:
If a person deems it to be their will, at any point in time, to take cocaine,

hahaha


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Los
 Los
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"Nomad" wrote:
I read those quotes of Crowley differently to you. I see them in a positive light.

Ok. So how do you interpret them?

I mean, it's clear as a bell that Crowley is saying, explicitly, that we ought to have a "Thelemic government" tell people how to live their lives, based on the fact that it knows best since its "experts" are supposedly able to figure out the True Wills of the common folk.

In what way would such a scenario not quickly become nightmarish totalitarianism?


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Los
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"Satan'sAdvocaat" wrote:
for the bulk of the members of a 'healthy Thelemic society', AC's conception of doing one's True Will was realising what particular happy cog you might be in the grand machine, knowing that you were born to be a pilot, a carpenter, a doctor, etc. and performing it to the full.

Don't forget the almost insulting ending to Moonchild in which the female protagonist discovers that her True Will -- the purpose of her entire life -- is to assist a man carry out his True Will.

I think the "True Will as occupation" model, which Crowley does employ in a number of places, has useful illustrative purpose, and it's useful for those situations in which an individual is making large scale life plans based on inferences about the Self ("What should I study in school?"), but I don't think it's very useful at all, in day-to-day situations, to think of Will as something that can be "thwarted" by environmental conditions. The environmental conditions are part of the system that gives rise to the Will in the moment.


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obscurus
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93

The use of the "words true" will by individuals is clearly a reflection of their understanding? It has long been my belief  that we are all of the same True Will, whether we realize it or not. That being union with the divine holy presence which lies at our very core. And once attained to be absorbed into that unknowable which contains it. The matter is our seeing and understanding of it?

If I were to think that it was my "true will" to use cocaine, I would very quickly pack up bag and baggage and move to Peru. That would place me at the very epicenter of the object I am after. I don't see it thus. These are the wants and desires. They are the steps on the path which ultimately lead us to the goal. Were I to pack up and set off after this perceived true will, it would be my greatest hope that I would come to its true meaning...sooner than later. Every experience along the way, whether it be getting beaten, robbed or jailed are simply lessons to be learned in the exercising of these rights. The things referred to by S.A. as the "happy cogs in the grand machine", I view as those learning experiences. The flying the jet, painting the picture or transplanting the heart...merely steps to the goal and not the goal itself.

And this is why Liber LXXVII is of paramount importance. More so now than ever before as personal freedoms are under assault everywhere. It guarantees our personal freedom to travel our individual paths unhampered, free to experience and learn as we will. As the American Constitution and Bill of Rights were conceived as a collective guarantee to a mass, I hold Liber LXXVII as the same on the personal and individual level.

I rarely fail to include a copy of Liber OZ with all correspondence and have been working on a very large ink and gold guilded version of it for more than a year now.

93/93


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Nomad
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"Los" wrote:
Ok. So how do you interpret them?

I mean, it's clear as a bell that Crowley is saying, explicitly, that we ought to have a "Thelemic government" tell people how to live their lives, based on the fact that it knows best since its "experts" are supposedly able to figure out the True Wills of the common folk.

In what way would such a scenario not quickly become nightmarish totalitarianism?

With respect Los, I do not want to get too deeply into my own interpretation of Crowley's political views, lest I become an "S.O.B." (A slave of because.) But I will point to a couple of things that I think you might not be taking into account.

First, it seems to me that you have not given due consideration to what he might mean by "the bulk of humanity [has] no true will". What might he mean for a person to not have true will? How might he think they could obtain true will?

(But then, to return to my earlier point, even if a person is not acting from their true will, they should still not be restricted - so long as their actions are not restricting anyone else's will. If a person thinks wrongly that it is their will to take cocaine, and they take it, then the cocaine will contribute to greater restriction for them, rather than freedom - and that is one of the main guides for a person in discerning what is right for them, is it not? As Crowley writes in 'The Heart of the Master': Nor is there need, with this Law of Thelema, of threats or promises: for the Law fulfilleth itself, so that the one reward is Freedom for him who doeth his will, and the one punishment is Restriction for him that goeth astray.)

Second, Thelema does not mean, of course, "every man or woman for his or her self"; it is still of immense benefit for most of us to live in a society, rather than dwelling by ourselves and living off the land. Now if we are to live in a society, that society requires governance. Crowley was of the opinion that it is not the will of every member of the society to take part in that governance. Those whose true wills are to give their life in service (for true government is service and nothing else, as indicated in Liber CXCIV), they would clearly, in a thelemic society, have some ability and knowledge around assisting their charges to find their true wills, and thus perfect happiness.

If society were focussed on assisting people in finding their true wills, it is very likely that the government would get ever-better at doing this, and a science would develop along these lines.

Imagine, for instance, if our schools were focussed, right from a child's first day, on finding that child's true will; introducing them to a variety of activities to find which they enjoyed most and had particular abilities at, and then centering the chid's education on said activities. Imagine how much happier that child would be than most children are today. Imagine how much better prepared the resulting adult would be for finding their happiest place in life and contributing to the world.

Such a society would be a much happier and enlgihtened society than the one we have today. Today's society, a faux democracy (which is just a veneer for plutocracy), is in much more danger of slipping into a "nightmarish totalitarianism" than anything Crowley was envisioning. (Just look at the direction America is going.)

A final point, incidentally - the book you refer to is 'Diary of a Drug Fiend'. And yes, from memory the woman's true will, as Crowley wrote it, may have reflected an element of sexism. But I don't remember the book properly, I have not read it for many years. I daresay on closer reading there is a bit more to it than that.

"obscuruspaintus" wrote:
If I were to think that it was my "true will" to use cocaine, I would very quickly pack up bag and baggage and move to Peru. That would place me at the very epicenter of the object I am after. I don't see it thus. These are the wants and desires. They are the steps on the path which ultimately lead us to the goal. Were I to pack up and set off after this perceived true will, it would be my greatest hope that I would come to its true meaning...sooner than later. Every experience along the way, whether it be getting beaten, robbed or jailed are simply lessons to be learned in the exercising of these rights. The things referred to by S.A. as the "happy cogs in the grand machine", I view as those learning experiences. The flying the jet, painting the picture or transplanting the heart...merely steps to the goal and not the goal itself.

Yes, fair point. But what if it is a person's true will to use cocaine just once, say for a particular invocation of some God; the cocaine being a necessary means for them to loosen the girders of their soul, the invocation itself being a necessary step on their spiritual path? To travel all the way to Peru seems a bit much I would think. Would it not be better if society simly had the cocaine for sale at the local market?


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Los
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"obscuruspaintus" wrote:
It has long been my belief  that we are all of the same True Will, whether we realize it or not.

I don’t know where you’re getting this from. Certainly not from Crowley, who defined True Will as "a course, depending partly on the self, and partly on the environment which is natural and necessary for each. 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."

“True Will” refers to a specific course of action that’s different for each person, necessarily. We don’t all have the same True Will.

These are the wants and desires.

I get the impression that you’re saying that the regular ol’ things a person wants are just “wants and desires,” in contrast to this exalted thing you’re calling “True Will” (which seems to be feeling some kind of vaguely-defined inner connection to a vague concept called “the divine”).

That approach isn’t useful at all. True Will – if it means anything at all that’s of practical value to anybody – has to do with our everyday activities, from breathing and eating to entertainment to so-called “nobler” pursuits.

To put it another way, True Will cannot be said to be identical to our "wants," simply because our minds lead us to want inauthentic things: our minds make us imagine that we want certain things, when in fact our actual inclination would be toward something else. Given that, if a person were to succeed in preventing the mind from influencing action, then we could say that True Will is in fact identical to the authentic "wants" of the Self.


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Los
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"Nomad" wrote:
With respect Los, I do not want to get too deeply into my own interpretation of Crowley's political views, lest I become an "S.O.B." (A slave of because.)

That’s not what a “slave of Because” is: a “slave of Because” is someone whose action is driven by thoughts in the mind instead of by the True Will (which is non-rational).

Being a “slave of Because” has nothing to do with clearly interpreting and understanding concepts.

First, it seems to me that you have not given due consideration to what he might mean by "the bulk of humanity [has] no true will". What might he mean for a person to not have true will? How might he think they could obtain true will?

He says very clearly that these people will be given tasks suited to their natures, as determined by the tyrannical government he’s proposing and its creepy egghead “experts” (who probably would pretend to be wizard super-chums, to boot).

But then, to return to my earlier point, even if a person is not acting from their true will, they should still not be restricted

I already said that I personally would favor that kind of society, but there’s nothing in The Book of the Law that makes that a necessary conclusion for society. The Book even explicitly says that a person has “no right” but to do his will. If it were actually the case that some “expert” could figure out what a person’s True Will was, then it would be perfectly consistent with the Law of Thelema to institute a brutally oppressive society that forced individuals to do nothing but (the task that experts claimed was) their Wills and denied them the right to do anything else.

I wouldn’t want to live in such a “Thelemic utopia,” but it just goes to show you that unbridled freedom isn’t a necessary conclusion of implementing the Law of Thelema in a society, as Crowley’s totalitarian fantasies clearly demonstrate.

If society were focussed on assisting people in finding their true wills, it is very likely that the government would get ever-better at doing this, and a science would develop along these lines.

Like all utopian thinking, this is pie-in-the-sky and awfully naïve, but whatever. My point is that your particular brand of utopia isn’t the only one that a person could derive from Liber AL, and it really wouldn’t take much to convert this kind of ideal world into Crowley’s totalitarian dreamland.

A final point, incidentally - the book you refer to is 'Diary of a Drug Fiend'.

Yes, that’s obviously the one I meant. The one with Pendragon and Lou. Thanks for catching that mistake.

And yes, from memory the woman's true will, as Crowley wrote it, may have reflected an element of sexism.

More than an element, I would say.

I daresay on closer reading there is a bit more to it than that.

I'd be interested in hearing a cogent alternative interpretation.


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Nomad
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"Los" wrote:
"Nomad" wrote:
With respect Los, I do not want to get too deeply into my own interpretation of Crowley's political views, lest I become an "S.O.B." (A slave of because.)

That’s not what a “slave of Because” is: a “slave of Because” is someone whose action is driven by thoughts in the mind instead of by the True Will (which is non-rational).

Being a “slave of Because” has nothing to do with clearly interpreting and understanding concepts.

Yes, obviously it is that  ::), but things have multiple levels of meaning, you know. (Although I am starting to wonder if you really appreciate that fact?)

In this case I was using the phrase to imply that picking away too much at what Crowley might mean about this-or-that gets to be a distraction from what one should be doing in the here-and-now.

And I've got better things to do with my own here-and-now than to continue on with this discussion.


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As much as I believe that Liber OZ is a statement of the true rights of a human being.
I also understand that it is like someone who says “I tell it like it is, I say what I think and feel, regardless of the thoughts and feelings of those around me”
You know what its like when you meet a Man who calls “A spade a spade” and what a pain in the arse they can be.
Of course you can dress it up and say that a person doing their will is an unstoppable force, a creature destined to achieve their will, and therefore “in the right” as far the flow of the Universe is concerned.
But Oz is a statement the wise will know that, although is true, is also the cause of almost all of humanities problems. It is the law of the jungle dressed in pretty poetry.


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amadan-De
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"Los" wrote:
"Aleister Crowley" wrote:
Experts will immediately be appointed to work out, when need arises, the details of the True Will of every individual, and even that of every corporate body whether social or commercial, while a judiciary will arise to determine the equity in the case of apparently conflicting claims. (Such cases will become progressively more rare as adjustment is attained.) All appeal to precedent and authority, the deadwood of the Tree of Life, will be abolished, and strictly scientific standards will be the sole measure by which the executive power shall order the people. The absolute rule of the state shall be a function of the absolute liberty of each individual will.

If stuff like the above doesn’t make your skin crawl, then you’re probably not grasping what Crowley is saying.

Quoth Los, who then persists in claiming his special "rational" understanding allows him to didactically inform others of the one true meaning of Liber OZ and all related topics.  Cognitive dissonance and hilarity ensue.

obscuruspaintus, I think your vision comes close to Blake's All Religions Are One.  I'd also be surprised if AC did not have this similarly brief list of Principles in mind when composing Liber OZ (and AL).

e: You can see the original illustrated version here if you haven't seen it.  I suspect that your artistic approach will appreciate it. (I recommend viewing the images in 'lightbox' as this allows zooming in for details hard to see at actual size).

"John" wrote:
Oz is a statement the wise will know that, although is true, is also the cause of almost all of humanities problems. It is the law of the jungle dressed in pretty poetry.

  Thanks for this perfect encapsulation of my worries about OZ.

(Synchronicity - listening to Dangerous Visionaries on Radio 4 (re. the dystopian imagination).  Point was made that Utopian visions are frequently (usually?) as restrictive or more so than any imagined Dystopia.)


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Los
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"Nomad" wrote:
"Los" wrote:
"Nomad" wrote:
With respect Los, I do not want to get too deeply into my own interpretation of Crowley's political views, lest I become an "S.O.B." (A slave of because.)

That’s not what a “slave of Because” is: a “slave of Because” is someone whose action is driven by thoughts in the mind instead of by the True Will (which is non-rational).

Being a “slave of Because” has nothing to do with clearly interpreting and understanding concepts.

Yes, obviously it is that  ::), but things have multiple levels of meaning, you know. (Although I am starting to wonder if you really appreciate that fact?)

Obviously things can have multiple meanings, but one of the meanings of "slave of Because" isn't a person who clearly interprets things.

In this case I was using the phrase to imply that picking away too much at what Crowley might mean about this-or-that gets to be a distraction from what one should be doing in the here-and-now.

But we were discussing Crowley's views...or, more specifically, you asked me a question about what I was referring to in Crowley's views, and I was responding. It's not being a "slave of Because" for me to give you an answer, nor would you be a "slave of Because" to respond by indicating why you disagree. But you evidently just don't want to respond now, so whatever.

And I've got better things to do with my own here-and-now than to continue on with this discussion.

You may, as always, feel free to do whatever you'd like.


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SatansAdvocaat
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Topic starter  

I find it worth noting that when Kenneth Grant was preparing his first book, 'The Magical Revival', he considered it essential to include LIBER OZ among the illustrations, although he says very little about it in the text.

He says a good deal more about it in 'Aleister Crowley and the Hidden God' in the concluding chapter "Living Beyond Time" (pp.182-184 in the 2013 e.v. Starfire edition), for example:

"Liber OZ appears to be an over-simplification of the tenets of a Cult notorious for its complex doctrines.  It is Crowley's attempt to reach the heart of the most uncomplicated individual.  Its simplicity and brevity frequently defeat this purpose.  People suspect a trap, for they regard everything they can understand, or think they can, as of little consequence".


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Nomad
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Hehe, couldn't resist :).

I think Mr Grant is probably right though; Oz's simplicity and brevity is what, perhaps, can make it difficult.

It reminds me of what Crowley wrote in MWT, about how he had introduced what he thought was a simple word-game to a friend (probably McMurtry), who protested that most people would not have the vocabulary required to play it.

All this made me exceeding sorrowful. I began to understand why my Liber OZ, written entirely in words of one syllable only . . . turned out to be completely beyond the average man's (or woman's) understanding.  I had some Mass Observation done on it.

"But this is rank socialism," "Say, ayn't this all Fascism?" "Oh Golly!" "Cripes!" "Coo!" "How dreadful!" about the nearest most of them got to Ralph Straus and Desmond MacCarthy!

Words of one syllable!


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ignant666
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Why would a "moral nihilist" such as yourself, Los, find totalitarianism "creepy", or in any way less desirable than democracy?
What is the basis of this preference?


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Los
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"ignant666" wrote:
Why would a "moral nihilist" such as yourself, Los, find totalitarianism "creepy", or in any way less desirable than democracy?
What is the basis of this preference?

You seriously have to ask that question, after the long conversation we had on it?

For the benefit of other readers, I'll answer this basic question. "Moral Nihilism" -- upon which the theory and practice of Thelema are founded -- is the position that moral judgments have no absolute, binding truth value, perhaps aside from a statement of preference.

A moral nihilist doesn't consider anything ultimately "better" or "worse" than any other thing. In this way, the moral nihilist fulfills the command given in AL I "Let there be no difference made among you between any one thing & any other thing."

By recognizing that no one course of action is objectively "better" than any other, the individual no longer has a moral basis for action. The only basis for action becomes that individual's natural preferences (what Crowley calls the "True Will").

A moral nihilist still has preferences, which are just properties that individual has. There's no "reason" a person has those preferences (hence, all that "curse upon Because" stuff in the Book): they just are what they are.

So, the upshot is, I think certain things are "creepy," but I don't think that they're somehow absolutely "wrong." They're just stuff I really don't like and that I strongly suspect most other people would really not like.


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ignant666
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Los: Thank you for your response.
While you are correct that we have discussed what I have argued is your utterly unfounded belief that AC espoused moral nihilism or that such a philosophy is compatible with Thelema (let alone required by it!), I don't think we've spent much time discussing what this might mean in practice. I regret that I became unable to continue that discussion with the detachment this site demands and ceased to participate.
So you, as a moral nihilist, have "preferences" that do the same work that "ethics" does for others?


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𓍶
 𓍶
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"Moral Nihilism" -- upon which the theory and practice of Thelema are founded

God, Moral Nihilism, what an abomination.  I think you will have to argue your case a little more closely Los.  First, Crowley is not Thelema.  You are certainly in your rights to define it thus.  However, even if you limit Thelema to Crowley, you would have to limit it to his work AL to even begin to make a case that Thelema is Moral Nihilism - one of those philosophical categories which are more useless than helpful.  Moral Nihilism is by definition absurd, as is all Nihilism.  However, even if you limit it to AL you will have to make a case that the "might is right" themes which run through the work - much to the misfortune of Europe in the 20th century - and the themes of hedonism and anti-rationalism are not moral nihilism.  After all, the word "moral" does not even appear in the work.  The "lest their be folly" of the commentary raises another whole host of demons of AC on the question of morality.  I certainly would not restrict the interpretation of the work to the methods of modern Anglo-American Analytic Philosophy.  Crowley's ethical writings - and I am sure we are all agreed whether it be AL or the rest of the corpus - the man was if anything not consistent & jabbered the gamut of moral positions.  If one wants to be "tried by intellect" through Crowley ( in or out of AL ) it will be necessary to draw upon the entire fruits of the history of thought ( unless you want to live hand to mouth as Goethe says ) to strictly and precisely criticize the man's thought - even though for the most part he disparaged thought - or so he said.  All writing is thought, whether well thought or not.  I would like to disagree with you, but with rare mathematical exceptions, I would say Crowley was a nihilist, ( again whatever that means ) but as we must never forget walking in the footsteps of a fool, he argued ( in chapter 0 of Magick ) that AL reconciles Nihilism, Monism, and Dualism, in one feel swoop.  Does it?  Just because Crowley says something does not make is so.  As Solomon was so fond of saying "Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him."

John


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Shiva
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Virtually all the humans who make it to some sort of cosmic illumination infer (or outrightly state) that moral considerations do not apply. Is this "moral nihilism?" It seems so.


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ignant666
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Asked with the greatest respect, Shiva:
Fair enough but what percentage of these post-illumination folk proceed to spend their time dashing out the brains of infants against rocks, as opposed to more boddhisattva-vow-esque activities?
Where might the Star Sponge Vision fit in here, as well as obscuruspaintus' point above (reiterating AC, of course) that there are not many Wills, but one Will to union, distributed in many vessels?


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Los
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"John Griffith" wrote:
I think you will have to argue your case a little more closely Los.

Feel free to read and respond to my lengthy article on the subject here: http://www.lashtal.com/forum/http://www.lashtal.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8

Moral Nihilism is by definition absurd, as is all Nihilism.

No, it's not. By definition, it's the position that moral claims have no objective truth values. No action is inherently good or evil. If you read my above article, you'll see that this position is essential for the practice of Thelema. 

you will have to make a case that the "might is right" themes which run through the work - much to the misfortune of Europe in the 20th century - and the themes of hedonism and anti-rationalism are not moral nihilism.

The Book doesn't say that might makes "right" (as in, morally good). It states the simple fact that strong wills triumph over weak wills. That's all. 


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Los
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Ignant,

I was all set to ignore your posts -- since you appear to have learned nothing from our last conversation -- but if you ask questions whose answers might be instructive to other members here, I may elect to answer them.

"ignant666" wrote:
So you, as a moral nihilist, have "preferences"

Certainly. As an elementary example, I prefer not to touch a hot stove. I don't think it's "morally wrong" to touch a hot stove, but I still prefer not to do it.

My avoiding touching a hot stove is not motivated by a belief that I have some ethical responsibility to avoid doing so. My avoiding it is motivated by (1) my complete lack of any desire to do it and (2) my intense dislike of the almost certain consequences of doing it. Morality doesn't enter the picture.

"preferences" that do the same work that "ethics" does for others?

No. As I hinted above, "morals" or "ethics" implies some kind of duty or what "should be done." Thelema requires individuals to act not out of their intellectual constructs about what should be done for moral reasons (hence, the whole curse on "Because" and the insistence on reason being a "lie" in AL).

Instead, Thelema requires individuals to act out of their natures, out of their natural preferences. It's all in the post I linked to above.


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 Anonymous
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Liber OZ has always struck me rather dumb. As if were the imaginings of a man striving to maintain a foundational social ethic based on impetus of the brute. Or maybe a key of some sort whereby the lawless may enter into the house unnoticed and avail themselves of harmful artifacts?


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ignant666
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Los: Thank you for your quite patronizing response- I thought you'd gotten over that a bit? Saying that a fellow member has "learned nothing" from you is really a bit much! True authority is earned, not assumed.
Certainly, morals or ethics often may imply duties (see, eg, "Duty" by AC for a Thelemic example); they are also that which enables us to distinguish between those things we find desirable and those things we find "creepy", or put another way, to have "preferences".
What is the basis for your non-biological "preferences" or non-preferences? It just won't do to say there is "no reason" for these, especially coming from one who is at such pains to claim that he accepts nothing without evidence.
This sounds like you have unexamined  things that do the work of ethics, but call them something else, thus my question, which I again restate. Of course you are free to call your morals/ethics whatever you want; equally obviously you can't expect anyone committed to any degree of intellectual rigor to respect this nomenclature, or to fail to notice that you are doing this.
By "non-biological preferences", i mean preferences/non-preferences for things that are not hot stoves that harm all they touch but things like totalitarianism (the example we were actually discussing), which can be very good indeed for those with total power.
Why is it "creepy"? This sounds like the statement of a humanist, not a nihilist.


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Los
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"ignant666" wrote:
Los: Thank you for your quite patronizing response

You're welcome.

Saying that a fellow member has "learned nothing" from you is really a bit much!

I said that you learned nothing from our last conversation, which you haven't. You still have all sorts of misconceptions about moral nihilism, which you wouldn't have if you had actually learned something.

Even from the last post to this one you haven't learned anything. I explicitly responded to your claim that preferences don't "do the work" of morality, yet in your follow-up, you just restated that same exact claim without bothering at all to address what I said. It's actually kind of embarrassing to read.

So like I said, I think "discussion" with you is unlikely to yield anything productive, so I'm just going to pick out whatever points from your posts I feel like and use them as a spring board for posts that others might learn from.

morals or ethics [...] are also that which enables us to distinguish between those things we find desirable and those things we find "creepy", or put another way, to have "preferences".

No, they're not. This is the crux of the problem you're having in grasping this issue: you think that preference is necessarily tied up with "morality."

Maybe it's a language issue. I'm using "morality" to designate "that which should be done," in the sense that a Christian or Muslim or Secular Humanist might think that charity is "moral," while cruelty or pride is "immoral." Preference is something entirely different than morality, defined in that way: preference is simply -- hold onto your hat! -- that which an individual prefers, without any sense that it's something that "should" be done.

A preference for not getting burned is a great example to illustrate the difference. It's an authentic preference, but it has nothing to do with morality.

In the same way, I have a preference for not living in a totalitarian dictatorship. Just as there's nothing "immoral" about my touching a hot stove, there would be nothing "immoral" about someone setting up a totalitarian dictatorship; but just as I would do my damndest to avoid touching a hot stove, I would also do my damndest to avoid living in a totalitarian regime.

Naturally, a would-be totalitarian dictator might very well have a preference to set up totalitarian dictatorship. If and when our Wills came into conflict, the stronger Will would win. That's all there is to it.

Maybe the problem you're having is that in the examples we've been using, preference has largely aligned with what is conventionally called "moral." But people can have sincere preferences to be cruel, to harm others, to manipulate, to ignore people who (think they) need help, etc., etc.

The whole point of the study of ethics in philosophy, by the way, is that ethics (in the form of the silliness dreamt up by most "moral philosophers") don't typically line up with preference. There's often a discrepancy between what people prefer and what (they think) they "should" be doing. There's a discrepancy between, say, my preference to want to go to a huge dinner party and, say, the idea that it's "wrong" to waste food when so many people in the world are dying of starvation.

Most importantly, for Thelema, there's very often a discrepancy between what a person actually prefers and what his mind tells him he *should* prefer. A person, say, actually prefers to be a musician, but his mind tells him that he *should* follow some safer career path because it would be "good." Morality, defined as broadly as "shoulds," is a mechanism by which the mind talks an individual out of following his actual preferences (or "True Will").

Thelema is, at its core, about getting rid of the mind's ideas that certain things are, in and of themselves, "good" or "bad." To the universe, things just are what they are. There is no "better," no "worse," no "should." By realizing this -- and *only* by realizing this -- an individual is free to exercise those rights spoken of in Liber Oz.

And that brings us back to the thread's topic, and it neatly illustrates the problem with trying to set up a specifically "Thelemic" society. A person can have the political liberty to write what he wants, but if he isn't writing in accordance with his Will and instead writing what his mind tells him that he prefers (because his mind thinks he *should* be doing it because it's *good* to do that), then he's not really free. He's following a fantasy, not his actual inclination.


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Azidonis
(@azidonis)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 2967
 
"Kothar" wrote:
Liber OZ has always struck me rather dumb.

It seems to me that if a person needs a document like Liber Oz, or any other document, to tell the person how to live his/her life (aside from anything required by the society), then that person is lost from the get-go.


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